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News 25 January 2014

All the news for Saturday 25 January 2014

Captain Fantastic Marsha Cox propels in-form Investec SA to victory


Investec SA captain Marsha Cox, seen here in the first half, inspired her team-mates to a superb win over world number 4 Australia at Hartleyvale in Cape Town Friday night. Photo: GAVIN WITHERS (ACTION PIX)

In arguably one of the finest performances of her distinguished 317-Test match career, inspirational captain Marsha Cox inspired the world number 11 Investec South Africa women’s hockey team to a thoroughly deserved 1-0 victory over world number four Australia at Hartleyvale Stadium Friday night after the score was 0-0 at half-time.

SA controlled probably 70% of the second Test and another celebrated superstar, Pietie Coetzee, scored the winner in the 58th minute when Cox fed the world record Test match goalscorer, who used her all her experience and awareness to give herself room to unreel a magnificent backhand shot that smashed into the backboard behind outstanding Aussie keeper Rachael Lynch.

It was the astonishing Coetzee’s 278th goal in her 277th Test match.

SA now cannot lose the series. The first Test was drawn 3-3 and the third and final Test is at the same venue 4pm Saturday. The Hartleyvale Summer Series does not end there, however, as the first of six Tests against world number 12 Belgium begins 4pm Sunday.

SA’s Dirkie Chamberlain and Ilse Davids celebrated their 150th and 100th Test matches respectively when their mothers handed over bouquets of flowers before the first whistle.

Both sides transferred the ball with precision and invention from the outset, with Cox in scintillating form. The action was end to end, with the Aussies also coming to the party but there was little doubt that SA were showing improved vision than in the first Test.

However, the Hockeyroos won the first penalty corner in the 10th minute after a deliberate breakdown by the South Africans in the 23m area. Jodie Schulz’s conventional hit went past the near post. The Aussies were also full value on the breakout and in the 12th minute a 60-metre pass found Kellie White, whose shot was well saved by keeper Phume Mbande.

Lenise Marais earned SA’s first PC and Coetzee’s drag-flick was saved by Lynch. The defending on both sides was solid yet in the 28th minute Kathleen Taylor won SA’s second PC and Quanita Bobbs’s flick was glove-saved by Lynch to the keeper’s right.

Two minutes from half-time (33rd) a stunning move saw SA’s Tarryn Bright throw an accurate aerial pass to Coetzee that broke the Aussies’ defensive screen wide open. The in-form Coetzee passed to the equally on-song Shelley Russell, whose shot was stopped by Lynch. Coetzee was then agonisingly unfortunate not to scramble the ball over the goalline.

The 0-0 half-time score didn’t reflect how well SA played, the ball-carriers’ close control a feature.

Australia started the second half with intent but the first real chance came in the 48th minute when Chamberlain was desperately unlucky from close. With 14 minutes left the Aussies could have made much more of a breakaway chance after a superb aerial long ball.

But the crowd’s spontaneous reaction in the 58th minute when Cox fed Coetzee for the latter’s match-winner bore witness to the pivotal moment that decided the outcome of the most pulsating of contests.

Eight minutes from the end Coetzee shot wide after the pacy Bernie Coston had turned over Aussie ball with a well-timed intercept, but in the final analysis it didn’t matter a jot.

(all at Hartleyvale)

January: vs Australia:  Saturday 25th (4pm)
vs Belgium: Sunday 26th (4pm); Tuesday 28th (8pm); Wednesday 29th (7pm); Friday 31st (7pm)

February: vs Belgium: Sunday 2nd (4 pm); Monday 3rd (7 pm)

* Twitter handle is @Investec_Sport using #Investechockey

SA Hockey Association media release

’Roos miss out narrowly

Depleted Hockeyroos suffer tight 1-0 defeat in South Africa

Jodie Schulz in action for the Hockeyroos

Depleted by illness and injury, the Hockeyroos went down narrowly to South Africa overnight in the second of three Tests in Cape Town, losing 1-0 to a solitary Pietie Coetzee strike.

The experienced star of the South African team converted one of the few chances either side created to seal victory for the hosts.

Despite the result, Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens was pleased with how his team acquitted itself in testing circumstances. “It was really quite a pleasing performance by the players we had available. We’ve got a number of girls injured and Ashleigh Nelson, Casey Eastham and Karri McMahon all ill.

“In the second half in particular we played very well. We had the better of it but a small defensive lapse allowed them to score. Each team created only two of three chances in either half but we’re a team used to creating a lot of chances. South Africa took one of theirs.

“To play how we did with a depleted squad was pleasing. We stuck to our game plan and applied tactics as we wanted to.”

With a bug affecting Nelson, Eastham and McMahon and injuries to others including Jordyn Holzberger, Madonna Blyth, Teneal Attard and Georgie Parker, the Hockeyroos could only list a matchday squad of 16 athletes including two goalkeepers - two players short of the standard 18.

“You can always find a silver lining,” remarked Commens afterwards. “The circumstances meant we could trial players in different positions. For example, today we had a very new midfield unit of Anna Flanagan, Jane Claxton, Mathilda Carmichael and Emily Hurtz. And the likes of Mariah Williams and Brooke Peris, who have not got a lot of international experience, got valuable minutes in the forward line.”

The Hockeyroos’ third and final Test against South Africa is due to commence at 4pm local time on Saturday (1am AEDT Sunday).

Australia v South Africa Test series, Women
Match 2 of 3
Cape Town, South Africa

On Twitter: @Hockeyroos

Pieie Coetzee 59 (F)


Hockeyroos Tests v South Africa – remaining fixtures
Saturday 25 January – 4pm local time (1am AEDT Sunday)

Hockeyroos squad v South Africa
Athlete (Hometown) Caps/goals
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 24/1
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 25/2
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 108/18
Emily Hurtz (Camden, NSW) 73/28
Kate Jenner (Tamworth, NSW) 80/1
Kirstin Johnson (Mackay, QLD) 32/2
Rachael Lynch (GK) (Melbourne, VIC) 95/0
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 108/18
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 19/5
Jodie Schulz (Wamuran, QLD) 91/45
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 71/26

Used Substitute
Mathilda Carmichael (Willoughby, NSW) 6/0
Jayde Taylor (Bunbury, WA) 80/1
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW) 60/20   
Mariah Williams (Newcastle, NSW) 4/0

Unused Substitute
Ashlee Wells (GK) (Moe, VIC) 23/0

Did Not Play
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 24/3
Casey Eastham (Albion Park, NSW) 187/44
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 132/60
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD) 186/10
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 267/64
Jordyn Holzberger (Ipswich, QLD) 31/3
Claire Messent (Melbourne, VIC) 73/20
Georgie Parker (Adelaide, SA) 48/10

Hockey Australia media release

Mixed Day One results for Scotland in Lithuania

Scotland's Heather Elder grabbed a hat-trick against Russia. Credit: Duncan Gray

It was a mixed opening day for Scotland Senior Women after a win and a defeat in their first two games of the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship II in Lithuania.

The Scots got off to a flyer in the first Pool A match, defeating Russia 5-1, including a superb hat-trick from Heather Elder, before succumbing to Ukraine 9-3 in their second contest of the day.

Scotland Senior Women Head Coach Gordon Shepherd now finds his charges sitting in joint second with Russia in Pool A after the first round of matches. The result of the Ukraine-Russia clash in the first match of day two will determine what result the Scots require against Slovakia to progress to the promotion pool.

In the first encounter against Russia, Heather Elder opened the scoring early in the third minute before doubling the lead for Scotland in the 17th minute to give the national side a two goal cushion at the break.

Russia responded early in the second period courtesy of a Yuliia Kazakova strike in the 24th minute to pull her side back into the contest at 2-1, before CALA Edinburgh’s Amy Brodie restored the two goal advantage from a penalty corner set-play in the 32nd minute.

Elder completed her treble two minutes later to make it 4-1, with captain Vikki Bunce scoring with a reverse stick effort in the 38th minute to complete a 5-1 victory for her side.

Indeed, the Dundee Wanderers’ star continued where she left off in the second game against Ukraine, opening the scoring for Scotland in the fifth minute of the match. Yana Vorushylo equalised for the Ukrainians in the eighth minute before Bunce restored the lead at 2-1 six minutes later.

The Scots were then sucker-punched by a Halyna Hlynenko hat-trick, recording goals from open play in the 16th, 20th and 23rd minute to put her side 4-2 up.

Vorushylo completed her own personal treble with two goals inside a minute shortly afterwards to make it 6-2 to Ukraine.

Yevheniya Moroz grabbed a quick-fire double with strikes in the 28th and 29th minute, before Alona Shatokhina made it 9-2 in the 35th minute.

With full-time beckoning, Scots’ youngster Jennifer Eadie converted a corner in the 40th minute to leave the final score 9-3 to Ukraine.

Please visit the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship II website for more information, including fixtures, results and pool standings

Scottish Hockey Union media release

HIL Season 2 ready to roll

Harpreet Kaur Lamba

The inaugural edition of the Hockey India League, a franchise-based tournament involving five cities, evoked a good response from the fraternity. Besides fast-paced action and a shortened version of the game — four quarters in place of two halves — the month-long event threw up young talent like Mandeep Singh and Amit Rohidas, who went on to represent the country soon after.

The heady cocktail of action, two hours of entertainment and Bollywood’s presence enters its second year, with HIL-2 getting under way in Mohali on Saturday. Orissa-based Kalinga Lancers are the new entrants this year, making it a competitive league spread over 30 days.

Runners-up Delhi Waveriders take on Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the opening clash at the newly-opened Mohali Stadium, that boasts of a contemporary blue turf.

Defending champions Ranchi Rhinos will look for yet another successful season, while Uttar Pradesh Wizards appear stronger with the addition of several international and national stars. Last year’s bottom dwellers Mumbai Magicians are aiming for a “turnaround” and have included 11 new players this season, with former national stars Prabhjot Singh and V.S. Vinaya joining their ranks.

Future talent

National coach Terry Walsh, who will also head the Kalinga Lancers, is keen on tapping new talent from the tournament and has already made his vision clear. “Let them prove themselves,” Walsh said. “Those who wish to wear India colours, and those who are sitting out.... the HIL is a platform for them and whoever excels will find a place in the India camp.

“We have entered a very crucial year, where we have the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. Our success this year could lead to direct qualification to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“I throw an open challenge to the players to come out and perform.”

Chance for players

Striker Mandeep Singh was all of 17 and preparing for his Class X exams, when he was picked to play for the Ranchi Rhinos last year. His success story is what many others would wish to emulate.

“I had never thought I would play for India at such a young age. I was included in the senior team after the HIL, and to be honest I was very nervous.

“The experience of playing with top players during the league helped me immensely and I tried to use that when I played for India,” says Mandeep, who has been part of the national team for a year.

Besides young talent, the event is also a chance for ousted seniors like Sandeep Singh, Gurbaj Singh, Bharat Chhikara, Shivendra Singh and Sarvanjit Singh to push their claims for the national team.

Said Sandeep, who will turn out for Punjab this year, “It definitely is our golden chance and I am keen on a strong show. The league offers us a chance to learn something new and also exhibit our skills.”

Matches will be played on a home and away basis, with the top four qualifying for the semi-finals. The semi-finals and the final will be held in Ranchi on February 22 and 23.

Teams (captain, coach)
Ranchi Rhinos: Moritz Furste, Gregg Clark
Mumbai Magicians: P.R. Sreejesh, Glenn Turner, Prabhjot Singh (all captains), M.K. Kaushik
Delhi Waveriders: Sardar Singh, Cedric D’Souza
Kalinga Lancers: Prabodh Tirkey, Kiel Brown (both captains), Terry Walsh
Uttar Pradesh Wizards: V.R. Raghunath, Roelant Oltmans
Punjab Warriors: Jamie Dwyer, Barry Dancer

LIVE on STAR Sports

The Asian Age

New and the new-fangled

by Mihir Vasavda

Rupinder, who will play with Delhi Waveriders, has developed into one of India’s best drag-flickers (IE Photo) Rupinder, who will play with Delhi Waveriders, has developed into one of India’s best drag-flickers (IE Photo)

Addressing his first media conference after being appointed as India’s chief coach, Terry Walsh casually inquired if the East still produces quality players. Over the next 30 days, the Australian will get an opportunity to find an answer as the head coach of Kalinga Lancers, Hockey India League’s (HIL) newest team.

The buzz ahead of the second edition of the HIL, which kicks off on Saturday in Mohali, has centered around the team from Odisha. The addition of the team from Indian hockey’s oldest nurseries, as well as the inclusion of promising youngsters such as Ramandeep Singh, Gurjinder Singh, Affan Yousuf, Lalit Upadhyay and Devinder Walmiki, to name a few, will provide plenty to look forward to in the next few weeks.

Gregg Clarke and Baljit Saini guided unfancied Ranchi Rhinos to glory last season, mixing local talent well with some of the best foreign players. After a disastrous junior World Cup campaign, where the Clarke-Saini coached Indian team finished 10th, the duo will be out to prove a point.

Another team that will be hoping to salvage some pride is Mumbai. They finished at the bottom of the five-team league and have added 10 players to their squad this season apart from changing the coaching staff. Legendary Australian Ric Charlesworth has been shown the door and is replaced by MK Kaushik. Last season’s marquee signing Sandeep Singh too was off-loaded to Punjab Warriors along with Satbir Singh, one of the biggest gainers from first auction.

However, with many changes in the squad and a new coach, one wonders if Mumbai have enough time to get their combinations right ahead of their opening match against Punjab, who look the most balanced and formidable unit once again.

Stars don’t shine

Despite boasting a star-studded line-up, Punjab failed to qualify for the final last season. They, though, seem to have identified their deficiences and have tried to address it. On paper, the Barry Dancer-coached side looks one of the strongest sides along with Delhi Waveriders, who stumbled at the final hurdle last season after a remarkable performance in the group stage. “Punjab look the strongest. They have a well-balanced squad and in Barry Dancer, have a very good coach. Delhi and Ranchi are the other two teams that start favourites,” says former India goalkeeping coach AB Subbaiah.

How quickly Kalinga adjust to the hectic nature of the league remains to be seen. They boast of some quality international players, including former New Zealand captain Ryan Archibald, but they lack in experience on the Indian players’ front. However, it will be foolhardy to play down their chances, as Ranchi Rhinos showed last season.

Mumbai Magicians

Last season: Fifth; New additions: Gurjinder Singh, Prabhjot Singh, VS Vinaya, Ravi Pal, Bharat Chikkara, Vikas Pillay, Gagandeep Singh, Trent Mitton (Aus), Adam Dixon (Eng), David Harte (Ire), Simon Mantell (Eng)

Delhi Waveriders

Last season: Runners-up; New additions: Armaan Qureshi, Tristian White, Jason Wilson (both Aus), Steven Edwards (NZ), Tim Drummond (SA)

Punjab Warriors

Last season: Third; New additions: Sandeep Singh, Affan Yousuf, Karamjit Singh, Satbir Singh, Jake Whetton (Aus), Agustin Mazilli (Arg)

Ranchi Rhinos

Last season: Winners; New additions: Barry Middleton (Eng)

UP Wizards

Last season: Fourth; New additions: Ramandeep Singh, Nikin Thimmaiah, Harmanpreet Singh Bal, Jasjit Singh Kular

Note: Kalinga Lancers will debut this season.

Indian Express

Punjab to meet Delhi

After experiencing success in its inaugural year, HIL is all set for a bigger show. Even though the World Cup in May assumes top priority for most, no country (barring Germany which has withheld its youngsters) has really restrained its players from participating in the month-long cash-rich event.

Punjab Warriors, which hosts Delhi Waveriders in the league opener on the pink-and-blue turf here on Saturday, is relieved that it does not have to travel by road to Jalandhar for home matches.

“We have far less travel this year. The performance should be of high quality as the players will be physically better prepared and mentally fresher,” said Warriors coach Barry Dancer.

The team, which has included four Indians (Sandeep Singh, Affan Yousuf, Satbir Singh and Karamjit Singh) and two foreigners (Australian Jacob Whetton and Argentine Augustin Mazzilli), expects a better performance than its fourth-place finish last year.

Ace Australian striker and the marquee player of the side, Jamie Dwyer, said the league would be more exciting.

“It will be less challenging, we are going to play 12 matches instead of 14, and more exciting since we have six teams.”

Dwyer was happy that this edition did not have the ‘own goal’ rule and would prevent players from dangerously smashing the ball into the circle.

Last year’s runner-up Waveriders, with a new coach in Cedric D’Souza, will try to live up to its reputation.

However, it will have to start cautiously as some of its key players, such as Danish Mujtaba and Akashdeep Singh, are making a comeback after injury layoffs.

“There are a lot of changes in the team this year but all the players are in good form. Punjab is a robust team but we are good too,” said D’Souza.

Dancer cautioned his team about Waveriders. “We lost to Delhi last year and a win will boost our confidence. Our attack will decide the game,” said the Warriors coach.

The Hindu

Warriors, Waveriders ready to set the ball rolling

Indervir Grewal

Jacob Whetton and Simon Orchard in a playful mood at Mohali on Friday. Tribune photo:vicky gharu

MOHALI - Two star-studded teams eagerly wait round the bend as the hours to the opening match of the second Hockey India League tantalizingly shrink. After a successful first season, the month-long hockey fiesta is back. And just like last year, Punjab Warriors and Delhi Waveriders will get the ball rolling this time as well. And the players just can’t wait to line up on the gleaming blue turf of the International stadium in Mohali on Saturday.

“Can’t wait, looking forward to the first match,” said Jamie Dwyer, Punjab captain. The enthusiasm is palpable, but there is an air of seriousness too, which comes with high expectations.

“Everyone was a bit wary about the league last year but it turned out to be such a success, with a display of high-level hockey,” said Jagbir Singh, Punjab Warriors coach. “This year the expectations are higher from the spectators and the franchisees, so every team has come better prepared. There is that extra level of professionalism in the coaches and the players.”

Deft foreign touch

A major selling point of the league is the presence of many foreign hockey stars such as Jamie Dwyer, Mark Knowles, Rob Hammond form Australia, and Jaap Stockman and Teun de Nooijer from the Netherlands. Though they increased the brand value, not many could perform to their full potential. “Last year most of the foreign players didn’t expect such competitive hockey, so they were surprised and were found underprepared; some were even unfit. You can’t blame them for being a bit wary about a new league,” said Ashish Balal, former India goalkeeper.

This year, though, with most of them coming here fully fit and prepared – after doing the national duty in the World Hockey Series (WHL) – the foreigners are expected to regale with their talent.

Apart from the big names, a player to look out for will be Australian drag-flicker Kieran Govers, who was the top-scorer in the WHL. “Last year I wasn’t as successful. I’ve been working hard on my drag-flicking since June and after a good WHL performance, I feel good coming into this tournament,” the Punjab Warriors’ player said.

Any team can win

The once-in-a-year format means that past results mean almost nothing. It’s the form that counts rather than past records. “Absolutely, form will dictate how the teams perform,” added Govers.

Sardar Singh, Delhi Waveriders captain, feels no team can be underestimated. “There are some top players in every team and you can’t tell who will fire on a given day. Besides, there have been changes in all teams; new players, new coaches. So you can’t take any team lightly.”

Cedric D'souza, the new coach of the Delhi team, believes it would be a mistake to predict by looking at past results. “Past results don’t matter. It’s a new season and we’ll have to gauge every team again,” he said.

Live on Star sports, 8 pm

A lowdown on the teams and their chances

Ranchi Rhinos

The men in red are the defending champions. Coached by South African Team's German captain Morits Fuerste, the FIH World Player of the year, along with Englishman Ashley Jackson, was the backbone of the team. Mandeep Singh rose to fame after displaying his goal scoring skills (10 goals) for the team.

Delhi Waveriders

Were the favorites to win last year but faltered in the final. Rupinderpal Singh was the leading scorer for the team last year with seven goals. Again, the responsibility of scoring goals from penalty corners will be on the shoulders of the tall drag-flicker. The mercurial Sardar Singh will as usual provide the link in the midfield. Maybe the new coach, Cedric D'souza, who replaced AK Bansal, can take them past the final hurdle this time.

Punjab Warriors

On paper they were one of the strongest teams last year but injury problems and the absence of an in-form penalty corner specialist saw them finishing second last. This year, though, they will be the team to beat. The team is coached by Australian Barry Dancer and boasts of many top Australian players including the five-time FIH Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer. In the penalty corner department, Sandeep Singh, last year's top scorer, has been roped in from Mumbai Magicians. Australian drag-flicker Kieran Govers, top scorer in World Hockey League, will be one to watch out for.

Uttar Pradesh Wizards

After an excellent start to last year's season, the team, coached by Roelant Oltmans, lost momentum in the latter part to finish third. Captain VR Raghunath was the top-scorer for the team with nine goals. Their most expensive player, Teun de Nooijer of the Netherlands, was only a shadow of his great self. The franchisee made news recently after paying the highest amount for an Indian player, roping in young forward Ramandeep Singh for $81000.

Mumbai Magicians

The team finished last in the first edition, winning only one match. Sandeep Singh was the top-scorer of the tournament, but other than that the team did nothing right. With Sandeep leaving, the team has brought in young drag-flicker Gurjunder Singh. Coach Ric Charlesworth will be hoping better performances from top players like Australian Glenn Turner, who was a flop last year.

Kalinga Lancers

The debutants don't boast of any big names but players such as Ramon Allegre (Spain), Russell Ford (Australia) provide a lot of experience, while Argentinean Lucas Vila will provide the edge in attack. The team, coached by Terry Walsh, could be the surprise package of the season.

The Tribune

Sardar eager to find his 'scoring stick' in upcoming HIL

NEW DELHI: He has not been on target for quite some time now and India captain Sardar Singh is itching to get a few in order to end his goal-scoring drought while leading his team Delhi Waveriders in the second edition of cash-rich Hockey India League that starts in Mohali on Saturday.

From being the chief playmaker for India to leading the side, Sardar has tried to fulfill all roles to the best of his abilities till date but his inability of score goals everytime he takes the turf continues to haunt the hardworking midfielder from Sirsa, who is the only Indian player to have featured in FIH All Star Team twice in succession.

"It (lack of goals) always pains me. Whenever I go out to play an international match, I always think today I might score a goal bit it doesn't happen that way. I really forgot when was the last time that I scored a goal," said Sardar in an interview.

But the hardworking India captain is not redy to throw in the towel yet.

"I am not someone who will give hope. I am an optimistic person and I will keep on working hard on my game and hoep to score goals very soon. I will try to break that jinx in HIL 2014," he said.

"I will play more attacking hockey and try to help the forward line in attack and hope for a goal or two in the process," added Sardar, who will lead Delhi Waverriders against Jaypee Punjab Warriors tomorrow in the opening match of the second HHIL at the newly-built hockey stadium in Mohali.

Under Sardar's leadership and coach A K Bansal's guidance, Delhi Waveriders had a fantastic outing in the inaugural HHIL last year and finished runners-up after losing 1-2 to champions Ranchi Rhinos in the summit clash.

But with a new coach on board in Cedric D'souza and couple of changes in the squad, Sardar sounded realistic about his side's chances in the franchsie based event.

"It's a new tournament. So obviously it's a new beginning for us. Quite a few players have also changed in our side. The coaching staff has also changed. So you can say it's a new day for us and we will have leave behind last year's performance and start from the scratch," he said.

"We had a tremendous inagural HHIL even though we lost in the final. But we will try to replicate last year's performance and produce quality hockey for the fans of the game," Sardar said.

Besides being the leader of Waveriders, Sardar has a much bigger responsibility as the captain of Indian men's hockey team. But the soft-spoken player was realistic about Asian Games being one of primary targets for the team.

"We have plenty of imporatant tournaments lined up this year. Hockey World League was good outing for us. We came to know where we stand against top teams before the World Cup, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Champions Trophy, in which areas we need to improve," he said.

"There were a lot of positives to take from this tournament but we will try to improve that performance and cut down on the mistakes which we did in HWL.

"We have four important tournaments this year but our main target is Asian Games. The Asian Games is a crucial tournament for us because if we win gold in the Asian Games we will directly qualify for 2016 Olympics."

The Times of India

Razie’s all abuzz about India debut

By S. Ramaguru

Mohd Razie Rahim (right) will make his debut in the Indian Hockey League with the Dabur Mumbai Magicians on Saturday. - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: National defender Mohd Razie Rahim is the third Malaysian to have been picked to play in the Hockey India League, which starts in New Delhi on Saturday.

He will join compatriot Faizal Saari in the Dabur Mumbai Magicians team. Another Malaysian, goalkeeper S. Kumar, plays for the Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

Razie, who left for the Indian capital on Thursday night and will be away until Feb 23, is clearly excited at the chance to play in the Hockey India League for the first time.

“Yes, I’m looking forward to the league as it will help me improve on my game. This is my first time there ... while the other two have played there last year.

“I hope there will be ample chance to play in the matches ... I’m looking forward to playing with some of the star players from the other countries,” he said.

Razie was not in the initial list of players when the auction was held last month, but the withdrawal of some players paved the way for his call-up.

Razie has also been allowed to skip national team training for a month. Besides his role as a defender with the national team, he is also the specialist flicker.

National coach K. Dharmaraj said on Friday that Razie will benefit from the stint in India.

“There is no problem with him or the other two players taking part in the Indian league. It is a professional league and the quality of matches will be high. On top of that, they will playing with and against some of the best players in the world ... there is a good chance for them to learn from this trip.

“Razie and Faizal are key members of the national team as they are our main penalty corner flickers. There is no issue with their absence for our training phase. They will be back when we enter into the final phase of training for the Sultan Azlam Shah Cup,” he said.

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will be held in Ipoh from March 13-23.

The Star of Malaysia

National Coaches should have been rested for Hero Hockey India League

K Arumugam

S2H EDITORIAL: Last year then national chief coach Michel Nobbs has been rightly rested from doing duty in the Hockey India League. The saner voice then came from his pay masters, Sports Authority of India, not certainly from casual Hockey India, which doesn’t seem to possess any policy approach towards coaching.

The decision to rest Nobbs was considered fair and professional by many. It was felt that as the head of coaching staff that oversees and trains national teams, Nobbs need to remain neutral in the competitive atmosphere and remain non-partisan -- instead focus on the HIL matches, observer newer trends, scout new talents for the purpose of building or complementing national teams.

Micheal Nobbs despite his personal inclination to be working part of the HHIL, had to bow out last year.

A year seems to be longer in India.

When Michael Nobbs was denied permission then, now not only the reigning National Chief Coach Terry Walsh but also Performance Director – a post that was non-existent when the inaugural edition was held – have been prettily sitting with a Franchise each and working towards its success in the second edition, which unfolds tomorrow.

When Sports Authority of India raised the issue again, Hockey India over-looked the issue, or at least looked differently; seemed to have sided with the Franchise, its mulching cows anyway. The details are not much important now, but the fact is that the pay masters had to restrict their action to just cut the salary for their contract-holders, Oltmans and Walsh, for a month for which the duo will be rendering HHIL services.

Am of the firm view that the view taken by SAI then was the right one that need to have been extended to this year too - and possibly every year as well.

Terry Walsh is now new franchise Kalinga Lancers’ chief coach. His focus will remain how to justify his new one-month pay masters, a conglomeration of State Govt. departments that own the franchise.

How nice it would have been had he continued with the duty of chief coach, and spent his time and energy to travel across the HHIL venues to watch matches critically, and note down proceedings with an eye on how the things can be incorporated to improve the lot of national team which has as many as five major assignments this year including World Cup, Champions Trophy, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games etc.

And then submitted a good report for the HI to introspect and execute, as this one month would have left them to have an overview of Indian hockey as it existed in different states and regions.

Instead he will be under pressure to deliver for his own team, national outlook and duty taking a backseat.

The same will be the case with Roelant Oltmans. This gentleman need to focus on larger issues that concern quality and best delivery at national level and for that to do necessary work to create roadmap for every area of hockey.

Instead he will be pressured now to deliver more than the surprise bronze his Lucknow Wizards won last year.

Another important factor is, he will be under tremendous pressure, actual or contrived, to do better than all other coaches in the fray, as he is technically above all of them being the overall boss and technical policy formulator of Indian hockey.

For instance, if his team fares below one of the assistant coaches of the national team, MK Kaushik, who now is at the helm of Mumbai Magicians, or below Terry Walsh, what will be his morale when he is supposed to command them a month later?

Tricky situation indeed.

Other aspects, which very much Indian ethos, pertains to team selection later on. South African import Gregg Clarke led Ranchi Rhinos to title last year, and then he was invited to take up the mantle of Junior India team along with his deputy in the same franchise team Baljit Singh Saini.

No surprise therefore the World Cup team they selected for the home edition consisted mostly from this title winning Franchise. There need not be a basis for bias in the selection, certainly that is not my point, but instead I would say they went by the players they know best by virtue of being with them in the Ranchi Rhinos team, thus giving no perfect level playing field for the rest.

At least, the boys on the fringe of selection, but not got it, even now entertain a grudge of being left out due to not being part of Ranchi Rhinos.

Such things can be avoided with a policy to avoid all the national coaches in the HHIL teams, thereby allowing new talents across the globe to descend on us, which would have given more scope for scouting future coaches for India, and put the present national coaches under pressure to deliver.

A lot of concern has been expressed over the Junior World Cup team selection. HI stood by the selection, but the team failed at the event proper.

Whether the team selection and over-loading of one set of players from one Franchise is real reason for the team’s fiasco at Delhi event - India failed to reach the quarterfinals – is debatable but it gave such an impression.

Therefore, would not it be prudent to keep away the coaches who are doing the national duty away from HHIL?

I firmly believe so.


Pakistan say India series "likely"

KARACHI: A senior Pakistani hockey official Friday said India have agreed to a three-match series, subject to clearance from New Delhi, hoping it will revive bilateral contests halted in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

"The series is likely to be played in March this year," a Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) statement quoted its secretary Rana Mujahid as saying.

Mujahid spoke to his Indian counterpart Narinder Batra, who said India would be willing to play three matches in Pakistan in March and April, subject to clearance from the New Delhi, the statement said.

The series will take place over the last week of March and the first week of April in Karachi, Faisalabad and Lahore, it added.

India had stalled bilateral sporting relations with Pakistan in the aftermath of the 2008 attacks on Mumbai, which New Delhi blamed on militants based in Pakistan.

A hockey series with three matches each in both countries was cancelled in April last year after the Indian government refused permission.

Pakistan and India last played a bilateral hockey series in 2006 -- three matches in each country -- with Pakistan winning three and losing one while the remaining two were drawn.

Pakistan and India are both struggling in hockey at an international level should benefit from playing each other as they seek to counter European dominance in the game.

Pakistan finished a poor seventh in the London Olympics in 2012 while India finished 12th and last.

Both had ruled the hockey world in the past, with India winning eight Olympic golds while Pakistan won three.

The Times of India

Hockey India confirm Pakistan trip: PHF

KARACHI: In a positive development on Friday, Hockey India (HI) confirmed they will send their team to Pakistan for a three-match series later this year.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) sent a proposal on the revival of a bilateral series which received a positive message.

“HI President Narinder Batra confirmed about playing a series in Pakistan via a telephonic conversation with PHF Secretary Rana Mujahid,” said a PHF official. “The India team will arrive in the last week of March for a three-match series. Karachi, Faisalabad and Lahore will host the matches.”

However, the official said the tour will be subject to clearance from India’s Ministry of Sports and Ministry of External Affairs. He added that the PHF has informed the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) about holding the series.

“The series is being played in light of an agreement between the two federations, which was signed in Lahore on December 31, 2012.”

The Express Tribune

Indian hockey team willing to visit Pakistan in March

LAHORE - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Rana Mujahid has said that the Indian hockey team has confirmed to visit Pakistan in March-April to play three test matches.

“I had a telephonic conversation with Hockey India president Narinder Batra who has assured that the Indian team will be visiting Pakistan subject to clearance from their Ministries of Sports and External Affairs,” he said on Friday.

“It is a very good gesture shown by the Hockey India and we are confident that with the resumption of bilateral hockey ties between Pak-India, the overall standard of the game will improve in the sub-continent,” he added.

The PHF secretary said that the matches would be played in Lahore, Karachi and Faisalabad and there were possibilities that these matches could also be organised at one venue with the mutual understanding between the two hockey federations.

“The PHF has informed Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) for holding the series. The test match series is being played in the light of agreement between the two federations, which was signed in Lahore on December 31, 2012,” he stated.

Rana said that efforts were made in the past as well from the platform of PHF to revive hockey between Pakistan and India on home and away basis and the frequent exchange of hockey ties between both the countries would help in reviving the game in the region.

“The Pak-India matches are always billed as ‘thriller’ as they are full of excitement and millions of people watch them not only in both the countries but also across the globe and it is the in the larger interest of both the countries to resume hockey ties in order give a boost to ongoing efforts for the revival of the game in Pakistan and India which were once the power house of hockey in the world,” Rana concluded.

The Nation

Two-horse race again

By Jugjet Singh   

THE Malaysian Junior Hockey League Division One title battle is again set to be between UniKL Young Guns and SSTMI Thunderbolts who both registered thumping wins yesterday.

Defending champions Thunderbolts whipped pretenders Petaling Jaya City Council 6-0 at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru, while UniKL hammered Malacca High School 5-0 at the Malacca Stadium.

However, both teams are still not strong in penalty corners, as UniKL failed to score a single goal from the 10 they won, while Thunderbolts coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman also rued their missed set pieces.

"We had many penalty corners, but failed to score and this is a cause for worry.

"And in the match today (yesterday), we held a 2-0 lead in the first half, and only our fitness produced the second half four goals.

"PJCC are a good side, but their fitness let them down. Now it looks like we will fight for the title with UniKL again this season," said Wan Roslan.

The Thunderbolts' goals were scored by Najmi Farizal Jazlan (37th, 51st, 67th), Amirol Aideed (35th), Sufi Ismat (37th) and Danial Ashraf (47th).

"Although we scored five, we wasted 10 penalty corners and that is really a big concern to us," said UniKL coach Rodhanizam Radzi.

For UniKL, the scorers were Jamil Johari Ghazali (fifth), Ikwan Ishak (32nd), Hafif Elkan (37th, 66th) and Haikal Zamry (51st).

RESULTS -- Division One: SSTMI Thunderbolts 6 Petaling Jaya CC 0; Malacca HS 0 UniKL Young Guns 5.

Division 2A: 1MAS Penang 1 Nur Insafi 3.

Division 2B: 1MAS Perak 5 KLSS Juniors 0; MSSD Larut Matang-Selama 1 Olak-PKT 5.

Division 2C: SM Sains Johor 1 SMK Datuk Taha 1; BJSS Juniors 1 Politeknik KPM 4.

TODAY -- Division One: SSTMI Juniors v Petaling Jaya CC (5pm, Taman Daya); Anderson MBI v KL Sports School Juniors (7pm, Azlan Shah Stadium).

Division Two A: Bakat MSSK v MSSP-USM (5pm, Pasir Mas).

Division Two B: 1MAS Perak v Olak-PKT (5pm, Azlan Shah Stadium), Permatang Jnrs v MSSD Larut Matang (5pm, Permatang).

Division Two C: SMK Datuk Bentara Luar v SMK Datuk Taha (5pm, Batu Pahat), BJSS Jnrs v Politeknik KPM (5pm, Ministry of Education).

New Straits Times

Thunderbolt burn MBPJ with six goals

By S. Ramaguru

SSTMI Thunderbolt's Mohd Amirol Aideed (right) try to stop MBPJ's Mohd Faizzil Zairollail during their Malaysian Junior Hockey League Div 1 match at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru on Friday. Thunderbolt won 6-0. - Lim Cheng Kiat/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: It was hyped up as the battle of the title contenders. But it ended up as nothing more than a stroll in the park for defending champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt as they crushed MBPJ 6-0 in Division One of the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru.

Mohd Najmi Farizal Jazlan starred for Thunderbolt with a hat-trick – in the 31st, 51st and 67th minutes. The other goals were scored by Mohd Amirol Aideed (35th), Mohd Sufi Ismat (37th) and Danial Ashraf (47th).

Thunderbolt now lead the standings with nine points from three matches, followed by Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and MBPJ on six points.

UniKL enjoyed a fruitful evening as well, hammering Malacca High School 5-0 at the Bukit Serendit Hockey Stadium in Malacca on Friday.

UniKL dominated the first half, earning six penalty corners – but all in vain.

But it didn’t matter because the KL team still managed to find the breakthrough early in the match – through a Jamil Johari Ghazali field goal in the fifth minute.

UniKL doubled their lead through Mohd Ikwan Ishak in the 32nd minute before Mohd Hafif Elkan made it 3-0 five minutes later from a penalty corner rebound.

Further goals by Mohd Haikal Zamri in the 51st minute and another by Hafif in the 66th minute sealed the win.

UniKL coach Mohd Rodhanizam Mat Radzi was happy with the win but miffed with their poor penalty conversion rate.

“We had 10 penalty corners but couldn’t convert any. We have to improve on this aspect if we are to be considered title contenders,” he said.

“I am happy that the players are gaining in confidence and more settled in their moves. We have to work harder in the coming week before the next match against Thunderbolt.”

In Division Two, former double champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) slumped to a 4-1 loss to Politeknik KPM at the Education Ministry Pitch in Jalan Pantai.

The Star of Malaysia

Black Sticks draw World Cup heavyweights

By David Leggat

Alex Shaw said it was a tough day at the office in his side's first match at the World League finals. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The New Zealand men have gone up a spot in the world rankings, but it hasn't affected who they'll play at the World Cup in the Netherlands this year.

The draw has placed the Black Sticks with Olympic champions Germany and the Netherlands, who beat New Zealand 7-2 in last weekend's final of the inaugural World League in New Delhi.

Had New Zealand stayed in seventh spot they'd have ended up in the same pool.

They have avoided new world No 1, and 2010 World Cup winners, Australia, but might have fancied their prospects more in group A.

Germany will be smarting from losing their world top ranking, courtesy of a disappointing World League performance. They tonked New Zealand 6-1 in New Delhi while the Black Sticks needed a penalty shootout to get past Argentina at that tournament. The South Americans remain 11th on rankings, but appear to be on the move.

Before going to The Hague, New Zealand will contest the biennial Champions Challenge tournament in Malaysia from April 26-May 4. New Zealand will start favourites as top seeds. The winner will qualify for the Champions Trophy in 2016.

• Hockey New Zealand has announced Sean Dancer as assistant coach of the Black Sticks Women, to replace Greg Nicol, who stepped down last year. Dancer, who has been coaching in Wellington for several years and worked with the men's Black Sticks, will be Mark Hager's assistant, starting with a trip to San Diego early next month for tests against the US and Britain.

World Cup pools

Men's Group A: Australia (world No 1), England (4), Belgium (5), India (8), Spain (10), Malaysia (13).

Group B: Germany (2), Netherlands (3), New Zealand (6), Korea (7), Argentina (11), South Africa (12)

Tournament runs with the women's event in The Hague, May 31-June 15. The draw will be released next Friday.

The New Zealand Herald

Mens Masters National Teams Announced for 2014 FIH Masters World Cup

USA Field Hockey is proud to announce the two Men’s Masters National Team squads representing the U.S. at the 2014 FIH Masters World Cup. The event is being held at HC Rotterdam in the Netherlands June 5-13. Building on its single team representation at the inaugural Masters World Cup in 2012 and last year’s European Open, Team USA is now able to enter men’s teams in two age categories: Over-40 and Over-50.

Selection was extremely competitive. More than 60 athletes participated in trials held in December 2013 at Princeton University on the East Coast, and at Moorpark College on the West Coast. Performance at the trials was evaluated, with an alternative video, interview and reference assessment available for those unable to attend either trial.

The USA Field Hockey’s Men’s Masters Committee was very encouraged by the high level of interest generated and the quality of play shown at the trials. The committee hopes to organize a number of future masters tournaments in the U.S., leading to a growth in the number of U.S. teams which can be entered into international competitions in the future.

Congratulations to the following athletes on their selection to represent Team USA at this year’s FIH Master’s World Cup.

Over 40

Mohammed Barakat (Los Angeles, CA), Steve Danielson (Stanford, CA), Ahmed Elmaghraby (Ledgewood, NJ), Binh Hoang (Westlake Village, CA), Tommy Hoang (Thousand Oaks, CA), Srinu Karuturi (Monroe Township, NJ), Paul Lewis (Colorado Springs, CO), Olaf Maack (Hannover, Germany), Ben Maruquin (Ventura, CA), Manuel Morales (Miami, FL), Greg Pereira (Fulton, MD), Gus Reed (Shorewood, WI), Uli Reinhardt-Sega (Ann Arbor, MI), Alvaro Salcedo (Baltimore, MD), Amanmeet Sandu (Corona, CA), Phil Sykes (Clifton Park, NY), Steve Van Randwijck (Amsterdam, NED), Steve Wagner (Philadelphia, PA)

Over 50

Jose Ceja (Redlands, CA), Phil Danaher (Tatamy, PA), Joost Douwes (Stanwood, WA), Andrew Dunning (Renton, UK), Richard Hayden (Ashburn, VA), Brian Hope (Blandon, PA), Manzar Iqbal (Darien, CT), Clarence Jennelle (Elverson, PA), Peter Jones (Stamford, CT), Bob Khosla (Phoenix, AZ), John Michalak (Camarillo, CA), Jon O'Haire (Christchurch, NZ), Warren Prestwich (Baltimore, MD), Jeremy Roberts (Beltsville, MD), Brian Spencer (Los Angeles, CA), Ian Tapsall (Fairfield, CT), Ian Wagge (Scottsdale, AZ), Don Warner (Henrico, VA)

USFHA media release

A Look Ahead at 2014 for Canada’s National Programs

Commonwealth Games and more international competition a focus for Field Hockey Canada

2014 is ramping up to be a year of growth and development for the Field Hockey Canada national programs – and both the women’s and men’s teams have their sights set on the 2014 Commonwealth Games and beyond.

For the women’s national program, the past year saw a young team emerge from the shadows and make important steps toward a bright future – and they are determined to keep that momentum building.

The two upcoming highlights of the women’s year ahead are the 2014 Commonwealth Games (July) in Glasgow, Scotland and the World League Round 1 (September) in Veracruz, Mexico.

“This year allows us the opportunity to continue testing our game, individually and collectively, against some of the best teams in the world,” said Ian Rutledge, Women’s National Program Director and Head Coach.

Several test series and tours throughout the rest of the year against England, New Zealand and the USA – all ranked among the top ten in the world – will give Canada an important measure of where they stand ahead of the 2015 Pan Am Games and the 2016 Olympic qualifiers.

“2014 will continue to be an important year for our young squad, and they will be looking to take the success and lessons of 2013 and building upon those experience, as they continue to develop the team into something they can be proud of for many years to come,” continued Rutledge.

The coming year will see the continuation of the Target 2016/2020 Program, and a thorough schedule of identification and development planned for the next generation of athletes. The opportunity to train and play alongside and against the senior group at competitions throughout the year will be highlights in a busy year for the Junior Development Squad.

For the Men’s National Program, a primary focus in 2014 is on playing more quality international matches, with the calendar including an increased number of planned games and tours.

“Last year saw us implement a new style of aggressive play both in attack and defense,” said Anthony Farry, Men’s National Program Director and Head Coach. “In 2014 our goal is to refine and tighten our defensive work while continuing to be aggressive with the ball in attack. We worked extremely hard in training throughout last year, with our physiology being one of our biggest assets, and we will be looking to use that to our advantage.”

The men’s program starts the year with a development tour to Chile for the Pan American 4 Nations Tournament in late January – a wonderful opportunity for a number of athletes to put forward their case for selection for the next three major tournaments: the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (March) and the Champions Challenge (April), both in Malaysia, and the 2014 Commonwealth Games (July).

With a greater number of tournaments for the men’s program this year comes the opportunity to expose more athletes to international hockey – with no fewer than 12 players competing in their first senior international matches on the Chile tour – adding to the strong veteran core.

2014 At A Glance




Jan 20 – Feb 3

Men’s Pan American 4 Nations Tournament


Feb 4 – 8

Men’s Pan American Youth Championship

Puerto Rico

Mar 10 – 14

Women’s USA Test Series

Pennsylvania, USA

Mar 13 – 23

Men’s Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Tournament


Apr 26 – May 4

Men’s Hockey Champions Challenge I


Apr 27 – May 10

Women’s UK/Europe Tour


July 7 – 17

Women’s Belfast 4 Nations Tournament

Northern Ireland

July 23 – Aug 3

2014 Commonwealth Games – Men’s and Women’s


Sept 9 – 14

Women’s Hockey World League I


Working in collaboration with a variety of partners, Field Hockey Canada is the national sport governing body responsible for the development, growth and promotion of field hockey in Canada. Through the Women's and Men's National programs, Field Hockey Canada selects, prepares and promotes Canada’s teams for international competitions including Continental Championships, World Championships, and major multi-sport games such as the Olympic Games, Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games. Approximately 15,000 Canadians participate in field hockey, which is currently played in more than 600 schools and 400 clubs across the country. For more information, please visit fieldhockey.ca.

Field Hockey Canada media release

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