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News for 04 February 2015

All the news for Wednesday 4 February 2015

Men’s Indoor World Cup 2015: The teams are ready for action

Huge crowds set to flock to Arena Leipzig as the world’s best fight it out for the indoor crown

Tobias Hauke and Moritz Fürste are the German captains in Leipzig. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

The 4th Indoor Hockey World Cup is almost upon us! Five action-packed days of elite indoor hockey get underway in Germany on Wednesday, with near sell-out crowds flocking to the Arena Leipzig to witness what promises to be a truly magnificent spectacle. But who will come out on top? Defending champions Germany are the favourites in the men’s competition, but numerous high quality sides such as Poland, Russia, the Netherlands and Austria being the front runners to knock the host nation from their perch. Let’s take a look at the teams competing in each pool in the men’s competitions in Leipzig. 

Men - Pool A

Pool A features reigning champions Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Australia, Iran and debutants Sweden. Host nation Germany (FIH Indoor World Ranking: 1) have claimed all three Indoor World Cups to date are the big favourites to lift the cup once again here in Leipzig. The team includes three Olympic champions, Moritz Fürste, Tobias Hauke and Thilo Stralkowski. “We are looking forward to the tournament start and our first match against Sweden", said Fürste. Hauke, FIH Player of the Year 2013, recently won the German indoor championship with his Harvestehuder THC, completing the remarkable achievement of owning all four of the available indoor and outdoor titles in both, German and European club hockey. The other two "Tobis", goalkeeper Tobias Walter and defender Tobias Lietz, were also part of the Harvestehuder team that defeated Rot-Weiss Köln 10-7 in the Berlin final last Sunday.

The three German champions will face two team-mates in pool A when Germany takes on Austria (IWR: 4) on Thursday (5th February). Michael Körper was selected as Player of the Tournament at the German Final Four, while HTHC captain Benjamin Stanzl has represented the club since 2011. Speaking ahead of the Indoor World Cup, Germany captain Tobi Hauke said: “I’m very happy to play them in the group because this way we cannot face them in the quarter-final”. Head coach Stefan Kermas added "We need a learning curve in this tournament and then we will see what's possible.” The results of the test matches were convincing as the host nation defeated Poland 6-3 and won against Austria 10-4.

Although Germany and Austria are among the favourites in pool A, the Czech Republic (IWR: 5) team contains some exceptionally skilled indoor players and a truly world class goalkeeper in Filip Neusser. They will be giving everything to make it into the quarter-finals. Australia (IWR: 8) are ranked number one in the world outdoors and claimed a 7th place finish at the 2011 Indoor World Cup in Poznan, Poland. It will be interesting to see how the team with the longest journey to Leipzig will perform underneath the roof.

Iran (IWR: 10) made their Indoor World Cup debut in Poznan and collected valuable indoor experience. They will be aiming to improve the 9th place that they achieved in that event. Striker Abbas Aroei scored 11 times in Poznan to finish joint fourth in the tournament scoring list. Sweden (IWR: 17) may be a debut nation, however, their performance level indoors has made huge strides forward in recent years and could well be a surprise package.

Men - Pool B

Pool B sees Poland, Russia, Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland and South Africa competing for the four available quarter-final tickets. Poland (IWR: 2) reached the final at all three World Cup editions so far but got always eventually wrestled down by Germany. Russia (IWC: 3) have never won a medal despite having good quality in their team, but reached the top six on the last two occasions and at number 3 in the FIH Indoor World Rankings must not be underestimated.

Russian goalie Roman Rogov plays a record fourth Indoor World Cup, as does Canadian keeper Shankar Premakanthan. The duo were both in action since the first edition here in the Arena Leipzig 12 years ago. Team Canada (IWR: 7) also features the oldest player of the tournament with Ken Pereira being 41 years of age. The Netherlands (IWR: 6) are also a team which cannot be underestimated, especially with skilful players like Teun Rohof and Robert Tigges – who netted 16 times in Poznan four years ago to finish as tournament top scorer - in the squad.

It will be tough for Switzerland (IWR: 11) and South Africa (IWR: 15) to reach the quarters ahead of any of the four previous mentioned teams, but anything can happen over the next few days. The South Africa squad contains a notable personality with renowned international umpire Ayden Shrives being among their ranks. Shrives now finds himself being umpired by the likes of Geoff Conn and Michael Eilmer, who he officiated alongside at last year’s Pahang Hockey Champions Challenge I in Kuantan, Malaysia.

Follow the action! 

Website: Full coverage of the events will be available via www.fih.ch with live streaming of key matches from the quarter-final stage being available in most territories.

You Tube: The FIH You Tube channel will become active from the quarter-finals, with match highlights and much more being posted as soon as they become available. To visit our You Tube channel, click the link below: www.youtube.com/fihockey

Social media: FIH will provide comprehensive coverage of the event via our social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Facebook: facebook.com/fihockey

Instagram: instagram.com/fihockey

Twitter: twitter.com/fih_hockey

#IWC2015 #leipzig #fihockey

FIH site

Women’s Indoor World Cup 2015: World’s best ready to roll

12 nations set to wow the crowds at the Arena Leipzig

Germany's women are defending world champions. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

The 4th Indoor Hockey World Cup is almost upon us! Five action-packed days of elite indoor hockey get underway in Germany on Wednesday, with near sell-out crowds flocking to the Arena Leipzig to witness what promises to be a truly magnificent spectacle. But who will come out on top? In the second of our tournament previews, we take a look at the 12 women’s teams that will battle for the title in the Arena Leipzig.

Women - Pool A

Reigning World Champions Germany compete in Pool A alongside Austria, Ukraine, Australia, Canada and Belgium. With the home crowd cheering them on all the way, it comes as no great surprise that Germany (FIH Indoor World Ranking: 1) start the event as tournament favourites. However, the team has to recover from the shock of losing ace striker Lisa Altenburg, who injured her knee in the German indoor championships at the weekend. Altenburg has been replaced by Luisa Steindor, who will come into the event full of confidence after winning the German indoor championship with Düsseldorfer HC. Head Coach Jamilon Mülders feels optimistic about his team’s chances of glory.

“We are really looking forward to the event and happy to be back in the ‘living room’ of German indoor hockey”, said Mülders, before stating that he believed the Netherlands, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland would all be big threats to Germany’s title ambitions. Lena Jacobi, who is co-captain alongside Katharina Otte, was excited about the prospect of once again competing in the Arena Leipzig. “It’s something special to play here. At the Euro Nations two years ago I couldn’t hear a single word because the crowd was so loud.”

Austria (IWR: 4) are expected to be strong contenders in the race to top the pool, although it will be interesting to see how the youthful team cope without legendary player Irene Balek who has retired. Having secured top four finishes in their two previous Indoor World Cup competitions (Vienna 2007 / Poznan 2011), Ukraine (IWC: 5) will certainly be a big threat here in Leipzig, and in team captain Maryna Vynohradova they have one of the most experienced and talented players in the competition.  Australia (IWR: 8), lead by team captain Emma McLeish, arrive in Leipzig with a well balanced side and will be determined to finish higher than the 8th place that they achieved in Poznan four years ago.

Canada (IWR: 12) and IWC debutantes Belgium (IWR: 22) are the lowest ranked sides in the pool but will be looking to upset the odds. International umpire Laurine Delforge, who officiated at the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, has been named in the Belgium squad that will compete here in Leipzig.

Women - Pool B

Pool B is expected to be a closely fought contest, with the Netherlands, Belarus, Czech Republic, Poland, Kazakhstan and South Africa all in action. 2007 Indoor World Champions the Netherlands (IWR: 2) are expected to be the front-runners and arrive with a strong squad that is likely to challenge for top honours. The team coached by Marieke Dijkstra, who was present at the first three Indoor World Cups as a player, contains some terrific talent, with Kiki Collot D’Escury and Vera Vorstenbosch being two notable names on the team list.

Belarus (IWR: 3) have the potential to push the Netherlands all the way in Pool B, and have arrived here in Leipzig with one of the most experienced squads. 31-year-old team captain Volha Shyntar competes in her fourth successive Indoor World Cup, and will be hoping to guide her team to a place on the podium for the first time after losing the 2011 Bronze medal match to Ukraine.

Czech Republic (IWR: 6) are another team capable of achieving big things at this event. Under the captaincy of Tereza Mejzlikova and guidance of Head Coach Chris Faust, they have developed a team that really could put themselves among the medals.

Poland (IWR: 7) compete in their second Indoor World Cup following a superb fifth place finish on home soil in Poznan four years ago. Kazakhstan (IWR: 16) were participants in 2011, but will be aiming to improve on their last place finish at that event. South Africa’s (IWR: 18) best result at an Indoor World Cup to date was a tenth place finish at the 2003 event here in Leipzig, something that they will be determined to improve upon in their return to the city.

Follow the action! 

Website: Full coverage of the events will be available via www.fih.ch with live streaming of key matches from the quarter-final stage being available in most territories.

You Tube: The FIH You Tube channel will become active from the quarter-finals, with match highlights and much more being posted as soon as they become available. To visit our You Tube channel, click the link below: www.youtube.com/fihockey

Social media: FIH will provide comprehensive coverage of the event via our social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Facebook: facebook.com/fihockey

Instagram: instagram.com/fihockey

Twitter: twitter.com/fih_hockey

#IWC2015 #leipzig #fihockey

FIH site

Big ask for SA indoor hockey teams


SA Women's Indoor Team mascot. Photo: South African Women's Indoor Hockey Team Facebook page

THE fourth Indoor Hockey World Cup begins Wednesday and takes place through to Sunday in what is sure be a packed Arena Leipzig in Germany.

It will be a remarkable achievement if the SA men (world ranking 15) reach the quarter-finals from Pool B as they are up against IWC silver medallists at all three Indoor World Cups so far, Poland (WR2), as well as Russia (WR3), Holland (WR6), Canada (WR7) and Switzerland (WR11). However, an upset win or two is “all” they need – and it’s not impossible.

Pool A is definitely where SA would prefer to be. It features world number one Germany, who have won all three Indoor World Cups, Austria (WR4), Czech Republic (WR5), Australia (WR8), Iran (WR10) and debutants Swede (WR17).

Iran and Sweden would be teams against whom SA would fancy their chances. And should SA not make the quarter-finals; that is where the cross-pool playoffs become so important.

Arguably the SA men’s team’s most accomplished player, PG Geldenhuys, and captain Dale Isaac are the most experienced SA players at international level. A remarkable eight of the 12 SA men either went to school or university in Pietermaritzburg.

Meanwhile, the Spar SA women’s team also have an overwhelmingly KZN flavour, particularly from PMB. They played a three-match Test series against Australia in Mannheim, Germany as preparation and lost 7-3 before drawing 5-5 and 5-5.

It was a phenomenal experience for the girls and great preparation,” said manager Emma Bray. “They have really grown both as individuals and as a team. Australia, being ranked sixth in the world, were the better team on day one but our girls stepped up and almost beat them in the second Test after taking the lead 4-1 at one stage.”

Cindy Hack, the SA captain, said, "Proper preparation prevents poor performance and this was the perfect opportunity to prove to ourselves that we can compete with some of the top nations.” SA also played Canada and beat them 5-2.

The Pool matches take place Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the cross-pool playoffs beginning on Friday evening and continuing Saturday into Sunday’s medal matches.

The action can be tracked at www.fih.ch and should include live streaming from the quarter-final stage. The You Tube channel becomes active from the quarter-finals, with match highlights and more being posted. The link is www.youtube.com/fihockey

There will also be coverage on facebook.com/fihockey as well as instagram.com/fihockey and twitter.com/fih_hockey #IWC2015 #leipzig #fihockey

Men: Richard Curtis (GK), Matt Fairweather, Geoff Abbott, Jarryd Jones, Mo Mea (all KN Coastal Raiders); Chris McCathie (GK), Justin Domleo, Ayden Shrives (all KZN Inland); Dale Isaac (capt), Craig Haley (both Western Province); PG Geldenhuys, Keegan Kieck (both Southern Gauteng). Head coach: Ryan Hack. Assistant coach: Pierre le Roux. Manager: Reggie Smith. Physio: Nick Pereira.
Women: Taryn de Winnaar, Faye Cooper (both GK), Amy Greaves, Tracy Martens, Eloise Walters (all KZN Inland); Shelley Higgo, Cindy Hack (capt), Kara Stella, Jess O’Connor, Kelly Madsen (all KZN Coastal Raiders), Celia Evans (North West). Head coach: Lennie Botha. Manager: Emma Bray. Stand-in manager: TJ Smith. Physio: Claudia Lepera.

SA men: Pool B (SA time)
Wed, Feb 4 vs Poland (4.15pm); vs Holland (11.45pm).
Thu, Feb 5 vs Russia (2.45pm); vs Canada (10.30pm).
Fri, Feb 6 vs Switzerland (2.45pm).
SA women: Pool B (SA time)
Wed, Feb 4 vs Holland (9.45am); vs Czech Republic (6.30pm).
Thu, Feb 5 vs Belarus (11.15am); vs Poland (6.45pm).
Fri, Feb 6 vs Kazakhstan (11.55am).

SA Hockey Association media release

Indoor World Cup starts now

Players and coaches enjoy family time in Leipzig ahead of tournament start

With the Australian men’s indoor hockey team in Europe, preparing for the forthcoming Indoor World Cup in Leipzig (4-8 February), Team Manager Brent Deans is providing a series of short updates exclusively for the Hockey Australia website.

The newest diary entry is nearest the top.

During the tournament we’ll have reports and photos from every match (men’s and women’s). For the details of the squad and the tournament fixture card visit our Australian Indoor team page.

You can follow the team on Instragram at @indoorhockeyaus.

3rd February: A very important day today, being the day before the World Cup starts. Lots of things can happen that will impact the tournament. We had taken a conscious decision when planning the program that today would be a relaxed day, no practice match just some low key practice in the afternoon.

We had our normal start to the day - a walk at 08:45 - then a roller session, then breakfast…now into a good routine.

The morning team meeting was about focus points for the strikers and defenders. Both groups presented to the meeting on each of the points they had identified. Then a good break of a couple of hours that the guys used to get in supplies for the next couple of days.

The afternoon meeting was to be a special meeting. Attending the meeting we also had Graham Reid, the Kookaburras coach, and Lyn Hill, Chair of the Australian Indoor Advisory Panel. The guys gave a short statement on what their roommate will bring to the team and there was some really good stuff said. Then Graham Reid spoke to the guys and made a presentation of their playing shirt to each of them. This had a very positive effect on the group as a whole. Lyn also congratulated everyone on the efforts they had made.

16:00. Bus to the hall for training. Today a training session on pitch one. While others (including me) had to attend the tournament meeting. The training session went well with all the guys looking forward to getting started tomorrow. Back to the hotel for the pool session and then out for dinner with family and friends. Including the team there was a group of some 37 people, which was fantastic. The parents, partners and friends really appreciated the time provided so we could celebrate the start of the World Cup together. The guys too appreciated the space to be with family and friends. The night went well and was over in a couple of hours, back to the hotel and off to start prep for the first match tomorrow. All good.

2nd February: The hotel is starting to buzz with all teams now in; Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, Iran and Kazakhstan.We had a late game so a late start and then some rehab with the rollers. Training and a match today, so not as busy as yesterday but still constant, plus the official meetings commence as well so having to balance where everyone needs to be. The right people in the right place at the right time!

We had a small meeting mid-morning, re-enforcing focus points for training and the training match against Canada. Again, low key PCA focus and some technical work in hall two and then move to the show hall for the match. This was be the first time we have played in the show hall, plus using the tournament balls. The floor is still very slow and the yellow balls didn't seem as hard as the orange ones we have been using. The practice match was just that with both teams looking at different areas. Although we were not too happy with our performance, we again managed the match well and finished with a positive result. There were a number of people watching which was nice and some teams making a video, which is really not the done thing, but we are OK.

Then back to the hotel for the pool and an evening of treatment. We are very, very lucky to have such a professional physio with us. Leigh is doing a fantastic job and is very much appreciated by everyone in the team. I believe this is one of the key areas for any future trips, we really need to look after player welfare.

Dinner and a small meeting for me to update on the tournament meetings I had been at for most of the day. Nothing too dramatic but better to be informed.

The tournament is coming closer and the Budgies are relaxed and working on the focus of our first match!

1st February: We went to the hall early so some the guys could take their time and have a good look around the venue, Arena Leipzig. There will be two halls used, one with some 5000-6000 seats, which is impressive. The small hall is minimal with about 100 seats. We play two matches in the main hall and three in the small hall, which for us is OK. The three in the small hall are the important matches for us.

Some relaxed training, really working on the PCA (penalty corner attack) we must be better for the tournament. Back to the hotel, which is very nice, for some lunch and then some rest and a small meeting. We trained and had a practice match with South Africa early afternoon, so transport back to the hall for 6:00pm training; again light training, PCA and some technical work, a bit of rest while South Africa did their warm-up and then a practice match. Anthony's focus was on just working on the types of play we have developed that we need to practice for our first match, so the framework was set.

The guys did really well and were able to control the match, scoring four goals and keeping a clean sheet. The second half went much the same way again, scoring four goals with S. Africa netting two. A really good work out, good warm down and back to the hotel for a pool session. The guys are now well into a routine. Dinner then rest. More of the same tomorrow.

Hockey Australia media release

Coaches’ IWC ambitions

The coaches give us their hopes for the Indoor World Cup campaigns

As Australia returns to hockey’s world stage this week with its indoor teams competing in the men’s and women’s FIH Indoor World Cups, three brothers – Kurt, Heath and Flynn Ogilvie – are set to make history when they step out against the Czech Republic, becoming the first siblings to represent Australia in the same Indoor World Cup.

Held jointly at the 6000-seater Arena Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany, from Wednesday until Sunday, the men’s and women’s FIH Indoor World Cups will pitch Australia’s teams against the best nations in the world.

Dominated by European countries, each FIH Indoor World Cup (men’s and women’s) features 12 teams divided into two pools of six.

Australia’s women, ranked eighth in the world, have been drawn to face world number ones Germany, who won the tournament in 2003 and last time around in 2011. Also in Pool A are Austria (ranked fourth), Ukraine (fifth), Canada (12th) and newcomers Belgium (22nd).

Australia’s ninth-ranked men will also face defending champions Germany in their own back yard. The Germans are the only team ever to have won the men’s FIH Indoor World Cup having scooped the previous three trophies in 2003, 2007 and 2011. Austria (ranked fourth), Czech Republic (fifth), Iran (tenth) and Sweden (17th) make up Pool A.

Australian women’s Head Coach Stewart Fenton has urged his side to “dare to dream and play without fear.”

Outlining his hopes for the tournament, Fenton said, “For the first time, the Indoor World Cup features quarter finals. Our first goal is to make the quarter finals and I believe if we play to our potential then this goal is very achievable. Beyond that, to finish in the top three in our pool would most likely help us avoid a quarter final match against the Dutch. If we can achieve this then a semi final spot is not out of the equation and this would be a fantastic achievement for the team.”

As Fenton explained, “One of the difficulties we face in Australia is the challenge of getting the team together for training. We had one training camp prior to coming away and when you are playing against European teams that are training together three days a week for four months of the year we are starting at a considerable disadvantage.

“However, playing five-a- side hockey [the rules have changed, reducing teams from six players to five] plays into our strengths and I think has evened up the competition. We have a good mix of young and experienced players with our strengths being our counter attack and penalty corners. We have some elite drag flickers who have the ability to score goals, which is a good position to be in.”

Five of the 12-athlete women’s team have previously played at the Indoor World Cup; Emily Riordan represented Australia in 2007 while Emma McLeish, Tegan Boucher, Holly Evans and Shelley Watson were all part of the 2011 team that finished eighth in Poland. Kary Chau and Holly Evans have both also previously represented the Australian national outdoor team, the Hockeyroos, winning 11 and 15 caps respectively.

Australia indoor men’s coach Anthony Potter has been pleased with his team’s preparation. He said, “Things have gone great. We’ve had a good preparation starting in Belgium, then heading to Poland before arriving in Leipzig. Most days have consisted of two training sessions, planning workshops and a match at night. We have our set structures and over the past week have gone into a fine-tuning phase.”

Outlining his hopes for the tournament, Potter added, “With Germany and Austria in the pool, it realistically leaves us room to finish third or fourth in the group to move onto the next phase of the competition. The Czechs, Sweden and Iran are the teams we need to be strong against if we’re to make the quarter final. If we do, we can make a new plan after that.”

Experience in the men’s team comes from a group of three athletes – Simon Beaton, Paul MacKinnon and Kurt Ogilvie. Beaton and Ogilvie are veterans of the 2007 and 2011 tournaments, with MacKinnon also a member of the 2011 squad that finished seventh. 21 year-old Flynn Ogilvie is the only member of the squad to have played for the Australian men’s outdoor team, the Kookaburras. Coach Anthony Potter competed at the inaugural Indoor World Cup in 2003.

It all gets underway with the Australian women’s opening match against Ukraine at 9:15pm AEDT on Wednesday. The Australian men begin against Czech Republic at 10:30pm AEDT Wednesday.

The 12 teams are divided into two pools of six teams. Each team plays the other five in its pool once. The top four in each pool will qualify for the cross-over quarter finals with the winners of those ties going on to contest the semi-finals and medal matches. The teams finishing in the bottom two places in each pool and the losing quarter finalists will play off for ranking positions five through 12.

Official tournament websites
Men's Indoor World Cup website
Women's Indoor World Cup website

The official social media hashtag for the tournament is #IWC2015.

Live Streaming
The International Hockey Federation will live stream the tournament from the quarter final stage onwards, beginning Saturday 7 February in Australia. The live stream will be visible from the respective tournament websites.

Australia’s Indoor World Cup Record
2003 – 7th
2007 – 8th
2011 – 7th
2003 – 9th
2007 – 6th
2011 – 8th

World Cup medallists
2003: GER (gold), POL (silver), NED (bronze)
2007: GER (gold), POL (silver), ESP (bronze)
2011: GER (gold), POL(silver), AUT(bronze)
2003: GER (gold), NED (silver), FRA (bronze)
2007: NED (gold), ESP (silver), GER (bronze)
2011: GER (gold), NED (silver), UKR (bronze)

Australia’s official warm-up match results
Australia 1-2 Poland
Australia 3-5 Poland
Australia 7-3 South Africa
Australia 5-5 South Africa
Australia 5-5 South Africa

Australia’s Indoor World Cup fixtures*
Australia v Czech Republic, 22:30 AEDT, Wednesday 4 February
Australia v Australia, 07:30 AEDT, Thursday 5 February
Australia v Iran, 22:30 AEDT, Thursday 5 February
Australia v Sweden, 06:00 AEDT, Friday 6 February
Australia v Germany, 01:15 AEDT, Saturday 7 February
Australia v TBC, Quarter final/ranking matches

Australia v Ukraine, 21:15 AEDT, Wednesday 4 February
Australia v Austria, 02:30 AEDT, Thursday 5 February
Australia v Canada, 21:15 AEDT, Thursday 5 February
Australia v Belgium, 03:30 AEDT, Friday 6 February
Australia v Germany, 21:30 AEDT, Friday 6 February
Australia v TBC, Quarter final/ranking matches

*note, Leipzig is 10 hours behind AEDT (GMT+1)

Australian Teams for FIH Indoor World Cup 2015
Garry Backhus (Amaroo, ACT)
Simon Beaton (Warilla, NSW)
Malcolm Beer (Evatt, ACT)
Nigel Croke (Moorebank, NSW)
Matthew Hotchkis (Curtin, ACT)
Paul MacKinnon (Nicholls, ACT)
Flynn Ogilvie (Woonona, NSW)
Heath Ogilvie (Woonona, NSW)
Kurt Ogilvie (Woonona, NSW)
Seyi Onitiri (Canberra, ACT)
Ben Rennie (Scarborough, WA)
Thomas Sinclair (Balwyn, VIC)

Coaching & management team
Head Coach – Anthony Potter
Manager/Asst Coach – Brent Deans
Asst Coach/Video Technician – Steve Willer
Physio – Leigh Iacovangelo 

Tegan Boucher (Aspendale, VIC)
Kary Chau (Chelsea Heights, VIC)
Clare Comerford (Lutwyche, QLD)
Holly Evans (Clearview, SA)
Ash Fey (Wakerley, QLD)
Kyah Gray (Shoalhaven Heads, NSW)
Emma McLeish (Albion Park, NSW)
Kizziah Plumb (ACT^) (Crookwell, NSW)
Makaela Potts (Raby, NSW)
Emily Riordan (TAS**) (Mernda, VIC)
Peta Sutherland (ACT)
Shelley Watson (Kaleen, ACT) 

Coaching & management team
Head Coach – Stewart Fenton
Manager/Asst Coach – Karen Seaman
Asst Coach – Alex Lupton
Asst Coach/Video Technician – John Trueman
Physio – Emily Boulton-Smith

^represented ACT at Australian Champs
** represented TAS at Australian Champs

Hockey Australia media release

Atlètic continue Catalan indoor dominance

Atlètic Terrassa won both men’s and women’s Catalan indoor titles last weekend, demonstrating their clear historical superiority in this discipline.

Indeed, Atlètic men’s team has won this championship 31 out of 35 editions, crushing their outdoor rivals Polo and Club Egara.

The men’s team defeated Júnior in the final in a shoot-out, after a tied match that ended 3-3. Roger Pallarols is really fond of this discipline, which allows him to practise some tactics and movements that can be applied to outdoor hockey to improve it.

Atlètic’s second team, Vallès Esportiu, qualified for the semi-finals, finishing in fourth position. Atlètic will play for the Spanish title next weekend in Barcelona.

The women’s team also won their title last Sunday after a thrilling match. They were losing by 0-2 against CD Terrassa just six minutes before the end but two goals by Cris Escudé and Carlota Freixa forced the shoot-out.

There, two world-class goals by Escudé and Marta Grau, combined with a great performance by goalkeeper Txell Grau, one of the best goalkeepers in Spanish hockey, gave Atlètic their title, and a huge boost to prepare their next goal: the Spanish Copa de la Reina.

Euro Hockey League media release

Black Sticks get the Canada call-up

Rachel McCann pictured in the 2014 National Hockey League. Photosport.co.nz

Hockey fans will spot two new faces in the Black Sticks line-up when they take on Canada in a three-test series at the Whangarei ITM Hockey Centre starting tomorrow.

Former Australian based striker Kirsten Pearce, aged 23, and midfielder Rachel McCann, aged 21, impressed national selectors at last month’s training camp and are now poised to notch up their first international.

Born in South Africa, Pearce lived in New Zealand for five years before moving to Australia where she played 13 years of club hockey and was named in the Australian Junior Squad. She was also in the New South Wales team that won the 2014 Australian Hockey League.

“As a kid I grew up watching Mandy Smith and the Black Sticks, it has been a childhood dream to play for a national side. So when I got this opportunity in New Zealand I decided to take it with both hands.”

“It has been a bit of a whirlwind – I was given the opportunity to come over to attend the Super Camp in January and now I’ve moved over and will be playing my first international – it’s been a quick transition,” said Pearce who wanted to thank her family and friends for their support of the move. 

Canterbury’s McCann, who has come through New Zealand age-groups and was part of the Junior World Cup team last year, was also thrilled to see her name on the list and said it came as a bit of a surprise. “I definitely had this series in the back of my mind when I was training over summer – to get the chance to debut is a pretty big motivator.”

Ella Gunson, Stacey Michelsen and Brooke Neal will be playing on their home turf with Gunson set to clock up her 100th international test.

Senior players Gemma Flynn, Sam Charlton, Petrea Webster and Anita Punt are all in the line-up. Katie Glynn, Sophie Cocks and Amelia Gibson are out with injury while Julia King is unavailable due to club hockey commitments in England. 

The Canada series and the Hawke’s Bay Festival in April form part of the Black Sticks’ build up to the World League Semi-Final being held in Belgium in June. The Black Sticks are aiming to finish in the top three which would automatically qualify them for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The first game against Canada is at 6.30pm this Thursday with the following two games at 3pm this Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are on sale now at www.dashtickets.co.nz. Tickets are cheaper online than at the gate. Adults - $12.50, Child - $8, Student/Pensioner - $10, Family pass - $35.

The Canadian women’s team toured New Zealand in 1982 where they played in an international tournament held in Palmerston North, although ironically they never played against the Kiwis. More recently in 2003, the Black Sticks played a four test series in various venues throughout the North Island which New Zealand won 2-0.

2015 Black Sticks Women’s Team v Canada

Shirt #

Player Name

NHL Team







Goal Keeper






Defender / Midfielder












Midfielder / Striker






Midfielder / Defender






Defender / Midfielder





North Harbour











Rachel McCANN






Olivia MERRY








Midfielder / Defender




Brooke NEAL






Kirsten PEARCE

North Harbour





Anita PUNT








Defender / Midfielder






Goal Keeper











North Harbour





Head Coach:                 Mark Hager

Assistant Coach:           Sean Dancer

Manager:                      Debbie Balme

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Pearce joins NZ squad for Canada tests

Former Australian indoor squad member one of two new caps for 3-match series

By David Leggat

Rachel McCann impressed while playing for New Zealand's under 21 team against India last year. Picture / Brett Phibbs

Kirsten Pearce took a circuitous route to the national hockey team.

Born in Cape Town, she arrived with her family in New Zealand at 5, moved to Sydney five years later and is now back having won a place in the 18-strong squad to play three tests against world No 22 Canada in Whangarei tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.

Pearce, a 23-year-old striker, is one of two uncapped players in the squad, the other being Canterbury midfielder Rachel McCann.

Pearce was part of the New South Wales team that won the Australian league title last year, having graduated from the under 18 and 21 state teams, and was in the Australian indoor hockey squad.

Coach Mark Hager gave Pearce an opportunity at the national camp in mid-January. He liked what he saw of a player he termed "an out-and-out striker".

"We were pretty impressed with some of the skill sets she brought. She scored a few goals, had a good connection with a few of the senior players and had good hockey knowledge," Hager said.

Pearce recently graduated from the Sydney University of Technology with a masters in management, and has been an events assistant in Sydney. She emphasises the importance of teamwork in analysing her game.

"I like to think I help others out a lot, expose their strengths. I'm a real team player, love to score goals and have a good striking mentality," Pearce said.

The versatile McCann was the standout player for New Zealand's under 21 team against India last year "by quite a long way, has a very good work ethic and brings attributes we like", Hager added.

The coach expects the fourth-ranked Black Sticks to win the series well but knows they will be a bit raw.

Black Sticks lineup
Anita Punt (c), Aniwaka Roberts (Capital), Kat Henry, Kirsten Pearce, Petrea Webster (North Harbour), Liz Thompson (Auckland), Georgia Barnett (Central), Sam Charlton, Gemma Flynn, Rose Keddell, Sally Rutherford, Natasha Fitzsimons (Midlands), Brooke Neal, Stacey Michelsen, Ella Gunson (tbc) (Northland), Pippa Hayward, Rachel McCann, Olivia Merry (Canterbury).

The New Zealand Herald

Hockey girls target final in World League meet

by Aftar Singh

Malaysia's Noor Hasliza Mohd Ali vying for the ball with an India player during the women's hockey match at the Incheon Asian Games in south Korea last October. - AP

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s women’s hockey team have never qualified for the World League Semi-finals.

But they have a good chance to do just that after being seeded second for the World League Second Round in New Delhi from March 7-15.

Eight teams will feature in the tournament and world No. 21 Malaysia are seeded second to hosts and world No. 13 India.

Malaysia, who won the World League Round One in Singapore last June, are in Group B with Russia (world No. 23), Kazakhstan (No. 32) and Singapore (No. 42).

Favourites India are in Group A with Poland (world No. 26), Ghana (No. 30) and Thailand (No. 45).

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) senior vice-president S. Shamala said that they are targeting a top-two finish to qualify for the World League Semi-finals in Belgium and Argentina in June.

“This is our best chance to feature in World League Semi-finals as India are the only strong team in the tournament. We should not have any problems against Kazakhstan and Singapore as we’ve beaten them before,” she said.

“But we’ll have to be wary of Russia, who are just two rungs below us in the world.”

All eight teams will qualify for the quarter-finals but only the finalists will qualify for the World League Semi-finals.

There are 25 players in the training squad and seven will be dropped before the team leave on Feb 25 for New Delhi, where they will play four friendlies.

“The team will leave for New Delhi 10 days before the tournament starts so that they can get used to the chilly conditions and familiarise themselves with the venue,” said Shamala.

“The national team will play a match against India and three against clubs sides before opening their campaign against Kazakhstan on March 7.”

The Star of Malaysia

Ranchi Rays beat UP Wizards 2-0

Ranchi Rays players celebrate their team’s second goal against UP Wizards in Lucknow on Tuesday. HI

Lucknow - Hosts Uttar Pradesh Wizards suffered a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Ranchi Rays in the Hockey India League (HIL) here today. Wizards would have lost by more goals but for the goal-keeping skills of PR Sreejesh.

The two teams played aggressively from the beginning and the Rays got the first penalty corner in the second minute, but it was superbly saved by Sreejesh.

The Wizards got a penalty corner in the 11th minute but drag-flicker P Raghunath failed to make the most of the opportunity. Taking advantage of a lapse in concentration, Ranchi striker Trent Mitton produced a fine strike to give his team a 1-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Bob De Voogd got a golden chance to level the scores, but his shot could not find the target.

Sreejesh restricted the opposition on several occasion, denying Shea Macaleese in the ninth minute and Prabhdeep Singh in the 12th minute.

Though the Wizards started with an aggressive intent in the third quarter, their attempts were foiled by Rays’ keeper Lovell Tyler. The Rays doubled their tally through striker Mandeep Singh.

The Tribune

Punjab Warriors hope to continue winning run 

Lucknow: Comfortably placed a the top the points table, Jaypee Punjab Warriors would be hoping to consolidate their position when they take on Uttar Pradesh Wizards in a league match of the third Hero Hockey India League (HIL) on Wednesday.

But it would be easier said than done for the visitors as in the Wizards they will face the second best team so far in the tournament on Wednesday.

The Punjab Warriors are sitting pretty at the top with 22 points from five matches, while the Wizards are just a rung below with 14 points from the same number of games.

The Punjab Warriors will have an edge in Wednesday's match as they have defeated the Wizards 3-2 in their last meeting at Mohali.

But it will be a totally different ball game as the Wizards will be playing in their home ground and would definitely enjoy crowd support.

Coached by Roelant Oltmans, the Wizards will be aiming to make up for the previous loss against the Punjab Warriors.

Punjab Warriors coach Jamie Dwyer said they would look to carry on their winning momentum.

"I am very impressed with the way our team has been performing. Our defensive skills are our biggest strength. We have improved with every game and are a much better team now. We have sustained a great momentum since the starting of the league and we look forward to keep that same momentum going in the matches ahead," Dwyer said.

Coach Barry Dancer added: "The team looks pretty confident after the recent win against the Uttar Pradesh Wizards. Although, the opponents have an added advantage of playing on the home ground, we will strive to get the best of our skills on the field."

Streamed Live on Star Sports, 3 pm

The Times of India

National hero pleas for hockey promotion

JUND - National hero and former Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) member Rana Naseeb Khan demanded the government to give due attention and allocate sufficient funds for the promotion of the national game.

He said hockey, being national game, should be promoted throughout the country.

He also urged the media to play its positive role for the promotion of the game up to grassroots level.

“Hockey is the only game which brought laurels to the country by wining more than 60 medals.

It is a world record as no other country has managed to do so in a single game.
” He said the PHF was demanding only Rs 500 million for the promotion of the game.

“If international events are restored in the country, the PHF can generate its own funds and can bring the national game to the new heights,” Rana Naseeb said.

The Nation

Meteoric rise of Gonzalo Peillat and Los Leones

(Photo: FIH)

He was top scorer at the 2014 World Cup, and a major reason for Argentina’s climb up the world rankings. It is little wonder that players and fans have recognised the prowess of Peillat.

Gonzalo Peillat is the new face of hockey for the Argentine men’s team. At the 2014 Hockey World Cup in The Hague he was top goal scorer with 10 goals from a total of 14 shots, all of them perfectly struck drag flick penalty corners. International colleague, Lucas Rey, commented: “When you have a player like Gonzalo in the team, you just have to try to win the penalty corners, he will usually score.”

Now, the 22-year-old Argentinian has been voted the 2014 FIH Rising Star of the Year. We caught up with Gonzalo and asked him what the award meant to him and what the future held for the Argentina men’s team.

What does it mean for you to be voted 'Rising Star of the Year’?

It is an amazing honour to be voted the Rising Star of the year. I found out via Twitter because I was traveling to India at the time to join my team – the Kalinga Lancers in the Hero Hockey India League. I didn’t expect it. I think it is a really nice prize for players to win because it means other players and the fans have recognised you. 

Can you sum up the past 12 months of hockey from your point of view?

This year was very special for our national team. We performed well in the World League and we played a lot of test matches against Belgium, Scotland, Spain, England, Holland and Germany, which was all good preparation for the World Cup. The bronze medal at that event was the best finishing position for Argentina in years. We moved up the World Ranking too, to sixth place. It was the best year for Argentina men’s hockey.

Who has provided the motivation or been the role model for you?

My family has always played hockey. My dad was ‘keeper and my mother was a forward. From my childhood, I always liked to play hockey on the sideline, while watching my parents play matches. I also had a lot of friends who played so we could play together in the same team.

At what age did you start playing hockey?

I started playing hockey when I was four years old. I played for Mitre Club in Buenos Aires.

How often do you train a week and what sort of training sessions do you do?

When we are in Argentina training with the national team, we train five days a week. We train on the hockey pitch and in the gym. When I am in Europe (Gonzalo plays for HGC in the Netherlands) I train three times a week on the hockey pitch, but I also follow the national team’s training plan which involves fitness work as well as hockey skills. I also train for 30 minutes every session on penalty corners.

How do you explain the improvements made by the Argentina men’s side over the past few months?

Although Argentina has a young team, we have become very experienced as well. There is also an experienced backbone to the side. In addition, we have several players who compete for European clubs and that has helped us to keep growing and developing our game.

What are the aspirations for the Argentine men’s team over the next few months?

The next big tournament for us is the Hockey World League Semi-Final which is going to be held in Argentina, because it is a qualification route for Rio 2016. And it's a great tournament in which we will play the best teams in the world. Argentina must keep growing and playing with the best teams as that is the only way to grow. 

And what are your own personal dreams for your hockey career?

My personal dream is to win an Olympic medal.

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