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News for 13 January 2015

All the news for Tuesday 13 January 2015

Azlan Misron: I want gold

By Jugjet Singh

SEASONED campaigner Azlan Misron (pic) is a man of few words, as he prefers to do the talking on the pitch, but yesterday he broke the taboo with a fired up message for his mates who will be playing in the World League Round Two in Singapore on Jan 15-25.

Azlan, who has represented Malaysia for the last 14 years with a whopping 346 caps, wants his mates to give their all and erase all embarrassing 2014 records.

"Coach (Tai) Beng Hai has selected the best players and the team is mantap (solid) and we will be out to erase our embarrassing 2014 record which saw many bickering and in-fights which led to poor results on the pitch.

"I believe all the problems have been sorted out, and even though the MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation) has set a top-two target in Singapore, my personal target is a gold medal," said the 31 year-old Azlan

2014 saw  the worst of Malaysian hockey on and off the pitch, as player-power, star players, bungling officials, fighting coaches -- all led to a string of disastrous tournaments with the climax being when they lost 4-2 to 62nd ranked Trinidad and Tobago at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

"That is all the past, and I am looking for a new beginning as the New Year is still fresh, to bring about drastic changes in the minds of our supporters by winning gold an the Singapore World League and qualify for the World League Semi-finals with dignity," said Azlan.

Azlan will also break a Malaysian hockey caps record, as he looks set to play in all six matches in Singapore to take his tally to 350.

Last year, the Perak-born played to form in the World Cup as well as the Asian Games, but was let down by some poor play from his mates.

"This time around we have a very good understanding and by going into the tournament as top-seeds (ranked 13th in World) we need to keep our reputation intact and what better way than win the gold medal.

"Having said that, we are not overconfident playing against lower ranked teams, but are confident with our own capabilities this time around," said Azlan.

Malaysia only have Oman (22nd), Ukraine (24th) and Singapore (36th) for company in Group A. In Group B are Japan (14th), Poland, (18th), Bangladesh (30th) and Mexico (35th).

The top-three teams in Singapore will advance to the World League Semi-finals at either Argentina or Belgium where tickets to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics await.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Hawgood appointed as consultant

By Jugjet Singh

AUSTRALIAN Neil Hawgood was finally accepted as a consultant, and will assist chief coach Tai Beng Hai in the Singapore World League Round Two on Jan 15-25.

However, the National Sports Council (NSC) told Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) to hold their Annual General Meeting (AGM) and clean up their messy constitution before they can talk further about hiring Hawgood on a full-time basis.

Hawgood's previous attachment was with the India women's team from July 2012, and under him, India won bronze in the 17th Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea, while the junior team won a first-ever bronze medal in the 2013 World Cup.

Yesterday, MHC vice-president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad met NSC director general Datuk Ahamad Shapawi to iron out the coach as well as constitution issues.

MHC messed up their constitutional amendments at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EOGM) last year, and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) have offered suggestions on how to tighten it.

"The NSC have agreed to the appointment of Hawgood as consultant for the World League but we need to rectify some issues in our amended constitution before they proceed with the next step of offering him a coaching contract," said Nur Azmi Ahmad.

Beng Hai welcomed the news, even though its an 11th hour appointment as the team leave for Singapore today.

"Finally there is some concrete news about a foreign coach with the help of the NSC. I welcome the appointment of Hawgood as consultant as every little help matters in a tournament of this nature," said Beng Hai.

Malaysia have Oman (22nd), Ukraine (24th) and Singapore (36th) for company in Group A. In Group B are Japan (14th), Poland, (18th), Bangladesh (30th) and Mexico (35th).

The top-three teams in Singapore will advance to the World League Semi-finals at either Argentina or Belgium where tickets to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics await.

Malaysia are arranging for a friendly in Singapore on Thursday: "All the players are injury free and ready for the tournament," said Beng Hai as he tries to steer Malaysia to the top of the podium.

For the record, Malaysia has a spartan record of winning an FIH tournament as their only gold was won when Stephen van Huizen coached the nation at a Paris Five-Nation.

Van Huizen is now assistant to Beng Hai.

And then there was the near miss at the 2009 World Cup Qualifier in Invercargill, New Zealand, where Malaysia won silver. Then, Malaysia took the lead, only to lose 2-1 and hand the New Delhi World Cup ticket to New Zealand.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

MHC hire Hawgood as a consultant… for now

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have surprisingly named Australian Neil Hawgood as a consultant of the national team.

There were speculation earlier that Hawgood would be named as coach.

MHC senior vice-president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad said they held a meeting with the National Sports Council (NSC) yesterday and decided to appoint the Australian as a consultant for now.

“Hawgood will be redesignated after our annual general meeting. We will then make the other decisions like naming his assistants and how the local coaches will fit into his plans,” said Nur Azmi.

Nur Azmi added that Tai Beng Hai will remain as coach for the World Hockey League Round Two which starts in Singapore on Saturday.

“Hawgood will join the team in Singapore. He will work with the local coaches and also assess the players during the tournament. We will sort out his contract after the Singapore tournament,” he said.

Hawgood is a former Australian national player. He represented Australia at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul where they finished fourth.

After his retirement, Hawgood went into coaching with stints in England and Scotland. He also coached in Queensland and Western Australia.

He was also the assistant coach of the Australian women’s team from 2006 to 2010 and the men’s team from 2001 to 2004.

In 2012, Hawgood was due to take over the Malaysian team but the deal fell through at the eleventh hour. South African Paul Revington was named as the Malaysian coach while Hawgood took charge of the Indian women’s team. His contract with India expired last month.

The Star of Malaysia

Sophie Bray deserves high five for reaching Hockey indoor finals

By Graham Wilson

Sophie Bray has made it all the way to the final at Wembley Arena. GETTY

SOPHIE BRAY and JoJo Davis were celebrating reaching the final of the Hockey 5s indoor championship after East Grinstead put an end to Slough's hopes of a dream trip to Wembley Arena.

Bray broke the hearts of Slough, who have 13 indoor titles to their name.

Their last was in the 2007/08 season at the NIA in Birmingham but they were crestfallen when, in a cagey, defensive game, England forward Bray broke away to score four minutes from the end of their semi-final in Kettering.

They will meet Bowdon Hightown, who edged out Canterbury 5-4, and will join the East Grinstead men, who are aiming for a seventh successive championship, at the SSE Arena on Sunday, January 25.

East Grinstead captain Davis said: "We're ecstatic to get to Wembley. We've been a bit up and down in the competition but we've beaten the likes of Canterbury and Reading which shows how far we've come.

"You never know where the decisive goal is coming from. One moment can make or break the game. We focused and were determined and hung in there to get the job done."

Sally Walton and Tina Cullen scored two goals each for Bowdon Hightown, who will be out to make amends for a disappointing showing in last year's final.

Cullen said: "Semi-finals are always tough as there's so much to gain but also so much to lose. I'm really pleased with the team and we're made up to make the final.

"Amy Tennant in goal was superb. She saved at least three certain goals and kept us in it. We're really pleased to get to the final and hope we can give a good account of ourselves this year."

HOCKEY 5s Indoor Championship (Sunday, Jan 25, SSE Wembley Arena) 12.30 - Men's semi-final 1: East Grinstead v Reading; 13.45 - Men's semi-final 2: Sevenoaks v Canterbury.

15.15 - Women's Championship Final. 16.45 - Men's Championship Final.

Daily Express

Paragon sweep Ventures men’s, women’s crowns

Nigel Simon

Paragon duo Alanna Lewis and Akim Toussaint were voted as the Most Valuable Players of the men and women Open of the 12th annual Ventures Hockey Invitational Hockey Tournament after leading their teams to their respective divisional crowns at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton-Holder Street, Woodbrook, on Sunday.

For Lewis and her team-mates it was an easy stroll in the women’s decider against host club Ventures as she netted a beaver-trick while Keima Gardiner and Gabrielle Thompson added one each in a 6–0 triumph to keep hold of their title.

Earlier in the semifinals, Lewis scored twice and Gabrielle Thompson, Zene Henry and Kelsey Francis one apiece for Paragon in their 5–1 whipping of Notre Dame which got a lone reply from veteran Carol Whiteman.

In the other semifinal, Ventures used goals from Anya Sealy and Jade Piper to edge past rivals, Shandy Carib Magnolias. Brittney Hingh was on target for Magnolias.

The Dames ending their campaign on a high, beating Magnolias 4–2 in the third place playoff led by a double from Chelsea Dey.

The men’s final also failed to live up to a hype with Toussaint scoring a hat-trick in his team’s 5–3 outclassing of Queen’s Park to dethrone Petrotrin.

Barry Clarke and Kiel Murray chipped in with the other goals for the winners to cancel out Matthew Tang Nian and Dominic Young replies for the Parkites.

Paragon had earlier edged the previously unbeaten Defence Force 3–2 in a penalty shoot-out after an entertaining 4–4 draw, while Queen’s Park hammered Fatima 7–2 in their match-up.

And in the Veterans competition, Minister of National Security Gary Griffith and “MVP” Roger Daniel scored two goals each for Defence Force to repeat as champions with a 6–2 defeat of Notre Dame.

Griffith two goals ensured he was the tournament’s top scorer with seven goals while his team-mate and goalkeeper Hayden Francoise captured the “Best Goalkeeper” accolade.


Sunday Semifinals:
Men: Paragon 4 (Kiel Murray 2, Sheldon Mc Kellar, Syl Sinnette) vs Defence Force Paragon 4 (Jovan Woodward, Mickell Pierre, Shane Legerton) - Paragon won penalty shoot-out 3-2
QPCC 7 (Nicholas Camacho 3, Kadeem Fortune 2, Dominic Young, Ryan Daniel) vs Fatima 2 (Jordan Vieira 2)
Third: Defence Force 7 (Mickell Pierre 3, Jovan Woodward 2, Shane Legerton 2) vs Fatima 1 (Jordan Vieira)
Final: Paragon 5 (Akim Toussaint 3, Barry Clark, Kiel Murray) vs QPCC 2 (Matthew Tang Nian, Dominic Young)

Women: Paragon 5 (Alanna Lewis 2, Gabrielle Thompson, Zene Henry, Kelsey Francis) vs Notre Dame 1 (Carol Whiteman)
Ventures 2 (Anya Sealy, Jade Piper) vs SC Magnolias 1 (Brittney Hingh)
Third: Notre Dame 4 (Chelsea Dey 2, Tamia Roach, Blair Wynne) vs SC Magnolias 2 (Britteny Hingh, Brianna Govia)
Final: Paragon 6 (Alanna Lewis 4, Keima Gardiner, Gabrielle Thompson) vs Ventures 0

Men: Paragon 4 (Jovan Woodward, Mickell Pierre, Shane Legerton) vs Paragon 4 (Kiel Murray 2, Sheldon Mc Kellar, Syl Sinnette) – Paragon won penalty shoot-out 3-2
QPCC 7 (Nicholas Camacho 3, Kadeem Fortune 2, Dominic Young, Ryan Daniel) vs Fatima 2 (Jordan Vieira 2)
Third: Defence Force 7 (Mickell Pierre 3, Jovan Woodward 2, Shane Legerton 2) vs Fatima 1 (Jordan Vieira)
Final: Paragon 5 (AKim Toussaint 3, Barry Clark, Kiel Murray) vs QPCC 2 (Matthew Tang Nian, Dominic Young)
Veterans Final:
Defence Force 6 (Roger Daniel 2, Gary Griffith 2, Anthony Morales, Gordon Snow) vs Notre Dame 2 (Keith De Peza, Selwyn King)
Men: QPCC 4 (Dominic Young 2, Nicholas Camacho, Shawn Lee Quay) vs Notre Dame 2 (Aidan de Gannes 2)
Paragon 5 (Sheldon Mc Kellar, Ryan Cowie, Akim Tousssaint, Barry Clarke, Syl Sinnette) vs Defence Force 5 (Roger Daniel 2, Mickel Pierre, Shane Legerton, Javon Woodward)
Petrotrin 7 (Wayne Legerton 5, Otis O’Connor, Triston Grant) vs QPCC 7 (Dominic Young 3, Shawn Lee Quay, Kadeem Fortune, Matthew Tang Nian, Zacharry Clarke)
Defence Force 4 (Mickell Pierre 2, Javon Woodward, Roger Daniel) vs Fatima 3 (Andrew Vieira, Quinn Clarke, Che Modeste)
Paragon 5 (Akim Toussaint 3, Ryan Cowie, Sheldon Mc Kellar) vs Notre Dame 2 (Darren Cowie, Aidan de Gannes)
Women: SC Magnolias 3 (Savannah De Freitas, Elise Olton, Amie Olton) vs Ventures 2 (Arielle Cowie 2)
Paragon 3 (Gabrielle Thompson, Alanna Lewis, Kristin Thompson) vs Ventures 0
Veterans: Notre Dame 7 (Selwyn King 3, Scott Dopson 3, Carol Whiteman) vs Fatima 2 (Wayne Nieves, Paul Dijkhoffz)
Individual awards:
Women: Most Valuable Player: Alanna Lewis (Paragon)
Best Goalkeeper: Sarayah-u Plaza (Ventures)
Most Goals: Kristin Thompson – 8 goals
Men: Most Valuable Player: Akim Toussaint (Paragon)
Best Goalkeeper: Jesse Thomas (Paragon)
Most Goals: Wayne Legerton (Petrotrin) & Mickell Pierre (Defence Force) – 13 goals
Veterans: Most Valuable Player: Roger Daniel (Defence Force)
Best Goalkeeper: Hayden Francois (Defence Force)
Most Goals: Gary Griffith (Defence Force) – 7 goals ​

The Trinidad Guardian

Atlètic to host Copa del Rey y de la Reina

Atlètic Terrassa will host the next edition of Spanish Copa del Rey y de la Reina (King’s and Queen’s Cup), where the top eight men and women teams will face off from March 13 to 15.

The draw for the championship will be held this Friday, January 16 in Masia Freixa, a modernist building symbolic of the City of Terrassa. In the men’s competition, RC Polo and Atlètic Terrassa qualified as top seeds, so they can’t see each other until the final.

Club de Campo, Egara, Júnior, Complutense, Atlético San Sebastián and Jolaseta are the other qualified teams.

In women’s competition, Club de Campo and Real Sociedad are top seeds, and Polo, Taburiente, Egara, SPV, Júnior and Atlètic Terrassa also qualified.

Last year, Polo won the competition in the men’s category, while in women’s Club de Campo got the victory in a thrilling shoot-out round against Real Sociedad.

The organisers are preparing a lot of activities to run alongside the competition, similar to top level international championships, such as concerts, hockey exhibitions and social events.

Euro Hockey League media release

Hayward geared up for Hockey India League

Black Sticks defender Andy Hayward is all set for the bright lights of the Hockey India League which gets underway next week.

The league runs from 22 January - 22 February with six Kiwis competing alongside some of the world’s best players for the 2015 title.

Hayward heads back to defending champions Delhi Wave Riders, where he will play with New Zealand team-mates Simon Child and Steve Edwards.

The 29-year-old, who fetched US$41,000 in this year’s HIL auction, played half a season for the Wave Riders as a late call-up in 2013, but is looking forward to this edition a lot more.

“A couple of years ago I got called up for the second half of the league and I really enjoyed it. It was good fun and the hockey is absolutely amazing. You don’t play in front of much bigger crowds anywhere in the world,” he said.

“It’s quite good because I know a lot of the guys already and a few familiar faces with Simon and Steve which makes things a bit more relaxing and chilled out.

“I think we’ve got a pretty sharp team and can continue the good form they’ve been playing over the past few years, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Most recently Hayward has been enjoying his time in England, playing for central London club Hampstead & Westminster.

A broken finger kept him out of action for a few weeks but he has enjoyed a change of scenery, even though he is missing the hot Kiwi summer.

Following the Hockey India League he will head back to London to play out the end of the season before heading home to New Zealand for a 2015 schedule which includes a shot at qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“It’s been really great spending some time in London - like anything it’s always good to do something different every so often to keep yourself refreshed and really excited.

“I’m looking forward to my next game for the Black Sticks, and we’ve got Olympic qualifying in June which is huge. We’ve got to make sure we perform really well at that tournament to set us up for the next 18 months.”


Simon Child, Steve Edwards, Andy Hayward

Ryan Archibald

Nick Wilson

Shea McAleese

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Uthappa ready to make big impression in HIL

Indian hockey player S.K. Uthappa.   

Playing for Uttar Pradesh Wizards for the third time in a row, India’s forward S.K. Uthappa looks forward to putting up a good show and making it to the finals this season.

“I am looking to push a bit harder this year and make it to the top two and eventually emerge as the winners of the league. Not only it’s a good learning experience for us, but a great opportunity for every player to be a part of this league,” said Uthappa.

In the first edition of the league, Uthappa showcased his talent and ability, and helped the Uttar Pradesh-based franchisee claim the third spot win. In the second season, the 23-year old player played with more maturity and got his name featured in the list of the ‘Man of the Match’

With all the experience and skill set developed in the upcoming league, Uthappa is striving hard not to miss any scoring opportunities.

“I am sure it will be a great season of Hero Hockey India League 2015. We not only have some of the best players from the world but also the top coaches. I am expecting that the team will do much better than what we did last season,” he said.

With an aim to give a tough challenge to the opponents and come out as a stronger team, Uthappa will find support of the strong forward-line. The forward position will see players like Tushar Khandker, Ramandeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah and Jeroen Hertzberger.

The Hindu

I want to bring in factor of heart: Valentin Altenburg

Dabang Mumbai's coach Altenburg says he wants team to play emotional hockey

Rutvick Mehta

Dabang Mumbai coach Valentin Altenburg (3rd from left) and team mentor Viren Rasquinha (4th from left) at MHA ground in Mumbai on Monday Salman Ansari dna

According to experts, if there was one major aspect that was lacking in the Mumbai franchise of the Hockey India League (HIL) in the last two years, it was intent. The team looked out of sorts, one that didn't put enough efforts to make it a winning unit. Not surprisingly, it finished a forgettable fifth in the standings in both seasons.

But with a change of owner, name, coaching staff and core players, there promises to be a change in approach. The newly-formed Dabang Mumbai are making all the right noises heading into the third edition of the HIL that kickstarts on January 22.

Head coach Valentin Altenburg wasted little time in setting the agenda, arriving straight from the airport at the MHA Stadium in Mumbai on Monday, and having a brief chat with the 14 Indian players who have assembled for the camp.

"I want Dabang Mumbai to be an enthusiastic franchise," the 33-year-old German said. "I want the team to be successful, but I also want it to play emotional hockey."

Emotional hockey? But isn't sport about keeping one's emotions in check on the field?

"One aspect that I want to bring in personally is the factor of heart. If you have players with skills and experience but don't play with their heart, then they will be half as good as they could be. What (mentor) Viren Rasquinha and I share is ambition, and when we build a team, we always want it to finish first. Although it might not be realistic, but we don't really care. We want to win. It's innate in us," Altenburg said.

Playing with their heart was not something one saw from players of the previous franchise, and the current set-up is making all efforts to correct it.

"They didn't put enough effort both individually and as a team," Rasquinha said. "The team also didn't seem to bond very well. But we want to ensure we build a rapport as a team. We have had team e-mails, team WhatsApp groups, and everything possible to ensure that there is good bonding in all aspects ever since we formed the team in November."

The franchise picked a fresh set of players in the auctions, while retaining only a few from the previous franchise like Australians Glenn Turner and Timothy Deavin, Ireland's David Harte, besides a few Indians like VS Vinaya. The new coach's first challenge will be to get the new-look team going both on and off the field in just about a couple of weeks.

"I'm very positive, because we have players who are playing for years nationally. But this is a very important challenge that the team leadership, and the team, has to address. There will also be some cultural leadership work that has to be done.

"My assumption from talking to the international players is that there is something they really like about HIL. So I'm very focussed on getting everyone on that same boat and making the players themselves responsible for understanding that they have to integrate themselves," said Altenburg, who has been coaching since 25 and is in-charge of the German Under-21 team.

Altenburg hopes to use the tag o being and unknown to the team's advantage.

"It'll be interesting to see how franchises who've been playing together for two years under a very similar set-up of players make use of that advantage. It will be more predictable of how they would play than how we would play. We are the new team and no one will know what we'll do. Which is good!" he said, adding that he has some Hindi and Marathi learning to do with his first visit to Mumbai.

Altenburg on Indian hockey...

When I watch the boys right now, it's fascinating to see their smooth movements, technique and skills. When Viren and (VS) Vinaya came to Stuggtgard in those days, all players of the league were astonished to see their one-on-one skills. So that is India's strength, and German players will never reach that level.

But it's a bit more complex than that. You also have to have a certain athletic and tactical concept as a team. What has been a success factor for German hockey is that they can get better and better as a tournament goes on. So if you combine tactical discipline and systematic approach with smooth technical aspects of Indian, that team will dominate the world for the next decade.

Teams like Australia and Germany are very strong when it really matters. So the mental aspect of hockey also shouldn't be underestimated. When it comes to important games, your team has to be there. And teams that are able to manage that will be successful.


German coach lauds Indian hockey players on skills

MUMBAI: Young Dabang Mumbai chief coach, Valentin Altenburg, on Monday praised Indian hockey players for their skills and wished they could integrate those with tactical acumen of top teams like his native Germany and World Cup champions Australia to become world beaters.

"When I watch the Indian boys I am fascinated with their movement and skills. When (former India captain) Viren (Rasquinha) and (VS) Vinaya came to Stuttgart in those days the whole (German) league was astonished with their capability in one-on-one situations," said Altenburg soon after taking over as coach of the Hockey India League franchise team.

"This is the strength which India has and German players will never ever reach that level. However, it is a little bit more complex than that. You need to have a certain athletic and tactical concept as a team.

"I think if you could combine tactical discipline and systematic approach with smooth technical aspect of Indian hockey, that team will dominate the world for the next decade," said the 33-year-old German.

He also stressed on the importance of becoming mentally stronger as a tournament progresses, a trait which has helped teams like Germany.

Rasquinha, who is the franchise team's mentor, said the first goal of the team was to enter the semifinals of the six-team league. He felt the first two games, both at home at the Mahindra Stadium here, will be crucial ones.

"We will have the full squad by the 15th. We play our first match on the 23rd. Our first target is to reach semifinals. We will take one step at a time. The first two games are very crucial.

"We first take on Jaypee Punjab Warriors which finished runner up last year and has a big Australian contingent most of them WC gold medalists. We will first concentrate on the first two matches," said the former India skipper.

The Mumbai franchise's second game on January 24th is against Ranchi Rays.

Altenburg is confident that the foreign players in Dabang Mumbai will adapt to the conditions at the earliest.

"I have been in contact with those players. They have to be used to the surroundings and once they adapt they will be very quick with their skills.

"I am very positive in my feeling, especially with help of my team (support staff) that we will have a good balance. Most players have been playing at the national level. We have to work on coming together. I am very focused on getting all in one boat (integrating the players)," he elaborated.

Altenburg was keen to be a part of HIL last year, but could not do so as he had a toddler at home, he said.

"I was actually thinking to come last year. I have a very little daughter. Last year, I could not leave her and come. She is one and a half years old now," he said.

He remarked that HIL was a unique league as compared to leagues in Germany as the results of matches cannot be foretold with certainty because of certain factors.

"Barring a few exceptions the best players of the world are there this year. Certain regulations are there which are complex and tricky unlike in Germany.

"Every game is a new adventure for the coach, players and the spectators which distinguishes HIL from other leagues. Hopefully it's also more quality. It's very difficult to predict the result in HIL," he remarked.

"What has worked well for German hockey is that they have been able to get better as the tournament continues. When they come and start a tournament they are not as strong as they are in the end. So far, Australia and Germany are mentally very strong in important games, an aspect which should not be underestimated," he explained.

Looking ahead to the HIL commencing on January 22, Altenburg wanted his team members to play by wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

"I want to have a team that plays emotional hockey. I like players who play with a heart. Already we have a good squad here. With the internationals coming in we have to orchestrate our concept.

"We have a team with a few very young and promising talent. We also have a lot of very experienced players who had played lot of World Cups and international cups. I want their opinion of hockey to be integrated in our Dabang Mumbai concept."

The Times of India

Felix anticipates better season for Lancers in HIL

NEW DELHI: Former India captain Jude Felix, who is currently coaching Kalinga Lancers, feels his team is much sharper this time and hoped players such as Lalit Kumar and Amir Khan will step up their performances to produce a successful season in upcoming Hero Hockey India League (HHIL).

"With a lot of young players in this line-up the team looks sharper this time and is in process of doing new things. Players like Lalit Kumar and Amir Khan are much more mature now and if groomed properly they'll definitely stand out this time," Felix said after a practice session at Bhubaneswar.

"There's a lot of talent and I am confident that the boys will do well as compared to the last year."

Talking about the HHIL, Felix said: "Leagues like Hockey India League is helping the game of Hockey to grow and thrive in the nation. If you go by the past seasons, Delhi Waveriders have been in the two finals and they are one of the stronger sides.

"The other teams are equally formidable and it's all about how you take the challenge and play with what intensity. We are working on our game and I expect a better term for the Lancers this time."

The 3rd edition of the Hero Hockey India League will start from January 22 with Kalinga Lancers taking on Ranchi Rays in the opening match at Bhubaneswar.

The Times of India

National-level hockey player disappears from train, parents blame coach

Ankit Yadav

BAREILLY: A national-level girl hockey player from Pilibhit, returning home alone by train after having participated in an Under-17 National School Hockey Championship in Ranchi, went missing in course of the journey, her family said on Monday.

Karishma Sonkar, 16, was travelling without reservation from Faizabad to Bareilly after participating in the tournament held from January 3 to 7 when lost contact with her family on January 10. She had travelled with her family to Faizabad from Bareilly for the championship on December 31. The coach cum manager of the team, Rahul Singh, said Faizabad was designated as the meeting point where players had to collect for the onward journey to Ranchi and disperse on their way back. However, the girl's family, which lodged a complaint with the Government Railway Police (GRP) in Bareilly, has held the coach responsible for Sonkar's disappearance. The coach, in turn, has denied the allegations.

The police, on its part, claimed the girl misled her family as verification of her mobile phone details indicated that her actual location when she called them last was Barabanki, and not Lucknow, as she had told her family. However, SP Railways, Vaibhav Krishna, said the police were taking the matter very seriously and had launched a manhunt to find out the girl.

The girl's brother, Saurabh, accused the coach of carelessness. "My sister was not provided a reserved seat on the Jallainwala Bagh Express from Faizabad to Bareilly. All players had reserved seats while travelling to Faizabad and sport authorities had asked parents of the players to make their own arrangements for the onward journey. When the authorities had already arranged for the journey to Faizabad, they could have paid for the ticket to Bareilly as well and charged the difference from us," he fumed.

However, Singh refuted the family's charges. He said rules had made clear that every player's ticket was reserved only till Faizabad, and it was the responsibility of the parents to come and collect their wards. Singh said Karishma's parents didn't turn up when the players were dispersing at Faizabad. He claimed the girl called up her parents in front of him and gave them the details of the train in which she was going to travel.

The Times of India

Tupper, Hennig, and Stairs honoured with 2014 Player Awards

Shaheed Devji

Scott Tupper, Danielle Hennig, and Brienne Stairs were honoured with the 2014 Field Hockey Canada Player Awards on Saturday in Vancouver, B.C.

At the end of each year of competition, the Canadian Men’s and Women’s National Teams recognize their top players from the past twelve months by awarding the Player of the Year and Top Goal Scorer designations.

For the second straight year, veteran defender and Men’s National Team captain Scott Tupper (Vancouver, BC) earned both accolades. Tupper, 28, also plays club hockey internationally for Racing Club of Brussels. He scored eight goals for Canada during officially sanctioned international competition in 2014.

“It feels good to be recognized for having put in some good performances,” said Tupper upon receiving the awards. “At the same time its based on the way team plays. If the team is not playing well, I’m not going to look too good and vice versa.”

The focus on team-play was a common sentiment among all award winners.

Defender Danielle Hennig (Kelowna, BC) took home Player of the Year honours for the Women’s National Team. Hennig, 24, has played in 79 international matches for Canada and has become a leader on and off the turf.

“It’s a huge honour, and really unexpected,” she said. “With any team sport, you can’t do anything without the rest of the team. I know as much as it’s a big honour, all the credit goes back to my teammates.”

Brienne Stairs (Kitchener, ON) was the Women’s National Team’s Top Goal Scorer in 2014. Not only did Stairs, 25, lead Canada in scoring, she was among the top ten female goal scorers in the world.

“It was a team effort that I was able to get all these goals,” she said. “It was a good year, I think we’re building off of that and hoping for the best in 2015.”

With Olympic qualification up for grabs through World League and the Pan American Games, both the Men’s and Women’s National Teams will be looking for continued strong performance from each of their award winners throughout 2015.

Field Hockey Canada media release

How to interpret the new FIH Rules of Hockey

Need guidance for the new FIH Rules of Hockey?

Umpires Alex Fedenczuk and Ged Curran have produced a very useful set of guidance notes that explain the new FIH Rules of Hockey for the outdoor game.

Download the Outdoor Rules Interpretation document (PDF)

Please share this with your team-mates, coaches, fellow umpires and officials.

The new FIH Rules of Hockey 2015 are also available to download in the competition rules page.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

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