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News 08 April 2014

All the news for Tuesday 8 April 2014

Carmichael nets first goal

Hockeyroos’ win 4-0 over China, goals from Nanscawen, Carmichael and White (2)

Battling New Zealand’s wet weather conditions didn’t faze the Hockeyroos, who walked away with a 4-0 victory over China in their third match of the Hawke’s Bay Tournament.

A first international strike by youngster Mathilda Carmichael was sandwiched by goals from Georgia Nanscawen and Kellie White, whose late double gave the Hockeyroos a deserved margin of victory.

The Hockeyroos displayed good passages of play as they applied constant pressure on their opponents. Holding their structure well, they dominated the first half of the match in their attacking circle which saw Chinese goalkeeper Li Dangxiao under the spot light.

Georgia Nanscawen broke the ice scoring the first goal for the Hockeyroos in the 15th minute. Ashleigh Nelson set up what was to be Carmichael’s first international goal as her shot rebounded off Chinese goalkeeper Li Dangziao. Mathilda Carmichael quickly snatched up the rebounding ball sending it into the back of the net to give the Hockeyroos breathing space with a 2-0 lead.

China fought to stay in the game kicking into gear in the last 15 minutes of the second half however, it wasn’t enough to stop Hockeyroo Kellie White, who doubled up on goals late in the match. Sending the ball into the back of the net in the 59th and 65th minutes, White brought the Hockeyroos to a comfortable 4-0 victory.

Speaking after the match Hockeyroos head coach Adam Commens said, “Tonight’s was a much better performance by us. We physically stepped it up, giving China limited time to make decisions and react through our constant pressure. We intercepted well and created ourselves lots of opportunities.”

Discussing Carmichael’s performance in tonight’s match Commens said, “It was a great effort by Mathilda. We use her as a spare forward and it’s not her natural playing position. She’s doing really well and it gives our forwards a bit of a break. I think it’s fair to say both myself and the team are very pleased with her performance tonight.”

In preparation for the Hockeyroos’ fourth match against Korea on Thursday evening, Commens added,

“We will prepare for Thursdays night’s game in a similar way to tonight’s. We will go away and debrief from tonight’s match and look at fine tuning a few areas in the lead up to Korea’s game on Thursday.”

The Hockeyroos will now meet Korea in their fourth match of the series Thursday evening at 3:00pm AEST / 1:00pm AWST.

Six Nations Tournament
Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Hockeyroos: 4 (2)
Georgia Nanscawen 15 (PC)
Mathilda Carmichael 23 (FG)
Kellie White 59, 65 (FG) (PC)

China: 0 (0)

* Note: Jodie Kenny (recently married) is recorded under her maiden name of Schulz and Kirstin Dwyer under her maiden name of Johnson as FIH regulations for an official Test match state that an athlete must play under the name on their passport.

Hockeyroos squad v China
Athlete (Hometown, State) Caps/Goals
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 274/65
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 33/1
Casey Eastham (South Coast, NSW) 196/44
Kirstin Johnson* (now married, Kirstin Dwyer) (Mackay, QLD) 41/2
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 32/4
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 117/22
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 141/61
Jodie Schulz* (now married, Jodie Kenny) (Wamuran, QLD) 99/50
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 80/32
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC) 29/0
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW) 69/24

Used Substitute
Mathilda Carmichael (Willoughby, NSW) 12/1
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 34/3
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 117/20
Kate Jenner (Tamowrth, NSW) 88/1
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 26/6
Jayde Taylor (Bunbury, WA) 87/1

Not Used
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 100/0

Standings (correct at time of publication - updated here)
1. Argentina (6 points, 2 matches)
2. China (6 points, 3 matches)
3. Australia (6 points, 3 matches)
4. New Zealand (3 points, 2 matches)
5. Korea (3 points, 3  matches)
6. Japan (0 points, 3  matches)


Thursday 10 April - Hockeyroos v Korea - 15:00 AEST / 13:00 AWST / 17:00 local time
Saturday 12 April - Hockeyroos v New Zealand - 13:30 AEST / 11:30 AWST / 15:30 local time
Sunday 13 April - Hockeyroos v TBC

Hockey Australia media release

Today’s Pan Am Cup Commencement Provides Numerous Opportunities for National Indoor Squads

Today, the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Indoor Teams will flick, tackle, dive and block with ferocity during the opening day at the 2014 Indoor Pan American Cup in Montevideo, Uruguay.  Not only will the winning tournament squads receive globally sought-after recognition, but the herald winners of the Pan Am Cup will also qualify for the Indoor World Cup scheduled for February 2015 in Leipzig, Germany.

Men’s Coach Andrew Thornton and Women’s Coach Denise Zelenak and their teams are eager for the opportunity to improve their FIH World Indoor rankings and the potential to qualify for the next Indoor World Cup.

Countries participating in the Pan American Indoor Cup are Argentina, Canada, Guyana (Men only), Uruguay and the United States.

Venue: The British Schools, MáximoTajes 6421, 11500 Montevideo

Men’s Event Website: http://www.panamhockey.org/en/competitions-31-2014-indoor-pan-american-cup-men-
Women’s Event Website: http://www.panamhockey.org/en/competitions-34-2014-indoor-pan-american-cup-women-

USFHA media release

World Cup qualification up for grabs at Indoor Pan American Cup

Photo: © 2014 John Warren

Canada’s men’s and women’s Indoor National teams have hit the ground in Montevideo, Uruguay and are set to begin competition at the 2014 Indoor Pan American Cup.

The tournament, which begins Monday evening, features the best indoor field hockey teams from the Pan American region, with the winner earning a spot in the 2015 Indoor World Cup to be held in Germany next February.

Canada’s men have qualified for every World Cup held to date and are hoping to continue that success with a victory at the Pan Am Cup, despite unfamiliarity with their opponents.

“Other than our recently concluded series against the United States, we have not competed against the other countries since the last Pan Am Cup,” says men’s head coach Louis Mendonca. “The good news is almost everyone is in the same boat.”

The women, on the other hand, have only qualified once for the World Cup, but hope that a mix of youth and experience on their roster will help them earn that second berth.

“We have some athletes who are competing in an international tournament for the first time while for others it may be their last,” explains women’s head coach John De Souza. “The players have sacrificed a lot in order to be prepared and ready to play at the highest level against top competition,” says De Souza.

Both teams are coming off a friendly competition against the United States held at the University of Toronto in March. The women won one of three games against the U.S., while the men took all three. In each case, the level of competition has prepared the teams for any type of challenge.

“We have trained for all situations on the court and in a way that will allow us to play at a tempo and style we believe can challenge any opposition,” says De Souza.

“The goal is obvious, to qualify for the World Cup,” explains women’s co-captain, Kri Shier. “But the expectation is to play the best indoor hockey that this team can play and set ourselves for that World Cup opportunity which only comes around once every four years.”

The women begin competition on Monday, April 7, taking on Argentina at 3:30pm PST/ 6:30pm EST. View the entire schedule here.

The men face host Uruguay in their first test on Tuesday, April 8 at 4:45pm PST/ 7:45pm EST. View the entire schedule here.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Canadian women start strong at Indoor Pan American Cup

Written with files from Carla Johl.

Photo: Blair Shier.

Canada’s women's indoor national team opened the 2014 Indoor Pan American Cup with a convincing 10-0 win over international field hockey powerhouse and reigning champion Argentina Monday evening in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Canada wasted no time making their mark as Waterloo, Ontario’s Amanda Woodcroft, netted the game's first goal in the second minute. Woodcroft scored three goals in the game and was a prominent figure in the team’s offense.

After opening the scoring, Woodcroft, 20, followed up with goals in the fifth and twentieth minutes to complete the hat trick.

Madison Thompson (Waterloo, Ont.) and Alexandra Thicke (North Vancouver, B.C.) were the next to add to the tally, both scoring their first international goals, helping Canada to a 5-0 lead after the first half.

While Canada spent most of the first half with the ball, goalkeeper Kathryn Williams was still forced to make a few big saves early, particularly off Argentina’s penalty corner opportunities, to keep the team’s lead secure.

Argentina was unable to reply in the second half, while Canada kept on rolling.

Jocelyn Mitchell (Ottawa, Ont.) and Kri Shier (North Vancouver, B.C.) scored early and a minute apart in the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth minutes to extend Canada’s lead to 7-0. In the thirty-first minute, Thompson, who plays her club hockey at Kent State University in Ohio, notched her second of the game to give the Canadians an 8-0 lead.

Kyesia O’Neale (Mississauga, Ont.) and Shannon Pereira (Scarborough, Ont.) rounded out the scoring late in the second half, to bring the final score to 10-0, and Canada secured its first win of the tournament in convincing fashion. The win bodes well for Canada as the tournament winner secures a berth in the 2015 Indoor World Cup to be held in Germany next February.

Next up for the Canadian women is a duel with North American rival, the United States, Tuesday evening. Canada and the U.S. played in a friendly series in Toronto in March, with the States winning two of three games. Canada will look to draw on that experience in Tuesday game, which is set for 3:30pm PST/7:30pm EST.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Smith Names Squad for Champions Challenge 1 (women)

Irish Women's Coach Darren Smith has this morning named his squad of 18 who will pull on the green jersey in the upcoming world ranking tournament, Champions Challenge I taking place in Scotland from April 27th  – May 4th.

Smith has named his squad after close monitoring of the six back to back weekends of Irish Hockey League with support from selectors Arlene Boyles and Mary Logue. The intensity of the Irish Hockey League over the last six weeks has provided the perfect viewing arena to monitor players and their performances closely before selecting the 18. Smith also utilised key contacts throughout Ireland to track players competing at club level providing valuable insights and information feeding into the selection process. The selection also sees Megan Frazer pulling on the captain’s armband with support from Cliodhna Sargent in the vice captaincy role.

This squad will be facing some challenging competition squaring up against four World Cup teams in Korea, Belgium, South Africa and USA. Spain, India and hosts Scotland make up the remainder of the competition.  Ireland are drawn in pool B alongside USA, South Africa and Spain and are ranked 7th going into this event with Scotland making up 8th place.

Commenting on the selection and tournament Smith was looking forward to this Challenge "We have been looking at the talent over the past six months culminating in the completion of the Irish Hockey League over the weekend. Several of the group that won the series against Spain in January are being rewarded with the opportunity to play against India and then Champions Challenge in Glasgow. The tournament in Glasgow is going to be extremely tough with initially pool games against South Africa, Spain and USA before a knock out match to decide placings. The challenge facing us as a young group will be difficult but the team is determined"

"There are some high quality players who are either not available, injured or for this tournament others preferred. We look forward to seeing them back in action at a full training camp in May before the national squad is selected for the summer. Congratulations to Megan Frazer who will captain the team in Glasgow. She was excellent in Spain and is a player who loves the challenges that international hockey brings"

Ireland will also play India in a three test series in UCD (13th – 18th April) with just a two player variation from the Champions Challenge I squad with Kate Dillon & Emma Smyth on club duty in Europe giving Chloe Brown and Deirdre Duke the opportunity to compete on the international squad. Smith has also taken the opportunity to name 29 players for a 3 day trial camp at UCD from May 23rd – 25th (listed below).

Champions Challenge Team - 27 April - 4 May

  1. Emily Beatty (UCD)
  2. Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute)
  3. Nicci Daly (Holcombe HC / Loreto)
  4. Kate Dillon (Railway Union)
  5. Nikki Evans (UCD)
  6. Megan Frazer – Captain (Holcombe HC / Ballymoney)
  7. Emma Gray GK (Hermes)
  8. Michelle Harvey (Leuven / Pegasus)
  9. Shirley McCay (Old Alex)
  10. Ayeisha McFerran GK (Randalstown)
  11. Ali Meeke (Loreto)
  12. Katie Mullan (UCD)
  13. Anna O'Flanagan (UCD)
  14. Audrey O'Flynn (Hermes)
  15. Gillian Pinder (UCD)
  16. Cliodhna Sargent - Vice Captain (Cork Harlequins)
  17. Emma Smyth (Railway Union)
  18. Chloe Watkins (Club de Campo / UCD)

Lizzie Colvin (Anterior Cruciate Ligament)
Lisa Jacob (Broken finger)

Unavailable for Selection:
Nikki Symmons
Alex Speers
Pamela Smithwick
Niamh Small

India Series – 15th -18th  April – 3 Matches UCD

  1. Emily Beatty (UCD)
  2. Chloe Brown  (Ards)
  3. Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute)
  4. Nicci Daly (Holcombe HC / Loreto)
  5. Deirdre Duke (UCD)
  6. Nikki Evans (UCD)
  7. Megan Frazer – Captain (Holcombe HC / Ballymoney)
  8. Emma Gray – GK  (Hermes)
  9. Michelle Harvey (Leuven / Pegasus)
  10. Shirley McCay (Old Alex)
  11. Ayeisha McFerran – GK (Randalstown)
  12. Ali Meeke (Loreto)
  13. Katie Mullan (UCD)
  14. Anna O'Flanagan (UCD)
  15. Audrey O'Flynn (Hermes)
  16. Gillian Pinder (UCD)
  17. Cliodhna Sargent - Vice Captain (Cork Harelquins)
  18. Chloe Watkins (Club De Campo / UCD)

India Test Schedule
Tuesday 15th April            Ireland v India 19.30 (UCD)
Thursday 17th April           Ireland v India   19.30 (UCD)
Friday 18th April                 Ireland v India  19.30 (UCD)


Sunday 27 April

10:00 Pool B USA v Spain
12:00 Pool B South Africa v Ireland
14:30 Pool A Belgium v Scotland
16:30 Pool A Korea v India

Monday 28 April

14:00 Pool B South Africa v USA
16:00 Pool B Spain v Ireland
19:00 Pool A India v Scotland
21:00 Pool A Belgium v Korea

Wednesday 30 April

09:30 Pool B Spain v South Africa
11:30 Pool B USA v Ireland
14:00 Pool A Korea v Scotland
16:00 Pool A India v Belgium

Thursday 1 May

13:00 Quarter-Final 1st Pool A v 4th Pool B
15:15 Quarter-Final 2nd Pool B v 3rd Pool A
18:00 Quarter-Final 2nd Pool A v 3rd Pool B
20:15 Quarter-Final 1st Pool B v 4th Pool A

Saturday 3 May

09:00 Classfication Match
11:15 Classfication Match
14:00 Semi-Final Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
16.15 Semi-Final Winner QF3 v Winner QF4

Sunday 4 May

10:30 Classfication Match
12:45 Classfication Match
15:30 3rd/4th Place
17:45 Final

Trial Camp 23rd -25th  May

  1. Emily Beatty (UCD)
  2. Chloe Brown (Ards)
  3. Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute)
  4. Aine Connery (Hermes)
  5. Nicci Daly (Holcombe HC / Loreto)
  6. Stella Davis (Pembroke Wanderers)
  7. Kate Dillon (Railway Union)
  8. Deirdre Duke (UCD)
  9. Nikki Evans (UCD)
  10. Megan Frazer (Holcombe HC / Loreto)
  11. Emma Gray (Hermes)
  12. Michelle Harvey (Leuven / Pegasus)
  13. Jenna Holmes (Ballymoney / Loughborough Students HC)
  14. Kate Lloyd (Railway Union)
  15. Shirley McCay (Old Alex)
  16. Audrey O'Flynn (Hermes)
  17. Hannah Matthews (Loreto)
  18. Ali Meeke (Loreto)
  19. Katie Mullan (UCD)
  20. Yvonne O'Byrne (Cork Harlequins)
  21. Anna O'Flanagan  (UCD)
  22. Grace O'Flanagan (Railway Union)
  23. Gillian Pinder (UCD)
  24. Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins)
  25. Niamh Small (Loreto)
  26. Pamela Smithwick (Old Alex)
  27. Emma Smyth (Railway Union)
  28. Alex Speers (Railway Union)
  29. Vanessa Surgeoner (Pegasus)


1. Chloe Watkins - Exams
2. Lisa Jacob - Injured
3. Ayeisha McFerran - Exams

Irish Hockey Association media release

Nabil desperate for Champions Challenge spot

By S. Ramaguru

Nabil Fiqri Mohamed Nor has been out of competitive hockey for the past three months. Now, he's hoping to rejoin the team for the China friendlies, to earn a spot on the Champions Challenge I team.

KUALA LUMPUR: Midfielder Nabil Fiqri Mohamed Nor is a man in a hurry. He despearately wants to play in the friendly matches against China from April 13-16 to earn a place in the Champions Challenge I team.

There’s just one problem – his injuries.

Nabil has had to sit out of training for the most part of the last three months and has yet to train under new national hockey coach K. Dharmaraj since the latter was appointed in January.

The injury also kept him out of the recent Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh where Malaysia finished runners-up to Australia.

Just as he recovered from one injury (shoulder), he got another (calf) after being cleared for training last week.

On Monday, Nabil said he has now been given clearance to start training from next Monday when the China matches start.

“I may not feature in the first match on April 13 but I would like to make the team for the other games. That is the main selection ground for the Champions Challenge team, and making that team will also give me a chance for a World Cup spot.

“I am really disappointed with the injuries and hope that it will be a thing of the past once I get into full training. I have yet to feature in a World Cup or the Olympics and as such this is the best opportunity for me to play in at least one of the two biggest meets in hockey,” he added.

Nabil, 29, has been a regular with the national team for the past eight years. He played in the World Cup qualifier in Invercagill, New Zealand, in 2009 and the Dublin Olympic qualifier in 2006. Both campaigns ended in failure for the national team.

“This year, the World Cup and Asian Games in September are the two major assignments for our team. Naturally, I want to be part of the team. I have been going for treatment and the calf injury is healing quite well. I feel optimistic that I can resume full training by Monday and take part in the friendly games,” he added.

Malaysia will play six matches with the visiting China team, followed by another two with France and Poland on April 22 and 24 respectively.

The Champions Challenge I will be held in Kuantan from April 26-May 4.

Malaysia are in Group B with South Korea, Canada and France. The teams in Group A are New Zealand, Japan, Ireland and Poland.

The Star of Malaysia

Team India gear up for European sojourn

Harpreet Kaur Lamba

National hockey coach Terry Walsh says a lot of focus will be on "working our defensive patterns" and "getting familiar to the conditions" as India prepare for a 10-day Europe tour. The 21-member team will play five tests against hosts Holland and Belgium besides club teams, in what will be their final leg of competitive matches ahead of the World Cup at the Hague, that begins May 31.

"I don’t think the scores on this tour are going to tell us anything, but that is not saying that they will not be important," said Walsh ahead of the team’s departure.

"The real issue here is how we cope with internal structures that we have tried to set up so far. Say for example, proper pressing, set pieces or whether we can effectively shut out the opposition when we need to.

"It will be about bringing an outlet that provides an impetus against the top sides... we have to look at improvement and doing each and every component according to the plan.

"Will we be at the level we want them to be at the World Cup? No, but we wouldn’t be far either."

The Australian though believes that a lot needs to be done to improve the defensive structure, beginning from the domestic level, to see improvement at the international level.

"Normally, we are terrible," he said of the defensive combinations followed by players.

"In a nutshell, we are very poor in the domestic environment. There are many defensive structures, but you don’t get to see it. All we see is an offensive impatience in the way we play and that tends to monitor the game.

"Most of the time, there is an abrupt desire to play fast. Whereas the defensive mentality is to just pick up the pieces rather than having a solid structure."

He though reckoned that the national team members had begun to "learn and adapt the right method".

"When we are playing effectively and properly, our defence structure is tighter. We have started to get better and are trying to cut down a number of shots. But there is still some level of sloppiness overall."

Goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh said the team were shaping up in a "positive manner" in an year where they are lined up to play in big events.

"There has definitely been a change... be in the mindset of the players or how we are playing now. The preparations have been intense and the fact that we manage to beat a team like Germany earlier this year shows some of the good work done under the new coach," the 26-year-old said.

"Earlier, I used to be under pressure at times. We used to commit small mistakes that affected us as a team, but now one can see a marked difference. We are prepared and it should show in the results too."

The Asian Age

Europe tour will help team get used to the conditions

India captain Sardar Singh (right) says under chief coach Terry Walsh the players are polishing their skills in several areas. — PHOTO: S. SUBRAMANIUM   

Four years ago, the air was filled with hype and expectation when the Indian hockey team went through the build-up process before the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games on home turf.

This time, the side featuring several young faces prepares for two big events in Europe and captain Sardar Singh, a key member of the team then and now, understands the contrast quite well.

On the eve of the National team’s departure to Europe for some preparatory matches ahead of the World Cup (in The Hague, from May 31 to June 15), Sardar spoke about the challenges.

“Last time, the public support was huge. Playing the World Cup and Commonwealth Games at home was a different feeling. Our players have to be mentally tough while playing abroad in different conditions (this time),” said Sardar after a training session at the National Stadium here on Monday.

Sardar was delighted to get back the services of experienced midfielder Gurbaj Singh at just the right time. “Gurbaj’s presence has boosted the team. Personally, I have a good rapport with him — the eye contact between us is superb.”

“The main aim of the European Tour is to get used to the conditions — the cold weather and faster pitch. A short trip like this (from April 9 to 19) always helps.”

Sardar said that under chief coach Terry Walsh, the players were polishing their skills in several areas. “The best teams in the world do not give you too many chances. We are focusing on tackling, defending, how to play the aerial balls and place the ball with a small swing of the stick. Besides, we are having extended training sessions for the goalkeepers.”

Walsh said the coaching staff was doing its best to get the best out of the ’keepers.

“We are trying to get specialisation in that area. In my view, we have to do a lot in the development area. We are trying to impart much better knowledge to goalkeepers around the country,” said the chief coach.

Reiterating that the European tour will be an opportunity for the players to familiarise with the conditions, Walsh said the players in the camp needed to be rotated.

“We are aware that there are a lot of tournaments this year. We cannot use the same squad in every tournament. We are trying to expose these guys,” he said.

The Indian team will play five matches — including two against The Netherlands, one versus Belgium and two against Dutch clubs — during the tour.

The Hindu

India hockey coach Walsh focuses on new techniques before side leaves for Europe

By Mihir Vasavda

India skipper Sardar Singh with teammates pay attention to Terry Walsh (R) during a training session at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium (IE Photo Ravi Kanojia)

The practice sessions at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium have been a rather unusual affair. From goal-scoring to defensive tackling; set pieces to counter control, chief coach Terry Walsh has introduced several new techniques that have rejigged the way Indian hockey approached each play. And it seem to have refreshed the mindset of the players, who were often blamed to be one-dimensional and lacking ideas.

The 59-year-old Australian’s novel training methods seem to have renewed hope and raised optimism of an improved performance as the Indian team departs tonight for its final preparatory tour to Holland ahead of next month’s World Cup.

“Many new techniques have been introduced during our practice session which even includes lifting, aerial ball deflection and placing the ball well and effectively,” India captain Sardar Singh said on Monday.

He added: “In the past when we used to tackle a lift we usually used to take the hockey stick back and then swing which used to result in wastage of time. Now we have learnt and put in place this problem where we tackle the lift immediately without taking the swing of the hockey stick which puts us in a better position today.”

Specific drills

The pitch at the stadium has often been divided with roughly five nets spread around the field, rectangular hollow slabs placed randomly and players moving around juggling tennis balls. The purpose is to improve ball control as well as improve player movements. Besides, special emphasis is also laid on several other aspects such as defensive tackling and understanding how to press effectively.

Walsh was happy with the team’s preparation for the exposure tour, where India will play five matches. He said the squad for the World Cup may not be the same as the one selected for the preparatory tour to Europe beginning on Wednesday.

A 21-member Indian team will take part in the five build-up games in The Hague, Netherlands from April 9-19 ahead of the May 31 to June 15 World Cup, to be held in the same Dutch city. “We are trying to get our team to perform as a unit for five matches which will be very important for us.

“While there are opportunities for those players who are going for tour and even plenty of opportunities who are staying back. Guys who are staying back will work on their areas of concern. Pressure will be on both who will be going and who stay back,” Walsh said.

Indian Express

Indian hockey team set to leave for Europe tour on Wednesday

NEW DELHI: Gearing up to present a strong challenge at the upcoming World Cup, the Indian hockey team will head for a tour of Europe on Wednesday to play five build-up games -- including two each against World Cup hosts The Netherlands.

The team will also play two matches against Dutch National Clubs and one against Belgium during the trip which would conclude on April 19. The World Cup is scheduled to be held at The Hague, Netherlands from May 31 to June 15.

Speaking on the preparations of the team, coach Terry Walsh said the trip to Europe would be of immense help as the World Cup will be held The Netherlands.

"This trip will enable the players and staff to simulate major aspects for the upcoming World Cup and one of the most significant aspects will be playing on the same surface which will be used during the World Cup," Walsh said.

"Our squad has been focusing on several key areas of performance in the camp during last one month and the aspects requiring fine tuning will be identified for the final training phase leading into the World Cup.

"The experience of playing purely European styles will be important for the team. Our ability to grow and display progression in our self belief as an international sporting team will be under the closest scrutiny. We will be much wiser upon our return I am sure," he added.

The 21 member squad will be captained by midfielder Sardar Singh with defender Rupinder Pal Singh being his deputy.

During this tour, India will play two games against The Netherlands, two against Dutch National Clubs and one against Belgium.

The Squad:

Goalkeepers: P R Sreejesh, Harjot Singh Defenders: Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh (Vice-Captain), V R Raghunath, Kothajit Singh, Gurinder Singh, Gurbaj Singh.

Midfielders: Sardar Singh (Captain), S K Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Danish Mujtaba, Devindar Walmiki.

Forwards: S V Sunil, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Yuvraj Walmiki, Lalit Upadhyay.

The Times of India

Not the final squad for World Cup: Walsh

NEW DELHI: India's chief hockey coach Terry Walsh sent out a strong message on Monday that no player can take his place for granted in the team. Walsh said his World Cup options were open and the 21-member squad for the 10-day tour of Europe was not the final one for the World Cup.

The Indians will leave on Tuesday for The Hague - the venue of the World Cup next month - to play five preparatory games and the Australian said pressure will be on those who have been selected for the tour as well as on those who have been left behind. "Guys who are staying back will work on their areas of concern. Pressure will be on both - who will be going and who stay back," Walsh said. "We are trying to give equal opportunities to everyone and it might be so that it will not be the same squad for the World Cup."

Captain Sardar Singh said emphasis was laid on fitness during the camp which was held at the Major Dhyanchand National Stadium. "New techniques have been introduced and they include lifting and aerial ball deflection. There is huge emphasis on fitness and goalkeeping training too," Sardar said.

The Times of India

World Cup team may be different from Europe tour squad: Walsh

NEW DELHI: India chief hockey coach Terry Walsh said that the team composition for next month's World Cup may not be the same as the squad accompanying him for the preparatory tour to Europe beginning on Wednesday.

A 21-member Indian team will take part in the five build-up games in The Hague, Netherlands from April 9-19 ahead of the May 31 to June 15 World Cup, to be held in the same Dutch city.

"Trying to give equal opportunities to everyone and might be so it will not be the same squad for the World Cup," Walsh said after the training session at Major Dhyanchand Stadium here.

"We are trying to get the team perform as a unit for 5 matches which will be important. While there are opportunities for players who are going for tour and even plenty of opportunities who are staying back. Guys who are staying back will work on their areas of concern. Pressure will be on both who will be going and who stay back," he said.

Walsh said that goalkeeping was an area the team was working hard on and trying to get specialisation.

"We are doing our level best. We looked at the recently culminated National Championship final in Lucknow and there were players of good quality. Some goalkeeper's which selectors are discussing."

Captain Sardar Singh said, "Many new techniques have been introduced during our practice session which includes lifting, ariel ball deflection and placing ball well and effectively. There is huge emphasis on fitness and goal keeping training and the understanding between us has improved a lot.

"In the past when we used to tackle a lift, we usually used to take the hockey stick back and then swing which used to result in wastage of time. Now we have learnt and put in place this problem where we tackle the lift immediately without taking the swing of the hockey back which puts us in a better position today."

The Times of India

‘Goalkeeping an area of concern’

Sabi Hussain

New Delhi - India’s chief coach Terry Walsh on Monday admitted that goalkeeping remained an area of considerable concern ahead of the Hockey World Cup to be held in The Hague, Netherlands from May 31 to June 15.

A 21-member Indian team will leave on Tuesday from the capital to take part in the five build-up games in the Dutch city from April 9 to 19.

“Goalkeeping remains an area where we are working hard, trying to get the specialization. It’s an area where India, in my view, is presently not at the level where it should be. We have to do a lot in the development of that area. That’s where our focus is at the moment. Try to get a much better quality of goalkeeping,” Walsh told reporters after the senior men’s team’s practice session at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

“We are doing our level best. We looked at the recently finished National Championship final in Lucknow and there were players of good quality. There were some goalkeepers, who the selectors were discussing, but what I did not see in the goalkeeping area was the coverage of a lot of things. I think that was really important,” he said.

Goalkeepers PR Sreejesh and Harjot Singh would be travelling with the team for the preparatory European tour.

Walsh also did not rule out the possibility that the team composition may change for the World Cup.

“It’s a 21-member team which is travelling for the five build-up games. There are opportunities for those players who are going with us and even plenty of opportunities for those who are staying back. When you are on a tour, there’s a lot of pressure on you because that’s the performance period for you. Guys who are staying back will have to work on their areas of concern.”

“Pressure will be on both about who will be going (to the World Cup) and who stays back. The answer to this question is no. This is not the final team. It could be that the 18 come from these 21,” said Walsh.

The Australia said the aim would be to get acclimatized to the conditions there and become familiar with the surface.

“We are trying to get the team perform as a unit for 5 matches which will be important. We have to look at the food issue, accommodation, recovery, just where we are staying. The familiarity with the pitch itself is very important. We have to find out whether the pitch style suits us or not. I am sure it will,” he said.

Captain Sardar Singh said many new techniques were introduced by the coaching staff during their practice session, which included lifting, aerial ball deflection and placing the ball well and effectively.

“There was emphasis on fitness and goalkeeping training and the understanding between us has improved a lot,” he said.

The Tribune

Still have lot to give to Indian hockey, says Gurbaj Singh

Sabi Hussain

New Delhi - Talented Punjab midfielder Gurbaj Singh was last seen donning the national colours at the 2012 Olympics.

The Indian hockey team’s humiliating bottom-place finish at the London Games resulted in the complete overhaul of the senior side and one such casualty was Gurbaj, who spent almost two years in national wilderness before making a comeback for the 10-day preparatory tour of The Netherlands from April 9 to 19.

The right-half fought his way back with an impressive performance at this year’s Hockey India League (HIL) for the Delhi Daredevils, which won the second edition of the league in February. “I was looking for an opportunity to make a comeback. Now that I have returned to the side, I will look to give my 100 per cent,” Gurbaj told The Tribune here on Monday.

“I still have a lot of hockey left in me. I have age on my side and I believe I can play hockey for a few more years.”

Gurbaj had made his international debut against Bangladesh in the 2006 Asian Games and was part of the Indian team which won the bronze medal at the 2007 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, silver in the 2008 edition and gold in the 2009 and 2010 editions.

Gurbaj also rated chief coach Terry Walsh of Australia ahead of his predecessor and country-mate Michael Nobbs. “Walsh follows the Indian style of hockey which is very important. Walsh is much better than Nobbs. He has good technical skills,” said Gurbaj, who has played more than 150 internationals.

Talking about the European tour, Gurbaj said the team would look to sort out its defensive lapses. “The tour is very important because the World Cup will also take place there. We would be working on our defence and how to improve it,” he added.

The Tribune

Danish:I have left my injury behind, moving ahead

Tazeen Qureshy

Injury is the worst enemy of players. A serious one might even mark end of career for many. Last year, when the Indian team went for a practice session to Europe ahead of World hockey League, Rotterdam, young Indian player Danish Mujtaba suffered a ligament injury. It led to a surgery in a local Delhi hospital and complete bed rest. After months of rehab and pain, the Allahabadi boy has finally left all that behind and has made his way in the World Cup core probable list. In a tete-e-tete with www.stick2hockey.com Danish talks about the camp, injury and how it feels to make a comeback.

You are in the camp after one year. How is the camp going for you?
It is great to be back in the camp. I feel like I am debuting again. I was away from the national side for almost a year. It was a challenge to make a comeback post-injury. I am glad I did it.

A lot of players miss to make a comeback post-injury. How did you cope up with the phase?
Surgery was crucial for my injury. The doctors had said that without surgery, I might not be able to play again. Post-surgery, I was advised bed rest for a month. It was a tough phase. My parents had come from Allahabad to Delhi and were by my side throughout. Also, my cousin and physical trainer Ahmad Nasir, who also assists tennis player Yuki Bhamri, helped me with my physiotherapy sessions. After months of rehab, the injury healed.

Mental strength is very important in such situations. Did this injury deter your confidence?
I just had one thing on my mind- I will play again for my country. I kept on concentrating on my goal which helped me remain confident. Also, my teammates and elder brother Hamza Mujtaba, also a hockey player kept motivating me.

You returned after a long spell and played for Delhi Waveriders in Hockey India League. But, you missed playing all matches and came on and off the field. Are you completely fit now?
I played Hockey India League after a long spell. It took me some time to get back to my form and play my usual game. By the end of it, I was back and there is no problem at all now.

Were you continuously following the team’s matches during your injury period?
Absolutely. It was important to remain updated about all matches. I have seen every match during that phase. In fact, during the World Hockey League finals at Delhi, I made it to the stands of National Stadium to watch the match live.

We have always seen you play with your team. How was the experience to watch them play from the stands?
Honestly, it was a bit of both. I felt proud when the crowd roared in cheer for our team. But, when we would miss a goal or lose the ball, they would hurl expletives.

Now, that the injury is past, are you confident of your future?
I have left injury behind and moved ahead. I hope to make it back to the team now.


George Pinner produces heroics on Beeston comeback

By Graham Wilson

George Pinner had a terrific game for East Grinstead[GETTY]

ENGLAND’S No 1 goalkeeper George Pinner loves a shootout and returned after a seven-week lay-off with a knee injury to help Beeston beat East Grinstead in the play-off final at Reading for the Nottingham club to retain their NOW: Pensions League title.

In front of the national coach Bobby Crutchley ahead of England’s game against Ireland at Reading on Thursday, Pinner pulled off three fine saves, including one spectacular deflection over the bar from his England team-mate Ashley Jackson.

Sam Ward had given the Bees a fifth-minute lead from a penalty corner and Andy Piper levelled with a reverse shot that flew past Pinner in the 12th minute.

The score remained at 1-1 for the sides that had finished the season level on points with East Grinstead finishing top only on goal difference.

Pinner stepped up for the shootout and saw off Jackson, Mark Pearn and Niall Stott to give Beeston the championship 3-1.

Southgate and Brooklands Manchester University won promotion to the premier division.

Daily Express

Beeston hold nerve to beat East Grinstead in penalty finale to lift men's hockey Championship

The NOW: Pensions men's hockey Championship concluded in dramatic fashion at Reading Hockey Club.

By Rod Gilmour, at Reading

Bubbling over: Beeston celebrate the defence of their title at Reading Photo: ADY KERRY

Beeston 1 East Grinstead 1 (Beeston won 3-1 on penalties)

For two of the league’s top teams, perhaps it was inevitable that the season finale went to a riveting penalty shoot-out as Beeston were crowned men’s Championship winners against East Grinstead yesterday.

With the scores locked at 1-1 after normal time and the rain lashing down, Ben Arnold secured the title with a shot on the spin past Richard Potton. Earlier in the penalty shoot-out, Beeston ‘keeper George Pinner had twice saved brilliantly, each time letting out a defiant roar.

Sam Ward, Beeston’s top scorer, had opened the scoring in the fourth minute before Andrew Piper levelled with a reverse stick shot in the clear seven minutes' later.

East Grinstead slowly took control in the second-half. Ashley Jackson, the England striker, was twice denied by fierce strikes: firstly by Pinner’s reactionary save, the second from Tim Whiteman’s block.

Then came the unpredictable penalties, where each player has eight seconds from 23 metres to shoot. It made for a thrilling denouement.

“We’ve had a tough year, losing players to injury, but this is just brilliant,” said Beeston captain Adam Dixon. “The last few minutes were a total blur.”

East Grinstead missed out on a place in Europe last season but can at least console themselves on a return next year after finishing runners-up here.

Moment of the Day…

When Sam Ward (above) coolly slotted home through the legs of East Grinstead’s stopper in the penalty shoot-out. The 23 year-old had pledged £50 for each goal this season after team-mate and best friend Martin Scanlon was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer. His 25 goals look set to raise over £10,000 in total for the appeal. “This is the best experience I’ve had,” admitted Ward on Sunday, who will also find out this week if he is to be rewarded with an England centralised contract. It would cap a fine year.

Surbiton close to Europe

Reading 1 Surbiton 1 (Surbiton win 3-2 on penalties)

David Kettle was engulfed by team-mates after the Surbiton ‘keeper’s outstretched stick scuppered hosts Reading in a tense penalty shoot-out. Welshman Kettle saved Jonty Clarke’s final shuttle to confirm third place in the league after an edgy encounter. “It’s all about staying on your feet as long as you can,” said Kettle afterwards.

Clarke had opened the scoring in the first quarter before dangerman forward Alan Forsyth netted from a penalty corner in normal time. Surbiton, Reading and Beeston are England’s current clubs in the Euro Hockey League, but the former’s participation next season now rests on how the three teams fair when the tournament reconvenes on April 16 to confirm a third place.

Fan's photo of the weekend

A Surbiton supporter, resplendent in the club jacket, during half-time entertainment

Southgate on the rise

Chris Hibbert flies back to his native South Africa today to start a new career “on a massive high” after playing a pivotal part in Southgate’s return to the Premier Division. The player-coach has spent the last decade in goal at Southgate and emotions spilt over on Saturday after Rick Gay’s brace saw the London club beat Sheffield Hallam 3-0 in the four-team promotion play-off. Hibbert said: “Having been at Southgate for 10 seasons it’s now the third time I’ve been back up to the Premier Division with the club.”

Brooklands Manchester University also secured promotion as Peter Flanagan’s hat-trick saw off Southgate 3-1. Meanwhile, Sheffield Hallam saw their top-flight status end after a 5-2 defeat to Cardiff.

Pinner relishing England return

England will welcome back goalkeeper George Pinner when Bobby Crutchley’s (above) side take on Ireland in the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup on Thursday. Pinner, who proved instrumental in England’s bronze at the World League in India in January, has recovered from a knee injury and six weeks on the sidelines. Reading will again play host as Crutchley presides over a 22-man squad and the first steps towards this summer’s World Cup in The Hague.

The Telegraph

Lots of goals in the first round of the Scottish Cup

The Scottish Cup kick started this weekend with some high scoring results in both the men and women's competitions.

Mens Scottish Cup – Round one

After the dramatic play off last weekend which saw Dundee Wanderers staying in the top division  next season they had a comfortable 10-2 win over Division 3 champions 2020 Renewables Greenock.

There were a tremendous 15 goals scored in a thrilling match with Aberdeen Grammar FP taking the win 8-7 over Perthshire.

University of St Andrews beat Falkirk GHG 9-0 despite ending on equal points at the end of the season.

AAM Gordonians beat University of Dundee with a resounding 9-1, whilst Grange beat Division 2 Winners Uddingston 7-0.

Western Wildcats won 8-1 over Granite City Wanderers, Erskine Stewart Melville FP won 3-1 over FMGM Monarchs and Waverly Inveresk Trinity beat Stirling Wanderers 7-1 after finishing above them in the league.

Watsonians and Chapman Motherwell pulled out which meant PSL Team Sport Clydesdale and Inverleith are automatically into the next round.

Women’s Scottish Cup – Round one

Western Wildcats were pushed this weekend securing just a 1-0 win over Edinburgh University IIs.

Grove Menzieshill also had a wobbly start as University of St Andrews pushed last year’s league champions to a nail biting 4-3 win. The Edinburgh based side A team didn’t have the same success as they lost out to city rivals CALA Edinburgh II 5-0.

However CALA Edinburgh first team won 8-0 over Stirling Wanderers whilst Edinburgh University III lost 7-0 to GHK.

After securing promotion last weekend Hillhead ladies carried on their winning streak as they beat Kelburne II 11-0.

It was end to end stuff in Aberdeen as AAM Merlins Gordonians scraped a 3-2 win over Aberdeen University.

Glasgow Accies gave it a good shot against the top flight Dundee Wanderers but it finished with the Dundonians progressing to the next round with a 4-2 win.

Inverleith won 4-0 over Aberdeen Ladies whilst elsewhere Glynhill Kelburne beat Granite City Wanderers 3-0.

Milne Craig Clydesdale Western II won 5-0 against Grange EL II as did Erskine Stewart Melville FP over University of Dundee.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Leading by example

The South African icon who can't stop scoring

Pietie Coetzee is the all-time leading goal scorer in women's international hockey, with more than 250 goals to her name. She made her debut for South Africa in 1995, aged 16, and in 2002 she was top scorer in the Women's World Hockey Cup, despite South Africa finishing in 13th position.

Since 1995, Pietie has played in three Olympic Games and two World Cups. She retired from the sport at the age of 27, but returned five years later to take up where she left off, scoring 35 goals in as many matches.

South African assistant coach Fabian Gregory, interviewed by Jonathan Cook in April 2012, said of Coetzee: "Pietie is the ultimate professional, exemplary in her work ethic, training, how she takes care of her body and in preparation for matches.

He added: "Pietie is meticulous in her analysis of the opposition and her tactical input is immense.

"Her experience has played a massive role in the development of the less experienced players.

"Pietie has added a new dimension to the striker line in that she has defined roles for the strikers, which has taken their individual performances to a new level

Read more: http://www.southafrica.info/news/sport/teamsa-coetzee.htm#.U0MILhZiPx4#ixzz2yEYgsU00

Talking about the South African hockey icon, Fabian Gregory, who is now coach to the men's team, said: "Pietie is the ultimate professional, exemplary in her work ethic, training, how she takes care of her body and in preparation for matches." He added: "Pietie is meticulous in her analysis of the opposition and her tactical input is immense. Her experience has played a massive role in the development of the less experienced players."

During her 'retirement' Pietie studied sports medicine and became a paramedic. She is also a respected coach and has now set up 15 Pietie Coetzee hockey clinics across the country. Pietie also runs popular coaching clinics for clubs and teams at their own grounds, both in South Africa and abroad. Her own playing ambitions remain strong, and even though she has been battling injury of late, there is still every possibility that this South African hockey superstar will be gracing the stage at the Hague.

FIH site

Updated mobile app is ready to roll!

Latest version of Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 app brings you closer to the action

The official Rabobank Hockey World Cup mobile app connects you to the latest news, the match schedule and information about participating countries. The latest version of the app is now launched and will display all the latest tournament news, information about the teams, the players and a social wall.

There will be a match schedule and push messages alerting you to all the tournament updates, plus the chance to interact via Twitter.

Version 3, to be launched at the end of April, will bring hockey fans even closer to the action via a constant stream of photos and videos in the final countdown to the Rabobank Hockey World Cup.

Let's celebrate hockey!



FIH site


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