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News 18 May 2014

All the news for Sunday 18 May 2014

Four nations provides warm-up opportunity for World Cup hopefuls

Teams travel to Germany for last minute preparations

(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

With just 14 days until the start of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, four men's teams and four women's teams are currently playing round robin tournaments in Germany. The competitions started yesterday (Friday 16 May) and will finish on Sunday. In the men's competition, England and Belgium are all in the same World Cup pool, while The Netherlands and Germany are in the other, so the coaches and players will be wary of giving too much away over the course of this tournament. In the women's competition, The Netherlands and Japan are both in World Cup pool A, while England and Germany face each other in pool B.

Men's Four Nations tournament in Dusseldorf

A quartet of sides who are all hoping to do well in the Rabobank Hockey World Cup are currently doing battle in the Four Nations Tournament in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Netherlands, England, Belgium and home side Germany will play a round robin over four days, and this will be an ideal opportunity for the coaches to size up the opposition as well as try out their own squads.

With just two weeks until the start of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, there will be some trepidation regarding injury, so players who are carrying slight injuries or returning from rehabilitation are likely to be rested. One such player is England's Adam Dixon who is returning from an ankle injury and so is not appearing at this event.

In the first round of matches, Germany drew 2-2 with Belgium and The Netherlands beat England 3-1. Today The Netherlands face Belgium at 12:00, while Germany play England at 14:30. In the final round of matches England will play their World Cup pool A rivals Belgium at 11:30 and Germany will face the Netherlands at 14:00.

Women's Four Nations tournament in Bremen

Australia, England, Japan and Germany are currently playing a round robin of matches in Bremen, where all four teams will be making last minute tweaks to their patterns of play in preparation for the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. In the first round of matches Australia beat England 4-2, while Germany recorded a 1-0 win over Japan. Anna Flanagan found the goal twice in the Hockeyroos victory, after Lily Owsley had given England an early lead.

The next round of matches taking place today (Saturday 17 May), Australia face Japan at 13:00 and Germany play England at 15:30. For all four teams this will be a warm-up for their World Cup pool matches as Australia are in pool A with Japan, while Germany and England are in pool B together. On Sunday, England face Japan at 11:00, while Germany play Australia at 13:30.

FIH site

England draw with hosts Germany

Ashley Jackson scores

ENGLAND Men battled back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw with hosts Germany in their second match at the Four Nations Invitational Tournament in Dusseldorf on Saturday afternoon.

After a goalless first half, it was Germany who scored first after 39 minutes through Thilo Stralkowski, and the same player doubled their lead seven minutes later, both coming from open play.

But England were not fazed and five minutes later they halved the deficit through Ashley Jackson before Dan Shingles pulled his side level from a 63rd minute penalty corner.

“I was disappointed that we failed to impose our game on Germany,” said Head Coach Bobby Crutchley. “It was as if it took the two German goals to wake us.

“The squad must realise that they are good enough to hold their own against higher-ranked teams. We must make things happen in the game rather than reacting to the opposition.”

Click here to see squad and caps information and to see the other results at the tournament.

The first half was a cagey affair, with both sides testing each other out without taking many risks. Goalkeeper George Pinner had a couple of saves to make – coincidentally from eventual German goalscorer Stralkowski – but the match remained goalless to the break.

But England were out of sorts for the first ten minutes of the second half, and they paid for it.

Stralkowski evaded three England sticks as he charged to the penalty spot, and fired home high into the top corner of the net from five yards out.

And his second goal came after indecision from England’s defence. He found space in the circle and from about 14 yards out smashed a reverse stick shot at Pinner, who got a hand to it but couldn’t stop it finding the roof of the net.

It proved a wake-up call for England, who began to impose themselves on the game and give Middleton and Jackson more space in midfield.

Jackson halved the deficit from England’s first penalty corner on 51 minutes, scoring in trademark style with a drag flick - and 12 minutes later England were back level.

A German foot made contact with the ball in the circle, and from the penalty corner Mark Gleghorne smashed the ball across the front of goal, for Dan Shingles to deflect home on the reverse stick – his first international goal.

England defended some strong German attacks as they sought to retake the lead, but England held out.

England’s next game is on Sunday at 11:30 against Belgium.

England Hockey Board Media release

Danson strike not enough as England lose to Germany

Giselle Ansley, England v Germany, by Frank Uijlenbroek

Alex Danson’s first half goal was not enough for England Women as hosts Germany fought back to win 3-1 in Bremen in the Four Nations Tournament on Saturday.

England were made to work hard in the first half, and as their energy levels dropped in the second period Germany hit back to take the points.

“We were not up to our usual standards technically speaking, which meant we missed passing opportunities and receive opportunities and we missed tackles,” said Head Coach Jason Lee. “This meant extra running in the game which caught up with us in the second half.”

Click here to see squad and caps information and to see the other results at the tournament.

Danson’s 18th minute strike proved a false dawn for England, who made a high number of technical errors which led to them having to put in extra work to recover, and this caught up with them after the break.

Germany’s first goal came on 51 minutes, Lydia Haase scoring a scrappy goal after a melee in the circle. England had several chances to clear, but couldn’t stop their hosts batting the ball home.

Three minutes later Maike Stockel gave Germany the lead from a penalty corner, which came about after England had been turned over.

Hopes of an equaliser for England were dashed on 63 minutes, when Kristina Hillmann bagged a third goal for Germany. A long pass went virtually the length of the field to pick out the forward, who rounded Maddie Hinch in the England goal before scoring.

England’s next game is on Sunday against Japan at 11:00.

England Hockey Board Media release

Quickfire ’Roos strike

Fast starting Hockeyroos net 6-1 win over Japan

A clinical first half display helped the Hockeyroos to a comprehensive 6-1 win over World Cup pool A rivals Japan in the second of the Australian women’s warm-up matches in Bremen on Saturday.

Strikes from Georgie Parker, Emily Smith, Anna Flanagan, Edwina Bone and a double from Jodie Kenny sealed the Hockeyroos’ second win at the preparatory tournament in Germany following Thursday’s 4-2 victory over England.

The fast starting Australians came out of the blocks to devastating effect. Parker and Kenny put the girls in green and gold 2-0 up inside the opening five minutes and Emily Smith made it 3-0 before a quarter of an hour had passed. Soon after, midway through the half, Anna Flanagan scored her third of the week from a penalty corner for 4-0 but on the stroke of half time Japan hit back, Ayaka Nishimura pulling reducing the deficit in the final moments of the half.

The second period saw Japan begin brightly but after coping well with the pressure a rare Edwina Bone goal extended the Hockeyroos’ lead to 5-1; the ACT defender finding the net for the second time in her 38 match international career. And after regaining the impetus, the Hockeyroos made it 6-1 as Kenny added her second to finish off the scoring from the penalty spot.

Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens said afterwards, “I thought it was a really good first half. We were very efficient in attack and we took our chances well. We put ourselves into a good position by half time although I was a little disappointed we let them score just before the break. In the second half Japan started well but we weathered the storm and finished strongly.”

Australia and Japan have now met seven times in the past seven weeks with the Hockeyroos coming out on top in a five match series in Western Australia in March and at the Hawkes Bay Festival in New Zealand last month. Despite the margin of victory and their recent encounters, Commens believes the World Cup will see a tighter contest.

“Japan are a good side,” he said. “They have good individual players but today we forced the tempo to a level that they struggled with and we were very efficient with our chances; four of our first five chances went in. We’re learning about them and they’re learning about us and I think it’ll be closer come the World Cup.”

The Hockeyroos’ final match at the Bremen four nations is against hosts Germany on Sunday (22:30 AEST).

World Cup Warm-Up Tour
Bremen Four Nations
Match 2 of 3

Georgie Parker 3 (F)
Jodie Kenny 5, 59 (PC, PS)
Emily Smith 13 (F)
Anna Flanagan 17 (PC)
Edwina Bone 54 (F)

JAPAN 1 (1)

Ayaka Nishimura 35 (F)

Hockeyroos squad v Japan
Athlete (Hometown, State) caps/goals
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 279/65
Eddie Bone (Evatt, ACT) 38/2
Casey Eastham (South Coast, NSW) 201/44
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 122/23
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 104/53
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 37/4
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 146/61
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA) 54/15
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 84/33
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW) 74/24
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC) 32/0

Used Substitutes
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 39/3
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD) 46/2
Emily Hurtz (Camden, NSW) 76/28
Kate Jenner (Tamworth, NSW) 93/1
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 104/0
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 122/22
Jayde Taylor (Bunbury, WA) 92/1

Hockey Australia media release

Kookaburras veteran Jamie Dwyer on his fears for hockey, challenges of age and being a celebrity in India

Valkerie Baynes

Jamie Dwyer is ready to strike again for the Kookaburras in the World Cup. Source: Mark Nolan / Getty Images

How much of a big deal is the World Cup?

It’s a huge deal. It only comes around every four years. It is ranked just below the Olympic Games for us and who knows what’s going to happen in the future, (whether) hockey is going to be in the Olympic Games or not. The World Cup could become the biggest tournament in the world for hockey players.

How do you feel about hockey’s Olympic future?

It definitely should stay in the Olympic Games. It has been there since 1928, in Amsterdam. (With) the International Olympic Committee, it all comes down to numbers. With the amount of people going over there just for one medal, you add up all the numbers and all the costs, I don’t think they like that too much. It would be a huge shame if hockey wasn’t in the Olympics. It needs to be in there for the attraction of television and for young kids to want to play the sport. It’s definitely in there for 2020 in Tokyo, then we’ll see.

When you talk about costs, that’s not what the Olympics should be about, is it?

No, it’s definitely not. They’re putting more professional sports in. Basketball is in there, golf is coming into it, tennis is in there. All these individual sports, or sports with teams that have fewer numbers than hockey. Hockey is an amateur sport and the Olympics is the ultimate peak for any athlete, so it would be a huge shame if it’s not in there and it would hurt hockey around the world.

What are your Olympic hopes? Are you expecting to go on to 2016?

I have no idea. I’m not too sure who the new coach is going to be. Hopefully I’ll go to the Commonwealth Games. I’ll have a few months off after that and then reassess. It will make it much easier to see who the new coach is. Physically I could to it. Mentally I can do it. We’ll see.

What is left for you to achieve in hockey?

Nothing. I’ve achieved everything I wanted to. I keep playing because I want to challenge myself daily. The past six months have been more challenging for me than any other time in my career. Physically I can still do it. Mentally I’m trying to do it. I just love the sport and love competing for my country.

What have been those challenges?

I’ve been happy with my form but I guess you get asked a lot of questions when you are 35 years old — where you’re at, if you want to retire or if you want to commit to the team. I’ve asked myself those questions a few times. I want to commit to the team. It’s just been not physically challenging but more mentally challenging. (Coach) Ric (Charlesworth) has challenged me as well. He has driven me crazy on a few occasions but it’s all part of the plan, I think, to make me a better hockey player.

How is he driving you crazy?

He challenges me. He wants me to feel uncomfortable, he wants me to be on edge all the time and he’s put me on the edge. Hopefully that makes me a better hockey player in the end and that makes me contribute to the team. He’s been doing that his whole career as a coach and he’s still doing it.

Jamie Dwyer celebrates a goal in his 300th match for the Kookaburras. Source: Supplied

Those questions about your age, where do they come from?

Everyone really. Mainly the media. I’m 35 but you watch me play hockey it doesn’t look like I’m a 35-year-old. I’ve still got pace, I’ve still got fitness. Yes, I’ve had a couple of injuries over the past year but if you look back, when I was 25 I had just as many injuries. Now everyone, myself probably more than anyone, asks me those questions. What do you want to do? Are you good enough? As an athlete you always have doubts and you have more doubts when you are coming into a major competition. I’ve also got confidence and belief in my ability and my body that I can play a really good role.

What is old for a hockey player? Could you be playing when you are 39 or 40?

It’s very rare. I’ve always said when I lost fitness and speed I would struggle but I haven’t lost that yet. Now it’s easy because I’m preparing for a World Cup. It’s getting through times when there’s a bit of lull for the Kookaburras, when you don’t have that much major competition and still having to go to team meetings and that sort of thing. If you’re mentally up for it and you’re physically right to go, you’re right to go, whether you’re 17 or 37.

You have b een playing in India since 2012. What’s that been like?

Awesome. It’s called the Hockey Indian League, held in January and February each year. I play for the Jaypee Punjab Warriors. It is similar to the IPL. You have an auction, you go to India for a month and you play hockey every second day pretty much. Every game is shown on television. Roughly 22 million people watched every game last season. The season before it was roughly eight million per game. It’s great to see so many fans come out, see the team on billboards and buses. You are a bit of a celebrity when you are over there.

Do you get good money for playing in India?

Yeah. At the moment the budget is $650,000 per team and 24 players per team, so in hockey terms it’s really good money. I’m one of the highest paid on $78,000. There’s a lot of players over there who are getting really good money for a month’s work. It is great for hockey in Australia because rather than going to Europe for up to 10 months a year, you can go to India, earn more money and then play in Australia and promote the sport.

Does that mean you don’t have to work outside of playing?

Nearly everyone has a job or studies in some way. After Commonwealth Games, everyone’s pretty much full-time again at work or in uni because it doesn’t last forever.

Where is the strangest place you’ve ever been recognised?

In 2012 I was in Bali for a holiday with my family and we were staying near the ocean by the golf course. A bloke hit his ball into the yard of where I was staying and he said: “Can I have my ball back?” I said: “Yeah, no worries.” Then he said: “You’re Jamie Dwyer, aren’t you?” I said: “Yeah I am.” It was a bit strange.

What’s your day job outside of hockey?

I’ve got a few. I do a lot of coaching around Australia and the world. I’ve also got a hockey stick company called JDH, which I started last year and it’s been going really well. I part-own a restaurant with (swimmer) Eamon Sullivan, (pole vaulter) Steve Hooker and chef Scott Bridger here in Perth. It keeps my mind off hockey every now and again.

What was the best thing about growing up in Rockhampton?

Having all my family and friends close by. We have a really tight knit family. I played cricket during the summer, hockey during the winter and had my close friends and family around all the time, which was really good fun.

I try to get back at least once or twice a year.

Fox Sports

Baljit fighting to get fit in time for trials

By S. Ramaguru

Baljit Singh (centre) in a file photo. He sustained an ankle injury just days ahead of the selection trials for the World Cup Finals squad.

KUALA LUMPUR: The national hockey players seem to be plagued with injury woes.

Just as senior players Mohamed Razie Rahim and Roslan Jamaluddin returned from injury to full training, defender Baljit Singh injured his ankle in training on Friday.

With just two days left before the final 18-man squad is named for the World Cup Finals, the Baljit will be fighting against time to recover and prove his worth.

Initially the national team was to be named on Saturday but the players had requested for a three-game selection trial earlier in the week.

The games are to be played among the 30 players in the training squad and all are to be given ample playing time on the field.

National coach K. Dharmaraj said that the team management agreed to it and the first match was held on Thursday, which the coach missed due to a contract wrangle.

The next two matches are to be held on Monday and Tuesday morning. The team will be named at 3pm on Tuesday.

“The players felt that all (in the training squad) should be given equal consideration and made the request for the selection trials. It was felt that the Champions Challenge I should not be the main criteria for selection as some did not feature in the matches,” said Dharmaraj.

Razie and Roslan also did not feature in Kuantan and if found to be fit, they will be included in the World Cup squad. Among the other players who will be under scrutiny are former skipper Mohamed Shahrun Nabil and forward Hafifihafiz Hanafi. Baljit was also in the mix for the final selection and Dharamaraj said he is still part of the selection process.

“He injured his ankle in training but I am told it is not that serious. He has a couple of days to recover before we hold the final two trials.

“All players have a fair chance and we will select based on merit. I know there have been negative comments about the selection we made for the Champions Challenge I ... that there were too many juniors.

“To be honest, I am not the sole selector, and we based it on consensus. We selected players whom we felt could get the job done. Every player must prove himself to merit his place in the team,” he added.

The team will leave for The Hague, Holland, on May 23.

Malaysia play their first World Cup Finals Group A match against Australia on May 31. The other teams in the group are Belgium, India, Spain and England.

The teams in Group B are Germany, Holland, South Korea, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa.

The Star of Malaysia

Explosive Hockey semi finals confirmed

It was a day of intense excitement and non-stop adrenalin at the University of Johannesburg today as they hosted the third round of this year’s Varsity Hockey programme.  Teams from participating universities around the country converged on UJ Astro to shuffle the combinations for the semi finals, play off’s  and finals, taking place at UJ this Sunday and Monday.

On the back of an exciting first two rounds, today’s action did not disappoint.  First up were Rhodes as they took on Maties.  After a tough match for all and a great effort from Rhodes, Maties once again emerged victorious with a 5-3 win which sees the team from Stellenbosch claim a place in Sunday’s semi-finals. UFS-Kovsies and UCT were next, with UCT scoring in the final minutes of the first chukka to take the lead 1-0. In what was a very physical game with big tackles and robust defence, UCT scored once more in the last minute to claim an exceptional 2-0 win against Kovsies.

The second half of the day saw NMMU’s Madibaz and Tuks go head to head, ending the first chukka 0-0.  But within the first three minutes of the second chukka, UP-Tuks scored to take the lead with a great goal.  By the end of the second chukka the team from Pretoria were 2-0 up, ultimately securing themselves a place in tomorrow’s semi-finals with a 4-0 win against the Madibaz.

The last game of the day saw a Gauteng Derby with the home side of UJ taking on the team from Wits.  With the first chukka ending in a 1-0 lead for the home team, the powerful UJ side went on to secure a smashing 7-2 victory over derby rivals Wits.  UJ, now top of the log at the end of round three, will play fourth placed UFS-Kovsies in tomorrow’s semi-finals.

FNB’s Man of the Match awards went to Wayde Guedes, Rhodes; Grant Robertson, UCT; Matthew Guise-Brown, UP-Tuks and Gerald Mopopo, UJ.

With two more days of non-stop and explosive hockey action to look forward to, get yourself down to UJ to witness the excitement first hand. Play-offs for the last four positions will commence at 11h00 and 12h45 on Sunday, followed by the semi-finals between UP-Tuks vs Maties at14h30 and UJ vs UFS-Kovsies at 16h15.  Monday will see the play off for positions three and four at 17h00, with this season’s final taking place at 18h45.

For those living further afield, be sure to watch all the drama unfold by following non-stop Varsity Sports action on SuperSport channel 210, broadcast live from UJ this Sunday and Monday.

Varsity Sports

Gold Cup: Army XI ambush IOC hunters

Sudheendra Tripathi

MUMBAI: Strikers Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh have always complemented each other whenever they have played together, and they have done so quite frequently.

Be it the Junior Indian team that won the World Cup in 2001, or for the senior national team... and even their employers, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, the two have hunted in pairs and share an extraordinary on-field chemistry. It is because of their exemplary understanding, that the two have brought accolades to the teams they represent.

On Saturday, in the semifinal of the PMC Bank-Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup All India Hockey Tournament, Army XI had only one plan -to win the contest - mark both Thakur and Prabhjot. Army did such a brilliant job that they were not able to create any inroads. Not surprisingly, Indian Oil went down 1-2 and were sent packing.

"If these two were allowed to play their game, we would have had to do defend a lot. Our plan was to not let them play at all. It didn't matter if the de fenders or the markers concerned, had to foul them. We simply couldn't allow them to make their moves. Our markers did a fantastic job of containing the two," veteran Army XI goalkeeper PT Rao said.

Army XI surged ahead in the 17th minute when Vishwa Thakur's crisp hit from the left deflected off Indian Oil defender Hamza Mujtaba's stick.

Charged up by that goal, the Army side launched a series of sorties at the Indian Oil goal.

Siraju AP doubled the lead when he did well to tap in the rebound after Chandan Aind's attempt was blocked by goalkeeper Baljit in the 49th minute.

Indian Oil finally found success when Didar Singh, with a powerful drag flick from their sixth penalty corner, beat the Army goalkeeper PT Rao.

In a match played earlier in the day, Western were totally off-colour against South Central Railway. The home team lost 1-4 to be eliminated in the semis.

RESULTS: SCR 4 (Mayank James 7, Raju Pal 12, Gagandeep Singh 49, Sandeep Kumar Singh 64) WR 1 (Jay Karan 39); Army XI 2 (Vishwa Thakur 17, Siraju A P 49) Indian Oil 1 (Didar Singh 54).

The Times of India

Pakistan Junior hockey resumes today

KARACHI: The 33rd National Junior Hockey Championship resumes at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium on Sunday after a day’s rest.

According to schedule, four matches will be played on Sunday. The league matches concludes on Tuesday and top two teams from each group will step into quarter-finals to be played the following day.

Sunday’s fixtures: Balochistan v Wapda (7.00am); Sindh Colours v Islamabad (9.00am); Army v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (3.00pm); PIA v Punjab Whites (5.00pm).


Field Hockey Canada athletes support mental health awareness in Vancouver

Shaheed Devji

As Clara Hughes prepared to bring her Big Ride to create a stigma-free Canada through the lower mainland of British Columbia, athletes from Field Hockey Canada’s men’s and women’s National Programs hopped on board to support the cause this past week.

Teaming up with the Vancouver Whitecaps at B.C. Place during their Amway Canadian Championship Semifinal match versus Toronto F.C. on Wednesday, a handful of Canada's field hockey players canvassed the concourse before, during, and after the game raising funds for the Clara’s Big Ride Vancouver Community Champion – The Kettle Society – and the Canadian Mental Health Association, B.C. Division.

“I think it is very important to support mental health because it is a health issue that is often overlooked,” says Men’s National Team veteran David Jameson, who was part of the Field Hockey Canada contingent lending a helping hand.

“A lot of the time it is not apparent to an outside observer that people are suffering because the symptoms are not well known to the public.”

But whether it is well known or not, 1 in 5 Canadians will likely experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives.

“Mental health issues don't discriminate and can affect anyone,” says Women’s National Team defender Danielle Hennig. “But because of the stigma around mental health issues many people live in fear of isolation rather than seek out the help that they may need.”

“This was a great opportunity to be a voice raising awareness and reducing the stigma around mental health that I was glad to be a part of.”

The Kettle Society supports people living with mental illness and helps them live healthier lives. It is estimated about 3,600 people make use of the society’s 26 services, which include a mental health drop-in, a women’s transition house and more.

“Just like everyone else athletes are faced with many external and internal pressures that can effect mental health,” says Vancouver’s Sara McManus.

“Supporting mental health is so important because it effects such a large number of people."

To learn more about mental health and how you can help, visit thekettle.ca and cmha.bc.ca.

Clara’s Big Ride hit Vancouver on May 17 and will ctoniue across the country, spanning 110 days, and 95 communities across Canada. The ride concludes on Canada Day, July 1, in Ottawa. For more information visit bell.ca/clarasbigride.

Field Hockey Canada media release

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