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News for 25 November 2014

All the news for Tuesday 25 November 2014

Has Max got the Midas touch?

After achieving every honour possible with the Netherlands women's team, can Max Caldas now turn silver into gold with the men?

(Photo: FIH)

The Netherlands men's hockey team has won silver medals at the most recent editions of the Olympic Games, World Cup and Champions Trophy, losing out to Germany, and then Australia twice. During that period of time they have been coached by Paul van Ass, and most teams would have been satisfied with the consistency of regular silverware. However, this is the Netherlands, a team with a long and successful hockey tradition and Robert van der Horst and his men are longing to get back to the very top.

The appointment of Max Caldas, the Argentine double Olympian, as coach to the men's team demonstrates just how determined the Dutch Hockey Board (KNHB) is about raising the men's team one more level. Caldas has enjoyed enormous success with the Netherlands women. Gold at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, and the most recent victory at the 2014 World Cup have established the Netherlands women firmly at the top of the world rankings. The question is whether Caldas can repeat the feat with the men.

The former international defender has been in place with the men's team since the World Cup, so does he feel the team is heading in the right direction for a possible victory at the Champions Trophy?

"It is very difficult to say where we are at this point in time. We have just started with a new direction in our programme, staff and players," he says. "I am happy with the progress so far but lack the references to know where other teams might be in comparison to our own progression. As elite performers, you always aim high for every tournament, but it that always realistic today? I do not know."

For Caldas the Champions Trophy is an opportunity to expose new or inexperienced players to top competition, as well as a route to Rio 2016. He explains that as this Champions Trophy falls midway through the Olympic four-year cycle it becomes an event that plays a dual role.

For that reason, Caldas has been training with a bigger squad, giving himself a wider talent pool and more tactical options. He is also keen to give as many young players a chance to play for the Netherlands as he can, readying them for the challenges of international hockey. He is reluctant to pick out any player who will shine at the Champions Trophy, just saying "all of them I hope."

He is also reluctant to take too much credit for the success of the women's team under his tutelage.

"I did not find a formula, it comes down to hard work; it is about helping athletes fulfil their potential. Of course, it is also about making tough choices but having fun along the way too.

"But it is mainly down to the players. They are the stars of the show and I was able to work with very talented players in the women's team. They drove the programme to new heights and we pushed each other along the way. There is no formula for this. The men will find their own pathway as we go along and we will improve, no doubt about it. But the rest of the world will too…"

In less than a month the world will see if Caldas has given his men the Midas touch. But again the Argentine is reluctant to speculate or predict his team's fortunes. "I do not think it would be fair to other teams to pretend that we are the only ones who have to move from silver to gold. The Aussies are setting the benchmark at this point in time and we are chasing them along with other teams as well.

"We have an idea where we need to move to in terms of squad development, but this Champions Trophy will give us the chance to confirm where we are and where we can get to, further down the road."
#BestoftheBest #CT2014

FIH site

Gurjinder, Lalit in Champions Trophy hockey squad

Indian hockey team captain Sardar Singh and vice-captain P.R. Sreejesh. The Hindu

Young drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh and forward Lalit Upadhyay have been included in the 18-member Indian team for the Champions Trophy hockey tournament to be held at Bhubaneswar from December 6 to 14.

Gurjinder, who has worked hard on his fitness and played well against Australia in Perth, has been added as the third drag-flicker along with the established duo of V.R. Raghunath and Rupinder Pal Singh.

Roelant Oltmans, who has stepped in as the coach for the Champions Trophy following the exit of Terry Walsh, said: “Gurjinder deserved the spot. We see how he has improved in the last half year. He has improved his fitness level.”

The Dutchman said Upadhyay replaced Gurwinder Singh Chandi, who was nursing a groin injury. “We had to choose between Mandeep (Singh), Lalit and Yuvraj (Walmiki). Lalit (won the spot because he) performed well on the Australian tour.”

On striker Mandeep Singh’s absence, Oltmans said he needed to take a step back to be part of the junior team, and improve his skills in open play.

Oltmans avoided queries related to Walsh’s absence, and asserted that the team’s morale was high.

“We know there are distractions everywhere in every process. At this level, we only have to look forward to the Champions Trophy, and make sure we prepare ourselves as well as possible,” he said.

“The boys are training hard, eager to learn and open to suggestions, and I am sure when the Champions Trophy starts they will be ready.”

“I need all the energy in me to make sure the team is going to perform well.”

Even as captain Sardar Singh and midfielder Manpreet Singh sat out a few drills due to minor fitness issues, Oltmans said he had to use his players carefully, heading into an important tournament and with a hectic calendar ahead.

The National moves to Bhubaneswar later this week.

The team:

Goalkeepers: P.R. Sreejesh (vice-captain), Harjot Singh;

Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh, V.R. Raghunath, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, Gurbaj Singh, Gurjinder Singh;

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Sardar Singh (captain), Dharamvir Singh, Danish Mujtaba, S.K. Uthappa;

Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, S.V. Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Lalit Upadhyay.

The Hindu

Oltmans unfazed by duel responsibility in Champions Trophy

NEW DELHI: Discharging duel responsibility in a crucial tournament is not a new thing for Indian hockey's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans whose primary focus now is to prepare the team as best as he can for the Champions Trophy in the absence of just-retired coach Terry Walsh.

For the second time in his stint with Indian hockey, Oltmans had to double up as a coach and High Performance Director in an important event after Australian Walsh quit from his post recently following the breakdown of his contractual talks with Hockey India and Sports Authority of India.

But the legendary Dutchman was unfazed by the challenge at hand and said he prefers to look forward than ponder about the past.

"I have done that before as well in the 2013 Asia Cup. It's not the most good thing but at this moment we have to look forward and ensure we prepare the team as good as we can for the Champions Trophy. It's an important tournament where 8 best teams of the world will be competing," said Oltmans about his immediate task at hand.

"The morale of the team is good because we clearly know there are distractions in every process. But at this moment we only want to look forward. We are just looking at the Champions Trophy and trying to make sure that we are prepared as good as possible," he told reporters after the team's training session at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Monday.

"The boys are training hard, they are eager to learn, they are open for suggestions.

"I know there are high expectations so we have to play accordingly. The boys are really keen to once again produce a fantastic performance in 2014," he added.

Oltmans refused to predict about India's final result in the Champions Trophy but said for him what is important is "performance".

"I never talk about the outcome because its not in our hands. What in our hands is the performance level. I only know is that we need to prepare ourselves to give a good performance," he said.

Oltmans also refused to discuss about the possible successor of Walsh, saying right now all his energies are focussed on the Champions Trophy to be held in Bhubaneswar from December 6-14.

"At this moment that is not something that keeps me busy. Right now I need all my energy to focus on the job at hand and ensure the team performs well in the Champions Trophy. That is my priority right now to be honest. But straight after Champions Trophy that (new coach selection) will be my concern. I guess that is part of the job of a High Performance Director."

Asked whether Gurjinder Singh's inclusion in the team will create a problem of plenty for him in the drafglicking department, Oltmans said: "Absolutely not. Gurjinder deserves a spot in the team. We can see in his test results how he has improved in the last one year. That's really fantastic. For us it's only positive that we now have three dragflickers."

"Chandi has groin injury so we had to chose between a couple of forwards like Mandeep, Yuvraj and Lalit and in the end Lalit got the nod because of his performance in the Australia tour."

"I am not concerned about finishing because I know all of these boys can finish. Sunil is is in very good shape at the moment. Nikkin can score goals, we all know Akashdeep can score goals, Lalit can score goals. In the Australia tour we scored more field goals than penalty corners," he said.

India captain Sardar Singh said even though the Australian has quit, they are trying to follow Walsh's schedule and hopes to finish the year on a good note.

"This is a major event after the World Cup. This year has been pretty good for Indian hockey and we will try our best to keep the good work going and finish the year on a high," he said.

"There will be pressure but we will also get home support."

Talking about Walsh, Sardar said: "He was a good coach but whatever his issues are only Hockey India and SAI can decide.

"But we are following the same training schedule. Oltmans and other coaches have been there with us for the last one year and we did not make much changes in our schedule."

Indian goalkeeper and vice-captain PR Sreejesh said the they won't let Walsh's resignation episode effect the performance of the team in the Champions Trophy.

"What happens outside the field doesn't affect the team that much. But it definitely becomes a little difficult when a coach who has been there for a year quits before an important tournament. But all the players know the importance of the Champions Trophy. Our focus would be maintain our consistency," he said.

"Going by our performances in the this year I think we have more positives to take into the tournament and we will be hoping for a top four finish in the CT."

The Times of India

Ready to re-appoint Walsh as coach if Hockey India agrees: SAI

NEW DELHI: Sports Authority of India (SAI) Director General Jiji Thomson Monday said that the authority is ready to re-appoint chief coach Terry Walsh but only after receiving the consent of approval from Hockey India (HI).

"We had discussed several issues with Terry Walsh and all the stakeholders regarding his (coach) proposals. HI raised some objection about some financial impropriety against Walsh and we need to get more details on it. HI won't accept Walsh without a clearance on this issue and we are also waiting for it to be cleared," Thomson said.

"The coach asked for two days to reply and he is yet to get back to us. There is no denying that he is a fantastic coach but it's not between us and Walsh. HI is a key part of the decision. If HI is not happy with him, it is difficult for us to engage him as the coach of the country. The ball is in HI's court. If HI says that it is comfortable with the coach, we are ready (to re-appoint Walsh)."

Thomson made it clear that the SAI has rejected Walsh's idea of providing online coaching from his home in Australia while taking a paid leave of 120 days.

"We were not comfortable with some of his demands. Online coaching system is not acceptable to us. Later, he came down on his demand of 120 days paid leave."

The Times of India

Terry Walsh writes to Minister on tussle with HI chief

Vijay Lokapally

Australian coach Terry Walsh has written a letter to Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal explaining his side of the position in the on-going tussle with the Hockey India President N.K. Batra.

Following Batra’s accusation that Walsh, when associated with the USA Field Hockey Federation, had been involved in some financial irregularity, the Australian had attempted to clear his name by addressing the issue in a communication to Sonowal.

Admitting that the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Sports Ministry had been most co-operative in this matter, Walsh expressed his happiness that some of the reforms he had suggested were already in the process of being implemented. He was also considering the suggestions from SAI and the Sports Ministry that he resume training the Indian team provided some of the issues with Hockey India were resolved in the interest of everyone.

Major issue

The major issue, according to Walsh, is the “reprehensible allegation” relating to his stint with USA Field Hockey Federation. Walsh has termed the allegation “baseless” and claimed the charges had already been “refuted” by officials of US Hockey.

To clear his name, Walsh, who guided India to the Asian Games gold at Incheon recently, informed that he had already instituted legal proceedings in the US to seek restitution and protect his reputation.

Holding the team he trained in high regard, Walsh assured that he remained committed to the players whether he was engaged as coach or not in the future. He said the players also understood their role and involvement in the drive to restore the game’s great history of excellence at the international level.

Walsh said he was willing to come to India and resume discussions with the SAI but wanted to clear his name from the “detestable” misinformation being spread about him. He hopes Hockey India would join in the process to prepare the team for glory at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Hindu

I am wiling to return immediately: Terry Walsh to Union Sports Minister

Rutvick Mehta

Terry Walsh on Monday shot off a letter to sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal, saying he is willing to return to India immediately.

"I remain willing to return to India immediately to resume positive discussions with SAI (Sports Authority of India) and at the same time publicly refute the detestable misinformation being introduced into the public arena," Walsh wrote.

Walsh is miffed by the allegations made by Hockey India (HI) president Narinder Batra relating to his tenure with the USA hockey federation. It remains the only bone of contention between all the parties after Walsh's demands were agreed to in principle by SAI before he flew back to Australia.

"I will keep faith with SAI and undertake to accede to their request to continue to coach the national team in the medium-term subject to the resolution of several issues with Hockey India. Hopefully truth and common sense will prevail in the interests of the game," Walsh wrote.

The Australian was supposed to receive a fresh set of proposals and decide by the weekend whether or not he will return. Walsh, however, has received no formal communication from either SAI, HI or sports ministry officials since November 20.

"My earnest wish is that Hockey India joins with us to enable the national team to begin its preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games free of controversy and irrelevant other issues," Walsh wrote.


Indian teams will be across three continents simultaneously early next month

K Arumugam

Various Indian hockey teams will be in action across three continents simultaneously in early next month, presenting vibrancy of its national game at elite levels, creating in its wake a great amount of zeal for the sport in the world.

Indian men will be the cynosure of all eyes between 6th and 14th Dec at Bhubneswar in Orissa, event being India hosting the Champions Trophy third time in its annals.

Even as the heat will start to beam on the event of Indian challenge in the Champions Trophy Indian juniors would have deeply plunged into an exciting duels with Australia in a 5-match test series at Gold Coast.

The matches commence four days before Bhubneswar Champions trophy and will wind off a day before the finals of the Indian mega event will come to and end. Coach Harendra is taking the juniors in preparation for the next year's Junior Asia.

Not to be undone, Indian ladies will tour Italy around the same time under the leadership of Ritu Rani.

So, early next month Men will be in action in Asia, Colts at Oceania while our ladies will be in Europe. Thus, they will create buzz in wherever they play, contributing to the dynamism of hockey in no small measure.

India will thus help hockey acquire maximum vibrancy in at least three continents.

Junior Team for Australia Test Series
Goalkeepers: 1. Abhinav Kumar Pandey 2. Jugraj Singh Defenders: 3. Varun Kumar 4. Harmanpreet Singh 5. Dipsan Turkey 6. Gurinder Singh 7. Jarmanpreet Singh 8. Anand Lakra Midfielders: 9. Harjeet Singh - Captain 10. Imran Khan - Vice Captain 11. Santa Singh 12. Manpreet Singh 13. Sumit Forwards: 14. Parvinder Singh 15. Simranjeet Singh 16. Sumit Toppo 17. Mandeep Singh 18. Arman Qureshi

Indian women's team for the Italy Series
Goalkeepers 1. Savita 2. Rajani Etimarpu Defenders 3. Deep Grace Ekka 4. Jaspreet Kaur 5. Sushila Chanu 6. M.N.Ponnamma 7.Sunita Lakra 8. Namita Toppo 9. Manjit Kaur Midfielders 10. Deepika – Vice Captain 11. Lilima Minz 12. Ritu Rani- Captain 13. Lily Chanu 14. Navjot Kaur 15. Amandeep Kaur Forwards 16. Poonam Rani 17. Vandana Katariya 18. Soundarya Yendala

Indian team for the Bhubneswar Champions Trophy
Goal Keepers 1. P.R. Sreejesh-Vice Captain (115 Caps) 2. Harjot Singh (6 Caps) Defenders 3. Rupinder Pal Singh (101 Caps) 4. V.R. Raghunath (176 Caps) 5. Birendra Lakra (87 Caps) 6. Kothajit Singh (87 Caps) 7. Gurbaj Singh (180 Caps) 8. Gurjinder Singh (19 Caps) Midfielders 9. Manpreet Singh (112 Caps) 10. Sardar Singh – Captain (200 Caps) 11. Dharamvir Singh (90 caps) 12. Danish Mujtaba (127 Caps) 13. S.K. Uthappa (58 Caps) Forwards 14. Ramandeep Singh (26 Caps) 15. SV Sunil (153 Caps) 16. Akashdeep Singh (56 Caps) 17. Nikkin Thimmaiah (27 Caps) 18. Lalit Upadhyay (9 Caps)


PSB to face IOC in final

New Delhi - Indian Oil and Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) registered contrasting victories to storm into the final of the Nehru Hockey Tournament here on Monday. Sunil Yadav scored a brace as Indian Oil thrashed ONGC 5-2, while PSB edged past Army XI 6-4 via a penalty shoot-out after ending 1-1 at full-time.

In the first semifinal, there was little to choose between PSB and Army. At half-time, the match was poised in favour of PSB who took the lead in the 15th minute through Joga Singh. Army got the equaliser in the 45th minute through Binoy Bhengra.

In the penalty shoot-out, Sarvanjit Singh, Gautampal Singh, Joga, Ajit Pandit and Vikramjit Singh converted for PSB.

The Tribune

National sport not being treated like one

By Nabil Tahir

Hockey players are uneasy as the government has refrained from providing assistance as the financial crisis worsens. PHOTO: FILE EXPRESS

KARACHI: The national hockey team, whose players are without their central contracts since the past 22 months, has yet to receive any support from the government to avert the financial crisis surrounding the national sport.

The former world champions are currently training at the Hockey Club of Pakistan in Karachi for the upcoming Champions Trophy, set to be played in Bhubaneswar, India from December 6 to December 14.

The team recently won a silver medal at the Asian Games, but have not received any appreciation from the government officials as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cancelled a crucial meeting with the team twice.

However, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Rana Mujahid backed his players and assured them that they the government’s negligence should not be a cause of worry for them.

“Although the PHF is going through financial crisis, we respect our players and we won’t take any facilities back from them,” Mujahid told The Express Tribune. “If the government is not supporting them, then we will do it on our own.

“The team will now travel to Lahore by air, from where they will go to Amritsar through the Wagah Border and then will sojourn to Bhubaneswar by air.”

Talking about the preparations for the Champions Trophy, he added that a huge revenue was required, which is impossible to generate without the help of the government.

“We require Rs25 million for the team to participate in the event, which hasn’t been granted yet.”

Head coach Shahnaz Sheikh added, “If the government wants good results from the team, they should motivate them by providing them with basic facilities at least.”

Players uneasy as future uncertain

The players who have left their respective international leagues for their national team are disappointed on hearing such news.

“We haven’t heard anything like this in the history of the sport,” said goalkeeper Imran Butt, who left the Malaysian League to make himself available for international duty.

Seven players who left their leagues half-way through and came back to prepare for the Champions Trophy were of the opinion that they have to earn for their home and cannot forsake their source of income just for the sake of the national hockey team.

It is significant to mention here that the 16 players of the national are getting Rs800 daily, while the management is receiving Rs1,000 per day.

Express Tribune

Samiullah lashes out at PHF for poor planning

Mohsin Ali

ISLAMABAD - Olympian Samiullah lashes out at Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Rana Mujahid and termed him a non-technocrat as far as managing Pakistan hockey is concerned.

Talking to The Nation, Sami said the PHF secretary didn’t aware of simple rules, as at one hand, he deposited passports with Indian High Commission for issuance of visas for the Champions Trophy, set to commence in India from December 6, while on the other hand, he once again tried to befool players by announcing team will depart for South Korean trip.

“Pakistan stands no chance in the Champions Trophy as first of all, they are in a very strong pool and have to play the likes of European super power Belgium in the first match, England in the second and mighty Australia in the third and last pool match. Secondly, there was absolutely no planning witnessed during the waste-of-time-and-money training camp established in Karachi. Majority of the players were busy in playing leagues in different countries, and when they finally came back, they started to cry like babies and started demanding incentives and central contracts.

“I support their genuine demand, as it is their right to get contracts and other incentives, but before desiring, they have to deliver. I strongly object the blackmailing of the senior players who threaten to wear black arm bands to force through their demands. This is not the way, and the federation must not be blackmailed. It is duty of the PHF top brass to stamp out authority and reprimanded the players for such behavior,” he added.

Samiullah said it was quite disheartening to watch the green shirts going down in international rankings with each passing day and no one else but former and current PHF management was responsible for the decline. “I doubt the people sitting at the helm of affairs don’t have wisdom and guts to take Pakistan hockey back to same old glory days. They talk too much but reality is quite different. Instead of lavish international personal tours in the name of meetings and spending huge national kitty on these foreign tours, they must hand over the amount to the players, they must understand all they enjoy is just because of the players’ hard work, dedication and they deserve better treatment from the federation,” he stated.

Sami said that time was fast running out and Pakistan hockey was at its lowest ebb. “There is a dire need of drastic changes and taking steps to put Pakistan hockey on right track. I can’t see any hope under these people and I am very frustrated and fearing for the future of hockey.”

“Youth has already stopped taking interest in playing hockey, and the federation main focus is still the same lot of players. How could it be possible to even think about getting favorable results when there is absolutely no backup? Who is going to take short corners? Once we had the best plenty corner in shape of Sohial Abbas, but the federation is sleeping. Instead of grooming more and more players to take short corners, the federation heavily relied on Sohail’s shoulders to deliver and when after a number of retirements and comebacks, Sohail finally called it a day,” he added.

“Now hardly green shirts manage to score goals on plenty corners, an area which should have been given top priority, but the federation is still living in fool’s paradise. Instead of taking solid steps and accept their failures, they use players to issue statements in their favour. The players should only concentrate on their game, and it is the federation’s responsibility to face media. Imran had given very childish statement, and I couldn’t expect such statements from the national team captain. He should have talked with the PHF and head coach before going into the media,” Sami concluded.

The Nation

Tickets on sale for Black Sticks South Island tour!

Image: www.photosport.co.nz

Get in quick and secure your tickets for the Black Sticks Men vs Canada in Nelson and Christchurch next month.

The four test series runs from 9-14 December with the opening two fixtures at Saxton Field in Nelson before the final two games at Marist Park at St. Bede’s College in Christchurch.

It's the first time a New Zealand men's team has played in Nelson since 1952, while the Black Sticks haven't taken to the turf in Christchurch since before the devastating 2011 earthquakes.

So come along, bring the family and watch the best hockey players from New Zealand and Canada battle it out PLUS get player autographs after the game.

Tickets are cheaper online than at the gate so book now and save!


6.30pm, Tuesday 9th December
6.30pm, Wednesday 10th December


3pm, Saturday 13th December
3pm, Sunday 14th December

CLICK HERE for all Black Sticks tickets

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Canadian women to host Indoor 4-Nation tournament in December

Tournament to take place in Toronto December 5-7

The Canadian Women’s Indoor National Team is set to host a 4-Nation competition in Mississauga, Ontario from December 5-7th. South Africa, USA and Argentina will be joining two teams from Canada (Canada and Canada "A'," a development squad) in the competition.

The Canadian team is preparing for the Indoor World Cup in February in Leipzeig, Germany. Canada won the Indoor Pan Am Cup in Montevideo, Uruguay in April by defeating Argentina in the final 3-1.

The Four Nations tournament is a key piece of the team’s preparation in the final months before the World Cup. 

Games are at Hersey Centre in Mississauga (with the exception of Sunday’s 3rd/4th and 1st/2nd matches which are at Rick Hansen High School in Mississauga).

Tickets are $10/day or $25 for the weekend and can be purchased at the door.

Tournament Schedule:






Dec 5th2014



Canada vs Canada “A”

Match 1 (12:30 - 2:00pm)

Dec 5th 2014



South Africa vs USA

Match 2 (2:00 - 3:30pm)

Dec 5th 2014



Argentina vs Canada “A”

Match 3 (7:30pm - 9pm)

Dec 5th 2014



Canada vs USA

Match 4 (9pm - 10:30pm)

Dec 6th 2014



South Africa vs Argentina

Match 5 (8:00 - 9:30am)

Dec 6th 2014



USA VS Canada “A”

Match 6 (1:00 -2:30pm)

Dec 6th 2014



Canada vs Argentina

Match 7 (4:30 -6:00pm)

Dec 6th 2014



Canada “A” vs South Africa

Match 8 (6:00 - 7:30pm)

Dec 7th 2014



Argentina vs USA

Match 9 (9:30 -11:00am)

Dec 7th 2014



South Africa vs Canada

Match 10 (11:00am - 12:30pm)

Dec 7th 2014



3rd vs 4th Place

Match 11 (7:00 – 8:30pm)

Dec 7th 2014




Match 12 (8:30 – 10:00pm)

Field Hockey Canada media release

Gordon McIntyre joins the Great Britain programme

Scotland player Gordon McIntyre will be joining the Great Britain programme at Bisham Abbey in the New Year.

After Glasgow 2014 he was asked to attend training sessions a couple of times a week for a month as part of a trial period, after which he was offered a spot to join the set up in January 2015.

He started his hockey at Greenock hockey club before moving to National League champions Kelburne. He now plays down south for Beeston Hockey Club who won the NOW Hockey Premiership season last year.

He joins fellow Scots Chris Grassick and Dan Coultas who are already part of the Great Britain programme, where they are full time athletes.

‘I'm really looking forward to having the opportunity to concentrate wholly on my hockey and physical development instead of balancing working life with training. I am looking forward to Rio, I know it will be an extremely tough programme and will have to make big improvements to have a chance for Olympic selection (if we qualify at the World League in June).

‘It's a great honour to play for Great Britain and I have immense pride that I have been given the chance. It has always been my dream to play at an Olympics and if I can keep on improving then who knows what can happen.’

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Orange stroll to second win in Zimbabwe


Jane Ofula (left) of Orange Telkom fights for the ball with Racheal Wangui of USIU-A in a past Premier League match at City Park Stadium. MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION

Defending champions Telkom Orange registered their second win at the ongoing Africa Cup of Club Hockey Championship in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, by beating home side Bulawayo Athletics Club (BAC) 3-0 Monday at the Khumalo Stadium.

Two goals from Hellen Chemtai and a further strike from Terry Juma ensured the defending champions moved to six points in Pool A with two clean sheets at the championship.

Chemtai gave Orange the lead in the third minute through a field goal before Juma doubled her team’s lead in the 26th minute, finishing off a Barbara Simiyu penalty corner. Chematai put the icing on the cake with the third goal seven minutes to the end.

The result underlined Orange and Strathmore University’s intention of keeping the African women’s title in Kenya following emphatic wins in their opening matches at the weekend.

Orange set the ball in motion with a 7-0 thrashing of Egyptian opponents Shams on Saturday while Scorpions comfortably dismissed another Egyptian side Sharkia 5-0 on Sunday.

Today, Scorpions will be looking to sustain the Kenyan onslaught when they take on Genetrix from Malawi at 11 a.m. (Kenyan time) at the Khumalo Stadium.

A second win will move the varsity side to six points and joint top with Ghana Revenue Authority who beat Sharkia 4-1 in their second game.


“It was our first game and we started slowly but eventually settled and showed our worth. We have to be more ruthless in our next matches if we want to go far in this tournament,” Strathmore coach Meshack Senge told Hockey Association of Zimbabwe website.

Ghana Revenue Authority, who blanked Genetrix 16-0 in their first match, are Scorpion’s biggest threat in the pool. The two teams will clash on Thursday in a potential group decider.

Meanwhile, Kenya Police drubbed Western Jagaurs 6-1 at the weekend to sail into the semi finals of the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Men Premier League.

Police went into the match knowing victory would see them through having started the day in third with 10 points, one less than Greensharks and four behind Pool A winners Butali Sugar Warriors.

Their win saw them lock out Greensharks who were in pole position to clinch a play-off spot after leading the table for the better part of the season.

Daily Nation

Orange reach semis

Champs to meet Tanzanian rivals as Strathmore take on Gentrix

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Christabel Moraa of Strathmore Scorpions runs with the ball pursued by Sharkia's captain Sara Ahmed during their Africa Cup of Clubs championship match in Bulawayo. [PHOTO: ELIZABETH MBURUGU/STANDARD]

Africa Hockey Cup of Clubs defending champions Orange Telkom yesterday beat hosts Bulawayo Athletics Club (BAC) 3-0 to progress through to the semi finals stage.

Today Orange will take on Twende of Tanzania in their third pool A tie at Khumalo Hockey Stadium here in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

On the other hand Strathmore University, who are eyeing their maiden continental trophy, will engage Gentrix of Malawi who are hunting their first victory of the tournament.

The Malawian ladies suffered a humiliating 16-0 loss against tournament’s top side Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in their opening match.

Orange coach Jos Openda told Feverpitch his team is focused and they are determined to retain the title on a clean sheet.

“We wanted to defend the title without conceding a goal in Kampala, Uganda, but failed. But we still have high hopes of doing just that in this event,” he said.

In another ladies encounter, hosts Bulawayo Athletics Club (BAC) will play three-time champions Heartlands of Nigeria. BAC did not disappoint their home fans as they clobbered Twende of Tanzania 10-0 in the opener.

In the men’s category, champions Egypt Police will take on rivals and fellow countrymen Sharkia in what seems like a repeat of the last tournament finals.

Eyeing Revenge

Police dethroned Sharkia with a 2-1 victory at the finals in Kampala but the 22-time champions Sharkia are determined to secure their revenge and put their campaign to reclaim the title back on course.

Sharkia captain Amrou Mohamed said they were in Bulawayo to salvage their title. He, however, cautioned that they will be playing with caution just like was the case in Kampala where they missed the services of some key players. Mohamed said the dent took toll on their confidence and affected their performance.

“We missed eight players, who were banned. We have beefed up our squad and three of the eight are back now. We are here to repossess our title.”

The Zimbabwe derby will see Hippo Valley battle it out with countrymen Eradicators in another men’s round-robin encounter.

The home teams have failed to shine, falling to the visitors with the best performance being a 3-3 draw for Hippo Valley against Trustees of Ghana.

Hard target

Police Machines of Ghana will be on a mission to arrest Ghanaian Insurers Trustees.

The African Hockey Federation (AHF) opted to take the tournament back to Bulawayo with Zimbabwe making the request to host the tournament after clubs indicated unwillingness to travel to Nigeria due to the Ebola outbreak.

Zimbabwe hosted the tournament back in December 2012 where Sharkia of Egypt retained the club championships title in the men’s category while the women’s section was won by Orange Telkom.

Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) vice-president Humphrey Chigwedere confirmed AHF had approached Zimbabwe to host the 2014 tourney.

“The Africa Hockey Cup of Clubs championships is back to Bulawayo and we are ready for it.”

“Nigeria was supposed to host this year’s edition, but countries were not willing to travel to the West African nation because of Ebola and the African Hockey Federation asked us if we were interested in hosting the tournament,” said Chigwedere.

The week-long tournament has brought together teams from Tanzania, Malawi, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and hosts Zimbabwe and wqill conclude on November 30. The women’s tourney has attracted 11 teams - Twende of Tanzania, Strathmore, Ghana Revenue Authority, Shams of Egypt, Zimbabwe’s Bac. Others are Malawi’s Genetrix, Ghana Police, Nigeria’s Heartlands Flickers, Egypt’s Sharkia, and Kenya’s Orange.

The Standard Online

Three sides lead the way in France

The French Top Six sees Racing Club de France, Lille and Saint Germain share the lead on seven points after three games after a double-weekend in the top tier.

Racing’s 7-1 win over Montrouge on Saturday gave them the big boost on goal difference thanks to an Olivier Sanchez hat trick.

before they drew 1-1 with Lille in Sunday’s second tie of the weekend, Jean David Koch scoring the goal for Racing, Marc Tynevez on the score sheet for Lille.

Lille had nicked a 2-1 result over Le Touquet on Saturday. St Germain complete the trio at the head of proceedings thanks to a 1-1 draw with Wattignies on Saturday and a 3-1 success away to Montrouge.

Next weekend is the final round before the winter break with St Germain’s tie with Lille the highlight.

Euro Hockey League media release

Terengganu out to stop KLHC lifting hockey title

By S. Ramaguru

Terengganu's hockey player Faizal Saari in a friendly match agaisnt New Zealand last year. - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: The stage is all set for a battle royal in Kuala Terengganu on Friday for the Premier Division title of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

Defending champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) hold the advantage as they lead the six-team standings with the maximum 24 points after eight matches. They have a three-point lead over second-placed Terengganu.

A win or a draw for KLHC will see them lift their ninth straight league title.

But a Terengganu win will send the title challenge down to the wire on Sunday where the final preliminary round matches will be held.

On Sunday, Terengganu will play Sapura at home while KLHC face lowly Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

If the title showdown goes to Sunday, then the matches on that day will be crucial for both KLHC and Terengganu with goal difference likely to decide the outcome.

For now, KLHC have a goal difference of plus 21 while Terengganu have a plus 22.

KLHC are determined to get the job done in Kuala Terengganu instead of leaving it to the last match.

Said KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj: “ We know what needs to be done. It would be folly to try and play for a draw in Kuala Terengganu. We want to win it on Friday and have an easier time on Sunday.”

In the first-round match, KLHC edged Terengganu 2-1.

But the star-studded Terengganu side are not going to roll over as they are also eager to win their first-ever league title. This is their second year in the MHL and they have assembled a strong side with the core of the national team and five South Korean imports.

Terenganu coach Sarjit Singh believes his players are beginning to gel nicely for the tail-end of the league.

“The match against KLHC is the match that counts for now. We have to win and nothing else matters if we are to win the title. The team is getting better and more confident,” he said.

In Faizal Saari, Terengganu have a sure match-winner. Besides Faizal, the other players capable of turning the match in Terengganu’s favour are Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Mohamed Firhan Azhaari and South Korean penalty corner specialist Jang Jong-hyun.

KLHC, on the other hand, thrive on teamwork and their ability to convert their chances.

At the moment, the title challenge is too close to call. But KLHC have been there before and know how to get the job done. They have a total of 13 titles (eight leagues and five overalls) to back their claim.

A fiery game is on the cards and one that fans are likely to enjoy.

The Star of Malaysia

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