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News for 18 November 2014

All the news for Tuesday 18 November 2014

Draws for Black Sticks teams in Wellington

Pictured: Brooke Neal in action during today's final game against Australia at the National Hockey Stadium

It was an exciting night in Wellington with the Black Sticks Women drawing 3-3 in their final match of their three-test series against Australia and the Black Sticks Men opening their series against Japan with a 1-1 draw.

The Black Sticks Women lost a 3-2 lead in the final 30 seconds of the game when Australian Ashleigh Nelson scored a field goal ending a quarter that was packed full of intense end-to-end hockey.

Stacey Michelsen got the Kiwis away to a stellar start when she scored in the third minute and despite having three players carded, the Kiwis rallied and held their lead. In the second quarter, Black Stick Olivia Merry made it 2-0 but  Australia hauled themselves back into the game thanks to quick goals from Jodie Kenny and Kathryn Slattery.

After a scoreless third quarter, Michelsen got her second of the game proving Mark Hager’s plan to move her up the field is fruitful. Despite New Zealand’s best efforts in the final five minutes, Australia’s Ashleigh Nelson gave Australia a draw and a 1-0 series win. 

In the earlier men’s game, six players made their debut - Richard Bain (Canterbury, striker), George Enersen (Canterbury, goalkeeper), Dane Lett (Capital, defender), Dwayne Rowsell (Auckland, defender) and Nic Woods (Midlands, midfielder). While Danielle Sutherland (Auckland, defender/midfielder) debuted today for the Black Sticks Women.

In a game full of action, it remained scoreless until the 51st minute when Bain put the Kiwis ahead with a superb deflection from George Muir. But the tables quickly turned and it was only a minute later that Miyu Tanimitsu converted a penalty corner to equalise.

On reflection, Bain said it was pretty unbelievable to score a goal on debut and considering the short time the team have been together, he was encouraged by their performance.

“In the first half it felt a little bit disjointed, but in the second half we started to create better connections between each other and it came together, I think if we had have taken our chances we could have been up on that game,” said Bain.

“To score a goal was pretty special, I saw George Muir and he basically put it on a platter for me – so yeah, pretty stoked.”

The Black Sticks Women now start packing their bags ahead of the FIH Champions Trophy which starts on 29 November in Mendoza, Argentina. The Black Sticks Men play Japan in their second test at 7pm on Wednesday in Wellington, before heading to the Coastlands Kapiti Sports Turf where they play their final two games of the series at 7pm on Friday and 6pm on Saturday.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.dashtickets.co.nz, and if you can’t make it to the game, watch it live and on-demand at www.hockeynz.co.nz/video


Full time: 1-1
Half time: 0-0

NZ goal scorers: Richard Bain

Japan goal scorers: Miyu Tanimitsu


Full time: 3-3
Half time: 2-2

NZ goal scorers: Stacey Michelsen x2, Olivia Merry

Australia goal scorers: Jodie Kenny, Kathryn Slattery, Ashleigh Nelson

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Series win for Hockeyroos

Hockeyroos strike late with Nelson to draw 3-3 and win NZ series

Photo: Masanori Udagawa www.photowellington.photoshelter.com

Yet again the Hockeyroos struck late to secure a result against the New Zealand Black Sticks on Tuesday as Ashleigh Nelson netted with just 20 seconds remaining to earn a 3-3 draw and with it seal a 1-0 series win.

As they had on Saturday, the Australian women found themselves two goals behind but rallied to level for two-all at the half time break as first Jodie Kenny and then Kathryn Slattery struck to cancel out goals from Stacey Michelsen and Olivia Merry. When Michelsen broke through with ten minutes remaining, roofing her shot into the top corner, it looked as if the Hockeyroos might be destined for defeat but Emily Smith’s deflected cross was coolly batted home at waist height by Nelson in the dying seconds.

While the Hockeyroos might have paid the price for some defensive lapses, Assistant Coach Jason Duff said the team’s commitment to the end is what earned the result.

Speaking afterwards, Duff said, “We didn’t start well. New Zealand came out ready to play and we conceded early. Then we conceded again. We gave up too many opportunities throughout which is something we need to work on but we made up for it with a bit of endeavor. It’s good for the girls to see they can play right to the end. It’s a good sign can we stay the distance and get something out of it.”

As the Hockeyroos prepare to head to Argentina on Wednesday for the Champions Trophy, Duff said the series and the opportunity to blood some exciting new talent had been a success.

“Both teams have given opportunities to younger players in the series. Our younger players have stepped up and performed very well. It’s been a fantastic series that has allowed us to look at our structure and shape and work on some things going into the Champions Trophy.”

Michelsen’s third minute opener came as a result of a melee in the Australian circle as Australia looked to get up to the tempo of their hosts. Despite the Kiwis losing three players to green and yellow cards in a matter of minutes, the Hockeyroos were unable to capitalise from a brace of penalty corners in the opening quarter.

Failure to clear the ball from defence saw the Hockeyroos concede again soon after the restart with Olivia Merry deflecting a pass from the left hand side beyond Ashlee Wells in the Australian goal. Six minutes later a powerful low penalty corner flick from Kenny nestled in the bottom corner, halving the deficit, before Slattery deflected home in front of the near post from a cross from the right.

The game opened up in the second half with both sides earning but failing to convert penalty corners before Michelsen broke clear to rifle the Black Sticks back in front. But as in both previous matches the Hockeyroos refused to accept the score and continued to look for an opening. It came with just 20 seconds remaining as Amelia Spence burst forward from midfield, finding Emily Smith on the right whose cross was deflected off a New Zealand defender’s stick into the ground and up into the path of Nelson waiting at the back post. 

Australia’s women depart for the Champions Trophy in Argentina on Wednesday with Europe-based Anna Flanagan and Casey Sablowski set to join up with the Hockeyroos in Mendoza having not returned for the New Zealand series. They replace Kate Denning and Georgie Morgan from the series. The Hockeyroos’ Champions Trophy campaign begins against Commonwealth Games silver medallists England. Matches against Argentina and Germany follow.

The Hockeyroos’ campaign will be shown live in Australian on the ABC.

Stacey Michelsen 3, 50 (FG, FG)
Olivia Merry 18 (FG)

Jodie Kenny 24 (PC)
Kathryn Slattery 27 (FG)
Ashleigh Nelson 60 (FG)

Hockeyroos squad v New Zealand
Name (Hometown, State) Caps/Goals
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD) 192/10
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 56/2
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD) 58/2
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 122/68
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 55/6
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 140/27
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 163/62
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 38/8
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 102/43
Amelia Spence (Hobart, TAS) 3/0
Ashlee Wells (GK) (Morwell, VIC) 36/0

Used Substitute
Mathilda Carmichael (Willoughby, NSW) 18/1
Kate Denning (South Perth, WA) 4/0
Rebecca Dwyer (née Reuter) (Toowoomba, QLD) 8/0
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW) 3/0
Gabrielle Nance (Kingscliff, NSW) 3/0
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA) 3/2

Unused Substitute
Audrey Smith (GK) (Wynnum, QLD) 1/0

Hockeyroos’ Upcoming Fixtures
All times and dates are Australian Eastern Daylight Savings time
Sunday 30 November – Champions Trophy v England – Mendoza, Argentina – 6:30am AEDT
Monday 1 December – Champions Trophy v Argentina – Mendoza, Argentina – 9:00am AEDT
Wednesday 3 December – Champions Trophy v Germany – Mendoza, Argentina – 3:00am AEDT
Friday 5 December – Champions Trophy quarter finals – Mendoza, Argentina
Sunday 7 December – Champions Trophy semi-final/playoffs – Mendoza, Argentina
Monday 8 December – Champions Trophy medal matches/playoffs – Mendoza, Argentina

Hockey Australia media release

Late strike secures hockey series for Aussie women


LOSING OUT LATE: Ashleigh Nelson of Australia, right, celebrates a goal as Stacey Michelsen protests. Photosport

Lightning struck twice for the women's Black Sticks who came within 30 seconds of squaring their series with Australia before suffering late heartbreak tonight.

Australia claimed the three-game series 1-0 after Ashleigh Nelson scored at the death to snatch a 3-3 draw at Wellington's National Hockey Stadium.

It may have been cruel but it was another reminder of the gap between the world's second and fourth-ranked sides as they prepare for the Champions Trophy in Argentina.

Converted striker Stacey Michelsen had appeared to be New Zealand's saviour as she scored two goals, including a superb tomahawk strike into the roof of the net in the final quarter, opening a 3-2 lead.

But, just as they did in Sunday's 3-2 win, Australia showed a liking for the pressure cooker to score late and elicit groans from the hopeful home crowd.

A series draw would have been the perfect confidence booster for coach Mark Hager's team but at least his experiment with Michelsen can now be deemed a success.

Stung by Sunday's last-minute defeat, New Zealand ripped straight into their work and Michelsen took just two minutes to open the scoring.

Usually a midfielder, Michelsen had been determined to make more of an impact after a quiet weekend in her new position.

The classy 23-year-old did just that, showing a poacher's instinct to latch onto a loose ball in a congested circle and poke into the net.

But a dream opening quickly turned into a potential nightmare as three Black Sticks were sent to the sideline for indiscretions.

Ella Gunson was the first to cop a card and Petrea Webster (leaving her feet in a tackle) and Natasha Fitzsimons (backchatting the umpire) followed, leaving the hosts with just eight players.

Somehow they survived the inevitable Australian assault as the cards expired, with experienced keeper Sally Rutherford making a high stick save to deny Jodie Kenny's penalty corner flick.

It gave the hosts a lift, and the lead was doubled three minutes into the second quarter as Olivia Merry showed great commitment to dive in at the near post and deflect in a cross from the left.

But Australia are not world No 2 by accident and the fightback was led by their skipper Kenny.

The powerful defender defeated Rutherford with her drag flick and the second quarter goal-rush continued through Kathryn Slattery.

There was an element of luck as Slattery, at full stretch, thrust her stick out in hope and got the desired result to score just her second international goal.

Momentum was all with the Hockeyroos but halftime proved valuable for New Zealand, who were able to settle and play out a scoreless third quarter before the dramatic conclusion.


New Zealand 3 (Stacey Michelsen 2, Olivia Merry) Australia 3 (Jodie Kenny, Kathryn Slattery, Ashleigh Nelson) HT: 2-2


Japan prove stern opponents for Black Sticks


HARD TASK: New Zealand's Steve Edwards is put under pressure by a resolute Japanese defence. Photosport

A new-look men's Black Sticks side discovered the step up to international hockey is a significant one as New Zealand were held to a 1-1 draw by Japan in the opening game of a four-test series in Wellington tonight.

With five of his big guns playing club hockey in Europe, Kiwi coach Colin Batch fielded seven debutants - Richard Bain, George Enersen, Richard Joyce, Dane Lett, Willie Davidson, Dwayne Rowsell and Nic Woods - for the clash at a sun drenched National Hockey Stadium.

Even understrength, New Zealand - ranked sixth in the world to Japan's 14 - would have expected to emerge victorious but found the going tough against the well organised and determined visitors.

It looked as though Canterbury striker Bain would be the hero when he broke the deadlock with nine minutes to play, getting a deft deflection on George Muir's powerful drive into the circle.

But that jubilation was short-lived as Japan immediately swung back onto attack, winning a penalty corner that was expertly converted by Shunya Miyazaki.

Suddenly a once cagey affair had exploded into life and New Zealand's intensity lifted noticeably as they pressed for the winner.

That left them susceptible to the counter attack and Japan had a great chance to snatch it in the final seconds but Kenta Tanaka could not quite control the ball with the goal at his mercy.

It was a disappointing result but Batch is unlikely to reach for the panic button given Phil Burrows, Shea McAleese, Hugo Inglis, Stephen Jenness and Alex Shaw are expected to return for the Champions Trophy in Argentina, starting later this month.

The Black Sticks dominated possession for most of the match but struggled to create clear-cut chances in the first half especially.

Strikers Simon Child, James Coughlan and Jacob Smith were starved of quality service as Japan defended deeper and deeper although Arun Panchia began to find space to run in midfield as the game gradually opened up.

You had the feeling it would take a slice of individual brilliance from captain Child but New Zealand will be unhappy at being unable to close out the game after Bain broke through.

Presumably the seven rookies will be better for the experience when the series continues at the same venue tomorrow.


New Zealand 1 (Richard Bain) Japan 1 (Miyu Tanimitsu) HT: 0-0


Debutant Willie Davidson to replace injured Shay Neal

Pictured: Willie Davidson aims a shot at Midlands goalkeeper Stephen Graham. www.photosport.co.nz

There will be a seventh Black Stick player debuting during this week’s series against Japan - Canterbury’s Willie Davidson has been called in at late notice to replace Shay Neal.

The 24-year old striker, who was named in the 2014/2015 Development Squad following the Ford National Hockey League, said he was stoked to get the call-up from coach Colin Batch.

“It’s not always the best way to make a team when someone is injured – I didn’t realise that Shay was out. I guess it was a bit of a shock to get the call from Colin. I’m a bit nervous – I’m the first one in the family to have represented New Zealand – I don’t think it will sink in until I’m on the turf,” said Davidson.

Davidson is rooming with his Carlton Redcliffs team mate George Enersen, who is also on debut, and says it’s great to have a few players in the same boat to share the experience.

“It’s pretty special to debut with both George and Richard [Bain]. We all went to Christchurch Boys High and have come through Canterbury age groups from Hatch Cup, which is pretty cool.”

Davidson says his speed, goal scoring and elimination skills are his strengths but he knows it will be a big step up to play an international test.
“We have been watching video of the Japanese today and the level of hockey is a lot faster, there’s a lot less room for error,” said Davidson.

Other players on debut during this series are Richard Bain (Canterbury, striker), George Enersen (Canterbury, goalkeeper), Richard Joyce (North Harbour, goalkeeper), Dane Lett (Capital, defender), Dwayne Rowsell (Auckland, defender) and Nic Woods (Midlands, midfielder).

The Black Sticks Men face Japan in their first test tomorrow at 5pm at the National Hockey Centre in Wellington before the Black Sticks Women face Australia at 7pm in their final test of the series. The Black Sticks Men and Japan play at the same venue again at 7pm on Wednesday, before heading up to Paraparaumu where they play their final two games at the Coastlands Kapiti Sports Turf at 7pm this Friday and 6pm this Saturday.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Willie Davidson called up to Black Sticks squad

LATE REPLACEMENT: Canterbury's Willie Davidson, right, replace Shay Neal in the Black Sticks squad for their test series against Japan. OISIN DUKE/Fairfax NZ

Canterbury's Willie Davidson has been summoned at late notice to replace Shay Neal in the Black Sticks men's team for their four-test series against Japan starting tonight in Wellington.

Davidson becomes the seventh uncapped player in the squad.

The 24-year-old striker, who was named in the 2014/2015 national development squad, said he was thrilled to get the call-up from coach Colin Batch.

"It's not always the best way to make a team when someone is injured - I didn't realise that Shay was out.

"I guess it was a bit of a shock to get the call from Colin.

"I'm a bit nervous - I'm the first one in the family to have represented New Zealand - I don't think it will sink in until I'm on the turf," said Davidson.

Davidson is rooming with his Carlton-Redcliffs team-mate George Enersen, who is also on debut, and said it was great to have a few players in the same boat to share the experience.

"It's pretty special to debut with both George and Richard [Bain]. We all went to Christchurch Boys' High and have come through Canterbury age groups from Hatch Cup, which is pretty cool."

Davidson said his speed, goal scoring and elimination skills were his strengths but he knew it would be a big step up to play an international test.

"We have been watching video of the Japanese and the level of hockey is a lot faster, there's a lot less room for error," said Davidson.

Other players on debut during this series are Richard Bain (Canterbury, striker), George Enersen (Canterbury, goalkeeper), Richard Joyce (North Harbour, goalkeeper), Dane Lett (Capital, defender), Dwayne Rowsell (Auckland, defender) and Nic Woods (Midlands, midfielder).


Canadian Men’s National Team headed to New Zealand for winter training and test matches

Shaheed Devji

With winter all but officially arrived in Canada, the Canadian men’s national field hockey team is getting ready to head to warmer pastures to train for a big year ahead.

New Zealand will play host to the Men’s National Team from December 2nd-15th, when the men beginning training for the 2015 competition schedule, which includes two major competitions, World League and the Pan American Games, both in which Canada has a chance to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Brazil.

“For us that [qualification] process starts now in terms of training,” says Men’s National Team Head Coach Anthony Farry. “Obviously it started a while ago in terms of identifying athletes and opportunities to compete.”

While in New Zealand, the Canadian men will play seven test matches, four of which will be official capped matches versus the New Zealand Blacksticks and three unofficial test matches against New Zealand "A."

Canada will be first land in Auckland, where they will stay from the 2nd-7th and play three games versus New Zealand “A,” a squad compromised of both top squad and development players.

The Canadian men will then make their way to Nelson from December 8th-10th, where they will twice face the Blacksticks, who are currently ranked sixth in the International Hockey Federation world rankings.

“It’s fantastic for us to be able to get an opportunity to travel to New Zealand and play a team like the Blacksticks,” says Farry.

The winter climate in Vancouver, where the both the Men’s and Women’s National Teams train, is not ideal. Turfs are often frozen, making for dangerous conditions and forcing either canceled or indoor training sessions.

“We can’t rely on indoor training at this stage in advance of such a major competition,” adds Farry. “We’ve got a big year coming up and we need to train accordingly.”

Twenty athletes will be on the trip to New Zealand. The roster, which was announced Monday, consists of a mix of veteran and newcomers to the international scene.

“For us its about finding the best balance in between the tour and World League 2 (in February),” Farry explains. “Obviously you want to have the best team but we’re giving som

Roster announced for Men's National Team New Zealand tour in December

Men’s National Team - New Zealand Tour Roster

Name, Position, Hometown

Adam Froese, Defender, Abbotsford, BC
Antoni Kindler, Goalkeeper, Vancouver, BC
Balraj Panesar, Midfield, Surrey, BC
Benjamin Martin, Defender, Vancouver, BC
Brandon Barber, Forward, Toronto, ON
Brenden Bissett, Forward, New Westminster, BC
David Carter, Goalkeeper, Vancouver, BC
Devohn Noronha-Teixeira, Forward, Mississauga, ON
Garbirel Ho-Garcia, Forward, Burnaby, BC
Gordon Johnston, Defender, Vancouver, BC
Hudson Stewart, Midfield, Vancouver, BC
Jagdish Gill, Midfield, Toronto, ON
James Kirkpatrick, Forward, Victoria, BC
John Smythe, Midfield, Vancouver, BC
Mark Pearson, Midfield, Tsawwassen, BC
Matthew Guest, Forward, Calgary, AB
Matthew Sarmento, Forward, Vancouver, BC
Oliver Scholfield, Forward, Toronto, ON
Paul Wharton, Midfield, Vancouver, BC
Scott Tupper, Defender, Vancouver, BC
Sukhpal Panesar, Midfield, Surrey, BC
Taylor Curran, Midfield, North Vancouver, BC

Field Hockey Canada media release

Walsh all but on his way out

Australian Terry Walsh’s tryst with Indian hockey is all but over.

Despite a marathon six-hour meeting on Monday by the special committee, the issue of Walsh’s continuation as chief coach remained unresolved.

A final meeting with Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has been scheduled for Tuesday.

And while the Australian put the ball in Hockey India’s court on the final decision, the federation seemed in no mood to negotiate.

“To be honest, the support from the government and the SAI has been really productive. I think there are some steps we have to take if we are going to solve the interaction with Hockey India, and that’s really where it is at the moment,” Walsh said after the meeting.

The special SAI-appointed committee included Ashok Kumar, Zafar Iqbal, SAI executive director (TEAMS) Sudhir Setia with Ajitpal Singh as the chairman. Hockey India CEO Elena Norman, High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans and Walsh himself were also present.

Ajitpal seemed hopeful though he admitted there was little more that could be done after almost 10 hours of meeting over two days. But Hockey India president Narinder Batra insisted his issues with Walsh were financial, not administrative.

“Walsh was with the US women’s hockey team before coming to India. I received documents during the FIH Congress in Morocco that there are charges of financial irregularities against his name during his term there. I have already spoken to Ajitpal Singh and submitted the documents to the committee. All I am asking for is clarification from Walsh on the issue.

“It is a serious concern and if it is true, then it is not possible for me to utilise his services even if the government agrees.  The SAI is willing to transfer financial powers to him and Oltmans on a yearly basis but if something goes wrong, I will be held responsible. Other than that, I have no issues with him or his performance as a coach,” Batra told The Hindu.

Asked about the fact that Walsh had resigned before this issue cropped up, Batra reiterated that the other issues that needed resolution were already negotiated about in the meeting before the Indian team left for its Australia tour.

Though Walsh did not mention it, he did indicate there were certain issues that needed resolution.

“Certain things were brought up right at the tail and we just need to move forward on them. The reality is that time is running out, the door is closing and, from my perspective, I resigned on October 19, so we have time till day after tomorrow,” Walsh said.

In fact, he proposed an impromptu press conference on Tuesday, taking even the other committee members by surprise.

The Hindu

Hockey India disinterested in Terry

s2h Team

The message of yesterday's hectic parleys which saw the Experts' Committee entrusted to thrash out the issues that the present National Coach raised, is clear: Terry wants to continue, bureaucracy is relenting, the Expert Committee is positive, the Sports Minister is all set to divest lot of powers to Chief coach and High Performance Director of Hockey India.

However, like Bollywood masala film, the above script marked only interval, with a great suspense thrown in by Hockey India President Narinder Batra.

It seems even if everybody wants Hockey India is not interested to have Terry Walsh as Chief Coach.

Hockey India is one organization that should have been happy to have Terry continuing, but it is not, contrarily otherwise.

Narinder Batra has investigated into the past of Terry and have come out with serious allegation of financial misgivings of Terry's 10-year-ago tenure with the States National Federation.

Terry was High Performance Director of USAHF between 2005-2007.

Now the issues Terry raised have been side-lined, the one HI President dominate, will be a trump today, last day of Terry's tenure.

As the waters are now muddied, it is unlikely Terry Walsh will continue, and is not a good augury.


Deadlock persists, Walsh may leave

Sabi Hussain

New Delhi - It seems the relations between Terry Walsh and Hockey India (HI) has hit the rock bottom. Walsh, who had resigned as the head coach of the national team on October 21, has made his differences public with Hockey India, offering a sneak peek into the “suffocating environment” he has been subjected to in the federation over the past few months. Walsh, who is serving a one-month resignation notice period, said the time was running out for Hockey India to make a decision as his contract expires on November 19 and he wouldn't be staying back for a single day.

“The support from the Sports Ministry and the SAI has been great, but we have to take some steps with regards to Hockey India if we want to solve the issue. The time is running out for them, the door is closing. The ball is in their court now,” Walsh said after a marathon six-hour long meeting with the Ministry panel, SAI officials, and Hockey India CEO Elena Norman here on Monday.

Walsh had cited “difficulty in adjusting to the functioning of the country's bureaucratic system” as one of the main reasons behind his decision to resign as the chief coach.

Walsh also rubbished reports which stated that he had asked for 120 days of paid leave in Australia, during which he will stay in touch with the team through video conferencing.

“One thing I want to make very clear is that I have never asked for extended leave. What I have asked for is the ability to work from Perth when I am not involved with the national programme.”

Walsh said the two meetings, which he has had with the Ministry panel comprising former hockey captains Ajit Pal Singh, Zafar Iqbal and Ashok Kumar, have remained inconclusive so far.

“It seems rather crazy to me that even after 10 hours of meeting, the issue remains unresolved. We have to move forward on certain issues. From my perspective, I've resigned on October 19, and I have just two days left before my contract expires,” he said.

Ajit Pal, chairman of the committee, refused to share the details of the meeting and, instead, asked Walsh to review his list of demands, which include more freedom in the decision-making process and team selection, appointment of a scientific advisor from Australia, and issues concerning his paid leaves.

“We had a long meeting today, and we would most likely have another round of talks on Tuesday. I am hopeful of a resolution,” he said.

Walsh has called for a press conference on Tuesday to announce his decision.

The Tribune

Walsh's demands move to sports minister's doorstep

NEW DELHI: The three-member panel formed to look into Indian men's hockey team's chief coach Terry Walsh's demands has failed to come to any "conclusion" and has knocked sports minister Sarbananda Sonwal's door to resolve the issue.

The panel comprising former hockey captains Ajit Pal Singh, Ashok Kumar and Zafar Iqbal met Walsh, Hockey India high performance director Roelant Oltmans and Sports Authority of India officials for the second time on Monday after Friday's meet and held discussions for over six hours but failed to come to any conclusion.

The concerned parties are now scheduled to meet the Sports Minister tomorrow to solve the impasse, a day before Walsh's contract expires.

"We had good, healthy discussions for over six hours today but we failed to come to any conclusion," chairman of the panel Ajitpal Singh said.

"There are some demands on which he is not ready to compromise and we don't have power to accept them. So the meeting was inconclusive," he said.

Asked what was the bone of contention, Ajitpal said: "Let's not discuss all these now. You will come to know in due course of time. But we expect something positive when we meet the sports minister tomorrow."

Apart from the three-member panel, Executive Director Teams Sudhir Sethia was representing SAI along with other officials, while from Hockey India its CEO Elena Norman was present in the meeting besides Walsh and India's high performance director Roelant Oltmans.

However, it has been learnt that Walsh has some issues with Hockey India.

He said that responses from the sports ministry and SAI has been positive but the interactions with Hockey India has not been encouraging. Walsh has also hinted that he might hold a press conference on this issue on Tuesday.

The panel has hardly any time to decide on the future of Walsh, who has categorically said that he won't continue after his contract expires on November 19, if he does not have his way in running of the team.

Walsh's sudden resignation last month came as a surprise to many after he guided India to their first Asian Games gold in 16 years. A day later, however, the Australian agreed to continue in his role, provided his conditions were fulfilled.

Besides asking for more decision-making powers for himself and Oltmans, Walsh wants handpicked personnel as his support staff and more time with family in Australia.

It has been reported that Walsh has asked for 120 days of paid leave, during which, he will keep in touch with the team through video conferencing.

The Times of India

Raina does a Dhoni, becomes co-owner of UP Wizards

Cricketer Suresh Raina at a function held to announce his joining Uttar Pradesh Wizards on Monday in Lucknow.

Indian batsman Suresh Raina on Monday joined the Hockey India League (HIL) franchise team, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, as its co-owner.

The announcement of his association was made by Abhijit Sarkar of Uttar Pradesh Wizards in an event held at Sahara Shaher, in Lucknow in the presence of state cricket captain Raina.

Born in Ghaziabad, Raina has represented Uttar Pradesh at all levels in cricket.

Speaking on the announcement of the association with Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Raina said, “It is a memorable day for me because today I am immensely proud to be associated with the national sport of our country, hockey, by joining UP Wizards. On this occasion, I would also like to take the opportunity of congratulating the Indian hockey team for bringing laurels to our nation by winning gold in the Asian games after a span of sixteen years and qualifying directly to the Olympics.

“Uttar Pradesh is a land of world class hockey gems like Major Dhyan Chand, K.D. Singh Babu and many more to follow and since my sports college days in Lucknow, I have a lot of friends who are hockey players and this further boosts up my pleasure of my association with hockey. I will make all possible endeavours and bring all sorts of support required for uplifting the game of hockey in the region.”

Speaking on the occasion, Sarkar of Uttar Pradesh Wizards said, “Hockey is our national game and we are proud owner of UP Wizards. We are sure that association of Mr.Suresh Raina will make hockey more popular in the state and will attract more fan following for this sport. We will achieve greater laurels and success in the sport of hockey in the coming years and we are committed to the development of sports at all levels in the country.”

Speaking on the announcement, HIL CEO Elena Norman said, “Hockey India League welcomes Suresh Raina as the co-owner of Uttar Pradesh Wizards. It’s an honour to see cricket legends coming forward to support world’s only Hockey League and we are confident that the 3rd edition of Hero Hockey India League will take the excitement and expectations a notch higher, not only through the high adrenaline games but even the kind of association that it is garnering.”

Recently, Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also got associated with the Ranchi franchise team of HIL as its co-owner.

The Hindu

Harte Brothers Head To Indian League

Conor and David Harte have both signed for Dabang Mumbai of the India Hockey League. The 4-week league, which begins in January, attracts some of the world’s biggest hockey stars to its 6 teams/franchises. The brother’s team will also consist of Indian, Dutch, Australian, English and Czech players, two of whom are the most expensive in the league. Unlike any of the other teams in the league, Dabang Mumbai fully utilised their $750,000 budget and bought 9 of the 15 most costly players.

This will be David’s second stint in the league, having played for Mumbai Magicians last year. David was bought for €41,000, making him the second most expensive goalkeeper in the league this season. Conor’s signing (€8,000) for the same team makes him only the second Irish person to ever play in the league and marks a high point for the twin brothers, with David describing his return to his “favourite city” as an “amazing feeling”.

Both brothers are accustomed to plying their trade abroad, David plays for SV Kampong and Conor for Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles. Between them they have amassed over 250 caps for Ireland and this latest achievement ensures the twins will begin 2015 on a high, before heading to San Diego with the Irish Team for World League 2 in March.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Boon the HIL's most expensive player

Bloemendaal and Belgium star Tom Boon admitted to being “shocked” after he was bought for an incredible $103,000 (c. €82,500) at the Hockey India League auction last Saturday by the newly formed Dabang Mumbai.

He was the most expensive player in the auction, $25,000 ahead of Matthew Swann – a team mate at Bloemendaal, the second most expensive player.

Indeed, Boon is the highest priced played in the HIL three year history and told Hockey Belgium he was struggling to take in the news.

"It's just crazy, the amount for which I had been drafted.According to the rates charged for two years, I was aiming for the $60,000 knowing that the attackers are still committed to an amount slightly higher than the other players.But there were highs.I still can not believe it."

Boon has already been told he is likely to receive many media requests in India  when he arrives. To play in the HIL, he will miss a training phase with Belgium in South Africa but he says the opportunity is a huge one.

"Last year, the World Cup was too close.I did not want to take unnecessary risks.But this time, I felt perfectly able to juggle this experience and my national team career.

“I'm sure I'll stay fresh physically and mentally to continue with the rest of the competition in Hoofdklasse and the World League, at the beginning of next summer. I will also follow a program of preparation adapted to keep me at the top level."

Euro Hockey League media release

French Top Six start premier battle

St Germain, Racing Club de France and Lille begun the Top Six phase of the French championship with away victories, seeing off Le Touquet, Wattignies and CA Montrouge last weekend.

All six progressed from the preliminary phase of the competition and got off to a great start to a busy four-game spell before the end of November which leads into the winter pause.

Saint Germain won 2-0 against Le Touquet thanks to two goals from Joris Harou while Lille succeeded on the same scoreline with Thibaut Blondel and Alexis Fourcroy on the mark against CA Montrouge.

Racing have the lead in the embryonic table on goal difference thanks to their victory over Wattignies. James Kirkpatrick set up the first for Jean-Laurent Kieffer to slide home a great counter-attack goal.

Kirkpatrick scrambled home the next four minutes into the second half before Jerome Martinot pulled one back for Wattignies. But Jules Francotte picked out the top corner and Celestin Duchesne closed out the win late on to secure the victory.

Next weekend, the sides will all play two games each in the Top Six of the competition.

Euro Hockey League media release

Stagno happy with dominant EG performance

East Grinstead beat Canterbury 4-0, with goals coming from Mark Gleghorne (two), Andy Piper and Glen Kirkham to move three points ahead of the chasers in the English Premier Division.

Speaking about the win, EG coach Karl Stagno felt it was a fair reflection of their dominance.

"Full credit to Canterbury, because they made it hard for us," he said. "I thought in the first half we were a bit off the pace and we spoke about it at half time, but second half we corrected those things and we were far more dominant.

"In the end, I think a 4-0 win is a fair reflection of that and maybe it could have been a couple more, but we are happy with the win and a clean sheet too."

Sam Ward was on target twice as Beeston tightened their grip on third place with a 5-0 victory away to Southgate. Gordon McIntyre, Richard Lawrence and James Gall were also on the score sheet in an impressive performance.

Wimbledon staged a superb comeback to score a 4-1 win over second-placed Surbiton. Having fallen behind to a Matt Daly strike on 15 minutes, Wimbledon rallied and a brace from Phil Ball, along with goals from Phil Roper and Jack Waller, saw them complete the feat.

Euro Hockey League media release

The England Hockey Leagues Inside Track

Steve Rixon Clifton Coach

Clifton kept in touch with leaders Surbiton and in doing so, became the first side to inflict defeat on Holcombe this season. East Grinstead have returned to winning ways after a defeat against Wimbledon two weeks ago. Find out what Clifton coach Steve Rixon and East Grinstead and England star David Condon had to say about their teams' fortunes. 

Steve Rixon, Clifton coach:

On his team’s performance:
"That was our best 70 minutes this season. We’ve played well in spells in most of the games this season but perhaps haven’t taken our chances or put things together for a whole game but Sunday was definitely the closest we’ve come. We knew they had some good players but as a unit it was hard to know what to expect from Holcombe. We had a plan on how we wanted to play and we were able to execute that. We pressed well and our outletting was varied and dynamic and we gave ourselves a good platform to build on. It was never comfortable as they are a good side but I was very pleased with how we performed."

On Clifton’s keys to success:
“We’ve set some ambitious targets in terms of points tally and goal difference. We’ve made some minor tweaks this season but largely we are doing quite well because we are a settled group. The girls have a good level of understanding in terms of how we want to play and the team are very fit so with both senior and junior players contributing that makes us very hard to beat. We recognise defence is a key area. We aren’t a defensive team but we know it is important to ensure you don’t concede too many goals. It’s an important base for our game plans each week.”

On Joie Leigh’s great form:
"I’ve known Joie a very long time and she is an amazing talent. She’s really getting into her stride and playing with a smile and spring in her step. She’s learned to deal well with pressure and her attitude and ability have meant she is playing some of her best hockey.

On targets for the season:
"We want to make the playoffs, that’s our first target. There is lots of work to be done but if we can match our efforts in the first half of the season in the 2nd we should be ok. We’ve only lost to Surbiton and it was a close game but the league overall is very open this year. Holcombe are obviously a good side, University of Birmingham are getting stronger every year and of course you can’t count the big teams like Reading and Leicester out. A run of wins or losses can see you drop off the pace or be right in contention, it’s really close. Every side is strong and deserves respect, obviously Surbiton stand out but although it’s a cliché there are no easy games.

David Condon in action for England

David Condon, East Grinstead:

On his team's season so far:
"After we lost to Wimbledon we sat down as a group and decided what we wanted to achieve and how to do it. We were scoring a lot of goals but letting a lot in and that was papering over the cracks a little because we weren’t playing to the standards we’ve previously set. We needed to make sure we reached those in the Beeston game and again this week, which we did.

We worked on little bits here and there and made sure we focused more on our defensive duties and hopefully it’s paying off."

On the pressure at Saint Hill:
"There’s an expectation amongst the group as to how hard we should be working. We want to control and dominate games and create chances through pressure. We want to score lots of goals but the pressure comes from us not outside."

On being top of the league:
"All things said, we’re very pleased to be top. We know we have tough games coming up and we need to prove a point and show that defeat was a blip not the norm. We finished top last year and we want to do that again this year. Once you get to playoffs you have to see what happens.

There are some strong teams in the league. Beeston are very good and have a lot of depth, Wimbledon are great on their day but they need the consistency, and of course Surbiton are strong too."

England Hockey Board Media release

Coach Beng Hai will select team for Olympic qualifiers this week

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian national hockey team training squad will likely be named this week.

National coach Tai Beng Hai said he will select the players for the World League Round Two in Singapore from Jan 17-25.

He added that there will be two training sessions a week during the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

“The MHL ends on Dec 14, so I do not have much time to prepare. I will select a training squad with the core from the World Cup and Commonwealth Games’ team,” said Beng Hai.

“New talents in the MHL will also receive a call-up.”

Beng Hai took over from A. Arulselvaraj after the Asian Games in Incheon. The World Hockey League is a qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Malaysia will have for company Bangladesh, Japan, Poland, Singapore, Oman and Ukraine. Another team will be the winners of the Round One tournament which will be played in Suva, Fiji on Dec 6-13. The teams involved are Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

Malaysia need to finish among the top three to make the cut for the semi-finals which will be held in July.

Meanwhile, the 2015 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh will be held from April 2-12.

Teams likely to feature are world champions Australia, Canada, South Korea, England and possibly Germany.

The Star of Malaysia

Local heroes running the show in MHL

FIVE teams in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League have invested heavily on imports, but local players are the ones who have carried the load for the front-runners.

For starters, double champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) are unbeaten after six matches as penalty corner flicker Razie Rahim nailed eight goals and is now the current joint-top scorer.

Faizal Saari of Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) is chasing Razie, also on eight goals, even though he played one match less after being red carded for verbally abusing and showing the middle finger to umpire P. Elangovan when playing against Sapura.

The two locals are top-scorers in a league which has 22 foreign players.

In Faizal’s absence against UniKL on Sunday, THT found a new local hero to keep them afloat in chasing their first League title.

Syamiru Aiman, who will turn 21 on Dec 27, scored four goals against UniKL to give his side a 5-2 win. His sizzling form on a heavy pitch, saved THT the blushes, who have invested in five South Koreans as well as some of the best local talent in MHL.

“Syamiru played for Terengganu in the recent Malaysia Games (scored two goals in bronze playoff to help beat Penang 4-2) and was a regular in the first two games until my five Korean imports arrived.

“Against UniKL, since I did not have the services of suspended strikers Faizal and Firhan (Ashaari) Syamiru was given more time and he delivered the crucial three points for us,” said THT coach Sarjit Singh.

Syamiru’s four field goals were scored in the eighth, 16th, 31st and 34th minutes while the fifth was delivered by seasoned international Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.

“The pitch (in Kuala Terenggau) was heavy after a torrential downpour, and our penalty corners could not be executed as the push-out was slow to reach our Korean flickers, but Syamiru delivered for us with four field goals,” said Sarjit.

As for Maybank, they benched their German goalkeeper Moritz Knobloch against Sapura, and local boy Shahrul Azaddin played a good game to help the Tigers steal one point in a 3-3 draw.

A former coach, who declined to be named as there is a gag order from Malaysian Hockey Confederation president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, said teams are wasting their time and money on imports.

“It looks good for the MHL to have foreign players, but in the long run, when the money dries up, teams which are developing local youth will be the survivors.

“There is a precedent, as Yayasan Negri Sembilan were the best with their imports, but when the money dried up, the team also died while teams like Tenaga Nasional are still active in the MHL,” said the coach.

Tenaga are the only all-local outfit in the MHL, and they have given the rest a tough fight and are standing proud with three wins and three defeats at No 3 on the standings.

On another matter, Tengku Abdullah said the draft of the new MHC constitution has been sent to the Sports Commissioner’s office for endorsement.

“While I’m not sure if the minutes of the EOGM have been sent to the Sports Commissioner, the draft of the amended constitution has been submitted,” said Tengku Abdullah at a football function in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The Sports Commissioner has said that the date for the MHC elections could not be set as he is still awaiting for the minutes of the month-old EOGM from the MHC.

New Straits Times

Warriors in league play-offs


Butali Sugar Warriors celebrate a goal against Parkroad during their Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Premier League match at City Park Stadium on November 2, 2014. Warriors booked a place in the play-offs of this season’s KHU league after collecting maximum points in their two matches at the weekend. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Butali Sugar Warriors booked a place in the play-offs of this season’s Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) league after collecting maximum points in their two matches at the weekend.

Warriors, formerly Kisumu Simba, beat Greensharks 2-0 on Sunday at the City Park Stadium and overcame Western Jaguars 3-1 on Saturday evening to conclude an impressive season which has seen them play six games in three weeks, winning four and drawing two.

Second-half goals from Joeren Stoech and Emmanuel Simiyu condemned Sharks to their first defeat of the season. The win moved them top of Pool A with 14 points three more than second-placed Greensharks. Both teams have finished their matches.

Warriors coach, Cliffe Okello, was full of praise for his charges, saying they deserved a place in the semi-final after playing their hearts out.

“It has been an intense campaign. Playing six games in three weeks was tough, but the lads responded well and now we don’t care which team we face in the play-offs. We are ready for anyone,” Okello said.

Kisumu-based Warriors came into Sunday’s game level on points with Greensharks following Saturday’s win.

The match was preceded by a minute’s silence in honour of former Kenyan international and Greensharks player Joab Omach who died last week.


Sharks started brightly, with Tony Nyukuri and Leon Magomere troubling the Warriors defence early on. They were rewarded with two short corners in the first 15 minutes which went unconverted.

Sharks almost went ahead in the 20th minute when John Wachira’s shot went inches wide as the visitors survived again. Warriors then created the best chance of the half when Emmanuel Simiyu’s sliced shot hit Shark’s post.

Warriors came back stronger in the second half and went ahead in the 41st minute when Frank Wanangwe and William Oketch combined to set up Stoech to score his third goal of the season.

Three minutes later, Warriors doubled their lead when Simiyu converted a penalty corner.

Sharks tried to find a way back to the game but were thwarted by the Warriors defence, marshalled by skipper Kenneth Nyongesa.

“The best team lost. We dominated but they scored from their two chances,” Greensharks coach Nixon Nyangaga said.

Earlier, Nakuru Sikh and Western Jaguars played out a 2-2 draw.

Daily Nation

WARRIORS STRIKE: Butali Sugar hit Western Jaguars and Greensharks to go top of league

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Green Sharks' Fidelis Wafula, left, fight it out with Kisumu Simba's Maxuel Fuchaka during KPL match at City Park Nairobi on Sunday, November 16th, 2014. Photo/Jonah Onyango.

Butali Sugar Warriors formerly Kisumu Simba registered double victory at the weekend to clinch the first Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s Premier League pool A playoffs.

They beat Western Jaguars 3-1 in their first encounter then hit Greensharks 2-0 to earn maximum points.

The lakeside club handed Sharks their first defeat of the season, upsetting them with 14 points. Sharks are second with 11 points and will have to wait for the Police Jaguars tie that was rained off in Kakamega to know if they make the last four.

The Warriors head coach Cliffe Okello told FeverPitch he was pleased with his players’ performance so far and now their attention shifts to the playoffs.

“They have done well, we joined the league late but we managed to clinch the first playoffs slot, we will embark on early preparations.”

He added that their main objective this season is to win the league.

The match began on a high note with Greensharks creating chances which they failed to utilise. Sharks, who seemed to have settled early in the game, squandered two short corners awarded to them before the quarter hour mark.

Emmanuel Simiyu came close to giving Warriors their first goal in the 27th minute but his shot went wide. National team player Kenneth Nyongesa lost another opportunity to give Warriors lead in the 33rd minute after getting a good pass from Frank Wanangwe. The first half ended on a barren draw.

Warriors, determined to seal their last four spot saw their efforts bear fruit in the 41st minute through Dutchman Joeren Stoel who tapped in from a Maxwell Wakhungu pass. Three minutes later, Simiyu redeemed himself by converting a penalty corner that was nicely pushed by Robert Amadi.

Greensharks seemed to have given up as they failed to take advantage of Warriors who were playing two men down as Saidi Okwemba and Denis Owoka were sin-binned in the 56th and 58th minutes respectively.

Western Jaguars and Nakuru Sikh played to 2-2 draw in the men premier league match.

On saturday, Parkroad Tigers squeezed a 1-0 win over Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

The Standard Online

Meet USA Field Hockey's 2014 DII MVP Lucinda Kauffman

Photo credit: Bill Smith

Congratulations to Lucinda Kauffman, USA Field Hockey's peer-voted DII MVP of the 2014 regular season! Learn more about this star standout below.

There's a peaceful presence found while floating on the solitude of a lake. Casting into the open water, it may appear as if senior Lucinda Kauffman of Shippensburg University is in her element, in her zone, settled in a kayak as she hopes her fishing line catches something below. Although at a point of relaxation enjoying one of her favorite pastimes, this isn't the only territory in which Kauffman fully owns. Off the water, her legs are planted on Shippensburg University's field hockey turf where Kauffman has been an integral piece of the Raider's midfield, earning All-PSAC Second Team honors as a midfielder and was selected to the 2013 Gladiator by SGI/NFHCA Division II National Academic Squad. Whether tossing a line into the water or anticipating her placement of a precision tackle of an approaching opponent, Kauffman keeps focus knowing that her calmness and composure has hooked more than a few remarkable accomplishments.  

USA Field Hockey: What’s your most memorable moment of the 2014 regular season?
LK: My most memorable moment of the 2014 regular season was scoring the game-winning goal against Slippery Rock to solidify our spot in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) semi-finals.

USA Field Hockey:  Who do you consider your field hockey role model or mentor to be?
LK: My field hockey role model/mentor is my sister. She taught me new techniques early on in my career and trained with me over the summer when we would both be home from college getting ready for the next preseason.

USA Field Hockey:  When did you begin playing hockey and how were you introduced to the sport?
LK: I began playing hockey in seventh grade. They introduced the sport in gym class in my middle school; however, I wanted to play because my sister had played and I enjoyed watching her.

USA Field Hockey:  As a seasoned defender/midfielder for the Raiders, what is your mindset before heading into matches?
LK: I like to take one game at a time. I know that my composure is contagious and with such a young team it is necessary for me to be excited, but calm and collected. I know that on the field I have the support from my teammates and that together, we are strong.

USA Field Hockey: Do you have any pre-match rituals? What does your routine leading up to the game look like?
LK: We always enjoy going into the locker room early to get ready then have time to unwind from the day and get excited for the game. It gets pretty loud and rowdy from the music and dancing before walking to the field. On the field we have certain cheers and rituals that are included in the warm-up.

USA Field Hockey:  When put in a numbers down situation or a similar obstacle arises during a game, how to you keep composure and focus?
LK: I always take a deep breath and focus on the basics of hockey: stopping, controlling and passing the ball. The one thing that I avoid is trying to play as an individual when obstacles arise; having trust in your teammates is important.

USA Field Hockey:  What’s your major? How do you balance the demands of school with your desire to continually excel in hockey?
LK: My major is biology, with a concentration in pre-optometry.  I am continually balancing school demands with my desire to excel in hockey. This often means sacrificing some of the social aspects of college and using every second of spare time to get my work done. Early mornings and late nights often become necessary to be successful in school. Receiving the NCAA Elite 89 award last year, as well as the PSAC Champion Scholar award this year, has given me motivation to continually excel in school as well as hockey.

USA Field Hockey: What is your favorite pastime/hobby off the field?
LK: I enjoy fishing out of my kayak, or even just floating in my kayak with my friends and family.

USA Field Hockey:  What words of advice do you have for those aspiring to play hockey at the collegiate level?
LK: My advice would be to get involved with a club team and start contacting college coaches early on. Club teams often attend more tournaments and provide better opportunities to be seen by coaches. Playing year round is crucial for skill development.

USFHA media release

Hockey Australia seeks High Performance Director

Hockey Australia are looking for a new High Performance Director after incumbent Trisha Heberle announced her intention to stand down from the position last month. INterested candidates should see the job application page for the position and apply from there. Applications close 1 December 2014

Hockey Australia media release

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