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News 12 March 2014

All the news for Wednesday 12 March 2014

Promise on the pitch grows as O'Donnell Earns 150th Cap

U.S. Women’s National Team Athlete Katie O’Donnell reaches a milestone at Home of Hockey

LANCASTER, Pa. – The Dome Arena at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. swelled with national pride as miniature American flags swayed in a cheering crowd of 500 field hockey fans to support Team USA. The Women’s National Team took the pitch for their second game of a four-match capped series against the National Canadian Squad where the USA notched their second win of the series 4-0.

The excitement of the crowd propelled the starting line-ups to replicate yesterday’s energy and put on a brilliant display of international hockey. Play bantered in the midfield during the first portion of the first half. Team USA was able to strike in the 30th minute of match when Ali McEvoy (Gilbertsville, Pa.) placed a beautiful ball off of a stroke into the upper right corner of the cage. The ball play remained locked in the center of the field with bursts of USA attack in the offensive circle until USA Athlete Torrie Albini (Escondido, Cali.) cracked the ball into the net in the 34th minute of play to create a halftime score of USA 2, Canada 0.

“Today’s team was very different from yesterday’s and that’s part of the ongoing assessment for selection,” said U.S. Head Coach Craig Parnham. “It was a very different group of players today and we’re still trying to play to our strengths as a whole and stick with the tactics we want to play with.”

“After yesterday’s disappointing result, we came more prepared today,” said Canadian Head Coach Ian Rutledge. “It’s only our fourth time out here on the big pitch this year and it’s great to see the girls make progress. The U.S. is certainly a great team and we’re being measured with good competition. The goal for the rest of the week is to keep improving.” 

The USA fired out of the second half with an attack corner opportunity. U.S. athlete Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.) slammed a rebounded ball off of a penalty corner into the cage in the 41st minute of play. Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.) also capitalized off of a corner when she found the backboard on a straight shot in the 55th minute to make the final score USA 4, Canada 0

At the match, a Pennsylvania legend was also recognized with a distinguished athlete landmark. Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.) earned her 150th cap.

“Today Canada played a better game,” said Parnham. “So credit to them but there were also pleasing moments for us throughout the match. As the games continue, we’ll continue to grow and give athletes opportunities to play.” 

Yesterday the USA created a fierce attack presence in their first match of the series against Canada with a 7-0 win. The matches will pick up again Thursday, March 13 at 6 p.m. EST and Friday, March 14 at 6 p.m. EST.

Follow @USAFieldHockey on Twitter for live match updates and tournament reports.

USFHA media release

The Women’s National Team lays the foundation for future success with an evening of landmarks

Team USA breaks in new turf and Gebhart receives first international cap

LANCASTER, Pa. – The U.S. Women’s National Team was joined by the National Canadian Squad in Lancaster, Pa. for their first of four matches in a capped series held at Spooky Nook Sports’ world-renowned Dome Arena. Before Monday’s match the field hockey community celebrated a monumental event in USA Field Hockey history with the cutting of a ribbon as the National Team stepped onto the pitch for their first capped game at the official Home of Hockey. Team USA rose above Canada to win the first match with a score of 7-0.

“It’s great to be hosting international matches here in Lancaster,” said Head Coach Craig Parnham. “It’s also very pleasing to see so many people watching. Hopefully some hockey stars of the future are in the crowd.”
The umpire’s whistle cut through the echoing cheer of the crowd to start the match, giving way to a thrilling game of hockey. Team USA’s attack presence was a consistent theme carried throughout the entirety of the game. Lighting up the scoreboard in the initial minutes of play, Lauren Pfieffer (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) and Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) found the back of the net in the 6th and 22nd minutes of play. Although the Canadian National Team, led by Head Coach Ian Rutledge, presented a sturdy defense, the ball resonated off of the backboard in Team USA’s favor in the 30th minute as a result of a solid strike from Katie Rienprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) before the close of the first half.

The high intensity play didn’t falter for a minute in the second half of the match. Connecting streamline passes on the sidelines resulted in four hard-fought goals for the USA. In the 37th mark of play, Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) utilized a reverse shot to continue a strong attacking front. Team USA’s midfield applied ample pressure to create turnovers that ultimately lead to goals in the 43rd minute of play by Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) and in the 54th minute mark by Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.). Witmer again cranked a ball in the 63rd minute of the match to end the game 7-0.

The evening was also of great importance for the bright future of USA Field Hockey as Team USA athlete Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.) was recognized as receiving her first international cap for the match.

“This week provides another opportunity for the players to push for selection for the summer tournaments,” said Parnham. “The team will change throughout the week allowing us to look at a variety of options. Tonight was a good start to the week and a memorable night for Laura, gaining her first international cap."

Follow @USAFieldHockey on Twitter for live match updates for another action-packed game today at 6 p.m. EST for match number two.

USFHA media release

Six juniors to make international debut at Azlan Shah Cup

By Aftar Singh

Mohd Shahril Saabah (right) in a file photo. He is one of the six Junior World Cup players who will be making their international debut at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh.
KUALA LUMPUR: Penalty corner drag flicker Mohd Shahril Saabah is among six Junior World Cuppers who will be making their international debut at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh.

The others are goalkeepers Mohd Hafizuddin Othman and Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri, defender Shazril Irwan Nazli, midfielder Mohd Azri Hassan and forward Mohd Rashid Baharom.

Another five Junior World Cuppers have also been named for the tournament.

They are defenders Faiz Helmi Jali and Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, midfielders Mohd Fitri Saari and Meor Mohamed Azuan Hassan, and forward Mohd Firhan Ashaari.

However, these five players have featured for the national senior team in previous tournaments.

That brings the number of Junior World Cup players in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup to 11.

National chief coach K. Dharmaraj named 18 players in Ipoh on Tuesday after Malaysia played a friendly against China and Australia.

The other players in the team are defenders Azlan Misron and Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin, midfielders Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil, Mohd Sukri Abdul Mutalib and Ramadan Rosli, and forwards Tengku Ahmad Tajudin and Faizal Saari.

Azlan, who is the most experienced player with 327 international caps, was named skipper.

Dharmaraj said that he picked six newcomers for the team because they have shown promise in training and friendly matches.

“I also included the juniors because a number of senior players are injured,” said Dharmaraj.

On the crock list are forward S. Selvaraju (hamstring), goalkeepers S. Kumar (hamstring) and Roslan Jamaluddin (ankle), and defenders Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim (shoulder injury) and Baljit Singh Charun, who suffered a back injury during a friendly against Canada in Malacca last week.

Dharmaraj said that despite naming a number of juniors to the squad, he hopes the team will do well in the tournament.

“This will be a good chance for the six juniors to prove themselves in Ipoh and be named for next month’s Champions Challenge I tournament in Kuantan,” said Dharmaraj.

Malaysia, who finished runners-up to Australia in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup last year, will open their campaign against South Africa on Thursday.

Malaysia have never won the tournament, which began in 1983.

The squad

Goalkeepers: Mohd Hafizuddin Othman, Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri.

Defenders: Faiz Helmi Jali, Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Shazril Irwan Nazli, Azlan Misron, Mohd Sukri Abdul Mutalib, Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin.

Midfielders: Mohd Azri Hassan, Mohd Fitri Saari, Meor Mohamed Azuan Hassan, Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil, Ramadan Rosli.

Forwards: Mohd Shahril Saabah, Mohd Rashid Baharom, Mohd Firhan Ashaari, Tengku Ahmad Tajudin, Faizal Saari.

The Star of Malaysia

Junior goalies get their chance in Sultan Azlan meet

By S. Ramaguru

Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri will get a chance to prove himself at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Hafizuddin Othman and Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri, the two first choice goalkeepers in the Malaysian squad at last year’s Junior World Cup in New Delhi will make their senior team debut at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament.

Malaysia’s senior goalkeepers S. Kumar and Roslan Jamaluddin are nursing injuries and have been ruled out of the Ipoh tournament which starts on Thursday.

Team manager George Koshy confirmed that Hafizuddin and Hazrul have been named in the 18-member squad.

“We have to go with the two juniors as the senior goalkeepers are injured. This is the best time to find out if they are ready to make the transition from the junior ranks to the seniors. Our objective is to ensure all players in the training squad get a chance to play some matches and prove their worth.

“All our training stints are targeted towards the World Cup in June and the Asian Games in September,” he said.

Hafizuddin and Hazrul were in the team who went on a tour to Perth earlier this month.

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is the first of five major assignments that await the senior team this year. Besides the World Cup and the Asian Games, there is also the Champions Challenge I in April and the Commonwealth Games in July.

The crock list extends beyond the goalkeepers as defender Mohamed Razie Rahim, forward Ismail Abu and midfielder Nabil Fiqri Mohamed Nor are also injured and will not feature in Ipoh.

George said except for Razie, all the others will be ready to vie for a spot in the Champions Challenge I which will be held in Kuantan.

Initially 35 players have been named for the training squad, but Azreen Rizal, Engku Abdul Malek, Harvinder Singh and Syamim Yusof later withdrew for various reasons.

Another player, Mohamed Azammi Adabi, was dropped after the Perth tour.

George added that the 18 players for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup would be finalised on Tuesday night after Malaysia play China and Australia in friendly matches.

“We will play both teams back to back today (Tuesday). That will be the final selection ground. We have a big squad of 25 which allows us to rotate the players for the two matches,” he said.

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is a six-nation affair with China, Australia, Canada, South Korea and South Africa in the fray.

The Star of Malaysia

China are no whipping boys

By Aftar Singh

Yang Liu: 'We hope to pull one or two surprise wins despite being the lowest-ranked team in the tournament.'

KUALA LUMPUR: Debutants China are the lowest-ranked team in the six-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, but they are not here to just make up the numbers.

Team manager Yang Liu said that China are more than happy to make their debut in the tournament, which begins on Thursday in Ipoh, despite being ranked 25th in the world.

“We have a young team with an average age of 22, and we are in Ipoh to put up a strong challenge.

“Some players are only playing in their second international tournament. They made their debut in the six nation Asian Champions Trophy in Japan last October, where we finished fourth.

“Despite some of them lacking international exposure, my players are in high spirits. We hope to pull one or two surprise wins despite being the lowest-ranked team in the tournament,” said Yang Liu.

The other teams in the fray are world No. 1 Australia, South Korea (No. 7), South Africa (No. 12), Malaysia (No.13) and Canada (No. 16).

Yang Liu, who wants his team to avoid becoming the wooden spoonists, explained that they are using the tournament as part of their prparations for the Incheon Asian Games, which is in September.

China, under coach Ciu Ying Ciau, will open their campaign against Asia Cup champions South Korea on Thursday before they take on world champions Australia on Friday.

They are expecting a daunting task in their match against the speedy Koreans, who are preparing for the World Cup in The Hague, Holland, in May.

“I cannot remember when was the last time we played 2012 London Olympics runners-up Australia in a tournament. Playing two tough matches in two days definitely will be a tall order. But we are not complaining as we need to play tough matches like these to prepare a strong team for the Asian Games,” said Yang Liu.

The Star of Malaysia

Perlis to host national U-16 hockey meet

KUALA LUMPUR: The MHC-Milo boys’ and girls’ Under-16 hockey championships which will be held in Kangar, Perlis from March 22-30, have attracted 12 and 10 teams respectively.

Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan and Sabah are in the fray for the boys’ category.

Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan are down for the girls’ category which will be played at the new Kuala Perlis pitch.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee executive Hashim Mohamed Yusof said they will hold the two meets simultaneously on two different pitches.

“We do not foresee any problems with the pitches as both are in good condition. They were used for the recent Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) matches. We will release the fixtures in the next few days,” he said.

This is the first time Perlis is hosting a national hockey tournament and it is seen as a test run ahead of Sukma (Malaysia Games) which Perlis will host from May 27-June 4.

The Star of Malaysia

Ram's hat-trick hands UP winning start in hockey nationals

LUCKNOW: Diwakar Ram slammed a hat-trick to help hosts Uttar Pradesh register an easy 5-2 win over Odisha in the opening day of Division A matches of the fourth Hockey India Senior Men National Championship at Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium, here today.

Uttar Pradesh dominated the first half of the Pool C game and took a 2-0 lead through a field goal by Amir Khan (10th minute) and penalty corner strike from Diwakar Ram (33rd).

Uttar Pradesh continued its dominance in the second half extended its lead in the 44th minute through Ajit Pandey.

Odisha tried to forge a comeback when Amon Mirash Tirkey pulled one back in the 48th minute to make the scoreline 3-1.

But Uttar Pradesh proved too strong for Odisha as Ram scored two more goals in the 54th and 64th minutes to seal the match in his side's favour.

Odisha, in between, managed to score another goal through Joseph Toppo (61st).

Earlier in the day, Jharkhand beat Hockey Bhopal 3-0 in Pool C.

Birshu Bhengra (57th, 63rd, 68th) scored a hat-trick for Jharkhand.

In another match, Food Corporation of India (FCI) failed lost 0-3 to Railways in a Pool D match.

Railways all three goals came via penalty corner conversions from the sticks of Amit Rohidas (35th, 54th) and M G Poonacha (23rd).

Today's Results: Pool C: Uttar Pradesh 5 Diwakar Ram (33rd, 54th, 64th); Amir Khan (10th); Ajit Pandey (44th) vs Hockey Odisha 2 Amon Mirash Tirkey (48th); Joseph Toppo (61st).

Pool C: Jharkhand 3 Birshu Bhengra (57th, 63rd, 68th) vs Hockey Bhopal 0.

Pool D: Railways Amit Rohidas (35th, 54th) M G Poonacha (23rd) vs Food Corporation of India 0

The Times of India

Hockeyroos squad named

Australian women's Japan Tests to be last in Australia ahead of World Cup

Hockey Australia has announced the Hockeyroos squad to take on Japan in a five match Test series in Kalgoorlie and Perth, Western Australia, later this month.

In all, 18 athletes will to travel to Kalgoorlie to play in the opening two Tests before a larger squad of 22 will be called upon for the remaining three fixtures in Perth. Head Coach Adam Commens will use the matches to continue his assessment of the group ahead of selection for the World Cup, which takes place at the end of April.

Speaking as the squad was announced, Commens said, “Japan will be one of our opponents at the World Cup so the five Tests are a great opportunity to learn more about a team that we haven’t played against competitively since 2010 when we met them at the last World Cup.

"The games provide a chance for us to use all of our players from the national squad and we’ll endeavour to give everyone a chance to push their case for selection as we head towards the World Cup.”

Two athletes – goalkeeper Rachael Lynch and forward Georgie Parker (pictured) – are in line for milestone appearances in the series. South Australian Parker is in line to make her 50th appearance for the Hockeyroos in the second match of the series in Kalgoorlie while Victorian Rachael Lynch may reach a century of matches for Australia. That will depend on her playing some part in four of the five matches.

Influential captain Madonna Blyth will return to action having recovered from the hand injury that prevented her from playing against South Africa in Cape Town in January. Of the 22 athletes named for the series, Victorian Claire Messent is the only member of the senior national squad unavailable through injury. National Junior Squad athlete Mariah Williams will step up to take her place having toured with the squad to South Africa. 

Looking ahead to the opening two matches in Kalgoorlie, the home of the team’s major partner Ausdrill, Commens added, “We were fortunate to visit Kalgoorlie last year and had a very successful few days there. Almost immediately afterwards we began organising another visit. The support we received from the people of Kalgoorlie was excellent and we’re very much looking forward to being back in front of a large crowd there again.”

Ninth in the FIH world rankings, opponents Japan sit just five places behind fourth placed Australia. The two sides will meet in their respective second matches at the World Cup in The Hague on 2 June.

Hockeyroos squad for Test series v Japan
Athlete (Hometown, State) Caps/Goals

Tests 1 and 2. 21 & 22 March
Kalgoorlie, WA
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD) 186/10
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 267/64
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 25/1
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 26/2
Kirstin Dwyer (née Johnson) (Mackay, QLD) 33/2
Casey Eastham (South Coast, NSW) 188/44
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 109/18
Kate Jenner (Tamworth, NSW) 81/1
Jodie Kenny (née Schulz) (Wamuran, QLD) 92/46
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 96/0
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 25/3
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 109/19
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 133/60
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA) 48/10
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 19/5
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 72/26
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC) 24/0
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW) 61/21

Tests 3, 4 and 5. 25-28 March
Perth, WA
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD) 186/10
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 267/64
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 25/1
Mathilda Carmichael (Willoughby, NSW) 7/0
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 26/2
Kirstin Dwyer (née Johnson) (Mackay, QLD) 33/2
Casey Eastham (South Coast, NSW) 188/44
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 109/18
Jordyn Holzberger (Ipswich, QLD) 31/3
Kate Jenner (Tamworth, NSW) 81/1
Jodie Kenny (née Schulz) (Wamuran, QLD) 92/46
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 96/0
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 25/3
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 109/19
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 133/60
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA) 48/10
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 19/5
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 72/26
Jayde Taylor (Bunbury, WA) 81/1
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC) 24/0
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW) 61/21
Mariah Williams (Newcastle, NSW) 5/1

Hockeyroos v Japan Fixtures
21 March – 6:30pm AWST / 9:30pm AEDT – Kalgoorlie, WA
22 March – 6:30pm AWST / 9:30pm AEDT – Kalgoorlie, WA
25 March – 7:30pm AWST / 10:30pm AEDT – Perth Hockey Stadium, Perth, WA
27 March – 5:30pm AWST / 8:30pm AEDT – Perth Hockey Stadium, Perth, WA
28 March – 7:30pm AWST / 10:30pm AEDT – Perth Hockey Stadium, Perth, WA

2014 Key Dates – Hockeyroos
21-28 March: Hockeyroos v Japan, five match series (Kalgoorlie & Perth, WA)
5-13 April: Six nations tournament in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
(Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Korea, China, Japan)
31 May – 15 June: World Cup, The Hague, Netherlands
23 July – 3 August: Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, Scotland
29 November – 7 December: Champions Trophy, Argentina

Hockey Australia media release

Japan tests ideal for Black Sticks

By David Leggat

New Zealand will be wary not to cast their eyes too far ahead when they start their three-test series against Japan in Mt Maunganui tonight.

The world No 6 Black Sticks will be expected to see off No 14-ranked Japan's challenge. It offers the prospect of a good lead-in for the Champions Challenge tournament in Malaysia, starting on April 26.

New Zealand are top seeds for that event, and that brings different pressures from those they experienced in reaching the World League final in New Delhi in January. New Zealand weren't expected to make the New Delhi decider, when they were well beaten by the Netherlands, after having thrilling quarter and semifinal penalty shootout wins against Argentina and England.

"There will be a lot of teams that have scouted us from the world league finals. They will have learnt more about us than us about them," coach Colin Batch said yesterday. "The matches against Japan are about developing our defensive and attacking qualities, really fine tuning them."

New Zealand gained plenty of confidence from the World League finals and Batch described that tournament as providing "a marker for us".

"It has increased expectations of the group for the future. I think other teams will be more wary of us and that creates in itself more problems."

A New Zealand invitation XI beat Japan 4-2 and 3-0, and drew the other warmup game 2-2 last weekend at North Harbour.

They have brought a young and large squad, with several uncapped players, to New Zealand. Batch suspects their aim is to ensure that they are in top shape for the 2020 Olympics, to be held in Tokyo.

New Zealand have secured two internationals against world No 1 Australia in Perth over Easter weekend en route to Malaysia. The Champions Challenge won't be easy, with Batch expecting temperatures in the low 30s and high humidity. Still he appreciates the value in performing well in testing environments.

"That's what makes a team successful over a period of time, being able to come up [against] these challenges in difficult conditions and still get the performance and result required.

"It's all about preparing for the World Cup and I see it as a really good guide in how we go into that."

New Zealand will be without key striker Nick Wilson for the next few months after a knee operation.

His chances of being ready for the World Cup, or the Commonwealth Games in July-August, appear slim.

The New Zealand Herald

Irish Hockey Announce Craig Fulton as National Men’s Coach

Irish hockey are delighted to announce Craig Fulton as the National Men’s Hockey Coach. Fulton who is no stranger to Ireland will commence his role at the start of April before leading the side to Malaysia for the Champions Challenge I Tournament taking place 26th April – 4th May. Fulton, who will be based in Ireland, previously lived and coached in Ireland both at a club level and as Assistant National Coach to the Men’s Irish Team in 2006-2009.

Fulton comes to the role with experience both as a player achieving 191 national caps for South Africa, including competing at the 1996 Atlanta and 2004 Athens Olympics, as well as 8 years coaching at the highest level including National Men’s Assistant Coach to Ireland (2006 -2009), National Women’s Assistant Coach to South Africa (2011) and National Men’s Assistant Coach to South Africa (2013-2014).

Commenting on his appointment Fulton was clearly excited about the new role “I am delighted to be given this opportunity to coach the Irish National Men's Team. I have always reflected fondly on my previous coaching experiences in Ireland with club and country. I look forward to working with this talented Irish team with the sole focus of qualifying the team for Rio 2016.”

Mike Heskin, Irish Hockey Chief Executive, was pleased with the addition of Fulton to the team “I am delighted with our new appointment. Craig brings to this team invaluable Olympic experience as a player and World Cup experience as a coach. He has recently served as Assistant Coach to the South African Men’s Team and has previously served as Assistant Coach to Ireland for over 90 tests. His experience in Ireland provides him with an in-depth knowledge of both the Irish team and Irish hockey and will help him to hit the ground running when he arrives in April. This will prove invaluable in our preparation for the Olympic Qualification process which begins in the spring of 2015 with World League 2 in the USA. I am looking forward to working with Craig and am certain that he along with Darren Smith, our Women’s Head coach will move Irish Hockey forward on the international stage”

Irish Hockey Association media release

Canadian Men and Women’s Indoor Teams host USA in Toronto

March 15-16th at the University of Toronto

The Canadian men and women’s indoor national teams will compete in an international series against the USA, March 15-16th in Toronto at the University of Toronto`s, Athletic Center Sports Gym.

Sanctioned by the Pan American Hockey Federation, Canada plays three games against the USA for both men and women as part of their preparation for the 2014 Indoor Pan American Cup held April 7-12 in Montevideo, Uruguay.  Berths to the 2015 Indoor World Cup will be on the line in Uruguary.

The FIH ranks the Canadian women 18th in the world and the Canadian men a solid 7th.

The following players have been selected to represent Canada in the series:

Canadian  Men
1.    Devohn Teixeira
2.    Gaganpal Dhanju
3.    Gurtej Dhaliwal
4.    Jeewanjot Singh Bath
5.    Jonathan Roberts
6.    Ken Pereira
7.    Lyle Fernandes
8.    Micah Teixeira
9.    Pardeep Koonar
10.    Scott Sandison
11.    Sean Barretto
12.    Shane Rajaraman
13.    Shankar Premakanthan
14.    Tyler Branco

Head Coach: Louis Mendonca
Assistant Coach/Manager: Reg Pereira
Athletic Trainer: Elwin Lau

Canadian Women
1.    Kristen Shier
2.    Anna Easty
3.    Kaelan Watson
4.    Amanda Woodcroft
5.    Kyesia O`Neale
6.    Madison Thompson
7.    Katy-Jo Williams
8.    Alex Thicke
9.    Alison Lee
10.    Chelcie Mendonca
11.    Shannon Pereira
12.    Ciara Condon
13.    Katelyn Roganowicz
14.    Ally Evanyshyn
15.    Jocelyn Mitchell
16.    Alicia Frisch

Head Coach: John De Souza
Assistant Coach: Cassius Mendonca
Manager: Carla Johl
Athletic Trainer: Amanda Halls

Series Schedule
March 15th
Game 1 - 8:45 am Women
Game 2 - 10:05 am Men
Game 3 - 5:00 pm Women
Game 4 - 6:15 pm Men
March 16th
Game 5 - 8:45 am Women
Game 6 -10:05 am Men

If you would like to support the men’s and women’s teams on their road to the Pan Am Cup, please visit the teams Chimp pages:
- https://chimp.net/groups/team-canada-indoor-field-hockey-women
- https://chimp.net/groups/canadian-men-s-indoor-field-hockey-team

Field Hockey Canada media release

USA Indoor Hockey Continues Pan Am Cup Preparations in Toronto

U.S. Men and Women to face off with Canada in a three match series

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Last year, USA Field Hockey and Field Hockey Canada agreed to rekindle an Indoor Hockey relationship by hosting an annual reciprocal test series. In August of 2013, the USA women hosted the Canadian women at the Sportsplex in Feasterville, Pa. in what was the first of what will hopefully prove to be a long standing tradition of test matches. This weekend, both the men and women will venture to Toronto, Canada to compete in the second CanAm Indoor test series. The U.S. Indoor program plans to continue the renewed tradition by hosting Canada again in 2015.

"This test series will be used as the final selection process before the Pan Am Indoor Cup teams are named,” said U.S. Indoor Program Manager Nigel Traverso. “Both squads have participated in various Domestic and International competitions over the past few months, as they have their eyes on the big picture which is to win the Pan Am Cup in April and qualify for the 4th FIH Indoor World Cup that will be held in Leipzig, Germany, next February. I wish both teams best of luck!"

This is the final step in selections for Men’s Coach Andrew Thornton and Women’s Coach Denise Zelenak for the squads that will compete in the Pan Am Indoor Cup in Montevideo, April 2014. Countries participating in the Pan Am Cup are Argentina, Canada, Guyana (Men only), Uruguay and the United States. The event is the qualifier for the next Indoor World Cup to be held in Leipzig, Germany in February 2015.

“We are looking forward to a swift weekend of highly competitive and tactical hockey competition,” said squad veteran and tour co-captain Rachael Milne.  “In the short-term, we are very excited to test ourselves in preparation for Pan Ams. In the long-term, we are excited to be a part of building this relationship with Canada for all that it can offer both the country's men's, women's and youth programs. This is what it's all about-the training, the travel, the relationships, the ups and downs of match play, getting to know your competition on and off the court and all of the stories that happen in between.”

Venue: University of Toronto, Athletic Centre, 55 Harbord Street, Toronto ON M5S2W6; admission $5

Saturday March 15

8:45am   Women Match 1
10:05am Men Match 1
5:00pm   Women Match 2
6:15pm   Men Match 2

Sunday March 16

8:45am   Women Match 3
10:05am Men Match 3

U.S. Men’s Indoor CanAm Series Squad

Kevin Barber (Camarillo, CA), Michael Barminski (Ventura, CA), Ajai Dhadwhal (Agoura Hills, CA), Mohan Ghandi (Ventura, CA), William Holt (Camarillo, CA), JaJa Kentwell (Spring City, PA), Chris Pothier (Marlborough, MA), Robert Schilling (Long Beach, CA), Jason Wellings (San Diego, CA)

U.S. Women’s Indoor CanAm Series Squad

Susan Ciufo (Bangor, PA), Ashley Dalisera (Millersville, MD), Amy Daniel (Mountain Top, PA), Maeve Doherty (Millersville, MD), Lauren Hibshman (Allentown, PA), Alexa Hoover (Collegeville, PA), Maria Keesling (Downingtown, PA), Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, PA), Rachael Milne (Hatfield, PA), Kim Susko-Lozano (Short Hills, NJ.), Kimberly Tunell (Wilmington, DE)

USFHA media release

Double joy as Surbiton fire

By Graham Wilson

A CLUTCH of the old and new had Surbiton celebrating as their men and women’s teams secured places in next month’s national league play-offs.

Investec League leaders Canterbury were beaten 4-1 as Abi Robinson hit two goals in four minutes. It was only the Kent club’s second defeat.

England Under-21 player and Cranleigh School pupil Will Calnan scored two for Surbiton men in a 6-1 win against Canterbury in the NOW: Pensions League with Alan Forsyth hitting a brace and London Olympians James Tindall and Matt Daly also making their mark.

Surbiton men’s coach Todd Williams said: “When we lost at Canterbury 5-1 in October, that was a low point of our season. We wanted to make a statement about our improvement since then – we have only lost once since – and get control right from the start. Now we are looking forward to the play-offs and going to Europe at Easter.”

Brett Garrard, the club’s director of coaching, said: “When I took on the women’s coaching job we had the aim of getting them to the same level as the men and they are pretty much there now.”

Daily Express

Reading halt Clifton run as Alex Danson leads from front

By Rod Gilmour

Fighting spirit: Reading team-mates celebrate with Susie Gilbert Photo: ADY KERRY

Clifton’s aim of a fifth successive win since the winter break was ended by a resurgent second-half performance from Reading.

After a quiet opening, a well-taken solo goal by Stephanie Addison gave Clifton the lead. Right on half-time, Susie Gilbert then equalised from a short corner.

Alex Danson, the league’s top scorer, came to the fore after the break. She notched her 14th of the season with a trademark reverse stick strike before captain Emma Thomas put home a penalty stroke, two minutes from time.

Tweet of the Day

“Well that was not exactly our best game but well played @SurbitonHC. Clearly we don't like playing in the sunshine.”
Canterbury’s Mel Clewlow rues rare defeat

Elsewhere in the division...

Three goals in the last 12 minutes helped Surbiton clinch a play-offs spot after a fine 4-1 defeat on Canterbury. A double from Abi Robinson in the last four minutes left Canterbury nursing only their second defeat of the season. Leicester kept their hopes alive by beating Beeston 2-1, moving within a point of Clifton.


Men's round-up

Forsyth ensures play-off spot for brilliant Surbiton

Surbiton 6 Canterbury 1

They may have been two of the country’s in-form teams, but Surbiton simply ran riot on Sunday.

The hosts cemented a final play-off spot with a commanding win and have now lost just one in their last 20 games. Surbiton have been indebted to Alan Forsyth and Matt Daly’s goals this season - 33 - and the duo bagged another three here.

Forsyth’s first-half brace gave Surbiton breathing space before Daly finished the rout with a penalty corner strike. Surbiton’s final play-off position now hinges on their last game of the season against East Grinstead.

Quote of the day

“It’s not just about Daly and Forsyth; it’s the team that has got us in this position.”
James Lloyd, Surbiton manager

Elsewhere in the division...

Playing his first outdoor match of the season, Simon Faulkner’s strike with two minutes’ remaining ensured East Grinstead stayed top with a 3-2 win at Cannock. Two second-half goals, including England star Tom Carson, gave Reading the points at home to Sheffield Hallam while Beeston looked comfortable for their 3-0 victory against Hampstead and Westminster.

The Telegraph

Brooklands Manchester want Cup romance to return after ousting champions Beeston

With only one team from men's top flight left in the national knock-out, this season's NOW: Pensions Cup is chance for lower league sides to shine

By Rod Gilmour

Dream on: Brooklands are one win away from Cup final Photo: ADY KERRY

Brooklands Manchester University believe England Hockey must focus on keeping the spirit of the NOW: Pensions Cup alive as the men's tournament reaches the semi-final stage this weekend.

There have been a plethora of upsets in this year’s Cup knock-out, so much so that only one side – Cannock – remain from the top flight.

Brooklands, relegated from the Premier Division last season, face Old Loughtonians after ousting Beeston last month and Steve Andrews believes that a place in a European knock-out competition for the winner would be an extra incentive for smaller clubs.

“The Cup has to remain and England Hockey has to focus on it,” he said. “To keep it alive is really important as any one of the four now think they have a chance of winning this.

“There could be case for a return to European hockey for the Cup winners. It's something that would be great for the sport.

“Whether it is a straight knock-out competition would be really interesting and encourage clubs.”

In Brooklands’ case, Andrews admitted that their quarter-final win over Beeston was their first challenge at a competitive level against a team “flying high”.

He said: “It’s amazing when you play the best teams, the extra work rate and effort increases. We want to take the Cup seriously. It is an ambition of ours to win it.

“For the lower clubs, they want to get a big Cup draw. You want to play the top teams in the country and you’re not going to do it elsewhere. If you can get a Cup run, it’s great for the players to see where they are ability wise.”

Stephen Barlow, England Hockey’s competitions manager, said: “Similar to other sports, hockey clubs have given the Cup competition a lower priority than in years gone by.

“We want our strongest teams in Europe and this is best served by qualification through the end of season top four tournament.”

In the other semi-final, Cannock face Sevenoaks. The final will be played next month at Beeston.

The Telegraph

Royal visit from The Countess of Wessex, England Hockey Patron

HRH Countess of Wessex

The Countess of Wessex visited England Hockey today at its base at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Buckinghamshire, to talk to staff and players from both National teams and observe a training session as both teams prepare for a summer of huge importance in the international calendar.

The Countess, wife of Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, has been Royal Patron of England Hockey since 2007 and is also patron of a number of other sports. HRH will no doubt be keen to see the teams’ progress this summer, as they compete for medals at both the Hockey World Cup in the Netherlands in June, and the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, in August.

During her visit The Countess of Wessex also got involved on the hockey pitch, playing with England player Shona McCallin. HRH said afterwards: “I always really enjoyed playing hockey, it’s so much more than just a team sport. Hockey has a great social side and is a thoroughly enjoyable game to both play and watch.”

England Hockey Chief Executive Sally Munday added: “It was brilliant for both staff and players to enjoy a Royal visit, and The Countess of Wessex is clearly very enthusiastic in her support of hockey. Having HRH as our Royal Patron is hugely valuable to our sport. Hockey can be a real inspiration to children across the country, particularly given the recent successes of our National teams, and support from the Royal Family helps us to push that message out.”

After watching the women’s National squad train – talking to the both teams’ Head Coaches Bobby Crutchley and Jason Lee, and team Captains Barry Middleton and Kate Richardson-Walsh – The Countess went on to meet other staff and players at Bisham Abbey.

England Hockey, which benefits from funding from Sport England at grass roots level, and UK Sport at elite level, also moves into a new Olympic legacy venue this summer for hosting major events – Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The first event to be held at the venue will be the Investec London Cup, in July, in which both England’s men’s and women’s teams will feature.

England Hockey Board Media release

Hockey – getting big in Japan

Although there are other sports with a higher profile, hockey in Japan is beginning to make its mark at home and internationally

When it comes to hockey, Japan is not a nation that immediately springs to mind. Football, baseball and badminton are all sports in which Japan does well on the global stage, and Sumo wrestling is of course an iconic Japanese sporting activity. But over the past decade, Japanese hockey, and its women's team in particular, have been making in-roads onto the international hockey scene.

The Japanese women's team first began to make headway at the start of the century. Their first foray into the Olympics in 2004 earned them an eighth place finish, and they have qualified for all subsequent Games. The team has a longer history in the World Cup; they came sixth in the 1978 World Cup and seventh in 1981. This was followed by a barren spell with only one appearance in 1990, when they finished 11th. Since 2002, Japan has appeared in every World Cup, finishing in tenth, fifth and eleventh place.

Gold in the Asia Cup in 2007 and appearances in the Champions Trophy  in 2007, 2008 and 2012, mean that Japan is finding itself far more at home on the international stage.

With more than 30,000 people regularly playing hockey in the Far Eastern country, the national hockey federation also oversees a thriving domestic calendar, with a well-supported youth structure and a popular Master's competition framework.

The Cherry Blossoms are also creating hockey legends. One of the best known players at the 2012 Olympic Games was Akemi Kato. At 40-years-old, she was the oldest participant at the hockey tournament in London. Although she is unlikely to be gracing the stage in The Hague, her style of play – collecting the ball in her own defensive circle and running at the opposition to turn defence into attack – earned her and her team respect, a lot of fans, and two victories at the London Games.

Meet the team – Is it Cherry Blossom time?

An unknown quantity, can Japan build momentum to be the surprise package at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup?

Known as the Cherry Blossoms, the Japanese women's hockey team are the unknown package of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. At the 2012 Olympics, the team started slowly, losing their opening matches, but then a draw with Belgium was followed by a surprise victory over China. They then beat South Africa in the classification matches to finish in ninth position, reflecting their current world ranking.

Head coach Yoo Seung Jin knows the team will need to start this tournament firing on all cylinders as their first match is against the home side. This baptism of fire will be followed two days later by an encounter with the Hockeroos. Also in the group are Korea, New Zealand and Belgium.

While the squad is unnamed as yet, it is likely to be quite a young squad, with just five survivors from the Olympics of 2012. Miyuki Nakagawa, Keiko Manabe and Shiho Otsuka are likely to be among the influential players starring for the Cherry Blossoms in The Hague.

After finishing 2013 as the second ranked team from Asia, behind Korea, Japan, who are ranked 9 in the world by the FIH, will be hoping that they can finish higher than the 11th place they achieved at the 2011 Hockey World Cup.

Certainly, the past decade has seen the team make steady improvements on the world stage. Their highest finish to date was fifth in the 2006 World Cup, but a gold medal in the Champions Challenge 1 in 2011 and fifth place in the Champions Trophy in 2012 indicates that there are serious ambitions for hockey in the Far East.

FIH site

Venue announced for Hockey World League Round 3 in Belgium

In 2015 the Royal Belgian Hockey Association (ARBH) will host the joint men and women’s Round 3 Hockey World League Semi-Finals.

With qualification spots for Rio 2016 up for grabs, next summer’s event promises epic clashes and breath taking action that will leave its mark on hockey around the world. Today ARBH announced that the tournament will be held at the impeccable home of the KHC Dragons Brasschaat (www.dragons.be).
The ARBH also announced that its principal partner, Fintro will be the 'presenting sponsor' of the tournament.

Round 1 of the Hockey World League starts in June this year

FIH site

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