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News 24 October 2014

All the news for Friday 24 October 2014

USWNT takes lead in New Zealand series

U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team defender Stefanie Fee (Virginia Beach, Va.) picks up the pen to give us a recap of Team USA’s fourth match against New Zealand.

NEW ZEALAND - Team USA pulled ahead of the Black Sticks with a 2-0 win yesterday evening. After ample hours of video review, practice and newly constructed goals, both teams battled for a solid match. Skillful play was shown throughout the entire field and the attacking circles were filled with a ton of back and forth action.

In the 13th minute, just before the end of the first quarter, Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.) tallied a goal on the board for Team USA. With a great bit of skill barreling through the circle she was able to sneak one past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

“We worked the ball really well up the field, and it opened up some great opportunities in the attacking end," said Van Sickle

There were close chances in the USA defensive circle, but the team showed a lot of grit and determination against the quick New Zealand attack. Some great saves were made by Jackie Kintzer-Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.) and Alesha Widall (Whitney Point, N.Y.) on defensive corners to keep USA ahead.

“We really stepped up and contested the Black Stick forwards,” said Kintzer-Briggs. “The defensive intensity only grew throughout each period and allowed us to maintain the shut out.”

In the 50th minute Katie O’Donnell (Landenberg, Pa.) tackled the ball off of Black Stick forward, Anita Punt, and connected with Michelle Vitesse (Cherry Hill, N.J.) further up the field with skillful 2v1 play. O’Donnell found a foot in the attacking circle to give USA another chance to score. Vitesse found the end of Katie Reinprecht’s (Perkasie, Pa.) stick for a solid deflection into the cage.

To make the win even sweeter, we were able to celebrate Katelyn Falgowski’s (Landenberg, Pa.) 26th birthday after the match. We head out in the morning for the next phase of our trip in Wairarapa, New Zealand. With two games left in the series, we plan to continue the winning streak and grow as much as we can from our experiences while in New Zealand. Go USA!

USFHA media release

Sloppy Sticks punished by US


Black Stick Shiloh Gloyn, right, makes a solo run through the United States defenders Katelyn Falgowski, left, Melissa Gonzalez and Michelle Kasold during their test at the twin turfs last night. WARWICK SMITH/Fairfax NZ

Women's Black Sticks coach Mark Hager wasn't happy after his side was given a "hockey lesson" by the United States, but is refusing to panic after the 2-0 loss at the twin turfs last night.

It was the second loss for the Black Sticks in Palmerston North this week after Tuesday's 2-1 loss, giving the Americans a 2-1 lead in the six-game series with two games to play in Carterton this weekend.

With some of his senior pros unavailable for this series, Hager is using it to trial his younger players, but he was annoyed at being "outplayed in every aspect of the game" last night, marked by their inability to finish off scoring chances again.

"They need to practise it by themselves if they want to become better goal scorers or better tacklers," he said.

"But they [the United States] stepped it up.

"They didn't come fourth in the World Cup for nothing.

"They gave us a hockey lesson tonight."

He said they weren't going to fix it overnight, but players needed to take ownership.

The nature of their two losses this week were a slight concern, but they were trying different players.

"But that's no excuse if you can't do your basic skill levels well.

"They put us under pressure.

"We couldn't trap and pass, the one-on-one contests we lost, we turned the ball over a lot and when you do that you're going to be punished."

The United States could have won by more with all their goal-scoring opportunities, but, like the Black Sticks on Tuesday, they couldn't finish.

Katie Reinprecht scored from a penalty corner to give the US the lead in the first quarter, but it took until the fourth quarter until they scored again, despite all the chances, when Caitlin Van Sickle finished off a scramble in the goal mouth.

The US pushed forward and their aggressive approach paid off.

They had a shot hit the post and worked their way into New Zealand's circle regularly.

United States coach Craig Parnham was happier with a more dominant performance than Tuesday.

"We didn't threaten the circle in the last game as much as we'd like to and that was one of our areas to try and challenge a bit more," he said.

"I thought we did that. We created a few more clear-cut chances and I'm a firm believer if you're going to score goals, you've got to create chances."

He said like the Black Sticks, the US are rebuilding, so they may try different things in the last two games.

Rose Keddell starred for the Black Sticks with her runs down the left side as well as getting back on defence. Liz Thompson was outstanding at the back and Pippa Hayward had some good breaks.

Captain Anita Punt lifted in the second half as she tried to get them back in the game.

Melissa Gonzalez and Michelle Vittese were strong for the visitors in the middle of the field and van Sickle was a threat on attack.

The Black Sticks lost goalkeeper Amelia Gibson on Wednesday after she broke her collarbone. No 1 keeper Sally Rutherford, who was being rested for this series, was flown in to replace Gibson, joining Palmerston North's Georgia Barnett, who impressed with her work this week, as the two goalies in the squad.


USA 2 (Katie Reinprecht, Caitlin Van Sickle) New Zealand 0. Halftime: 1-0.


Black Sticks falter

Photo / John Stone

The USA beat New Zealand 2-0 in their fourth game of the six-test women's hockey series last night at Palmerston North. The win gives the visitors a 2-1 series lead, with two games still to play this weekend in the Wairarapa.

American Katie Reinprecht, scored from a penalty corner in the 13th minute with Caitlin van Sickle doubling it in the 50th minute.

The Black Sticks were awarded penalty corners in the final quarter but failed to convert.

"It was disappointing tonight, especially at the start, we had our chances and just didn't put them away.

"We didn't muscle up with them, they pushed us off the ball, we didn't win our one-on-ones," said co-captain Anita Punt.

"The last couple of games have been disappointing."

The New Zealand Herald

Whoever made the statement that I have withdrawn my resignation should retract it: Terry Walsh

Rutvick Mehta

Among other things, head coach Terry Walsh wants functional autonomy. In a long chat with Rutvick Mehta, he explains why the money set aside for hockey must be directly accessible to the high-performance group of Hockey India

Going by reports, you had a fruitful meeting with Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials. Have they agreed to your demand of functional autonomy?
Yes, that's one of the pieces of the puzzle. And yes, it was a good and a receptive discussion. These comments are not new; it's just that, all of a sudden, they've become a seed. I get disappointed when I hear that these sorts of things haven't been brought to the table before because they indeed have for a few times.

Could you throw light on what kind of functional autonomy you're asking for?
I think it's important that the budget and supply by the government is directly accessible to the high-performance group of Hockey India (HI). In the structure that we currently have, high-performance director Roelant (Oltmans) should be the one overseeing that budget. So that, I guess, is what they call functional autonomy. If you have to get things done without red-tapism, you have to go through the system on the way up and then on the way down. Some of these things take a short period of time and some seem to take an infinite amount of time. This way, it allows the time to be in the hands of the programme. And I think that's very important, whether it be an air ticket or a piece of training equipment that's needed. Because in the high-performance programme, you try and quantify exactly what's happening throughout the year, and it's impossible to do that now. To give great credit, I think SAI tried to be as flexible as they possible could within the parameters that they work in. The problem is it is not instantaneous flexibility. And that's what you need.

HI was quick to put the blame on SAI and vice-versa. Is the constant disagreement between the two bodies also part of your problems?
I don't think they are at loggerheads. I think that impression is being created due to what I referred to as the bureaucracy, the decision-making behaviours in the bureaucracy. It just takes forever. And they happen to be the bodies that are involved. For us, it's HI and then it goes to SAI and then comes back again to HI. That's how it goes. I don't think anyone is deliberately obstructing, it's just the processes that are in place. I think what we're trying to do is streamline that, and make it easily accessible, give accountability and access to the people who are employed to do so.

And were you promised that?
Well, that's something that's in the programme and in the discussion point. But as is the case always, discussion points and implementations in these things are not necessarily one and the same. The indication was that the concepts are very much in sync with what they have on their mind, and so it would seem that we could move in that direction relatively quickly. I don't know how quickly, but you can't see that being done before the start of the next financial operating year, which is March-April. You're not going to change until that point. But all the pieces need to be in place so that they can actually happen.

So if all the issues mentioned (see boxes) are resolved and is reflected in your renewed contract, you will stay on, right?
Just to be clear, my contract runs through until August 2016. I resigned. That means that there is a one-month notice period, which is till November 19. Now it doesn't matter what anybody wants or thinks, but that's the situation as of now. They've asked me to retract it, and said all these things will be fixed. I said no. Because fixing these issues aren't just the solution to where I'm at. I've got the problem of being away, even though they're saying you can be home for a much longer time and work from Australia. It still doesn't necessarily solve the problem. I've still got to be away for a long time to have that work. Now, I haven't had a chance to sit down with my wife and family and discuss this option that's been put up. And I think it's rather frivolous of people to think that it can be done overnight. That instantaneous gratification in everything is a part of this culture. It doesn't matter if you're successful with a gold medal or you fail to win one game — everything breaks loose. It's instantaneous. And everyone is trying to find a solution politically. I'm not interested in a political solution. I'm interested in an operable solution that factually works and increases the probability of the team improving. That's where I'm coming from.

But there were statements made on Wednesday that you have withdrawn your resignation and that all is well...
That's completely false. Whoever made that statement should retract it. And I'm sorry, but if it was the DG SAI (director-general Jiji Thomson) — I don't read the press much honestly — they need to retract it. Because I'm telling you if I read that it has come from certain people in high positions, all that will do is push me away. Because that means they're not telling the truth.

This paper spoke to Thomson on Wednesday. He said you will be given personal autonomy...
No, he's given you a political answer. (Pauses) The reality is this: I was asked to withdraw my resignation by both HI and SAI. And I refused. Because I know that it doesn't solve the problem. It solves their problem. It doesn't solve my problem. And I've been trying to solve their problems for 12 months.

So will that meeting with HI and SAI in November be a make-or-break one?
Look, somewhere around November 10 or 12, there has to be a discussion if this topic has to change its direction. But there has to be a solution before November 19. So, logically, one meeting is not going to solve this. This is going to be a discussion that provides a solution and that people are going to decide which is the best direction to take. There's no guarantee at all that just because the requests for the improvement of programming has been put in place, that I'm going to say 'Oh, I'm going to stay'. That's not true.

Your decision to resign shocked many. Was it a spontaneous decision?
It's been a cumulative build-up in frustration of how the system works. Finally, we managed to reach the target that we set (Asian Games gold). I think a person would've been beyond being brave if he had predicted an Asian Games gold at the start of the year. We wouldn't have won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games. That, in my view, is an even bigger feat. But processes take time to evolve. In the modern world of sport, you can get a result for the moment. But for sustained excellence, the preparation has to be very good for a long period of time. People immediately said that we won a gold at Asian Games and that means, by some incredible imaginative co-relation, we can win a medal at the 2016 Olympics (laughs). That's not the case. There's a huge amount of improvement to be done, and my view is that if you stay in exactly the same environment — management and administrative-wise — that will not occur. So I'm not looking at today, I'm looking at 2016, 2020, 2024.

I spoke to the guys this morning and we tried to keep everyone updated about what's going on with the truth, and they said 'look, we're now with a focus towards 2016 Olympics'. That's where the focus is. There will be ups and downs on the way, but once we hit into 2016, we'll be looking at 2018. Now that's almost unknown here. And that's what I mean by sports administration. Sport in India can travel up the flag pole if you do at least a little of what the other countries are doing. Otherwise you'll be further down that what you were this year. You have to, at least, match what they're doing on the organisational and strategical front. Unfortunately, India is the only place I know that operates in a different way. Good countries trust and give autonomy to people who are heading the programmes.

A lot of people in the hockey fraternity have questioned the timing of your resignation. 'Didn't he know how things work in India?' is what they're saying?
Because if it's not fixed, India will fall into complete obscurity in the sporting world. Specifically talking about hockey, as a hockey lover, I would be very sad to see that happen.

So are you hopeful that things will change now?
Look, this is going to be an obscure answer because I've raised these issues at least six times since I've been here. The difference now is that someone's listening. I don't know whether I've been talking the wrong language at the wrong time or that people are affected so significantly by success. I sense the latter.

Finally, the team seems to be happy working under you. The fans have some hope. Can we expect you to continue in your role if all your issues are promised to be dealt with?
It's very humbling for me that people think that I have some sort of a magic wand. I don't. This programme can exist very well as long as it functions with good processes. And it doesn't matter who's in and who's not. If the processes are right, you've got a very good chance of success. But if they're not and it's hit and miss, that's exactly what will happen. It will be hit and miss. I'll give you an example. When the decision came after the World Cup (In June, where India finished ninth) that we're going to jump up in the air and have a review, remember that? It comes under that banner of sports administration. Tell me where the review is after the Commonwealth and Asian Games. Because that's equally important. So what you're talking about is a mentality. You've not talking about the process. Because if the process was that we're going to have a review after every tournament, not a knee-jerk reaction that 'heck, the water is breaking through the wall, let's have a review'. That's the problem as I see it. It's not just with the review system. People talk to me about administrative problems all the time. Where's that review? Why doesn't that happen? The answer is that there's no process in place for that.


On pay
Look, we haven't even talked about things like finance. No one's mentioned anything to do with that. It amazes me (laughs). I'm really pleased that they are focusing on things that are important for the programming. So I haven't even brought that subject up (of finance). But there's a reality to all of this. Quite frankly, the last 12 months have been really difficult. Not just a little bit hard, but incredibly hard. That's part of the deal. It's not a matter of you're being paid relatively handsomely in this environment, and I can tell you that it's nowhere close to where I was before. But that's not the reason I'm here. Given that I've been able to show, quite frankly, that I can do the job in this environment, then probably there's something that needs to be thought about in that side of things. But that's not my role. If I have to go pleading, then I'm really not comfortable about that.

On tax
The tax is not an issue, because it's under control with SAI. I think the methodology that's being utilised, it again falls back to these issues. If it's not being paid at the right time in the right moment, there are problems in that. You have to be clear and concise. You can't make mistakes with international people. It just doesn't work. Have there been some issues there? I think so. Have I personally been subject to that issue? Not that I know of. I need to go online, and see if I can drag off all my paid tax. It's certainly being indicated, but I haven't got to the stage yet of paying the tax for the year. But I will be in the next few weeks.

On leave
Leave is a personal thing. It has nothing to do with the programme. People who work in my field can work remotely. There are so many professions in the world where remote operations exist. When there's a national camp on, I don't have an issue with that. If you want to take leave from that, you do it by going through the formal leave process. But if you have a situation where you've got a two-three week hiatus in the programme — and you have to have these for the revitalisation of the players — there's no point in sitting in a hotel in Delhi when I can be sitting doing the same thing in Perth. Yes, there's the air fare there but it saves you costs. There's no communication problems because with modern-day technology, there's no difference in whether I'm in Delhi or New York. All you have to do is update the operational status of the organisation.

On selection
Selection is not a problem. I think the process is, but I don't think that there's any collusion. In the men's programme, at least, I can categorically say that it doesn't exist.


Indian team for Australia series announced

s2h Team

New Delhi: A 21-member team to play test series against Australia in preparation for the upcoming FIH Champions Trophy 2014 (Bhubaneswar, 06-14 December 2014) has been announced.

The tam will depart for the Australian on 29th, will be seen training and playing the ‘four-match test series’ against Australia at the Perth Hockey Stadium.

India will also play one training game against Australia A on 1 November 2014. According to a HI press release, the 21 member squad for the Australian Tour was selected by Hockey India selectors B P Govinda, Harbinder Singh and Arjun Halappa along with Chief Coach Terry Walsh, Coach Jude Felix and Physiotherapist Jince Thomas Mathew on the basis of their performance in the recently concluded 17th Asian Games 2014 in Incheon and selection trials conducted at at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi on 16 October 2014.

The team will be led by Sardar Singh (197 Caps) with goalie P R Sreejesh (112 Caps) as his deputy.

The team


P R Sreejesh (112 Caps) Vice- Captain
Harjot Singh (05 Caps)


Gurbaj Singh (176 Caps)
Rupinder Pal Singh (99 Caps)
V R Raghunath (172 Caps)
Briendra Lakra (83 Caps)
Kothajit Singh Khadangbam (83 Caps)
Gurjinder Singh (16 Caps)
Harbir Singh Sandhu (30 Caps)


Manpreet Singh (109 Caps)
S K Uthappa (54 Caps)
Sardar Singh (197 Caps) Captain
Dharamvir Singh (87 Caps)
Danish Mujtaba (123 Caps)
Satbir Singh (12 Caps)


Nikkin Thimmaiah(23 Caps)
S V Sunil (149 Caps)
Mandeep Singh (40 Caps)
Akashdeep Singh (53 Caps)
Ramandeep Singh (23 Caps)
Lalit Upadhyay (06 Caps)


Polo make it four from four

Borja Llorens’ single goal was enough to earn RC Polo a fourth successive win in Spain’s Honour Division as they saw off SPV Complutense in a tight battle last Sunday.

Speaking about the win, Polo captain Manel Terraza said it was a game in which his side improved as the tie progressed: “Complutense SPV battled well throughout the game, in part because we have not taken enough chances.

“But I would also like to congratulate their goalkeeper, because I believe that he had a very good game and made things difficult for us.We could easily have increased the goal difference significantly but for his performance.”

It was the closest tie of round four of the league with Atletic Terrassa bouncing back from their EHL exit with an 8-1 win over RC Jolaseta while Club Egara beat UD Taburiente 5-0.

Campo saw off FC Junior 5-0 and San Sebasitan defeated CD Terrassa.

Euro Hockey League media release

Pauchet leads St Germain to top spot

St Germain continued their fine start to the French elite competition with their fourth win from six outings in Pool A, beating CA Montrouge, the previous table-toppers, 4-0.

Jean-Baptiste Pauchet got the only goal of the first half – his tenth of the season – when he finished off good work from Francois Goyet and Blaise Rogeau.

Guillem Roig’s penalty corner made it 2-0 while William Jeammot and Frederic Verrier completed the win.

Racing are leading the way in Pool B by four points but they drew 1-1 with Jean Bouin in their sixth game of the preliminary phase. Lille sit four points back but with a game in hand.

Euro Hockey League media release

COURTING SUCCESS: Champions Telkom Orange get back to the drawing board ahead of continental title defence

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Sharon Odinga of Telkom Orange and Charity Miller of Vikings hockey team fight for ball possession in their ladies final match in the Vaiskhi 2013 Cup tournament at city park

After a disastrous outing at the Sana tournament in Mombasa, Africa Women's Hockey Club champions Orange Telkom are back to the drawing board.

The 16-time national champions had a disappointing trip where United States International University-Africa's (USIU-A) Spartans bundled them out of the Sana tournament in the semis as their junior team - Orange Rovers - fell in the final to the students.

Orange head coach Jos Openda told FeverPitch they will go back to the drawing board to come up with new strategies ahead of the continental showpiece set for November 22-30 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

"We had a bad day in office at the Sana tourney but all is not lost because we still have time to correct our mistakes and make sure that we are ready to take on tougher opponents."

Openda added that Sana tournament was an eye opener and he will work on all units to strengthen them in preparation for the daunting task that awaits them.

"My forwards failed to score in Mombasa, which is not a good sign, we were also poor in flicks. These are areas that need to be polished so we can be ready just in case the winners have to be decided in penalty shootouts."

Orange Rovers lost 2-1 to USIU-A Spartans in the finals after penalty shootouts.

Openda said securing their seventh title will not be easy, but the team is up to task and will play their hearts out to make the country proud. Orange will be defending the continental title for the third time in a row which means that they will keep the trophy should they emerge victorious at the end of the nine-day event.

He said: "We expect more clubs because Bulawayo, we have to up our game to bring the continental trophy home."

Meanwhile the women's national hockey team is yet to begin training for the second round of the International Hockey Federation World League series to be staged from February 28 to 8 March 2015 in Montevideo, Uruguay.

The team was to get back to training early October, it is alleged that players allegedly refused to report to camp over unpaid allowances.

Kenya Hockey Union, who has so far paid the players Sh5,000 each, are waiting for the government to pay the remaining Sh15,000 per player.

The Standard Online

SSSC-A Win to Top the Standings

By Bill Cox

SSSC-A team members having a conference during their Week-2 match of the 2014-15 season. (Bill Cox)

HONG KONG—Only 3-matches were played on Sunday Oct 19 in Hong Kong Hockey Association Premier Division. Hong Kong Cricket Club (HKCC) beat Kowloon Cricket Club (KCC) 1-0, Shaheen had their second win of the season (6-3) at the expense of KNS, Hong Kong Football Club-A (HKFC-A) won 5-3 against their HKFC-B side keeping A’s unbeaten record intact, but it was the match between Khalsa-A and SSSC-A that was the most significant.

SSSC-A playing without their club Captain, who according to Singh Sabha convenor may well be out for at least two months due to the broken arm he sustained in last week’s match, put up a strong performance against Khalsa-A at the King’s Park Hockey Ground.

Under the leadership of Vice Captain Navdeep Sharma, SSSC-A scored a 4-1 win over the illustrious Khalsa-A team. Khalsa Manager, Gurcharan Singh, told Epoch Times, “We have no regrets to lose this game as both teams played clean and constructive hockey as there was not a single warning card in the game. It was not our day as we hit the woodwork 4-times.”

This result puts SSSC-A on top of the standings on 15-points from 5 matches, Khalsa-A, Punjab and HKFC-A are on 12-points (but Punjab and HKFC-A have a game in hand). HKCC-A are on 7-points, and KNS-A, KCC-A, and Shaheen are all on 6-points. Valley-A have 4-points from just 3-games to date.

A full set of fixture are scheduled for this coming Saturday Oct 25 (Women) and Sunday Oct 26 (Men).

Women: At Sports Road, HKFC-B play Shaheen-A and HKFC-A play Valley-A; and at Happy Valley, Dutch-A play KCC-A.

Men: At Sports Road, HKFC-B play Khalsa-A and HKFC-A meet KNS-A. At Happy Valley, Valley-A take on KCC-A and at King’s Park Pak-A play HKCC-A, Shaheen-A play Rhino, and Punjab-A play SSSC-A.

The Epoch Times

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