All the news for Friday 3 January 2014
U.S. Men’s Indoor Team Completes Successful Weekend of Play
Team looks ahead to Messestadt Cup
The US Men’s National Indoor Team traveled to Dundee, Scotland this past weekend to compete in the 4th annual Grove Menzieshill Invitational December 27-29.
“The purpose of participating in this event was to give Head Coach Andrew Thornton an opportunity to see most of the foreign-based athletes and evaluate them for selection,” said Indoor Manager Nigel Traverso.
Most of the athletes have been in the indoor program in the past, with four of them participating in the 2011 Indoor World Cup. However, this tournament marks their first opportunity to play together since that event.
Team USA’s first game of the tournament was against the Scottish Champions, Inverleith. Down 5-1 at the end of the first half, the team made some tactical adjustments and was able to get back in the game, but in the end, ran out of time and lost 7-6.
In the second match of the day, Team USA battled against the Scottish National Team that was using the tournament as preparation for the European Championship and Commonwealth Games that will be held in Scotland later this year.
After taking the lead 1-0, Team USA found themselves down 5-3 with 8 minutes left in the game. In an attempt to score a fourth goal by pressing forward, the backfield was left exposed, resulting in a final score of 7-3.
“The first day was really about getting to know each other and the style of play that was expected,” said Thornton. “I was pleased with the effort and performance of the team. .If we had one or two extra legs, it may have helped.”
Competition on day two began against host and current Scottish Champions, Grove Menzieshill. The club has been the best team in Scotland for the last 15 years and used this event as preparation for the upcoming European Club Championship.
Team USA started off slowly and was down 3-1, but prior to halftime was able to even the score at 3 apiece. At the start of the second half, the team came out strong and was up 6-3 with one minute left. The final score was 6-5 in favor of Team USA
The second match of the day, and the 4th game in two days, was against Wales. With just seven field players, the effect of the first three games began to show and the team was down 4-1 at the half. After making a few tactical adjustments, Team USA fought its way back to win 7-5.
With a record of 2-2,Team USA missed out on playing in the finals due to goal differential. Grove Menzieshill, who the team had beaten earlier in the day, won the finals against Scotland in penalty strokes.
“It was a very successful start to our Pan Am Indoor Cup preparation,” said Thornton. “We now move on to Leipzig, Germany where we start play on Saturday, January 4 in the 27th Leipzig “Messestadt” Cup.”
Results & Goal Scorers:
USA vs Inverleith: 6-7 (Runzi– 3, Scheurer– 1, Ghandi– 1, Krauss– 1)
USA vs Scotland: 3-7 (Runzi – 1, Schilling – 1, Krauss – 1)
USA vs Grove Menzieshill: 6- 5 ( Scheurer– 2, Runzi– 2, McCarthy– 2)
USA vs Wales: 7-5 (Scheurer– 4, Ghandi– 1, Schilling– 1, Runzi– 1)
U.S. Men’s Indoor Scotland Team:
Mohan Ghandi (Ventura, Cali.), Jesse Larson (College Park, Md.), Thomas Krauss (New York, N.Y.), Thomas McCarthy (Hartford, Conn.), Moritz Runzi (Boston, Mass.), Sebastian Scheurer (Greenwich, Conn.), Robert Schilling (Long Beach, Cali.), Kevin Segeren (Twin Falls, Idaho)
U.S. Men’s Indoor Leipzig Tour Team:
Kevin Barber (Camarillo, Cali.), Michael Barminski (Ventura, Cali.), Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Cali.), Mohan Ghandi (Ventura, Cali.), Alexander Grassi (Brookeville, Md.), Austin Groenveld (Jenkintown, Pa.), JaJa Kentwell (Spring City, Pa.), Jesse Larson (College Park, Md.), Thomas Krauss (New York, N.Y.), Thomas McCarthy (Hartford, Conn.), Spencer Reed (Ventura, Cali.) Jason Wellings (San Diego, Cali.)
USFHA media release
Telkom, Simba lead Kenya’s charge in club championship in Kampala
By ANITA CHEPKOECH
Telkom’s Barbara Simiyu (C) in action. PHOTO CHRIS OMOLLO
Kenya Hockey Union league champions Orange Telkom and Nairobi Simba will spearhead the country’s quest for continental glory at the Africa Club Championships that begin on January 11 in Uganda.
The two teams that will depart for Kampala two days before the event’s kick off, will be joined by Strathmore and Kenya Police. The students finished second behind Telkom in the women’s league last season, while the law enforcers were second best in the Men’s Premier League.
“We are sending our best teams to the tournament and I am confident they will put up a good show, which in this case means winning the competition,” KHU Chairman Nahashon Randiek said.
The Kenyan clubs will, however, face stiff competition from Egyptian clubs Police (men) and Shakia (women), who are the defending champions, as well as Ghanaian opposition.
Telkom will be hoping to reclaim the title they won in 2012 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Strathmore and Kenya Police also have enough experience at this level.
Kenya will be hoping for an improved performance in the continental event considering the below par performance during the Africa Cup of Nations recently hosted in Nairobi, where the national teams were upstaged by South African and Egyptian teams.
Punjab to meet Delhi in HIL opener
Jaypee Punjab Warriors will take on last year’s runner-up Delhi Waveriders in the inaugural match of the Hockey India League (HIL) season II at the newly-built hockey stadium in Mohali on January 25.
Defending champion Ranchi Rhinos will host Uttar Pradesh Wizards in its opening encounter the next day while new entrant Kalinga Lancers will meet Punjab at Bhubaneswar on January 28.
Altogether, 34 matches will be played at six venues — Ranchi, Delhi, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar and Mohali (two venues) — over 30 days. The matches in Lucknow will be played at 3 p.m. while the matches at the other centres will be at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The semifinals and final will be played in Ranchi on February 22 and 23 respectively.
Jan. 25: Jaypee Punjab Warriors (JPW) vs Delhi Waveriders (DWR).
Jan. 26: Ranchi Rhinos (RR) vs Uttar Pradesh Wizards (UPW); JPW vs Dabur Mumbai Magicians (DMM).
Jan. 27: RR vs DWR.
Jan. 28: Kalinga Lancers (KL) vs JPW.
Jan. 29: DMM vs UPW.
Jan. 30: DWR vs KL; Jan. 31: DWR vs JPW.
Feb. 1: UPW vs RR; KL vs DMM; Feb. 2: UPW vs JPW; KL vs DWR; Feb. 4: RR vs DMM.
Feb. 5: DWR vs UPW; Feb. 6: DWR vs DMM; Feb. 7: RR vs KL; Feb. 8: UPW vs DWR; DMM vs JPW.
Feb. 9: UPW vs KL; DMM vs RR; Feb. 11: JPW vs KL.
Feb. 12: DWR vs RR; Feb. 13: KL vs UPW.
Feb. 14: KL vs RR; Feb. 15: JPW vs UPW; DMM vs DWR.
Feb. 16: DMM vs KL; JPW vs RR; Feb. 18: UPW vs DMM.
Feb. 19: RR vs JPW; Feb. 22: Semifinals.
Feb. 23: Third place play-off and final.
Working the sticks
Master Coach Dr Burt Bunnik at the National Hockey Centre in Suva in October last year. The former Pakistan and Spain coach was in the country to identify ways to help grow the sport. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU
INTERNATIONAL hockey Master Coach Dr Burt Bunnik has been to Fiji only twice, and on both occasions he was here for only a week.
The former Netherlands coach was conducting coaching clinics in the last week of October which went on until early November and then he returned in the third week of December.
In those two weeks, he identified the strengths and weaknesses of Fiji hockey.
Bunnik believes the main power source of the sport is its players and it's their contribution that will determine the fate of the game in the country.
Internationally, he says, sports has become a way of life for some athletes and that is all they care about and how they live their life. And he believes Fiji hockey players need to increase their level of commitment if they want to excel in the sport internationally.
"For a player or an athlete, their strongest positive point is themselves and their weakest point is themselves too," Bunnik said.
"You give up early, you are weak, but if you continue to struggle, you are a hard worker.
"You cannot be a world champion if you train one week before the competition because, internationally, four years of dedicated training by athletes make them winners."
Bunnik said that during his clinics some players didn't show interest which he described as a sign of lethargy.
"If you have an opportunity to train with an international coach there should be continuity but several boys didn't show up for all training sessions.
"Which means it's either the sport is not important in their life or they don't value the opportunity.
"Players need to be committed because not many athletes in Fiji have continuity in their sporting career except for rugby.
"I was also asking the players to bring notebooks. Some did but some didn't and that shows they are not committed enough."
However, Bunnik said those players who did attend his clinics gave him positive feedback by saying they enjoyed the clinics.
Another weakness of the sport he identified was the quality of goalkeepers.
"Goalkeepers need a totally different training program compared to the rest of the team because of the importance of their position as they are the last line of defence.
"Additional training for them is needed so they can become better.
"Overall, to all players, I would advise them to just continue training as much as you can, work on your skills and fitness as much as you can, know about the turf inside out, know about the stick and the ball so well that you eat, sleep, think, dream and talk hockey and nothing else."
During his coaching career, Bunnik was also assistant coach of the Pakistani and Spanish sides at past Olympic Games.
He said he knew how hard the job of a coach is but he wanted Fiji coaches to put more effort in their jobs and become more technical and tactical.
"The coaches I worked with in Fiji were active and asked questions, which is very good.
"But the coaches need to be available to their teams and need to study the game more, see how the game is changing and come up with new and exciting training programs.
"I would advise them to continue to develop the sport, develop themselves physically, technically, tactically and mentally, and to keep to the positive side as the driving factor."
Bunnick said another area that restricted the sport's development was the facilities. There is only one artificial turf which is located in Laucala Bay in Suva while the rest are grass turfs.
"Here in Fiji there is only one artificial turf, meaning many players in the country need to adapt more to playing on artificial rather than grass because international hockey is not played on grass.
"Stakeholders of the sport need to know that to make a champion team, you need to invest in the sport and the athletes.
"Development is great but you need more artificial turfs in the country, especially in the major centres where the game is played."
Bunnick also recommended that the Fiji Hockey Federation increase the participation of schoolchildren in the sport to keep a stable player base.
"If you want to develop a sport in the country, you need to have the participation of schoolchildren and their teachers.
"Teach them the basics at school level and they will be fine by the time they are adults
"I think more emphasis should be put on teaching the sport right at high school level to the athletes so that the students can pick their choice of sport and stick with it and not jump from sport to sport
"That is one way hockey can bring in more players, by tapping into the natural talent of the youths in school."
Dr Bunnik wishes to return to Fiji one day to check on the progress the sport has made and he believes this year may be lucky for Fiji with the number of regional competitions.
The Fiji Times