All the news for Saturday 22 August 2009
KZN Coastals' Carr clinches semi-final victory
JONATHAN COOK at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf
KZN Coastals and Southern Gauteng will contest the final of the National Men's Interprovincial Hockey Tournament at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf in Pietermaritzburg at 3.10 pm on Saturday.
Coastals were in a nerve-wracking semi-final against two-time defending champions Western Province and completed a remarkable fightback to win 5-4 in a penalty stroke shootout after the scores were locked 3-3 at regulation time.
KZN Coastals' Gareth Carr slots winning penalty stroke past WP's Rassie Pieterse. PHOTO: JOHAN PRETORIUS
Southerns withstood a concerted Northerns push for a long-awaited berth in the final to triumph 3-0, the Pretoria men ruing their inability to capitalise on opportunities.
The B Section final will be between an impressive Border line-up and surprise packages SA Country Districts.
Coastals were remarkable for their triumph in the face of adversity. WP started like a house on fire, accurate finishing seeing them 3-0 up inside the first 15 minutes. WP and SA captain Austin Smith's flicking from penalty corners nailed two from two – one high, the next low – past Coastals goalkeeper Gowan Jones. John McInroy added the third from field play and Coastals looked out of it.
However, captain Wade Paton's team gradually turned things around, despite numerous setbacks as precious penalty corners flew wide and central defender Lloyd Madsen was sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes.
Three minutes after half-time Coastals pulled one back as Matt Botha finished off the good work initiated by namesake and fellow front man Michael Botha. Then it was Paton's turn to round off a stunning field goal before South Africa's top penalty corner drag-flicker Gareth Carr nailed one past WP and SA goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse.
Despite the close attentions of Eric Rose-Innes, KZN Coastals' Shanyl Balwanth gets his pass away. WP's Ian Haley looks on. PHOTO: JOHAN PRETORIUS
The semi-final went straight into the shootout, and Jones made a fine save low to his right to keep out Province's first penalty stroke, from SA striker Ian Haley. Lloyd Madsen nailed Coastals' first flick and from that point the teams matched each other flick for flick, until Carr produced the flick that clinched the semi-final for Coastals.
Southern Gauteng have the tournament's top three strikers in Lloyd Norris-Jones, Thornton McDade and Miguel da Graca – and they proved it again with Da Graca (2) Norris-Jones delivering the goals in the last-four clash with Gauteng neighbours Northerns.
DAY 5 RESULTS
A Section Shield: Southern Gauteng 3 Northerns Blues 0; KZN Coastals 3 WP 3 (Coastals won penalty stroke shootout 5-4); EP 2 North West 1; KZN Inland 4 WP Peninsula 3.
B Section: SA Country Districts 2 EP Settlers 0; Border 6 Northern Cape 0; Namibia 5 Mpumalanga 2;KZN Mynahs 8 KZN Inland B 3.
FINAL CLASSIFICATION FIXTURES
At AB Jackson - A Section Shield: (7/8) North West vs WP Peninsula (8.30 am); (5/6) Eastern Province vs KZN Inland (10.10 am); (3/4) Northern Gauteng vs Western Province (1.30 pm); (Final) Southern Gauteng vs KZN Coastal (3.10 pm). B Section Cup final: Border vs SA Country Districts (11.50 am).
At Maritzburg College - B Section Cup: (9/10) KZN Inland B vs Mpumalanga (8.30 am); (7/8) Northern Cape vs Namibia (10.10 am); (5/6) Free State vs EP Settlers (11.50 am); (3/4) KZN Mynahs vs Witwatersrand (1.30 pm).
SA Hockey World
Southern Gauteng a threat to WP domination
JONATHAN COOK @ the SPAR Women's Hockey IPT
THE cream of the country's players will converge on Pretoria this weekend ahead of the Spar Women's Interprovincial Hockey Tournament, which begins on Monday and culminates with the finals the following Saturday.
The splendid Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Hockey Stadium is the main venue, while some lesser matches will be played at the University of Pretoria.
Western Province, studded with a large majority of the country's SPAR South Africa women's team members, are again favourites to lift the trophy after the final at TUT next Saturday.
Leading into the week's hockey that lies ahead, KZN Coastals, under coach Lennie Botha and captained by Brenda Bartlett, have enjoyed thorough preparation including matches against men's teams in the local league.
KZN Inland have named a young team to be coached by Maritzburg Varsity and KZN Inland player Kegan Walters.
WP captain Kate Woods (nee Hector) told Weekend Witness that with the return to a competitive, two-pool format, tougher matches are on the cards.
The A Section, or Spar Cup, comprises the top eight provincial teams in the country, while the lower tier, B Section, teams consist by and large of young players, who are growing in confidence.
The B Section starts on Monday next week, with the A Section starting from Tuesday and the finals next Saturday.
Woods said WP would be missing three key SA players in Kathleen Taylor (ankle), Tarryn Bright (knee) and Lenise Marais (foot). To add to Western Province's woes, their Junior World Cup players, who are just back from the tournament in Boston, Massachusetts are not available as they have so much studying to catch up on at their universities.
Woods said Durban's KZN Coastal Raiders would be strong, as they have stars of the calibre of experienced SPAR SA striker Jen Wilson and England international Crista Cullen at their disposal.
The WP skipper said Southern Gauteng would be very strong, what with former SPAR SA women's hockey stars Pietie Coetzee, Sharne Bailey, Fiona Butler and Tsoanelo Pholo joining current Spar SA captain Marsha Marescia and Lisa Deetlefs in the Johannesburg-based province's ranks, plus their Junior World Cup players.
KZN Coastal Raiders: Megan Flaunders, Catherine Morris, Brenda Bartlett (capt), Kerry Pearton, Marlise Joubert, Shelley Freyer, Faryn Halstead, Wanri Venter, Kelly Madsen, Cindy Botha, Emma Bray, Nikki Mullins, Terri-Lee Chelin, Jen Wilson, Crista Cullen, Nosipho Dladla. Coach: Lennie Botha. Manager: Les Galloway.
KZN Inland: Kara Stella, Ilsa Gordon, Taryn Miskey, Sian Eustice, Robyn Pearson, Nikita Cryer, Michelle Henwood, Sade Simons, Kirsty Scott, Linda Tarr, Thobeka Kunene, Rachel Froneman, Annie Smith. Coach: Kegan Walters. Manager/physio: Caroline Storrar.
* SA Country Districts have a huge KZN flavour: Kirsten Skead (capt), Mariska Roberts, Odette Olivier, Taryn de Winnaar, Tarryn Woodroffe, Ronel Purchase, Corrien Landman, coach Greg Bye and manager Tracey James are all from KZN Inland. Elodie Pienaar and Richelle Lywood (vice-capt) are from KZN Coastal.
SA Hockey World
by CRAIG COZIER
THERE will be a new champion in the mixed division of the Banks International Hockey Festival as local team Rockets and Toronto FHC of Canada advanced with entertaining semi-final victories yesterday at the Hockey Centre of the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
Rockets, in their third year as a Festival team, saw off Old Gold Roosters 4-1 to reach the final for the first time while Toronto, boosted by a few local guest players, dashed the hopes of Do Badd Crew with a 3-1 win.
Rockets, with Mark Murray to the fore, took control of their semi-final against the multi-cultural Roosters with two goals in four minutes midway through the first half.
Murray set up the first for Katrina Greaves and then slotted home the second himself to give his side a 2-0 lead.
Roosters hit back through Donovan Smith in the 21st minute and went to the half down 1-2.
The match was tension-filled until the final ten minutes when goals from Venslough Leacock and Murray finally put away the spirited Roosters.
In the second semi, Toronto were slowly out the blocks as Chetwyn Henry put Do Badd ahead in the 15th minute.
But just before the half-time whistle, Toronto turned the match on its head with two goals in the space of three minutes.
Mark Owen’s crisp strike after a penalty corner levelled affairs before Paul Pounder collected a fine through ball from Greg Honid and blasted his side into a 2-1 lead.
Do Badd earned enough chances to equalise but Henry, Barry Clarke, Aaron Forde and Joanna Davis were wasteful as Toronto goalkeeper David Rosenberg stood firm.
Toronto sealed their progress when Marsha Drakes iced the victory with a strike four minutes before the end.
Today’s final between Rockets and Toronto will be rematch of their Pool “B” encounter last Sunday in which Toronto prevailed 3-2.
The veterans’ finale will be a repeat of last year’s showdown with defending champions All Stars and Maple advancing t the expense of Cunning.
All three teams ended equal on points after Cunning and Maple drew 0-0 and All Stars blanked Jammin’ CSOS 3-0 on Thursday night. Cunning’s weaker goal difference counted against them.
Four finals take place today at the Hockey Centre with the winners of yesterday evening’s women’s semi-finals (A Badd Connection v Georgetown Cricket Club and Big Apple v Roosters) and men’s semi-finals (Dominion v A Badd Connection and Dsyde v Jamaica Defence Force) headlining.
Clubs battle for world slots
By David Namunyala
Weatherheads Hockey Club will today take on Simba Union in a do-or-die game at Lugogo as both teams battle for a slot in the upcoming intercontinental championships.
The game was washed out by rain last weekend.
She Weatherheads beat Kampala International School in Uganda 2-1 and Weatherheads beat Kampala Club 3-1 in earlier games.
Simba, 11 points, are second on the table – one better than Weatherheads.
The winner joins table leaders Wanainchi (15 points) for the intercontinental championships due November in Kampala.
Project boys provide the thrills
THE 47th edition of the Razak Cup would have been a total flop if not for the excitement provided by the Project 2013 boys.
The fact that a team of Under-18 boys went all the way to the final in Division One should alarm the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF).
The Razak Cup is the premier hockey tournament in the country but states showed total disrespect to it by fielding players who are way past their expiry dates.
Kuala Lumpur, the 2008 champions, paid a heavy price for depending on veterans and had to be satisfied with third place.
A check on the team lists showed that there were 41 players in the 30-40 age-group and three in the 40-50 category.
And it is needless to say that states which relied on players who should be playing in veterans' tournaments found out that former greats are no longer so great.
"When I used to play in the Razak Cup, it was the chance for a player to break into the national team and we had to give our best in every match because selectors were watching.
"Right after the prize presentation, the names of those who had been selected for national training would be read out, and that was how important a development ground it was," said a former national player who declined to be named.
This is why it would be worthless to write about the action in Division Two, and Division One would also have been a wasted exercise if not for the five 16-year-olds, seven 17-year-olds and six 18-year-olds in the Project squad.
"Before the tournament started, I thought that even if my boys won two matches, it would be an achievement. But they went all the way to the final and this is a good indication that we have selected promising players to be trained for the 2013 Junior World Cup," said Project coach K. Dharmaraj.
And the most important lesson for the MHF to learn from mistakes made in the last decade is to discard the full-time training which has failed to produce any results.
Let's learn from the semi-finalists of the recent Junior World Cup -- Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.
Their players were nurtured via playing in domestic tournaments rather than keeping them for long periods in national camps.
The Razak Cup failed to unearth any new talent, but MHF did at least one thing right -- it allowed Project 2013 to play in Division One.
And it could just be the silver lining for Malaysia to perform better in the next Junior World Cup.
New Straits Times
Project team only bright spot in a dreary Razak Cup championship
By S. RAMAGURU
KUALA LUMPUR: The performance of the Project 2013 team was the only saving grace of an otherwise forgetful 47th Razak Cup hockey championship, which ended on Thursday.
The tournament culminated with Malacca being crowned champions for only the second time in the series.
Still, the overall performance of all the teams – bar that of the Project 2013 team – was bad.
And the less said about the Malaysian Hockey Federation’s (MHF) organisation of the tournament the better.
If not for the Project 2013 squad’s participation, the tournament would have been a total flop.
The team, comprising players aged below 18 and who are being earmarked for the 2013 Junior World Cup, were like a breath of fresh air to the tournament – upstaging the more fancied teams to finish as runners-up to Malacca.
They have a lot of potential and, given the short period of training, have clearly matured into a good outfit.
But, as many coaches pointed out, the challenge now will be to keep their form going and grooming them into a top-notch unit.
Project coach K. Dharmaraj said they were still trying to identify the talents among the 36 players in the training squad.
“But I can see we have good potential. They have played in just two local tournaments so far and have improved tremendously.
“They are not the finished product yet. There are still a number of players we have not fielded and this will be done in stages,” he said.
The Project team also played in the Under-23 meet last month and finished third.
The move to expose the youngsters to local tournaments is good but they need to be given a comprehensive programme with specific targets.
For example, the MHF must set them certain targets in all the tournaments they compete in and assess their performances to ensure they are heading in the right direction.
With the states also keen on roping in these youngsters, MHF should come up with a clear-cut ruling to avoid teams from ‘fighting’ for the players.
As for the tournament, the MHF should not have crammed all the matches over eight days, with some teams having to play five days in a row.
The MHF’s decision to hold the tournament at three different venues also posed a problem to the teams.
The Razak Cup is the premier state tournament and the MHF should treat it as such.
The Star of Malaysia
Faizal almost ready to play among men
By Jugjet Singh
EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD Faizal Shaari is a strong bet to don national colours when Malaysia play in the World Cup Qualifiers at the end of the year.
The Junior World Cup player, who scored eight goals in Johor Baru, has proven to be an asset in the senior ranks as well after he scored against Australia and New Zealand in the recent friendlies.
Team manager George Koshy feels he is almost ready to play among the big boys: “Faizal scored a few goals in the Australia and New Zealand series, and now he is in con tention to represent Malaysia in the qualifier.” But first, he will be tested again when Malaysia head to China for friendly against the hosts and Australia A from Sept 28- Aug 8.
“We have arranged for six friendlies against the Australia A and China sides at the end of September, and if Faizal still keeps his form, he will be given a chance in the Qualifier,” said George.
The International Hoc key Federation (FIH) have yet to confirm teams for the three qualifiers which will be held in New Zealand, Argentina and France.
“We will only know who we will be playing against, and the venue after the European championships and also the Oceania Cup.
“As such, we need to prepare by playing various teams and be ready to make an attempt to qualify for the New Delhi World Cup next year.”
Teams who have already qualified for the World Cup are hosts India, Pan American champions Canada, Asia Cup winners South Korea and Africa Cup champions South Africa.
The other qualifiers will come from the winner of the Oceania Cup, and semi-finalists of the EuroHockey Nations Championship.
The final vacancies will be filled up by gold medallists in the three Qualifiers which Malaysia will be playing in.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Gold Cup Hockey Tournament from Sept 28
LAHORE: All Pakistan Gold Cup Hockey Tournament will be played from September 28 to October 7 at the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium in Islamabad.
A spokesman for the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) said on Friday that all the departmental and provincial teams would take part in the tournament that was being organised to pay homage to former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
He said the PHF had formed an organising committee headed by federal minister for sports Pir Aftab Shah Jillani to hold the event in a befitting manner. Islamabad Hockey Association (IHA) president Mustafain Kazmi will be the organising secretary.
The Daily Times
Former Olympians protest against PHF, PHA
LAHORE: Four Olympians — Khalid Mahmood, Naveed Alam, Tahir Zaman and Mansoor Ahmed — led a rally of Punjab players protesting against the attitude of the Punjab Hockey Association (PHA) and the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) here the other day. The protesters raised slogans in front of the PHF and PHA offices after which they proceeded to the Punjab Sports Department to hand over a charge sheet to an official of the Punjab government while appealing to Punjab’s Chief Minister to take action against the office-bearers of the provincial association.
According to the charge sheet, the four Olympians have alleged that while Punjab had nine regions, the PHA invited only four for the trials to select an Under-18 team for the PHF Junior National League to be held in Karachi next month. They said that Sialkot was not a region but it had been formed unconstitutionally. They alleged that both the PHA and the PHF were involved in by-passing the elected persons and making changes in the constitution through unconstitutional methods.
Former PHF general secretary Khalid Mahmood said the federal government should take action against the current officials of the PHF as they had taken several unconstitutional steps while also tarnishing the image of the country globally. He accused the PHF of paying salaries to double jobbers, which was constitutionally wrong as earlier all posts of the PHF were on occupied on an honorary basis. But now the national federation general secretary Mohammad Asif Bajwa himself along with several others were drawing pays from two different institutions. They also alleged that former Olympian Akhtar Rasool and former PHA president Imran Masood were destroying the system of Punjab hockey.
The Daily Times
No inquiry about PHF, says Jilani
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Sports Pir Aftab Shah Jilani on Friday categorically denied preparation of any report regarding PHF Secretary and also observed that PSB may partially or wholly finance national contingent for Indoor Asian Games.
"I strongly deny the existence of any final inquiry report regarding Pakistan Hockey Federation," Jilani told APP. "A mere fact-finding committee had been constituted in the PSB regarding PHF," he said.
The Minister said that the PSB Committee had only recorded the statements of PHF Secretary Muhammad Asif Bajwa and those who accused him of human-trafficking - Mansoor Ahmed and Naveed Alam.
The PSB Committee, headed by PSB Deputy Director Akhter Ganjera, was never given the mandate to finalise inquiry all by itself, he said.
Jilani also denied that the PSB had declined to sponsor a 98-member Pakistan contingent for 2nd Indoor Asian Games scheduled to commence in Vietnam on October 30.
"We are reassessing this matter. We have proposed to POA to explore generating as much funds as possible on their own," he said. "PSB or POA may go for matching funds for the sponsorship of the event."
The Indoor Games, he said, were still two months away and "we will reassess the situation whether to partially or to what extent we can financially support the contingent."
But he stressed that those disciplines or players should be focussed for participation which have medal potential.
He said that PSB had already this year financed three-four international events, like Youth Games in Singapore, recent Martial Art Games in Bangkok, a netball competition in July.
He stressed that federations should lay emphasis on quality training of players at home or abroad and PSB would lend finances in this behalf.
The News International
Ministry makes first move in Hockey India issue
In what can be described as first move, the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, has made its first move in the increasingly complex issue of Hockey India.
In a letter dated 10th August, Ministry has asked Indian Olympic Association President a clear response on the representations made by JB Roy and Amrit Bose.
JB Roy and Amrit Bose made a presentation to both the Ministry and Prime Minister asking their intervention in the forming a democratic hockey body.
The duo are upset the Hockey India was formed at the cost of the organizatins that they have been part of -- Indian Hockey Federation and Indian Women Hockey Federation - and as such opposed any direct or indirect move by the IOA to disturb the existing electoral college.
Though without giving any deadline for the IOA, the letter assumes signifcance in the light of the fact that it is for the first time the Minsitry is taking a concret step, and it will not remain a silent spectators as it was the case when Mani Shankar Aiyar was at the helm of affairs.
The step by the Ministry also assumes signifcance due to another development, that is, the Delhi High Court Judgement in the case filed by NK Batra, former vice-president of the Indian Hockey Federation.
As per the judgement, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is entitled to form guidelines for the Federations which otherwise claimed the bogey of autonomy.
It is a developing situation now, let us wait and see how the IOA responds to the latest missive by the Ministry.
Interview: "Let us all give something back to hockey"
Bangalore based Jude Felix Hockey Academy was are busy as usual on last Saturday. The boys were training, scored a goal. At that moment, more than half of theom drop their sticks and do a somersault, a sight that is ever to be beheld. The coaches remark that it’s important for the children to learn to celebrate.
The coach to children ratio catches your eye. 4 coaches around and each coach is attending a bunch of 10-12 children. These coaches follow training schedules, which seems to be methodical and tech-savvy.
They realize the importance of career for the children. They reflect positivity in their attitude and are not worried about what people at the helm of affairs are worried about. Talk to them and they reflect a pride in the work that they do, one thing that not many have. They dream big and are working towards to it.
Excerpts of discussion with P Shanmugham, a former international, one of many talented coaches at JFHA.
What is Jude Felix Hockey Academy all about?
We want to give the underprivileged a chance to play the sport and train them professionally. It’s a charitable trust formed all Hockey players and working with the intention of no profit.
What are the challenges that you are facing as of now?
2 main challenges: Proper equipment and do up the ground. We would like to include more number of children. Funding would be very important then. As of now, it’s the ground that we are looking at.
What has been the response of the children till now?
Fantastic! We ourselves have been taken by surprise by their response. Their improvement has pushed us to the higher levels in the coaching aspect. We have been working on the life-skills aspects of the children. There are quite a few positive changes in the children - lot of mutual respect and self respect amongst them. We do follow up with their academic records as well. In the past 4 months of our work, the results we have been getting are tremendous.
Who all are your coaches and how has been the coaching experience till now?
All coaches are volunteers. Khalid Modi – Goalkeeping coach, Sabu Varkey, Dominique Savio, John Verghese, Vinod Benedict, Dayalan, Bipin Fernandes, Anup Antony, Len Aiyappa and Shanmugham, myself.
The best part is from the day we have started there hasn’t been any break up in the programme till now. On a given day, there are always 3-4 coaches present.
Where do you see these children from 6-8 years from now?
(Smiles) 6-8 years from now, I will be coaching them for the state team, I feel. They are pretty good. We are looking at them to complete their studies. The core group is from 8-14 years. Hopefully we will see them in some sports hostel or SAI or try to get them some job. 4-6 years, we wish to have a residential academy for ourselves with all the facilities. Our dream is to have a private academy. Any player who wants to improve on game aspect can come to our academy - something similar to Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.
We want them to play for the state first and then national team. That’s how we are training them.
Any promising children?
There are many. We always believe there is tremendous potential in this country. Just that we have go around and look for them. There are some naturally talented players and it’s a matter of time that we groom and they make it big. It’s a long way to go.
How many children you are working with as of now and what are the expansion plans?
From St. Mary’s Orphanage, we have about 45 children. We wish to make it 80. Once we stabilize as an organization, we will be extending our project to other homes. Even the children from mainstream background we will be giving them an opportunity to come and train in the academy.
What has been JFHA’s association to the State Hockey Association?
They have been a good support to us. Our academy is affiliated with the state association and we will be participating in all the leagues and tournaments. They will be allotting us some time to train on the turf as well. Thanks to them that they have waived off all the registration fees because we are an NGO.
What is your message to all the readers?
I think people should appreciate the game as it is without looking into the administrative aspects and other issues associated with the game. It will be a great help if people who have earned name and fame from Hockey should contribute something back to this game.
Sabu Varkey talks about his inspiration to work with the children
What I have seen in these children that they are have a lot of energy and are really tuft. That is what we have seen while training. May be, it’s because of the tuft background they come from. That’s showing on them personally. I have never seen this before. Comparing with normal children, they play very soft whereas these children play really tuft and that is what you need in today’s Hockey.
Dominique Savio says: It’s the kind of response from these children that we have got motivates us. They need a lot of support and we are not in a position to do that. May be, finance would be the biggest help as of now because apart from that we have a hard working team which takes care of other aspects.