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News 09 April 2014

All the news for Wednesday 9 April 2013

Canadian men open Indoor Pan American Cup with shutout win

From Carla Johl

Photo: Blair Shier

After watching their counterparts on the women’s side come up with a convincing win in their first game of the 2014 Indoor Pan American Cup, the Canadian men’s indoor national team did their best to give an encore performance defeating host team Uruguay (0-0-2) 4-0 Tuesday in Montevideo, Uruguay.

From the moment Canada (1-0-0) stepped on to the court they controlled possession and the play.

After some difficulty getting passed the Uruguayan defense, Canada finally broke through in the thirteenth minute on a shot from Jonathan Roberts (Toronto, Ont.), who ripped one  passed goalkeeper Mariano Mallo from the top right corner of the circle.

Canada maintained control throughout the first half, but Uruguay had a chance to tie on a penalty corner late in the half and Canadian keeper Shankar Premakanthan (Ottawa, Ont.) stormed out to make a big glove save.

With momentum on their side, Roberts notched his second of the game after sending a bullet passed the Uruguay defense on a penalty corner. The teams went into half with Canada leading 2-0.

The second half fell comfortably in Canada’s hands with Micah Teixeira netting a goal in the twenty-sixth minute of play, also on a penalty corner, and Scott Sandison added the team’s final goal on a penalty shot.

The final score was 4-0. View the match sheet here.

The men take on Guyana in their second game of the tournament on Wednesday at 2:15pm PST/5:15pm EST.

Watch the live stream by clicking here.

To support the Men's National Indoor Team with a tax-receipted donation, click here.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Canadian women remain unbeaten at Indoor Pan American Cup

From Carla Johl

Photo: Blair Shier

Only a day after a stunning 10-0 victory over Argentina to open the tournament, the Canadian women’s indoor national team was back on the court for its second game of the 2014 Indoor Pan American Cup.

Canada (1-1-0) battled their cross-border rival, the United States (1-1-0), Tuesday and came out with a 0-0 tie.

The two rivals, who recently competed in a three-game series in Toronto in March (in which the United States won two of three games) provided a full crowd in Montevideo, Uruguay with a competitive and action packed game.

The first few minutes of the game were very even and controlled but a penalty corner by Canada began to tilt the play in the Canadians’ favour. Canada had convincing shots in the first half but was unable to capitalize.

United States goalkeeper Maria Keesling held the Canadians at bay in the first half, while her teammates threw in a few chances of their own on Canadian keeper Kathryn Williams (Burlinton, Ont.).

With two minutes to go in the half, Williams was forced to make a quick reaction save with her toe to keep the U.S. off the board.

At the end of the first half the score remained 0-0.

The second half featured much the same with the teams trading chances. And Williams continued her strong play in goal for Canada. A U.S. penalty corner in the twenty-fifth minute forced Williams to make a diving stick save, much to the delight of the packed gymnasium.

Canada responded with a chance off a penalty corner of their own, but goalkeeper Ashley Dalisera, who came on in relief of Keesling, made a point blank save.

Led by Madison Thompson (Waterloo, Ont.), who scored twice in the tournament opener versus Argentina, Canada packed on the heat in the last five minutes, throwing a number of close shots at Dalisera but again was unable to net a goal.

Canada remains unbeaten after two games and will take on host Uruguay, Wednesday at 6:00pm PST/9:00pm EST.

Watch the live stream by clicking here.

To support the National Indoor Team with a tax-receipted donation, click here.

Field Hockey Canada media release

USA Men's and Women's Indoor Squads Secure Victories over Host Nation at Pan Am Cup

The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams created a positive presence during the opening of the 2014 Pan American Cup yesterday in Montevideo, Uruguay.

The U.S. Men’s Team came out strong with a quick goal in the first minute of play when Mohan Gandhi (Ventura, CA) received a ball in the corner and slipped it under the goalkeeper’s near side to take an early lead. Team USA dominated possession but Uruguay held on to keep the score 1-0 going into the second half.

The U.S. Men’s fitness and ball speed were a key factor in opening up the scoring in the second half. Rob Schilling (Long Beach, CA) finished on a penalty corner to go up 2-0.  Sebastian Scheurer (Greenwich, CT) showed confidence in attack as he took on the Uruguayan defense and lofted a ball over the keeper to go up 3-0. Another attack by Sebastian with quick passing from Schilling permitted Runzi to score and seal the win at 4-0. The Men will compete against Guyana today.

“Yesterday’s game was a solid performance from the boys against the host nation,” said Coach Andy Thornton. “We moved the ball around well and were patient in our attacks against a hard working Uruguayan team which had the crowd on their side. We are looking forward to today’s game against another strong opponent.”

The U.S. women started the Indoor Pan American Cup against the host country last night as well in an unusual position. At their 3 p.m. team meeting, there were still a full 7 hours until game time. Uruguayans are known for staying up late and 10 p.m. is a typical dinnertime, so for the home team this was normal. Their second challenge was competing against the home team in front of a large boisterous crowd. In the days and weeks prior to the tournament, the women prepared by training with loud music blaring in the gym and by staying up late and shifting their meal times. Despite the preparations they still showed some minor jitters in what was the first Pan American match for nine out of 10 ladies on the team. As expected, the stands were full, the temperature was hot and the volume was up at game time.

The match started off evenly and the U.S. women were treated to a more physical style of play than they are used to seeing. The teams each had multiple scoring opportunities but were stymied by strong defensive play on both ends. In the 10th minute, the Uruguay attacked the right side of the circle but was turned away by U.S. goalkeeper Maria Keesling (Downingtown, Pa.). The shot that followed struck a U.S. defender and a penalty corner was granted. That chance and a second penalty corner were stopped, but in the 14th minute Uruguay fought hard in the attacking left side and an errant shot was deflected into the goal to put them ahead by one. In the minutes that followed, the U.S. team was able to earn two penalty corners off of counterattack play, but could not produce a goal. In the final minutes, the U.S. generated a flurry of attack as Amanda Fleischut (Doylestown, Pa.) took shots on goal but found the post and a Uruguayan defender. The score going into half remained 0-1.

In the 23rd minute of the match, defender Kim Tunell (Wilmington, Del.) found Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) who combined with Susan Ciufo (Bangor, Pa.) for another good scoring chance. Uruguay countered and attacked through the right side again and sent a cross ball to a waiting attacker in front of the cage for the finish to move the lead to two. The U.S. continued to fight hard and nearly scored on two more counter attack opportunities, but it wasn’t until the 29th minute that Ciufo found the back of a net on a cross ball from Matson to cut the lead back to one. Just a minute later, Uruguay drew a green card penalty for drilling and the U.S. women had a minute of up number play and continued to pressure the Uruguayan defense. The pressure paid off and after the game returned to even numbers Rachael Milne (Hatfield, Pa.) fired a ball into the circle to Ciufo who tipped the ball high towards the goal. The Uruguay keeper redirected the save into the head of Matson to give the U.S. another penalty corner. On the ensuing corner, Ciufo scored her second goal of the match to even the score.

The goal by Ciufo ignited the hometown crowd and chants of “Uruguay” began immediately. Ciufo responded with a high reverse flick from deep in the left corner that evaded the keeper and somehow crossed the goalmouth without going in. Uruguay came back strong and quickly earned a penalty corner but Milne neatly turned the shot away from the post position. A second corner had hearts racing and the shot went around U.S. goalkeeper Ashley Dalisera (Millersville, Md.) and over the head of Tunell, but rang off the goalpost. It looked like the match might end in a tie until the last minute when the U.S. earned their final penalty corner. Matson and Ciufo combined once again and Matson scored the final tally to put the U.S. women on top 3-2. To continue the tournament, Team USA takes on Canada today.

Check out this video from the PAFH of Team USA's first day in Uruguay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqe34218x6M

Follow our Twitter account @USAFieldHockey for more Pan American Cup coverage.

USFHA media release

Spirited come back from Black Sticks Women falls just short

A textbook Black Sticks Women comeback against Argentina was almost in the bag tonight at the Hawke’s Bay Festival in Hastings, but the visitors clinched a 3-2 win with three minutes to go.

All locked at 2-2 with the clock ticking down, both sides scrambled and dived for the winning goal and it was Carla Rebecchi who found the net and gave her side their third win of the tournament.

In what was a fantastic display of hockey from both sides, the Black Sticks worked hard in the second half to pull back a 2-0 deficit after Rebecchi and captain Luciana Aymar got the visitors ahead.

The performance from the Black Sticks improved as the game went on – the Kiwis marked players well, turned over a lot of ball and created some great opportunities.

The Black Sticks’ discipline and never-say-die attitude paid off when Anita Punt scored her third goal of the tournament and captain Kayla Whitelock added to it ten minutes later.

Crowds of up to 1500 braved the wet weather in Hastings last night for the day’s marquee game, the much anticipated first clash between the FIH World Ranked 2 team Argentina and 5th ranked Black Sticks.

“We let them in with three soft goals which is happening all too often.  Our goalkeepers have to start executing those bread and butter saves,” Hager said.

“This group’s got to learn how to win.  It could cost us the final,” he said.

Despite the loss Hager has been impressed with the level of spectator support since the tournament started last Saturday, and hopes with ‘word of mouth’ more people will get down to Unison Stadium to support the teams.

A new trophy for clashes between the Black Sticks Women and Las Leonas is now on the line every time the two teams compete.

The idea for the silverware, named the Amistad Friendship Cup, was conceived by Argentinian Ambassador Fernando Escalona and was presented to the captains of the two teams at a special function in Napier yesterday.

In earlier games, there was little separating FIH 8th world ranked Korea and 9th ranked Japan.

Extremely wet conditions today made play difficult, at one point delaying the match due to heavy rain.  At halftime the score was locked at 1-1, but the tempo was soon raised when Korea struck early in the second half with a goal to Kim Darae.

Japan quickly responded with a set move off a penalty corner however it wasn’t enough to stave off a late Korean assault, with Cheon Seul finding the net in the dying minutes taking the score to 3-2.

The second match of the day saw Australia face a rejuvenated Chinese side who were fresh off a win over the Black Sticks on Sunday.

However China’s confidence was short-lived as 4th ranked Australia asserted their dominance early, with goals to Georgia Nanscawen and substitute Mathilda Carmichael.

In the second half Australia consolidated their lead with a strong attack in the final quarter seeing Kellie White score twice.  The final score, 4-0.

The Black Sticks are back in action against Japan at 7pm this Thursday.

For more information visit www.hockeynz.co.nz or to purchase tickets for the Hawke’s Bay Festival go to www.ticketmaster.co.nz.

ALL Black Sticks games during the Hawke’s Bay Festival will be LIVE STREAMED on www.hockeynz.co.nz.

Full time: 2-3 win to Argentina
Half time: 0-1 lead to Argentina
Argentina goal scorers: Carla Rebecchi x2, Luciana Aymar
New Zealand goal scorers: Anita Punt, Kayla Sharland

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks women pipped by Argentina 3-2

CHARGING FORWARD: New Zealand's Stacey Michelsen dribbles up-field during the Black Sticks' 3-2 loss to Argentina.

The Black Sticks women lost to Argentina 3-2 at the Hawke's Bay Festival of Hockey in Hastings tonight.

Locked at 2-2 with the clock winding down, both sides scrambled and dived for the winning goal and it was Carla Rebecchi who found the net - with three minutes to play - to give her side its third win of the tournament. It was New Zealand's second loss in three matches.

The Black Sticks worked hard in the second half to pull back a 2-0 deficit after Rebecchi and captain Luciana Aymar had put the visitors ahead.

The Black Sticks' performance improved as the game went on - the Kiwis marked players well, turned over a lot of ball and created opportunities. The Black Sticks' discipline and attitude paid off when Anita Punt scored her third goal of the tournament and captain Kayla Whitelock netted 10 minutes later.

In earlier games, extremely wet conditions made play difficult between Korea and Japan, at one point delaying the match. At halftime the score was locked at 1-1, but the tempo was soon raised when Korea struck early in the second half.

Japan quickly responded with a set move off a penalty corner, however, it wasn't enough to stave off a late Korean assault, with Cheon Seul finding the net in the dying minutes taking the score to 3-2.

Australia beat China 4-0 in the other match.


Fast, exciting and intense – it's outdoor hockey's little cousin

African World Cup qualifiers gives indoor hockey a chance to take centre stage

Pace, intensity and non-stop action are the three factors that first drew sisters Kim Pretorius and Tracy Martens (nee Pretorius) to indoor hockey. Despite spells with outdoor clubs in their home country South Africa, and in England, the sisters always return to the game that has given them most enjoyment.

And their perseverance has paid off. Both have had a tremendous season and as a result were chosen to represent South Africa at the African Indoor World Cup qualifier, being held in Namibia from April 8-13. Kim has since had to withdraw through a torn tendon, but Tracy is part of the women's squad facing their African rivals during the five-day tournament.

Tracy puts into words what it is she loves about the game: "I love the pace and intensity of indoor and that you are always involved in the game: even as a defender you often find yourself in the attacking circle with a chance to score goals."

While outdoor hockey remains the more popular and well-known sport across South Africa, its indoor cousin is gaining a foothold in schools and clubs. The sport's popularity has resulted in the creation of a commercial league – the PSI – a pro series which attracts some of the best players from clubs and high schools.

"When I played indoor in England, we only played a few weekend tournaments, whereas in South Africa we have a whole indoor season. We play matches for our club teams two nights a week, for about eight weeks. The provincial team is then selected to play in a national tournament over three days," says Tracy.

She explains that, as with much sport in South Africa, competition at the top level is scarce and it is not until the national teams face sides from the other continents that they get a reckoner of how they are performing. The South African teams are mostly drawn from three provinces – KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng, and the Western Cape – with some players specialising in indoor hockey only. "We are also quite isolated here," she adds. "Opportunities to compete against other countries are scarce and there aren't resources or funding to travel.

"We aren't funded by the government – we have to find private sponsorship. For instance, for the ladies, our kit for the African qualifier is sponsored, but we are travelling to Namibia at our own expense. We are hopeful that we will be able to find sponsorship for the World Cup though."

With funding virtually non-existent, why is indoor hockey still so popular among players? Tracy echoes the words of many internationals who play both versions of the game: "I find indoor a lot quicker and you have less time on the ball, so it has improved my decision making. It also sharpens my skills, improves my movement off the ball and gives me more composure."

Both South African men's and women's teams are playing in the African Indoor World Cup qualifiers this week, and the winners will represent Africa at the Indoor World Cup in 2015. Tracy is under no illusion as to the South African team's prospects. "We last went to the Indoor World Cup in 2007 and we came last, but do you know what? I am just so proud to be representing South Africa."

FIH site

Namibia, SA clash in indoor hockey test series

WINDHOEK – The Namibia Hockey Union (NHU) is to play host to the Africa Indoor Cup, which gets underway in Windhoek tomorrow.

The games will serve as the Africa qualifiers for the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Indoor Hockey World Cup in Germany early next year and the event will take place in the format of a test series between South Africa and Namibia. The competition will be staged at the Windhoek Show Grounds starting with exhibition matches in the Under-17 age group with the official opening slated for Friday at 15h30. An official handover of national colours will take place at the Stick & Whistle Clubhouse at the Doc Jubber Hockey Fields in Olympia tomorrow at 18h00.

The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) in conjunction with Telecom, TN Mobile, Bank Windhoek and F&H Promotions are the proud sponsors of the tournament.

The full programme reads as follows:

Thursday 10 April 2014

18:00 – 19:00 U17 Girls invitational – Namibia vs SA
19:00 – 20:00 U17 Boys invitational – Namibia vs SA

Friday 11 April 2014

13:00 – 14:30 Official and Umpires meeting
15:30 Opening Ceremony at the Sports Facilitation Centre

• Teams dressed in formal attire
• Welcoming by NHU President
• Raising of National Flag
• Singing of National Anthem sung by St George’s Diocesan School
• Words from the Sports Minister of Namibia
• “Burn” sung by Mari van Lill
• FIH/AHF Opening of Tournament Speech

16:30 U17 Girls invitational – Namibia vs SA
17:30 U17 Boys invitational – Namibia vs SA

Dinner served during the matches

19:00 Namibia vs South Africa Women
20:30 Namibia vs South Africa Men

Saturday 12 April 2014

16:30 U17 Girls SA vs Namibia
17:30 U17 Boys SA vs Namibia
19:00 Namibia vs South Africa Women
20:30 Namibia vs South Africa Men

Sunday 13 April 2014

8:30 Namibia vs South Africa Women
10:00 Namibia vs South Africa Men
11:30 Medal & Closing ceremony

New Era, Namibia

Return to SA of Chris Hibbert

After successfully taking Southgate HC to a return to to the National English Premier League, Chris Hibbert today arrived at the Diocesan School for Girls in Grahamstown. Here he takes up the position of Director of Sport. In achieving this most recent success Chris managed and coached a team with a budget of some £30 000 to defeat Holcombe HC in the East Conference who had a budget approaching some £350 000. He is is arguably the current most successful South African Hockey Coach who has plied his trade over a number of years (7) in the cauldron that is English Hockey.  It is a tough school.


Indian women's hockey team leaves for Champions Challenge

NEW DELHI: The Indian women's hockey team will leave for Ireland tonight as part its preparation for the FIH Champions Challenge 1 beginning April 27 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The 18-member team which was announced last week will play a three-match Test series against Ireland and it should help the players acclimatise for the Champions Challenge.

The side is captained by midfielder Ritu Rani with another midfielder Chanchan Devi being her deputy. Navneet Kaur and Neha Goyal are expected to make their international debut during the tournament.

Speaking about the tour, chief coach Neil Hawgood said: "This is something that the Indian team has been looking forward for a long time, after playing our last International nearly six months ago. This is the starting point to build up to the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games."

In the Champions Challenge, India are placed in Pool A with Korea, Belgium and hosts Scotland, while USA, South Africa, Spain and Ireland are in Pool B.

India play their opener against Korea on April 27.


Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali (47 caps), Savita (65 caps) Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (44 caps), Deepika (112 caps), Sunita Lakra (15 caps), Kirandeep Kaur (133 caps), Namita Toppo (32 caps), Monika Malik (9 caps).

Midfielders: Sushila Chanu (61 caps)-Vice-Captain, Ritu Rani (165 caps)-Captain, Lily Chanu (22 caps), Chanchan Devi (97 caps), Soundarya Yendala (87 caps).

Forwards: Anuradha Devi (57 caps), Poonam Rani (99 caps), Vandana Katariya (85 caps), Navneet Kaur (0 caps), Neha Goyal (0 caps).

The Times of India

India would do well to adopt the Australian method: Walsh

Vijay Lokapally

Terry Walsh. File Photo

Terry Walsh has a mission. He wants to see India back among the top six nations of the world. A top-eight finish at the World Cup would be a realistic way of assessing India’s hockey status but Walsh’s optimism of a better finish is infectious. The team has begun to believe the future promises a lot.

In Walsh’s opinion, India would do well to “imbibe” some of the Australian way.

“Australia has taken some of the best things from the Indian game and utilised it most effectively in the modern era. It is quick and furious and forever playing with pressure.

“I want India to take advantage of the interchange rule if you have to make use of the physiology. You look at the second league (‘A’ division) of the Indian national hockey championship where you see probably four or five interchanges in the game.

“There are 70 if you are watching Australia or Germany playing. Seventy in a match!” he exclaimed emphasising the astonishing difference.

Power game

The game, Walsh insists, is much faster with stress on power.

“The game has picked up, the power and speed is more intense from what it was in my era.

“We had to play cleverly, run hard cleverly. There was lot more cunning and cleverness in that era. That’s what I would like to see.

“You also have to decide now if you want to play for the purity of the game or play it for the media. It is certainly not cat-and-mouse but bang-crash.

“My favourite memory of hockey is India playing Pakistan, five vs. five. It doesn’t exist in today’s hockey.”

Rule changes

The recent rule changes have not impressed Walsh, who dominated the field as an incisive forward in the company of Ric Charlesworth.

“I was never in favour of changing the off-side rule. I don’t think that’s a good thing. But most people think otherwise. I think it has taken away the artistry.

“But now if you don’t change you get left behind. Hockey is desperately trying to find how it can keep pace.

“It is becoming too costly to run even in Australia. It is an incredibly fast sport with major skills. Hockey has to make its presence felt in the commercial world. Otherwise it will die.”

Coaching system

The Australian great would like the coaching system in India become professional. “The game has evolved to another level. The coaching structure in India is built around “this is how it is done, watch, now go and do it. It is wonderful if you got the best role model.

“Coaching is not just about technical issues. It is also about concepts of play. If the player is making mistakes, it is not his fault; it is the coach’s fault.

“The player is trying his best. You have to analyse what best you can do in the traditional way.”

The Hindu

Bilateral hockey series with Pak unlikely this year

NEW DELHI: Pakistan might be keen to revive the bilateral hockey series against India this year but Hockey India is not too optimistic about a 2014 date and feels 2015 would be ideal to renew the event between the two neighbouring nations.

Top officials of Pakistan Hockey Federation had recently announced separate schedules for hosting the bilateral series in June-July but a HI source said they were yet to approach the government for clearance.

The source said HI will seek clearance for the tour only after a new government is in place.

"We are committed to the tour but we haven't sought permission for it yet. There is no point in putting the request now as a new government will be in place soon," a top HI source told PTI.

"We will try our best to organise the series this year but it's highly unlikely. I feel whatever will happen it will happen next year as the new government will need time to settle down before taking such important decisions," he said.

Both the PHF and HI had earlier agreed to hold the series in March-April, but the event got postponed because of the delay in getting permission from the respective governments.

PHF president Akhtar Rasool and secretary Rana Mujahid had recently announced separate dates for the bilateral series.

While media reports quoted Rasool as saying that the Indian team would arrive in Lahore on June 19, just after the World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands for the three-match series, Mujahid said India would reach Karachi on June 30 with the matches scheduled for July.

As per the schedule announced by Rasool, the first match of the high-profile series will be played in Karachi on June 20, followed by games in Faisalabad and Lahore on June 23 and 25 respectively.

The HI source, however, refused to confirm the dates. "Nothing has been finalised as yet. So there is no question of announcing the dates," he said.

The traditional rivals last played a bilateral hockey series in 2006 -- three matches in each country. Pakistan won three and lost one while the remaining two were drawn.

A home-and-away series between the two countries was called off last year after the Indian government refused permission for the rubber on security grounds.

The Times of India

Final 18 named to play Ireland this Thursday

Ahead of the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup on Thursday 10 April England Men’s Head Coach Bobby Crutchley has named his 18 athletes who will play against Ireland.

The 2014 NOW: Pensions Nations Cup will be run in a different format from that which saw England go up against the Netherlands three times last summer. This time around it’s one match, winner takes all.

With this weekend’s league finals featuring several athletes from the 18 man squad, Crutchley was keen to wait until as close to the day as possible to name his final 18 to face the FIH world ranked number 15 side. Speaking about the fixture ahead Crutchley said, “The NOW: Pensions Nations Cup marks the start of preparations for what is going to be an exciting summer with the World Cup, Investec London Cup and Commonwealth Games all on the horizon. Playing the Netherlands at Wakefield last summer gave some of the less experienced guys a chance to play in front of a home crowd for the first time and it’s great that we get to do that again at Reading [Hockey Club] later this week.”

He added, “Ireland are a strong side and we’ve had some great battles with them in recent years. They are a team which is continuously improving and with Craig [Fulton] taking over as head coach no doubt players will be keen to impress ahead of their Champions Challenge tournament in a couple of weeks.”

England’s one to watch

Reading’s Tom Carson will no doubt be a man to watch now he's been selected to the squad this Thursday. Carson will be playing at his club’s home ground [Reading HC] and having notched up 13 goals already in just 28 appearances, three of which came against Ireland in 2013, Fulton’s side will be all too aware of the attacking threat he poses.

England v Ireland – the history

England and Ireland have a playing history which records show spans back to 1895, with England winning 66 out of the 99 meetings. 15 of the squad will have vivid memories of the team’s last encounter when a 2-2 draw in Boom [Belgium] was enough to see England through to the 2013 European semi-finals, but left Ireland third in their group and battling it out for the lower placings.

A number of athletes playing in the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup will have to switch from being club teammates to international opponents, as those who play domestically for Reading also play alongside two players named in the Ireland squad – John Jackson and Chris Cargo. Add in the factor of playing at their club’s home-ground, no doubt the selected Reading internationals, both English and Irish, will be relishing the fixture ahead of them.

England v Ireland – two match series

The NOW: Pensions Nations Cup will be followed by a training match against Ireland at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre on Friday 11 April. This match is not open to the public, will not be capped and there will not be a match report following the game.

England squad injuries

Notable omissions from the squad of 18 are Henry Weir, Andy Bull and Darren Cheesman who have all been ruled out of selection due to injury. Richard Smith is also still sidelined following surgery on his knee at the start of the year.

Thursday 10 April - England v Ireland - 19:15

England Men’s Squad for the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup, 10 April

Name (current club)

Alastair Brogdon (Wimbledon)
Tom Carson (Reading)
Nick Catlin (Reading)
David Condon (East Grinstead)
Adam Dixon (Beeston)
Dan Fox (Holcombe)
Mark Gleghorne (East Grinstead)
Michael Hoare (Wimbledon)
Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead)
Iain Lewers (East Grinstead)
Simon Mantell (Reading)
Harry Martin (Beeston)
Barry Middleton (Holcombe)
George Pinner (Beeston)
Dan Shingles (Reading)
Patrick Smith (Cannock)
Tim Whiteman (Beeston)
Ollie Willars (Beeston)

Ireland Men's Squad

Name - Club

David Fitzgerald (GK)- Monkstown
Stephen West (GK) - Three Rock Rovers
Jonathan Bell – Lisnagarvey
Mathew Bell - Banbridge
Philip Brown – Banbridge
Peter Brown – UCD
Nicholas Burns – UCD
Chris Cargo - Reading
Drew Carlisle- Banbridge
David Carson - Monkstown
Stephen Dowds - Banbridge
Jeremy Duncan – UCD
Stuart Loughrey – Cannock
John Jackson - Reading
Jason Lynch - Lisnagarvey
Michael Robson- Annadale
Harry Spain – Pembroke Wanderers
Alan Sothern – Pembroke Wanderers

England Hockey Board Media release

Investec Women's Hockey League Finals Weekend Championship rundown

Surbiton's Sarah Page is challeneged by Reading's Helen Richardson-Walsh

This weekend it’s the turn of the women as the Investec Women’s Hockey League Finals Weekend is finally here. Between 12-13 April the top four of the Investec Women’s Hockey League play for the championship, and as we've got the schedule and standings it's time to take a look at the semi-finals.

Saturday and Sunday both start off with two matches from the Play-Off tournament, which will determine which two teams will have a place in the Premier Division next season. Following them is the two semi-finals on Saturday, where the winners will play for the Championship in the finals and the losers will fight for third place, so let’s take a look at how these first two games have shaped up.

You can see the matches in person at Reading HC: advance tickets are still available, saving you money on the door as well as giving you peace of mind that your entry is guaranteed. Tickets start from £15 for Adults and £6 for U18s – book now!

The first semi-final is at 14.45 and sees Canterbury and Clifton face off as top and bottom of the top four. As league leaders, Canterbury will be hoping to see a repeat of their last match of the season against Clifton, where they won 2-0, and continue their good form. They’ve had a better season so far than last year, where they were overtaken by Leicester at the last minute, and though they’ve scored fewer goals they’ve also conceded half as many. Nikki Kidd will be the one to watch out for as the highest scorer from Canterbury, but Els Mansell from Clifton will also be looking to increase her tally – and there’s currently only two goals between them. Clifton secured their top four spot one week before the end of the league, and not having been in the finals last year they’ll be finding themselves up against some hardened veterans.

At 17.00 it’s the final match of the day and the turn of the middle ground as second plays third – Reading v Surbiton. With the most goals scored in the Premier Division along with Alex Danson as the Division’s top scorer, Reading have already proved they’re a force to be reckoned with. They’re coming into the weekend as defending Champions, having lifted the trophy last year, but they’ll have a fight on their hands if they want to keep hold of it for another year. Surbiton are more than up to the challenge though: not only did they make it to the finals last year, but it was only two draws (four points) over the course of this season that gave Reading the place above them. After the teams met twice during the season each team walked away with a win, so it really will be all to play for between these two.

Those are the first two semi-finals, where the winners and losers will determine how the final two matches on Sunday will play out. Let us know your opinion on who you think will take home the trophy on Twitter or Facebook then come down to the Investec Women’s Hockey League Finals at Reading HC to see if your team’s got what it takes to become Champions!

Investec Women’s Hockey League Finals Weekend, 12-13 April at Reading Hockey Club


1030 - Investec WHL Play-Offs Match 3
Sutton Coldfield (Prem) v Brooklands Poynton (North)
1230 - Investec WHL Play-Offs Match 4
Holcombe (East) v Buckingham (West)
1445 - Investec WHL Championship Semi 1
Canterbury (1st) v Clifton (4th)
1700 - Investec WHL Championship Semi 2
Reading (2nd) v Surbiton (3rd)


1000 - Investec WHL Play-Offs Match 5
Brooklands Poynton (North) v Holcombe (East)
1200 - Investec WHL Play-Offs Match 6
Buckingham (West) v Sutton Coldfield (Premier)
1415 - Investec WHL Championship 3v4
Loser Semi 1 v Loser Semi 2
1645 - Investec WHL Championship Final
Winner Semi 1 v Winner Semi 2

England Hockey Board Media release

English clubs claim runners-up spot in the EuroHockey Awards 2013

Waltham Forest 2014

The EuroHockey Club of the Year award is a prestigious European-wide competition which recognises strong and well organised clubs as the foundation of hockey in Europe. This year’s awards saw two English clubs compete against strong clubs from the rest of Europe in the medium and large club award.

Contesting within the medium club category on behalf of England was Waltham Forest HC. With a strong community ethic, with over 40% of club members volunteering within the club and the local area, the club has delivered many community events in and around London. At the forefront of hockey for all, Waltham Forest has continuously delivered hockey for the mainstream community as well as for disabled participants, a fact highlighted by the EHF Development Projects Committee who were impressed and pleased to see the work done by the club in all aspects of the community, consequently awarding them with runners up in the EuroHockey Medium Club of the Year 2013. This work was also recognised when Pani Theodorou was honoured for her work at the 51st Torch Trophy Trust Awards.

Neston South Wirral Facility

Neston South Wirral HC was the representative from England in the large club category. The club has grown by 600% since 2000, developing from a senior-only club to a fully inclusive club boasting over 160 juniors. Fully enveloping the principles of the Single System, along with community and school engagement, the club has strived to develop into a community asset providing playing opportunities for over 300 members. The EHF were particularly impressed with the fantastic way that the club has turned around their fortunes by focusing on junior and facility development. Neston South Wirral were awarded the runner-up place to French club St Germain Hockey Club as EuroHockey Large Club of the Year 2013 by the EHF. Antony Bush, President at Neston South Wirral HC said ‘We see this as a great achievement, and we are all very proud.’

The EuroHockey awards will reopen for nominations in 2015.

England Hockey Board Media release

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