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News 24 August 2014

All the news for Sunday 24 August 2014

All five continents present in Youth Olympic Games semi-finals

China women only Pool B team to reach top four

South Africa surprised New Zealand to reach Youth Olympic Games semi-finals (Photo: Xinhua/Guo Cheng (zc))

The men’s quarter-finals were dominated by the teams who had played in Pool A in the group stage, with all four teams making their way through to the semi-finals.

Spain had finished first in the pool, and sailed past the fourth-placed team from Pool B, Zambia, with double digits. Second placed Australia equally had little difficulty to get past Mexico.

Third-ranked Canada were in for an epic battle with Pakistan. A total of fourteen goals in regulation time were not enough to separate the teams, with Pakistan scoring in the very last minute to force the Challenge Shoot-out. There, Canada kept their cool and took the crucial win.

Lastly, the South African men stunned Pool B champions New Zealand in a tense encounter. In a match that could have turned at any given moment, a hattrick by Nqobile Ntuli bought the Africans a ticket into the semi-finals.

On the women’s side, the Pool A teams also dominated, with the Netherlands, Argentina and Japan moving through to the next stage with ease.

Only Pool B Champions China could make their way into the semi-finals, much to the joy of the home team’s numerous fans.



Netherlands – Germany 8:1 (1:1; 4:1)
Uruguay – Argentina 0:9 (0:4; 0:4)
China – South Africa 7:1 (3:1; 7:1)
Japan – New Zealand 7:1 (3:0; 5:1)


Spain – Zambia 10:1 (3:0; 6:0)
Pakistan – Canada 7:7 (1:2; 3:5) – Challenge Shoot-out 2:3
Australia – Mexico 8:1 (1:0; 4:0)
New Zealand – South Africa 0:3 (0:1; 0:2)

FIH site

Australia set for semi-finals

Australia head into the semi-finals after winning 8-1 over Mexico

A controlling performance from the Hockey5s team Saturday night against Mexico in the quarter finals at the Youth Olympic Games.

The green and gold are now through to the semi-finals after scoring 8-1 over their opponents.

“We have changed our shape and approach to each game as we’ve come through the tournament and we set out today to control the game and we did just that which was great,” Tim Howard said.

“Tonight was good! We put a solid effort in for the whole 36 minutes so we can only look forward and just keep progressing.”

After coming off a 5-2 win over Canada Thursday night, the Aussies wanted to improve on that and show the rest of the competition that they’re hot contenders for a medal.

Throughout the first period both sides had goal scoring opportunities but neither could covert.

Just before the break, Jonathan Bretherton's shot deflected off Matthew Bird’s stick to wrong foot the Mexican keeper and hit the back net.

Corey Weyer was on the scorer’s sheet again with another long range goal minutes into the second period.

The next goal came from a counter attack started by Alec Rasmussen who drew and passed to Bird who moved onto two goals for the match.

Rasmussen was brought down in the goal area by the opposition's keeper half way through the game. The Perth teenager was awarded a penalty and made light work of the situation to lead 4-0.

The goal scoring was being handed around, this time Mackenzie Warne got in on the action beating his defender to increase the lead.

A hat-trick for Rasmussen was secured in the third period, using his pace and ball control to slot home two more goals.

“Scoring the three goals tonight feels good. I’ve finally come into some form and I finally showed up to play,” he said.

Mexico was giving it their all throughout the game and they were rewarded scoring a late goal to get themselves on the board.

With one minute to go, Weyer brought the ball down into the opposition’s corner to run the clock down. Searching for someone to pass to, the Queenslander saw a gap open and hit the ball through the keeper’s legs.

It was an all round great effort from the Aussies tonight especially only conceding one goal.

The Australian’s now move onto play South Africa in the semi-finals after they beat the number one ranked side New Zealand.

South Africa beat the green and gold in a pool game on Tuesday night, so the boys will be looking to turn that result around on Monday night.

“We’ve really tightened up in defence since we last played the South Africans and have concentrated on staying together in the final period,” Rasmussen said.

Youth Olympic Games
Nanjing, China

Matthew Bird 11,16
Corey Weyer 14, 35
Alec Rasmussen 19, 27, 29
Mackenzie Warne 25     
Daniel Martinez Rangel 34     

Australia v Mexico
Athlete (Hometown, State)
Matthew Bird, WA
Jonathan Bretherton, VIC
Max Hendry,  VIC
Tim Howard, QLD
Max Hughes, NSW
Alec Rasmussen, WA
Nathanael Stewart, NSW
Mackenzie Warne, QLD
Corey Weyer, QLD

Australia Semi-Final Fixtures, Youth Olympic Games
Monday 25 August - Australia v South Africa 21:30 AEST/19:30 AWST

Hockey Australia media release

SA hockey boys through to semis

by Mark Etheridge

Nqobile Ntuli © Wessel Oosthuizen

South Africa’s boys’ hockey team have impressed all and sundry by going through to the semifinals at the Youth Olympic Games on Saturday.

And the SA hero of the five-a-side code was captain Nqobile Ntuli as the Kearsney College lad found the net in each of the three periods of play to deny New Zealand a spot in the semifinals.

Next up for the boys in green and gold will be a far tougher assignment against Australia in the semis but the mood in the camp will be buoyant.

The girls’ competition came to a halt when they went down to host nation China in their quarterfinal, going down 7-1 with skipper Natalie Esteves netting SA’s sole goal.


NZ Hockey5’s to play classification games at Nanjing

It wasn’t the results the Kiwis were hoping for in yesterday’s Youth Olympics quarter-finals in Nanjing, with New Zealand Women going down 7-1 to Japan and the Men losing their first game of the tournament 3-0 to South Africa.

Both teams will now play for 5th-8th position, with the Women set to play South Africa at 9.30pm tonight and the Men to face Mexico at 9.30pm tomorrow.

In the Women’s game, Japan who were siting second to Netherlands in Pool A scored the first five goals and it was Central’s Casey-Mae Waddell who found the back of the net in the 22nd minute for New Zealand. Japan continued their strong performance in the final third, scoring twice more.

In the Men’s game, despite a spirited effort from the Kiwis it was South African Nqobile Mansuet who was the star of the game scoring a hat-trick - a goal in each third leading his side to a 3-0 victory.

There are ten nations competing in the Hockey5’s at the Youth Olympics, with two pools of five nations in each. (NZT)

The men’s team is David Brydon, Canterbury (17); Robbie Capizzi, North Harbour (17); Fynn Edwards, (GK) North Harbour (18); Richmond Lum, Auckland (18); Dominic Newman, Canterbury (17); Hayden Phillips, Central (16); Aidan Sarikaya, Midlands (17); Dylan Thomas, Central (18); Mackenzie Wilcox, Central (17). The team is coached by Dave Kosoof.

The women’s team is Isla Bint, Auckland (16); Frances Davies, Midlands (17); Su Arn Kwek, Auckland (18); Bridget Kiddle, Capital (17); Tayla White, Auckland (17); Ella Hyatt-Brown, North Harbour (16); Catherine Tinning, Canterbury (18); Casey-Mae Waddell, Central (17); Amy Robinson, Midlands (18). The team is coached by Caryn Paewai.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Spirited Pakistan lose to Canada

KARACHI: Pakistan lost to Canada 3-2 on penalties in the quarter-finals of the hockey 5s event at the 2014 Youth Olympics in China on Saturday.

Pakistan conceded an early goal in the opening six minutes, but instantly equalised as Muhammad Bilal Mahmood scored in the 10th minute.

Canada then went on to a scoring spree, with Amrit Sindu and Brandon Pereira scoring three more goals in the following 15 minutes as the scoreline read 5-1.

Shan Irshad scored Pakistan’s second goal in the 23rd minute, while teenager Muhammad Atiq and Nohaiz Zahid Malik contributed a few seconds later, diminishing the margin to 5-4.

Canada’s Harbir Sidhu extended their lead in the 30th minute to which Pakistan replied with a brace from Mubashar Ali two minutes later and Malik struck the equaliser in the 34th minute.

Canada once again took the lead with Harbirs’ goal, but Atiq’s last-minute goal kept Pakistan’s hopes alive towards the end of the 35 minutes.

The match ended 7-7, after which both sides went into the penalty shootout with Canada winning 3-2.

Despite the defeat, former national player and current Pakistan Hockey Federation juniors’ coach Rehan Butt said that the youngsters’ campaign at the Youth Olympics is a positive start.

“They reached the quarter-finals and this is just a beginning for these players,” Butt told The Express Tribune. “They performed outstandingly in the pool stages when they defeated Germany 6-2. They just succumbed to the pressure of the quarter-final.”

The Express Tribune

Fine Performance By Ireland Scores 8 Over France

IRELAND secured another convincing win over France as they played them for the 4th time in a 2 week period winning 8-1. Ireland will play Spain in their final test of this series tomorrow at 2pm.

Ireland bossed the match from the start finishing off eight goals with conviction. Nicci Daly opened with just five minutes on the clock with a cracker from the top of the circle. Ireland had to wait until the 28th minute for their second despite plenty of pressure to make it 2 when Chloe Watkins converted from open play. Ireland made it 3 just before short time when striker Anna O’Flanagan gave a deft deflection to Cliodhna Sargent’s penalty corner strike.

Chloe Brown made it four goals in the 44th minute when Shirley McCay set up the attack from the back passing to Chloe Watkins who slipped to Brown to make it Ireland 4, France 0. Ireland’s next goal was a real team effort with Deirdre Duke finishing off after Anna O’Flanagan and Chloe Brown combined.

France got one back after an Irish error but they finished well with Juliette Hevin scoring their only goal. Nicci Daly turned that over minutes later with a fine finish from the top of the circle hammering it home with pace to make it 6-1. Two further goals ensued for the Green Army Anna O’Flanagan and Emma Smyth both netting to make it 8-1.

IRELAND 8 (3) Nicci Daly 5m fg 54m fg; Chloe Watkins 29m; Anna O’Flanagan 32m pc 48m fg; Chloe Brown 44m; Emma Smyth 63m fg; Nikki Evans70m fg
FRANCE 1 (0)Juliette Hevin 51m fg

Starting XI:  Emma Gray GK; Cliodhna Sargent; Chloe Brown; Megan Frazer; Chloe Watkins; Nicci Daly; Hannah Matthews; Anna O’Flanagan; Deirdre Duke; Kate Dillon; Ali Meeke

Reserves: Emma Smyth; Nikki Evans; Shirley McCay; Ayeisha McFerran  (GK); Katie Mullan; Gillian Pinder; Yvonne O’Byrne

Irish Hockey Association media release

U.S. Men’s National Team Shows Strong Start to Argentina Series

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The U.S. Men’s National Squad kicked off their final series of the summer against Argentina earlier today at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Despite a strong performance, Team USA lost the opening game of their series with a score of 4-1. Argentina finished third in the recently held Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands and are currently ranked seventh in the world.

“We are encouraged by our start to the series against a very capable team and after their recent World Cup success,” said Head Coach Chris Clements. “Our team managed to execute our plan for the majority of the game with only a few critical moments where we were caught off guard. Execution of penalty corners at this level is critical and Argentina was clinical today.”

Team USA started the game strong and went up 1-0 six minutes into the match. A well-executed penalty corner routine resulted in a lethal flick into the goal by Will Holt (Camarillo, Calif.). After the score, match play evened out and yielded both teams with offensive chances. In the 25th and 27th minutes, Argentina converted two penalty corners into goals. The halftime score read 2-1 with both teams having few scoring opportunities other than corners. At the start of the second half, Argentina had the better of the game, but the U.S. managed to still create offensive opportunities. Argentina put away their third penalty corner in the 48th minute, making the score 3-1. For the remainder of the game, play kept flowing both ways, but Team USA was unable to close the gap. On the final, whistle Argentina netted their fourth goal with another penalty corner.

Team USA will take to the pitch against Argentina tomorrow at 10:45 a.m. PST in Chula Vista, Calif. Follow @USAFieldHockey for live match updates.

USFHA media release

Northern Blues edge WP in SA women's IPT shootout

JONATHAN COOK at Greenfields Turf

WP midfielder Tarryn Bright in possession as Northern Blues defender Kim Hubach closes in during the SA Women's Interprovincial Tournament final on Greenfields Turf in Pietermaritzburg Saturday. Photo: GAVIN NEL

Northern Blues dug deep to win the SA Women’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament for the first time with a 5-4 victory over Western Province at a packed Greenfields Turf stadium in Pietermaritzburg Saturday.

WP led 1-0 at half-time through a Farah Fredericks goal in the 13th minute but Blues came back to level 1-1 after Kim Hubach scored in the 49th before going on to win a sudden-death penalty shootout for an eventual 5-4 victory, Chanelle van Zyl delivered the shootout’s knockout blow for the Northerns girls.

Both sides had early crosses that flashed dangerously across the face of goal, just missing the strikers’ outstretched sticks and WP opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a well-worked penalty corner converted by Fredericks.

Blues had the opportunity to equalise in the 27th minute, this after a prolonged midfield battle, but the prolific striker Jacinta Jubb had her shot blocked by defender Jacqueline Scheepers. The final was not reaching the heights of some of the pool games, one of which was Blues’ 2-0 win over WP four days earlier.

Too many unforced errors, passes not connecting with receivers, perhaps a consequence of five days of hard matches, player fatigue and gold medal nerves creeping in. With three minutes to half-time Illse Davids’ reverse-stick shot was saved by Blues keeper Phume Mbande and the Pretorians were still very much in the game.

In the 46th minute concerted WP pressure saw Anna Malan come close to scoring but the Blues eventually scrambled the ball away, while Northerns were unfortunate not to score from a PC soon after but Kim Hubach made no mistake with the next, drawing the teams level 1-1 in the 49th minute.

A Tarryn Bright lob at goal had WP fans excited and with 10 left a sublime piece of skill by Izelle Verster saw team-mate Marlene Nortje come achingly close to putting Blues in front. As the clock ticked down it was survival of the fittest as to which side could put this final to be and the Verster magic set up Jubb but her shot on the turn went wide.

WP won consecutive PCs in the last two minutes and the second was cleared with 23 seconds left, the nail-biting final going into a penalty shootout.

After the regulation five shootout opportunities still hadn’t broken the deadlock the final went into three rounds of sudden-death and Van Zyl of Northern Blues delivered the knockout punch for the Northerns girls in their province’s 5-4 victory.

In the bronze medal match, defending champs Southern Gauteng were comfortable winners, coming away 6-1 victors after leading 2-1 at the break. Sammy Prost was rewarded for her hard running all week with a hat-trick while Southerns’ other goals went to the in-form Investec SA striker Lilian du Plessis – a stunning goal that was arguably the best of the tournament - Shelley Russell and Christine Roos, while North West striker Sulette scored the match’s opening goal.

Southerns coach Garreth Ewing was a happier man than after the disappointing semi-final loss the day before against WP in a match they had dominated. “We spoke about the semi-final’s missed chances and were more efficient in the goalscoring department against North West.

“Lilian du Plessis had a good IPT, she has been threatening on the ball, while my standout player has been captain Lisa Deetlefs, who has had to play out of position at times but adapted well, she had led the team very well and lived up to the high standards she sets herself,” said Ewing.

“As to the other sides, Northern Blues have been tactically very strong and will need to be well-prepped to beat Western Province.

In the fifth/sixth place playoff KZN Coastal Raiders were disappointing while underdogs Border were in inspirational form, the East London girls winning 3-2 after  leading 2-1 at half-time.

Raiders captain Kelly Madsen got on the scoresheet in the 20th minute but a brace from Claire Hobbs and the final nail in the Durbanites’ coffin off the stick of Nicole Meinie did the trick for Border.

Raiders coach Jodax Beaumont summed it up: “The girls didn’t rock up, our basics were very poor, far too many unforced errors; we lacked the intensity of previous games.”

Border coach Bevan Bennett was beaming with pride at the performance of his team: “The girls were superb, we never felt like underdogs for a moment before and during the match. Apart from praising every member of his team for their valued contribution, Bennett reserved special praise for captain and right midfielder Marcelle Manson and centre midfielder and vice-captain Kirsten de Lange.

“Marcelle is an incredible captain, she shoulders responsibility, shares her experience, is selfless, lifts the team on the tougher days and backs her team to the hilt. She is the best captain at IPT, while in her performance and support of Marcelle, Kirsten played the perfect role,” said Bennett.

Manson returned the compliments. “Bevan is so passion ate, so committed, he deserved to be looked at as a possible national coach. We are progressing; we were promoted from the B Section, last year we came sixth and this year fifth. We have guts and determination and to keep on par with the top four we need to work at our skill and the pace of the game, and this is where it’s important that our local league improves, is strengthened, as it is vital we continue to be an A Section province.”

Free State were all over KZN Inland in the B Section final for promotion to the 2015 A Section in place of Eastern Province, who went down to Southern Gauteng Witsies in Saturday’s last-place finishes (seventh and eighth) in the top tier, but a 5-0 lead with 30 minutes left was whittled down to 5-3 by final whistle as the spirited host province fought back. “We’re back in the A Section and that’s what counts,” said Free State coach Braam van Wyk.

Free State scored through Tanya Britz (3), Nicole Kruger and Minjon van Tonder while Inland’s strikes went to Vicky Jonker, Silindile Mbhele and Tiffany Jones.


A Section: (7/8) Southern Gauteng Witsies (1) 2 (Bridget Kee 2) Eastern Province (0) 1 (Kirsty Tonks); (5/6) Border (2) 3 (Claire Hobbs 2, Nicole Meinie ) KZN Coastal Raiders (1) 1 (Kelly Madsen); (3/4) Southern Gauteng (2) 6 (Sammy Prost 3, Sylvia Horstmann, Lilian du Plessis, Shelley Russell, Christine Roos) North West (1) 1 (Sulette Damons); (1/2) Northern Blues 0 (1) (Kim Hubach) Western Province (1) 1 (Farah Fredericks); Northern Blues win 5-4 after penalty shootout.

B Section: (9/10) Mpumalanga 3 SA Country Districts B 3 (Mpumalanga 2-0 on shootout); (7/8) Eastern Gauteng 1 EP Settlers 1 (EG 4-3 on shootout); (5/6) WP Peninsula 4 SACD A 1; (3/4) KZN Mynahs 4 Zimbabwe 1; (1/2) Free State 5 KZN Inland 3).

Top goalscorers – A Section: Lilian du Plessis (Southern Gauteng); B Section: Tanya Britz (Free State).

Most Promising Player at IPT: Jacinta Jubb (Northern Blues).

Player of IPT: Tarryn Bright (WP).

SA Hockey Association media release

Razak Cup: Pahang looking for maiden title..

DEFENDING champions Perak edged hosts Pahang 2-1 at the group stage, so coach K. Yogeswaran is expecting a tough time when both the teams meet in the Razak Cup Division One final in Kuantan today.

But the Division Two final between Terengganu and Armed Forces is almost a foregone conclusion, as the score was a 7-1 win for Terengganu in the pool match.

“We won narrowly in the earlier encounter, and with home ground advantage, I believe Pahang will be the better prepared side in the final,” concluded Perak coach Yogeswaran.

Pahang will be out to create history, as they have never won the Razak Cup Division One title even though the tournament is into its 52nd Edition.

“It would be a great achievement for us to win the title and I believe my players have progressed well after playing a couple of tough matches,” said Pahang coach Izwan Suhardi.

Pahang will bank on former national player Ismail Abu, who played in the World Cup in June to deliver, as he is currently the Division One top-scorer with six goals.

As for Terengganu, another former player Faizal Saari has delivered seven goals, but even if he fails to fins the target today, coach Sarjit Singh has many other capable strikers to win promotion into Division One next season.

TODAY: Division One: Third-Fourth -- Malacca v Kuala Lumpur (4pm, Pitch 1); Final: Perak v Pahang (8pm, Pitch 1).

Division Two: Final: Terengganu v Armed Forces (6pm, Pitch 1).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Introducing Daring, Belgium's new kid on the block

Daring make their EuroHockey League debut this season following a stunning run to third place in the Belgian championship in 2013/14. As such, they are now preparing for their first outing in the premier world club competition, being drawn in round one against Ireland's Monkstown and France's Racing who are both also playing in the competition for the first time.

Geoffroy Cosyns, the Daring captain, says that they are looking forward to meeting the two sides and were pleased to avoid some of the bigger names that could have come their way in the draw.

"We were really happy to avoid East Grinstead which was the strongest side we could have met," he told the EHL website. "I do not know if Monkstown and Racing are the "ideal" opponents because we do not know a lot from these teams.

"On paper, we should be able to beat them but the EHL is a new competition for Daring, and it is not in our style to underestimate opponents.

"Irish and French teams are known to have a never-endless fighting spirit. Therefore we will play these games with a very high concentration and focus from the start. Our preseason focus has been to play foreign teams, to be able to compete against other types of play than the Belgian style. I think this is really important to perform well in the EHL."

His club is one with a strong family-based influence combined with a Latin-infusion with players from Spain and Argentina. Geoffroy is joined in the team by his brother Tanguy - a Belgian international - while his father Gérald is the club president who played with the first team in the past.

"As a family, we invest a lot of effort and time for the club. Daring is clearly a family affair; a lot of members have joined together to help the club become what it is now. That is really appreciated by our Latin players.

"When we reached the Honour division four years ago, some Spanish and Argentinian players joined the team and, thanks to the Daring atmosphere, they quickly found their place here. Daring is really their second home and that's why, I think, we have succeeded to build a really strong team in a few years with Belgian and foreign players."

There has been a few changes to the panel that got the side to this point with Juane Garretta moving to Servette in Geneva, Spaniard Javi Garcia and Argentine Juan Saladino have moved on while Gilles Vanderschelde has retired.

In their stead, they have welcomed five new players to have a squad of 23 players with Alaric Dekelver and Maxime Saussez (from Uccle Sport), Tom Beirnaert and Julien Louis (from Pingouin), Theophile Ponthieu (from France) and Inaki Alvares (from Argentina) coming in.

"Because the team has not changed a lot, we can build on what has been done last year. The key players like Manuel Brunet, Sergi Enrique and Tanguy are sharing their international experience, which pushes the team up."

They have had some impressive preseason results to date, beating Bloemendaal, Oranje Zwart, English side Canterbury and Uhlenhorst Mulheim in the last few weeks.

But Geoffroy says his side remains grounded in anticipation of when the real business gets underway in October in Barcelona.

"It is really important to compete against these top-teams to know how we can improve our level. We made great results, yes, but that was not the first goal. We gained some good experience against foreign teams before starting the EHL, and more importantly, before starting the Belgian championship where we would like to finish in the top 4.

"We won't get ahead of ourselves. We would like first to qualify for the second round. And, if we are, we will see the new draw. It is a new competition for most of the players, so we will prepare it seriously to go as far as possible."

Euro Hockey League media release

Witte back in the UHC Hamburg fold

While other star men like Jan-Marco Montag, Matthias Witthaus and Carlos Nevado are dropping down the divisions in the German league, another 2008 Olympic champion Philip Witte is moving back up for a second spell with the club.

Witte previously won the EuroHockey League with UHC Hamburg but returned to his boyhood club Großflottbeker in the northern section of the Bundesliga's second division for the past few seasons.

Now 30, he is hungry for more hockey at the top level, telling hockeyliga.de this week "the desire to play in the Bundesliga was too big".

"It was a decision I thought about for a long time, to stay with GTHGC and to help the young team to develop in the second division. But, in the end, the desire to play in the Bundesliga was still greater."

Having already played with UHC, he does not anticipate it being a tricky transition to settle back into the setup.

"I know many of the guys from before or from the national team. There are some new young players but, overall, it was easy to integrate here again. So far, it has been a lot of fun."

Euro Hockey League media release

Thank you Ric...

Friends & colleagues gather to say "thank you" to Charlesworth

Words by Claire Middleton

Ric Charlesworth was applauded into retirement - or "redirection", as he preferred it to be termed - with a celebratory lunch hosted by Hockey Australia in Perth on Friday.

The Kookaburras coach, who called it a day following the World Cup win in June, was saluted by a parade of current and former players and staff. Hockey Australia board member, and former Defence Minister, Stephen Smith paid tribute to "a remarkable individual with a raw sense of social justice", while a message from Federal Sports Minister Peter Dutton lauded "a career without peer".

Indeed, a recurring theme from those Charlesworth had coached was the influence he had on them in life, as much as the inspiration he had provided on the pitch.

However, not all the reminiscences were complimentary. "He was an absolute a-hole," said Claire Mitchell-Taverner, a gold-medal-winning Hockeyroo from the Sydney Olympics. "I remember being new in Perth and a long way off the mark - and it was kind of him to tell me that. But I know that the hard conversations are usually the ones that are the most benefit to the athlete and the thing about Ric was he was always completely honest."

Her team-mate Clover Maitland paid tribute to Charlesworth's work ethic. "No matter how hard it seemed to get for us as players, I knew he was doing double the work we were behind the scenes."

Simon Orchard said Charlesworth had been more than a coach. "I came to Perth, had no family with me so he has been like a father figure. I have had a fantastic six years with the Kookaburras and most of that is due to him."

Charlesworth himself used his final address to defend his fashion choices and reflect on his time in the sport.

"I don't see myself as retiring from life but the time for me as coach is done," he said. "I'm looking forward to having time with those who are really important to me. I will continue to watch hockey closely and I'm sure I will stay involved at some level."

He was presented with a variety of gifts, including a spoof cheque and an assortment of gardening tools, from DIY emporium Bunnings, suggesting he will be turning from coach to handyman.

Kookaburra Glenn Simpson summed up the feelings in the room, and probably for the sport in general.

"I am really thankful that Ric and I crossed paths. It is going to be an exciting, but scary time ahead."

Hockey Australia media release

Oltmans writes to SAI on 'dangerous' condition of turfs at NIS

NEW DELHI: Barely a month left for the Asian Games, Hockey India High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans has written to the Sports Authority of India about the artificial turfs at NIS Patiala being in a "dangerous" condition and will affect the preparation of the women's team for the mega event in South Korea.

In a letter dated August 16, 2014, Oltmans said that the senior women's team coach Neil Hawgood had made a request to shift the training from NIS to another location in view of the poor condition of the pitch.

"Last week I received the request from Mr Neil Hawgood, Head Coach of the Senior Women team to move to another training location. The pitch in Patiala is dangerous, not well maintained which will affect the preparation of the women's team for the Asian Games," Oltmans wrote in the letter.

He further wrote in the letter that besides NIS Patiala, the other turfs in Bhopal and Bangalore SAI centres were also in a poor condition and not suitable for training of national teams. Oltmans said only the turf in New Delhi was good enough for training, though the capital city has other issues.

"We left the training center in Bangalore more than one year ago and still no action for replacement of the turfs has taken place. In November 2013, Mr Rocky Diaz at that time Regional Director in Bhopal has submitted a request to replace an artificial turf at the SAI centre in Bhopal.

"We all would like to see more improvement in the performance of the national teams. To achieve this, basic facilities should be at the same level as the facilities of our competitors or even better.

"Actually, the only center where the turf is sufficient is Delhi, but it has other difficulties. In the women sector we are not able to train both seniors and juniors at the same location. It is highly recommended from my side to discuss this issue in the interest of performance improvement of your national game," Oltmans said in a letter.

HI secretary general Narinder Batra said that the turfs at Patiala and Bangalore were required to be replaced in 2012 while the one in Bhopal should have been done in 2013.

"Till date SAI and GOI MYAS officials are sleeping over it," Batra said.

He was critical of Delhi being used as the only venue for men team's training in recent times.

"The men's team is in Delhi practicing in 45°C and in Delhi, the team wastes upto 3 to 4 hours every day on travelling by bus from place of stay to stadium and from place of stay to swimming pool. In all other centers, everything is centralised.

"Only one venue now available in whole of India for both men and women to train and practice for tournaments and international events in India is only, only, only Delhi," he added.

The Times of India

Craigs Investment Partners Gala Dinner a $52k success for NZ juniors

Thanks to the generosity of the hockey and business community, a grand total of $52,000 was raised from the Craigs Investment Partners Gala Dinner last week with all the proceeds going directly to the national Junior Black Sticks programme.

Held at The Langham Hotel and hosted by Radio Sport’s Rikki Swannell and former Black Stick Ben Collier, the entertaining evening run by the Hockey Foundation included live auctions as well as the Player and Umpire of the Year Awards.

“It’s the second year that the Hockey Foundation has hosted the dinner and the support and generosity from those in the hockey community and corporate sector is overwhelming. This will help us develop a programme that prepares New Zealand’s young players to take on the best in the world,” said Hockey New Zealand chief executive Malcolm Harris.

“To Craigs Investment Partners for being the naming rights sponsors, and to all of those who donated items and placed bids on them - you have helped New Zealand’s young talent reach their goals,” said Harris.

Other sponsors that made the evening a success were Business World Travel, Sileni and Fuji Xerox.

There were 240 in attendance at the dinner including The Mayor Len Brown, donors and trustees of the Hockey Foundation, Hockey New Zealand Board members, life members, Hockey New Zealand sponsors and past and present Black Sticks.

Throughout the evening guests were entertained by talented singer/songwriters Jacob O’Callaghan and Khona Va’aga-Gray from Play it Strange as well as insightful interviews from Black Sticks coaches Colin Batch and Mark Hager and awardees Kayla Whitelock and Dean Couzins.

Items were generously donated by Beko, Ford, Breville, Black Barn Winery, Navigate Seaside Hotel, Haier, Cape Kidnappers Golf Club, Executive Travel, Chava Resort, Air New Zealand, Rydges Queenstown, Over the Top Golf and The Langham. We also want to thank the following people who gifted items – Luciana Aymar, Kevin Towns, Honor and Dan Carter, Mandy and Dean Barker.

To read about the winners and watch their videos click here.

The Junior Black Sticks programme is a key component of Hockey New Zealand’s high performance programme. It includes training and development camps, coaching and individualized programmes and international competition.

The Hockey Foundation – a charitable trust set up to support the growth and development of hockey in New Zealand – is consistently working on fundraising projects to assist talented hockey athletes get the opportunities they need to compete at the highest level.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

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