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News for 30 December 2014

All the news for Tuesday 30 December 2014

KZN-packed SA hockey men tackle Austria in Durban


A HOST of Durban-based players have been chosen to represent the South Africa men’s hockey team in a four-Test series against Austria at Queensmead in Durban from January 5 to 9.

KZN Raiders goalkeepers Gown Jones and Richard Curtis, defender Mohammed Mea, midfielders Dan Sibbald and Ross Hetem, and strikers Andrew Manson and Mondli Dlamini will be donning the green and gold in a young, untried combination that will be piloted by SA men’s head coach Fabian Gregory, the director of hockey at Glenwood.

Also in the 24-man squad, from which 18 players will be picked for each of the Tests, are Pietermaritzburg-based KZN Inland and Maritzburg Varsity players Leneal Jackson and Robin Jones, as well as the Maritzburg College-educated matt Guise-Brown and Marc Fourie.

Others with KZN connections are ex-PMB Varsity players Jethro Eustice, Dalen Phillips and Damian Kimfley.

It is a big year for South Africa, and a freshly-selected national squad will also play a Test against world hockey powerhouse Holland as well as a two-Test series against fast-rising Ireland under former SA Olympian Craig Fulton, in Cape Town from January 19 to 28.

It is not South Africa’s strongest line-up, as several top players are unavailable for various reasons, some due to their franchise commitments in the lucrative Hockey India League next month.

However, the aim of the January matches is to see who among the inexperienced youngsters will prove themselves worthy of a spot in the national side for the important World League matches in Cape Town from March 7 to 15 as well as the all-important Rio 2016 Olympic Qualifier event that takes place in Ismailia, Egypt from October 17 to 25.

It is also a big year for Austria, whose leg of the World League matches is set for San Diego in California in February/March before they take part in the Euro Nations tier-two championship in Prague, Czech Republic in July.

Austria mean business and will likely test the South Africans to the full, while the strong local flavour will ensure added interest for KZN fans.

Richard Curtis, Gowan Jones (both KZN Coastal Raiders), Chad Durrheim (Eastern Province), Jason Briggs (Southern Gauteng).
Defenders: Mohammed Mea (KZN Coastal Raiders), Daniel Bell (Western Province), Leneal Jackson, Robin Jones (both KZN Inland), Matt Guise-Brown (Northern Blues), Gareth Heyns, Jethro Eustice (both Southern Gauteng).
Midfielders: Ross Hetem, Dan Sibbald (both KZN Coastal Raiders), Marc Fourie (WP), Taylor Dart (Southern Gauteng), Chad Cairncross (EP), Jonty Robinson (Northern Blues).
Strikers: Andrew Manson, Mondli Dlamini (both KZN Coastal Raiders), Richard Pautz (Northern Blues), Keenan Horne (WP), Brandon Panther (Southern Gauteng), Dalan Phillips, Damian Kimfley (both EP).

TEST MATCHES (At Queensmead):
Mon, 5 Jan (6pm)
Tues, 6 Jan (6pm)
Thurs, 8 Jan (6pm)
Fri, 9 Jan (2pm).

 SA Hockey Association media release

Player of the Year - Vote closes 31 December 2014

(Photo: FIH)

The 2014 FIH Player of the Year Awards feature three categories in which to vote with five international players shortlisted per category.

The categories are as follows for both the men and women’s games:

    FIH International Player of the Year
    FIH International Goalkeeper of the Year
    FIH International Rising Star of the Year

The five international players shortlisted in each category, have been determined by a panel of hockey experts and from this, you can nominate your Players of the Year.

The online vote for the FIH Player of the Year 2014 is closing on December 31 and if you have not already done so, you can register your vote by clicking here through to the FIH Facebook page and using the voting app.

Click carefully as you are only allowed to vote for a player in each category once.

FIH site

Jawad’s hat-trick seals win for PQA

KARACHI: A hat-trick by Kashif Jawad guided PQA to a 6-1 win over Islamabad on the fourth day of the 61st PSO National Hockey Championship at the Sialkot Hockey Stadium yesterday.

PQA, who lost their first fixture against NBP 1-0, made a comeback in their second match as Yasir Dilawar drew first blood in the sixth minute of the match through a penalty corner.

Suleman Khan scored a spectacular field goal in the 25th minute, while Dilawar struck another penalty corner in the 27th minute to give PQA a 3-0 lead.

Jawad scored thrice for PQA in the 32nd, 38th and 54th minute as PQA led 6-0, while Muhammad Nouman was the only player who scored for Islamabad in the last minute of the game to end the match 6-1.

In the other match, Steel Mill won their first tie against Balochistan 3-1, while Police defeated Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 3-0.

The Express Tribune

Surjit Hockey Academy, Chehrata boys in semis

Rachna Khaira

Jalandhar - Surjit Hockey Academy and Chehrata Academy stormed into the semifinals of the Olympian Mohinder Munshi Hockey Tournament being played at the PAP hockey stadium in Jalandhar.

Surjit Hockey Academy registered a thumping victory (4-0) over hosts Mohinder Munshi Academy while Chehrata Academy beat Sangrur Academy 3-0.

Surjit boys played an attacking game right from the begining. They scored their first goal in the second minute when Ajmer Singh converted a penalty corner (1-0). Pardeep Singh extended the lead (2-0) in the 7th minute. Satnam Singh fired in the third goal in the 15th minute. Three minutes later, Ajmer Singh sounded the board again to make it 4-0. Shamsher Singh rounded off the tally (5-0) in the 20th minute.

Chehrata Academy rode on Jobanpreet Singh (23rd min) and Luvpreet Singh’s goal to attain momentum. The final goal came off the stick of Sukhwinder Singh.


Surjit Hockey Academy beat Mohinder Munshi Academy 4-0
Chehrata Academy beat Sangrur Academy 3-0

Railway men beat Hawks 4-2 in Liberals hockey

Patiala - West Central Railway, Jabalpur, subdued Hawks Ropar 4-2, SGPC XI scraped past Khalsa Academy, Chandigarh, 2-1 and Azad Sports Club, Haryana, trounced Raiders Faridkot 3-1 on the second day of the 39th GS Bains Liberals All India Hockey Tournament at PS Grounds, Nabha. Sangrur Hockey Academy got past Liberals XI Nabha (6-1) in another match. Strong contenders West Central Railway, Jabalpur, zoomed to 3-0 lead through Akram (8th min) and Mohtaj (9th min and 13th min). Ropar boys reduced the margin (3-1) with a goal from Ranwant in the 19th minute. Jaswinder Singh scored the second goal (3-2).

The Tribune

Asiad gold, Rio ticket highlight of Indian hockey in 2014

NEW DELHI: An Asian Games gold medal after a 16-year hiatus and a direct ticket to the 2016 Olympic Games were some of the high points in what was a rare successful year for Indian hockey even though national coach Terry Walsh's unceremonious resignation provided a bitter ending to 2014.

It was a year of development for Indian hockey as the senior men's team took giant strides towards reclaiming its past glory, which included eight Olympic gold medals.

Besides the Asian Games gold in Incheon, South Korea, the men's team registered several other memorable victories including a historic Test series win against world champions Australia in their own backyard.

Walsh had a rather gloomy start to his coaching stint in India as the senior men's team finished a lowly sixth in the eight-nation Hockey World League (HWL) Final, which incidentally was the Australian's first assignment with the eight-time Olympic champions.

The Sardar Singh-led side looked completely disorganised in the tournament and from their performance in the HWL Final it was quite apparent that they would need time to get used to the coaching methods of Walsh. The only positive that came out from the tournament was a 5-4 victory over Olympic champions Germany.

After taking over the team, Walsh hardly got any time to try out things before his first big assignment, the World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands.

The only platform the Australian got prior to the World Cup was the preparatory tour to The Hague. Walsh used this tour to test his combinations and worked tirelessly on the basic skills and fitness of the players, the results of which started to show slowly as the year progressed.

However, at the World Cup, the team disappointed finishing a disappointing ninth.

Conceding late goals, their perennial problem, continued to haunt India in the World Cup as they suffered close defeats against Belgium and England and drew against Spain before being drubbed 0-4 by eventual champions Australia.

The Indians, however, managed to beat South Korea 3-0 to finish ninth.

With pride at stake and their capability in question, the Indians went to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games determined to prove their critics wrong and they managed to do that to some extent with a silver medal finish.

After taking over, Walsh always stressed on the need to improve as an individual and as a team and the Indians really showed signs of improvement in Glasgow.

India's impressive outing in the Commonwealth Games came against New Zealand in the semifinal as despite missing their inspirational skipper Sardar Singh, the young team came from two goals down to stun the Black Sticks and set up a date with Australia in the title clash for the second consecutive time.

But the mighty Kookaburras yet again proved too strong for India as they produced another clinical performance to bag their second consecutive CWG title.

Under Walsh, the Indian men's team continued its upward journey and managed to break their 16-year-old gold medal jinx in the Asian Games.

India managed to withstand the pressure exerted by hosts South Korea in the semifinal before beating Pakistan in the final to bag its first Asiad gold since 1998.

The triumph was more pleasing as it gave India direct qualification to 2016 Rio Olympics. It was double celebrations for India in the Asian Games as the women's team also featured on the podium, finishing third.

Building on the Incheon success, India defeated Australia 3-1 in a rare series victory Down Under. The series showed the mental toughness of Indian players as they clinched the rubber after being humiliated in the first match.

But the momentum which India gained in the year was lost by the untimely and poorly handled resignation of Walsh.

After guiding the team to the Asian Games gold, Walsh tendered his resignation, demanding an improvement in his pay packet and more decision making powers, most notably in selection of the players.

But despite valiant efforts from his employer, the Sports Authority of India and sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal, SAI could not retain Walsh even though the Australian was eager to work with the Indian team.

The entire process was derailed at the last moment by Hockey India president Narinder Batra who suddenly brought up Walsh's alleged financial irregularities during his tenure with USA Field Hockey.

Batra was adamant that Walsh had to come clear on the allegations before continuing as India coach.

Walsh's exit came as a big setback for the team which clearly was showing signs of improvement under the Australian.

The Indian suddenly found themselves on the backfoot while staging the prestigious Champions Trophy in a month's time.

After Walsh's exit, high performance director Roelant Oltmans was given the additional charge of the team for the Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar.

Under Oltmans, the team tried hard to recover from the Walsh setback but the hosts were inconsistent in their performance in the elite eight-nation event.

India lost to Germany and Argentina in their opening two pool matches but came back strongly to beat the Netherlands after 18 years.

In the quarterfinals, the ninth-ranked Indians stunned World No. 4 Belgium to set up a mouth-watering clash against arch-rivals Pakistan in the semifinal.

But India's campaign in the tournament ended on a sour note as they conceded a late goal to go down against Pakistan in the semifinal. The hosts later lost to Australia in the play-offs to finish fourth in the tournament.

Meanwhile, the year started with the national federation successfully hosting the second edition of Hero Hockey India League, where most of the domestic players rubbed shoulders against top foreign players. The 2014 season of the franchise-based event was eventually won by Sardar-led Delhi Waveriders.

The Indian hockey eves also made significant progress in the year under Neil Hawgood's guidance but were dealt a shock at the year end when the Australian decided not to renew his contract citing personal problems.

Meanwhile, the Indian Under-21 team also gave the country's hockey fans reasons to cheer when they successfully defended the Sultan of Johor Cup title.

The Times of India

The sinking MHC ship

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIAN men’s hockey broke every record in the last 363 days as officials fiddled while controversies burned the sport to the ground.

Never before has hockey in the nation, which has a record dating back to the 1956 Olympics, reached so many lows on and off the field as the Year of the Horse witnessed.

The controversies started with a fire in the coaching set-up when South African Paul Revington threw in the towel after receiving a threatening e-mail, and the nation never recovered as the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) started playing musical chairs with their coaches.

In came K. Dharmaraj as replacement, followed by Arul Selvaraj and currently, Tai Beng Hai has been given the task of forming a side for the World League in Singapore next month.

Meddling officials, player power, threats, coups, rebellious players... all contributed to the decline and bad name of a nation that used to play regularly in the Olympics and World Cups.

The year also had too many tournaments which saw the players truly burned out by the time the calendar reached the Asian Games fixtures.

For, there was the Azlan Shah Cup, the Champions Challenge II, World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games for almost the same set of players.

The focus should have been the Asian Games, which offered a direct entry into the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, but the MHC got its priorities crossed and ego twisted when continuous failures saw the federation changing coaches desperately.

MHC's hunt for a foreign coach also hit a brick wall, as all the quality coaches were tied down by contracts, while some simply did not want to work in Malaysia which has gained a reputation for terminating some of the best that came to our shores.

The False Gharial euphoria was magnified when Malaysia entered the final of the Azlan Shah Cup, only to sink to earth after an 8-3 thrashing by Australia in front of a capacity crowd in Ipoh.

Then the Champions Challenge II saw the hosts draw 2-2 with Canada and then lose 4-5 in a semi-final shoot-out. Malaysia had to settle for third place by beating Ireland 4-2 in the play-off.

Malaysia's Commonwealth Games campaign fell flat with an embarrassing 4-2 defeat by Trinidad and Tobago.

That was the lowest point in the nation's hockey history, as T&T finished 10th, at the bottom of the pool, when Wales beat them in the ninth-10th classification match.

Malaysia edged Scotland 2-1 to finish seventh, but the shame of losing to whipping boys T&T will forever be remembered by hockey fans.

The World Cup saw another embarrassing outing, as for the first time, the country never won or drew a single match, and ended at the bottom of the 12-team pool.

The final classification match was against South Africa where Malaysia were humbled 6-2.

There was no drive, no motivation, and no pride to play for Malaysia, in the group of players who saw the downfall of hockey in all the international tournaments this year.

Now, Beng Hai has to motivate them, and lead the New Year's charge in the World League Round Two, where Malaysia must finish among the top-three to play in the World League Semi-finals — for a last shot at qualifying for the Rio Olympics.

Beng Hai has a monumental task ahead, and could be the next casualty on the coaching musical chair.

As Malaysia’s hockey reputation went up in smoke on the pitch, even the amended MHC constitution took a beating.

It was rejected by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) as the constitution was shoddily prepared with little insight into sports law.

The skipper of the MHC ship is waiting to move on after he was elected as an FIH Executive Board member, and also president of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).

However, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah will have to clean up the MHC ship concerning its amended constitution to the approval of the FIH, before he makes his exit as its president.

There is likely to be more bad news next year, as the MHC can't seem to find a replacement for Tengku Abdullah, as well as a capable foreign coach, to steer them out of trouble.

New Straits Times

MHC: New foreign coach appointment awaiting NSC nod

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have shortlisted a number of foreign candidates to be coach of the national team.

Now, they are planning to meet up with the National Sports Council (NSC) to decide on their final choice.

“We will name the foreign coach once we get the clearance from the NSC,” said MHC secretary general Datuk Johari Abdul Aziz.

“We have shortlisted a number of candidates. So, it is a matter of time before we appoint the coach.

“Our hope is to have the coach in place by the end of January so that he can start planning the programme for the rest of the year. The World Hockey League is our major target for the national team this year,” added Johari.

Tai Beng Hai, the MHC’s director of coaching, will be handling the team for next month’s World Hockey League Round Two in Singapore.  Malaysia need to finish in the top three to make the cut for the World Hockey League Round Three (semi-finals), which is an Olympic qualifier, in Argentina and Belgium in June and July respectively.

After the Singapore tournament, Malaysia will be involved in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from April 2-12.

Meanwhile, World Cup winners Australia have confirmed their participation for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. The other competing teams are New Zealand, South Korea and Canada.

“We hope to make it a six-team affair and are waiting for one more team to confirm. We have invited India, but they have yet to reply. We will wait and see if they are interested before inviting another team,” said Johari.

The Star of Malaysia

How good is Hawgood?


AUSTRALIAN Neil Hawgood has emerged as the foreign candidate singled out by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) to coach the national team next year.

Hawgood, 52, announced his desire to coach a senior men’s team in Asia following his decision not to renew his contract with India’s women’s team last month.

He is best remembered for
guiding India to the bronze medal at the Incheon Asian Games in October and the Junior World Cup in 2013.

It is learnt that the offer from Malaysia was the reason he decided not to continue coaching India.

The agreement to hire Hawgood, however, has hit a snag as the understanding to hire him was reached when Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong was still the director-general of the National Sports Council (NSC) before Ahmad Shapawi Ismail replaced him recently.

MHC officials met Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin recently over the hiring of Hawgood but it is learnt that the minister did not give his go-ahead due to outstanding issues.

Despite the development, it is said that MHC will announce the appointment of a foreign coach this week.

MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, who favours a foreigner to train the senior team, was supposed to reveal the identity of the new coach last weekend but postponed it due to the floods in Pahang.

The national trainees are now under interim coach Tai Beng Hai, who replaced Arul Selvaraj, whose temporary appointment was until the Asian Games.

The other coaches, who handled the senior team this year were South African Paul Revington and K. Dharmaraj.

Newly appointed NSC director-general Ahmad Shapawi claimed he is clueless about MHC’s intentions to hire Hawgood.

“I have neither received anything or got a phone call from MHC in regard to this matter.

“I may have a clearer picture when I punch in for the first time as director-general on Jan 5.

“I, however, heard that the MHC met the sports minister recently,” said Ahmad Shapawi yesterday.

Beng Hai, who is assisted by Stephen van Huizen, is preparing his 25-member squad for the World League Round Two in Singapore on Jan 17-25.

Malaysia are favourites to win the tournament which will feature Japan, Poland, Bangladesh, Fiji, Oman and Ukraine.

The team will play friendly matches against Poland on Jan 4 and 6 followed by a game with Bangladesh (unconfirmed) before Beng Hai names 18 players for the competition, which is part of the qualification process for the 2016 Olympics.

New Straits Times

Chris Grassick hopes for good year for club and country

By Sean Cotter

Chris Grassick is hoping for a good year for club and country

SCOTSMAN Chris Grassick has high hopes this Hogmanay, for both his club and country career.

And these extend right up to the 2016 Olympics after England and Team GB head coach Bobby Crutchley recently said: "We have more flexibility with switching to Great Britain in 2015 when it will be good to have players like Chris available."

Grassick added: "It is a real boost still to be in the running for Rio."

The 25-year-old Edinburgh-born midfielder, who now plies his trade south of the border with Surbiton, has hockey very much in his genes with father Gordon and mother Jenny both former Scotland internationals.

And already he has emulated them with 73 outdoor caps since his debut in 2008 and in 2013 was selected as one of only three Scots in the 30-strong Team GB 'Road to Rio' training squad. He won his first GB cap this year.
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But before next year's GB and Scottish international commitments he has to complete this season's club indoor premier 5s competition this weekend.

Already after the first weekend at the FA Training Centre in Burton-upon-Trent he is second leading scorer with nine goals from four games, eight from open play and one penalty stroke.

But he and Surbiton face tough opposition this final second weekend including current leaders and champions for the past six seasons East Grinstead and third-placed surprise package Sevenoaks the only non-national league club competing.

So, only lying seventh of the nine sides, he and his club face a tough task reaching the top four progressing to the finals at Wembley Arena on January 25.

Daily Express

Road to Rio project

Five AUS umpires included in Road to Rio umpiring project

The FIH Umpiring Committee has recently announced the group of umpires who have been identified as being potential candidates for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio as part of the Road to Rio Project.

The principles of the Road to Rio Project are to:

1. Build the best umpiring team possible for the 2016 Olympics, in order to show off our sport of hockey to the best effect;
2. Ensure all potential umpires for the Olympic panels are given every chance to perform at the highest level between now and the final selections; and
3. Ensure a plan is in place for the development of umpires in the years to follow.

An initial group of 32 male and 24 female umpires has been identified as being potential candidates for Rio 2016. Another group of 15 male and 17 female umpires will form a development group for beyond Rio.

Hockey Australia’s General Manager – Hockey, Ben Hartung, confirmed that five Australian umpires have been included in the initial Road to Rio Project group.

“I would like to sincerely congratulate Melissa Trivic, Kylie Seymour, Adam Kearns, Tim Pullman and Murray Grime on their inclusion in the initial Road to Rio umpiring group.

"It is brilliant that the FIH has recognised these talented umpires and that they will be provided with every possible chance to demonstrate their competencies at major tournaments between now and the final selections.

"Due to the high calibre of umpires currently coming up through the ranks, I am also confident that there will be a healthy number of Australian umpires included in the Development group for beyond Rio.”

Hockey Australia media release

Hockey review of the year 2014: Australia men dominate as England women endure Hague hardship

By Rod Gilmour

Full focus: England women listen on in the changing room during a half-time talk at the Investec Cup at Lee Valley Photo: ADY KERRY

Telegraph Sport looks back on an eventful 12 months in the world of hockey, including the Queen's photobomb, Australia men's domination in the Hague and a chastening year for England women

Performance of the year

It was the ultimate in terms of silencing a 15,000-strong sea of orange. After falling behind to an early Jeroen Hertzberger goal, drag flick specialist Chris Ciriello netted a clinical hat-trick, while goals from Kieran Govers, Glenn Turner and Jamie Dwyer handed Australia the men’s World Cup with a resounding 6-1 win against the Netherlands. The second-half did for the Dutch thanks to a wave of attacks and four goals as Australia became only the third team to retain the World Cup. Mark Knowles was named player of the tournament while Jeremy Hayward was given the junior player award.

How England men fared

Bobby Crutchley’s side started the year with a semi-final shoot out defeat to New Zealand in the World League. Netherlands then proved too good in the World Cup semi-final as England finished fourth behind Argentina, who fielded 12 men in the closing stages. Less than two months later came the Commonwealth Games where another fourth place finish would have rankled. So it was left to Ashley Jackson, who ended the tournament as top goal scorer, with nine, to send his penalty stroke run high into New Zealand’s net to secure bronze. It handed England men a first Commonwealth medal since winning bronze in 1998. England ended the year with a seventh-place finish at the Champions Trophy, despite topping their group with a pleasing set of performances, notably in open play.

How England women fared

A chastening year. Entering the World Cup in the Hague, observers suggested that a medal was within reach. Two weeks later, Jason Lee’s side left with an 11th place finish. Lee left the set-up soon afterwards, replaced by Danny Kerry, the current performance director, guiding them to silver at Glasgow 2014. But they looked far from assured in reaching the final – having to overcome Scotland in a tight encounter just to secure a last four berth – where they came to within 17 seconds of gold; Australia clinching a dramatic shoot out. December’s Champions Trophy saw England travel with a youthful squad to Argentina. On the back of Alex Danson's omission through concussion, there were some displays to be proud of from the forward players (Lily Owsley, Ellie Watton) but defensive lapses saw England finish fifth.

Goal of the year

A goal to underpin Australia’s dominance, coming in the pool stages against England and seconds before the half-time hooter. Captain Mark Knowles sent a pinpoint, 50-yard aerial pass into the D where an unmarked Kieran Govers nonchalantly volleyed past George Pinner from shoulder height. It was a wonderful goal, which perfectly summed up Australia’s free-flowing first-half. Ric Charlesworth, the Australian coach, hailed it as “a brilliant finish and a great spectacle.”

Player of the year

Maartje Paumen’s seven goals – one ahead of Australia’s Anna Flanagan – paved the way for the Dutch women’s seventh World Cup success in the Hague. The captain’s visionary exploits in midfield, coupled with her three penalty corners and four strokes proved crucial as a united and relaxed Netherlands beat Australia 2-0 in the final. “Paumen, she’s a killer, a lot of pressure but she does it always,” admitted team-mate Kim Lammers.

In 2014, hockey said a retiring farewell to…

Ric Charlesworth. The Sydney Morning Herald asked in June whether the medal-laden coach was Australia’s greatest ever sporting coach. And well it might. He relinquished his position after stepping down from leading the Kookaburras’ to another World Cup success in the Hague. During his six years in the role, he led the Kookaburras to World Cup and Commonwealth Games titles, an Olympic bronze medal and four Champions Trophy gold medals. Charlesworth also coached the Hockeyroos to consecutive Olympic gold in 1996 and 2000, as well as back-to-back women’s World Cup titles in 1994 and 1998.

Kim Lammers. In her 200th game for the Netherlands, she rounded off her international career with a goal in the final, her 124th. The Dutch great finished with two World Cups, four European Cups and 2012 Olympic glory.

Heroes of the year

Harvestehuder. The German club side rallied in the semi-final, coming back from 2-0 down to beat Racing Club de Bruxelles, before twice coming from behind to then edge out home favourites Oranje Zwart on penalties in the Euro Hockey League final. Their inspiration? Tobias Hauke and an eye-opening half-time team talk from coach Christoph Bechmann, the former German international.

Villains of the year

A toss-up between Pakistan’s celebrations after their 4-3 win over India to reach the men’s Champions Trophy final, or the FIH’s shocking video referral decision to deny Australia in the women’s Champions Trophy final.

Hockey hots up social media

Hockeyroos' Jade Taylor's selfie is given a welcome boost by the presence of the Queen in the background smiling at the camera

What’s in store for 2015

The FIH’s $250 million deal with Indian broadcaster, Star Sports, starts proper in January. Beeston men, Surbiton and Canterbury women (outdoors), Reading women and East Grinstead men (indoors) lead English club hopes in Europe. Great Britain teams contest Olympic qualifiers in Belgium and Spain, before reverting back to England, as the men’s and women’s teams host the EuroHockey Championships at Lee Valley.

Number of the year

111 - Ashley Jackson became GB's record goal scorer during their 8-2 rout against Pakistan, overtaking Calum Giles.

Questions for 2015

How will the FIH’s multi-million deal benefit the sport on a global scale away from India? Will the new four, 15-minute quarters help the less skilful sides recover in the breaks?

Headline hopes for 2015 in 10 words

England on the attack at Lee Valley in European glory

The Telegraph

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