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News 23 September 2014

All the news for Tuesday 23 September 2014

Asian Games results Day 4

China 6 Sri Lanka 0 (M)
Bangladesh 2 Singapore 1 (M)
Oman 0 India 7 (M)
Japan 0 Korea 4 (M)

17th Asian Games, Incheon 2014 Official site

Women’s Asian Games tournament gets underway

No surprises on first day of women’s event in Incheon, Korea

India captain Ritu Rani injects a penalty corner during her side's 3-0 win over Thailand. (Photo: Asian Hockey Federation)

After two days of men's matches, the women’s competition kicked off in Incheon on Monday. Japan and Korea started their campaigns with solid performances and big wins, while the highest ranked team in the competition, China, only narrowly escaped a false start. Completing the quartet of teams ranked below 20, India also booked a win.

Japan thoroughly dominated their match against Hong Kong in all areas. However, the clear scoreline belies a low conversion rate, with the Sakura scoring their 14 goals from an astounding 71 shots on goal, including 7 goals from 23 penalty corners. Japan’s coach Yoo Seung Jin touched upon this after the match when he explained that he was happy with the result, but had been hoping for more goals in order to have an advantage over Korea through goal difference.

Korea today took to the field against Kazakhstan in their debut, and with a clinical performance imposed themselves by double digits. Kazakhstan fought valiantly, but could not compete with the Koreans’ superior technical skills, experience and physical fitness. 

Earlier in the day, world number 5 China had unexpectedly struggled against world number 21 Malaysia. Excellent defensive work kept Malaysia in the running until midway through the third quarter, and in the end, it was Wu Mengrong’s lone goal that made all the difference. Malaysia’s coach Md Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim said he was pleased with a great game and was already looking forward to the shift from the defence focus to attacking mode for the games against Thailand and India.

The Indian Eves for their part faced Thailand today, and like China were less dominant than one might have expected from the 40 places wide gap in world rankings between the two teams. A gritty performance from the Thai ladies met an Indian team struggling with finishing, and while the Thai team could not threaten the Indian victory at the end, they certainly showcased a vast improvement compared to past appearances. Thailand’s coach Bae Young Woo, a native Korean, credits a big part of the progress made to the time the team has spent in Korea training and gaining match experience.

The 2014 Asian Games, officially known as the XVII Asiad, is the biggest sporting event held in Asia and is widely recognised as the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games. The event is held every four years, with Hockey being one of 36 different sports set to feature in the Games. The Hockey competition in Incheon will be the biggest in the history of the Games, with ten men’s and eight women’s teams all battling it out for glory and Olympic qualification at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium.

The tournament - which offers a place at the Rio 2016 Olympic games to the men’s and women’s Gold medallists - is the first major international hockey competition to feature the groundbreaking 60 minute format, with the sport moving from two halves of 35 minutes to four 15-minute quarters with 40-second time-outs when a penalty corner is awarded and after a goal is scored.

The additional time-outs for penalty corners and after goals ensures that the new 60-minute format is actual playing time, eliminating the dead time associated with penalty corner set up while also allowing for teams to enjoy their goal celebrations. To learn more about the rule changes, click here.


Day 3 – Women
China – Malaysia 1-0 (0-0)
Japan – Hong Kong 14-0 (7-0)
India – Thailand 3-0 (1-0)
Korea – Kazakhstan 11-0 (6-0)

FIH site

Malaysia & Pakistan top men’s tables at Asian Games

Japan, India & Korea also impress in early stages of Olympic qualifier in Incheon

Pakistan talisman Shakeel Abassi. (Photo: FIH / Grant Treeby)

After two rounds of men’s matches at the Asian Games in Incheon, Malaysia and Pakistan both have two wins in two matches against their name and top their respective pool tables.

Malaysia controlled Singapore well in Saturday’s match and scored at a steady pace against the team that sits 26 places below them in the world rankings. Sunday’s clash with Bangladesh presented more of a challenge, as the Bangladeshis kept up with Malaysia until the fourth quarter, holding on to a 1-1 tie, but a four-goal blitz in the last fifteen minutes gave Arul Anthoni’s men the victory.

Pakistan faced Sri Lanka on Day 1 and powered to a 14-0 win, prompting coach Sheikh Shahnaz to declare himself happy with the performance, especially the even split between penalty corner and field goals. The following day however, the Greenshirts struggled against China, taking until late in the third quarter to get on the scoreboard, but eventually taking home three points.

China’s coach Cui Yingbiao explained the loss with his team being young and inexperienced – the Chinese men have not had any international matches in 2014 apart from a test series with Korea. “They start thinking about winning, and then they start making mistakes”, he said. Despite the defeat, China’s first day win over Oman keeps them a strong contender for the elusive semi-finals.

The third contender for the semi-finals in Pool B, next to Pakistan and China, will be India, who kicked their campaign off on Sunday with a resounding 8-0 win against Sri Lanka that puts them in second place at the end of Day 2, behind Pakistan and ahead of China.

In Pool A, Korea are at Malaysia’s heels, having won their first and only contest with a 12-0 shut-out against Singapore. Japan are the third team vying for the top spots in Pool A, and equally have only one match under their belts, which saw them defeat Bangladesh clearly on Saturday.

These first two days of hockey at the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea saw only the men compete. The women will be taking to the field for the first time on Monday, with China and Malaysia kicking of the tournament at 13:00 local time.

The 2014 Asian Games, officially known as the XVII Asiad, is the biggest sporting event held in Asia and is widely recognised as the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games. The event is held every four years, with Hockey being one of 36 different sports set to feature in the Games. The Hockey competition in Incheon will be the biggest in the history of the Games, with ten men’s and eight women’s teams all battling it out for glory and Olympic qualification at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium.

The tournament - which offers a place at the Rio 2016 Olympic games to the men’s and women’s Gold medallists - is the first major international hockey competition to feature the groundbreaking 60 minute format, with the sport moving from two halves of 35 minutes to four 15-minute quarters with 40-second time-outs when a penalty corner is awarded and after a goal is scored.

The additional time-outs for penalty corners and after goals ensures that the new 60-minute format is actual playing time, eliminating the dead time associated with penalty corner set up while also allowing for teams to enjoy their goal celebrations. To learn more about the rule changes, click here.


Day 1 – Men

Japan – Bangladesh 8-0 (3-0)
Malaysia – Singapore 8-2 (4-2)
Pakistan – Sri Lanka 14-0 (9-0)
Oman – China 0-5 (0-2)

Day 2 – Men

Malaysia – Bangladesh 5-1 (1-1)
Pakistan – China 2-0 (0-0)
India – Sri Lanka 8-0 (5-0)
Korea – Singapore 12-0 (4-0)

FIH site

Indian women’s hockey team blanks Thailand


Indian women hockey team. File photo

INCHEON: For a squad aiming to step on the podium, it was a very sedate start for India in pool A of the women’s hockey competition. There was an unusual and somewhat unexpected resistance from Thailand, which went down 0-13 at the last Asian Games in Guangzhou.

Gathering full points in the opening game may be some consolation on the day when Malaysia restricted the three-in-a-row gold medalist China to a solitary goal. That both Thailand and Malaysia are emerging as strong opponents in the women’s section underlines a filament of development of the sport in the continent.

The Indians probably were complacent until the Thai goalkeeper Tongsun Jesdaporn displayed the reflexes to meet the shots both from the penalty corners and smothered the pressure until Poonam Rani flicked in a penalty corner drive by Sunita Lakra. But the Thais were keen to defend than to launch an attack. They concentrated on keeping the attackers in check. The Indians failed to get into the rhythm that could have unsettled the rivals, but went into over elaboration inside the circle. So much so, India, despite dominating the trend thanks to the good work of the Ranis, Ritu and Poonam, managed to enlarge lead only during the third quarter from a deflection by Poonam Rani again sending the ball to the roof of the net. It was Deepika’s turn then to hit the target in the final quarter for the 3-0 win.

India needs one more win-possibly against Malaysia- to ensure a semi-final berth. From the manner in which the Malays performed it is unlikely to be a cakewalk.

Coach Neil Hawgood acknowledged that the team was unable to break through the defenders consistently but was happy at the eventual outcome. The Korean coach for Thailand team, Bay Younghoo, was elated that his young team gave Indians a tough time.

The results: Women:  Pool A: China 1 (Wu Mengrong) beat  Malaysia 0 ; I:0-0-, II:0-0; III: 1-0

India 3 (Poonam Rani 2, Deepika) beat Thailand 0. I: 1-0, II-0, III:2-0.

Pool B: Japan 14 (Shino Sakai, Kana Namura 2, Shiho Otsuka, Mazuki Arai 2, Akhane Sabata 2, Aki Mitsuhashi,  Akaya Nishmura 2,  Ono Mayumi 2, Shihori Oikawa ) beat Hong Kong China 0:  I: 4-0; II-7-0; III:9-0

The Hindu

Indian women's hockey team blanks Thailand 3-0 in Asiad opener

INCHEON: Indian women's hockey team started their campaign on a winning note by drubbing a lowly Thailand 3-0 in a one-sided Pool A match at the Asian Games on Monday.

Poonam Rani (15th minute), Vandana Kataria (39th) and Deepika (53rd) scored the goals for India at the Soenhak Stadium here.

The Indians completely dominated their opening match but their wayward strikers could score just three out of 22 shots they had during the match as against one by Thailand.

Striker Rani Rampal got the maximum number of shots -- six -- but she could not sound the board even once.

India took some time to settle down in their campaign opener but once they had a measure of their opponents, they dictated terms on their rivals. They scored once each in the first, third and fourth quarters of the match.

The Ritu Rani-led side took the lead in the 15th minute through a penalty corner and Poonam Rani was bang on target after a few unsuccessful attempts at the opposition goal.

Indian forwards made repeated forays at Thailand striking circle but they missed the target many times and were just 1-0 up at the midway stage.

Just as the third quarter started, Vandana Kataria gave India 2-0 lead with a field goal and that virtually settled the issue for India. The Indians completed the tally in the final quarter with Deepika scoring in the 53rd minute through a penalty corner strike.

India take on title favourites China on September 24 before finishing their league phase with a match against Malaysia on September 26.

The Times of India

China found a way around Malaysian ‘bus’ for hockey win

INCHEON: The Malaysian women’s hockey team parked the bus in front of goal but it was still not enough to stop world No. 6 China from securing a 1-0 win in their Group A match at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium.

The Malaysians knew that they had a major task on their hands and decided to put all 10 players behind the ball in a bid to snatch a draw.

The Malaysians did well for 41 minutes. But a lapse in concentration cost them a point.

Forward Wu Mengrong ran through unmarked to score a field goal to break the Malaysians’ hearts.

Three-time champions China had 14 shots at goal and five penalty corners.

Malaysia? Zilch in goal attempts and penalty corners.

“Frankly, it was a good effort by the players. It will give them greater confidence for the remaining two group matches (against Thailand and India),” said Malaysian team manager P. Chitra.

Malaysia are targeting a place in the semi-finals. The door is still open for them, but they need to win their remaining two matches against Thailand on Wednesday and India on Friday to go through.

The Star of Malaysia

Oman India's last chance to improve goal-difference

Michael Nobbs

After a so-so game against Sri Lanka, the ex-India coach believes Sardar & Co need to think hard about what to expect from Oman. (Hockey India)

India have had a good record previously against Oman and I think they will do so again in their second consecutive meeting against the world hockey minnows after a not-so-impressive win against Sri Lanka in the campaign opener.

After Sunday's game against Sri Lanka, India need to do some hard thinking about what to expect from Oman and what they need to do to improve their own performance (read goal difference).

Oman played China in their first match and lost 5-0. They will be aware of how Sri Lanka successfully adopted a very defensive style against India and will look to emulate that. Oman is a stronger team than Sri Lanka and ranked 22nd in the world. Considering that, they should have more teeth in the attack than the Lankans to trouble the Indians.

India need to realise that they have to improve significantly in this game as the next one will be against Pakistan, which will probably be the decider as to who faces South Korea in the first semi-final.

Oman is a physically tough team and although India have won comfortably the last few times they played them, if Oman show improved fitness, they will be a much tougher proposition than before. Oman will be stung from the defeat against China and will be looking for a much better show against India.

China showed they are also going to be a much tougher team than previously and it will be interesting to see how well India fare against Oman before taking on Pakistan and then China. The first game tomorrow will be China vs Sri Lanka and that may give India an idea as to how strong the Chinese are.

India should win comfortably if they bring their A game to the pitch; if not, any slip in concentration and another low-scoring game won't land them any gains going deeper into the tournament.

India need to make up the goal difference from the last game and this could be their last opportunity to get a high score.


U21 Burras squad named

Burras to compete at Sultan Johor Cup in Malaysia next month

Hockey Australia has today announced the Under 21 men’s squad, the Burras, to compete at the forthcoming Sultan Johor Cup in Malaysia next month.

The group comprises those athletes considered prospects for the 2016 Junior World Cup and has been selected with a view to providing them with a rare opportunity to gain valuable first class international experience at junior level.

Australia’s Burras will face Great Britain, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and Pakistan in the six team round-robin competition in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, between 12-19 October. After departing on 6 October, Australia will face Singapore and New Zealand in two warm-up games in Singapore prior to arriving in Malaysia on 9 October.

The 18-athlete squad contains four members of the gold medal-winning squad that won the Youth Olympic Games Hockey5s tournament in Nanjing in August. Nathanael Stewart, Tim Howard, Max Hendry and Alec Rasmussen were all part of the team that beat Canada in a shoot-out after a 3-3 draw. Also included are three young athletes that were emergency reserves for Nanjing; Simon Benetti, Hayden Walker and Oliver Crane.

Only Will Gilmour (pictured, above) has previous experience of the Junior World Cup having played in the tournament in December last year in Delhi.

Athletes selected to represent their state and territory teams at the 2014 Australian Hockey League powered by Premier Technology Solutions, which takes place immediately prior to the squad’s departure for the tournament, were not considered for selection.

The Burras will be led by Head Coach Ben Bishop, who has served as an assistant coach to the senior men, the Kookaburras, for the past 18 months. Bishop was Assistant Coach to the Burras at the 2009 Junior World Cup, which was held in Singapore and Johor Bahru, and has previously led Australia ‘A’ tours. As an athlete he played 20 times for the Kookaburras before entering coaching. Prior to joining the Hockey Australia set-up, Bishop was Head Coach for men’s and women’s hockey at the ACT Academy of Sport and led the Canberra Lakers for three years in the Australian Hockey League.

Hockey Australia’s National Junior Coach, Paul Gaudoin, who leads the program said, “The Sultan Johor Cup provides an opportunity for our young athletes to compete on an international stage at the only FIH-endorsed junior international competition outside of the Junior World Cup.

"It’s a valuable opportunity for our athletes to be exposed to different international playing styles ranging from Asian teams to European teams, and Oceania teams, to experience different cultures, and to be exposed to all that goes on in and around international tournaments.

"Tours such as this allow us to assess our young athletes on an international stage, to help with their individual development to become Kookaburras of the future."

The squad’s participation in the tournament is supported by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association through its Australia Junior Commonwealth Games Squad program.

To visit the official tournament website, visit www.sultanjohorcup.com.my.

Australian U21 Burras fixtures, Sultan Johor Cup 2014
Sunday 12 October - Burras v Malaysia
Monday 13 October – Burras v Pakistan
Wednesday 15 October – Burras v New Zealand
Thursday 16 October – Burras v Great Britain
Saturday 18 October – Burras v India
Sunday 19 October – Final classification matches

Australian U21 Burras squad, Sultan Johor Cup 2014
Benji Austin (Sandy Bay, TAS)
James Benetti (Dalkeith, WA)
Simon Benetti (Dalkeith, WA)
Joshua Bretherton (Brighton, VIC)
Ben Craig (Lane Cove, NSW)
Oliver Crane (Casuarina, QLD)
Frazer Gerrard (Cottesloe, WA)
Will Gilmour (St Kilda West, VIC)
Max Hendry (Camberwell, VIC)
Brandan Horner (Lithgow, NSW)
Tim Howard (Wakerley, QLD)
Sam Liles (Tamworth, NSW)
Ryan Proctor (Engine, NSW)
Alec Rasmussen (Stirling, WA)
Andrew Scanlon (Werribee, VIC)
Nathanael Stewart (Narellan, NSW)
Ash Thomas (Baulkham Hills, NSW)
Hayden Walker (Nedlands, WA)

Coaching and support staff
Ben Bishop, Head Coach
Scott Barker, Assistant Coach
Carl Dalton, Team Manager & Assistant Coach
Kay Robinson, Physiotherapist
Catherine Campbell, Psychologist
Gary Dawson, Analyst

Australian Junior Commonwealth Games Squad program
Hockey Australia’s junior program of activities is made possible by the financial support of our partners and in particular the generous support of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association through its Australian Junior Commonwealth Games Squad program (AJCGS).

The AJCGS program:

  • Assists junior athletes in gaining invaluable international competition experience, so that they understand the conditions and environment that they will face as seniors.
  • Athletes supported under the AJCGS program have been identified and selected by their sports as having the potential to represent Australia at future Commonwealth Games.
  • More than $8 million has been provided since 1996 by the ACGA to assist Australia’s young talented athletes from Commonwealth Games sports gain valuable international competition experience.

Following the success of the Australian hockey teams at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, attention has already turned towards the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which will be held on the Gold Coast. With continued hard work, it is anticipated that some of these talented young athletes can go on to represent Australia in 2018.

Hockey Australia media release

Junior Team for 4th Sultan of Johor Cup 2014 announced

New Delhi: Hockey India today announced the Indian Junior Men Hockey team for 4th Sultan of Johor Cup scheduled to take place in Johor Bahru, Malaysia from 12-19 October 2014.

Acording to a press release by HI, the 18 member team was selected by selectors Mr. B P Govinda, Mr. Harbinder Singh and Dr. R P Singh alongwith Mr. Harendra Singh, Coach of Junior Men Hockey Team, Mr. B J Kariappa, Coach and Mr .Vinod Kumar, Physiotherapist on the basis of the performance of 33 junior men core probables during the selection trials conducted for last two days in New Delhi.

The team has experienced hands in Harjeet Singh, Imran Khan, Gurinder Singh and Jarmanpreet Singh, who had already played in some senior tournaments.

Midfielder Harjeet Singh will be the captain

The 4th Sultan of Johor Cup will see a total of six teams, which includes Australia, Great Britain, India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Malaysia. The classification matches and the finals of the tournament are scheduled to be played on 19 October 2014.

Defending champions India will be looking forward to retain the title this year. Facing New Zealand in the opening match on 12 October 2014, India will be going head on with Great Britain on 13 October, followed by Pakistan on 15 October, Malaysia on 16 October and Australia on 18 October 2014.

The preparatory camp for the 4th Sultan of Johor Cup is currently underway at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi since 13 September 2014 and will continue till the departure of the team on 9 October 2014.

Abhinav Kumar Pandey
Subodh Tirkey

Harmanpreet Singh
Jarmanpreet Singh
Dipsan Tirkey
Anand Lakra
Varun Kumar
Gurinder Singh

Santa Singh
Harjeet Singh (Captain)
SH. Nilkantha Sharma
Simranjeet Singh

Imran Khan (Vice-Captain)
Parvinder Singh
Pawan Kumar
Aarman Qureshi
Sumit Kumar


Hockey India announces Indian team for Sultan of Johor Cup

NEW DELHI: Midfielder Harjeet Singh will lead the 18-member Indian Junior men's hockey team in the 4th Sultan of Johor Cup, to be held in Johor Bahru, Malaysia from October 12-19, Hockey India announced on Monday.

Defending champions India, who would be looking to retain their title, boost of names like Imran Khan, Gurinder Singh and Jarmanpreet Singh, besides Harjeet -- all four of whom have represented the Indian senior men's team at international level.

Forward Imran Khan will be the vice-captain of the side in the tournament.

The team was chosen by HI selectors BP Govinda, Harbinder Singh and RP Singh alongwith the coach of junior men hockey team Harendra Singh, coach B J Kariappa and physiotherapist Vinod Kumar on the basis of the performance of 33 junior men core probables during the selection trials conducted at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on September 19-20.

"The boys made us proud last year by winning the third edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup and looking at their current form during the training sessions, I am confident that the team picked by selectors is ready to repeat their successful feat," HI secretary general Narinder Batra said.

Sultan of Johor Cup will see a total of six teams -- Australia, Great Britain, Pakistan, New Zealand, Malaysia and India.

India will be facing New Zealand in the opening match on October 12, followed by Great Britain (Oct 13), Pakistan (Oct 15), Malaysia (Oct 16) and Australia (Oct 18).

The preparatory camp for the Sultan of Johor Cup is underway at the National Stadium since September 13 and will continue till the team's departure on October 9.

The list of players:

Goalkeepers: Abhinav Kumar Pandey, Subodh Tirkey.

Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Anand Lakra, Varun Kumar, Gurinder Singh.

Midfielders: Santa Singh, Sumit, Harjeet Singh (Captain), SH Nilkantha Sharma, Simranjeet Singh.

Forwards: Imran Khan (Vice-Captain), Parvinder Singh, Pawan Kumar, Aarman Qureshi, Sumit Kumar.

The Times of India

Junior hockey gains confidence from seniors’ win

By Nabil Tahir

KARACHI: Taking heart from Pakistan national hockey team’s winning start at the Asian Games in South Korea, the country’s junior squad has pledged to triumph in the upcoming 2014 Sultan of Johar Cup, scheduled to start from October 12 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

The youngsters are currently in the second phase of their training camp under chief coach Manzoorul Hasan, which was shifted to the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium Islamabad from the Hockey Stadium of Karachi and commenced on September 18.

“After watching the senior team’s encouraging performance in Incheon, the young team is now raring to shine in their forthcoming international assignment,” Manzoor told The Express Tribune.

Presently, 46 players are attending the camp, out of which 31 have played for the national junior team while the rest have never played a match outside district level.

Manzoor added that the selected team will leave for Malaysia on October 9.

“For now, we have to work really hard as there are only 16 days remaining for the final selection of the 18-member squad for the Sultan of Johar Cup.”

Meanwhile, the training camp of the Rest of Pakistan Women’s Hockey probable, looking to participate at the Surjit Hockey Tournament, will start on September 24 at the Johor Town Hockey Stadium, Lahore.

The competition is scheduled to commence on October 27 and end November 7 in Jalandhar, India.

The Express Tribune

Rotterdam and OZ share spoils

EHL heroes Mink van der Weerden, Jeroen Hertzberger and Robert van der Horst were all on target as Rotterdam and Oranje Zwart played out a lively 2-2 draw in the Dutch Hoofdklasse.

OZ went 2-1 up when van der Horst netted but Timmo Kranstauber dug out a draw with his goal eight minutes from the end. It was OZ’s first dropped points of the season.

It leaves them five points off Kampong who have played a game extra. They followed last Friday’s win over Bloemendaal with a 7-0 win over Tilburg with Constantijn Jonker netting a hat trick while Robbert Kemperman scored twice on Sunday.

Bloemendaal bounced back with a 3-1 win over Push to move back up to second in the table with Rogier Hofman scoring two goals. Amsterdam who their derby game against Hurley 3-2 with Justin Reid-Ross getting all three goals, the last coming in the final minute.

Euro Hockey League media release

Terrassa ready for 2014/15 after team presentation

Atlètic Terrassa received a big motivational boost this week prior to their first game in the 2014-2015’s División de Honor next  Sunday against Júnior FC.

Gunning for all the Spanish titles, as well as a good showing on their return to the EHL, Terrassa presented their players for this season along with their women’s team and their “B” team Vallès Esportiu in the Catalan way: with an impressive party with all their fans.

Players from the three teams came together on stage, with a speech written by all of them, with each player saying their bit. To make all welcome, the show was conducted in three languages: Catalan by the locals, Spanish by Argentina’s girl Agustina de Villafañe and even French by the French U-21 hero Gaspard Baumgarten.

After the speeches and team pictures, Terrassa’s band Tons & Sons performed an amazing concert, mixing gospel and rock and roll. The party continued with all the players from the three teams and all the fans, including Córner Groc, who decorated the stage and dance floor with their banners.

Euro Hockey League media release

Chris Grassick's Rio 2016 dream still alive after Scotland vote No to independence

By Sean Cotter

Chris Grassick on the ball for Surbiton [TIM REDER]

CHRIS GRASSICK is a very relieved player that his Surbiton club eventually won 3-1 at Southgate in the NOW: Pensions League on Sunday with two goals in the last nine minutes.

But the Scottish international captain is even happier that his country voted “No” last Thursday and his dream of playing at Rio 2014 is still alive.
The 24-year-old midfielder from Edinburgh, whose parents were both also Scottish hockey internationals and who is one of only two Scots in the currently 28-strong centralised Team GB squad, tweeted from the national sports centre in Berkshire the next day:  “Thankfully today wasn’t my last day training at Bisham”.
Meantime at his multi-British Surrey club, which has three other current Scottish internationals in their team – as well four Welsh, one Irish and one English – there had been some apprehension that a “Yes” vote would have rendered the Scot’s quartet “overseas” (non-EU) players, of whom only one is permitted in each English national league squad.

So Grassick keeps his funding and Surbiton, where he also helps as coach with its 850-strong junior section, keep all their players.
The club meets one of the other three men’s unbeaten premier sides this Saturday when they host champions Beeston, 2.30pm, at a Sugden Road “Open Day” double-header, with the two clubs’ premier division women’s sides also meeting earlier at noon.

Daily Express

Holcombe and Canterbury share spoils in hockey’s grudge derby as Cannock men battle back

By Rod Gilmour

Fightback: Captain Marc Edwards, left, said Cannock showed 'great character'  Photo: ADY KERRY

Such were Canterbury’s celebrations at the death that Leigh Maasdorp, Holcombe’s captain, had to be reminded of the score after old hand Mel Clewlow rescued a point in an enthralling derby game.

Nicola White’s first-half strike looked to be enough for the hosts before a penalty corner in the dying seconds saw Clewlow’s telling blow fly past Grace Baylis, standing in for Maddie Hinch, England’s injured keeper.

“It’d be great if every derby was like that and hockey means so much,” said Maasdorp, a South African playing her sixth season at Holcombe.

“It’s always going to be spicy between us but right now we are about development as a team with so many great individuals.”

Local Medway clubs had swelled into a evening crowd of 300 under the Holcombe Park lights. They saw England internationals Sam Quek and White cause Canterbury early problems down the right flank.

Canterbury’s defence held firm until Steph Elliott’s through ball on 41 minutes saw the springy White turn and strike low.

Canterbury’s Nikki Triggs was yellow carded in a scrappy period late on, while there were certainly words being exchanged as the minutes ticked.

However, the visitors rallied and a disputed penalty corner on the hooter ended with Clewlow’s theatrics on the edge of the D.

The 1-1 draw meant that Clifton went top of the table after a 1-0 win over Reading through Jo Leigh.

Leicester were good value for their 3-1 win at Buckingham, with Lauren Turner – returning from a spell playing in Holland – Hannah Fair and Liz George all scoring.

Stalwart Tina Cullen notched her 400th league goal as Bowdon Hightown opened their league account with a 3-1 victory against Beeston.

In the men’s premier division, Cannock’s fighting spirit saw them score twice in the last seven minutes to draw 3-3 with Brooklands MU.

The visiting Manchester side – relying on their brand of breakaway hockey – led 3-1 with 10 minutes left.

However, a penalty stroke from Peter Jackson and a penalty corner strike by Rob Farrington with three minutes’ left earned a point. They did the latter with only nine men on the pitch and then equalised with 10 players.

And Cannock might even have won with the last move of the game had Chris Scott, Brooklands’ keeper, not managed to reflex save over the bar while grounded.

John Bell, the Cannock coach, admitted afterwards that he doesn’t want his side fighting for points at the lower end of the table.

Bell, the former assistant England under-21 coach, said: “Our strength in depth is quality but it’s not quite happening yet. My aim is mid-table.”

Kiwi Andrew Hayward smashed a hat-trick as Hampstead & Westminster’s fine start to the season continued with a 5-1 win over Canterbury.

Surbiton also remain unbeaten thanks to Matt Daly’s brace at Southgate in a 3-1 win.

The Telegraph

English Premier Divisions: The Inside Track

Steph Elliott, Holcombe

With the second round of games in both the NOW: Pensions Men's Premier Division and the Investec Women's Premier Division taking place at the weekend there were plenty of big games, goals and lots of talking points throughout the league. We caught up with Holcombe's Steph Elliott and Hampstead and Westminster's Andy Hayward to find out their thoughts on the weekend's clashes.
Steph Elliott, Holcombe on her side's clash with Canterbury:

"It was a strange game in many ways, it was very up and down. There were periods where we were really on top, but also times when we were in deep defence. It was heartbreaking at the end to give away a corner, then lose a defender and then concede an right on full time."

On her side sending a message to the rest of the league:

"At the time it was wrenching watching it go in but if you take a step back and look at it objectively, we’ve just come up into the division and drawn 1-1 with the team who finished top last season. It sends a message that we’re in the Premier Division for real and we’re here to be as competitive as we can. I’m still proud of the girls. We worked really hard, defended brilliantly and we created some chances, too, we just couldn’t finish it off."

On the media spotlight:

"We don’t think about all the press or attention on the club. We go out to play a game of hockey and we’re focused on that. We want to win and do well. We get so much support from the club which is great, we want to do well to repay that.

On the challenges ahead:

"We’ve got University of Birmingham next, who will be tough. We’ve made a statement by playing the way we have so far and we should get something out of this weekend and all the other games. If we can re-produce the performance from the Canterbury game, we’ll be OK. We just want to compete and see where that leaves us."

Andy Hayward, Hampstead and Westminster:

On the team's improving performances:

"We played better today than last week. We were a little bit lucky against Wimbledon, scoring two goals in the last couple of minutes to snatch that win but today I thought we combined a bit better and it’s nice to come away with a 5-1 win."

Andy Hayward scores for Hampstead and Westminster vs Canterbury Credit Mark Clews.

On his goalscoring exploits:

"From my perspective it’s nice to come away having scored some goals but I also feel like it is my job to do that. More importantly it was good to get a win, and a good win, too. It should give the team a lot of confidence ahead of next week and the upcoming challenges."

On why he joined Hampstead and Westminster:

"I came here because I feel Hampstead and Westminster are a club on the rise. Richard Smith is injured at the moment but we hope to have him back soon. He was good at the start and told me about their ambitions to become one of the top teams in England. It’s exciting for me to be part of trying to bring a team from a low rank to the very top in all competitions. I’m still settling in, but they’re a good bunch of boys. It’s a nice change of environment for me, something I’ve never experienced before so it’s going to be a lot of fun."

Hayward and his Hampstead and Westminster team-mates hope to continue their promising start at home to Cannock this Saturday. For all the NOW: Pensions Men's League Fixtures click here.

Holcombe go up against University of Birmingham who will be looking to bounce back after defeat to Surbiton last week. For all the Investec Women's League Fixtures, click here.

England Hockey Board Media release

Ireland's Captains Talk Full IHL

As the Full Irish Hockey League debate continues across the clubs ahead of the EGM on Oct 5th (11.30am Stillorgan Park Hotel) both of Ireland's Captains added their voices to the proposal of a Full Irish Hockey League and here's what they said.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting better and different results".

“The best things that have happened to hockey in the last decade have been bold, audacious, creative and far from 'the same old'. The introduction of the stick above shoulder ruling, auto-pass, smurf-turfs, EHL with television and live streaming coverage have all added to the spectacle of hockey across the world. A new, well marketed, all-Ireland IHL will add weight to hockey in Ireland; all teams (IHL or not) playing more meaningful games more often.”

John Jackson – Ireland Men’s Captain

"There are many positives to a full Irish Hockey League, the opportunity to play against the strongest opposition week in and week out is hard to resist. It will lift the level of competition in Ireland while improving the quality of our players and therefore putting us in a better position to qualify for major tournaments."

Megan Frazer - Ireland Women’s Captain

For More Information on the Full Irish Hockey League click here

Clubs: Make sure you have registered your delegate who will cast your club's vote by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Sunday 28th September (queries 01 7163269)
EGM Details: Sunday 5th October, Stillorgan Park Hotel

Irish Hockey Association media release

PHF names probables for training camp

LAHORE – PHF Monday named 24 players for attending the training camp of rest of Pakistan women hockey to prepare a team for its participation in the 31st Edition of Surjit Hockey Tournament being played from October 27 at Jalandhar, India.

The camp will be held from September 24 at Johor Town Hockey Stadium. The probable players will report to camp commandant Ms Sonia Khan.

The camp attendees are Rizwana Yasmeen, Saeeda, Nadia, Ishrat Abbas, Aqeela Naseem, Nafeesa Anwar, Asia Siddique, Amna Meer, Ambreen Arshad, Nazia Rehmat, Ayesha Bashir, Maira Sabir, Kalsoom Shahzadi, Azra Nasir, Saba Saeed and Rabia Qadir (Wapda), Syeda Sadia Nawazish, Marina Anwar, Zakia Nawaz, Hina Kanwal and Taskeen Kausar (Railways), Shahida (Army), Asma Ashraf (HEC) and Fakhra Nayab (KP).

The Nation

Pamapuria shows what AIMS Games is all about

Photo courtesy Cheryl Bamber

Kaitaia’s Pamapuria School eagerly provided proof that investment in the six-a-side version of the game is paying off.

The abbreviated version of hockey was included in the recent NZCT AIMS Games for the first time, with 16 mixed teams from around New Zealand competing in the Intermediate-aged tournament, which attracted 7500 athletes from 17 sporting codes. Full 11-a-side hockey was played as well, attracting 20 boys and 24 girls teams.

Research has shown that six-a-side provides a much better learning and development experience for young hockey players, enabling them to move into the full 11-a-side better equipped, and Hockey New Zealand has already started aligning that in their programmes.

When Pamapuria, located 8km south of Kaitaia and established in 1879, began the eight-hour trip south to Tauranga for the tournament, there was a slight hitch – none of the 10-strong squad had ever played on turf before.

However, after fundraising to go on the week-long trip, they packed a couple of secret weapons – new Pamapuria principal Rikki Horlock is married to double Olympian and former Black Sticks star Lizzy Igasan, while the team itself was packed full of both enthusiasm and pluck.

“We have a small class of 18 Year 7 and 8 kids in a full primary school and we didn’t have enough to make both a netball team and rugby sevens team so the kids decided on hockey to allow as many of them to play as possible,” Pamapuria teacher Cheryl Bamber explained.

“We also took indoor bowls players and three multisporters who doubled as hockey players as well – basically we were trying to provide this opportunity for my kids to participate in any way, shape or form.”

The lack of turf experience was solved en route, as were a couple of other pressing issues.

“All the gear came second-hand from Lizzy’s contacts and mates and we only managed to secure the goal-keepers kit in Auckland on the Saturday as we travelled down. We also called into North Harbour Hockey on the way down and used the sand turf for 30mins, which exhausted the kids. They weren’t used to full-size turf and couldn’t believe how fast the ball moved – hardly surprising as they had only played on the grass field and our netball courts!”

Also not surprisingly, given their limited build-up, Pamapuria struggled for results and lost a tight playoff to Otumoetai Intermediate in the battle of the wooden spoon.

Aquinas College won a thrilling final 2-1 over Bucklands Beach in the closing minutes, after Bucklands Beach had won their semifinal 4-3 on penalty strokes over Albany Junior High, who in turn lost 2-1 on penalty strokes to Fairfield in the playoff for third and fourth.

“There were some amazing matches in the six-a-side division over the week but more importantly, it allowed some of our smaller schools to participate in hockey for the first time,” tournament director Vicki Semple said.

“In the past, getting a full squad of 14 players for the 11-a-side section proved too much for some of our smaller schools but this format meant we got to see the likes of Omokoroa No 1 School, Pongakawa and Pamapuria School take part. Pamapuria’s story really is incredible – they really added to the flavour of the tournament and this sort of thing is exactly why we started the NZCT AIMS Games concept 11 years ago.”

Hockey New Zealand Media release

McAleese elected to NZOC Athletes’ Commission

Black Sticks veteran Shea McAleese has been elected to the New Zealand Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission.

The Athletes’ Commission represents the interests of New Zealand’s Olympic and Commonwealth Games athletes.

McAleese joins Irene van Dyk (netball), Alexis Pritchard (boxing), and former cyclist Cath Cheatley following recent elections as additions to a team of experienced athletes including triple Olympic medallist Barbara Kendall and bronze medal winning rower Nathan Twaddle.

New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith says the Athletes’ Commission has a strong focus on the Olympic and Commonwealth Games and has recently undergone a significant planning and refresh process.

“We are delighted with the calibre and commitment of the athletes who are putting their hand up to provide leadership and advocacy to the New Zealand Olympic Committee on matters important to them,” she said. “The new members will bring fresh insights and ideas to the commission and increase its effectiveness in priority areas.

“The process of the election means that those sitting around the table have the support athletes and are in touch with the real issues within New Zealand and globally.”

The new representatives were elected by Glasgow Commonwealth Games team members.

Athletes Commission 2014

Shea McAleese (Hockey) (Olympian 1057)
Olympic Games: 2008, 2012
Commonwealth Games: 2006, 2010, 2014

Chantal Brunner – Convenor and New Zealand Olympic Committee Board Member (member until May 2015)
Olympic Games - 2000, 1996
Commonwealth Games – 2006,  2002,  1998,  1994

Irene van Dyk (Netball)
Commonwealth Games: 2002, 2006, 2010

Alexis Pritchard (Boxing) (Olympian 1196)
Olympic Games: 2012
Commonwealth Games: 2014

Cath Cheatley (Cycling) (Olympian 1009)
Olympic Games: 2008
Commonwealth Games: 2006, 2010

Katie Calder (Cross Country Skiing) (Olympian 1113)
Olympic Winter Games: 2010

Beatrice Faumuina (Athletics) (Olympian 706)
Olympic Games: 1996, 2000; 2004 2008
Commonwealth Games 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010

Alison Fitch (Swimming) (Olympian 708)
Olympic Games: 1996, 2004
Commonwealth Games: 2006

Barbara Kendall (Boardsailing) (Olympian 631) IOC Member
Olympic Games: 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008

Ben Sandford (Skeleton) (Olympian 991)
Olympic Winter Games: 2006, 2010, 2014

Nathan Twaddle (Rowing) (Olympian 966)
Olympic Games: 2004, 2008

The New Zealand Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission thanks outgoing member Dion Gosling (hockey) for his contribution.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

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