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News 27 August 2014

All the news for Wednesday 27 August 2014

China become first Hockey5s Youth Olympic Champions

Netherlands take silver, Argentina take bronze

China celebrate gold after the deciding challenge shoot-out (Photo: Xinhua/Song Zhenping (ljr))

On the final day of the women’s competition in Nanjing, the Chinese hosts claimed the gold medal in dramatic fashion.

Three goals in the first period plus one more in the 16th minute gave China a four goal lead by the middle of the match. The Dutch women were far from defeated however, and revolted in impressive manner against their seemingly impending demise, sinking five goals in eight minutes. China suddenly found themselves on the backfoot, but driven by the electric atmosphere in the stadium, the home team forced the match into a shoot-out with a late equalizer.

In the shoot-out, Liu Kailin denied Carmen Wijsman, and China’s topscorer Zhang Jinrong made good use of the opportunity to seize the win, sinking the decisive ball.

Previously, Argentina had left Japan without a chance in the bronze medal match, with the women’s topscorer Julieta Jankunas adding a hattrick to her impressive tally for a total of 19 goals in the event.

The match for 5th place saw a breathtaking battle between Uruguay and New Zealand that oscillated back and forth with the Kiwis eventually a step ahead when the final whistle sounded.

An easy victory over South Africa secured 7th place for Germany.



7/8th place: Germany – South Africa 6:1 (2:1; 5:1)
5/6th place: Uruguay – New Zealand 4:5 (1:1; 1:2)
3rd/4th place: Argentina – Japan 5:2 (0:0; 3:0)
Final: Netherlands – China 5:5 (0:3; 2:4) – Challenge Shoot-out: 2:3

Final Ranking


1. China
2. Netherlands
3. Argentina
4. Japan
5. New Zealand
6. Uruguay
7. Germany
8. South Africa
9. Zambia
10. Fiji

FIH site

Chinese break Dutch hearts to win hockey gold in dramatic shoot-out


China won the women’s hockey’s gold medal by beating the Netherlands in a shoot-out after an incredible match at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Sports Park on 26 August.

Having surged into a 4-0 lead, the Chinese were overhauled by a rampant Dutch fightback and trailed 5-4, before the hosts levelled the scores at 5-5 near the end of regular time.

After a miss by the Netherlands' second shooter Carmen Wijsman, China’s Zhang Jinrong calmly added to her two regular-time goals to send the capacity crowd into a frenzy, and the Dutch camp into stunned disbelief.

Team China stands united before the hockey5s gold medal match

“It’s been life or death for our team all week and tonight was no different,” said China captain, Tu Yidan, after her side had won 3-2 in the shoot-out.

“The gold medal is something we’ve all trained for as a team and something we’d all give anything for.

“We were really calm [going into the shoot-out] and we were ready because it’s something we practise a lot in training, so it was very familiar to us.”

Somewhat ominously for their rivals, China’s hockey success in Nanjing appears to be only the beginning of a long-term plan.

“The Youth Olympic Games is something we’ve all been practising for for a long time and the next step for us is to get together properly as the national team,” Tu said.

“We already live together, we eat together, we play hockey together and we have a good future together.”

China coach Guo Xudong (CHN) shares the captain’s vision. “This is just a step on a long road for us,” he said. “We showed tonight that we can match any opposition.”

The gold medal decider had more ebbs and flows and twists and turns than the Yangtze River which runs next to the hockey venue.

The pre-tournament favourites, the Netherlands had conceded only three goals in the competition but had given away more than that number by the 16-minute mark with China goals from Lijia Zhang, Tu and a double from shoot-out star Zhang Jinrong.

The Dutch looked shaken but fought back spectacularly by scoring five goals in an explosive eight minutes.

But the tide had not completely turned and when Zhang Xindan (CHN) broke a 14-minute China goal drought to score the equaliser with five minutes on the clock, it was game on yet again.

Netherlands captain Elin Van Erk said her team will regret their slow start for some time, although she admitted China’s intensity in the first period was not unexpected.

“We knew China were really strong and focused and it didn’t really surprise us when they came out so hard in the beginning,” she said.

“It wasn’t good when we were three-nil behind, that was actually really sad, but we decided we needed to fight and get back in the game.”

Senior hockey teams from China and the Netherlands win medals consistently at World Cup, Champions Trophy and Olympic Games hockey competitions and both nations have well-established junior development programmes.

Van Erk acknowledged China’s growing emergence as a hockey power.

“China can play really good hockey,” she said. “We never give up though.”

The bronze medal was claimed by Argentina with a 5-2 win over Japan.


Women’s Hockey5’s fifth at Youth Olympics

The New Zealand Women’s Hockey5’s have won 5-4 in a tightly contested game against Uruguay to finish in fifth place at the Nanjing Youth Olympics.

Kiwi Casey-Mae Waddell knocked home the winning goal in the 33rd minute after it was all tied up 4-4 in the final third.

It was a big turn-around from the Kiwis pool play match up against Uruguay, where New Zealand lost 3-6. 

In last night’s game, Ella Hyatt-Brown scored in the first third, equalising an earlier goal, before Waddell added one more in the second third to give New Zealand a 2-1 lead.

All the action came in the final spell with Kiwis Tayla White and Amy Robinson leading the charge before Uruguay added two goals within one minute to make it 4-4. 

Waddell scored her second goal of the game in the 33rd minute ultimately giving Kiwis the win and a fifth place finish. 

“The girls were fantastic, it was a really good game. Good goals, really consistent performance, the errors we did make we corrected quickly and didn’t make again, just really pleasing to come away with a win in our final game of the tournament,” said coach Caryn Paewai from Nanjing.

Paewai said the team tactics changed from their earlier match up where they targeted individual players, she said today’s attacking strategy was a much smarter approach.

“My message to them before they went out was that this would likely be the last game they would play together, so to have fun and play with confidence. Lots of players stood up today – it was a really well disciplined performance.”

Host nation China won gold, with Netherlands taking the silver and Argentina beating Japan for the bronze.

The team will now support other Kiwi athletes including the New Zealand Men’s Hockey5’s when they take on Pakistan for fifth position at 9.30pm tonight (NZT) before returning to New Zealand.

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

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

Youth Olympics hockey final to be streamed live online

Highlights available for Canada's semifinal victory over Spain

The 2014 Youth Olymic Games Hockey 5s final between Canada and Australia will be streamed live online at http://Olympic.tv on Wednesday morning at 5:30amPST/8:30amPST.

The game will also be available to watch on-demand at the same website after its completion.

Friends, family and fans are encouraged to tune in and support our Canadian Under-18 men as they go for Olympic gold!

Live updates will also be available at twitter.com/FieldHockeyCAN

There are also free iOS and Android apps called Olympic TV available for download and the game will be streamed live there as well.

Field Hockey Canada media release

HWL R1 Preview: Egypt men favourites for glory in Nairobi

Road to Rio: Hockey World League R1 - Men - Nairobi (KEN)

(Photo: Kenya Hockey Facebook Page. )

The Hockey World League, the tournament that makes the dream of reaching the Rio 2016 Olympic Games a possibility for every hockey playing nation, returns to action this September. In the second of our Round 1 event previews, we take a look at the men’s competition that takes place in Nairobi where Egypt (FIH World Ranking: 22), Ghana (WR: 42), Tanzania (unranked) and host nation Kenya (WR: 39) will fight it out in a bid to reach Round 2. 

If the FIH World Rankings are anything to go by, Egypt will certainly be the team to beat in Nairobi. The Egyptians - who have finished as runners up to South Africa in each of the last five Africa Cup for Nations Continental Championship tournaments - are ranked 17 places higher than nearest rivals Kenya and have form in the HWL, winning the Round 1 event that took place in Accra in September 2012 during the inaugural season.

Egypt’s strongest challenge is expected to come from host nation Kenya (pictured), who were Bronze medallists at the 2013 Africa Cup for Nations. They will be determined to make home advantage count against their higher ranked opponents, and their narrow 3-2 defeat to Egypt in the Africa Cup for Nations suggests that they are more than capable of doing so. 

Ghana also ran Egypt close in that competition before losing 4-3, providing plenty of evidence that this event is far from being a forgone conclusion. Tanzania are currently unranked and remain something of an unknown quantity, but you can be sure that they will be giving absolutely everything in a bid to make their mark on the Hockey World League. The event will be a key moment in Tanzania's hockey development following their involvement in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

Nairobi will also play host to a women’s Round 1 event from 5-7 September featuring Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania.

You can keep track of the results from Nairobi on the official tournament website, with FIH.CH bringing a full summary of the action upon the completion of the event.

The second edition of the Hockey World League got underway earlier this year, with the women’s teams of Malaysia and Belarus emerging triumphant at respective Round 1 events in Singapore and Lithuania before Russia men stormed to victory in Croatia last month.

The September return will see no fewer than nine different Round 1 tournaments will take place over 13 action-packed days, with Czech Republic, Kenya, Bangladesh, Oman and Mexico playing host to the various men’s and women’s events. The remaining Round 1 competitions will be played in Jamaica (30 September - 5 October 2014) and Fiji (6-13 December 2014), both of which will feature men’s and women’s tournaments.

The winning team at each event is guaranteed a place in Round 2 of the Hockey World League, where they will be joined by a number of the highest-placed finishers from the Round 1 tournaments. Round 2 will also see the introduction of the teams placed from 12 to 19 in the FIH World Rankings with the sides ranked 1 to 11 starting their journey in Round 3, where tickets for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as well as qualification for the Finals tournament are up for grabs. 

FIH site

Tremendous Heat and Excitement Takeover U.S. Men’s National Team Pitch on the West Coast

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The excitement meter hit its breaking point at the Olympic Training Center in California today when the U. S. Men’s National Team met Argentina on the pitch for their third match of the summer series. Although hammering hard to cage and closing the goal deficit from matches prior, the United States were edged out by Argentina with a final score of 3-5. 

After some open exchanges for both teams, Argentina converted their second corner low into the USA goal. Unperturbed, the United States sent an equalizer shot in the 12th minute by Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.) who flicked a rocket into the Argentine goal.

This quick action set developed the tone for the remainder of the game. Both teams were looking for every opportunity to take the match into their attack half however neither team was willing to budge an inch. Argentina scored on a broken corner in the 24th minute and on a deflection in the 34th minute holding the advantage eight shots to five at the half with a 3-1 lead.

The second half was again an end-to-end battle which USA took advantage of in the second half scoring a flick through William Holt (Camarillo, Calif.) in the 46th minute to take the score to 3-2. Argentina scored on a penalty corner in the 51st minute after some good build up play. The red, white and blue took the ball back to the 50 yard line and without it being touched by an Argentine player Tom McCarthy (East Windsor, Conn.) carefully slotted the ball past the goalkeeper 20 seconds later. Although the heat was beginning to hit sweltering temperatures, both teams were resilient in their attacking and defensive play with a goal scored in the final seconds by Argentina with a backhand closing the game at USA 3, Argentina 5.

USA goalkeepers Chris Rea (San Diego, Calif.) and Spencer Reed (Ventura, Calif.) split time in the cage adding to the outstanding effort by all players on the pitch.

“I am pleased at the depth in our squad with the group playing so well,” said Head Coach Chris Clements. “We are gaining confidence with every match and being rewarded for our efforts. To play a side this good we must understand that the smallest of differences can change results either way in a match like today . With our improvements in all areas we must continue to keep stepping up to the challenge ahead and tomorrow is another day which I know our players cannot wait to represent the USA with great pride.”

Team USA will face Argentina again on Wednesday, August 27 at 10:45 a.m. PST. In their first match against Argentina, the U.S. gave a strong performance, but was unable to totally shut down the Argentina offense and walked away with a 1-4 loss. The second match proved to be another epic battle but resulted in a second victory for Argentina with a score of 1-4.

For more information and live match updates, stay tuned to usafiedhockey.com and follow @USAFieldHockey on Twitter.

USFHA media release

AUS go down in game 8

Women's development tour squad suffer comeback defeat

The Australian women's development squad went down 2-1 in their latest tour match in Japan. Australia began their eighth match of the tour with a high intensity, winning a penalty corner in the opening play and taking the lead through Georgina Morgan's drag flick, but it wasn't to last.

Australia A found it difficult to control the aggressive counter attacking style of the Japanese, conceding twice. Despite creating a number of chances to even the score in the final quarter, the girls in green and gold were not able to capitalise.

Australian Women's Development Squad - Tour to China and Japan

Match 3 v Coca-Cola West Red Sparks
Hiroshima, JPN

Australia 1
Georgina Morgan 2 (PC)

Coca-Cola West Red Sparks 2

Remaining matches
27 August: Match 4 v Japan (10:45 local time)
29 August: Match 5 v Japan (15:00 local time)
30 August: Match 6 v Japan (15 :00 local time)

Hockey Australia media release

2015 Men's World League Round 2 to be Hosted in California

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - The FIH Men’s World League Round 2 (WLR2) to be held from February 25 to March 8, 2015 will be hosted at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Chula Vista, Calif. This leg of the World League had been slated to be hosted at Lancaster, Pa. but due to scheduling conflicts, will take place at the OTC in Chula Vista.  This venue most recently hosted the FIH Men’s Word League Round 1 event in November 2012 where Team USA qualified with victories over Mexico and Guatemala.The top three teams of this tournament will earn a coveted spot at World League Round 3.

"We are excited to have the WLR2 in our back yard," said Head Coach Chris Clements. "We are looking forward to hosting some quality teams and the competition will be stiff to get to Round 3. Hosting this event is a privilege and for our players to play in front of a home crowd is always an advantage. The ability for us to showcase our Men's National Team with an FIH event is fantastic for USA Field Hockey and the men's program."

Already qualified for the tournament in San Diego are Team USA, Canada and Ireland. The additional five qualifiers will be confirmed at the end of World League Round 1 in early October 2014.

“To host an international event of this level demonstrates how much our men’s program has improved," said Executive Director Steve Locke. "Clearly, the FIH, our international federation, sees that the men’s program is providing a significant level of competition at the highest level of international play

USA Field Hockey is seeking local, enthusiastic volunteers to assist with the tournament! If interested, contact Emily Thomas This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Full tournament information can be found on the FIH website.

USFHA media release

WP 2nd stringers hold KZN Raiders on day 1 of Greenfields Men's IPT in Durban

JONATHAN COOK at Queensmead

Lee Prinsloo (left) of Border rushes to congratulate hat-trick hero Jason van Zyl in the 5-5 thriller against KZN Coastal Robins at the Greenfields Men's Interprovincial in Durban Tuesday. Photo: GAVIN NEL

The surprise of day one at the Greenfields Men's Interprovincial on Queensmead in Durban Tuesday was the 1-1 draw between fancied hosts KZN Coastal Raiders and Western Province’s second stringers, WP Peninsula (Pens).

The elite A Section's late game saw Raiders lead 1-0 at half-time, scoring as early as the fourth minute through a Justin Domleo goal via the penalty corner route while SA U21 Junior World Cup player Marc Fourie dashed the home crowd's hopes with a penalty corner equaliser four minutes from the end (66th).

Pens player/coach Steve Evans, the Athens 2004 Olympian, was a satisfied man. "We set out with the goal of getting at least a point and were able to do that by keeping a close watch on their standout players and making the most of the chances that came our way," said Evans.

Raiders left the shooting boots at home but it must be said that Pens’ defence were dogged in their determination to keep the fancied Durban side at bay.

Champions Tuffy Western Province were full value for their 4-1 victory over a very defensive Southern Gauteng Wits with striker Matt Botha netting a memorable hat-trick, including a magnificent reverse-stick field goal, while the incisive running upfront of SA striker Lloyd Norris-Jones was also a feature.

Botha's goals came in the 20th, 57th and 67th minutes with the opening strike coming from a superbly crafted team goal finished off by Wade Paton. Wits captain Nic Gonsalves scored his side's goal in the 41st minute.

"It's not easy to judge how to settle on the correct pace to play at, we switched it around from fast to slower with varying degrees of success, but at the end of the day we got the three points which sets us up nicely for the Northerns Blues match at 2.30pm Wednesday," said WP coach Pierre le Roux.

The draw with Pens puts a bit of pressure on Raiders as they go into Wednesday’s 4.30pm clash with the Southern Gauteng team which boasts 13 players who have worn the green and gold.

Southerns were too good for rank underdogs KZN Inland, a match in which many felt the score would reach double figures, but coach Jock Coombes’s PMB-based side played with remarkable determination.

Brandon Panther was superb for Southerns, getting a stunning goal amongst his two successful strikes, while Jethro Eustice, Gareth Heyns and James du Plessis also got on the scoresheet for the 2012 champions.

Northern Blues and Eastern Province were involved in a controversial 1-1 draw, with EP captain Lyall Meyer netting what looked to be the winner from the penalty spot, but the strike was disallowed and the Port Elizabeth-based team had to be content with Keith Daniell’s magnificent goal while Northerns vice-captain Mark Holliday equalised seven minutes from the end.

A Section: Southern Gauteng 5 KZN Inland 0; Tuffy Western Province 4 South Gauteng Wits 1; Eastern Province 1 Northern Blues 1; KZN Coastal Raiders 1 WP Peninsula 1.
B Section: Free State 3 SA Country Districts 0; North West 4 EP Settlers 1; Border 5 KZN Coastal Robins 5; KZN Coastal Mynahs 11 Namibia 1.

SA Hockey Association media release

Capital’s O’Callaghan fired up for Ford NHL

Pictured: Katarina O'Callaghan, courtesy www.photosport.co.nz

Capital’s 2013 leading goal scorer is hoping to help her side go one step further in this year’s Ford National Hockey League.

Striker Katarina O’Callaghan finished second overall on the top scorers list last year with seven goals, behind Renee Ashton of Midlands (10 goals).

The 22-year-old is part of a rejuvenated Capital Women’s side keen to atone after finishing on a sour note in last year’s final where they were dominated 5-0 by Midlands.

O’Callaghan, who is currently in the New Zealand Development Squad, will once again lead her side from up front.

She is joined by National Squad members Anita Punt and Aniwaka Roberts, along with international guest players Georgie Morgan (Australia) and Frederique de Klijn (Netherlands).

“Getting finals experience was really beneficial. We didn’t play our best hockey in the final last year and you always want to come back and do better,” O’Callaghan said.

“For now it is just about focussing on the round robin games and getting the points we need to make top four - after that anything can happen.

“The team has a few new and young players this year so it will be great to see how they step up to the NHL level.

“We are really lucky to have Anita Punt who have decided to play, she has been in top form for the Black Sticks and it will be great to have her experience, speed and goal scoring ability.”

This year’s NHL will see the introduction of four 15 minute quarters, rather than the traditional two 35 minute halves to align with the new International Hockey Federation (FIH) format.

The action gets underway this weekend with Rounds 1 & 2 taking place around the country before tournament week at North Harbour Hockey Stadium from 6-14 September.

CLICK HERE for more on the 2014 Ford NHL

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Permanent video tower on hockey turf a first


ON THE WAY UP: Hockey Manawatu’s video tower takes shape. GEORGE HEAGNEY

Palmerston North can boast having the first permanent video tower in the country on a hockey turf.

The $50,000 tower was being erected this week by C & R Engineering on turf 2 at The Esplanade end of Fitzherbert Park.

C & R's Craig Turner, whose company built the structure, said other venues in the country have had only temporary towers.

"We are pioneering," he said. "We had discussions with technical guys from Hockey New Zealand."

It is close to a vested interest for Turner, who is also the High School Hockey Club A team coach and plays third-division hockey.

Designed by another Palmerston North company, Silvester Clark, the tower is 9.8 metres high. Because it exceeded 9 metres, a special resource consent was required from the Palmerston North City Council and that delayed the project.

The tower had to be high enough to project above the turf fencing.

The stairs were being fitted yesterday and they would be fully security-fenced with "spiky bits".

The fully enclosed tower can easily fit four people side by side with room for more, as well as two cameras and two laptop computers.

As Hockey Manawatu board member Perry Kingsbeer pointed out, there will now be complete coverage of the turf, including the lower tower on top of the umpires' dugout to the side of the turf.

"Video analysis is the thing these days," Kingsbeer said.

It is becoming obligatory if venues want to host test matches.

The tower is part of a $100,000 project which will include two electronic scoreboards. They were damaged en route to Auckland, have since been repaired and should be in place within the next few weeks.

Umpires will be able to operate them from the turfs by remote control.

They will be in place for the two Black Sticks women's tests against the United States on October 21 and 23.

The add-ons are taking Manawatu close to being a tier-one international venue, aside from seating. That is something Turner would next like to address.


Hockey’s sickbed

When a group of disgruntled ex-stalwarts decided to bury the hatchet with the country’s hockey chiefs and joined the Pakistan Hockey Federation earlier this year, hopes were rekindled about the national sport’s possible revival. But several months later, Pakistan hockey remains on the sickbed. Following what seemed like a game-changing patch-up between PHF bosses and a group of former Olympians, Shehnaz Sheikh took over as Pakistan’s head coach while Islahuddin Siddiqui became the chief selector. The duo and other support staff are yet to make their presence felt as Pakistan hasn’t featured in any international event since their arrival at the helm. The Green-shirts missed out on the opportunity of featuring in this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow because of infighting within the Pakistan Olympic Association. They will, however, take part in the Asian Games to be held in the South Korean city of Incheon from September 19 to October 4.

Pakistan is the defending champion and needs to retain the gold medal to win a direct berth to Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. But it appears to be an uphill task as the Pakistanis have so far failed to do the required homework. There have been a series of preparatory camps and the players continue to train for the Incheon assignment. But coaches and other officials have been bemoaning a lack of match practice for the players in the lead up to the Asiad. The PHF has been trying to line up a tour of Europe but has so far failed to confirm it due to lack of funds. The federation sought a government grant of Rs500 million but it hasn’t been released yet. The crisis is, however, of the PHF’s own making. In recent years, it has consumed hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money with precious little to show for it. Pakistan has suffered some of its worst setbacks in hockey history even as the PHF spent huge funds on various training and development projects. The government’s reluctance to release more funds is therefore understandable. Due to its past track record, there are little or no guarantees that the PHF will be able justify any more grants. It has in the past consumed big chunks of the funds on foreign tours especially to expensive destinations. Its future plans include more such tours. That is unacceptable. Hockey cannot be allowed this island of privilege at a time when other sports, except cricket, are experiencing tough times in the face of financial crises. The PHF will need to show progress if it wants big funds to keep coming. It will have to first deserve and then desire.

The News International

Oltmans to conduct clinic for hockey coaches

NEW DELHI: To keep coaches up-to-date and in line with the latest information and developments in international hockey, the Indian team's high performance director, Roelant Oltmans, will conduct a one-day high performance coaching clinic with around 30 coaches at Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex in Rohtak Aug 27.

The clinic will be organised by Hockey Haryana in association with Hockey India (HI).

HI has started this initiative with the aim that the coaches learn and implement their learning through these sessions in their day-to-day coaching of players at grassroot level.

"The clinic is extremely important as hockey is in a phase where new techniques are being introduced almost on a daily basis by all international teams. Hence, there was this realisation that the coaches who are involved in the development of the game as well as the players at grassroot level are aware of these changes which will be further utilised in sharpening their skills as coaches and implementing the changes in gameplay," Oltmans said.

"With this initiative, we are hopeful that we will start making the youngsters learn the game in line with international standards."

Oltmans will share with the coaches the advancements in the game and how to prepare youngsters, keeping the evolving high speed game in mind. Oltmans will show videos relating to coaching and preparations.

Apart from this, he will even show videos of international matches which will help the coaches understand how to build on the strategies as well as better the team coordination on the field.

The Times of India

Punjab to observe Sports day in commemoration of Dhayan Chand

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Education Department will observe 'National Sports Day' in commemoration of legendry hockey player Major Dhayan Chand on August 29 at Surjit Hockey Stadium in Jalandhar.

Disclosing this here today, an official spokesman said that the department is already celebrating sports week from August 25 to August 30 in this regard.

He said that this week-long celebration would culminate on August 29 with a state level function.

He said that hockey Olympian Pargat Singh would throw light on the contributions of Dhayan Chand to the game.

The Education department would distribute free sports kits to the sports persons, he said adding that on this occasion girls' hockey exhibition match would also be played.

Punjab has constructed 14 state of the art sport stadium in the state whereas 10 National level players have been inducted in the police department as DSPs, the spokesman said.

The Times of India

Shot in the arm for Sultan of Johor Cup

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: The fourth edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup, schedule to be held at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium from Oct 12-19, has been given a whopping RM1.7mil sponsorship boost.

The sponsorship pledges were handed over to the Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim in the presence of Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin during the official launch for the Under-21 tournament yesterday.

Johor Hockey Association deputy president Manjit Majid Abdullah said that many teams were now eager to take part in the tournament.

“But we had to limit the entry to only six teams as we want the tournament to be played at the highest standard possible,” said Manjit.

India will be back to defend their title, alongside Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Malaysia and debutants Britain.

The National Juniors will be going for a seven-match playing tour of Northern Ireland in preparation for the Sultan of Johor Cup.

National Juniors team manager Mirnawan Nawawi said that the matches in Belfast, scheduled from Sept 14-27, will be the platform for the 20 players to prove themselves and earn places for tournament in Johor.

“We don’t have enough time to prepare the squad for the tournament in Johor because the boys were busy with the Division One of the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) early this year and the Razak Cup in Kuantan, which ended on Sunday.

“So the seven matches in Belfast will be vital for the coaches (Mohd Amin Rahim and Jivan Mohan) to gauge the players’ strength and weaknesses,” said Mirnawan.

The final squad of 18 players will be named on Sept 27.

Mirnawan, however, had made it clear that they have not set the team any targets for the Sultan of Johor Cup.

Malaysia won the inaugural Sultan of Johor Cup in 2011 and finished last in 2012. Last year, they finished runners-up.

The Sultan of Johor Cup is part of the team’s preparation for next year’s Junior Asia Cup, which is the qualifying tournament for 2016 Junior World Cup in New Delhi.

The Star of Malaysia

‘Several candidates for top MHC post’

By Jassmine Shadiqe

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said he has decided to let someone else take over his post but added that the decision is not “carved in stone”.

“The decision to hand over the MHC presidency to a reliable official is for the betterment of the sport, as I am getting old. It is not that I am abandoning them,” he said yesterday.

“There are several candidates (for the MHC president’s post),” added Tengku Abdullah, who refrained from naming them.

“There are no grudges, unhappiness or dissatisfaction in MHC or with anyone. It is just about injecting new blood, getting someone young and reliable with deep pockets to provide new ideas and energy to the sport,” said Tengku Abdullah during the Sultan Johor Cup sponsorship pledge at a hotel in Johor Baru yesterday. Also present at the sponsorship pledge was Tunku Mahkota Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

Tengku Abdullah clarified that there were no closed door meetings between him and Tunku Ismail on the handing over of the MHC presidency to the Johor crown prince.

“Yes, we met, but it was football-related. Tunku Ismail (who is the Johor FA president) is a reliable candidate with deep pockets. Yes, but there were no discussion or agreement to make him MHC president,” he said.

Tunku Ismail said he has no interest in taking up the MHC presidency.

“I am not passionate about hockey... my passion is football, and I am totally focused to make Johor football among the country’s best. We (Johor FA) are also big in the development of football in the state.”

Tunku Ismail also echoed Tengku Abdullah’s words, saying that the latter never offered him the MHC top post, nor was there any discussion about it.

The fourth Sultan Johor Cup will be held on Oct 12-19 at the Johor Hockey Stadium in Taman Daya. The six nations competing are defending champions India, England, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand and Malaysia.

The tournament received RM1,710,000 in sponsorship.

Among the sponsors are Johor State government, Astaka Padu, Johor Corporation, JBB Builder, Astro, UniKL, DRB Hicom, National Sports Council, Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, Genting Berhad, UM Land, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Iskandar Waterfront Sdn Bhd, Atlan Holdings Berhad, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd and BCB Berhad.

New Straits Times

Where are they now?

Ten years on, we look at those that won Australia's first men's Olympic gold

Ten years ago to the day that the Australian men’s hockey team made Aussie sporting history in Athens, Hockey Australia takes a look at those who helped win the country’s first men's Olympic gold medal and asks “where are they now?”.

On six previous occasions the Australian men had returned from the sport’s biggest stage with a medal, but they had never stood of the top step of the rostrum. After a bronze medal on home turf four years earlier Australia arrived in Athens with one aim: gold. As many of the athletes and staff will allude to over the coming three-part series, their preparation was key to earning them the sport’s ultimate prize.

In Athens, the men in green and gold progressed to the semi-finals from second place in Pool B, a point ahead of New Zealand and five behind future-finalists, the Netherlands. Wins over New Zealand, India and South Africa, a draw against Argentina and defeat to the Netherlands saw Australia finish with ten points before a crushing 6-3 semi-final win over Spain set up a re-match with the Dutch, who narrowly beat then-World Champions Germany in the other semi-final.

After going behind to Ronald Brouwer’s goal shortly before half time in the final, Australia came out of the blocks with gusto in the second half as Travis Brooks fired them level within two minutes of the re-start. Locked at 1-1 at full time but with Australia in the ascendancy, the match went to golden goal extra time. Just eight minutes into the extra period Jamie Dwyer announced himself to the world with the golden goal winner that would finally see the Australian men join their female counterparts as an Olympic gold medal winning team and earn their place in Australian sporting history.

This is the first of a three part series. Today, we look at the first half of the playing group, from Michael Brennan to Bevan George.

Michael Brennan, 1995-2004
134 appearances, 53 goals
After winning Olympic bronze in Sydney four years earlier, Michael Brennan retired from international hockey but he returned to the fold in 2004, after a previous attempt in 2002, securing his place in Australian hockey history with selection to the squad for Athens. The Toowoomba-born forward netted twice during the Athens campaign; the last minute winner in a 4-3 win over India and the winner in a 3-2 victory over South Africa two days later. Injury forced his second retirement in 2005. Now based in Western Australia, he has gone on to enjoy success as a horse trainer in harness racing. 

Travis Brooks, 2003-2008
143 appearances, 51 goals
Victorian forward Travis Brooks (right) scored three times in Athens, including the equaliser against the Dutch in the final. It was his second goal against the Oranje having struck in Australia’s 2-1 defeat by the Netherlands earlier in the tournament. He reached a second Olympic Games four years later, winning bronze in Beijing before retiring from international hockey. Now a senior consultant at Deloitte, Brooks is still involved in the sport as coach of Footscray hockey club in the Victorian Premier League.

Despite falling behind in the Athens final, Brooks says, “I remember the self-belief we had as a team that we were the fittest and strongest team in the world and that the longer the match went on, the more belief we had that we would win the match.”

Dean Butler, 1998-2007
203 appearances, 14 goals
The Athens Olympics fell in the middle of Queenslander Dean Butler’s international career with the Kookaburras. He would go on to add a second World Cup runners-up medal and second Commonwealth Games gold medal to his collection before retiring in 2007 as only the 12th man to represent Australia 200 times. An electrician by trade, following his retirement from international hockey Butler continued to turn out for Bulimba in the Brisbane leagues.

Liam De Young, 2001-2014
312 appearances, 35 goals
At just 22 years-old, Liam De Young replaced Australia’s vastly experienced co-captain Paul Gaudoin just six weeks before the Athens Olympics after Gaudoin was ruled out through injury. De Young went on to become a mainstay of the Kookaburras squad for more than a decade, twice winning the World Cup before retiring from international hockey in June 2014. Now working in sport and recreation for the local government in Perth, he still plays for Vic Park in Perth’s Melville Toyota League under the guidance of fellow Athens Olympian Bevan George.

At the time of his call-up, coach Barry Dancer called De Young the “fastest player in the squad.” De Young says, “We were the fittest and best prepared team by far. We were able to score crucial goals at the end of games to get results. Obviously, the gold medal winner was in extra time but we also scored in the last minute against India to win and in the last four minutes to come from behind against Argentina.”

Jamie Dwyer, 2001-present
321 appearances, 206 goals
Australia’s equal most capped Kookaburra, level with Jay Stacy, Jamie Dwyer (right) wrote his name into Australian sporting history with the winning goal in extra time of the 2004 Olympic final in Athens. It was his seventh of the tournament and his performances that year led to the first of five World Player of the Year titles. He has since gone on to become the highest scorer in Australian hockey with more than 200 goals to his name, including a fine solo effort for Australia’s sixth in a 6-1 win over the same opponent, the Netherlands, in the 2014 World Cup final.

Living in Perth with his wife Leoni and two young sons, Julian and Taj, Dwyer is a keen golfer and has a number of business interests including a coaching business with Mark Knowles and a restaurant on Cottesloe Beach in WA, which he co-owns with fellow Olympians Eamon Sullivan and Steve Hooker. This week he was named on the shortlist for the Philips Sports Dad of the Year Award.

Nathan Eglington, 2002-2007
136 appearances, 47 goals
Queenslander forward Nathan Eglington was one of Australia’s scorers in the 3-2 pool phase victory over South Africa in Athens. It was one of 47 goals he would score for his country before a serious abductor injury cruelly cut short his playing career just months before the Beijing Olympics. Following retirement, Eglington turned to coaching and is now the Head Coach of the WA Thundersticks in the Australian Hockey League. A Health and Physical Education Technician at Guildford Grammar School in Perth, he married wife Lisa in 2008. The couple has a three year-old daughter, Stella, who was born with an extremely rare chromosome syndrome called Pentasomy X. Much of Eglington’s time now devoted to supporting her and raising awareness of the condition.

Speaking about the ’04 achievement, he says it was about, “…Individual sacrifices made across a four year preparation for the chance at a collective reward so great that sometimes it still doesn’t seem real that we actually climbed our sport’s ‘Mount Everest’.”

Troy Elder, 1998-2007
169 appearances, 104 goals
Troy Elder came close to missing out on Athens altogether after breaking his jaw three months before the Games but returned to the turf and scored three times in Greece. His goal against New Zealand was the opening strike of Australia’s campaign and he backed it up with early strikes against India in the pool phase and Spain the semi-final. Four years earlier he’d scored a hat-trick in Australia’s 6-3 bronze medal victory over Pakistan in Sydney.

Following the Olympic Games, Elder played in the Netherlands with Oranje Zwart where he won the Dutch title that season. Having retired from international hockey in February 2007 he suffered a serious head injury during a club match in April 2008 that left his requiring major surgery. He returned to hockey 14 months later.

Bevan George, 1999-2008
208 appearances, 13 goals
West Australian country boy Bevan George (right, with Jamie Dwyer) was at the heart of Australia’s defensive unit in Athens. He made his 100th appearance for Australia in May of 2004 and went on to captain the team at the Beijing Olympic Games four years later, winning bronze in his final international. George went to work on the family farm in Cuballing following retirement but returned to the fold in July 2011 with the Australian men’s national development squad in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to win selection for the London Olympics. Married with a young family, he is now premier men’s coach at the Vic Park Panthers in Perth’s Melville Toyota League.

Come back tomorrow to read part two showcasing the remaining eight athletes in the Athens 2004 team from Rob Hammond to Matthew Wells. On Friday, it's the turn of the coaching staff.

Hockey Australia media release

Dwyer for sports dad 2014

Vote for Jamie as the Philips Sports Dad of the Year

This Father's Day, Philips will showcase the contribution Australia's sporting elite make to their families both on and off the field with the annual Philips Sports Dad of the Year Award.

Now in its sixth year, the Philips Sports Dad of the Year will highlight 10 elite athletes across a broad range of sporting fields, giving insights into how they juggle fatherhood with their sporting commitments. Last year's winner was Sydney Swans retired legend Jude Bolton. Bolton beat a hot field that included previous World surfing champion Joel Parkinson, Socceroo legend Mark Schwarzer, Black Caviar’s jockey Luke Nolen and former world boxing champion Daniel Geale.

This year's nominated Sports Dad's will be profiled on a dedicated website sportsdads.com.au which will include questions and answers from the players about their families, as well as comments from the athletes' partners and children as well as family photos.

All entrants have the opportunity to win special prizes for their own father this Father's Day and the winning Philips Sports Dad of the Year will win $5000 to donate to their charity of choice.

This year's competition has again attracted some of the biggest names in Australian sport, all competing for the title of best Sports Dad in Australia.

Leading the charge is Australian cricket star Shane Watson, fresh from an amazing 12 months in which he helped our Test team back to the top of the world rankings. Watson will face some stiff competition however, with the NRL well represented this year. Leading the NRL charge is the Minichiello brothers – Roosters popular captain Anthony, who has recently announced his retirement and his brother, Titans’ back-rower Mark.

They are joined by Melbourne Storm and winning Blues State of Origin forward Ryan Hoffman and Sea Eagles warhorse hooker Matt Ballin. Five times world’s best hockey player, Jamie Dwyer, will try and score another honour to add to his incredible list of achievements, while ironman extraordinaire Shannon Eckstein isn’t used to losing too often. Flying the AFL flag is Hawthorn premiership winning captain Luke Hodge and Kangeroo's great Brent Harvey, while Alex Brosque – back with Sydney FC, will try and give the A-League its first ever sports dad winner.

Every person that enters and tells us in 25 words or less why their favourite Sports Dad should be crowned the Philips Sports Dad of the Year has the opportunity to win a $5000 Philips Ultimate Father's Day Grooming Pack, including the Styleshaver, Ultimate Bodygoom, Hair Clipper, Multigroom, and Shaver 9000 series shaver - the ultimate shaving experience.

See the Hockey Australia site for details on how to vote if you are an Australian resident.

Hockey Australia media release

Hockey coaches figure it out

We live in an information-rich age and it is no different on the hockey pitch

(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

A quick look at the bench while a hockey match is in progress, or a visit to an elite squad coaching session, and a spectator can be forgiven for thinking that the coaches are indulging in a spot of internet shopping or trying to beat their latest 'Angry Birds' score. Lap-tops and tablets abound and at least two of the coaching staff may spend more time looking at screens than watching the players.

Why? Well, it is all to do with gaining as much information about what is happening to the players as they perform. Knowing when a player is tired or struggling with an injury is crucial in making match-changing decisions. In the old days, coaches trusted their gut feeling to be the ‘foundation stone’ of their every coaching decision. While this could sometimes have amazing results, with the coach being elevated to hero status, more often than not, the gut instinct proved a dodgy decision-making tool.

Dr Kirsten Spencer, a senior lecturer in sports coaching and performance analysis at the Coach Development Centre & Sports Performance Research Institute in Auckland, New Zealand explains: "Problems faced by coaches who relied on their memory or 'gut instinct' included memory overload, subjective bias, halo effect (performances rated higher or lower if the performer starts well…or badly), leniency error (where coaches over/under rate a performance) and highlighting (coaches only remember the best/bad performances and not the ‘bread and butter’)."

Which is why Dr Spencer's own area of specialism, performance analysis, is increasingly being used by coaches across a range of team sports. The objective measurement of players' performances gives a coach another viewpoint or angle on a  performance. As Dr Spencer points out, this does not replace the instinctive judgement of the coach but, by combining the 'scores' of measured, objectives and the coach's own opinions, key elements of that team/individual performance are quantifiable. Correct and constant application of performance analysis measurements will also give consistency to the results.

Key elements that can be measured as part of the performance analysis process include player movement (high, low intensity, direction), team tactical analysis, technical knowledge (set pieces) and predicting performance (patterns of play).

During training and matches, players wear GPS systems (eg Catapult) and heart-rate monitors (eg Team Polar Sports). The GPS system can take a sample every five seconds and provides the coach with factors such as the distances covered by a player, the player’s velocity achieved, and the frequency, speed and duration of accelerations and decelerations. A gyro indicates the frequency of direction changes: an important point in a player's strength and conditioning training, as information about changes of direction information can indicate whether a player favours one leg/direction of turn and this knowledge may help to prevent overuse injury.

Use of a heart-rate monitor indicates the player's effort level. This is usually measured in duration and frequency within three bands: low, (0-6 kmh), medium (6.1-15 kmh) or high intensity (15.1 – 29.5 kmh ). The measurements are then expressed as a ratio – low: medium:high – so, for example, a midfield player might be working at a ratio of 25:55:20, with a lot of work in the mid intensity range, whereas a defender might be 45:30:25, with less sustained medium running, but needing to put in sudden bursts of high intensity when chasing an attacker.

Low intensity exercises are classified as standing and walking, medium intensity are jogging and running, and high intensity are fast running and sprinting). These movements are coded using a notational software system (e.g dartfish, sportscode) which records the video clip of each ‘action’.

This means that a coach is able to access accurate knowledge about the physical state of his or her players, rather than relying on when the 'players looks tired.' This is important research shows increasing fatigue impairs appropriate decision-making, which then has an impact on team performance. There is still a time and a place for those 'gut instinct' decisions, but now they can be backed up with hard facts.

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