All the news for Thursday 22 September 2011
KLHC, Sapura register wins in contrasting fashions
Defending champions KL Hockey Club coasted to a 7-2 win over Uitm while Sapura were given a fright before emerging 3-2 winners over Maybank in the TNBMHL at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Sapura had a comfortable 3-0 lead by the 21st minute but instead of building on the lead, their game fell to pieces and they were fortunate to come away with all three points.
“We started well but instead of working towards building onto the advantage my players tried to preserve the lead,” said Sapura coach I. Vikneswaran.
“And we were guilty of letting our guard down as well. It was not a case of being overconfident but rather we were complacent.
“In a way we are lucky to have won the match as Maybank created several chances in the closing stages but could not find the mark.”
Sapura shocked Maybank by scoring in the first minute itself as Azreen Rizal Nasir broke through on the left and unleashed a reverse stick hit that went in on the near post, giving Maybank keeper Mohd Hanafi Hassan no chance whatsoever.
And it was 2-0 in favour of Sapura in the 13th minute as S.Kuhan converted a penalty corner, their first of the match, and inside the first quarter Maybank had a mountain to climb.
Things got more murkier for the Tigers as Sapura scored their third goal in the 21st minute through Azreen yet again, who showed his killer instinct by squeezing in a shot from the left off an acute angle.
The Maybank fightback began when newly signed Mohd Zulhairi Hashim converted a penalty corner in the 26th minute to reduce the deficit to 3-1.
And in the 44th minute Zulhairi was on target yet again via a penalty corner and Sapura were reeling, making numerous mistakes as their game disintegrated.
Though Maybank were awarded penalty corners in the 58th and 60th minutes, Zulhairi could not find the back of the net.
And Maybank had a glorious chance to equalise in the 62nd minute but Suhaimi Ibrahim failed to connect from just two feet from the goal line.
“We had a poor start and being a goal down in the very first minute made our task all the more difficult,” said Maybank coach Wallace Tan.
“Considering the fact that it was our first match, I am happy with the fightback after being 3-0 down but it is a position we should never have been in.”
“Though we had several chances late in the match, our failure to convert them cost us the game. We have to learn from this defeat and start winning matches if we want to finish high in the standings.”
On the adjacent pitch defending champions KLHC showed why they are a team to beat as they showed much composure in their 7-2 win over Uitm.
"Though I am happy with the three points, I am not at all happy with the performance of the players,” said KLHC team manager George Koshy.
“We made too many mistakes in defence and it must be said that the defensive strategy adopted by our opponents did not help matters. Thus it took time to break down their defence.”
KLHC took a commanding 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Chua Boon Huat (5th minute), Harvinder Singh (26th minute) and Kevinder Singh (41st minute).
But two goals in the space of three minutes allowed Uitm to be within a goal of KLHC.
Tariq Nazir Ahmad scored in the 43rd minute before Muhammad Aslam Mohammad Hanafiah struck from a penalty corner in the 46th minute to make it 3-2.
But KLHC were undeterred and showed that they are in a class of their own as Ismail Abu (52nd minute) and Chua (56th minute) made it 5-2 in favour of the defending champions.
Mohd Fitri Saari scored in the 62nd minute to give KLHC a 6-2 lead before Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tg Jalil completed the rout scoring two minutes from time.
Official MHL site
UNIKL upset YNS
UniKL played a gallant game to upset the more fancied Yayasan Negeri Sembilan 4-3 in the Premier League match of the TNB Malaysian Hockey League at the National Hockey stadium in Bukit Jalil.
It was a courageous display from the youthful UniKL side that were not given much of a chance prior to the game as they played badly in their opening match against Uitm where they could only manage a draw.
The win tonight takes UniKl to the third spot in the standings, a position that they will find hard to keep as they have tough matches over the weekend.
UniKL took the lead in the 9th minute when Muhammad Taufik Abdul Hamid sent in a low drag flick that caught out YNS keeper Nasir Ahmad. It was a deserved lead considering that UniKL looked the more hungrier side in the opening ten minutes.
But the lead did not last long as YNS were on level terms in the 14th minute when Ihsan Ulah Khan sent a powerful flick into the roof of the UniKL goal.
Though UniKL were awarded two penalty corners in quick succession, they were thwarted by superb keeping by YNS custodiam Nasir, who dived full length to deny Taufik in the 18th minute.
And seven minutes later YNS took the lead through Aamir Shahzad.
But the young UniKL side were undeterred and took the fight to their more fancied opponents, often catching them in possession with timely tackles.
And their tenacity was rewarded when Dedy Ariyadi Jumaidi rounded up three defenders outside the semi circle and unleashed an unstoppable shot in the 28th minute to put UniKL on level terms.
Mohammad Ramadan Rosli then showed his killer instinct in the 31st minute, when he found himself unmarked and scored with a hefty shot into the corner, leaving Nasir and his defenders bewildered.
It took YNS just three minutes upon resumption from the halftime break to draw level. Ihsan's penalty corner attempt was only half cleared by UniKL keeper Abdul Hakim Adnan and the rebound fell to Muhammad Hafiz Zakaria who had the simple task of steering the ball into goal in the 38th minute to make it 3-3.
Mohammad Sabri Muhammad turned out to be the hero for UniKL as he deflected a penalty corner shot by Taufik two minutes from time for the underdogs to net all three points.
On the adjacent pitch, Tenaga Nasional bounced back from their opening match defeat at the hands of KL Hockey Club to defeat Nur Insafi Penang 5-1.
Faisal Saari scored in the 10th and 33rd minutes to give TNB a 2-0 lead at halftime. Muhammad Fariq Saadon made it 3-0 in the 45th minute and TNB were coasting.
Mohammad Firhan Ashaari scored in the 55th and 63rd minutes to put them into the drivers seat. Nur Insafi scored a consolation in the last minute via a penalty corner goal from Mohd Zakaria Kamaruzaman.
Offical MHL site
Second successive win for SSTMI
SSTMI-Thunderbolts defeated Unimap 3-2 at the Ministry of Education Stadium to register their second win in as many matches in Division One of the TNB Malaysian Hockey League.
Having defeated Uniten 4-2 on Sunday, the win put the southerners on the top of the table until the outcome of a later match between Bukit Jalil Sports School and Uniten.
SSTMI opened scoring in the 23rd minute through Muhd Sufi Ismat Rohulamin. And Muhammad Shahril Saabah doubled their advantage in the 39th minute converting a penalty corner.
Though Mohd Yusri Yusub Kebkamen reduced the deficit to 2-1 in the 45th minute for Unimap, SSTMI put the issue beyond doubt when Muhammad Zahirul Faez Ashari scored in the 52nd minute.
Unimap scored in the 67th minute via Sabir Ismail who converted a penalty corner but it was a case of being a little too late to salvage anything from the match.
Offical MHL site
KLHC and Sapura in control
By Ajitpal Singh
DEFENDING champions KL Hockey Club (KLHC) and Sapura maintained their 100 per cent record in the TNB-MHL Premier Division after both teams recorded their second league victories in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
KLHC cruised to a 7-2 win over minnows UiTM while Sapura edged Maybank 3-2.
KLHC started on a promising note by taking a healthy three-goal lead through Chua Boon Huat (5th minute), Harvinder Singh (26th) and Kevinder Singh (41st).
UiTM, however, fought back with two quick strikes from Tariq Nazir Ahmad (43rd) and Muhd Aslam Hanafiah (46th).
KLHC tightened their game and scored four more times through Ismail Abu (52nd), Boon Huat (56th), Fitri Saari (62nd) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Jalil (68th) for three points.
"I am happy with the win but unhappy with the performances of my players," said KLHC team manager George Koshy.
"UiTM made it difficult at first as they defended well. We need to work on several areas before we play Maybank (tomorrow)."
Sapura, the former champions, defended frantically in the final minutes of the match against Maybank to claim their second league win.
They took a comfortable 3-0 lead through a brace from Azreen Rizal Nasir (first and 21st) and a penalty corner set-piece from captain S. Kuhan.
Maybank forced themselves back into the match with Zulhairi Hashim's two goals in the 26th and 44th minutes.
Sapura then conceded several penalty corners, which Maybank failed to convert.
New Straits Times
Close call for Sapura
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Sapura escaped with a lucky 3-2 win over Maybank in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Sapura, who outplayed Armed Forces Airod 4-0 in the first match, took an impressive 3-0 lead after just 21 minutes of the first half.
Their game then went to pieces and they should thank their lucky stars for walking away with full points as the bankers fought back to narrow the deficit.
Sapura shocked the Tigers by scoring the fastest goal in the league after just 21 seconds when national player Azreen Rizal Nasir broke through on the left and unleashed a reverse stick hit past goalkeeper Mohd Hanafi Hassan.
Sapura increased their lead off their first penalty corner through S. Kuhan in the 13th minute.
Then, eight minutes later, Azreen was on target again, netting his second and his team’s third off an acute angle.
The Tigers were down but not out as they fought back to reduce the deficit by converting a penalty corner through newly-signed Mohd Zulhairi Hashim in the 26th minute.
After the breather, Maybank surged forward in search of goals and scored again in the 44th minute through yet another penalty corner goal by Zulhairi.
Sapura coach I. Vickneswaran slammed his players for not building on their three-goal cushion.
“We are guilty of letting our guard down. It was not a case of being over-confident but we were complacent,” he said.
“We are lucky we won as Maybank created several chances in the closing stages.”
Maybank coach Wallace Tan blamed their defeat to the early goal.
“Since this is our first match, I am happy with the fightback after we were 3-0 down. But we should not have been in that position,” he said.
“Although we had several chances late in the match, our failure to convert them cost us the game. We have to learn from this defeat and start winning if we want to finish higher in the standings.”
Tenaga Nasional, meanwhile, bounced back from their 2-1 Charity Shield loss to KLHC, by outplaying Nur Insafi 5-1 yesterday.
National forwards Faizal Saari (10th, 33rd) and Mohd Firhan Ashaari (55th, 63rd) scored a brace each while Mohd Fariq Saadon (45th) got the other for Tenaga.
Nur Insafi’s lone reply came courtesy of Nur Hrsikesa Thaichana Muruthi in the 69th minute.
In another match, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) edged Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) 4-3 to move up to third placing.
Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim (9th), Dedy Ariyadi Jumaidi (28th), Mohd Ramadan Rosli (31st) and Mohd Azri Hassan (68th) scored for UniKL while YNS replied through Ihsan Ullah Khan (14th), Aamir Shahzad (21st) and Mohd Hafiz Zakaria (38th).
The Star of Malaysia
Top scorer Azreen warns they won the battle but may lose the war
GRITTY: Maybank's Engku Abdul Malek Engku Mohamed (left) tussling with Sapura's Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin
BUKIT JALIL: Sapura hitman Azreen Rizal Nasir hopes his teammates take note of their complacent performance against Maybank yesterday.
Sapura won the match 3-2 but Azreen believes the team were wrong to take their foot off the pedal in the second-half after leading 3-0 in the first 21 minutes of the match.
"We felt the match was ours. We got too relaxed and that was why we conceded the goals," said Azreen, 22.
Sapura's performance in the second-half was similar to their dismal performance when they beat Armed Forces 4-0 last weekend.
Azreen is puzzled how they lost the plot after Maybank scored their second goal.
"I was chasing my third goal. That would have been my second hattrick in as many games," added Azreen.
The Malaysia Hockey League top scorer with five goals wants to win the overall title after being a losing finalist in the last couple of years.
However, he admits Sapura are yet to hit their stride.
Azreen scored in the first minute of the match before adding his second in the 21st minute. S. Kuhan scored the other goal via a penalty corner in the 16th minute. Maybank goals were scored by Mohd Zulhairi Hashim (26th and 44th minute) through penalty corners.
Champs KLHC fail to impress despite scoring seven goals
By NG MAY YING
KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) turned on the power in the second half to outplay debutants UiTM 7-2 in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Despite chalking up the big win, double champions KLHC failed to impress with many missed chances and sloppy defending, allowing UiTM many scoring chances.
Chua Boon Huat put KLHC ahead by scoring from an acute angle in the fourth minute.
Harvinder Singh then doubled the lead off a cross from Mohd Shahrun Nabil Abdullah in the 26th minute.
With nine national players in the team, the defending champions lived dangerously throughout the first half as they allowed their young opponents to break through their defence almost at will.
It was only after the breather that KLHC finally showed more urgency, with Kevinder Singh scoring the third goal from close range in the 40th minute.
However, UiTM fought back to score two goals in three minutes through Tariq Nazir Ahmad (43rd) and Muhammad Aslam Mohd Hanafiah (46th).
Undeterred, KLHC responded with guns blazing to score four more goals through Ismail Abu (52nd), Boon Huat (56th), Mohd Fitri Saari (62nd) and Tengku Ahmad Tajudin (68th).
KLHC team manager George Koshy admitted that his team’s performance was “sub-par” and the players took too long to raise their game.
“We committed far too many errors and conceded two very soft goals,” he said.
“There is a big difference between our established players and UiTM’s young team but they certainly gave us a run for our money. I’m happy with the three points but we’ll have to improve our performance for the next few games.”
KLHC, who defeated Tenaga Nasional 2-1 last week, now top the standings with six points after two games, leading Sapura by goal difference.
KLHC will be looking to extend their winning streak when they take on Maybank tomorrow.
The Star of Malaysia
Latin flavour in World Series Hockey tournament
‘All Star’ Vila and 5 more from Argentina, Former Captain Garza and 2 more Spanish stars sign up for WSH
By Ijaz Chaudhry
World Series Hockey (WSH) continues to enlist top international players by signing on board six from Argentina and three stars from Spain.
The Argentina players includes the renowned Vila brothers, Lucas, Matias and Rodrigo together with striker Callioni Facundo and defenders Pedro Ibarra and Juan Martin Lopez while the Spanish stars comprise of former Spain captain Rodrigo Garza, Alfonso Pombo and Andreau Enrich.
The reputed international Latino stars that form the core of their country’s impressive attack will bring their world class skills honed by top international and club competitions on to the WSH turf, come December 15.
WSH has generated a lot of interest with players from Australia, Spain, Canada, Ireland, Pakistan, New Zealand, Germany, Holland and South Korea set to exhibit their talent in this multi-city franchise-based League, with players allocated to teams based on internationally accepted and practiced “draft” system.
Lucas Vila, who was member of the world All-Star team and will be captaining one of the squads in this eight-team League, is all excited at the prospect of leading a team. “World Series Hockey continues to attract the best talent in terms of players and administrators and I feel proud to be an integral part as a captain. The global league is highly anticipated and will witness a fantastic display of skill and talent. ” said Lucas.
Former Spanish captain, Rodrigo Garza too was keen on playing in India, “It is indeed an honour for me and my team mates to play in a global league like World Series Hockey. The hockey fans in India are extremely knowledgeable and passionate and will certainly appreciate a keen contest” said Rodrigo.
The WSH will be held from December 15, 2011 to January 22, 2012 and will involve 176 leading players -- Indian and international -- who will showcase their talent in 61 matches. It will be a multi-city franchise-based League with players being allocated to the teams based on the internationally accepted and practised ‘draft’ system.
The inaugural edition of the league will comprise eight teams with matches across as many cities, six of which are Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The remaining slots will go to two off Bhopal, Pune, Rourkela, Ranchi, Manipur, Lucknow and Kolkata.
Hockey players, for the first time, will have a global platform to exhibit their skills for which they will be financially rewarded. The legacy created by the planned upgrading of infrastructure across the country will benefit hockey for generations to come.
Some of the Indian stars who will be seen in action in WSH include Rajpal Singh, Sandeep Singh, Adrian D’Souza, Sardara Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Arjun Halappa, Diwakar Ram, Bharat Chetri, Dhananjay Mahadik, Shivendra Singh, Mandeep Antil, S.V. Sunil, Roshan Minz, William Xalxo, Prabodh Tirkey and Yuvraj Walmiki.
The star studded line-up ensures the league will be vibrant and competitive, drawing the global spotlight on India.
Lucas Martin Vila: A prolific striker with an uncanny skill for goal. Lucas is one of Argentina’s outstanding forwards. The youngest of the Vila brothers, many in India will remember the spectacular goal he scored against Germany at the 2010 World Cup Hockey in Delhi. Though Argentina lost the match narrowly, Lucas stole the heart of the Delhi crowd with his magnificent performance.
Matias Damian Vila: The eldest of the Vila brothers, Matias is a seasoned midfielder with excellent ball distribution skills. He has often sent the strikers on a goal hunt with precise defence splitting passes. A firm tackler of the ball, Matias represented Argentina at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.
Rodrigo Nicolas Vila: A striker with an eye for goals, Rodrigo embarked on the scene with an impressive display at the 2001 Junior World Cup in Australia, where Argentina won the silver medal. Together with elder brother Matias, he was a member of the Argentine squad at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Rodrigo also donned Argentina colours at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2002 and 2006 World Cups in Kuala Lumpur and Monchengladbach respectively.
Pedro Ibarra: Another striker of repute, Pedro made his international debut in 2005 at the Junior World Cup in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. His impressive showing at Rotterdam immediately saw him make the senior squad at the 2006 World Cup in Monchengladbach. It was at the 2010 World Cup in Delhi that Pedro together with Lucas Vila formed a striking combination and it was no surprise when Pedro too scored in that nail-biting encounter against Germany.
Juan Martin Lopez: A reliable defender, Juan made his debut in 2005 and represented Argentina at two World Cups, 2006 in Monchengladbach and at the Delhi World Cup in 2010.
Callioni Facundo: A striker with immense potential, stormed on the international scene with a fine performance at the 2005 Champions Challenge against England. Juan was also a part of the Argentina squad that made the trip to Delhi to participate at the World Cup in 2010.
Rodrigo Garza: A former Spanish captain Rodrigo represented Spain at three consecutive Olympics – Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 -- and two Hockey World Cups in Kuala Lumpur and Monchengladbach.
Born in Madrid on 3rd December1979, Rodrigo is currently playing in the Dutch Premier League with HGC, a team based in The Hague. Rodrigo moved to The Netherlands after the 2004 Athens Olympics, where Spain finished fourth. He initially played for HC Den Bosch and later moved to HC Bloemendaal with whom he won the Dutch League in 2008 and 2009.
Andreau Enrich: Captain of Atletic Terrassa Hockey Club, one of the acclaimed clubs in Spain, Andreau has been an important member of the Spanish team and has regularly featured in international fixtures. From 2006 Andreau has concentrated on `Stick for India`, a social development project in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh.
Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey and other sports. For more about him and his work, visit: www.sportscorrespondent.info
Submitted to Fieldhockey.com by the author
Junior Black Sticks Teams Announced
The Under 21 Junior Black Sticks teams have been announced after being put through their paces at a camp held in Papatoetoe this week.
The camp was part of Hockey New Zealand’s new Owen G Glenn Future Black Sticks Programme, with Under 21 national coaches Chris Leslie (women) and Grant Edwards (men) selecting the 18 best players from the squads of 30, which were announced in May after the National U21 Tournament.
“Key factors that formed the basis of selection, were identifying players that have core skills, are physically capable, are coachable and can follow instructions, as well as having the ability to play at intensity and who can counter attack quickly,” says Under 21’s women’s coach Chris Leslie.
Players named in the women’s team include current Black Sticks Amelia Gibson, Samantha Charlton, Julia King and Rhiannon Dennison. They are joined by three up and coming players, midfielder player Shareena Nana and strikers Natasha Cotton and Tara Hall.
The women’s team first and only international competition for this year will be in India at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Under-21 Four Nation Women's Hockey Tournament, from 8-12 November.
The 18 players named in the Junior Black Sticks Men, include current Black Sticks Squad players Shay Neal, and Kane Russell, along with Development players, midfielder Nick Ross and defender Dwayne Rowsell. Jared Panchia (17), the youngest player in the team and younger brother to Black Sticks player Arun Panchia, has also made the cut.
“Over the four days in camp, we held three very competitive selection matches. We were looking for players who had a high level of fitness with strong technical ability and game awareness. Over the next six weeks, players will be training in their regions and monitored as part of their development programmes,” says Under 21 men’s coach Grant Edwards.
The men’s second international competition for 2011 is scheduled to take place in Malaysia, at the 1st Sultan Johor Cup Invitational, from 5-12 November this year.
The first two major events for the Owen G Glenn Future Black Sticks Programme are the 2013 Junior World Cup and 2014 Youth Olympics.
“This national junior programme gives these athletes the best opportunity for success at world level events and will help develop our future national players,” says high performance manager Toni Cumpston.
The Junior Black Sticks teams depart for their respective international competitions on 1 November 2011 from Auckland International Airport.
Click here for the team lists
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Ban of Sandeep Singh and Sardar Singh lifted
The Hockey India Appeal Committee has withdrawn the two year ban slapped on men hockey players Sandeep Singh and Sardar Singh for indiscipline.
The ban was imposed on the two players on 27 August 2011 with the right to appeal within thirty days.
Sandeep Singh and Sardar Singh who had appealed against the ban were questioned by the Hockey India Appeal Committee at Delh today..
The Committee members were Dr. P.C.Kashyap from Sports Authority of India, Government Observers Harbinder Singh and Dilip Tirkey, Hockey India representatives Air Commodore M.Baladitya (Services) and Dr.Gurdeep Singh (Universities) while Rajnish Mishra was the Athletes representative.
Both the players expressed their written unconditional apology stating that henceforth If there was any breach of rules their two year ban would be reinforced retrospectively.
The Appeal Committee took the decision to revoke the ban giving consideration to their young age, experience at International level and future potential.
The players have been asked to join the ongoing coaching camp at Bangalore immediately and will be eligible to participate in the selection trials for the three week Australia tour commencing on 12 October.
Their selection in the team will be subject to their fitness levels and performance during the trials.
Sandeep, Sardara get a reprieve
File photo: Indian hockey players Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh who had been banned for two years for indiscipline.
Hockey India on Wednesday revoked the two-year ban it had imposed on Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh for their act of “indiscipline.” The two had walked out of the Indian team on the eve of its departure for China to participate in the Asian Champions Trophy, which India eventually won.
The two had left the camp without the permission of chief coach Michael Nobbs.
When announcing the decision to ban them on August 28, Hockey India Secretary-General Narinder Kumar Batra had claimed the action had become “necessary” to send a “strong message” in order to stop any recurrence of such “indiscipline.” The decision to ban them was said to be unanimous.
The Appeals Committee, which met here on Wednesday, to hear Sandeep and Sardara, decided to grant a reprieve to the players who had tendered an “unconditional apology” in writing on the grounds that they were not completely at fault in the episode.
According to a spokesman of the HI, the committee kept in consideration the age, previous performances at the top level and the potential of the two players.
Sardara, a reliable midfielder, and Sandeep,a drag-flick expert, were found guilty of indiscipline on three occasions. They had first made themselves unavailable for the Azlan Shah tournament by opting to play in the Belgium league and then, during a camp, gone to Mumbai without official permission to attend an event organised by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).
The decision by the two players to pull out of the Asian Champions Trophy led HI to ban them.
The chief coach had openly disapproved of the players' indiscipline and made it a point to lavish praise on their replacements, V. Raghunath and Vikas Sharma, as India won the Asian Champions Trophy with an unbeaten record in the tournament.
The Appeals Committee, comprising Sports Authority of India executive director P.C. Kashyap, Government observers Harbinder Singh and Dilip Tirkey, athletes' representative Rajneesh Mishra and HI nominees Air Cmdr. Baladitya and Dr. Gurdeep Singh concluded that the players deserved a reprieve for being constantly “provoked and humiliated” by certain elements in the camp.
Mishra and Harbinder were part of the committee that had taken the decision to ban Sandeep and Sardara.
According to sources, Sardara and Sandeep promised complete “loyalty and commitment” to the team after they were told that this was the final “warning” to them and any future misconduct would invite a reinstatement of the ban.
Sardara and Sandeep would now be eligible to attend the trials for picking the team for the tour of Western Australia where the team is scheduled to play a series of matches during the three-week assignment beginning on October 12.
Lifeline again for Sandeep, Sardar
Given their history of indiscipline, Sandeep Singh and Sardar Singh on Wednesday got lucky. The two, handed a twoyear ban on August 27 for quitting the national camp days before the team's departure for the Asian Champions Trophy, have been let off with a “stern warning“.
According to Hockey Indian executive director Anupam Ghulati, the Haryana police pair had rendered an unconditional apology and asked to be given a final chance.
They have also stated that if they were found to be violating rules again, then the two-year ban could be reimposed.
“The appeals committee has decided to give the two players another chance keeping in mind their age, performance and future,“ he added.
The HI action does not come as a surprise, because it was always known that the ban was only meant to warn the players and get them to toe the line.
According to HI sources the appeals committee met early so as to allow the players to get back to the camp, which got under way at the SAI South Centre on Tuesday. A relieved Sandeep after the meeting said, “It comes as a huge relief. We all make mistakes and its all about rectifying them and moving on. We will be joining the camp on Thursday evening.“
This was the third instance this year, where the two players have apologised and promised better behaviour and failed to live up to that.
With the players arriving in Bengaluru on Thursday, the big question now is, how will chief coach Michael Nobbs tackle his wards It's well known that Sardar and skipper Rajpal Singh are not on the best of terms, while Sandeep too has issues with the coaching staff.
With the Olympic qualifiers less than six-months away, the team can illafford such tantrums.
“The two have not been on their best behaviour in recent times but their contribution to the team cannot be discounted. The way they walked out of the camp in August still rankles. “Apprehensions remain about their intentions. But in the interests of the team, which needs to marshall every bit of its resources ahead of the qualifiers, I welcome them back to the camp,“said Nobbs.
The Asian Age
Sandeep, Sardara gets lifeline as Hockey India lifts ban on duo
NEW DELHI: Ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh and star midfielder Sardara Singh were handed a lifeline after Hockey India decided to lift the two-year ban imposed on them for indiscipline, saying the two players were given "a last chance" to make amends for their mistakes.
HI executive director Anupam Gulati said the decision to revoke the ban was taken after the two players "expressed unconditional regret" for their indisciplinary acts before the Appeals Committee.
"Sandeep and Sardara appeared before the Appeals Committee today and expressed their unconditional regret. So keeping in view their age, performance and future potential the committee decided to revoke the ban," Gulati said.
"But both the players have given in writing that if they are again found guilty of any misconduct in future the two-year ban can be re-imposed on them," he said.
Both Sandeep and Sardara were banned for two years by HI's disciplinary committee for repeatedly indulging in indisciplinary acts after they quit midway the national camp in Bangalore last month ahead of the Asian Champions Trophy, citing personal reasons.
The two players were, however, appealed against the ban last week after HI gave them 30 days' time to do so.
The HI official added that now with the ban revoked, both Sandeep and Sardara have been asked to join the ongoing national camp in Bangalore with immediate effect.
Gulati, however, made it clear that the duo's selection in the Indian team for the four-nation nine-a-side Super Series tournament in Perth, Australia in October is subject to their fitness and performance in the selection trials scheduled to be held in Bangalore on September 26.
Sandeep, on his part, heaved a sigh of relief at HI's decision and said from now onwards his only focus is hockey.
"It was a one of the worst phases of my career which thankfully has passed. Now my only focus will be my game," he said when contacted.
"We (myself and Sardara) will be joining the national camp tomorrow. I am now determined to do well for India in the upcoming international tournaments," Sandeep added.
Asked whether he and Sardara have given any assurance about maintaining "proper conduct" in writing to HI, Sandeep said, "Yes, we have submitted in writing to the Appeals Committee that they can ban us in future if we repeat such things."
Wednesday's hearing was attended by Sports Authority of India's executive director (Teams) Dr PC Kashyap, two government observers - Harbinder Singh and Dilip Tirkey, athlete's representative Rajnish Mishra and from HI M Baladitya and Gurdeep Singh apart from the national body's secretary general Narinder Batra.
The Times of India
Nobbs welcomes back Sandeep, Sardara
While admitting that their walk-out last month was unsavoury, coach Michael Nobbs has welcomed Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh to the National hockey camp “in the interests of the Indian team”.
In a statement issued here on Wednesday evening, Nobbs called the decision to overturn their two-year bans “good news to Indian hockey.”
“While we would like to build on our core strengths, Sandeep and Sardara's return will add to the team and give me more options as I prepare the boys for the Olympic qualifiers.”
Apprehensive coach welcomes Sandeep, Sardara's lifting of ban
BANGALORE: Ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh and midfielder Sardara Singh might have got their bans lifted but India's hockey coach Michael Nobbs is still apprehensive about the duo's behaviour and said the senior players would have to prove their worth to get a place in the national team.
"The way they walked out of the camp in August still rankles. Apprehensions remain about their intentions. But in the interests of the Indian team, which needs to marshal every bit of its resources ahead of the qualifiers, I welcome them back to the camp," Nobbs said.
"However, this does not give them any headstart. They will continue to work harder than the others, prove their fitness and commitment to the team and the game whenever called upon to do so.
"No doubt, past records state they are fine hockey players. But to me and to the team, they need to prove their credentials yet again if they are to find a place in the Indian national team," the coach added.
Sandeep and Sardara were handed a lifeline on Wednesday after Hockey India lifted the two-year ban imposed on them for indiscipline, saying the two players were given "a last chance" to make amends for their mistakes.
Nobbs, however, "still rankles" at the way Sandeep and Sardara abruptly quit the national camp here last month ahead of the Asian Champions Trophy, but said the duo's return will give him more options in the team's preparation for next year's Olympic qualifiers.
"That comes as good news to Indian hockey. The two have not been in their best behaviour in recent times but their contribution to the team cannot be discounted," Nobbs said.
"It wasn't the most memorable of incidents to occur just ahead of the Asian Champions Trophy but Sandeep and Sardara obliquely helped the Indian team to realise its potential and inner strength at the Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, China.
"While we would like to build on these core strengths, Sandeep and Sardara's return will add to the team and give me more options as I prepare the boys for the Olympic qualifiers," the Australian added.
Nobbs, however, made it clear that he won't tolerate any indiscipline in his team.
"As I said when I was appointed coach I want the best players playing for India but they must play for the right reasons.
"Having given a written assurance to the disciplinary committee that they (Sandeep and Sardara) will not repeat the act and that they will put the country above all else, the two players have unconditionally committed themselves to India's interests," he said.
"I have made it very clear that I will not tolerate this behaviour from any player and any player not playing by the team rules will be removed from the team immediately no matter who he is," the coach warned.
The Times of India
FIH's decision to shift CT to New Zealand surprising
Maybe, the FIH is desirous of attracting more people to the game.
New Zealand is better known for its cricket and rugger than for its hockey. In the circumstances the decision of the international hockey federation (FIH) is a little surprising. The FIH had originally desired India to host the Champions Trophy tournament. Understandably, the FIH gave it a second thought and changed that decision. But to make New Zealand the host is to go out of the way from the normal run.
Maybe, the FIH is desirous of attracting more people to the game.
The tournament offers, perhaps, the best available talent though there are no more wizards like Dhyan Chand, who, 12 years after his third Olympic appearance in 1936 in Berlin, topscored during a brief tour of Kenya with `Babu' (Kumar Digvijay Singh) in the team. India had a brief tour of Australia before the World War II. And M.J. Gopalan of Madras was a member of the team.
He played in the key position, the centre-half. What made him change over to cricket is difficult to understand. He was in the team to England as a pace bowler. The team was led by Pataudi (Sr), if memory serves right.
Gopalan was thus a double international like Denis Compton of England. Known more for his cricket, he had worn the England colours in football too. Edrich and Compton proved to be formidable middle-order pair for England's batting.
The Asian Age
Mumbai Congress to give free flat to hockey star Yuvraj Valmiki
By Mewati Sitaram
The Mumbai Pradesh congress committee has decided to bear complete cost of flat to Yuvraj Valmiki, who was a part of the hockey team that recently won the Asian Champions Trophy in China.
According to Kripa Shankar Singh, President, MPCC, he has requested CM Prithviraj Chavan to allot a flat to Hockey star Yuvraj Valmiki. CM has agreed to give one flat to Yuvraj Valmiki from CM’s 2% quota. The entire cost of flat would be paid by Mumbai Pradesh Committee. “
Kripa Shankar singh was speaking at felicitation ceremony organised by Valmiki Samaj yesterday at Bharat Nagar in Bandra East. Rajesh Ridlan, president valmiki samaj gave him a cheeque of Rs 1 lakh.
It may be noted that Maharashtra Government has decided to give a cash prize of Rs10 lakh to Yuvraj Valmiki, who was a part of the hockey team that recently won the Asian Champions Trophy in China. The was also considering giving Yuvraj, who hails from Maharashtra, a government job.
Meanwhile the prize money is pouring for Yuvraj valmiki. Deputy CM Ajit pawar gave him a cheeque of Rs 1 lakh, government of India would give him Rs 1.50 lakh, Vasai Marathon gave him a cheque of Rs 1 lakh, Valmiki samaj Rs. 1 lakh, IHA Rs 25,000, Ashwin Naik also offered him Rs 1 lakh.
What a sorry handout
Hockey might be the national game, but the action of Hockey India, which initially chose to give a monetary award of Rs. 25,000 to the players of the Indian team that won the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy at Ordos, China, was nothing short of a national shame.
The victory in China was a silver lining on the gloomy hockey horizon, clouded by a feud between the two administrative units — Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India. It was a chance for the administrators to sink their differences and show that they really cared about the game and players.
But what Hockey India did was hand out a measly cheque, which was turned down by the Indian team, forcing Hockey India to SOS Sports Minister Ajay Maken. The Minister, as a face saving measure, announced Rs. 1.5 lakh as prize money.
The 24x7 coverage of this fiasco made others sit up and do their bit as well. The Punjab government announced Rs. 25 lakh to the team, while Karnataka offered Rs. 5 lakh each to the four players of the State in the team.
Monetary awards, of late, have been a ticklish issue in Indian sports. The expectations of sportspersons in the country have been fuelled by the mindboggling cash incentives that were showered on the Indian cricket team after the 2011 ICC World Cup victory. The Board of Control for Cricket in India gave Rs.1 crore to each player and the State governments followed suit with cash and site grants to them.
The Commonwealth and Asian Games medal winners too have received handsome rewards. One must acknowledge the desire of any sportsperson to seek accolades for his or her achievement. But are cash awards a ‘must'? Games such as cricket and tennis are now professional sports, carrying huge sums of prize money, and a player need not aspire for an extra reward from anyone. However, sportspersons who compete at amateur levels do need such incentives.
Unfortunately, a proper system, drawn by a sports federation to provide cash awards, is missing. Hockey India officials have defended their ‘gesture' by claiming that they are cash-strapped. If they were really in a fund's crunch, they need not have given the handout in the first place and cut such a sorry figure.
Vacancy: European Hockey Federation Competitions Manager
Closing date: 12th October 2011
The European Hockey Federation has announced that it has a vacancy for the position of "Competitions Manager". This full time role is a great opportunity for an experienced sports administrator to join the staff at the EHF.
The Competitions Manager's main responsibilities will be:
To act as a member of the Competitions Committees Outdoor and Indoor together with any competition working groups.
To organise the bidding procedure for all EHF Competitions (Indoor – Nations and Clubs / Outdoor – Nations, including Youth, and Clubs) in conjunction with the Competitions Committee, Indoor – Outdoor.
To manage the preparation and signing of EHF Tournament Contracts.
To liaise between EHF and host organisers / National Hockey Association regarding all EHF Competitions.
To advise National Hockey Associations how to act as centre of excellence regarding organising EHF competitions.
To ensure, in conjunction with the International Hockey Federation (FIH), that FIH and EHF Tournament regulations and Guidelines for Organisers and Officials are maintained and up-to date.
To co-ordinate with the Chairman of Appointments Committee and to liaise with EHF officials appointed to events.
To prepare match schedules (in consultation with FIH where appropriate) and publish.
To evaluate the respective events, including the analysis of Tournament Director’s reports.
If the position interests you and you would like to find out more including details about how to apply, please click here .
European Hockey Federation