All the news for Tuesday 12 May 2015
Powering up for the Semi-Final
India go into the Hockey World League Semi Finals as the only men’s team who can afford not to make the quarter finals in order to achieve its Olympic ambitions. But if anyone expects Paul van Ass and his men to sit on their laurels, then they must think again. India will be eyeing a top flight finish in Antwerp and the chance to play at the Hockey World League Finals in December as the team’s renaissance continues.
Although India has already qualified for Rio 2016 by virtue of a gold medal at the Asian Games, the team wants to continue the building and momentum that has been proven by its achievements in the past few months. A silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow preceded the Asian Games gold medal.
While achieving a victory on the Asian continent was a great confidence boost for India, the team is still a long way from where it wants to be and, indeed, once was. During the 20th century, India along with fellow Asian giant Pakistan, was the world leader in hockey. Eight gold medals at the Olympic Games – still a record – and a World Cup – meant that India and its style of hockey was revered the world over.
Vasudevan Baskaran, who led India to its last gold medal in 1980, explained what had set Asian hockey, and India’s style in particular, apart from the rest: “Indian hockey has traditionally been characterised by individual flair, brilliant stick work and attacking mode of play.”
The Olympian went on to say that for India to regain its status as a top team, it must return to the free-flowing style of play for which it had become synonymous.
India’s coach, Paul van Ass, has a different view. He feels that patience and concentration are now the must-have qualities that are currently missing from his team’s playing style. “All round fitness of the team is good and the boys are showing excellent dedication, but yes, we will definitely be working on specific areas. The key is to have patience during the game as it helps in better control of the ball and the match,” said the Dutchman, in an interview with India’s online news station ZeeNews.
”What worries me is the defence,” he added. “The defence was a cause of concern for me even before I came to India. I think we lost a lot of games in the end phase during recent competitions.” Van Ass.
In the lead-up to the HWL Semi Finals, India played fellow Asian challengers Japan in a four match test series. Van Ass’s demands for patience seemed to be working as India wore down the Japanese defence and showed admirable concentration levels as the Japanese sought to play a fast moving, attacking style of hockey. India won the series 3-0, with one match drawn.
Kovsies claim win to host final
UFS-Kovsies will host the South African 2015 Varsity Hockey on Monday, May 18 after they claimed a tough 3-1 victory over Maties to knock the defending champions out of the tournament at UJ on Monday.
It was a very tense affair with possession regularly exchanging hands but two first half goals proved to be the difference between the sides despite Maties throwing everything they had at Kovsies.
In the other semifinal, UJ booked their spot in the final after putting in a dominant display in front of their home fans to beat UP-Tuks 2-0.
Goals from captain Kaila Flemming and star striker Lilian du Plessis in the first and second chukkas were just rewards after the home side put in a mammoth effort on defence throughout the 60 minutes for the victory.
UFS-Kovsies 3-1 Maties
Maties made a fast start to the match and placed Kovsies under all sorts of pressure, with captain Erin Hunter running the show. Kovsies slowly started making their way back into the match and took the game to the Stellenbosch ladies. Kovsies found their reward with three minutes remaining in the quarter when Ayanda Gans slapped home from close range after a fantastic initial save by Maties’ Nicole Le Fleur. Kovsies continued to have the upperhand for the rest of the quarter but were unable to add to their tally.
In what was a carbon-copy of the first quarter, Maties dominated the early exchanges but found no reward for their efforts and were punished for their missed chances when Line Malan smashed home a short corner to double Kovsies’ lead. The tense nature of the contest continued through out the quarter and despite having numerous circle entries, Maties were unable to find the elusive goal before the half-time break.
Kovsies came out firing from the restart and went in search of more goals to settle the match but could not get through Le Fleur in the Maties goal. Maties found themselves with a numerical advantage – after Nicole Walraven was sent to the sin bin for a poor tackle – and took full advantage when a Quanita Bobbs shot was deflected home by Heather McEwen with six minutes remaining in the quarter. This set up a tense final quarter with a solitary goal separating the sides.
Maties continued to go in search of their second goal but found themselves down to 10 players when Bronwyn Kretzman saw yellow for a poor tackle. Kovsies took advantage of the extra player when Walraven slapped home an effort off a rebound from a short corner with eight minutes remaining on the clock. She then turned villain a minute later when she was handed her second yellow card of the match – and should count herself lucky not to see red.
Maties were unable to make any further in-roads as Kovsies maintained their winning momentum to march into the final.
Mugg & Bean Star Save of the Match: Nicole Le Fleur (Maties)
Jet Striker of the Match: Ayanda Gans (UFS-Kovsies)
FNB Player of the Match: Cornelle Botha (UFS-Kovsies)
UJ 2-0 UP-Tuks
It was all UJ in the opening few minutes of the match and after two quick attacks they were awarded a penalty. Captain Kaila Flemming stepped up to take it and her pin point low shot went past the UP-Tuks’ keeper to give her side the lead. While UJ dominated the opening stages of the quarter, UP-Tuks did get some fluidity in their game after they got more possession, but their final pass let them done on a couple of occasions with UJ taking the lead into the second chukka.
UP-Tuks started the second spell way better and were nearly rewarded with a goal in the third minute with the powerplay in affect in the opening four minutes. The Pretoria side’s more expensive approach also allowed UJ some glimpses on goal on the counter and they nearly got their second in the ninth minute after some good interplay. The Joburg ladies finished the quarter the stronger and got goal number two a minute and a half before half-time after a fantastic low backhand shot from star striker Lilian du Plessis.
UJ continued where they left off before the break, giving UP-Tuks no time on the ball and attacking with speed in the danger area. UP-Tuks’ struggle for possession in the third chukka meant that they had to live of scraps and when they did get the ball, their technical ability let them down at crucial moments. There was a brief period of the quarter in the seventh and eight minutes when UP-Tuks got three penalty corners in a row, but again UJ handled the pressure well to keep them out. UJ were happy to defend their two-goal lead until the hooter sounded for the end of the chukka.
UP-Tuks got a massive advantage in the fifth minute of the fourth chukka after UJ had two players sent off after green and yellow card offences. With the Pretoria ladies exerting more pressure with their extra players, another UJ player was yellow carded in the eighth minute giving UP-Tuks a golden chance to turn the game on its head. They could not break their opponents defence however, and UJ closed out the game comfortably in the end for the win.
Mugg & Bean Star Save of the Match: Carmen Smith (UJ)
Jet Striker of the Match: Lilian du Plessis (UJ)
FNB Player of the Match: Ashleigh Tarr (UJ)
Varsity Sports media release
Kovsies seal home Varsity Hockey final
The University of the Free State (Kovsies) continued their dream run in Varsity Sports events when they sealed a home final in the Varsity Hockey competition. They will face the University of Johannesburg, who easily beat the University of Pretoria (Pukke) 2-0, in what should be a fantastic match on 18 May.
Kovsies beat defending champions University of Stellenbosch (Maties) 3-1 in a tense affair on Monday night. Maties made a fast start to the match and kept the pressure on Kovsies, with skipper Erin Hunter taking control. With three minutes left in the first quarter, Kovsies had finally fought back. Ayanda Gans slapped home from close range after a fantastic initial save by Maties’ Nicole Le Fleur. The second quarter stared much like the first one, but Maties simply could not break through and it was Line Malan who smashed home a short corner to double Kovsies’ lead.
At the start of the second half, Maties found themselves with a numerical advantage – after Nicole Walraven was sent to the sin bin for a poor tackle – and took full advantage when a Quanita Bobbs shot was deflected home by Heather McEwen with six minutes remaining in the quarter. With just one goal separating the two teams in the final quarter, it was all to play for, but soon it was Maties who found themselves a player short after Bronwyn Kretzman saw yellow for a poor tackle. Kovsies took advantage of the extra player when Walraven slapped home an effort off a rebound from a short corner with eight minutes remaining. The Bloemfontein side maintained their lead and clinched the victory which handed them a dream final.
Pukke edge Wits into fifth
NWU-Pukke secured fifth place overall when they pipped Wits 2-0 in a Varsity Hockey play-off match at Wits on Monday.
The victory ensures Pukke finished their campaign on a high note after a very slow start with Wits ending the tournament in sixth place.
In the seventh/eighth place play-off match, NMMU were simply too strong for UCT as the Madibaz ended their campaign on a high, beating the Cape side 3-0 to ensure that UCT finish the competition without a single win to their names.
NWU-Pukke 2-0 Wits
Pukke wasted no time in asserting themselves on Wits and found immediate success when they grabbed the opening goal of the match. Wits proved to once again be a stubborn defensive team as they kept Pukke from adding to their tally at the end of the first quarter.
The tense affair continued in the second quarter with both sides providing a great advert for the game. Despite the great match, neither side was able to find the back of the net and Pukke maintained their slender lead at the half-time interval.
Wits were not out of the contest in the slightest and did well to keep themselves within a sniff of Pukke but just could not find the back of the net as they remained behind by a solitary goal at the end of the third quarter.
Pukke finally managed to extend their lead with 13 minutes remaining in the match after the managed to break through the stubborn Wits defence. Both sides pushed hard in the closing minutes to find more goals but it wasn’t to be as Pukke secured fifth place overall.
Mugg & Bean Star Save of the Match: Zimisele Shange (Wits)
Jet Strike of the Match: Stephanie Baxter (NWU-Pukke)
FNB Player of the Match: Celia Evans (NWU-Pukke)
NMMU 3-0 UCT
The match got off to a tense start, with both teams giving little away in a goalless opening quarter.
NMMU struck first in the second period, with their hard work eventually breaking the stubborn Ikeys defence down to give them a 1-0 advantage at half-time.
The Eastern Cape side doubled their lead in the third period as UCT started falling off the pace, and by the end of the third quarter the Madibaz had gone 3-0 up.
To their credit, UCT gave it absolutely everything in the final period in an attempt to fight their way back into the game, but they could not find the finishing touch and the match ended in a comfortable 3-0 win for the Madibaz.
Mugg & Bean Star Save of the Match: Taylor Karstens (UCT)
Jet Strike of the Match: Tristan Schroder (NMMU)
FNB Player of the Match: Lauren Nina (NMMU)
Varsity Sports media release
Women's National Team to host Ireland in test series at Pan Am Games pitch in Toronto
Four-game series to be held from May 23-27 Pan Am/Para Pan Am Fields
The Canadian Women’s Field Hockey Team is set to host Ireland’s Women’s National Team in a four-game test series in Toronto, Ontario later this month. Games will be played on May 23rd, 24th, 26th, and 27th.
The test series allows the host Canadians to test out the field hockey venue for the 2015 Pan American Games.
Two new pitches at the University of Toronto will serve as the host field hockey venue during the Pan Am Games, which will be held from July 10th-26th in Toronto.
Tickets to the 2015 Pan American Games are on sale now. Get yours by visiting http://www.toronto2015.org/tickets.
Canada (ranked no. 20 in the world) and Ireland (no. 14) have become familiar foes over the last year of competition, most recently having met in the FIH World League Round 2 final match, where Ireland eked out a shootout win to take the tournament title.
With it’s top two finish, however, Canada moves onto the FIH World League Semi-Finals in Valencia, Spain (June 10th-21st) where the top three finishers are guaranteed a spot in the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Canada also has a second shot at securing Olympic qualification at the Pan Am Games, where the tournament winner earns a spot in Rio.
The Canadian women will arrive in Toronto on Sunday, May 17th and will train daily at the University of Toronto from Monday, May 18th until the first match on May 23rd.
As the site is in its final overlay stages, fans wishing to attend the matches must submit their names to a list for access to the field. The form can be found at: http://www.fieldhockey.ca/en/wnttoronto. The field will have standing room only.
Schedules, news, and results of the 2015 Women’s National Team series against Ireland can be found on the Field Hockey Canada website.
Field Hockey Canada media release
Hockey team to leave for Korea on Friday
LAHORE: Following their dismal tour of Australia, the Pakistan hockey team will now undertake a training tour of South Korea for a four Test series against the hosts from May 15 to 25.
Pakistan will be hoping to restore their confidence in South Korea ahead of next month’s Rio Olympics qualifiers in Belgium after their failings in the first leg of preparations in Australia.
Pakistan lost four matches Down Under while winning just twice with both those victories coming against South Korea. Australia, New Zealand and Australia ‘A’ were the other teams.
All four matches in South Korea will be played in Incheon with games on May 18, 20, 22 and 23.
Hockey’s plight saddens POA chief
LAHORE: Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan has expressed his disappointment over the preparations of the Pakistan contingent for next year’s Rio Olympics, especially the poor financial condition of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).
Hockey is the only sporting event which Pakistan can qualify for at the Games and speaking to reporters at the end of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Administration Course, which concluded here on Sunday, Arif said the PHF needed to work hard to revive Pakistan’s former glory.
“At this stage, the hockey team should have been in a strong position not only to meet the challenges of the Olympic qualifiers but also to win a medal at the Games,” he said, referring to the qualifiers in Belgium next month. “Hockey is our national game and the stakeholders should come forward to help the team restore its past glories.”
Arif, meanwhile, said he wasn’t in a hurry to regain the POA House, which is currently under the control of a parallel group headed by Akram Sahi. Although the government had allowed Arif to take the charge of the POA House, a case filed by Sahi’s group in Supreme Court is hindering him in taking control.
“We expect them to hand over the occupation of the POA house by themselves in a good gesture,” Arif said. “We’ve won 90 per cent of our battle against them and it won’t long before the matter is solved amicably.”
Meanwhile, Punjab Olympic Association secretary Khawaja Idrees said as the genuine group, Arif’s POA could get back the Olympic House but the POA chief wasn’t willing to create an untoward situation as sports has been “ruined due to the infighting between two groups”.
Idrees, who is president of the POA-affiliated Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF), is himself involved in a power struggle against Munawar Baseer whose parallel body is recognised by the world governing body, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
“The government should recall Munawar through Interpol as he was involved in biggest scam of rental power projects,” Idrees said.
He also accused the secretary of his rival group, Azhar Ali Shah, of selling foreign-made cycles, which he had gifted to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa when both he and Munawar were jointly-running the PCF.
Sana steers UAE Falcons to Int’l Indoor Hockey title
ISLAMABAD - Sana scored a brilliant hat-trick to help UAE Falcons lift the 1st International Indoor Hockey Tournament title. They outclassed Shahrjah Tigers 3-1 in the final played here at Boxing Hall, Pakistan Sports Complex Monday.
Rising Star Club overwhelmed Fasial Hockey Club Islamabad 3-1 to lift men's title. The event was organised under the umbrella of Capital Development Authority (CDA) in collaboration with Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and Falcon Hockey Club, UAE.
In female final, mighty UAE Falcons proved too hot for Sharjah Tigers, thanks mainly to goal-scoring machine Sana, who scored a solo hat-trick to ensure title for her club. Sana scored her first goal in the second minute, second goal in fifth minute and completed her hat-trick in the ninth minute, before Nilma scored a consolation goal in the dying moments of the final to finish 3-1.
Rising Star won the male category title as they defeated Faisal Hockey Club 3-1. Rising Star took lead in the third minute through Nauman Janjua, but the lead was soon vanished as Essa equalized in the fifth minute. Soon after the restart, Awais Bhatti gave champions 2-1 lead as he scored the goal in the sixth minute. Hassan Bhatti ensured title as he scored in the 10th minute to help Rising Star register hard-fought win.
PM Advisor on AJK Affairs Malik Meherban was the chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony. Best goalkeeper award was lifted Sulman Janjua while Essa Khan was declared the best player of the tournament, fair-play trophy went to Rising Star Girls Hockey Club Islamabad. The chief guest distributed trophies and medals among the teams and individuals.
West District win U14 Event
Winners West after the U14 final
West District were the winners of the U14 Boys Inter-District event at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre yesterday.
Both West and East cruised to the final without conceding a goal in their pool matches, both sides playing out a tense finale that ended in a 2-2 draw in regular time.
With a penalty shoot-out needed to determine the winners, it was West who held their nerve to win 3-2 in the contest.
Runners-Up were East
West 6-0 North
East 8-0 Borders / East Lothian
Midland 7-2 Borders / East Lothian
Highland 0-5 West
North 4-0 Highland
East 4-0 Midland
West 5-0 Midland
East 6-0 North
Midland 6-0 North
Highland 0-0 Borders / East Lothian
West 2-2 East
5= Borders East / Lothian
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Azmi's RM50,000 grant challenge to Koshy
by Jugjet Singh
DATUK NUR AZMI AHMAD
MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) deputy president candidate Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad yesterday threw a challenge to his opponent George Koshy.
In a packed press conference Azmi announced that he is willing to give the seat to George unchallenged, provided that he signs a document stating that the 16 MHC affiliates will each receive an RM50,000 yearly grant for four years.
George is a good friend, and I would have given up the deputy president's nomination and defended my vice-president's post if he had just told me before nominations that he wants to be the second man in MHC.
"But he did it silently, and only received one nomination from Kuala Lumpur because even the other 15 affiliates were not sure if he wanted to stand for election.
"However, now that both of us have pledged to stand on May 13 (Wednesday) I am giving him another chance to win unopposed. All he has to do is put it in writing that he will source for sponsors and provide a yearly grant of RM50,000 to each MHC affiliate for the next four years.
"I will then walk up to the podium, and make a short speech to the delegates before voting that there is no need to cast a single vote in my favour, and all the votes must go to Koshy," said Azmi.
Azmi, who received 10 nominations for the deputy president's post, said that money was a big issue played up in the campaigning so he is willing to bow out from the race if it would benefit the delegates.
"I get nothing, because it is a voluntary position and not a salaried post. So, if the states can be promised an RM50,000 yearly grant, I would gladly give up my challenge."
MHC treasurer Datuk N. Radhakrishnan, running for a vice-president's post this time around, had said that MHC were RM2.6 million in debt due to the lackadaisical attitude of the current office bearers in raising funds for the Confederation.
"Those elected will have to work harder and given a KPI to bring in money as the MHC has many debts to pay. Previously, only the president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah provided funds as well as our Rakan Sukan Tenaga Nasional. Some sponsors had pledged millions for a five-year period but failed to deliver the goods and that's among the main reasons why the MHC is in debt now.
"This is no longer a joy-ride position, so my challenge to George is not overboard. Money given to the states can help develop talent which is what we need in large numbers today.
"Currently there is only a small number of senior players, about 30, and this does not give the coaches a good choice to pick for major assignments.
"That's why states need funding to develop their programmes and send teams for the Junior Hockey League, Malaysia Hockey League and others.
"Right now, if we do not qualify for the Olympics by finishing fourth in the World League Semi-finals, I believe not only would Malaysia be set back for five years, but it would also be very difficult for those elected to source for funds because sponsors always look for performance before parting with their money.
"That is why I have thrown the challenge to George, who had said in his campaign trail, that he has plans to systematically raise funds for MHC. If he can promise, in writing, that the states would get the amount with money sourced from sponsors, the deputy president's post is his for the taking and I will bow out. That's a promise," said Azmi.
In the women's deputy president's race S. Shamala would be up against K. Maheshwari.
There are six candidates for the men's vice president, and three for the women's veep. A minimum of two ladies need to be voted in as regulated by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
George: Vote based on track record, not empty promises
by Jugjet Singh
FIFTEEN delegates with two votes each will decide the future of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Wednesday.
And the interesting part is that 15 of the votes are in the hands on women delegates, as each state and affiliate must bring a man and woman to compliment with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) guidelines.
The only affiliate who will not be a part of the process is Sarawak who have yet to register themselves with the Sports Commissioner's office. Delegates had to register their names 48 hours before election with the MHC, and Sarawak have failed to do so as they are only registered with the Registrar of Society.
Sarawak is just a tiny part of the bigger mess which president-elect Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal will inherit after today's voting is done and the winners announced.
For, Subahan takes over a debt-ridden Confederation, to the tune of RM2.6 million, from Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and also at the brink if the national team's last chance to qualify for the Olympics via the World League Semi-finals in June.
And the corporate-man needs capable hands to help him source for sponsors, and keep his fingers crossed that Malaysia qualify for the Olympics so that they can use it as a bait to lure sponsors.
He's choice for deputy in the men's section are incumbent vice-president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad and former Kuala Lumur HA president and the owner of a highly successful Kuala Lumpur HC.
In the women'a arm, the contest is between incumbent vice-presidents S. Shamala and K. Maheswari who are both waiting for a strong signal from the delegates to upgrade themselves.
Then there are six nominees for the men's vice-president and three in the women's section. Two women must be voted in with five men, or four, if the third women gets a higher vote than the fifth man in this section.
The six are incumbent Manjit Majid Abdullah (eight nominations), Penang HA president Datuk Ow Soon Kooi (seven), MHC treasurer Datuk N. Radhakrishnan (nine), Kedah HA president Sathis Kumar (seven), A. Vijayshankar (one) and Datuk Wan Ahmad Nizam (six).
The women's vice-presidents, minimum two posts, will see a three-cornered fight among Juriah Abdul Wahab (three), Nik Zarah Kadir (four) and S. Nagula (Four).
The most intense battle is in the men and women's deputy president's posts, while its straightforward in the veep section.
On Monday, Azmi threw a challenge to George to sign a document stating that he will source for funds and give out grants of RM50,000 per year for four years to all 16 affiliates and Azmi will ask the delegates to give all 30 votes to George.
George did not swallow the bait as he feels the most important task at hand, if he is elected, is to make MHC debt-free and then the parent body can start taking care of their affiliates.
"First of all I would like to state that I will not back down from the elections, and I will be there tomorrow (today). And I am also not going to reply to Azmi's challenge because there are bigger tasks as hand to solve in MHC before we can start looking at how to help the affiliates.
"For starters, Azmi was a deputy-president with the old Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) and senior vice-president with the MHC for many years now but he himself could not give a guarantee of RM50,000 per state per year during his long tenure with both MHF and MHC.
"The delegates know this as its an open secret. As for me, my track record with MHC was only as a treasurer for two years and it was not a decision making department as compared to Azmi's.
"But my involvement with hockey since the last 10 years has its own records and delegates know my contribution as the KLHA president which has the best run league in the country and is financially strong.
"I have also contributed at the club level as owner of KLHC which has a proven track record and evolved from Arthur Anderson to Ernst & Young to the current form. The club is self funded.
"So, those coming to vote tomorrow must decide based on track records and not just sentiments because they will decide which direction hockey takes for the next four years," said Koshy.
Whatever the outcome today, MHC must still wait until the World League Semi-finals is over before they can start formulating a plan to fill up their empty coffers, and turn some former empty promises to concrete plans. The presidential speech will outline how this can be achieved in as short period as possible.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey