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News 21 May 2014

All the news for Wednesday 21 May 2014

Hockeyroos in final warm-up

Claxton, Hurtz and Smith on target in 3-1 win over Belgium in Antwerp

Jane Claxton scored in the second minute

Goals from Jane Claxton, Emily Hurtz and Emily Smith helped the Hockeyroos to a 3-1 win over Belgium in their final World Cup warm-up Test on the outskirts of Antwerp. The Hockeyroos led from almost start to finish with South Australian Claxton’s opener coming in the second minute before the strikes by Hurtz and Smith in the latter stages. The hosts, Belgium’s Red Pathers, pulled back a late consolation through Aline Fobe in the final minute.

The two sides will meet again on Thursday 5 June in Pool A of the World Cup in what will be Belgium’s first appearance at the tournament since 1981.

Australian National Coach Adam Commens said afterwards, “It was, again, a high quality match and the perfect preparation as we head towards the World Cup in The Hague. It was not a particularly inspired first half performance from us but we were a little better in the second and we scored our chances well. Belgium are a tricky team who are improving all the time and we’ll need to be sharp when we play them at the World Cup.”

With the team entering the final stages of its preparation for its opening clash against Korea in The Hague, Commens added, “This was our last official warm-up match but we’ll have a few practice games when we get to The Hague. Those will give us the chance to iron out a few of the things we need to in defence.”

The Hockeyroos went into the match in good form having taken top spot at a four nations tournament in Bremen, Germany, last week and it did not take long for Claxton to register their first goal. With just two minutes on the clock her shot from the top of the circle found its way beyond Aisling D'Hoogue to put Australia ahead.

Both sides won but failed to convert a series of first half penalty corners while Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch was called upon to save from Jill Boon. Camden (NSW) midfielder Emily Hurtz put the result beyond doubt with just under ten minutes remaining before her New South Wales teammate Emily Smith scored Australia’s third goal four minutes later, continuing her fine form with her third goal in as many games. With just a minute remaining, Aline Fobe breached the Hockeyroos’ defence from Belgium’s eighth penalty corner to give the hosts a late consolation.

The Hockeyroos will remain in Antwerp for a couple of days before travelling to The Hague where they will play unofficial practice matches against Argentina, China and the USA. The Australian women’s opening World Cup match is at 22:30 AEST on Saturday 31 May against Korea. The match will be shown live on ABC 2.

World Cup Warm-Up Tour
Kontich, Belgium

Match 1 of 1

Aline Fobe 69 (PC)


Jane Claxton 2 (FG)
Emily Hurtz 62 (FG)
Emily Smith 66 (FG)

Hockeyroos squad v Belgium
Athlete (Hometown, State) caps/goals
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 281/65
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 41/4
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD) 48/2
Casey Eastham (South Coast, NSW) 203/44
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 124/23
Emily Hurtz (Camden, NSW) 78/29
Kate Jenner (Tamworth, NSW) 95/1
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 106/53
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 105/0
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 124/23
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 86/35

Used Substitutes
Eddie Bone (Evatt, ACT) 40/2
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 39/4
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 148/61
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA) 56/16
Jayde Taylor (Bunbury, WA) 94/1
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW) 76/24

Unused Substitutes
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC) 33/0

Hockey Australia media release

England men and women endure mixed results at Four Nations warm-up

England's men's and women's teams come up against tough opposition as they prepare to travel to The Hague

By Rod Gilmour

Leading from the front: Barry Middleton is closing in on 300 international caps Photo: ADY KERRY

With 10 days to go until the World Cup in The Hague, both England men’s and women’s teams have endured mixed warm-up campaigns after finishing their respective Four Nations tournaments.

It remains to be seen how England will fare after being pitted against World Cup heavyweight teams so close to the tournament as both England men and women finished third in the four-team events in Dusseldorf and Bremen.

The messages coming out of the England camps have been encouraging, though both head coaches vented their frustration during the tournaments.

England men lost 3-2 to Belgium on Sunday as Bobbby Crutchley’s side failed to win a game after drawing against Germany and losing their opener to Holland 4-2.

It follows a third place at their previous Four Nations tournament in Glasgow where they finished behind Belgium and Argentina.

“We didn’t utilise good circle possession to create clear goal scoring opportunities and our reactions were slow in front of goal,” Crutchley said after defeat to Belgium, one of the favourites in the men’s event.

However, England did play their final game without the services of Harry Martin and Dan Shingles, who was forced off early on.

England women finished behind Australia and Germany in Bremen. They finished their campaign with a win over Japan, having lost to Australia and Germany 4-2 and 3-1 respectively.

“This was a much better technical performance, and we didn’t make the same mistakes as in the previous day,” said head coach Jason Lee. “We had good possession for long periods.

“There was much more fight and endeavour in the group, and it’s a good performance to take forward to the final stage of preparations for the World Cup.”

Meanwhile, England internationals George Pinner and Iain Lewers have joined Holcombe, the Kent side who have lofty ambitions to join the Premier Division.

Pinner will join fellow international goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, who played a key part in Holcombe women’s promotion to the top flight next season.

The Telegraph

Softly, softly approach for SA men’s hockey

Wesley Botton

FILE PICTURE: Austin Smith during the FIH Champions Challenge 1 semi final match between South Africa and India from Randburg Hockey Stadium on December 03, 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Rather than aiming for unattainable goals, head coach Fabian Gregory says the national men’s team will take the Hockey World Cup one step at a time as they attempt to cause a few upsets.

The 18-man SA squad will face formidable opposition at the quadrennial tournament in The Hague, Netherlands, starting on May 31.

They are the lowest-ranked team in their pool and will come up against Olympic gold medallists Germany, three-time world champions, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea and Argentina in the first round.

They went down 4-0 to the Argentineans, who are ranked just one place above them, in an away series earlier this year.

That series was Gregory’s first assignment in charge after he was appointed in February, and he was under no illusions about the challenging task they were set to face in The Hague.

In their three previous appearances at the quadrennial 12-team tournament, the unfancied South Africans have never finished higher than 10th.

“It’s more of a process of goals that we’re aiming to achieve, as opposed to ending up in the final,” Gregory said yesterday before the squad’s departure.

“The other teams in the tournament have full-time programmes and we’re an amateur side, which makes it extremely difficult.

“We know it’s going to be tough, but we’re content with what we have and we’ll go in there fighting all the way.”

Gregory believes they could spring some surprises if they could tighten up at the back.

He confirmed the squad was injury free and ready to go.

“We need to make sure our defensive patterns are a lot stronger, and with a bit of luck we could get a result against one or two teams.”

The Citizen

Forgesson set to lead Black Sticks from front

Black Sticks forward Krystal Forgesson knows what it takes to succeed, and is set to give it her all at the Hockey World Cup.

The 31-year-old Aucklander has played 204 tests for New Zealand since making her debut in 2005, and will be one of the team’s most experienced players in The Hague.

Forgesson is currently second on the Black Sticks’ all-time goal scorer list with 60 goals (Katie Glynn is first with 69 goals).

Forgesson certainly knows how to find the back of the goal – in fact at the last World Cup in Argentina she accounted for 50% of her side’s goals with six out of an overall 12.

With the Black Sticks Women now based in Leiden before moving into The Hague, Forgesson is looking forward to another challenge against the world’s best teams.

“We will now taper off and continue training and set play work. We’re all looking forward to the challenge and getting started,” she said.

“Every game will be hard at the World Cup. Australia are on form at the moment and the Dutch at home will certainly be very tough.

“We have a good mix within our team. The young ones have a lot of potential and flair which is what we need up front and the experience between Kayla, Emily, Gemma, Anita and myself is important as well.”

The Black Sticks play three warm-up games against Netherlands, Belgium and Germany before their first game at the World Cup against Belgium on Saturday 31 May at 11.00pm (NZ time).

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Hush-hush for 1 more day

WORLD CUP: Protocol forces Dharmaraj to delay naming his squad

By Jugjet Singh

COACH K. Dharmaraj was willing to name the Malaysian final 18 for the World Cup yesterday, but protocol saw him keep his lips sealed.

All he was willing to say there will be five changes from the side that played in the Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan.

"I can name my final 18 right now, but have been told to keep it for another day.

"However, I can reveal that there will be five changes from the team that won bronze in Kuantan," said Dharmaraj during a cheque presentation ceremony by Sime Darby Foundation in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Sime Darby came in to the tune of RM4 million to help fund men's and women's hockey development until the 2016 Rio de Janerio Olympics.

The possible five names that might be included in the World Cup squad today are Razie Rahim, goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin, Shahrun Nabil, Hafifi Hafiz and Mohamed Ramadhan Rosli.

Sime Darby Foundation chief executive officer Yatela Zainal Abidin said: "The RM4 million sponsorship is for a two-year period and will, among others, facilitate the senior men's and women's team participation in various local and foreign tournaments. It will include subsidising the team's tickets, accommodation, meals and team's attire."

Yesterday the World Cup T-shirt was unveiled with the Sime Darby logo prominently displayed at the front.

"We are looking for a good finish in the World Cup, as we hope to elevate our current 13th position to at least 10th in the world," said Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

Malaysia are in Group A with World No 1 Australia, Belgium, England, Spain and India.

Tengku Abdullah thanked Sime Darby for its contribution: "It will go a long way in helping hockey and I am sure after this there will no longer be any issues about late payments of salaries (to coaches)."

Coach Dharmaraj had to resort to almost quitting the team on the eve of the World Cup, for the MHC to agree to pay him five months of backdated salary as well as a better contract.

On another note, Tengku Abdullah said let the best man win in the FA of Malaysia elections this weekend.

"Many quarters have asked if I will leave hockey after winning the FAM elections, and my answer is let me cross the bridge first before making a statement.

"However, suffice to say I will not leave hockey without finding a capable replacement as the sport is on its upward trend and needs a strong hand to take it to the next level."

The national players also received a windfall as those who played in the World League semi-finals received RM5,000 while Junior World Cup players were RM10,000 richer.

New Straits Times

Naming of World Cup hockey squad delayed

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: National hockey chief coach K. Dharmaraj was all set to name the final squad of 18 players for the World Cup on Tuesday – but the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) told him to put it off to Wednesday.

And it’s all because MHC did not want to have two major announcements at the same time. The MHC had announced a RM4mil two-year sponsorship by Yayasan Sime Darby for both the men’s and women’s senior teams on Tuesday.

“I can name the squad right now ... but the MHC have told me not to,” he said.

“But I can reveal that there will be five changes to the team who won the bronze medal in the Champions Challenge I tournament in Kuantan earlier this month.”

The five who may be included in the squad for the World Cup, which will be held in The Hague from May 31, are goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin, defender Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim, midfielders Mohd Shahrun Nabil and Mohd Ramadan Rosli and forward Hafifihafiz Hanafi.

Razie, who has recovered from a shoulder injury, is the country’s top penalty corner drag flicker and his services are needed to beef up the defence.

There are 30 players in the training squad and 12 will be dropped.

Malaysia, who are featuring in the World Cup after a 12-year absence, are in Group A with defending champions Australia, Belgium, England, Spain and India.

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

The Star of Malaysia

Banish fear, Tendulkar to World Cup-bound hockey team

Harpreet Kaur Lamba

In 1989, the 17-year old Sachin Tendulkar did not know how to approach his game. He had failed to make an impact in his debut Test against Pakistan - scoring just 15 in the first innings - and did not get an opportunity to bat in the second.

He spent the night tossing and turning, wondering whether he would ever get another chance. Giving up was not an option. The opportunity arrived in the second Test, and the teenager ensured that he made it count, with a half-century.

For the World Cup-bound hockey team, this was one of the motivational stories the cricketing legend shared during a private meeting with the 18 players here on the day. Tendulkar, mentor to Mumbai Indians in the IPL, was in Delhi en route to Mohali on special request of Indian hockey skipper Sardar Singh.

The session slated for 40 minutes went on for more than an hour-and-a-half, with players asking questions ranging from facing pressure to handling big teams, off-the-field camaraderie and whether Sachin was a prankster!

How did he approach his first-ever World Cup in 1992, asked midfielder Gurbaj Singh, requesting Sachin to give tips to the many youngsters in the team, who would be playing in their debut World Cup at The Hague, the Netherlands.

Sachin replied, "Honestly, I was under some pressure. But as a player, you have to shut out the outside world. You cannot allow them to disturb you. How you perform and how it helps your team is all you should think about. If you come back to your room satisfied, you have done your job."

Tendulkar remembered how losing to Bangladesh in the 2007 edition of the 50-over World Cup in the West Indies - that saw India crash out of the event in the first round itself - was playing on his mind even four years later.

"To my surprise, we were scheduled to play Bangladesh in the first match in 2011 World Cup also. The first game is always the key... I wanted to make sure that we win this time to get a good start.

"It is important to do well in the opening game and am sure you all will too," he told the attentive audience. "Don’t let pressure overcome you... Get rid of all fear and focus on the job."

Sardar was eager to learn about match preparation and Sachin had an apt answer for him. "Ideally, match preparation should begin 1-2 days ahead of the game, and not on the spot. Channelize your mind and give it a direction. Find what helps you... it could be a prayer, music, yoga anything.

"It’s important to visualise what you wish to do on the field. It helps you prepare better mentally," Sachin said, even revealing how he had once almost given up on his career after a spate of injuries.

"There was a time when I wasn’t sure if I would return. But one has to keep the belief, and that kept me going."

Drag-flicker V.R. Raghunath, known for his fiery temperament, was keen to get tips on anger

management. "What can I do after the umpire has given me out?" said Sachin. "Any amount of anger is not going to get me back to the crease.

"Being aggressive is good but you have to realise if it’s helping you perform better or not. Ultimately, the team has to benefit from your performance and always keep that in mind."

The players presented him with a signed jersey and a stick, and Sachin in return promised to watch all the World Cup matches on television.

The Asian Age

Sachin Tendulkar's surprise visit floors hockey stars

Biswajyoti Brahma

NEW DELHI: It was a meeting the World Cup-bound members of the Indian hockey team will cherish for long. The players were taken by surprise on Tuesday when cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar turned up at the team hotel in the Capital and spent close to two hours with them.

The purpose of the visit, which followed a request from captain Sardar Singh, was to motivate the players ahead of the World Cup which is starting in the Hague (the Netherlands) on May 31.

"I had asked Sachin Paaji sometime back whether it was possible for him to meet the players before the World Cup. He came today around noon and spent around two hours with us. Only the coaches and I knew that he was coming and the players were pleasantly surprised," Sardar told TOI.

"He came and cut a cake for us and wished the team good luck for the World Cup. He also asked us to send him a schedule of the World Cup so that he can follow every match. Players asked him questions on different subjects like his preparation for big matches against Pakistan and Australia. He listened to every question and answered patiently."

During the meeting, Sachin advised the players to start every match with a positive frame of mind.

"He's such a great player but so humble and down to earth. He opened up completely during the interaction with us. We were meeting him for the first time but after those two hours we felt like we have known him for long," Sardar said.

"He spoke about his matches, how he prepared for them. He also spoke about the injuries during his career and how he kept making comebacks. His stories were very inspirational. He spoke about sacrifices that one has to make while playing for the country. He said, 'You chose this sport because you love it. So always enjoy the game and give your best'."

During the conversation, Tendulkar recalled his first international match in 1989, an ODI against Pakistan.

"The first match of my career was not that great. I had sleepless nights as I had failed to score. I finally spoke to my seniors and they advised me not to take pressure and be at ease and in control of my game. That helped me score 58 in my next match. I have not forgotten that advice and share it with every youngster I meet," Tendulkar was quoted as telling the players by Hockey India.

Tendulkar, who's a Rajya Sabha MP, also told the players: "Always remember, no team is stronger than you. Visualize this in your mind and you will realise that your body automatically starts responding positively."

Sardar said the interaction with Tendulkar was a big motivation for the players.

"He told us seniors how to deal with junior players and asked me not to lose my temper since I am the captain. He said the captain has to remain patient even in most difficult situations. He's a great inspiration."

Head coach Terry Walsh said it was a "privilege" to meet the cricket legend.

"He is a great thinker and the time spent with the boys will have a resounding impact on the minds of the players. He spoke about the importance of positive approach in life and how one can attain success with a powerful mind and a positive approach," the Australian said.

The Times of India

Stay postive and result will take care of itself: Sachin to hockey team

New Delhi - It’s not often that you get to meet Sachin Tendulkar. Chances of having a chat with him beyond exchanging pleasantries are even slimmer. So when the World Cup-bound Indian men's hockey team got an opportunity to get up close and personal with the legend, they were simply floored.

A day prior to the team's departure for the World Cup, Tendulkar visited the team in New Delhi on Tuesday on the request of skipper Sardar Singh to motivate the team to give their best.

“Tendulkar shared his experience from his playing days. He told us how he would prepare for a big tournament and keep the pressure at bay. He said we should feel honoured and proud of getting an opportunity to represent the country at the World Cup. His advice has raised our confidence,” said vice-captain Rupinder Pal Singh.

“He talked about his playing days and how he would analyse the mind set of every opposition before taking the guard against them. He told us to start with a positive attitude, prepare thoroughly, and understand the opposition's strength and weaknesses” added Rupinder.

The India vice-captain said each player got a chance to ask one question from Tendulkar. “I asked him how did he make comeback after suffering a career-threatening tennis-elbow injury? He said if you love the game and have the desire to represent the country, everything else takes a backseat.”

“We couldn't have got a better send-off. It was an inspirational pep talk, and it has further strengthened our desire to finish as high as possible in the tournament,” said Rupinder. Tendulkar had once said that recovering from tennis-elbow injury was the most difficult phase of his career and that he feared he would never be able to hold a bat again after surgery in 2005.

Midfielder Gurbaj Singh, who was also a part of the hour-long session, said that it was a big honour for him to meet the legend in person.

“Everybody applauded him when he asked us to always remember that no team is stronger us. He said losing is a part of the game but one shouldn't take failure to heart,” said Gurbaj.

“I asked him 'you were very young when you played your first World Cup. So how did you handle the pressure of performing on the world's biggest stage?' I asked this because our team too is young and many boys are playing the World Cup for the first time.”

“Tendulkar said that he did feel the pressure, but did not allow it to get the better of him. 'I waited for the next opportunity and scored a half-century. I grew in confidence after that. My advice to you all is stay positive and don't feel the pressure. Give your best and you will automatically get the results', he said.

Sardar Singh, captain of the Indian team, played a key role in organising the session. It was on his request that Tendulkar took some time out from his busy schedule to meet the players. Soon after the session, Tendulkar left for Mohali to join the Mumbai Indians ahead of their match against Kings XI.

The Tribune

Tendulkar pays a surprise visit to WC-bound hockey team

NEW DELHI: Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar today paid a surprise visit to the World Cup-bound Indian hockey team here and gave the players a pep talk ahead of the side's departure for the quadrennial event to be held at The Hague, Netherlands from May 31 to June 15.

Tendulkar arrived at the Capital, specially on the request of Indian hockey team captain Sardar Singh and spent nearly two hours with the entire squad during which he shared his life-time experience with the players.

"Sachin paaji (brother) came today to meet us. I requested him a few days back to come down to Delhi and meet us and share share his experiences with the players. He obliged my request and gave a surprise visit to the team," Sardar told PTI.

"I knew about his visit 10 days back and only told the chief coach (Terry Walsh) and High Performance Director (Roelant Oltmans). But we preferred to keep it a secret to give the team members a surprise," he said about Tendulkar's meeting with the hockey team at the Ashoka Hotel here.

"He made my day," Sardar added. Sardar said during his visit Tendulkar shared his on and off field experiences with the hockey players which will be a great motivating factor for the team during the World Cup.

"Sachin paaji shared his experiences with the players and wished the team good luck. He told the players about how to approach and prepare for a match," he said.

"He emphasised on the fact that just like cricket hockey is a team game. He is the world's best cricketer and his visit will instill confidence and self belief in the players," Sardar said.

During his meeting with the Indian hockey team Tendulkar advised the players on how to approach a match.

"Do not allow pressure to come to you irrespective how strong you feel the team is. Start each match with a positive attitude and do a thorough preparation on each team that you are meeting, understand their weaknesses and strengths and accordingly prepare yourself," Tendulkar said.

"You have to keep your mind positive all through as hockey is a fast game hence you have to keep yourself free of pressure. Always remember no team is stronger than you. Visualise this in your mind and you will realise that your body automatically starts responding positively."

Sharing his own experience, the batting legend recollected how he had a sleep night after failing to score in his debut match.

"The first match of my career was not that great as I could not score and because of which I had sleepless nights. I finally spoke to my seniors and they motivated me to not take pressure and be at ease and control my game which helped me score 58 in my next match. I still follow this and share the same with every youngster that I meet," Tendulkar said.

Speaking about Tendulkar's visit, India's chief coach Terry Walsh said: "It was a privilege to meet the legend of cricket. He is a great thinker and the time spent with the boys will have a resounding impact in the mind of the players.

"He spoke about the importance of positive approach in life and how one can attain success with a powerful mind and a positive approach."

The Times of India

Two top stars to miss WC through injury

Both Moritz Fürste and Loick Luypaert will miss the World Cup following confirmation over the weekend that their injury issues have ruled them out.

Fürste tore a posterior cruciate ligament during a training trip to South Africa in March but had hoped that he might get back to fitness in time for the showpiece event in The Hague.

But Markus Weise’s German selection this week confirmed that the tournament came too soon for him. Maximilian Müller and Christopher Zeller are back in the panel having missed the European championships last year.

Tobias Hauke is the sole player from Harvestehuder to make the squad from the recent winners of the Euro Hockey League and the Bundesliga.

For Belgium, EHL Hero Luypaert’s shoulder was injured last Thursday in the Dusseldorf Masters. It was confirmed on Monday morning that he requires surgery, the same kind that saw Florent van Aubel miss four months following the 2012 Olympics.

Marc Lammers will unveil his final selection on Wednesday but Gauthier Boccard could return.

Euro Hockey League media release

Pinner and Lewers bound for Holcombe

Two of England's Euro Hockey League representatives look set to be without some top stars for next season's competition as George Pinner from Beeston and Iain Lewers of East Grinstead are reported to be on the move to Holcombe.

The club play in the second tier of English hockey in the Conference East having missed out on promotion last season to Southgate but are currently home to English skipper Barry Middleton and defender Dan Fox.

Kent Online has reported they have signed terms with Holcombe to replace the departing Gareth Carr and retired top scorer Danny Hall.

Pinner, meanwhile, recently helped Beeston win the English championship final while Lewers was a 2012 Olympian and helped East Grinstead return to the EHL as they topped the English Hockey League regular season. They are both in England's World Cup panel.

Holcombe chairman David South said of the signings: “These players are coming in to freshen the team up with some departing. We’re talking to another couple of internationals who we hope to sign,” he said.

“We remain committed to bringing through our own talent and we have just replaced departing players with others. We’re very pleased with the two signings so far.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Timely boost for national hockey teams from Sime Darby

By Aftar Singh

MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah (centre) receiving the mock cheque for RM4mil in sponsorship by Yayasan Sime Darby in KL on Tuesday.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) received a timely boost following a RM4mil sponsorship by Yayasan Sime Darby for the men’s and women’s senior national teams.

The two-year sponsorship, from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016, will facilitate the teams’ participation in various domestic and international tournaments.

The sponsorship includes subsidising the teams’ and officials’ flight tickets, accommodation, meals and the teams’ attire for competitions.

The primary objective of the sponsorship is to provide pertinent and relevant resources to ensure that the national teams qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The sponsorship will also enhance the assistance extended to the men’s and women’s senior teams in their preparation for the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept 19-Oct 4.

The MHC and YSD have set a gold medal target for the men in the Asiad, which will serve as the continental qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics.

“I am pleased to have such a great institution like YSD coming on board as our partners. It is an invaluable contribution for us as we have drawn up a comprehensive training programme for the men’s and women’s senior teams,” said MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah after receiving a mock cheque from YSD governing council member Datin Paduka Zaitoon Othman.

Tengku Abdullah said that the men’s senior team will face two major challenges this year – the World Cup in The Hague, Holland, and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

“I believe that with this support from YSD, the men’s team will qualify for the 2016 Olympics and also improve their world ranking from the current 13th to 10th by next year,” said Tengku Abdullah.

“We will hire a foreign coach to further improve the standard of the women’s team. They also need to improve their ranking from 21st in the world to 15th by next year.”

Also present at the event were MHC deputy president Raja Puan Sri Dato Noor Ashikin Raja Abdullah and YSD chief executive officer Yatela Zainal Abidin.

The Star of Malaysia

Windfall for national junior hockey players

By S. Ramaguru

National hockey player Fitri Saari is one of the members of the junior team who were rewarded by the MHC for their good performances last year. - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: What a fruitful two days it has been for the Malaysian Project 2013 (National Juniors) hockey squad.

The squad, who finished fourth at the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in December, were adjudged the best team for 2013 during the National Sports Awards on Monday.

Each player in the 18-member team received RM3,000.

On Tuesday, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) rewarded the same players with RM10,000 each at a special ceremony.

There was more monetary rewards when four members of the team, who featured for the senior squad in the World League semi-finals in Johor Baru last year, were given RM5,000 each.

The four – Fitri Saari, Faiz Helmi Jali, Mohd Izad Hakimi and Mohd Firhan Ashaari – helped the team qualify for the World Cup in New Delhi.

Another junior player, Norhizzat Sumantri (Project 2016 team), also received RM5,000 for featuring in the World League semi-finals. However, he did not make the team for the World Cup.

The rewards were presented to the players by MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at a leading hotel here.

Tengku Abdullah also met with the players who will be going to The Hague for the World Cup.

The 18-member Project 2013 team comprised Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri, Mohd Hafizuddin Othman, Mohd Firhan Ashaari, Mohd Fitri Saari, Mohd Rashid Baharom, G. Kavin Kartik, Shazril Irwan Nazli, Meor Mohd Azuan, Mohd Haziq Samsul, Mohd Izad, Mohd Zulhairi Hashim, Faiz, Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof, Mohd Azri Hassan, Mohd Shahril Saabah, Mohd Nor Aqmal Abdul Ghaffar, Joel van Huizen, Mohd Hafiz Zainol.

The members of the FIH World League semi-final team were S. Kumar, Roslan Jamaluddin, Chua Boon Huat, Mohd Radzie Rahim, Mohd Shahrun Nabil, Mohd Shukri Mutalib, C. Baljit Singh, Azlan Misron, Fitri, Faizal Saari, Izwan Firdaus, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Mohd Izad, Nabil Fiqri Mohd Nor, Faiz, Mohd Marhan Jalil, Mohd Firhan and Norhizzat.

The Star of Malaysia

Quarters line-up complete in National Junior Hockey

Anwar Zuberi

KARACHI: Railways carved out a solitary goal victory over Army to stay unbeaten and top pool C on their way to making quarter-finals in the 33rd National Junior Hockey Championship at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium on Tuesday.

With 2-1 win over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 1-0 over Punjab Yellows under their belt, Railways asserted supremacy to maintain clean slate.

Hamza Wahed scored the all important goal for winners in 41st minute of the play.

Despite defeat and containing opponents to a lone goal, Army finished runners-up and also cruised into last eight.

In the other match, defending champions Wapda cruised to an emphatic 5-1 victory over Customs to head group D. The two teams were, however, through to the quarters.

Wapda drew blood through M. Ahad who converted team’s third penalty corner in sixth minute after the two PC’s went unfruitful. M. Umar Hamdi consolidated the lead with his sizzling drive of sixth penalty corner in 26th minute. Bilal Mahmood enhanced the lead to 3-0 in 39th minute before Customs find the net in the very next minute through Mateen to make score 1-3.

Mudassir Ali and Ali Bahadur netted one goal apiece in 44th and 53rd minutes for the winning outfit.

In the third match, a brace of goals by Ghulam Abbas and Hammad Ahsan guided Punjab Colours to a 9-2 defeat on Sindh Colours to finish runners-up in pool A.

Qasim Ahmed, M. Asif, Mohsin Sabir, Faizan Alvi and Hunain Anwar netted one goal apiece for winners.

Sindh Colours slammed twice through Qasimullah in 38th and 58th minutes.

Meanwhile, the organisers have revised the draw of quarter-final matches.

Wednesday’s fixtures:


At 7.00am: National Bank of Pakistan v Army
At 9.00am: Wapda v Pakistan Education Board
At 3.00pm: PIA v Customs
At 5.00pm: Punjab Colours v Railways.


Heat keeps hockey spectators at bay

RANCHI: In keeping with its tradition of hockey dominance, Jharkhand continued their march to the semi-finals at the fourth Men's National Sub-Junior Hockey Championship on the astroturf hockey stadium here on Monday. However, an ecstatic Jharkhand squad celebrated on their own as the tournament failed to draw a single spectator in its third day.

Hockey matches are used to thin crowds and empty galleries are a common sight during tournaments like this. However, the sight is rare in Jharkhand where love for hockey is unbridled. The state that serves as a steady supply line to the national teams and draws crowds in every tournament, is hosting the championship with empty galleries. Hockey Jharkhand blame it on the sweltering heat.

As many as 16 states are participating in the week long tournament that kicked off on May 17. The state under-16 boys thrashed Bhopal 7-1 on Monday to top the pool and inch closer to the semi-finals, to be played on May 24. "No matter what the magnitude of the tournament, we have crowds. However, there has not been a single audience so far, a rare sight in the state," said Suresh Kumar, the treasurer of Hockey Jharkhand and the organizing secretary of the championship. Jharkhand played host to the third women's junior national championship last year around the same time and saw a good crowd," he added.

State hockey general secretary and former Indian captain Savitri Purti acknowledged the empty stands as a rare sight, but blamed it on the rising mercury levels. "Yes there are thin crowds in tournaments like these usually. Most of the matches are during day time and in the evenings and the intense heat is keeping the audience away," she said.

The Times of India

Summer Internationals Announced as Ireland Squads Continue Preparation for Rio

Irish Hockey have today released their summer schedule for the National teams just a day after confirming they have secured the hosting of the women’s Olympic Qualifier, World League 2 taking place in Ireland in March 2015.

Both National sides performed well above their rankings at the recent Champions Challenge I events but with a job well done the teams will be looking to progress forward utilising the summer months to compete in quality test matches as coaches and players keep a firm focus on the qualification path for the 2016 Olympic Games.


Thursday June 25th

U21 Men Test Match, Ireland (Venue TBC)

· June 25th Ireland U21 Men v Wales Snr Team

Thursday June 26th - Sunday June 29th

Women’s 3 nations Mori, Italy


· June 26th Ireland v Italy 17.30

· June 27th Ireland v Wales 17.30

+ 1 test v Italy

· June 29th Ireland v Italy 15.00

Saturday June 28th – Sunday June 29th

Men’s Double Test v Wales, Ireland (Dublin)

· June 28th Ireland v Wales
· June 29th Ireland v Wales


Friday July 4rd – Saturday July 5th

Men’s Double Test v England, Ireland (Dublin)

· July 4th Ireland v England
· July 5th Ireland v England

Wednesday July 9th – Sunday July 13th

Men’s Investec London Cup (Olympic Park – London)

· Wednesday July 9th 17.15 Ireland v South Africa
· Thursday July 10th 17.15 Ireland v Scotland
· Saturday July 12th 12.00 Ireland v England
· Sunday July 13th 9.45 / 14.45 Cross over match

Saturday July 12th – Wednesday July 16th

Women's 4 Nations Ireland (Venue TBC)

· Saturday July 12th Ireland v New Zealand and Canada v Chile
· Sunday July 13th Ireland v Canada / New Zealand v Chile
· Tuesday July 15th Ireland v Chile / Canada v New Zealand
· Wednesday July 16th Classification Matches.

Sunday July 13th - Saturday July 19th

U21 Europeans Lousada, Portugal (all local times)

· Monday 14 v Russia 16.00
· Tuesday 15 v Ukraine 16.00
· Wednesday 16 v Portugal 18.00
· Friday 18 – Classification
· Saturday 19 – Classification

Monday July 14th - Sunday July 20th

Women's U21 Europeans, Vienna, Austria (all local times)

· Monday 14 v Scotland 15.00
· Wednesday 16 v Austria 17.00
· Thursday 17 v Belarus 15.00
· Saturday 19 – Classification
· Sunday 20 – Classification


Wednesday August 13th – Thursday August 21st

Women's 2 x 3 Nations tournament Ireland (Dublin)
Countries: Ireland, Spain & France

· 13th August Spain v France
· 14th August Ireland v Spain
· 15th August Ireland v France
· 16th August Spain v France
· 17th August Ireland v Spain
· 18th August Ireland v France
· 19th August Spain v France
· 20th August Ireland v Spain
· 21st August Ireland v France

Sunday 21st September – Wednesday 24th September

Women's 3 Test Series Ireland v Italy, Ireland (Dublin)

· 21st September Ireland v Italy
· 22nd September Ireland v Italy
· 24th September Ireland v Italy

***JAG fixtures will be announced in due course

***All above fixtures are subject to change.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Concussion Guidelines Irish Hockey

Irish Hockey is aware that there can be serious sequelae for players suffering from concussion. This is not limited to the immediate consequences of acute head injury. The long term effects of head injury and concussion are well recognised and can be minimised with appropriate immediate and longer term care.

Most of the hockey played in Ireland, indeed throughout the world, takes place without formal pitch side medical or first aid cover and it is hoped that these guidelines will help both players and those in charge of players. See link below (these are also available under the IHA tab 'concussion policy'

Concussion Guidelines Irish Hockey

Irish Hockey Association media release

SC issues notice to sports ministry on IHF's writ petition

NEW DELHI: Acting on a writ petition filed by the Indian Hockey Federation, the Supreme Court of India has issued a notice to the sports ministry seeking its reply as to why a stay order should not be put on its decision to grant National Sports Federation (NSF) status to Hockey India.

According to a statement released by the IHF, the apex court has also issued notices to the concerned parties -- the Ministry, Indian Olympic Association, HI and International Hockey Federation (FIH) -- seeking their replies on IHF's writ petition.

"IHF challenged the decision by way of a writ petition before the Supreme Court contending that the issue of which body represented the sport of hockey was pending before the Supreme Court and until disposal of the proceedings pending before the Supreme Court, the ministry, which itself is a party to the proceedings, ought not to have taken a decision on the matter," IHF said in a statement on Tuesday.

"IHF contended that the decision dated 28th February, 2014 was even contrary to the ministry's own stand before the Courts.

"At the hearing of 8th May, the Supreme Court was pleased to issue notice on the writ petition and the application of stay order and to direct listing of the matter in the second week of July immediately after the summer vacations," the IHF claimed.

IHF's filed the writ petition after the sports ministry had declared HI as the sole NSF for the game of hockey in the country on February 28 this year.

The Times of India

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