All the news for Friday 16 March 2012
Korea and Ireland in pole position in Dublin
But both spots in the finals are up for grabs
Road to London Day Four Action (Photo: Adrian Boehm)
Chile 0, Ireland 3
Ireland did what it had to do today to keep its Olympic hopes alive with a 3-0 win against Chile. The win sets up a showdown with Malaysia on Saturday in a game that will determine at least one of the finalists at this Electric Ireland FIH Road to London Tournament.
It wasn’t Ireland’s strongest outing, considering it was a game against one of the lower-seeded teams at the event, but nevertheless, the Irish were never in danger of losing the three points against still-winless Chile. Ultimately Michael Watt’s two second half goals secured the victory for the host.
Ireland took the 1-0 lead when Timothy Cockram easily converted the first short corner of the game just six minutes into action. It proved to be the only highlight of an otherwise uneventful first half as Ireland had to settle for the slim lead at the break.
It took nearly 10 minutes for Ireland to build on its lead as Chile stacked the men in the circle and focused on defense. Finally, Watt fired in a shot from the top of the circle to double the Irish lead and give them their first convincing pad of the game. Watt’s second goal came with15 minutes left to give the Irish serious breathing room as Chile’s defense started to look worn down.
All teams have an off day tomorrow before play resumes on Saturday with some key match-ups. Ireland vs. Malaysia will highlight the day as at least one of the two teams will make it to Sunday’s final. The Koreans play Russia in hopes of securing their spot in the final game and winless Chile and Ukraine will duke it out for their first points of the event.
Malaysia 2, Korea 3
Korea took a very important step to securing its spot in Sunday’s final at the Electric Ireland FIH Road to London tournament with a 3-2 win against Malaysia. It would now take an incredible string of results for Korea to miss out on Sunday’s final as the last slot will basically come down to the winner of the Ireland-Malaysia game on Saturday.
Jong Hyun Jang’s short corner goal with three minutes left secured the win for the Koreans after an unlikely comeback from Malaysia left the Koreans scrambling in the final minutes to earn the important victory.
Korea took a 1-0 lead five minutes into action when Hyo Sik You tapped in the ball after Malaysia failed to clear the ball after a Penalty Corner. The slim 1-0 lead stood through the first half, despite Malaysia serving more than 20 minutes of suspensions.
Korea came storming out in the second half and wasted no time doubling the lead when You struck for his second of the game. It seemed the Korea’s were well on their way to victory when Malaysia’s Hanifi Mas took advantage of a turnover and popped in the 2-1 goal in the 55th minute. That was all it took for the momentum to shift to Malaysia’s advantage as just two minutes later the equalizer came when Tengku put in a deflection on a short corner.
It looked the game was destined to end in a draw when Korea was awarded the penalty corner late in the game, setting up Jang’s heroics.
Korea’s last game of the round robin is against Russia, while Malaysia has its most important game of the event against Ireland.
Russia 2, Ukraine 0
Russia won its second game with a 2-0 decision against the Ukraine at the Electric Ireland FIH Road to London Tournament, putting itself in position to potentially vie for the bronze medal on the final day.
It was a relatively low key game between the two games that are out of contention for a ticket to London. Nevertheless, Russia continues to look stronger with each outing at the event, while winless Ukraine is looking run down.
Yaroslav Loginov netted a goal the first half and Aleksander Patonov tipped in the insurance goal in the waning minutes of regulation to seal the 2-0 win. Although it was a one-goal affair for much of the game, Ukraine rarely threatened the Russian net in the one-sided game.
Russia has a tough game on Saturday against top-seeded Korea, but it looks like regardless of the outcome of that game, the Russians should be playing for bronze on Sunday, while Ukraine is locked into the 5th-place game no matter how they fare against Chile on Saturday.
Ireland go top of the table
Ireland played their fourth match in front of a sell out crowd tonight at the Electric Ireland FIH Road To London tournament.
Ireland were quick off the mark opening the scoring in the 6th minute thanks to marksman's Timmy Cockram's trademark dragflick. But, despite dominating play throughout the half Ireland failed to convert and saw three more penalty corners go astray.
Ireland came out with a much more energetic performance in the second half and just two minutes in Cockram was lining up once again with a drag effort which was just wide.
Eight minutes in Electric Ireland man of the match Michael Watt doubled Ireland's lead when Watt weaved his way across the top of the 'd' to find space to nip away a powerful reverse stick shot on the 43rd minute. Ireland created many other chances a couple coming from an impressive Chris Cargo and Ian Sloan but it was Michael Watt who was on target once again when Cockram picked out Jermyn who slipped it through to Watt for a close range shot and 3-0 lead.
Ireland continued to dominate in a match that saw keeper David Harte only called into action once towards the end but Ireland finished up with another 3 points, knowing that a draw against Malaysia on Saturday will be enough to secure a spot in the final of the Electric Ireland FIH Road to London final.
Ireland 3 (1) Timmy Cockram 6th minute pc; Mikie Watt 43rd & 54m (op)
Chile 0 (0)
Starting XI David Harte (GK); John Jackson; Geoff McCabe; Ronan Gormley; Michael Watt; Eugene Magee; Michael Darling; Timmy Cockram; David Ames; Paul Gleghorne; Stuart Loughrey.
Reserves (all used): Chris Cargo; John Jermyn; Peter Caruth; Andy McConnell; Ian Sloan;
Irish Hockey Association media release
Update on Conor Harte.
Following medical advice Conor Harte will take no further part in the Electric Ireland FIH Road to London tournament as a result of an injury sustained against Korea on Tuesday. We wish Conor well for a speedy recovery
Irish Hockey Association media release
Malaysia fall to S. Korea
Koreans hand Beng Hai’s boys their first loss in the Olympic Qualifier
By JUGJET SINGH
A South Korea player dribbles past an Ireland player in their 1-1 draw in the Olympic Qualifier in Dublin on Wednesday.
MALAYSIA fought back from two goals down, but still lost 3-2 to South Korea in the Olympic Qualifier at the University College grounds in Dublin yesterday.
The defeat means that Malaysia must beat Ireland tomorrow if they want to play in the final of the Qualifier.
Things started to go badly for Malaysia right from the beginning. Thirty seconds into the match, stout defender Madzli Ikmar was brought down by a Korean tackle and suffered a bloody nose. Amin Rahim was brought in.
Unfazed, the Malaysia team pressed ahead and won their first penalty corner in the second minute.
But the set-piece was weak, leading to South Korea mounting a counter attack, which saw Nabil Fiqri yellow carded for a rough tackle and had to sit out for at least five minutes.
Korea won their first penalty corner in the fourth minute, and even though Baljit Singh stopped the first attempt, the ball was pumped back in for Korean You Hyo Sik to tap home. At such an early stage, Malaysia were trailing 1-0.
Malaysia looked sluggish and played as if they had yet to warm up. Hafifi Hafiz first missed a sitter, and then the rebound also went to waste when Faizal Saari misjudged the ball in the 24th minute.
Nothing went right for Malaysia in the first 35 minutes of the match, as Madzli was yellow carded in the 34th minute, and the team even failed to score from a last second penalty corner.
Malaysia went into the dressing room a man and a goal down.
In the second half, Malaysia started on a more promising note, and led by a determined Baljit Singh, they started making inroads into the Korean semi-circle, something that was missing in the first half.
But Korea kept their cool, and a mistake in attack saw a counter in the 42nd and You Hyo Sik's reverse stick shot beat goalkeeper S. Kumar with ease for a 2-0 lead.
With 17 minutes remaining on the clock, it was Korea who did all the running and attacking, as Malaysia went into a shell and lost their confidence.
However, a cool Hafifi Hafiz started a Malaysian fightback in the 54th minute when he slotted home the first goal with a clever tap form close range to take his tournament tally to four goals.
And the spark was turned into a bonfire in the 59th minute, when Malaysia won their fourth penalty corner and this time, Amin Rahim's low push was deflected into the top of the net by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin for the much needed equaliser.
But Korea were not in a mood to share the spoils, and with three minutes left on the clock, Jang Jong Hyun's powerful penalty corner flick sailed in for the win.
New Straits Times
Malaysia’s inability to focus in last five minutes costs them dearly
By S. RAMAGURU
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s inability to focus in the final minutes cost them dearly as they went down 2-3 to South Korea in their Olympic qualifier at the UCD Stadium in Dublin yesterday.
The defeat means they must now beat hosts Ireland in the last match to have any hope of making Sunday’s final.
Despite not playing their best game yesterday, the Malaysians should have at least snatched a draw.
With the match tied at 2-2 with three minutes remaining, they conceded a penalty corner which the Koreans were quick to capitalise on to bag the winner.
South Korea have qualified for the final, and are just a win away from reaching London.
What was most frustrating for Malaysia was that they had clawed their way back from two goals down against the Koreans.
Malaysia started with basically the same side which played Ukraine, resting Roslan Jamaluddin and Mohamed Izzat Rahim.
But it turned out to be a bad start as Mohamed Madzli Ikmar got injured after just 30 seconds and was replaced by Mohamed Amin Rahim.
Malaysia failed to execute a penalty corner in the second minute, and Nabil Fiqri got himself booked for a foul a minute later.
That proved a bad omen as the Koreans took the lead through a penalty corner rebound by You Hyo-sik. It was the 29-year-old Hyo-sik’s, capped 199 times, first goal in the tournament.
Hyo-sik also scored Korea’s second goal in the 43rd minute.
The Malaysians earned their second penalty corner in the 35th minute but Amin bungled it.
Forward Hafifihafiz Hanafi pulled one back for Malaysia in the 54th minute, pouncing on a pass from Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin before firing past Korean goalkeeper Lee Myung-ho.
It was Hafifihafiz’s fourth goal of the tournament and he has now scored in all four matches.
In the 59th minute, the Malaysians earned their third penalty corner and this time Amin’s flick was deflected into goal by Tengku Ahmad off a variation.
Just when Malaysia looked like they could hold on to a draw, they conceded a penalty corner in the 67th minute which Jang Jong-hyun converted for the winner.
The Star of Malaysia
Malaysia lost 3-2 to Korea in the Olympic Qualifier and have to defeat Ireland on Saturday in order to make it to the final, and remain in contention for a place in the 2012 London Olympics.
It was end to end stuff and a lapse in concentration fivre minutes from time left them a mountain to climb.
Present to lend support was HRH Sulatn Azlan Shah, MHC President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and the Malaysian Ambassador to Ireland. Not forgetting the bunch of officials from MHC who are on a expenses paid trip to Dublin.
Malaysia were dealt a blow in the opening 30 seconds when Mohd Madzli Ikmar receiived a knock on the face and was substituted by Mohd Amin Rahim.
And although Malaysia were awarded a penalty corner in the 2nd minute, it was a wasted set piece as Amin relayed it to Faisal Saari who was slow to react.
And Korea almost hit back in the very next minute but in the ensuing action Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor was shown the yellow for an off the ball incident.
When Korea was awardeca penalty corner in the 5th minute, Baljit Singh did well to run down the attempt but the ball was played back into the semi circle where a lurking You Hyo Sik had the easiest of tasks to beat S. Kumar in the Malaysian goal.
Korea came close a couple of times but the Malaysian defence held firm and in the 34th minute it was Madzli who was sent to the sin bin.
Malaysia were then awarded their second penalty corner seconds before halftime but the attempt by Amin was well saved by Lee Myung Ho.
Malaysia came out gunning for the equaliser in the second half, playing with more urgency, but were always one step behind the Koreans.
And in the 43rd minute You scored the second, picking up a long pass from defence, out foxing Amin before unleashing a reverse stick hit that beat Kumar in the far post.
Tengku Ahmad was in his eement and in the 59th minute went on a jinxing run on the right and won a penalty corner.
Instead of a direct hit, Amin sent the ball to Tengku Ahmad whose deft touch sent the ball past a despairing dive from Korean keeper Lee and Malaysia were on level terms.
With ten minutes remaining, Malaysia were on top and had the Koreans reeling in defence,
But Korea won a penalty corner three minutes from time and Jang Jong Hyun sent the ball into the roof of the net, breaking the hearts of the Malaysians.
Malaysian Hockey blogspot
No lack of support before Korea cruncher
THE Malaysian delegate in full force at the University College Dublin pitch before the start of the Malaysia-South Korea match. Pic by S.S Dhaliwal.
THE Malaysian VIP list in Dublin, Ireland, to support the Malaysain hockey team's Olympic quest is nothing short of impresive.
Sultan Azlan Shah, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, National Sports Council Director General Datuk Zolkples Embong, National Sports Institute CEO Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz, Sports Minister Datuk Sabery Cheek...
And not forgetting the 23 Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHF) office-bearers and a handful of National Sports Council staff who are also here to lend support for hockey's moment of reckoning.
The University College Dublin stadium was teeming with Malaysians at every turn yesterday, as even the Malaysian students studying here have been gripped by the Qualifier fever, and the seating capacity is very small.
The stadium has a capacity of 510 seats, which are covered, while additional 1,000 seats have been added on behind the goalmouth.
It is quite small compared to the stadiums in Malaysia, and that is why all the tickets for the weekend as well as Thursday's matches were sold out.
An Irish fan tweeted: "Have seen it all now. People looking for tickets for an Irish hockey match on bulletin board".
Yes, we have also seen it all, as never in the history of Malaysian hockey, have so many officials left the country's shores to throw their support for any single event sport.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Third Black Sticks-Argentina test ends in draw
The women's Black Sticks have earned a 0-0 draw against Argentina in Auckland tonight.
The entertaining stalemate leaves New Zealand needing victory in tomorrow's fourth and final test at North Harbour Hockey Stadium to level the series against the second-ranked side in the world.
Attacking to the death, the Black Sticks desperately sought to equalise the series 1-1 but struggled to turn second half possession into goals.
Three minutes from the end, New Zealand secured their first penalty corner of the match, but couldn't find a way past goalkeeper Maria Belen Succi.
Regardless, the performance was encouraging for a side struggling for form in the run-in to the 2012 Olympic Games.
Particularly pleasing for Mark Hager's side was the ability to keep a clean sheet against one of the favourites for gold in London.
Having tightened their leaky defence in the last outing against Argentina on Wednesday, the Black Sticks entered tonight's game needing to retain discipline at the back, but more importantly, needing to ramp-up their killer instinct in front of goal.
And with powerful striker Katie Glynn rested, coach Mark Hager was happy to throw a golden opportunity to North Harbour 23-year-old Petrea Webster.
Locked at 0-0, Argentina shaded a tight opening 35 minutes which consisted largely of a fierce midfield battle with clear-cut goal opportunities limited to one apiece.
When Kiwi keeper Sally Rutherford was left stranded well off her line in the 14th minute, Cathryn Finlayson tracked back to block a lofted shot by Daniela Lucia Sruoga - with the goal at her mercy.
Two minutes later Emily Naylor's solid waist-height strike was well saved, and despite launching a number of attacks, that would be the closest New Zealand came to putting a number on the board in the first half.
At the break Argentine coach Carlos Retegui would have been disappointed his side hadn't pushed into the lead, having secured three penalty corners.
Two of those failed to even register a shot on goal through simple mis-trapping and mis-communication errors.
The third set piece was well saved by Rutherford, low and to her right.
Argentine star Luciana Aymar treated the Auckland crowd to moments of brilliance in the second half.
The multiple world player of the year found a way to shake off jet-lag after only arriving in New Zealand on Tuesday. With deft dribbling and visionary passing, she was the driving force of Argentina's second half attack.
Nevertheless it was the Black Sticks who looked most like scoring, with a batch of chances going begging during the final quarter of the match
Keen to force the issue, just as they were in Wednesday's 1-1 draw, Krystal Forgesson and Julia King both went close.
Black Sticks show promise for next two matches against Argentina
By Terry Maddaford
Black Sticks goal scorer Katheryn Finlayson. Photo / John Stone.
The improving Black Sticks have the chance to level their test series with Argentina when they meet in the third of four tests at the Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium tonight but they will need to pick up their set play if they are to claim that much-wanted victory.
Well-beaten (4-1) in the opening test, the Black Sticks bounced back to take a fully deserved 1-1 draw in the second test on Wednesday, showing enough to suggest they might be ready to go one step further.
It was a repeat of the first-round clash between the two teams at the January/February Champions Trophy in Argentina when they finished 2-2. But while the hosts went on to win the tournament, New Zealand finished a disappointing sixth.
Much was expected from the visitors in Wednesday's match, with Argentina, boosted by the inclusion of the world's best player, Luciana Aymar, who has won five Champions Trophy gold medals and who missed the opener through Olympic commitments.
And when they went 1-0 ahead inside two minutes, another rout was in the offing.
Instead it was the home team who dug deepest and tested the world's second-ranked nation. They forced the only five penalty corners of the match but their woeful run from that set play continued.
They converted none from five after netting just three from 24 such opportunities at the Champions Trophy.
Coach Mark Hager was despairing on two counts after the midweek draw.
"We were not clinical enough in converting the scoring chances we had," said Hager. "And again the penalty corners are a concern. You are not going to win international hockey matches if you can't convert at least 30 per cent of your penalty corners."
Elsewhere, there were plenty of positives for Hager to take from the match.
They lost nothing in the key midfield battle even if Aymar tended to dominate in setting up play for her teammates. On defence, the Black Sticks showed the benefit of the emphasis Hager has placed on that since the return from the Champions Trophy, while on attack, Charlotte Harrison was back to her best and fully stretched the Argentine defence at times.
With Olympic selection hanging over them, the New Zealanders know there is no place to hide. In bouncing back from the first test disappointment in the way they did, they showed that come London they might be ready to fulfil Hager's prediction of a medal.
New Zealand v Argentina
Third test, today 6.30pm Lloyd Elsmore Hokey Stadium
Fourth test, tomorrow 6pm North Harbour Hockey Stadium
The New Zealand Herald
Hockeyroos Welcome World Number 2 Argentina
Perth will host the Hockeyroos next week in a three match Test Series against world number 2 Argentina. The Hockeyroos will be looking to continue their solid 2012 form which recently saw the team defeat Korea 3-1 in a four match series, as well as secure victories over Germany, The Netherlands and Japan in January earlier this year.
The three match series will provide excellent game time for the group against a world class outfit who will be a definite medal contender at the London Olympic Games. High quality matches leading up to the London games are an invaluable experience and preparation tool for both the players and coaches in determining the best combinations for London.
The Hockeyroos welcome back into the fold four players who have been sidelined with injuries. Hockeyroos Assistant Coach Jason Duff has said “we will be looking to manage these players through the 3 match series. The key for the coaching staff is to share the game time amongst those girls and maximise the opportunity for these players to perform at their best.”
Ash Nelson returns from an extensive rehabilitation program, whilst Claire Messent, Kate Jenner and Jade Warrender return from minor injuries. Duff said “the girls are 100% ready to compete against Argentina but will not be put through every game”.
Argentina is currently ranked second in the world and recently defeated world number one Netherlands at the 2012 Champions Trophy last month.
Experienced Argentinian defender Mercedes Margolot makes her return to the squad at the expense of injured defender Noel Barrionuevo. Margalot adds over a decade of experience including three Olympic Games campaigns. The touring Argentinian side contains three members of the 2011 FIH All-Star team in Luciana Aymar, Carla Rebecchi and Soledad Garcia.
Argentina is a long term rival of the Hockeyroos and Luciana Aymar is one of the greatest players in the World to watch. She rivals Jamie Dwyer in her achievements.
Luciana Aymar’s Achievements:
Champions Trophy's Player of the Tournament: 2000, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012
FIH World's Best Player of the Year (8): 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
World Cup Player of the Tournament: 2002, 2010
Olympics: Silver Medal (2000), Bronze Medal (2004, 2008)
Champions Trophy: Gold Medal (2001, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012), Silver Medal (2002, 2007, 2011), Bronze Medal (2004)
World Cup: Gold Medal (2002, 2010), Bronze Medal (2006)
Hockeyroos Squad v Argentina
Teneal Attard (QLD), Madonna Blyth (QLD), Fiona Boyce (WA), Jade Close (NSW), Toni Cronk (NSW), Casey Eastham (NSW), Anna Flanagan (ACT), Kate Jenner (NSW), Kobie McGurk (WA), Jacklyn McRae (NSW), Claire Messent (VIC), Hope Munro (WA), Georgia Nanscawen (VIC), Ash Nelson (WA), Georgie Parker (SA), Megan Rivers (NSW), Jodie Schulz (QLD), Emily Smith (NSW), Jayde Taylor (WA), Jade Warrender (NSW), Ash Wells (VIC).
Hockey Australia media release
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge makes a very special visit
Duchess of Cambridge visits Olympic Park
Great Britain’s hockey players enjoyed the company of a very special guest today as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, joined the men’s and women’s squads at the London 2012 Olympic Park in Stratford.
The Duchess visited the hockey players in her role as an official Team GB Ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Together with fellow Ambassadors The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, The Duchess will play an active role in supporting Team GB and ParalympicsGB and inspiring young people to reach their full potential in the build up to and during the London 2012 Games.
HRH was welcomed today by Team GB’s Chef de Mission Andy Hunt and Team GB Hockey Team Leader David Faulkner before meeting the captains of the men’s and women’s teams – Barry Middleton and Kate Walsh.
Duchess of Cambridge meets members of the GB team
The Duchess, who was captain of her school hockey team at Marlborough College, was introduced to the members of both squads and presented with a bespoke hockey shirt and stick, before taking part in a light training session with a number of players on the newly laid bright blue Olympic hockey pitch at the Riverside Arena.
Team GB London 2012 Chef de Mission and BOA CEO Andy Hunt said: “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge’s presence at the Olympic Park today has provided Team GB and the sport of hockey with a fantastic boost ahead of London 2012.
“We are very privileged to have the support of our Team GB Ambassadors as we prepare Team GB to perform to the best of its ability at the greatest sporting event in the world this summer.
“The Ambassadors provide our athletes with a tremendous source of inspiration and it was great to see HRH wearing the official supporter’s scarf of Team GB and ParalympicsGB. We hope their involvement helps to spur everyone around the UK to get behind our Olympic and Paralympic athletes to become part of Our Greatest Team at London 2012.”
David Faulkner, Team GB Hockey Team Leader said:
“The visit of The Duchess of Cambridge has had a great impact on the players today. She is clearly enthusiastic about hockey and we are very grateful for her support leading up to and during the Olympic Games.
“Both the men’s and women’s teams are aiming to reach the podium at London 2012 and we are putting everything in place to ensure that a successful Olympic Games can inspire the next generation to take up and enjoy hockey as a legacy of the Games.”
Kate Walsh, Great Britain Women’s Hockey Captain said:
“It was brilliant to have The Duchess of Cambridge here today to share her knowledge and passion for the sport of hockey with us. She also demonstrated some real skill and talent on the pitch, so we will all be training extra hard to ensure we keep our places in the squad!”
“It is our ambition to make the whole country proud by winning a medal in the Olympic Games this summer. We are currently ranked fourth in the world and hope the enthusiastic support of the home crowd can push us on to achieve our goal.”
Great Britain Hockey media release
Duchess of Cambridge plays hockey at Olympic Park with Team GB
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Catherine plays hockey with Team GB players
The Duchess of Cambridge, who led her school's hockey team, scored a goal while playing with Team GB's players during a tour of the Olympic Park.
Catherine, 30, who was team captain at Marlborough College, took the tour in her role as an Olympic Ambassador.
"I was striker so you had to get the timing exactly right," she said.
Later she visited the Dulwich Picture Gallery in south-east London, where she saw the work of the Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts.
She was joined by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
Catherine, who wore the official Team GB supporter's scarf, said she was "very excited" about her first visit to the Olympic Park.
Addressing the women's hockey team, who were training at the site, she said: "I really hoped to be here, I would love to see you play in the Games."
She said she was "not feeling so confident" about playing the game.
"The last time I played was 2005, maybe. It feels like I haven't held a stick for 10 years.
"My brain thinks I can do all these wonderful things but my body just doesn't play ball.
"I used to play at school and I remember my muscles at the beginning of the season were agony."
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Catherine was presented with a bespoke hockey shirt during her visit
After the Duchess's visit, Kate Walsh, GB and England hockey captain, tweeted: "A real pleasure and an honour to meet and play hockey with HRH the Duchess of Cambridge this morning! Think our team have got Royal approval!"
During the visit to Dulwich Picture Gallery, Catherine, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were greeted by hundreds of cheering schoolchildren waving union jacks.
It was the first time Catherine had joined Charles on a visit to one of his charities.
They chose to see the work of the Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts at Dulwich because of their mutual interest, a Clarence House spokesman said.
He said it came about from "a conversation between a father-in-law and daughter-in-law" and added: "They have a shared interest in art, art therapy and children."
The royal party spoke to children who have taken part in the Great Art Quest - a programme that introduces youngsters to local galleries, professional artists and storytellers.
Pupils from Goodrich Community Primary School in East Dulwich, Globe Academy in Southwark, Langbourne Primary School and St Luke's C of E Primary School, in Dulwich, attended the event.
The royal visitors also met artists involved in the project before viewing a special exhibition of the children's work.
Portraits from children aged four to 16 will create a montage image of the Queen which will be projected on to the front of Buckingham Palace, to herald the start of the Jubilee and Olympic celebrations in April.
The portraits will also be displayed on 400 big screens across the UK.
Duchess of Cambridge plays hockey with Team GB women's side at London Olympic Park: in pictures
The 30-year-old, visiting as an Olympic ambassador, looked to be enjoying herself as she joined in a GB women's training session. Picture: AFP
Under the watchful eye of Great Britain captain Kate Walsh the Duchess was put through her paces at the Olympic Hockey Arena. Picture: AFP
Hands perfectly positioned: the Duchess adopted the correct body positioning to get the maximum power behind her flicks. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Pushing all her weight on to her front foot, Kate's follow-through showed evidence of a hockey past as she executed her strike. Picture: AFP
Pakistan sacks Dutch hockey coach
Michel van den Heuvel, was due to keep the job until after the Olympics this summer. -File Photo
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Thursday sacked their Dutch hockey coach over allegations he broke his contract, a move which could harm their preparations for the London Olympics.
Michel van den Heuvel, was due to keep the job until after the Olympics this summer. But the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) said he had failed to return to duties as scheduled last month and had also signed a deal with a Dutch club, in violation of his contract.
“The executive board of the PHF met here and unanimously agreed that a coach who signed another contract besides having a valid contract with Pakistan is not acceptable,” PHF president Qasim Zia told reporters.
Zia said former captain and Olympian Akhtar Rasool was appointed as the new head coach and team manager, and the PHF will take legal action against Van den Heuvel. But the Dutchman said his contract with the Dutch club starts after the Olympics.
“What I know is that I have a contract with the PHF until the Olympics and expect them to respect the contract,” Van den Heuvel told Pakistani media from his home country on Wednesday.
“The PHF knew very well that I was not going to continue with them after the Olympics and as a professional coach I need a job.”Pakistan, once a major force with three Olympic gold and four world titles, have failed to find their form in the last few years, finishing an all-time low of eighth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 12th out of 12 at the 2010 World Cup in India.
However, under Van den Heuvel they won the Asian Games in China two years ago, helping them to qualify for the London Olympics. Rasool, under whom Pakistan won the 1982 World Cup, said he will do his best.
“I have taken this post as a challenge and will do my best to regain the lost glory,” he said.
PHF sack foreign hockey coach
Lahore: The Pakistan Hockey Federation has sacked foreign coach Michel Van Den of The Netherlands and appointed former Olympians Khawaja Junaid and Akhtar Rasool as the coach and manager of the national team.
The decision was taken at the executive committee meeting of the PHF held today at the National hockey stadium.
PHF President Qasim Zia announced that the issue of whether to ban the players taking part in the unofficial World Series Hockey had been handed over to the disciplinary committee of the federation.
"We want to give an opportunity to the players who have gone for the World Series Hockey to give their point of view before the disciplinary committee before any action is decided against them," Zia said.
He also made it clear that any decision on the players would be taken in accordance with the guidelines of the International Hockey Federation.
Akhtar Rasool appointed head coach of hockey team
By Azhar Khan
Akhtar Rasool appointed head coach of hockey team
LAHORE - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Thursday appointed Chaudhry Akhtar Rasool as chief coach and manager of Pakistan national hockey team while sacked foreign coach Michel van den for breaching of contract.
Talking to the reporters after 22nd Executive Board meeting of the federation here at the National Hockey Stadium on Thursday, PHF president Qasim Zia said: "The executive board of the PHF met here and unanimously agreed that a coach who signed another contract besides having a valid contract with Pakistan is not acceptable. Former captain and Olympian Akhtar Rasool was appointed as the new head coach and team manager and the PHF will take legal action against Van den Heuvel.”
The Dutchman said his contract with the Dutch club starts after the Olympics. "What I know is that I have a contract with the PHF until the Olympics and expect them to respect the contract," he told the media from his home country. "The PHF knew very well that I was not going to continue with them after the Olympics and as a professional coach I need a job," he added. Akhtar Rasool said he would do his best. "I have taken this post as a challenge and will do my best to regain the lost glory," he hoped.
To a query regarding those players who participated in Indian World Series Hockey, PHF secretary Asif Bajwa said: “All those players who participated in Indian Hockey League, their case has been referred to PHF Disciplinary Committee who will form recommendations in the light of PHF Constitution and FIH Directive for the Executive Board who will give them clear chance to plead their case before the decision is reached.”
He further said that PHF president Qasim Zia has announced amount of Rs 1,600,000 for all the four provinces, FATA, Islamabad and AJK saying that the amount has been delivered to respective Secretaries soon.
Former Olympian Akhtar Rasool takes over as head coach-manager
PPHF sacks Dutch coach Heuvel for breach of contrat
By Muhammad Ali
LAHORE: The PPakistan Hockey Federation (PPHF) has sacked national team head coach Michel van den Heuvel of the etherlands for violating his contract only four months before the London Olympics. PPHF president Qasim Zia told reporters here on Thursday that Heuvel had been replaced by former Olympian Akhtar Rasool. Qasim said Heuvel was due to arrive back in PPakistan last month but instead he joined a Dutch club in his home country. Heuvel was due to keep the job until after the Olympics this summer. “He is being served with a legal notice for the breach of contract,” added the PPHF official. PPakistan qualified for the 2012 Olympics when Heuvel guided the team to gold at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
“The executive board of the PPHF met at the ational Hockey Stadium and unanimously agreed that the coach who signed another contract besides having a valid contract with PPakistan is not acceptable. Former captain Akhtar will be the new head coach and team manager,” added Qasim. He said chief selector and former Olympian Hanif Khan proposed the name of Akhtar keeping in view of his standing in the game and the PPHF executive board accepted it. “Akhtar has rendered meritorious services for hockey in different roles, especially as a player. And we are optimistic that he will take strong measures to lift the performance of the team for London Olympics.”
To a question regarding the PPakistan players participating in the World Hockey Series (WSH) in India, Qasim said the players’ case had been referred to the PPHF disciplinary committee that would give its recommendations in the light of the PPHF constitution and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) directive before a decision was taken. “We want to give an opportunity to the players who have gone for the WSH to give their point of view before the disciplinary committee before any action is decided against them.”
Akhtar, under whom PPakistan won the 1982 World Cup, said he would do his best. “I have taken this post as a challenge and will do my best to regain the lost glory.” He said the Olympics were just a couple of months away and he would endeavour to blend the team into a good combination to produce good results. “I don’t want to make tall claims at this stage but I promise that the whole team management will put in their best efforts to boost the team’s performance,” he said.
On the other hand, Heuvel said his contract with the Dutch club starts after the Olympics. “What I know is that I have a contract with the PPHF until the Olympics and expect them to respect the contract,” Heuvel told media from his home country. “The PPHF knew very well that I was not going to continue with them after the Olympics and as a professional coach I need a job.” PPakistan, once a major force with three Olympic gold medals and four world titles, have failed to find their form in the last few years, finishing an all-time low of eighth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 12th out of 12 at the 2010 World Cup in India. However, under Heuvel they won the Asian gold after 20 years.
The Daily Times
Shakeel Abbasi unfazed against ban
The thinly attended media session in the late night on Thursday at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, after Delhi Wizards won a face sever match against Bhopal Wizards, came alive when captain Shakeel Abbasi confirmed that he, and other Pakistan players doing duty in the World Series Hockey, will face a 2 years’ ban, and that it will jeopardize his forthcoming Olympic participation.
Besides Shakeel Abbasi, other Pakistan players in the WSH include Rehan Butt, Imran Warsi, Waseem Ahamed, Tariq Aziz, Zeeshan Ashraff – almost all who figured in the previous league, ESPN-Stars sports engineered Premier Hockey League.
Excerpts of Shakeel’s exclusive discussion with www.stick2hockey.com on this issue of ban.
“I haven’t got any information directly from the authorities, but journalists back home contacted us, and got our reaction. First they (PHF) thought of banning us for five years, and now am told its two years’, he said taking the trickle of information on his own stride. He was as cool as cucumber while discussing the ban issue.
“We are hockey players. Around this time I will be playing in Pakistan, it so happened am here to play in what I feel the best competition in the world”.
I am a player, and continued to be so here as well. I haven’t come here to engage in any illegal activity, I am playing in front of public, what other job I am expected to do, or trained to peform”, he reasoned firmly.
“The banning is bad. It is even injustice, as I often say I have come here on invitation, and only to play the game which I know.”
“I think there is room of improved communication between players, Federation and also from the part of World Series Hockey”. I think and hope WSH people will explain it’s a domestic tournament in India, and as players we have every pleasure in being part of it”.
On asked whether the ban will jeopardize his participation in the August Olympics, he shot back: “I have already played two of them”.
He expressed the hope that wisdom will prevail and things will settle.
‘We are players, we should keep playing, it is as simple as that”, he asserted. Shakeel Abbassi played his best hockey today in the match against pool toppers Bhopal Badshahs on Thursday. The dramatic 1-3 victory not only infused some hope of his team’s return to form, but also the captain, himself, was happy to receive Player of the Match, and with that a cheque of Rs. 10,000.
The news of ban comes much against his day of return to form.
However, Qasim Zia, who chaired an executive meeting of PHF on Thursday was quoted as saying the following in Pakistan media
To a question regarding the Pakistan players participating in the World Hockey Series (WSH) in India, Qasim said the players’ case had been referred to the PHF disciplinary committee that would give its recommendations in the light of the PHF constitution and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) directive before a decision was taken. “We want to give an opportunity to the players who have gone for the WSH to give their point of view before the disciplinary committee before any action is decided against them.”
Cheetahs on the prowl as Strykers fumble
On a historic day – the anniversary of India’s lone World Cup win 37 winters ago, Chennai Cheetahs made their own piece of history, swinging back to winning ways in the inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey. Displaying a robust defence, clever off the ball running and quick turn-overs, the Cheetahs were strategically ahead of Pune Strykers in almost all the departments as they beat them convincingly 3-1 here at the PCMC ground on Thursday.
With this victory, Chennai Cheetahs have 10 points from three wins and one draw after eight matches while Pune Strykers have 12 points from three wins and three draws after playing the same number of matches.
An opportunistic goal from the speedy striker Adam Sinclair saw the Cheetahs take the lead in the 10th minute when he tapped in from handshaking distance near the left post, to stun Pune goalkeeper Gurvinder Singh. Mark Harris, who was in possession with a short pass at the top of the circle, sent in a powerful hit which zoomed past a couple of defenders and was a bit wide off the left post, but an alert Adam pounced on the ball and tapped it home in a flash.
The Strykers worked hard and had better possession but failed to convert their moves into goals. The frustration allowed the Cheetahs to regroup and they came back against the run of play to increase their tally in the 31st minute with a brilliant field goal. The move was initiated from the right flank by Vikram Pillay, who received a short pass near the spot with the Strykers goalkeeper beaten comprehensively. Vikas Sharma, who had an open goal in front of him, made no mistake in tapping the ball in.
Despite the reverse, the Strykers rallied and managed to pull one back three minutes into the second half when stand-in skipper Roshan Minz punched in a rebound from the top of the circle on the right. Thereafter, they raided the rival citadel with vigour and urgency but the Cheetahs defence was solid as a rock. The Pune side may have dominated the proceedings and had better control but it was Chennai who managed to penetrate one more time to make it 3-1 in the dying minutes of the game. Penalty-corner specialist Syed Imran Warsi, who missed a couple of chances due to the bouncy field, took a step into the circle and executed a perfect flick to seal the issue. The Cheetahs take on Karnataka Lions at Bangalore on March 17 while Strykers travel to Chandigarh to play with Comets on March 19.
Schedule for March 16: Sher-E-Punjab vs Chandigarh Comets in Surjeet Singh Stadium, Jalandhar at 7pm; Mumbai Marines vs Karnataka Lions at MAH Mahindra Stadium, Mumbai, 9pm. Live on Neo Sports and Neo Cricket.
World Series Hockey website
Cheetahs devour Strykers in World Series Hockey
PUNE: Jose Brasa got the better of his former assistant Gundeep Kumar as Chennai Cheetahs trounced Pune Strykers 3-1 in a World Series Hockey league match on Thursday.
Gundeep had worked with Brasa when the latter was coach of the Indian team for two years. But if the former India player had hoped to give the Spaniard a dose of his own medicine, he was disappointed as Chennai, who held Pune 3-3 in the first leg, raised the bar to emerge victorious.
To his credit, Gundeep was without his key players Bikash Toppo, Amit Gowda and Vikas Pillay, who are injured. Of course, that was only a sub-plot. The main theme of the evening was a team coached by a European playing attacking hockey.
With four Australians in the line-up - legendary Brent Livermore, Mark Harris, Kelly Peter and Joseph Reardon - Chennai played at breathtaking speed.
Chandigarh beat Delhi
Gurjinder Singh scored late in the second half to guide Chandigarh Comets to a narrow 1-0 win over Delhi Wizards in a round-robin match of the World Series Hockey in Delhi on Thursday.
Gurjinder scored the elusive winner by converting a penalty corner in the 64th minute to help the Chandigarh side move up in points table to the third position with 12 points.
Delhi looked sharper of the two sides in the beginning but their performance dipped as the match progressed. Chandigarh, on the other hand, took their time to get settled and were content to play the waiting game.
The Times of India
Cheetahs too fast for Strykers
By Tushar Dutt
After two consecutive defeats, against Karnataka Lions and Bhopal Badshahs, Chennai Cheetahs bounced back to hand Pune Strykers a 3-1 defeat in their World Series Hockey match at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here on Thursday.
The Cheetahs started with an aim to gain three points and they struck the first blowthrough Adam Sinclair. After going one down, the Pune boys made a few attempts near Cheetahs’ goalpost but in vain. In the 29th minute, Cheetahs went two up, when Shyam flicked the ball straight in Pune’s goal after getting a timely pass from Vikash Sharma.
After a poor show in the first half, the Pune boys made an aggressive start after the breather. They started attacking the Cheetahs’ defence and in the process, got a penalty corner in the 36th minute. Simrandeep Randhawa took the strike, but his shot was blocked easily by Cheetah’s goalie Santosh Chinthakunta. As he blocked the ball, it went straight to Pune’s Roshan Minz. Minz did not waste time and hit a hard stroke, which went in the goal after getting deflected from penalty saver Pillay’s stick. Though Pune reduced the margin, they ran out of steam after the goal. Cheetahs’ got a penalty corner in the 69th minute, which was converted by Imran Warsi, to take his side 3-1.
In other match, Delhi Wizards beat Bhopal Badshahs 3-1.
Chennai Cheetahs beat Pune Strykers 3-1
Chennai Cheetahs were back to winnings ways as they disposed off challenge from Pune Strykers beating them 3-1 in a World Series Hockey match at the PMC ground.
With this victory, Chennai Cheetahs have 10 points with three victories and a draw after eight matches while Pune Strykers have 12 points from as many matches having won three and drawn three.
An opportunistic goal from former India international Adam Sinclair saw the Cheetahs take the lead in the 10th minute when he tapped in from handshaking distance near the left post, to stun Pune goalkeeper Gurvinder Singh.
Mark Harris sent in a powerful hit which zoomed past a couple of defenders and was a bit wide off the left post, but an alert Adam pounced on the ball and tapped it home in a flash.
The Strykers worked hard and had better possession but failed to convert their moves into goals. The frustration allowed the Cheetahs to regroup and they came back against the run of play to increase their tally in the 31st minute with Vikas Sharma finding the target.
In the 34th minute, former India player Roshan Minz found the target through rebound to make it 1-2.
Against the run of play, Cheetahs rounded off the tally with short-corner specialist Syed Imran Warsi, took a step into the circle and executed a perfect flick to seal the issue. The Cheetahs take on Karnataka Lions at Bangalore on March 17 while Strykers travel to Chandigarh to play with Comets on March 19.
Delhi belly for Bhopal Badshahs
Watching Bhopal Badshahs’ solid goalkeeper Baljit Singh, who has conceded the least number of goals in the tournament, practice his drills before the match convinced one that the Badshahs would continue their fine run against Delhi Wizards, who were struggling before this match. However, the beauty of the Bridgestone World Series Hockey is such that no team can afford to relax as the tournament continues to witness a see-saw battle amongst both the frontrunners and the bottom-rung teams alike. To end the suspense, Delhi Wizards won the match comfortably 3-1 here at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Thursday.
Gasping for survival in the tournament, Delhi Wizards showed urgency in both attack and defence till they finally sealed the match. The last eight minutes of the match saw the hosts play tentatively as they conceded four penalty-corners one after another with one player less on the field. However, their indefatigable defence managed to hold on to their nerves and even launched a counterattack to puncture the Bhopal citadel for the third time in the match.
Wizards struck a brace early and kept the pace throughout the match, and then nailed the last nail in the coffin of Badshahs in the last minute as well. Victo Singh, Shakeel Abbasi and Vikram Kanth scored for the home side while Casey Henwood accounted for the lone reply for the Badshahs.
Victo Singh symbolized the early tune and tenor of the play with exciting run downs on the right flank, and in tandem with new sensation Upendra Pillay. Fittingly, the Manipur marvel struck the first goal. He sent the ball in with a hard diagonal push even as he was falling. Shakeel tried to firm up the goal with a gentle nudge, but the angle was so acute it didn’t need Shakeel’s effort to find its home.
Unstoppable Shakeel extended the lead. Philp Sunkel, at the centre of the circle, was expecting him to send the pass in a quick surge, but the gifted striker looked at him while directly dispatching his forehand on the other side. It was the goal in its deceptive best. Wily Casey Henwood of New Zealand caught the entire Delhi defence napping in the 21st minute to respond.
Even as the goalkeeper Kamaldeep Singh was trying to cover him up close on the right baseline, holding one hand on the right post, Casey nudged the ball so cleverly that it rolled into the cage through a very narrow gap that existed between Kamaldeep and the post. Delhi defence buckled when faced with the first test, though a minute later the same goalie blocked two close rebounds to deny another equalizer for the visitors.
Darryl called a time out timely to spoil the momentum of Bhopal which was acquiring venom in enormous proportion. In the early moments of last quarter, Waseem Ahmed set up two moves but the forwards fumbled much to the agony of Badshah’s bench. Jaswinder, Vikaram Kanth and Vikramjeet came out with their best to keep the cage intact. Sameer Dad messed up his own move which he created effortlessly in the 60th minute, but delayed his push to strike even after drawing goalie out of the cage, and saw him fall early in a desperate but harried attempt to block him. Badshahs did not glorify with themselves when they missed out four successive penalty corner midway through the fourth quarter.
Schedule for March 16: Sher-E-Punjab vs Chandigarh Comets in Surjeet Singh Stadium, Jalandhar at 7pm; Mumbai Marines vs Karnataka Lions at MAH Mahindra Stadium, Mumbai, 9pm. Live on Neo Sports and Neo Cricket.
World Series Hockey website
Facile win for Delhi Wizards
Y. B. Sarangi
ON TARGET: Shakeel Abbasi (left) scores Delhi Wizards' second goal against Bhopal Badshahs. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
Delhi Wizards defeated Bhopal Badshahs 3-1, to post its first win after three matches, in the World Series Hockey at the National Stadium here on Thursday.
Lowly-placed Wizards, with three wins and a draw, have now collected 10 points from eight matches to keep their hopes alive for a berth in the semifinals.
Badshahs are stationary in second spot with 13 points from eight outings.
Wizards seized the initiative by pumping in two goals in the first quarter.
Led by Shakeel Abbasi, the forwards jelled well and drew first blood in the fifth minute. K. Victo Singh latched onto a loose ball inside the circle and beat the Badshahs' goalkeeper Baljit Singh with a powerful shot from the right.
Wizards launched a few rapid raids and Abbasi tapped in a rebound in the 11th minute to extend the lead.
Badshahs valued possession of the ball and took the pace off the game. The touring side pulled one back in the 21st minute, thanks to a superb solo effort from New Zealander Casey Henwood near the post.
Badshahs showed more aggression by fielding players up the field and their defenders complemented the forward-line well.
They moved swiftly and closed the gaps to thwart the counter-attacks.
Custodian Baljit made a fine save when he palmed away a cracking shot from Abbasi. The experienced Waseem Ahmed added value with his all-round game.
The last two quarters, which were fought hard, witnessed some heated exchanges and cards being issued to players from both the sides.
Badshahs wasted four consecutive penalty corners before Vikram Kanth converted a short corner in the final moments to seal the match in favour of the Wizards.
The result: Delhi Wizards 3 (K. Victo Singh, Shakeel Abbasi, Vikram Kanth) bt Bhopal Badshahs 1 (Casey Henwood).
First Casuality of WSH? All juniors dropped en masse
In a clear case of vendetta and mis-management of human resources, all the players who represented India in the latest Junior International event -- Sultan of Johor Cup-- have been sidelined, and a new set of 48 colts have been called for the national camp, which starts in SAI Centre, Bangalore from today.
This camp is to prepare India for the Junior Asia Cup to come off in Malacca, Malaysia May this year.
Interestingly, Sports Authority of India too has almost become a mechanical sanctioning machine; did not apply its mind why Hockey India has ignored en masse whole lot of players who were good enough to represent India only three months ago, and not even worth for camp now.
Some faces like Naveen Kumar, Pradeep Mor and a couple of others are in the senior camp, but what about the likes of Devinder Walmiki, Gurjinder Singh, Satbir Singh etc?
Hockey India has recently ignored Mukesh Kumar, who was the coach at Johor Bahru, for the coaching job. While agreeing to the fact that Mukesh is not a greatest of coaches in India, and that Hockey India has every right to analyse his performance, it cannot be said so insofar as players, who played under him, are concerned.
If the idea is to ignore Mukesh's players, it is unfortunate because the victims are young players, many of whom are excellent prospects for India.
As usual, the things are not straight forward, it doesn't appear simple case of ignoring Mukesh Kumar picked team. The hidden agenda seems to ignore those who take part in the World Series hockey.
Most of the Johor Bahru Sultan of Johor Cup are now key figures in the WSH, which is almost midway through. Hockey India, which selected Sultan of Johor Cup after open trial in Jalandhar, which was then a joke, bear upon another one this time.
This is not a right way to go for Junior World Cup which will be held in India next year.
The 7th Junior Men Asia Cup will be held at Malacca in Malaysia from 3-13 May 2012.
The coaching camp with 48 probables is going to be the long one, and likely to continue till the Asia Cup.
Nine teams will be competing in the Junior Men Asia Cup including India, Korea, Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan, China, Bangladesh, Iran and Sri Lanka.
Following is the list of probables:
1. Ponnanna PE
2. Keshav Dutt
3. Mahan Gowda
4. Bhisham Singh Phairembam
5. Subodh Tirkey
6. Sushant Tirkey
7. Chandan Singh
8. Rakesh R. Gokak
9. Narenderpal Singh
10. Gaganpreet Singh
11. Harvir Singh
12. Sumit Topno
13. Sukhmanjit Singh
14. Vikramjit Singh
15. Ravi Xess
16. Hans Raj
17. Gurpreet Singh
18. Gurinder Singh
19. Jatinder Singh
20. Manish Bishnol
21. Jarmanpreet Singh
22. Saroj Barla
23. Dilip Toppo
24. Baljit Singh
25. Surender Kumar
26. Nilakanta Sharma
27. Harjit Singh
28. Amit Kumar
29. Naresh Kumar Singh
30. Amir Sohail
31. Naveen Antil
32. Harsahib Singh
33. Kiran Kumar Thockchom
34. Talwinder Singh
35. Prabhjot Singh
36. Siddharth Shankar
37. Munish Rana
38. Tarandeep Singh
39. Vijay Thapa
40. Amon Mirash Tirkey
41. Parvinder Singh
42. Inderyas Kalyan Lowrance
43. K.D. Bidappa
44. Vinit Kamble
45. Arvind kujur
47. Suresh Toppo
48. Mikhal Barla
Hockey India’s double standards leave a bad taste
Hockey India (HI) clearly has double standards when it comes to players’ interests.
While it has not officially made its stand clear over those players going to the World Series of Hockey (WSH), it has gone ahead and dropped former skipper Rajpal Singh, Ravipal, Arjuna Halappa and Vikram Pillay — who have confirmed their participation in the league — from the list of 48 probables short-listed for the London Olympics preparatory camp.
On the other hand, the federation has included around a dozen players, who have already joined the training camps of their respective franchises.
“This clearly shows HI's double standards. How can they drop some players and pick others? Rajpal, Ravipal and Vikram were in the earlier list of 33 probables, but don't find a place in today's list, while those who were never in HI's plans, have surprisingly been included,” said a former coach.
Goalkeeper Harmanpreet Singh, whose name figures in the latest list, will turn out for the Bhopal franchise. He has already reached Chandigarh for the inaugural WSH match on February 29. Nithin Timmaiah and Arjun Antil have joined the Karnataka team, while Ramandeep Singh has joined Chandigarh. Mandip Antil, Gurmail Singh and Prabhdeep Singh have joined the Punjab team.
“Gurmail and Prabhdeep are in the camp from Day One. The WSH is a lucrative league and the players have joined on their own will,” said former national coach Rajinder Singh Senior, who is now coach of the Sher-e-Punjab team.
“I would not like to comment on who is and who is not in the list of probables released by HI today,” he added.
The move to increase the number of probables from 33 to 48 is being seen as a last-ditch effort by HI to wean away the players from WSH. The lure of representing the country at the Olympics could be the magnet to bring players back into its fold. Meanwhile, HI has also announced two national camps for the 48 short-listed players. The one, which will start on March 5, will feature mostly juniors, while the one commencing on March 15 will predominantly be for the seniors.
The team comprising juniors will play in the four-nation tournament in Lahore while the other will participate in the test event in London in April.
48 players named for junior hockey camp
New Delhi: Hockey India has selected 48 probables for the junior men’s hockey camp in preparation for the 7th Junior Men Asia Cup to be held at Malacca, Malaysia, from May 3 to 13. The camp started in Bangalore today. Nine teams will be competing in the Junior Men Asia Cup, including India, Korea, Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan, China, Bangladesh, Iran and Srilanka.
The probables are: Goalkeepers: Ponnanna PE, Keshav Dutt, Mahan Gowda, Bhisham Singh Phairembam, Subodh Tirkey, Sushant Tirkey. Defenders:Chandan Singh, Rakesh R. Gokak, Narenderpal Singh, Gaganpreet Singh, Harvir Singh, Sumit Topno, Sukhmanjit Singh, Vikramjit Singh, Ravi Xess, Hans Raj. Midfielders: Gurpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Jatinder Singh, Manish Bishnoi, Jarmanpreet Singh, Saroj Barla, Dilip Toppo, Baljit Singh, Surender Kumar, Nilakanta Sharma, Harjit Singh, Amit Kumar, Naresh Kumar Singh, Amir Sohail. Forwards: Naveen Antil, Harsahib Singh, Kiran Kumar Thockchom, Talwinder Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Siddharth Shankar, Munish Rana, Tarandeep Singh, Vijay Thapa Amon, Mirash Tirkey, Parvinder Singh, Inderyas Kalyan, Lowrance, K.D. Bidappa, Vinit Kamble, Arvind Kujur, Naveen, Suresh Toppo and Mikhal Barla.
Semi-final entry at London Games would be great feat: Zafar
Former India hockey captain Zafar Iqbal does not see the national team ending its three-decade old medal drought at the London Olympics this year, but is of the opinion that a semi final berth would be a great achievement for the eight-time champions.
"Realistic chance (of India winning a medal in the July-August Games in London) is not there...there is no doubt about that. You can't jump from low ranking to the medals straightaway."
"You can try to improve the ranking to 5 or 6. If they can try and qualify for the semi final, then it will be a big achievement," the two-time Olympian, who was a member of the gold medal-winning Indian men's team at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, told reporters here on Thursday.
India have not achieved a podium finish after the Summer Games in Moscow 32 years ago. The country, in fact, missed the last Olympics at Beijing by failing to qualify for the first time in their long and successful history before making amends by qualifying for the upcoming London Games through the pre-Olympic event held at Delhi last month.
The 55-year-old former left winger hailed current national coach Michael Nobbs, an Australian, as the perfect pick for coaching the Indian team when asked to compare him with his predecessor Jose Brasa.
"Brasa is a European (Spaniard). They (European hockey players) have a different style of play as compared to Australia. Australia learnt (hockey) from us when they (Anglo Indians) migrated to Australia after the partition (of the subcontinent)," said Zafar, who led India to the silver medal in the 1982 Asian Games at Delhi and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics where they narrowly missed the semi-final spot.
"They (Australia ) still believe that Indian players are very good and they should play Indian hockey rather than defensive hockey. I would say he (Nobbs) is the right person, but he should have the right talent also like Sardara or Sandeep Singh. He should have 10-12 players of that caliber to keep the winning streak intact," Zafar said.
He did not see the likely return of former captains Rajpal Singh and Arjun Halappa into the squad for the London Games after having been omitted in the 48-strong probables' list by Hockey India's selection panel.
"I don't know how they can be considered now (for the Olympics) as they have not been considered for the camp. They are playing the World Series Hockey. It will be difficult (to see them making a comeback)," said Zafar who was here, along with senior India cricketer V. V.S. Laxman, to distribute prizes after the conclusion of the Public Sector T20 tournament.
Zafar, while welcoming the cash-rich WSH floated jointly by the Indian Hockey Federation and Nimbus Sport, is sad that the feud between rival hockey bodies - Hockey India and the IHF - is yet to be resolved despite the Sports Ministry's efforts and was of the opinion that it was a cancerous growth that needed to be resolved at any cost.
"World Series Hockey is a boost to Indian hockey, no doubt about that. It offers (significant) monetary benefits to players too; its helping the players get some money for 30-35 days they are playing (the league). Its a great booster to them too. Its a good beginning, I would say."
"But I don't know (its future). The two rival bodies, Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation are feuding. Its like a cancer in the body and has to be removed at any cost as otherwise whatever medicine you are giving is going to harm the body. The government is trying very hard," he added.
The Asian Age
Now, AP government 'stick-checks' Mukesh
HYDERABAD: The heart of any sports buff will go out for hockey Olympian Mukesh Kumar for the manner in which Hockey India (HI) has dumped him from the position of junior India team coach. However for Mukesh, that's nothing compared to the insult he has been subjected to by his state government.
The travails that the three-time Olympian had to endure while trying to save a small piece of land from being taken back by the government have left him a shattered man.
Mukesh was allotted five acres at Shamirpet in 2006 for setting up an academy, but the government is now threatening to take back the land as the player has failed to pay its cost.
Originally, Mukesh was told to pay Rs 25 lakh at the rate of Rs 5 lakh per acre in 2006, but since he failed to raise that money, the government has now jacked up the price to Rs 65 lakh "as per current rates".
Soon after the Rajasekhara Reddy government allotted him the land, Mukesh requested that the allotment be made closer to the city at Gachibowli.
However, after his repeated pleas for more than a year fell on deaf ears, Mukesh resigned to his fate and decided to take possession of the land at Shamirpet and began hunting for sponsors.
Despite hockey being the national sport, sponsors were hard to find and it took Mukesh almost five years to find one.
However, when he approached the local MRO with the prescribed amount in 2011, he was in for a rude shock. Mukesh was told that the price of land has since been hiked to 11.5 lakh per acre and he has to pay Rs 65 lakh for it.
"I feel more insulted by the state government than HI. I am deeply hurt by the way I have been treated by the government. I worked very hard to raise Rs 25 lakh. But now I am being asked to pay Rs 65 lakh. For me it is impossible to get that amount," said Mukesh.
Pained at the absence of local talent, Mukesh said such a situation could have been averted if there were enough academies.
The Times of India
Finally, Shivaji Stadium likely to be ready
NEW DELHI: The upgradation work of the Shivaji Hockey Stadium would be complete by next month and the gates of the ground, which missed several construction deadlines in the run-up to 2010 Commonwealth Games, would be thrown open in June.
Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, sports minister Ajay Maken said the stadium, which was to be a practice venue for the 2010 Games but was dropped due to non-completion of construction work, is all but ready.
"The New Delhi Municipal Council, which owns the Shivaji Stadium, has informed that work is in progress at Shivaji Stadium," Maken said.
"The work on Shivaji Stadium is likely to be completed by April 2012 and to be opened for public use by June 2012," he added.
The stadium, which had been intended for hockey practice and as a swimming arena, was replaced by Major Dhyan Chand Stadium and SP Mukherjee Swimming Pool Complex during the Games.
The Times of India
Waiting on Nazirul
Selangor may be without top scorer against Perak
By AJITPAL SINGH
THE likely absence of top-scorer Nazirul Mubin Zebidi Ahmad may halt Selangor's terrific run in the Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) Boys' Under-18 hockey competition.
The youngster, the second-highest scorer of the competition with six goals, injured his knee in Selangor's 4-1 victory over Kedah in a quarter-final match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Nazirul got his name on the score sheet in the 21st minute while Mohd Khairul (17th), Mohd Hafif (41st) and Mohd Norikhwan (54th) scored one each for Selangor. Mohd Shahiran replied for Kedah in the 32nd minute.
Selangor face defending champions Perak, who thrashed Terengganu 3-0, in one semi-final today and coach Yazid Ahmad is desperate to have his best players for the match.
"Nazirul's injury looks serious. I don't think we can play him tomorrow (today). However, I do have others as replacement but it won't be the same as Nazirul is our best forward," said Yazid yesterday.
"We played well to stop Kedah today (yesterday) and what is encouraging is that we converted two goals from penalty corners."
On the semi-final, Yazid said: "Perak have grown in confidence in the tournament. They have improved since their surprise defeat to Malacca in the group stage. We need to treat them with respect and need to tighten our game as their forwards are menacing."
Mohd Azril's brace in the eighth and 62nd minutes and Mohd Ashran's field goal in the 37th minute earned Perak victory over Terengganu.
Kuala Lumpur came back from one-goal down to edge Penang 2-1 to book their place in today's other semi-final where they face Malacca, who defeated Kelantan 3-1.
Penang took the lead when Abdul Muhaimin converted a stroke in the 13th minute but a brace from Zizi Azwan in the 34th and 45th minutes earned KL victory.
RESULTS (Q-finals) -- Boys' Under-18: Terengganu 0 Perak 3, Selangor 4 Kedah 1, Kuala Lumpur 2 Penang 1, Malacca 3 Kelantan 1.
Under-12: Kelantan 5 Malacca 0, Kuala Lumpur 2 Terengganu 1, Perak 3 Pahang 0, Penang 3 Selangor 1.
Girls' Under 18: Penang 1 Kuala Lumpur 0, Perak 3 Johor 2, Selangor 3 Negri Sembilan 0, Malacca 2 Terengganu 2 (Malacca won 3-2 on penalty strokes).
Under-12: Kuala Lumpur 1 Terengganu 1 (Terengganu won 3-2 on penalty strokes), Perak 2 Sabah 1, Selangor 6 Kelantan 0, Kedah 5 Sarawak 0.
New Straits Times
KL pack off Penang in the quarter-finals
By JOEL ALEXANDER
PETALING JAYA: Kuala Lumpur edged Penang 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the MSSM boys’ Under-18 hockey tournament at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
KL’s Zizi Azwan scored two field goals in the 34th and 45th minutes while Penang replied through Abdul Muhaimin’s penalty corner in the 13th.
KL coach Saiful Munir said: “It was close because Penang are an experienced side. We will have to raise our tempo in our next match against Malacca.”
The other semi-final will be between Perak and Selangor. Perak defeated Terengganu 3-0 while Selangor beat Kedah 4-1 in the quarter-finals.
The Star of Malaysia
Viewpoint: What if we had a clean slate?
Steven Jaspan looks intostarting anew in his March column
By Steve Jaspan
Picking up from the reference to tennis in my article last month, I was intrigued at the recent disagreement (albeit gentlemanly) between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
This revolved around the player dissatisfaction with the present ATP calendar and tournament schedule.
In reality it may have revolved more around how to transmit the message that caused the disagreement than the content.
Be that as it may, if with the stroke of the magic wand players replaced administrators in the boardrooms, how would sports change and, in particular, hockey?
When you chat to the players they often express strong views particularly if they feel they are in a comfortable and receptive environment. The High Performance Managers of the major hockey nations have strong views on the tournament calendar, formats, scheduling and many other issues. The top coaches also have strong views which we have seen at first hand when they have attended High Performance Panel meetings.
However, not all of these views are mindful of all the FIH’s other imperatives such as revenue generation, broader media coverage, increased spectator audiences, development at grass roots level, etc, etc.
The FIH Executive has to take a global or holistic view encompassing all aspects of the game and chart the course to position hockey optimally in a fiercely competitive sporting landscape.
But if we, for example, wipe the slate clean and design the best ‘calendar/tournament schedules’ model for the FIH, the players and the consumers (spectators in this case) what will the picture look like? Would it look much different from the present model or what changes would we implement?
Sounds like a great subject for the forum at the FIH Congress later this year in Kuala Lumpur.
Balbirnie to step down as EHF Hon. General Secretary
The European Hockey Federation announces that R. David Balbirnie is to step down as Hon. General Secretary at the end of the year.
Balbirnie informed the European Hockey Federation Executive Board at its recent meeting held in Bratislava, Slovakia on the 9th and 10th March.
Having first been elected to the Executive Board in 1989 and then elected as Hon.General Secretary in 1993 he informed the President, Marijke Fleuren and the Board that after 20 years in the position now was the right moment to step down.
The President noted David’s expression of his "full confidence in the President and Board to ensure a smooth transfer of knowledge over the coming months leading up to the 24th General Assembly to be held in November 2012."
Marijke Fleuren and the Board extended their thanks to David on his enormous contribution to European hockey and are sure that David will have some future rolewithin the hockey family.
The Executive Board will now review the process for a replacement and further details will be announced in due course.
EHF Press Release
UBC's Hash Kanjee retires after 19 seasons
A University of British Columbia coaching legend is saying goodbye. Thunderbirds field hockey head coach Hash Kanjee is retiring, effective April 30.
He leaves the T-Birds program after 19 honour-filled seasons, eight of which ended with Kanjee celebrating a Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship.
"Hash has been the heart and soul of our successful women's field hockey program for the past 19 years, it won't be the same without him at the helm." said Theresa Hanson, UBC's Associate Director, Intercollegiate & High Performance Sport. "He has been such a positive influence for the sport of field hockey over the years, and has truly made a positive difference in the lives of so many student-athletes. We will miss him greatly, and wish him the very best in his retirement".
Kanjee's final game was on November 6, 2011 in Calgary, when UBC defeated the host Dinos 3-1 for the 2011 CIS championship. Between 1998 and 2006, Kanjee's Thunderbirds won six national titles.
“It was the UBC student athletes who educated me on the many values and traditions of what it meant to be a UBC women's field hockey player,” said Kanjee. “There was always this feeling that we were part of a long line of field hockey players before us (since 1908 actually) and that we were charged with the responsibility to uphold and continue those time tested and valued traditions they had established. Those included things like respecting the efforts and achievements of everyone on the team and truly valuing and caring for each other unconditionally. Always doing your very best in everything you do, respecting the efforts and achievements of the teams that came before them, and being proud to play for and represent the University of British Columbia.”
Kanjee took over from the legendary Gail Wilson in 1993 and was able to build on her success.
“The annual Pop Cup, orchestrated and continued by former coach Gail Wilson and celebrating it's 25th year this year has really helped keep us in touch with alumni who help and support us and watch over us,” said Kanjee. “Gail has been a true friend and supporter and for that I thank her.”
UBC has medaled in four straight national championships, and in all but two CIS tournaments since 1998 - the year of his first title with the Thunderbirds, who haven't missed the national championships with Kanjee as coach since 1997.
His record is 228-37-28 at UBC, which won the Canada West title in 14 of Kanjee's 19 seasons. This year, his team won its ninth straight conference crown in addition to the national championship.
Kanjee won the Canada West Coach of the Year Award five times, including this past season. On three occasions, he was named the CIS Coach of the Year (1996, 1998, 2008).
“I am so very fortunate to have been given this amazing coaching opportunity here at UBC by Bob Philip in 1993,” said Kanjee. “It's been a most rewarding and enjoyable time for me.”
His teams went on eight international tours in the past 15 years to develop the field hockey program at UBC.
“The student athletes got the opportunity to visit top field hockey nations in the world, to see how they compared to their peers on the hockey pitch and to learn from them and also experience the lives of student athletes and sport cultures abroad,” said Kanjee.
His success has had an immensely positive influence on the sport in Canada. About three-dozen of his players have gone on to play for the Canadian national team, while another is currently representing Guyana at the senior level.
Many more remain connected to the sport through coaching, umpiring and administration.
After eight national championships, Kanjee says it is the success of his players that has been most memorable.
“Nothing is more satisfying than working with these bright young student athletes at UBC and work with them towards a common goal. Their wellbeing has been at the center of my coaching and now to meet them after they graduated and see them positively contributing to Canada's fabric of life is very gratifying,” said Kanjee.
Born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Kanjee journeyed to Canada in 1972 to pursue a degree in physical education at the University of Alberta. He graduated four years later and moved to Vancouver to begin his coaching career, starting off with a stint with the B.C. provincial U21 team in 1981.
Three years later, Kanjee took over the B.C. men's 'Best Ever' senior program and continued in that role until 1988.
Kanjee also has experience coaching at the national level, coaching the men's senior squad from 1989-91 including a World Cup, the Pan-Am Games and an Olympic qualifier. He did one stint as the head coach of the women's junior national team in 2003, which he guided to the BDO Junior World Cup in Chile two years later.
As a player, he did a six-year stretch with the Men's National Team from 1976-82, where he competed in the World Cup, the Pan-Am Games and an Olympic qualifier.
Under the direction of Dr. Dick Mosher, the former coach of the UBC women's soccer team, Kanjee completed a master's degree in human kinetics in 2000.
“A significant turning point in my coaching career was completing my masters of coaching study here at UBC, thanks to Dr. Richard Mosher,” said Kanjee. “Under his tutelage, I was able to build a framework on how best to work with young student athletes. Between Dick and the teams of 1995-2000, we developed a collaborative way towards producing the best team atmosphere both on and off the field. I am most fortunate to both Dick and those student athletes for showing me the way.”
Kanjee also thanks his fellow Thunderbirds' coaches for their support and encouragement, as well as team Physician Dr. Rob Lloyd-Smith, Dr. Jack Taunton, Dr. Laura Farres (sport psychologist), physiotherapist Ron Mattison and the many other excellent UBC physiotherapy staff for their invaluable sports medicine help and expertise throughout the years.
He also gives credit to assistant coaches Kimo Linders and Anthony Wright.
“Kimo has been with the team for more than seven years now and both he and Anthony contributed greatly in the success of our program. Most importantly, they brought cutting edge skill and knowledge of the modern game and a different perspective and vitality to the team when it needed it,” said Kanjee.
A major milestone for Kanjee's time at UBC was in 2001, when groundbreaking took place for Wright Field, the team's current home.
“I am deeply indebted to Lee Wright and the Patrons committee, who together with Bob Philip and the UBC Athletic Department's support made Wright Field at UBC a reality during my tenure,” said Kanjee. “This wonderful artificial turf facility has reinvigorated our sport at the school and helped UBC Field Hockey reach the modern era in our sport and provides the foundation on which great things can and do happen in the field hockey world.”
Click here to view the article on the UBC website.
Field Hockey Canada media release