Welcome to the Fieldhockey.com Archives

Daily Hockey news updated @ 10:00 GMT

News 27 February 2014

All the news for Thursday 27 February 2014

SA Hockey teams: Of Lionesses, Lions and Tabby Cats

JONATHAN COOK in Mar del Plata

Marcelle Manson (second from right) celebrates fellow SA defender Lisa Deetlefs' goal) while Perez Rodriguez of Argentina reflects during the first Test at Mar del Plata last Saturday. Photo: DIEGO IZQUIERDO

Lies, damned lies and then there are statistics, so the saying goes, and while the big stat, win or lose, might suggest the Investec South Africa women's hockey team and the SA men's national side aren't getting a whole lot out of their respective five-Test series against Argentina's Las Leonas (The Lionesses) and Los Leones (The Lions), nothing could be further from the truth.

Technically skilled and possessing enviable flair, Argentina's national teams were always going to ask questions as to where the SA teams are right now - and just from that one perspective this tour has been immensely rewarding for both SA camps.

Mental toughness in learning how to deal with, at best, "interesting" umpiring decisions by the Argentine officials has also been a bonus - backhand as the lessons may seem.

Leonas' 6-1, 6-2 and 5-1 wins over the SA girls going into Thursday and Friday's 10pm (SA time) fourth and fifth Tests earn the reigning World Cup champions the series honours with two to play. Leones meet the SA lads in the respective fourth and fifth Tests at 8pm (SA time) Thursday and Friday and their 6-0, 4-2 and 3-1 wins earn the South American champions the series honours with two to play.

Closer inspection indicates that the respective second and third Test matches have been closer than scorelines suggest. The first Test losses came just a day after most of the South African players had completed an arduous journey from departure back home to arrival in Mar del Plata.

In their respective latter two Tests the world's 11th-ranked SA girls and 12th-ranked SA men have fulfilled their focus on creating numerous, quality goalscoring opportunities and limiting the chances at the other end of the pitch. This against a Leonas side that along with the celebrated Dutch line-up are ahead of the chasing pack in women's hockey by some distance - and a Leones outfit who are widely held to be way better than their world number 11 men's ranking suggests.

The SA girls’ and lads’ penalty corner attack and defence, where Argentina have been markedly superior, is also being worked on. Big tournaments like the World Cup in June and Commonwealth Games in July is where it will really count for SA. That's why the learning curve under way now is so important.

If not quite to the level of a Tabby cat, with a considered approach the menace implicit in a lion’s roar can be limited.

SA Hockey Association media release

Two hockey heavyweights get ready for action in the Hague

With just over three months until the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, excitement is rising among the teams.

It is 94 days until the action kicks off in The Hague, so the FIH caught up with two of the heavyweights participating in the Rabobank Hockey World Cup – Germany and Australia – to find out how the teams are feeling with just three months to go.

Australian hopes will be high for medals at the World Cup. The men, who are the reigning World Cup holders, have recently moved to the top of the rankings, leapfrogging Germany, while the women are sitting in fourth place. Adam Commens is the women's coach, and he spoke to the FIH about the intense preparations his team is going through in the build-up. "After a short break following the World League Finals in Argentina we began 2014 with an early tour to South Africa where we played against South Africa and the Netherlands. It was really worthwhile. We’ve got five Tests coming up against Japan in Western Australia and a six-nations tournament in New Zealand and through those we’ll look at exposing our broader group ahead of World Cup selection and our departure for Europe in mid-May.”

Meanwhile, veteran campaigner Ric Charlesworth, the Kookaburras coach, said he would be selecting his team in a few days time. "With the Hockey India League in action most of our athletes have been competing in that. As a result we have yet to select our World Cup training group, but we’ll be doing that towards the end of the month. We’re very much looking forward to getting all of the squad back together for a solid preparatory phase leading into the World Cup. The Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia in March and two Tests against New Zealand in April are going to be very important elements of our build up, as will a couple of matches once we get to Europe.”

The German men's team, coached by Markus Weise, are currently ranked number 2 in the world, while the women's team, led by coach Jamilon Mulders, are at an uncharacteristically low 6th place. But, as all the opposing teams know, when it comes to big tournaments, you can never write off the Germans. 

Maximilian Mueller is the men's captain, and his inspiration for a good performance in The Hague comes from one empty space in his trophy cabinet. "I'm excited about the World Cup, because it´s the only big tournament most of the team haven´t won yet. It is also special that the tournament is so early in the year, so the preparation time is not very long. But we are on our way."

The German women's team will have quite a few young players, and captain Julia Muller has been working hard to integrate newcomers into the team. She said: "We have a lot of training camps together and I share lots of 'oldies' stories with the younger group about what to expect on and off the pitch. A lot of younger players joined us after the Junior World Cup last year and since then I have tried to build up social bonding within the team."

The current number one German goalkeeper for the men, Nicolas Jacobi, has been playing in the Hockey India League, and many credited Delhi Waverider's win in the final to his performance in goal. Max Mueller agrees that the HIL was a good experience for goalkeepers as it meant they got practice at stopping penalty corners from some of the finest players in the world. Despite the rave reviews, Nicolas knows that no-one is yet guaranteed a berth to the World Cup. "I am very excited, but it's still a long way to go for us. Now we're going in our final stage of the preparation with many hard training camps to come. The competition for the 18 spots in the team will be tough."

Moritz Fuerste, FIH Young Player of the Year 2012, has also just returned from India, having played for the Ranchi Rhinos. He says that with just 94 days to go, the German preparations are a little different to other big tournament years. "We are preparing ourselves a bit differently as the World Cup is at such a early stage in the season this year. The fitness will be a big focus but also technical things as there are less days to prepare."

For Moritz, and many of his teammates, the match they are most looking forward to is against the Netherlands. He said: "I'm looking forward to playing South Africa as we just have only played them once in a tournament, but obviously the biggest game will be when we play Holland in front of their home crowd. I guess that´s what all hockey players dream of and we will be very happy to experience that this year."

Maike Stöckel, who has played for the women's team since 2007, agrees. She lives and works in the Netherlands, so the match against the Oranje will have special significance. She is also anticipating an exciting game when Germany takes on Argentina.

Julia Muller added: "We were in Malaysia when I saw that it was only 100 days and I got really excited! I can't wait to play the World Cup. We are training really hard and I have a good feeling."

FIH site

De Young to play 300th game

Hayward to debut plus major milestone at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Hockey Australia has today announced the 18-athlete Kookaburras squad that will compete at next month’s Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia. The announcement came on the same day that the 2014 men's national senior and development squads were named.

Three-time Olympian and Athens 2004 gold medallist Liam De Young is set to become only the fourth Australian to make 300 appearances for the Kookaburras after being named in the squad for the prestigious invitational Sultan Azlan Shah tournament. He will join Jay Stacy (321 caps), Brent Livermore (317) and fellow Queenslander Jamie Dwyer (308) as a member of the ‘300 club’.

Tasmanian Eddie Ockenden - a two-time Olympic bronze medallist and World Cup winner - will make his 200th appearance for the Kookaburras while Victorian Glenn Simpson will reach a century of matches for Australia.

National Coach Ric Charlesworth makes eight changes from the Kookaburras squad that competed at the World League Finals in Delhi in January with several other significant milestones expected.

Darwin-born Jeremy Hayward will make his competitive senior international debut in Ipoh having impressed at the International Super Series Hockey 9s in Perth last October and at the Junior World Cup in Delhi in December.

Western Australian Trent Mitton - a Commonwealth Games gold medallist - and Queenslander Jake Whetton will both play their 50th international matches.

Five-time World Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer returns to the Kookaburras’ line-up having been rested for the World League Finals while there are also recalls for goalkeeper Andrew Charter, Simpson, Matt Gohdes, Rob Hammond, Mitton and Andrew Philpott, who has be elevated into the national senior squad for 2014. Penalty corner ace Chris Ciriello returns having been withdrawn from the World League squad after suffering a torn calf. In all, nine of the squad have recently returned from the Hockey India League, including Tristan White, who along with Gohdes, was a winner with the Delhi Waveriders in hockey’s premier franchise-based competition.

Announcing the squad, Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth said, “The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is our last tournament before the World Cup and the squad has been picked with that in mind.

“We’ve selected based on a range of objectives, including load management. We’ve got athletes that have played in the Oceania Cup, World League Finals and Hockey India League and we need to look after them with both the World Cup and Commonwealth Games coming up. Some people, like Jamie Dwyer, were rested for the World League Finals but now need to come back and play with the group.”

Gunning for a record eighth title as they defend their 2013 crown, the Kookaburras will face Canada, China, Korea, South Africa and hosts Malaysia in the 23rd edition of the competition.

Charlesworth added that despite the recent withdrawal of Pakistan, the now six team tournament has the quality to test Australia.

“It’s unfortunate that a couple of teams [Pakistan and France] had to pull out but the likes of Korea, Malaysia and South Africa in particular are quality teams that will be at the World Cup. The tournament format means that we’ll also have a few two-day rest periods, which is unusual in hockey but which we will experience in The Hague and at the Commonwealth Games so that too will be good preparation.”

Kookaburras squad for Sultan Azlan Shah
13-23 March 2014 - Ipoh, Malaysia
Athlete (Hometown, State) Caps/Goals
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD) 20/5
Nick Budgeon (Hobart, TAS) 14/3
Andrew Charter (GK) (Canberra, ACT) 54/0
Chris Ciriello (Melbourne, VIC) 125/69
Liam De Young (Brisbane, QLD) 296/34
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD) 308/200
Russell Ford (Melbourne, VIC) 143/69
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD) 80/22
Rob Hammond (Townsville, QLD) 239/28
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT) 0/0
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD) 224/18
Tyler Lovell (GK) (Perth, WA) 14/0
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA) 48/14
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS) 199/51
Andrew Philpott (Melbourne, VIC) 9/1
Glenn Simpson (Melbourne, VIC) 99/19
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD) 46/18
Tristan White (Wollongong, NSW) 21/1

Kookaburras fixtures at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
Date - Fixture - Result - Local time - AEDT – AWST
Thurs. 13 March - Kookaburras v China - 18:05 - 21:05 - 18:05
Sun. 16 March - Kookaburras v Canada - 18:05 - 21:05 - 18:05
Mon. 17 March - South Africa v Kookaburras - 16:05 - 19:05 - 16:05
Thurs. 20 March - Korea v Kookaburras - 20:05 - 23:05 - 20:05
Sat. 22 March - Kookaburras v Malaysia - 18:05 - 21:05 - 18:05
Sun. 23 March - Finals Day & Classification - 15:35 - 18:35 - 15:35

Upcoming Kookaburras matches and tournaments
13-23 March – Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (Ipoh, Malaysia)
17-19 April – Kookaburras v New Zealand (Two Tests) (Perth, Australia)
24-25 May – Kookaburras v England (Two Tests) (England)
31 May – 15 June – Men’s World Cup (The Hague, Netherlands)
23 July – 3 Aug – Commonwealth Games (Glasgow, Scotland)
13-21 December – Men’s Champions Trophy (Bhubaneswar, India)

Hockey Australia media release

National Men’s Squads 2014

Daniel Beale, Nick Budgeon, Jeremy Hayward & Andrew Philpott step up

Hockey Australia has announced the 30 athletes who will make up the 2014 Australian men’s national senior squad and the ten that will comprise the national development squad.

The squad was announced at the same time as the 18 athlete squad to compete at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup was named. The national senior squad is the group of athletes from which the final squad for the World Cup will be selected.
New inclusions in the 2014 senior list include Australia’s Junior World Cup captain Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD), who after making his senior international debut in March 2013 went on to win the Oceania Cup and compete at the World League Finals with the Kookaburras. Beale’s young Burras teammate Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT) also makes the step up from the national junior squad while Nick Budgeon (Hobart, TAS) and Andrew Philpott (Melbourne, VIC) are promoted from the national development squad. Like Beale, Philpott picked up a gold medal at the 2013 Oceania Cup while Budgeon stepped in to replace the injured Chris Ciriello ahead of the World League Finals.

Matthew Butturini is included, however, will not be available for World Cup selection due to a long term knee injury.

The national senior squad will continue to be supported by the national development squad, which provides athletes with exposure to international hockey and development opportunities as part of a pathway into the senior group. Athletes from the development squad - and the national junior squad set to be named in July - are not precluded from being called up to the senior squad at a later date.

National Men’s Senior Squad 2014
Athlete (Hometown, State)
George Bazeley (Melbourne, VIC)
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD)
Kiel Brown (Toowoomba, QLD)
Nick Budgeon (Hobart, TAS)
Matthew Butturini (Burringbar, NSW)
Joel Carroll (Darwin, NT)
Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT)
Chris Ciriello (Melbourne, VIC)
Liam De Young (Brisbane, QLD)
Tim Deavin (Launceston, TAS)
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD)
Russell Ford (Melbourne, VIC)
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD)
Kieran Govers (Wollongong, NSW)
Rob Hammond (Townsville, QLD)
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT)
Fergus Kavanagh (Geraldton, WA)
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD)
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA)
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA)
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS)
Simon Orchard (Maitland, NSW)
Andrew Philpott (Melbourne, VIC)
Glenn Simpson (Melbourne, VIC)
Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD)
Glenn Turner (Goulburn, NSW)
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)
Tristan White (Wollongong, NSW)
Jason Wilson (Kingscliff, NSW)
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA)

National Men’s Development Squad 2014
Athlete (Hometown, State)
Craig Boyne (Perth, WA)
Tristan Clemons (Bunbury, WA)
Matthew Dawson (Central Coast, NSW)
Jeremy Edwards (Hobart, TAS)
Leon Hayward (Darwin, NT)
Nathan McGuire (Perth, WA)
Josh Miller (Goulburn, NSW)
Tom Wickham (Adelaide, SA)
Matthew Willis (Tamworth, NSW)
Dylan Wotherspoon (Mulwillumbah, QLD)

Upcoming Kookaburras matches and tournaments
13-23 March – Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (Ipoh, Malaysia)
17-19 April – Kookaburras v New Zealand (Two Tests) (Perth, Australia)
24-25 May – Kookaburras v England (Two Tests) (England)
31 May – 15 June – Men’s World Cup (The Hague, Netherlands)
23 July – 3 Aug – Commonwealth Games (Glasgow, Scotland)
13-21 December – Men’s Champions Trophy (Bhubaneswar, India)

Hockey Australia media release

Black Sticks Women to play in central Auckland

The Black Sticks Women will take on Korea in Mt Eden at 6pm on Friday 28 and 4.30pm Saturday 29 March as part of their build up to the Hawke’s Bay Festival in April and the 2014 World Cup in May.

Both games are being played at the Fuji Xerox Hockey Centre at Auckland Grammar School in Mt Eden. Bring the family after work to watch the game on Friday or make an afternoon of it on the Saturday. For those that haven’t been to an international hockey game before, this is your chance to catch all the speed, skill and glamour of New Zealand’s top hockey stars in action!

The Black Sticks Women have not played in Auckland since April 2012 and it is likely to be their only game in Auckland this year – so don’t miss out!

Players will be available after the games for autographs and photos.

These games, along with tests in Taupo the following week are preparation for the Hawke’s Bay Festival which will see the Black Sticks take on Australia, Argentina, Korea, Japan and China. Following this event, the big year of hockey continues when they travel to Holland for the 2014 World Cup in May, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July and the Champions Trophy in Argentina in December.

Players will be out to impress with head coach Mark Hager using these two tests as a selection event ahead of the Hawke’s Bay Festival.

The team have had a number of players out with injury in recent months and it is hoped they will be back in time for this series. Stacey Michelsen, Katie Glynn, Krystal Forgesson, Pippa Hayward and Brooke Neal are all likely to be back on the turf.

Venue: Fuji Xerox Hockey Centre, Auckland Grammar School, Normanby Road, Mt Eden, Auckland. Just down the road from the Normanby Pub. Car parking on the street is available.

Entry date and time:
6pm, 28 March. Gates open at 5pm
4.30pm, 29 March. Gates open at 3.30pm

Tickets will be on sale from 10am this coming Monday 3 March at www.ticketdirect.co.nz

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Mohammad Imran fears further decline in hockey

By Fawad Hussain

“Where are we heading next? I can only foresee a further decline,” lamented Mohammad Imran. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: National players have been left idle after the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) withdrew from the Azlan Shah Cup, rued captain Mohammad Imran.

Most of the players, according to the seasoned team leader, rejected offers from foreign leagues to ensure their presence for the national camp ahead of the tournament which is set to take place in Malaysia from March 13.

The PHF pulled out of the event due to a lack of funds as the federation is yet to receive a promised grant of Rs100 million from Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Dejected at the withdrawal, Imran, who led the side to a win in the Asian Champions Trophy in November 2013 – Pakistan’s last international assignment – said the players’ isolation from international events may result in further decline in the team’s standing (number eight).

“We have been confined to individual training for months,” Imran told The Express Tribune.

“I am among the ones who refused offers from leagues abroad to attend the national training camp. But we came to know that the camp could not be held due to a lack of funds.

“We are not going to the Azlan Shah Cup, while our participation in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games [this year] is still in jeopardy.

“Where are we heading next? I can only foresee a further decline,” lamented the senior defender.

‘Youngsters can help us bounce back’

Pakistan, the four-time champions, failed to qualify for the World Cup (this year in the Netherlands) for the first time in their rich hockey history.

“It was a disaster by all means, but it is still not the end of the world. We can bounce back because we still have the talent.

“The youngsters we tried at the Asian Champions’ Trophy showed a lot of potential. These players can help us win in the days ahead.”

“The 2016 Olympics is not far and we can compensate on our failures by winning a medal there, which is not impossible.

“All these youngsters need is motivation,” said Imran before requesting authorities’ attention towards the national sport.

The Express Tribune

League double header for East Grinstead

East Grinstead Ashley Jackson

EAST Grinstead face a double header weekend which could see them challenge for top spot in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.

They entertain Hampstead and Westminster on Saturday, before taking on Wimbledon at Saint Hill on Sunday. And Hampstead and Westminster could play a big part in the make-up of the league table, as they also play second-placed Reading on Sunday.

“It will be a tough weekend for two different reasons,” said East Grinstead manager Matt Jones. “Hampstead and Westminster are battling hard for their position in the table, and Wimbledon are in the running for a top four place.

“But we’re pleased to have seven players coming back into contention, including Ashley Jackson (pictured), Mark Gleghorne and Iain Lewers who are returning from the Hockey India League.

“However, with players coming back into the squad we don’t want to disrupt our fluidity because it’s about winning at all costs at this stage of the season.”

Elsewhere in the Premier Division Canterbury play host to leaders Beeston, while Surbiton will be aiming to hold on to fourth spot when they entertain Loughborough Students.

And bottom of the table Sheffield Hallam – who led against Beeston last weekend before late goals cost them the points – host eighth-placed Cannock in a vital match to both side’s hopes of avoiding relegation.

In the NOW: Pensions Conference East the top two play each other on Saturday evening with Holcombe hosting Southgate.

Leaders Brooklands Manchester University host Olton and West Warwickshire in the NOW: Pensions Conference North, while new leaders Cardiff and Met go to Guildford as they bid to hold on to top spot in the NOW: Pensions Conference West.

League Finals Weekend

The winners of the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League and the Investec Women’s Hockey League will be crowned over two action-packed weekends at Reading Hockey Club in April. The top four Premier Division teams qualify for their respective finals weekends, laying off against each other to be crowned league champions.

The men’s finals will take place on the 5-6 April while the women will battle it out a week later from 12-13 April. Tickets are now available to purchase for both weekends, please visit www.englandhockey.co.uk/tickets

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, March 1 2014)

NOW: Pensions Premier Division
East Grinstead v Hampstead and Westminster 14:00

NOW: Pensions Conference East
Holcombe v Southgate 18:30

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, March 2 2014)

NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Canterbury v Beeston 12:45
East Grinstead v Wimbledon 14:00
Hampstead and Westminster v Reading 14:00
Sheffield Hallam v Cannock 13:30
Surbiton v Loughborough Students 14:00

NOW: Pensions Conference East
Brighton and Hove v Cambridge 13:00
Bromley and Beckenham v Teddington 13:00
Oxted v Old Loughtonians 12:45
St Albans v Richmond 14:00

NOW: Pensions Conference North
Brooklands Manchester University v Olton and West Warwickshire 13:45
Khalsa v University of Durham 14:30
Leek v Bowdon 14:00
Wakefield v Deeside Ramblers 14:00
West Bridgford v Belper 13:30

NOW: Pensions Conference West
Fareham v Team Bath Buccaneers 14:00
Guildford v Cardiff and Met 12:00
Indian Gymkhana v University of Exeter 14:00
Isca v Cheltenham 12:30
University of Birmingham v Havant 12:30

England Hockey Board Media release

Leicester tester for leaders Canterbury

Canterbury's Susie Rowe challenges Bowdon's Holly Hunt

AFTER battling to a hard-fought one-nil win over Beeston last weekend, leaders Canterbury take on rivals Leicester in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.

Strong defence has been a key part of Canterbury’s game so far this season - they have not lost in the outdoor league since October, and conceded just six goals in their last nine matches.

With clean sheets in their last three games, they will be looking to keep Leicester at bay and maintain their four-point lead at the top of the table.

“Our defence has been our real strength throughout the season,” said Canterbury player-coach Jen Wilson. “It’s a massive plus to get clean sheets, and it was pleasing to see last weekend that our keeper didn’t have to make a single save which is testament to the players in front of her.

“Whenever we play Leicester we know we’re always in for a tough battle because they’re a quality team, so we’re taking nothing for granted.”

Meanwhile, second-placed Reading head to Sutton Coldfield in search of a win to keep the pressure on Canterbury, while Surbiton could overtake Reading if they take the points at University of Birmingham.

Elsewhere, Bowdon Hightown will want to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to University of Birmingham when they go to Clifton. Victory at Coombe Lane could see them leapfrog the Bristol side into the top four.

In what could be a title decider, leaders Slough play host to second-placed Buckingham in the Investec Conference West on Saturday. Just two points separate the rivals, while Buckingham will want revenge for a 1-0 defeat they suffered at Stowe School last October.

Buckingham then play their re-arranged match against Oxford Hawks 24 hours later.

Leaders Holcombe – who have scored almost twice as many goals as anyone else in the Investec Conference East – play host to Horsham on Saturday, while second-placed East Grinstead will be aiming to bounce back from last weekend’s home defeat to St Albans when they go to Wimbledon.

And in the Investec Conference North, leaders Brooklands host bottom of the table Doncaster, while second-placed Wakefield will be looking to stay in touch when they entertain Kendal.

League Finals Weekend

The winners of the Investec Women’s Hockey League and the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League will be crowned over two action-packed weekends at Reading Hockey Club in April. The top four Premier Division teams qualify for their respective finals weekends, laying off against each other to be crowned league champions.

The men’s finals will take place on the 5-6 April while the women will battle it out a week later from 12-13 April. Tickets are now available to purchase for both weekends, please visit www.englandhockey.co.uk/tickets

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, March 1 2014)

Investec Premier Division
Beeston v Olton and West Warwickshire 12:00
Canterbury v Leicester 17:00
Clifton v Bowdon Hightown 13:00
Sutton Coldfield v Reading 14:30
University of Birmingham v Surbiton 12:30

Investec Conference East
Harleston Magpies v Sevenoaks 14:15
Holcombe v Horsham 16:00
Ipswich v Chelmsford 14:00
St Albans v Old Loughtonians 13:00
Wimbledon v East Grinstead 14:00

Investec Conference North
Brooklands Poynton v Doncaster 12:00
Stourport v Boots 12:00
University of Durham v Ben Rhydding 12:00
Wakefield v Kendal 13:30
Whitley Bay and Tynemouth v Loughborough Students 12:30

Investec Conference West
Barnes v Isca 12:00
Exe v Trojans 13:00
Gloucester City v Oxford Hawks 12:00
Slough v Buckingham 13:00
Swansea v Bristol Firebrands 12:00

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Sunday, March 2 2014)

Investec Conference West
Buckingham v Oxford Hawks 11:30

England Hockey Board Media release

MENS IHL Preview

by Stephen Findlater

Pool A: The Irish Hockey League returns to action this weekend with some enticing hockey taking place over the coming six weeks as the battle to be the top club in the nation begins in earnest.

In men's Pool A, Three Rock Rovers enter the tournament on a major high having won the Irish Senior Cup last weekend, ending a 40-year drought for the world's oldest cup competition. It is a measure of how far they have come in a very short space of time as they did not qualify for last year's Irish Hockey League following an eighth place finish in the Leinster league two years ago.

But they have since risen to be major contenders both at provincial and national stage. Amid their IHL campaign, they have to play a Mills Leinster Senior Cup final on St Patrick's Day, making theirs a packed schedule but they have a strong squad for the task.

The emergence of youth internationals like Luke Madeley, Ben McCrea, Daragh Walsh, Harry Morris and Fred Morris has bolstered their panel considerably this season but they will miss Dutchman Huub de With who has returned to his homeland in the wake of the Senior Cup success. Despite being a new arrival to the competition after a year's absence, they will be one of the fancied sides in Pool A. They start off with a date against Cork Harlequins who have endured a tough season to date and, if they are to remain at the top table in 2014/15, will need to qualify for the IHL via the wildcard playoffs. Quins were 2012 Irish Senior Cup winners and still have a core of that side available with Hobbs' brothers Dan, John and Rob key figures while former international Jason Black and David Lombard can be key figures. But their form in Munster, dropping below UCC in the final rankings for the first time, will place them in the outsiders category to progress.

The northern triple-threat in the group is headed up by Lisnagarvey who have been involved in a ding-dong tussle for the Ulster Premier League title with Banbridge all season, a match-up that has been so tight that it could well be decided on goal difference. Garvey blend youth and experience with Wallace HS' schoolboy Sean Murray a remarkably assured presence in the centre of midfield, dovetailing with veteran Mark Raphael to beautiful effect. Jason Lynch has close skills to beat the band and has been delightful to watch since returning from playing in Germany. Timmy Cockram is their main penalty corner threat while they have a very assured defensive line with James Lorimer and skipper Jonny Bell manning the central roles and the experienced Stevie Arbuthnot a roaming influence from left back in the mould of former great Johnny Gray. They will be looking to bring the title back to the Comber Road for the first time since the 2011/12 season and they start off their journey with a battle at Shawsbridge against Instonians who have comfortably retained a top four berth in Ulster this term.

Inst drew with Garvey in the corresponding fixture in their local league campaign in January and, in William Robinson, have one of the sharpest shooters in the province. Allied to Paul Gleghorne's strength and James Corry - who became the first Donegal native to earn an Irish cap in January - they have a number of strong weapons to make an impact. For Cookstown, recent years have seen some of their biggest stars depart these shores since they lit up the Irish Senior Cup in 2011 with Timmy Smyth, Ian Sloan and David Ames all notable departures to foreign shores over the past few years. Nonetheless, there is still plenty of nous in their panel who have been ever-present in the competition since its inception. Ian Hughes is a vastly experienced goalkeeper while Matthew Rollins is a beautiful distributor from the back. Up front, Greg Allen recently passed a century of goals for the club and, with former international Andy Barbour's prompting, will always be buzzing around for chances.Whether than can translate into a sustained tilt at the semi-finals berth may depend on how they do in their first game against Pembroke.

The Dublin side raided Steelweld Park with a 7-3 win in November and a repeat performance in round one of the IHL could see the Co Tyrone side on the back foot. For Pembroke, they will be looking to bounce back from a frustrating Senior Cup final defeat against Three Rock, the second year running they were denied the title at the final stage. With former Irish coach David Passmore on the sideline, they are cleverly drilled and have star turns in the form of centre back Conor Harte and goal machine Alan Sothern. Mark Ingram is one of the best young goalkeepers in the country while Maurice Elliott is a big boost to the squad. He missed the Senior Cup finals weekend but will be back in the country for this competition and will be looking to show off the skills that saw him earn a place in the Irish training panel at the age of 31. The two Leinster sides and Lisnagarvey, by virtue of their Irish Senior Cup runs will probably be the fancied teams to contest the top two places with round five a potentially delicious fourth meeting of the season between Pembroke and Three Rock.

In Pool B, UCD's debut in the competition sees them go straight in at the deep end with a game against reigning champions Monkstown. The students became the ninth different Leinster side to qualify for the marquee event last season and are ambitious enough to do some damage in their maiden year in the IHL. Shane O'Donoghue and Nick Burns can be devastating on their day while Ross Canning has a keen eye for goal. They also have a strong corner routine and have taken plenty of decent scalps this term. Among them, of the other IHL contenders they beat Instonians in the Senior Cup and Pembroke and Corinthian in the Leinster league and took points off Three Rock Rovers. Clinton Sweetnam's return to Bandon was keenly felt earlier this season but Rory O'Donoghue's side will hope they can cause a bit of a stir. Senior internationals Kirk Shimmins and Peter Brown give their midfield a particular buzz.

Monkstown will be no shrinking violets and are smarting after their Senior Cup semi-final exit to Three Rock 4-0. It was a huge surprise after they had annexed the Leinster league in style a couple of weeks earlier but Stephen Cole's injury was a tough blow to cope with. It added to the unavailability of David Cole for much of the season but Ian Horsfield's return to Ireland from Scotland where he played a number of times in the EuroHockey League with Kelburne has helped ease that setback.

Graham Shaw's side have a razor-sharp attacking line laden with internationals and, should they fire, the sky-blues will be the side to stop in the initial group. They have already got one over on Banbridge, on paper their main rivals, this season with an assured 3-1 win at Rathdown - the venue when the two sides meet in the final round of the group phase. Bann have been lifted by the return of Eugene Magee this season after a number of years playing in Belgium and Germany and they have plenty of up and coming talent. Ulster U-21 captain Matthew Bell is chief among them with Johnny McKee another rising star. Injury curtailed Owen Magee and Josh Moffett's potential involvement in the Irish U-21 side for their recent Four Nations tournament.

First up for them is a game against Cork C of I. They retained their Munster title with the minimum of fuss though they do come into the competition on the back of a first ever defeat to UCC. On the plus side, Stephen Parker has returned to the side after a couple of seasons with YMCA while teenager Simon Wolfe has made huge strides of late. Irish record goalscorer John Jermyn’s threat from play and set-pieces and the quick hands of Stephen Sweetnam are among the other factors which should help C of I represent Munster well. Annadale and Corinthian make up the group but will probably be considered outsiders at the outset. The former still remain in a dice for the fifth place in the Ulster Premier League and lie a long way off the top four after a mixed campaign. They have a very young squad and Michael Robson and Connor Roberts are fine talents but this competition may prove a tough prospect. Corinthian, meanwhile, ended their provincial season in seventh place and could well be without two of their leading lights. South African pair Jethro Eustice and Gowan Jones were both called into their national squad in preparation for this summer's World Cup and so will have little to no opportunity depending on future selection for the IHL. Karl Smith captains the team and they will hope to get off to a flyer against Annadale before meeting some of the big guns later in the group.

Written by Stephen Findlater on behalf of Irish Hockey

Saturday 1st March

14:30 Cookstown vs Pembroke Wanderers (Steelweld Park)

14:40 Instonians vs Lisnagarvey (Shawsbridge)

15:30 Three Rock Rovers vs Cork Harlequins (Grange Road)


Saturday 1st March

14:00 Monkstown vs UCD (Rathdown)

14:30 Annadale vs Corinthian (Lough Moss)

16:00 Banbridge vs Cork Church of Ireland (Havelock Park)

Irish Hockey Association media release

IHL Women's Preview 2014

by Stephen Findlater

Following a stunning season to date, UCD are very much the team to beat in the women’s Irish Hockey League (IHL) that gets under way this weekend  as Ireland’s top 12 teams battle it out for the top title in the club game. The students have already annexed the Irish Senior Cup as well as the Leinster division one crown and will be hoping they can add a third piece of silverware to their collection over the course of the next six weeks.

They start their Pool A campaign with a tricky tie against Hermes, the only side to have beaten them so far this season. That result came when the students were down their international contingent due to a training camp in January, but UCD are a different proposition altogether with an array of Irish international stars on their books. Their forward line of Anna O’Flanagan and Nikki Evans is laden with class as they showed in the Senior Cup playoffs weekend, sharing five goals in the semi-final and final. That ruthless streak is combined with a robust defensive line-up with Brenda Flannery and Niamh Atcheler’s distribution from the back, Sarah Greene’s gutsy determination and a feisty midfield, they have a superb combination that has seen them lose just once this season.

Hermes are a wily outfit, however, and have the country’s form striker in their ranks with Aine Connery bang on form. Their back line is one of the best around with Sinead McCarthy, Audrey O’Flynn and Christine Quinlan to the fore while Sara Twomey is emerging as a top midfield talent. With a wealth of former UCD players in their ranks, they have plenty of know-how at their disposal while Emma Gray is the top goalkeeper in the country, making them a serious test for the students first up.

Greenfields become the first ever side from Connacht to compete in the IHL after a number of years of highly competitive performances in the Irish Hockey Trophy, a title they won last April with victory over Lisnagarvey. They do have players with experience of the competition with former Loreto captain Clodagh Grealy – a winner in 2009 in the inaugural season – and Railway Union’s Sarah McDonald club members who have done well before. Their opening encounter is on home turf against another side who made waves in the Trophy first before stepping up to the IHL stage, Limerick’s Catholic Institute, a repeat of their 2010 Trophy final. Insta are still in with an outside chance of winning the Munster title if they can get a win against rivals Cork Harlequins. They have been buoyed by the return of Katie Campbell from the Netherlands after a half-season stint abroad and since her return, she has rekindled her excellent partnership with Naomi Carroll up front.

They will be without Roisin Upton, however, who has returned to the US after making an impact in mid-season following the end of her successful NCAA season with the UConn Huskies. The Rosbrien will hope to get off to a strong start ahead of some really tough games in a group that also features last year’s double champions Railway Union.

They may not be quite the force of a year ago with Cecelia and Isobel Joyce, Kate McKenna, Holly Jenkinson and Grace O’Flanagan not available. Kate Dillon, Julia O’Halloran and Emma Smyth form one of the most creative midfields in the country and will be keen to bounce back after a missing out on the Irish Senior Cup and Leinster league crowns. Their first game is against Lurgan who also reached the Senior Cup semi-finals, only bowing out on penalties to Pembroke Wanderers after a tight tussle and so have good pedigree this term.

However, a number of their brightest stars from Lurgan High School who won two Kate Russell Cups in three years have moved on from the club in the past year to take up scholarships abroad. It means they have not felt the full benefit of an excellent crop of young players but they are an emerging force with Charlene Hull to the fore. But they have a huge task ahead of them from what certainly looks the tougher pool.

Pool B is populated primarily by Ulster sides with Pegasus, Ards and Ballymoney joined by Cork Harlequins, Old Alex and Loreto. Ards are coming into the competition hot on the heels of a stunning EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Challenge I in Budapest in which they won six out of six games, earning promotion in the process. Chloe Brown was their star, as she was for the Ulster U-21s in the recent interpros, picking up both the top scorer and player of the tournament prizes in Hungary. Naomi Elliott, Lynn Mills and Katy Bennett have all been part of the side that has been knocking on the door for the past few years and their Ulster Shield win in December shows their intent. First up for them is a game against Ballymoney who they have beaten twice but only by a single goal this season so expect a tight game.  Money come into the competition off the back of three successive wins in their domestic league to put them in great shape to stay in the competition in 2014/15 after an indifferent middle section to their season. Nikki Parke is their go to player while Jess Lynch is another with plenty of experience.

Pegasus enter an IHL season without the talismanic Arlene Boyles for the first time after she stepped away from playing after many years of service packed with trophies. They are still pushing Ards hard for provincial glory and have been boosted by the arrival of Irish U-18 internationals Robyn Chambers and Hannah Grieve, their campaign starts against a defensively sound Old Alex who have fought back after a tricky start to their Leinster league campaign to sit in fifth place. Shirley McCay is their midfield fulcrum while Sarah Canning and Laura Gray control the defensive unit with Pam Smithwick a top goalkeeper. Goals though are hard to come by for Didi Cole’s team, meaning their games are often decided by the minimum.

Cork Harlequins have been buoyed by yet another return to action by Karen Bateman and she proved critical in a recent 2-0 win over Catholic Institute in the Munster league, scoring both goals.

It is a result that has pushed them very close to winning that title with one game to go. Cliodhna Sargent is one of the country’s most gutsy defenders, closely followed by team mate Yvonne O’Byrne. If they can nab points on the road at Pegasus or on day one against Loreto will define whether they can progress. Trevor Dagg’s Loreto are a much changed outfit this season with a transition based on injuries the enforced reasons. Nikki Symmons departed for Switzerland this term while Lizzie Colvin and Sarah Evans sustained season-long injuries. Ali Meeke and Niamh Small are quality performers while Bryony Biggam, Ciara Vincent and Lauren O’Leary are the young stars on the rise. They make up an intriguing group though the sides who progress may well be underdogs when it comes to the semi-final stages.

Written by Stephen on behalf of Irish Hockey


Saturday 1st March

14:30 Greenfields vs Catholic Institute (Dangan)

14:30 Railway Union vs Lurgan (Park Avenue)

Sunday 2nd March
14.00 UCD v Hermes (Belfield)


Saturday 1st March

14:30 Loreto Hockey Club vs Cork Harlequins (Loreto School)

14:30 Pegasus vs Old Alex (Queens)

14:45 Ards vs Ballymoney (Ards Leisure Centre)

Irish Hockey Association media release

Khalsa Consolidate Lead in Hong Kong’s Premier Division Hockey

By Bill Cox

A clear goal chance missed ... Owen Hughes of HKFC-A gets a top edge that flies into the air before being hooked to safety by a Punjab-A defender in their HKHA Premier Division match on Sunday Feb 23 2014, which ended 3-all. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

A jubilant Punjab-A team scored late in the game to draw their match against HKFC-A to keep them ahead of Club in the standings of the HKHA Premier Division following the encounter at Sports Road on Sunday Feb 23.

This draw puts third-placed HKFC-A 5-points behind in the standings and drops Punjab 2-points off the lead—Khalsa-A, the competition’s leaders, won their match against Shaheen-A 7-1 at the Valley Ground to push their points tally to 38.

The important top of the table clash between Punja-A and Khalsa-A takes place this coming Sunday (Mar 2).

Punjab vs HKFC-A

Punjab-A opened the scoring after 14 minutes of play. But Club-A came back to equalise just three minutes later and then took the lead 2-1 from a well-converted penalty corner within a further 2-minutes.

Punjab scored just before half-time to make score 2-all into the break.

A goal each in the second-half took the final score to 3-all.

It was a fair result, but a win could have been recorded in either direction as flurries of attacks took place to the final whistle. The match was very even all the way through with fast-moving competitive hockey with many hard chances (and some easier ones) going astray at each end of the pitch.

Valley vs SSSC-A

In the other match Valley-A played resolutely with good pattern hockey to beat SSSC-A 6-3.

After leading 3-1 at half time Valley continued their good play to secure a further three goals. This keeps Valley firmly in fourth place in the standings. At one stage it looked like SSSC-A could make a comeback, but Valley pushed ahead with another two goals to complete the win.

Bottom-half Matches

In the lower half of the table, Pak-A beat Elite-A 3-1; SSSC-B drew with KNS-A 3-all; and KCC-A lost 2-1 to HKFC-B. The results find KNS-A and HKFC-B back on equal terms at the top of the lower half of the Premier table.

Next Matches

Four matches take place on Sunday Mar 2 at the Valley Ground (HV1), KNS-A play KCC-A; SSSC-A play Pak-A; Shaheen-A play Valley-A; and Khalsa-A meet Punjab-A. Two matches will be at the Football Club Ground where Elite-A play HKFC-B, and SSSC-A take on HKFC-A.

The Epoch Times

Air Force start with an easy win

Ropar - Air Force defeated RCF, Kapurthala 4-2 in the inaugural match of the Dashmesh Hawks All India Hockey Festival here on Wednesday.

Air Force started on a brisk note but had to wait until the 31st minute for the first goal, with Lovepreet Singh sounding the board through a fine field goald.

At half time, Air Force were leading 1-0. In the second half, the Airmen showed even more aggression and scored in the 41st and 51st minute to make it 3-0. RCF, Kapurthala woke up minutes before the final whistle to pump in two goals. The resurgence came too late as the Air Force had already pumped in four goals by then.

Twelve teams including BSF Jalandhar, Air Force, CISF, Delhi, PSPSC Patiala, Punjab Police Jalandhar, EME Jalandhar, RCF Kapurthala, Northern Railway, Delhi, Sikh Centre, Ramgarh, ITBP, Jalandhar, Rock Rovers, Chandigarh and Bengal Engineering Group, Roorkee are participating in the festival. The final match will be played on March 2.

The Tribune

High Styx and Xcalibur Reign Supreme as 2014 JPIL Champions

This past weekend, the curtains were brought down on the 3rd annual US Junior Premier Indoor League and by all indications, it appears to have been a great success to all who participated and to those in attendance.

After six league dates of competitive indoor hockey on a consistent and regular basis, the benefits were seen by all. The improvement of the games played by all clubs from the first League date on December 28 to this Championship weekend is very commendable and attributed to the commitment of the players, parents and coaches alike.

Those in attendance witnessed some very exciting and thrilling finishes on Saturday. Seven games were decided by the new FIH Shoot-Out format, including both Under-16 and Under-19 Finals, as well as, both of the 3rd and 4th place games. It was a day of intense competition as the 2014 JPIL came to a conclusion.

Both Xcalibur FHC and High Styx FH proved to be the two most dominating clubs as they competed in both division finals, each going home with one of the Princess Challenge Trophies. Xcalibur FHC was awarded the Under-16 Championship and High Styx FH the Under-19 Championship.

In the Under-16 Division, Xcalibur FHC was able to reclaim the Championship Trophy from High Styx FH in an exciting match that ended regulation in a 4-4 tie, going on to win in a shoot-out.

The Under-19 Division had the reverse outcome, with High Styx FH claiming victory in the shoot-out over Xcalibur FHC after a 3-3 tie at the end of regulation.

Special Recognition was given to the following individuals who were each presented with an outdoor stick provided by the title sponsor, Princess.

U-16 Most Valuable Player: Hannah Menge, High Styx FH
U-16 Most League Goals: Fusine Govaert, FC United
U-19 Most Valuable Player: Karlie Heistand, High Styx FH
U-19 Most League Goals: Erin Shanahan, The Gaels FHC

Although both High Styx FH and Xcalibur FHC had the opportunity to defend their titles by playing each other in the two finals, neither club was successful in doing so, exchanging trophies in the end.

The present and continued success of Junior Premier Indoor League would not be possible without the support of others who the league organizers would like to recognize.

Special thanks to USA Field Hockey for sanctioning and supporting this event, and to its staff for posting and updating the results on its web site.

To the Umpire Manager, Dean Wenrich, and Tournament Director, Taylor Smallwood, and all of the dedicated umpires and technical officers, we appreciate your commitment and support for this event and hope you will continue to make yourselves available when called upon in 2015.

To the parents who provided technical assistance by keeping the games running on time with accurate results reporting. We thank you all!

We also want to give recognition to the college and university coaches who took the time to be present and hope that you all were pleased with the level of competition. Those in attendances represented the following establishments:

Fairfield College, University of Delaware, University of Michigan, Princeton University, Ryder University, Old Dominion University, Bucknell University, TCNJ, Lafayette University, Hofstra University, Temple university, University at Albany, Rutgers University, Yale University, as well as, the Head Coach of the USA National Junior Indoor Squad, Rennie Milne.

Last but not least to our title sponsor, Princess Hockey USA, for seeing the need and value for such an event in the development of our youth, the sport and for agreeing to be the title sponsor.  We ask that you show your appreciation by visiting their booth at the 2014 National Indoor Tournament or go online and support their products.

On behalf of the League Organizers, Rachael Milne and myself, Nigel Traverso, we would like to thank the Clubs, Players, Coaches, Umpires, 422 Sportsplex, Sportsplex at Feasterville and, last but not least, the Club volunteers who kept accurate scores and kept the games running on time each week. Thank you for your hard work, commitment, support and cooperation in seeing this third year through and for its success.

Congratulations to the 2014 Champions, High Styx FH (Under-14), Xcalibur FHC (Under-16) and High Styx FH (Under-19) and to all the clubs for your participation! Good Luck to all at the National Indoor Tournament!

For all results and final rankings, visit www.JPIL.net.

USFHA media release

Fieldhockey.com uses cookies to assist with navigating between pages. Please leave the site if you disagree with this policy.
Copyright remains with the credited source or author