All then news for Friday 15 January 2016
Green Machine Start Series With 2-0 Win Over Canada
The Green Machine faced Canada in the first of 8 tests in 10 days in South Africa. The two sides will face each other in Pool B at the Rio Olympics and the Canadians sit 14th in the world, 2 places behind the men in green at 12th. Ireland are based in Cape Town for 2 weeks for warm weather training and intense match series against Canada, Spain, South Africa, and Belgium.
The first match of the series, and the warm weather camp, meant the first half produced little action as neither team could capitalise on their chances.
The second half though showcased the clinical finishes that eluded the men in green in the opening 30 minutes. 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter Shane O’Donoghue drove into the circle and fired a reverse shot into the bottom corner, increasing his goal tally to an impressive 46 in his 89 caps. A long aerial and clever link up play between Mitch Darling and Mikie Watt resulted in a corner. The resulting blocked shot didn’t deter the Green Machine and Chris Cargo scored via an impressive reverse shot into the top corner, giving Ireland a 2-0 lead that they retained for the remainder of the match.
Ireland 2 (O’Donoghue, Cargo)
•14th January 16.00 Ireland 2 v 0 Canada
•16th January 14.00 Ireland v Canada
•17th January 14.00 Ireland v Spain
•18th January 18.00 Ireland v South Africa
•20th January 18.00 Ireland v Canada
•21st January 16.00 Ireland v Canada
•23rd January 12.00 Ireland v Belgium
•24th January 12.00 Ireland v Belgium
6. Jamie CarrThree Rock
12.Stuart LoughreyHampstead & Westminster
26. Gareth WatkinsMonkstown
David Harte was unavailable for selection as he will be competing for Dabang Mumbai in the Hockey India League.
Irish Hockey Association media release
Rich choice of men’s hockey Test matches
Cape Town is set for a smorgasbord of international men’s hockey when the Hartleyvale Summer Series plays out from January 14 to 31.
South Africa, Ireland, Spain, Canada and Belgium will be in action in 17 Test matches at Hartleyvale while the Western Province men get a dab at Canada in the last game.
The 26-player South Africa squad for the national training camp and four Test matches includes a host of the country’s most promising young players as well as a core of experience.
Jan 14: Canada vs Ireland (6pm)
Jan 16: Canada vs Ireland (4pm)
Jan 17: Ireland vs Spain (4pm); South Africa vs Canada (6pm)
Jan 18: Belgium vs Spain (6pm); South Africa vs Ireland (8pm)
Jan 20: South Africa vs Spain (6pm); Ireland vs Canada (8pm)
Jan 21: Ireland vs Canada (6pm)
Jan 22: Belgium vs Spain (6pm)
Jan 23: Spain vs Canada (11am); Ireland vs Belgium (2pm)
Jan 24: Ireland vs Belgium (2pm); South Africa vs Canada (4pm)
Jan 27: Belgium vs Canada (3pm)
Jan 28: Belgium vs Canada (3pm)
Jan 30: Belgium vs Canada (3pm)
Jan 31: Western Province vs Canada (6pm)
Goalkeepers: Gowan Jones (KZN Coastal Raiders); Rob McKinley (SA U21); Chad Durrheim (EP); Sizwe Mthembu (Southern Gauteng)
Defenders: Dylan Swanepoel, Daniel Bell, Rhett Halkett (WP); Tyson Dlungwana, Alex Stewart (SA U21); Jethro Eustice (Southern Gauteng); Robin Jones (KZN Coastal Raiders)
Midfielders: Dan Sibbald, Jonty Robinson (KZN Coastal Raiders); Reza Rosenberg, Owen Mvimbi (Southern Gauteng); Charlie Bowren, Ryan Julius, Matt de Souza (SA U21)
Forwards: Tevin Kok, Ryan Crowe, Bili Ntuli (SA U21); Lloyd Norris-Jones, Keenan Horne (WP); Taine Paton (KZN Coastal Raiders); Damian Kimfley (KZN Inland); Dalan Phillips (EP)
SA Hockey Association media release
U-21 USMNT Falls to Canada in First Game of Series
CHULA VISTA, Calif. - The four-game practice series between the U.S. U-21 Men's National Team and the U-21 Canadian squad began today at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. The opportunity to gain international and game experience as well as developing a tactical understanding are part of Team USA's journey toward the Junior Pan American Games in May. Today's match ended in a 0-8 loss for the red, white and blue.
“Although the score does not reflect it, there were positive points in our all around play," said Rutger Wiese, U.S. U-21 Men's National Team Coach. "Our improvement areas are our return on investments in the circle. We need to firm up our individual defense in their the initial circle entry of Canada. I thought that we had a handful of stellar performances, specifically coming from our central midfielder, George McGuigan and Sean Cicchi.”
The first half was evenly contested between these two squads, figuring each other out to start the match off. Canada earned a penalty corner at the 19th minute mark. Canada's Harbir Sidhu was able to convert on a broken corner with a strike from the top of the circle over a stacked Nathan O’Lari (Orange, Mass.). With consistent effort by Team USA, opportunities were limited throughout the half. At the 26th minute, Canada earned their second penalty corner of the half and Canada's Ganga Singh was able to take a clean drag flick past our left post for their second goal of the match, creating a halftime score of 0-2.
“We met Canada’s intensity in the first half," said George McGuigin (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), USMNT athlete. "The positive take away is that were that we developed our attacking and defensive shape and became more comfortable in our roles on the field. This has definitely been a wake up call for the whole team, so expect a stronger USA side in the up and coming matches.”
USA started the second half well with a number of phases of play that they had been working on in the previous day's training, however they were unable to maintain this through the remainder of the match. With the possession swinging back in Canada’s favor, they were able to begin to break USA’s defense. Canada scored another six goals. In the 48th minute, Canada's Brandon Pereira capitalized on another attack penalty corner to go up 3-0. The 50th minute saw the first of three Canadian field goals scored by Rohan Chopra among a scrum in front of the USA’s net. Canada converted on two more penalty corners courtesy of Brandon Pereira and Ganga Singh recorded his second of the match as well. This 10 minute period of play showed Canada’s intent to continue their momentum.
In the closing 9 minutes of play, Canada was able to finish two more field goals in the 61st and 65th minutes by Chopra, his second of the match and Zaiq Rana, his first to make the score 0-8.
“I am positive in our growth as a team during this training camp and this series," said Sean Cicchi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), USMNT athlete. "We lacked the creation of combinations up front to give us goal scoring opportunities. Playing an experienced Canadian side, we see their confidence on the field and we are looking forward to matching that throughout the next matches.”
The series will continue tomorrow with game two held at 10:30 a.m. PST.
U-21 USMNT Series Roster:
Rishi Bhargava, Ajit Parmer, Nick Richardson, Keeling Pilaro, Casey Walker, Ethan La Sala, George McGuigan, Sean Cicchi, Amardeep Khokhar, Christian DeAngelis, Douglas Allison, Ruben Van Dam, Trent Warren, Graeme Jackson, Nate O’Lari, and Ryan Torigianm
This weekend will also feature matches against two Junior High Performance Teams, East Coast and Ventura County Red Devils, at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
USFHA media release
Captains unveil the 4th Coal India Hockey India League Trophy
New Delhi: With a lot of new facets in its upcoming fourth season, the Coal India Hockey India League, the flagship event of Hockey India is all set to enthrall hockey enthusiasts with the best of hockey action from across the globe. In a gala event today at the National capital, all the captains from the six franchisees came together to unveil the much desired Coal India Hockey India League Trophy.
Speaking on the occasion Jaypee Punjab Warriors Captain, Sardar Singh Said, “This Coal India Hockey India League is very critical for all of us this year, as most of the international players will be playing here, and it is up to us to watch them carefully and prepare ourselves for the Olympics later this year. It’s a proud moment for me to lead the Jaypee Punjab Warriors team this year and I am hopeful of doing justice to my role.”
Defending Champions Ranchi Rays Captain, Ashley Jackson further added, “We are the excited to enter the field as the defending champions and all our opponents are equally competitive, hence we cannot take any day lightly.”
The fourth edition will have double cash rewards for individual performances and brand new regulations. To add to the viewers delight, Star Sports, the broadcast partner has introduced and reinforced high tech production elements to enhance the viewing experience.
Dabang Mumbai captain, Nikkin Thimmaiah added, “We have a lot to learn from the international players at the Coal India Hockey India league, and to play in the league is a completely different experience, which all of us look forward every year.”
Kalinga Lancers captain Moritz Fuerste said, “I missed the last season and hence I was very keen to be a part of this year’s Coal India Hockey India League. This is a perfect beginning to the Olympic year as we get to play against the best players and an amazing crowd which adds to our excitement and performance.”
The tournament, featuring the best talent across the world will see a total of 34 matches being played across six cities of the country involving six franchise teams from 18th January – 21st February 2016. The opening match of the tournament will be played between the Kalinga Lancers, who made the biggest buy of the season in German, Moritz Fuerste and Uttar Pradesh Wizards who were able to draft in the young Indian forward Akashdeep Singh. The match will be staged at Bhubaneswar on Monday 18th January 2016. The defending champions Ranchi Rays will open their account against the Jaypee Punjab Warriors in Chandigarh on 19th January 2016.
Delhi Waveriders captain Simon Child further added, “We are looking forward to the 2016 season of the Coal India Hockey India League. This is a new team and we are still working on our strategies and our hopeful of a great performance this year.”
Uttar Pradesh Wizards captain VR Raghunath said, “The first week of the season is going to play a critical role in deciding the way forward for all the teams. Our aim would be to score as many points as we can and the rule changes only add to the excitement of the league.”
The six Franchises battling for supremacy in the richest field hockey league in the world are Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Kalinga Lancers, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Dabang Mumbai and Ranchi Rays. This tournament will also be one of the last opportunities for the teams and players to test their mettle against each other before the Olympics.
As a part of a long-term agreement with FIH and Hockey India, Star Sports is producing the Coal India Hockey India League with premium production facilities and technology like Libero, innovative team composition graphics, goalkeeper matrix and other graphical enhancements.
A world feed crew of 150, including top of the line camera operators, replay artists, graphic operators and a Dolby Sound team, will be showcasing this event live to the world. Production unit will feature super-slow motion replays, goalkeeper matrix, real time attack-defence analysis; Libero player tracking in replays to help deliver a world class viewing experience for the Coal India Hockey India League. The channel’s experts and sports commentary team comprises some of the most eminent names of Hockey folklore.
The Coal India Hockey India League will be televised LIVE from 18th January 2016 on Star Sports 2 & Star Sports HD 2 in English and Star Sports 3 and Star Sports HD 3 in Hindi and on Star’s Digital platform, hotstar
New rule in HIL will have less pressure on flickers: Raghunath
The captains feel with fresh players auctions and new team formations 2016 is a new beginning for all franchises.
All the six captains pose with the Coal India HIL 2016 trophy during the unveiling ceremony in New Delhi on Thursday.
With every field goal being valued as two, the upcoming fourth edition of the Hockey India League (HIL) is likely to witness some dramatic changes and V.R. Raghunath feels the rule altercation is a blessing in disguise for dragflickers who will now be under less pressure.
Raghunath, a penalty corner specialist himself, welcomed the new rule and said the pressure will be more on strikers to score field goals.
“It’s a big challenge for the forwards and an opportunity for the forwards to score more goals and show their skills. There will be less pressure on dragflickers and more pressure on forwards,” said Raghunath, who will captain Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the fourth HIL to be held across six cities of the country from January 18 to February 21.
Raghunath’s counterpart from defending champions Ranchi Rays, Ashley Jackson is not too pleased with the new rule but said the change will make the game more interesting.
“As a dragflicker I don’t like the rule. But on the flip side it is also a challenge for the defence because you will get to see more attacking hockey,” he said.
“It is interesting because if you are one goal down in the last minute you still have a chance to win the game.”
India captain Sardar Singh, who will lead his new franchise Jaypee Punjab Warriors this season having represented Delhi Waveriders in the last three editions, said the new rule is equal for all.
“The rule is same for all. It is an interesting thought and all teams will try to score more field goals this year,” he said.
According to the new scoring rule, a field goal during the HIL would count as two while a penalty corner would continue to be counted as one goal, making field goals twice as valuable. However, penalty strokes would continue to be counted as one except when a stroke is awarded for a deliberate foul during the execution of a penalty corner.
All captains of the six teams — Raghunath (Uttar Pradesh Wizards), Jackson (Ranchi Rays), Sardar (Jaypee Punjab Warriors), Moritz Furste (Kalinga Lancers), Nikkin Thimmaiah (Dabang Mumbai) and Simon Child (Delhi Waveriders) spoke their minds during the trophy unveiling programme of HIL.
Asked about the coming season, the captains feel with fresh players auctions and new team formations 2016 is a new beginning for all franchises.
“New season, new combinations for all teams but all teams looked very balanced. All the teams looks pretty good on paper,” Waveriders skipper Simon Child said.
Raghunath added: “Different combinations for all teams. The first week will be very important for all teams.”
Furste said having missed last HIL he was eagerly looking forward to the 2016 edition.
“It’s about building your own team, working on balance.
It’s new for all players and teams now. It’s about building your own team and look to make the final four from where anything can happen,” the German said.
For Jackson, unpredictability will bring more spice to the upcoming HIL.
“Because of the new auctions it is almost like the first year. All teams have new combinations, new players so you can’t just predict what will happen,” the Englishman said.
2016 being the Olympic year, the upcoming HIL has more significance.
“This year is being the Olympic year, the HIL will be very important for all teams. Most of the big players of world are playing in this league. So we will get to know their positive and negatives points and vice versa,” Sardar said.
The ace midfielder, however, said all the players playing in the HIL need to take good care of their body to avoid injuries ahead of Olympics.
“Injuries are part of the game and it can happen anytime but being an Olympic year we will have to take good care of our body because there is lot of travelling and back-to-back matches during the league,” said Sardar.
Nine Pakistani players were part of the first edition of HIL in 2013 but were forced to leave the country before the start of the tournament following protests from a few political organisations. Since then no Pakistan player has been included in the last three three editions of the tournament so far.
The coming edition of HIL also doesn’t feature a single Pakistani player and Hockey India made it clear that in future too, they will not be considered until they apologise for their “unacceptable behaviour” during the 2014 Champions Trophy.
Sardar fully backed HI’s decision on Pakistani players’ participation in HIL.
“Pakistani players are suffering a lot but what they did during 2014 Champions Trophy was unacceptable. They still haven’t apologised for their behaviour so I feel they shouldn’t be allowed,” he said.
Olympic gold medallist takes leave to play HIL
Harpreet Kaur Lamba
‘India win Olympic hockey gold.’
Imagine the impact of such a headline here today. In Germany, this has been a regular feature over the last eight years - the golds coming at the 2008 Beijing and the 2012 London Olympic Games - but skipper Moritz Fuerste does not know "if that is enough to secure his long-term future".
"It is a dream for India (to win an Olympic gold), and I already have two medals but that isn’t everything in our country," says Fuerste, who was part of Germany’s historic feat.
"If you think that has changed a lot in our lives, sadly that’s not true. This is a Olympic year but even today, me and my team mates balance work and training. If we miss out on work, there is no pay. So, we have to give our 100 per cent to both."
For the upcoming Hockey India League, Fuerste is on unpaid leave. Ironically, he was the most sought after player in the auction with a record buy of $105,000 by Kalinga Lancers.
"Unlike India, where players do not have to attend office when playing for the national team, it is not the same for us. Playing for Germany hasn’t earned me one euro to date. Winning the Olympics gold did bring some monetary benefits but it was very little," says the FIH world player of the year 2012 and one of the most potent strikers in world hockey.
Fuerste presents the reality of a sport that has to compete with biggies particularly football. He believes better investment, monetary gains and freedom to focus only on training while playing would help them
"The Olympics is the pinnacle and we cannot win anything bigger. If that is not enough, I do not see a way out," says the 31-year-old, who works as a sport marketing director.
Fuerste laughs at the idea of a league like HIL in his country. "Yes, we will hold the league but no one will show it on TV and almost no one will come to watch it. That is why we are here in India, where people love and promote the sport."
Fuerste’s isn’t the first in Germany’s hockey history to face the dilemma of choosing between work and a playing career. Star striker Christopher Zeller skipped the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi for studies and better job prospects, when he was just 25. The 2002 World Cup winning captain, Florian Kunz, left the game to take up a full time job.
"You definitely don’t get the recognition that is deserved. Every four years we become the pride of the nation, but I wish we are taken care of financially and otherwise in the four years leading to it," is Fuerste’s honest request to his nation.
The Asian Age
HIL should give me edge over German teammates: Furste
Furste is looking forward to playing the HIL in cold conditions. (Getty Images)
NEW DELHI: With less than seven months to go for the Rio Olympics, the Hockey India League (HIL) would provide the India hopefuls and other top international stars the perfect stage to get into the best shape.
Kalinga Lancers' Moritz Furste believes HIL will give him an edge over his German teammates who are busy playing indoor hockey back home due to freezing conditions. "It is very cold in Germany now, so nobody is playing outdoor hockey. They are all playing indoor hockey. At HIL, I will get the opportunity to play outdoors and speed up my game even before the rest of my teammates get back to outdoor hockey sometime around March or April," Furste said at the unveiling of the HIL trophy.
Skippers of the six teams - Raghunath (Uttar Pradesh Wizards), Ashley Jackson (Ranchi Rays), Sardar Singh (Jaypee Punjab Warriors), Furste (Kalinga Lancers), Nikkin Thimmaiah (Dabang Mumbai) and Simon Child (Delhi Waveriders) - were all present at the function.
Kalinga Lancers will host Uttar Pradesh Wizards in Bhubaneshwar in the opening match on January 18. "It's good to be back to the place where my team Germany won the Champions Trophy. The crowd supported us against Pakistan in the final. I hope we get that support again," he said.
The fourth edition of the league will see the introduction of new scoring rules whereby a field goal will be counted as two while the penalty corners continue to be counted as one goal. Speaking on the change, Furste said the new rule will allow teams to change the final result in concluding minutes of the match. "The rule change will make the game more exciting but I don't think it will have a big impact and penalty corners will still be very important in the game. FIH invented this rule because we don't see many field goals these days," the German said.
The Times of India
Kiwis set for new Hockey India League season
Simon Child in action for Delhi Wave Riders
The New Zealand contingent is poised for the 2016 Hockey India League which gets underway on Tuesday morning (NZ time).
This season sees three Kiwis taking to the turf with Black Sticks captain Simon Child, goalkeeper Devon Manchester and Steve Edwards all playing for the Delhi Wave Riders.
Defender Nick Haig and midfielder Shea McAleese were also taken in September’s player auction but have since withdrawn from the league which runs from 19 January - 22 February.
Meanwhile, Black Sticks Women’s head coach Mark Hager will gain valuable experience at the helm of the Kalinga Lancers.
Hager’s side is led by German midfielder Moritz Fuerste, who attracted the league’s highest bid of US$105,000.
Former Black Sticks Women’s assistant coach Greg Nicol is also undertaking the assistant role for Dabang Mumbai.
This year’s edition of the Hockey India League will see new rules enforced with field goals worth two goals and penalty corners just one.
The Ranchi Rays took out last year’s championship with a 3-2 win over the Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the final.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Individual Performance to be rewarded at Coal India Hockey India League 2016
New Delhi: The 4th edition of the Coal India Hockey India League has doubled the amount of cash rewards for individual performances as compared to the last three seasons. The six team annual franchise based hockey league, the flagship event of Hockey India is scheduled to be played across six venues in India from 18th January - 21st February 2016.
Hockey India announced a cash reward of INR 50.00 Lakhs for the ‘Coal India Player of the Tournament’ and there is further good news for individual performers as well, as the Coal India Goal of the Match award is increased to INR 50,000. The ‘Man of the Match’ award will also increase to INR 50,000 and will be awarded by the host franchisees in each of their home matches. Further tournament awards include the Upcoming Player of the Tournament award for Rs 20.00 Lakhs to the best player Under 21 years and the Maximum Goal Award also for Rs 20.00 Lakhs to the individual player who scores the most goals.
The winning team of the 4th edition of the Coal India Hockey India League will take home a whopping INR 2.50 Cr while the runner’s up will walk away with an INR 1.25 Cr prize money. A cash reward of INR 75.00 Lakhs will also be awarded to the team finishing third in the tournament.
The six Franchises battling for supremacy in the richest field hockey league in the world are Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Kalinga Lancers, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Dabang Mumbai and defending champions Ranchi Rays.
In order of Category of Award, Prize Money (INR)
Third Prize 75,00,000
CIL Most Valuable Player of the Tournament 50,00,000
Ponty Chadha Upcoming Player of the tournament 20,00,000
Dhruv Batra Maximum Goals Award 20,00,000
CIL Goal of the Match Award (34 Matches @ Rs 50,000) 17,00,000
Man of the Match Award (34 Matches @ Rs 50,000) 17,00,000
GRAND TOTAL 5,74,00,000 INR
Apologise for your behaviour, Sardar tells Pak players
Indian hockey team captain Sardar Singh.
Indian hockey team skipper Sardar Singh on Thursday asked the Pakistan players to apologise for their “unacceptable” behaviour during the Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar in December 2014, backing Hockey India’s stand of not allowing the stars from across the border to play in HIL.
“Pakistani players are suffering a lot but what they did during the 2014 Champions Trophy was unacceptable. They still haven’t apologised for their behaviour so I feel they shouldn’t be allowed (to participate in HIL),” Sardar said on the sidelines of the unveiling of Hockey India League in New Delhi on Thursday.
Nine Pakistani players were part of the first edition of HIL in 2013 but were forced to leave the country before the start of the tournament following protests from a few political organisations. Since then no Pakistan player has been included in the last three three editions.
The coming edition of HIL also doesn’t feature a single Pakistani player and Hockey India made it clear that in future, too, they will not be considered until they apologise for their unruly behaviour in Bhubaneswar.
Scotland set for European indoor challenge
Scotland Senior Men face a stern test of their indoor hockey credentials when they compete in the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship II in Espinho, Portugal.
Taking place from 15-17 January, the Scots find themselves drawn in Pool A alongside Croatia, England and France. Pool B features hosts Portugal, Belgium, Denmark and Ukraine.
Looking forward to the challenge of European competition for his charges, Scotland Senior Men Head Coach Derek Forsyth said,
“In Portugal we are in a group alongside England, France and Croatia. We know very little about our opposition with the exception of England, who we played twice in Belgium in December, drawing one and losing the second match.
“Although we lost the second match it was closer than the result suggested and I’m confident that the Grove Menzieshill tournament last weekend will have us better prepared for when we play them in our first group match this weekend.
“As for France and Croatia we will have the opportunity to see them play before we meet them in the group stages which will help our preparations going into these matches.
The prize for nations finishing in the top two tournament positions is promotion to the Championship division in 2018, while the threat of relegation looms large with the bottom two sides dropping into the Championship III division.
“We will be pushing to make the top two within the initial pool stage, which would take us into the promotion matches”, outlined Forsyth. “We know it’s going to be tough with the calibre of the opposition we will be facing but we have a good blend of young talent mixed with some experienced indoor campaigners within the squad.”
The national side warmed up for their European test with a first place success at last weekend’s Indoor Invitational Tournament hosted by Grove Menzieshill in Dundee, an experience that enthused Forsyth in terms of the squad’s preparations,
“It was a good weekend for the squad and nice to complete our preparation with three wins. With both Callum Milne and Mike Ross coming into the squad the tournament allowed us to look at our best playing combinations leading into the Euros.
“We had identified areas we needed to improve on from our trip to Belgium last year and the matches gave us the opportunity to make improvements within these areas. The final game against Menzieshill was our toughest test and this showed we had made good progress over the weekend.”
All of Scotland's matches will be broadcast live on the FIH YouTube channel
Scotland Senior Men: Gordon Amour, Patrick Christie, Stephen Dick, Dan Coultas, Jamie Wong (all Inverleith), Gavin Byers (captain), Michael Ross (both Grove Menzieshill), Sean Hadfield, Callum Milne (both Grange), Murray Collins (Loughborough University), Callum Duke (Hillhead), David Forrester (Villa Primrose).
Scottish Officials: Gavin Cruickshanks (Umpire, Grove Menzieshill), Alistair Dick (Judge, Dunfermline Carnegie)
Fri 15th Jan
Fri 15th Jan
Sat 16th Jan
Sat 16th Jan
Sun 17th Jan
EuroHockey launches 2016 Live Streaming Project ahead of weekend indoor action
The European Hockey Federation (EHF) has announced the launch of a live streaming project which will see matches from the EuroHockey Nations Indoor Championship broadcast live from Prague (Czech Republic), Espinho (Portugal) and Vantaa (Finland) from 15-17 January on the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) YouTube channel.
In line with the FIH's Hockey Revolution, the EHF has set a goal of bringing more top level hockey to viewers around the world through high quality broadcast productions. As part of this, the EHF and FIH have teamed up to bring live streaming from as many EuroHockey events as possible in 2016.
Speaking about this latest initiative, FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather said: "The EHF are leading the way in helping us build a recognised, powerful image for hockey by increasing the quality and frequency of TV coverage of hockey events. Whilst this is excellent news for our current followers, initiatives like this are hugely important for engaging new fans who we hope will be inspired to pick up a stick and play hockey after watching the skill and excitement on display at such competitions."
EHF Director General, Angus Kirkland was also delighted to announce this new service. He said: "I am really pleased that the EHF Executive Board has taken this huge leap forward so that we can launch our Live Streaming Project in 2016. We will be filming directly from six EuroHockey events during 2016 and in addition, with a partnership with our Local Organisations and the FIH, we can also stream other events via the FIH YouTube Channel. We will also be using the EHF Twitter feed (@eurohockeyorg) to tweet instant clips from our top events. We are very excited about this Project and believe that having more hockey shown live and with instant clips is what our fans want and expect from us in 2016."
Links for streaming from Prague, Espinho and Vantaa can be found on the home page of www.eurohockey.org or via the FIH YouTube.
Near instant clips and live interviews using the Periscope app from the EuroHockey Indoor Championship in Prague will also appear on the EHF twitter account: @eurohockeyorg
SSTMI Thunderbolts' easy JHL opener
By Jugjet Singh
SSTMI Thunderbolts are expected to start their Division One double title defence with a win as they will play against their juniors in the Junior Hockey League (JHL) curtain raiser Friday.
And double sliver medallists UniKL Young Guns will clash with BJSS Thunderbolts, with the sports school getting a boost of fresh coaching and funding from Tenaga Nasional.
This season BJSS will be coached by Tenaga's K. Rajan, who was the 2009 Malaysia-Singapore Junior World Cup coach, as they were recently roped into Tenaga's Thunderbolts programme.
The other teams in Thunderbolts programme are Temerloh Sports School playing under SSP-MSP-Thunderbolts and Division Two team Anderson Thunderbolts.
Division One is again expected to be a four-team battle with the two teams promoted from Division Two finding the going much more tougher than last season.
Nur Insafi beat SMK Datuk Bentara Luar of Johor 3-2 in the Division Two final last season, and both teams were promoted to the tougher division.
SSTMI Thunderbolts coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman is expecting a tougher fight from at least five teams.
"Of course we will play to keep both our titles but it will not be as easy as before because other teams have also progressed over the years," said Wan Roslan.
SSTMI Thunderbolts hold the distinction of winning the last four consecutive doubles.
"There is a bigger pool of players and many teams have a sound development programme. This augurs well for hockey in the country, but at the same time, makes it harder to retain our titles."
As for UniKL, coach I. Vickneswaran aims to at least win one title.
"We would like to trade in at least one of our seilers to gold this season. Even though we did not have the desired time to train as we only started after Christmas, but still, we aim to be among the top teams again," said Vickneswaran.
DIVISION ONE -- FRIDAY: SSTMI Thunderbolts v SSTMI Juniors (SSTMI, 5pm), UniKL Young Guns v BJSS Thunderbolts (National Stadium II, 5pm), Politeknik Malaysia v SMKDBL Young Guns (Taman Daya, 5pm), Nurinsafi v SSP-MSP-Thunderbolts (Sungai Petani, 5pm).
SUNDAY: BJSS Thunderbolts v SSP-MSP-Thunderbolts (National Stadium II, 5pm), SMKDBL Young Guns v SSTMI Thunderbolts (Batu Pahat, 5pm), SSTMI Juniors v Politeknik Malaysia (SSTMI, 5pm), Olak Tigers v UniKL Young Guns (Tun Razak, 5pm), Nurinsafi v Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (Sungai Petani, 5pm).
DIVISION TWO -- FRIDAY: Group A: Perlis Young Lions v Perlis Young Lions Jnrs (Kuala Perlis, 5pm), Malay College KK v SM Sains Azlan Shah (Kuala Kangsar, 5pm), Matri v Larut Matang & Selama (Kangar, 5pm).
Group B: STAR v Felda Juniors (Azlan Shah I, 5pm), Anderson Thunderbolts v Anderson PHA (Azlan Shah II, 5pm), BJSS JUniors v MSSWPKL (Education Ministry, 5pm).
SATURDAY -- Group A: MSS Kedah v Kedah Juniors (Padang Serai, 5pm), Matri v Perlis Young Lions Jnrs (Kangar, 5pm), Perlis Young Lions v Penang MSPP-USM (Kuala Perlis, 5pm), Larut Matang & Selama v MCKK (K Kangsar, 5pm).
Group B: Anderson Thunderbolts v MSNPK-ILHC (Azlan Shah 1, 5pm), Anderson PHA v Felda Juniors (Azlan Shah II, 5pm), BJSS Juniors v MISCF-UFL (Ministry Education, 5pm).
Group C: Malacca High v Young Hurricanes (Malacca, 5pm), Datuk Taha v TBSS Tampin (Seremban II, 5pm), MSNT-Terengganu HT v Pahang Academy (Padang Midin, 5pm), SM Sains Johor v SMKDBL Jnrs (Batu Pahat, 5pm).
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Are SSTMI-Thunderbolt unstoppable in the junior league?
by Aftar Singh
KUALA LUMPUR: The stage is set. And the record 36 teams are ready for the start of the 22nd edition of the TNB Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) on Friday.
Ten teams will feature in Division One and 26 in Division Two, which will be divided into three groups.
But the same question pops up yet again: Can any of the Division One teams end Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt’s domination in the Under-19 league?
The Johor Sports School have bagged the double – league and overall titles – for four consecutive years since 2012.
That was also the year they last lost a match in the MJHL – beaten 1-0 by Anderson of Ipoh in a league game.
One man who is confident that his team can stop them is Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) team manager Zanal Abidin Ismail.
“The MJHL is becoming dull because the same team has been dominating the league for the past four years,” said Zanal.
“We want to end their domination and we have enough depth in every department to get the better of them.
“We’re well prepared this year, having started our training more than a month ago. We have also played seven friendlies against various clubs and we’re ready.”
Last season, MBPJ finished third in Division One as well as in the fight for the overall title.
In the final for the overall title last year, SSTMI-Thunderbolt defeated Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) on penalty shootouts after both teams were tied 0-0 in regulation time.
UniKL coach I. Vickneswaran, who guided his team to the Division One title in 2010, admitted that it would be tough to end SSTMI-Thunderbolt’s stranglehold in the league.
“The Johor Sports School have the best juniors in the country and they will again start as the favourites to bag the double,” he said.
“I have a young team with an average age of 17 ... I’m building the team for the 2017 season.”
SSTMI-Thunderbolt coach Wan Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman confirmed that their target is to stay unbeaten and bag their fifth straight double.
“We’ve retained eight players from last year’s squad and we won’t take any team lightly in the league,” he said.
SSTMI-Thunderbolt will open their campaign against SSTMI Juniors at the SSTMI Stadium in Johor on Friday. On Sunday, they’ll be in Batu Pahat to face last year’s Division Two runners-up SMK Dato Bentara Luar.
The Star of Malaysia