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News 06 May 2014

All the news for Tuesday 6 May 2014

England coach is hoping for a slow start in The Hague

The successful teams are the ones with staying power, says Crutchley

Bobby Crutchley, coach of the England men's hockey team has been in post for just over 18 months and, although he readily admits he is a hard man to please, he is relatively happy with the way his team's preparations are going.

"We have had a horrible spate of injuries in the past few weeks," he said, "but all the players seem to be on the way back and hopefully they will all be in contention for the Hockey World Cup."

"We have had a good build up of matches and I have been very happy with the teams we have played. Now it is a question of getting the team to play with consistency throughout a match. And we definitely need to be a bit more clinical at the sharp end."

"When it comes to defending we are pretty frugal, and don't give much away, but we have to keep developing that. Having a good, solid defence is something that we need to take with us into the World Cup."

As a former international himself with 80 caps to his name, Bobby knows just what to expect from World Cup hockey: "The thing with the World Cup is that it is just such a strong tournament. You have to look at each team and see them all as a threat. Spain have not had much international experience, but we always have really competitive games with them in the major tournaments, they have so many really good players in their team."

"As we face them first up, we won't have a lot of recent information on them, but we will have a good idea of how they will play generally."

England play Spain, India and Belgium before they face the big guns of Australia in their World Cup pool. Could this be the chance for the team to get a bit of momentum? That could be the case, Bobby agreed, but as he points out, there is no team that will be a pushover. "Any team who is at the World Cup will be a good side," he said.

Perhaps surprisingly, the England coach is hoping his team start the tournament conservatively. "With six teams in the pool, it is a long pool, so it is good to win early, but what you really want to do is win games without playing your best hockey early on. As Germany generally show, they rarely start strongly, but they always get over the line."

When it comes to his own team, Bobby is expecting his old-timers, Barry Middleton and Ashley Jackson to step up and provide the experience and leadership, but he is also hopeful that other players will really make their mark in this tournament. "George Pinner in goal and Iain Lewers in defence are two players who can both have a real influence. We need all the guys to step up and, if they perform to their potential, we can have a great tournament."

"I'm really enjoying the role, we have some great people in the coaching and management team, and there has been quite a turnover in the squad, so the past few months have been a bit of a roller coaster, but I am really enjoying it."

FIH site

England women aim to innovate with the basics under head coach Jason Lee

England women have a tough group to contend with before even considering winning the hockey World Cup, says head coach

By Rod Gilmour

In on the act: England's Sophie Bray fights for the ball against Canada Photo: ADY KERRY

Jason Lee, England women’s coach, says that the World Cup will be more competitive in the women’s tournament than the men’s when hockey’s dual showpiece begins later this month in The Hague.

England women, the world No.3 side, find themselves in a tough six-team group, which includes Argentina and Germany, with Lee taking command of his first major event at the helm of the women’s side since switching roles as men’s head coach in February last year.

“For a while Argentina looked like they were off form, but they comfortably beat Australia twice recently,” said Lee. “It is very even throughout and every game will be a Cup final.

“We will have to wait until we get there and see our standard. But one of the things that is noticeable, more so than the men, is that it’s more competitive down to the 12th-ranked team.”

Lee has already seen how tough the group stages will be for England. In February, he oversaw a Great Britain centralised squad at a warm-weather training camp in San Diego. Results were mixed, with a victory and a loss to New Zealand and a draw against USA , sides in fifth and 10th respectively in the world rankings.

The camp saw the emergence of Buckingham’s Zoe Shipperley, who made her debut in England’s 6-1 World Cup warm-up win over Canada earlier this week.

The second game at Bisham Abbey was much closer, as England failed to overcome Canada’s stout defensive display in a 1-1 draw on Thursday. Blushes were spared thanks to Kate Richardson-Walsh, the captain, who scored from a penalty corner in the last minute.

Lee is likely to reveal few changes when he announces his squad next week, but has welcomed competition from a “wider number of players” this season.

“Some girls are showing decent form over the last six months but I’m not sure how much the squad will change," he said.

Meanwhile, Lee admitted that the raft of tournaments on the world hockey calendar have meant that England’s innovations have been implemented on a “budget”.

Lee said: “There are so many more tournaments and most of our finance and time resource goes to just getting us there, We are at the basics. Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury like we used to have.

“We will have to have a second party involved, such as the hotel chef, and we spend an awful lot of timing negotiating.

“We have to work on our toes. We have to educate the players and staff to make sure that the choices that are made from the menu are good, rather than the menu not delivering.”

England women begin their campaign against the USA on June 1.

The Telegraph

Return of top scorer lifts Black Sticks

Katie Glynn back after long injury layoff just in time to join NZ World Cup squad.

By David Leggat

Katie Glynn has scored 69 goals in 118 internationals for the Black Sticks. Photo / Christine Cornege

New Zealand's most prolific goalscorer Katie Glynn is back from a lengthy injury layoff, just in time for the hockey World Cup.

The return of Glynn and key midfielder Stacey Michelsen, both having recovered from knee and cartilage injuries, is a significant boost to the world No5 Black Sticks as they prepare for the cup in The Hague, starting on May 31.

The squad of 18 named yesterday comprises a blend of experience - three players have played more than 200 internationals - and youth, with four 19-year-olds.

Results have been patchy in the absence of Glynn, who has scored 69 goals in 118 games, and Michelsen, who confirmed her readiness for World Cup activity during the Festival of Hockey in Hastings last month.

Glynn had surgery last September after injuring the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee during the national league and some cartilage damage as well.

Michelsen's situation was slightly different; she tore a cartilage in half.

Longtime team mates, they've spent plenty of time together in the gym, doubtless cursing their misfortune, but also pushing each other to get back to full fitness.

"It's been quite a frustrating process," Glynn said. 'The first few months were pretty hard but the last couple have been quite nice, getting back on the turf. The first couple of games were pretty rusty, and the mind was telling the body to do one thing, but not responding."

Now she feels considerable strides have been made and while she's still got to work on getting her speed back - quipping yesterday it was never her strongest suit - Glynn has one immense asset for the Black Sticks: the ability to find the net.

"Mark [coach Mark Hager] has been really good and we've communicated openly over the last couple of months. I wouldn't have wanted to be picked if I didn't feel I was at the level for a World Cup event. But I've made some good gains in the last four to six weeks and feel confident in my ability."

Her determination and desire has doubled, she reckons. "I've always been a pretty passionate player and when you have something taken away from you, you realise how much it means," Glynn said.

Krystal Forgesson, with 60 goals second only to Glynn, is only one of the three double centurions, having played 202 internationals, along with captain Kayla Whitelock (207) and the most-capped player, Emily Naylor (240).

The four players yet to reach 20 are defender Liz Thompson, utility Rose Keddell and strikers Sophie Cocks and Michaela Curtis.

The squad have had practice games against men's teams and will have warm-up fixtures once they arrive in the Netherlands. There's confidence within the group. The return of a world class midfielder and their most reliable goalscorer will help that. "We're shaping up well and looking forward to getting to the World Cup. It's going to be huge," Whitelock said.

New Zealand World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Bianca Russell (North Harbour), Sally Rutherford (Midlands)

Defenders: Sam Charlton, Rose Keddell (Midlands), Rhiannon Dennison (North Harbour), Liz Thompson (Auckland), Emily Naylor (Central), Jordan Grant (Canterbury).

Midfielders: Kayla Whitelock (c, Central), Petrea Webster (North Harbour), Gemma Flynn (Midlands), Anita Punt (Capital), Stacey Michelsen (Northland)

Strikers: Krystal Forgesson, Katie Glynn (Auckland), Sophie Cocks, Olivia Merry (Canterbury), Michaela Curtis (Central).

World Cup pools

Pool A: Netherlands (World No 1), Australia (4), New Zealand (5), Korea (8), Japan (9), Belgium (12).

Pool B: Argentina (2), England (3), Germany (6), China (7), US (10), South Africa (11).

The New Zealand Herald

Hopes raised after bronze

OPTIMISM: Third place in Champions Challenge a boost for World Cup hopes

By Jugjet Singh

AFTER handing Malaysia their first bronze medal in the Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan, national coach K. Dharmaraj and his men are looking forward to at least a ninth spot in the World Cup at the Hague later this month.

Malaysia have previously won only medals at the invitational Azlan Shah Cup and the Sea Games.

“Things can only become better from now, as my coaching staff plan for the future.

“We were unlucky not to play in the final of the Champions Challenge, but I take it as a lesson and I am confident that Malaysia will be a much more improved side in future tournaments," said Dharmaraj.

He was peeved with some players, but did not want to delve into the issue, as he prepares a side for the World Cup which Malaysia last played in 2002 in Kuala Lumpur.

"After 12 years, we are back in the World Cup and it will be a very difficult tournament for my players but I am confident that after the Hague, I will push hard to make an impact in the remaining tournaments especially the Asian Games which offers a ticket to the Olympics.”

Dharmaraj’s men started with a 3-2 defeat to France and then lost 3-1 to South Korea. The turning point was when they edged Canada 4-3 and qualified for the quarter-finals.

The quarter-final tie saw Malaysia leading New Zealand 4-1 at one stage, but faltered to a 4-4 draw before narrowly winning the shoot-out 3-2 to oust the strongest side in Kuantan.

And Canada were expected to be beaten soundly when Dharmaraj's men took a 2-0 lead only to crumble again at 2-2 and lose the shoot-out 5-4.

“After years of coaching and also being a part of the Malaysian hockey team, I knew that it would be very difficult for my players to rise to the bronze challenge but they did it in style by beating Ireland 4-2.

"And so, I believe my players have the potential, especially the strikeforce.”

His immediate task is to strengthen the defence, which always looked fragile in every match.

The strikers scored at will and their total was 17 goals but the defenders let in easy goals to the tune of 17 goals.

“Not much can be done for the World Cup, where I expect to only change two to three players from the Kuantan squad, but after the World Cup, I will be looking at more changes as we prepare for the Commonwealth and also Asian Games.”

“The players will go on a short break, and I will name my final squad a week before the World Cup, and the target is to improve our ranking (World 13) by finishing ninth at least," said Dharmaraj whose team open accounts with World No 1 Australia on May 31. The other teams in Malaysia’s Group A are Belgium, Spain, India and England.

New Straits Times

No major shake up with World Cup looming

By S. Ramaguru

The Malaysia hockey squad players being congratulated by fans after winning their third placing match against Ireland at the Champions Challenge I tournament in Kuantan last week. - BERNAMA

KUANTAN: The national hockey team know they have some major adjustments to make before the World Cup Finals later this month.

But the problem is time is not on their side.

National coach K. Dharmaraj said on Monday that he was not happy with the overall performance of the team.

“But there’s just no time to make major changes even if I wanted to. There will be at least one change, though, as Mohd Razie Rahim will come back into the side,” he said.

The coach, who took over the hot seat in the national team in January, said that goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin was a possible inclusion “but it will depend largely on how well he has recovered from his injury”.

“So, looking back at the players we have in the squad, there is unlikely to be any other changes ... unless there is a particular player I need to change,” said Dharmaraj.

The defence has come in for some harsh criticisms, especially when the team kept losing their leads.

In the quarter-finals, they lead 4-1 against New Zealand but ended up drawing 4-4 in regulation time. The match went into a shootout and, luckily, Malaysia won 3-2.

In the semi-finals, they held a two-goal lead against Canada but they allowed the North Americans to hit back and draw 2-2 in regulation time to take the game into a shootout. Only this time, the Malaysians ended up 4-5 losers.

“I agree that the defence is a weak link and I wish I had Razie for this tournament. Now, we need him more than ever for the World Cup.

“I am also happy with the performance of Kevin Lim. He has just got into the team and I believe that he has proven himself. He can only get better once there is better understanding among the players,” said Dharmaraj.

If there is a plus point to Malaysia’s performance, then it must surely be the energetic display of the forward line.

The line-up of Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Faizal Saari, Mohd Rashid Baharom, Ismail Abu, Mohd Shahril Saabah and Mohd Firan Azhaari can only get better. But they need to forge a greater understanding among themselves and work as a more cohesive unit to be more effective.

There are still a lot of areas where they can improve on. There is also a tendency for these players to go it alone when a simple pass would have sufficed.

Malaysia finished third in the Champions Challenge I, which ended in Kuantan on Sunday. It was the first-ever podium finish for Malaysia in an FIH-sanctioned meet as well as in the series. Their best placing in the tournament has been fourth in 2007 and 2012.

Dharmaraj said that the focus now will be on the World Cup, which starts in The Hague, Holland, on May 31.

Malaysia are in Group A with Australia, Belgium, India, Spain and England. Group B comprises Germany, Holland, New Zealand, South Korea, Argentina and South Africa.

The Star of Malaysia

Tengku Abdullah: Improve fitness ahead of World Cup

By S. Ramaguru

Malaysian hockey players need to improve their fitness, according to the Malaysian Hockey Federation president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah. - Filepic

KUANTAN: Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah wants the national hockey team to improve on their fitness level before the World Cup starts in The Hague, Holland, on May 31.

“I believe that the team is only 80% ready now. A few things do not seem right ... I will talk to the coach and the team management about them. These are my observation which I feel compelled to tell them,” he said.

Tengku Abdullah felt that the team had done well in patches in the recently-concluded Champions Challenge I and “were a little unlucky not to have made the final”.

“The team did not lose badly. Just by a goal. There were some good performances from them but there are also certain shortcomings which need to be overcome,” he said.

Malaysia lost in the semi-finals to Canada in a penalty shootout. They were 2-0 up but still ended up drawing against the Canadians. Then, in the shootout, they also held the advantage by netting the first two attempts to go 2-0 ahead. And again they let Canada off the hook by missing the next three to lose 5-4 in sudden-death.

Tengku Abdullah said that the team had not matured enough and still lacked experience.

“I do not want to go into details but I will give my views to the team management. There is no denying that the coach (Dharmaraj) has taken some bold steps to rope in the juniors. But is that enough?

“The World Cup is a major event and one that needs thorough preparation. We have to ensure that all steps are taken to find the right team for the tournament,” he said.

Malaysia started off their Champions Challenge I campaign with two losses – to France and South Korea – before beating Canada in their final group match and New Zealand in the quarter-finals (via a penalty shootout).

Malaysia finished third after beating Ireland 4-2 in the placing match.

The national team had come in for some criticisms when they dropped several senior players – including Baljit Singh and former skipper Mohd Shahrun Nabil – in favour of the juniors.

Tengku Abdullah did not want to comment on the issue but said that any opinion he had on the matter will be relayed to the coach.

“The coach is given the mandate to pick the team and we are not about to interfere with it,” he said.

“He will have his reasons and we must respect it. He has said that it was based on merit. But I’m sure we can find an answer if there is a need to.”

Tengku Abdullah did not say when he would meet with the team management but it is likely that the meeting will take place some time this week.

The Star of Malaysia

Tengku Abdullah warns boys to buck up

Fitri Saari (No.24) in action against New Zealand

KUANTAN — The national hockey team players were urged to work on their weaknesses in the next three weeks before the World Cup at The Hague, Holland, at the end of the month.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said the national team were not at their best and there were still weaknesses to be ironed out before the World Cup from May 31 to June 15.

“Our players are not yet 100 per cent steady and I did mention to the coach that we need to spruce up the team before going to the World Cup,” he said.

“Nevertheless, what can be seen is that the spirit of the team is strong (during the Champions Challenge Cup 1 Hockey Championship), that is something positive and I am proud of it,” he said.

The Champions Challenge Cup 1 which began on April 26 and ended yesterday, saw Malaysia finishing third after beating Ireland 4-2.

The national squad, who are ranked No.13 in the world, reached the semifinals after upsetting world No.6 New Zealand.

They, then however, lost 5-4 to Canada in a penalty shootout in the semis.

Meanwhile, Japan finished seventh after beating Poland 3-2 while New Zealand thrashed France 6-3 to finish fifth.

Malay Mail

Sarjit to coach Terengganu

KEMAMAN - Former national hockey coach Sarjit Singh has been appointed as Terengganu hockey coach in preparation for the Premier Hockey League (PHL) in October.

Terengganu Hockey Association (PHT) president Datuk Wan Ahmad Nizam said the coach from Batu Pahat, Johor, had signed a two-year contract with Terengganu last month.

“This is the first time Terengganu are using the services of a former national coach to guide the state team,” he said.

According to Wan Ahmad they had to secure an experienced coach as the PHL will be a competitive league.

The state government are hoping to see Terengganu emerge as champions this year, he added.

Malay Mail

Ashley Jackson is England's hero

WHEN in need of an escape route, win a penalty corner and leave the rest to Ashley Jackson.

By Graham Wilson

Ashley Jackson put in another top performance[GETTY]

The East Grinstead attacking midfielder is looking good for England in the build-up to the World Cup in The Hague from May 30 to June 15 and he scored two goals against hosts Netherlands on Saturday to bring England back from three goals down and letting loose with a corner in the final minute to snatch a 3-3 draw.

Both squads would not want to show too much so close to the tournament, but neither would coach Bobby Crutchley’s men want to be struggling at 3-0 behind.

Beeston goalkeeper George Pinner kept them in touch but could not stop Constantine Jonker scoring in the 22nd minute.

Seve Van Ass got the Dutch off to a flying second half start and then Valentine Verga added a third after 47 minutes.

Reading’s Simon Mantell got the fightback going, scoring from close range after the Dutch goalkeeper had kept out two shots. Then Jackson was felled in the circle and he put away a penalty stroke with seven minutes remaining. Jackson then converted his corner with the final shot of the game.

England will head out to Dusseldorf for a Four Nations tournament to play against the Netherlands again on Thursday, May 15, hosts and Olympic champions Germany on the Saturday and Belgium on the Sunday in their last tournament before the World Cup.

Cannock were taken to the limit by Brooklands Manchester University in the NOW: Pensions Cup, after being held 2-2 and edging a penalty shootout 5-4 to win the trophy for the first time since 2007.

Both sides had scored by the third minute, David Beckett opening up for Cannock in the second minute with Peter Cornell responding for Brooklands.

Ben Edge scored for Cannock in the 15th minute  and Brooklands’ Peter Flanagan saw a penalty stroke rebound off the post before David Flanagan levelled three minutes before the end of the first half. There were chances with Brooklands keeper Chris Scott outstanding, but no more goals. It was left to Beckett to eventually convert the winning stroke to give Cannock the cup for the fifth time.

The rivalry will be resumed next season in the Premier Division where Cannock will need to be more consistent in the league when they come up against newly-promoted Brooklands.

Daily Express

Men’s Coach Recruitment

Statement from Cam Vale on the process to replace Ric Charlesworth

Photo credit: Dan Carson / DC Images

Hockey Australia Chief Executive Cam Vale today confirmed the details of the recruitment process for the position of men’s National Coach as the organisation seeks to replace outgoing coach Ric Charlesworth.

Following the announcement on 26 March that Charlesworth will step down as coach of the Kookaburras in August after the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Vale said:

“The application process to replace Ric will begin on 17 June, two days after the conclusion of the World Cup. The position will be advertised internationally and in Australia for three weeks as we seek to secure the best possible coach for the Kookaburras. In all, the process is likely to take around three months with an appointment expected to be made in September.”

The recruitment process will be overseen by a panel consisting of:

Cam Vale - Hockey Australia Chief Executive and Panel Chair
David Hatt - Hockey Australia Director and Panel Member
Clare Prideaux - Hockey Australia Director and Panel Member
Tricia Heberle - Hockey Australia High Performance Director and Panel Member
Matt Favier - Australian Institute of Sport Director and Panel Member
Don Argus - Independent Panel Member and Panel Member

Outside of the publication of the application process and criteria on 17 June, Hockey Australia will make no further comment until an appointment has been made.

Hockey Australia media release

PHF decide to give central contracts

KARACHI: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has decided to restore central contracts of players.

Talking to media at the hockey club of Pakistan, PHF secretary, Rana Mujahid said that it has also been decided that the team management and the selectors will also be paid for their services.

He said that the federation has requested the government to allot five hundred million rupees budget for the promotion of the game.

He further said that in case the request for the grant is declined, the old system will continue and the players, selectors and the team management will have to do with daily allowances.

The News International

USA Field Hockey Proudly Announces 2014 National Hockey Festival Teams

Under-16 and Under-19 Clubs will compete to be crowned champions in California

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The National Hockey Festival presented by CranBarry is the largest event of its kind in the entire world, bringing together field hockey enthusiasts from all walks of life, across divisions ranging from Under-14 to adult to men, to celebrate the game we love. Whether its rival clubs competing for bragging rights or post-collegiate players getting back in the game, National Hockey Festival has a little bit of everything for everyone.

The pride and prestige that accompanies an opportunity to compete at National Hockey Festival, held annually over the Thanksgiving holiday, is unrivaled by any other event in the U.S.  The Thanksgiving Day tradition gathers more than 7,000 recruiting college coaches, umpires, athletes, family and friends for a showcase of talent, skill and fierce competition.

Just less than a month after the entry process was announced, today USA Field Hockey is thrilled to release the 196 Under-16 and Under-19 teams who will compete at the 2014 National Hockey Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Palm Springs, Calif. After making numerous renovations to their grounds, the Empire Polo Club is excited to once again host the hockey festivities.

“We are so excited for Rockland Tsunami to be a part of this year’s Festival,” said Coach Bernadette Gannon, for whom the 2014 National Hockey Festival marks the first year for her club to attend any USA Field Hockey event. “Festival is like the crown trophy of field hockey experiences any players will have in their lifetime, and giving them that opportunity is just an amazing feeling.”

The 2014 edition of National Hockey Festival will feature 131 different clubs from 22 different states. Pennsylvania, holding onto its claim to fame as a hockey powerhouse, tops the list with the most clubs from one state with a whopping 28 club teams.

Our neighbors to the north, Canada, will feature four club teams. Three teams from British Columbia and one from Toronto will fight for the chance to make their mark on California soil.

“We are thrilled to be participating in the 2014 Festival,” said Coach Wendy Andreatta of Finger Lakes Club. “USA Field Hockey always puts together such well-organized tournaments and Festival is no exception! This will be Finger Lakes Club's first time competing at Festival and we cannot wait for our athletes to experience a world-class event in such a beautiful location. We can't wait for November!”

To view the list of teams, please visit the 2014 National Hockey Festival event page on usafieldhockey.com, or click here.

USFHA media release

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