All the news for Sunday 15 April 2012
Black Sticks secure finals spot with 3-1 victory over USA
The Black Sticks Women will take on Australia in tomorrow’s final of the Four Nations tournament after securing their finals berth with a 3-1 win over the USA at the North Harbour Hockey Stadium tonight.
In today’s final round robin match, the Kiwis just needed a draw to make tomorrow’s final and they did that convincingly with the two-goal victory.
Black Sticks coach Mark Hager said it was pleasing to get the win and put some goals in the back of the net but he was still frustrated with the attacking conversion rate.
At this stage in the team’s preparations for the London Olympics, Hager said the focus was on defence and the team’s attack was probably suffering.
“At the moment we’re not really concentrating on our attack. We’re just getting our defensive structures in place. We’ve probably suffered because of that and after this series the focus will be back on how we attack and how we finish.”
The match was all square at 1-1 at halftime after the 10th ranked USA slotted in a late goal despite the home side having many more chances in the first spell.
Charlotte Harrison put the Black Sticks ahead as yet again her perfect positioning on the post allowed her to connect with a strong Anita Punt cross in the 23rd minute.
But that was New Zealand’s solitary result despite five penalty corners and numerous other opportunities in the circle. And it was only a piece of brilliant Black Sticks goalkeeping from Bianca Russell that prevented the USA from going ahead at halftime as she stopped a two-on-one breakaway midway through the first spell.
The USA finally got on the scoreboard in the 33rd minute with a penalty corner effort from Shannon Taylor that deflected off a Kiwi defender into the goal.
New Zealand made the ideal start to the second spell with a Katie Glynn goal after a scramble in the circle in the 43rd minute. Glynn put the result beyond doubt 15 minutes later with another deft touch in the circle.
Cathryn Finlayson brought up 50 caps for her country tonight, while captain Kayla Sharland required stitches to a cut on the knee but is still in contention for tomorrow’s final.
In the earlier match, Australia held off a spirited Indian effort to claim a 1-0 victory after a penalty corner goal in the sixth minute of the match to Georgia Nanscawen.
Tomorrow’s final between the sixth ranked Black Sticks and the seventh ranked Australia is at 6.30pm at North Harbour.
The Four Nations tournament continues until 22 April with the second series starting on Wednesday at Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium in Pakuranga.
Hawke’s Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.
4.30pm Australia vs India
Full time: 1-0 (Australia win)
Half time: 1-0 (Australia lead)
Goal scorer: Georgia Nanscawen
6.30pm Black Sticks vs USA
Full time: 3-1 (Black Sticks win)
Half time: 1-1
New Zealand goal scorers: Charlotte Harrison, Katie Glynn 2.
USA goalscorers: Shannon Taylor.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Hosts Qatar beat Brazil 2-1 to clinch series
By Sports Reporter/Doha
STICKWAR: Action from the match between Qatar and Brazil at the Al Rayyan Stadium yesterday
Hosts Qatar defeated Brazil 2-1 to register their third successive win and took an inaccessible 3-0 lead in the five match series here at the Al Rayyan Stadium yesterday.
Nor Hafiq provided the hosts with the lead in the 16th minute through a penalty corner.
However, the visitors also drew level through penalty corner in the 31st minute to go into the breather tied 1-goal apiece. Qatar then sealed the victory to claim the series from their second penalty corner of the match in the 50th minute.
This time Sheraz Ali completing the formalities with a measured hit. The fourth match of the remaining dead rubber starts today at 4.30 pm. “Extremely pleased with the victory and now that we have sealed the series we can try out new things. I will try and give the junior players more time. Try out few different combinations.
“This series have been a great learning curve for the boys and we would like to build on it. We will be planning similar series before the World Hockey League scheduled towards the end of this year. Trying to workout a series with Singapore,” said an elated Qatar coach Shaiful Azli.
Last gasp Forsyth seals cup for Kelburne
ARTHUR McKAY SCOTTISH CUP & PLATE FINALS
GLYNHILL KELBURNE V GRANGE
With only two seconds left international striker Alan Forsyth won the Arthur McKay Scottish Cup for Glynhill Kelburne with a brilliant deflection and left a plucky Grange side crestfallen.
Grange opened brightly and Duncan Riddell sent a good chance wide of the target, the rest of the first half belonged to Kelburne. Midway through the first half Kelburne took the lead at their second penalty corner, Chris Nelson switched the ball on to Alan Forsyth and the Scotland striker fired a low shot past Colin Johnston in the Grange goal.
Kelburne were now in total control, Jonny Christie hit a post and Michael Bremner sent the rebound wide while Colin Johnston in the Grange goal made a brilliant triple save. Grange had a chance to equalise in the closing minutes but Cammie Fraser`s reverse stick shot sailed over the bar.
Grange retaliated in the second half and equalised when Fraser Sands sent a low shot past Mark Fulton at their first penalty corner. With Chris Nelson and Duncan Riddell in the sin-bin, Grange stepped up the pace and had chances to go ahead at penalty corners, Sands` poor effort went harmlessly wide of the target and Rob Barr fired his shot straight at the keeper. In the tense denouement, Grange`s Cammie Fraser shot wide while a Forsyth effort was blocked by the Grange keeper.
Kelburne then stole the show at the end, Chris Nelson fired in a cross and Forsyth on the run deflected the ball into the roof of the net past Colin Johnston for a 2-1 victory, to give the Paisley outfit the cup and league double.
VWS DUNDEE WANDERERS V GROVE MENZIESHILL
Grove Menzieshill completed the league and cup double with a comfortable 4-0 win over city rivals VWS Dundee Wanderers in the final of the Arthur McKay Scottish Cup, and it might have been so much more but for a series of crucial saves from Wanderers` international goalkeeper Carmin Dow.
The first half was all Grove, right from the second minute the holders took the initiative at their opening penalty corner won by Linda Clement, a triple switch found Leigh Fawcett and the internationalist promptly scored with a low shot past Carmin Dow. The second goal was only delayed by nine minutes, Ali Bell created the opening, she found Linda Clement on her own in the circle and the ball was immediately lashed into the Wanderers` net.
Grove could well have gone further ahead towards the end of the half, Louise Carroll`s shot was saved by Dow, Ailsa Wyllie and Fawcett also had chances, but Dow again was equal to the task.
The second half was a carbon copy of the first, further chances fell to Grove, Wanderers` Fiona Plain had to scramble the ball clear to keep the goal in tact while Louise Baxter brought another good save from Dow. Inevitably, Grove clinched the tie with a third goal midway through the second half, a cross from Hazel Dow eluded Dow and Louise Campbell scored from close range. A rare Wanderers penalty corner was the catalyst in Grove`s fourth goal, the break found Campbell on the right and her cross was diverted home by Hazel Hall, in off the post and the body of a Wanderers` defender.
ERSKINE STEWART'S MELVILLE VS. INVERLEITH LADIES
Inverleith finally emerged winners of the Plate competition, but only after a 4-2 victory in a penalty shoot-out over Erskine Stewarts Melville after the sides were level at 2-2 in normal time. All four penalties were converted by Inverleith through Sarah Jamieson, Helen Campbell, Claire Laverty and Fiona Cousins while Erskine missed two of their efforts.
The game remained goalless until five minutes from the interval when there was a flurry of goals, Sarah Jamieson opened for Inverleith but two strikes from Tutu Osifodunrin gave Erskine a 2-1 lead just on the break. Inverleith finally equalised in 48 minutes with another strike from Jamieson.
ALPHA DATA CARNEGIE VS. CALA EDINBURGH
CALA Edinburgh managed to take the men`s plate with a narrow 3-2 victory over Alpha Data Carnegie in normal time. However, it was underdogs Carnegie who took a surprise lead through Stuart McArtney in 14 minutes, but before the interval David Patterson had equalised for CALA from a penalty corner.
Two goals in as many minutes in the second half from Karl Clarke and David Guy gave CALA a 3-1 advantage, and although McArtney pulled one back for the Fifers, it proved to be little more than a consolation.
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Scottish Hockey Union media release
Investec Finals Weekend - Day One
Investec Women's HL Promotion Tournament Match 3
Surbiton 3 - 3 Slough
Premier division Slough were held to a 3-3 draw against Conference East winners Surbiton in a very even battle in the first Investec promotion match of the day. Slough made the better start and were rewarded for their efforts after just 6 minutes when Lauren Penny scored from open play. The goal motivated Surbiton to start to play some strong hockey matching Slough for chances. With just four minutes left in the first half Vicky Bryant found herself with space in the circle and hit a strong shot past Slough’s keeper to make it 1-1, but the lead was short lived. Slough got straight back on the attack and Lauren Penny with a strong reverse stick hit on a tight angle, scored her second of the day to take Slough into the break with a one goal advantage.
Investec Finals weekend - promotion match Surbiton v Slough
There were three more goals to come in the second half. Vicky Bryant netted a brace to pull the score back to 2-2 after 41 minutes, but Slough once again responded well with Alex Scott this time converting a penalty corner. With just a minute to go the score was 3-2 in Slough’s favour, but Surbiton didn’t give up and were rewarded with a penalty corner in the final seconds which Chloe Strong fired home to make it 3-3.
Investec Women's HL Promotion Tournament Match 4
Buckingham 1- 1 Beeston
In the second game of the day Buckingham took on Beeston with Beeston needing a win to keep their promotion hopes alive. The game started brightly with chances for both sides, but it was Buckingham who capitalised first. On their third short corner of the game Beth Stainsby made the break through firing the ball past Beeston’s Lucy Dawkins in goal. The first half finished with the one goal advantage to Buckingham.
Investec Finals weekend - promotion match Buckingham v Beeston
Beeston piled on the pressure in the second half and after earning their second penalty corner with just 15 minutes to go they drew the scores level. Megan Byas with the initial shot saw a good save from Buckingham’s Anna Searle, but the ball came out to Hannah Wraith who calmly slotted home.
The final 15 minutes were played at a strong tempo with both sides creating chances, but neither team were able to capitalise. The results mean that it’s all to play for in tomorrow’s final two games of the promotion tournament.
Investec Women's Over 35 Plate Final
Bowdon 4 - 3 Horsham
In the Investec Women’s Over 35 Plate Final Bowdon Ladies took on Horsham in a seven goal thriller. It was an action packed start with four goals in the first seven minutes. Bowdon dominated play with the first three goals coming from their Captain Di Bellin, Helen Matthews and Tina Cullen all in open play. Horsham pulled one back with Suzy Clapp converting a penalty corner leaving her side going into the break with a two goal deficit.
Investec Finals weekend - Bowdon Over 35s plate winners 2012
On the 58th minute Sue Crake pulled another goal back for Horsham to make it 3-2 and pile the pressure on Bowdon, but it didn’t take long for Bowdon to increase their lead again, Tina Cullen scoring her second of the day. Horsham ensured a nail biting finish when they pulled another goal back in the final minute, but it just wasn’t enough as Bowdon sealed a 4-3 victory.
Investec Women's Trophy Final
Tulse Hill & Dulwich 2 - 1 Oxford
The Investec Women’s Trophy final saw Tulse Hill & Dulwich take on Oxford. In a closely fought first half Oxford just edged the run of play with some good chances seeing them rewarded with two penalty corners, which they failed to convert. The first half ended in stalemate at 0-0.
Investec Finals weekend - Tulse Hill & Dulwich Trophy Final winners 2012
The first goal of the game came early in the second half with Tulse Hill & Dulwich’s Clare Corbett scoring from open play in the 38th minute. Oxford then began to enjoy the majority of possession with some good chances and two penalty corners but as in the first half they struggled to capitalise. Tulse Hill & Dulwich looked dangerous on the break and with 10 minutes to go Gemma Nurse converted a penalty corner to make it 2-0.
With six minutes to go Oxford replaced their keeper with a kicking back, to go 11 outfield players and the move paid off with Oxford’s Kim Haynes firing home from close range. It wasn’t quite enough however and Tulse Hill & Dulwich held on to take the final and lift the trophy.
Investec Women's Over 35 Cup Final
Canterbury 4 - 2 Exe
In the fifth game of the day saw Canterbury played Exe in the Investec Women’s Over 35 Cup Final and once again there were a plethora of goals in the over 35 age category. It took Canterbury 20 minutes to break the deadlock when Mel Clewlow converted a penalty corner to make it 1-0, but the lead was short lived with Linda Webb scoring for Exe just two minutes later. Canterbury then scored again on 30 minutes, this time through Nikki Triggs to take them into the break a goal up.
Investec Finals weekend - Canterbury Over 35s Cup Final winners 2012
In the second half Canterbury secured what proved to be an unattainable lead with another goal for Clewlow, and a first for Moira Clewes in the 42nd minute making it 4-1. Exe did pull a goal back on the 60th minute but Canterbury held on to take the title.
Investec Women's Vase Final
Milton Keynes 0 - 3 Oxted
Milton Keynes and Oxted brought a great supporter base with them to the Investec Finals weekend. The Oxted fans were rewarded first with a goal from Amelia Lewis who shot from the right into the rigging to make it 1-0. This is a lead they held to the end of the first half.
Investec Finals weekend - Oxted Vase Final winners 2012
The second half saw end to end play and opportunities for both sides. Milton Keynes were unlucky not to score on the break with one shot hitting the post. Oxted continued to press winning two penalty corners but failing to convert. The second half stalemate continued until 65th minute when Oxted’s Katie Barker first slotted home to make it 2-0 and in the final minute captain Lisa Nightingale fired in another giving her team a 3-0 victory.
Tomorrow sees another action packed day of hockey at the Investec Finals Weekend. We’ve got the conclusion of the Investec Women’s promotion tournament, the Investec Women’s Championship Final and Men’s EHL Championship Final between Reading and East Grinstead.
Make sure you don’t miss out on what promises to be a fantastic day of hockey with the best teams in the country doing battle. Tickets are available on the gate.
England Hockey Board Media release
Men's EHL Promotion Tournament - Day One
Results and match reports from Day one of the Men's English Hockey League Promotion Tournament
Men's EHL Promotion Match 1
Canterbury 2 (0)
Nat Joy 58 (PC)
Michael Farrer 64 (F)
Brooklands MU 3 (1)
Peter Friend 22 (F)
Olli Clements 37 (F)
David Seddon 63 (PC)
Brooklands MU put themselves in a very strong position in the Men’s EHL Promotion Tournament with a 3-2 victory over Canterbury to leave them with maximum points after two matches.
The Manchester club started very brightly and were unlucky not to take the lead after two minutes with a defected shot going just past the post. Canterbury had much of the play early on and earned their first penalty corner after 12 minutes which was saved by the Brooklands keeper. Canterbury went down to ten men on 22 minutes when they lost Stuart Goodman to a yellow card and this proved to be very costly as just two minutes later Brooklands MU took the lead through their second penalty corner of the match. Although the injection was mis controlled, the ball made it back into the circle where Peter Friend was able to deflect the ball into the net.
The rest of the half was very even and despite some late Canterbury pressure, the score remained 1-0 at half time.
It took Brooklands just two minutes to double the lead in the second half when Olli Clements struck a fine shot from the edge of the D into the bottom left hand corner. Canterbury were once again down to ten men at this stage having had Huw Stevens yellow carded just before the break. The next phase of play was even once again with the sides exchanging penalty corners without success, before Canterbury piled on the pressure with three penalty corners in five minutes. It was this pressure that finally paid off when their third corner was converted by Nat Joy after Kwan Browne’s initial shot was saved by the inform Brooklands keeper Chris Scott.
The Canterbury keeper Diccon Stubbings made a great triple save in the 61st minute, however this lead to a penalty corner which was converted by David Seddon with the ball going into the roof of the net off the keeper. Canterbury very quickly got a goal back to make the score 3-2 when captain Michael Farrer scored a fine goal on his reverse with just six minutes left. However, the Kent side could not find a way through the Brooklands defence who held on to secure the vital win.
Men's EHL Promotion Match 2
Team Bath Buccaneers 0 (0)
University of Exeter 6 (4)
James Royce 4 (F)
Tom Carson 22,24,31 (F,F,PC)
Brendon Noble 38 (PC)
Gareth Davies 41 (PC)
Exeter University ran riot against Team Bath Buccaneers to set up an all or nothing game against Canterbury tomorrow at the Men’s EHL Promotion tournament.
The game started slowly with Exeter University having the majority of the possession and it was Exeter who broke the deadlock on four minutes when James Royce found some space in the D to hit a low powerful shot through the keeper. Exeter enjoyed the better of the play for the majority of the first half and this showed when Tom Carson went on a scoring spree and netted a hat trick in just nine minutes. The first goal came from a James Royce interception when he went one on one with the keeper before squaring the ball for Carson to tap into an empty net. Carson showed great skill for his second when he converted after a solo run into the D, with his hat trick being completed from a penalty corner to leave the score 4-0 at half time.
If the victory was in any doubt, this was soon vanished just three minutes into the second half when Exeter made it 5-0 through a Brendon Noble Penalty Corner. It took them just another three minutes to score their sixth and final goal of the game when Gareth Davies also netted from a penalty corner. Exeter University enjoyed the better of the final play but they were unable to convert any more goals past keeper James Bailey, with the score finishing 6-0.
All this means that Exeter University have an all or nothing game tomorrow against Canterbury with the winner joining Brooklands MU to play in the Men’s EHL Premier Division next season. Due to Exeters superior goal difference, a draw will be enough to put them up ahead of Canterbury.
The table after day one is as follows –
Position Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Brooklands MU 2 2 0 0 4 2 2 6
2 University of Exeter 2 1 0 1 6 1 5 3
3 Canterbury 2 1 0 1 7 6 1 3
4 Team Bath Buccaneers 2 0 0 2 3 11 -8 0
England Hockey Board Media release
Policeman Sandeep feels like a ‘criminal’
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
New Delhi: For hockey star Sandeep Singh, scoring goals from drag flicks is all about thinking ahead of others.
“While taking a penalty corner, I always know the goalkeeper and defenders have seen the video clippings of my game hundreds of times and have their plots ready to foil me. It feels like policemen chasing criminals. It’s like a cat and mouse game. I enjoy it,” the ace drag flicker told The Telegraph, on Saturday.
For the record, Sandeep is a Deputy Superintendent of Police with the Haryana Police.
Sandeep, who along with Sardar Singh and Shivendra Singh signed up as the brand ambassador of Jaypee Greens, said his performance in the qualifiers that fetched him 16 goals and an Olympic spot for India, earlier this year, would have to be improved vastly in the run-up to the London Games.
“I am practising at least three more variations of drag flicking, which that I would not like to discuss in detail,” Sandeep said. “Hockey India (HI) has given me an iPod, which has the recordings of all my goals in the past couple of years. I sit down with the video analyst on a regular basis and try to find out how my performance can be improved,” he said.
Sandeep is a big fan of some other top drag flickers like German Christopher Zeller, Taeke Taekema of the Netherlands and Pakistan’s Sohail Abbas but he doesn’t consider them as role models.
“They are all great penalty corner specialists but I have my own style and I want to excel at that. The goalkeepers today are so well protected and are so well-equipped that one needs to find his own unique style to succeed at the international level,” he said.
Sandeep also supports HI’s decision to play the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, beginning in Malaysia from May 24 with the senior team. “The biggest advantage is that we will get an opportunity to play on the blue turf as a similar track would be used in London,” he said.
Though teams like Australia, Germany or Spain are currently ruling the world hockey, Sandeep takes the matches against Pakistan most seriously. “In 2010 Commonwealth Games, we beat Pakistan 7-4… I think it was one of the best moments of my life. It was an extremely satisfactory win,” said the defender.
Sandeep does not regret missing the chance of playing in the cash rich World Series Hockey (WSH). “This year is the Olympic year and that should be our focus,” he said.
The Telegraph, India
We'll deliver at Olympics: Indian hockey players
GREATER NOIDA: The star Indian hockey trio of Sandeep Singh, Sardar Singh and Shivendra Singh on Saturday vowed to deliver a medal-winning performance at the upcoming London Olympics, saying they are determined to do well in the biggest sporting event.
India had won the Olympic qualifying tournament in New Delhi to make the cut for the mega event, having missed the bus for the Beijing Games in 2008.
"Under Michael Nobbs (coach), the team's performance has gone up. If you have seen the Olympic qualifiers, you must have noticed it. We are playing attacking hockey, the old Indian style. I am sure we will do well in London and win a medal for the country," Sandeep, the star drag-flicker, said.
Sardar, who was the player of the tournament in the qualifiers, said the team is training well and the focus has been on fitness and getting strong in the past few days.
"We are working hard with the Australian coach and the Australian trainer. In the Bangalore camp the emphasis was on heavy-weight training. The way hockey is being played these days, we need to train that way," Sardar said.
"We did not qualify for Beijing Olympics and we wanted to do it this time. We did it and we'll do well now. We have about 15-16 matches at our hands before the Olympics. We will go to London, Spain and also play Azlan Shah before the Olympics. We will utilise these chances to improve," he added.
The players will shift to Pune for training from tomorrow since the condition of the turf in Bangalore is not playable, forcing the players to focus only on fitness there.
"Somebody could have got injured. The turf was slippery in Bangalore," Sardar said.
Shivendra exuded confidence in the skill of the Indian players and said they have it in them to win a medal in London.
"We know what out strength is. We know other teams as well. I definitely think, we stand a good chance to win medal in London," the striker said.
The players also insisted that they do not regret missing out on playing in World Series Hockey.
"Our bodies needed rest after the Olympic qualifiers. The coaches suggested that we take off for about 15-20 days. We are more happy to have qualified for Olympics," Sandeep said.
The three players were signed as brand ambassadors by Jaypee Cements.
The players also said the decision to field senior team at Azlan Shah tournament next month instead of a developmental team, was taken by Hockey India and coaches.
"The turf that will be used at London, will be used at Azlan Shah also. So they felt that we will get a good chance to get a feel of the blue turf and the yellow ball at this tournament," Sandeep said.
The drag-flicker also said that the team always awaits and enjoys India-Pakistan clashes.
The Times of India
‘No mercy, that's our approach'
After helping India book an Olympic berth, drag-flicker Sandeep Singh aims to see tri-colour going up in London. In a chat with Amit Chaudhary he talks about the art of drag-flicking, handling pressure and more. Excerpts
In hockey, drag-flicker is the most important player. Team’s success depends a lot on him. So how do you perform under such pressure?
There is no player who would go on the field and would not want to perform well. Everybody wants to perform well and win every match for the team. So, same thing goes in my mind too when I play. But when I go in I tell myself one thing that whether I get one chance or 10 chances, I’ll have to put the ball inside the net.
What are the requirements to be a good drag-flicker?
Before being a good drag-flicker you have to be a good ground player because if you are a good ground player then only you will play the match. You can take a drag-flick only when you are on ground. A drag-flicker needs extra training. You are a good drag-flicker when you are good at dragging and flicking the ball. And there is one more important thing, match confidence. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, how well you are flicking the ball if you don’t have match confidence because there are hundreds of people in the stadium, you have match pressure, you can’t be a good player or a good drag-flicker. You need to be daring enough to handle all the pressure.
Before Olympic qualifiers there was pressure of qualifying for the event because the team missed out last time. Now there is pressure of winning the medal and fulfilling the hopes. How is the entire team dealing with it?
In one of my interviews I said that our team is like a family and whatever comes our way we face it together. That support gives us the strength. We are strong from inside like the Jaypee group’s tag line andar se solid (he along with Sardar Singh and Shivendra Singh have been signed as brand ambassadors for Jaypee Cements) . So, in qualifiers we had decided either we would die on the field or qualify for the Olympics. We had no mercy for any team. And we’ll go to London with the same approach.
After qualifiers the team went to Bangalore for preparatory camp but, according to reports, the condition of the turf wasn’t good for practice. Did that somewhat hamper the preparation for the Olympics?
In Bangalore we didn’t practice much. We were focusing on gym training there because after qualifiers we needed to become more stronger physically. We were working out a lot during the past three-four months so we needed to load our bodies. Now, having done that, we will go to Pune and practice hockey till the four nation tournament starts in London.
Several players including you chose not to play in the lucrative World Series Hockey. Is there any kind of regret in your heart to miss the event?
We played regularly for three-four months so our bodies needed some rest after the Olympic qualifiers. If we had played there we could not have rested our bodies. And, the coaches also suggested we should take, say about 15-20 days of rest before we start preparation for the Olympics. We are more happy to have qualified for Olympics.
These days video analysis has become very common. Do you people also analyse opponents during the preparatory camp?
Yes, we also do these things. After every practice session we have these video sessions. There are team sessions as well as individual sessions with the coach. We discuss how to improve as an individual and as a team. Whether we have a short period camp or long period camp, these things are always there.
It seems we are coming back to Indian style. Before Michael Nobbs we heard a lot about different styles of hockey.
I’ll explain it through an example. Like someone is a good writer, he can’t become a good photographer. If you become a photographer you may be able to give your 80 per cent but you certainly can’t give your 100 per cent.
With the same logic we are good in playing the Indian style of hockey. If we play in that style we definitely can give our 100 per cent. But if we try our hands at the European style or any other style we may be able to play well but we certainly won’t be able to give our 100 per cent.
We can see Olympic rings tattooed on your forearm. What’s the story behind that?
I have already played the Olympics but our team didn’t qualify in 2008, although I wasn’t part of that team that was the black day for Indian hockey. So we all had in our minds that in 2012 we have to go. I was in Canada in 2009 where preparations for the Winter Olympics were going on. At that time I felt that I should have these rings on my body and work towards Olympic qualification.
What the Papers Say Today - Stick2Hockey.com
Indian hockey player caught for doping
NEW DELHI: Indian field hockey player Adrian D'Souza tested positive for a banned substance while playing in a professional league unsanctioned by world body FIH. The goalkeeper, who turned out for Mumbai Marines in the World Series Hockey from February 29-April 2, tested positive for a metabolite of marijuana during tests conducted by the National Anti Doping Agency. NADA director-general Rahul Bhatnagar said though they did not announce the name of the player, "the information was leaked from some other source" as letters had also been sent out to WSH organisers, national body Hockey India and the FIH. No provisional suspension has been announced as according to rules, a player can be let off with a warning for using marijuana with a maximum ban of two years. ap
The Daily Times
Hockey officials back Adrian D’Souza
By Jayadev Calamur
The Mumbai Hockey Federation (MHA) officials have come out in support of goalkeeper Adrian D’Souza, who tested positive for a dope test during the World Series Hockey. The officials said they are confident that D’Souza’s ‘B’ sample test will prove his innocence.
MHA secretary Gurbax Singh wondered why a goalkeeper would take a banned substance. “As a goalkeeper, why would he use a substance that slows down your performance?” he questioned.
Meanwhile, WSH technical director Dennis Meredith said the tournament has set a high benchmark for anti-doping measures. “All procedures followed by WSH were in accordance with the most stringent standards set for dope testing at any global sporting event.
“WSH continues to follow the same procedure for every player in our commitment to deliver a world class sports league which has the highest benchmark set for anti-doping measures,” Meredith said in a statement.
Committed to control doping, says WSH
MUMBAI: World Series Hockey (WSH) on Saturday claimed that it is committed to maintaining world class standards on measures to control doping in the sport.
Out-of-favour India hockey goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza on Friday tested positive for a banned substance in a random test conducted by NADA during the inaugural WSH, which concluded earlier this month.
According to sources, Adrian's 'A' sample, collected on March 21, contained "higher concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a metabolite of marijuana".
"With WSH, the highest standards of measures to control doping were provided for the first time for a domestic sporting event held in India. The sample collection was done by an authorised agency and tests were conducted in a WADA accredited laboratory (NDTL, New Delhi)," the WSH said in a statement.
"Based on the system followed by NADA, there emerged one positive drug test for tetrahydrocannabinol. The player has been informed about this, and it is possible for him to ask for a 'B' sample test within seven days' time from the date of the receipt of the order," it added.
As per Article 15 of the NADA Anti Doping Rules which relates to Public Disclosure, any other information on the identity of the player is confidential and can only be made public after all procedures are completed.
Speaking about this, Dennis Meredith, Technical Director of World Series Hockey, said, "All procedures followed by World Series Hockey were in accordance with the most stringent standards set for dope testing at any global sporting event. WSH continues to follow the same procedure for every player in our commitment to deliver a world class sports league which has the highest benchmark set for anti-doping measures."
The Times of India
We taught the world how to play hockey: Leslie Claudius
"I am honoured, especially to be namedv alongside the two greatest of sportsmen the world has seen," Claudius, now 85, said. (TOI Photo) KOLKATA: The renaming of a London underground (metro) station after him in the lead up to the London Olympics has overwhelmed Indian hockey legend Leslie Claudius, more so because he shares the honour with two fellow greats of the game, Dhyan Chand and Roop Singh.
The three Indians feature among 361 past and present athletes who have been honoured thus ahead of the July 27 quadrennial event.
"I am honoured, especially to be named alongside the two greatest of sportsmen the world has seen," Claudius, now 85, said.
However, he is anguished at the current status of the national game. "Experts are not included in the technical committees. And why do they (the Indian team) have to go for foreign coaches when we have people like (Dhanraj) Pillay, Ashok Kumar or Mohammed Shahid? We taught the world how to play the game and now they are teaching us."
His eyes, now weak with age, light up as he is informed of the naming of a London underground metro station after him.
Age and illness may have taken a toll on his body, but the enthusiasm of a sportsman is still intact. He now spends his retired life in a cosmopolitan locality of central Kolkata, relaxing with friends, and enjoying Sachin Tendulkar's batting exploits.
"Scoring a hundred hundreds is not a bloody joke, man", says Claudius, harkening back to the language of a bygone era, while refusing to compare himself with cricket's demigod, who completed a century of international tons last month. "I have my share of achievements, but Tendulkar is a true champion and deserves a Bharat Ratna for his feat."
"If it is from hockey then it has to be Dhyan Chand. His brain was attached to his stick, with which he did the magical tricks on the field," he says of the game's wizard with whom he shared a great friendship.
Claudius, who accidentally took up the game and represented the country during the golden age of Indian hockey, went on to be a Guinness World Record holder for being part of a hockey team to win the maximum number of medals at the Olympics.
In a land of a billion-plus people where a single Olympic medal sends all convulsing in joy, the modest Claudius will never tell you that he won four golds, including three on the trot.
Initially a footballer for the Bengal Nagpur Railway, Claudius took up the stick during the 1946 Beighton Cup hockey tournament as a "forced last minute" replacement for a right half and went on to make the position his own so much that many others changed their playing positions fearing that so long as he was there they won't get into the national team.
Within a year of donning the national colours, he debuted in the Olympics at London in 1948 and was part of the gold winning team for three successive games till 1956.
Talking about the game is never complete without the mention of Dhyan Chand.
Though he never played alongside him, Claudius has fond memories of the wizard with whom he shared a great friendship, often playing cards at his residence.
"He used to call me a gowraiya (sparrow). He thought I was like a small bird hopping around... wherever the ball was, I was there!
"As a selector he would often say 'Claudius selects himself; now I have to select the rest of the team'!"
The man who has many a cherished memory as a player, however, regrets losing out to Pakistan in the final of the 1960 Rome Olympics, under his captaincy.
"We played brilliantly, powering ourselves into the final, but lost by just one goal. We, by far, were the best team in the competition, but even today that hurts. Had they (Pakistan) been better, I would have had no regrets," said Claudius, unable to hide his emotions.
In the tournament, a sixth-minute Ahmad Nasir goal crashed the hopes of the Indian team, which till then had conceded a solitary goal, of becoming Olympic champions for the seventh time on the trot.
Claudius also has his grievances against Kolkata, which has been his family's abode for generations. "The kids here don't play hockey. They neglect our national game. Even for other games they do not support local clubs. They cheer for Manchester United and not Mohun Bagan or East Bengal."
What the Papers Say Today - Stick2Hockey.com
Irrfan keen on playing legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand
After winning accolades for his national level athlete-turned dacoit act in Paan Singh Tomar Irrfan Khan is now keen to essay the role of Indian hockey genius Dhyan Chand in a biopic based on the legend's life.
"It has been one of my dreams to do a role on Dhyan Chand. It seems I have grown too old to play this role. But if I get a chance to do I will definitely play the role of Dhyan Chand in a film. Dhyan Chand's story is amazing and he had made the country very proud," Irrfan told reporters in Mumbai, last evening at the DVD launch of his film, Paan Singh Tomar based on a true story of a simple farmer and an athlete who became one of the most dreaded dacoits in Chambal valley.
"He made a very big name for himself in the field of hockey and today see the condition of hockey. I think we should definitely make a film on Dhyan Chand," he said.
Recently Shah Rukh Khan had revealed that he has been approached to play the role of the hockey player.
Dhyan Chand, who is considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, is most remembered for his goal-scoring feats and for his three Olympic gold medals (1928, 1932, and 1936) in field hockey, while India was dominant in the sport.
Irfan feels that today times are changing as audience wants to see films on original subjects.
"Filmmakers have realised that audience is also hungry for original subjects, to see our own stories. They (audience) also want to see original cinema..films that have an identity...they want to see those films whose roots are based here. This section of audience has awakened the film industry and it is not just about sport films, people want to see good and original cinema," he said.
The 49-year-old would be seen next in the second installment of Tigmanshu Dhulia's hit film, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster.
He also has a Hollywood film, The Amazing Spider-Man where he essays a role of Dr Ratha, up for release on July 3.
BHF to play field
By Mike King
For the first time since 1996, a hockey season will start on grass as the AstroTurf at Wildey is still not up to the required standard.
And according to new president of the Barbados Hockey Federation (BHF), David Rouse, it is going to cost more than $600 000 to get a replacement AstroTurf.
Rouse told WEEKENDSPORT his first priority was to get the new season started.
“It is a real challenge since the AstroTurf is unsuitable for play and needs replacing without delay,” he said.
“The season would therefore have to be played on grass and this provides an even more serious challenge having to compete with the cricket format that now occupies the club grounds almost every Saturday and Sunday.
“We will have to make some adjustments if we are to complete a full season and the competitions committee is already working on the format,” said Rouse, who added that though a date had not been identified, the season would start next month.
Last season was abandoned after conditions were deemed unacceptable for play.
Rouse said the BHF was determined to get a replacement turf.
“A travel agent in [Britain], who has been bringing teams for many years to participate in the hockey festival in August and the schools’ tournaments around Easter and during the summer, has already indicated that he is not marketing hockey in Barbados until we have it replaced.
“It is therefore vital that we find the finances to get a replacement as soon as possible or lose the festival and other tournaments to other countries like Tobago who we understand is actively working on getting theirs in place.”
The only positive aspect for hockey is that the domestic game will return to the community grounds at Bank Hall, Trents and Dayrells Road, with Weymouth field also earmarked.
However, Rouse made it clear that the best teams would only visit Barbados if high-class facilities were on offer.
“Our goal is to have the turf in place with modern facilities so that we can market an attractive sports tourism package that would encourage teams from all over the world to come and train or compete in Barbados.
“Ideally, we would like to have two pitches so that we can attract major international tournaments such as the World Cup qualifiers or Pan Am Games. International hockey is not played on grass so this is our only route if we are really serious about sports tourism.”
Rouse, a former Maple player, was unopposed as president, taking over from George Bennett, a former Barbados player.
Maria Sealy is the new female vice-president. She replaced Monica Cumberbatch who did not stand for re-election after serving for more than 25 years. Sealy defeated Audrey Cox.
Katrina Alkins was returned unopposed as assistant secretary.
The directors are Leslie Austin (newcomer), Aaron Forde (returned) and Venslough Leacock (returned).
Other board members are: vice-president, Roger Broomes; secretary Sharon Estwick; treasurer Hugh McClean; and directors Audrey Cox, Susan Barnett, Kofi Hinds and Bradley Harris.