All the news for Tuesday 13 May 2014
Scotland men outperform Wales
Kenny Bain taking a shot at goal. Photo credit: Duncan Gray
Scotland redeem themselves in style winning 5-1 over Wales putting in a strong performance throughout.
Scotland started the match the stronger side moving the ball around Wales with bursts down the left side, forcing the Wales defence to step back into their own half. After pressing the Welsh defence Scotland were awarded the first penalty corner of the match with a Kenny Bain drag flick into the top left corner of the goal.
Barely a minute gone and Bain makes it 2-0 from a great run across the back line from Alan Forsyth crossing it to Bain on the far post who tapped it in past keeper Williams. Scotland dominated play holding the ball well in the Welsh half. Shortly after Captain Chris Grassick extended the Scots lead to 3-0, after the ball was fluffed at the top of the D from a penalty corner. It was slipped to Grassick at the near post who neatly lifted it over the keeper to make it 3-0.
Just before half time Bain secures his hat-trick, from a penalty corner slipped the ball into the D to then knock it across goal to an unmarked Bain who beautifully flicks it in to the far top left corner, making it 4-0 at half time to Scotland.
Scotland came out into the second half hungry for more goals but as did Wales, who pressed on the counter attack forcing David Forrester to make his first save of the game and clear it out of the D. Wales had upped their game compared to the first half and were awarded there first penalty corner of the match, Gavin Byers making a great run to deny the Welsh of that first goal. Wales kept applying the pressure with a free hit out of the D in the 50th minute but Scotland defence clearing anything that came their way.
Captain Chris Grassick having a shot at goal. Photo credit: Duncan Gray
End to end play as Scotland played the ball round Wales leading to another penalty corner. After being awarded a second penalty corner Scotland got their 5th goal, another for Bain. A tidy flick into the near post under the keeper to extend Scotland’s lead. Ten minutes to go and Scotland forcing Wales into their own half having multiple chances on goal. Chris Duncan playing a fab ball in to the D to a diving Ross McIntryre who was unlucky to get a touch on it. Followed by Alan Forsyth finding himself unmarked taking a straight shot in the D forcing Williams to make a save.
In the final 5 minutes Wales were awarded a penalty flick after the Scottish defence denying a goal opportunity, Richard Gay slotted away Wales first goal of the match. In the dying minutes both sides were showing frustrations as they were both looking for another goal.
Head coach Derek Forsyth was very pleased how his team performed today;
“The team really reacted well after yesterday’s performance. We worked harder and it was a great team effort. Going forward these few matches have given me food for thought in terms of selections for Glasgow 2014.
“It was a great confidence boost for the lads after 4 days of fitness testing, many pitch sessions and two international matches it’s been a tough weekend for them.”
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Maties pip UJ in tense battle
A late goal from Matt de Sousa saw Maties clinch a dramatic 1-0 Varsity Hockey victory over UJ in Stellenbosch on Monday.
It was hard-fought from the outset, with an even battle meaning that scoring opportunities were few and far between.
Maties created a few early chances, but UJ scrambled well on defence and as a result made a few dangerous counter-attacking runs.
The home side won two quick-fire penalty corners, but they could not convert as UJ shut them down quickly both times.
Maties continued to dominate for the rest of the first chukka, but the UJ defence held firm as they went into the first break deadlocked at 0-0.
UJ had the first powerplay and ran hard at Maties as they looked to take advantage of their superior numbers, but Maties held out well and they would win the first penalty corner of the second chukka but put it wide again.
Both teams created good opportunities as the game opened up, but neither side was able to find the finishing touch as they remained tied at 0-0 at the second break.
The home side had the powerplay at the start of the third chukka, but they had a hard time getting the ball off UJ who held a deep position in a bid to soak up time.
That ploy paid off as the match remained goalless heading into the final 15 minutes, and it looked as if one goal would be enough to take victory.
Both teams were visibly tiring at the end of a draining match, and it was Matthew de Sousa who came up with the crucial goal after getting a feint touch on a long ball.
UJ had a few players sent from the pitch in the final stages as frustration got the better of them, and Maties held on to take the vital win.
UJ goalkeeper Jason Briggs was awarded the Mugg and Bean Super Saver, Maties’ Shannon Boucher was the Samsung Super Striker and Daniel Bell was the FNB man of the match.
Madibaz sweep Ikeys aside
NMMU secured a vital 5-0 bonus-point victory over a UCT team that was simply outclassed in Stellenbosch on Monday.
NMMU started the game with great attacking intent and it was not long before national squad striker Ignatius Malgraaf won a penalty corner.
The Eastern Cape side moved the ball upfield at pace and forced a number of good saves from UCT goalkeeper Matthew Bekker, but the Cape side absorbed the pressure well as the teams went into the first break still locked at 0-0.
UCT had the powerplay at the start of the second chukka and duly enjoyed plenty of possession, but they could not find a way through as the Madibaz sat back and waited for them.
NMMU broke out once they were back to level numbers, with a number of shots raining down on the UCT goal and Becker prvoing his worth as the last line of defence once again.
The pressure finally told with a superb individual goal from Jason Doherty-Bigara who went on a storming run down the left before cutting back inside and unleashing a stinging shot which hit the bottom right corner.
That lead was doubled soon afterwards when a square ball from Doherty-Bigara saw UCT defender Tiny Robertson put the ball into his own net which put the Madibaz 2-0 up at the second break.
NMMU had the powerplay at the start of the third chukka and they took advantage immediately as Doherty-Bigara deflected the ball in for his second goal.
After that it was all about chasing the bonus point for the Madibaz and the fourth goal came from Malgraaf who unleashed a pinpoint backstick shot to score after a mazy run.
The final nail in the UCT coffin came from a penalty corner in the last minute, with Chad Cairncross whipping a drack flick into the top corner.
UCT goalkeeper Matthew Bekker was the Mugg and Bean Star Saver, whilst Chad Cairncross was the Samsung Super Saver and Jason Doherty-Bigara took the FNB man of the match award.
Tuks hold off brave Wits
UP-Tuks were forced to work hard for their 3-2 Varsity Hockey victory over a determined Wits side in Bloemfontein on Monday.
Wits made a strong start to the game as they took the game to their more fancied opponents, but they could not turn their attacking possession into a goal as the UP-Tuks defence held out.
UP-Tuks’ Grant Glutz forced a great save from the Wits goalkeeper with a drag flick, and they opened the scoring soon afterwards through a brilliant individual effort from Richard Pautz who got in a good position before unleashing an unstoppable backstick shot.
The Pretoria side had the powerplay at the start of the second period and piled the pressure on Wits but could not add to their 1-0 lead.
However, they would double their lead when a brilliant ball into the area from Dale van der Merwe was deflected in by Dave Robertson.
Keegan Nicol was shown a yellow card for taking a player out which gave Wits a golden opportunity, but they were still 2-0 down at the second break.
UP-Tuks nearly went 3-0, but Ross Goncalves hit the post, and Wits were right back in after Stuart Phillip capped off a period of pressure by smashing a goal to make it 2-1.
With less than ten minutes to play Wits went in search of the equaliser, but UP-Tuks scored next as Pautz got another goal after being set up by Glutz.
Phillips got a late goal for Wits which sealed a deserved bonus point for his side.
Wits captain and goalkeeper Cole Zondagh was named FNB man of the match and Super Saver, whilst Stuart Philip was the Samsung Super Striker.
Kovsies power past Rhodes
UFS Kovsies were in dominant form in front of their home crowd in Bloemfontein on Monday, running out 4-1 victors against Rhodes.
The Free State side were beaten by UP-Tuks on Sunday, but they bounced back in fine style against a dogged Rhodes outfit that found themselves up against it.
Both teams had shots on goal early on and it was Kovsies who struck first as Jaco Fourie pounced on a rebound from a short corner to open the scoring.
The home side held a 1-0 lead at the first break and scored in their powerplay at the start of the second chukka with Fourie rounding the goalkeeper to net his second.
Rhodes managed to pull a goal back, but it was not long before another saved shot was tucked away on the rebound to put Kovsies 3-1 up.
The final chukka was all Kovsies as the Rhodes goal was peppered and the pressure eventually told as Ruan Kleinhans finished after some great work down the right wing from Gerald van Blerk.
Lehan Bloemhoff had a late chance to stretch the lead further, but with the bonus point wrapped up Kovsies were happy to take the 4-1 win.
FIH limits stick length
New regulation limiting stick to 105cm to be implemented at World Cup
Added stick length regulation to be used at Rabobank Hockey World Cup
• Additional regulation around stick length to begin immediately
• Length of allowed hockey stick to be limited to 105cm (41.3 inches)
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced the addition of a regulation around player stick length that is to be implemented immediately, beginning with the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 31st May to 15th June. The regulation, limiting the maximum stick length to 105cm, will be applied as a Regulation until the FIH Rules Committee has considered the matter further prior to possible incorporation into the next edition of the Rules of Hockey.
Following recent tournaments that have seen goalkeepers changing their stick to a longer stick for defending a shoot-out (see below), the FIH President, Leandro Negre, has met with the chairs of both the Rules and Competitions Committee to come to a solution.
“Together with the Rules and Competitions Committees we have decided that there is an immediate need for this regulation,” said Leandro Negre, FIH President. “We want to continue to honour our values of being progressive in our outlook, energetic in our delivery, inclusive in our behaviour and optimistic in our attitude. This also means that we believe in maintaining the spirit of the game.
The regulation that has been modified will be implemented at this year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup under the below wording:
6 PLAYERS’ CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT
The stick has traditional shape with a handle and a curved head which is flat on its left side: the stick must conform with the specification agreed by the FIH Rules Committee.
The stick has traditional shape with a handle and a curved head which is flat on its left side: the stick must conform with the specification agreed by the FIH Rules Committee which is detailed in part 2 of the section on Field and Equipment Specifications of the Rules of Hockey, and in addition the length of stick, as measured from the top of the stick to the bottom of the head of the stick (line X in figures 3 and 4 on page 58 of the Rules of Hockey), shall not be more than 105cms.
Download the Rules of Hockey here.
Hockey Australia media release
Physicality is the name of the game for Captain Crandall
The USA arrive on the World Cup stage with renewed confidence after triumph in Glasgow.
When you have more than 220 caps for your country and have played at the top level for more than nine years, it must sometimes be difficult to stay motivated. The hours of training, the miles of travel, the reels of video analysis – doesn't it all become, well, just a little "samey"?
Captain of the USA women's team Lauren Crandall looks at me in amazement. "No," she says emphatically. "When you are playing alongside such talented athletes and such a committed coaching staff, it is impossible to be anything but motivated. We have a rejuvenated squad and a new coaching staff, so it is really exciting times in our squad."
For an ambitious and hardworking captain like Lauren, recent results for Team USA make for disappointing reading. Since her debut in 2005 she has played in two Olympics, 2008 and 2012, and one World Cup. These have not been the most successful years for the USA squad. They finished sixth in the 2006 World Cup but failed to qualify in 2010. They also finished a disappointing 12th in London in 2012. In between those times they enjoyed a gold medal at the Pan American Games in 2011, beating World Cup holders Argentina in the process, and then won a fourth consecutive second place behind Argentina in the 2013 Pan American Cup.
But there are signs that Team USA is beginning to awaken and live up to its huge potential. Lauren is more than aware that there is an untapped pool of talent in the USA. "The issue is that there are so many sports for the girls to choose from, soccer is very big for example, and those sports are all trying to attract the most talented young athletes. We are working hard to raise the profile of hockey and demonstrate what an exciting sport it is, particularly in the colleges, because that is where so many sports players are nurtured."
When we spoke, Lauren had just captained her team to victory in the Champions Challenge 1 in Glasgow. USA beat Ireland 3-1 in the final and, throughout the tournament, the squad had clearly been developing a game plan based on strong, athletic play. "We want to be at a point where we play our game plan for the majority of the game. If things are not going the way we want it to, then we have to take responsibility and force the game back on track. While this tournament is incredibly important to us, our next focus is the World Cup and we are taking every opportunity to make sure we are in the best place possible for that."
"We have really worked hard over the past few months, not just on fitness and physicality, but on our hockey skills and game plan. We have a relatively new coaching set-up and we are super-excited about participating in The Netherlands. We are also really, really pleased with the way we have played in Glasgow, and it has been a great tournament for us to develop further as a squad."
Hockey hits the sand for World Beach Hockey Festival
Also happening in the Hague will be the World Beach Hockey Festival from 13th to 15th June
Not only will the Rabobank Hockey World Cup feature some of the best hockey has to offer on the turf in The Hague but the beach at Scheveningen will also be the backdrop for the World Beach Hockey Festival. Across five Beach Hockey pitches, a stadium for 2000 spectators, lots of sand, sunshine and music this will be the place to be! This official side event of the Rabobank World Hockey Cup, which is supported by FIH, will be held from the 13th until the 15th of June.
This version of hockey features unique sticks with holes through the head and a modified ball that will work well to play the game on sand.
The packed three days will feature both the World Beach Hockey Festival Cup and the International Beach Hockey Tournament. The World Beach Hockey Festival Cup is a tournament for teams from all over the world and on the line is the first-ever World Beach Hockey title, while the International Beach Hockey Tournament will feature a variety of levels from the top to recreational.
Join the hockey celebration and be a fan at the Beach Hockey tournaments that will of include music and dancing, while all Rabobank Hockey World Cup matches will be live on multiple television screens in the Beach stadium!
The exact program of this unique Beach Hockey Festival is:
Thursday 12th of June
– 18:00 1st Qualifications of the World Beach Hockey Festival Cup
Friday 13th of June
– 11:00 Qualification rounds World Beach Hockey Festival Cup
– 17:00 Draw for the finals of the World Beach Hockey Festival Cup
– 21:00 Beach Party
Saturday 14th of June
– 10:00 Finals World Beach Hockey Festival Cup
– 11:00 International Beach Hockey Tournament
– 21:00 Final OSAKA Beach Party
Teams from Dubai, New Zealand, India, Belgium, Germany, France, England and the Netherlands have already registered. Additional interested international teams who want to compete for the first World Beach Hockey title are encouraged to still register.
More information about Beach Hockey can be found on www.beachhockeyinternational.com.
Hockey star Adam Dixon in fitness race for World Cup
ADAM DIXON is taking the Wayne Rooney and David Beckham route to be fit in time for the World Cup in The Hague, which starts at the end of the month.
Dixon missed out on Olympic selection with Team GB through injury[GETTY]
And while he is still in coach Bobby Crutchley's plans for now, sadly for England's women, their three times Olympian Helen Richardson-Walsh, is out of the running.
Richardson-Walsh, 32, partner to England captain Kate, has been battling to overcome back surgery but was left out of coach Jason Lee's final squad on Friday.
Dixon knows how Helen is feeling about the future. He was distraught at missing out on selection for the London Olympics. Captain of English champions Beeston, he suffered ruptured ankle ligaments after a collision with an opponent in the Euro League defeat against Belgian side Waterloo Ducks at Easter.
"There are kind of highs and lows and I am really keeping my fingers crossed that I am going to make it," he said. "That I am still in with a chance is down to the physios and back-up staff at Bisham.
"They gave me the Rooney and Beckham treatment. I spent 10, 90-minute sessions in an hyperbaric oxygen chamber to speed things up. You cannot quantify how this works but it has been just over three weeks since the injury and I am back running. I am busier injured than when I am fit and I am in the gym more than normally. In the end Bobby will make the decision."
World Cup team-mates Sam Quek and Susannah Townsend are leaving the Reading club. Quek is to join newly-promoted Holcombe with Townsend returning to Canterbury.
Zoe Shipperley expresses shock at England women's squad call-up
Buckingham captain and St Edward's School teacher describes feeling of making first World Cup squad
By Rod Gilmour
In the frame: Zoe Shipperley has been called into Jason Lee's World Cup squad Photo: ADY KERRY
Zoe Shipperley, the Buckingham defender, has expressed her shock at being called up into the England women’s Hockey World Cup squad.
Shipperley made her international debut in February and she will join Beeston forward Ellie Watton in head coach Jason Lee’s 18-strong squad, seven of whom will be experiencing a World Cup for the first time.
“It was a bit of a shock and then it was an unbelievable feeling,” said the 24 year-old. “To play for your country and then get to play in the World Cup, I am massively excited.
“I hadn’t even considered going to the World Cup. I didn’t even know when the dates were, where it was being played and I was never in the picture in my eyes.”
But Shipperley has impressed head coach Lee in recent months. The Buckingham captain travelled with a Great Britain squad for a warm-weather training camp in San Diego earlier this year and, according to Lee, “comfortably” slotted into the defensive lines.
“She is an intelligent player, reads the game well and like Ellie her progress has been significant since she joined us,” he added.
Shipperley believes she can fit into the dynamics of the team, too. “They are looking for players to be quite aggressive and I guess I bring those kinds of qualities to the team,” she said. “The way I distribute it is how I have always played my hockey.”
With 34 year-old captain Kate Richardson-Walsh nearing the end of her fine career, Shipperley knows that the World Cup offers a chance to become an England regular in the future.
She said: “It is the toughest role ever for anyone to replace Kate. I do believe she wants to continue in the future, but you have to take the opportunity and give it your best.”
Shipperley was an integral part of Buckingham’s promotion to the Investec Women’s Premier Division, coming after the conference side ensured top-flight status with a win over Sutton Coldfield in the play-off weekend last month.
“Relief is probably the best word to describe it,” admitted Shipperley, who has played for the club for the last two seasons. “I don’t think we could have taken another year.”
A centralised contract has also meant that Shipperley was forced to end her teaching role at St Edward’s School, Oxford.
Shipperley, a former pupil who was teaching PE, said: “They let me have Saturdays off to play for Buckingham and then go part-time when I was selected to go to America.
"Then, when I went full-time, handing in my resignation was made easy. I couldn’t have done it without their help.”
England defender Richard Smith aims for Rio Olympics after groundbreaking surgery
Defender reveals the revolutionary surgery which has put the hockey defender back on the path to realising dreams of making Rio Olympics
By Rod Gilmour
Forward thinking: England defender Richard Smith aims to return for the Rio Olympics Photo: ADY KERRY
As the World Cup nears, Richard Smith steps out of his office onto the London streets. There is no mention of his familiar nickname in the England set-up – Smudge – from his new office colleagues. Indeed, there isn’t even a Hockey World Cup call-up.
Smith should be preparing for England’s bid in The Hague next month. Instead, he is about to reveal the “ground-breaking” surgery that has given the defender dreams of returning to the international fold by Rio 2016.
After making his international debut in 2009, Smith was an ever-present, missing only one tournament, until injury concerns first surfaced at last summer’s European Championships.
The doctors first thought that problems with his left knee were linked to tendonitis. “From the word go it had a big impact on my game,” says Smith. “It felt like I was playing at 60 per cent and not being able to put my weight full into it.”
Painkillers were taken while Smith and the England physios were of the view that it was an issue to be addressed on return to the UK. “I hadn’t that many injuries before, but in hindsight I now know the signs of something a bit more major,” he admits.
Smith soon discovered that there was bone bruising underneath a large area of damaged articular cartilage in his knee. He was told to stop all exercise and had to mull over several options on which surgery he should undertake.
He opted for the MACI technique, which effectively would transplant new cartilage into the damaged knee. But Smith didn’t know the long-term results as the technique was relatively recent and there was no detailed research of successful patients to fall back on.
“The surgeon described it as like ‘laying a new bit of lawn’, and that you can’t really trample on it until you’re ready to handle it,” says Smith.
It was a two-stage operation. Firstly, they collected a combination of cartilage and stem cells before being sent off to a lab “somewhere in Europe”. There they were harvested for 10 weeks. Smith returned for open knee surgery in January and the graft, complete with healthy membrane cells, were placed in.
In all, Smith is likely to be out of action for a year and hopes to return in 2015. Hampstead and Westminster will welcome him with open arms – he has yet to play a game for them – after he took the decision to move from Royal Racing Club in Belgium.
“It has made it an interesting year,” the 26 year-old admits. “I was looking forward to the challenge after returning from Belgium and being involved at a club at Hampstead. But I have got involved in other ways like helping with training and the future plans of the club."
With his surgeon suggesting that he take his mind off the road to recovery by taking up an office role – working at sports data company insidetwocircles, which won agency of the year at last week's BT Sport Industry Awards – the agony of missing a World Cup has been lessened.
He will travel to The Hague for the opening weekend to support the team and after the tournament finishes he will begin core work to regain his strength. At the back end of the summer he will be aiming to recommence running and push on with the next stages of his rehab.
Despite the mental battles of being sidelined for so long, visions of being selected for the Rio Olympics are now firmly on his mind.
“It’s just a case of getting back to playing,” he says. “But in terms of having the experience of playing at London 2012, then Rio is on the radar.
"There is no guarantee, but the timescales are that I will hopefully have a chance to be back to my best level before Rio. After being through all of this, I would be delighted to be able to achieve that.”
His team-mates will hope so too, if only to welcome back 'Smudge'.
Discipline the key, says Najib
By Jugjet Singh
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak greets the national hockey squad with MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at a luncheon in Seri Perdana in Putrajaya yesterday. Bernama pic
PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has urged the national hockey squad to maintain discipline and focus on teamwork as they enter the last phase of preparations for the World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands beginning May 31.
Najib also urged the players to not worry about Malaysia’s world ranking during the World Cup, in which the national squad will be playing in for the first time since the 2002 edition.
Playing in Group A, World No 13 Malaysia will open accounts against top-ranked Australia, while their other opponents are England (4), Belgium (5), India (No 8) and Spain (10).
“Don’t think too much about the rankings of the other teams in our group.
“What is important is to play to the coaches’ instructions,” said Najib, who feted the squad to a luncheon at Seri Perdana in Putrajaya yesterday.
Also present was Malaysian Hockey Confederation president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.
“It is also important that you play with full dedication for the country.
“This is not only my hope but that of the nation,” said Najib.
Malaysia will leave for The Hague on May 23, with the final 18 named a week earlier.
New Straits Times
Terry Walsh: A top-6 finish will be an outstanding effort, says Terry Walsh
The 2014 Rabobank Men’s Hockey World Cup will be India’s biggest test since the forgettable 2012 London Olympics campaign, where they finished with a wooden spoon. The 13th edition is just couple of weeks away and there will be no dearth of expectations from the country’s ardent hockey fans when the Blueskirts launch their World Cup campaign against Belgium on May 31.
Much will hinge on how India’s head coach Terry Walsh gets the best out of his boys in The Hague, Netherlands. The 60-year-old Australian is well aware of the weight of expectations. “Well, you can’t have the Indian team cornering glory overnight. We have put a strong process in place which I can confidently say will pay rich dividends in the long run. You can’t have fruit growing on trees overnight – you must give time and I can say for sure that we have some healthy fruits in the growing stage (lot of talented youngsters shaping up well for the future),” the four times World Cupper says in an exclusive interview.
Quite obviously, the conversation revolved around the upcoming World Cup and India’s chances. Walsh chooses to walk the realistic path rather than promise the moon. “My boys have really worked hard in the camp in terms of focusing on the basics. We are trying to work up a style of play which does not conflict with India’s typical way of hockey. Tell me, if we go on to make a podium finish can we say everything is fine with Indian hockey? It’s not, we have to understand that. There is a long way to go before India can be counted among the best. There is a program is place which will take time before India emerges as a world-beater. I believe India should be in the top-8 in the World Cup, a top-six finish will be an outstanding effort,” he makes his point abundantly clear.
Walsh, who also featured in three Olympics – also a member of the silver-winning 1976 Montreal Olympics team – was happy to count on the positive strides the team have made since he took charge. “The Hockey World League Final Round was my first assignment as India coach. Since then the biggest improvement I have seen is in the physical fitness department. I’m not saying that we are ready to out compete sides likes Australia, Netherlands, Germany, but we are getting better and better. Over a period of time you will see this team make significant strides forwards. ” he opines.
Walsh, who earlier coached the national teams of Australia, Netherlands and Malaysia, believes no team can take India to the cleaners. “I can tell you that no team is going to bash us off the pitch. We may end up on the losing side, but won’t be taken apart. The boys are working hard and I’m sure India will have a great World Cup,” he says with aplomb.
The effervescent Aussie, who coached the Kookaburras to a bronze medal finish in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, made a strong pitch for improved fitness levels in domestic teams as it can ensure a formidable supply line for the national team. “The process put in place for the national team should be understood, discussed and at least partially implemented by domestic teams. There is a big gap in fitness standards of the national team and various domestic teams, which needs to be bridged. Domestic players are our supply line for the national team and if they are significantly lagging behind what the national team is doing, then it won’t be an ideal scenario for us,” he observes.
The plethora of injuries have rocked the Indian team in recent times – the likes of SV Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Gurwinder Singh Chandi and Harbir Singh have suffered injuries over a period of time. Walsh oozes a relieved look over the same. “Chandi and Harbir are making good recovery but will not make it for the World Cup. The rest are fit with no concerns as of now.
There is little doubt about which team Walsh is going to root for India, but who according to him is the favourite to win the 2014 World Cup? “I think the Netherlands are a strong contender. Playing in their own backyard definitely makes them the red-hot favourite,” quips, Walsh, who coached the Dutch side to a silver medal finish at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Walsh, who made 175 international appearances for Australia, thrives on solid support from his wife Sharon and two sons Jayme and Cale. “My wife (Sharon) has been a pillar of support for me. Both my sons are well settled. I have a really happy family, states the West Australian who loves the Indian food. “I love Indian food, but what I find a challenge is the repetitive stuff. Chicken Khorma is one of my favourites,” he signs off.
HI to honour late World Cup winning trio too
Chandigarh - Hockey India has decided to honour the families of the three deceased members of the team that won the 1975 World Cup, along with the 13 living players.
Originally, Hockey India had announced that it would honour only the 13 living members of the team, and award them Rs 1.75 lakh each.
Hockey India's decision came after The Tribune raised the issue, arguing that the deceased members of the team must be honoured too, as also the coaches and the support staff.
Hockey India today disclosed that it would honour the late Surjit Singh, Shivaji Pawar and Mohinder Singh too at a felicitation ceremony in New Delhi on Wednesday. Hockey India has invited the families of the three deceased players to the ceremony.
“The families of the late players will be here, though I admit there was a small mistake on our part. We could have extended the invitation earlier,” HI secretary general Narinder Batra said today. “The good thing is that we have not left it for too late and managed to set things right before time. Another thing I want to say is that we did not miss out on their names deliberately.” Surjit's wife Chanchal Randhawa will be honoured on Wednesday, as also Shivaji Pawar's wife Sheela, while Mohinder Singh's brother Satpal would represent his family.
“A mistake was made and I am glad it has been rectified,” Ajit Pal Singh, the captain of the team that won India's only World Cup in hockey, said. “We should not make a big deal about it. I don't see any scope of a controversy here.”
However, Hockey India decided to ignore the legendary chief coach of the team, Balbir Singh, and his deputy, Gurcharan Singh Bodhi, and the support staff.
“Hockey India should give equal respect to all the members of the winning squad and the support staff,” Dr. Rajender Kalra, the doctor of the World Cup-winning team, said. “It is rather disheartening that only 13 members were being honoured. The win was brought about by everyone, and every player and member of support staff should be given the respect.”
The 1975 Hockey World Cup final was played on May 15, not May 14 as a report in The Tribune said on Monday. The error is regretted.
Hockey India realises mistake, to honour late World Cup winning trio
NEW DELHI: In a case of belated realisation of its goof-up, Hockey India has decided to honour late Surjit Singh, Shivaji Pawar and Mohinder Singh along with the rest of the 1975 World Cup winning squad at a felicitation ceremony here on Wednesday.
In a last-minute move, HI has invited families of the deceased trio who were part of India's sole World Cup triumph till date.
"The families of the late players will be here though I admit there was a small mistake on our part. We could have extended the invitation earlier," HI secretary general Narinder Batra said on Monday.
"The good thing is that we have not left it for too late and manage to set things right before time. Another thing I want to say is that we did not miss out on their names deliberately," he added.
Surjit's wife Chanchal Randhawa will be present on the day, so will be Shivaji Pawar's better half Sheela to remember the historic win in Kuala Lumpur. Representing Mohinder Singh will be his brother Satpal. Each player will be awarded a one-time payment of Rs.1,75,000.
Ajit Pal Singh, the captain of the 1975 team, welcomed HI's 11th-hour decision to commemorate the three players with the rest of the squad.
"A mistake was made and I am glad it has been rectified. We should not make a big deal about it. I don't see any scope of a controversy here," he said.
The Times of India
Tushar: Time to give something back to the game
Tushar Khandkar: Opportunity to give something back to the game: Junior men’s hockey coach Tushar Khandker
Tushar Khandker has scaled many highs for the senior national team and now in his new avatar as coach of the Indian junior men’s hockey team, he is keyed up to offer whatever he can to help the youngsters fit the ‘competitive’ bill ahead of the 2016 Junior Men’s World Cup, which is slated to held in India. “It’ a great opportunity for me to give something back to the game as a coach of the junior team. I will be focusing on telling the boys what international hockey is all about and what are the things they need to work on in order to keep pace with the modern hockey trends,” Tushar says in an exclusive interview.
The national junior boys are being put through the paces at the ongoing camp at the Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium in New Delhi. Tushar is part of the coaching staff which also comprises Harendra Singh that will oversee the boys at the camp, which will run till June 6.
It may be recalled that India had hosted the 2013 Junior Men’s World Cup, where the colts dished out a disappointing tenth-place finish. Tushar feels that the end outcome did not quite reflect the performance of the boys. “I thought India put up a decent showing in the 2014 Junior Men’s World Cup, but it was little unfortunate that the performance of the boys did not quite reflect in the overall results. I’m sure the talent pool at the junior level has a lot of depth and if we stick to a proper training schedule there is no reason why the boys can’t do well in the 2016 Junior Men’s World Cup,’ he opines.
The 29-year-old Indian striker, who actively features in all domestic tournaments for his employers BPCL and also in the Hero Hockey India League for Sahara Pariwar-owned Uttar Pradesh Wizards, believes the current bunch have it in them to script a podium finish. “Obviously teams like Australia, Netherlands and Germany are going to be hard to beat, but in front of our home crowd India can definitely stole a march over these teams.”
Wearing the coaching hat may come naturally to Tushar, who has made 235 international appearances and scored close to 70 goals, but how does he assess his comeback chances to the senior team (he along with Bharat Chetri and Ignace Tirkey have been consistently overlooked after the disastrous 2012 London Olympics campaign)? “Getting picked in the national team is not in my hands. I’m fully fit and I regularly play in domestic events as well as the HIL. It’s something you have to ask to the selectors. If they (selectors) feel I’m good enough to be picked for the country, I will be back, if they think I’m over the hill there is little that I can do about it. Just keeping fingers crossed,” he makes his point clear.
Probe him further whether he will have any regrets if he is not picked anymore in the senior team, Tushar puts up a positive face. “I believe in staying positive which will stand me in good stead for the future. It’s so easy to let negativity creep into your system, which I’m not willing to,” he observes.
There is a general feeling that Tushar hasn’t got enough playing time in both the editions of the HIL to make a statement to the selectors. The nippy forward isn’t complaining much. “Look, the format of the HIL is different from normal 70 minutes of hockey. Four quarters required very high level of fitness and no player can sustain at that level for whole 35 minutes of a half, so it is quite obvious that players have to be rotated around so that they remain fresh. Same in my case, I was utlised by my team management as per the needs of the team, which is fine with me,” he remarks.
Bringing the confabulation to an end, Tushar gives his take on India’s chances at the 2014 World Cup to be held in The Hague, Netherlands beginning May 31. “I have a feeling that India will have a great World Cup. When I say ‘great’ I’m not suggesting anything but a good outing for our boys. Our team is well balanced – we have the likes of Sreejesh, Sardar, Rupinder, Birendra, Manrpeet, Akashdeep who have garnered a fair bit of international experience – I’m confident about our boys doing us proud in Hague,” he signs off.
Roshan Minz, a rare striker from Sundargarh
MUMBAI: Besides being one of the few districts to boast of three artificial turfs, Sundargarh is also famous for giving Indian hockey some great defenders -- Dilip Tirkey, Lazarus Barla, Ignace Tirkey, Prabodh Tirkey and William Xalxo.
So, when you come across Roshan Minz, another Sundargarh product, the inevitable question is why is he scoring goals and not defending. Minz is a rare striker from Sundargarh.
"I started off as a defender," Minz informs. "I grew up watching Lazarus Barla and Dilip Tirkey. Obviously my first preference was to become a defender," he adds.
How did the transformation from a defender to a striker happen then?
"In the year 2001, I had come to play the Junior Nehru hockey tournament in Delhi. And as luck would have it, the strikers in our team were unfit. So the coach asked me if could play up front. I did. And after the tournament finished, I walked away with the 'player of the tournament' award. I never looked back ever since," Minz, who scored in Indian Oil's 5-1 win over Indian Navy in the Guru Tegh Bahadur hockey tournament at the Mumbai Hockey Association ground on Monday, recalls.
"Having started off as a defender helps in analyzing the rival defender. I can pre-empt how he will move. It helps me dribble past the rival defender efficiently," says Minz.
The Times of India
Cup holders Grove lose out to penalty flicks
Scottish Cup Round Up
Men Quarter Finals
An all shoot out affair as Cup holders Grove Menzieshill lost out to Inverleith after finishing 2-2 with a an overtime penalty corner with Adam McKenzie scoring to level it 2-2 at full time. This leading to penalty flicks, as the purple robes won 6-5.
Grange men showed why they have their European status after beating underdogs University of St Andrews 9-0 at the weekend. This sees them comfortably through to the semi-final this weekend.
In the Glasgow derby it was another close affair with PSL Team Sport Clydesdale drawing with Hillhead 2-2 forcing another quarter final match to go to penalty flicks. This went to sudden death with Hillhead winning a thrilling 11-10.
Last but not least AAM Gordonians scraped through to the semi-finals by just one goal after beating Dundee Wanderers 6-5.
Women Quarter Finals
League leaders Grove Menzieshill won a convincing 7-0 over Western Wildcats whilst Edinburgh University travelled north and comfortably beat Dundee Wanderers 6-1. The students will face Grove Menzieshill in the next round.
CALA Edinburgh who finished just one position above Watsonians in Division 1 beat East rivals Watsonians 3-1, elsewhere Milne Craig Clydesdale Western won 4-1 over Inverleith at Glasgow Green. CALA face the Titwood outfitters in the semi-final at Peffermill this Saturday.
Men Quarter Finals
Granite City Wanderers beat Stirling Wanderers 5-0 whilst University of Dundee, who finished second in Division 3 beat league above side FMGM Monachs a triumphant 9-2. The Aberdeen based side take on the students in this weekend’s semi-final.
2020 Renewables Greenock won 4-2 over fellow Division 3 team Perthshire. Uddingston managed a close 3-2 win over Falkirk GHG to help them progress to the semi-finals against 2020 Renewables Greenock.
Women Quarter Finals
In the Aberdeen derby Granite City Wanderers came out on top winning 2-1 over Aberdeen.
Championship side Stirling Wanderers caused an upset knocking out Division 1 side Grange 5-3, they face Granite City Wanderers this weekend.
Edinburgh University II won 3-1 over university of St Andrews, with the Edinburgh based side facing Championship side Glasgow Accies, who move forward automatically to the semi-finals after Aberdeen University pulling out.
PSL Team Sport Clydesdale II through to the final after beating Inverleith II a convincing 8-1, they take on Grange II in the final. Grange II had a slightly harder game winning 4-2 over AAM Gordinians II.
Milne Craig Clydesdale Western IV beat Orkeny 3-2 to see themselves into the final up against Erskine Stewart Melville FP II who beat Shetland 2-1.
Perthshire II beat CALA Edinburgh II 2-1 whilst Hillhead II won 6-3 over Watsonians II, seeing Hillhead II take on Perthshire II in the final.
Grange III won 3-1 over Quasar as Madras FP put 3 past Livingston & West Lothian final score 3-2, putting Madras FP playing Grange III in the final.
Men Reserve Cup
Grange V beat Edinburgh University III a great 7-0 whilst fellow club mates Grange III lost to Hillhead III 5-2. Grange V plays Hillhead III on Sunday in the final at Glasgow Green.
Men Reserve Plate
Aberdeen Grammar Ps won 3-1 over Grove Menzieshill III elsewhere Rottonrow Blue Sox II won 2-1 seeing them to the final.
All finals will be held at Glasgow Green on the 18th of May.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
West win Scottish U14 Boys Inter Districts
West Winners of the U14 boys Inter Districts photo taken by Roy Whittaker
West boys won all their games making them the U14 Inter District Champions. The tournament was played in a round robin format at Peffermill playing fields in Edinburgh.
The West boys were presented with their medals and trophy from Scotland’s senior men’s captain and GB internationalist Chris Grassick.
East 1 – 1 Midland
West 3 – 1 North
Highland 0 – 2 East
West 2 – 0 Midland
Highland 0 – 0 North
East 0 – 4 West
Midland 4 – 0 North
Highland 1 – 3 West
East 2 – 1 North
Highland 2 – 0 Midland
Scotland captain and GB international Chris Grassick presenting the trophy photo taken by Roy Whittaker
You can find more photos from the event here.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Auckland Women, Harbour Men take U21 titles
Auckland Women and North Harbour Men are the 2014 National Under-21 champions following last week’s tournament held at Lloyd Elsmore Park in Pakuranga.
Auckland Women went one better than last year beating Central 3-0 thanks to two goals from the tournament’s leading goal scorer Su Arn Kwek and a penalty corner from Alex Hunt.
North Harbour Men had an exceptional tournament remaining undefeated throughout the week and winning the final 5-1 against Auckland. North Harbour’s Craig Jones scored three penalty corners with Elliot Bartholomew and Shaun Rees securing the win in the second half.
The bronze medals went to North Harbour Women after winning a shoot-out against Midlands, and Canterbury Men who beat Southern 4-2. Canterbury’s Trevor Garrett was the leading goal scorer for the men slotting home 10 goals during the week.
Congratulations to Central goalkeeper Georgia Barnett who was awarded the Most Valuable Player for the tournament and Jones who took the honours for the men.
A big thanks to Auckland Hockey Association for hosting such a successful tournament – and turning on the beautiful weather!
The final placings are as follows:
1. North Harbour
7. NZ Barbarians
3. North Harbour
8. NZ Barbarians
For full results and match sheets, CLICK HERE
Hockey New Zealand Media release
North Harbour lead Ramesh Patel Shield standings
North Harbour is at the top of the leaderboard for the Ramesh Patel Shield following their gold (men) and bronze (women) medal performances at the National Under-21Tournament last week.
The Ramesh Patel Shield has been introduced this year by Hockey New Zealand to recognise the best performing region over the three annual high performance tournaments – U21, U18 and the Ford National Hockey League.
The shield will be awarded at the Ford National Hockey League prizegiving.
The Under-18 Regional Tournament is from 6-12 July in Napier and the Ford National Hockey League is from 6-14th September at North Harbour.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
USA Field Hockey announces U-14 Festival Division
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Field Hockey is excited to announce the Under-14 Girls division teams to compete at the 2014 National Hockey Festival in Palm Springs, Cali.
In its sophomore year alongside the Under-16 and Under-19 showcase divisions, the Under-14 division will see a full complement of 42 teams competing for pool championship.
Made up of more than 400 11, 12 and 13 year olds, the division was the driving force behind a new record number of teams and athletes in attendance for National Hockey Festival which is known to be the world’s largest field hockey event aside from the Olympic Games. The Under-14 girls will each play six matches, consisting of two 25-minute halves on half fields in a round-robin, 7-a-side tournament.
USA Field Hockey welcomes the teams below to compete in the 2014 National Hockey Festival Under-14 Division:
Aim Field Hockey
Cape Ann Coalition
East End Black
Fer De Lance
First Class Bulldogs
FSC Falcons Black
High Styx Swarm
Lasting Legacy Storm
Nook Hockey White
Philly Hockey Club
Polar Bears III
Princeton Field Hockey
Shiv’s Coaching Academy
Spirit of USA Black
Texas Pride Red
The Edge Field Hockey
Total Dutch Grey
USFHA media release