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News for 25 March 2015

All the news for Wednesday 25 March 2015

FIH release schedule for the Fintro men and women’s Hockey World League Semi-Final, Antwerp, Belgium

(Photo:Frank Uijlenbroek)

FIH have released the pools and match schedule for the Fintro men and women’s Hockey World League Semi-Final in Antwerp, Belgium. The Hockey World League Semi-Final is a qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with three guaranteed places available to both the ten men’s and ten women’s teams competing in this Semi-Final leg in Belgium.

The event will start on 20 June 2015 and conclude with the Finals and playoffs on 4 and 5 July 2015 as part of a spectacular joint men and women’s event.

In both the men’s and women’s event, the ten teams making up the pools are a mixture of automatic qualifiers courtesy of their world rankings (at the time of entry), the hosts and the teams who join via their qualification success in Round 2 of the Hockey World League.

Pool A in the men’s event contains 2014 World Cup winners, Australia lining up alongside India, Pakistan and Round 2 qualifiers Poland and France.  While in Pool B, hosts Belgium are joined by Great Britain, and Round 2 qualifiers, Malaysia, Ireland and China.

Pool A in the women’s event features reigning World and Olympic champions the Netherlands with Korea, Japan and Round 2 qualifiers Italy and Azerbaijan.  Pool B is looking very competitive with 2014 World Cup silver medallists Australia taking on hosts Belgium, New Zealand and qualifiers India and Poland.

Participating Teams


Pool A Pool B
Australia Belgium
India Great Britain
Pakistan Malaysia
Poland Ireland
France China


Pool A Pool B
Netherlands Australia
Korea New Zealand
Japan Belgium
Italy India
Azerbaijan Poland

To see the complete event schedule, please click here.

FIH site

India fields full strength team for Azlan Shah cup

Indian captain Sardar Singh with P.R. Sreejesh. File photo The Hindu

Ace midfielder Sardar Singh will lead a full strength Indian men’s hockey team in the 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from April 5 to 12.

The Azlan Shah Cup despite being an invitational tournament, India have gone for a strong 18-member squad with just three changes from the last December’s Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar.

Midfielder Danish Mujtaba, striker Lalit Upadhyay and defender Gurjinder Singh are the three players to miss out and in their places midfielder Chinglensana Singh and forwards Satbir Singh and Mandeep Singh have been drafted into the side.

While Sardar will captain the side, goalkeeper PR Sreejesh will continue to be his deputy.

Besides two goalkeepers -- Sreejesh and Harjot Singh -- the squad will have five defenders in Gurbaj Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh and V.R. Raghunath.

The midfield will be under the leadership of skillful Sardar and he will be assisted by Manpreet Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Chinglensana and S.K. Uthappa, while Ramadeep Singh, S.V. Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Satbir and Mandeep will form India’s forward line.

The Azlan Shah Cup will also be Dutchman Paul van Ass’ first assignment as the new chief coach of the Indian men’s hockey team.

“The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will be my first tournament as the coach of this team and I look forward to a positive start by doing well in this tournament,” Van Ass said after the selection of the team on Wednesday.

“The players and I are still trying to know each other both, professionally as well as on the personal front. By the intensity and efforts put in by these players on the field, during the preparations, gives me much confidence in this team and a hope to have a great start as one unit. I have seen them play in Champions Trophy last year and they are turning into a formidable line-up who are keen to take on new challenges.”

Talking about the Azlan Shah-bound team, captain Sardar said, “The team composition is almost the same as Champions Trophy, although we have three new inclusions -- Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Satbir Singh and Mandeep Singh. All three will help boost our options for attack.

“I think their contribution for their respective teams in Hockey India League 2015 helped them make a comeback into the national squad.”

Besides India and hosts Malaysia, the other participating nations in this year’s Azlan Shah Cup are Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Canada.

India will play their first match against Korea on April 5 followed by games against New Zealand (April 6), Malaysia (April 8), Canada (April 9) and Australia (April 11).


Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Harjot Singh

Defenders: Gurbaj Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, VR Raghunath

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Sardar Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Chinglensana Singh, SK Uthappa

Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Satbir Singh, Mandeep Singh.

The Hindu

Mohd Faizal not exempted from fitness test, says national hockey coach

KUALA LUMPUR ― As any other hockey players, Mohd Faizal Saari will not be exempted from undergoing fitness test to be selected to join the national squad.

Mohd Faizal, 24, who created controversy by disappearing after representing Malaysia at the World Hockey League in Singapore, was said to have reported for training with the national squad yesterday.

Coach Tai Beng Hai said the fitness test would be carried out over the next few days, starting tomorrow.

“In Faizal Saari's case, whether he will play in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, we have to consider a few things. Firstly, can we get him match-fit or can we get him to a reasonable level so that he can play at a good level because it is an international tournament.

“In a tournament environment, we would also like to make sure that he does not get injured,” he told reporters after the presentation of sponsorship for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Hockey Tournament scheduled for April 5 to 12, here today.

The sponsorship worth RM1.86 million from 22 sponsors was received by Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah as the patron of the tournament.

Also present was Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir.

Right now, Beng Hai said 25 players, including Mohd Faizal, were undergoing the training, together with several players from the youth squad, as a preparation for selection of team to play at the third round of the World Hockey League in June.

“The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will be the platform for the selection as it is the best hockey tournament in the world. The final selection will be made soon, we will hold a friendly match with New Zealand next Thursday in Ipoh,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Hockey Tournament organising committee chairman Datuk Abdul Rahim Md Ariff said even though there would only be six teams contesting in the 24th edition of the tournament, it would still be interesting with the presence of defending champion, Australia, which was also the world's best team.

“As the defending champion and the world's best, Australia is definitely eyeing to emerge as the champion for the third consecutive time,” he said.

Apart from Australia and Malaysia, the other contesting teams are India, South Korea, New Zealand and Canada.

Abd Rahim said all countries would be sending their national team as stipulated in the tournament regulation.

“We can say that all participating teams are also preparing for the Olympic Games,” he added.

Malay Mail

Advice to Faizal Saari: Toe the line

By Aftar Singh AND Tan Ming Wai

Malaysian hockey forward Faizal Saari in action at the World Cup in Holland last year.

KUALA LUMPUR: Indiscipline has curtailed the career of many talented athletes.

Let’s hope Faizal Saari, one of the top forwards in Asian hockey, does not fall into that category.

And he had better heed the advice of Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

“Faizal is a great player ... a national hockey icon,” said Khairy when commenting on Faizal’s long absence from national team training.

“But my advice to him is to behave himself and display a high level of discipline.

“There was a misunderstanding between Faizal and the related party but I believe it has been sorted out.

“It’s definitely a very good development (for the national hockey squad) that he’s back now. I hope it can be avoided in future,” added Khairy after the launch of the National Sports Day on Tuesday.

Faizal had stayed away from training since the end of the World League Second Round in Singapore in January, citing the non-payment of match-winning bonuses as one of the reasons.

He was supposed to turn up for training last month but did not show up. The national team have been training since Feb 16.

On Sunday, he played for SSSC in the Hong Kong Hockey League – without getting the green light from the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).

On Monday evening, he surprised everyone by turning up for training.

That’s not the end of the story, though.

Faizal will now have to face the Disciplinary Board (DB) for playing in the Hong Kong Hockey League without getting MHC’s permission.

MHC secretary Datuk Mohd Johari Abdul Aziz said that Faizal was only given permission to play in the Hong Kong league until last October.

“We never stop our players from featuring in foreign leagues but they must get our approval first,” Johari said at a press conference after a sponsorship cheque presentation for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

“Faizal has infringed on MHC rules when he went to play without our approval. He will be refereed to the DB.”

National team manager Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad has advised Faizal to change his attitude if he wants to continue playing for the national team.

“We want disciplined players in the team. I understand that he did not attend national training for more than a month because of the bonus issue. We will pay out the bonus as soon as we can,” said Nur Azmi.

And there’s one more thing.

National coach Tai Beng Hai wants Faizal to undergo a fitness test for a few days, starting today.

“We want to gauge his fitness level because he has missed more than a month’s training,” said Beng Hai.

“I’ll field him in the friendly against New Zealand in Ipoh on April 2 to see if he is fit.”

The national team are preparing for the six-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from April 5-12.

The other teams in the fray are defending champions Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, India and Canada.
The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah received a total of RM1.815mil from sponsors for the 24th edition of the tournament.

The Star of Malaysia

Defending U-16 hockey champs Selangor disappoint again

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Selangor are proving to be a huge letdown in the 1MAS-Milo National Under-16 hockey tournament.

Having drawn their first two matches – 2-2 against Terengganu and 1-1 against Johor – Selangor fell 1-0 to Perlis in their third boys’ Group A match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Tuesday.

Muhammad Adam Akhir Elias netted the winner in the 70th minute to give Perlis their first win in three matches, having lost 4-2 to Malacca and drawn 2-2 with Terengganu.

In a Group B match, Perak outplayed Negri Sembilan 5-1 for their third win to take a step closer to reaching the last four.

Perak have nine points from four matches and need a win over Kuala Lumpur on Thursday to seal a place in the semi-finals.
Alif Ikhemal Zamri (fifth), Mohd Akram Hakkam (12th), Mohd Nusyahmi (18th), Mohd Hazim (51st) and Arif Sabron (58th) scored for Perak while Zarkasyi Arumi Zohaimi (48th) scored Negri’s consolation goal.

The Star of Malaysia

Hockeyroos Sydney squad

Three debutants set for Sydney series, Hawke's Bay squad also announced

Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens will showcase some of Australia’s most exciting young talent in upcoming Easter fixtures against China in Sydney with three young NSW athletes and two young Queensland players named amongst an 18-athlete squad.

The selections represent a continuation of Commens’ plans to grow the depth of talent available at the top level of women’s hockey in Australia.

The Hockeyroos will then field four changes at the Hawke’s Bay Festival in New Zealand immediately following the Hockeyroos v China International Challenge as they prepare for June’s Olympic Games qualifying event, the FIH World League Semi Final in Antwerp, Belgium.

Georgina Morgan, 21, and Mariah Williams, 19, who were recently promoted to the Australian women’s national squad, and development squad member Kate Hanna, 19, will join NSW World Cup winners Emily Smith and Kate Jenner in the squad for Sydney. There are also call-ups for two young Queensland athletes with the inclusion of Savannah Fitzpatrick, 20, and Renee Taylor, 18, both of whom make the step up to senior international hockey following their performances at Hockey Australia’s recent Super Camp in Perth. Hanna, Fitzpatrick and Taylor are all expected to make their senior international debuts on 2 April at Sydney Olympic Park.

The Sydney series will also see the return to action of Georgie Parker after the South Australian forward missed December’s Champions Trophy through injury. Fellow South Australians Karri McMahon – recovering from a broken jaw - and Jane Claxton will join the team as two of the four changes for Hawke’s Bay, alongside experienced midfielder Ashleigh Nelson and Western Australian forward Kathryn Slattery. McMahon, Claxton and Nelson were part of the Hockeyroos’ World Cup and Commonwealth Games winning teams in 2014 while Slattery made her debut in November last year. Savannah Fitzpatrick, Kate Hanna, Kate Jenner and Amelia Spence are the four athletes that will make way after the three matches against China in Sydney.

In all, nine members of the Sydney group and 11 of the squad for Hawke’s Bay were part of the Hockeyroos’ shoot-out defeat to Argentina in the final of the Champions Trophy in December.

Explaining the selections, Hockeyroos Coach Adam Commens said, “One of the things we’re doing in 2015 is exposing as many players as possible to international hockey so we can begin to narrow things towards nominating our Olympic squad. Our selections for Sydney and Hawke’s Bay demonstrate this and I would expect there will be further opportunities for players outside our senior group later in the year.”

Speaking about the newer faces in the squad, Commens said, “Savannah Fitzpatrick is included because of the specialist skill she has as a penalty corner injector. She performed excellently at Super Camp following a good AHL last year and penalty corner injection is an area we’ve struggled in.

“Kate Hanna is a clever young player with a high level of basic skill and a good addition to our midfield. Kate's a Parramatta girl and it will be great for her to debut in her home town. Renee Taylor is an outstanding athlete who has a good drag flick and is someone with loads of potential.

“It’s exciting to have Mariah Williams back in the group after her injury troubles in 2014 and we are hopeful she can now realise some of the potential that we know she has. Georgie Morgan is a player who has performed well at junior level and who is starting to mature. Her hard work over the past six months in particular has paid off in her selection.”

The two series – which will see the Hockeyroos play nine matches in total – are likely to provide a number of athletes with milestone appearances for Australia. In addition to the three debutants, captain Madonna Blyth could be in line to play her 300th match for Australia if she features in eight games on the tour; Teneal Attard should play her 200th match for the Hockeyroos in Sydney while Georgia Nanscawen is in line for her 150th appearance. Brooke Peris and Ashlee Wells could reach 50 caps.

Experienced pair Casey Sablowski (née Eastham) and Anna Flanagan are playing club hockey in the Dutch Hoofdklasse league and were not considered for selection. Kellie White is a long-term injury absentee having suffered a knee injury late last year.

Overnight, the International Hockey Federation released the pools and fixtures for the Fintro Hockey World League Semi-Final in Belgium in June. The event is the Olympic qualifier and will see Australia’s Hockeyroos meet New Zealand, Belgium, India and Poland in Pool B. Australia’s men’s team, the Kookaburras, have been matched with India, Pakistan, Poland and France in men’s Pool A.

Tickets to see the Hockeyroos v China International Challenge at Sydney Olympic Park are on sale via Ticketek. Visit Ticketek.com.au or call 1300 364 001. Travel packages are available for those wishing to make a weekend of it in Sydney.

The Hockeyroos v China International Challenge is supported by the NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.

Hockeyroos Squad for Hockeyroos v China International Challenge, 2-6 April 2015
Athlete (Hometown)
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD)
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD)
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT)
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD)
Savannah Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW^)
Kate Hanna (Constitution Hill, NSW)
Kate Jenner (Tamworth, NSW)
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD)
Rachael Lynch (Melbourne, VIC)
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC)
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW)
Amelia Spence (Hobart, TAS)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC)
Mariah Williams (Newcastle, NSW)

^Savannah Fitzpatrick is an athlete at the Queensland Academy of Sport and is classified as a QLD athlete but grew up in Cabarita Beach, NSW.

Hockeyroos v China International Challenge, 2-6 April 2015
Olympic Hockey Centre, Sydney Olympic Park
Thursday 2 April, 7pm AEDT – Hockeyroos v China match 1
Saturday 4 April, 3pm AEDT – Hockeyroos v China match 2
Monday 6 April, 3pm AEST – Hockeyroos v China match 3

Hockeyroos Squad for Hawke’s Bay Festival, 11-19 April 2015
Athlete (Hometown)
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD)
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD)
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT)
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD)
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD)
Rachael Lynch (Melbourne, VIC)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC)
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA)
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC)
Mariah Williams (Newcastle, NSW)

Hawke’s Bay Festival, 11-19 April 2015
Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Saturday 11 April, 1:30pm AEST – Hockeyroos v USA
Sunday 12 April, 1:30pm AEST – Hockeyroos v China
Tuesday 14 April, 5:30pm AEST – Hockeyroos v India
Thursday 16 April, Quarter Finals
Saturday 18 April, Semi Finals
Sunday 19 April, Finals and classification matches

Hawke’s Bay Festival Competing Teams and Rankings
Australia (World ranking #2)
Argentina (#3)
New Zealand (#4)
China (#5)
USA (#8)
Korea (#9)
Japan (#10)
India (#13)

Hockey Australia media release

Hobart to host Kookaburras

Kookaburras to play tests against Pakistan, Korea & New Zealand in May

Hobart will host an international hockey test series in May 2015 thanks to a partnership between Hockey Australia, Hockey Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government.

Five international hockey teams from around the globe will descend on the Tasmanian Hockey Centre in Hobart, for the nine-day event, from 2 – 10 May 2015.

The series in Hobart will feature men’s teams from Pakistan, Korea, New Zealand, Australia and Australia A.

Today’s announcement means that Hobart joins Sydney in hosting an international hockey tournament in 2015.

Cam Vale, Chief Executive of Hockey Australia said, “To host the international series in Hobart will help reinforce Tasmania as an ideal location for international hockey events and cement Australia’s position as a leading country in hockey globally”.

“The series will attract three international hockey teams from around the world to Tasmania. The series will feature ten international test matches and two Australia A games,” Mr Vale said.

“Hockey is one of Australia’s most popular participation sports, with over 125,000 registered players, so there will be no shortage of interest in the matches.

“Australian hockey fans have not seen much of the Kookaburras on home turf in recent years. This is the early stages of our plans to play more international matches around the country,” he said.
Andrew Winch, CEO of Hockey Tasmania said it was fantastic that Hobart will host international hockey for the first time since 2011.

“It has been a key goal of mine to ensure Hockey Tasmania secured an international event like this in Hobart. This international event will give us an opportunity to show off the outstanding international facilities at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre, our magnificent State, and Australian hockey to the rest of the world.

“The event will provide our State with valuable exposure as well as boosting visitor numbers to Hobart for the games.

“Up to six Tasmanian athletes will be playing in the series along with representation in the coaching staff.

“It is an opportunity for our current Tasmanian international representatives to play at home and for our potential international representatives to showcase their talent to a local crowd."

Hockey Tasmania will be working closely with Hockey Australia to leverage other opportunities throughout the series in the areas of participation, in particular, coach development and junior player development. 

The series is officially recognised as a sanctioned event of the International Hockey Federation.

Content: Hockey Tasmania

Hockey Australia media release

Scotland play first ever Over 70 International

Scotland Over 70 (Senior Grand Masters) travel to Durham on 25th and 26th March where they will play a warm up match against the England Over 75 squad before taking on England Over 70s, Gold Medallists in the 2014 World Cup in Den Haag, Netherlands.

This tough match against the World Champions will be the first ever international played by Scotland in this age group, and the squad will go on to play in the European Cup in London in August.

We wsh them all the every best for the trip and look forward to heardig of more games in this age group.

We wish them all the every best for the trip and look forward to hearing of more games in this age group.

Squad: Alan Auld, Alan Bryce, David Cassell (Captain), Ernie Di Rollo, Ian Downie, Andy Ferrol, Fred Lawson, Kieran McLernan, David Margerison, Doug Morrice, Tim Pollard (GK), Robbie Robertson, Donald Paterson, Alan Strachan.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Scotland U18 girls face German test in Cologne

Scotland U18 Women will ramp up their preparations for this summer’s EuroHockey Nations U18 Championship with a two match series against Germany in Cologne this week.

While the Germans will complete in a different pool from the Scots during July’s event in Santander, Spain, they will be given a clear indication of the challenge facing them when they come up against one of the continent’s hockey giants.

The Germany series precedes a tri-nations tournament against Ireland and Wales in Glasgow next month, before further matches against Wales and England in June.

Scotland U18 Women: Susan Al Haddid, Ellie Hutchison, Catriona Booth (all Western Wildcats), Mille Steiger, Flora Walker, Erin Gilchrist (all Clydesdale Western), Amy Costello, Laura Swanson (both Inverleith), McKenzie Bell, Lorna Cruickshank (both CALA Edinburgh), Lucy Inglis, Katherine Holdgate (both Watsonians), Morven Duff (Merlins Gordonians), Ellie Halliday (Kelburne Ladies), Leia MacKinnon (Bordes Fjordhus Rievers), Charlotte Watson (Dundee Wanderers), Sophie Andrews (Argyle), Tess Hannah (Valleys, Australia).

Scottish Hockey Union media release

When women’s hockey was the rage

Nitya Menon

The Shamrocks were among the most celebrated of women’s hockey teams in Madrasin the 60s. Photo: Special Arrangement

Last week, the Indian women’s hockey team defeated Poland 3-1 in the final to emerge Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 champions in New Delhi.

Following this keenly was Hazel Rowland of Chennai, a 71-year-old former hockey player who played competitively in the 1960s.

Playing for the ‘Shamrocks’, Rowland was one of many young women who played professionally for the city’s various women’s hockey clubs.

The Shamrocks, Penguins, Seagulls, Dolphins and the Falcons, were Madras’ most celebrated women’s hockey clubs, attracting the best talent. Five decades ago, women’s hockey was alive and kicking, with the Anglo-Indian community being its biggest patrons.

Rowland, reminiscing the days when hockey was all the rage, says, “We had very good players. The likes of Phylliss Huggins, and Joan Pearl even made it to the national team.”

Seventy-six-year-old Pam Hayward, who was a strong centre-half for the Penguins, says, “I started playing hockey when I was 19. Rajaratnam stadium and Nehru stadium were our regular haunts. The tournaments between the clubs were extremely cut-throat, but we also used to get to travel to Gwalior, Trivandrum and Bangalore for other tournaments.”

While the 1960s is referred to as the golden period of Anglo-Indian women’s hockey in Madras, the foundations were laid as early as in 1936.

According to The Hindu , it was on July 12, 1936 that history was made in Madras when an all-woman hockey game was played. The match between the Wasps and the Crickets in the Madras United Club was an exciting one, drawing large crowds.

While Wasps scored the only goal of the evening, there were many moments of high tension with players of both sides displaying impressive skills. The enthusiasm of the players was so overwhelming that The Hindu’s report said, “The formation of a women’s hockey association is only a question of time.”

Cut to 2015 and Pam Hayward concedes that while women’s hockey has come a long way, the city lags. She says, “There doesn’t seem to be any interest among youngsters in hockey in the city. But I continue to be very passionate about the game, and think we have a long way to go.”

The Hindu

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