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News 28 February 2014

All the news for Friday 28 February 2014

Hard-edged SA hockey girls lose by 1 goal in 5 to World Cup champs Argentina

JONATHAN COOK in Mar del Plata

South Africa's Shelley Russell in full flight during the fourth Test in Mar del Plata Thursday. Argentina won 3-2. Photo: RODRIGO JARAMILLO

A series of fine saves from set-piece and open play by inexperienced goalkeeper Anelle van Deventer kept the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team in the game during an action-packed fourth Test against Argentina Thursday but the world’s second-ranked team did enough to win 3-2, having gone into the break with a 2-1 lead.

The reigning World Cup champs’ win against a fiercely determined SA team gives them a 4-0 series lead, but the player of the day had to be University of North West student Van Deventer, who made more than a dozen top saves in the match.

Eight-time World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar gave the SA defence a torrid time with her mazy runs, while Carla Rebecchi got a brace with a penalty corner goal in the 22nd minute and the winner from open play in the 56th.

An Agustina Albertario strike in the 16th made up Argentina’s set of three goals, but it was the sheer grit of pacy SA runner Bernie Coston who took a quick self-pass before shrugging off heavy challenges to set up Celia Evans’ crisp strike for the opening goal in the fifth minute.

Then followed a 15-minute period of marked Argentine dominance in which Van Deventer repelled ace PC drag-flicker Noel Barrionuevo on numerous occasions, but the pressure eventually told when Albertario equalised in the 16th minute with a powerful strike into the backboard.

Another quality Van Deventer save came after Daniela Sruoga picked up a loose ball but a fifth PC in the 23rd minute saw Rebecchi make no mistake for the 2-1 half-time score.

Evans had a great chance to draw level in the 26th but her shot was well saved by Argentine keeper Laura Aladro. The girls in green and gold had other chances in the match, and equalised soon after the break (38th) through the hardworking Illse Davids.

Some dubious PCs were awarded to the Argentines but the fact is that they managed to win an impressive 10 in the match, which was a mark of their dominance.

That said, Argentina only won by the odd goal in five and that measure underlines how a determined underdog, unwilling to give an inch without a fight, that refuses to bow down to a more illustrious opponent, can upset the applecart at World Cups.

SA Hockey Association media release

Impressive SA hockey men edged 2-0 by Argentina in fourth Test

JONATHAN COOK in Mar del Plata

Juan Vila and Taylor Dart contest for the ball during the fourth Test. Photo: RODRIGO JARAMILLO

The South Africa men’s hockey team put together their best performance of the series by far but had to accept they were trailing 1-0 at half-time in the fourth Test against Argentina here Thursday before being defeated 2-0 by the final whistle.

Two excellent first-half penalty corner efforts by Jethro Eustice and Matt Guise-Brown somehow stayed out; while mediocre finishing from open play saw three very good chances go astray.

Argentina also had two first-half PCs – and three good shots from open play, the third of which was successful when SA gave the South Americans way too much time to build an attack from the back and freedom from pressure set up Joaquin Menini’s ruthless strike in the 29th minute.

After the break, Argentina went 2-0 up in the 42nd minute when Juan Gilardi threw a 50m aerial pass to the pacy Alan Andino, who showed great control and composure to smash into the net.

SA had two more PCs in the second half to win the overall PC count 4-2 and were shaded 5-3 in the opportunities from open play after the changeover.

It was the best effort of the series by the South African men and they can draw much heart from their efforts.

Argentina lead the five-Test series 4-0 with the final Test Friday.

SA Hockey Association media release

Ric Charlesworth explains the Kookaburras' new leadership structure

With hockey clubs preparing for the new season and the annual debate of captaincy going on in clubhouses across the country it will perhaps be of some comfort to know that the Kookaburras have also spent time reflecting on their own squad leadership.

The result of a near 18-month process, the Kookaburras have a new leadership structure in place. Gone is the previous model of rotational captaincy. In its place, a leadership team led by Mark Knowles and featuring a greater number and variety of athletes with varying responsibilities.

In part one of this exclusive two part feature interview, Ric Charlesworth explains why change was necessary and how the Kookaburras’ new leadership team has taken shape. 

It came about as part of what Charlesworth calls “continual renewal”. The constant reflection on processes, culture and actions that teams go through. It was after finishing in the bronze medal position at the Olympic Games in London that it was agreed a change was required.

“What we had is a process whereby we had a group of leaders who shared the role [of captain] and when we looked to the next group of players then there perhaps wasn’t the same depth,” admits the world renowned coach. 

“It was something that we had talked about doing for some time and so it made sense. As the team changes and becomes renewed different leaders emerge and people are in different places in their career situations and maybe leadership’s not the priority [for them] that it was.”

While much of the focus of any team is placed on a captain, the Kookaburras’ model is based firmly on developing leadership across the squad. It has seen a change to the traditional role of the captain as a figurehead to a model in which the captain has a central and active role to mentor leadership qualities in all players. In hockey’s constantly evolving game Charlesworth believes that’s critical.

“Look at the game now!” he says. “People are on and off the field; the captain’s off the field for 15 or 20 minutes of the game so if you’re relying on one person to provide it on the field the game’s too quick, there’s too much happening. You have to have decision makers, leadership all over the field. Every person who’s involved in the play has to be making a good decision about what to do next.”

The new structure sees Knowles appointed captain, working alongside five leaders and supported by five apprentice leaders who the coach believes will quickly grow into and share the responsibilities.

Appreciating that different people will bring different attributes to the table, members of the leadership group have responsibilities for differing portfolios covering a range of topics from tactics, training and on-field considerations to off-field topics such as what can be learnt from other sports and how the squad’s families can socialise together.

And Charlesworth says it’s important the athletes are familiar with all of their teammates, breaking down some of the natural barriers that might occur as a result of existing friendships and histories.

“In a team such as this if everybody always rooms with their best mate then don’t find out about anybody else in the team. The more you can understand about your teammates, their signatures, the way they behave in particular circumstances, and the way they think…that helps the team under pressure in difficult situations.”

So, what’s expected from this shifting approach to leadership? Aside from the possible benefits to the team’s ultimate performances in major championships, the coach believes “new people will pop their head up”.

“They’ll show things that we think display leadership on the field, off the field, in the social environment, at training. Over a period of time they will present themselves and have a role to play in leading the group. I think other people for various reasons will maybe think ‘I don’t need that at the moment, I’ve got something else’ and so I see the thing as being dynamic and evolving and changing. What’s important about the process is that it evolves. We’ll be looking at how it’s progressing; there might things about it that we think are good and there might be things we think we need to shift or change.”

Hockey Australia media release

Hockey India League to have eight teams by 2016

Star Australian forward Jamie Dwyer (right) and Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockamann are among the many foreign recruits who feel more teams will further add to the credibility of the tournament. File Photo   

The first two editions of the Hockey India League (HIL) generated a decent response and its chairman Narinder Batra sees the competition expanding from six to eight teams by 2016, a development which will be welcomed by domestic and foreign players alike.

Odisha’s Kalinga Lancers were the sixth team introduced in HIL-2 which ended in Ranchi on Sunday.

“The plan is to have eight teams by 2016 and 10 by 2018. One of the teams joining the tournament will most likely be from south India as the region doesn’t have a representation yet,” Batra told IANS in New Delhi on Thursday.

The league began with five franchisees — Delhi Waveriders, Punjab Warriors, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Ranchi Rhinos and Mumbai Magicians.

“The focus is on making the existing franchisees sustainable and after three years, we will get them to a break even level.”

Asked why not an extra team for 2015, Batra said: “It was decided to have only six teams for the first three years. We want to give them the opportunity to grow and the sponsors remain limited.”

The league has attracted top players from top hockey nations such as Germany, Australia and the Netherlands.

Star Australian forward Jamie Dwyer and Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockamann are among the many foreign recruits who feel more teams will further add to the credibility of the tournament.

“This year the organisation was much better than the inaugural season. Similarly, more teams will mean more competition which can only be good for the event’s future,” Dwyer had told IANS in Ranchi on Sunday when his team Punjab Warriors lost the HIL final to Delhi Waveriders.

His Punjab teammate Stockmann added: “The quality of hockey is as it is good but with more teams it could only get better.”

The Hindu

Debutants Hockey Gangpur start with impressive win

Tazeen Qureshy

Hockey Gangpur, the hockey association formed in Odisha by former Indian captain Dilip Tirkey, made a decent start in the national championships being underway in Lucknow, after they defeated Pudducherry 9-2.

This is the first ever match the team has played since the organization’s initiation.

While Bruno Hedrino Lugun and Banamali Xess scored twice each, Amarjeet Ekka, Kishor Lakra, Bikash Toppo, Roshan Minz and Ashish Anmol Minz contributed a goal each in their team’s win. Puducherry, on the other hand, scored through N Sellamuthu and N Kamalakannan.

“This was our first ever match. The win will surely encourage us. But, we still need to look at the loopholes and get better with every match,” said Debashis Gouda, Secretary, Hockey Gangpur.

Meanwhile, Bengal defeated Tripura 4-0 in the second match of Pool C. In Pool D, Chattisgarh drew 1-1 against Central reserve Police Force, who are also debuting this year. Vidarbha Hockey Association defeated Delhi 2-1 and Maharashtra overcame Kerala 8-0 in the other matches of Pool D.

Pool C: Hockey Gangpur- Odisha 9 vs Puducherry 2
Bengal 4 Tripura 0

Pool D Chhattisgarh 1 Central Reserve Police Force 1
Vidarbha Hockey Association 2 Delhi 1
Maharashtra 8 Kerala 0.


Maharashtra demolish Kerala 8-0

LUCKNOW: Maharashtra made a winning start to their campaign in the hockey nationals as they beat Kerala 8-0 at the Major Dhyan Chand hockey stadium, on Thursday.

Kunal Jagdale scored three goals followed by Rajendra Ekka (2), Navneet Swarnkar (1), Manpreet Singh (1) and Vinod Nimbore (1).

Earlier, debutants Hockey Gangpur-Odisha and Vidarbha Hockey Association also notched up impressive wins. Gangpur defeated Puducherry 9-2 in Pool C.

For Gangpur, Bruno Hedrino Lugun and Banamali Xess scored twice each while Amarjeet Ekka, Kishor Lakra, Bikash Toppo, Roshan Minz and Ashish Anmol Minz contributed a goal each. Puducherry scored through N. Sellamuthu and N. Kamalakannan.

Bengal defeated Tripura 4-0 in another Pool C match. In Pool D, Chhattisgarh played out a 1-1 draw against debutants Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

In the second Pool D match, Vidarbha beat Delhi 2-1.

The Times of India

Senior women national championship in Bhopal from March 13

NEW DELHI: Thirty two teams will battle it out for the title at the 4th edition of the Hockey India Senior Women National Championship, to be held in Bhopal from March 13-23.

The Championship will be played on a league-cum-knockout basis at the Aish Bagh Hockey Stadium and Hockey Stadium Mayur Park in Bhopal.

It will be played in two phases -- Division A and B. There will be 16 teams competing in each of the two divisions. Division B of the championship will be played from March 13-20, while Division A will be played from March 18-23.

Each division will have four pools with four teams each. With the inclusion of two new teams -- Vidarbha Hockey Association and Hockey Gangpur - Odisha -- in this edition, the championship is expected to be more competitive.

The inaugural match of Division B will be played between Assam and Goa in Pool A on March 13. The final match of will be played on March 20.

In Division A, inaugural match will be played between defending champions Haryana and Odisha on March 18 and the final will be played on March 23.

In the previous edition of the championship, Haryana defeated Railways 4-1 to clinch the title.

Other major events for senior women's team this year include Champions Challenge 1, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

Hockey India selectors, Government observer and coaches are expected to keep a close eye on the performances of players during the national championship, so as to select the best talent for the preparations of these major tournaments.

The Times of India

Punjab Police, Air Force win in Dashmesh Hockey

Ropar - Punjab Police and Air Force registered easy wins on the second day of the Dashmesh Hawks All India Hockey Festival today.

While Punjab Police outclassed Rock Rovers, Chandigarh, 3-0, Air Force defeated Sikh Center, Ramgarh (Bihar), 3-1. Earlier, in the first match of the day, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) beat Northern Railways 1-0. In the first half, both the teams failed to convert their chances. In the 45th minute, Neeraj scored for CISF to help his team to victory.

In second match, Punjab Police scored two goals in the first half to take the match away from the Rock Rovers. Avtar Singh sealed the match for Punjab Police.

The Tribune

Shanmugam, Modi on a mission in Qatar

Sunil Subbaiah

BANGALORE: Two Bangaloreans are making the most of their proficiency in hockey to help Qatar qualify for this year's Asian Games to be held in Incheon, South Korea, from September 19 to October 4.

Former international P Shanmugam, who mentored Karnataka juniors to victory in the Nationals in 2005 and 2010, is the Qatar hockey team's chief coach while his fellow Canara Bank teammate Khalid Modi, who was the goalkeeping coach of the Indian women's team from 2008 to 2010, is in charge of goalkeepers.

"This offer came to Jude Felix who referred our names as he is busy with his hockey academy," Shanmugam told TOI from Qatar.

The first major challenge for the duo is to prepare the team, mostly made up of Indians and Pakistani nationals, for the Asian Games qualifiers in Dhaka from March 15 to 23.

"Our immediate target is to do well at the qualifiers. We have been working hard and are confident of making the grade," said Shanmugam, who signed a one-year contact in September last year.

A midfield general who controlled the game well during his playing days, Shanmugam realizes that the task will not be easy. "The job is very challenging. Despite hockey being played in local leagues and schools, some of our players haven't played the game before. They need to learn about different aspects of the sport. Despite such limitations, we are trying to make a mark at the international level," he said.

The Times of India

Cranleigh U16s and Repton U18s victorious at Cannock

2013-14 U16 Winners Cranleigh

Cranleigh U16s and Repton U18s were victorious in the National Schools Championships for Girls at Cannock.

Cranleigh finished U16 Pool C with three wins out of three after beating Perse 8-0, GS at Leeds and Clifton, while Leeds finished runners up. Pool D was tighter and Denstone finished top over Wakefield on goal difference after both beating Kent and Eastbourne, then drawing their encounter 2-2.

In the final the first period was goalless but Denstone opened the scoring with an own goal early in the second half. However, after this it was all Cranleigh, Charlotte Calnan scored from two corners and Megan Batchelor and captain Olivia Camsey finished off a dominant second half from the champions who retain the title they won in 2013.

The 3-4 Play-off was an all-Yorkshire affair. Leeds opened the scoring through Amelia Jeavons and Wakefield equalised through Emma Berry. With no more goals the game was decided on a penalty stroke barrage and Wakefield won this 2-0 with their keeper Becky Hague proving unbeatable.

2013-14 U18 Winners Repton

Repton U18s started off their campaign with a 4-1 win over Queenswood and in the same pool 2013 champions Dean Close beat Stockport GS 6-0. In the second set of fixtures Stockport achieved a fine 2-1 win over Repton while Dean Close overcame Queenswood by a single goal to lead the pool going into Day 2. This meant Repton had the challenge of beating Dean Close by three clear goals to get to the final and they achieved this with a 4-0 win.

In the other pool Kingston and Millfield both beat Bromsgrove and Coopers Coburn on day one to set up their match on day two. Kingston won this 1-0 to take the place in the final, a repeat of 2011 which they won. However this time round it was Repton who proved victorious with a dominant 4-0 win. Olivia Hopkisson, Flora Peel and Erica Sanders (2) scored the goals to give Repton their eighth U18 title in ten seasons.

In the 3-4 play-off Millfield overcame a 1-0 half time deficit to beat Dean Close 2-1. Filicity Davies gave Dean Close the lead but goals from Fliss McCarthy and Olivia Allin gave Millfield third place.

England Hockey Board Media release

SSTMI sure bets

Q-FINALS: MSP Pahang no match for champions


DIVISION One champions SSTMI Thunderbolts are already looking beyond the quarter-finals of the Milo Cup which will be played at the National Hockey Stadium today.

The champions will meet MSP Pahang, in what should be an easy encounter, and Thunderbolts coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman did not hold back his thoughts.

"It's not a question of being overconfident but I feel my team should have no problems making the semis," said Wan Roslan.

"Frankly, I admire the Pahang team as they are building for the future. It's just unfortunate that they drew the short straw and are up against us.

"My instructions to the players is simple, make use of the chances, get a good lead so I can rest some players as we need them to be injury and suspension free for the semis."

While Thunderbolts had the easiest of the draw, the other three quarter-final ties are equally poised, despite three teams being from Division One.

Former champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) are hoping to pull the rug from under the feet of Petaling Jaya Municipal Council in another last eight.

But they will be hard pressed in the first leg as they have two players ruled out due to suspension and another two who are carrying injuries.

The two injured players are Adrian Andy and Mohd Syazi who suffered an injury that required nine stitches in the Division Two final against Politeknik KPM last Sunday.

"With four players out, we need to come up with a game plan to contain our opponents for the first leg," said BJSS coach S. Prakash.

"A draw will be a good result and we have to play smartly and not open up our defence as PJCC are very good in their offensive play."

The tie of the quarter-finals will surely be UniKL Young Guns against Politeknik KPM.

UniKL have been blowing hot and cold throughout the Division One matches and if they continue to do so, they will surely miss out on a place in the semis.

"We did some soul searching with the players and hope to perform up to our real standard in the knockout stages," said team manager Mohamed Faiz Isa.

"We are well aware of the dangers posed by our opponents who are on a high after winning the Division Two title.

"On our part, we have been playing well only in patches and that dashed our dream of winning the Division One title. But we hope to change our fortunes starting tomorrow (today)."

The other exciting match-up is between Malacca High School (MHS) and Olak-PKT, which could swing either way.

Although Olak are from Division Two, they played like a Division One side in the play-offs.

Q-finals, 1st leg -- Today: SSTMI Thunderbolts v MSP Pahang (4pm, Pitch I); Malacca High School v Olak-PKT (4pm, Pitch II); Petaling Jaya Municipal Council v Bukit Jalil Sports School (6pm, Pitch I); UniKL Young Guns v Politeknik-KPM (6pm, Pitch II). (Matches at National Hockey Stadium, Bukit Jalil).

New Straits Times

Thunderbolt way ahead of the rest in MJHL

By S. Ramaguru

SSTMI-Thunderbolt were unbeaten en route to lifting the Division One crown earlier this month.

KUALA LUMPUR: The quarter-finals of the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) begin on Friday and it looks like defending champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt are the only ones certain to make the last four.

They are far too strong to falter at this stage, especially since they will be facing Division Two outfits MSP Pahang Juniors.

Thunderbolt were unbeaten en route to lifting the Division One crown earlier this month and are unlikely to let up in their bid for a third straight double – having achieved the feat in 2012 and 2013.

Thunderbolt manager Adam Izamry Idrus, however, is not about to take any team for granted.

“MSP Pahang may be a Division Two team but we are not going to look down on them. You can’t afford to let your performance level dip in a knockout competition like this ... otherwise you will be knocked out. So, we have warned our players against complacency,” said Adam.

“They know what is at stake and must continue with their winning momentum in the quarter-finals.”

The team have, after their two-week break, spent time improving on their team play and fitness.

“We have two fears going into the match. One is getting booked and the other is picking up unnecessary injuries,” said Adam.

“There are five matches in the knockout stage before you can win the title. So, we will have to think ahead as well.

“As it is, we have one player (midfielder Mohd Najib Abu Hassan) who is just one card away from being suspended if he is booked in the match against MSP Pahang.”

While Thunderbolt are expected to cruise into the last four, the other three quarter-final matches are basically touch-and-go affairs.

Olak-PKT will fancy their chances against Malacca High School while the ties between UniKL and Politeknik Johor as well as MBPJ and BJSS are set to be evenly contested.

Former double champions Olak have already achieved their target in the MJHL. As such, they are under no pressure in their pursuit for the title.

Olak team manager Joseph De Silva is confident that his boys can make it to the semi-finals.

“There are enough incentives for the players to perform well and we also have a draw that is quite favourable to us. Malacca are not that strong ... we have more than an even chance of winning,” he said.

The match between UniKL and Division Two outfit Politeknik Johor, though, could be a fiery one.

Both teams look capable of challenging Thunderbolt for the overall title and chances are one of them will be among the finalists.

The MBPJ-BJSS tie will be a clash of former champions and should be an intriguing one indeed.

The Star of Malaysia

Decentralised Juniors

THE 2016 Junior World Cup team will not play as an outfit in Division One of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) which starts on March 16, but players will be released to play for other teams.

However, they will play as a team in the Razak Cup in Kuantan in August, as well as the Premier Division of the MHL in October.

This was the decision taken by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) executive board.

"We will soon select at least 24 players and name them for the Junior World Cup training squad, and these players will be released to play for other outfits in Division One of the MHL, as we want to give them some exposure at this level.

"However, there will be an understanding with the said teams that they release the players for national training with coach Arul Selvaraj on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays," said MHC senior vice president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad (pic).

On another matter, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has given the green light for the Champions Challenge 1 to be run from April 26-May 4.

"The FIH only recommended minor renovations to some of the rooms at the Kuantan Stadium, otherwise, they are happy with our preparations," said Nur Azmi.

New Straits Times

Project 2016 players can play in Division One of MHL

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: The Project 2016 team have made a U-turn and agreed to release their players to feature in Division One of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), which starts on March 16.

The team have also decided not to field a team in Division One as it will not be beneficial to them.

The decision was made after the team management committee meeting, chaired by Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) vice-president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmed, on Thursday.

The Project 2016 team had initially barred their players from taking part in Division One as they wanted to field a team.

Nur Azmi said the decision was taken after a review of the team’s training programme.

“Although we have released the players to feature for the various clubs, the decision comes with a commitment from the teams. They will have to release the players for training three times a week,” said Nur Azmi.

“We hope to pick about 24 to 30 players when the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) ends on March 9. This list (selected players) will be given to the teams and they’ll have to let the players train with the national coaches every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

“This is something we have done before. I’m sure the clubs will have no problems with this arrangement.”

Project 2016 team manager Mirnawan Nawawi said that they decided not to field a team as it would mean taking the players away from their clubs.

“Quite a number of schools and states are putting up teams in Division One and these players come from their ranks. So, we do not want to disrupt the teams’ plans and deprive them of their services,” he said.

Instead, the Project 2016 team will seek the MHC executive board’s consent to field a team in the Razak Cup tournament and the Premier Division of the MHL, which will be held later this year.

“The standard of these two tournaments is higher ... there will be quality matches. In the Premier Division, we will also be going up against foreign players. So, that will be better in terms of gaining experience,” said Mirnawan, who added that the two competitions will help prepare them for the Sultan of Johor Cup in November.

“We are just getting off the blocks in our preparations ... the target for this team is next year’s Junior Asia Cup, which is the qualifying meet for the 2016 Junior World Cup.”

The Star of Malaysia

Hockey gets 30% cut in funding

By S. Ramaguru

Members of the senior hockey team at the Asia Cup last year. The training programme for the national team will be reviewed, after the Government decided to cut 30% of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation's funding.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) will face a 30% cut in government funding and the ones set to feel the pinch the most are the two national hockey teams – junior and senior.

“This is basically the Government’s exercise to cut down on their expenses. And we will face a 30% cut. Of course, it will have an effect on us but it cannot be helped. We will carry on with our usual (development) programmes but there will be a review of the programmes drawn up by the national teams,” said MHC vice-president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmed on Thursday.

For example, the Project 2016 team had initially planned to go on at least three tours this year. But the cut in funding means they will only go on one trip – either to Europe or Australia – for test matches.

Their other programmes will involve matches at home, like the Razak Cup, Malaysia Hockey League and the Sultan of Johor Cup.

The training programme for the national team will also be reviewed. For now, it will be maintained as the target is the World Cup in June.

“It won’t affect the programmes harshly. There will be cuts ... but only where expenses are very high,” said Nur Azmi.

The Government’s funding for the MHC comes through the National Sports Council (NSC).

The senior hockey team have five major assignments this year. They will start with the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh next month, followed by the FIH Champions Challenge I in Kuantan in April and the World Cup in Holland in June. The other two meets are the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in September.

The main target for the Project 2016 team is the Junior World Cup in India, although they will play in the qualifiers (Junior Asia Cup).

MHC secretary-general Datuk Johari Abdul Aziz said on Thursday they have made a bid to host the tournament in Malaysia.

“We have forwarded our bid to the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) and are awaiting a reply. I believe they will make a decision some time in April when they hold their executive board meeting in Sri Lanka,” he said.

Malaysia hosted the last Junior Asia Cup in 2012 and the national juniors emerged victorious.

Meanwhile, the MHC have turned down an invitation from Germany for the national team to play in a four-nation meet in May as part of their World Cup preparation.

“We’ve decided not to accept the invitation after consulting with the national team management. The four-nation meet is just two weeks before the World Cup proper ... it won’t fit into our schedule. It will also mean having to leave earlier for Holland,” said Nur Azmi.

The World Cup will be held in The Hague from May 31-June 15.

The Star of Malaysia

Wynne brace lifts Dames to victory

National forward Blair Wynne scored a goal on either side of the half as defending champions, Notre Dame, whipped Ventures 4–1 for their second win in as many matches in the T&T Hockey Board Women’s Championship Division at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua on Sunday night.

But it was not as easy as the scoreline may suggest as Ventures held firm until a minute before the half-time interval when the former European-based Wynne got the Dames opener.

On the resumption, the Dames upped the temperature and within the space of a three-minute span, fired in three more goals via Teresa Garcia (51st), Tamia Roach (53rd) and Wynne again a minute later, before Kristin Abreu got a 68th minute consolation for Ventures.

However, there was a major upset in the Men’s Championship Division as last year’s runner-up Paragon suffered a second straight loss, 2–3 to Courts Malvern.

For Malvern, former national standout and women’s team coach, Anthony Marcano fired his team ahead after only four minutes on the clock, only for Cogie Butler to level the score in the 25th minute.

T&T international Akim Toussaint put Paragon ahead in the 51st minute as his team looked set to make amends for last weekend’s shock 2–1 loss against Fatima.

But it was not to be, as the determined, balanced Malvern line-up of youth and experience quickly got back on even terms thanks to a 59th minute Marcano goal, before his nephew and national youth player, Tariq Marcano fired in the decisive item four minutes later.


Mixed Veterans:
Notre Dame 2 ( Scott Dopson 28th, Selwyn King 60th) vs Carib 1 (Samuel Carthy 15th)


Under-19 Boys:
Notre Dame 6 (Joshua Olton 24th, 27th, 30th, Rivaldo Waldan 46th, 69th, Miguel King 54th) vs Carib 1 (Dane Francis 65th)

Under-19 Girls:
Courts Malvern 14 (Adrianna Cabralis 10th, 36th, 44th, 67th, 68th, Khurdine Gonzales 23rd, 32nd, 41st, 49th, Danielle Martin 6th, 37th, Danielle Cabralis 43rd, Mikhaela Lezama 62nd, Angel Gonzales 25th) vs Raiders 0

Trinity Women:
SC Magnolias 10 (Stacey Siu Butt 4th, 17th, 24th, 30th, 34th, Kaithlyn Olton 14th, 16th, Shannia De Freitas 2nd, Samantha Olton 22nd, Daniella Granado 28th) vs Notre Dame 0 – Matched stopped at half-time as Notre Dame only had eight players.
Ventures 1 (Kristin Abreu 11th) vs Harvard Checkers 0


Under-19 Boys:
QPCC 8 (Jarryon Paul 1st, 13th, 16th, Craig Cockburn 44th, 57th, Justin Dos Santos 5th, Keegan Dos Santos 50th, Jordan Reynos 66th) vs Fatima 4 (J Vieira 23rd, 43rd, 68th, C Anthony 4th)

Trinity Men:
Malvern 7 (Jonathan Warren 3rd, 40th, 53rd, A. Alexander 13th, 64th, J Romeo 68th, 70th) vs Petrotrin 1 (O Callender 61st)

Trinity Women:
Paragon 3 vs Courts Malvern 0 – Malvern unable to field a team

Championship Women:
Notre Dame 4 (Blair Wynne 34th, 54th, Teresa Garcia 51st, Tamia Roach 53rd) vs Ventures 1 (Kristin Abreu 68th)

Championship Men:
Malvern 3 (Anthony Marcano 4th, 59th, Tariq Marcano 63rd) vs Paragon 2 (Cogie Butler 25th, Akim Toussaint 51st)

The Trinidad Guardian

PAHF President’s Award for Lurah Hess

Josefina Chavez Diaz

Lurah Hess, Tournament Director at the Pan American Youth Championship (women) held in Uruguay, received the PAHF President’s Award for her long standing collaboration with PAHF.

She has shown her unconditional commitment when officiating at different tournaments as an umpire, TO and TD.

She is a hard worker, most valuable for hockey development and for the success of PAHF events.

Lurah often shares her knowledge and vast experience with other officials and keeps an eye on every detail, including rules and regulations.

The PAHF President’s Award was presented to Lurah Hess by Alberto "Coco" Budeisky, PAHF President, at the conclusion of the Pan American Youth Championship in Montevideo.

Pan American Hockey Federation

Inaugural PAHF Official Hockey 5s Competitions

The Pan American Youth Championships in Puerto Rico (men) and Uruguay (women) were played with the new format

Josefina Chavez Diaz

Hockey 5s was approved at the FIH Congress in Kuala Lumpur in 2012. PAHF adopted the new format for the Pan American Youth Championships, as it will be the format used at the 2104 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

What did the participants think of the new format of hockey?

At the end of the tournament, we asked some players, coaches, umpires and technical officials. Their feedback regarding this first experience will contribute to assess the new format, and possibly make it evolve.

“It is new and looks good, but rules are not clear for most of the actors; this does not help the game. Players seem to be enjoying the game, but it has a big physical demand. I would like to see this format with one more player in the pitch” said Gonzalo FERRER, U17 Uruguayan Coach.

Tamara DURANTE, USA National team considers it is a good chance for players to learn different rules and to play with the boards.

Could you make an appraisal of this first experience in hockey 5?
It is a great opportunity for our players to play hockey with different rules and the use of the boards. With only 4 field players it allows each player to have more touches on the ball. In some respects it makes the game more exciting for fans as there are more goals scored.

Did you like /enjoy the format?
We would have liked to see a format where the round-robin games meant more in the final standings.

How did the players like it?
I believe they really enjoyed the tournament and the atmosphere here in Uruguay. Competing with a smaller squad was also pleasant. They really enjoyed the speed and tempo of the matches.

If changes would depend on you, which suggestions would you make?
We would change the challenges…have the players go to the middle of the pitch instead of the 11 metre line.

Free hits inside the half cannot be shot on goal or hit off the back board without being touches by an attacker (this would prevent teams from hitting the ball very hard at the goal and make it dangerous for players).

If the ball is intentionally sent over the back boards it should be a challenge

If a team has a 2-min yellow card and they scored on by the opposing team, the penalised player should be allowed to come back in.

Mexico players looked more familiar with the new format, as they have been playing hockey5s for a while.

“It is a fast sport, demanding more participation of all players, and needs more decision making from all players too. Defense and attacks are quick. The team enjoyed the matches, mainly for the continuity of the game” said Mario ROSALES, National team Coach.

Santiago CAPURRO, Argentinean Coach, said it is an attractive game for the fans and its dynamics results in good number of goals. “I don’t like the board at the back. I think it is an advantage for the team with fewer proposals. It is an extra chance for the attackers that fail a shot and allows the defense to clear the ball using the boards.

It is fun for the players as there is continuous involvement in the game, but when they are “out of air” it is difficult to continue without making errors. I would add another player and eliminate the back boards” concluded the Argentinean coach.

Umpires are important actors at these tournaments. What did they think?

Mary DRISCOLL – USA Umpire said:

“I enjoy Hockey 5's.  It is a quick game and has my favorite indoor and outdoor elements put together.  I like the simplicity of the rules". she said, and pointed out some changes she would propose.

 “Wood boards start to split and are slippery when wet and should not be permitted.  If a challenge is called and then time runs out before it begins, I think we should let them play it out like we would a penalty stroke".

The American umpire thinks adding a 6th player would be good and sees that taking the bully only at the centerline is not always fair.

Denise PELLETIER – Canadian Umpire gave the following feedback:

“Hockey 5s is a fast, non-stop exciting game of field hockey. The boards allow for continuous play and the opportunity to enhance the speed of the game. I like the format but there are a few changes to the game I would possibly make, I would put an extra player on the field and turn it in to hockey 6s and allow teams to have 12 players instead of 10.

Some clarifications are needed on 4 meters and shots taken on cage from a free hit.

The rules I would like to see changed are:

Allowing a challenge to be completed at the end of the time if needed. And an extra player to make it 6”, Denise, commented.

What did the Technical Officials think?

Victoria ALEMÁN, liked the format.

“I like it; it is good that players can shoot from any place in the pitch to the goals. This makes it fun. I like the “challenges” thou in my opinion more faults should be penalized with challenges.

From the Technical Table we could see that the free shot from the 11 meters created some confusion, regarding the distance the ball has to travel to shoot the goal. I would like to see the game with one more player in the field, this will give one minute breathe", said the appointed judge at the Tournament in Uruguay.

Both Tournaments men’s and women’s have been a big success.

Hockey5s appeared as an interesting variation, enjoyable, quick and with simple rules. A deep analysis of the relevant opinions might generate changes to improve the game.

Pan American Hockey Federation

Death of former Irish international hockey player Philip Hardy

The death has taken place of former international hockey player Philip Hardy. The 63-year-old, who played with both Trinity HC and Sandymount’s YMCA, passed away yesterday after illness.

A central player in the Claremont Road YMCA team of the 1970s and 1980s after he graduated from Trinity College with an engineering degree, Philip went on to quickly cement his place on the Irish team at right half.

He was a central player in the Irish side that qualified for and travelled to the World Cup in Argentina in 1978.

Philip was married to Cork-born Karen, and has two sons Colin and David.

Irish Hockey Association media release

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