All the news for Wednesday 28th January 2009
Gold Cup right exposure for India before 2010 WC, CWG: Harendra
CHANDIGARH: Indian men's hockey team coach-in-charge Harendra Singh feels the four-nation Punjab Gold Cup will provide his boys the perfect platform to kick start their preparations for the 2010 World Cup and the Commonwealth Games to be hosted by the Capital.
Harendra also thanked the Punjab Government for providing a platform to play against formidable opponents in Beijing Olympic champions Germany, world no 3 the Netherlands and world no 7 New Zealand.
"Matches against such top teams would provide our players the right exposure before the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. We are in the right spirits and a repeat of 1975 will be our aim," the coach said.
Harendra, who seemed in high spirits particularly after the team's victory in the first two matches against Argentina in the four-Test away series, said the tour provided the players an insight into little things thats needs to be worked upon.
"Although we lost in the remaining two Tests to see the series end on a 2-2 draw, we have been able to pinpoint some shortcomings and have started working on them," he said.
Harendra's views were supported by skipper Sandeep Singh who feels the tournament would go a long way in preparing India for the 2010 World Cup and Commonwealth Games.
Probably for the first time ever the hockey contingent has been housed in Taj Hotel where normally only the Indian cricket team is being put up during their visit to the city. The Indian team will be joined by New Zealand, Holland and Germany in the coming two days.
An Organising Committee spokesman said they are hopeful of a representation from the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the governing body of hockey in the world.
The committee has extended invitation to FIH President Leandro Negre, General Secretary Peter Cohen, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Suresh Kalmadi, IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh among others.
He said this will be the first time that a state government will be hosting a prestigious four-nation hockey tournament.
The tournament will be held from January 31 to February 9 in a double-leg round robin system with rest days on February 2, 5 and 8.
The Times of India
Hockey writers honour keepers
Great Britain’s goalkeepers in the Beijing Olympics were named as the UK Hockey Players of the Year for 2008 following the annual poll conducted amongst British members of the Hockey Writers’ Club. The presentations were made by Lord Colin Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympic Association, at the HWC’s annual presentation lunch held at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge.
Ali McGregor, 27-year-old, Scotland & Loughborough Students and 30-year-old Beth Storry of England and SCHC (Netherlands) took the honours ahead of their Olympic colleagues. Men’s runner-up was Barry Middleton and third placed Ashley Jackson, both currently playing for Dutch Club HGC. Runner-up in the women’s voting was 28-year-old Welsh National captain Sarah Thomas who plays her club hockey like Storry in the Netherlands but for the Rotterdam Club. Winner of 2005 and 2006, Leicester’s Crista Cullen, was third.
The winners both gave outstanding performances for Great Britain in the Beijing Games and in the build-up both winning their first GB caps in 2007. They received Silver Rose Bowls. Beth, a Financial Analyst, donated her winning cheque to Reading one of her former clubs whilst Ali, a PE Teacher at Knossington Grange School, will give his to Gordonians Hockey Club (Junior Section), one of his old clubs in his home town of Aberdeen.
Plaques and cheques were also presented to Alice Sharp, 16, a midfielder with Belper HC, and Ben Arnold, 18, of Beeston HC, winners of the Higgins Group UK Youth Awards by Richard Higgins, chairman of the Group.
The Times Sydney Friskin Memorial Goblet for Outstanding Services to Hockey was presented by Neil Friskin (son) accompanied by the newspaper’s Managing Editor, David Chappell, to Chris Pickett former Great Britain and England Women’s Manager and currently President of Havant HC.
Hockey Writers Club media release
President/Manager Chris Pickett takes outstanding service award
Chris Pickett is the winner of The Times Sydney Friskin Memorial Silver Goblet for 2008. The presentation was made to him by Neil Friskin (son) accompanied by David Chappell, Managing Editor of the Newspaper at the annual presentations of the Hockey Writers’ Club held at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge on Tuesday 27th January 2009.
He cut his teeth as manager of the highly successful Havant side in domestic and European competitions in the eighties when he took over from David Whittle. It included two National League titles and two European campaigns in his first four-year period. He began his long and distinguished run in national team management as Manager of the England men’s Under 21 side preparing for the 1997 Junior World Cup at Milton Keynes. Pickett then moved to the Women’s National Squad followed by the GB women which he managed in the Sydney and Beijing Olympic Games. Much appreciated by the players for his dedication and thoughtfulness he was equally a friend of the media whom he was always ready to assist.
As President of his Club he has been instrumental in reviving their fortunes. Last March with the 1st XI restored to the Premier Division of the National League they finished fourth. The fruits of his five year plan to restore the Club to their glory days of the 70/80/90s had been successful.
Chris brought to both roles many qualities including detailed preparation and dedication. Above all he was always approachable and showed great loyalty in support of his coaches and players. Nothing has been too much trouble for him but he always put the well-being of players first.
David Chappell said: "Chris Pickett has been a great servant for club and country over the years and hockey undoubtedly has been the beneficiary. His calm assurance in demanding circumstances is a distinguishing trait and he is a worthy and deserving winner of The Times award this year."
Previous winners of this Award, in memory of Sydney Friskin, former Hockey Correspondent of The Times, who died in 1999, were:
2000 Ernest Wall OBE
2001 Robert Watson
2002 David Collier
2003 Mike Corby
2004 Anne Ellis OBE
2005 David Whittle
2006 David Luckes MBE
2007 Bill Felton
Chris Pickett is Managing Director of Picketts & Pursers, Jewellers, who trade from locations in Petersfield and Southampton.
Hockey Writers Club media release
Pain so deep for five–star Mantell
By Graham Wilson
SIMON MANTELL thought that scoring all five in the final of the national indoor championship would have been enough to see Reading into Europe.
East Grinstead, who had lost in the past two finals, only took the lead for the first time, at 6-5, with two minutes left on Sunday.
EG sneaked home 8-5, with Martin Haner and captain Scott Ashdown completing hat-tricks and GB’s Ashley Jackson scoring twice.
Glenn Kirkham said: “Having come so close, it has been a big step to take that final hurdle and win the championship.”
Kirkham’s coaching also helped The Perse School to a 5-3 victory over Ipswich School in the Under-18 boys’ final.
Mantell said: “I’m completely gutted, especially as we were leading for so long.”
Bowdon Hightown, who will host the EuroHockey Cup Winners’ Cup in April beat 13-time winners Slough 4-2 in the women’s final thanks to two strikes from Tina Cullen and goals from Michelle Liptrot and Sally Walton.
SSGC beat Navy 3-1 in National Hockey
By our correspondent
LAHORE: On the second day of the final round of the 56th National Hockey Championship, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) defeated Pakistan Navy 3-1, here at the National Hockey Stadium on Tuesday.
National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) attained a big 6-2 win over Punjab while Pakistan Army gained a lone goal victory over Port Qasim.
In the Tray Championship, which is being played concurrently with the final round, NWFP beat Balochistan 4-2, Police thrashed Sindh 4-0 and KESC hammered Capital Territory 8-1.
Two more matches of the final round will be played on the third day on Wednesday (today). Port Qasim will face Railways at 1.00 pm and Habib Bank Limited (HBL) will face Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) at 3.00 pm.
Four matches will be played in the Tray Championship: Sindh v PTV, Steel Mills v Police, Capital Territory v Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and KESC v Balochistan on pitch 2 of the National Hockey Stadium.
The News International
SSGC, NBP and Army score victories
LAHORE: Sui Southern Gas Corporation (SSGC), National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and Pakistan Army scored victories against their respective rivals on the second day of the final round of the 56th National Hockey Championship at the National Stadium here on Tuesday. SSGC defeated Pakistan Navy 3-1, NBP routed Punjab 6-2 before leading 2-0 at half time and Army claimed a narrow 1-0 win over Port Qasim Authority, scoring the all important goal in the first session through Muhammad Imran in 34th minute.
While in the Tray Championship, NWFP, Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) and Pakistan Police moved ahead after winning their respective ties. NWFP beat Balochistan 4-2, Police outplayed Sindh 4-0 and KESC thrashed Capital Territories 8-1.
Final round matches today:
Port Qasim Authority vs Pakistan Railways
HBL vs PIA
Tray Championship matches today:
Sindh vs PTV
Steel Mills vs Police
Capital Territories vs PAF
KESC vs Balochistan.
The Daily Times
Indoor Hockey This Sunday, 1st February
by Stephen Findlater.
Indoor hockey returns this Sunday with a 13-game marathon at the National Basketball Arena with the chance to represent Ireland at the European Club Championships in 2010 the prize for the winning side.
The group phases take place this weekend, February 1, as the race to pick up the Tony Byrne title begins in earnest
The tournament this year will take place over the next two Sundays - February 8 sees the closing group games and the playoff stages - with the competition's increased popularity boosting the number of entrants to ten with Kilkenny making a first appearance.
The Cats will be bolstered by Derek O'Gorman - the former Leinster centre-midfielder joining his former club for the duration of the competition as his outdoor club, Fingal, is not involved on the indoor circuit.
Kilkenny, enter a tough group with reigning national champs Three Rock Rovers one of the sides to watch. For this season, they add Venezuelan international Lucas Piccioli to last year's squad. He impressed when lining out for Corinthian two seasons back and will bring his excellent close-control to bear.
His introduction, as well as the scramble for places in Rovers squad for the 2009 European championships, has left player-coach Liam Canning with an interesting dilemma.
The highly decorated indoor expert has a squad of 18 to choose from but has only 12 places on the flight to Cambrai and is considering whether he may be one of the players confined to a watching brief.
Corinthian, meanwhile, provides an unknown quantity with South African internationals Andrew Cronje and Darren Kimfley possible starters.
Glenanne, too, have been formidable in recent years reaching the semi-final stages last year but were edged out 6-5 by Monkstown. Dublin Uni complete the group.
Group 2 features regular contenders Railway Union under the tutelage of master of the boards Paul O'Brien.
They have shown their intention to reclaim the main prize with an early season training weekend to Prague while Kevin King - a specific indoor coach from England - has been drafted in to man the sideline while Mick O'Connor guests once more on the field.
Monkstown, with Czech international Filip Jaros and coach Trevor Watkins at the helm improved dramatically last year to be a real contender too. They have Gavin O'Halloran included in their panel, on loan from UCD. 2007 champs Pembroke Wanderers cannot be written off while Trevor Dagg will hope to use his many successful years as an Avoca indoor player mould his young YM charges into a challenging side.
His former club round out what looks the slightly tougher of the groups.
Indoor hockey has undergone significant growth in the past few years, thanks in the main to the efforts of Paul O'Brien with a number of initiatives for getting youth sides involved inaugurated.
To this end, the IHA introduced "Stepping Stones" training courses in December to introduce people to indoor coaching - recognizing the importance the game can play in developing young players close skills and quick decision making.
Men - Tony Byrne Cup - Group I (All matches, Sunday Feb 1, National Indoor Arena)
(10:10am) Kilkenny v Corinthian; (1:30pm) Dublin University v Kilkenny; (2:20pm) Three Rock Rovers v Corinthian; (4:50pm) Dublin University v Three Rock Rovers; (6:30pm) Glenanne v Dublin University; (7:20pm) Glenanne v Three Rock Rovers;
(9:20am) Railway Union v YMCA; (11am) Avoca v Railway Union; (11:50am) Avoca v Monkstown; (12:40pm) YMCA v Pembroke Wanderers; (3:10pm) Pembroke Wanderers v Railway Union; (4pm) Monkstown v YMCA; (5:40pm) Monkstown v Pembroke Wanderers
Irish Hockey Association media release
Jenny McDonough Steps Down From International Hockey Stage.
Jenny McDonough today announced her decision to step off the Irish Hockey International stage, her decision comes after accruing eight years at the top of her game. McDonough who has amassed 117 caps first stepped up to senior level against England in 2001 and since then has been a regular face in the National Squad under both Riet Kuper and Gene Muller.
Commenting on her decision to retire, McDonough said "After much consideration I have made the difficult decision to retire from International hockey. Unfortunately I am unable to give my full commitment to the build up to the EuroHockey Nations Championship in Holland this August due to my forthcoming wedding, work and other personal commitments. There is a clear focus towards the Olympics in London in 2012 and as I am unable to commit to this campaign I feel it is time for me to step aside and retire from the team."
"I would like to thank the National Coach Gene Muller; Gene has been an inspiring coach, I have learnt a lot from him and I am only sorry that my time playing under him was so short, I am confident that the team will be extremely successful under his direction. I would also like to thank our previous coach Riet Kuper for giving me the opportunity to play for Ireland. Thank you to our management team; Denis Pritchard, Rudi Wortman, Karen Coughlan and Sally Ann Fanagan who all contribute greatly to the running of the squad; I have been very privileged to play under such an efficient management team. There are so many people who have played a major part in my hockey career I cannot possibly mention all of them, but I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone in Irish Hockey as well as Padraig McManus and ESB who have been very generous with their sponsorship of the team and also to my parents who have been unfaltering in their support of both myself and the team." She continued
Despite taking a step back it was clear that Jenny will still be a regular face around internationals supporting her former team mates. "I would like to wish the girls every success for the future, there is fantastic talent in the squad and I am certain that they are capable of achieving much success and I will be supporting them every step of the way."
McDonough who was known for her pace on the pitch and attacking style of play will no doubt be missed by Coach Muller who commented "Jenny has been an asset to the national team over the past few years and I am sad to see her step down. She has always been a dedicated and professional international player. Her attitude was exemplary and she is truly an example to other players. She will be missed in our team. I wish her all the best for her life outside of the national team and know that she will continue to be instrumental in the future."
Manager Sally Ann Fanagan was also keen to pay tribute to McDonough's international hockey career "Jenny will be missed by all the girls in the squad as she was a great presence and positive influence both on and off the field"
Although she won't be competing for Ireland anymore Jenny will still continue playing hockey for her club, Belfast Harlequins. The Irish Hockey Association would also like to take this opportunity to wish Jenny all the best for her future and in particular upcoming wedding.
Irish Hockey Association media release
Hockey prevails in hindered sponsorship market
As several sport sponsorship deals head for splitsville from economic strife, Scottish athletes keep their kit on after Scottish Hockey signed a seven year renewal deal with sponsor Kukri this week.
Director of Kukri GB limited Mike Humble explained how the partnership has improved business: “Scottish Hockey is a fantastic blue print for the type of partner Kukri is seeking to work with. Having worked closely with the players in the early stages to develop a world class product, we are now using Scottish Hockey’s international reach and reputation within the sport to attract other world class hockey partners such as our new agreements with both Spain and Australia’s Hockeyroos.”
“The renewal deal is a further statement of Kukri’s intent to plan long term futures with key partners across all sports.”
Several major sports sponsorship deals have been gnawed off by the crunch, last week AIG confirmed it wouldn’t be renewing its million pound deal with football giant Manchester United. B&Q dropped its support of the British Olympic Association and Vodafone pulled out of its deal with England cricket, both recently in late December.
“Hockey has a lot to offer for less than multi-million pounds of investment. It’s a high participation sport across Scotland in both genders, particularly in schools and has global reach-especially across European and Asian nations. It’s also a relatively untapped market in the UK with strong grassroots opportunities,” explained Scottish Hockey CEO Brent Deans.
Hockey, as a major team sport at London 2012 and a core sport for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, is being seen as a safe bet for long term investment with guaranteed exposure at two massive international sporting events happening right here in the UK. Seeing the opportunity, Kukri has been working closely with the Commonwealth Games Council developing sportswear aimed at the 2014 games.
The renewal deal with Kukri not only ensures Scotland’s national squads will look sharp on the pitch for years to come, it also allows Scottish Hockey to continue to offer their clubs, districts, schools or any member access to great deals.
Deans said: “Twice a year we set up an online shop where Kukri offers a specially designed line for Scottish Hockey members-it’s very popular. This is just another example of where the partnership benefits both parties. Our members get great kit at low cost and Kukri increases sales and brand awareness.
“We were the first national governing body for hockey to partner with Kukri and the relationship has proven very beneficial for both parties-an increase from three years to seven was an easy agreement.”
Scottish Hockey Union media release
SAI ‘B’ triumphs
BANGALORE: Sports Authority of India (SAI) ‘B’ is the State ‘A’ division hockey league champion. In the four team round-robin league SAI ‘B’ snatched a 3-3 draw against MEG to come on top on the basis of a better goal difference, at the KSHA stadium here on Tuesday.
MEG, with a goal difference of +3 to SAI’s +6, needed a win and twice neutralised the lead that SAI gained in quick time to be 2-2 at half time.
In the second session captain Monappa put the Sappers ahead off a Samson Fernandes pass. However, Thimmaiah smacked a brilliant reverse hit goal to ensure the teams trooped off on even terms. Both teams will figure in the Super division in the next season.
SAI went into the lead through Ratan Muthanna in the 12th minute. Almost immediately Rabindra Tigga equalised for MEG with an opportunistic strike pushing home a rebound off a Bikshal Bhengra penalty corner drive.
In the 15th minute SAI once again went into the lead this time Darshan neatly converting a penalty stroke after a goalbound hit struck Tigga’s leg and umpire I.A. Khan had no hesitation in pointing to the ‘spot’. But the Sappers hardly wasted any time as veteran Samson Fernandes pushed home from a melee.
Earlier, Maratha Light Infantry (MLI) struck once in each half through Cyprian Aind and Romi Ekka (penalty corner) to claim the third spot ahead of CMP.
Hockey NZ Life Member - Vera Burt Honoured as sports icon
North Harbour sport icons were recently inducted into the region’s new Hall of Fame. Vera Burt – one of Hockey New Zealand's valued Life Members – was one of these inductees.
A joint initiative between Harbour Sport and the North Shore City Council, the Hall of Fame is marked by an impressive 1.6metre wide kauri honours board bearing the names of the inductees.
Jo Clarke (of Harbour Sport) said “The thought behind it is something traditional – a permanent tribute to the legends honoured – that we can add to each year”.
Other inaugural inductees in the North Harbour Hall of Fame were: Sir Peter Blake (Yachting), Frano Botica (Rugby/League), Vera (Cricket/Hockey), Ian Ferguson & Paul McDonald (Kayaking), Allison Roe (Athletics) and a list of others legends.
Vera – from all the team here at Hockey NZ, we congratulate you for making such a milestone.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
HNZ Vice President Seddon Polglase receives Hamilton City Council Civic Award
Last month, Hockey NZ Vice President, Seddon Polglase received a highly prestigious Hamilton City Council Civic Award. An award he was nominated for by the Waikato Hockey Association.
Seddon was also made a finalist in the Waikato Sports Awards the night before in the 'Administrator of the Year' category.
Congratulations Seddon - from all the team here at Hockey NZ.
Hockey New Zealand Media release