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News for 06 January 2015

All the news for Tuesday 6 January 2015

Men’s hockey series off to rousing start

JONATHAN COOK at Queensmead

University of KZN graduate Jethro Eustice in possession as the centre back has Austria star Michael Koerper on his back during the thrilling 1-1 draw in the first Test at Queensmead in Durban Monday evening. Photo: MICHAEL BOTHA

The first Test between a new-look South Africa men’s hockey team and Austria got off to a perfect start in conditions ideal for international hockey at Queensmead in Durban Monday evening and a 1-1 drew in this exciting encounter has set up the remaining three Tests during the week to bring further high-quality action.

SA dominated the majority of the game and Durban’s Dan Sibbald got the green and gold in front with a sizzling back-sticks shot from the top of the strike zone in the 40th minute after the initial assist from debutant Mondli Dlamini.

The Europeans finished strongly and highly experienced Michael Koerter found the equaliser in the 53rd via a penalty corner drag flick.

There was much to enthuse during this high-energy encounter and it was heart-warming to see the slew of SA debutants looking at home in the cut-and-thrust of world-level hockey.

Ross Hetem of Durban had an early chance while Dlamini set up a penalty corner with fellow debutant Andrew Manson in the second quarter that saw drag flick ace Matt Guise-Brown's bullet well saved by keeper Mateusz Szymcyk.

There was a torrid battle in the engine room and here the SA captain Jonty Robinson and centre back Jethro Eustice – two of SA’s most experienced players – were invaluable in providing direction and cohesion to the playing pattern.

It was five minutes toward the end of the third quarter when Dlamini on the right fed Sibbald, who flipped the ball over a defender’s stick before rifling a reverse-stick blast past that rattled the backboard past replacement keeper Michael Maentler (1-0).

As the final quarter of the modern 15-minute chukkas of four began, yet another Durbanite, Mohammed Mea, slipped a through-ball to Southern Gauteng’s Brandon Panther whose rocket shot led to a second SA penalty corner but successive efforts from the set-piece came to nought, the latter strike flying on the wrong side of the crossbar.

As the vocal crowd sensed an SA victory, Koerter silenced the thought with the PC equaliser seven minutes from time, and two more late chances were foiled by the green and gold defence, the last bringing out a fine diving save from keeper Gowan Jones in a one-on-one with Koerter.

(all at Queensmead)
6 Jan: 2nd Test (6pm);
8 Jan: 3rd Test (6pm);
9 Jan: 4th Test (2pm).

SA Hockey Association media release

Injury scuppers Azreen’s return to national hockey team

By S. Ramaguru

Azreen Rizal (right) in action for Sapura during the MHL semi-final match against Tenaga last November. - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Sapura’s Azreen Rizal’s hopes of making a return to the Malaysian national hockey team is over due to a hamstring injury.

He will sit out the second friendly against Poland today and with it the chance to vie for selection for the World League Round Two in Singapore from Jan 17-25.

Azreen was a member of the silver-medal winning team at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, but he took time out in 2012 to further his studies. He earned a call-up last month after an impressive show for Sapura in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) only to be dashed by the  injury in training last week.

“Azreen’s injury is not serious, but he needs more time to make a full recovery. There is no point in rushing him into action as it will only aggravate the injury,” said national coach Tai Beng Hai.

Beng Hai is using the two friendlies with Poland to pick his final 18-man squad. The first match ended in a 4-4 draw on Sunday.

Beng Hai said he would name the final squad on Saturday.

“I don’t think the proposed match with Bangladesh on Saturday will materialise as they are coming at a later date. We will play a club side on that day and then I will name the team,” he added.

Beng Hai also called on the players not to take it easy in friendly matches.

“Frankly, we don’t have enough matches to test the players. They must be ready for action at all times. The friendly against Poland on Sunday was a good practice match as they are also preparing for the World League Round Two.

“Our players were playing together for the first time since October, but we should not use that as an excuse for the poor start. The good thing is that they showed fighting spirit to grab a draw. But it was a match that we should have won.

“I just do not want them to take take any match or team for granted,” said Beng Hai.

The Star of Malaysia

A shootout to settle the score in Olympic hockey qualifier

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian national hockey team need to work on their penalty shootout.

This is because the International Hockey Federation (FIH) have changed the preliminary round format for the World League Round Two in Singapore from Jan 17-25. There will now be winners in every match as a penalty shootout will be used for a drawn match.

The winners of the shootout will get two points while the losers will receive one point.

An outright win as usual will net the triumphant team three points.

“We will definitely put in some extra training sessions to work on our penalty shootout. We will identify the players to be used for the shootout in the event our game ends in a draw,” said national coach Tai Beng Hai.

Malaysia ended up as losers when they were involved in a penalty shootout at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in October. Then, they were beaten  6-5 by Pakistan in the semi-finals after a 0-0 draw in regulation time.

In Singapore, Malaysia are the top seeds and will play against Oman, Fiji and Ukraine in Group A.  Poland, Japan, Singapore and Bangladesh are in Group B.

The format of play will see all eight teams qualifying for the knockout stage. The top three teams will qualify for the World League Semi-Finals (Round Three) in Argentina in June and Belgium in July. The World League is a qualifier for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Star of Malaysia

Irish Women's Squad Announced for Spanish Series

The Senior Women’s Team will fly out to Valencia on Friday the 9th of January and return on Tuesday the 20th of January. The team will have an intensive training camp before facing Spain in a 3 match series in Valencia on the 17th, 18th and 20th of January. Ireland and Spain currently sit side by side in the world rankings. The 3 matches offer ideal preparation for World League 2 which comes to Dublin in March (14th-22nd), and is an important step in qualification on the road to Rio.

Match Times (all local times)

17th at 4:30
18th at 4:30
20th at 11:30


1.    Emily Beatty - UCD
2.    Chloe Brown – Ards
3.    Naomi Carroll – Catholic Institute
4.    Lizzie Colvin – Loreto
5.    Aine Connery – Hermes
6.    Nicci Daly – Loreto
7.    Stella Davis – Pembroke Wanderers
8.    Kate Dillon – Railway Union
9.    Deirdre Duke – UCD
10.   Nikki Evans - UCD
11.   Megan Frazer – Ulster Elks
12.   Emma Gray – Hermes
13.   Hannah Matthews - Loreto
14.   Shirley McCay – Ulster Elks
15.   Ayeisha McFerran – Pegasus
16.   Alison Meeke - Loreto
17.   Katie Mullan - UCD
18.   Yvonne O’Byrne - Cork Harlequins
19.   Anna O’Flanagan - UCD
20.   Gillian Pinder - UCD
21.   Cliodhna Sargent – Cork Harlequins
22.   Emma Smyth – Railway Union
23.   Chloe Watkins – UCD

Irish Hockey Association media release

Australian Women’s Junior Squad named

2015 National Women’s Junior Squad named with Junior World Cup in focus

The National Women’s Junior Squad (NJS) has been named for 2015. The NJS, comprising of 25 athletes will provide development opportunities for athletes to refine their hockey abilities in the build up towards the 2016 Junior World Cup.

The NJS primary focus is to ensure that there is a progressively increasing level of depth within women’s hockey to ensure the sustainable future for the Australian women’s senior squad for years to come.

The NJS has a shifting priority based on the date of the next Junior World Cup. In the two years preceding the Junior World Cup, the focus of the NJS will be on an under 21 age group, while the rest of the cycle, the NJS will support athletes at an under 23 age group. Thus, in preparation for the 2016 Junior World Cup, athletes born in 1994 or later are eligible for NJS selection in 2015, and athletes born in 1995 or later are eligible for NJS selection in 2016.

Athletes have been assessed at the 2014 national under 18, under 21 and Australian Hockey League championships, Asia development tour and in a series of national junior camps across the year, including the youth development camp on the Gold Coast last year.

In discussing the selection of the NJS, the National Talent Pathway Manager Michael Crooks said, “The selectors of the national junior squad were presented with a challenging task of refining the group down to 25 athletes. Anytime that our selections require significant deliberation, it is a great reflection of the quality of talent we have coming through the development pathways.”

Further opportunities will be available for NJS athletes to demonstrate their abilities during the National Super Camp from February 13th to the 21st in Perth.

Crooks said, “In a perfect world, the athletes selected in the 2015 national junior squad will push the existing national senior squad athletes at the February super camp. Upward pressure from our developing athletes ensures that the senior athletes in the Perth training environment are on their game for each and every training session. This upward pressure is exactly what we need as we ramp up our preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games."

National Women's Junior Squad 2015
Athlete (Hometown, State)
Murphy Allendorf, Mount Gravatt, QLD
Hannah Astbury (GK), West End, QLD
Laura Barden, Kew, VIC
Kristina Bates, Port Melbourne, VIC
Lily Brazel, Baulkum Hills, NSW
Madison Fitzpatrick, Cabarita Beach, QLD
Savannah Fitzpatrick, Cabarita Beach, QLD
Andrea Gillard, Lithgow, NSW
Laura Gray, Goulburn, NSW
Kate Hanna, Constitution Hill, NSW
Greta Hayes, Maroubra, NSW
Stephanie Kershaw, Kelvin Grove, QLD
Ambrosia Malone, Molendinar, QLD
Madeline Murphy, Hobart, TAS
Gabrielle Nance, Allenby Gardens, SA
Kaitlin Nobbs, Newington, NSW
Aleisha Power, (GK) Clackline, WA
Madi Ratcliffe, Warrnambool, VIC
Michaela Spano, Toorak Gardens, SA
Grace Stewart, Gerringong, NSW
Renee Taylor, Everton Park, QLD
Jessica Watterson, The Lagoon, NSW
Leah Welstead, Taperoo , SA
Mariah Williams, Teralba, NSW
Georgia Wilson, Mahogany Creek, WA 

Hockey Australia media release

Hockey players losing heart, says Shahnaz

Mohsin Ali

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan hockey team head coach and manager Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh Monday said that due to the current situation in which hockey and the players had been suffering a lot, it would be too tough to regain the lost hockey glory.

Talking to The Nation, Shahnaz said: “The players are fast losing heart and patience and sheer frustration is creeping with each passing day in the players. If things continue in the same fashion, I have very strong reservations about my players immediate future, thinking about long-term future is a far cry.”

Shahnaz also disclosed to conduct an important press conference on January 22 in Islamabad in which he would announce his future course of action.

He said he was really honored that Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) along with Sialkot dry port, Hockey Manufacturing Association (HMA) and people of Sialkot who have arranged a wonderful dinner in honor of the national hockey team and the federation along with other Olympians and international players of Sialkot at Sialkot Chamber building today (Tuesday), where cash awards would be handed over to the players, who had done wonders for the country.

“This region has produced a number of world class players including Manzoor Junior, Rana Mujahid, Asif Bajwa, Nasir Ali Tariq Sheikh and other players who had represented the country in international events besides playing in Olympics and other mega world events. This part is blessed with so many natural talented players, who, if supported and provided with facilities, could become the part of the national team and earn laurels for the country.

“But I am very surprised as well as disappointed that during the current 61st National Hockey Championship in Sialkot, I failed to find much talent and fresh group of players, which I was expecting. I don't know the exact reason why a number of talented players not are produced or hunt during the recent event, but I would prolong my stay in Sialkot and meet with different officials of the hockey association and I am quite confident the issue would be resolved and soon we would get a number of players from this region,” he added.

He also requested Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera to immediately order release of funds as per rules of playing the Asian Games and Champions Trophy finals to the players so that they could have some sigh of relief, as they are in dire need of financial support. “To make the players financially strong is the responsibility of government and due right of the players but they are long being deprived of it. Under such tight financial situation of the PHF, the players are looking at government for financial help, so the PSB DG must look into this matter and resolve the issue soon.”

Shahnaz said he was quite disheartening that despite lapse of several months and a number of promises, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had yet to fulfill his promise of meeting with the players and the federation. “I don't know the reasons behind such a long delay, but what I do know is with each passing day, frustration among players is creeping up. The federation has made a number of promises with the players, but now after almost a year, there is a dire need of those promises to be materialized.

“The federation is waiting for the special grant which was approved by the PM and IPC Ministry to clear the players and management dues and also award central contracts to them. I fully realise the financial condition of the players, who are now demanding only their right, but the financial position of the federation is not so well yet, if there is some kind of issue over funds utilization or any other factor, PM should constitute a committee and hand over finances to that committee, but this need to be done on top priority, as I know few players have to tie the knot and just waiting to get their dues cleared by the PHF,” the head coach added.

“These players have created history by finishing twice on podium in less than one-year and also played the Champions Trophy final after a gap of 18 years. Now it is their right to be honored in the same fashion. Any further delay will kill their ambitions and the PHF will be left high and dry. So it is my humble request to the PM to spare some time and invite players and PHF officials for meeting which will put a new lease of life in them,” Shahnaz concluded.

The Nation

Akbar hits three goals for Navy

SIALKOT: A view of the match between Wapda and Police during the National Hockey Championship at the Nawaz Sharif Hockey Stadium on Monday.—APP

LAHORE: Three-goal Akbar Ali enabled Navy beat PTV by a big margin of 5-1 as two more matches were decided in the PSO 61st National Hockey Championships in Sialkot on Monday.

Akbar struck first goal in the 7th minute and then in the 20th and 49th to consolidate the lead before Sabir had contributed two goals in the 4th and 6th minute. For PTV the solitary goal came through Adnan Bashir in the 25th minute.

Three-goal by Aleem Bilal also helped Wapda beat Police 6-2. Aleem fired goals in the 6th, 55th and 59th minute, converting short-corner. Umar Bhutta (8th), M Usman (14th) and Salman Hussain (33rd) contributed one goal each. For the losing team, Ubaid Bhatti (12th) and Atif (40th) scored goals.

Tuesday’s fixtures:

PQA vs Customs; PTV vs Police; PIA vs Railways.


Navy, Wapda win in National Hockey

LAHORE – Navy and Wapda registered victories in the ongoing 61st PSO National Hockey Championship at Sialkot Hockey Stadium, Sialkot. In the first match of the day, Navy beat PTV 5-1. For Navy, Akbar Ali slammed three goals in 7th, 20th and 49th minutes while M Sabir netted two in 4th and 6th minutes. For PTV, Adnan Bashir scored only goal in 25th minute. The second match saw Wapda outclassing Police 6-2. For Wapda, Aleem Bilal hammered three goals in 6th, 55th and 59th minutes while Umar Bhutta, M Usman and Salman Hussain hit one goal each. For Police, Ubaid Bhatti and Atif scored one goal each.

The Nation

PHF holds two seminars

LAHORE – The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has organised two seminars on anti-doping and grooming of technical officials which concluded on Monday at the Sialkot Hockey Stadium. The seminars were part of the PHF development plan. In the first seminar, the players and officials associated with the participating teams in the ongoing National Hockey Championship were given lectures by Dr Asad Abbas Shah and Olympian Dr Atif Bashir. The participants took keen interest in the seminar and termed it a useful activity. The purpose of holding the second seminar was to enhance the capabilities of their technical officials and produce a new crop in the field. Saghir Ahmed and Ch Ansar Mahmood Jora delivered lecturers and stressed upon the participants to adjust themselves with the new FIH rules in hockey.

The Nation

Delhi Waveriders aim to retain Hockey India League title: Sardar Singh

NEW DELHI: Delhi Waveriders captain Sardar Singh on Monday said that they are aiming to retain the Hockey India League (HIL) title they won last year.

"This is my third outing with the HIL and I am keenly waiting for it to begin. With just a few days more than a fortnight left, the preparations are in full swing. Being the defending champions, our prime aim will be to play a good game throughout and retain the title," said Sardar, who is also the skipper of the Indian team.

Marquee player Sardar Singh first led the Delhi team to the final of the first season of HIL in 2013. The team went one better the following year when they lifted the trophy by beating Punjab Warriors in the summit clash last season.

"Playing alongside the talented and experienced players from the world over has always been bliss and an opportunity of great learning," said the 28-year-old, who was named player of the tournament in the first season of HIL.

"I am delighted to have Rupinder Pal Singh, the young Akashdeep, Jason Wilson and Simon Child in the line-up and immensely depend on them to keep up the momentum of the team. Yuvraj Walmiki and Gurwinder Singh Chandi will also be the ones to watch out for," he said.

The third edition of the HIL starts Jan 22 when the Kalinga Lancers take on Ranchi Rays in Bhubaneswar.

The Times of India

Emmanuel hands Malvern U-21 Ventures title

Nigel Simon

Recent senior national team call-up Kristien Eammnuel scored a handful of goals as Courts Malvern outgunned Queen’s Park CC 8-5 in the Under-21 Men’s Division final of the 12th annual Ventures Hockey Invitational Hockey Tournament hosted by T&T's  Ventures Hockey Club began at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton—Holder Street, Woodbrook, yesterday.

Teague Marcano added a pair of goals and Eammnuel’s brother, Kwasi other for Malvern while Otis O’Connor had two and Zachary Clarke, Jordan Reynos and Marcus Pascal one each for the Parkites in the loss.

In the semifinals, Malvern also scored freely, beating Fatima 7-1 and Queen’s Park got the better of Notre Dame 6-4.

Malvern had ended the seven team men’s round-robin series from which the top four advanced to the semifinals as table-toppers with 15 points from a possible 18.

This after it defeated Shape (4-1), Carib (14-0), Notre Dame (2-1), Fatima (4-3) and Queen’s Park CC (4-3) while its lone blemish came in a 3-4 loss to Paragon.

The Parkites as QPCC is known were runner-up with 13 points after they crushed bitter rival Fatima 4-0, drew 1-1 with Notre Dame, punished Paragon 6-1, peppered Shape 6-0 and slammed Carib 8-0 before it was humbled by Malvern. come.

Notre Dame also ended with 13 points, but with an inferior goal-difference to the Parkites having blanked Carib (2-0), Shape (3-0), edged Fatima (3-2) and Paragon 3-1, in its other matches.

Fatima was fourth with nine points, thanks to wins against Shape (2-0), Paragon (4-0) and Carib (3-0) to secure the final semifinal spot.

Olton sisters, Amie and Saarah combined for three goals as Shandy Carib Magnolias outplayed Paragon 3-1 in the Women’s Under-21 final.

Aime got a brace and Saarah the other while Gabrielle Thompson netted Paragon’s lone reply.

Earlier on in the semifinals, Magnolias crushed Ventures 6-0 and Paragon whipped Notre Dame 3-1.

The Trinidad Guardian

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