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News 14 May 2014

All the news for Wednesday 14 May 2014

Super seven – the USA's 'old-timers'

Long-serving players are looking to build on recent success in Glasgow

While Team USA come into the Rabobank Hockey World Cup with a squad that has a lot of players who have not played on the big stage with the regularity of a Maartja Paumen or a Luciana Aymar, the team does consist of a core of players who have been together for a long time.

Leading the way is the strong, midfield core of the team, captain Lauren Crandall and Rachel Dawson, who have 224 and 233 caps respectively. Both Rachel and Lauren joined the squad in 2005 and have played in two Olympic Games. In 2006 Rachel was one of six athletes nominated for the World Hockey Women's Young Player of the Year and she has gone on to collect the National Player of the Year award in 2007 and the Olympic Qualifier Player of the Tournament in 2008. Rachel's ability to work at the heart of the team could be attributed to her upbringing – she has seven siblings, including two sisters who have also played on the national team.

Katelyn Fagolwski was the youngest USA player in the 2006 World Cup and since then she has won 172 caps for her country, despite a potential career-ending injury sustained in 2010. This was a bitter-sweet time for the 26-year-old. She suffered concussion and a horrific anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2010 but through aggressive rehabilitation was back in the fray in 2011 and was named in the 2011 World All-Star team by the FIH, largely due to her performance in the Pan American Games final, when the USA beat Argentina 4-2 in the final.

Michelle Kasold joined the national squad in 2006, and since then she has notched up 160 caps. Along with Katie O'Donnell (158) and Caroline Nichols (157), she is one of the players who made USA hockey history in that 2011 Pan American final, the victory ensuring the USA a place in the 2012 Olympics.

Katie O'Donnell is the youngest ever player to be named in the US team, she joined the national squad in 2005 at the age of 16. Four years later she won the Sportswoman of the Year award, an honour previously won by Serena and Venus Williams and Mia Hamm. At the recent Champions Challenge 1 in Glasgow, Katie was top scorer, her goals helping the USA win the tournament and qualify for the Champions Trophy in 2016.

The seventh player in the list of long-serving USA players is Caroline Nichols. A penalty corner specialist and a reliable force on penalty strokes, Caroline is the rock in the USA defence. In turn, she relies on the support of her family – she Skypes her father before every game to get his words of encouragement.

FIH site

Bobby Crutchley names World Cup squad

England's Adam Dixon named in World Cup squad despite ankle injury - credit Ady Kerry

Ahead of the 2014 Rabobank World Cup, which runs from 31 May – 15 June, England Men’s Head Coach Bobby Crutchley has named his squad of 18 athletes to travel out to The Hague in the Netherlands.

All of England’s matches will be shown live on Sky; the first game will be against Spain at 16:30 (UK time) on Saturday 31 May. Further information will be announced closer to the tournament.

The squad

Returning to the 18 man squad is Wimbledon’s Henry Weir who has recovered from an ankle injury which kept him sidelined for several months; the defender made his return against the Netherlands last week. Reading’s Dan Shingles has also kept his place in the squad following an injury-free period which has seen him make good progress both in training and recent matches to impress Crutchley.

England Captain, Barry Middleton

England captain Barry Middleton will make his 200th appearance for England on Thursday when his side faces the Netherlands in Dusseldorf at a Four Nations World Cup warm-up tournament. Following that game Middleton will only need three more caps to become the most capped England & GB men’s international player of all time with 308 appearances – surpassing Russell Garcia, who previously held the record at 307. Assuming he plays in England’s next four matches he will achieve this feat against Australia at Bisham Abbey on 24th May.

Middleton has never been one for the spotlight, preferring to let his world-class performances on the pitch do the talking, but it is how he combines this talent and ability [on the pitch] with his leadership and commitment to the team behind the scenes that impresses Crutchley the most. “As a player Barry is a consummate professional; his approach to both his training and his own personal development allows him to keep making improvements even after a decade of playing at the very top. As a captain, he leads by example and is incredibly selfless; all the lads in the squad have a huge amount of respect for him and it’s been great to watch his leadership of the group develop across the five years since he took the Captain’s armband back in 2009.”

Adam Dixon, Beeston

Another player with whom Crutchley is not short on admiration is Adam Dixon who will gain his 100th cap over the course of the World Cup if his recovery from an ankle injury continues to go to plan. Dixon suffered ligament damage during the Euro Hockey League KO16 in Eindhoven at Easter. Crutchley added, “Adam has been a key player for us across the last 18 months and his performances at tournaments during 2013 and 14 have been consistently high.” Wimbledon’s Phil Roper will replace Dixon at the Four Nations in Dusseldorf whilst Dixon continues his rehabilitation at Bisham Abbey.

Pool A – the opponents

England are in Pool A with Australia, Belgium, India, Malaysia and Spain, and are the second highest FIH world-ranked team in the group at number four, with only Australia – the men’s world number 1 – above them.

Crutchley is under no illusions about how tough it will be to finish in the top two and make the semi-finals. “There isn’t an easy game at a World Cup and we’re facing some quality opposition in our group, however I’ve seen this team consistently improve over the last 12 months and I think we can be contenders for a top two finish.”

On England’s opponents Crutchley added, “Our first match is against Spain who are a bit of an unknown entity at the moment, but we always have tough matches against them. India have been in a rebuilding phase with Terry Walsh as their coach and it will be interesting to see the impact he has had on the talent in that squad. Then with Australia [world number one side] and Belgium to face in our last two games we’ll need to be consistently at the top of our game throughout the group stages.”

World Cup build-up

Between now and the World Cup England will face five World Cup teams as they continue preparations. Information about the fixtures can be found below.

4 Nations – Dusseldorf, Germany, 14-18 May 2014

Link to schedule

England men head off to Germany for training and a second four nations tournament against Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, before heading back to England for their squad announcement.

Rabobank Hockey World Cup squad

Shirt # - Name - Club - Position

1 - George Pinner – Beeston - Goalkeeper
2 - James Bailey – Reading - Goalkeeper
6 - Henry Weir – Wimbledon - Midfield
7 - Ashley Jackson - East Grinstead - Midfield/Forward
8 - Simon Mantell – Reading - Forward
9 - Harry Martin – Beeston - Midfield
11 - Alastair Brogdon – Wimbledon - Forward
12 - Michael Hoare – Wimbledon - Defender
16 - Adam Dixon – Beeston - Defender/Midfield
18 - Barry Middleton – Holcombe - Midfield/Forward
20 - Dan Shingles – Reading - Midfield
21 - Tim Whiteman – Beeston - Midfield/Defender
22 - David Condon - East Grinstead - Midfield
23 - Tom Carson – Reading - Forward
24 - Iain Lewers - East Grinstead - Defender
26 - Nick Catlin – Reading - Midfield/Forward
27 - Dan Fox – Holcombe - Defender
28 - Mark Gleghorne – East Grinstead - Forward

England Hockey Board Media release

England U21 Men battle to two draws with Belgium

Sam French challenges for the ball

Last weekend England U21 Men faced a visiting Belgian side at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre. Despite some fine performances England were only able to bring both games to a draw as Belgium refused to stay behind each time England gained the lead.

Saturday 10 May - Match 1 - England (1) 2-2 (0) Belgium

After a relatively uneventful first half which saw neither side giving any quarter, a push in the last five minutes meant Rob Farrington was able to get on the scoresheet and put England in the lead. The second half went much like the first with a long period where neither side either broke forwards or allowed anything through, but on 47 minutes Belgium was able to pull one back. A draw looked likely, but the dying minutes saw a flurry of activity from both sides. Belgium pulled ahead with a goal from Plennevaux, but a last-minute penalty stroke was put away by Luke Taylor meaning the game finished on a 2-2 draw.

Sunday 11 May - Match 2 - England (2) 3-3 (1) Belgium

In a much more frenetic match than Saturday's the scoring was opened 13 minutes in and didn't slow down until the last 15 minutes. It was Matt Richards who opened the scoring, dodging the ball around the Belgian keeper, followed a few minutes later by Ben Boon. It looked like England would go into the second half with a clean sheet but Belgium had other plans as Cobbaert was able to get past England's defense to pull one back two minutes before the break, leaving the score 2-1.

England's Sam French increased their lead five minutes into the second half, easily putting away a penalty corner, and at 3-1 England were well on their way to a victory. However, characteristically of the Belgian side they were far from out of the game just yet, and with two goals within five minutes it was up to England's hardy defense to hold on to the draw. Neither side was able to break through in the last 15 minutes and the final whistle went with the score at 3-3.

England U21 Men's Squad

Name - Club

Harry Gibson (GK) - Loughborough Students
Theo Dowse (GK) - Indian Gymkhana
Luke Taylor - East Grinstead
Brendan Creed - Sheffield Hallam
Jonty Griffiths - Loughborough Students
Daniel Faulkner - Loughborough Students
Liam Sanford - Wycombe
Robbie Gleeson - Olton and West Warwicks
Jonny Gall - Surbiton
Rob Farrington - Loughborough Students
Joe Sharp - Beeston
Jonny Gooch - Birmingham University
Sam Spencer - Loughborough Students
Matt Richards - Exeter University
Arjan Drayton-Chana - Cannock
David Goodfield - Sheffield Hallam
James Gall - Surbiton
Ben Boon - Reading
Ed Horler - Team Bath Buccaneers
Sam French - Birmingham University

England Hockey Board Media release

Lammers names Belgian panel for ERGO Masters

Marc Lammers has given a very strong hint to his probable Belgian World Cup panel with the naming of his squad for the ERGO Masters that take place in Dusseldorf this weekend where they will take on Germany, England and the Netherlands.

The event starts on Thursday with EHL bronze medalists Dragons represented by Felix Denayer, Arthur van Doren, Florent van Aubel and Emmanuel Stockbroekx as well as Loick Luypaert who makes the move to Kampong this summer.

There are plenty of other Dutch based players named including Bloemendaal's Tom Boon and Simon Gougnard, Den Bosch's Sebastien Dockier and OZ trio Thomas Briels, Elliot van Strydonck and new signing Vincent Vanasch.

National champions the Waterloo Ducks have Alexandre De Saedeleer and John-John Dohmen while Europe's fourth place team, Racing, have three players involved. EHL newcomers Daring have Tanguy Cosyns involved while Xavier Reckinger is the Braxgata representative.

Euro Hockey League media release

EHL stars abound in Dutch panel

The Dutch men's World Cup squad is packed with players who have Euro Hockey League plans for next season with plenty of Kampong, Bloemendaal and Oranje Zwart representatives in Paul van Ass's panel announced earlier today.

Dutch champions OZ lead the way with five in the panel with Marcel Balkestein, Sander Baart, Jelle Galema and EHL Heroes Rob van der Horst and Mink van der Weerden all named in the panel.

From Bloemendaal, Jaap Stockmann, Wouter Jolie and Rogier Hofman are all called up while Kampong's Robbert Kemperman, Sander de Wijn and Constantijn Jonker are included too, making it 11 of the panel that are drawn from sides who have qualified for next year's EHL.

Amsterdam and Rotterdam provide three players each, too, while HGC's Floris van der Linden completes the squad.

Valentin Verga, Van der Linden and Galema are the two players to return to the panel having missed the World League final in January, coming into the panel in place of Bob de Voogd, Oliver Polkamp and Jan Willem Buissant.

Euro Hockey League media release

Australia hockey captain says India among the best

NEW DELHI: Australia hockey captain Mark Knowles feels India is a far better team for their chief coach Terry Walsh to be looking at a mere top-eight finish in the upcoming World Cup.

Olympic gold medallist Knowles sees Walsh's statement as some kind of a general tonic to boost the health and morale of the squad ahead of the 12-team tournament -- perhaps to make the boys relax and ease the pressure.

"Walsh could have pegged his mark lower just to ease off the pressure so that the guys don't think too much about their position and concentrate on their game. India certainly can finish much higher than top-8," Knowles said over phone from Perth Tuesday.

Qualifying his optimism, Knowles said India's V.R. Raghunath and Rupinder Pal Singh are among the world's best drag-flickers who add further strength to a world class midfield and an enterprising forward line.

"India's penalty corner experts Raghu and Rupinder are among the best in the world, no one will dispute that. They have a world class midfield and an energetic forward line too," added the Kookaburra, who was part of the 2004 Athens Olympics gold medal winning team.

World No. 8 India have drawn defending champions Australia, England, Belgium, Spain and Malaysia in Pool A of the World Cup to be played at The Hague May 31-June 15.

"India can beat anybody on a given day but I hope they don't beat us," quipped the Queenslander. "They can beat England, Spain and Belgium and threaten us too but we have four matches before we play them. We will closely follow their game before we face them and have to be careful. But it is going to be a fantastic match."

"India have improved a lot over the last two years and on their day they could be as good as anybody. But their challenge will be to play high level hockey consistently," said the 30-year-old, who also has two bronze medals from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Knowles, who won the 2010 World Cup here, will be leading the defending champions into what he claims is a tough pool, and their first target will be to reach the semifinals.

"We have a really difficult pool with two top European teams -- England and Belgium -- who can give us tough competition. We have India (June 9) against whom it is always amazing to play considering the skills they have. And we have Malaysia against whom we played a tough final in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup recently even though the scoreline doesn't suggest it," said the skipper of the world's No.1 team.

"First thing is to reach the semifinals. If we get there, we'll know we can beat any team. It is important to start well against Malaysia (May 31) before we take on others."

The Kookaburras are currently in a training camp in Perth under legendary coach Ric Charlesworth, who will step down after the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in August.

"Our preparations have been good, we have been undergoing rigorous training for sharpening our skills to get ready for the World Cup. We will be playing two games in England and a couple of practice games to get used to the European conditions before the World Cup," said Knowles, who has also won two Commonwealth Games golds in 2006 and 2010.

The captain praised Charlesworth, who has been at the helm since 2009, for his contribution to Australian hockey.

"Ric has been phenomenal and we benefited immensely by his knowledge of the game. He took over from another amazing coach Barry Dancer and made us tougher to reach new heights. If we are a hockey powerhouse today it is because he has instilled in us confidence to become world beaters," concluded Knowles.

The Times of India

World Cup heroes relive that memorable day of 1975

Vijay Lokapally

KINGS OF THE WORLD: The team which won the World Cup in 1975 in Kuala Lumpur   

Ashok Kumar and Aslam Sher Khan. Two names from the past, a golden chapter of Indian hockey, when the team was crowned world champion at Kuala Lumpur in 1975. Aslam scored to equalise in a pulsating situation, with time running out, to take the match against Malaysia into extra time. Ashok tapped in to leave Pakistan shattered in the final.

“I have relived the goal countless times,” said Ashok. “How can I forget the goal,” gushed Aslam. The glory of Indian hockey at the Olympics was revisited by a bunch of motivated players. The manager of the team, Balbir Singh (Sr), knew the sweet taste of victory. He had won the gold thrice at the Olympics.

India trailed Malaysia 1-2. In utter despair, defeat staring in the face, Balbir (Sr) pushed Aslam into the battlefield. “He patted my cheeks and said only god can save us.

“It was an emotional moment for me. Where was the assurance that we might earn a penalty corner. We got one and I suddenly felt all the pressure on my shoulders,” recalled Aslam.

On radio, commentator Jasdev Singh had made a prophetic observation. “Aslam will be India’s saviour.” The Merdeka Stadium was packed with hardly any voice of support for India. As B.P. Govinda pushed and Ajitpal Singh stopped the ball, Aslam made his move, a precise strike to the goalkeeper’s right. “A difficult shot but my favourite.”


Aslam’s goal was the elixir Indian hockey deserved. “My goal impacted three nations. It helped India eliminate Malaysia, put us in the final and gave Pakistan nightmares. Pakistan had prayed for Malaysia but we were destined to win,” stressed Aslam.

Ashok was India’s hero. After Surjit Singh got the equaliser to Zahid’s 17th minute goal, the onus was on inside-right Ashok and inside-left Govinda. “We played the hockey of our lives, attacking, falling back to the 25-yard line and launching moves. Pakistan was tough but we played far better that day. I would give lot of credit to Ajitpal, who controlled the game so beautifully, Aslam defended robustly and goalkeeper (Ashok Diwan) made some sensational saves. It was a team effort no doubt,” said Ashok.

Diwan’s response was humble as always. “I never realised my contribution. There was no television those days. Only recently I saw the final (on YouTube) and discovered some of my saves. We were a very good side,” he said. Diwan, however, missed the celebrations. So brilliant was his work under the bar that he was taken away for dope test. “I joined the team in the hotel after two hours and missed the celebrations,” Diwan added.

The heroes of 1975 assemble here on Wednesday. Three members, Mohinder Singh, Surjit Singh and Shivaji Pawar, have since passed away. “It will be a great occasion for us. To relive those glorious days when India ruled the world of hockey,” noted Ajitpal, captain of the team.

The Hindu

Indian Oil beat South Central Railway 5-3; through to semis

MUMBAI: Indian Oil secured a 5-3 win over South Central Railway in their Group B clash in the 10th All India Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup Hockey Tournament, at the MHA-Mahindra stadium on Tuesday.

For the oilmen, Roshan Minz (13), Didar Singh (17), Deepak Thakur (49), Prabhjot Singh (60) and Vikash Sharma (69) sounded the board, while South Central Railway got their goals through Mayank James' brace (33, 39) and from B Horo (59).

Earlier in another Group B clash, Indian Navy guided by Ved Prakash's twin goals in each half, rallied to hold Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) to a 2-2 draw. Dhyan Singh (31) and Imran Khan (51) struck the goals for CAG.

Defending champions Air India survived a scare from Army XI in a Group A contest, which finished in an exciting 3-3 draw.

Shivendra Singh scored for Air India in the 11th minute but the Army side upstaged them with two goals in the 16th and 19th minute with goals from Binoy Bhengra and Muthana.

But Air India drew level when Joga Singh capitalised on a half chance to score with two minutes remaining for the half-time.

Army took the lead once again when Siraju A P converted a penalty corner in the 43rd minute but the title holders equalised through Gaganpreet Singh's penalty corner in the 51st minute.

The Times of India

Sub-junior women's hockey nationals from May 15

NEW DELHI: The fourth edition of the Hockey India Sub-Junior Women National Championship 2014 (division B) is all set to commence from May 15 in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, while the A division will commence on May 19 in Pune.

The two new teams Vidarbha Hockey Association and Hockey Gangpur - Odisha have been added this year.

A total of 34 teams will be participating where division B will have 18 and division A will comprise of 16 teams. Each division will further be divided into 4 Pools where Division B will see 5 teams in Pool A & B and 4 teams each in Pool C & D, whereas Pool A, B, C & D of Division A will have 4 teams each.

The matches will be played in a phased manner with Division B first completing its sets of matches and the same will be played from May 15 to May 25. Teams under Division A will play their matches till May 27.

The inaugural match of the season will be played between Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat on Pitch 1 in division B.

The Times of India

For Dixit, Air India call is the flight of his life

Sudheendra Tripathi

MUMBAI: Opportunity does not come knocking everyday. And when it comes, the smart guys make the most of it. For Mumbai lad Sudhir Dixit, a golden opportunity has come in the form of a call from top flight hockey team, Air India.

Air India's regular custodian, Adrian D'Souza picked up a niggle during a hockey tournament in the city and was subsequently ruled out of the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup being played at the Mahindra Stadium.

Coach Dhanraj Pillay, who is aware of Dixit's talent under the bar, wasted no time in offering him a playing role, and Dixit is mighty pleased. Making his debut on Tuesday during a Gold Cup game against the formidable Army XI, Dixit was involved in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

But Pillay felt the goals conceded by Dixit were simply unstoppable. "Anyone could have conceded those goals," Pillay said.

The four-time Olympian was all praise for Dixit. "He is a good lad. What I like most about him is his ability and the inclination to learn. He is a very good student and thrives to keep adding new skills. If he keeps his head down and maintains a low profile, he will go a long way," Pillay observed.

Dixit, meanwhile, is basking in his new found glory. The 23-year-old, who until recently turned out for Union Bank in the Mumbai Super Division, felt that a huge platform like Air India would help him carve out a successful career.

"Air India play big tournaments around the country. They have such a vast talent base that even if I am on the squad and not getting to play, I will learn a lot just by travelling with the team. It will be a great experience and I am looking forward to it," Dixit said.

A golden opportunity has surely come knocking for Dixit, now it is up to him to make the most of it.

The Times of India

Hockey India inducts CISF as its Associate member

NEW DELHI: Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) can now compete in all the national championships after being inducted as the new Associate of the Hockey India, game's governing body in the country.

CISF is a paramilitary force under ministry of home affairs, providing integrated security cover to the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).

"We are delighted to welcome CISF as our Associate Member. Working together with such an organisation will definitely provide good opportunities in the area of sports," Narinder Batra, secretary general, Hockey India, said in a release.

"With CISF on board as Hockey India's Associate Member, we look forward to a healthy sports environment both on National and International front hereon," Batra added.

Hockey India currently has 26 permanent member units, 20 associate members, 2 members through State Olympic Associations, 5 Academy Members and 1 Hoc-Key Member.

The Times of India

PHF to organise six-nation tournament

Mohsin Ali

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Rana Mujahid announced Tuesday that PHF was going to organise six-nation championship as Federation of International Hockey (FIH) president very kindly gave approval to organise the event in Pakistan.

Addressing a “Meet The Rawalpindi Islamabad Sports Journalists Association (RISJA)” at Pakistan Sports Complex meeting hall, Muajahid said it was also decided to organise PM Gold Cup Hockey Tournament every year. “In the first phase we are willing to play the six-nation event involving sides who are willing to play in Pakistan while in the second phase we will only invite top professional sides.”

“We are very grateful to Hockey India secretary, who very kindly agreed to resume bilateral hockey series with Pakistan. All the details have been finalised in this regard and now it is subject to clearance from Indian government. We will talk to Ministry on Foreign Affairs and government and I am quite confident the proposed series would take place later this year in Pakistan. I had made it clear to my Indian counterpart that Pakistan had toured India on number of occasions and now it is their turn to come and play in Pakistan. We are prepared to play three-match series in Pakistan and ready to play 6 or more matches in return leg in India.”

“We have also decided in principal to organise Pakistan Hockey League. We have almost completed all the documentation and now waiting for release of funds from the government. Nothing could be achieved without sufficient amount of funds. We have no other regular source of income and we have to completely rely on government to get funds as sponsors are not willing to step forward due to non-arrival of international hockey teams. As soon as we managed to break the ice, I am quite confident funds would start to flow from private sector as well.”

Mujahid said the PHF has given free hand to Shahnaz Shaikh to select team as federation just needed results and he has promised to provide satisfactory results in the upcoming events. “We as the defending champions of Asian Games, giving top most priority to defend the title as it would provide us direct path to Olympics, otherwise we would have to play in qualifying round.”

“We have requested Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is also the patron of Pakistan Hockey Federation, to allocate Rs500 million to PHF and it is my promise that with the availability of funds we would start to produce more than desired results in one-year time.”

When this correspondent asked Mujahid former secretary Asif Bajwa is giving statements against newly-appointed president and coach, he replied; “When Bajwa was secretary they were giving statements against him and now he is doing the same. If Bajwa would have been part of the PHF, I would have issued him show cause notice, but now I can’t stop him. We believe in results. I am quite confident with the amount of experience Shahnaz and Islahuddin have, they will soon transform the team into winning unit.”

“We have made special plans to revive hockey at grassroots level. We would organise district, regional, provincial and national level events. We have made it clear to all departments to at least participate in six national championships every year. The plan was to appear in 10 at least but due to financial position of departments, it was decided to make six events mandatory for every department. It was also decided to organise umpiring courses. We have international representation in the shape of Haider Rasool and Rashid Butt, who will officiate during Asian Games. We would prepare more umpires, coaches to enhance our international representation.”

“We have hired the services of Tahir Zaman as director coaching keeping in mind his vast international experience and he is very much part of FIH. He would help country in producing number of coaches in near future as we want to take Pakistan hockey back to old glory days. We had decided to take all former greats on board. I must give credit to president Chaudhry Akhtar Rasool who very kindly curtailed his powers and gave free hand to chief selector and head coach. No such example was witnessed in the past,” Mujahid concluded.

The Nation

PHF hopes to organise international event

Kashif Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has contacted the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for holding a six-nation hockey tournament later this year in Pakistan, PHF secretary Rana Mujahid said.

Addressing a press conference at the Pakistan Sports Complex here on Tuesday before going to Karachi, Mujahid said they had requested the FIH to send six international teams to Pakistan to participate in a hockey tournament likely to be held later this year.

When asked which teams will participate, Mujahid said, “We have left this to the FIH. They will send the teams of their choice.”

He added that the Indian Hockey Federations had assured us that they would play a bilateral series against us.

“All details have been finalised between both the federations. Now both of us need clearance from our respective governments,” he said and added that the PHF would request the government for resumption of bilateral series with India.

“I am quite confident the proposed series will take place as I have requested my Indian counterpart to come to Pakistan for the series,” he said.

He said there will be three-match series if the Indian government agrees to send their team to Pakistan.

Later, Pakistan will visit India to play six-match series.

To a query, he said the PHF has also decided to organise Pakistan Hockey League every year.

APP adds: Mujahid said Shahnaz Sheikh’s term as coach will depend on national team’s performance at the Asian Games and the decision in that regard would rest with the Executive Board.

Speaking of team’s chances at the Asian Games, he said they had given a free hand to the coach to implement his plan before the mega event.

“I am hopeful that the defending champions will do well at the Games,” he said.

Mujahid said the PHF wanted to move forward and that was why they had taken several Olympians on board.

“We have appointed Islahuddin Siddiqui as chief selector and given the charge of director coaching to Tahir Zaman to take their help in revival of the game,” he said.

Talking about the criticism by former PHF secretary Asif Bajwa on the Olympians, Mujahid said Asif would have been served a show-cause notice had he been part of the PHF.


Selectors eye new talent as junior hockey begins today

Anwar Zuberi

KARACHI: The 33rd National Junior Hockey Championship, which pushes off at the refurbished Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium on Wednesday, heralds the launching pad for the 2016 junior hockey World Cup.

“The selectors will unearth talent during the event that will be groomed for future,” an optimistic Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Rana Mujahid told a news conference on Tuesday.

The PHF secretary was flanked by Karachi Hockey Association (KHA) president Wasay Jalil, secretary Mohammad Farooq Khan, Sindh Hockey Association (SHA) president and former Olympian Shahid Ali Khan and secretary Ramzan Jamali.

Unfolding details, he said the event will be played under the new International Hockey Federation (FIH) rules that will officially come into force from Sept 1. The new rules envisage four halves of 15 minute each with three breaks of two minutes, 10 minutes and two minutes.

He said every match will be supervised by five referees — two in the field, one third umpire while two will monitor from outside close to the ‘D’.

“Plans are also afoot to implement a video umpiring system to minimise foul play,” he added.

The PHF secretary added that the penalty shootout will be ensued in case two teams fail to settle the issue in the 60-minute regulation time.

A jury of appeal comprising Wasay Jalil, Col Nadeem, Tahir Zaman and Ramzan Jamali has been constituted.

According to details, players born on or after January 1, 1996, are eligible to compete in the event. A scrutiny committee has been constituted to monitor the overage cases. It comprised Tahir Zaman, Col Nadeem and Ramzan Jamali.

The PHF has asked the PSB to send Dr Waqar to assist and conduct the tests, he added.

Rana Mujahid went on to say that the high electricity cost has compelled the organisers to refrain from staging some matches under floodlights.

Responding to a question, he said Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada has forwarded a summary to the prime minister for approval of Rs500 million for the PHF to carry out activities for one year.

Speaking on the occasion, the KHA chief expressed his gratitude to the PHF for awarding the event to Karachi which, according to him, will give a sigh of relief to people of the port city.

He said extra-curricular activities can effectively serve as a tool to overcome menace of terrorism.

The official said the KHA will leave no stone unturned in making the event a success.

Meanwhile, the KHA secretary told Dawn that with the exception of Islamabad, all teams arrived in Karachi. Islamabad were due to reach the city on Tuesday night.

He said arrangement for their boarding and lodging has been made at the KHA Club hostel in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

As many as 15 teams representing 12 affiliated units will vie for honours during the 10-day event. Punjab has fielded three outfits while Sindh will be represented by two.

The top two teams will advance into the quarter-finals after completion of the group matches. The two semi-finals will be played on May 23 while the curtain falls on the event the following day.

Formal opening of the championship will be held at the HCP Stadium on Wednesday at 5.00pm Following are the pools:

Pool ‘A’: National Bank of Pakistan, Sindh Colours, Punjab Colours, Islamabad.

Pool ‘B’: PIA, Punjab Whites, Pakistan Board.

Pool ‘C’: Army, Railways, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab Yellows.

Pool ‘D’: Wapda, Pakistan Customs, Sindh Whites, Balochistan.

Wednesday’s fixtures:

At 7.00am: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Punjab Yellows.

At 9.00am: Sindh Whites v Balochistan.

At 3.00pm: Punjab Whites v Pakistan Board.

At 5.00pm: National Bank of Pakistan v Sindh Colours.


Region 5 U19 Teams qualify for US National Club Championship

The stage was set at The Training Center in Spring City, Pa. for a weekend of outstanding field hockey with many of the nation’s top junior players on view. Reigning Under-19 National Club Champions W C Eagles stormed through matches this weekend, outscoring their opponents 38-2 in six matches to win Region 5’s Regional Club Championship (RCC). XCalibur Field Hockey Club secured the number two spot with their quick offensive plays. Both teams have qualified to compete at the National Club Championship (NCC) in July of this year.

Saturday saw W C Eagles secure a semi-final berth with three strong wins in Pool A, while XCalibur and Nook ensured their places in the semis with two wins each. On Sunday morning, High Styx, Key State and Mystx were left to compete for the second place in Pool A. With Key State and Mystx fighting out a 1-1 draw, the last remaining spot in the semi-final place still hung in the balance of the last pool game where Mystx clinched the remaining place with a 2-1 win over High Styx.

The first semi-final saw the top two nationally ranked teams, W C Eagles and Nook, pitted against each other. Albeit skillful pressure from the defense, Nook allowed two goals in each half and W C Eagles secured a 4-0 victory and a place in the Final. Down 3-2 at half time to Mystx, XCalibur mounted a strong second half come-back, scoring four goals to win the nail-biting second semi-final 6-4.

Throughout the championship match, W C Eagles’ forwards focused on executing quick passes through the midfield to set up runs for their teammates and Junior National Team forwards Moira Putsch and Sophia Tornetta. Amelia Iacabucci, W C Eagles athlete, completed a hat-trick to lead her team to victory. XCalibur tallied a goal through a penalty corner mid-way through the second half, however the strong squad was unable to secure any more shots, resulting in a 5-1 score line in favor of W C Eagles.

“I am pleased with the balance and structure the team showed this tournament,” said Jun Kentwell, W C Eagles coach. “The ball movement was good, but we still have work to do. The girls can be proud of how they played.”

Congratulations to both W C Eagles and XCalibur who will move on to play in the USA Field Hockey National Club Championships in July.

W C Eagles

Coaches: Jun Kentwell, Richard Kentwell
Players: Jennifer Bleakney, Teresa Carotenuto, Nicole Catalino, Makenna Colby, Kathleen Dempsey, Nikki Freeman, Whitney Harris, Maggie Harrison, Amelia Iacobucci, Taylor Leonhardt, Isabelle McDonough, Emma McLaughlin, Erika Miller, Christy Palazzese, Moira Putsch, Alexandra Rushton, Millicent Stefanowicz, Cassie Sumfest, Lydia Sydnor, Elizabeth Tamburro, Michelle Thompson, Sophia Tornetta, Claire Webb, Megan Wiest


Coaches: Tammy Esenhard, Brian Hope
Players: Caroline Andretta, Taylor Brennan, Jordan Crispeno, Brittany Dickinson, Elizabeth Dyer, Greta Ell, Marleise Emrhein, Skyler Fretz, Samantha Geroski, Annie Himsworth, Ashley Hoffman, Abby Julius, Carly Kauffman, Kelee Lepage, Kirsten Mansfield, Haeli McCabe, Tara Murphy, Margaux Paolino, Samantha Steele, Layne Taylor, Dana Turner, Casey Umstead, Courtney Weise, Thalia Williamson

USFHA media release

Suppliers extend deals

Kookaburra Sport and Body Science International renew agreements

Hockey Australia has completed the re-signing of two official suppliers ahead of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup with Kookaburra Sport and Body Science International extending their commitments with Australian hockey.

Kookaburra Sport, the world renowned Australian sports equipment company, extends its long term relationship as it continues as the exclusive Official Hockey Ball Supplier to Hockey Australia and as Hookin2Hockey Program Partner.

Sports nutrition company Body Science International will continue as the Official Supplier of Compression Garments and Nutritional Products to the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos.

Speaking about the extension of both partnerships, Hockey Australia Chief Executive Cam Vale (below, right) said, “The renewal of our arrangements with Kookaburra Sport and Body Science International provide another excellent boost to hockey in Australia. It’s particularly pleasing that both companies are extending long term relationships with Hockey Australia and their continued commitment comes hot on the heels of the recent extension of Ausdrill’s relationship as the major partner of the Hockeyroos.

“With the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy this year, Australian hockey will be in the spotlight on a national and global stage and we expect our partners will enjoy the opportunities and excitement generated by such high profile events.” 

As Official Hockey Ball Supplier, Kookaburra will supply the balls used at every Australian national championships as well as those used by the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras in training and matches. The ball – the very best in world hockey – is used by the International Hockey Federation at all of its tournaments.

As the Official Hookin2Hockey Program Partner, Kookaburra Sport will support hockey’s flagship national grassroots program by providing equipment for the participant pack. Every child that signs up at their local Hookin2Hockey session will receive a goody pack including a Kookaburra stick, ball, shin pads and an Australia shirt. Kookaburra’s sponsored athletes Liam De Young and Madonna Blyth will continue to feature in promotional materials for Hookin2Hockey.

The Official Supplier of Compression Garments and Nutritional Products, Body Science International will enter a fourth year as an official supplier to the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras. Their compression garments are worn by the national senior and junior teams while nutritional products are used by the squads for endurance, muscle building, bone and joint strengthening, and enhanced recovery after training and competition.

The company’s BSc range is now available in Just Hockey, the largest hockey retailer in Australia. Kookaburras forward Kieran Govers (below) and Hockeyroos defender Anna Flanagan are ambassadors for the brand.

Both brands’ products will be used and on display during the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague with the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos beginning their campaigns on Saturday 31 May.

Hockey Australia media release

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