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News for 18 January 2016

All the news for Monday 18 January 2016

Late Spanish Goal Denies Green Machine

It took just 7 minutes for the Green Machine to get on the score-sheet against Spain, who sit 1 spot above them in 11th in the FIH world rankings. Mitch Darling, captaining the squad, won an early penalty corner that O’Donoghue dispatched into the goal on the rebound after the initial drag flick was saved, 1-0 to Ireland. Spain appeared to grow into the game and Fitzgerald was called upon to make a fine save whilst Gleghorne, Harte and Loughrey kept the Spanish strikers at bay for the remainder of the half.

The momentum stayed with the Spanish in the early stages of the second half and Iglesias scored on the counter after an Irish chance had gone amiss down the other end, 1-1.  The Red Sticks struck again 3 minutes later when the Green Machine were turned over in the centre of the pitch and Santana made it 2-1. The goals didn’t stop there though and a minute later Shimmins tapped in at the back post to bring the match level once more, 2-2.  Both teams enjoyed periods of possession during the final quarter but it was Spain who produced the winning goal with two minutes left on the clock thanks to an Alegre strike.

Ireland 2 (O’Donoghue, Shimmins)
Spain 3 (Iglesias, Santana, Alegre)
Squad: Fitzgerald (GK), Harte, Gormley, Gleghorne, Jackson, Shimmins, Cargo, O’Donoghue, Bruton, Darling (Captain), Watt, Carr(GK), Loughrey, L Cole, Carlisle, S Cole, Glassey, Watkins.

Match Schedule (GMT):

14th January 16.00 Ireland 2 v 0 Canada
16th January 14.00 Ireland 1 v 1 Canada
17th January 14.00 Ireland 2 v 3 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

Irish Hockey Association media release

Hockey Tests will reveal much for SA men


South Africa men’s hockey team head coach Fabian Gregory has clear objectives ahead of the lads in green and gold’s participation in the Hartleyvale Summer Series in Cape Town.

“One of the primary focus areas is to see the development of our juniors, giving them the opportunity to develop and grow in the tough international environment,” said Gregory. “It is also an opportunity for some players who have been out of the loop the last year or so to force their way back into the squad.”

The coach said the SA management team will also be experimenting and trying some players in new positions.

“For the senior group it also an opportunity to show that they must be included in the squad going forward as we aim to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and the World League events in 2017.”

SA kick off their campaign of four matches at Hartleyvale against Canada at 6pm Sunday. It has been designated by the coaches as a training match, while SA’s three other matches are all official Test matches.

SA’s three official Test matches are against Ireland at 8pm Monday, versus Spain at 6pm Wednesday and the real deal versus Canada at 4pm next Sunday (January 24).

Gregory said SA’s three opponents in Cape Town, Canada, Ireland and Spain, have brought full strength teams, “so it is going to be a challenge for us, but our group is up for that. More importantly, they are very excited about playing international hockey, showing what they can bring.

“Our Test match teams will be chosen on training and match performance.” said Gregory, who added that most of the players in the SA squad, who have been involved in a training camp since early last week, will get an opportunity to play in the matches.

“We are in a completely different phase to the teams we are competing against. They are preparing for the Olympics whilst we are in a rebuilding phase. The emphasis for us is more on the individual performance and looking toward the future and the value that these players can add going forward.”

Gregory said it has been “a fantastic experience” for the younger players to train with the senior players and show their worth.

“With us not going to the Olympics we have to focus more on rebuilding the squad and team - and therefore the inclusion of these players due to their performance over a period of time now.

“It is also important to give these U21 players valuable training and playing experience at the highest level. This will assist in their development and growth going into the Junior World Cup Qualifier tournament in Namibia in March.”

The SA coach praised the work of the experienced core of the SA squad in easing the new players into the senior national set-up.

“The respect shown them by the senior players has ensured that the new group feel welcome. The seniors have set the example in the focus and intensity of the training sessions. The level of performance [of the youngsters] has much to do with this as some of the younger players have been involved for the last two years already and are now ready to earn to earn their first caps.”

Gregory said the senior players have adopted a mentorship role with the U21 players, which has also assisted with their smooth integration into the team.

“In saying that, they have not made it very easy in the trainings for them.”

It all points to a revealing set of matches for this untried SA squad as they test themselves against hardened Olympic Qualifiers.

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)

Jan 14: Canada 0 Ireland 1 (training match)
Jan 16: Canada 1 Ireland 1 (training match)
Jan 17: Ireland vs Spain (4pm); South Africa vs Canada (training match)
Jan 18: Belgium vs Spain (6pm); TEST MATCH - South Africa vs Ireland (8pm)
Jan 20: TEST MATCH 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); TEST MATCH 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)

SA Hockey Association media release

SA hockey men will face hurting Ireland Monday


The South Africa men's hockey team will come up against a somewhat chastened Ireland at 8pm Monday in their first official Test match of the Hartleyvale Summer Series.

While the untried, inexperienced and young team made up of the 26-player SA training squad were shaded 2-1 by Canada in a 6pm training match Sunday after the score was 1-1 at half-time, Ireland were edged 3-2 by Spain in the official Test match, which took place at 4pm.

Assistant coach Garreth Ewing said SA used 20 players in the training match, two of the goalkeepers sharing the game and 18 field players getting a run as well. Experienced striker Lloyd Norris-Jones scored SA’s goal.

The SA squad will be trimmed to the standard 11 in the starting line-up with seven rolling substitutes for the Ireland Test match.

“It was a good game, no pressure, useful for working on our structures and nice to give a lot of the young guys a taste of senior international hockey,” said Ewing of the outing against Canada.

The head of hockey at University of Johannesburg said SA, who will be captained in the summer series by the experienced Rhett Halkett, played a lot of good forward ball, while the team’s press was organised, apart from the two slip-ups that led to Canada’s goals.

“Overall the team’s enthusiasm was high, but we need to look at our marking discipline as well as making more of our attacking opportunities,” said Ewing, who added that SA counter-attacked quite well.

“We started using our speed, which is a strength of this group. Our experienced guys played well and it was impressive how they helped the new players through the process.”

Belgium meet Spain at 6pm Monday.

SA Hockey Association media release

Germany reassert their Euro dominance

Germany claimed their third EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship title – and 10th in the last 12 editions – as they produced a powerful second half performance to deny Austria in the final in Prague.

The first half was well poised at 1-1 as Fabian Woesch and Michael Körper exchanged goals. But German star man Timm Herzbruch whipped home a brilliant corner before Linus Butt – from a different angle – did likewise from the right of the circle for a 3-1 lead by the 24th minute which they never relinquished in spite of Körper's final whistle goal.

Earlier in the day,  Russia claimed bronze with Alexander Zhirkov scoring the critical goal in a 4-3 win with two minute to go after the Czechs fell into foul trouble with three yellow cards in the second half.

The hosts had led 3-2 before Stepan Bernatek and Tomas Jahoda were sin-binned in quick succession and David Vacek followed soon after to open the door for Russia.

Poland and Switzerland retained their place in the top tier of the competition with Sweden and world champions, the Netherlands, relegated following their respective losses on Sunday morning.

Belgium and Denmark were promoted from the second tier in Espinho with the former ending with a perfect record while the Danes beat England 6-5 in the final game of the tournament for second place with Mikel Steinmetz Christensen scoring with the last touch of the tournament.

Euro Hockey League media release

Last gasp winner denies England promotion

By Mike Haymonds

ENGLAND men came within seconds of winning promotion to the top flight of the EuroHockey Indoor Championship when they succumbed to a 5-6 defeat by Denmark in their final match in Espinho, Portugal.

The game would decide which team took second place behind Belgium, who had already qualified. Needing only a draw, England had clawed their way back from a 3-5 deficit early in the second half and looked to have achieved their target when they conceded a penalty corner, seconds before the final hooter sounded. Mikkel Steinmetz-Christensen fired home his second goal of the game to break English hearts.

England will be ruing their failure to convert two penalty strokes, the first by Loughborough Students’ Luke Taylor and the second by his club-mate Ed Horler, which contributed significantly to their defeat.

England were two up in four minutes through a corner strike by Taylor and a field goal by Horler but Denmark were level three minutes later with corner goals from Klaus Riisom and Steinmetz-Christensen.

By 16 minutes Denmark had taken a two-goal lead through Riisom and Jesper Jonasson before Horler reduced the deficit on the stroke of half-time. Tobias Grand made it 5-3 for the Danes but corner strikes by Horler and Taylor looked to have done enough with two minutes left.

Denmark took off their goalkeeper with 40 seconds to go and won a penalty corner from which Steinmetz-Christensen broke English hearts.

Daily Express

Heartbreak for Halliday's men despite Horler hat-trick

Englands David Goodfield looks dejected in defeat.jpg

A penalty corner with the last play of the match from Denmark’s Mikkel Steinmetz-Christensen broke England’s hearts in the cruellest of fashion, handing the Danes a 6-5 win and in the process snatching the promotion place from under England’s noses.

With England needing just a draw or a win to take the second promotion place, Luke Taylor’s leveller two minutes from time appeared to have secured the necessary point for Andy Halliday’s side until Steinmetz-Christensen late, late intervention.

England started the brighter of the two sides and took the lead thanks to a well-worked penalty corner from Luke Taylor. Horler, his Loughborough Students team mate made it 2-0 with a strong run into the circle and an accomplished finish. England’s press wasn’t allowing Denmark any space and the Danes called an early time out. Whatever was said did the trick as almost immediately they forced a penalty corner which was slotted in by Klaus Riisom. Two minutes later Mikkel Steinmetz-Christensen drew the scores level with a bullet penalty corner and then from another set piece Riison made it 3-2 to the Danes.

England had a great chance to level the scores from the penalty spot but Taylor’s effort was saved by the goalkeeper. A slick move down the left created space at the back post for Jesper Jonasson to punish the missed opportunity with a fourth goal but after a lovely patient move, Horler ripped in a third for England to send them in at the break just one goal behind.

Denmark struck first in the second half, grabbing their fifth thanks to a high turnover and sharp finish from Tobias Grand.

England, as they had done in previous games, threw caution to the wind and Johnny Kinder brought a good save from the goalkeeper and then England won their second penalty stroke of the match. Horler took the honours but incredibly, as he did in the first half, Martin Mortensen pulled off a fantastic save. Horler beat the goalkeeper from a penalty corner moments later to reduce the arrears.
With time running out, a well rehearsed corner routine gave Taylor a shot at goal which he buried with an unerring finish.

England looked like they had done enough but with 40 seconds remaining, the Danes took off their goalkeeper as a last throw of the dice. With the extra man outfield they won a penalty corner. The full time hooter sounded, making this the last play and with England desperate to cling on Steinmetz-Christensen beat Paddy Smith to send the Danes into second place and to shatter England’s dreams.

A disappointed Head Coach, Andy Halliday told England Hockey afterwards:

"We found it difficult to break down the Danish zonal defence but I always felt we would be in contention if the game stayed close until the final minutes. In the end, it was a devastating finish to an otherwise positive weekend for the development group. We have to learn lessons around closing out the final moments of games. missing out on a World Cup place in such agonising circumstances is difficult to stomach but the longer term lessons learnt will stand them in good stead in their future indoor and outdoor international careers. The decision to use the England indoor programme to benefit the development of the outdoor group has again been a success."

England 5 (3)
Luke Taylor 3, 38 (PC, PC)
Ed Horler 4, 20, 32 (FG, FG, PC)

Denmark 6 (4)
Klaus Riisom 5, 14 (PC, PC)
Mikkel Steinmetz-Christensen 7, 40 (PC, PC)
Jesper Jonasson 16 (FG)
Tobias Grand 25 (FG)

Starting 6:
1 SMITH Patrick (GK)
11 CARSON Tom (C)
12 TAYLOR Luke
17 CREED Brendan

Substitutes used:
6 ALBERY James
14 FARRANT George
18 NEWMAN Chris
20 HORLER Edward

Did not play:


England Hockey Board Media release

Portugal loss rubs salt in Scottish wounds

A narrow 5-4 defeat by hosts Portugal resigned Scotland Senior Men to finishing bottom of the EuroHockey Indoor Championship II competition.

With relegation already confirmed for the Scots, the match carried far more significance for the Portuguese, with the win sealing their place in the division in two years time.

The home side hared into a 2-0 lead inside four minutes courtesy of field goals from David Franco and Bruno Santos.

However, Patrick Christie's strike and a Dan Coultas penalty corner had the national side back on parity within five minutes.

Following a lengthy delay in proceedings caused by the mopping up of spilt blood, Carlos Silva stepped up to rifle the ball into the bottom corner of the net to give Portugal a 3-2 half-time lead.

A second Franco field goal in the 26th minute extended the advantage to 4-2, only for Stephen Dick to net the first of his two goals a minute later.

Santos' 33rd minute goal restored the two goal margin at 5-3, with Dick reducing the deficit once again shortly after from open play.

A tense finale ensued but it was Portugal who hung on for a vital 5-4 win, leaving Scotland to reflect on what has been a difficult three days.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Weekend Wrap: Touring Canadian teams sweep Sunday matches

Shaheed Devji

Image: Kent Locke

Sunday was a busy day for Canadian field hockey teams on tour in three different parts of the world, with each of the three squads in action and winning their matches to end the weekend.

Senior men pick up first win on South Africa tour against hosts

In South Africa, the Men’s National Team played its third friendly match since arriving in Cape Town earlier this week. After a loss and draw in its two games against Ireland earlier in the week, the Canadians picked up their first win on Sunday in a matchup with the host South Africans.

Iain Smythe and Hudson Stewart were the goal scorers for Canada in the 2-1 victory. The Men’s National Team has had a steady dose of activity in its first week in Cape Town, with several two-a-days consisting of matches and training. Their next matches will take place on January 20th and 21st, both officially sanctioned test matches against Ireland.

Junior women earn second win in fourth match with Chile

Photo: Lorena Angus

In Santiago, Chile, the Under-21 Women’s National Team picked up its second win in a seven game series with Chile. Heading in to the match, the women had won one of the first three matches in the series, drawing another, and losing one. In Sunday’s 2-0, Canada’s goals were scored by Priya Randhawa and Margaret Pham.

The Chile tour serves as preparation for qualification phase of the 2016 Junior World Cup (JWC). Canada will travel to Trinidad and Tobago in March in attempt to qualify for the JWC, which takes place at the end of the year.

Junior men win third straight against United States in Chula Vista

The Under-21 Men’s National Team is in a similar scenario as the women getting set to attempt qualification for the 2016 Junior World Cup at the end of the year. This summer, the men will host the 2016 Junior Pan American Championships in Toronto, Ontario and must finish in the top two to qualify for the JWC at the end of the year in India.

The men are currently on tour in Chula Vista, California for a four-game series against the United States Under-21 team. Sunday’s game was game three of four, and Canada – on goals from Ganga Singh, Kabir Aujla, and Shahbaaz Dhaliwal – won 3-0. They have won the firs three matches and will look to complete the sweep on Monday.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Strides Made in U-21 USMNT Third Test Match Against Canada

CHULA VISTA, Calif. -  Coming off a recovery day and training session on Saturday, the U.S. U-21 Men's National Team continued to make strides against Canada in the third match of the four-game test series. Team USA was poised and confident to keep the pressure high on the heels of Canada, who led the series 2-0 before the third game. After an 8-0 loss in the first game, Team USA worked and cut the goal deficit in half in match two making the needed adjustments. The third match set a phyiscal and high energy battle between two quality Pan American teams.

“Our level of play was a continued improvement from our previous matches this series," said Rutger Wiese, U.S. U-21 Men's National Team Coach. "International hockey is decided by key moments during a game. Uncharacteristic mistakes on our end came from our lack of discipline in those critical moments. Credit to Canada for taking advantage of those opportunities. Heading into the final game of this series, we must showcase what we have learned this week.”
Early in the contest, the game tested both the umpires and players as it depicted to be mental and physical battle. In the 14th minute, Canada earned a penalty corner which Ganga Singh drag flicked the ball past the right foot of Team USA's goalkeeper Nathan O'Lari (Orange, Mass.). Not started by the midway through the first half goal, Team USA kept the pressure high creating multiple opportunities outside of the penalty circle. Play continued to be a tough battle through the midfield with both teams creating a couple of chances each throughout the remainder of the half.

The second half saw the physical play increase from both teams. A Team USA turnover in the midfield in the 42nd minute lead to Canada's Kabir Aujla to drive hard into the circle and send a forehand shot into the upper corner of the cage, just over O'Lari's right shoulder. Play continued to show a physical demeanor as in a span of 10 minutes, four yellow cards were handed out resulting in both teams managing play with a man down at times. Both teams continued to exchange chances and it was not until the 68th minute when Canada took a quick free hit under little pressure from Team USA's defensive line and drove into the penalty circle and smashed a ball past Team USA's goalkeeper Ryan Torigian (Simi Valley, Calif.) to make the final score USA 0, Canada 3.

"We came out strong to start the match compared to the others, but we let ourselves slip on our defensive positioning in key areas of the field, " said O'Lari. "Two mental lapses in our decision making, lead to two great opportunities for Canada who was able to take advantage both times with their second and third goals.”

The series continues with the final game tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. PST.

USFHA media release

A fiesta set to roll today


Edition IV of the popular Hockey India League (HIL), with the new sponsor, Coal India, is all set to roll today (January 18) featuring six franchises.

Launched amidst great expectations, modeling the Indian Premier League (IPL), the annual competition attracted worldwide attention when offers were made to auction the best in the sport across the globe. In more ways than one it was an exercise viewed as innovative, and imaginative.

The generous financial backing by the franchises to the top players brought into the fold strong set of teams enhancing the quality and content of professional hockey.

That the standard of domestic hockey involving the national players has secured from HIL a boost cannot be disputed. The victories recorded by India against top playing nations in recent months will go to testify this.

There is a predictable buzz, as the teams get ready for the battle starting today at Bhubaneswar.

Defending the title is the Ranchi Rays, winner of the trophy on two occasions. With the home hero Birendra Lakra as the star attraction, the team is stronger by the inclusion of the seasoned British star Barry Middleton. Veteran striker Sandeep Singh, who holds the record with 22 goals in the tournament, fierce shooter Manpreet Singh and supported by another all rounder from Britain, Ashley Jackson, Ranchi Rays looks comfortably placed to retain the prize under the stewardship of the successful coach Harendra Singh.

Australia’s brilliant penalty corner hitter Jay Stacy takes on as coach for the much talked about Debang Mumbai. The star attraction for the team is Germany’s Florian Fuchs, an impeccable shooter in the circle. Australia’s Matthew Swann is another top scorer who will be assisted by Jeremy Hayward and the Indian stars like Nikkin Thimmiah and Danish Mujtaba. This squad threatens to take the best in the fray with absolute confidence.

The sheet anchor for the Delhi Wave Riders is bound to be the successful penalty corner hitter from Indian Overseas Bank, Rupinderpal Singh. With a crafty and ingenuous coach Cedric D’Souza at the helm, the Delhi WR with the presence of the South African ace Justin Reid Ross and the Kiwi Simon Child has all the ingredients in the right measure to offer a keen challenge to anyone.

With a fair sprinkling talent from Australia like Christopher Cirello, Matt Ghodes, Simon Orchard and Mark Knowles under the watchful eyes of the legendary coach, Barry Dancer, aided by domestic stars Arman Quereshi, the Punjab Warriors led by the impeccable mid-fielder Sardar Singh can be portrayed as the best bet for trophy this time.

Another Aussie coach, Mark Hager, a super center forward during his heyday, guides the Kalinga Lancers, which features two splendid Aussie strikers Matthew Wells and Glenn Turner. However, the cynosure of all eyes will be the German striker Moritz Furste from UHC Hamburg. He was a member of the gold medal winning German team in 2008. Dharam Vir Singh, Amit Rohitdas and SK Uthappa constitute the Indian strength for the Orissa based outfit.

The World’s most decorated player Jamie Dwyer will undoubtedly be the attraction for the Lucknow based Uttar Pradesh Wizards. With a whopping 332 international caps and a tally of 216 goals, Jamie is perhaps the most seasoned player in the entire competition.

However, two players, Ganzalo Peillat of Argentina and India’s V.R.Raghunath, both lethal strikers in penalty corners with that brilliant Aussie finisher Eddie Ockeenden will pose a major threat to any combination in the event in which each team plays the other thrice before moving to the summit on February 21 at Ranchi.

Even a superficial glance at the composition of the competing teams clearly reveals that the glamour and gaiety of the HIL 2016 will rest with the foreign stars a majority is from the World Champion team, Australia.

A feast of hockey is store for the aficionados when Kalinga Lancers clashes with Uttar Pradesh Wizards tomorrow at Bhubaneswar to trigger off the fourth edition of one of the most professionally run international competitions.


4th HIL starts: it's time for players to prove their top billing

K Arumugam

The long wait is over. The fourth Hockey India League unfolds today with the opener scheduled for the evening at Bhubneswar, the head quarters of Kalinga Lancers. They will take on Uttar Pradesh Warriors.

Top names in the world of hockey are here, despite being Olympic year. They all have got top billing almost USD 40k upwards. Now its time for them to deliver and entertain the fans, not get into watch and wait syndrome, where coaches turn cautious and make the matches boring. This attitude need to be sidelined, as only a match is played everyday and is telecast, all would want cracking games with lot of goals. Anything otherwise will kill the league.

Besides player costs, the assembly of world's who is who, proves the contemporary worthiness of the Indian innovation, the Hockey India League.

HIL, now sponsored by a public sector giant Coal India, is on its second phase in the sense that teams assumed new combination. Second time ever the auction was held.

The title sponsor is worth Rs.14 Crore per year (about USD 2 million).

The marquee player concept has given way with the provision to retain some key players accorded to the Franchise owners.

The Second HIL auction was held with live telecast and webcast.

277 players including 140 plus foreign players came under the hammer.

Surprisingly, Belgium and Netherlands opted out.

It hardly had any effect as the world’s best from England, Germany, Australia and New Zealand made up their loss, and their leading players were in the bidding process.

India’s Akashdeep Singh, Sandeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh went for higher prices than Jamie Dwyer, Sardar Singh etc, giving clue as to how the franchise work.

By and large, unlike previous phase where goalies sold like hot cakes, now they were not sought after instead forwards and impact making midfielders like the likes of Moritz Furstes, Ashley Jacksons, Matt Gohdes' etc.

So, the teams now have undergone many changes though label remain unchanged to ensure continuity. Whether the new combination will prove to be better than previous one or otherwise will be the area of interest.

For example, top names in the Delhi Waveriders like Sardar Singh (India), goalie Nicolas Jacobi (Germany), Matt Gohdes (Australia) etc moved to Punjab Warriors. At the same time, the Punjab team that retained the coaching team, did not go for its mainstay Jamie Dwyer, who is now in the Uttar Pradesh ranks. Such moves and shakes has given amble room for analysis, but it will take more than a month to find out the final answer.

Such things will keep hockey fans clued to television screens daily at 18.00 hrs IST from now on.

Another major change compared to Phase I is change of venues in the same city.

Chandigarh’s Sector 42 stadium will host Punjab matches while Delhi’s Shivaji stadium sports almost new look to host its new guest. National stadium located near India Gate, which has double capacity of Shivaj, but has access issues, will miss out.

The change of stadiums has been effected, it is learnt, to reduce costs and improve full stands.

The first of the 34 matches to be played till 21st February evokes interest. Both are, to start with have new coaches.

Some of the so-called innovations will come under scrutiny. Giving two goals for field goals, a provision to promote field goals, will be watched with interest. Many believe, a late field goal, which often happens with a long push deflected into the cage kind of stuff, has the capacity to alter the final outcome of the matches.

But the crux issue here is giving two goals to some variety of penalty strokes that is going to stoke the fires on the turf.

Whether such kind of classifying strokes whether it is because of deliberate or unintended, based on which double goals will be awarded, will have lot many human errors, and may cause confusion.


Coal India Hockey India League begins Monday!

Coal India Hockey India League competitors all with an eye on the trophy Photo: Coal India Hockey India League

As the Coal India Hockey India League prepares to burst into life on Monday 18 January, here is a quick round-up of all you need to know about this exciting event, where the best male hockey players in the world compete in an enthralling 34-match tournament, held over an intensive month of hockey action.

The Hockey India League, which has this year attracted Coal India as its new title sponsor, showcases a glittering array of elite men's hockey players from both within India and around the world.

The players are auctioned to one of six franchised teams who will play each other in venues in six cities across India – Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Ranchi and Lucknow.

The competing teams this year are: Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Kalinga Lancers, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Dabang Mumbai and last year’s winners, the Ranchi Rays.

This tournament is a great chance not only for India's best players, but also athletes from across the world to come together in a high quality tournament.

Dabang Mumbai captain, India's Nikkin Thimmaiah, said: “We have a lot to learn from the international players at the Coal India Hockey League, and to play in the league is a completely different experience, which all of us look forward to each year.”

Captain of the Jaypee Punjab Warriors is India captain Sardar Singh. He said: “This tournament 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.”

The opening match of the tournament will take place between the Kalinga Lancers, who made the biggest buy of the season in German superstar Moritz Fuerste, and the Uttar Pradesh Wizards, who paid the highest amount for an India player when they drafted in young Indian forward Akashdeep Singh.

Top goal scorer in last year’s edition of the event was Ashley Jackson. The Great Britain and England midfielder is captaining the defending champions, Ranchi Rays and says he is looking forward to defending the title, adding: “All our opponents are equally competitive so we cannot take any match lightly.”

Some of the other elite international players competing in this year's Coal India Hockey India League include Germany's 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Tobias Hauke, who will line up alongside Argentinian stars Gonzalo Peillat, top scorer at last year's Hero Hockey World League Final, and Agustin Mazzilli, as well as Australian legend Jamie Dywer at Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

England and Great Britain captain Barry Middleton will be turning out for the Ranchi Rays while another German looking to make an impact will be Florian Fuchs. The 24 year old German striker, who was awarded the FIH Young Player of the Year in 2012 will be playing for Dabang Mumbai.

Elsewhere, 2014 FIH World Player of the Year Mark Knowles joins Australian teammate Chris Cirellio at the Jaypee Punjab Warriors, while New Zealand's Simon Child joins Canada's Mark Pearson, Austrian Benjamin Stanzl, and South African Justin Reid-Ross who will all be representing Delhi Waveriders.

The competition is also a good opportunity for top level coaches to work with a galaxy of hockey players. Cedric d’Souza is coach to the Delhi Waveriders and he is delighted with the players he has available this season.

He said: “We did put up a good show with a podium position finish in the last edition of the Hockey India League, but I believe with each new season we should set different expectations. The Indians and overseas players are gelling pretty well and it will really help the team to play as one unit or dictate the terms in any match.”

For the players, not only is this is a great way to gain a very different form of international experience, but there are also cash rewards for the winning team, the runners-up and the players voted Man of the Match on each occasion.

All the Coal India Hockey India League matches can be viewed live from 18 January on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD 2 in English, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports HD 3 in Hindi, and on Star’s Digital platform, hotstar.

For more information about the Hockey India League, and to keep up with all the scores and action, click on their official website here.

The Coal India Hockey India League is hugely important competition which is helping create a powerful image of hockey, whilst also building professionalism throughout the sport. Additionally, competitions like this are creating exciting events which are attracting many more fans into the sport. All of these factors are important components of the FIH Hockey Revolution aimed at making hockey a global game that inspires the next generation.

FIH site

Revamped HIL to start on Monday

The tournament this season will throw up new challenges for players, teams owners and the organisers.

All the six teams' captains pose with the HIL trophy during the unveiling ceremony. File photo

With changes in team combinations and scoring rule, the fourth edition of Hockey India League (HIL), which begins in Bhubaneshwar on Monday, promises to be an unique and exciting affair in more ways than one.

In the tournament opener on Monday, hosts Kalinga Lancers will take on Uttar Pradesh Wizards at the Kalinga Stadium.

The tournament this season will throw up new challenges for players, teams owners and the organisers.

The players, especially, will be looking to make the most out of the tournament before the Rio Olympics later in August.

To add to it, with fresh auctions held last year new team combinations will be seen in action and it remains to be seen how the players adjust in their new franchises under new coaching staff.

At the end of a three-year contractual period, a fresh auction was held last year, which saw many players switching bases, including the likes of Sardar Singh moving from Delhi Waveriders to Punjab Warriors. Moritz Fuerste, returning from a one-year absence, will be turning out for his new team Kalinga Lancers as the costliest player of the season.

The 2016 HIL will also have beefed up cash awards for teams and players, totalling up to a whopping Rs. 5.7 crore.

The league will also have a new title sponsor in Coal India after Hero Group decided against renewing its contract.

The league will have a new scoring pattern as the organisers decided to introduce an innovative rule to raise the interest level of the fans. As per the new rule, one field goal will be counted as two.

Ranchi Rays, co-owned by India limited overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, are the defending champions.

The tournament, to be held across six cities, will conclude with the final in Ranchi on February 21.

The season opener promises to be an exciting contest as UP Wizards, led by star dragflicker VR Raghunath, will take on hosts Kalinga Lancers captained by star German midfielder Moritz Fuerste.

Both Wizards and Lancers will have new coaches. While Lancers replaced Jude Felix with Australian Mark Hager, the Wizards will be coached by Roger van Gent in place of Roelant Oltmans, who opted out from the post to avoid conflict of interest as he is also the High Performance Director of Indian hockey as well the chief coach of the national men’s team.

The Wizards, who have been in the city for the last three days, look to be in great shape without major injury scares.

The Wizards have a formidable team that consists of stalwarts like Australian Jamie Dwyer and star internationals Tobias Hauke from Germany, Gonzalo Peillat of Argentina along with acclaimed Indians like PR Sreejesh, Akashdeep Singh and skipper Raghunath.

With some big names in his armoury, Wizards coach Van Gent expects to make a positive start to his stint in HIL.

“We are working hard and are not leaving any stones unturned to ensure a bright start to our campaign. The boys seem to be in great shape and are comfortable playing with each other. There are no injury concerns and this will allow us to test new combinations,” Van Gent said ahead of the opening match.

Lancers coach Hager is aware of the challenge that awaits his team tomorrow.

“We have a good team and over the last one week the boys have really gelled well. Having said that we cannot underestimate the opponents specially their team consists of experienced national and international stars,” he said.

“We are working hard and are hopeful that will leave a big smile for our fans in Bhubaneswar post our game tomorrow.”

The Hindu

Revamped hockey league kicks off

Bhubaneshwar - New scoring rules encouraging field goals and an equal distribution of Indian talent make the fourth Hockey India League (HIL) an exciting contest. The tournament begins with a showdown between Kalinga Lancers and Uttar Pradesh Wizards here tomorrow.

Drag-flickers have been prominent in international matches in this century and the HIL organisers have decided to award two goals for each field goal this year.

And the teams have also picked their squads as per the requirements under these changes, preferring not only attackers but also technically sound defenders.

To add to it, with fresh auctions held last year, new team combinations will be seen in action and it remains to be seen how the players adjust in their new franchises under new coaching staffs.

At the end of a three-year contractual period, fresh auctions were held last year, which saw many players switching bases. Sardar Singh moved from Delhi Waveriders to Punjab Warriors. Moritz Fuerste, returning after a one-year absence, will be turning out for his new team Lancers as the costliest player of the season.

Hockey India league: Teams
Dabang Mumbai

Andrew Philpott, Dylan Wotherspoon, Xavi Trenchs, Johan Bjorkman, Florian Fuchs, Krishan Pathak, Gurjant Singh, Manpreet, Jeremy Hayward, Tyron Pereira, Harmanpreet Singh, Roshan Minz, David Harte, Affan Yousuf, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Vikas Sharma, Gurmail Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Nilakanta Sharma, Matthew Swann. Coach: Jay Stacy

Punjab Warriors

Baljit Singh Boparai, Jugraj Singh, Aiyappa Biddappa, Varun Kumar, Mark Gleghorne, Jasjit Singh Kular, Arman Qureshi, Jacob Whetton, Tristan Clemons, Kiel Brown, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Sardar Singh (in pic), Satbir Singh, Nithin Thimmaiah, SV Sunil, Matt Gohdes, Chris Ciriello, Simon Orchard, Mark Knowles, Gagandeep Singh. Coach: Barry Dancer

Kalinga Lancers

Quirijn Caspers, Matthew Willis, Pardeep Mor, Abhinav Pandey, Matthew Dawson, Adam Dixon, Anand Lakra, Andrew Charter, Gurjinder Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Lalit Upadhyay, Devinder Walmiki, Aran Zalewski, Stanli Minz, Malak Singh, SK Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Amit Rohidas, Glenn Turner, Moritz Fuerste. Coach: Mark Hager

Delhi Waveriders

Mark Pearson, Devon Manchester, Iain Lewers, Benjamin Stanzl, Santa Singh, Amit Gowda, Steven Edwards, Tristan White, Vickram Kanth, Harjot Singh, Talwinder Singh, Surender Kumar, Parvinder Singh, Prabhdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Yuvraj Walmiki, Harjeet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Justin Reid-Ross, Simon Child. Coach: Cedric D’Souza

Uttar Pradesh Wizards

Nicholas Spooner, Kenny Bain, Jaskaran Singh, PR Aiyappa, Tobias Hauke, Sunil Yadav, Suraj Karkera, Agustin Mazzilli, Vikas Pillay, Ramandeep Singh, Gonzalo Peillat, M Gunasekar, Akashdeep Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Gurinder Singh, PR Sreejesh, VR Raghunath, Jamie Dwyer (in pic), Wouter Jolie, Eddie Ockenden. Coach: Roger Van Gent

Ranchi Rays

Flynn Ogilvie, Sarvanjit Singh, Sumit Kumar, Akash Chitke, Tyler Lovell, Daniel Beale, Sumit, Simranjeet Singh, Barry Middleton, Trent Mitton, Mohammad Amir Khan, Ashley Jackson, Imran Khan, Kothajit Singh, Birendra Lakra, Manpreet Singh, Timothy Deavin, Vikramjit Singh, Sandeep Singh, Fergus Kavanagh. Coach: Harendra Singh

The Tribune

HIL 2016: M.No.1 Preview: Can Kalinga overcome Wizards?

The question that will be uppermost in the full stands, which is expected tomorrow when the Hockey India League opens at Bhubaneshwar, will be whether the hosts, a late entrant, will start on winning note. For, up against them is well settled name, Uttar Pradesh Wizards led by VR Raghunath.

Uttar Pradesh Wizards, led by star drag flicker VR Raghunath will take on hosts Kalinga Lancers led by Star German midfielder Moritz Fuerste in the opening match tomorrow at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar.

Both the teams have been training hard to ensure the best results. Kalinga Lancers, under the coaching of star Australian Mark Hager have been putting in extra efforts to give a lot to rejoice for the local audience.

The ex-Olympian is lending his services as a coach for the first time in the Coal India Hockey India League. The team has been playing practice matches against local teams and all the players seem to be in great comfort playing with each other.

Ahead of the important clash, Mark Hager, Head Coach, Kalinga Lancers said, “We have a good team and the boys over the last one week have really gelled in well, which adds to our advantage. Having said that we cannot under estimate the opponents specially when their team consists of experienced national and international stars. We are working hard and are hopeful that will leave a big smile for our fans in Bhubaneswar post our game tomorrow.”

The Uttar Pradesh Wizards who have been in Bhubaneswar for the last three days look to be in great shape without any major injury scares. The UP Wizards consists of stalwarts like Jamie Dwyer from Australia and star internationals like Tobias Hauke from Germany, Gonzalo Peillat from Argentina along with acclaimed Indians like PR Sreejesh, Akashdeep Singh and Captain VR Raghunath. This year would also mark the debut season of Roger Van Gent as the Head Coach of the UP Wizards.

“We are working hard and are not leaving any stones unturned to see a bright start to our campaign. The boys seem to be in great shape and are comfortable playing with each other. There are no injury concerns within the team and this will allow us to test new combinations, “said Roger Van Gent, Head Coach, Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

The Kalinga stadium which will be the host to the opener has a capacity of 8000 and is ready to witness a full house on the opening day.


Kalinga Lancers takes on UP Wizards in opener

HIL / All attention on the novel rule ‘score one, get two’ for field goals

Y. B. Sarangi

The new ‘score one, get two’ rule for field goals in the Hockey India League (HIL) may sound like an end-of-the-season-sale offer, but it has caught the imagination of the coaches and players even before its implementation.

The novel rule, which is expected to encourage more field goals, will draw a lot of attention when Kalinga Lancers and Uttar Pradesh Wizards lock horns in the opening match of the fourth edition of the event at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Monday.

Some of the penalty strokes resulting in two goals will also provide some twist to the matches.

Delhi Waveriders coach Cedric D’Souza points out that the rule favouring field goals will make matches visually attractive.

“It will make the game more tactical. Coaches will have to think out of the box and make sure that they try and plan for the unexpected,” says D’Souza.

Uttar Pradesh Wizards captain V.R. Raghunath, despite being a penalty corner specialist, feels that the two-goal rule should make the HIL thrilling. “The first week of the season is going to be critical in deciding the way forward for all the teams.

“The rule changes only add to the excitement of the league.”

Solid unit

Last year's semifinalist Wizards, coached by Roger van Gent, seems to be ready for the challenge. With experienced Australian Jamie Dwyer, the costliest Indian player Akashdeep Singh (who is among the International Hockey Federation (FIH) nominations for the ‘Young player of the year’ award), attacking midfielder Agustin Mazilli of Argentina and Indian talents like Ramandeep Singh, P.R. Aiyappa and Jaskaran Singh at its disposal, the team looks solid upfront.

Raghunath, Dutch professional Wouter Jolie and Argentine drag-flicker Gonzalo Peillat can defend well, whereas the steady P.R. Sreejesh can be relied upon under the bar.

The accomplished Tobias Hauke and Edward Ockenden can ensure a fluent job in the midfield.

Lancers, coached by Mark Hager, will seek inspiration from charismatic German midfielder Moritz Fuerste.

The host has employed some Indian forwards, such as Devinder Walmiki, Lalit Upadhyay, Stanli Minz and Malak Singh, who will perform in the company of experienced Aussie Glenn Turner.

Englishman Adam Dixon and Dutchman Quirijin Caspers and the Indian duo of S.K. Uthappa and Dharamvir Singh have the ability to switch positions between midfield and forwardline.

With Andrew Charter protecting the Lancers goal, young Indians Dipsan Tirkey, Pardeep Mor, Amit Rohidas, Gurjinder Singh, Anand Lakra and their overseas colleagues in Matthew Willis, Matthew Dawson and Aran Zalewski will try to form an impregnable wall for Lancers.
Different centres

The remaining teams will play their first matches through the week at different centres.

Defending champion Ranchi Rays has again chosen a strong midfield, predominantly consisting of Australian and English players, whereas last year’s finalist Jaypee Punjab Warriors has mostly stuck to Aussies in the backline and middle.

DWR, which had finished third in 2015, has foreign players of varied nationalities, while Dabang Mumbai has picked up a nicely-balanced squad.

With all the teams looking competitive, the fourth chapter of the HIL, with a total cash prize of Rs. 5.7 crores, should present an interesting fare.

The Hindu

HIL team preview: Lancers looking to make new beginning

Sam Chakraborty

Lancers would be hopeful of not bagging the wooden spoon. (PTI photo)

BHUBANESWAR: For a state once considered the breeding ground of Indian hockey, Odisha's sharp decline in the fortunes of the game and in its supply line has been best reflected in the performances of Kalinga Lancers over the previous two editions of the Hockey India League. Abysmal and inconsistent.

Looking to revive their fortunes under new coach Mark Hager, their third in three years, the state government-owned franchise is desperate not to be the wooden-spooners for the third time running as they take on Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the opening encounter of the tournament at Kalinga Stadium.

The fourth edition of the league and their third, the Lancers have little room for excuse if they falter again. Terry Walsh and Jude Felix have made way for Hager. Devindar Walmiki, Dharamvir Singh, Glenn Turner and Moritz Fuerste were snapped up in the auction last September to lend more solidity to the line-up while Stanli Minz has joined from Ranchi Rays to unite with his native franchise.

Andrew Charter, Aran Zalewski and Lalit Upadhyay add vigour, skill and pace to the conglomeration of experience and youth - a fact highlighted in heir twin practice tie victories. "There is a mixture of experience and youth and that lends balance to the team. Despite the international stars, we are on the same plain," said Hager.

Rather than adhering to the mundane routine of training among themselves, the practice matches have given the Australian a fair idea about the strength and weakness of his side. "The practice games have been good for us. It has allowed me to know the players. The changes (in the squad) were necessary. We are not carrying any baggage from the past. It's a fresh beginning."

The Times of India

EHL stars all set for the Hockey India League

UHC Hamburg’s Moritz Fuerste will enjoy his first taste of life as the world’s most expensive player on Monday when he lines out for the Kalinga Lancers for whom he was snapped up by for a massive $105,000 for the Hockey India League.

He was one of a number of stars from the Euro Hockey League to get signed for the lucrative six-week league for 2016 with German players leading the way.

The Lancers meet the Uttar Pradesh Wizards for whom Harvestehuder THC’s Tobias Hauke is one of the star players. Hauke will earn $96,000 for his efforts in India with the Wizards.

Incredibly, you can see them all play in Amsterdam at Easter for as little as €13.50 at the KO16 of the EHL if you avail of the Early Bird tickets offer.

German players were among the highest earners with UHC’s Florian Fuchs going to Dabang Mumbai for $96,000 while and his club mate Nicolas Jacobi will be the number one goalkeeper at a bargain price of $27,000 for the Jaypee Warriors.

Fuchs will play in the same franchise as SV Kampong goalkeeper David Harte who saw his contract renewed from last season following an array of stellar performances.

Amsterdam’s Kenny Bain jetted out to India last week following his purchase for $17,000 by the Wizards. He became the first Scottish player to be signed up by the HIL.

He will be joined their by fellow Amsterdam man Justin Reid-Ross who was plucked from the reserve list by the Delhi Waveriders.

Royal Leopold’s Agustin Mazzilli will play with Uttar Pradesh, signing for $25,000. Benjamin Stanzl, a former EHL winner with HTHC and now with Oranje Zwart, will be the first Austrian to play in the competition after he was bought by the Delhi Waveriders for $35,000.

One of his former team mates at HTHC and Sweden’s biggest hockey export, Johan Bjorkman, was a smart signing for $10,000 by Dabang Mumbai. Yet another man with Harvestehuder connections, Nick Spooner, joins up with the Wizards along with HGC’s Gonzalo Peillat.

SV Kampong’s Quirijn Caspers was another to be added from the reserve list, linking up with Kalinga.

The tournament runs for six weeks with 30 initial round-robin group games before the top four advance to the finals weekend on February 20 and 21.

Euro Hockey League media release

Kenny Bain set to star for Wizards in Hockey India League

Scotland striker Kenny Bain will become the nation’s first ever player to compete in the Hockey India League when the 2016 edition gets underway at the start of next week.

The former Kelburne star, who has already netted seven goals for Amsterdam HC in the Dutch Hoofdklasse this season, will team up with some of the world’s most high profile players for Utter Pradesh Wizards, the franchise that signed the 25 year-old for $17,000 in a hotly contested player auction last September.

In last week’s Sunday Herald, the Glasgow-born marksman enthused about the prospect of playing in the Hockey India League, stating “This is huge for me. There’s two guys in my team who have just been nominated for world player of the year including Jamie Dwyer from Australia, who’s an idol of mine. It was a very proud moment for me to be selected alongside all of these international players and it’s really amazing that I’m the first Scottish player to do this.”

“This is a massive opportunity but I don’t actually feel fazed about it because my team have paid money for me so they know what I can do. It’s just about enjoying the experience because being Scottish, I don’t get the chance to play in the huge tournaments so this is a chance that I need to grab by the horns and I’m really looking forward to it. I hope I can learn from the guys that I’m playing with and who better to learn from than the best players in the world? But I’m confident that I can hold my own too.”

Bain will hope to feature in the league’s opening match on Monday evening, when the Wizards travel to Bhubaneshwar to tackle the Kalinga Lancers, who finished fifth last season.

The Lucknow-based outfit is aiming to better the fourth place finish achieved in last year’s competition, spending $724,900 in the player auction, the highest by any of the competing franchises, to boost its chances of claiming a first ever Hockey India League title.

The Wizards have splashed the cash on signing Australian superstar and five-time world player of the year Jamie Dwyer, Germany’s double Olympic Gold Medallist Tobias Hauke, and Argentine penalty corner expert Gonzalo Peillat.

Argentina's Gonzalo Peillat will feature alongside Bain in the Hockey India League.

Additionally, home-based favourite and FIH World Young Player of the Year contender Akashdeep Singh was snapped up during the player bidding process, as well as fellow Indian international team-mates VR Raghunath, PR Sreejesh, Jaskaran Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Sunil Yadav.

UP Wizards coach, Roger Van Gent, recently said in the Indian press, “The team is a blend of youth and experience.  We have players from the Indian national team as well as good overseas talent. Fourth position was a good performance last year but we will looking to go the extra mile this year with the new team.”

Similar to cricket’s Twenty20 IPL, the fourth edition of the Hockey India League features six franchise teams, including the Wizards, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Kalinga Lancers, Dabang Mumbai and current title holders Ranchi Rays.

Ten league matches will be played on a home and away basis over a condensed five week period to determine league standings. The top four teams will then contest two semi-finals, the winners progressing to a grand finale to determine this season's champions. Hockey India League has confirmed Rachi Rays will host the play-offs.

Ranchi Rays were Hockey India League's title winners last year. Photo Credit: Zee News, India

The entire competition will be broadcast exclusively live by Hockey India League partner Star Sports and fans can follow Kenny’s progress by visiting www.starsports.com for all the Hockey India League action.

You can also follow Kenny on Twitter.

Full information on the 2016 competition can be found on the Hockey India League website

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Darwin to welcome NZ, Japan, India

Four nations announced for Hockeyroos' last home series before Rio Olympics

A world class line-up has been announced for the Hockeyroos' Four Nations’ Tournament campaign in Darwin this year.

The world beating Australian womens’ hockey team will take on India, New Zealand and Japan in the tournament from May 30 to June 5 at the Marrara Hockey Centre.

NT Sport and Recreation Minister Gary Higgins said the tournament would put the Northern Territory on the international stage.

“It will be the Hockeyroos' final hit-out in Australia, and a great chance to perfect their game plan ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games,” he said.

The world number three Hockeyroos last played in Darwin in 2004 in a tri-nations tournament with New Zealand and Japan.

“It is great to welcome back New Zealand and Japan – and introduce the Indian national side to the Territory for the first time,” Minister Higgins said.

“I know Territorians will be keen to give the Hockeyroos a rousing reception in Darwin and the tournament is a great opportunity to attract Australian and overseas fans to the Territory.

“It will be exciting to see the number three take on the number four (New Zealand). But equally I wouldn’t underestimate Japan or India’s talent on the field – they’re bound to deliver some stunning play as well.”

The four nations test series is part of a three year agreement the Northern Territory Government has signed with Hockey Australia, which includes further test matches in 2017 and 2018.

The agreement includes game development for players, coaches and officials as well as coaching and skills clinics to develop junior hockey.

Hockey Australia Chief Executive Cam Vale said the partnership with the NT will continue to flourish.

“Bringing the Hockeyroos, and in the future the Kookaburras, to Darwin is part of our ongoing events strategy to play more games outside of our traditional home in Perth and take what is a truly national sport to a national audience,” Mr Vale said.

“I’m sure sports fans from across the region will be treated to a fantastic week of hockey from four exceptionally talented teams.”

Hockey NT Executive Officer Ian Harkness said hosting international teams is a perfect chance to grow the sport in the Northern Territory.

“The squad includes Darwin’s own Brooke Peris, who is a product of the Northern Territory Institute of Sport’s excellent hockey program which has produced several Olympic and Commonwealth Games athletes,” he said.

“The school visits and clinics that are part of the agreement will enhance the profile of the sport and increase participation rates.”

Details of the fixtures, ticketing arrangements and any live stream/broadcast coverage will be released in the coming months.

The Hockeyroos are in action tonight, Monday, against Germany. The match is the first of four the team will play in Singapore this week against the Netherlands and Germany as part of the TPG Tri Series, hosted by Hockeyroos and Kookaburras sponsor, The Project Group. The Dutch are under new management, coached by Hockeyroos legend Alyson Annan.

TPG Tri-Series, Singapore, 18-23 January 2016
Monday 18 January, 10pm AEDT: Hockeyroos v Germany
Wednesday 20 January, 10pm AEDT: Hockeyroos v Netherlands
Thursday 21 January, 10pm AEDT: Hockeyroos v Germany
Saturday 23 January, 10pm AEDT: Hockeyroos v Netherlands

There is no live streaming or broadcast coverage available of the TPG Tri-Series. Match reports will be posted on the Hockey Australia website following each Hockeyroos game.

Source: Adapted from NT Government press release

Hockey Australia media release

Dramatic victory for WA

Western Australia’s U18 men defeat hosts 3-2 on a shoot-out

Image: clickinfocus.com.au

Western Australia will be taking home the U18 national indoor title after defeating New South Wales 3-2 in a dramatic final shoot-out.

The tournament’s top two teams went head-to-head in what became a nail-biting clash for the spectators.

Western Australian Ryan Pace opened the match with a field goal five minutes after the starting whistle, however, New South Wales’ captain Jack Donovan quickly deadlocked the score following one minute later.

Western Australia’s captain Benjamin Taylor and striker Alex Rayfield successfully netted both of their attempts, pushing Western Australia in front with a 3-2 lead coming into the halftime break.

It was a busy second half for New South Wales after their captain Jack Donovan scored his fourth penalty corner of the final, and a strike from Ehren Hazell put the hosts back in front with a promising 5-3 lead.

Western Australia fought back in the 35th and 38th minutes. Matthew Tate’s penalty stroke and Taylor Brown’s field goal deadlocked the score 5-5 on the final siren, sending the match into a shoot-out.

After a consistent performance throughout the tournament, Western Australia’s men managed finish atop of the hosts 3-2 in dramatic shoot-out scenario.

In the bronze medal final, the Australian Capital Territory defeated Queensland’s men 9-4. Hat tricks from brothers Ben and Jake Staines were coupled with a double from Aaron Knight and a strike from Jackson Keir.

Strikes from Daniel Springfield (2), Connor Yates and captain Jackson Willie put Queensland on the board, however, it wasn’t enough to steal a final victory.

Final Results
NSW 6-2 ACT (semi-final)
WA 3-3 QLD (semi-final)
VIC 2-0 TAS (5 v 6)
ACT 9-4 QLD (bronze medal)
WA 3–2 NSW [shoot-out] (gold medal)

Final Classification
Gold: Western Australia
Silver: New South Wales
Bronze: Australian Capital Territory
4th: Queensland
5th: Victoria
6th: Tasmania
7th: South Australia

Hockey Australia media release

12th title for U18 hosts

New South Wales’ women win 12th national indoor title

Image: clickinfocus.com.au

New South Wales’ U18 women have claimed their 12th national indoor title after defeating Queensland 4-1 in Wollongong Sunday afternoon.

An on-target penalty corner in the 14th minute from Litiana Field was all it took for New South Wales to carry a 1-0 lead into the second half. After no goals were recorded for either team in the second quarter, Emily Chaffey and Emma O’Brien quickly made up for lost time at the 32nd and 35th minutes, pushing New South Wales in front 3-0. 

Queenslander Demi Roser managed to sneak past the oppositions defence at the 38th minute mark, successfully netting her strike and putting the girls in maroon on the board 3-1.

Two minutes later, Talia Constance retaliated by quickly putting the ball in the back of the net for the hosts, securing a final 4-1 victory and a 12th national indoor title for New South Wales.

In the bronze medal final, it was a breezy 4-0 triumph over Victoria for Western Australia’s women. Strikes from Renee Rockliff, Grace Cohn (2) and Georgia Bentley was all it took to top the tournament off with a bronze medal.

Final Results
VIC 2-3 QLD (semi-final)
NSW 2-0 WA (semi-final)
ACT 3-0 TAS (5 v 6)
WA 4-0 VIC (bronze medal)
NSW 4-1 QLD (gold medal)

Final Classification
Gold: New South Wales
Silver: Queensland
Bronze: Western Australia
4th: Victoria
5th: Australian Capital Territory
6th: Tasmania
7th: South Australia

Hockey Australia media release

Pahang Sports School win again in junior hockey league

by Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Muhamad Nazrey Din was the toast of Pahang Sports School (SS)-MSP-Thunderbolt, scoring a late goal to down Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS)-Thunderbolt 2-1 in Division One of the TNB-Malaysian Junior Hockey League.

It was Pahang Sports School’s second win, having whipped Nur Insafi 11-1 in their opening match in Sungai Petani on Friday.

The Pahang school took the lead in the 25th minute at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday, thanks to Muhammad Idris Samad’s penalty corner goal.

BJSS, who upset last year’s Division One runners-up Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 6-1 on Friday, earned a penalty stroke in the 43rd minute but Mohd Hafiizhuddin Zaidi flicked the ball wide.

But Hafiizhuddin made amends in the 48th minute when he scored a field goal past goalkeeper Hamiz Mohd Ahir to make it 1-1.

Nazrey then won all the points for Pahang SS by converting a penalty corner in the 65th minute.

Defending champions Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt also chalked up their second win by beating SMK Dato Bentara Luar, last year's Division Two runners-up, 3-0 at the Batu Pahat Hockey Stadium.

Luqman Nul Hakim Ahmad Shukran (34th minute), Muhammad Luqman Hakim Asri (61st and 65th minutes) were on target for SSTMI, who whipped the SSTMI Juniors 8-1 in the first match on Friday.





The Star of Malaysia

Uttarakhand to get its first synthetic turf hockey ground at Maharana Pratap Sports College

Gaurav Talwar

DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand is all set to gets its first synthetic turf (poly grass) hockey ground at Maharana Pratap Sports College in Dehradun. The brand new ground would be inaugurated by Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Tuesday.

The hockey players in the state will be greatly benefited from the new ground as now they would be able to hone their hockey skills on state-of-the-art international standard synthetic turf hockey ground. Currently, hockey players in state are forced to practice on plain grass due to which they face problems in national level competitions, which are played on either astroturf or synthetic turf.

According to Rajesh Mumgai, Principal, Maharana Pratap Sports College, "It's a matter of pride that state's first synthetic turf hockey ground has come up at Maharana Pratap Sports College. We would be now able to hold national level camps and hockey tournaments in Uttarakhand as synthetic turf is must for organizing such tournaments."

Notably, the synthetic turf was laid at an estimated cost of Rs 6.5 crore and it took almost one year to complete the whole work. "The synthetic turf is of Polygrass Olympia brand which is a high class hockey pitch and meets international standards. It will provide great exposure to the state's hockey players," said Mumgai.

A showcase match would be played Uttarakhand police and state hockey team after the inauguration ceremony on Tuesday.

The new ground is also a big boost to the ongoing preparations for 38th National Games as the ground would be used for holding hockey matches during the national games, state is going to host in year 2018.

Dehradun District Sports Officer (DSO), SK Sarki, who himself has been a hockey player, told TOI, "A synthetic turf is must for training young budding hockey talents. A hockey player should practice in synthetic surface at young age so that they get accustomed to it, as national and international level hockey is played at artificial surfaces only."

The Times of India

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