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News for 26 January 2015

All the news for Monday 26 January 2015

HWL R2 Singapore: “Magical” Malaysia beat Poland in event Final

Japan overpower Oman to seal third place and confirm their place in Olympic qualifiers

Faizal Saari hit 12 goals and was named Player of the Tournament for inspiring Malaysia to victory in the Hockey World League Round 2 event in Singapore. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Player of the Tournament Faizal Saari produced yet another stunning individual performance to guide Malaysia (FIH World Ranking: 12) to a sensational 8-0 victory over Poland (WR: 18) in the final of the men’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in Singapore.

In front of a capacity crowd, the prolific 24-year-old needed just three minutes to open the match scoring, burying his 11th goal of the tournament to give his side an early advantage before a double strike from Razie Rahim moved Malaysia into a 3-0 lead inside the opening 25 minutes.

Faizal claimed his second goal of the match just after half time with Nabil Noor, Tengku Ahmad and Muhammad Shamsul taking the score to 7-0 before Razie completed his hat-trick in the final minute of the match. It was a wonderful triumph for the Malaysians, ensuring that will enter the Hockey World League Semi-Final Olympic qualifiers in confident mood.

"This is the kind of performance that we have been looking for from the players, and they were simply magical against Poland”, said team manager Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad after the match. "The MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation) had targeted for them to play in the final, but we are very proud of them because they went one step further and claimed a crucial gold medal, which has eluded Malaysia for a very long time."

It also proved to be a fantastic day for Japan (WR: 15), who ensured that they would be joining Malaysia and Poland in the HWL Semi-Finals by defeating Oman (WR: 23) to take 3rd place. The Oman defence held firm until the 36th minute when Kenta Tanaka finally made the breakthrough, with Kazuma Murata, Hirotaka Zendana and Kenji Kitazato all firing home to give Japan a 4-0 triumph.

The announcement of the tournament's individual award winners provided even more good news for Japan, with 20-year-old newcomer Shunya Miyazaki being named as “Best Young Player” while Takashi Yoshikawa taking the “Best Goalkeeper” prize.

Earlier in the day, Ukraine (WR: 24) took 5th place with a 3-1 victory against Bangladesh (WR: 29), while host nation Singapore (WR: 37) finished 7th thanks to a 4-3 triumph over Mexico (WR: 36).

Complete tournament information from Singapore can be found on the official event website by clicking here.

Final standings

1: Malaysia – Qualified for Semi-Finals of Hockey World League
2: Poland – Qualified for Semi-Finals of Hockey World League
3: Japan – Qualified for Semi-Finals of Hockey World League
4: Oman
5: Ukraine
6: Bangladesh
7: Singapore
8: Mexico

Individual awards

Player of the Tournament: Faizal Saari (MAS)
Top Scorer: Faizal Saari (MAS) - 12 goals
Young Player of the Tournament: Shunya Miyazaki (JPN)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Takashi Yoshikawa (JPN)

FIH site

Malaysia hammer Poland 8-0 for WL gold

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA went for an early kill and it worked wonders as they snatched the World League Round Two gold medal by outclassing Poland 8-0 at the Sengkang Stadium in Singapore yesterday.

Coach Tai Beng Hai's players had already claimed a ticket to the World League Semi-finals in Belgium in June, when they beat Japan in the semi-finals, but they went a step further to win Malaysia's only second gold medal in an International Hockey Federation (FIH) tournament.

This gold was much more precious as the earlier one was won at a Five-Nation in Paris in 2010.

There was never a moment, in the first two quarters, that Poland looked like they recovered from the third minute penalty corner drive by Faizal Saari to claim the lead.

Malaysia took command of the match after that and two more penalty corner goals by Razie Rahim in the seventh and 21st minutes eased the pressure on the backline.

Faizal Saari, after missing three one-on-one with the goalkeeper, finally sounded the board in the 33rd minute to make it 4-0.

Poland were totally outclassed in the 42nd minute, when Nabil Fiqri shot home a reverse stick, and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin made it 6-0 with another reverse stick attempt in the 48th minute.

For good measure, Haziq Shamsul nailed the seventh in the 54th minute, and Razie nailed his hat-trick with a last minute penalty corner drive.

There was overall drive and determination, as Beng Hai started with an attacking forwardline of Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Firhan Ashaari and Faizal Saari -- and they threw caution to the wind with wave after waves of attacks to the delight of a capacity crowd of 2,000-odd fans.

The other delight of this tournament is that Malaysia won all their matches convincingly, except for the 1-1 draw with Japan in the semi-finals which had to be decided in a shoot-out.

"This is the kind of performance that we have been looking for from the players, and they were simply magical against Poland.

"The MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation) had targeted for them to play in the final, but we are very proud of them because they went one step further and claimed a crucial gold medal, which has eluded Malaysia for a very long time," said team manager Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad, who is also the MHC vice-president.

Malaysia entered the tournament as the highest ranked team, num 12, and lived up to their billing.

"We need to work on certain areas in the run-up to the WL Semi-finals (which offers tickets to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics)  like fitness, so that we can be back in the Olympic fold, which we last played in Sydney 2000," said Nur Azmi.

In the third-fourth placing match, Japan were made to sweat by Oman befor beating them 4-0 to claim the bronze medal which also came with the last ticket to the World League Semi-finals, and Japan are expected to play in the Argentina qualifier.

RESULTS: Final: Malaysia 8 Poland 0; Third-Fourth: Japan 4 Oman 0; Fifth-Sixth: Bangladesh 1 Ukraine 3; Seventh-Eighth: Singapore 4 Mexico 3.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Malaysia turn on style to win World Hockey League final

By Aftar Singh

The Malaysia hockey team celebrate after beating Poland in the final of the World Hockey League Round Two tournament in Singapore on Sunday. - BERNAMA

SINGAPORE: Malaysia turned on the style when it mattered most, hammering Poland 8-0 to win the World Hockey League Second Round at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium.

It was Malaysia’s first International Hockey Federation (FIH) tournament win since winning a five-nation meet in Paris in 2010.

Malaysia brought their A game to Sunday’s final after a lacklustre semi-final victory over Japan, which needed a penalty shootout to break a 1-1 deadlock in regulation time - and it was certainly value for money to the 3,000 fans in attendance.

Skipper Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim was the star of the show, scoring a hat-trick in the seventh, 21st and 59th minutes.

Forward Faizal Saari added a brace in the third and 33rd minutes. Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor (42nd), Tengku Ahmad Tajudin (48th) and Mohd Haziq Samsul (54th) contributed the other goals.

Faizal ended the tournament as the top scorer with 12 goals.

Malaysia, the top ranked side in the tournament at world No. 12, played like men possessed from the get-go.

Mohd Firhan Ashaari had a golden opportunity to give Malaysia the lead in the very first minute, but his hit from the top of the semi-circle just went inches wide.

Malaysia did not have to wait long as Faizal fired past goalkeeper Arkadiusz Matuszak to give Malaysia the lead off their first penalty corner in the third minute.

And four minutes later, defender Razie doubled the score off a low flick from Malaysia’s third penalty corner.

Malaysia kept up the pressure and increased the lead to 3-0 in the 21st minute. Razie was on target again from another penalty corner.

Malaysia continued to surge forward and they made it 4-0 through Faizal in the 33rd minute.

Malaysia kept up the pressure to score another four goals in the third and fourth quarters.

Poland earned five penalty corners in the last two quarters but goalkeeper S. Kumar did well to stop all the attempts.

Malaysian team manager Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad was delighted with his players’ commitment and performance.

“Our players played their hearts out and totally dominated the match. I was confident of a win but never expected by such a big margin.

“Our strategy of going for early goals paid off well and it put a lot of pressure on our opponents,” said Nur Azmi.

“It is really nice to win the tournament to qualify for the World League Semi-Finals in Belgium in June.

“Our mission now is to do well in Belgium and qualify for next year’s Olympics. We have not featured in the Olympics since Sydney in 2000,” added Nur Azmi.

Poland and third-placed Japan also qualified for the World League Semi-Finals.

The Star of Malaysia

Mixed fortunes for SA hockey

JONATHAN COOK at Hartleyvale

Ireland's Stephen Dowds (left) and Michael Watt (facing) in close attention as South Africa's Jethro Eustice takes the ball up during the 2-2 draw in the first Test at Hartleyvale in Cape Town Sunday. The second and final Test is at 7pm Monday.

The packed grandstand at Hartleyvale Sunday were treated to some thrilling hockey but there were mixed feeling about the results, as the Investec South Africa women’s team lost 2-0 to Chile while the SA men rallied superbly to draw 2-2 with Ireland.

Chile scored through Francisca Vidaurre via a penalty corner in the ninth minute to lead 1-0 at half-time before adding another in the 49th after another long spell defending their goals when a fast breakout brought a brilliant save by replacement keeper Hanli Hattingh but lively Manuela Urroz roofed the rebound in spectacular fashion

The revved-up Chileans have tied the series 1-1 after SA won the first Test 4-2 last week.

To be fair, a young, talented yet relatively untried SA side went into this match. They were minus about 900 Test caps’ worth of experience as battle-hardened soldiers in this squad - Sanani Mangisa, Anelle van Deventer, Lisa Deetlefs, Sulette Damons, Marcelle Manson, Bernie Coston and Jade Mayne - were rested.

SA certainly had passages of excellent play in both attack and defence but it was not enough to make a difference on the day.

It sets up a fascinating third Test Monday at 5pm, while the fourth and final Test is Tuesday at 6.30pm.

The Ireland men’s short, sharp passing in confined areas led to goals from Michael Darling in the 19th minute and Alan Sothern in the 22nd for a 2-0 lead at half-time.

The determined South Africans, boosted by their vociferous fans, fought their way back into the game and penalty corner strikes in the 40th by Jethro Eustice and Brandon Panther in the 57th - three minutes from the end – sets up a thriller at Hartleyvale in Monday’s 7pm second and final Test.  At Stellenbosch University Monday, the Dutch and Belgian men meet at 3pm.

There were passages of brilliant goalkeeping by all four South African keepers in Sunday’s Tests – and SA men’s replacement keeper Gowan Jones proved the point that on some occasions the last line of defence does indeed play a major role in the final outcome.

The mammoth Cape Town Summer series ends on February 2 at Hartleyvale.


Men: SA vs Ireland 1st Test
SA: Jacques le Roux (GK), Lance Louw, Robin Jones, Rhett Halkett (capt), Daniel Bell, Jethro Eustice, Clint Panther, Miguel da Graca, Taine Paton, Brandon Panther, Pierre de Voux. Rolling subs: Gowan Jones (GK), Gareth Heyns, Marc Fourie, Dylan Swanepoel, Natius Malgraff, Dalan Phillips, Damian Kimfley.

Ireland: David Fitzgerald (GK), John Jackson (capt), Jonathan Bell, Ronan Gormley, Michael Watt, Chris Cargo, Stephen Dowds, Kirk Shimmins, Michael Darling, Paul Gleghorne, Shane O’Donoghue. Rolling subs: Mark Ingram (GK), Bruce McCandless, Drew Carlisle, Eugene Magee, Michael Robson, Jonathan Bruton, Alan Sothern.
Umpires: Sean Rappaport, Scott Tarr.

Women: SA vs Chile 2nd Test
SA: Phume Mbande (GK), Demi du Toit, Erin Hunter, Nicole Walraven, Nicolene Terblanche (capt), Line Malan, Quanita Bobbs, Kaila Flemming, Lilian du Plessis, Dirkie Chamberlain, Tanya Britz. Rolling subs: Hanli Hattingh (GK), Christine Roos, Illse Davids, Shelley Russell, Tiffany Jones, Carmen Smith, Toni Marks.

Chile: Claudia Schuller (GK), Sofia Walbaum, Francisca Pizarro, Sofia Filipek, Carolina Garcia, Francisca Vidaurre, Manuela Urroz, Camila Caram (capt), Francisca Tala, Constanza Palma, Maria Ignacia Bastias. Rolling subs: Natalia Salvador (GK), Carolina Kappes, Fernanda Flores, Andrea Greene, Denise Krimmermann, Catalina Salas, Josefa Villalabeitia.
Umpires: Melissa Taylor, Chantelle Britz.

(At Hartleyvale)
Monday - Women: SA vs Chile (5pm); Men: SA vs Ireland (7pm).
(At Stellenbosch University)
Men - Holland vs Belgium (3pm).
Tuesday - (At Hartleyvale) Women: SA vs Chile (6.30pm)
Tickets: R30. Gates open one hour before the first whistle.

SA Hockey Association media release

Ireland 2-2 South Africa (Men)

Ireland drew the first of the two test series in Hartleyvale this afternoon against South Africa, World Ranked 13th, one place higher than Ireland.

The first quarter ended scoreless with last ditch defending in the final minute by SA kept Ireland out. The 2nd quarter was all Ireland and they took the lead in the 19th minute,a great team goal, finished to the net by Mitch Darling. A stunning reverse stick shot by Eugene Magee was saved but Alan Sothern was on hand to put home the rebound to send Ireland in at half time leading by 2-0.

The second half saw great counter attaching hockey from both sides and SA got themselves back into the game with Jethro Eustice scoring from a penalty corner to leave the score 2-1 in favour of Ireland at the end of the 3rd quarter. Ireland forced a a couple of PC's in the final quarter but the SA defence kept them at bay. With a few minute left in the clock SA forced a PC and this time Panther dragged low to equalise with final score Ireland 2-2 South Africa.

After the game coach Fulton said "We played well for about 40mins today. Credit to South Africa they came back in the 3rd quarter. Tomorrow we are looking for an improved performance"

IRELAND 2 (Mitch Darling, Eugene Magee)
SOUTH AFRICA (Brandon Panther, Jethro Eustice)

IRELAND: David Fitzgerald (GK), Mark Ingram (GK), Jonathan Bell, Ronan Gormley, John Jackson, Michael Watt, Chris Cargo,  Alan Sothern, Stephen Dowds, Eugene Magee,  Kirk Shimmins, Bruce McCandless, Drew Carlisle, Michael Darling, Michael Robson, Jonny Bruton, Paul Gleghorne, Shane O Donoghue.

Did Not Play:Peter Caruth, James Lorimer. Kyle Good,Neal Glassey.


Monday January 26th v South Africa - Hartleyvale 19.00 (local)
Wednesday January 28th v Holland - Stellenbosch 15.00 (local)
Thursday January 29th v Holland - Stellenbosch 18.00 (local)
Saturday January 31st v Belgium - Hartleyvale 15.00 (local)
Sunday February 1st v Belgium - Hartleyvale 14.00 (local)

Irish Hockey Association media release

HHIL Match No.5 Dwyer turns the tide for Punjab

K Arumugam

Roshan Minz will rue his missed sitter. Despite striking two goals against world's number one goalie Jaap Stockman, Kalainga Lancers won't celebrate. The joy of beautiful goal struck by Lalit Upadhyay, the first of the match, did not sustain for long. In the end, its the home team that smiled today at Mohali stadium, Chandigarh.

All because of one man. Jamie Dwyer, who did not much for his team in the hugely popular Hockey India League in the last two years, proved his worth.

In the inaugural HIL season, he even tried to sport penalty corner specialist role, but could not make much of a dent in the final outcome. He was different today at Mohali.

The dimunitive play maker from Queensland turned the tide in favour of his JPW in a matter of two minutes. First he deflected off the team's penalty corner, and in the next minute in a melee struck a goal against inform goalie Harjot Singh, who has given a great account of himself.

The twin strikes of Jamie, coming against struggling times what with Lalit Updahyay's seventh minute solo giving their rival a clean 1-0 lead, set the tune and tenor right for other forwards and penalty corner specialists to do the rest, to wrap the match for Punjab.

After initial surge, Punjab showed the signs of sluggishness which Lalit Updahyay utilized, strking a reverse from top of circle getting gem of a parallel from Devinder Walmiki.

Then came the brace of Jamier.

Even as the match was goiong the Punjab way at the stroke of halftime, Roshan Minz showed clearn pair of heels to others and got himself well positioned to strike a goal, but alas he shot it wide despite getting goalie Jaap wrong footed.

Sandeep Singh meanwhile got an opportunity to fire up, and he did it in style, taking the fourth penalty corner to the right bottom of the goal (3-1).

Later in the fourth quarter, Dharamvir, who proved his dash with nippy run downs, unleashed a powerful reverse from left side of the circle, to take the match long away from the Lancers (4-1)

Gurjinder Singh, who was subdued otherwise today, came on his foot to score a goal off a penalty corner (4-2), but it was too little too late.

For the great double, Jamie was declared Hero Man of the Match (Rs.25k) and Dharamvir Singh (Rs.25k) Hero Goal of the day.


At home, Punjab Warriors have it easy

Indervir Grewal

The match between Punjab Warriors and Kalinga Lancers in Mohali on Sunday. Tribune  photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali - Jamie Dwyer's twin strikes in two minutes helped Punjab Warriors beat Kalinga Lancers 4-2 and register their first win in the Hockey India League here today.

The Australian's brace — in the 27th and 28th minutes — helped the home team equalise and then take the lead against the defensive Kalinga Lancers. Lalit Upadhyay had put the visitors ahead in the 8th minute.

The Warriors got five penalty corners, out of which Sandeep Singh converted one in the 38th minute. Dharamvir Singh scored the fourth goal in the 50th minute before Gurjinder Singh pulled one back for the Lancers with a powerful drag-flick in the 52nd minute.

Punjab Warriors started with the confidence of a home team — though they would have hoped for a larger home support as they played in front of an almost empty stadium. They attacked in numbers and pushed the visitors back. But their hurried attacks were easily dealt with by the composed Lancers' defence.

As time passed, the Lancers regained some control and even looked dangerous going forward. But their first big chance came in the 8th minute after a Punjab Warriors mistake. Captain Mark Knowles, who had earlier executed his trademark long aerial ball, fluffed his effort this time and the ball landed at the feet of Lancers' Aron Zalewski.

A swift two-pass move — to the right and then centre — found an unmarked Upadhyay with the ball at the top of the circle. His awkwardly taken reverse-stick shot found the low right corner. The visitors got a few good chances in the next few minutes and looked the more dangerous team throughout the first quarter.

The Warriors came out in the second quarter with a lot more aggression and their attacks were far more effective. At one point there were eight Punjab players in the opposition third. However, poor finishing and brilliant goalkeeping by Harjot Singh helped keep the Lancers' lead intact.

The Warriors got their first penalty corner in the 24th minute, which was not properly stopped. Dwyer's open try after the ball was passed back into the circle went way over the top.

Three minutes later, the Punjab team finally found the equaliser from their second penalty corner. This time the push was wayward but Rob Hammond improvised and passed to Dwyer on the left. The veteran Australian, who was left unmarked, had no trouble beating the keeper from 10 yards out.

In the next minute, Dwyer gave the Warriors the lead, firing the ball into the top corner after Harjot made three successive saves.

The goal shifted the momentum in the Warriors' favour and apart from a few chances for the Lancers, the hosts completely dominated the second half.

The situation would have been completely different had Roshan Minz of the Lancers shot into an empty goal after a Gurmail Singh mistake led to a counter when the score read 2-1 in Punjab's favour. Minz would be kicking himself because he had done all the hard work, sending goalkeeper Jaap Stockman the wrong way.

The Tribune

Dwyer blunts Kalinga Lancers’ charge

LEADING FROM THE FRONT: Punjab Warriors captain Jamie Dwyer about to score one of his two goals against Kalinga Lancers. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

MOHALI: Jaypee Punjab Warriors skipper Jamie Dwyer led from the front as his team put up a clinical performance defeating Kalinga Lancers 4-2 in a Hero Hockey India League match played under biting cold conditions on Sunday.

Down 0-1 in the first quarter, the Warriors came back strongly and looked aggressive keeping up the pressure on the Lancers for most part of the game thereon.

Warriors' skipper Jamie Dwyer's twin strike minutes before the half time put the local favourites back into business, with scoreline reading 2-1.

Just four minutes before the half-time, the Australian veteran first scored the equaliser through second penalty corner which his team earned.

Dwyer beat the opponent goalkeeper with his fine hit after he received a pass from teammate Rob Hammond as the Warriors foxed the Lancer's defence.

Dwyer was in action again scoring with a backhand after his team had built up an attack from the right flank, giving a lead to his team in the 28th minute.

Again in the third quarter, the Warriors quickly made amends for failing to capitalise on third penalty corner that came their way, with ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh earning his first goal in the 38th minute from the fourth penalty corner which his team got.

In the fourth and final quarter, Warriors pumped in yet another goal, with forward Dharamvir Singh scoring in the 49th minute to put his team ahead 4-1.

Earlier, the Lancers took the early lead scoring through their forward Lalit Upadhyay in 7th minute of the first quarter, who used a backhand flick to convert a sharp pass beating the Warriors' Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann.

In the final quarter, the Lancers' penalty corner specialist Gurjinder Singh scored the second goal for his team.

The Lancers failed to create the magic in this match after their convincing victory in the opener against Ranchi Rays. The Warriors, who had drawn their opener against Dabang Mumbai, looked desperate for a win at their home turf and earned their first victory from two matched played so far.

Earlier in the second quarter, the Lancers failed to convert a penalty corner that came their way while the Warriors, too, could not capitalise from a similar chance that came their way.

At the start of the third quarter, Lancers' Roshan Minz had a golden chance to score when he drew opponent goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann out to defend, but hit wide despite an empty goalpost in front of him.

The Hindu

Great to earn first win: Ashley Jackson

RANCHI: Ranchi Rays captain Ashley Jackson said Sunday that it was great to get a win under their belt after they lost the Hockey India League (HIL) opener.

The Rays lost the opening match of the tournament 3-6 to Kalinga Lancers in Bhubaneswar Thursday but came back strongly to defeat Dabang Mumbai 2-1 in Mumbai Saturday night.

"It was great to get our first win of the competition. I was really happy with our improved performance from our first game. We are excited to be heading back to play in front of our home fans in Ranchi," said Jackson.

The Ranchi-based team will play their third match at home Monday against defending champions Delhi Waveriders.

"Ranchi Rays are playing their first home match in this season of HIL. We are looking forward for a well contested match on home turf," Rays head coach Harendra Singh said.

"Both the teams are well balanced which we witnessed in our last outing at Mumbai and we expect same kind of keen contest tomorrow. Being Mahi's (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) home town, I am sure large number of people will come to support their favourite star's team."

The Rays is co-owned by the former Indian cricket captain.

The Times of India

UP, Punjab aim to register first HIL win

Uttar Pradesh Wizards are all geared up to face Punjab Warriors in a Hero Hockey India League (HIL) encounter at the Hockey Stadium in Mohali on Monday.

In their opening matches, where Wizards met Delhi Waveriders and Warriors played against Dabang Mumbai, both the teams played draws, splitting the points with their respective opponents.

In the impending game on Monday, both Wizards and Warriors will look to play their best, attacking the opponents’ goalpost while defending their own and register a win.

Indian defender V.R. Raghunath-led Wizards have already chalked out their game plan and put the strategies in place for the impending clash.

“The team is in good shape and ready to take on the opponents. The boys performed really well in the last match and I am anticipating a similar game from the team this time too,” Wizards chief coach Roelant Oltmans said.

With P. R. Sreejesh under the bar and Ramandeep holding up the team’s attack, Thimmaiah brothers Nikkin and Nithin will continue to strengthen the forward line for the Wizards.

“Ramandeep and Jeroen Hertzberger are at their best at this point of time and infringing Sreejesh’s guard at the nets will be a tough task for the opposite team,” Mr. Oltmans said.

With a settled line of attack and game approach, Warriors will step out onto the turf with full confidence and determination to not give away any points to the opponents.

The home team’s poise will also be shored up by the hockey fans and followers present at the stadium to cheer for their side.

While captain Jamie Dwyer will look up to S.V. Sunil and Affan Yousuf to fortify the team’s forward, Gaganpreet Singh and Sandeep Singh will be aiming at scoring as many goals as possible to lead the Warriors to victory.

“We are a strong team with best of the best players in our line-up and are looking to bring into play our strengths. Everybody in the team has been giving their 100 per cent and I look forward to continued contribution from each member in the approaching matches as well,” Mr. Dwyer said.

“Wizards is a strong side and the game is definitely going to be tough. We will play to our best in order to win this match and hope will not disappoint the crowd.”

The Hindu

Seventh heaven for East Grinstead at Wembley

Niall Stott against Kwan Browne in final

A quick-fire hat-trick from Chris Griffiths helped East Grinstead to a seventh consecutive Hockey 5s title, but they were pushed all the way by a fighting display from Canterbury. In a repeat of last year's final, the crowd were left on the edge of their seats right up until the last moment of a pulsating encounter.

The first half was an even affair with an array of outstanding close skills on display from both sides. East Grinstead found themselves a player light early on as Glenn Kirkham was green carded for a foul on Liam Foster but despite the man advantage the scores remained level. Back up to a full side, the Sussex outfit took the lead through a Niall Stott penalty corner.

Harry Jawanda netted the equaliser from a well-worked penalty corner and then both Richard Potton and Diccon Stubbings in the respective goals excelled themselves with some superb saves. Kwan Browne threatened the East Grinstead goal with two incredible mazy runs but he found Potton a tough man  to beat in the Sussex side’s goal.

The reigning champions took the lead again with eleven minutes on the clock. Stott’s penalty corner hit a foot but umpire Lee Barron played an excellent advantage allowing Andy Bull to stab home. Both goalkeepers were further called upon before the half ran out and East Grinstead went in at the break 2-1 ahead.

East Grinstead came out firing on all cylinders after the interval, Stott doubled his tally before Chris Griffiths scored his first followed by an immediate reply from Harry Jawanda with his second of the game to make it 4-2.

With 14 minutes remaining Canterbury substituted off goalkeeper Stubbings and switched to a kicking back – an audacious move which seemed a rash decision when Griffiths scored twice to complete his hat-trick. At 6-2, Canterbury looked like they were out of it, needing a bit of magic to get back in the game. They got that magic with a flick from Wei Adams into the roof of the net from an acute angle, and with ten minutes to go Tom Richford made it 6-4.

A roller-coaster final ten minutes had the crowd on the edge of their seats, particularly after the outstanding Kwan Browne made it 6-5 with an arrow of a penalty corner which went in off the underside of the bar. East Grinstead held off the onslaught to seal victory and their seventh indoor title in succession.

Captain and tournament top goal scorer Stott was delighted with his team's victory. "We pride ourselves on indoor hockey. Seven is a milestone and we'll be back to try and make it eight next year. Its always a great atmosphere at Wembley, long may it continue!"

For all the facts, figures and stats from the competition, click here.

East Grinstead 6 (2)
Niall Stott, 4, 22 (PC, FG)
Andy Bull, 11 (PC)
Chris Griffiths, 24, 25, 27 (FG, FG, FG)

Canterbury 5 (1)
Harry Jawanda, 10, 25 (PC, FG)
Wei Adams, 29 (FG)
Tom Richford, 31 (FG)
Kwan Browne, 38 (PC)

England Hockey Board Media release

Bowdon Hightown triumph over East Grinstead

Bowdon Hightown in action at final

Bowdon Hightown exorcised their Wembley demons of a year ago with a scintillating display to run out 4 - 1 winners over first-time finalists East Grinstead. Sally Walton grabbed a brace and Tina Cullen and Holly Hunt notched one apiece to take the title home for the Red and Blacks.

East Grinstead women were looking to be the first of a final double for the club, ahead of the men’s final later in the day. However, the Manchester side had other ideas.

The opening minutes saw both teams equally matched. The first real chance of the game fell to East Grinstead's Heather Batten in the sixth minute but her shot landed fractionally wide of goal. Further shots for both teams just missed the target. With just under three minutes to go Holly Hunt broke the deadlock with a well taken goal from open play.

East Grinstead came out re-energised for the second half and took the attack to Bowdon with the equaliser coming early in the half from captain JoJo Davis with a penalty stroke.

The Sussex side had the chance to take the lead, however, it was Hightown's Tina Cullen who put her team back in front with a typically clinical finish.  Three minutes later, a further goal from Sally Walton gave them some breathing space.

With two minutes remaining on the clock a penalty corner gave East Grinstead a chance to  close the gap but Davis’ shot was just wide. Bowdon broke quickly and were awarded a penalty stroke seconds from time. Despite a return to the field by East Grinstead’s goalkeeper, Becky Waters, Walton’s shot found the net and ensured the silverware was heading back to Manchester.

Captain Michelle Liptrot said aftewards: "It feels amazing to be champions. We were so disappointed after last year when we didn't really turn up, and this year we've trained hard and we've done a great job so we're absolutely delighted."

"We talked about last year's performance a lot, but the minute you get out on that pitch it's all gone, and it's about what's in front of you and the moment in time, so what happened last year wasn't an issue at all. Every year seems to be my last year. I'm very tempted to play next year. When you get into Europe, it's a very special thing for the team, so I'll definitely think about it - if I can do it, I might persuade Tina to do it too!"

Bowdon Hightown 4 (1)
Holly Hunt, 18 (FG)
Tina Cullen, 25 (FG)
Sally Walton, 28, 40 (FG, PS)

East Grinstead 1 (0)
Jojo Davis, 22 (PS)

England Hockey Board Media release

East Grinstead on course for magnificent seven

Simon Faulkner and Chris Griffiths celebrate during Hockey 5s sf 2015

The first semi-final of the Hockey 5s was a twelve-goal end-to-end thriller, with East Grinstead coming out on top 7–5 against Reading. A brace from captain Niall Stott and his team mate Mark Pearn as well as further goals from Simon Faulkner, Chris Griffiths and David Condon earned East Grinstead a spot in the 2015 final.

After a cagey opening couple of minutes, East Grinstead broke the deadlock with the tournament’s top scorer Niall Stott bagging his 20th of the competition. He drilled home from a penalty corner past a diving Gary Noble in the Reading goal.

The Sonning Lane side created chances through England team mates Tom Carson and Dan Shingles but it was East Grinstead who were clinical in front of goal, taking a 3 – 0 lead through Condon and Pearn. Moments later, Reading were on the score sheet through Carson before Richard Mantell fired home a trademark penalty corner to leave the score poised at 3 – 2 going into half time.

Both teams were out the blocks quickly in the second half with Pearn restoring the two goal cushion for East Grinstead and Reading hitting straight back through Richard Springham. Niall Stott's men were able to give themselves some breathing space with further goals from Faulkner and Griffiths extending their lead to 6 – 3.

Seven minutes from time, Reading took off Noble and used Shingles as a kicking back and the extra outfield player had an immediate impact, allowing Mantell to score his second of the game. Andy Watts' side continued to press, but when East Grinstead were awarded another penalty corner, Stott made no mistake firing low into an open Reading goal. It was too little too late when Carson rifled home Reading’s fifth with two minutes to go. East Grinstead held firm and the final score stood at 7 – 5.

David Condon, East Grinstead: "We talked about staying compact. We knew we could score so we just needed to limit the damage they caused us. We're a confident bunch so we go into the final feeling good. We have plenty of quality and we're looking forward to trying to win our seventh in a row."

East Grinstead will await the winner of the second semi final between Sevenoaks and Canterbury.

East Grinstead 7 (3)
Niall Stott 5, 36, (PC, PC)
David Condon 5 (F)
Mark Pearn 14, 23, (F, F)
Simon Faulkner 25 (PC)
Chris Griffiths 29 (F)

Reading 5 (2)
Tom Carson 14, 39 (F, PC)
Richard Mantell 18, 34, (PC, PC)
Richard Springham 24 (F)

England Hockey Board Media release

Canterbury break Sevenoaks' hearts with last gasp winner

Canterbury's Liam Foster scores winner in Hockey 5s semi final

Canterbury sealed their place in the Hockey 5s Final with a thrilling 6-5 victory over Sevenoaks in the second semi-final of the day. A last gasp winner from Liam Foster with a second left on the clock gave them the win in an edge of the seat encounter that broke Sevenoaks hearts and set up a repeat of last year’s final.

Sevenoaks opened the scoring with a very early goal from captain Chris Barker, but the scores were level instantly through Foster. The goals were evenly traded throughout the half, firstly Wei Adams with a fine run and finish for Canterbury, then Mike Holland putting a penalty stroke away for Sevenoaks. It was last year's runners up that went into the half-time break with a 3 - 2 lead, as a well-worked penalty corner routine was finished beautifully by Ben Allberry.

It was a case of deja vu for the enthusiastic crowd at the start of the second half as Barker grabbed his second of the match within 30 seconds of the restart. Again though, the teams continued to trade goals with neither team managing to establish anything more than a single goal lead - Adams with another excellent finish, then a quick brace from George Torry giving Sevenoaks a 5-4 lead. Moments later, Ben Allberry netted his second of the game to leave the game balanced at 5 - 5.

The match was poised for a shootout but the experienced Kwan Browne patiently kept control of the ball in midfield waiting for an attacking opportunity. With the clock running down, the ball was pushed hard into the circle and Liam Foster deflected home with one second left on the clock, sparking huge celebrations from the Canterbury team.

Tom Richford, Canterbury captain: "That was absolutely amazing. We've lost to Sevenoaks for the last 2 years in the league so it makes it that much better to beat them when it’s important. The crowd really makes a massive difference. They crowd gave us energy and made such a good atmosphere.

This will be the third time we've played East Grinstead at Wembley and we’ve lost two, so hopefully this time we can turn it around."

Sevenoaks 5 (2)
Chris Barker 1, 21 (FG)
Mike Holland 15 (PS)
George Torry 25, 26 (FG, FG)

Canterbury 6 (3)
Liam Foster 2, 40 (FG, FG)
Wei Adams 9, 24 (FG, FG)
Ben Allberry 20, 30 (PC, PC)

England Hockey Board Media release

Great Britain needs to invest more in Hockey 5s to find outdoor success, says Kwan Browne

East Grinstead stranglehold on men's indoor game continues with tight win over Canterbury as Bowdon Hightown win women's title
By Rod Gilmour, Wembley

Kwan Browne, one of the best exponents of Hockey 5s, believes Great Britain must put more resources into the shortened format if they are to succeed outdoors.

Browne, a Trinidadian, came close to leading Canterbury to an upset in Sunday’s five-a-side finals at Wembley’s SSE Arena before East Grinstead held on to win their seventh successive title.

Leading 4-1, East Grinstead withstood a second-half barrage from the Kent side to win 6-5, Browne’s penalty corner strike two minutes from time leaving the final on a knife edge. East Grinstead were indebted to Chris Griffiths’ hat-trick.

In the women’s final, favourites Bowdon Hightown atoned for their 9-2 drubbing to Reading in last year’s final with a resounding 4-1 win over East Grinstead. Holly Hunt, stalwart Tina Cullen and a brace from England’s Sally Walton sealed victory.

“If we take the indoor game a lot more seriously on the international stage, we could be very good, especially if we had a full squad,” said Browne, who is held in high regard by England Hockey, so much so that he is also the GB under-21 men’s assistant coach.

“It is something to take into consideration. If it can be done funds-wise, it could definitely help.”

On the international scene, England's only appearance at the indoor World Cup, first played in 2003, came in 2011 when the men’s side finished sixth. Currently, few of England's top players are involved in the indoor season.

Browne said: “We need to take a page out of the Germans’ books, where they take the indoor game into their outdoor hockey.”

Browne added that his experiences of the indoor version - from understanding the speed of the game, decision-making, playing low and quick decisions under pressure - held him in good stead outdoors for the XI game.

That much was gleaned on Sunday when Browne, 37, steered Canterbury to a 6-5 semi-final win over rivals Sevenoaks. With under 30 seconds left at 5-5 and Canterbury opting for five outfield players, Browne held the ball up before a visionary pass out wide with seconds left. The ball was then dragged hard across goal where Liam Foster tapped in on the hooter.

With Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee president, recently overhauling the Games programme for a more ‘flexible’ outlook, as well as the advent of Hockey 5s at the Youth Olympics, the shortened format could now be a presence at future Games.

However, East Grinstead captain Niall Stott, the talented Scot and Hockey 5s’ top scorer, said: “Historically, there has never been a Great Britain team and we don’t know what the future holds. It will be interesting and exciting, but until that day comes we’ll just have to wait and see.”

FIH looks to youth success

Leandro Negre, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) president, admitted to high hopes for the future of Hockey 5s after witnessing the shortened format at the Youth Olympics.

Negre was present in Nanjing last August for the five-a-side tournament and witnessed Zambia beat an admittedly under-strength Germany 8-1.

“It was a big surprise for me to see Hockey 5s played in Nanjing,” he said. “It is exciting and there are lots of goals. There is no rest and even if you are two or three goals down in the last minute you can still win the match.

“To have 11 good players, you need a good squad of 25. With five-per-side it is easier to grow."

Negre also revealed that the world governing body is currently looking at a proposal from Argentina to host an under-18 Hockey 5s World Cup.

The Telegraph

Usman shown red card as brawl mars SSGC-Navy clash

Kashif Abbasi

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) on Sunday pressed ahead with their winning spree in the Chief of the Army Staff Challenge Hockey Cup here at the Army Hockey Stadium.

Hot favorites PIA beat Police 4-2 while NBP blanked Army (Juniors) 5-0 with SSGC securing a 2-0 win against Navy in a match marked by hyperactive atmosphere as players of both teams yelled at each other.

In the opening match of the day, PIA struck a penalty corner in the 2nd minute to get lead before Awais Rehman doubled the lead in the 16th minute with Atif Mushtaq netting the third for the national flag carriers.

Police, however, made counterattack soon after conceding the third goal with Atif Baig’s field goal reducing the margin in the 33rd minute. Atif again struck a field goal in the 53rd minute to press the airliners. Notwithstanding, PIA’s Awais stopped advances from police by scoring fourth goal in the 56th minute to finish 4-2.

The second match between Pakistan Navy and SSGC marred by a brawl between rivals went in favour of the latter with SSGC’s Akbar Ali scoring the first field goal in the 7th minute to give an edge to his team which ran into stiff resistance from the sailors who flexed their muscles to effectively combat inroads from their rivals. Notwithstanding, Mohammad Sabir scored the second goal in the 48th minute to complete tally of the match.

SSGC’s fullback Usman Tariq was shown red card. When Navy was awarded a penalty corner their Ali Shan unintentionally hit Usman who instead of showing sportsmanship spirit got furious and smashed his stick against Ali while shouting abuse at his rival with the unpleasant scene not only forcing umpires to show Usman red card but also resulted in the lapse of several minutes during the match after which tournament director also imposed one match ban on Usman.

The last match — between NBP and Army (Juniors) — was a one-sided affair as NBP overhauled Army (Juniors) 5-0. After taking lead in the 11th minute through Shah Irshad the bankers scored four more goals in the third quart.

Tauseeq Arshad converted a penalty stroke in the 32nd minute with Mohammed Abbas striking in the 34th on a penalty corner while Sibtain Raza and Abbas scored in the 40th and 44th minutes respectively to finish 5-0 in style.


NBP outpace Army Juniors in COAS Hockey Cup

Mohsin Ali

RAWALPINDI - Star-studied National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) had to dig deep to overcome spirited Army Juniors in the 1st Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Challenge Hockey Cup 2015 match here at Army Hockey Stadium Sunday.

In other clashes, PIA beat Police 4-2 and SSGC beat Navy 2-0. PHF secretary Rana Mujahid, ex-secretary Olympian Asif Bajwa, Director Army Sports Brig Jillani, national selector Mussadaq and others witnessed the match.

Although the score line gave other side of the story between NBP and Army Juniors as bankers won the match 5-0, yet it was not a one-sided affair. Having six international stars in their line-up, NBP failed to make any impact in the first two quarters. NBP although took lead in the 11th minute through Shah Irshad, yet it was all they could get as determined Army juniors kept the bankers at bay and could have equalised in the next few minutes, but lack of exposure and pressure denied them scoring.

NBP survived very close scare in the second quarter as Army came closer from scoring in the 18th minute, but poor finishing deprived them of scoring and they had to pay heavy price for the misses. The second quarter ended with NBP leading 1-0.

In the third quarter, it was completely different NBP outfit altogether, as they scored four goals to completely rattle Army second string. Toseeq Arshad converted a penalty stroke in the 32nd minute and M Abbas struck in the 34th on a penalty corner, Sibtain Raza scored the fourth goal in the 40th minute and Abbas completed the job in the 44th minute to give the score line some respectability, but hats off to Army juniors goalie, who although conceded five goals yet he saved at least half a dozen goals.

In another match, PIA struggled hard before beating Police 4-2. Airliners struck a penalty corner in the second minute to take early lead. They scored two more goals in the 16th and 32nd minutes through Awais Rehman and Atif Mushtaq respectively. Police made counter attack soon after conceding the third goal and Atif Baig's field goal reduced the margin in the 33rd minute. Atif again struck a field goal in the 53rd minute to press airliners who immediately realized the gravity of the situation and Awais scored the fourth goal in the 56th minute to ensure no upset.

In the third and last encounter of the day, Navy and SSGC match was played in highly-charged atmosphere during which players of both teams continued yelling at each other. The tensed atmosphere traveled with the tempo of the game. Akbar Ali of SSGC scored first field goal for his team in the seventh minute, but after that, they faced stiff resistance from the sailors. M Sabir scored their second goal in the 48th minute, missed opportunities cost Navy dearly, otherwise, they could have easily won the match.

After fourth day of matches, Pool-A is quite clear with PIA in a strong position of playing the semifinal, while Army Seniors are right at their tail. PIA had played three matches, won all with total nine points. They scored 14 goals and conceded only four with +10 points. Army Seniors had played two, won both with total six points, they scored 12 and conceded three with total +9 points.

Pool-B is quite open as Wapda is facing stiff challenge from SSGC, NBP and Navy. SSGC has played two, won two with six points. They had scored five goals and yet to concede a goal with +5, they are sitting top of the pool, followed by NBP who played two, won both with six points as they scored six, conceded one with +5, while Navy is right behind them, who played three, won two with total six points as they scored six and conceded as many goals, while Wapda had played two with 2 points, as they scored four and conceded same number of goals, and they must have to improve their standings or else risk exit.

Today's matches: Army (Seniors) takes on PAF; Wapda faces SSGC and Police meets Punjab.

The Nation

Lack of sportsman spirit seen in COAS Hockey

RAWALPINDI - Some ugly scenes were witnessed during the 1st COAS Challenge Hockey Cup match between SSGC and Navy as umpire Sohail was left with no other option but to show straight red card to SSGC’s Mian Usman, who threw his stick towards Ali Sher.

When Navy was awarded a plenty corner, Sher’s stick hit Usman's, who was very furious and instead of informing the incident to field umpire, he took things in his own hands and threw his stick towards Sher and used abusive language against him. All this was done right under the nose of PHF top brass, as Rana Mujahid and Asif Bajwa along with other PHF officials and tournament disciplinary committee chairman Col (r) Nadeem were also present there. It took several minutes for umpires and players to calm down Usman and after a while, umpire Soahil showed yellow card to Sher and straight red to Usman.

When this scribe contacted tournament director Col (r) Nadeem in this regard, he said: “The incident is very clear, as I have witnessed the entire episode and Usman was at fault. It is level-II offence of the FIH and PHF follows the same. He can be banned for 2 to 3 matches and can be extended to 3 to 6 months.”

The Nation

Bajwa urges PM to save national game

Mohsin Ali

RAWALPINDI - Former Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Asif Bajwa has urged Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to spare time to meet players and PHF officials to clear the misperception regarding actual funds situation.

Talking to The Nation, Bajwa said: “Some elements have spread the negative propaganda that the previous PHF management managed to sanction huge funds and there is absolutely no shortage and current PHF officials are just presenting wrong position of funds, which is totally wrong. The matter of the fact is that the federation is doing its best to provide over the moon facilities to the players.”

He rubbished the claims made by some certain quarters that the PM was not willing to give time to the PHF top brass as he was not happy with president Akhtar Rasool or had differences with the federation. “It is not the case, as if it is the actual ground situation, then on what grounds Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada and secretary Ijaz Chaudhry sent strong recommendation to the PM secretariat and requested urgent release of special grant of Rs 500 million, which is not more than peanuts for the government, but can help in reviving fortunes of Pakistan hockey.”

“We had already missed three golden opportunities to take Pakistan hockey to new heights, as first in 1982, when we managed to win the world cup, had at that time proper attention was paid and hockey was taken seriously, Pakistan hockey could have ruled world of hockey for next generations. The second golden opportunity was missed in 1994, when we won the world cup, champions trophy and also Olympic medal, but once again no heed was paid to work on modern lines and we are still suffering for that mistake.

“Due to continuation of our policies, Pakistan hockey is back on right track despite lack of funds and no one else but Shahnaz Sheikh and PHF management deserve credit for that. We have managed to break into top 10 in international rankings and there is every possibility, green shirts will achieve more glories, but it cannot be done without hefty financial assistance. The time is high when the PM should lend a helping hand to save the national game. If not supported now, Pakistan hockey past glories would only be remembered in history books,” he added.

Bajwa requested the PM to immediately invite the players and PHF officials and listen to their genuine demands. “They need complete backing, as they had proven themselves by taking giant strides recently and well on course for further glory, but it could have not been possible without the PM’s support,” Bajwa concluded.

The Nation

Thunderbolt zap Politeknik in Junior Hockey League

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Defending double champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt were not in charitable mood in their second Division One match as they thumped Politeknik Malaysia 7-2 in the MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League match at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru.

Politeknik, last year’s Division Two champions, took the lead after only two minutes through a field goal by Mohamed Izzuan Halim.

The early deficit jolted Thunderbolt. And they stormed back to score seven goals.

Mohamed Firdaus Omar was their hero with a hat-trick in the ninth, 41st and 55th minutes. It was Firdaus’ second hat-trick in as many matches, having scored three in the 5-0 win over the SSTMI Juniors on Friday.

Danial Asyraf contributed a brace in the 16th and 22nd minutes. Mohamed Azmie Othaman (44th) and Mohamed Luqman Hakim (52nd) added the other goals.

Politeknik, who opened their campaign with a 2-1 win over BJSS Juniors, added a second consolation goal in the 63rd minute through Mohamed Haikal Safarudin.

Thunderbolt team manager Adam Izamry Idrus praised his players for making full use of their chances.

“It is always good to tuck away the goalscoring opportunities. But I think there is still room for improvement. We have played both our games at home. Next weekend, we will play our matches in Kuala Lumpur. It will be a better test for our players,” said Adam.

For Politeknik, they were not downcast by the big defeat.

Team manager Mohamed Rafi Solaiman said: “We knew it would be tough against the champions. We treat this as a lesson and one that we can benefit from. Thunderbolt have been champions for some time now and they have a very strong side. For us every game is a learning curve as we are playing in Division One for the first time. We can only improve from here.”

At the Education Ministry Turf in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) also won their second match when they defeated former champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) 3-0.

Mohamed Huissaini Abu Bakar (22nd) and Mohamed Haikal Zamri (63rd and 67th) were on target for MBPJ.

In the other Division One clash, Sabah-born Maxhans Christi was the hero in Universiti Kuala Lumpur’s (UniKL) 4-3 win over Pahang SS-Thunderbolt at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

UniKL had taken a 3-0 lead with Zul Pirdaus Mizun (21st), Mohamned Badrul Amin (31st) and S. Devendran (38th) on target. But the Pahang side fought back with Amirul Mad Naser scoring a hat-trick in the 42nd, 47th and 59th minutes. Just when the match seemed headed for a draw, Maxhans popped up to score the winner through a penalty corner in the 69th minute.

The Star of Malaysia

Katrina Powell gains FIH qualification

NSWIS women's coach becomes FIH High Performance Coach

New South Wales Institute of Sport women’s Head Coach Katrina Powell has been accredited as an FIH High Performance Coach, an international coaching qualification that sits above Australian national coaching badges.

Katrina, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Hockeyroos, completed the FIH High Performance Final Coaching Course during the World Cup in The Hague in June 2014. She was also required to submit a synopsis for a paper on an approved topic; hers was a paper on ‘The Evolution of the Press’.

The course was for coaches currently working with top level adult hockey players who prepare teams for high level national and international competitions. Candidates had to be nominated by their national association.

Course candidates, who came from all over the world, were mentored through the program by FIH Master Coaches, the top level of qualification any coach can gain in hockey. With the course held during the combined men’s and women’s World Cup, candidates were able to get first-hand experience of what is happening in international hockey and to hear different perspectives and ideas from coaches from many different countries and cultures.

Explaining what was involved, Katrina said, “I was assisted by the [Hockey Australia women’s] national program because my paper was based around international women’s matches and GPS and heart rate data. From the paper I then prepared a presentation to present during the course.

“While at the course I had to take a drill at a Dutch club whilst being watched and analysed by not only the FIH Master Coaches running the course – including former Kookaburras coach and current men’s senior selector Barry Dancer – but also by the rest of the participants, who could also provide feedback.

“We also attended World Cup games and had group tasks that required presenting back the next day. It was an extremely tiring but rewarding experience.”

As an FIH High Performance Coach, Katrina is expected to contribute to other coaches’ education and development at national, continental and global level. Her achievement is all the more impressive given that she undertook the qualification while leading the women’s hockey program in New South Wales.

Katrina’s participation in the course was made possible thanks to the support of Hockey Australia and the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS).

The Hockey Australia High Performance network would like to congratulate Katrina for being awarded the FIH High Performance Coach accreditation.

Hockey as a sport is the greatest benefactor from our coaches expanding their repertoire of skills and knowledge. The attainment of this international qualification is a fine example for all coaches that the ability to dedicate the time and effort in improving coaching ability puts the athletes under their care in the best possible position to reach their performance goals on the pitch. 

Hockey Australia media release

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