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News 06 April 2014

All the news for Sunday 6 April 2014

Black Sticks Women lose to China

Photo credit: www.photosport.co.nz

The Black Sticks Women were hoping for another win at the Hawke’s Bay Festival in Hastings today, but despite a spirited effort they lost 1-2 to China, giving them their second win of the tournament.

“China’s four way press was too much for us to break down today, the message is that we need to be much better in our next performance against Argentina,” said head coach Mark Hager.

“We let China control the game - it was much slower and we couldn’t find our flow.  Full credit must go to China for having such an effective press,” said Hager.

Auckland’s Krystal Forgesson played her 200th test today and Hager said the team are disappointed not to pull off a win for her.

Nil-all at half time the Black Sticks were first to score when Capital’s Anita Punt played it straight through the keepers legs to put the Kiwis in front in the 37th minute.  It was the start Hager was hoping for before Wang Mengyu scored two penalty corners in the 46th and 56th minute.

The game was exciting in the last 20 minutes with both sides upping the tempo and creating chances.  With nine minutes left to play, New Zealand were awarded three penalty corners, and with the first two retaken due to foot infringements, the third was well defended by China.

Opportunities were created at the other end of the park but Kiwi goalkeeper Bianca Russell made a couple of brilliant saves to maintain the score.

Star midfielder Stacey Michelsen perhaps had the best chance to equalise late in the piece but it went wide.

The Black Sticks are back in action against Argentina at 7pm this Tuesday, with the game streamed live at www.hockeynz.co.nz

In earlier matches, Australia beat Japan 1-0 with a goal in the 19th minute to Emily Smith.  In the second half, Australia failed to convert several attacking opportunities and the score was maintained thanks to a tenacious Japanese defence.

The second match of the day featured second ranked Argentina taking on eighth ranked Korea and winning 5-1.  Argentina quickly asserted their dominance, scoring three times in the first half with goals to Delfina Merino and Rosario Luchetti.

Carla Rebecchi extended Argentina’s lead with two goals in the second half, Korea answering with one goal to Han Hye Leoung. Argentina’s Noel Barrionuevo was playing her 200th international test.

CLICK HERE for more on the Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey.

CHINA 2: (Wang Mengyu x2)
BLACK STICKS 1: (Anita Punt)
Halftime: 0-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Smith breaks deadlock

Emily Smith's goal carried Hockeyroos to a 1-0 victory over Japan

A well worked team goal from Hockeyroos forward Emily Smith brought Australia a 1-0 victory over Japan in their second match of the Hawke’s Bay Festival in New Zealand.

Australia dominated the play in the first half of the match which saw Japan’s players sink back deep into their defence, only applying pressure onto the Hockeyroos in their attacking circle.

Emily Smith broke the deadlock in the 19th minute with a quick flick of the ball into the back of the net scoring the first and only goal of the match to get the Hockeyroos over the line with a victory.

The Hockeyroos took advantage of the ball in the first half having worked a majority of the play within their attacking circle. Jodie Schulz’s and Anna Flanagan’s penalty corner drag flicks in the second half were not enough to extend the Hockeyroo’s lead. Hard work and a series of penalty corners saw the Australia come close but they were blocked by Japan’s goalkeeper, Yuka Yoshikawa.

Japan, re-evaluating their structure at half time, came back into the second half fired up with their robust defence tightening significantly.

Australian national coach Adam Commens was satisfied with the overall result and the squad’s performance throughout the first 60 minutes of the game. Commenting afterwards, he said, “The first 60 minutes was solid hockey with the Hockeyroos having chances on goal, however, it came down to our execution and unfortunately we didn’t execute the opportunities that we had created. Execution is something that we need to work on coming into Tuesday’s match against China.”

“The last 10 minutes of the game were disappointing. We were allowing Japan to take too many opportunities in order to get back into a game in which they previously struggled to keep up with in the first half of the match.”

Commens paid tribute to the Victorian Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch. After debuting for the squad in 2006 she made her 100th appearance for the Hockeyroos in today’s match. Commens added, “It’s a fantastic achievement by Rachael today. Usually a goalkeeper will share game time with another keeper during a match however, Rachael controlled today’s game with some great keeping in the second half and it puts her in a rare category.”

Discussing the squad’s preparations coming into their third match against China on Tuesday evening Commens added, “We know China very well and they are constantly growing and progressing in their game. We will need to be playing our game at a high standard in order to ensure we walk away with another positive result.”

China are next up for the Hockeyroos on Tuesday. The match will be live streamed via the Hockey Australia website from 3:00pm AEST/1:00pm AWST.

Six Nations Tournament
Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Hockeyroos: 1 (1)
Emily Smith 19 (FG)

Japan: 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 Japan
Athlete (Hometown, State) Caps/Goals
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 273/65
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 32/1
Casey Eastham (South Coast, NSW) 195/44
Kirstin Johnson* (now married, Kirstin Dwyer) (Mackay, QLD) 40/2
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 100/0
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 31/4
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 116/21
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 140/61
Jodie Schulz* (now married, Jodie Kenny) (Wamuran, QLD) 98/50
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 79/32
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW) 68/22

Used Substitute
Mathilda Carmichael (Willoughby, NSW) 11/0
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 33/3
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 116/20
Kate Jenner (Tamowrth, NSW) 87/1
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 25/6
Jayde Taylor (Bunbury, WA) 86/1

Not Used
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC) 28/0

Hockeyroos Fixtures, Hawkes Bay Festival
Tuesday 8 April - Hockeyroos v China - 15:00 AEST / 13:00 AWST / 17:00 local time
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

Black Sticks fall to China

By Daniel Richardson

Anita Punt of the Black Sticks. Photo / Getty Images.

A pair of drag flick goals to Mengyu Wang has given China a 2-1 victory over the women's Black Sticks at the Six Nations tournament in Hastings.

Wang nailed two precision strikes in the second spell and erased an earlier Anita Punt effort for the home side, who were wasteful with possession today.

The Black Sticks had the better of the first spell at the Unison Hockey Stadium, although the seventh-ranked Chinese outfit defended stoutly and are an organised lot.

New Zealand opened the tournament, which is part of the inaugural Hawkes Bay Festival of Hockey, with a 3-1 win over Korea yesterday and coach Mark Hager said he wanted better ball security from his side on attack.

Hager won't have been impressed with that facet of his side's play today as too often they were unable to mount enough consistent pressure with the turnover ball they created.

The first half was an even affair and neither side were able to conjure up many clear chances.

Straight after the break Punt gave New Zealand the lead when she finished from an acute angle but the home side were unable to build on their advantage as Wang delivered two of the best.

The Black Sticks earned a collection of penalty corners with 10 minutes left but were unable to find the silver bullet strike to even the game up.

Wang's ability at penalty corners was a threat throughout the game and she could have added a third with five minutes left but Black Sticks goalkeeper Bianca Russell made a fine save.

New Zealand's next game is against the second-ranked Argentina on Tuesday.

In today's earlier results, Argentina continued their good form with a 5-1 win over Korea, while Australia scraped past Japan 1-0.

China 2 (Mengyu Wang 2) Black Sticks 1 (Anita Punt) Halftime: 0-0

The New Zealand Herald

East Grinstead to face Beeston in title clash

Reading v Beeston

The opening match of the NOW: Pensions League Play-Offs saw Surbiton take on East Grinstead. East Grinstead took an early lead when Ashley Jackson made a break for goal, allowing teammate Niall Stott to secure the goal making the score 1-0. Despite strong defending from Surbiton’s Johnny Gall, East Grinstead scored their second goal of the half, this time through Mark Pearn who brought the score to 2-0. Surbiton upped the pressure towards the latter half of the first half but they were not rewarded for their efforts and the score remained 2-0 coming in to the break.

The second half started with a flurry of goals from East Grinstead; field goals from Tony Wilson, David Condon and another for Niall Stott and a penalty stroke from Mark Gleghorne meant they took a 6-0 lead over Surbiton. Despite numerous penalty corners, Surbiton first got on the score card through a field goal from Michael Watt in the 68th minute bringing the score to 6-1. A penalty corner in the dying seconds of the game allowed Surbiton’s Matt Daly to score also, meaning the final score was 6-2.

Speaking after the game, East Grinstead's Ashley Jackson noted "A lot has changed for us since last season, Karl Stagno has come in as the head coach and he has been absolutely brilliant, bringing a fresh approach to everything that the first team does this season. He needs to take a lot of credit for everything that has helped us progress in the right direction."
East Grinstead 6 (2)
Luke Taylor 6, 50 (FG, FG)
Mark Pearn 19 (FG)
Tony Wilson 44 (FG)
Mark Gleghorne 45 (PS)
David Condon 47 (FG)

Surbiton 2 (0)
Michael Watt 68 (FG)
Matt Daly 70 (PC)

Beeston booked their place in the Play-Off Final with a 4-2 victory over Reading.
Beeston created the majority of the chances early on in the game and scored the first goal of the game through Samuel Ward making the score 1-0. Captain Adam Dixon followed this up with a further two goals late in the half giving Beeston a comfortable 3-0 lead at half time.
Reading returned to the second half determined, creating some good chances early on in the second half. A fourth goal for Beeston through Ward again meant the game looked beyond the home team at 4-0. Two late goals from Reading's Dan Shingles and Jonty Clarke bought the score to 4-2 but proved to be too little too late.
The win gives Beeston a match against East Grinstead in Sunday's final, leaving Reading and Surbiton to battle it out for third and fourth place.

Reflecting on their victory, Beeston Captain Adam Dixon noted "It was definitely not an easy game but we had done a lot of homework for it. We'd already played Reading twice in the league so we knew we had to protect ourselves from their dangerous players and we did that pretty well. We always have good games against Reading but a good start was huge for us and fortunately we came out on top today."

Beeston 4 (3)
Sam Ward 20, 58 (PC, FG)
Adam Dixon 28, 33 (FG, PC)
Reading 2 (0)
Dan Shingles 68 (FG)
Jonty Clarke 70 (PS)
England Hockey Board Media release

Southgate & Brooklands MU shine in Play-Offs

Sheffield Hallam v Southgate in the NOW Pensions Men's Hockey League Finals

A goalless first half meant it was all to play for in the final 35 minutes. An early penalty corner for Sheffield Hallam looked like they might take a lead but Southgate goalkeeper Chris Hibbert denied them of this opportunity. End to end play ensued and both teams were fighting for that opening goal but nothing was to come from it. Sheffield seemed to have the upper hand with fierce attempts at goal from Liam Ansell and Tom Sorby but Hibbert, in his tenth and final season with Southgate, was unfailing in goal. At the end of the first half the score remained 0-0.

Southgate started the second half with a point to prove. A flurry of penalty corners early on led to a penalty stroke and, despite Sheffield goalkeeper Jamie Cachia’s best efforts, Rick Gay gave Southgate the lead; 1-0. A second penalty flick in the 47th minute allowed Rick Gay to get his name on the score board a second time, increasing the lead for Southgate to 2-0. Despite strong defending from Sheffield’s Christy Walklin and Brendan Creed, a field goal in the 48th minute from Captain Callum Burden meant the score finished 3-0 to Southgate.

Speaking after the game, top goal scorer Rick Gay had this to say: “It's been a good season for the Southgate boys, we've got the strongest squad we've had in years, with a good mix of talent coming through. It's always tough going into a match against Sheffield, they're one of the strongest sides, but we were turning the ball over more in the second half and that really made a difference. It was a great match and we're really pleased with the end result."

Southgate 3 (0)
Rick Gay 40, 47 (PC, PC)
Callum Burden 48 (FG)

Sheffield Hallam 0 (0)

Goals from David and Peter Flanagan gave Brooklands a precious win against Cardiff, whose hopes of promotion have ended. Brooklands now go into Sundays match with a good chance of promotion.

The game started at an intense pace, with both teams creating early chances. Brooklands seemed to have the better of the play, their forward line putting pressure on the Cardiff defenders. The first goal came through David Flanagan who stole possession from the Cardiff defence on the edge of the Cardiff circle, combining neatly with Aiden Khares and bringing the score to 1-0. However, the lead was short-lived, as Cardiff's Luke Hawker replied immediately with a sensational individual effort, equalising the scores at 1-1.

Cardiff arguably had the better of the second half, but were unable to craft any clear chances. The decisive moment came in the 62nd minute, when a Brooklands penalty corner was calmly slotted home by Peter Flanagan to make the final score 2-1.

"It was a real determined effort from the start for us. It wasn't our most fluid performance admittedly but there was a lot at stake. At the end of the day we fought really hard and got the result we were after; 2-1." - Peter Flanagan, Brooklands MU Captain

Cardiff & Met 1 (1)
Luke Hawker 23 (FG)

Brooklands Manchester University 2 (1)
David Flanagan, 22 (FG)
Peter Flanagan, 62 (PC)

England Hockey Board Media release

IHL Semifianals and live streaming of the Finals

The results of the semifinals in the Irish Hockey League held at Banbridge are as follows.

Banbridge 3-1 Lisnagarvey

In a fast paced match in front of a huge crowd Banbridge sealed the deal in style securing a place in the 2014 IHL Finals with a 3-1 victory over Lisnagarvey.

John McKee opened the scoring before Timmy Cockram equalised in the 29th minute leaving the sides level pegging at half time.

International Bruce McCandless broke the deadlock in the 39th minute and although both sides had chances throughout the remainder of the match it wasn't until the 69th minute that Stephen Dowds sealed the deal in style with a classy drag flick high into the net.

Banbridge will now face Monkstown in tomorrows finals at 16.00

Monkstown 2-1 Three Rock Rovers

Monkstown and Three Rock Rovers locked horns today in the first of the mens IHL Semi Finals at Banbridge today in a match that went all the way to Silver Goal.

The match opened early with Monkstown getting on the score sheet in just the 4th minute thanks to Andrew Ward before Harry Morris equalised for Three Rock Rovers just 11minutes later.

There after no more goals came to light in normal time although both sides had chances to close it out. Into silver goal and just two minutes in Peter Caruth gave a smart pass to set up Kyle Goode to convert home and bring his side through to the Finals to play the winner of Lisnagarvey and Banbridge.

Railway Union win on Sudden Death Penalty Strokes

This semi final went all the way to the wire to sudden death penalty shoot out after both sides failed to find the winner even after 10 minutes of extra silver goal time.

It was a long match for both - the two goals of the match just coming two minutes apart first from Railway Union inthe 45th minute from Alex Speers before Pegasus responded in thanks to Vanessa Surgeoner.

After five penalty shoot outs the sides were still level pegging at 4-4 before the Sudden Death part of the match came into play and Sinead Dooley kept the routine very simple to ensure her side a spot against Leinster Rivals UCD in tomorrows big final at 13.30 here in Banbridge.

UCD 3-1 Loreto (SF 1) IHL Finals 2014

UCD secured their spot in the IHL 2014 Finals  - with a 3-1 win over Leinster rivals Loreto.

UCD 3 (2) (Anna O'Flanagan x 2; Nikki Evans)
LORETO 1 (0) (Sarah Clarke)

Loreto had the first chances of the match going close 20 seconds in and then minutes later but sure goals went astray and UCD opened first in the 12th minute when Anna O'Flanagan finished off a goal that seemed to come from nowhere. 11 minutes later Anna made it 2-0 again with an open play goal. UCD made it 3 when fellow international Nikki Evans converted on college's first penalty corner of the match to make it 3-0.

Loreto fought hard throughout and finally got a deserved goal off their 7th penalty corner when Sarah Clarke converted and the match closed ot 3-1 to UCD.

UCD will meet the winners of Railway Union v Pegasus which hits off at 12.30

IHL Streaming IHL FINALS- Sun 6th

AERTV to stream IHL Finals Live from Banbridge HC to tune in follow the below...



Irish Hockey Association media release

Orange stunned: Scorpions sting champions to end their unbeaten run in KHU league


Telkom Orange’s Flana Mutira (left) vies for the ball against Strathmore Scorpions’ Linda Ayodi in a Kenya Hockey Union league match at City Park Stadium.  [PHOTO: JENNIPHER WACHIE/STANDARD]

Africa women’s  hockey silver medalists Strathmore University Scorpions edged Africa champions and 15 times national title winners Orange Telkom 1-0 to end their unbeaten record.

Orange, who beat Strathmore 4-0 in the first leg of the league, have had a 13-match unbeaten run.

Strathmore head coach Meshack Senge was full of praise for the girls saying a win against the African queens is a big thing and that they had achieved their objective.

“I’m happy for the girls, we achieved our objective  and we will now be at the Africa Club Championships,” he said

Gilly Okumu announced the Scorpions’ intent to win in the second minute, sending the ball home past Telkom’s veteran goalkeeper Josephine Ataro.

The early opener did not dampen the spirits of Orange who intensified attacks in search of goals.


Midfielder Caroline Guchu, who seemed not to be in her  best form during the encounter  failed to convert a penalty corner in the 12th minute. Guchu wasted other scoreing chances in the 16th and 17th minutes, all from short corners.

The second half was hotly contested with Strathmore holding tight onto the lead and trying hard to break the water tight Orange defense and add a second to their tally. Orange dominated almost all aspects of the game but failed to score.

Audrey Omaido missed an opportunity to level the scores in the 42nd minute, blasting wide with Strathmore goalkeeper Truphy Owira well beaten.

Three minutes later, national team player Margaret Rotich wasted another chance.


Oriwa was called to action again in the 48th minute, making a super save from a killer shot by Omaido.

A 52nd minute substitution saw veteran Jacqueline Jow replaced by Hellen Chemtai but this did not bring any changes to the game.

Rotich missed the last chance to level the scores in the 69th minute.

Orange head coach Jos Openda said their loss to Strathmore shuttered their goal of finishing the season on a clean sheet.

“It is a narrow win but they have the three points and above all they shuttered our dream of winning the league unbeaten,” Openda said.

He also added that his striking force needed polishing as it failed to score even after creating many chances that would have seen them beat Strathmore by a bigger margin.

“We lost so many chances, we would have won the match by a bigger goal margin had we utilised our chances. Our striking unit needs polishing or else they will cost us a lot in future,” he added.

In the men’s national Daystar University thrashed Technical University of Kenya 4-1.

The Standard Online

Emphatic victories take Punjab and Odisha into final

Odisha’s Sanjit Toppo celebrates his goal against SAI in the semifinals on Saturday. Photo: M. Vedhan

Defending champion Punjab, as is its wont, made a mincemeat of Haryana 6-2, while Odisha stole the thunder with a 6-0 win over Sports Authority of India (AAI) in the semifinals of the Hockey India fourth junior national men’s championship at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium here on Saturday.

For Odisha, which has been a finalist in three previous editions, this could well be a great opportunity to script a new chapter. It was a sight to behold as Odisha’s forwardline and midfield worked in complete unison and came up with a robust game, especially in the first half.

Wonderful touch

Prakash Barla’s wonderful touch from the left resulted in Odisha’s first goal, which Sanjit Toppo had ample time to employ a free hit into the cage. The best part of Odisha’s game was that the deep defence seldom gave SAI forwards any leeway to strike the ball. And the frontline was in a different league, making the team’s coach Pradeep Kumar — who kept saying that the forwards missed lots of scoring chances in the earlier matches — heaping praise on them. The second goal was a fine exhibition of speed and understanding.

A neat set-piece between skipper Joseph Toppo and Felix Baa resulted in the latter tapping it home. The third goal emerged nearly ten minutes before the end of the first half when Nilam Sanjeep Xess scooped one over the keeper’s head.

Odisha’s momentum dropped a bit in the second session but it still the team produced three well-executed goals through Teophil Kumar and Prasan Tirkey (2).

There wasn’t any doubt as to who will emerge triumphant in the Punjab-Haryana duel. It was only the goal margin that was the point of discussion. Punjab improved its penalty-corner conversion with two goals (out of four) from corners, courtesy full back Harmanpreet Singh.

Haryana rattled Punjab’s defence for a brief while in the second quarter. Trailing 4-0, Haryana scored twice in as many minutes through Sahil Dabas and Nikhil Saroha, but Punjab came back even stronger, scoring two more.

The results (semifinals): Punjab 6 (Harmanpreet Singh 2, Parvinder Singh 2, Ajit Pandit, Lovepreet Singh) bt Haryana 2 (Sahil Dabas, Nikhil Saroha); Odisha 6 (Prasan Tirkey 2, Sanjit Toppo, Felix Baa, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Teophil Kujur) bt SAI 0.

The Hindu

U.S. Women's Indoor coach Denise Zelenak has announced the 2014-2015 Squad

Selections were conducted Saturday, March 29 in Broomall, Pa. More than 50 athletes, including those named to the Pan American Cup tour, attended the open try-out for the Senior Team. The first task at hand for the athletes is the Pan American Cup, which will be held April 7-12 in Montevideo, Uruguay. The winners of that event will qualify for the Indoor World Cup scheduled for February 2015 in Leipzig, Germany.

At the completion of the Pan American Cup, the athletes will continue to train to develop their indoor skills and tactical knowledge of International Indoor Hockey. Zelenak plans to compete annually in a series of test matches with Canada and athletes will also have the chance to be selected for one or more international tours and domestic competition squads during the 2014-2015 Winter season, including the 2015 World Cup should the team qualify next week.

This year's squad features 14 veterans, four athletes who moved up from the U-19 team and five brand new members. Additional athletes may be announced once waiver try-outs are completed.

“The try-out was very competitive with a strong and talented group of participants attending,” said Zelenak.  “I am pleased with the selections to the 2014-15 Women's Indoor Squad and look forward to working with everyone as we continue to represent and improve on the international stage.  I’d like to thank all the volunteers who gave their time on Saturday including the selection team and the umpires.“

The following athletes have been named to the 2014-2015 National Indoor Team:

Kelsey Boyce (Califon, N.J.); Maiyah Brown (Allentown, Pa.); Susan Ciufo (Bangor, Pa.); Ashley Dalisera (Millersville, Md.); Amy Daniel (Mountain Top, Pa.); Maeve Doherty (Millersville, Md.); Katherine Ferrara (Spring City, Pa.); Amanda Fleischut (Doylestown, Pa.); Allyson Fuller (Ellicott City, Md.); Ayla Halus (State College, Pa.); Caroline Hanks (Niskayuna, N.Y.); Lauren Hibshman (Allentown, Pa.); Alexa Hoover (Collegeville, Pa.); Maria Keesling (Downingtown, Pa.); Elizabeth Mata (Severna Park, Md.); Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.); Jessica McCarthy (Havertown, Pa.); Ali McEvoy (Gilbertsville, Pa.); Rachael Milne (Hatfield, Pa.); Margaux Paolino (Villanova, Pa.); Meghan Plank (Glen Mills, Pa.); Kim Tunell (Wilmington, Del.); Amber Youtz (Dauphin, Pa.) 

USFHA media release

Ex-Germany player to bolster Malaysia’s backline

By S. Ramaguru

Former Germany international defender Kevin Lim will train with the national side in preparation for the Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan from April 26-May 4. - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Germany international Kevin Lim could be the answer to the national hockey team’s defensive woes.

The Malaysian-born player has been cleared by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the German Hockey Federation (DHB) to play for Malaysia.

The 29-year old Kevin, who last played for Germany in 2010, will arrive in Malaysia on Monday to begin training with the national team who are preparing for the Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan from April 26-May 4.

Kevin’s inclusion in the team will largely depend on how he performs in Malaysia’s six friendly matches against China from April 13-19.

National coach K. Dharmaraj said yesterday that Kevin, who holds a MyKad as his father is a Malaysian, was given the clearance by FIH and DHB recently.

“Like all players in the training squad, Kevin will have to undergo selection trials before we name the final 18. He will start training with us on Tuesday.

“Kevin is a defender and is an able stand-in for injured Mohamed Razie Rahim. He played three matches for us in our recent tour of Perth, Australia, and also in a friendly against Canada last month.

“I was impressed by his performances and asked him to join the training squad. He played his last match for Germany in 2010, so he needed to wait three years before he can play for another team,” added Dharmaraj.

Kevin is no stranger to Malaysian hockey fans, having played for Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) in 2009.

Besides the Champions Challenge 1, Malaysia are also preparing for the World Cup Finals in Holland in May.

In the recent Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, the defence was identified as a weak link although Malaysia finished as runners-up.

The Star of Malaysia

West hockey U18 squad meets

Zanzeer Singh

West U18 national hockey squad members Kerryanne Candy and Tahraii Bennion at the training session in Lautoka yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

MORE than 20 players turned up for the Fiji under-18 girl's hockey squad training at the South Seas Club Swimming Pool & Family Park in Lautoka yesterday.

The overwhelming turnout in the rainy conditions surprised coach Taka Newton.

This was the first training session for the Western Division players vying for a spot in the national team for the 2014 Youth Olympics in China.

Newton said more training sessions would be held in the coming weeks.

"My focus is on the West right now," he said.

"We are trying to get the players to train together and are fortunate to have the South Seas Club Swimming Pool and Family Park facility which has a good surface.

"I'm very happy with the turn out. To be honest I thought there would be only five of six players but we got more than 20.

"We will conduct more training sessions in the West and will base our training here at South Seas Club for the next three to four months because it is a central venue.

"We hope that the number of participants will increase. Right now a lot of focus is on athletics. But after the Coca-Cola Games more players will want to put their hands up for selection."

The Fiji U18 girls' team qualified for Youth Olympics despite losing to New Zealand 1-5 in the final of the Oceania Championship in Vanuatu last month.

The Youth Olympics will be held in Nanjing from August 16-28.

The Fiji TImes

Pakistan hockey great robbed at gunpoint

Islahuddin Siddiqui. -File photo

KARACHI: Former Pakistan hockey captain and chief coach Islahuddin Siddiqui was robbed of his vehicle, cash and mobile phone in the DHA Area of Karachi on Saturday.

Islahuddin, who led Pakistan to World Cup triumph in 1978 in Buenos Aires (Argentina), was kidnapped from outside his house in Khayaban-e-Mujahid at gunpoint by three robbers.

He remained in the captivity of the armed men in his Vego for 30 minutes before they dropped him off and fled away, the former hockey great said.


Hockey legend Islahuddin mugged in Karachi

KARACHI: Pakistan’s former hockey team captain and Olympian, Islahuddin Siddique was mugged in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) area of the city on Saturday.

The muggers made away with the hockey legends car, mobile, and cash, police said.

Islahuddin played between 1367 and 1978 leading Pakistan to glory at the World Cup, Champions Trophy and Asian games. He also won a silver medal at the Munich Olympics (1972) and bronze in Montreal (1976).

The News International

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