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News 16 May 2014

All the news for Friday 16 May 2014

Hockeyroos overcome England

Aussie women overcome slow start to win World Cup warm-up in Bremen

Two penalty corner strikes from Anna Flanagan helped the world number four Hockeyroos come from behind to beat world number three England 4-2 in their World Cup warm-up match in Bremen. South Australian Georgie Parker and Queenslander Jodie Kenny added to Canberra-born Flanagan’s brace with England grabbing a late goal just prior to Kenny’s penalty corner goal in the final minute.

The match saw two-time Olympian Casey Eastham make her 200th appearance in the green and gold with Head Coach Adam Commens saying afterwards he feels she is in “career-best form” heading into the World Cup in just over two weeks.

Australia and England opened the four nations warm-up tournament in Bremen. Having arrived in Germany on Wednesday, the Hockeyroos began slowly with England grabbing the early advantage with their first chance of the game as Lily Owsley made it 1-0.

Trailing at the break the Australian women rallied with Flanagan first cancelling the deficit before Georgie Parker putting the Hockeyroos ahead with a squeezed shot. Flanagn found the net again for 3-1 but with five minutes remaining England removed their goalkeeper and scored almost immediately through Alex Danson.

Jodie Kenny has spent plenty of time perfecting her penalty corner precision and it paid off in the final minute as she fired home for 4-2.

Head Coach Adam Commens said afterwards, “It was a typical start to a tour like this where we only arrived in Germany 24 hours ago. We started slowly and England were sharp; I was not so pleased with the first half but we built into the game nicely and executed our penalty corners well in the second half. Overall, it’s a satisfactory start to the tour.”

Speaking about Casey Eastham’s remarkable career to date, Commens said of the 2009 World Young Player of the Year, “Casey played well today. 200 matches is an outstanding achievement. I’d say she’s in career-best form.”

The Hockeyroos will face Japan on Saturday (22:00 AEST) and Germany on Sunday (22:30 AEST).

World Cup Warm-Up - Four Nations, Bremen

Anna Flanagan 40, 63 (PC, PC)
Georgie Parker 55 (F)
Jodie Kenny 70 (PC)

Lily Owsley 4 (F)
Alex Danson 66 (F)

Hockeyroos squad v England
Athlete (Hometown, State) caps/goals
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 278/65
Eddie Bone (Evatt, ACT) 37/1
Casey Eastham (South Coast, NSW) 200/44
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 121/22
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 103/51
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 103/0
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 36/4
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 145/61
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA) 53/14
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 83/32
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW) 73/24

Used Substitutes
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 38/3
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD) 45/2
Emily Hurtz (Camden, NSW) 75/28
Kate Jenner (Tamworth, NSW) 92/1
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 121/22
Jayde Taylor (Bunbury, WA) 91/1
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC) 31/0

Hockey Australia media release

England women lose to Australia in Four Nations opener

Hannah Macleod in action for England

As England continue their preparations for the World Cup in the Netherlands at the end of the month the women’s squad are out in Bremen, Germany, for a Four Nations tournament against Australia, Japan and Germany.

In their first game England faced Australia, a side which has proven to be a tricky opponent in recent encounters. Goals from Lily Owsley and Alex Danson proved not to be enough for Jason Lee’s side as once again, the Hockeyroos got the better of England securing a 4-2 victory.

Kate Richardson-Walsh sustained a slight ankle injury last week and as a precaution the decision has been made that she will not take part in this tournament, however she has travelled with the squad out to Bremen. Surbiton’s Giselle Ansley has been brought in to replace Richardson-Walsh.

Leicester’s Hannah Macleod received flowers from England assistant coach Karen Brown as she made her 100th combined international appearance for England & GB.

Speaking after the game England Head Coach Jason Lee said, “It was a hard fought game today and I thought we played some really good hockey across the first 35 minutes. The girls played to the tactics very well and did exactly what was expected of them. We took a well deserved lead into the break and certainly had opportunities to extend it in the run up to half-time, but unfortunately we were unable convert.”

He added, “I thought we maintained most of our good play across the second-half, but Australia upped their game and were able to take advantage of their strengths in one or two areas of the pitch, especially with Anna [Flanagan] on Penalty Corners.”

England went in 1-0 up at half time thanks to a fourth minute effort from Lily Owsley. Owsley picked the ball up from some good interplay in midfield and found herself in space to fire home into the bottom right hand corner. England continued to push and created opportunities, but could not capitalise on their chances and they headed in at half-time with a slender lead.

Australia did the damage in the second half with four goals across the 35 minutes. Two goals from Anna Flanagan and one from Georgie Parker took the score to 3-1 on 63 minutes. With just over four minutes left of the clock England switched to 11 outfield players and were immediately rewarded as they pushed forward. Alex Danson got her name on the score-sheet in the 66th minute to make it 3-2 and give her side a glimmer of hope, but a goal from Australia’s Jodie Penny in the final minute gave the Hockeyroos a 4-2 victory.

England's next game is against Germany at 1630 on Saturday.

Anna Flanagan 40, 63 (PC, PC)
Georgie Parker 55 (FG)
Jodie Kenny 70 (PC)

Lily Owsley 4 (FG)
Alex Danson 66 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release

England men lose out to Dutch in World Cup warm-up tournament

Barry Middleton makes his 200th appearance for England v Netherlands

As England continue their preparations for the World Cup in the Netherlands at the end of the month the men’s squad are out in Dusseldorf, Germany, for a Four Nations tournament against the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

In their first game at the 2014 Ergo Masters world number three side the Netherlands inflicted a 3-1 defeat on England. Simon Mantell was on target in the second half for England with a brilliant reverse stick strike, but two goals from Mink van der Weerden and one for Billy Bakker left England on the receiving end of a defeat.

For England captain Barry Middleton this match marked a special occasion as he walked out for his 200th England appearance.

As Adam Dixon continues to recover from an ankle injury Wimbledon’s Phil Roper is named in the squad for the tournament. Dixon has travelled with the team to Dusseldorf.

Speaking after the game England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley said, “It was a poor first half from us, but a much improved second period of 35 minutes. I’m disappointed with the result, but pleased that we upped our game. In the second half we were more dynamic in our movement ahead of the ball, which allowed us to create space and opportunity for more circle entries. There’s certainly still plenty of room for us to make progress this weekend as we look ahead to the second match against Germany on Saturday.”

The first half saw two goals from the Netherlands. The first, on 21 minutes was from the revered penalty corner expert Mink van der Weerden who fired his flick low into the bottom left corner past James Bailey in England’s goal. Ten minutes later, some loose defending from England allowed Billy Bakker space and time to turn and shoot from eight yards out, leaving Bailey with no chance, to take the score line to 2-0.

Crutchley’s half-time talk clearly made an impact and within four minutes of the restart England had halved the deficit thanks to some great play between Ashley Jackson and goal scorer Simon Mantell. Mantell received the ball on the edge of the circle from Jackson and smashed a brilliant reverse stick strike past Jaap Stockmann in the Netherlands goal.

Unfortunately England were unable to capitalise on their momentum from the goal and in the 51st minute van der Weerden was back on the score sheet as he fired home another clinical drag flick from a penalty corner to secure his side a 3-1 victory.

England’s next game is on Saturday at 14:30 against Germany.

Mink van der Weerden 21, 51 (PC, PC)
Billy Bakker 31 (FG)

Simon Mantell 39 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release

Debutantes prepare for their World Cup challenge

For two umpires, it is just 15 days until they to the pitch for the biggest appointments of their career

In two weeks time Laurine Delforge and Javed Shaikh will be making their debut appearances on the biggest stage in hockey as they prepare to take charge at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. Both umpires have umpired on the international stage for a number of years, but this is something else.

"I expect the atmosphere to be incredible," says Laurine, who was a player in Belgium before she took up umpiring. "I feel not only excited, but also nervous, because a big event goes hand in hand with a lot of pressure. But having to perform under pressure makes things even more exciting, doesn't it?"

"Just hearing the words 'World Cup' is making me nervous," adds Javed, "But I am going to take it as just one more international hockey tournament."

The umpire from India began his international umpiring career with an Invitational Under 21 Seven Nations Tournament in Poland in 2003. He decided to make the move into umpiring at the age of 26 when he realised that, although he was a good player, he would never make the national team. "Umpiring my first game was a tough experience as I was not used to hearing players shout or challenging my decisions. But I remember the amount of support I got from my colleague and senior officials and that made me feel a lot better."

Laurine's entry into the world of umpiring was through a slightly different route. As a player she was prone to questioning decisions so her father, himself an umpire, challenged her to have a go to figure out how difficult it is. "And I actually liked it…" She became an international umpire in 2009.

Javed and Laurine have now joined the upper echelons of the umpiring world, but that doesn't mean that it is all plain sailing. Javed says he still gets challenged on decisions and Laurine recalls one match with a shudder: "It was the last eight minutes of England v Germany during the European Championship in Boom. It was my first game of the tournament. After a good 62 minutes, I got a lot of video referrals in a very short amount of time, with most of them being upheld. I had never been put under so much pressure. But I am happy to have gone through this, because it is from such difficult situations that you learn the most!"

The two umpires both clearly love the buzz and excitement of the game and Javed adds: "It keeps me connected to hockey and it allows me to see different people, places and cultures. I also love the feeling that we get from these tournaments that we are all part of one big family. And importantly, I get monetary benefit from umpiring which helps me support my family in a small way – they sacrificed a lot so I could get this far in umpiring."

For people who have ambitions to follow in Laurine and Javed's footsteps, Javed has this advice: "To be an effective hockey umpire, an individual needs to be very focused in this job and should not get distracted. It is hard work but for me, I want to always do my best and improve my knowledge, skill and experience through working with others."

Laurine adds: "Empathy with the players and confidence are two key factors. For me, knowing the FIH has trust and confidence in my abilities is both gratifying and gives me confidence. I now hope to come up to standard."

FIH site

SA hockey boosted by SuperSport

SuperSport has come on board as event-sponsor of the South African men’s hockey team ahead of the FIH World Cup, starting in Holland later this month.

The iconic SuperSport logo will feature across the front of the team shirts, a visibility that will be enhanced with SuperSport broadcasting all 76 matches live.

“Corporate South Africa is often blamed for not coming to the party with Olympic sport, so we are delighted to be able to do so,” said Brandon Foot, Acting CEO of SuperSport.

“Hockey presented an excellent proposal and, frankly, we have always been impressed by the team’s ability to punch above their weight internationally. Hopefully this sponsorship takes some pressure off the team and their energies are channeled into producing great results.”

Marissa Langeni, CEO of the SA Hockey Association, said: “We are extremely pleased that SuperSport has decided to partner with SA Hockey in our efforts to get the SA men’s hockey team to the Rabobank Hockey World Cup‎. Further to sponsoring the team for this event SuperSport will also broadcast all the games to not only the hockey loving South African public but to a number of African countries as well.

“On behalf of the team we would like to thank SuperSport for the opportunity given to our team and for fulfilling some life-long dreams of representing South Africa at the highest level.”

South Africa open their campaign on June 1, against Germany.

SA Hockey Association media release

Unacceptable delay

The national players undergo a training session at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Tuesday in preparation for the World Cup. Pic by Hasriyasyah Sabudin

THE Malaysian national hockey squad were within a whisker of heading into the World Cup without a chief coach after an upset K. Dharmaraj decided to quit yesterday.

Angry at being treated as an outcast and irked that repeated requests for a contract fell on deaf ears, Dharmaraj decided enough was enough.

Surviving on a monthly allowance of RM4,000 for the last five months, Dharmaraj skipped the squad’s training session yesterday as he prepared to walk out.

However, word reached Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and his quick action resulted in the issue being resolved yesterday evening, just 16 days before Malaysia begin their World Cup campaign.

Even then, MHC didn’t cover itself in glory over the incident, especially as it had no one but Dharmaraj to turn to after Paul Revington quit as national coach.

“I really don’t understand why some of my coaching staff and I were treated like outcasts. Despite repeatedly knocking on the doors of MHC, we never received any feedback on our contracts.

“I did not even know how much my salary scale was for the past five months, and was living on a monthly allowance of RM4,000,” said an upset Dharmaraj after the issue was resolved.

Tengku Abdullah instructed MHC treasurer Datuk N. Radhakrishnan to settle the matter.

“After waiting for five months, I was finally called to the MHC office on Wednesday and asked to sign a contract which only increased my salary by RM2,000 from my juniors contract.

“That was the breaking point, as I was promised many things before this but was then handed a pathetic contract to sign.

“My wife also told me to quit, as I was being treated badly by the very officials who had promised me many things. I also wonder why when the MHC president finally found out about it, it was easily resolved,” said Dharmaraj.

Dharmaraj, based on his achievement in guiding his charges to a fourth-placed finish in last year’s Junior World Cup, is in the running for Coach of the Year at Monday’s national sports awards.

He has proven his mettle with the senior side as well for after having replaced Revington, he guided the team to a silver-medal finish behind Australia in the Azlan Shah Cup.

That was followed by a bronze medal finish in the Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan.

“The issue here was not about money but I was peeved with the way they handled my case as I kept knocking and knocking my head against the MHC door, with no answer.”

Malaysia are in Group A of the World Cup with Australia, England, Belgium, Spain and India.

New Straits Times

Drama over Dharmaraj's salary

By S. Ramaguru

Coach K. Dharmaraj (third from right) talking to the national hockey players early this year. He finally has his contract and salary sorted out.

KUALA LUMPUR: A potential crisis in the World Cup-bound national hockey team was averted, thanks to the quick action by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).

K. Dharmaraj was on the verge of quitting as national coach on Thursday with the World Cup just two weeks away. The team will leave for The Hague, Holland, on May 23 for the May 31-June 15 Finals.

And it took the MHC just a matter of hours to resolve the issue which had been simmering for the last four months. It was all about Dharmaraj’s salary and work contract.

Dharmaraj was previously under contract with the Project 2013 team and his salary was paid by the National Sports Council (NSC). But his deal ended on Dec 31 after the Junior World Cup where Malaysia finished fourth.

In January, Dharmaraj was promoted as national coach when South African Paul Revington quit the team. He was not given a contract and was only paid an allowance by the MHC.

On Wednesday, the NSC finally offered him a contract which did not adhere to what had been promised and, naturally, the Malacca-born coach blew his top and decided to quit the team.

He was about to hand over his resignation letter on Thursday morning when the MHC got wind of his impending move. The national body acted swiftly to solve the issue with MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah asking treasurer Datuk K. Radhakrishnan to step in to resolve the issue.

Radhakrishnan and MHC secretary-general Datuk Johari Abdul Aziz then met Dharmaraj at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil and the matter was amicably settled within minutes.

When met after the meeting, Dharmaraj said he was sad that a simple contract matter had to be turned into a controversy and only settled when he decided to call it quits.

“I love the job and also my country. But enough is enough. I believe that I am entitled to some respect as a national coach and not to be taken for granted. If they are able to do this (solve the issue) within a few hours, then why did they let it drag on for so many months.

“I had brought this to their attention on many occasions, and yet nothing was done about it. Nobody bothered to talk to me or even to tell me that the matter would be looked into.

“I have been working without a salary all these months, just the allowance paid by the MHC. I believe that these issues should be handled professionally and local coaches should be treated fairly,” said Dharmaraj.

Dharmaraj did not attend Thursday’s morning training session with the players. But he turned up for the evening session.

“Now it is back to status quo as far as my position is concerned and I am satisfied with what the MHC have offered me now,” he said.

Radhakrishnan was pleased the matter had been settled.

“It was a simple matter which just needed some input. But it is over now. All’s back to normal,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

At least Oltmans sees India springing a surprise in World Cup

NEW DELHI: From head coach Terry Walsh to officials, everyone might have written off India's chances of a podium finish at the upcoming Hockey World Cup, but high performance director Roelant Oltmans feels they can spring a surprise provided they check their perennial problem of conceding late goals.

While Hockey India and Walsh are not aiming higher than a top-eight finish in the mega event beginning in the Hague, Netherlands from May 31, renowned Dutch coach Oltmans says India are capable of producing an unexpected result.

"If we are able to make sure we don't crack in the final phase of the game and score goals rather than conceding like we have done in the past, we are capable of springing a surprise. The boys have worked really hard on the game, especially on their fitness," Oltmans, who coached The Netherlands to an Olympic and World Cup title, told PTI.

He, however, defended Walsh amongst others for not aiming higher in the competition where India finished eighth out of 12 teams in 2010.

"There is no point saying right away that we are going to reach the semifinals. If we lose the first two games, then the whole script goes awry.

"To be honest, it is very difficult to make any prediction, so let's take it game by game. It depends on how the tournament develops. Momentum is important, especially in a tough group like ours. Even for 7-8 finish, we would need to beat at least two good teams," said Oltmans.

India, ranked eighth, are in Group A with the likes of Australia (World No.1), Spain (10), Belgium (5), England (4) and Malaysia (13).

The team of late has been working on improving their technical skills such as shortening the swing of the stick to meet one of the demands of fast paced modern hockey.

Asked about his assessment of the boys, Oltmans said: "Indians are skillful and are very good with the stick work but they lag behind in planning and execution. For starters, you have to be more creative in the D and be ready for the chances you may get. You can't rely much on scoring through penalty corners. I am confident the boys will show improvement in all these areas in Holland."

The Times of India

Jasjit makes India cut, Sansarpur erupts with joy

Rachna Khaira

Jasjit Singh is the latest to make the India squad from the stable of Sansarpur

Jalandhar - Sansarpur, the Mecca of Indian hockey, is back to doing what it does best – produce hockey player for the country. The latest to don the India colours from the village will be 24-year-old Jasjit Singh Kular, who will play for the country in the World Cup be held in Netherlands from May 31.

Incidentally, Ravi Pal was the last player from Sansarpur to make the World Cup squad in 2010. He broke the 35-year long barren run for the village as the last World Cupper before him was Ajit Pal Singh who had led India to triumph in 1975.

While India has lowest Olympic medals per person in the country, it’s, ironically, home to a street, in Sansarpur village, having the highest per person Olympic medals with virtually every second home adorned with the name of an Olympic medallist. Now With Jasjit making it to the World Cup squad, the residents of this tiny hamlet are hoping for their medal count to rise from the World Cup and maybe even the Olympics.

As soon as the news of Jasjit making it to the reached the village, the mood there turned festive. Children, with their handmade hockey sticks, gathered at the village ground and celebrated the moment. The elders gathered at the village Gurdwara and performed ‘Ardaas’ for the team’s win at the World Cup. “He has done us a proud. He has reclaimed the legacy of the ‘Kular clan’ after long 39 long. After Ajit Pal Sing won us the World Cup in 19075, he’s the first “Kular” to make the India squad. The team is destined to win the World Cup with a Kular in its ranks,” said an elated Col Balbir Singh (retd), president of the Sansarpur Hockey Asociation.

The entire team of the Sansarpur Hockey Association and the relatives gathered at the player’s residence in the morning. “He has done us proud. He has been dreaming of this since he was three years old,” said Jasminder Singh, Jasjit Singh’s father.

“It is in our blood. We are born to play and win. Our built and determination has made us winner in hockey since the beginning. The Indian Hockey team lost its winning streak after 1976. You may call it a coincidence, but after 1976 no one from Sansarpur was included in the team,” said Popinder Singh Kular, a hockey player who also published his PhD dissertation on “Social, cultural and educational ethos of sports: A case study of Sansarpur village in Punjab”.

He said Sansarpur had till date given 14 Olympians, 19 internationals who represented India and other countries, 110 national-level players and another 132 who represented various military teams. “The village is shortly going to have its 15th Olympian in 2016,” said the jubilant Popinder Singh.

The Tribune

Sikhs at Kuala Lumpur World Cup 2002

by Dil Bahra

Malaysia’s umpire, Amarjit Singh, in action during the Kuala Lumpur 2002 World Cup.

In our series of the impact Sikhs have had at Men’s Hockey World Cups, we look at the tenth World Cup held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2002.

The tenth Men’s Hockey World Cup was held at Malaysia National Hockey Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 24 February - 9 March 2002.

Sixteen nations competed and were divided into two pools of eight as follows:

Pool A: Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Spain.

Pool B: Australia, Cuba, England, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Poland.

One Sikh Official, an umpire, was appointed for the Kuala Lumpur World Cup.

Amarjit Singh of Malaysia was on the Umpires panel for his second World Cup, having umpired at the Utrecht 1998 World Cup. He was born in Ipoh, Malaysia and was educated at the Anglo-Chinese School in Ipoh. He graduated from the Open University Malaysia. He was associated with the Perak State Players Association.

He started umpiring at the age of 20 and his first international match was in a 4 Nations tournament in Darwin, Australia when he umpired the Australia v Argentina match in May 1992. He was awarded his International badge in April 1993 and his Grade 1 badge in February 1996. He umpired at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998 and was awarded his World Panel badge in August 1998.

He umpired at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

The Indian team, which was captained by a Sikh, Baljit Singh Dhillon, had seven Sikhs in their squad for Kuala Lumpur 2002 World Cup. This was the exact same setup as in 1975 when the World Cup was played in Kuala Lumpur in 1975 and India won the Gold.

Baljit Singh Dhillon in action

Baljit Singh Dhillon, India’s captain at the Kuala Lumpur 2002 World Cup, was born in Padhr, near Amritsar. He studied at Khalsa College Jalandhar. A forward, he played for Punjab Police and earned his first international cap in 1993 against South Africa. He played at the Champions Trophy in 1995 in Berlin and the Asian Games in 1994 in Hiroshima and in 1998 in Bangkok.

Baljit played at the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

He scored 4 goals at the World Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 2002.

Daljit Singh Dhillon, a forward and younger brother of team captain Baljit, was also making his first appearance at a World Cup. He was born in Jalandhar, Punjab. He played for Punjab Police. He made his international debut in 1998. He played at the Champions Challenge in Kuala Lumpur in December 2001 where India won the Gold.

Daljit, like his elder brother, also scored 4 goals at the Kuala Lumpur 2002 World Cup.

Baljeet Singh Saini, a half back from Punjab was making his second appearance at a World Cup, having played at Utrecht 1998 World Cup. He was born in Ropar, Punjab and played for Punjab & Sindh Bank. He won his first international cap when he was selected for Indra Gandhi Gold Cup in Lucknow in 1995. He captained India’s team at Milton Keynes Junior World Cup in 1997 where India won the Silver medal. He also played at the Asian Games in Bangkok in 1998 where India won the Gold medal.

Baljeet played at the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Jugraj Singh, a full back and a drag flicker, was making his first appearance at a World Cup. He was born in Rayya, near Amritsar in Punjab. He trained at Surjeet Singh Hockey Academy in Jalandhar and later at Air India Hockey Academy in Delhi. He played at the U18 Asia Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia in 2001 and in the same year played at the Junior World Cup in Hobart and Champions Challenge in Kuala Lumpur.

Jugraj scored three penalty corner goals at the Kuala Lumpur 2002 World Cup. 

Kanwalpreet Singh, a fullback from Punjab Police, was making his first appearance at a World Cup. He was born in Jalandhar, Punjab, and played for Punjab Police. He made his international debut in 2000. He played at the Junior Asia Cup in May 2000 and Junior World Cup in Hobart in 2001, which India won. He played in the Champions Challenge in Kuala Lumpur in December 2001 where India won the Gold.

Prabhjot Singh, a forward from Punjab, was also making his first appearance at a World Cup. He was born in Masania in Punjab and studied at Adarsh Vidya Mander in Batala. He played for Indian Oil Corporation. He earned his first international cap in 1999 and played at the Hobart 2001 Junior World Cup where India won the Gold.

Prabhjot scored three goals at the Kuala Lumpur 2002 World Cup. 

Sukbir Singh Gill, a mid-field player, was making his first appearance at a World Cup. He was born in Chandigargh, Punjab and graduated from Punjab University in Chandigargh. He played for Bharat Petroleum and won his first international cap at the Azlan Shah Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 1995. He played in the Champions Challenge in Kuala Lumpur in December 2001 where India won the Gold.

Sukbir played at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Two Sikh brothers were playing in the same team for the fourth time in World Cup history. Baljit and Daljit Singh Dhillon of India were following in the foot-steps of brothers Harvinder and Amarjeet Singh Marwa of Kenya who played in the 1st World Cup in Barcelona in 1971; Harmik and Ajit Singh of India who played at the 2nd World Cup in Amstelveen in 1973 and Hargurnek and Hargurpreet Sandhu of Canada who played at the Lahore 1990 World Cup.

The Dhillon duo Baljit and Daljit scored eight goals at the Kuala Lumpur 2002 World Cup, four a piece.

India Team: 1. Devesh Chauchan (G/K); 2. Ignance Tirkey; 3. Baljit Singh Saini; 4. Prabhjot Singh; 5. Jugraj Singh; 6. Dilip Tirkey; 7. Dhanraj Pillay; 8. Baljit Singh Dhillon (Capt); 9. Jude Menezes (G/K); 10. Sabu Varkey; 11. Sukbir Singh Gill; 12. Lajrus Barla; 13. Arjun Halappa; 14. Deepak Sonkhla Thakur; 15. Bipin Fernandez; 16. Kanwalpreet Singh; 17. Daljit Singh Dhillon; 18. Thirumalvalavan Selvarj.

Manager: KGS Alva; Coach: Cedric D’Souza (1st 4 matches) & C R Kumar.

The Malaysian team had one Sikh in their squad for Kuala Lumpur 2002 World Cup.

Maninderjit Singh Sidhu of Malaysia

Maninderjit Singh Sidhu was making his second appearance at a World Cup, having played at the Utrecht 1998 World Cup.

He was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and graduated from University of Malaya. A defender/sweeper, he played for Sapura Hockey Club. He was selected for the Junior squad in January 1990 and played at the Junior World Cup in Tarrasa, Spain in 1993. He earned his first senior cap in November 1992 and played at the Champions Trophy in Kuala Lumpur in 1993. He played at the Asian Games in Hiroshima in 1994 and in Bangkok in 1998. He played at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 where Malaysia won the Silver medal.

He played at the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Maninderjit scored a penalty stroke goal at Kuala Lumpur 2002 World Cup.

Malaysia Team: 1. Roslan Jamaluddin (G/K); 2. Maninderjit Singh Sidhu; 3. Boon Huat Chua; 4. Gobinathan Krishanmurthy; 5. Kuhan Shanmuganathan; 6. Nor Azlan Haji Bakar; 7. Chairal Anwar Abd Aziz; 8. Jiwa Mohan; 9. Mohd Madzli Ikmar; 10. Tajol Rosli Mohamed; 11. Mohd Rodhanizam Mat Radzi; 12. Keevan Raj Kali Kavandan; 13. Mirnawan Hj. Nawawi (Capt); 14. Logan Raj Kali Kavandan; 15. Shaiful Azli Abd Rahman; 16. Mohd Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim (G/K); 17. Mohd Fairuz Ramly; 18. Shankar Shanmugam.

Manager: Data Rajaratnam Yogeswaran; Coach: Paul Lissek (Germany).

Final Classification: 1. Germany; 2. Australia; 3. Netherlands; 4. Korea; 5. Pakistan; 6. Argentina; 7. England; 8. Malaysia; 9. New Zealand; 10. India; 11. Spain; 12. Japan; 13. South Africa; 14. Belgium; 15. Poland; 16 Cuba.

Next week: 11th World Cup – Monchengladbach, Germany, 2006.

Sikhs in Hockey

Meet the men for the FIH’s Athletes’ Committee elections

A closer look at 15 of the 21 candidates that are up for nomination for the FIH Athletes’ Committee elections

(Photo: Treeby Images)

In early April the FIH announced the candidates for the first-ever FIH Athletes’ Committee elections set to take place during this year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup in the Hague, Netherlands. Over five days, athletes will have the opportunity to elect two women and two men, making of four of the total eight seats, of the FIH Athlete’s Committee. The remaining four seats will be appointed by the FIH Executive Board in March 2015.

The 21 candidates represent all five continents with seven of the 21 being goalkeepers and four current committee members. The most experienced candidate on the list is Pakistan’s Waseem Ahmed, who boasts over 400 caps, while five others have more than 290 caps to their name, showcasing the quality of this year’s candidates. Six of the players on the nomination list are former players, while the remainder are still competing for their country.

Male Candidates  Click here to view the Athletes' Committee webpage

Waseem Ahmed     |    Twitter: @WaseemHockey    Facebook

Country: Pakistan

With over 400 international caps, Waseem Ahmed has competed in three Olympics for Pakistan, with his team’s best finish being fourth at the Sydney Games. In addition, Waseem has competed in four World Cups and an impressive 12 Champions Trophies. A former captain of Pakistan, Waseem was named to the FIH World XI in 1999 and has been nominated for FIH Player of the Year three times. He is the most capped player in Pakistan Hockey history and has was awarded the President’s Pride of Performance Award in 2013 by the Government of Pakistan. Waseem is also an active coach and the current President of the Vehari District Hockey Association


Paolo Cane |  Twitter : @Pauldog82     VIDEO: Click here

Country: Italy

Italian national team defender Paolo Cane has an impressive educational and hockey background. A current player on the squad, Paolo has competed in five Italian National Championships and three Italian National Cups. He competed in the 2013 Indoor EuroHockey Club Challenge and is an active coach at both the senior and junior level. Paolo currently holds a graduate degree in Business Administration and attended Ludwig Maximilian University to complete the Leonardo Da Vinci International Students Program. Paolo currently works as a Compliance Officer in an international company operating in the financial services industry in Turin, Italy. 


Liam de Young  |  Twitter: @LiamDeYoung  Instagram: @liamdy

Country : Australia

Recently surpassing the 300-mark for international caps, Liam de Young has racked quite the hockey resume. Medalling in all three of his last three appearances at the Olympics (two bronze and one gold in 2004), Liam is a decorated hockey player for the Kookaburras. This Australian midfielder isn’t done yet as he is about to add his fourth World Cup after a gold performance in 2010 and two silvers in 2006 and 2002. Tack on that he has appeared in eight Champions Trophy events and you have one of the most decorated Australian players on the list. To top it off, Liam also holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Commercial Law & Sports Administration from Curtin University.


Niclas Franzén  |  Twitter: @NiclasFranzen  Facebook: niclasfranzen

Country: Sweden

Nearing 100 caps for the Swedish national team, Niclas Franzén has been competing for his country since 2004. The 25-year-old speaks four languages including English, Swedish, Danish and Norweigan and has competed in several indoor and outdoor European club championships. Recently, Niclas was named top goalkeeper at the 2013 European Indoor Championship in Lille, France. On the side Niclas is took part in the Swedish Hockey Association’s Hockey Academy and was a project leader for recruitment tournaments for six years. He has been active in coaching and is a moderator for the online blog at fieldhockeyforum.com. Additionally, Niclas won an OBO body armour design competition and has been helping develop goalkeeping equipment ever since. He was named one of the 50 most promising youth athletes in Sweden.


Santi Freixa |  Twitter: @blognetsporting   Facebook: santi.freixaescude

Country: Spain

With more than 120 goals from 177 caps, Santi Freixa has been a stalwart of the Spanish team since 2000, although he has played his hockey across the world, including the Netherlands and a stint in Argentina while he was working as an intern in the financial department of a cement company. During his international career, Santi has won an Olympic silver medal (Beijing 2008), a bronze medal in the 2006 World Cup, a gold medal in the 2005 European Championships and a gold medal in the Champions Trophy in 2004 in Lahore. Santi plays his domestic hockey in the Netherlands for Amsterdam Hockey Club, and prior to that he played for the highly successful Athletic de Terrassa Hockey Club in Spain, winning the Spanish League on five occasions. Santi was been voted as Player of the World Hockey All Stars Team for three years in succession - 2006, 2007 and 2008. 


Moritz Furste  |  Twitter: @moritzfuerste  Facebook: MoritzFuerste

Country: Germany

Olympic gold medals from Beijing 2008 and London 2012, a gold medal from the 2006 World Cup, two European Championship gold medals and two World Indoor gold medals (2007 and 2011) adorn Moritz Furste's trophy cabinet. The German midfielder has 227 international caps and was named the FIH Player of the Year in 2012. During his career Moritz has played for UHC Hamburg, a team he guided to three Euro Hockey League titles (2008, 2010 and 2012) and more recently played for Club de campo in Madrid, Spain. Away from hockey, Moritz has a Masters degree in business and has worked for the past four years for Think, an advertising company that is based in Germany.


David Harte  |  Twitter: @daveyharte

Country: Ireland

David Harte wins accolades at just about every tournament his country plays in. At the recent Champions Challenge 1 in Malaysia, David was highly praised for his performances between the sticks, as Ireland made their way to the semi-finals against pre-tournament expectations. He has also won Player of the Tournament awards in Champions Challenge II, Champions Challenge I and World League Round 2. David has been part of the squad that won the European Cup in 2007, 2011 and 2013 and a gold medal at Champions Challenge I in 2011. David plays his domestic hockey in the Netherlands for SV Kampong, and as a fluent Dutch speaker, he teaches Physical Education and is goalkeeping coach to the u16 and u18 players at SV Kampong.


David Kettle  |  Twitter: @dragonkettle  Instagram: @Dkettle

Country: Wales

David Kettle is captain of Wales and vice-captain at the top English National League side Surbiton. He has played for Wales more than 50 times at world level events - World Cup qualifiers and World League. David is no stranger to success, with Surbiton he has been a National Premier League winner three times, won the English National Cup twice and also holds an indoor league medal. A fluent speaker of Malay, David played for two seasons in Australia and one season in Malaysia.

Aside from hockey, David is the athlete representative of the Hockey Wales Technical Action Group committee, a group that is focusing on elite performance within the 2020 Hockey Wales strategy. Hs is also the hockey athlete representative for the Wales Commonwealth Games committee at the upcoming Commonwealth Games.


Henri LHomme  

Country: France

When Henri LHomme isn't standing between the goal-posts either for his country or his club, his mind may well be on far loftier matters because Henri is a project management consultant in aeronautics, space, defence and research. With a degree in mechanical engineering from Insa Lyon engineering school it is amazing he has found the time to also become a top athlete. Henri himself says that he is proud of the fact he has balanced being an elite athlete with raising a family and continuing his career. He is also a member of the French National Olympic Athletes committee.

Henri has 40 caps for France and during that time his team has achieved sixth place in the Nations European Cup 2009 and second place in the Olympic Games qualification tournament in 2012.


Jiwa Mohan

Country: Malaysia

Jiwa Mohan has played for Malaysia more than 292 times, in an international career spanning nearly 15 years. He made his Olympic debut at the Sydney Olympic Games, and since then has won a bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, a bronze medal at the Asia Cup in 2007, silver in the 2007 Sultan Azlan Cup and bronze at the Asian Champions Trophy.

The midfielders involvement in hockey extends beyond simply playing. He is assistant coach to the Malaysian women's team and actively promotes hockey throughout Malaysia. He is also running a programme for the Penang State Hockey Association for children. When he is not involved in playing, coaching or administrating for hockey, Jiwa is an engineer for a world-wide integrated gas and oil company.


Filip Neusser  |  Facebook: Filip.neusser.5

Country: Czech Republic

Mention hockey in the Czech Republic and you will probably mention Filip Neusser in the same breath. The national team's goalkeeper has not just played for his country 154 times, he is also the Head of National Teams for the Czech Hockey Federation, is a member of the Czech Olympic Committee and since 2012 has been chairman of the sports committee in District Prague 3, a post that makes him responsible for the allocation of all financial resources for sport in the district. Filip has also played hockey in Italy, Spain, Germany and England as well as at his own club - HC 1946 Praga.


Xavier Reckinger  |  Twitter: @Xavierreckinger Instagram: @XRHC

Country: Belgium

Xavier Reckinger has been playing hockey for Belgium since 2001 and in that time he has witnessed his team rising from a world ranking of 14 to their current 5th ranking. With 315 caps to his name, Xavier has played in two Olympics – Beijing and London, the 2002 World Cup and six European Cups. His international experience extends to his club hockey, Xavier has plied his trade as a defender in New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands and Belgium, enjoying spells with the top clubs in those countries. His day job involves promoting the Red Lions and combining elite sport and business, and he is also involved in an initiative – G-hockey– to introduce hockey to physically and mentally disabled people. 


Scott Sandison   Twitter: @scottysandison  Instagram: @scottysandison

Country: Canada

Scott Sandison has 178 caps for Canada and during that time he has played in  two Commonwealth Games (2002, 2006), an Olympic Games (2008) and a World Cup (2010). In recent years, Canada has been enjoying success in the Pan American competitions, picking up a gold medals at this year's Pan American Indoor World Cup qualifier,  a gold in the 2009 America's Cup and a gold at the 2005 Indoor Pan-American games. Scott's involvement in hockey goes far beyond the medals he has won. As a coach he has worked with Ontario Senior Men; Spanish club CD Terrassa's under-16 boys; and Old Loughtonians, in the English regional league.


Sardar Singh  |  Twitter: @8_SardarSingh  Facebook: sardarsingh

Country: India

Sardar Singh is a policeman by profession, but he is best known as the captain and creative midfield player who has graced the India national team since 2005. Sardar has 180 caps to his name and a wealth of experience at tournaments around the world. As a member of the national team he has collected gold medals at the 2007 Asia Cup, the 2009 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and the 2010 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. He was also selected for the FIH World All Stars Team in 2010 and 2011 and was awarded India's highest sporting prize, the Arjuna Award in 2012. Also in 2012, Sardar was player of the tournament as India won the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in New Delhi and later that year he captained India at the 2012 Olympics. Sardar plays his club hockey in The Netherlands at HC Bloemendaal and captained the Delhi Waveriders in the Hockey India League.


Robert van der Horst  |  Twitter: @horst24  Instagram: @horst24

Country: The Netherlands

Robert van der Horst has represented The Netherlands 214 times and plays as a free-ranging defender. He is also captain of the national side and has been nominated three times for the Player of the Year award. Robert was crowned the FIH Young Player of the Year in 2005 and since then he has gone on to play in two Olympics (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). He picked up a silver medal in London after his side lost to Germany in a thrilling final. The Netherlands won the Hockey World League this year, and Robert's two other gold medals came in 2006 at the Champions Trophy and 2007 when The Netherlands were crowned European Champions. 


About the FIH Athletes’ Committee  

Each National Association was given the opportunity to nominate one past or present athlete who, if elected, would meet the goals of the committee. The committee is set to represent the views of the athletes within the FIH, protect their interests and uphold their rights and obligations. The group will also serve as a link between the active athletes and the FIH, as well as to help raise awareness and educate athletes on topics of direct concern.

The members of the Athletes’ Committee will serve as a consultative body and will make recommendations to the FIH Executive Board, FIH Committees, Advisory Panels and other bodies. Their roles will also cover seeking and providing feedback to the FIH on behalf of all athletes, whilst developing and promoting resources and initiatives to athletes such as health and welfare, anti-doping, social media, our need to create stars to attract new fans, career preparation and management. The Committee will also play a central role in liaising with the Athletes’ Commission of the IOC and other sporting organisations to enable the sharing of information and research and ultimately developing the game of hockey.

Current members of the Athletes’ Committee who are also on the recently-announced candidate list include Beth Smith (NZL), Henri Lhomme (FRA), Liam de Young (AUS) and Scott Sandison (CAN).  

Click here to view the Athletes' Committee webpage

FIH site

Air India win, but bow out

MUMBAI: Defending champions Air India despite finishing on a winning note failed to qualify for the semifinals of the 10th PMC BankGuru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup All India Hockey Tournament, at the MHAL stadium, Churchgate, here on Thursday.

Air India defeated Tamil Nadu XI 5-4 in the final Group-A league match, but the margin of victory was not good enough to see them make the last four. They required a win by a clear six-goal margin to edge out Army XI on goal difference.

Both, Air India and Army XI, who lost to group toppers Western Railway 3-5 earlier in the afternoon, finished with the same number of four points each. But the armymen with a better goal difference of plus 3 as compared to Air India's minus 1, qualified for the semis along with Western who finished at the top with seven points.

Earlier, Western Railway capitalised on the opportunities that came their way to put it across a dominant Army XI, who wasted a series of easy chances.

Amit Rohidas scored twice from short corner while Malak Singh, Jaykaran and captain Vinod Singh added one each for the railway outfit. Army XI got their goals through Chandan Aind, Jonny Jasrotia and Siraju A.P.

Meanwhile in the concluding Group-B match in the morning, Indian Oil and Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) shared honours in a 3-3 draw. CAG started with a bang taking an early lead through Sarvjeet Singh field effort in the third minute and increased the advantage to 2-0 when Mohd Naeemuddin scored in the 29th minute.

Results: Group-A: Western Railway 5 (Amit Rohidas 21, 45, Malak Singh 25, Jaykaran 41, Vinod Singh 43) Army XI 3 (Chandan Aind 16, Jonny Jasrotia 54, Siraju AP 59). Air India 5 (Sameer Dad 16, Gaganpreet Singh 20, 47 & 52, Joga Singh 42) Tamil Nadu XI 4 (V Raja 7, M. Dhileepan 37, A. Albert John 56, D. Dhamu 58).

Group-B: Comptroller & Auditor General 3 (Savvjeet Singh 3, Mohd. Naeemuddin 29, Dhyan Singh 62) Indian Oil 3 (Prabhjot Singh 33 & 34, Vikash Sharma 53).

The Times of India

Air India beat Tamil Nadu but fail to make it to semifinal

MUMBAI: Riding on Gaganpreet Singh's hat-trick, defending champions Air India beat Tamil Nadu XI 5-4 in their Group A match played at the MHA-Mahindra stadium on Thursday but failed to make it to the semifinals of the 10th All India Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup Hockey.

The title holders lost the semifinal spot to Army XI on goal difference.

Air India squandered a brilliant opportunity when Joga Singh after breaking through the rival defence failed to get past Tamil Nadu goalkeeper Udhaya Kumar in the seventh minute.

But Tamil Nadu skipper V Raja helped his side draw the first blood in the same minute.

Air India bounced back to overhaul the deficit and scored two quick goals through Sameer Dad and Gaganpreet in the 16th minute and 20th minute respectively.

Tamil Nadu equalised early in second half with a goal from Dhileepan in the 37th minute.

Joga Singh scored a field goal for the airline company in the 42nd minute. Gaganpreet converted two more penalty corners in the 47th and 52nd minute to put Air India ahead 5-2 but the southern team came back with two quick goals in the 56th and 58th minute from Albert John and D Dhamu.

In another Group A match, Western Railway beat Army XI 5-3. Army men took the lead in the 16th minute through a penalty corner by Chandan Aind but Western Railway slammed in two quick goals in 21st and 25th through Amit Rohidass, who scored from a penalty corner, and Malak Singh who scored a field goal.

In the second half, Western Railways scored three goals within five minutes to seal the match. Jaykaran and captain Vinod Singh scored in 41st and 43rd minute, while Amit Rohidass converted another penalty corner in the 45th minute.

Johnny Jasrotia and Siraju A P scored the other two goals for Army in 54th and 59th minute, respectively.

Indian Oil and Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) settled for a 3-3 draw in a Group B match.

CAG started with a bang taking an early lead through Sarvjeet Singh field effort in the third minute and increased the advantage to 2-0 when Mohammed Naeemuddin scored in the 29th minute.

However, the Oil men came back with strongly with two quick goals from Olympian Prabhjot Singh to restore parity.

Indian Oil took the lead in the 53rd minute when Vikas Sharma found the net but Dhyan Singh scored scored the equaliser when he converted a penalty stroke in the 62nd minute.

The Times of India

Scottish District and Reserve Cup and Plate finals preview

Men’s District Cup 15.45, Pitch 1

In the Men’s District Cup Final, PSL Team Sport Clydesdale II meet Grange II.

The Titwood outfit cruised into the final with an 8-1 win over Inverleith II, while their opponents needed a penalty shoot-out win against AAM Gordonians II to reach Sunday’s finale.

When the two sides clashed during the Regional League Central Division 1 season, it was one win each, so calling the eventual winner may be a difficult shout to make.

Women’s District Cup 13.45, Pitch 1

Erskine Stewart’s Melville FP II and Milne Craig Clydesdale Western IV will battle it out in the Final to determine the winners of the Women’s District Cup.

The former pupils narrowly defeated Shetland in last weekend’s semi-final to set-up Sunday’s encounter, while the Glasgow side beat Orkney.

Erskine Stewart’s Melville FP II last won the cup in 2012 after a last-gasp win over Orkney so will be hoping for a repeat this year. Milne Craig Clydesdale Western are aiming to go one step further this year having lost last year’s final to the Orcadians.

Men’s Reserve Cup 11.45, Pitch 1

The Men’s Reserve Cup final features Grange V and Hillhead III.

The Edinburgh side’s route to the final included wins over Dundee Wanderers IV, PSL Team Sport Clydesdale III, AAM Gordonians III and Edinburgh University III.

Hillhead defeated Dundee Wanderers III, Falkirk GHG III, Erskine Stewart’s Melville FP III and Grange III on the road to Glasgow.

Men’s District Plate 15.30, Pitch 2

Last weekend’s District Plate semi-finals saw Perthshire II triumph over CALA Edinburgh II and Hillhead II dispatch Watsonians II to reach this weekend’s final.

Hillhead are last year’s defending champions so will be aiming for back-to-back successes.

Women’s District Plate 13.30, Pitch 2

Grange EL III and Madras FP will contest the Women’s District Plate final.

The Edinburgh outfit’s passage to the final was a relatively comfortable affair with a win over Quaser, while Livingston and West Lothian were narrowly defeated by the Fifers on the way to the final.

Men’s Reserve Plate 11.30, Pitch 2

Aberdeen GSFP III and Rottenrow Blue Sox II square up in this year’s Reserve Plate final.

The Aberdonians defeated fellow Regional League North side Grove Menzieshill III in last weekend’s semi-final, while the Glasgow side beat Dundee Wanderers III.

Accessing the Glasgow National Hockey Centre

Due to the construction of the stands for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, car parking at the venue is severely restricted.

Car parking will only be available in the Glasgow Green Football Centre car park and on King's Drive.

Specators will only be permitted to watch the hockey from the main stand. The perimeter of the pitch will be cordoned off.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Lille pair link up with Waterloo

Lille duo Viktor Lockwood and Victor Charlet will make the switch across the border to the Waterloo Ducks as the Belgian champions set about rebuilding their team following five departures.

Both players were part of the France Under-21 side that reached the final of the Junior World Cup last December while Charlet, still only 20, has burst into the French senior team, scoring four penalty corner goals in the recent Champions Challenge I in Malaysia.

They add to the arrivals of Antonine Kina and Arnaud Flamand at the club following the departures of Alex de Paeuw, Vincent Vanasch, Benjamin van Hove, Maxime Luycx and Thomas van den Balck.

Elsewhere, Jeffrey Thys looks set to rejoin Dragons after a season with Rotterdam having picked up a job in Antwerp.

Euro Hockey League media release

Seccombe steps down as Reading head coach

Euro Hockey League regulars Reading are looking for a new head coach following the decision of Charlie Seccombe to step down from the role he has held for the past three years.

He joined the club as assistant coach five years ago before moving into the main role soon after. He led the side to the national title in the 2011/12 season and was also part of the coaching team that helped the club achieve third place in the Euro Hockey League in 2010/11.

On his decision to step down, Seccombe said: “I have had a fantastic five years at the club and am disappointed to be leaving, however I feel it is an appropriate time for somebody else to take up the challenge that a club like Reading offers. I wish the club, players and the incoming coach every success in the future.”

Reading thanked Seccombe for his efforts with the club and “wish him all the best in his future plans in his hockey career and with his young family”.

The English club missed out on European qualification for next season for the first time in 18 years when they ended fourth in their domestic competition while they reached the KO16 phase of the EHL this season before falling 4-2 to Real Club de Polo.

Euro Hockey League media release

PHF bars overage players from competing in Jr hockey

KARACHI: The scrutiny committee constituted by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has barred no less than 42 players from competing in the ongoing 33rd National Junior Hockey Championship after they were found overage.

“Yes we’ve expelled 42 players belonging to 14 of the 15 competing teams on account of being overage over the last two days,” retired Col Nadeem Ahmed Bhatti, a member of the scrutiny committee, told Dawn on Thursday.

Bhatti said he along with another member of the committee, Ramzan Jamali, conducted scrutiny of players of eight teams on Wednesday and the remaining seven teams on Thursday to discourage the practice of fielding overage players.

Two other members of the committee, Tahir Zaman and Dr Waqar could not make it to the event.

Players born on or after 1.1. 1996 are eligible to compete in the country’s premier junior hockey championship.

In the absence of wrist test, the players were disqualified on the basis of their face reading.

Bhatti, an FIH course conductor, said the only exception was Pakistan Board team and he will recommend to PHF to honour them with an award.


Wapda sweep aside Sindh Whites

Anwar Zuberi

KARACHI: Defending champions Wapda swept aside Sindh Whites 3-1 to earn full points in the 33rd National Junior Hockey Championship at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium on Thursday.

The winners, who were restricted to a solitary goal by the local outfit at the half time, managed to add two more goals to their tally besides conceding one in the remaining two quarters of 15-minute each.

Bilal Mahmood put Wapda in front in 28th minute, two minutes before the completion of second quarter.

Ali Bahadur consolidated his team’s position by slamming the second goal in 37th minute. In a counter attack, Sindh succeeded to reduce the deficit through Jamshed in 39th minute before Nawaid completed the rout for Wapda in 46th minute of play.

It is pertinent to mention that Sindh Whites had scored a lone goal victory over Balochistan the other day.

Earlier, Punjab Colours gave a 4-0 drubbing to Islamabad to register first victory in pool A. The winners enjoyed solitary lead at breather.

Captain Mohsin Sabir and Sohail Anjum shared two goals apiece for winners.

In yet another match, Railways fought back from a goal down to inflict 2-1 defeat on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Ahmed Nadeem and M. Nabeel Akram slammed a goal each in 21st and 25th minutes respectively, the second of penalty corner after Samiullah had surged Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in front of a penalty corner in sixth minute.

This was Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s second defeat in as many days as they went down to Punjab Yellows 2-3 in penalty shootout after being tied two-all in regulation time in the opener on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the organisers have revised timings of some matches.

Friday’s fixtures: Army v Punjab Yellows (7.00am); Customs v Balochistan (9.00am); PIA v Pakistan Board (3.00pm); National Bank of Pakistan v Punjab Colours (5.00pm).


Hockey matches to use four-quarter format

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have decided to implement the four-quarter match format for all their domestic tournaments after the World Cup (May 31-June 15).

But there is a possibility that the upcoming Sukma in Perlis from May 24-June 4 could be the first local tournament to use the format.

Said MHC competitions committee executive Hashim Mohamed Yusof: “We will raise the proposal at the team managers’ meeting on May 23. If all the teams agree, then we will use it. Otherwise, the format will take off after the World Cup with the Razak Cup (Aug 15-24) in Kuantan being the first tournament.”

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) recently changed the two-quarter to four-quarter format to add more excitement for the spectators. The matches will be played over four quarters of 15 minutes each. There is a two-minute break between the quarters while the break at half-time remains at 10 minutes. With the new format, the total playing time is reduced by 10 minutes. The format will come into force worldwide from Sept 1.

At the recent Champions Challenge I tournament in Kuantan, the FIH had used the four-quarter format for the afternoon matches. But the 70-minute total playing time was kept and each quarter was played over 17.5 minutes.

The Star of Malaysia

Selangor confident of making Sukma hockey final

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor have yet to make the final of the Sukma hockey event, but are confident they have what it takes to win the title this time in Perlis from May 24-June 4.

Selangor ended their 21-year wait for the National Under-21 title when they defeated Perak in last year’s final. The final ended 3-3 but Selangor prevailed in the penalty shootout to lift the title after a 5-4 win.

“We are confident of doing well in Sukma as we have been preparing the team since 2012,” said Selangor manager Zainal Abidin.

Selangor had the second youngest team after Sabah in the National Under-21 tournament last year with an average age of 17. They have also exposed their players in the Malaysia Junior Hockey League (MJHL) over the last two years. They also competed in the MHL Division One this year.

“We’ve never won the Sukma hockey gold. And we’ve never gotten past the quarter-final stage. But the team have shown over the last one year that they have what it takes to be champions.

“Winning the National Under-21 title was a major boost for the players and all of them are available for the Sukma challenge. This time we have a team with experience and ability to match the best,” said Zainal.

Besides the National Under-21 crown, Selangor also won the Under-16 indoor titles for the last two years. They also lifted the MHC Under-16 title in Kangar in March.

Selangor Hockey Association (SHA) secretary P. Kuganeson said they were able to win the National Under-21 and Under-16 titles despite not having a proper artificial turf to train on.

“Selangor used to be a top hockey playing state. But in recent years, we were reduced to also-rans. Things are picking up now as we have a proper development programme in place. They are all heading in the right direction as can be seen with the titles that are coming our way. And we are determined to win the Sukma title this year,” added Kuganeson.

A total of 13 teams will compete in the men’s event in Perlis.

Selangor are in Group B with 2012 runners-up Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Sarawak and Kelantan. Group A consists of defending champions Terengganu, Johor, Perlis, Perak and Sabah. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals.

The women’s event will also have 13 teams. Title-holders Terengganu are in Group A with Johor, Sarawak, Negri Sembilan, Pahang and Sabah. The teams in Group B are KL, Selangor, Perlis, Perak, Penang, Malacca and Kedah.

The Star of Malaysia

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