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News 15 May 2014

All the news for Thursday 15 May 2014

Ireland 5 - 3 Russia (men - 4 Nations Barcelona)

Ireland's men who are competing in a four nations in Barcelona just a week after returning from Malaysia where they had a very successful Champions Challenge I, won their first match 5-3 today against Russia.

Although the match remained scoreless at half time the second half produced 8 goals in total.

Marksman Timmy Cockram came out guns blazing in the second half scoring an early brace (first from open play then a penalty corner) before Russia tipped one home to make it 2-1

Alan Sothern was on hand to make it 3-1 after a lovely run from Timmy Cockram before Maurice Elliott pushed it to 4-1 with a reverse stick baseline shot.

Ireland copper fastened their victory after Maurice Elliott set up Cockram for his hattrick and Ireland's fifth of the day to push it to 5-1 and despite two late consolation goal from the Russian PC routine it was too little too late and Ireland secure a 5-3 victory.

IRELAND TEAM – 4 Nations Spain (Barcelona)

Tuesday May 13th – Friday May 16th

GK David Harte (Kampong HC)
GK David Fitzgerald (Monkstown)
GK Stephen West     (Three Rock Rovers)                        
John Jackson (Reading HC)
Conor Harte  (Pembroke W)
Paul Gleghorne (Instonians)
Brian Doherty  (Royal Beerschot)
Stuart Loughrey  (Cannock)
Johnny Bell (Lisnagarvey)                                     
Ronan Gormley (Krefeld HC)
Shane O'Donoghue  (UCD)
Jason Lynch (Lisnagarvey)        
Michael Robson   (Annadale)
Daniel Buser (Lisnagarvey)
James Corry  (Instonians)                                  
Michael Watt (Surbiton Hockey Club)
Mitch Darling  (Three Rock Rovers)
Tim Cockram (Lisnagarvey)
Alan Sothern  (Pembroke Wanderers)
Maurice Elliot  (Pembroke Wanderers)


13 May

4pm Russia v Ireland
6pm Wales v Spain

14 Rest Day

15 May

10am Ireland v Wales
12 Russia v Spain

16 May

10 Wales v Russia
12 Ireland v Spain

Irish Hockey Association media release

Hockeyroos v England

Hockeyroos' #roovolution begins with warm-up v England in Bremen tonight

The Hockeyroos’ final World Cup preparations get underway tonight as they take on England in the opening match of the Four Nations tournament in Bremen, Germany. Over the next four days Madonna Blyth and her teammates will face England, Japan and the hosts as they look to get up to pace for the World Cup, which begins on Saturday 31 May live on the ABC.

The team left Perth in the early hours of Monday morning and after arriving in Germany took part in their first training session on Wednesday.

The Hockeyroos’ record against England reads played 68, won 32, drawn 14 and lost 22. In their last two outings against the world number three side the girls in green and gold have come out on top with 3-0 victories on both occasions. Jodie Kenny, Georgie Parker and Karri McMahon were all on target in Tucuman when the Hockeyroos won the semi final clash at the World League Finals in December (see video below). And the Hockeyroos also took victory in the final of the World League Semi Final tournament in London in June last year, beating hosts England to the gold medal.

The Hockeyroos' Casey Eastham will make her 200th appearance for Australia in the match. Eastham, the 2009 World Young Player of the Year, made her senior international debut in 2006 and has gone on to play at two Olympic Games (2008 and 2012), the 2010 World Cup and the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Find out more about Casey's amazing career to date on her player profile page.

There is no online streaming or TV coverage of this series but make sure you don’t miss a second of the World Cup with the ABC broadcasting matches live, on delay and as highlights, PLUS a nightly 6pm highlights show hosted by Stephanie Brantz and Olympic gold medallist Grant Schubert.

Bremen Four Nations, 15-18 May
15 May  Hockeyroos v England 11pm AEST         3pm local time
15 May Germany v Japan                 1:30am AEST (next day)   5:30pm local time
17 May    Hockeyroos v Japan    10pm AEST         2pm local time
17 May    Germany v England    00:30am AEST (next day) 4:30pm local time
18 May    England v Japan    8pm AEST         12pm local time
18 May    Hockeyroos v Germany    10:30pm AEST          2:30pm local time

Hockeyroos World Cup warm-up arrangements & match schedule
20 May – Hockeyroos v Belgium, Test match, Antwerp (BEL)
25-28 May – Unofficial practice matches v Argentina, China and USA
31 May – Hockeyroos v Korea, 10:30pm AEST / 8:30pm AWST
2 June – Hockeyroos v Japan, 6:30pm AWST / 4:30pm AWST
5 June – Hockeyroos v Belgium, 6:30pm AWST / 4:30pm AWST
7 June – Hockeyroos v Netherlands, 3:45am AEST (8 June) / 1:45am AWST (8 June)
9 June – Hockeyroos v New Zealand, 6:30pm AEST / 4:30pm AWST
12 June – TBC – Semi Finals
13 June – TBC – Classification Matches
14 June – TBC – Medal matches & classification matches

Hockey Australia media release

Full of Eastern promise

The Asian continent has three teams in both the men's and the women's World Cup. We take a peek at all of them.

Sarah Juggins

Our attention turns to Asia, and the impact countries such as India, Malaysia, Korea, China and Japan may have upon the World Cup. Some of these countries have a long history of involvement in major tournaments, for others it is new territory. One team that has long been associated with success on hockey's world stage is India. The men's team has dominated global hockey in the past although, at the moment, that proud hockey nation is working hard to restore its national team to former glories. The team that holds the most Olympic hockey medals – eight gold, one silver and two bronze – is currently ranked eighth in the world and is going through a re-building process. Leading from the bench will be head coach Terry Walsh and head of high performance Roel Oltmann, who are both working hard to add structure and physicality to their highly-skilled team. Setting the example from the pitch will be the creative midfielder and captain Sardar Singh and the specialist drag flicker and defensive rock Rupinder Pal Singh.

Korea enter the Rabobank World Cup on the back of a triumphant return to Champions Trophy hockey via their victory at the Champions Challenge 1. The team are also the continental champions of Asia, a title that they claimed on Malaysian soil last year thanks to victory over India in the final of the Asia Cup in Ipoh. The side, coached by Shin Seok Kyo, were also in good form at the recent Sultan Azlan Shah tournament, claiming three wins, one draw and one defeat. The Korean squad is a very experienced one: only five players who played in Champions Challenge 1 had played less than 100 games for their country. In The Hague, one player to watch is 30-year-old defender Jang Jong Hyun, a veteran of three Olympic Games (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012) and a fearsome penalty corner drag flicker.

The third men's team representing the East is Malaysia, currently ranked 13th in the world and facing the daunting challenge of playing the opening match of the World Cup against the current world champions, Australia. However, Malaysia have enjoyed a successful past few weeks, beating fellow world cup competitors New Zealand at the Champions Challenge, and picking up a bronze medal in that event.

The team is coached by former Malaysian international Muhammad Dhaarma Raj, who stepped up from coaching the men’s U-21 team. The new coach has made a successful start to his reign, guiding the team to a second place finish behind Australia in the Sultan Azlan Cup. Among the skilful players emerging from the passionate hockey nation are Firhan Ashari, Malaysia’s youngest player, and Faizal Saari, a skilful attacker who regularly gets his name on the score-sheet.

Asia is well represented on the women's side. China, Korea and Japan will all be competing in The Hague, and are ranked 7th, 8th and 9th respectively. Of the three teams, China are probably most likely to be challenging for medals, although the firepower of Park Mi Hyun could well be a decisive factor in Korea's favour.

China won a silver medal in Beijing, but results before and after that competition have been more middle of the road. In the Champions Trophy the team has finished seventh and eighth on the past two occasions, and this will be China's first appearance at the World Cup. The team's opening match is against Germany, who are ranked one place ahead of them, and a good start could see China fulfilling their huge potential and bringing home a medal.

Ranked one place below China is the Korea team. Their recent performance at the Champions Challenge in Glasgow was well below par. They entered the tournament as favourites but finished in fifth place. The side also missed out on winning the Asia Cup when they were beaten in the tournament final by lower ranked Japan last September, while an eighth place finish at the Argentina Hockey World League Final at the end of the year was certainly below expectations. All of this prompted captain Kim Jong Eun to say that following a few days rest, the squad "would be fit and raring to go at the World Cup", and they "expected to return with a medal."

The Cherry Blossoms of Japan are the lowest ranked of the women's teams from Asia, but they can never be written off as China and South Africa learnt to their cost at the 2012 Olympics. Japan open their World Cup campaign with the unenviable task of facing the home side, The Netherlands, but with influential players Miyuki Nakagawa, Keiko Manabe and Shiho Otsuka on the pitch, they will not be a side to be taken lightly. The best position achieved by Japan in previous World Cups was fifth in 2006 (Madrid), and they will be hoping to better the 11th place they achieved in 2011.

FIH site

Olivia's selection for World Cup is extra sweet


ON HER MERRY WAY: Olivia Merry is going to the Hockey World Cup in Holland. Fairfax NZ

Ten months after a broken rib robbed her of the chance to compete at the Junior World Cup, Olivia Merry can see the irony in the situation.

The Canterbury hockey player has been named in the 18-strong New Zealand women's hockey squad for the World Cup in the The Hague later this month.

Merry, 22, said sustaining a rib injury three days before the Junior World Cup was devastating and the low point of her career.

"That was absolutely heartbreaking. Your life is turned upside down a little bit," she said.

When she received an email from Hockey New Zealand informing of her place in the squad, she could barely contain her excitement.

"I read my name and rung mum straight away. I said, ‘I'm going to the World Cup. She asked, ‘Who else is going?', I hadn't even read the rest of the email."

Merry attended the World League Final tournament in Tucuman, Argentina, last year, but said competing at the World Cup was the pinnacle for hockey players.

"This is pretty big. Nothing can compare to a World Cup," she said. "Every tour you make now, it's like I'm living the dream. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else."

The World Cup will be held at a converted football stadium with a capacity of 15,000, which should create an electric atmosphere.

New Zealand take on hosts, the Netherlands, during group play on June 5.

Merry, who plays as a striker, cemented her spot with some consistent performances on the Black Sticks' tour of the United States and at the six-nations tournament in Hastings last month.

She is one of three Canterbury players to be named in the New Zealand team, along with Sophie Cocks and Jordan Grant.

Black Sticks coach Mark Hager said Merry had made major inroads with her fitness and speed over the past year. She was also more ruthless in front of goal and was capitalising on chances in the shooting circle.

"I've done lots of goal-scoring the last couple of weeks," Merry said. "Hopefully, I can hone in on that and try to put a couple in the net [at the World Cup]."

New Zealand's strikeforce has received a significant boost for the World Cup with all-time Black Sticks women's leading goal-scorer Katie Glynn healthy again after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament last year.

Merry made a bright start to her New Zealand career, scoring two goals on debut against India in Napier in December 2012.

Her promotion to the senior squad came after she finished as the leading goal-scorer (11 goals) for the championship-winning Canterbury women's side in the 2012 national league.

Merry said it was a surreal feeling to wear the black dress for the first time after watching New Zealand's games at the London Olympics on television only a few months earlier.

She has played 42 games for the Black Sticks and scored 14 goals.


Restricted stick length bad news for keepers

By David Leggat

The days of hockey goalkeepers seeking to crib an edge by using a longer stick are over.

The International Hockey Federation has introduced a rule, to kick in for this month's World Cup in The Hague, preventing goalkeepers trying to give themselves an edge during penalty shootouts by opting for a stick with greater reach.

The rule is no sticks can be longer than 105cm, from the top of the handle to the bottom of the head.

Men's national coach Colin Batch doesn't believe it will make any difference as far as outfield players are concerned.

"Before you could use any length," he said. "Goalkeepers were getting a distinct advantage on shootouts. The official announcement talks about maintaining the spirit of the game so I suppose they [FIH] saw it as an unfair advantage for the goalkeeper."

Batch doubts outfield players would switch to a longer stick. He could only think of two players, both tall men and both drag flick exponents, former Black Stick Hayden Shaw, and Australian Luke Doerner, who favoured the longer stick.

"It helped with the drag flick [at penalty corners] but also they didn't have to bend as much."

Batch reckoned any change for outfield players would impede their game "but it will certainly have a significant impact on goalkeepers for shootouts".

New Zealand had two penalty shootouts at the World League finals in New Delhi in January, beating both Argentina and England to reach the final.

However, they were on the wrong end of another one, in the quarter-finals of the Champions Challenge in Malaysia this month when they squandered a 2-0 lead early in the shootout to suffer a surprise loss to their hosts.

The Black Sticks women's squad leaves on Monday for the World Cup, which starts on May 31. The men's squad will be named on Monday and leave next Thursday.

The New Zealand Herald

Sardar Singh to lead India in hockey World Cup

NEW DELHI: Experienced mid-fielder Gurbaj Singh returned to the Indian team after almost two years as Hockey India on Wednesday announced an 18-member squad for the World Cup, to be held at the Hague, the Netherlands, from May 31.

The team will be led by star mid-fielder Sardar Singh while fullback Rupinder Singh will be his deputy.

Gurbaj, 25, last represented India in the 2012 London Olympic Games before being dropped for poor form. He was also a member of the 2007 Asia Cup winning squad in Chennai.

Talented midfielder Jasjit Singh has been given an opportunity to make his debut on the international platform.

PR Sreejesh and Harjot Singh are the chosen goalkeepers with Rupinder, VR Raghunath, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam and Manpreet Singh adding strength to the defence.

The team will be taking off for The Hague on May 21. India are placed in Pool "A" along with Australia, Belgium, England, Spain and Malaysia and will compete against Belgium in their first match, scheduled on the May 31.

Skipper Sardar is happy with the teams' preparations and is raring to go.

"I am honoured to lead the team while playing my second World Cup. We have the world's best coaches who have trained us hard both physically and mentally to put up a good show and deliver better results in the matches. Each member of the team is confident of performing well and live upto the expectations of everyone," said Sardar.

A total of 33 players selected as the probables for the World Cup two months ago, went under rigorous training sessions and worked on new set of skills and techniques under coach Terry Walsh.

Speaking on the preparations of the team, coach Terry Walsh said, "There major focus was on physiological improvement and identification of the key playing concepts we believe can produce the most powerful performance with appropriate implementation."

"The World Cup in Holland is a huge challenge for us and we as a team of players and support staff are really excited with the opportunities ahead. Nothing will be easy, we know that. We are excited about being measured alongside the world's best. We are honoured to have the victorious World Champions of 1975 with us and we hope we can produce performances they and the rest of Indian hockey can be proud."

Team: Captain - Sardar Singh, Goalkeepers - PR Sreejesh and Harjot Singh, Defenders - Gurbaj Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, VR Raghunath, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam and Manpreet Singh, Midfielders - SK Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Jasjit Singh and Chinglensana Singh, Forward - SV Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah and Mandeep Singh.

The Times of India

Jasjit new face in World Cup squad

Jasjit Singh.

Uncapped midfielder Jasjit Singh was the new face in the 18-member squad announced by Hockey India (HI) for the World Cup to be held at the Hague in the Netherlands from May 31 to June 15.

The National selectors excluded five players from the 21-member squad that participated in the European tour last month and included 24-year-old Jasjit and young striker Mandeep Singh.

Jalandhar boy Jasjit, who started playing hockey only at the college level, had taken part in the World Series Hockey and got noticed with his performance for Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the Hockey India League.

“I got a call for the National camp after my performance in the HIL. Since I started late, I did not get the chance to play in any age group tournament,” said the Railways player.

Yuvraj Walmiki, Danish Mujtaba, Lalit Upadhyay, Gurinder Singh and Devindar Walmiki were the players left out from the squad that toured Europe.

Chief coach Terry Walsh said the team had to be realistic in its campaign in the Hague.

“A top-eight finish would be ideal. But a top-six or top-four finish is possible,” said Walsh.

“The team is a lot better than what it was in the World League Final (earlier this year). I am impressed with the quality the players have brought in terms of commitment and performance.”

Walsh said it was unfair to compare the 1975 World Cup-winning Indian squad and the present team.

“I was sitting in the stands with the Australian team (in the final in Kuala Lumpur)... For us, India and Pakistan were the gods of hockey.

“The ground was wet and it was played with a leather ball. But, if we compare this team with that of 1975, then it is like racing an F1 car of 20 years (back) today.”

“Today the World Cup is far more fierce than what it was 12 years ago,” added Walsh.

The team will leave for the Netherlands on May 23.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: P.R. Sreejesh, Harjot Singh.

Defenders: Gurbaj Singh, Rupinderpal Singh (vice-captain), V.R. Raghunath, Birendra Lakra, Kh. Kothajit Singh, Manpreet Singh.

Midfielders: Sardar Singh (captain), S.K. Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Jasjit Singh, Chinglensana Singh;

Forwards: S.V. Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Mandeep Singh.

Standbys: Gurpreet Singh (goalkeeper), Vikram Kanth, Gurinder Singh (defenders), Danish Mujtaba, Devindar Walmiki (midfielders), Lalit Upadhyay, and Yuvraj Walmiki (forwards).

The Hindu

At 24, international debut for Sansarpurian Jasjit

K Arumugam

He has not come through the hard-grind of Academies. He in a way represents amateur-kind of players, who don’t compromise studies for the sake of hockey. Yet, in a short span of taking of up hockey, knocked the doors of Indian team. And makes his international debut not in a run-of-of the mill stuff, but in the mother of all battles, the world cup.

Here you have Punjab’s puttar Jasjit Singh, who is a kind of Viren Rasquinha as he is doing Masters in Business Administration nowadays.

The 24-year old has been included in the Indian team bound for The Hague. Perhaps after Cedric Pereira, now settled in Perth, Australia, a player is making his international debut in a world cup. Cedric was a surprise choice for the first world cup held in Barcelona.

“He trained well, we all felt he can be a good choice”, asserts smiling Roelant Oltmans, who first tested him in the Hockey India League early this year. Jasjit Singh was part of the medal winning team 2014.

“The coach, selection committee are all unanimous of his choice, its unfortunate he had suffered a minor injury before the Europe Tour, and missed it”, elaborates Oltamans.

Jasjit was on the other day had to face the same question from the media at the Holiday Inn where the world cup team was announced, amidst the galaxy of 1975 World Cup goldies. The question was: Don’t you feel the pressure to play your first tournament in World Cup?

The smiling assassin has only one answer: “My coaches say differently. Because I did not play any other tournament, I will be natural, and play my game. This is what I also believe the scene is going to be”

Its not often one come across in India a player making international debut at the age of 24 – considering his colleague in The Hague team Mandeep Singh is six years junior to him, and has already been in the international circuit for well over two years – but Jasjit Singh, who was picked up among the 90-odd probables after the Pune Senior Nationals when Michael Knobbs was at the helm of affairs, could not make any headway further than continue to play for his college team Khalsa in Jalandhar, but his days could not be denied for long.

With a strong midfield where captain Sardar Singh is well anchored, the think tank seemed to have taken a risk of sort in picking up the new face.

It’s a reward for Jasjit, who hardly had any stints in any hard-grind academies, where in fact the academics is the first casualty due to heavy work load, who had only practiced on the Jalandhar Surjit Hockey Academy turfs on Sundays.

“My mother used to take me to the Turf on Sundays because the Academy will have holiday, we can get to play on Turf”.

Jasjit, who joined Indian Railways a couple of years ago, and posted in Jalandhar, relished any position in the midfield, and it gives elbow room for coaches insofar as his utility value is concerned.

Tailpiece: Jasjit is a Kular, a clan which produced n-number of internationals in the 50s and 60s, which included Ajit Pal Singh and Udham Singh, a four-time Olympian. Yes, he is a Sansarpurian.


Gurbaj returns for the World Cup

New Delhi - A fit-again Gurbaj Singh returned to the national team after almost two years while the talented midfielder Jasjeet Singh will be making his international debut with Hockey India (HI) announcing an 18-member squad for the FIH World Cup to be held at the Hague, in the Netherlands, from May 31 to June 15. The squad will be led by mid-fielder Sardar Singh, while fullback Rupinder Pal Singh has been named his deputy.

A total of 33 players, who were selected as the probables for the World Cup two months ago, underwent rigorous training at the preparatory camp held in the Capital. The selection committee comprising B P Govinda, R P Singh, Arjun Halappa, High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans and chief coach Terry Walsh, selected the 18-member squad with seven standbys.

The talented Punjab midfielder Gurbaj Singh played for India last in the London Olympics. The team’s bottom-place finish at the Games resulted in a complete overhaul of the side, with the midfielder being one of the casualties. After spending almost two years in wilderness, the right-half fought his way back into the side with an impressive performance at this year’s Hockey India League for Delhi Daredevils, who won the title this year.

“It’s been tough for me to stay out of the team for almost two years. I kept myself motivated and practised daily to stay in shape. My good performance in the HIL helped me win back my place. I am happy with my selection and would love to see the team do well in the World Cup. We are going with a positive mindset and will look to beat some of the big teams,” Gurbaj told The Tribune after his selection.

Jalandhar-born Jasjit Singh, who is making his India debut, said playing for Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the second edition of the HIL was the “turning point of my life”. “It’s a big breakthrough for me. (Roelant) Oltmans saw the talent in me during his stint as UP Wizards coach. I am looking forward to giving my best at the World Cup. It’s a dream come true for me,” said Jasjit.

Jasjit has a connection with the legendary Sansarpur village, which produced 14 Olympians. All of them came from the same street of the village and bore “Kular” as surname. “My surname is Kular too. My grandfather used to play hockey for the Indian Army. I got hooked to hockey during my school days, but I started pursuing it as a profession in college. I played for Northern Railways in the Senior Nationals for two years. I also received the best player award in 2010 when Khalsa College won the Nehru Cup Hockey tournament. HIL provided me the right kind of exposure. I owe my success to the HIL,” added Jasjit.

The team will leave for the Hague on May 21. India are placed in Pool “A” along with Australia, Belgium, England, Spain and Malaysia.

World Cup squad

* Captain - Sardar Singh

* Goalkeepers - PR Sreejesh and Harjot Singh

* Defenders - Gurbaj Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, V.R. Raghunath, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam and Manpreet Singh

* Midfielders - SK Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Jasjit Singh and Chinglensana Singh

* Forward - SV Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah and Mandeep Singh.

The Tribune

Gurbaj returns to India’s hockey World Cup squad

Gurbaj Singh during a practice session. File photo   

Experienced mid-fielder Gurbaj Singh returned to the Indian team after almost two years as Hockey India today announced an 18-member squad for the World Cup, to be held at the Hague, the Netherlands, from May 31.

The team will be led by star mid-fielder Sardar Singh while fullback Rupinder Singh will be his deputy.

Gurbaj, 25, last represented India in the 2012 London Olympic Games before being dropped for poor form. He was also a member of the 2007 Asia Cup winning squad in Chennai.

Talented midfielder Jasjit Singh has been given an opportunity to make his debut on the international platform.

PR Sreejesh and Harjot Singh are the chosen goalkeepers with Rupinder, VR Raghunath, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam and Manpreet Singh adding strength to the defence.

The team will be taking off for The Hague on May 21.

India is placed in Pool “A” along with Australia, Belgium, England, Spain and Malaysia and will compete against Belgium in their first match, scheduled on the May 31.

Skipper Sardar is happy with the teams’ preparations and is raring to go.

“I am honoured to lead the team while playing my second World Cup. We have the world’s best coaches who have trained us hard both physically and mentally to put up a good show and deliver better results in the matches. Each member of the team is confident of performing well and live upto the expectations of everyone,” said Sardar.

A total of 33 players selected as the probables for the World Cup two months ago, went under rigorous training sessions and worked on new set of skills and techniques under Coach Terry Walsh.

Speaking on the preparations of the team, coach Terry Walsh said, “There major focus was on physiological improvement and identification of the key playing concepts we believe can produce the most powerful performance with appropriate implementation.”

“The World Cup in Holland is a huge challenge for us and we as a team of players and support staff are really excited with the opportunities ahead. Nothing will be easy, we know that. We are excited about being measured alongside the world’s best. We are honoured to have the victorious World Champions of 1975 with us and we hope we can produce performances they and the rest of Indian hockey can be proud.”

Team: Captain -- Sardar Singh, Goalkeepers -- PR Sreejesh and Harjot Singh, Defenders -- Gurbaj Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, V.R. Raghunath, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam and Manpreet Singh, Midfielders -- SK Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Jasjit Singh and Chinglensana Singh, Forward -- SV Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah and Mandeep Singh.

The Hindu

'Banned' Gurpreet Singh standby for WC!

Sudheendra Tripathi

MUMBAI: Hockey India announced an 18-member squad for the upcoming World Cup to be played in the Netherlands from May 31.

It also announced a list of seven provisional players, which includes the name of Air India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh.

This has come as a surprise because Gurpreeet was handed a six-month ban on disciplinary grounds by Hockey India's disciplinary committee. The ban came into effect on April 1, 2014.

Gurpreet was banned because of an incident that happened during the 48th All India Bombay Gold Cup Tournament, when an altercation between Sarvanjit Singh and Karamjit Singh of Punjab & Sind Bank and Gurpreet Singh turned ugly. Umpires red-carded all three players involved.

The disciplinary committee later recommended a ban of six months for all three players and also gave them a chance to appeal to Hockey India's Athletes Dispute & Grievance Redressal Committee within 30 days. There is no official communication on whether these players were let off after the appeal. Several attempts to contact HI officials proved futile. Elena Norman, CEO, HI refused to comment on the issue, while HI secretary Narinder Batra could not be contacted.

The Squad:

Captain - Sardar Singh, Goalkeepers- PR Sreejesh and Harjot Singh, Defenders- Gurbaj Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, VR Raghunath, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam and Manpreet Singh, Midfielders: SK Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Jasjit Singh and Chinglensana Singh, Forwards:SV Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah,Mandeep Singh.

The Times of India

An afternoon tinged with nostalgia

Hockey India (HI) honours the members of the 1975 World Cup-winning team

THE 1975 WORLD CUP WINNERS: Onkar Singh, Ashok Kumar, Michael Kindo, Brig. H.J.S. Chimni, P.E. Kaliah, B.P. Govinda, Ajitpal Singh (captain), Aslam Sher Khan, Brig. Harcharan Singh, Varinder Singh, V.J. Philips, Ashok Diwan and Leslie Fernandez at a felicitation function on Wednesday. PHOTO: S. SUBRAMANIUM

“We don’t even recognise many of them,” said Sardar Singh ahead of the function organised by Hockey India (HI) to honour the members of the 1975 hockey World Cup-winning team here on Wednesday.

Sardar’s observation defined the disconnect between the players of the two eras.

It also exposed the game’s journey over the last four decades, influenced by the changing circumstances and new demands.

Nostalgia tinged the afternoon, which was a pleasant throwback to the glorious days of Indian hockey, a much-needed boost for the Netherlands-bound World Cup squad.

Sardar, the current captain, is not the only player among the present generation who is ignorant about the legends of the past.

Goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh, midfielder Birendra Lakra and several others did not have any clue either that some players of the 1975 squad had bagged a bronze (1971) and a silver (1973) in previous World Cups.

“These are legendary figures, but sadly we do not know much about them. That is because the sport has not been looked after and marketed properly over the years,” said Sreejesh.

However, Sreejesh and Lakra, who are part of the Indian team for the World Cup, would have seen the presence of the 1975 players as a source of inspiration.

A short video clip of the momentous World Cup final in which India beat Pakistan 2-1 at Kuala Lumpur prompted the present-day players to greet the yesteryear heroes with a round of loud applause.

Thirteen members of the Ajitpal Singh-led team were honoured with a cash award of Rs. 1.75 lakh each.

Widows of Surjit Singh (Chanchal Randhawa) and Shivaji Pawar (Sheela Pawar), and brother of late Mohinder Singh (Satpal Singh) were also present.

“It is a proud moment for us. We seek your blessings and hope to do our best in the World Cup,” said Sardar.

Ajitpal was appreciative of the initiative.

“I am thankful to HI for honouring us. I hope this will inspire the current team to do well,” he said.

High performance director Roelant Oltmans said: “These boys will dream to do what you did in 1975.”

“Dil maange more,” urged Aslam Sher Khan, whose stunning goal against Malaysia ensured India’s progress to the final.

“India’s USP has been its self-belief. That will take you to the podium. Those days, hockey was different (played on grass) and the burden is too big for you boys,” he said.

Some of the legends took a stroll down memory lane. V.J. Philips, a famed forward of that squad, reminisced: “It was drizzling (during the final), so controlling the ball was difficult. One had to adjust to the condition of the pitch.”

Onkar Singh, who was the youngest member of the side, re-lived the biggest moment of his life. “It was the first major event for me, and I got a gold! The tricolour flying high and the spectators giving us a standing ovation are some unforgettable memories,” he said.

H.J.S. Chimni had the best story to tell.

“Prior to the final, a lady from the Indian embassy in Kuala Lumpur had predicted that, since three is the lucky number for India, it would win 2-1.

“She said ‘it is the third World Cup being held in the third month of the year. And, the date, 15, adds up to six, which is a (multiple) of three,’” he said.

The Hindu

39 years on, HI honours the World Cup champions

Biswajyoti Brahma

NEW DELHI: It was in Kuala Lumpur in 1975 that India, one of the most feared teams in the world then, won their first gold medal in the World Cup, Ashok Kumar scoring the winning goal in 2-1 win over Pakistan in the final. What followed was euphoric celebrations back home. On their return, the players were given a warm reception wherever they went. But the most memorable moment for Ashok Kumar is of getting the appreciation of his father, the legendary Dhyan Chand.

"When we won a bronze in 1971 World Cup, my father told the media that the players did not try hard enough as we did not win the gold medal. Two years later, we won a silver in the 1973 edition and I did not have the courage to show the medal to my father," Ashok Kumar, who was in the Capital to attend the felicitation of 1975 World Cup winning players by Hockey India, told TOI on Tuesday.

"When we won in 1975, my mother and my brother came to the airport. And when I reached home, I could see my father standing near the entrance with a smile on his face. When I touched his feet, he just placed his hand on my head. He did not utter a word, but I could feel that it was in appreciation of what we had done for the country," recalled the Olympian.

The ceremony, where 13 members of the 1975 squad and relatives of three deceased players were handed a cheque for Rs 1.75 lakh each, also saw the announcement of the squad for this month's World Cup.

Others present at the felicitation ceremony, where the squad for the upcoming World Cup was also announced, shared their experiences of the 1975 World Cup, the only one won by India so far.

"After we won the World Cup and were about to leave the stadium, the organizer caught me and took me for a doping test. This is a common now but it (the test) was done randomly then. I was the lone member of the hockey squad to undergo the test. The team left the stadium but I could rejoin them only after two hours," recalled Ashok Dewan.

Olympian Aslam Sher Khan, who later went on to become an MP, recalled that the self-belief of the team was such that it was tough for others to beat it. "Yeh dil mange more," he said urging the members of the national squad to do well in the World Cup. "You don't lack anything to come in top four in world events. We had one thing that was better than the others in the world during our days — self-belief. We always believed we could win the World Cup and the Olympics. This self-belief can take you to the podium."

Captain Sardar Singh said that it was highly motivating for the team to be present at a function graced by so many legends. "I am sure all players would be motivated by them. We will try to do our best for the game and the country," he said.

For high performance director of HI, Roelant Oltmans, it was a special honour. "It's a special moment today and a special honour to watch so many world champions together. I know people here are hoping to see the trophy held by the Indian team again. I can assure you this team will go all out to get the best possible result in the World Cup. I know they will give their best for the team and the country."

The Times of India

39 years on, World Cup winners honoured

But Hockey India ignores coaches Balbir and Gurcharan, says support staff will be felicitated ‘later’

Sabi Hussain

New Delhi - The past, present and future of Indian hockey came together for a grand celebration here today. The occasion was to give a send-off to the World Cup-bound Indian team and thank the team that brought glory to the country by winning the World Cup in 1975 in Kuala Lumpur.

Hockey India felicitated the 13 living legends and the families of the three deceased players with a gift of Rs 1.75 lakh each. The wives of late Surjit Singh and Shivaji Pawar and the brother of Mohinder Singh were honoured.

The event also served as the send-off ceremony for the 18-member Indian squad, led by Sardar Singh, for the May 31-June 15 World Cup.

HI started the initiative of felicitating players in 2012, when all the living Olympic gold medallists were presented Rs 2 lakh each.

Today’s function provided a common platform for the 13 living legends to share their experiences with both the senior and junior team players. Some were of the views that honour came too late for them, though they were happy that it did come.

The 13 included captain Ajit Pal Singh and Ashok Kumar, who scored the winning goal against Pakistan in the final. The other team members present were Aslam Sher Khan, Brig. Harcharan Singh, Leslie Fernandez, Varinder Singh, Ashok Diwan, Michael Kindo, B P Govinda, Brig. HJS Chimni, VJ Phillips, Onkar Singh and Kaliah P.E.

HI forgot to honour the deceased coach Gurcharan Singh Bodhi and Balbir Singh Sr, three-time Olympic champion, who was the chief coach and manager of the team. “Of course I am happy today that my boys are being honoured and felicitated, but if I was there and among them, it would have made me more happier,” Balbir Singh said in Chandigarh.

HI Secretary General Narinder Batra said that they would organise another ceremony to honour the coaches and support staff of the 1975 team.

Aslam Sher Khan urged the current team members to play with self-belief and self-confidence in the World Cup.

“I believe the Indian team can finish among top-4 nations. The team has no weakness, it’s just the lack of self-belief. When we used to play, we always aimed for gold medal and bring home the Cup. If you go with that belief at the World Cup, you can even finish on the podium,” said Khan.

Ajit Pal Singh said, “Winning and losing are part of the game. But if you play with the motivation and dedication like the 1975 team, I’m confident you’ll achieve greater results,” he said.

India captain Sardar Singh said he was honoured to lead the team in his second World Cup. “We will give our best to deliver better results in the matches. Each member of the team is confident of performing well and live up to the expectations of everyone,” he said.

Meanwhile, Indian Olympic Association vice-president said that HI should have acknowleged the efforts of then Punjab Chief Minister Giani Zail Singh, due to whose efforts the 1975 team was able to train in Chandigarh. “For your information it was due to the vision and efforts of Giani Zail Singh ji that India could win the World Cup,” he wrote in a letter to Batra. “The entire expense was borne by him. He personally supervised the training and did not allow any outside pressure in the selection of the team.”

“I expect that when you hold the function we should also honor the memory of Giani Zail Singh,” he wrote.

The Tribune

1975 Hockey World Cup winners say honour too late

NEW DELHI: The 1975 Hockey World Cup winning players were finally honoured for their feat at a function on Wednesday but they said the gesture was too late.

"We should have been honoured long ago. On a positive note I would say, at least it has happened," HJS Chimni, who was felicitated by Hockey India along with his 1975 teammates, said.

Each of the 16 members, who won India's lone Hockey World Cup in 1975, were given a cash award of Rs 1,75,000.

Chimni said the game's administrators need to make better use of the former players and the lack of it has resulted in the decline of Indian hockey.

"Anyone who has played the game at the highest level should be approached for their inputs. A think-tank of six-seven players should be there to draw a roadmap of the team. It doesn't mean that you interfere in coach's work," said the former armyman.

Leslie Fernandez, a retired railways employee, is sad that he is not connected to the game anymore.

"We want more recognition for sure. It is not merely a matter of money. It is about utilising our services. Nobody needed me even in the railways team," said Fernandez, who played as a rightback in the famous final of 1975 when India beat Pakistan.

Did he ever think that India won't be able to repeat their feat in 39 years?

"I never thought we would drop so low. In those days, we would either win or be second or third. There used to be a terrible response whenever we failed to win a trophy," said the Chennai-based former player.

"Now we have come to a point where we are thinking of finishing seventh or eighth in the upcoming World Cup. I would say the administrators of the game have contributed to our slide," said Fernandez, who was also part of the silver winning team at the 1974 Asian Games in Tehran.

"When we lost in Asian Games, people said things like 'you should have died in Tehran'. The following was intense," he recollected.

Fernandez and Chimini are among the five World Cup winning players who have been awaiting government recognition since 1996 when it was announced that all medal winners of Olympic disciplines would be given complimentary railway passes. The others who are waiting for their due are Ashok Diwan, Onkar Singh and P E Kaliah.

"It is not about the passes. It is about our honour. If the Olympic medallists part of the same World Cup squad are entitled to the privilege, we are in no way inferior to them," said Fernandez.

As per the existing policy, ministry of railways provides life-time first class/second AC complimentary passes to sportspersons who are Arjuna awardees, Olympic medallists, gold medallists at Asian or Commonwealth Games and Dronacharya awardees, excluding the World Cup winners.

The Times of India

Honour came too late for Pawar, says wife Sheela

New Delhi - The honour today came too late for the late centre forward Shivaji Pawar, his wife said today.

Sheela Pawar, who received a cheque of Rs 1.75 lakh from Hockey India today, said her husband should have got the recognition when he was alive. “What can I say now? It hurts a lot that he has received the cash award when he is no more. Nothing was done to recognise his achievement when he was alive,” Sheela Pawar told The Tribune. “HI is honouring him when he is no more. It would have been great had he been honoured when he was alive. But, finally it has happened.”

Pawar, a leading centre forward of his time, hailed from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. He worked for Gwalior Municipal Committee before his untimely death.

Incidentally, HI invited families of the deceased trio after first ignoring their names for the ceremony.

“This is the first time that such a function has been organised,” she added. “My brother, who lives in Mumbai, told me that HI is honouring 13 members of the 1975 Indian team. We got no invites from HI. We got in touch with the officials of HI and then they extended us the invitation. They told — ‘You should also come’. I don’t know whether my husband’s name was there in the first list or not.”

Pawar’s son Naveen informed that they did not receive any financial help from the Madhya Pradesh government too.

“Our state government did not honour him. We received no pension from the government. I got the job in Railways because my father was an employee,” he said.

The Tribune

HI’s felicitation of 1975 World Cup team too late: Balbir Singh Sr.

The captain of the 1975 victorious Indian team, Ajit Pal Singh (foreground, second from left) and coach Balbir Singh Sr. (left) snapped with the then president of the IHF, M.A.M. Ramaswamy (right).

Legendary hockey player and chief coach of India's 1975 World Cup winning team, Balbir Singh Sr, said Hockey India's felicitation of the squad which brought home the trophy 39 years ago has come too late in the day.

The iconic centre forward, who won gold medals at the 1948 (London), 1952 (Helsinki) and 1956 (Melbourne) Olympics, also said that the deceased players' families should have been invited by HI, which held a felicitation function at Delhi on Wednesday.

"It is unfortunate. Or rather, it shows that for so many years, there has been no achievement at the Olympic or World Cup level, which is sad," he told at his residence.

"The honour I got by making the team victorious cannot be expressed in words and definitely, it cannot be measured in any amount of money. Of course, I am happy today that my boys are being honoured and felicitated, but if I was there and among them, it would have made me more happier," added the 90-year-old.

He said that for him helping India regain their supremacy in the sport was the prime goal and he had been successful in his mission.

Going down memory lane, Balbir recalled the hard time he faced on personal front in 1975 when his father and freedom fighter, Dalip Singh passed away.

Balbir's father had passed away during the pre-World Cup coaching camp in Punjab University in Chandigarh.

Balbir's close associate and vice-president of the Chandigarh Hockey Association, S K Gupta said the legendary player should have been invited by HI.

"It pained me in the sense that here is an icon, who has brought three gold medals and was captain of the victorious 1956 team, was declared sportsman of the century in 1982 and lit the torch during the Asian Games in Delhi, 1982, but he has been ignored," he said.

"In 1952, he scored all three goals in semifinals and five out of six goals in finals. We are being very unfair that he is being treated like this. He was not dying for cash rewards, but a simple bouquet of flowers would have been enough to acknowledge the contribution of this legend," Gupta added.

Balbir recalled being honoured during the London Olympics in 2012.

"Over there everyone kept asking me about the Indian team. In London, I couldn't find a suitable answer. I said hockey gets step-motherly treatment when compared to cricket and also told them that it is a poor man's game," he said.

Pained by the steady decline of Indian hockey over the years, the legend felt that to bring back the golden period, a serious effort has to be made.

"I don't want to blame any particular person. There has to be a combined effort. The amount they pay to Olympians is also very low. I am not against foreign coaches, they are highly qualified, but I feel there is a gap in communication and problems in bonding with the players.

The Hindu

HI should honour Giani Zail Singh's contribution: Tarlochan

NEW DELHI: Lauding late Indian President Giani Zail Singh for boosting hockey during his stint as chief minister of Punjab, IOA vice-president Tarlochan Singh said Hockey India should have honoured the former Punjab chief minister's memory while felicitating the 1975 World Cup-winning team.

Giani Zail Singh was the chief minister of Punjab when the Indian team went for the World Cup and Tarlochan credited him for providing the the side with all the support.

"I praise you for what you are doing for promotion of Hockey. It's good you are honouring players for 1975 World Cup. I may hear and for your information that it was due to vision and efforts of Giani Zail Singh ji the then chief minister of Punjab that India could win the World Cup and glory in the sports," Tarlochan said in a statement.

"The entire expense was borne by him. He personally supervised the training and did not allow any outside pressure for selection of the team," he added.

Tarlochan suggested that an award should be instituted to honour Singh's memory.

"...we should also honour the memory of Giani Zail Singh and keep some special award in his name. By doing this you will encourage others who come forward to promote sports in India," he said.

The Times of India

Mohd Izad racing against time to make hockey squad

By Aftar Singh

Defender Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin (right) is down with viral fever, leaving his place in the team for the hockey World Cup, which begins in Holland on May 31, in doubt. - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Defender Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin is down with viral fever, leaving his place in the team for the hockey World Cup, which begins in The Hague, Holland, on May 31, in doubt.

The Perak-born player, who featured in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in March and the recent Champions Challenge I tournament in Kuantan, has been hospitalised since Tuesday.

The 22-year-old Izad, who has 43 international caps, said he had fever for a few days but his conditions got worse on Tuesday.

“I was admitted in a private hospital. Initially, I thought I was down with dengue fever,” said Izad, who is the younger brother of national goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin.

“They took my blood to check whether I had dengue fever. Luckily, it was negative. It was just a viral fever. I hope I will recover soon as I want to feature in the World Cup,” added Izad.

National coach K. Dharmaraj, who guided Malaysia to their first-ever bronze medal in the Champions Challenge I, is keeping his fingers crossed that Izad will recover in time to be included in his final 18-man squad on May 21.

“Izad played well in both the two tournaments this year. I need his services for the World Cup,” said Dharmaraj.

There are 30 players in the training squad and the team will leave for The Hague on May 23.

The good news for Dharmaraj is that defender Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim has recovered fully from his shoulder injury.

“Razie started his first training session on Monday. He is fine-tuning his penalty corner drag flicks. He is the country’s main defender and will feature in the World Cup,” said Dharmaraj.

Malaysia, playing in their first World Cup after a lapse of 12 years, will open their Group A campaign against defending champions Australia on May 31. Their other matches are against Belgium (June 2), England (June 5), India (June 7) and Spain (June 9).

Olympic champions Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Argentina, South Africa and hosts Holland are in Group B.

The Star of Malaysia

Critics-turned-officials Shahnaz and Islah, PHF slammed

LAHORE: Former Olympian Manzoor Junior has slammed the Akhtar Rasool-led Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) decision of appointing Shahnaz Sheikh and Islahuddin Siddiqui as head coach and chief selector, respectively, terming it an attempt to safeguard each other’s interests.

“In fact, both Shahnaz and Islah have been inducted into the PHF as ‘security guards’ of Akhtar Rasool, at the cost of principles,” Manzoor Junior, also a former Pakistan captain, said while talking to Dawn.

“Both Shahnaz and Islah had staged a sit-in in front of the Parliament against Akhtar’s election as PHF president. But later they joined him and were given the official posts,” Manzoor said.

According to Manzoor, when the former Olympians had been engaged in protests against the PHF regime, the federation offered him (Manzoor) any post he wanted, including that of chief selector.

However later, Manzoor added, both Shahnaz and Islahuddin joined hands with Akhtar and accepted the posts.

“The current PHF management is not sincere to national hockey, and they have joined hands with their critics [Shahnaz and Islahuddin] only to further their own interest,” Manzoor stated.

He further pointed out that the track record of both Islahuddin and Shahnaz as team officials had never been impressive, adding at their current ages both were not fit to meet requirements of the demanding assignments they had been handed by the PHF.

“Islahuddin could not even win the 1990 World Cup and later 1992 Olympics, despite having strong teams for both the prestigious competitions. And the current lot of national players given to him do not have the talent of the outfits of 1990s,” Manzoor underlined.

Asked after being elected as PHF president, Akhtar proceeded to Shahnaz and Islah to convince them to end the four-year confrontation and join the PHF to revive the ruined national sport, Manzoor stressed even in that case, both the Olympians should have not accepted any official post.

“Shahnaz and Islahuddin, at the maximum, should have given their suggestions [for the game’s improvement] to Akhtar. Please do not forget that both these players had not accepted Akhtar’s election as PHF president. Now after both having taken up the key hockey positions, how that election turned legal remains a mystery to me.”

He reckoned Islah and Shahnaz lacked the required ability to deliver, adding that it would have been better to appoint Khawaja Junaid as head coach.

“Except for Islahuddin and Ayaz Mahmood [another Olympian], the remaining members of the selection committee are the same tested individuals,” Manzoor highlighted.

While noting that Ayaz as selector was a good addition to the PHF, Manzoor regretted Shahid Ali Khan, under whose coaching Pakistan had suffered heavy losses including the last-place finish at the 2010 World Cup, had again been included in the set-up.

“I wonder how Shahnaz and Islahuddin are ready to work with the same people they have been criticising in the past,” he questioned.

In fact, Manzoor emphasised, the combination of Akhtar (president) and Rana Mujahid (secretary) was the result of a manoeuvre to continue the legacy of Qasim Zia (last PHF president) and Asif Bajwa (secretary), as both were also at the helm during Qasim’s tenure.

Manzoor also observed that Rana Mujahid’s position as PHF secretary was vulnerable in the presence of Shahnaz and Islahuddin.


New rules implemented as National Junior Hockey begins

Anwar Zuberi

KARACHI: Punjab Yellows, Sindh Whites, Pakistan Board and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) conjured up victories on the opening day of the 33rd National Junior Hockey Championship which commenced at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium on Wednesday.

The opening day saw implementation of new rules by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) following amendments by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) that will officially come into force in September.

Punjab carved out 3-2 penalty strokes victory over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after being held to a two-all draw in 60-minute regulation time.

Samiullah drew blood for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by converting a penalty corner in sixth minute but the lead was short lived as M. Ishtiaq scored the equaliser eight minute later.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa again forged ahead courtesy Samiullah, who slammed his second goal on a penalty corner six minutes after resumption. Punjab again restored parity through M. Adnan who netted in 49th minute.

Penalty shootout ensued as new rules have done away with the extra time. Punjab converted three of the five strokes against two availed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Ishtiaq, Yasir Ali and Adnan scored for winners while Sami and Saif netted for losers.

Hosts Sindh Whites scored a solitary goal victory over Balochistan. Jamshed scored the all important goal for the winners in 11th minute. Further goal eluded the winners as they failed to capitalise on the seven penalty corners during the play.

In the third match, Pakistan Board fought back from a goal down to inflict a 2-1 defeat on Punjab Whites. Naik Ahmad scored both the goals for winners in 41st and 51st minutes after M. Asim had opened the account for Punjab Whites in 15th minute.

Last year’s losing finalist National Bank lived up to their billing when they beat Sindh Colours by tennis score (6-0) in the fourth match that also marked formal opening of the event.

Adeel Latif (17th min), Mubashir (19th min), Waseem Aslam (28th min), Ateeq (36th min), Ehtisham (39th min) and Shan Irshad (55th min) scored one goal apiece for the bankers.

Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Sports, Mohammad Adil Siddiqui, who inaugurated the event, announced lucrative cash prizes for the teams that will attain top three positions.

Amidst applause, he announced Rs200,000 for winners, Rs150,000 for runners-up and Rs100,000 for the third-placed team.

He assured to expedite the laying of blue Astro Turf at the HCP Stadium replacing the present synthetic pitch.

Flanked by Karachi Hockey Association (KHA) president Wasay Jalil, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Rana Mujahid, PHF women wing chairperson, Khushbakht Shujat, secretary Sports Sindh Laeeq Ahmed and chief selector Islahuddin Siddiqui, the chief guest watched the NBP-Sindh Colours match.

Also, present among others were former Olympians Iftikhar Syed, Shahid Ali Khan, Qamar Ibrahim and organising secretary Mohammad Farooq Khan.

Thursday’s fixtures:

At 7.00am: Punjab Colours v Islamabad
At 9.00am: Railways v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
At 3.00pm: Wapda v Sindh Whites.


Army slows Notre Dame’s hockey title bid

Nigel Simon

Three different players were on target as Defence Force stopped Notre Dame from extending its lead at the top of the T&T Hockey Board Men's Championship Division with a 3-1 spanking at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua, on Monday night.

Shane Legerton put the Army/Coast-Guard combination ahead as early as the third minute before Kirth Davis (21st) and Marcus James (22nd) added goals in quick succession for a 3-0 advantage.

Four minutes before the break Shaquille Daniel got a goal back for the Dames to give his team hope of a second-half revival.

However, Defence Force held firm defensively without adding to its own tally to secure a third win from four matches for nine points and fourth on the table ahead of Courts Malvern on goal-difference.

With the loss, the Dames still stayed top with 22 points from 10 matches, a mere point ahead of Queen's Park CC which has two matches in hand.

On Sunday, national men’s player Jordan Vieira scored a pair of goals as Fatima added to the woes of four-time defending champions, Petrotrin with a 2-1 upset.

Vieira opened the scoring as early as the second minute which his team carried into the half-time interval before Evan Farrell replied for Petrotrin in the 42nd, only for Vieira to snatch all three points for his team in the 59th.

It was only the second win from 10 matches for Fatima now with seven points, the same as Paradise, while Petrotrin suffered a fifth loss and remained third on 13 from ten matches.

Veteran former national captain Stacey Siu Butt scored goals in each half as Shandy Carib Magnolias climbed to the top of the Women's Championship Division with a 7-3 mauling of long-time rival, Ventures on Tuesday night.

Siu Butt opened the scoring in the 16th and added another in the 73rd while Chin got a double in the 38th and 70th for Magnolias who led 2-0 at the half-time interval.

Brianna Govia (35th), Jessica Lee (53rd) and Shanniah De Freitas (67th) chipped in with one each for Magnolias now with 17 points from eight matches, one point ahead of Paragon, with each team having two and three matches remaining respectively.

For Ventures, Emerald Piper (44th) and Yesenia Luces (50th) had briefly pulled their team to within one goal at 2-3, while Karissa Wyke added a late third consolation item.



Women’s Championship:

SC Magnolias 7 (Stacey Siu Butt 16th, 63rd, Kristi-Ann Chin 38th, 70th, Brianna Govia 35th, Jessica Lee 53rd, Shaniah De Freitas 67th) vs Ventures 3 (Emerald Piper 44th, Yesenia Luces 50th, Karissa Wyke 68th)


Men’s Championship:

Defence Force 3 (Shane Legerton 3rd, Kirth Davis 21st, Marcus James 22nd) vs Notre Dame 1 (Shaquille Daniel 31st)


Men’s Championship:

Fatima 2 (Jordan Vieira 2nd, 59th) vs Petrotrin 1 (Evan Farrell 42nd)

Women’s Championship:

Harvard Checkers 1 (Sekayi Liburd 29th) vs Notre Dame 1 (Jeanine Drakes 40th)
SC Magnolias 5 (Brianna Govia 14th, 34th, 44th, Alicia Waithe 22nd, Jessica Lee 60th) vs Courts Malvern 2 (Krizia Layne 46th, Daniella Martin 55th)

Fixtures Today

Women’s Championship: Harvard Checkers vs Courts Malvern, 8 pm


Mixed Veterans: Courts Malvern vs QPCC, 7 pm
Men’s Championship: Defence Force vs Notre Dame, 8.30 pm

The Trinidad Guardian

Field Hockey Canada introduces new High Performance and Communication Managers

Vancouver, BC – Field Hockey Canada has added to its staff with the hiring of new High Performance Manager, Lisa Northrup, and Creative & Communication Manager, Shaheed Devji.

“We are very proud to bring both of these talented professionals on board,” says Field Hockey Canada CEO Jeff Sauvé. “Lisa and Shaheed possess both a great deal of knowledge and experience in their respective fields and passion for sport, and will both undoubtedly help Field Hockey Canada grow on and off the field.”

As High Performance Manager, Northrup will play a critical role in National Programs, including the planning and delivering of high performance strategies, and serving as a key contact for various international and domestic partnerships.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of the development and strengthening of the sport of field hockey across Canada,” says Northrup, who is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Registered Holistic Nutritionist.

“I look forward to supporting the National teams’ quest to advance in the world standings as they strive for the podium in 2016 and beyond.”

Over the last ten years, Northrup has been dedicated to helping Canadian athletes reach their athletic goals. She has worked with many elite and professional athletes in a variety of sports. Most recently, she worked with professional Canadian tennis player, Rebecca Marino, on the WTA tour as a conditioning coach, sport nutritionist, and manager.

As Creative and Communication Manager, Devji will handle all public facing communication for Field Hockey Canada. With a focus on creative storytelling, his aim will be to increase the public profile of the programs, teams and athletes and celebrate their successes as they compete at the highest levels of their sport.

Among Devji’s responsibilities will be two new video series: “Field Hockey Canada 365”, a behind the scenes look into being a field hockey player in Canada; and “Field Notes,” an informative and entertaining series of short videos about field hockey in Canada.

“To be a part of what is happening with field hockey in Canada is really exciting,” he says. “The passion, dedication and skill of our athletes is next to none, and sharing their stories, I believe, has the ability to inspire others to pursue their dreams of achieving sporting excellence.”

Devji comes from a diverse professional background having worked in television broadcasting as a sports and news reporter and anchor for CTV News and CHEK TV. He has also worked in marketing and corporate communication, most recently with the Richmond Olympic Oval. Devji also owns and operates a new media agency, Mecca Creative, based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Both Northrup and Devji will begin work with Field Hockey Canada immediately.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Langa township's hockey talent gives them stick

In 1960 many lives were lost in townships such as Sharpville and Langa. But today, sport has helped to uplift the community of Langa. The township recently unveiled its own AstroTurf.

CAPE TOWN - In 1960, the eyes of the world were on South Africa during the political turmoil, which saw many lives lost in townships such as Sharpville and Langa.

Sport has played a pivotal role in helping Langa overcome its challenges since those dark days of apartheid.

Today the battlefields of the past have been turned into playing grounds by teams like Langa Hockey Club.

The club is also proud of being the only one in a township in South Africa that has an astro turf.

Hockey was first introduced to Langa by the late South African cricket coach Bob Woolmer in 1987.

Woolmer, who used to run cricket coaching clinics in the township, wanted his cricketers to stay active during the cricket off-season.

He achieved a real coup by introducing a sport which is rarely played in most of South Africa’s disadvantaged communities.

The Langa hockey club's story is one that brings hope to a community that continues to strive for a positive future despite many of its past and present challenges.

Its aim now is to continue striving for excellence in a sport that is still unknown in many of the country’s poor communities.


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