All the news for Saturday 24 September 2011
Japan dashes India's gold medal hopes in girls Asia Cup hockey
BANGKOK: India's gold medal hopes in the girls U-18 Asia Cup hockey tournament went up in smoke after they went down fighting 3-4 to Japan in the second semifinal on Friday.
Japan will play China in the title clash after the Chinese upset favourites Korea 3-2 via golden goal in the first semi-final.
India will now play Korea for the bronze medal match on Sunday.
For India, Navjot Kaur (2nd minute), Anupa Barla (52nd) and Jaspreet Kaur (70th min) scored today while Minami Shimuzu (19th), Satokei (31st), Aimi Ozeki (48th) and Yukina Maeda (61st min) were the goal-getters for Japan.
Even though both the teams started cautiously in intermittent rains, it was India who surged ahead as early as in the second minute of the match through Navjot's strike after she was set up by Nikki Pradhan.
Japan steadily clawed back when they equalised in the 19th minute and went 2-1 ahead four minutes before the half time to go into the breather with a goal cushion.
The Japanese increased their lead when Ozeki slotted past India goalkeeper Bigan Soy in the 48th minute.
However, a good combined attack from forwards Poonam Rani and Anupa Barla enabled India to reduce the margin three minutes later.
India accelerated their onslaughts thereafter but Japan rallied with a turnover in the 61st minute to establish a 4-2 lead.
India, who were awarded four penalty corners as against none to their opponents, finally scored converted one set piece at the stroke of the hooter through Jaspreet Kaur.
The Times of India
India loses the semifinal to Japan 3-4
Indian eves went down fighting 3-4 to Japan in the semifinal of the Girls U-18 Asia Cup at Bangkok this evening.
Japan will play China who upset favourites Korea with the golden goal 3-2 victory in the first semi final.
The goal scorers for India were Navjot Kaur (2nd min), Anupa Barla (52nd) and Jaspreet Kaur (70th min penalty corner) while Japan were on target with strikes from Minami Shimuzu (19th), Satokei (31st), Aimi Ozeki (48th) and Yukina Maeda (61st min).
The match was played in intermittent rain with both teams being cautious in the first quarter even though India broke into the lead in the 2nd minute through Navjot Kaur who was set up by Nikki Pradhan.
Japan steadily clawed back when they equalised in the 19th minute and went 2-1 ahead four minutes before half time.
They increased their lead when Ozeki slotted past India goalkeeper Bigan Soy in the 48th minute.
A good combined attack from India forwards Poonam Rani and Anupa Barla enabled the latter to reduce the margin three minutes later.
India accelerated their onslaughts thereafter but Japan rallied with a turnover in the in the 61st minute to establish a 4-2 lead.
India who were awarded four penalty corners as against none to their opponents finally got one into goal with a set piece by Jaspreet Kaur at the stroke of full time.
India will now play Korea for the bronze medal on Sunday.
KLHC, Sapura keep up winning streak
Sapura came back from being a goal down to score twice in the closing stages in their 2-1 win over UniKL while defending champions KL Hockey Club also continued their winning run, edgining Maybank 3-2 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
It was a heartbreaking defeat for UniKL as they played above themselves but lapses in defence attributed to them conceding two goals in the space of two minutes while for KLHC, they led twice only for Maybank to equalise until skipper Azlan Misron scored the decisive goal seven minutes from time.
Thus KLHC and Sapura both maintained their unbeaten run in the MHL win three wins each.
UniKL used their youth to the maximum as they ran hard and fast, forcing the Sapura players to chase, thus severely sapping their energy. And the move paid off as early as the 12th minute as Mohammad Rashid Baharom put UniKL in the lead.
Despite winning two penalty corners in the 8th and 31st minutes, UniKL could not increase their lead.
On the other hand Sapura poured men forward in search for the equaliser, but with ace striker Azreen Rizal shackled, they could not even win a penalty corner despite their domination of the first half.
The second half started with UniKL opting to pack their defence. And Sapura even pushed skipper S. Kuhan into the attack, hoping for his experience to help them get the equaliser.
Sapura were awarded penalty corners in the 39th, 42nd and 45th minute but neither Kuhan nor Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi could find the back of the net. And Jiwa Mohan was guilty off holding on to the ball too long when a pass would have been a better option.
But they made their fourth penalty corner in the 64th minute count as the rebound fell to Jiwa who tucked it into goal to level the score at 1-1.
And two minutes later Jiwa broke through on the left to deliver a pin point pass to Mohd Fitri Abu Bakar who had the simplest of task slotting it in to give Sapura a 2-1 lead.
Though UniKL created several chances in the dying minutes, they just could not find the breaktrhough. But in consolation
Maybank started off promisingly as they forced three penalty corners in the 7th, 8th and 9th minute. But they could not make them count.
KLHC took the lead in the 23rd minute as Harvinder Singh put the finishing touches to a penalty corner. However Maybank hit back three minutes later when Mohd Riduan Nasir scored, also from a penalty corner.
National player Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin restored KLHC's advantage in the 30th minute and despite being awarded another penalty corner in the 34th minute, the defending champions failed to add to their goal tally.
The Tigers came out fighting in the second half and were duly rewarded in the 45th minute as Suhaimi Ibrahim scored off a penalty corner to make it 2-2.
Azlan Misron was on target in the 63rd minute off KLHC's 7th penalty corner to put his team 3-2 ahead. And they held on to consolidate their position on the top of the table.
Official MHL site
TNB win convincingly as Nur Insafi edge AIM
Tenaga Nasional Berhad showed that they are back in the reckoning as they demolished Yayasan Negeri Sembilan 3-0 at the National Hockey Stadium this evening.
Having lost the first match against KLHC last Saturday, this was TNB's second successive win after they defeated Nur Insafi 5-1 on Wednesday night.
It was a commanding performance by TNB, especially keeper S. Kumar who denied YNS any goal with his superb anticipation and Faisal Saari who scored a hattrick.
"We did not play as well as we did against Nur Insafi in our last match but I guess the three points is what matters. Our final pass is still missing and that is why we are not finding a way past the defence," said TNB coach Lailin Abu Hassan.
"What we need to do is correct our flaws as fast as we can lest we are punished. More important is that we need to improve as the league progresses and while I am happy with the points, there can be more effort on the pitch.
"Our youngsters must also keep their composure as we cannot afford to play with 10 men for we will lose out against tougher opponents. And I will have a chat with them to control their temper and not get provoked easily."
Both the teams started in attacking mode, opting to throw caution into the wind as they looked for an early goal. But the forays were limited to the midfield areas as none of them had a clear shot at goal.
But all that changed as TNB were awarded a penalty corner in the 10th minute and the low flick by Mohd Amin Rahim hit the foot of YNS defender Ihsan Ullah Khan on the line, thus leaving umpire K. Illango with no option but to award a penalty stroke.
Faisal Saari kept his composure to put the ball past YNS keeper Nasir Ahmad to give TNB a 1-0 lead.
And in the 20th minute Faisal doubled the advantage for TNB as he ghosted in from the right before slamming a reverse stick shot past Nasir.
Though YNS were awarded two penalty corners in the 27th and 30th minutes, Ihsan who is normally deadly in such situations failed to beat TNB keeper S. Kumar.
But while Faisal proved deadly in the semi circle with his finishing, it was obvious he had not learnt his lesson from the 2010 Commonwealth Games where he was suspended for hitting the Scottish keeper.
For this time around he took a swipe at Nasir as he burst through the middle and a fracas almost broke out as the players squared up. Umpire Illango sent Faisal to the sin bin.
And in the 48th minute, it was the turn of Muhammad Firhan Ashaari to be sent to the sin bin.
However Faisal atoned for his antics as he converted a penalty corner in the 56th minute to complete his hattrick and put TNB 3-0 ahead.
Try as they did, YNS could not find a way back.
On the second pitch, Nur Insadfi scored a minute from time to register a 4-3 win over armed Forces Airod to register their first win in the MHL.
Nur Insafi opened scoring in the 5th minute through Damandeep Singh but ATM were on level terms three minutes later via Mohd Nur Hafizie Jamil Azomi.
ATM then took a 2-1 lead in the 20th minute via Ahmad Ridzuan Zainal Abidin but this time Nur Insafi levelled through the efforts of Abdul Asim Khan six minutes later.
Nur Insafi led 3-2 in the 37th minute when Prem Kumar scored, but once again ATM levelled as Mohd Zulkifli converted a penalty corner in the 61st minute.
As the match looked like it was heading for a draw, Syed Sibtian Raza Naqvi converted a penalty corner to give the Penang side all three points.
Official MHL site
Faizal sparks Tenaga
By Ajitpal Singh
Faizal Saari scores Tenaga’s first goal in their match against Yayasan NS in the Malaysian Hockey League at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday. — Picture by Fariz Iswadi Ismail
A HAT-TRICK from national player Faizal Saari gave Tenaga Nasional a 3-0 victory over Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) in a TNB-MHL Premier Division match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Faizal converted a penalty stroke in the 10th minute after Amin Rahim's penalty corner set-piece hit the foot of YNS defender Ihsan Ullah Khan on the goal line.
He doubled TNB's lead with a reverse stick strike after 20 minutes before converting a penalty corner in the 56th minute.
However, the hot-headed Faizal was sent to the sin bin in the final minute of the first half for hitting YNS keeper Nasir Ahmed. And in the 48th minute, it was the turn of Firhan Ashaari to be sent to the sin bin.
TNB coach Lailin Abu Hassan was not pleased with his players' patchy performance.
"My team did not play well but what matters is the three points. We need to improve on our final passes," said Lailin in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
In another match, Nur Insafi registered their first victory by edging Armed Forces Airod 4-3 courtesy of Syed Sibtain Raza Nagvi's goal from a penalty corner set-piece a minute before the final whistle.
Nur Insafi's other goals were through Damandeep Singh (fifth), Abdul Asin Khan (26th) and Prem Kumar (37th).
Nur Hafizie Jamil Azomi (10th), Ahmad Ridzuan Zainal Abidin (20th) and Mohd Zulkifli (61st) replied for Armed Forces.
New Straits Times
KLHC and Sapura earn narrow wins to stay on top
By S. RAMAGURU
KUALA LUMPUR: Premier Division leaders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Sapura scraped through with narrow wins to keep their leads in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
KLHC defeated Maybank 3-2 while Sapura edged Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 2-1.
Double champions KLHC took a 23rd minute lead through Harwinder Singh before Maybank hit back through Mohd Riduan Nasir three minutes later.
KLHC shot ahead again in the 30th minute for a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers again equalised to make it 2-2 through a Suhaimi Ibrahim field goal.
Azlan Misron then turned hero for KLHC when he scored the winning goal in the 63rd minute.
At the adjacent pitch, UniKL stunned fancied Sapura with a 12th minute goal through Mohd Rashid Baharom.
But two goals in two minutes spoiled UniKL’s day. First, veteran midfielder Jiwa Mohan equalised for Sapura in the 64th minute before Mohd Fitri Bakar completed their fightback two minutes later after collecting a pass from Jiwa Mohan to slot home the winning goal.
The wins see KLHC and Sapura jointly leading the nine-team Premier Division with nine points. KLHC are on top on goal difference.
Former champions Tenaga Nasional, meanwhile, chalked up their second win in three matches when they outplayed Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) 3-0 in an earlier match.
National forward Faisal Saari netted a hat-trick – his second in the MHL – to put Tenaga in third spot with six points.
YNS had six foreign players in their side but failed to play as a team and Tenaga capitalised on it. Faisal’s first goal came off a penalty stroke conversion in the 10th minute. He made it 2-0 in the 20th minute before wrapping up proceedings with the third in the 56th minute off a penalty corner setpiece.
Tenaga coach Lailin Abu Hassan, however, was far from happy with his team’s “below par” performance.
“We did not play as well as we did against Nur Insafi in our previous match. Although it is the three points that matter, we need to be more consistent with our passes and also find other attacking options,” he said.
Tenaga play UniKL tomorrow while YNS will be up against KLHC.
The Star of Malaysia
Sizzling Saturday set to be followed by Super Sunday
With virtually all of the top domestic action this weekend taking place on Saturday it's a Sizzling Saturday of hockey action. And Sizzling Saturday is set to be followed by Super Sunday as Reading HC hosts a specially arranged Super Sunday double header against Slough women and Beeston men.
Investec Women's Premier Division
In the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division, Saturday sees Leicester hoping to get off the mark having lost to current table toppers Clifton last weekend. They play host to Olton & West Warwicks. Clifton travel to Cannock on day two of the Investec Women’s Premier Division while the side behind them in the table, Bowdon Hightown, are at home to Canterbury. Nick Clarke’s side lost at home to Reading last weekend and will be keen to get off the mark in the north west. 2011 Champions Reading are going all out for their first home game of the new campaign, doubling up their match with Berkshire rivals Slough with their men’s side’s game against Beeston for Super Sunday. Slough also got off to a winning start so something’s got to give at Sonning Lane. That match gets underway at 12:30pm and the club is hoping for a bumper attendance. Find out more at www.readinghockeyclub.org.uk.
Full Investec Women’s Premier Division Fixtures here.
Investec Women's Conference North
Investec Women’s Conference North sees University of Durham sitting atop after week one. Durham is the venue for one of the EHB’s London 2012: Are We Ready roadshows on Wednesday and the students are in the city on Saturday against Whitley Bay and Tynemouth. There wasn’t a single draw in the league last weekend with five winners and five losers. Two of those winners were Loughborough Students and Wakefield Bradford and they meet in the East Midlands. Northampton Saints and Springfields know that at least one of them will get off the mark when they meet on Saturday lunchtime.
Full Investec Women’s Conference North fixtures here.
Investec Women's Conference East
Sevenoaks lost 1-0 to Surbiton on the opening day of Investec Women’s Conference East and the Kent side will be looking to kickstart its campaign at home to Chelmsford on Saturday. Chelmsford themselves lost at home to table topping Harleston Magpies last weekend and will have to be at their best against Sevenoaks. The Magpies play host to St Albans in an early season top of the table clash while Surbiton host newcomers Maidstone, Owxford Hawks are at home to Horsham and Old Loughtonians travel to Ipswich.
Full Investec Women’s Conference East fixtures here.
Investec Women's Conference West
Moving west, Buckingham, Exe and Barnes Hounslow Ealing are the early front runners in Investec Women’s Conference West and there’s an exciting meeting between Barnes HE and Exe at Saturday lunchtime. Buckingham head to Team Bath Buccaneers while Gloucester City will be hopeful Sarah Jennings can add to her two goals from last week as they travel to Staines. Jennings is the early season top scorer alongside Firebrands’ Kathryn Bache, whose side hosts Isca University. Trojans host Swansea in the final match.
Full Investec Women’s Conference West fixtures here.
England Hockey Board Media release
East Grinstead sign two more & Exeter go for two in a row
In the Men's England Hockey League this weekend, East Grinstead have signed two international players, new boys University of Exeter look to carry on dream start and we're expecting goals galore in Sheffield at the top of the Men's Conference North.
Men's England Hockey League Premier Division
In the Men’s England Hockey League Premier Division defending champions East Grinstead have strengthened ahead of their trip to Loughborough. During the week EG completed the registrations of Great Britain international Iain Lewers, signed from Students, and Scotland international Ross Stott, the brother of GB, Scotland and East Grinstead defender Niall, who arrives from Bowdon. The Manchester-based club are in Exeter to play league newcomers University of Exeter, who upset the odds with a 3-2 win against Reading on the opening day. Another club signing a nearly new player is Surbiton, who welcome back GB Olympian and BBC London ‘one to watch’ Rob Moore. Moore returns after a season with Wimbledon. The other match on Saturday sees Cannock host Southgate. On Sunday, Reading host Beeston at 14:30 as part of the club’s Super Sunday. Find out more at www.readinghockeyclub.org.uk.
Full England Hockey League Men's Premier Division fixtures here.
Men's England Hockey League Conference North
Two clubs netted seven goals each last weekend in Men’s Conference North. Last year’s Men’s Cup finalists Doncaster beat Belper 7-2 while Sheffield Hallam Civica ran out 7-4 victors over Deeside Ramblers. And as fate would have it, Sheffield Hallam Civica take on Doncaster at home this week; perhaps we’ll see a 14 goal thriller. Belper host Leek and Deeside Ramblers host Olton & West Warwicks while in the fifth match, University of Durham make it a Durham home double header with their women as they host Preston.
Full England Hockey League Men's Conference North fixtures here.
Men's England Hockey League Conference East
Saturday has a four fixture card in Men’s Conference East with Holcombe versus Indian Gymkhana taking place at 14:00 on Sunday. Before that, Canterbury side face Old Loughtonians on Saturday. Michael Farrer netted an opening day hat-trick for the Kent side and he will look to continue his good form against Essex’s Loughts, for whom Paul Nicholls scored twice last week. Another opening day hat-trick scorer was Ben Wright, who all of the goals for Harleston Magpies in a 3-2 win over Holcombe last Sunday. Magpies facea trip to City of Peterborough this week with Oxted and Wimbledon the remaining fixture.
Full England Hockey League Men's Conference East fixtures here.
Men's England Hockey League Conference West
There was not a single draw in Men’s Conference West last weekend. Fareham and Havant sit locked together at the top of the table after both recording 5-0 wins. Fareham hosts the first of the EHB’s London 2012: Are We Ready roadshows on Tuesday but first they travel to Guildford on Saturday. Havant are at home to Cardiff and UWIC who beat Guildford 2-0 on the opening day. Cheltenham and Team Bath Buccaneers are both looking to get off the mark when they meet in Gloucestershire while Whitchurch host Litchfield. In the midlands there is a crunch early season derby between University of Birmingham and Bournville.
Full England Hockey League Men's Conference West fixtures here.
England Hockey Board Media release
Chief selector empowered to pick probables
By Our Sports Reporter
LAHORE: The Executive Board of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) after a long discussion has empowered chief selector Hanif Khan to announce the probables for the training camp for next month’s tour of Australia.
The Executive Board which met here on Friday finished its meeting late in the night, empowering Hanif Khan to announce the names of the probables on Saturday for the training camp, which will be held in Islamabad from Oct 1 for the tour of Australia during which Pakistan have to play a three-nation tournament.
Besides Pakistan and Australia, India is the third team of the contest.
Sources told Dawn that the intensive discussion was held on the matter whether to include seniors or not for the next assignments before it was decided that Hanif was the best judge to pick the probables.
However, it is likely that two of the three senior players Rehan Butt, Sohail Abbas and Salman Akbar, who were not part of this month’s first Asian Champions Trophy, held in China, will stage a comeback.
The chances of Rehan Butt are slim as junior strikers are performing well.
Salman and Sohail are likely to be included as young goalkeeper Imran Shah did not perform well at the Asian Champions Trophy. Similary, Pakistan’s short corners were weak due to Sohail’s absence.
The meeting was scheduled to be held at 12noon but was delayed till 6pm because flights of some out of station members were late.
No World Series Hockey in Mumbai?
By Mihir Vasavda
With little progress made on refurbishing the Mahindra Stadium by the Mumbai Hockey Association (MHA), the city may miss out on hosting the inaugural edition of the World Series Hockey (WSH), sources said.
The WSH officials have shortlisted Pune and Ranchi as the replacement venues for Mumbai team matches, if the stadium is not ready by the end of November. The first edition of WSH is scheduled to begin on December 15. The tournament will be played in eight cities on a home-and-away basis, and boasts of several national and international stars.
With a worn-out turf that cannot be used even for local league matches, shoddy dressing rooms, no flood lights and poor conditions in the stands, the Mahindra Stadium has been in a sorry state for almost five years. Sources said that the organisers are unhappy that MHA officials have made ‘no effort’ to improve the infrastructure despite Mumbai being named as one of the venues several months ago.
“It is known that the matches cannot be held there in its present condition. The stadium has been used for weddings and other such non-sporting events.
“We have requested MHA many times but they have shown little intent to improve the conditions. We will wait for some more time before taking a final decision but Pune and Ranchi are our two options,” a WSH official said.
It is learnt that lethargy in getting things done has once again created a rift between the committee, as the sportspersons in the MHA board getting upset with the attitude shown by the other officials, including MHA president Mangha Singh Bakshi. It must be recalled that the MHA committee was almost dissolved earlier this year due to the differences between the two factions.
The MHA officials, however, said they are awaiting the arrival of the artificial turf from Australia. “We are aware of that (replacement venues). However, we are expecting the new turf to arrive by September 30. Once it comes, we will take a month to install it.
“Since the rains have reduced, we will also be starting the civil work soon. So if things go on schedule now, then we will have the facility improved by the end of November,” honorary secretary, MHA, Gurbax Singh Grewal said.
The MHA has, however, missed several deadlines in the past and whether things go as per schedule this time round remains to be seen.
I'm disappointed at the treatment: Mukesh Kumar
V. V. Subrahmanyam
Triple Olympian N. Mukesh Kumar says that he refuses to be the assistant coach of the junior India hockey team which has started its camp in Bangalore as part of the long-term programme for next year's World Cup preparations.
“I am disappointed with the way I have been treated. When I was called to monitor the selection trials in Jalandhar to pick the pool of players I was told that I would be the chief coach of the junior national team,” Mukesh told The Hindu on his return to Hyderabad after Hockey India named Harendra Singh as the chief coach at the last minute.
“I was shocked when I landed in Bangalore yesterday (Thursday), reached the centre and asked for accommodation allotted for the chief coach. I was told that it was not for me but for Harendra,” Mukesh said.
“I did speak to some of the officials concerned on this subject but there was a lot of ambiguity which they tried to clarify. And, left with no option, I decided to pack up and come back home,” the renowned yesteryear right-winger said.
“Even my employers got a letter from Hockey India asking me to be relieved since I was appointed chief coach. But now, there has been this sudden change of mind,” Mukesh said. “I decided to take up coaching as I wanted to give back something to the sport and thought the best way is to start training juniors.
“I even told chief national coach Michael Nobbs that there were a few outstanding youngsters who could be looked at during the camp in Bangalore so that they could be drafted into the senior side. That was how I was planning to go about my job,” Mukesh explained. “I had lots of plans and was keen to be with the juniors till the World Cup next year,” he added.
Ironically, even on Friday morning, Mukesh, the former India captain, was told by some senior officials of Hockey India that there was a communication gap somewhere and that he should change his mind and come back as assistant coach. “I told them politely that I cannot compromise at this stage and that I will not accept any other post,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mukesh's former teammate and 1996 Atlanta Olympics goalkeeper Edwards Aloysius also termed the treatment meted out to the Hyderabadi as “disgraceful”. “How can you call such a senior player to the camp and then snub him like that?” he asked. “And what baffles me is why Harendra was so keen to become the juniors' coach after being the chief coach of the senior team,” Aloysius said.
Nine-a-side quite a challenge: Nobbs
BANGALORE: Two rounds of 9-a-side matches, with the second on Friday featuring Sardar Singh and Sandeep Singh, have had chief coach Michael Nobbs seriously thinking about perfecting the new concept.
The matches were fun alright but there were fundamental changes in rules that he had to grapple with.
For starters, penalty corners were a four-attackers vs three-defenders exercise, one where drag-flickers had no role. Each penalty corner lasted 25 seconds with the stopwatch being at its ruthless best.
Then there was the penalty stroke which was a one-on-one affair. The International Hockey Federation has already introduced this rule during the shootout but the only difference is that the Aussies have made it more challenging for the goalkeeper by widening the goal by a metre.
"The exposure to the nine-a-side version on Wednesday was interesting. There were a lot of mistakes, we learnt an awful lot. We realised we required practice in scoring goals off penalty corners. There are so many variations. We also realised we could virtually substitute the entire team with new players as we have 18 or more players. I guess we need to understand the concept better," Nobbs said.
What struck the players was that there a lot more room for them to manoeuvre. "This is designed to speed up the game. The space has to be utilised well," he said. "Now how do we do that? What would be the best combination for this version? More attackers, ball-players or defenders? It has us stumped."
Nobbs welcomed the penalty corner routine saying that it discouraged drag-flicks and put a premium on skills. "The time taken too is less. Traditionally each penalty corner takes around 40 seconds. Around 15-20 of them mean we lose a considerable amount of time."
So how will India's drag-flickers benefit from the tour Down Under, which begins on October 12? "There are 11-a-side friendlies planned with national teams of other countries. That should help them as we prepare for the Olympic qualifiers."
The Times of India
Sandeep, Sardar happy to be back
Sandeep and Sardar, who left the camp last month ahead of the Asian Champions Trophy, attended their first practice session on Friday. "We are happy to be back," both said in unison. "We had problems in the family which have been sorted out. That's the reason we went back. Now our first priority is India. Our focus is on the Olympic qualifiers."
Both players denied any rift with Rajpal. "If there are any doubters, they can come and watch us while playing," Sandeep said.
Sardar attributed his misdemeanours to a 'bad phase' that he underwent. "We promise that we won't repeat them again. India is paramount to us."
Meanwhile, Nobbs insisted the players would have to apologise to the team. "The apology will happen when the entire team arrives (expected to be Saturday)," said Nobbs. "It is must and there is no change in that stance."
Players to get cheques on Sunday: Hockey players who figured in India's triumph at the Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, China, earlier this month, will receive their cheques of Rs 1.5 lakh each at Sports Authority of India, South Centre on Sunday.
The sports ministry had announced the cash awards last week after the players had rejected Hockey India's paltry sum of Rs 25,000 each.
SAI director-general DD Verma will give away the cheques. SAI executive director (teams) PC Kashyap too will be present along with SAI regional director SS Roy.
The Times of India
Sandeep, Sardara Singh must apologise to the team: Michael Nobbs
By DNA Correspondent
To ensure that the duo does not go back on its words again, India coach Michael Nobbs on Friday said Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh will have to apologise when the entire team assembles at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Southern Centre campus here by Sunday.
“It is a must and there is not going to be a change in that stance,” Australian Nobbs said on Friday.
Nobbs was upset that Sandeep and Sardara had left the national camp mid-way last month despite apologising for their misconduct.
The duo was back at the camp after their two-year ban was revoked by Hockey India. In fact, the pair resumed training on Friday.
Both players expressed happiness at being back on the field. “It is a happy thing for us that we are back. Our family problems have been sorted out and that was the reason we had to leave the camp and go. Now, the priority is the country and we will focus on the Olympic qualifiers,” the senior pros told reporters.
Also, Sandeep denied any rift with skipper Rajpal Singh. “If there are people who have such doubts, they can come and watch us play,” he said.
Sardara also cleared the air over his ‘walkout’. “I would describe all the happenings as just a bad phase. We will not repeat it again and India is the top priority for us,” he said.
Meanwhile, all members of the Asian Champions Trophy-winning squad will be presented with cheques of Rs1.5 lakh on Sunday. SAI director-general DD Verma will do the honours. It may be recalled that sports minister Ajay Maken had announced the reward recently.
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.”
Sandeep, Sardar check in
Sandeep Singh and Sardar Singh, who had their two-year ban overturned by Hockey India two days back, reported to the National hockey probables camp here at the SAI campus on Friday.
The two, who were welcomed back after they issued an unconditional apology, checked into the City late on Thursday night before joining the rest of the probables on Friday morning. “We are happy to be back,” said the duo. “We had problems in the family which have been sorted out. That's the reason why we had to quit the camp midway. With the issues being sorted out our first priority is India. We want to win the Olympic qualifiers.”
Statements apart, their first test of commitment will come next week when they have to issue a written apology to the entire squad, a condition laid out by coach Michael Nobbs. “The apology will happen when the entire team arrives (expected to be Saturday),” said Nobbs. “It is a must and there is no changing on that stance.”
Meanwhile, the 18 players who were part of the victorious Asian Champions Trophy are scheduled to fly in on Saturday with the Sports Ministry’s felicitation function scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
SAI Director General DD Verma will give away cheques for Rs 1.5 lakh to each of the players as promised by the Ministry. India beat Pakistan in the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy final earlier this month via a tiebreaker.
Hockey duo rejoins camp
Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh, whose bans were overturned, rejoined training at the National hockey camp here on Friday.
The two expressed happiness on their return to the fold, claiming that the ‘family issues' that had led to their leaving camp abruptly had been solved.
“I would attribute all that happened to a bad phase I underwent,” Sardara Singh said.
“We promise that we won't repeat it. India is paramount to us. Our focus is on the qualifiers,” the duo said.
Sole focus on game, says Sandeep Singh
NAGPUR: At 25, the man has seen shining days and dark nights. He has hit his highs, reigned supreme and then banged into rough patches.
Sandeep Singh, India's ace drag-flicker, might have a changed attitude towards certain things in life, yet the rush of adrenaline to perform well hasn't died down one little bit. A day after Hockey India revoked the two-year ban imposed upon him, Sandeep was all geared up to bury the past and start afresh.
"There's no point sulking for what has happened in the past. The wiser thing would be to focus on the forthcoming important assignments. I know revocation of ban was a huge sigh of relief since the last couple of months were one of the worst phases for me.
I have submitted in writing to the Appeals Committee that they can ban us in future if we repeat such things and I think it's a closed matter now. I am not one of those who would sit back and ponder over his mistakes.
I have buried the past. My sole focus in on the game and doing well in the forthcoming tournaments is the only thing running on my mind right now," said Sandeep Singh after he joined the rest of the team for the ongoing national camp in Bangalore on Thursday.
On weather his addition will be a boost to the team ahead of the Olympic qualifiers, Sandeep said: "No player is big or small. Any player, who is in a national team, is their because he deserves to be. However, I do feel my addition will bring a certain amount of experience in the squad."
Sandeep, along with Sardar Singh, was banned for repeatedly indulging in indiciplinary acts after he midway quit the national camp ahead of Asian Champion' Trophy which India went on to win.
However, Sandeep isn't regretting not being part of the team which made history. "I am happy that the younger bunch of guys did well.
Of course, I would have loved to be a part of the team but what matters is that we did well and emerged champions. The mood in the camp is pretty good right now and I am sure we will carry the same in the future tournaments," he concluded.
The Times of India
Chief selector miffed with HI top boss
Hockey India’s (HI) selection committee head, Col Balbir Singh, will not attend the selection trials in Bangalore (September 25-26) to pick the squad for the Australia tour. Reason: Balbir has been directed to meet HI secretary-general, Narinder Batra, before going to Bangalore and share the details of the conversation that took place during a get together hosted by him in Jalandhar on September 18. Balbir had organised a party for members of the selection panel, officials and government observers who had come to the city for the under-21 trials.
This haven’t gone down well and Balbir has decided not to travel for the trials.
There were around 14 selectors and HI officials at Balbir’s residence and some of them reportedly communicated to Batra that there was serious criticism of him. Batra then asked Balbir to come to Delhi to give an explanation.
An official, who was present at Balbir’s residence, told HT: “Some of us spoke against Batra and the conversation got leaked. To know the details he called Balbir, who refused to speak. This is unethical. He (Balbir) is not only a senior member of the selection committee, but also an Olympic medallist.”
No. 5 Syracuse wins close one in OT
Roundup: No. 1 Old Dominion shuts out Hofstra to stay unbeaten
Syracuse's has won 16 consecutive Big East games. Syracuse Athletics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- With 53.8 seconds remaining in overtime, sophomore Leonie Geyer scored her third goal of the season to give No. 5 Syracuse a 2-1 win at No. 19 Louisville on Friday afternoon at Trager Stadium. The Orange erased a 1-0 halftime deficit with the tying goal from Heather Susek less than three minutes into the second half.
Geyer, who had both Syracuse shots during overtime, dribbled into the circle from the right side of the cage and snuck a shot past Louisville goalkeeper Erin Conrad to secure the Orange's third consecutive win.
Friday's win also extends Syracuse's Big East winning streak to 16 consecutive conference victories, dating back to October 24, 2008.
Hayley Turner pushed the ball into play from the left side up to Caitlin Collins at the top of the circle. Collins then fired a shot that ricocheted off the post and over to Kelsey Rosenmeier, who buried it in the back of the cage before Syracuse goalkeeper Leann Stiver could regain position.
Syracuse came out of the halftime break with a quick strike to knot the game at one when Kelsey Millman received the ball on the left side. Millman then entered the circle, spotted Susek stationed near the right post, and threaded a pass across to the senior forward for her team-leading sixth goal of the season.
No. 1 Old Dominion 5, Hofstra 0
NORFOLK, Va. -- Senior Emma Batten and sophomore Kati Nearhouse each tallied two goals to lead the top-ranked Lady Monarchs of Old Dominion to a 5-0 CAA victory against the Hofstra Pride at the Powhatan Sports Complex Friday night. ODU remains undefeated on the season at 9-0 and 1-0 in the CAA. Hofstra, which had its four-game winning streak snapped, falls to 7-5 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
The Lady Monarchs scored twice in the first half and three times in the second half and dominated the shots on goal in the contest, 19-3. Hofstra senior goalie Amanda Heyde made seven saves in the contest including a stop of a first half penalty stroke.
Heyde stopped the ODU penalty stroke attempt by junior Julie Hodge at the 14:30 mark of the first half. But Batten opened the scoring 10 minutes later, taking a pass from senior Kathryn Kirk behind Heyde for her 11th goal of the year. The Lady Monarchs made it 2-0 with just 12 seconds remaining in the half as Nearhouse and junior Maartje van Rijswijk worked a perfect give-and-go with Nearhouse notching her third goal of the year.
No. 6 Boston College 5, Virginia 4 2OT
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Senior Courtney Tavener posted a hat trick to lift the No. 6 Boston College to a 5-4, double-overtime victory against Virginia on Friday evening. With tonight's outcome, BC earns its first overtime win on the season and extends its record on the road to an undefeated 4-0.
The Eagles outshot the Cavaliers 20-12, and forced more corners, 9-5, in the conference win.
Friday's hat trick marked the first of her career for Courtney Tavener. Her three goals and one assist were also good for a single-game career high of seven points. Co-captains junior Jacqui Moorfield and senior Carla Tamer each added of goal of her own in the victory.
No. 8 Stanford 3, No. 12 California 2
STANFORD, Calif. -- Backed by a racaous crowd, No. 8 Stanford defeated No. 12 California 3-2 on Friday night at the Varsity Turf.
Becky Dru tossed in two goals for the Cardinal, with Kelsey Lloyd adding another. Stephanie Byrne had two assists in the 3-2 victory.
Rachelle Comeau notched both goals for the Bears.
EHB announces new National Age Group Head Coaches
The England Hockey Board is pleased to announce the following candidates have been appointed as the head coaches for England’s National Age Group Squads. They will lead England’s boys and girls under 16, under 18 and under 21 teams. Congratulations to all six.
Under 16 Girls: Marc Bourhill
Under 18 Girls: Andy Bradshaw
Under 21 Women: Craig Keegan
Under 16 Boys: Charlie Bannister
Under 18 Boys: Jon Bleby
Under 21 Men: Martin Rodgers
England Hockey Board Media release
2011 FIH Youth Challenge names award winners
Bangladesh, Brazil, Malawi, Myanmar, Poland, Afghanistan and Fiji at the top of the class
The FIH recently concluded its 2011 Youth Development Program with the theme of Age Fit. In total, 38 national associations took part in the program with the aim to focus on youth teams of all levels.
At the end of the program, the FIH named it’s award winners for the 11th edition of the Youth Challenge. Bangladesh, Malawi, Myanmar, Poland, Afghanistan and Fiji were selected as this year’s FIH Youth Challenge prize winners.They included the global theme “AGE FIT” in an exceptional way in their activities.
Below is a summary of each of the winners’ programs. For an overview of all 38 nations that took part, please click here.
Invited 600 players and their coaches from all over Bangladesh for a full day of AGE FIT activities in the Hockey Stadium in Dhaka. After the official opening, AGE FIT instruction booklets were given to the coaches and teachers and AGE FIT T-shirts handed out to the young players.
The favourite AGE FIT drills were displayed and then all young players could start practicing skills, drills and games appropriate for their age group:
5-6 yrs: basic motor skills without stick, running, turning, jumping, balancing, how to hold and move the ball and stick safely
7-8 yrs: basic hockey skills, carrying the ball in different directions, passing & receiving, 1v1 competition
9-12 yrs: ball possession, build up play, goal scoring
13-14 yrs: non ball possession, PC, circle defense, girls 6-a-side tournament
The event was closed with a short Marathon inside the stadium, including Chief Guests from BOC, the Ministry and the Airforce.
Brazil organized its Youth Challenge in various sport complexes and schools in Rio, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Sao José dos Campos.
191 juniors, often from poor communities, enjoyed their first introduction to the game of hockey. 6 coaches & 3 players of the national team conducted skills sessions and organized playful games with hockey-, tennis- and foam balls. Website photographers, local news papers and TV channels all covered the event.
As a follow up on the event the hockey association of Brazil organized a 7-a-side Hockey Festival in Diodorus and junior competitions and festivals in partnership with local federations. For the teachers coaching literature was provided in Portugese, based on the Age Fit program.
Organized AGE FIT activities in 3 hockey centres in Lilongwe (clay pitch), Zomba (grass pitch) and Blantyre (grass pitch), giving 950 young players in the age group 5-18 a learning ful and exciting weekend. The youngsters enjoyed the following activities:
5-7 yrs: passing through tunnel, around square, mini hockey, with lighter balls & tennis balls
8-9 yrs: tackling, pushing & receiving, 2v2 tackling, 3v3 on four goals posts (be creative!)
11-13 yrs: drills on scoring (incl. reverse stick), 1v1 on two goals, defending posts
14-15 yrs: labyrinth, games of 4 goals, flick over the river, 6v6. Skills devt & set pieces
Not only the young players were entertained, also the coaches and teachers were invited for a Coach Forum, to discuss the need and wish for age specific coaching. Outcome of the discussions were: “adapt the game instead of the child” and use age appropriate time, space, materials and coaching language to really make an impact.
The media coverage of this years’ Youth Challenge in Malawi was fantastic. The Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC TV)), All for Jesus (AFJ TV), The Nation, the Daily Times newspaper and MBC Radio 2 all covered the event.
Organized a different program for each age group, on the Theinbyu hockey pitch in Yangon.
3-5 yrs: intro of hockey
6-8 yrs: basic skills competition
9-12 yrs: 3v3 competition
12-16 yrs: 6v6 competition
Lunch was provided to all and at the prize giving each participant received a stick. Aim of the event was to develop and promote hockey under the banner of the AHF & FIH. The electronic and printed media covered the event (see ppt Myanmar 10th slide)
rganized the XVI International Mini Hockey Tournament in Gasawa. 28 boys and 18 girls teams (450 players) enjoyed age appropriate hockey matches and lots of fun additional sports activities in carnival atmosphere around that:
Physical fitness test (like long jump, sprint, pull ups)
Beach hockey mini hockey tournament at Chomiaskie Lake
Scuba diving in a round swimming pool at the lake
Intro to the traditional outfits & weapons of the warriors of Biskupin
Signed photos by coach Nat Team
Awards for 3 best players & teams
Organized the Youth Challenge event on a grass and clay surface in Kabul. With the support and attendance of the NOC and local government match and skills competitions were staged for the different age groups and their teachers. Aim was to save the youth by giving them the opportunity to get involved in hockey. The media was present and covered the event.
Organized a fantastic event, not only on the Youth Challenge weekend but also leading up to the Challenge. In the first half of May a 3 day Youth Coaching workshop was conducted by CDO Gill Gemming and 3 Fijian facilitators. The workshop included theoretical and practical sessions on the different age groups.
On the 14th and 15th of May the newly appointed development officer of the Fiji Hockey Federation staged a full weekend of activities based on age groups studied in the workshop:
1-4 yrs: fun with balls, stick & water slide
5-6 yrs: stealing balls, passing, dribble relay, 2v2
7-8 yrs: shadow game, passing, dribble & push on goal, 3v3
9-12 yrs: relay, passing & games 9v9
13-19 yrs: presentation & discussion on drugs in sports, w-up, passing, dribbling one hand, full field game, trying out umpiring
London 2012 Hockey Stadium begins to take shape
Fantastic Olympic Park location will give fans the true "Games experience"
Engineer Shaun Goudie with London 2012 TDs Laura Pigretti & Björn Isberg (Photo: FIH)
The Hockey Stadium for the London 2012 Olympics is beginning to take shape at its position on the edge of the Olympic Park. The venue is one of the last to be constructed due to its location, which needed to be kept clear to ensure construction traffic had access to the more centrally located arenas. However, with many of the venues close to completion, the Hockey Stadium is now being developed at a rapid rate.
The first step in the construction is the laying of the two pitches – the competition pitch and the adjacent warm up pitch. This will be followed by the creation of the spectator stands, player facilities and administration areas. The whole facility is due to be finished in March 2012, two months prior to the men’s and women’s four-nation’s tournament which takes place at the venue in early May. These Test events provide an important opportunity to use all of the facilities ahead of the Olympic Games themselves, which begin at the end of July.
The Hockey Stadium’s fantastic location within the Olympic Park means that anyone coming to watch the matches will also be exposed to the true Games experience. Hockey fans will get the chance to walk past the main stadium, see the Olympic flame and enjoy the friendly spirit of the park setting, which is expected to have giant screens showing the latest action from the different sporting venues.
In preparation for the London 2012 Olympics, the FIH is in regular contact with the hockey staff at LOCOG, the Organising Committee behind the Games. In recent weeks, significant meetings took place in London between LOCOG and the FIH appointed Technical Delegates for the tournament. Women’s TD Laura Pigretti (from Argentina) and men’s TD Björn Isberg (Sweden) were shown around the hockey construction site by engineer Shaun Goudie, who is supervising the pitch installation for synthetic turf supplier STI (Sports Technology International). STI’s Poligras turf has been selected for the pitches at the London 2012 Olympic Games.