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News 27 June 2014

All the news for Friday 27 June 2014

A star is born

Malaysia beat all-comers and second Round One competition gets underway in Lithuania

Malaysia found a new goal-scoring star and sealed their status as Hockey World League Round One winners with an emphatic 5-0 win over Kazakhstan. Two goals from Hasliza Ali Noor and a goal apiece for Nuraini Rashid, Nadia Rahman and Adawiyah Mohamed saw the Malaysians emerge as unbeaten champions. The coach, Nubli Nasihin Ibrahim, had said before the final that his forwards were playing well, but even so he will have been delighted with the clinical finishing displayed by the team ranked 22nd in the world. Ibrahim will have been particularly pleased with the performance of Nuraini Rashid – this tournament saw her win her first international cap and she finished as the competition's top goal scorer, finding the net eight times.

Their opponents, Kazakhstan had enjoyed a good tournament to that point. They were also unbeaten going into the final, and had conceded only one goal to that point. They are ranked 11 places below Malaysia in the FIH World Rankings, and this win will have secured them both important ranking points as well as invaluable international experience. Both teams will now contest round two of the Hockey World League later in the cycle.

The second Hockey World League Round One competition has now started in Lithuania. Joining the host nation are Poland, Belarus and the Ukraine. This competition runs from today until 29 June.

The opening matches of the round robin competition see Belarus face Poland, while Ukraine takes on Lithuania.

FIH site

Malaysia rout Kazakhstan to win World League Round One

By Aftar Singh

Noor Hasliza Mohd Ali (centre) scored a brace to help Malaysia win the World League Round One in Singapore.

KUALA LUMPUR: Noor Hasliza Mohd Ali scored a brace to steer Malaysia to an impressive 5-0 win over Kazakhstan in the final of the women’s World League Round One hockey championship at the Sengkang Sports and Recreation Centre in Singapore.

With the win, Malaysia will compete in the World League Round Two, which is the qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) have yet to decide on the venue and dates for the tournament.

Malaysia, who won the World League Round One in Kuantan last year, took the lead yesterday through a field goal by Hasliza in the fifth minute.

Three minutes later, Nuraini Abdul Rashid doubled the tally to finish as the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals in four matches.

Hasliza was on target again in the 29th minute to make it 3-0 and Nadia Abdul Rahman sounded the board off a penalty corner in the 32nd minute for goal No. 4. Mohamed Adawiyah completed the rout in the 64th minute.

National coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli was thrilled with his players’ performance.

“We not only retained the World League Round One title, but we also scored a whopping 37 goals and did not concede a single goal in four matches,” said Nasihin.

“Our next mission now is to do well in next month’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games,” he added.

The Star of Malaysia

Who dares wins

As six teams battle it out in the heat of Singapore, we look at the new nations breaking onto the global stage

Vera Domashneva is not a household name in hockey circles, but she could soon be. The 29-year-old from Kazakhstan is the leading goalscorer for her country in the current Hockey World League Round One competition taking place in Singapore. An opening goal against Thailand was followed by a hat-trick in Kazakhstan's 9-0 win against Hong Kong. The central Asian country, which is ranked 33rd in the FIH World Rankings, now has a final against free-scoring Malaysia to decide who will be crowned Round One champions and progress to Round Two.

Malaysia women, are some way behind their men in terms of hockey development, but their progress in this tournament suggests that they are seriously eyeing up the hockey big time. A 14-0 win against Sri Lanka, a 10-0 win over Singapore and a 8-0 win over Thailand means the Malaysia side could soon move up the FIH World Rankings, currently they are ranked 22nd.

The Hockey World League is providing the backdrop for fairytale stories of success; David and Goliath encounters and, most importantly, the chance for nations to break onto the global hockey stage and make their mark in dramatic fashion. The number of teams who qualify to go through to Round Two varies from depending upon the number of teams playing in the Round One competition, but for this edition, three or four teams from Singapore will qualify for Round Two, to be held later this year.

In Singapore this week, six nations have been battling it out to win through to Round Two of the Hockey World League, taking the first steps on a journey that could potentially lead to Rio de Janeiro in just under two years time. The women's teams of Singapore, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand do not contain house-hold names that trip off the tongue, but they do have squads of players who are passionate about their sport and determined to represent their country on the international hockey stage. It is possible for a team to progress through the rounds and qualify for a place at the 2016 Olympics.

The Hockey World League is in its second cycle, and the concept behind the idea is already bearing fruit. There is an undoubted top tier of hockey playing nations, with recent World Cup winners Australia men and the Netherlands women topping that particular chart, but the Hockey World League provides the building blocks for teams of the future, and already we are seeing the world order of international hockey shifting – Argentina men who came from 11th place in the FIH World Rankings to gain a bronze medal at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup are testimony to that.

The second women's Round One competition is taking place in Lithuania from 26-29 June. Here nations from eastern and central Europe will do battle to win through to Round Two, with Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and the host nation playing a round robin to decide which teams will take one step closer to reaching hockey's higher echelons.

FIH site

Scotland women just lose out to Spain

Ali Bell scoring taken by Duncan Gray

Scotland just lost out to Spain 3-2 in a nail biting first match of the three match series this weekend.

Scotland were the first on the score sheet with a great run across the D from Ali Bell to slip the ball to the far post to the Scottish captain Linda Clement for her to tap in the ball to take the lead 1-0.

The Spanish were attacking well but the Scottish defence were doing well to deny them any opportunity in the D. With 20 minutes gone Spain pulled it back to draw level with Lucia Ybarra tapping the ball in at the far post.

Scotland were straight on the counter attack and soon Scotland scored another, Ali Bell tapping in the rebound from the keeper to make it 2-1. It was end to end play and Spain were awarded were soon awarded with a goal, Beatriz Perez stretching to tap in the ball past Gibson making it 2-2. Scotland had a penalty corner in the dying minutes before half time with the Spanish goal keeper making a great diving save to deny Nikki Kidds drag flick.

Both sides came out in to the second half hungry for a goal, it was end to end play and on the 47th minute Spain’s Contardi gets a slight touch on a fast ball in the D to put it past Gibson to make it 3-2.

Scotland stepped up the pace and moved the ball round the pitch well with solid defending from Leigh Fawcett in the middle and Aileen Davis making a brave save on the line from a penalty corner.

Unfortunately as much as Scotland pushed they couldn’t get another goal on the score sheet, with the final score ending 3-2 to Spain.

They play Spain again on Saturday at 9am and Sunday 11am at Glasgow Green, spectator’s welcome, free entry to cheer on your Team Scotland women.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Ireland 3-1 Italy- GreenArmy get result in Match 1

Ireland’s National Women’s team sponsored by Electric Ireland played Italy today in the first match of a three nations taking place this weekend in Mori, Italy securing a convincing 3-1 win in their opening match.

Ireland opened the scoring thanks to striker Nikki Evans in just the 8th minute of play a lead which they doubled before the break thanks to Captain Megan Frazers efforts.

Italy reduced the deficit to one midway through the second half thanks to a well executed penalty corner but Ireland reinstated the two goal lead with a penalty corner routine converted by Cliodhna Sargent to close out the match with a solid 3-1 win.

Commenting after the match Coach Darren Smith was happy with the result "It was a good result today against a tough Italian team. I am reasonably happy with aspects of the game. When you consider we arrived at midnight trained in the morning and then matched up against a team who if it wasn't for the continental qualification would have been at the World Cup, we did quite well."

"We created some good opportunities and had good periods of possession in their half. I also thought at the back we were solid. It will be interesting to see how we do against a Welsh team who are training hard for the Commonwealth Games. We are looking forward to playing them."
IRELAND 3 (2) Nikki Evans, Megan Frazer, Cliodhna Sargent
ITALY 1 (0)
Starting XI: Emma Gray; Cliodhna Sargent, Emma Smyth, Nikki Evans, Alex Speers, Megan Frazer (Capt); Vanessa Surgeoner; Nicci Daly; Hannah Matthews; Gillian Pinder; Alison Meeke
Reserves: Stella Davis; Naomi Carroll; Aine Connery; Anna O’Flanagan; Deirdre Duke; Kate Dillon; Chloe Watkins
Upcoming Matches - 3 Nations: Ireland; Italy; Wales (Mori, Italy)
June 27th Ireland v Wales 17.30
+ 1 Test June 29th Ireland v Italy 15.00
Irish Hockey Association media release

U21 Men Ireland 0-4 Wales / U16 Girls 3-1 Austria

Ireland's U21 Men played the Senior Welsh men's team tonight in a game at the National Hockey Stadium, losing out 4-0. Ireland's U16 girls also played tonight securing a 3-1 win over hosts Austria.

The U21 Men's team used this game against Wales as continued preparation for their upcoming Europeans eland's U21 Team will compete in the Europeans in Lousada, Portugal from 13th - 19th July.

Commneting after the match Coach Jonny Caren said "I was happy with phases of the game. This was always about the process not the outcome for us and for the majority of the game our process was followed. We had some controlled build up creating opportunities in the final quarter."

"One think I am disappointed at is that we didn't win any corner as this was a key focus in our pre match plan and on the other side gave away two simple corners. This is an area that will need to be improved on for our European campaign to be successful.

There was a lot of intensity in our defensive transition and as a group we will focus on keeping this a priority. I am looking forward to addressing the areas of concern over the next five days in camp and fine tuning our strengths."

Irish Hockey Association media release

England's U21 Men in Germany

England's Rob Farrington U21 Men

England U21s are at a training camp in Moers, Germany, playing a series of matches against the German home side in preparation for their upcoming European Championships in Belgium, taking place from 20-26 July 2014.

Wednesday proved an excellent start to the training camp with a victory over the home team. England started strongly but following a penalty stroke appeal, when the German goalkeeper appeared to foul Brendan Creed in the 11th minute, the Germans counter attacked down the right flank and scored a tap in at the far post by Niklas Proske. It took some time for England to regain their balance, but in the 25th minute Sam French got on the end of a slick move down the right involving James Gall and Arjan Drayton Chana and slapped the ball past the German keeper from five metres out. Just before half-time Rob Farrington drove into the German circle and hit a hard cross shot passed the onrushing keeper, bringing the score to 2-1 to England going into the break.

In the second half Germany equalised from the penalty spot after the umpire adjudged that there was a stick tackle preventing a goal. However, England took the game to the Germans and converted a slick corner with a reverse stick deflection by Ben Boon with just 2 minutes left on the clock, putting the final score 3-2 to England.

England U21 Men's Head Coach Jon Bleby said after the game: "I'm very happy with the win, and it's pleasing that we were more productive in the opposition circle. We demonstrated that we can defend our circle when we have to, but there's still some work to do."

Match 1

England 3 (2)
Sam French 20 (FG)
Robert Farrington 34 (FG)
Ben Boon 68 (PC)

Germany 2 (1)
Niklas Proske 11 (FG)
Jan Nitschke 52 (PS)

England Hockey Board Media release

Team England reveal Hockey squads for Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games England have today announced the men’s and women’s hockey squads that will compete for Team England at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (23 July – 3 August 2014).

Ten nations will be participating in each of the Men’s and Women’s Hockey competitions at Glasgow 2014. In the preliminary rounds, teams will be split into two pools of five. The top two teams in each pool will progress to play off for the medals.

Prior to the Commonwealth Games England will face Scotland, Ireland, Wales and South Africa at the Investec London Cup from 9-13 July. The tournament will be played at the new legacy stadium, the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Click here to find out more about the event. Click here to apply for media accreditation.

England men’s team

Captained by Doncaster born Barry Middleton, the most capped Great Britain and England men’s player of all time, England are looking to improve on their previous two fourth place finishes in Delhi [2010] and Melbourne [2006].

Included in the squad is Beeston’s Tim Whiteman who is recovering well from a broken thumb which he suffered at the Hockey World Cup earlier this month. It is hoped he will return to the squad and compete pre-Games.

An addition to the squad, which recently finished fourth at the World Cup, is Phil Roper [Chester] who with 21 caps to his name is the least experienced athlete in the squad, but he impressed Head Coach Bobby Crutchley in two recent Four Nations tournaments, including the one played at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre back in April.

There are nine Commonwealth Games debutants named in the squad, but with the likes of George Pinner, Iain Lewers, Dan Fox and Mark Gleghorne included in that number England certainly have some good experience to call upon.

England Captain Barry Middleton, playing in his third Commonwealth Games said: “I’m really excited for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and it’s nice to have another major tournament so close to home. Multi-sport events have a different feel to a normal hockey event and there’s always a great atmosphere. I’m proud to be part of Team England and we are aiming to be one of the success stories of the games.”

Commonwealth Games debutant Mark Gleghorne said: "I'm delighted to be selected for the Commonwealth Games. It's my first multi-sport event so I'm really looking forward to the experience and competing in such an environment. Hopefully we can produce the type of performances that will make it a successful and enjoyable Games."

Competing in his second Commonwealth Games, Alastair Brogdon said: "It feels great to have been selected for the Commonwealth games in Glasgow. Having played in Delhi in 2010 I'm really looking forward to representing Team England again. It's a fantastic experience taking part in an event like this where you're surrounded by so many top athletes from a variety of sports.”

“As a squad we've only recently come back from the World Cup in The Hague where we finished just outside the medals. We had some good performances there, but ultimately it's a medal that we want to win.”

England women’s team

England Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh will be competing in her fourth Commonwealth Games when she steps out onto the turf in Glasgow. With 321 international caps to her name the Manchester born athlete is England’s most experienced squad member and has captained her side for over a decade. She has already announced that this is likely to be her final tournament before retiring.

After finishing 11th at the recent Hockey World Cup, the team sees a couple of changes to the line-up. Giselle Ansley comes back into the squad and Holcombe’s Lucy Wood is selected fresh off the back of a number of impressive appearances for the England Development Squad and in recent test matches against Wales where she scored four times.

Ten of the 16 selected athletes will be making their Commonwealth Games debuts. Alongside the experience of Richardson-Walsh, Alex Danson will be competing in her third Games while Georgie Twigg, Susie Gilbert, Nicola White and Laura Unsworth were all part of the squad who claimed bronze in Delhi four years ago.

England Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh said: “It is always a pleasure and an honour to represent your country at a Commonwealth Games. Being at a large multi-sport event is an excellent experience for the team. It's great to be able to support your fellow athletes and enjoy celebrating Team England's success. I've no doubt that Glasgow will put on a fabulous event.”

Commonwealth Games debutant Giselle Ansley said: “It’s a real honour to have been selected for the Commonwealth Games. For me, missing out on playing at the World Cup was devastating but we are a strong group and I know we can put in some strong performances up in Glasgow.”

“We still have four weeks of training to go in preparation, as well as the Investec London Cup, which is going to be a great experience for us as we build towards Games time.”

Competing in her second Commonwealth Games Georgie Twigg said: “I’m really excited to be a part of Team England again. Delhi was a fantastic experience four years ago and it was great to get a bronze medal at one of my first major tournaments. Playing in a multi-sport event is such a unique experience and I can’t wait to be a part of it again. We were obviously disappointed with the result at the World Cup, but it’s great to have another major tournament in the same summer to go out there as a team and improve on our performances.”

Team England Chef de Mission Jan Paterson said: “I'd like to extend a very warm welcome to both the men's and women's hockey squads. 19 of the 32 players will be making their Commonwealth Games debuts, with the remainder providing a huge amount of international experience, including our two captains who have five Commonwealth Games between them. They will compete in London prior to their arrival in Glasgow which will aide their final preparations as they head into Glasgow."

Hockey Team Leader Danny Kerry said: “I’m excited about the two teams we are bringing to Glasgow 2014; the Commonwealth Games represent one of the highlights of an athletes’ career and I know and understand the importance that all involved place on performing to their best at such a prestigious event.”

Commonwealth Games - men’s hockey squad

Shirt No. - Name - Club

    George Pinner - Beeston
    Iain Lewers - Holcombe
    Dan Fox - Holcombe
    Tim Whiteman - Beeston
    Barry Middleton - Holcombe
    Henry Weir - Wimbledon
    Ashley Jackson - East Grinstead
    Simon Mantell - Reading
    Harry Martin - Beeston
    Nick Catlin - Holcombe
    Alastair Brogdon - Wimbledon
    Michael Hoare - Wimbledon
    David Condon - East Grinstead
    Phil Roper - Wimbledon
    Mark Gleghorne - East Grinstead
    Adam Dixon - Beeston

Commonwealth Games - women’s hockey squad

Shirt No. - Name - Club

    Maddie Hinch - Holcombe
    Giselle Ansley - Surbiton
    Sophie Bray - East Grinstead
    Laura Unsworth - Holcombe
    Lily Owsley - Uni of Birmingham
    Zoe Shipperley - Buckingham
    Georgie Twigg - Surbiton
    Ellie Watton - Beeston
    Susie Townsend - Reading
    Susie Gilbert - Reading
    Kate Richardson-Walsh - Reading
    Hollie Webb - Surbiton
    Sam Quek - Reading
    Nicola White - Leicester
    Alex Danson - Reading
    Lucy Wood - Holcombe

England Hockey Board Media release

Glasgow may be Hager, Whitelock’s swansong


The future of two of the New Zealand women’s hockey team’s most integral members is in doubt.

For coach Mark Hager and captain Kayla Whitelock, next month’s Commonwealth Games in Scotland could be their Black Sticks swansong.

Hager is contracted until December 31 while, after the Games, Whitelock is heading to Japan with rugby-playing husband George for six months.

Australian men’s coach Ric Charlesworth this month stunned Hockey Australia by standing down before the Games, leaving an opening as coach of the world champion men’s team.

Hager has made no secret that he covets the position in charge of the team he spent 11 years playing in.

Any thought of him jumping ship before the Games was quashed this week when Hockey Australia named two of Charlesworth’s assistants, Graham Reid and Paul Gaudoin, as interim coaches for the Games while they search for a fulltime option.

So Hager will stay with the Black Sticks until at least the end of the Games but, after that, it’s up in the air.

"After the Games I’ll be looking at what’s out there or if I’ll re-sign with Hockey New Zealand,’’ Hager told Fairfax Media.

"That’s the difficult thing; I really enjoy being here and I see there is still really big potential in this side. We played poorly at the world champs and still finished fifth and it’s only 18 months to the Olympics. But then, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to be head coach of a national programme in Australia too.’’

So it’s unfinished business which might keep Hager with the Black Sticks, but whether Whitelock will be there too is unclear.

"I’m really not sure what my hockey plan in the future is,’’ she said.

The crux of her decision, she said, was how much she missed hockey while she was away from it in Japan.

Like Hager, Whitelock thinks the side has potential to do better than its last Olympics where it finished fourth.

She has been playing as well as she ever has, but was worried her age might come into consideration.

"Part of me wants to play at another Olympic Games and to be at Rio, but I’m getting a bit older too now. We’ll see how I feel after the break.’’

For both Hager and Whitelock, the No 1 focus for now is the Commonwealth Games and pushing for a medal.

For the second-ranked team, their preferred colour will be gold after they lost a penalty shootout and brought home silver from Delhi four years ago.

There were no surprises in Hager’s 16-woman team which was named yesterday.

Goalkeeper Bianca Russell and striker Michaela Curtis were the unlucky two as the team was cut from the 18 who finished fifth at the World Cup in The Hague.

Russell paid the price for teams being allowed only to carry 16. With such an emphasis on fitness and fresh legs, Hager has opted – like most coaches will do – to take just one goalie.

Russell was the lucky one for the Olympics in London as Sally Rutherford missed out, but Rutherford is back in for this tournament at Russell’s expense.

"Michaela showed some good signs at the World Cup, but we just felt with the strikers and forwards we have, they’re just in front of her at the moment. It’s tough for her, but she’s a good player and isn’t out of it for the future,’’ Hager said.

The New Zealand men’s team is expected to be named on July 8.

Black Sticks Commonwealth Games squad: Sam Charlton, Sophie Cocks, Rhiannon Dennison, Gemma Flynn, Krystal Forgesson, Katie Glynn, Jordan Grant, Rose Keddell, Olivia Merry, Stacey Michelsen, Emily Naylor, Anita Punt, Sally Rutherford, Liz Thompson, Petrea Webster, Kayla Whitelock.


Steady effort name of game

Coach says consistency will be difference when it comes to hockey medals at Glasgow

By David Leggat

Players will try out to find a back-up for goalie Sally Rutherford at the Commonwealth Games. Photo / Christine Cornege

It's been a bugbear of coach Mark Hager and his players that they have struggled to string quality performances together.

The most recent occasion was at the World Cup in The Hague this month, when a 1-0 loss to Korea in pool play severely damaged their semifinal aspirations.

"Because we have so many young kids, they were learning the value of every instance within a game. That's the biggest thing they learned," Hager said.

"A lot of our players aren't consistent at the moment; that's what you get from young players, a really good performance and one not so good in the next game. We don't seem to have a medium ground, so I hope we've learned those lessons."

Hager named his squad of 16 for the Games yesterday, omitting young striker Michaela Curtis and goalkeeper Bianca Russell from the 18 who contested the World Cup.

An audition is looming to settle on a back-up goalkeeper for Sally Rutherford.

Most teams opt for just one keeper, preferring not to sacrifice an extra outfielder.

Russell will be in Ireland where the squad have a pre-Games tournament and will stay and train there. But once the opening day arrives, the 16 are locked in.

"We'll put a bit of a feeler out to the group. We've got three weeks to give them a bit of an opportunity," Hager said.

He's not expecting miracles -- "all we want is the basics, if they can stop the ball".

Captain Kayla Whitelock felt the disappointment of finishing second at Delhi four years ago, beaten to the gold by Australia in a penalty shootout.

"I certainly want to finish one better than my last Games," she said yesterday.

New Zealand are back up to fourth in the latest world rankings. They play South Africa (11th), India (13th), Canada (22nd) and Trinidad and Tobago (31st) in pool play.

Second-ranked Australia, with whom they drew 0-0 at the World Cup, and sixth-ranked England shape up as their biggest medal rivals.

New Zealand have a four-nation tournament in Dublin - playing hosts Ireland, Chile and Canada - from July 12 to 16 before going into the athletes' village.

Yesterday's announcement means the men's Black Sticks and the seven rugby team are the only athletes still to be named for a New Zealand team expected to number 235.

New Zealand women's hockey team for the Commonwealth Games

Goalkeeper: Sally Rutherford (Midlands)

Defenders: Emily Naylor (Central), Liz Thompson (Auckland), Sam Charlton, Rose Keddell (Midlands), Rhiannon Dennison (North Harbour).

Midfielders: Kayla Whitelock (c, Central), Petrea Webster (North Harbour), Anita Punt (Capital), Stacey Michelsen (Northland), Jordan Grant (Canterbury), Gemma Flynn (Midlands).

Strikers: Katie Glynn, Krystal Forgesson (Auckland), Olivia Merry, Sophie Cocks (Canterbury). Players will try out to find a back-up for goalie Sally Rutherford at the Commonwealth Games. Picture / PhotosportConsistency will be one of the big ambitions of the New Zealand women's hockey team as they prepare to challenge for medals at the Commonwealth Games.

The New Zealand Herald

Liam De Young retires

Athens Olympic gold medallist & double World Cup winner ends international career

Olympic gold medallist Liam De Young, one of the most decorated players in Australian hockey, has announced his retirement from the Kookaburras after 312 appearances.

One of only four men to play more than 300 games for Australia, De Young, 32, from Brisbane, hangs up his stick as an Olympic champion and a three-time Olympic medallist, double World Cup winner, three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist and four-time Champions Trophy winner.

Since making his debut as a 19 year-old in a 3-1 win over Belgium in October 2001 under then coach Barry Dancer, De Young has gone on to represent Australia at three Olympic Games, four World Cups, three Commonwealth Games, seven Champions Trophies and six Oceania Cups.

Explaining his decision, he said, “As much as I enjoy being part of the Kookaburras and feel privileged to have been part of such an elite program, I know that physically and mentally I can no longer commit to the program 100% and it is time to step away. I could not have asked for a better finish to my career than to win the World Cup so convincingly in front of an amazing crowd and my family and friends. It was the perfect finish to my career.”

He will forever be known as a member of Australia’s history-making Olympic gold medal-winning team of the Athens Games in 2004 while back-to-back World Cup victories in 2010 and 2014, coming after two successive World Cup final defeats, rate highly amongst De Young’s achievements.

“These were gruelling campaigns that required so much sacrifice for such a long time leading up to these majors and to get the gold at the end of that makes it all worthwhile,” said De Young.

The scorer of 35 international goals, it was De Young that got Australia off the mark in the 2006 Commonwealth Games final in Melbourne as he netted the opening goal in a 3-0 win over Pakistan. He found the target in both the World Cup and Commonwealth Games in 2010 and scored the last of his 35 strikes in the Kookaburras’ 5-0 victory over England at the 2014 World Cup in The Hague.

Thanking those that have played the biggest part in his career, he said, “There are many people who have influenced and supported me in my career who deserve my thanks.

“I have had the privilege of being coached by two of the best coaches in history during my international career; thank you to Barry Dancer and Ric Charlesworth. Both had an incredible knowledge of the game and a desire to help me improve as a player and enabled me to play at my full potential. I will always be grateful for their guidance. Thanks also to the support staff and assistant coaches along the way, including Colin Batch, Graham Reid and Paul Gaudoin who have assisted in various campaigns and made playing for the Kookaburras so memorable. 

“As a proud Queenslander I would like to thank Greg Browning who as QAS coach had a big influence on my development as a young player, and Matt Wells who has continued that support through the latter parts of my career. I would like to thank Pine Rivers St. Andrews hockey club in Brisbane for my foundation years and Vic Park Panthers for supporting me in Perth.

“To my teammates over the past 14 years, thanks for making 6am gym sessions bearable. I am honoured to have played with each and every one of you. A special thanks to Rob Hammond and Nathan Eglington who I lived with when I first moved to Perth as a 19 year-old and who became lifelong friends. I learnt a lot from them as well as guys like Paul Gaudoin, Bevan George and Troy Elder who often went out of their way to encourage and offer advice. And to guys like Mick McCann, Jamie Dwyer and Mark Knowles who are some of my closest mates, I have learnt a lot from you, in particular what it takes to train and prepare to be the best.

“To my parents and brothers who have supported me every step of the way. They have given up plenty to allow me to reach my goals and done so without question. I am a better athlete because of you but, more importantly, a better person.

“Thanks to my wife Sarah who has been on this journey with me from the beginning and endured many sacrifices in order for me to follow my dream. She has been through the highs and lows of my sporting career and her belief and encouragement enabled me to achieve at the highest level.”

Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth, who has coached De Young since 2008, said, “For well over a decade Liam was at the heart of the Kookaburras and his durability was testimony to his great skill and fluency, and his speed and composure. Whenever the stakes were high Liam delivered.

“He is unobtrusive and laconic but hugely versatile and beautifully balanced, and fluent in his skill production. He filled gaps, covered holes and was then capable of springing into action and penetrating deep into the opposition’s defence with his lightning counter attacks. He played as a defender and a midfielder, he scored goals and he defended diligently.”

De Young intends to spend more time with his wife Sarah and young children, Sienna and Harrison. “I plan on enjoying some holidays that aren’t dictated by the hockey calendar and on lowering my golf handicap,” he added.

Liam De Young’s Career Highlights

October 2001 – Represents Australian junior team that finishes sixth at the Junior World Cup in Hobart

October 2001 – Makes senior international debut in 3-1 win over Belgium

March 2002 – Picks up first silverware, a silver medal, as Kookaburras finish as runners-up at World Cup

August 2002 – Wins Commonwealth Games gold medal in Manchester

September 2002 – Finishes fifth with Kookaburras at Champions Trophy in Cologne

September 2003 – Wins gold medal at his first Oceania Cup

August 2004 – Becomes Olympic Champion as Australia takes the gold medal at Olympic Games in Athens

November 2005 – Wins Oceania Cup gold medal as Australia qualify for 2006 World Cup

December 2005 – Collects first Champions Trophy gold medal in Chennai, India

January 2006 – Makes 100th appearance for Australia in 3-0 win over Spain in Hobart

March 2006 – Wins Commonwealth Games gold medal in Melbourne scoring in three consecutive matches including semi-final and final

July 2006 – Finishes fourth at the Champions Trophy in Terrassa, Spain

September 2006 – Wins second silver medal at World Cup after going down to Germany 4-3 in final

September 2007 – Wins third Oceania Cup title

December 2007 – Takes home silver medal from Champions Trophy in Kuala Lumpur

June 2008 – Wins Champions Trophy gold medal in Rotterdam, Netherlands, as Australia beat Spain in final

August 2008 – Competes at second Olympic Games, winning bronze medal in Beijing, China

February 2009 – Plays 200th international match in 10-0 victory over Belgium in Canberra

August 2009 – Wins Oceania Cup title for fourth time, qualifying Kookaburras for 2010 World Cup

December 2009 – Wins Champions Trophy title on home turf in Melbourne overcoming Germany

March 2010 – Becomes World Champion as Kookaburras take World Cup gold medal with win over Germany, avenging two consecutive World Cup final defeats to secure Australia’s second ever world title

October 2010 – Wins third Commonwealth Games title in New Delhi, India

October 2011 – Seals fifth Oceania Cup gold medal in Hobart

December 2011 – Wins Champions Trophy in Auckland

August 2012 – Represents Australia at third Olympic Games, London 2012, winning the bronze medal

November 2013 – Wins sixth and final Oceania Cup gold medal

January 2014 – Represents Australia in first ever World League Finals tournament where the Kookaburras finish fourth

March 2014 – Becomes only the fourth man to play 300 games for Australia. Makes 300th appearance in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match against Korea, a 5-1 win

June 2014 - Elected to International Hockey Federation's Athletes' Committee

June 2014 – Wins World Cup gold medal for second time, competing in his fourth World Cup

June 2014 – Retires from international hockey

Hockey Australia media release

Home of Hockey to Host Prestigious 2017 World Cup Qualifying Tournament

The Pan American Hockey Federation has completed the process for awarding tournaments for the period 2015-2017. The Board of Directors approved the recommendations of the Bid Evaluation Committee, set-up in April 2014 for analyzing the proposals received from a number of member countries. The Bid Committee considered the quality of proposals, venues, accommodations conditions and prices, continental spread, and good record of hosting capability.

“PAHF looks forward to have first class events; timely award of events for the coming years will allow hosts to plan for successful events,” said Coco Budeisky, PAHF President.

The prestigious Pan American Cups 2017, World Cup Qualifiers, both men and women, are awarded to the USA Field Hockey's Home of Hockey at the Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. The PAHF Congress will also be part of this flagship PAHF event.

“We are delighted that the PAHF has decided to award the hosting of the Pan American Cup to USA Field Hockey,” said Women’s National Team Head Coach Craig Parnham. “This is an exciting time for USA Field Hockey as we continue to grow our profile within the global game and establish ourselves at the new Home of Hockey in Lancaster, PA. We very much look forward to welcoming the Pan American Nations in 2017.”

"The award to host the Pan American Cup is an honor for Spooky Nook Sports and an exciting opportunity to showcase international field hockey at its best here in Lancaster County, Pa.," said Spooky Nook Sports facility owner and founder Sam Beiler.

Other PAHF Events:

- Pan American Challenge (men & women), Chiclayo, Peru – October 2015

- South American Championships (men & women), Chiclayo, Peru – October 2016
- Junior Pan American Championship, men, Toronto, Canada – June 2016
- Junior Pan American Championship, women, Tacarigua, Trinidad & Tobago – July 2016

- Indoor Pan American Cups (men & women), Toronto, Canada – April 2017
- Pan American Cups (men & women), Lancaster, PA, USA – August 2017

USFHA media release

Hockey included in World Masters Games schedule

Hockey joins 27 other sports announced on the competition schedule for the Auckland World Masters Games in 2017.

Hockey New Zealand CEO Malcolm Harris said he was pleased to be selected as a sport for World Masters Games.

“The Games will provide hockey with a great opportunity to extend the growth of the sport and showcase hockey to people throughout New Zealand and overseas,” said Harris.

Sports were selected following a comprehensive bid process with one sport still to be confirmed.

CLICK HERE for more on the World Masters Games 2017

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Hockey master class


Australia’s Michael Balint post-grand final victory poses with the cup

LOCAL Maccabi hockey stalwart Michael Balint was part of the victorious over-75 Australian team at the recent International Hockey Association (IHA) Tournament for Masters, which was held in conjunction with the Hockey World Cup at the Hague in the Netherlands.

This was IHA’s inaugural over-75 World Cup, and from four participating teams – Australia, England, Netherlands and the Alliance, made up of players from nations unable to field full teams – Balint and the veteran Aussies took home the silverware.

Speaking to The AJN  upon his return, Balint said that in a busy schedule of six matches in five days, Australia enjoyed a smooth ride to glory.

“We had a tough challenge,” he said.

“But we managed to get a few goals and keep the others from scoring, and that’s all it takes sometimes.”

Beating the Netherlands 3-0 and grinding down England for a 2-0 victory in the final were two of the highlights of Australia’s campaign.

“Even though this is the first over-75s international tournament ever played, there was very good quality overall. Most players had played a very high level of hockey,” the steely defender said.

“We were very lucky with injuries, which was a big factor.

“When the big final came, we had a full list to choose from and that might’ve got us over the line.”

Australia’s single Jewish representative, Balint is a legend of Maccabi Victoria hockey. He was the founding member of AJAX Maccabi hockey in 1962, and its first captain and coach.

“We came home on the same plane as the [World Cup winning] Aussie team and got to meet with them, and they were quite amazed

that people over 75 could still play good hockey,” Balint said laughing.

His secret? “It’s still all about training, running and doing your exercises every day.”

The Australian Jewish News

Scotland’s hockey stars enjoy Royal Marines’ experience

Senior womens team with some of the Marines who helped out on the day

With just 27 days to go until the start of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, you might forgive athletes for toning down their training in preparation for their big day.

Not the Scottish women’s hockey squad. These elite athletes – including Emily Maguire, a Scotland and Team GB player and bronze medallist from London 2012 – decided to test themselves against the Royal Navy’s own fighting elite.

In preparation for forthcoming warm-up games against Spain, the women were looking for a team-building exercise that would push them outside their comfort zones, forge better leadership and communications skills in a team environment, and still challenge them physically.

Step forward Royal Marines from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group, based at HM Naval Base Clyde, at Faslane. Marines pride themselves on instilling in their charges the Corps ethos of courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity.

There was plenty of time for all four virtues, as Team Scotland were put through their paces across five main training stances which included abseiling, a spin afloat on the 45-knot ORCs (Offshore Raiding Craft), close quarter battle techniques and physical training at the gym.

The Unit’s commanding officer, Colonel Matt Pierson, summed up the interaction: “We were delighted to welcome the Scottish women’s hockey team to HM Naval Base Clyde, the home of 43 Commando and the base which supports the Royal Navy across a number of Fleet commitments from Scotland.

“It was a pleasure to talk with the squad ahead of the Commonwealth Games, at which I know a great number of Armed Forces personnel are directly supporting across security and other platforms. The women all acquitted themselves well and hopefully took value from experiencing the teamwork, professionalism and ethos of the Royal Marines that is our way of life.”

Team Scotland coach, Gordon Shepherd, was delighted with the day’s activities and said: “We would like to thank the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines for giving us all an experience of a lifetime. Anything that helps focus the women in terms of team-building and commitment ahead of the Games is of huge benefit.”

Emily Maguire added: “I really didn’t know what to expect, all we were told was we would be training with Royal Marines, and it seemed a little bit daunting.

“I think the team aspect in our sport when playing hockey is really important, so to build on those team relationships was good and we now have some wonderful memories to take away. Also a few incidents that were a bit scary but that we can all have a laugh about later on, so yeah, it was really good fun.”

L-R Vikki Bunce, Morag McLellan (who managed everything with a broken thumb!) Nikki Skrastin, Nikki Kidd and Ali Howie being put through their paces with team building exercises.

Scotland’s women’s team finished seventh in Delhi four years ago and is largely unchanged from that which competed in the FIH Champions Challenge in Glasgow just over a month ago, where they again finished in seventh position. They travel down to London for the Investec Cup on the 9th July to play England, Wales and South Africa.

Team Scotland is now in final preparations for some tough opposition in Australia, England, Malaysia and Wales at Glasgow 2014, which starts on July 23.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Team Scotland players go back to School

Team Scotland player Kenny Bain takes a sefie with all the other athletes at Glasgow School of Sport who will be competing at the games

Glasgow School of Sport at Bellahouston Academy has announced its largest ever representation for Team Scotland at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Twelves athletes across multiple disciplines include 4 from hockey will compete at this year’s games.

Returning hockey competitors players Kenny Bain, Amy Gibson and William Marshall will be aiming for further commonwealth success. Whilst Susan McGilveray will be making their Commonwealth Games debut.

This is the largest and strongest representation from Glasgow School of Sport and the school is very proud of its pupils.

Angela Porter, Director of Glasgow School of Sport, said: “We’re delighted to have played a part in the journey of these twelve young people to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“They have worked tirelessly to achieve their success. All are committed and determined to make Scotland proud. I am thrilled for them."

Ian Anderson, Head Teacher at Glasgow School of Sport, said: “Their selection is a tribute to not only the athletes themselves but to the coaches and staff at the Glasgow School of Sport and Bellahouston Academy.”

Leading achievements of graduates include Michael Jamieson Olympic and Commonwealth silver medalist, Kirsty Gilmour the No.1 British Women’s Singles player ranked 18th in the world, hockey players William Marshall with over 100 caps for his country and prolific goal scorer Kenny Bain.

Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life and Executive Committee Member for the Commonwealth Games, said “This National Centre of Excellence has helped develop and nurture some of Scotland's top young athletes and sports stars, such as Michael Jamieson.

“We wish all 12 athletes every success at the Games. They will be an inspiration to the next generation of young sporting stars as they have shown that with a lot of hard work and determination you can achieve your sporting aspirations.”

Team Scotland’s Chef de Mission, Jon Doig, congratulated the 12 pupils and graduates, saying: "The school of sport has been supporting young talented athletes since 1999 and the record number representing Team Scotland in the XX Commonwealth Games really shows the value of these types of programmes.

“A significant number of the Glasgow School of Sport pupils have competed at Commonwealth Youth level. Seven of the school's athletes debuted in the full Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010 and the experience they have gained since then bodes well for Glasgow 2014. They will be joined by a further six athletes from the school making their debut on home soil.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Greenfields Riverside Elite Challenge hockey clubs face off in Durban

JONATHAN COOK at Riverside

Riverside HC star Taine Paton, pictured here taking on Heung Soon Lee of South Korea during the World Cup in The Hague, Holland three weeks ago, will be turning out for his KZN champion club at the Greenfields Riverside Elite Challenge in Durban North this weekend. Photo: STANISLAS BROCHIER

There is much anticipation in hockey circles around the KZN province and nationally as the prestigious Greenfields Riverside Elite Challenge for the country’s top men’s club sides nears its start at the impressive Riverside Sports Club in Durban North.

The first event took place last year and was a huge success, with crowds flocking to the club’s two hockey turfs to witness a series of top-class matches between provincial champion teams that were packed with current national and provincial stars, as well as greats from the very recent past.

This year is no different and champion KwaZulu-Natal club Riverside HC alone have three players in their midst who have just come back from the South Africa men’s team’s 2014 Hockey World Cup campaign in The Hague, Holland.

Attacking striker/midfielder Taine Paton, playmaker Tim Drummond and goalkeeper Gowan Jones have all crossed swords with the best players in the world during the past month and this experience alone should rub off favourably on their Riverside team-mates.

The host club must start as favourites, as well as odds-on bets to defend their title, won by a whisker from Southern Gauteng champions Wanderers last year – and this is not taking into account the advantages of home-turf knowledge as well as a vociferous support base.

Western Province Cricket Club are the WP club champions and like Riverside and Wanderers they will also feature current World Cup stars as well as recent national players, while fast-rising Kearsney have stellar names in their midst that include the likes of Beijing Olympian and 2006 World Cup forward Geoff Abbott.

There will be fixtures from 4.30pm Friday when the KZN Coastal U16A side tackle the KZN Coastal U16B team in a pre-national U16 interprovincial tournament warm-up match before the big guns take the field with Riverside up against KZN Coastal rivals Kearsney at 6.30pm followed by Western Province CC against Wanderers at 8pm.

Saturday will feature Wanderers versus Kearsney from 2.45pm before hosts Riverside take on their rivals from the Western Cape, the Western Province CC line-up, at 4.15pm

Sunday sees the grand finalé when Kearsney face the Capetonians from WPCC at 9.30am before Riverside meet Wanderers at 11.30am.

This is a round-robin tournament with the most log points after the three rounds deciding who the winners of the generous cash prize will be, yet in the tournament’s inaugural year in 2013 the last match proved to be a final anyway as Riverside edged Wanderers by the faintest of margins.

The Houghton, Johannesburg-based lads needed to score five goals to take the title and the 4-4 cliff-hanger saw Riverside, SA and KZN Raiders stopper Gowan Jones emerge as the home team hero.

To add to the entertainment value outside the Greenfields Riverside Elite Challenge matches, there are also a host of other clashes on Riverside Hockey Club’s adjacent second synthetic turf, where junior hockey and lower league KZN Coastal encounters feature the Riverside thirds fourths and fifths against local opponents, which will only serve to add to the festive atmosphere.


Friday - Riverside vs Kearsney (6.30pm);  Western Province CC vs Wanderers (8pm).

Saturday - Wanderers vs Kearsney (2.45pm); Riverside vs Western Province CC (4.15pm).

Sunday - Kearsney vs WPCC (9.30am); Riverside vs Wanderers ( 11.30am).

SA Hockey Association media release

Pakistan needs to promote grassroots level hockey, says Langenhuigsen

LAHORE - Former Dutch hockey player Ton Langenhuigsen has said that Pakistan must make strenuous efforts to promote the hockey at the grassroots level to regain its past glory in the international circuit.

Langenhuigsen is in the city at the invitation of the Unique Hockey Academy (UHA), a registered club of Lahore District Hockey Association, which has enrolled 55 boys and 75 girls for its hockey academy and has appointed the former Dutch player as its technical director. Former Olympians Khawaja Junaid and Waseem Ahmed are also on the penal of Think Tank the UHA has formed to impart training and coaching to the upcoming youngsters.

Langenhuijsen opined that Pakistan hockey needed to emphasis on the grassroots level for the revival of hockey. He said as technical director of the UHA he would work to build the foundation of modern hockey at the grassroots level. “I would make efforts to introduce modern ways of training and coaching for players. My focus will be to build their stamina and physical fitness and I will also train the local coaches. I hope that in future Pakistan would get some good players from UHA.”

Langenhuigsen disclosed that the green shirts were badly missed by the Dutch people in general and the world hockey players in particular during the World Cup that concluded at Den Hague, Holland. “I interacted with many former greats in hockey who looked disappointed at the absence of Pakistani players wearing green and white kit. It’s really an alarming and embarrassing situation for Pakistan hockey which had a very successful History in world hockey,” he stated. Pakistan has won four World Cups, three Olympics and three Champions Trophies in hockey.

The Nation

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