All the news for Saturday 18 August 2012
2012 World League R1 Men - Prague
Poland 5 Ukraine 0
Czech Republic 1 Belarus 2
So far, so good, for Shepherd
WORLD LEAGUE ROUND 1 - PRAGUE - 14-19 AUGUST 2012
REST DAY - MID-TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
Mission accomplished so far for coach Gordon Shepherd, his Scotland women`s side have a perfect record after three pool matches in the first round of the World League in Prague.
The Scots will already have qualified for the next round of the competition - the top four advance - but Shepherd made it clear that his ultimate target was to finish in top place.
The 2-1 victory against Belarus on Thursday was the catalyst in Shepherd`s plans, the coach reckoned they were the toughest challenge in the tournament. "I am obviously delighted with the three wins, the performances have been mixed, but beating Belarus with five players missing from last year`s European squad pleases me."
The set piece goal scoring form of Catriona Ralph has been a feature of Scotland`s success, the vice-captain has notched six goals out of the team`s total of 19 so far.
Next up today is Italy who top the pool at the moment on the same points as the Scots but with a superior goal difference. But the Italians have a difficult closing programme against Scotland and Belarus. Although Shepherd`s charges beat Italy 5-1 in a pre-tournament friendly, the Scotland coach is taking nothing for granted.
"Italy will be a tough game, they have also won their three opening games and played in the A division of the Europeans last summer. But we will be able to be more expansive in our game due to their style," Shepherd said.
A victory against Italy would almost certainly assure the Scots of top spot as the last game is against France on Sunday, they have lost all three games so far, conceding 20 goals in the process.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Auckland stamps mark on opening round of Ford NHL
Defending champions Auckland men’s and women’s sides were in ominous form in today’s opening round of the Ford National Hockey League (NHL).
The defending women’s champions Auckland showed why they are again favourites to take the K Cup women’s trophy as they demolished Northland 7-1 in Whangarei. Leading 4-0 at the break, Auckland continued their domination in the second spell with former Black Stick and captain Jan Rowsell controlling the midfield.
The Auckland men, joint champions with Central last year, went three better than their female counterparts as they thrashed Northland 10-0 in their defence of the Challenge Shield. Up just 2-0 at halftime, the Aucklanders put their foot down in the second spell with Tom Wickham, Dwayne Rowsell and Alex Shaw playing strongly.
Midlands men looked like the other form team of the league as they claimed a comprehensive 3-1 win over a young North Harbour side in Hamilton. Kookaburra Tim Deavin made a quick turnaround after his bronze medal effort at the Olympics to lead the midfield for Midlands.
The women’s feature match of the day was also in Hamilton. Midlands and North Harbour were all square at 1-1 at fulltime with the match going to a penalty shootout. The shootout was even at 4-4 before North Harbour’s Carli Michelsen was pushed wide with her effort and Shiloh Gloyn knocked in the winner for the home side.
In Wellington, the home side Capital held out a fast-finishing Central team to take a 3-2 win. Capital took a 3-0 lead in the second spell, but late goals to player coach Caryn Paewai and Michaela Curtis gave Central a chance of drawing the match. Capital managed to hold on for the win as they defended a penalty corner right on full time.
And in the final women’s game, Canterbury had a comfortable 4-1 victory over Southern in Timaru with Olivia Merry knocking in a hat trick.
In other men’s games, Capital won 4-2 at home against joint defending champions Central in a fast, open game. The goal of the match came late in the second half when Todd Gould buried the ball into the net after a lovely pass from Jake Smith.
Canterbury also started the NHL with a 3-1 win over neighbours Southern in Timaru with Trent Summers knocking in two goals.
Ford NHL action continues tomorrow with round two matches at North Harbour, Auckland, Levin and Dunedin.
The league finishes with rounds three to seven, semifinals and finals at Auckland’s Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium from 25 August to 2 September. Both finals are on Sunday 2 September.
Women: Canterbury 4 (Olivia Merry 3, Sophie Devine 1) Southern 1 (Sofie McLeod) HT: 1-0 Canterbury.
Capital 3 (Tara Hall 2, Morgan Terry) Central 2 (Caryn Paewai, Michaela Curtis) HT: 2-0 Capital.
Auckland 7 (Nicole Youman 2, Anna Wetherall 2, Honor Carter, Kate Saunders, Kushla Glauser) Northland 1(Tarannah Vette) HT: 4-0
Midlands 1 (Stacey MacDonald) North Harbour 1 (Rhiannon Dennison) HT: 1-1. 5-4 Midlands after a penalty shoot-out.
Men: Canterbury 3 (Trent Summers 2, Isaac Staples) Southern 1 (Jason Dungey) HT: 2-0
Capital 4 (Jacob Smith, Matt L’Huillier, Jared Jones, Todd Gould) Central 2 (Nick Wilson, Fergus Watts) HT: 1-1
Auckland 10 (Ben Radovonich 3, Sam Miskimmin 3, Dwayne Rowsell 2, Veeran Morar, Joe Crooks) Northland 0 HT: 2-0
Midlands 3 (Cam Hayde, Lincoln Churchill, Ricky Clark) North Harbour 1 (David Kosoof) HT: 2-1
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Auckland teams again expected to dominate league
By Terry Maddaford
The pressure will be on the Auckland teams when the 13th Ford National Hockey League hits-off today.
Outright winners of the K Cup as women's champions and joint winners of the men's battle for the Challenge Shield after last season's final was snowed off, the Auckland teams will be expected to again dominate what will be a vastly different competition this year.
Unlike last season, all teams are sporting new players. Last season all players with international aspirations, including the Olympic Games, had to play in the NHL. This year most Olympians have opted out.
Auckland women, coached by Jason Butcher, has national squad members Katie Glynn, Sam Harrison and Julia King in their NHL squad. They are joined by former Black Sticks Honor Carter, Frances Kreft, Jan Rowsell, Lucy Talbot and Kate Saunders and Australian guest player Kate Hollywood in what shapes as a strong unit.
Midlands have been a consistent performer without claiming the honours. Clarissa Eshuis, back from London, is joined by fellow Olympian Cat Finlayson and goalkeeper Sally Rutherford, one of two players (along with King) who was on the outside looking in at the Olympics and will be keen for some game time after some regular training in the Black Sticks environment in London.
Bianca Russell, a standout in goal for the Olympic team, will provide the last line of defence for 2010 winner North Harbour who will again be coached by former international Bryce Collins.
Northland, fourth last season, have been hard hit with Olympians Ella Gunson and Charlotte Harrison missing as are former Black Sticks Laura Douglas and Anna Thorpe - both mothers-to-be. The northerners will have returning Olympian Alana Millington and Nicky O'Donnell as a guest player from England.
The men's competition has been hit hard by the absence of most Olympians.
North Harbour, after their worst finish last season, will be looking to the experience of former internationals Dave Kosoof, James Coughlan, David Green and Jan Petersen, along with stalwarts Simon Brill, Daniel Shaw and Joseph Bartholomew under new coach Charlie Meredith.
Midlands will be coached by former North Harbour stalwart Brent Edwards and have Olympian Blair Hopping to add the defence steel along with goalkeeper Stephen Graham who was in London but outside the final 16. Former international Lloyd Stephen takes the player/assistant coach role.
Central have Black Sticks striker Nick Wilson to lead their attack. He will be supported by 100-plus international Ben Collier as they seek to repeat their bold 2011 showing when they reached the final which was never played.
The league opens with a double round this weekend.
In an interesting aside, North Harbour supporter Colin Chester is headed to Levin - where the Central men and women will play Canterbury tomorrow - with a load of hockey gear, 100 sticks, 60 balls, 20 pairs of shin pads and seven sets of goalkeeping gear, as a boost to the hockey community in Horowhenua.
After a five-day break, all teams will be in Auckland from August 25 to play the remaining five rounds and play-offs.
The New Zealand Herald
Search on for Black Sticks' next coach
By Terry Maddaford
Hockey New Zealand is moving quickly to fill the gap left by departing men's Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod.
McLeod, contracted until the end of the year, had always made it clear he would not be reapplying for the job.
Hockey NZ chief executive Hilary Poole said on her return from London that the national body would embark on an "open and transparent process" in their search for McLeod's replacement.
"Our aim is to make the appointment by the end of September," said Poole.
"We are confident of attracting top candidates by a combination of advertising and a search by an outside consultancy. [High performance manager] Toni Cumpston will have a role to play in this as well.
"The international hockey community is relatively small but New Zealand continues to be recognised as a force in world hockey and we are confident of finding the right person to take us through the next four years."
While Hockey NZ remain keen to host further international tournaments on the back of their successful staging of last year's Champions Trophy, Poole said much would depend on the allocation of venues for the upcoming international Hockey League.
"Any tournament here would be beyond 2015 as the next Champions Trophy tournaments for men and women have been allocated as has the 2014 World Cup which will be played - for men and women - in Holland.
"The bid documents for 2018 are not yet out but our feeling is that a combined tournament (24 teams) - if that is what the FIH [International Hockey Federation] want - would be too big for us. But the FIH are absolutely supportive of what we have done and achieved."
National women's coach Mark Hager sees 2014 as a big year for the New Zealand teams.
"In the space of just five months there will be the Champions Trophy in India, the World Cup and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games," said Hager. "We will start building towards that later in the year.
"I can understand that a number of players wanted a break after the Olympics and certainly there was, unlike last year, no pressure on the players to return for the NHL.
"Our next major event will be the new World Series in which we will join at the quarter-final stage next June at a venue yet to be determined. Ideally we would like to host a four or six team tournament in February-March to prepare for that.
"Even if the top players are missing from the NHL we will be taking a close look as we plan to name a new national squad after the league."
Encouragingly, none of the Olympic squad have yet indicted they plan to retire and while Hager welcomes the likelihood of a settled squad, he is keen to give other players a chance with the attack the centre of his attention.
The New Zealand Herald
Baljit cuts TNB's connection
ONE of the best defenders in the world, Baljit Singh, will leave Tenaga Nasional and join UniKL for the Malaysia Hockey League starting on Sept 1.
Baljit made his senior international debut for Malaysia in the 2007 Azlan Shah Cup, and has 134 caps to his name.
"There is a feeling of sadness leaving Tenaga but I needed a change in my career and that's why I decided to join UniKL this season.
"I thank Tenaga for giving me a chance to represent them and also work for them but there comes a time when tough decisions need to be made and I felt the timing is important, both in terms of my career and my game," said Baljit.
An Andersonian, he represented the Ipoh school in the 2002/2003 Junior Hockey League and then joined Tenaga in 2004 and helped them to the overall titles in the MHL in 2004, 2007 and 2009.
And it was the 2009 MHL that Baljit fondly remembers: "It was then that we won the overall title and I was named as the best player of the tournament."
Baljit had wanted to move to UniKL last season, but a counter offer by Tenaga Nasional Berhad stopped the move.
"Playing for UniKL offers me a new challenge as they are a young team and I will have to guide youngsters in defence. But I take it as a challenge."
He will play the role of sweeper for UniKL in the coming MHL, something that the lanky defender is accustomed to as he has often been called upon to double up in that role in the national team.
"I look forward to a good outing and though it is a short league, there will be quality matches each week. I aim to do my part to help UniKL make the semis and take it from there," said Baljit.
New Straits Times
Defender Baljit to play for UniKL in hockey league
All set: Baljit Singh will be playing as a sweeper for UniKL, a role that is familiar to him as he has played in that position for the national team
KUALA LUMPUR: National defender Baljit Singh will be donning Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) colours when the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) begins on Sept 1.
The Ipoh-born player was to have joined UniKL last year but decided to accept the counter-offer made by his employers Tenaga Nasional.
However, Baljit has now accepted UniKL’s offer and has even started working for them.
The 26-year-old said he was sad to leave Tenaga Nasional, having worked and played for them since 2004.
“I needed a change in my career. I want to thank TNB for giving me a chance to represent and work for them but there comes a time when tough decisions need to be made. I feel that UniKL’s offer came at the right time in terms of my career and hockey,” said Baljit.
“Playing for UniKL offers me a new challenge as they are a young team and I will get a chance to guide some of the youngsters in defence. It is a challenge I am capable of handling.”
Baljit has 134 international caps and made his debut for the national squad at the 2007 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. He last featured for the national team in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in May.
Baljit, a former student of Anderson High School, represented the school in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) in 2002 and 2003.
He joined TNB in 2004 and helped them to three overall titles – in 2004, 2007 and 2009.
But it is 2009 that holds fond memories for Baljit.
“That was the year we won the overall title and I was named the best player of the tournament,” he recalled.
Baljit will play as a sweeper for UniKL, a role that is familiar to him as he has played in that position with the national team.
“I am looking forward to a good outing. The MHL has been shortened and there will be quality matches each week. I aim to help UniKL make the semis ... and then we’ll take it from there,” said Baljit.
Besides UniKL and Tenaga, the other teams featuring in the Premier Division of the MHL are double champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC), Sapura, Maybank and MBI-Nur Insafi.
The League will end on Oct 10.
The Star of Malaysia
Oilmen, Paragon clash in hockey decider
Table leader Petrotrin will go into its top-of-the-table clash with second placed Paragon today, needing only a point to complete a hat-trick of titles in the T&T Hockey Board Men’s Championship Division. The Oilmen will enter their 6.30 pm meeting with Paragon at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua with a comfortable three-point cushion and a goal-difference of plus 41 to it rivals’ plus 34, meaning it can also afford to lose the match by six clear goals and still hold onto its title. When both teams met in the first round, Petrotrin came away with a 3-1 win and the star-studded Oilmen line-up which include national players Tristan Grant, Solomon Eccles, Atiba Whittington, Ron Alexander and Wayne Legerton, will no doubt want to add another win against Paragon, which has already won the “Big-Four” crown.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame bolstered its claims to the Women’s Championship crown with an 11-1 thrashing of Defence Force on Tuesday led by hat-trick from national senior women’s team forward Blair Wynne and her cousin, Stephanie Whiteman. Dana-Lee De Gannes and Kayla Brathwaite added two goals each for the Dames while Carol Wynn-Whiteman, Stephanie’s mother got the other for the winners. Wynette Campbell netted a 28th minute goal for Defence Force. The win pushed the Dames to 34 points from 13 matches and assured of the title at least for now as second placed Paragon has 25 points and only two matches left. However, there are Disciplinary Committee matters involving Notre Dame that has gone before the T&T Olympic Committee which means Paragon are still in the hunt.
Notre Dame 11 (Stephanie Whiteman 9th, 26th, 37th, Blair Wynne 11th, 16th, 56th, Dana-Lee De Gannes 24th, 62nd, Kayla Brathwaite 35th, 65th, Carol Whiteman 21st) vs Defence Force 1 (Wynette Campbell 28th).
Magnolias 2 (Stacey Siu Butt 15th, Nicole Lee 28th) vs Checkers 1 (Jevanna George 18th).
The Trinidad Guardian
Olympic Hockey: Country wise Appearances
By B.G.Joshi (India)
From 1908-2012, 22 versions of Olympic Hockey for men have played. For appearances and matches played by the nations, following points are worth mentioning:
- England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales separate appearance in 1908 Olympics cannot be recorded as 4 appearances for Great Britain /England. It should go to record book as 1 appearance.
- In the 1964 Olympics, GDR beat FRG in a 3-match playoff to represent Germany in the Olympics. In the 1968 Olympics, both FRG (Federal Republic of Germany) and GDR (German Democratic Republic) participated separately in the men's hockey competition. GDR's record in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics has not included in Germany, whereas FRG (1952-60, 1968-88) records merged in Germany (1908-36, 1992-2012).
- In 1952 Olympics consolation round Belgium beat Poland 4-3, but this match annulled because Belgians players used oversized sticks. Tournament Director ordered replay in which Poland beat Belgium 1-0. Goal scored by Jan Flinik, 3-Flinik brothers (Alfons, Henryk and Jan) played in a match first time in Olympic Hockey history.
- In 1960 Olympics after 40 minutes of extra time Australia-Kenya classification match’s score was 1-1, darkness prevented further play. Toss of coin favours Australia. In 5th place match Australia beat New Zealand 2-1, but this match cancelled on the ground that Australia should first meet Kenya for replay as Kenyan appeal upheld against toss of coin. Match was replayed; Australia beat Kenya 2-1.Now for 5th place match New Zealand beat Australia 1-0.
- Equal in points after pool matches Teams played a deciding match for entry in knock out stage from 1956 to 1976.
Considering all above technical facts, appearances and matches played and won by 12 competitors of London-2012 are as under (includes London results):
|4||Great Britain||17||104||49||3 Gold||12-1968|
|6||New Zealand||11||76||31||1 Gold||13-1964|
|7||South Korea||6||40||12||1 Silver||10-1988|
|10||Argentina||10||66||13||5 - 1948||14- 1968,72|
|11||India||19||120||75||8 Gold||12- 2012|
Mission ‘hockey bachao’ set to surface again
By Our Correspondent
Samiullah said that former players will launch a campaign after a dismal performance in the Olympics. PHOTO: AFP
KARACHI: Former hockey greats who are unhappy with Pakistan’s performance in London are gearing up to launch a campaign against the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) set-up… again.
The Olympians, including Samiullah, Shahnaz Sheikh, Qamar Zia, Qamar Ibrahim and Salim Sherwani besides others, are on board to start campaign to remove the PHF officials after Pakistan finished seventh in the Olympics, a campaign that also included a 7-0 drubbing against Australia.
Pakistan, during the current PHF set-up headed by Qasim Zia having Asif Bajwa as secretary, finished eighth in Beijing Olympics 2008 besides a bottom-place finish in the World Cup that prompted former players to call for Bajwa’s removal from the post. While poor results at the Commonwealth Games and the last Azlan Shah Cup are among the other failures of the team during the period, the 2010 Asian Games gold medal was the only respite for the hockey team.
“We failed where it mattered,” Samiullah told The Express Tribune. “This PHF has failed to bring any improvement in over four years and now these officials must quit themselves. We can’t see any future planning by the PHF. This federation has even failed to form a proper back-up of youngsters.”
Samiullah said various Olympians have decided to launch a campaign to remove this set.
“We will be on a rescue hockey mission after Eid. As a first step, we will sit and prepare the campaign’s strategy that may include meeting dignitaries, including the prime minister, to plead our case. We may even launch a protest in order to save our national sport.”
Samiullah, however said the campaign which is aimed to save the national game from complete destruction will be run in a civilised manner.
The Express Tribune
IOA to decide who should run hockey in India
Under the directive of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has set up a three-member committee to decide on who should run the game in the country out of the two warring bodies — Hockey India (HI) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF). The committee, which was formed by the IOA last month, will be headed by former Wrestling Federation of India president G.S. Mander along with Indian Weightlifting Federation chief Birendra Prasad Baishya and Handball Federation of India secretary-general S.M. Bali.
Mander told PTI that a hearing of views of both HI and IHF will be held on August 21 and the committee will submit its report by August 31.
“The committee has been tasked to determine which one of the two is the legitimate body to run hockey in the country and which would be recognised by the IOA and FIH. It has been constituted under the directive of the FIH that the matter should be decided before the end of August,” said Mander who is also the IOA Vice President.
Mander said HI and IHF have submitted their views in writing to the committee and both the bodies have been called for a hearing on August 21. “Both HI and IHF have submitted their views and claims. We have asked them to submit their counter-claims also. They have done that. Now we have asked them to come for a personal hearing on August 21.
“A representative of IHF will come for hearing on the morning of August 21 and HI will be heard on the afternoon. We will study all their submissions, statutes of the FIH and IOA. After that we will submit our report to the IOA and FIH before the deadline of August 31,” he said.
Three-member committee to resolve hockey affairs
The Indian Olympic Association has set up a three-member committee to resolve the issue of how best to run the affairs of hockey in the country.
The two warring bodies – Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation – have been asked to present their case before the committee on August 21. The three-member committee, set up following directions from the International Hockey Federation last month, comprises the former Wrestling Federation of India president G.S. Mander, the Indian Weightlifting Federation president Birendra Prasad Baishya and the Handball Federation of India secretary-general S.M. Bali. The committee will submit its report on August 31.
Revealing this on the sidelines of a function to honour the Olympic medallists in the Capital on Friday, the IOA President V.K. Malhotra said, “It is high time we resolved the hockey mess and moved on. We are hoping that something concrete comes out by the month-end.”
Hockey debacle a disappointment: IOA
NEW DELHI: Indian Olympic Association on Friday expressed disappointment at the country's hockey debacle in the just-concluded Olympics but said that qualifying for the London Games was an "improvement" from missing out of the Beijing Games four years ago.
India lost all their six matches in London to finish last in the 12-team competition but IOA acting president V K Malhotra said that qualifying for the Olympics was better than not making to Beijing Games.
"It's a disappointment in hockey. But at least we qualified this time. We did not even qualify in Beijing in 2008," Malhotra told reporters at the sidelines of the felicitation programme of Olympics medal winners, organised by electronics major Samsung.
"We will have a review of the performance of Indian athletes in London Olympics, including the hockey debacle. We will see what went wrong," he added.
Malhotra said winning six medals this time was a big jump but the country needs much more and to do that, he said the Indian government would need to invest more money in sports.
"We won six medals in London and it is more than the medals we won in the four earlier Olympics. It's a big achievement but we need more," he said.
"The corporate houses have started coming in but the government will need to spend more money in sports. It's true that the sports ministry spent substantial amount of money this time but it is not enough.
"See the percentage of the money in terms of GDP spent on sports in India and that in other major sporting countries. It's very low in the country and we need to increase this. Some years back sports was looked after by a deputy minister. It's no longer now but we need more money in sports," he added.
The Times of India
All players asked to submit report
Uthra Ganesan Chaturvedi
Indian hockey’s worst Olympic nightmare (if one discounts the failure to qualify for the Beijing edition in 2008) may have finally ended at the Riverbank Arena in London but the post-mortem of the same continues. And this time, there will be 20 doctors dissecting the team’s dismal performance.
According to team sources, every player of the squad has been asked to give his own report on what went wrong with the team at the Olympics. For a long time, the rule in Indian hockey was that only the team manager would submit a report on the team’s performance after every tour. Then, in the late 1990s, the coach started adding his own assessment. In recent times, the captain was also asked to give his own specific report.
It also made sense for these three people to voice their opinions – the captain being the one actually in the middle, the coach being the one who made the plans and the manager being the federation representative on the outside. But it’s for the first time that every one present at London – all the players, the physiotherapist and the doctor included – has been asked to come up with their own reports.
However, the players refuse to come on record regarding the same – despite everything, some things never change in Indian hockey, one of them being “off record” on any topic fearing official retribution. “Off record”, therefore, the players admit they have been asked to submit the reports.
“Senior players, those with about 2-3 years experience, have been asked to give a complete, detailed report on what they think went wrong while the younger players have only been told to give a brief idea. Even though no player wants to get personally involved since this is a team failure and not individual blame game, but we have all been asked for our inputs and opinions,” said a player.
At one level, this may seem a good thing. After all, even the juniormost player in the team (Manpreet Singh) is old enough to vote and be counted as an adult, and if he is qualified enough to be part of the national team, he definitely must be considered mature and intelligent enough to understand the game. Australian legend Ric Charlesworth’s training method often includes dividing his players into small groups of 3, 4 or 6 and making them play each other, with no instructions – they have to work out their own gameplans and strategies.
Even India coach Michael Nobbs experimented with the idea in his initial days. In his first camp in charge, Nobbs did the same – making players lay six-a-side hockey on half turf with no instructions except to score as much as possible and stop the opposition from scoring. It may seem simple but any team that can do both these tasks effectively would, practically, become unbeatable! However, once the team started participating in competitions, he fell back into the traditional pattern of training, having a core group of decision makers and putting the experimental idea on the backburner. For the federation to now go back to the drawing board and trying to get all players’ opinion appears more an attempt to spread the blame equally rather than any serious effort at finding the cause of the London debacle. If anything, this should have been done after the Olympic qualifiers, and by the coach himself, giving everyone enough time to work out the glitches.
One of the players admitted that even though everyone will have to give a report, he was not sure how many will be willing to be honest in their opinion. “See, the reason we stay off record is because no one wants individual trouble. Now, if we go out and be very honest in our individual reports, no one will know what will happen next. So, what’s the purpose? If every player writes ‘poor finish, bad defence, poor trapping” etc, then asking for individual reports has no meaning. Unless, of course, all reports remain anonymous!” he said.
Another player seconded saying he expected most players to go the collective way, him included. “Why take panga or stand out? Better to be part of the team, no?”
In such a scenario, it would be naive to expect any worthwhile outcome of the entire exercise.
Indian hockey way forward: Recall Ric and Brasa, retain Nobbs
It’s time for Indian hockey to think positively and take bold decisions. Such an approach is needed to firmly re-launch a program that can yield results on sustainable basis. There is no point in whining and bashing everything and everyone.
Our fall has been steady. Its exactly five years ago, when 2006 Asian Games was not played, 2008 Olympic Qualifier was far away, the FIH visualized the total downfall of Indian hockey. With the active support of International Olympic Committee, it supported bringing a top notch coach for India, and it happened to be Richard Charlesworth.
Its waste of time to narrate how the great coach was forced to leave India midway through 2008. Had he been continued, suffice to stay, we would not have had to face the humiliation we had ultimately to, in London.
Ric was in India for six months; did all the spade work the expert of his standard was expected to. He submitted a revival plan on the eve of his pre-mature departure. His wisdom fell on the duff years of powers that be who were then, and even now, a rolling mass.
Now, the Indian hockey is back to square, at least from the popular public point of view. After deep thinking on the way forward, I am of the firm opinion that both Richard Charesworth and Jose Brasa – who worked in India for about a year with the senior team – should be recalled, the services and experiences they gained, need to be harnessed right earnestly.
Coaches migrate, accept new assignments after Olympics. Now it is ideal time for India to avail the opportunity, and go for the hunt.
Make Richard Charlesworth as Technical Director in charge of elite performance of Indian hockey. If he wants to be the chief coach of men’s team, so be it. Nobbs can be his deputy for which he won’t have any qualms.
Michael Nobbs, who has a five-year contract, ought to be continued, and India cannot afford to lose sight of his experience he gained here so far.
With Ric and Nobbs at the top, the next step is to divide India in to four or five zones, and make a coach in charge of each. There should be severe selection process of each state team under every Zone, followed by intense preparation which will culminate in a Zonal tournament.
Let Jose Brasa be in charge of a zone. Others comes in mid include Rajinder Singh Sr., Vasudevan Baskaran, Harendra Singh, Ajay Kumar Bansal, Joaquim Carvalho, Cedric D’Souza, MK Kaushik, Baldev Singh and others. Each of them has in the past trained major Indian teams with mixed fortunes, and entertain a grouse that they were not given enough time to deliver.
Each zonal coaching staff will formulate their own plan to develop Statewise age group teams and then the main senior team for elite performance before seamlessly merging into a Zonal team.
From this quantity will come quality players.
There are lot many international players who claim their interest to train national team, but I am of the view that no one should come to coach senior team straight away. This policy has killed Indian hockey. There are about 20 strong hockey states in India, which will come under the Zone. Let each of these interested former players / coaches train a State within the Zone concept, and prove their worth before graduating to Zonal coach and then National Coach. And this will be based how their team perform.
The Zonal activities are proposed to round off in a yearly circle.
As a prerequisite to make the program successful, Indian senior should not play in the forthcoming Champions Trophy. One year moratorium is must. Indian junior team should be fielded in the Champions Trophy and other tournaments, keeping next year’s Junior World Cup in mind, and also not to create a sense of complacency among the senior India prospects.
Hockey India League or Word Series Hockey league will be of no use unless and until all Indian players take part in both. Given the ego situation now, this is not going to happen. Therefore, HIL and WSH will not serve national interests, though it might cater to, and entertain, younger fans.
India now faces collective failure due to collective sin. What is now required is collective wisdom to move forward. That’s why let us collect best of world’s and Indian brain to seek solution.
Therefore, recall all the greats who had come to India to serve and could not do so for reasonable time frame for variety of reasons.
Availing services of so many foreigners and the Indians who proved their worth, will entail great deal of expenses.
Its worth spending, as hockey is in serious trouble and warrant huge effort to revive.
Plans to revive hockey - in hues of pink and blue
With the present Indian hockey team giving its worst performance in the London Olympics, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal wants a colourful revival for the national game - in shades of pink and blue to be precise, a' la London.
When India was a formidable hockey playing nation at the international level, the dusty grounds of Sansarpur, a village on the outskirts of Jalandhar, used to be the nursery of champion players. Now Badal plans to resurrect the game in the state by duplicating the colours of the Astroturf in London.
Badal, who is also Punjab Sports Minister and was in London last week for the Olympic Games, has drawn up a Rs.418-crore plan to strengthen the sports infrastructure in the state.
Accompanied on the trip by Parminder Singh Dhindsa, the Finance Minister of fund-starved and debt-ridden Punjab, and Pargat Singh, former Indian hockey team captain and Olympian, who is now a legislator of the ruling Akali Dal, Badal said he was committed to restoring "Punjab's old glory in hockey".
He said the upcoming hockey stadium at Mohali, near Chandigarh, would have blue and pink colour astroturfs on the lines of the ones used in the London Games. He went around the hockey stadiums in London, where the Indian team was on a losing spree.
While neighbouring Haryana is claiming that four out of the six medals won by India this time were bagged by players with Haryana connections -- wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, shooter Gagan Narang and badminton ace Saina Nehwal -- Punjab has none to show on its report card this time.
Badal's ambitious sporting plans include better sports infrastructure, nurturing sporting talent right from Class 1 and building the competitive spirit among players.
"We have already constructed seven hockey stadiums with world class astroturfs and seven more would be added in the next three years," Badal said after meeting top International Hockey Federation functionaries in London.
Under one of the plans for revival of hockey in the state, the Punjab government has decided to support the Surjit Hockey Society which organises the annual Surjit memorial hockey tournament in the state. The tournament is in the memory of former Olympian Surjit Singh Randhawa, an acclaimed full back in the game, who died in a car accident in 1984.
Hockey on last breath in Gujarat
AHMEDABAD: India's hockey team coach, Michael Nobbs and Ahmedabad district coach, Jwalant Bhatt share something common. They are both struggling to inject life in to the game which seems to have breath its last.
India hockey team summed up their worst-ever Olympic campaign where they finished last, while in the city, at district selection trials held at Gujarat College ground, Bhatt struggled to get enough candidates to list for the junior boys' and senior men's teams for the upcoming 2nd Gujarat State Hockey Championships in Rajkot later this month.
"The story of the national game is all but sorrow. Hardly any parents allow their children to pick up a hockey stick," lamented Bhatt.
According to Bhatt, a former national player himself, public interest in the game has vanished and is virtually dying. "In the past, this very ground used to be brimming with young boys and girls. There used to be stiff competition for a berth in the district and subsequently the state teams. But, not anymore," he said, while showing the registration list.
Bhatt showed the list of the 73 boys vying for the junior team and 35 for the senior team trials. "Of the 73 junior boys, 33 were from Aslali and Vehlal, rural areas of Ahmedabad district, which shows the utter lack of interest in hockey in the city," he said.
The Times of India