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News 14 March 2014

All then news for Friday 14 March 2014

Australia run riot

Defending champions Australia routed China 7-0 in the opening match at the Azlan Shah Stadium this evening.

Around 100 fans were at hand to watch the match in hot and humid conditions, hardly a conducive environment for hockey but befitting a B Grade tournament no thanks to the poor efforts made by the Organisors, who placed profits ahead of good hockey.

It was Nicholas Budgeon who starred for the world number 1 ranked team as he scored a hattrick, all via penalty corners converted in the 3rd, 56th and 65th minutes.

Trent Mitton who dashed Malaysian hopes by scoring four seconds from time in the 2013 final scored in the 20th minute, three times world player of the year Jamie Dywer scoring in the 34th minute with Jafob Whetton ( 37th minute) and Russel Ford ( 47th minute) getting the other goals.

Australia had a 50 per cent conversion rate, scoring thrice from the 6 penalty corners they were awarded in a match they totally dominated.

Azlan Shah Cup site

Malaysia edge South Africa

Striker Faizal Saari turned hero from zero as his goal separated Malaysia and South Africa in the Azlan Shah Stadium tonight.

Faizal, who is now Malaysia's number one penalty corner specialist following the shoulder injury suffered by Mohd Razie Rahim, squandered the majority of the 10 penalty corners Malaysia were awarded in the match.

But ironically it was from the tenth penalty corner, which had to be improvised following a poor stop that Faizal picked up the ball, weaved past three tackles to drive the ball home in the 64th minute which eventually turned out to be the winner.

Malaysia had to play the final 5 minutes with 10 players as Fitri, the younger brother of Faizal was yellow carded, but the youngsters, helped on by a few seniors held on to register a morale boosting win.

Malaysia had taken the lead when youngster Shahril Saabah, lurking at the far post, had the final touch to lead 1-0 in the 10th minute.

South Africa drew level from their second penalty corner in the 16th minute via a Jethro Eustice penalty corner.

The two teams were tied 1-1 at halftime.

Malaysia nudged ahead through Rashid Baharom who scored from an acute angle in the 42nd minute only for Eustice drawing South Africa level in the 57th minute.

It was heading for a draw until Faizal finally found his scoring touch.

Azlan Shah Cup site

SA hockey men shaded by Malaysia in Ipoh’s five-goal thriller

JONATHAN COOK in Ipoh, Malaysia

Muscular SA midfielder Clint Panther takes the ball up. Photo: RODRIGO JARAMILLO

The world’s 12th-ranked South Africa men’s hockey team were edged 3-2 by world number 13 Malaysia after the scores were locked 1-1 at half-time in the opening round of the 23rd Azlan Shah Cup tournament in the city of Ipoh in Malaysia Thursday.

On an exceptionally humid evening, SA withstood early pressure and in the sixth minute keeper Rassie Pieterse made an outstanding reflex glove save to his left from a flying deflection that went like a bullet, but in the 10th Shahril Saabah was on the end of a fierce cross from the right for the opening goal.

In the 14th, industrious midfielder Clint Panther stole around the left-hand baseline and nifty stickwork enabled older brother Brandon to win the first penalty corner. A second PC followed after Jethro Eustice’s drag-flick caught the first-wave defender’s foot.

Eustice chose the same option and the turf-sizzler evaded keeper Haffizudan Othman to his left for the equaliser in the 16th minute.

Two consecutive Malaysian PCs came and went while Pierre de Voux came agonisingly close to getting a stick onto captain Wade Paton’s powerful flick into the penalty area. But Malaysia continued to reap reward out of attacks down the right flank and in the 24th there was a heart-stopping moment for SA supporters from Rashid Baharom’s effort.

Explosive striker Faizal Saari was causing SA all sorts of problems in front of goal, yet in the 28th Jonty Robinson worked the left-hand baseline to win another PC for SA, which was followed by another - and Paton’s rising flick from the slip-left pass off the top of the strike zone was turned away from the goalline by Fitri Saar, standing on the far post.

The chanting, singing home crowd exploded in the eighth minute of the second half (43rd) when Player-of-the-Match Baharom took a quick self-pass and went into the strike zone untouched before netting from an acute angle on the left.

SA won a fifth PC two minutes later but Eustice’s low flick went past the post. Malaysia then enjoyed a purple patch, during which a number of goal shots were saved, to the consternation of the drum-beating home fans.

Penalty corners came and went but the brave SA defence repelled the threat and in the 55th the Africans won a sixth PC. The world-class combination of corner injector Robinson and trapper Tim Drummond did their bit and drag-flicker Eustice made no mistake with another turf-burner for the equaliser(2-2).

A superb block with his outstretched stick by first-wave Robinson stopped yet another Malaysia PC and Dylan Swanepoel made one of many fine tackles by the SA defenders during the match shortly after, but Faizal Saari kept his composure to make it 3-2 from an untidy PC in the 62nd minute.

In the dying minutes striker Julian Hykes drilled a power shot into the sideboard after good work by Drummond but the spoils were deservedly Malaysia’s.

“I am disappointed with the result,” SA head coach Fabian Gregory said at the post-match press conference.

“Malaysia were exceptional in the one-versus-one situations – and this was probably the most disappointing aspect of our play. As a result, we conceded too many penalty corners but at the same it must be said that our PC defence was fantastic.

“Another disappointment was that we didn’t get sufficient return on investment out of the turnovers we won.

“We gave ourselves enough opportunities to score - and our PC attacks were very good, but a couple of players need to put their hands up, I am expecting an improvement from our strikers.

“I am looking forward to the China match [2.05pm SA time Friday], they had good patches of play against Australia despite the [7-0] defeat.”

SA defender Rhett Halkett will only play in matches three, four and five as he has Dutch club commitments over the weekends.

In the early game, world number one Australia beat world 25 China 7-0 after leading 3-0 at half-time.

SA meet China at 2.05pm (SA time) Friday, while the early match sees South Korea face Canada.

Malaysia (1) 3 (Shahril Saabah 10th minute, Rashid Baharom 43rd, Faizal Saari 62nd)
South Africa (1) 2 (Jethro Eustice 16th, 65th)

Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng, goalkeeper), Robin Jones (KZN Inland), Dylan Swanepoel (Western Province), Jethro Eustice (SG), Francois Pretorius (Northern Blues), Wade Paton (WP, capt), Jonty Robinson (NB), Tim Drummond (KZN Coastal Raiders), Pierre de Voux (WP), Lungi Tsolekile (WP), Julian Hykes (SG).
Rolling substitutes: Clint Panther (SG), Taylor Dart (SG), Owen Mvimbi (SG), Brandon Panther (SG), Ignatuis Malgraff (Eastern Province), Jacques le Roux (WP, goalkeeper).

(All South Africa time – Malaysia is six hours ahead)
Thurs, 13 Mar: SA 2 Malaysia 3
Fri, 14 Mar: SA vs China (2.05pm)
Mon, 17 Mar: SA vs Australia (10.05am)
Wed, 19 Mar: SA vs Canada (12.05pm)
Sat, 22 Mar: SA vs South Korea (2.05pm)
Sun, 23 Mar: Classification and medal matches.

SA Hockey Association media release

Strong start in Ipoh

Nick Budgeon hat-trick helps Kookaburras to solid win over China

Photo: Sportsmediagroup.com.au

A hat-trick of penalty corner goals from Tasmanian Nick Budgeon helped the Kookaburras to a resounding 7-0 win over China in the opening match of the prestigious Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia on Thursday evening.

Before the match all eyes were on another Tasmanian, Eddie Ockenden, who was celebrating his 200th appearance for Australia but it was Ockenden’s best mate Budgeon whose goals were critical to the margin of victory.

At the other end of the experience spectrum, young Northern Territory star Jeremy Hayward made an impressive senior international debut while Victorian Glenn Simpson was also recognised on the occasion of his 100th Kookaburras appearance.

While Head Coach Ric Charlesworth was satisfied with the outcome, he promised there’s more to come from his side. “We were a bit rusty but we haven’t played together for a while and it showed,” he admitted. “Overall we were ok but we weren’t as fluent as we’d like to be; we can be better than that.”

Charlesworth paid tribute to 21 year old Hayward whose performance he called “solid”, while adding, “Eddie [Ockenden] and Simmo [Glenn Simpson} played well in the midfield. Having a debut, a 200th appearance and a 100th appearance in the same game is pretty unusual.”

Budgeon’s early goal through the legs of the Chinese goalkeeper put the Aussie men in the driving seat inside the opening three minutes of the match. A number of chances were passed up before Western Australian Trent Mitton doubled the advantage with a close range low flick for 2-0 and Jamie Dwyer made it 3-0 shortly before half time, swivelling opportunistically to strike home his 201st international goal a day after his 35th birthday.

Queenslander Jake Whetton did well to stretch behind him to get away the shot that made it 4-0 while Russell Ford demonstrated his class to calmly turn his man before flicking home his 70th international goal. Ford’s record of a goal every two games is bettered only by Dwyer and fellow Victorian Chris Ciriello, who sat out the match as he recovers from injury.

Ciriello’s absence allowed Budgeon free reign from penalty corners and the Tasmanian grasped the opportunity with both hands, firing home Australia’s sixth goal midway through the second half before completing his hat-trick in the final stages.

With the tournament representing a significant stage of Australia’s preparation for its World Cup defence in The Hague in June, Charlesworth added he was taking the opportunity to check on possible opponents as well as his own squad. “There are four teams from the World Cup here so it’s importance we take the chance to see them too,” he said.

Canada are next up for the Kookaburras on Sunday evening. The match will be broadcast live on Eurosport Australia (Ch. 511) from 9:00pm AEDT / 6:00pm AWST.

Follow the tournament on our official web page or on AzlanShahCup.com.

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
Ipoh, Malaysia
Match 1 v China

Nick Budgeon 3, 56, 64 (PC, PC, PC)
Trent Mitton 20 (F)
Jamie Dwyer 34 (F)
Jake Whetton 37 (F)
Russell Ford 47 (F)

CHINA 0 (0)

Kookaburras squad for Sultan Azlan Shah
Athlete (Hometown, State) Caps/Goals
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD) 21/5
Nick Budgeon (Hobart, TAS) 15/6
Andrew Charter (GK) (Canberra, ACT) 55/0
Russell Ford (Melbourne, VIC) 144/70
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT) 1/0
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD) 225/18
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA) 49/15
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS) 200/51
Andrew Philpott (Melbourne, VIC) 10/1
Glenn Simpson (Melbourne, VIC) 100/19
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD) 47/19

Used substitute
Liam De Young (Brisbane, QLD) 297/34
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD) 309/201
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD) 81/22
Rob Hammond (Townsville, QLD) 240/28
Tyler Lovell (GK) (Perth, WA) 15/0
Tristan White (Wollongong, NSW) 22/1

Unused substitute
Chris Ciriello (Melbourne, VIC) 125/69

Kookaburras' Fixtures, Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
16 March: Kookaburras v Canada - 21:05 AEDT - 18:05 AWST - 18:05 local time
17 March: Kookaburras v South Africa - 19:05 AEDT - 16:05 AWST - 16:05 local time
20 March: Kookaburras v Korea - 23:05 AEDT - 20:05 AWST - 20:05 local time
22 March: Kookaburras v Malaysia - 21:05 AEDT - 18:05 AWST - 18:05 local time
23 March: Kookaburras v Classification - TBC

Hockey Australia media release

Winning start for Malaysia

AZLAN SHAH CUP: Dharmaraj's men secure a hard-fought victory over South Africa

By Jugjet Singh

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil (front) tries to go past a South Africa player in Ipoh yesterday. Pic by Muhaizan Yahya

THE national hockey team, with seven players earning their first cap yesterday, beat South Africa 3-2 in the 23rd Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.

There were many misses, with 11 penalty corners wasted, but the scoreline was pleasing as Malaysia took their chances with a host of youth players for the future.

Malaysia started on a shaky note, as they kept on missing sitters for the first five minutes, but finally nailed the lead through Shahril Saabah in the 10th minute off a field attempt.

The Junior World Cup player made his senior debut yesterday and scored a lovely goal.

However, it was too early to douse the South African fire as they came back fighting.

South Africa won their first penalty corner in the 16th minute, and Jethro Eustice made it count with a low flick which went crashing into the board for the equaliser.

A huge turnout of schoolchildren, with drums and horns, kept cheering the Malaysian players, and this is what the home side need to lift their game if they want to collect full points. The two teams last met at the World League semi-finals in Johor Baru and Malaysia won 6-2.

However, with an almost new outfit in Ipoh, the Malaysians entered the dressing room, sharing the spoils with South Africa.

The second Malaysian goal was in the making as coach K. Dharmaraj's men started with more confidence after the breather, and a good run and then cross by Firhan Ashaari in the 42nd minute was cooly connected by Rashid Baharom for the lead again.

Rashid, who was making his debut, collected his first cap with style as he assisted in the first goal, and scored the second.

Malaysia then won a slew of penalty corners, bringing their tally to 10, but still failed to make the break wider.

But South Africa were sharper as they made another comeback by scoring off their fifth penalty corner, which was another low push in the 57th minute, again by Eustice.

However, Faizal Saari made sure Malaysia collected full points by salvaging an almost botched penalty corner, their 12th, in the 63rd minute.

"We had many new players who earned their first caps today, but they played really well and even though we missed many chances, the win will strengthen this side in the coming matches," said Dharmaraj.

Azlan Misron, the skipper with 324 caps, said he did not feel uneasy playing with so many rookies.

"They played really well even though it was their first cap, and as an experienced player myself, I will help them."

Meanwhile, in the curtain raiser, Australia whacked China 7-0 to assert their intention of lifting their eighth Azlan Shah Cup crown.

It took the defending champions only three minutes to score when Nicholas Budgeon sent in a low penalty corner drive. Budgeon went on to claim his hat-trick by scoring another two in the 56th and 65th minutes off penalty corner attempts.

A rookie with 15 caps, Budgeon showed a rare touch with penalty corners which was always a problem with the Australian side in previous years, and he was aptly named as the man-of-the-match.

The other five goals were scored by Trent Mitton (20th), Jamie Dwyer (34th), Jacob Whetton (37th) and Russell Ford (47th).

Meanwhile, with the haze in Kuala Lumpur reaching dangerous levels, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation decided to postpone the start today of the Malaysia Hockey League Division One matches. Only the match in Terengganu will be held as scheduled.

New Straits Times

Rookies shine in S. Africa win

By Aftar Singh

Malaysia's Mohd Faizal Saari makes a diving tackle on South Africa's Brandon Panther during their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey match in Ipoh on Thursday. Malaysia won 3-2 with Faizal scoring the winning goal. - SAIFUL BAHRI/The Star

IPOH: National chief coach K. Dharmaraj gambled by fielding five newcomers and it paid off handsomely as Malaysia edged South Africa 3-2 in their opening match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

Malaysia, ranked 13th in the world, led twice against world No. 12 South Africa in the closely-contested match at the Azlan Shah Stadium on Friday.

It was a joyful day for strikers Mohd Shahril Saabah and Mohd Rashid Baharom as they marked their international debuts by sounding the board in the 10th and 42nd minutes respectively.

South Africa did well to come back from a goal down twice to make it 2-2 through Jethro Eustice, who converted two penalty corners in the 16th and 57th minutes.

The hero for Malaysia was nippy forward Faizal Saari, who scored off a penalty corner in the 63rd minute.

The other Malaysian players who made their senior team debut were goalkeeper Mohd Hafizuddin Othman, defender Shazril Irwan Nazli and midfielder Mohd Azri Hassan.

Reserve goalkeeper Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri is the only player yet to play his first match for the senior team.

In the match, Malaysia’s poor penalty corner conversion rate stood out like a sore thumb as they only managed to score once from 12 attempts.

Malaysia got off to an aggressive start with the unmarked Shahril deflecting Rashid Baharom’s cross from the right past opposing goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterese.

But the joy was short-lived as South Africa equalised six minutes later off their second penalty corner.

Eustice’s low but powerful flick sailed past the inexperienced goalkeeper Mohd Hafizuddin.

Malaysia had a chance to take the lead in the 25th minute but midfielder Meor Azuan Mohamed failed to connect the ball into goal from close range.

After the breather, it was Malaysia who piled on the pressure and were rewarded in the 42nd minute.

Mohd Firhan Ashaari made a solo run on the left before squaring to Rashid, who slammed it into the goal. Baharom was later named the Man-of-the-Match.

But South Africa fought back to make it 2-2 through Eustice, whose 57th minute low penalty corner flick again beat Hafizuddin.

But Faizal, who was the joint top scorer with India’s Rupinder Pal Singh in the tournament last year with six goals, had the last say when he scored the winning goal in the 63rd minute from the 12th penalty corner awarded.

Dharmaraj was pleased with the performance of the new players.

“They really played well and, even though we missed a number of penalty corners, we are happy to collect full points against the Africans, who are ranked higher than us.

“It was a good start for us in the tournament and the win is definitely a booster for our next match against Asia Cup champions South Korea on Sunday,” said Dharmaraj.

The coach said they only have one experienced penalty corner flicker in Faizal as the main taker Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim is nursing a shoulder injury.

Skipper Azlan Misron, who has 324 international caps, said that the five new players combined well with the seniors.

“It shows that they can play well at the senior level and this is good for the national team,” said Azlan.

The Star of Malaysia

Budgeon bludgeons China with hat-trick show

By Aftar Singh

China goalkeeper Rong Yao Yan foils an attempt by Australia's Jamie Dwyer during their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey match in Ipoh on Thursday. Australian won 7-0. - SAIFUL BAHRI

IPOH: Rookie Nicholas Budgeon stole the show with a hat-trick of penalty corner goals to steer defending champions Australia to a 7-0 trouncing of China in the opening match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup here.

Just before the match began at the Azlan Shah Stadium on Thursday, two Australian players – Eddie Ockenden and Glenn Simpson – were presented with mementoes by their coach Ric Charlesworth for making their 200th and 100th international appearances respectively.

World No. 25 China, who are making their debut in the 23rd edition of the tournament, were simply outclassed in every department by the top-ranked Australians.

Twenty-six-year-old defender Budgeon, with just 15 international caps to his name, was on target in the third, 56th and 65th minutes.

Trent Mitton (20th), Jamie Dwyer (34th), Jacob Whetton (37th) and Russell Ford (47th) netted the other goals for Australia.

China earned just one penalty corner in the whole match but failed to convert it in the 40th minute.

Charlesworth said that his players were a bit rusty despite the handsome win.

“There was a lack of combination as some of them have just returned from India after playing in the India Hockey League.

“It will take us a few more weeks before the players are able to combine well,” said Charlesworth, who was unhappy with the pitch condition.

“The pitch is bouncy and my players had problems getting used to it. We were not sure of China’s strength as we have not played them for quite some time.

“But we knew that they are a fit and fast side ... although surprisingly they did not create many scoring chances,” added Charlesworth, who was happy with Budgeon’s display.

“I rested our main penalty corner flicker Chris Ciriello and Budgeon did well to score a hat-trick.”

Australia will have a three-day break before they take on Canada on Sunday.

The Star of Malaysia

Malaysia hoping youth will overcome experience

As the Azlan Sultan Shah Cup gets underway, injury gives youngsters a chance

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup gets underway today in Ipoh, Malaysia, with the world number 1 and current holders of the title Australia taking on the 18th-ranked team China.

Last year's runners-up and the host nation Malaysia will face South Africa in the later match. On Friday, Korea face Canada in the opening match of the day while China take on South Africa.

Malaysia are hoping to break their drought at the tournament, although their coach K Dharmaraj says the squad has been hit by injuries. This means he is able to give six junior players their first chance to impress on the senior stage. All six debutants performed well in the recent Junior World Cup.

The Cup, named after the hockey-mad King of Malaysia, Sultan Azlan Shah, has been held in Malaysia since 1983. It started out as a biennial contest, but since 1998 it has run every year. It is an invitational tournament between six teams. The contest runs on a round robin basis.

Over the course of 22 tournaments since its inception, Australia have won the most times, recording seven victories. Over its history 14 nations have taken part, including Pakistan, India, Spain, Great Britain, Argentina, the Netherlands and Germany.

FIH site

Australia undressed – secrets of the changing room

We take a peek into the murky world of the dressing room... courtesy of an insider

(Photo: unknown)

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the changing rooms before and after a hockey match. Is it all laid-back, with the players listening to chillin' tunes, Bolt-style or do the testosterone levels reach new macho heights aka a rugby union warm up, with players shouting, stamping and punching each other.

Well, according to the Kookaburras' Simon Orchard, there is a distinctly more individual style of preparation in the Australian hockey players' dressing room.

"In terms of pre-match ritual there are some odd ones. Chris Ciriello unloads a full tub of Denca Rub on nearly every muscle in his body before each match, which makes the entire changing room smell like a veterans hockey tournament. Liam De Young has to watch the movie SpaceJam before every match he plays and Matthew Butturini kisses Glenn Turner's bald head before he takes to the pitch.

When it comes to superstitions, there is no-one to equal the obsessive tendencies of tennis star Rafa Nadal. Or is there?

"Well, you might notice that Jason Wilson never touches the sideline with his feet, he thinks it is bad luck. Matthew Swann wears his yellow headband in nearly every match and even when there is no sun, you'll see Jake Whetton wearing zinc on his face," says Simon. "But one superstition that is not so obvious is that of Matt Gohdes." Orchard was reluctant to give up his team-mate's secret, but eventually he revealed that the Queenslander always goes commando on the hockey pitch.

When it comes to bad habits in the dressing room, the Australian's are quite a well-behaved bunch, although Simon did say that Kieran Govers is always texting. Probably best not to let coach Ric Charlesworth know but, as Simon reveals, "He's always texting, before, after and sometimes during the match!"

And then there is that well-manicured look as the players leave the stadium. Again Simon is not slow to name and shame those who seem to have sponsorship deals with hair products. "Well, Rob Hammond has the most extensive hair-care ritual, but then you have guys like Nick Budgeon and Glenn Simpson. They always make sure their hair is perfect. They get very upset if the hotel doesn't have a comb and hair dryer handy to style their hair pre-game. Also, I'm not totally sure yet but I think Aran Zalewski dyes his hair blonde before each tournament to cover up the red locks."

And it's not just the team who take an interest in these things. "On the last few tours our team doctor has been judging each player on their fashion sense. During the recent World League event in India he awarded the best dressed title to Tim Deavin who has been working on his look after recently becoming single again."

But when it comes to post-tournament party animals, Simon is unequivocal: "George Bazeley and Russell Ford, they know how to have a good time."

FIH site

Black Sticks gain series lead over Japan

Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

The Black Sticks scored two second half goals to defeat Japan 2-0 in the second game of the series at Blake Park in Tauranga tonight.

Following a goalless first half, the Black Sticks seized control and played with composure and patience on the ball to shut Japan out.

Head coach Colin Batch said the performance was a marked improvement from last night’s draw, with his side stepping up in all areas.

“I think Japan played a lot better tonight and challenged us right through the game. We couldn’t get a lot happening in the first half but we wore them down and stuck to our beliefs and game plan,” Batch said.

“I’m really pleased with our performance tonight. You’ve got to know when to apply pressure and I thought we adapted to that well

“It’s a 70 minute game and we’ve often questioned our ability to play for the full 70 minutes but I think tonight we established that which is really pleasing.”

The Black Sticks created the better scoring opportunities in the first half, but neither side could find the back of the goal.

Kane Russell opened the scoring in the 42nd minute with a pin-point drag flick into the top right corner from a penalty corner.

Tauranga’s home town boy Andy Hayward sealed the result with just two minutes remaining, ripping home a hard and low penalty corner drag flick.

New Zealand now hold a 1-0 series advantage ahead of the third and final test at 5.30pm tomorrow after being rescheduled due to severe weather warnings on Saturday.

Black Sticks 2: (Kane Russell, Andy Hayward)
Japan 0
Halftime: 0-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks win series in emphatic style

Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

Striker Stephen Jenness scored a double in his 100th test as the Black Sticks stormed to a 5-1 win over Japan in the final game of the series in Tauranga tonight.

The result sees the Black Sticks win the three test series 2-0 after drawing Wednesday night’s opening game.

Tonight’s game was played in calm conditions, having been rescheduled from Saturday night due to the incoming Tropical Cyclone Lusi.

The Black Sticks were dominant all over the turf and played their most cohesive and impressive game of the series.

Along with Jenness’ double, Hugo Inglis also scored a brace of goals while Simon Child also added to the tally.

Head coach Colin Batch said it was pleasing to finish with a clear series win.

“We’re very pleased with the series, we learnt a lot. To continue our progression on a positive note tonight is pleasing,” Batch said.

“We got a lot of opportunities going forward and I’m sure the strikers enjoyed their success up front with some great goals.

“Japan were good competition for us and we’re very happy to have played them as an important part of our preparation for Champions Challenge.”

It took the Black Sticks just 10 minutes to find the lead when Simon Child scored his 100th international goal after running onto a brilliant lay-off into the circle and smashing the ball home.

In the 15th minute Hugo Inglis added to the score sheet with an impressive run of play leading up to his perfectly placed field goal.

Soon after the centurion Jenness celebrated his milestone with a goal of his own, scoring with a powerful shot over the goalkeeper’s right shoulder.

That took New Zealand into halftime with a 3-0 buffer over Japan.

Inglis and Jenness both added to their goal tallies in the second half while Japan managed to score a consolation goal close to fulltime through captain Koji Kayukama.

Black Sticks 5: (Stephen Jenness 2, Hugo Inglis 2, Simon Child)
Japan 1: (Koji Kayukama)
Halftime: New Zealand 3-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

NZ leading three-test Japan series

By David Leggat

New Zealands, Hugo Inglis, gets away with the ball while Japanese players give chase. Photo / Alan Gibson

Black Sticks 2, Japan 0.

New Zealand made amends for a disappointing opener against Japan with a 2-0 win in their second hockey international against Japan in Mt Maunganui last night.

Having drawn the first of the three matches 2-2 on Wednesday night, New Zealand were determined to produce a more polished showing.

By halftime, they hadn't managed to penetrate the Japanese defence.

The deadlock was broken early in the second half when Kane Russell converted a penalty corner with a drag flick shot to the top right corner.

However, although having more of the ball, the Black Sticks were unable to seal the victory until shortly before the end.

Tauranga's local hero Andy Hayward bagged the second goal, again from a penalty corner.

The teams were to meet for the final time tomorrow. However, because of the impending tropical cyclone warning the match will now be played at 5.30pm today.

MetService advice to the tournament director Dave Potter was that tomorrow would be unplayable because of extreme wind and rain.

Both teams agreed to the change on the basis they'd rather play a game than have a washout.

It will make for a physically demanding end to the series of three games in as many days, but the value of playing far outweighed the alternative.

The New Zealand Herald

Big improvement gives Black Sticks 2-0 win

The Black Sticks men's team scored two second-half goals to defeat Japan 2-0 in the second game of the men's hockey series at Blake Park in Tauranga last night.

Following a goalless first half, the Black Sticks seized control and played with composure and patience to shut out Japan.

Coach Colin Batch said the performance was a marked improvement from the opening game's draw, with his side stepping up in all areas.

"I think Japan played a lot better tonight and challenged us right through the game. We couldn't get a lot happening in the first half but we wore them down and stuck to our beliefs and game plan," he said.

"I'm really pleased with our performance tonight. You've got to know when to apply pressure and I thought we adapted to that well."

Kane Russell opened the scoring in the 42nd minute with a pin-point drag flick into the top right corner from a penalty corner.

Tauranga's home town boy Andy Hayward sealed the result with just two minutes remaining, ripping home a hard and low penalty corner drag flick.

New Zealand now hold a 1-0 series advantage ahead of the third and final test at 5.30pm tonight. The game was rescheduled due to severe weather warnings for tomorrow.


Black Sticks 2 (Kane Russell, Andy Hayward) Japan 0. Ht: 0-0.


Emphatic win hands Black Sticks series


New Zealand striker Stephen Jenness scored twice in his 100th test as the Black Sticks stormed to a 5-1 win over Japan in Tauranga tonight.

The victory gave the hosts a 2-0 series triumph after drawing Wednesday night's opening game 2-2 and scoring a 2-0 win on Thursday.

The Black Sticks tonight were dominant throughout in producing their most cohesive and impressive game of the three-game series.

Along with Jenness' double, Hugo Inglis also scored a brace while Simon Child was the other scorer for the home side.

Head coach Colin Batch said it was pleasing to finish with a series win.

"We're very pleased with the series, we learnt a lot. To continue our progression on a positive note tonight is pleasing," Batch said.

"We got a lot of opportunities going forward and I'm sure the strikers enjoyed their success up front with some great goals.

"Japan were good competition for us and we're very happy to have played them as an important part of our preparation for Champions Challenge."

It took the Black Sticks just 10 minutes to find the lead when Child scored his 100th international goal after running on to a brilliant lay-off into the circle and smashing the ball home.

Five minutes later, Inglis scored after an impressive run of play leading up to his perfectly-placed field goal.

Soon after, centurion Jenness celebrated his milestone with his first goal, scoring with a powerful shot over the goalkeeper's right shoulder as the hosts took a 3-0 lead into the halftime break.

Inglis and Jenness both added to their goal tallies in the second half while Japan managed to score a consolation goal close to fulltime through captain Koji Kayukama.


Team USA makes forward progress as Champions Challenge selection continues

LANCASTER, Pa. – The U.S. Women’s National Team met the Canadian National Squad on the pitch at the Spooky Nook Sports’ Dome Arena in Lancaster, Pa. for their third game of a four capped match series. U.S. Head Coach Craig Parnham and his High Performance staff are testing various line-up combinations throughout the week to solidify the strongest sequence of players heading into April’s Champions Challenge in Scotland. Proving Team USA's progress to further build upon each match, USA made their third win concrete with a score of 4-1.

To maximize and leverage USA’s talents on the pitch in the up and coming international tournaments, new starting rosters have been developed for each game of this series. Despite the different roster combinations, a common theme has persisted – the high level of tenacity and pure electricity of high-tempo play has been present in the USA’s games.The U.S. Women's National Team struck early in the 9th minute of the match when USA athlete Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.) rebounded a shot off of the Canadian keeper. Continuing the attack, U.S. athlete Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) carried the ball into the circle to find an open left post in Canada's cage during the 17th minute mark to establish a halftime score of USA 2, Canada 0

“It's pleasing to get the win as we develop,” said U.S. Head Coach Craig Parnham. “I think we played a particularly good first half with strong tempo and flow of the game. The second half we were a little bit congested and we lost a little speed. Tonight was a good result as the athletes continue to grow.”

The second half presented several scoring opportunities off of attack corners but it was only in the 45th minute of play that U.S. athlete Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) redirected a ball off of a corner to find an open right post changing the score to USA 3, Canada 0. Responding to the goal, Canadian athlete Brienne Stairs grabbed a rebounded shot off of the team’s first corner of the match and sent a powerful hit to the right side of the cage to earn Canada’s first goal. Ball control remained neutral in the center of the field until USA athlete Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) launched a ball into the Canadian cage in the 69th minute of play to round out a final score of 4-1.

The week of competition has been marked with prestigious milestones for Team USA. At the match, another Pennsylvania legend was also recognized with a distinguished athlete landmark. Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) earned her 100th cap.

On Monday, USA created a fierce attack presence in their first match of the series against Canada with a 7-0 win and continued their momentum into the second match where they also won 4-0. The final match of the series will be tomorrow, Friday, March 14 at 6 p.m. EST.

**All those attending tomorrow's match are encouraged to wear red in the stands to show Team USA their support!**

USFHA media release

African Youth Olympic Games Qualifier (AYOQ)

Lusaka, 2014
MATCHES     Mar. 13, 2014

Teams     Scores     Teams
South Africa     ( 8 )     ( 2 )     Namibia
Zambia     ( 4 )     ( 2 )     Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe     ( 6 )     ( 4 )     Kenya
Zambia     ( 3 )     ( 3 )     South Africa

African Hockey Federation media release

Improve physiology will be key to success, says Walsh

Harpreet Kaur Lamba

"Improved physiology" and "training under match-like situations" are key areas that national coach Terry Walsh has identified ahead of the Hockey World Cup, that begins in Holland on May 31.

On Thursday, the 33-strong group of India probables underwent specific match drills in New Delhi. An extended morning session of physiology was followed by individual pressure training in the evening.

Divided into groups of five, the players spent seven minutes each in the four different areas marked out for them. The exercises included air dribbling and trying to hit the ball into a specially designed low goal, equivalent to the height of a goalkeeper stretching lengthwise to stop penalty-corner drives and pushes, ball juggling for better hand-eye co-ordination and shooting skills from various angles.

"The areas to work on are vast," said Walsh, who along with high performance director Roelant Oltmans supervised the activities in detail. "We are focusing on goal-scoring, defensive tackling, pressing and understanding how to do it correctly, set pieces and counter control. This is a big chunk of what we are doing. A lot of this is serious education and the players are responding well."

In the last few years, India have struggled in the international arena and Walsh stressed that "superior physiology levels" would show the way ahead.

"That is key to better tactical play and mental approach. In a fairly, heavy physiology programme, we start with strength which builds into power. Hardened bodies in international hockey are a result of two years of heavy workloads.

"I think we already have a lot of senior players who are in that category, but probably not physiology challenged enough. Our players possess much better core strength than many of the Europeans, but need to be challenged more.

"Improvement, when it happens across all the areas, is true improvement. Most of all, I would like to see our self-esteem and self-belief grow to the point that we really believe that we belong at the world level."

The World Cup will be followed by the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, with the latter giving them a chance to earn a direct berth for the 2016 Olympics. Walsh, who has included several senior members - Gurbaj Singh, Vikramkanth and Sandeep Singh - to expand the talent pool, was pleased with their progress.

"Vikramkanth returns after four years and the level is high for him no doubt. He should pick up soon.

"But hats off to Gurbaj for the work he has done in his time outside the national programme in his own environment. It is hard for anyone to do that, and I applaud him for his fantastic effort."

Gurbaj, it is learnt, topped all the physical tests held on the first two days, including a two-km run and the yo-yo test.

The Asian Age

An unusual training session

The Indian hockey team was put through a series of innovative training methods by coach Terry Walsh.

With five nets spread around the field, rectangular hollow slabs placed randomly and players moving around juggling tennis balls, the Indian hockey team’s training session on Thursday was an unusual affair.

Preparing for the World Cup in June, the Indian men, broken into groups of five and six, were being put through a series of innovative training methods as coach Terry Walsh tried to work them into a formidable unit. He needed to, given the fact that several players are either nursing injuries or returning from rehabilitation.

“We have 11 weeks to the World Cup which is a considerable amount of time. If preparations go as well in the next 8-10 weeks, I will be pleased. It’s important for the boys to believe that they are part of something special,” Walsh said even as the players continued working on their game.

It is unusual for players to continue practising after the coach had called it a day and Walsh was expectedly pleased. “That’s the good thing. The boys are raring to go, especially those coming back after a break. Gurbaj Singh is right up there with the rest, which is a tremendous achievement.

“He is an outstanding player, hats off to how much work he has done in his own environment outside the national camp. The level is very high for others but they are keen to work hard,” Walsh said.

The Australian, though, knows he has a tough year ahead. The World Cup would be followed by the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and the Champions Trophy.

“The World Cup is the biggest event besides the Olympics, so it is important. But, geographically, the Asian Games are more important for India with an Olympic qualification at stake.

“It would be good going through the front door though, personally, it doesn’t really make any difference at the Olympics,” Walsh said.

The team is focusing on several aspects — goal-scoring, defensive tackling, both individually and as a group, understanding how to press effectively, set pieces and counter control — with Walsh insisting that every area was equally important.

“The most important thing is for the players to grow in self-esteem and have the confidence to take on any team in the world, anytime. When you are physically able, you can do a lot of tactical things right because you have the mojo to do it,” he said.

The Hindu

Top-eight finish at World Cup is a target: Walsh

NEW DELHI: Indian hockey team's chief coach Terry Walsh feels that a top-eight finish in the FIH World Cup is a "realistic goal" and any improvement beyond that will be a "bonus" for the team.

"Our first target is to set realistic goals for the World Cup and it is to be in the top-eight. Going further from there will definitely be a bonus. The team is looking forward to convert the chances and score. We are giving great emphasis on our defence as that will be the core to win the matches," Walsh told reporters on Thursday.

A series of injuries might be plaguing India's month-long preparatory camp for the World Cup but Walsh exuded confidence that his boys will be fit by the time the championship starts.

"There are always injuries in a team. It impacts the preparation but you know someone will always be injured during the training. You just have to hope that it is not a significant one. Time is a factor and sometimes it can be 10 days and sometimes it is 10 weeks," Walsh told reporters.

"We are still 11 weeks away and it is a considerable amount of time and they have made good progress in the first few days and if it goes as well as it has gone in last few days, I will be really pleased."

India begun its preparation for the 13th edition of the World Cup to be held from May 31 to June 15 at The Hague, Netherlands with a month-long preparatory camp from March 9th at the Major Dhyan Chand stadium.

Giving an update on the injured players, Walsh said: "Mandeep's (Singh) last MRI was on March 5th. He will take another four weeks. (Gurvinder Singh) Chandi is significantly better. He looks able to start running next week and may be it will take him another six weeks.

"(SV) Sunil fell on his shoulder and we don't think it is serious. There is some spasm. Danish (Mujtaba) is fit from an injury point but far from his best.

"Harbir (Singh) has a groin injury. He is pain free now. In two to four weeks, he will be able to start training. He is dying to train," he said.

Walsh said the team is focusing on a lot of aspects. "We are focusing on goal scoring, defensive tackling, and areas on set pieces. There are a lot of things we are focusing on. The guys are fantastic."

Asked if the hectic Hockey India League (HIL) schedule is having an impact on the players, Walsh said: "We didn't come straight from HIL here. There was a rest period. Ya, some may have little things but nothing major."

He said the players, such as Gurbaj Singh and Vikram Kanth, who have comeback to the team after being away from the team for sometime, are "fitting really well."

Walsh said Asian Games and World Cup are the two tournaments which India is targeting and it is not possible to peak in all the events in a hectic season.

"World cup is the most important event in the world stage apart from Olympic Games. Commonwealth Games is nowhere near, partly because CWG doesn't give you an automatic ticket to Olympics and India wants to qualify through the front door.

"I personally don't distinguish but we should be better prepared when we hit the Asian Games then at the World cup. We should have better understanding and flow in our game then. I am looking at an overall improvement," he said.

Talking about the young players like Affan Yousuf in the team, he said: "Affan is growing as a player. He is growing in skill, confidence and probably as a person and it is important, and there are other players as well. We have 16 players in the core group."

Stressing on physical fitness, he said: "When you are physically able, you can do a lot of tactical things on the field. One of the thing we are pretty poor at is re-tackling. It is improving. We have seen significant improvement during the HIL. But it will take some time."

"We want to have the best team for the world cup and Asian Games. We will have such intense time this year that we will have to plan as and when things happen. We might need to change a few players to keep the best team for important events," he said.

Talking about the team performance, captain Sardar Singh said:" Our complete focus is on the World Cup. The coach has introduced new techniques in the game that will help us further. Right from the basic learning of using the stick technically, to the positioning of the players, we are working on every aspect of the game.

"Self belief is really important for the upcoming matches, as it will help us to perform better. The involvement of the mid fielder in the game and scoring is equally important.

"Each player should be careful about their position and the goal opportunities in the game. Our coach is supportive and he keeps guiding in every possible manner."

The Times of India

Walsh's World Cup target: Top-eight finish

NEW DELHI: Hockey coach Terry Walsh said on Thursday that the team had set a "realistic" goal of finishing in the top eight of this year's World Cup in the Hague and said his players were working on targets in their preparation for the tournament.

"Our first target is to set realistic goals for the World Cup and it is to be in the top eight. Going further from there will definitely be a bonus," Walsh told reporters on the sidelines of the preparatory camp for core probables at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.

"The team is looking forward to convert the chances and score. The practice sessions are focusing on each area which will finally help the players in smashing the ball hard during the World Cup."

The Australian said the team was working on improving self-belief of the players. "The second target is to believe in oneself which is important to perform as per expectations. The team is gradually building in this area. We are even putting great emphasis on our defence as that will be the core to win matches."

Captain Sardar Singh said the players were working hard on key areas. "We want to raise the basic level of performance. The coach has introduced new techniques in the game that will help us. Right from the basic learning of using the stick technically, to the positioning of the players, we are working on every aspect of the game," Sardar said.

The Times of India

Hockey Odisha beat Karnataka 3-1 in Senior Hockey Nationals

NEW DELHI: After suffering a loss in their first game against Uttar Pradesh, Hockey Odisha on Thursday registered their first win by defeating Karnataka 3-1 in the 4th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship.

Tamil Nadu too register their first win in the tournament when they defeated Food Corporation of India (FCI) 4-3 at the Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium in Lucknow on Thursday.

Hockey Odisha clearly learned from their previous mistakes and played an inspiring game against Karnataka. Amon Mirash Tirkey, Deepak Kullu and Dispan Tirkey scored a goal each in the 12th, 56th and 60th minute.

For Karnataka, Biddappa BS successfully cashed in on an opportunity of converting a penalty corner in the 24th minute of the game.

In the last match of the day of Division A, Food Corporation of India displayed a confident attitude and showed brilliant skills as they dominated the proceedings in the first half with a 2-1 lead.

Ganendrajit Ningomban (15th minute) and Munish Rana (23rd) put FCI ahead at the half time. In the second half, Munish Rana converted a penalty corner in the 45th minute but the team ultimately failed to leverage on the opportunities.

Tamil Nadu's S Monoj tried leveling the scores against Food Corporation of India in the 21st minute but it was field goals by V Vinod Rayer (43rd) and V Raja (63rd) and B Laxman Karan's penalty corner conversion in the 61st minute which turned the tables in the end.


Pool C - Hockey Odisha 3 Amon Mrash Tirkey (12th min), Deepak Kullu (56th min) and Dipsan Tirkey (60th min) Vs. Karnataka 1 Biddappa B.S (24th min).

Pool D - Tamil Nadu 4 S Monoj (21st min), V Vinod Rayer (43rd min), B. Laxman Karan (61st min) and V Raja (63rd min) Vs. Food Corporation of India 3 Ganendrajit Ningomban (15th min), Munish Rana (23rd and 45th min).

The Times of India

Gangpur emerge Div 'B' champions

LUCKNOW: Debutantes Gangpur-Odisha overcame Maharashtra after a fast and furious battle to lift the 4th Hockey India senior men's national championship (Division 'B') title at Dhyanchand stadium on Thursday.

Earlier, after being a goal down till the breather, Mumbai struck thrice in the second-half to tame Namdhari XI 3-1 to finish third in the championship.

It was a see-saw battle between Gangpur and Maharashtra in the final with fortunes fluctuating throughout the game. Gangpur, a team made up of Christian tribals of Odisha, made an early impact with William Xalxo converting a penalty corner in the very first minute.

But Maharashtra levelled the scores two minutes later as captain Vishal Pillay made maximum use of a set-piece. Then Vinit Kamble put Maharashtra ahead with a goal in the 29th minute.

And when it looked that Maharashtra will go into the breather with a goal's lead, Gangpur earned a penalty corner at the stroke of the hooter. This time, Bikash Toppo made no mistake as Gangpur drew level.

It was the same story in the second-half with both the side playing on equal footing. But it was the Maharashtra defence that cracked as Ashish Anmol Minz got them the match-winner in the 52nd minute. Though the Maharashtra forwards mounted pressure but the equaliser remained elusive in the face of some dour defending by the Gangpur side.

Scores: Div B: (final): Gangpur - Odisha 3 (William Xalxo 1st; Bikash Toppo 35th; Ashish Anmol Minz 52nd) beat Maharashtra 2 (Vishal Pillay 3rd; Vinit Kamble 29th). Div B (hardline match): Mumbai 3 (Victo Singh 40th, 49th; Tyron Pereira 56th) beat Namdhari XI 1 (Bhagat Singh Dhillon 22nd). Div A (Pool C): Odisha 3 (Amon Mirash Tirkey 12th; Deepak Kullu 56th; Dipsan Tirkey 60th) beat Karnataka 1 (BS Biddappa 24th). Div A (Pool D): Tamil Nadu 4 (S Monoj 21st; V Vinod Rayer 43rd; B Laxman Karan 61st; V Raja 63rd) beat Food Corporation of India 3 (Munish Rana 23rd, 45th; Ganendrajit Ningomban 15th).

The Times of India

Assam thrash Goa 16-0 in women hockey

BHOPAL: Moully Yadav found the net four times as Assam trounced defeated Goa 16-0 in the first match of the 4th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2014 (Division B) on Thursday.

Assam put pressure on rivals right from the third minute of the game when Moully Yadav scored the first goal against Goa. She went on to score three more goals.

The other key scorers from Assam were Pooja Choudhary, Dolly Yadav and Shikha Singh.

Bengal Hockey Association registered their maiden win against Vidarbha Hockey Association with a 3-0 scoreline. Bengal showed their competitive skills by not letting Vidarbha to score a single goal in the entire match.

In another match of Pool B, Himachal Pradesh had an easy 7-0 win over Uttrakhand. It was Sonia Rani's three goals alongwith Pooja Devi's and Rachna Jamalta's two goals each which gave Himachal Pradesh the first win in the tournament.

In a Pool D match, Pooja scored seven goals as Delhi thrashed Gujarat 15-0.

The Times of India

Chhattisgarh women win title

Chhattisgarh outplayed Kerala 6-1 in the B Division final of the fourth Hockey India junior women’s National championship at the Chamundivihar astro-turf grounds here on Thursday.

Chhattisgarh, which led 3-1 at half-time, enjoyed the major share of the exchanges. The first goal came in the sixth minute when Sadhna Sengar deflected home a cross, beating Kerala goalkeeper M.L. Manjima.

Hat-trick by Ishika

The skilful Ishika Chaudhary then took centrestage with a hat-trick before Upsana Singh (penalty stroke) and Renu Yadav completed the tally for the winner.

M.R. Sindhu scored a consolation goal for Kerala in the 34th minute.

Both Chhattisgarh and Kerala earned promotion to the A Division.

In the play-off for third place, Gangpur-Odisha scored a 2-0 win over Manipur.

Skipper Rinki Kujur (penalty corner) and Laxmi Ekka were the scorers. The A division matches begin on March 15.

The results:

B Division: Final: Chhattisgarh bt Kerala 6-1.

Third place: Gangpur-Odisha bt Manipur 2-0.

The Hindu

HI Disciplinary Committee imposes ban on players, coaches

NEW DELHI: The Disciplinary Committee of Hockey India (HI) on Thursday imposed ban on a few players and coaches for breach of code of conduct and bringing disrepute to the sport.

The Committee recommended a ban of six months on Sarvanjit Singh and Karamjit Singh, players for Punjab & Sind Bank and Gurpreet Singh, player Air India with effect from April 1, 2014 from all Hockey India and Hockey India sanctioned tournaments.

Each of the players will also be on probation for a period of one year from October 1, 2014 and any repeat incident of such nature will immediately result in another ban of one year from the date of that incident.

The incident took place during the 48th All India Bombay Gold Cup Tournament, when an altercation between the three players resulted in issuance of red cards to each player.

Bachitter Singh, player of Indian Army was also imposed a ban of six months for physically and verbally assaulting the on-field umpire, Virender Singh during the 3rd All India Sahizada Ajit Singh Hockey Champions Trophy 2013.

A ban has been imposed on him as well for a period of nine months beginning April, 2014.

In another case, Harpreet Singh from Namdhari XI Team was banned from playing any tournament for a period of three months beginning April 1, 2014 for getting involved in a disciplinary case and breach of Code of Conduct of Hockey India.

All the 16 members of the NC Railways women's team have been banned for a period of six months beginning April 1, 2014 for walking off the field and not continuing the match against Haryana XI during the India Invitation Prize Money Women Tournament held on February 28th.

Pushpa Srivastava, team manager has been banned for a period of six month along with the other players of the team. Shradha Verma, team coach has been banned for nine months for the unsportsmanlike conduct and bringing the game into disrepute.

The ban was imposed after due consideration of the facts presented before the members and hearing of the players and coaches.

The Members were of the opinion that such a move will discourage others players from indulging in similar actions in future, and will ensure that they follow the Hockey India Code of Conduct and continue to be role models of the sport.

All those who have been banned will each get a chance to appeal against the decision within 30 days with an appeal to Hockey India Athletes Dispute & Grievance Redressal Committee.

The Times of India

Many players banned for misbehaviour in domestic tournaments

s2h team

Hockey India today took a far reaching action in banning players for on-field misconduct and misbehaviour during their team's participation in various domestic All India Grade I tournaments.

In a press release Hockey India announced banning of international star Sarwanjit (PSB), and Gurpreet Singh (Air India) and Karamjit Singh (PSB) for their involvement in an altercation during the recent Bombay Gold Cup.

The list of banned

Sarvanjit Singh and Karamjit Singh, players for Punjab & Sind Bank and Gurpreet Singh, player Air India were banned with effect from April 1, 2014 from all Hockey India and Hockey India sanctioned tournaments. Reason: An altercation between the three players resulted in issuance of red cards to each player during the 48th All India Bombay Gold Cup Tournament.

Bachitter Singh of Indian Army banned for six months
Reason: For physically and verbally assaulting the on-field umpire, Virender Singh during the 3rd All India Sahizada Ajit Singh Hockey Champions Trophy 2013.

Harpreet Singh, Namdhari XI, banned from playing any tournament for a period of three months with effect from April 1, 2014.
Reason: For getting involved in a disciplinary case and breach of Code of Conduct of Hockey India.

All the 16 Members of the NC Railways women’s team banned for a period of six months beginning April 1, 2014.
Reason: For walking off the field and not continue the match against Haryana XI during the India Invitation Prize Money Women Tournament held on 28th Feb 2014. So also Pushpa Srivastava, Team Manager (six months), Shradha Verma (9 months).

APPEAL TIME:All the above will each have a chance to appeal against the decision within 30 days with an appeal to Hockey India Athletes Dispute & Grievance Redressal Committee.


HI clamps down on several players

Hockey India on Thursday banned several players and coaches for breach of code of conduct and bringing disrepute to the sport in various domestic tournaments.

Hockey India’s disciplinary committee has recommended a six-month ban on Sarvanjit Singh and Karamjit Singh (both Punjab & Sind Bank) and Gurpreet Singh (Air India) for altercations during the 48th all-India Bombay Gold Cup in October last year. The players have been barred from all recognised tournaments for the period.

They would also be on probation for one year from October 1, 2014 and any repeat offence will result in another ban of one year.

Bachitter Singh of the Indian Army has been handed a nine-month ban for physically and verbally assaulting on-field umpire Virender Singh during the 3rd all-India Sahibzada Ajit Singh Hockey Champions Trophy in December last.

Harpreet Singh of Namdhari XI has been banned for three months for getting involved in a disciplinary case. Meanwhile, the entire 16-member squad of North-Central Railways women’s team has been banned for six months for refusing to take to the field in protest against Haryana XI during the India invitation prize money tournament in February this year.

Team manager Pushpa Srivastava has also been banned for six month while coach Shradha Verma has been banned for nine months.

All the bans would be effective from April 1 and the aggrieved can appeal to Hockey India Athletes Dispute & Grievance Redressal Committee within 30 days.

The Hindu

Ones for the future?

A crop of sprightly young Indian players impressed with splendid performances. These players, on many occasions, even overshadowed international stars, writes Amitabha Das Sharma.

Making waves… players of Delhi Waveriders celebrate after defeating Punjab Warriors via the tie-breaker in the final of the Hero Hockey India League in Ranchi. MANOB CHOWDHURY

A team coached by an Indian wins the title; an Indian emerges the top scorer of the tournament and an Indian is named the Best Young Player of the event. The second edition of professional hockey’s showpiece tournament, the Hero Hockey India League, had something more than the usual to offer in terms of content and quality.

Cedric D’Souza celebrated his first year with Delhi Waveriders by guiding his team to victory and in the process re-established his credentials among a host of top-grade foreign coaches.

Waveriders, co-owned by Bollywood actor John Abraham, proved to be the most consistent performer in the HIL, entering the final for the second successive year. In the final, Waveriders (it lost 2-1 to Ranchi Rhinos in the summit clash last year) edged past a strong Punjab Warriors via the tie-breaker.

Akashdeep Singh, the `MostPromising Player' of HIL-2. SANDEEP SAXENA

Cedric, the former National coach who took India to two World Cups, was back in the news with his novel methods that successfully dovetailed technology and tactics to give the Delhi outfit its maiden title. The Waveriders introduced both Cedric and John a few days ahead of the tournament, apparently hoping to add value to the side. The move definitely paid off as the Delhi side, under the supervision of Cedric, delivered a delectable brand of hockey. Waveriders’ captain Sardar Singh proved his merit with his all-round game that was both robust and effective in situations where most of the sides counted on their foreign players to deliver the results.

In fact, more than the seniors, a crop of sprightly young Indian players impressed with splendid performances. These players, on many occasions, even overshadowed international stars such as Ashley Jackson (England), Jamie Dwyer (Australia), Moritz Fuerste (Germany), Lloyd Norris Jones (South Africa) and Teun de Nooijer (The Netherlands) and featured prominently in the performances of their teams.

Manpreet Singh and Amit Rohidas (Ranchi Rhinos), Akashdeep Singh and Nikkin Thimmaiah (Delhi Waveriders), Gurmail Singh and Affan Yousuf (Punjab Warriors) and Lalit Upadhyay (Kalinga Lancers) were part of the Indian youth brigade that came up with stellar performances.

Sandeep Singh of Punjab Warriors, the top scorer of the League with 11 goals. R. V. MOORTHY

Akashdeep Singh deservedly won the ‘Most Promising Player’ award. He played a vital role in Waveriders’ attack, scoring three goals. Akashdeep, along with Nikkin Thimmaiah and Yuvraj Walmiki, formed a formidable trio for Waveriders.

Akashdeep impressed in a creative role and played the perfect foil to his Indian senior and team captain Sardar Singh. His best came in the final where he helped Waveriders stage a comeback against Punjab Warriors with a blistering run down the left and a measured pass to Norris-Jones, who scored to restore parity.

Manpreet, the Indian Junior World Cup captain, was the livewire in the Ranchi Rhinos midfield. He stood out for his speed and attacking skills and was one of the key performers who helped Rhinos gain the third spot. Manpreet scored a solo in the third place play-off match against Uttar Pradesh Wizards, as the Rhinos got even and then went on to win via the tie-breaker. Rohidas figured prominently in the Rhinos’ defence, combining well with senior Kothajit Singh.

Affan Yousuf and Gurmail Singh galvanised the Punjab Warriors attack, doing the bulk of the work in the forward-line and midfield respectively. The Warriors was highly favoured to win the title, having had the highest success rate in the tournament, but was upstaged by Delhi Waveriders. The Punjab outfit lost only two of its matches — the first outing in the league and final — and interestingly both its reverses came against Waveriders.

Lalit Upadhyay was the most skilful player in the Kalinga Lancers’ attack. His most memorable goal was against UP Wizards in the league stage. He weaved through the rival defence exhibiting brilliant stick-work before scoring the goal with a reverse flick.

While the Indian youngsters’ performance was uplifting, the re-emergence of Sandeep Singh as the drag-flick expert was heartening indeed. While most of the sides relied on a foreigner to do the job, Sandeep was the determining factor for Punjab Warriors and emerged the highest goal-scorer of the tournament. He scored 11 goals, 10 of which came off penalty corners. His conversion rate was almost 40 percent, a factor that helped Warriors reach the final. Sandeep, however, failed to fire in the final despite getting two chances.


The HIL has given professional hockey the kiss of life. The president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), Leandro Negre, conveyed this message ahead of the final in Ranchi. He said, the ‘success of the HIL’ will inspire many more such tournaments, and the first one to follow its example will be a similar tournament in Europe.

“The representatives of the European Hockey Federation are impressed by the success of the HIL and have decided to start a professional tournament on the lines of the Indian event,” Negre said after presiding over a competitions committee meeting of the world body in Ranchi.

“The modalities of the tournament will be worked out and we plan to start it soon,” he added.

The FIH, which also announced an eight-year sponsorship deal with Star Sports, is keen on starting more professional tournaments in order to revive the interest in the sport, which has been suffering from lack of patronage worldwide. “We have full support for the HIL, which has showed how professional hockey can be successful,” Negre said.

The FIH president also said that he hoped to see HIL grow in stature with more franchises joining in the future.


Pakistan withdraw from Men's 5 Nations

Scottish Hockey today confirmed that Pakistan have withdrawn from the Men's 5 Nations event taking place at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre from 23-29 April.

As a result, the competition becomes a Men's 4 Nations, with Scotland, England, Belgium and Argentina participating.

The competition schedule will not change significantly and tickets purchased are still valid for all competition dates. The new schedule will be released shortly

For those who have bought tickets for the Men's 5 Nations on any of the competition dates that included a fixture involving Pakistan, a refund can be issued on request.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Meeting of PHF conciliatory committee

LAHORE – A meeting of the Conciliatory Committee formed by Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) will be held here at the National Hockey Stadium on March 16.

PHF president and former hockey Olympian Akhtar Rasool Chaudhry will chair the meeting which has formed to contact and convince the former Olympians to extend their support and services to help the hokcey federation in bringing lost glory for the country.

PHF secretary Rana Mujahid Ali will also participate in the meeting.

“The PHF has invited former Olympians and legends of the game to join the meeting and present their valuable opinions for the uplift of the game in Pakistan,” Rana Mujahid here on Thursday.

The conciliatory committee is comprised of former Olympians Zakauddin, Col (r) Zafar and Iftikhar Syed

The Nation

NBP, Army score wins in Memorial Hockey

LAHORE - National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Pakistan Army and Wapda-A won registered triumphs on the fifth day of the 1st Brig Manzoor Hussain Atif Memorial Hockey Tournament at the Sargodha Hockey Stadium on Thursday.

According to information made available here Thursday, NBP crushed Police 12-0, Army defeated Railways 4-1 while Wapda-A beat Navy 3-1.

The opening match between NBP and Police was a one-sided affair. NBP’s Forward M Dilber amused the spectators with a hat-trick, scoring all field goals in the 15th, 16th and 19th minutes. Tousiq Ashraf and M Zubair scored two goals apiece. Akhtar Ali, Arslan Qadir, Ali Shan and Hafiz Rizwan were the other scorers.

Army was too good for Railways to win the second match. Though Railways took lead through a goal in the 17th minute by Mubashar off a penalty corner but failed to exert pressure on Army which bounced back in the 30th minute to score their first goal. Army’s captain Olympian M Imran scored the second goal on penalty corner in the 47th minute. Two goals by M Safeer in the 63rd and 70th minutes helped Army score an easy win.

Wapda-A had to toil their sweat to beat Navy in the last match of the day. It was a hotly contested match in which both the teams displayed beautiful passes and stick work that electrified the spectators who appreciated every move. M Adnan scored two goals in the 17th and 61st minutes. Suleman Husain registered the third goal in the 51st minute. M Asif scored the only goal for Navy in the 59th minute. The Navy men missed at least two chances to score the goal.

Today’s fixtures: Wapda-B vs Punjab at 11am and Wapda-A vs PAF at 3pm.

The Nation

9 boys of Dar Academy help  Lahore Division win the hockey title at the Punjab Youth Festival

Ijaz Chaudhry

The Punjab Youth Festival is in its second year. The much publicized event features a number of sports and is held with a lot of fanfare.                                                                                               

The hockey competition like other disciplines was staged in a pyramid: Inter tehsil, Inter district and then Inter Division. All the nine divisions of the province were seen in action.

Lahore division won the title beating Faisalabad in the final
The winners had the services of no less than nine players from the Dar Hockey Academy.         

The final went to the wire and had to be decided through the penalty shootout.

Awais, the Dar HA goal keeper, who had also performed heroically in the semifinal, rose to the occasion, and saw Lahore grab the title.
Dar HA boys in the Lahore division side:
Goal Keeper: Awais
Full backs: Abid Bhatti and Ahad
Half backs: Amir Yaqoob, Suleman and Yasir
Forwards: Amir Ali, Adeel and Waseem Akram
It won't be a bad idea if a match is arranged between the Dar HA and the Rest?

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey and other sports. For more about him and his work, visit: www.sportscorrespondent.info


Kieck makes SA indoor side

Johannesburg - First year university student Keegan Kieck has been selected to play for the South African men's indoor hockey team.

Kieck's performance at the recent interprovincial tournament in Durban convinced selectors he deserved a place in the team.

“This is a huge dream come true for me. I have been training very hard and it's an honour for me to have the opportunity to play alongside the best players in the country, especially with me being younger and less experienced,” the 19-year-old Kieck said.

The South Africa side will compete at the Indoor Hockey World Cup Africa qualifying tournament in Windhoek, Namibia, from April 9 to 13.

Should they qualify, they will be heading to Germany in February next year to compete in the indoor world cup.

“I would love to one day make the SA men's outdoor side, then play overseas and ultimately become one of the best hockey players in the world,” Kieck said.

The former St Stithians pupil started playing provincial outdoor hockey at the age of 10 when he made the Gauteng under-13 team.

Since then, he has represented his province at every age group.

Last year, he was selected for the South African under-21 men's outdoor team.

Independent Online

Tape for your injury or tape for your mind?

by Austin Smith

Austin Smith. Gallo Images

Illness and injuries are a part of life, but they just aren’t supposed to be a part of mine. In the past six months I’ve had Dengue Fever and a fractured foot. The Dengue Fever, which I picked up while on tour in Malaysia, put me on the side line for almost eight weeks, and my current foot fracture has already meant missing almost all of the Hockey India League and the start of the second round of Dutch Hoofdklasse games.

I’ve found that the most frustrating part of all of this is who to listen to. My initial X-ray and MRI didn’t reveal anything so although I was in pain, I was given the all the clear to play the opening games of the Hockey India League. Two uncomfortable matches later - and a number of awkward training sessions - the MRI was looked at once again and the fracture in my right foot was finally spotted. To get through those games I had to dispel the idea in my mind that my foot could actually be broken. After all, I had been told by a number of medical experts that it wasn’t broken, and I was cleared to play.

Six weeks on and I’m still not able to run, I’m struggling with pain in my foot and I’m not sure whom I should turn to. It’s hard to distinguish between pain from the actual fracture and from the pain that my mind is telling me I may have. So has my foot healed enough to run on or is my mind limiting me? It’s something that I’m battling with because, of course, I want to return to play as soon as possible but I also don’t want problems in the long run. I’m the captain of my club side in Holland but I’m also the South African national captain so I have big roles and responsibilities within both teams.

Being involved with top level sport I have learnt how powerful the mind can be in these types of scenarios but I’ve never really experienced it for myself. So along with my recovery programme I am also setting time aside to actually visualise myself running at full strength and visualise the bone in my foot becoming stronger with every step I take. Sitting here in a comfy chair it does seem pretty easy but when I’m alone at the gym it’s a totally different story. At that moment I’m fighting every urge to just take it easy, after all who would know? I fully believe in the saying, “where the mind goes the body will follow”, so that gets repeated a lot!

The South African hockey team have just begun a new phase under new head coach Fabian Gregory. I wasn’t part of the recent tour to Argentina, or the Cape Town camp and series against Germany last week. On Monday the team left for Malaysia for another tour - the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup - that I will also sadly not be participating in. Despite not being on these tours it’s been very encouraging to hear the reports from teammates who feel ‘The Lads’ are back on course after a difficult time post- Olympics.

With the World Cup less than three months away, we have our work cut out: to adapt to the playing style of our new head coach, make the combinations click and, for me, getting back to personal best.

*Austin Smith is the captain of the SA men's hockey side


Sikhs impact at Men’s First World Cup, 1971

by Dil Bahra

Kenya’s team at the opening ceremony at 1st World Cup in Barcelona, Spain.

The first Hockey World Cup was held in Barcelona, Spain from October 15 - 24, 1971 at Real Polo grounds. It should have been played in 1970, was arranged for Lahore, Pakistan in February 1971, and had to be postponed because of threatened political interference.

Ten countries competed at this world cup: India; West Germany; France; Kenya; Argentina in Pool A and Australia; Japan; Pakistan; Netherlands and Spain in Pool B.

Kenya, a powerhouse in World hockey in the 1960s,  had thirteen Sikhs in their squad of sixteen. The team Captained by Avtar Singh Sohal included Amarjit Singh Marwa; Brajinder Daved; Davinder Singh Deegan; Harvinder Singh Marwa; Jagjit Singh Kular; Jagmel Singh Rooprai; Ravinder Singh Laly; Resham Singh Bains; Santokh Singh Matharu; Surjeet Singh Panesar; Surjit Singh Rihal and Tarlochan Singh Chana. The Team Manager and coach were both Sikhs – Kulwant Singh Bawa  was the Manager and Hardev Singh Kular was the coach.

Kenya had recorded more victories over India and Pakistan than any other country leading up to the World Cup. The beat Pakistan, the Olympic Champions the last time they met.

India’s squad of sixteen, led by Ajit Pal Singh included five Sikhs, namely Baldev Singh; Harmik Singh; Kulwant Singh and Rajwinder Singh. Balbir Singh Sr was India’s coach.

Charan Singh of Kenya was on the Umpires panel.

Both Kenya and India reached the semi-finals of the 1st World Cup but both lost their semi-final matches, India losing 1 – 2 to Pakistan and Kenya losing 0 – 1 to Spain after extra time.

In the Bronze medal match Kenya lost 1 – 2 to India after extra time. Rajwinder Singh and M P Ganesh scoring for India and Avtar Singh Sohal scoring for Kenya.

Sikh players scored 14 goals out of the 67 goals scored in the tournament – Rajwinder Singh scoring 3, Kulwant Singh scoring 2 and Harmik Singh scoring 1 goal for India. Kenya’s Captain, Avtar Singh Sohal scored 4 goals. And Jagjit Singh Kular, Davinder Singh Deegan, Ravinder Singh Laly and Tarlochan Singh Chana scoring a goal apiece each for Kenya.

India’s Captain, Ajit Pal Singh, was named in the Press World X1.  It is interesting to note that every journalist voted for Shahnaz and Ajit Pal Singh for the World X1 but the man who received the most votes as the player of the tournament was the brilliant Japanese goalkeeper, Otsuka.

Pakistan won the World Cup, defeating Spain 1-0 in the final.   The Final standings were 1. Pakistan; 2. Spain; 3. India; 4. Kenya; 5. West Germany; 6. Netherlands; 7. France; 8. Australia; 9. Japan; 10. Argentina.

Next week: 2nd World Cup.


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