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News for 28 May 2015

All the news for Thursday 28 May 2015

Canadian women beat Ireland 3-2 in final match of Toronto series

Canada and Ireland split four-game series with two wins a piece

Shaheed Devji

With one final chance to play in front of their home crowd before heading to Spain for the World League Semi-Finals, the Canadian Women's Field Hockey Team made good on home field advantage with a 3-2 victory over Ireland Wednesday at the new Pan Am Fields in Toronto.

Canada entered the match down 2-1 in the four game series with Ireland and was hoping to end on a high note by tying the series.

It wasn't long before the game's first goal, as to the delight of the home crowd, Karli Johansen converted on a penalty corner in the fifth minute to give Canada a 1-0 lead.

The first three matches were fairly evenly played, so Canada knew building on the their lead would be key in improving their chances in taking the final game.

It was veteran forward Thea Culley, playing in her 131st international match for Canada, who ended up putting Canada ahead by two off a high tip in the eighteenth minute.

Down by two just minutes into the second quarter, Ireland quickly responded to keep the game within reach when Naomi Carroll was able to put the ball by Canadian goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams in the twenteith minute.

Canada, not to be outdone, responded a minute later as some fancy stickwork from Stephanie Norlander resulted in a Canadian goal and the 3-1 lead.

Williams was forced to make a kick save in the dying moments of the half to keep Canada's lead at two after thirty minutes. She also had to be sharp ealy in the second half as Ireland continued to pressure, but after three quarters the score remained 3-1 for Canada.

Ireland finally converted in the fourth and final quarter, as with eleven minutes to play, Megan Frazer scored on a penalty corner to bring the visitors within one.

While Ireland continued to press, the Canadians cotninued to look in control, coming up with strong defensive stops when needed. Ireland couldn't manage to find the equalizer, giving Canada the win and their second win of the series.

True to form, the two teams - who have played several closed matches over the last year - split the four game series, with two wins a piece.

Both teams will now head to Valencia, Spain to participate in the World League Semi-Finals from June 10th-21st. The top three finishers at World League in Spain qualify for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Canada 3-2 Ireland Match Report

The final match in the series also represented Ireland’s final warm up match before World League 3 in Valencia. The green army were looking to make it 3 wins in a row against Canada and go into WL3 with a series win from Toronto. The Canadians had other ideas however and converted a penalty corner early in the game to take a 1-0 lead.

The Canadians highlighted just how lethal their attack can be when they scored a second goal early in the 2nd quarter, 2-0 to Canada. But the green army were quick to respond and Naomi Carroll scored one minute later, making it 2-1.  The goals didn’t stop there and some skilful stick work by Canada helped them beat the Irish defence and score again, 3-1. The first half came to a close with both sides earning penalty corners and both defensive units dealing with the danger to keep the score at 3-1.

The second half began with a brace of chances for Ireland, which were soon followed by a penalty corner. The green army took their opportunity and slotted the ball into the back of the net expertly, but the goal was disallowed. The remainder of the quarter saw Ireland shoot wide of the post and Canada shoot over the net but neither goalkeeper was really tested as the score stayed at 3-1 to Canada.

The Green Army had to get an early goal in the 4th quarter to give themselves a chance of sealing a victory and they duly obliged. Captain Megan Frazer stepped up and scored a stunning goal from a penalty corner to bring the score to 3-2. As the clock ticked down Ireland made the decision to pull off their goalie in place of another outfielder in a bid to tie the game. But the Canadian defence held their structure and the game finished at 3-2. Ireland’s loss meant that the series ended in a 2-2 draw. 

Final Score:

Canada 3 vs 2 Ireland (Carroll, Frazer)


Emma Gray
Hannah Matthews
Cliodhna Sargent
Shirley McCay
Megan Frazer (Captain)
Gillian Pinder
Emma Smyth
Nicci Daly
Aine Connery
Anna O’Flanagan
Katie Mullan
Ayeisha McFerran
Nikki Evans
Kate Dillon
Naomi Carroll
Chloe Watkins
Chloe Brown
Ali Meeke

Irish Hockey Association media release

HWL Semi Finals at Antwerp - India fields a formidable outfit


There is a touch of ingenuity and imagination in the approach work of the new Dutch coach for the Indian hockey team, Paul van Ass.

This reflects well in the selection of the team for the Hockey World League (HWL) semi-finals to come off at Antwerp (Belgium) from June 20 to July 5.

The HWL is linked now to the Olympics in Rio as a qualification event, but it does not concern India much as it is already assured of the place after winning the Asian Games gold at Incheon.

What however makes this event an important one for the team as also to the coach is the opportunity to combat against the top outfits like Australia, Pakistan, France and others.

Undoubtedly, this will be another litmus test for the coach who obtained a moderate level of success on his first outing at the recent Azlan Shah hockey tournament at Ipoh where India won a bronze after dipping into a hopeless position.

Some eyebrows are likely to be raised over the selection, which keeps out penalty corner striker Rupinderpal Singh, midfielder Mandeep and the striker Uthappa.

van Ass has logically met with the developing skepticism over the omissions. He has argued rather convincingly the need to shuffle and experiment in competitions where India has nothing much to lose.

By recalling the young Yuvaraj Walmiki and giving a greater role Jasjit Singh Kular in the defense and in penalty corners, van Ass has taken a right step.

At one point of time not long ago, Walmiki was regarded as the enfant terrible of Indian hockey from Mumbai. He played a significant role in India winning the first Asian Champions Trophy at Ordos (Mongolia) under the Aussie coach, Nobbs, who laid a lot of hopes on this youngster. Injuries and a lack of a confidence by subsequent coaches kept him away from the national side. In the current dispensation, Walmiki should be seen as the substitute for Uthappa.

The basic architecture of the team remains undisturbed. All the top stars who have contributed immensely to enlarging the image of the country like Sreejesh, skipper, Sardar Singh, and veterans Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra and S V Sunil are very much part of the squad.

India faces France in the opening match, but comes to grips with Pakistan in the next outing. Understandably, Pakistan is desperate to be back at the Olympics after missing the World Cup in The Hague last year.

More importantly, it will go all out to avoid a defeat against India after the ugly encounter win in the semi-finals during the Champions Trophy at Bhubaneswar.

Admittedly, there will be a lot of attention on India’s showing at Antwerp, especially in the light of the fact India is hosting the final of the HWL for the top eight teams here at Chattisgarh in December.

India is grouped with France, Poland, Pakistan and Australia in Pool A, while Pool B consists of China, Ireland, Malaysia, Great Britain and the host Belgium.

The team:

Goalkeepers: P.R.Sreejesh and Harjot Singh;

Defenders: Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, V.R.Raghunath, Jasjit Singh Khular, Gurmail Singh;

Midfielders: Gurbaj Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Sardar Singh, Chinglesena Singh, Lalith Upadyaya;

Forwards: S.V.Sunil, Nikkhin Thimmiah, Yuvaraj Walmiki, Akashdeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh.


Olympic qualification at stake

Hockeyroos and Kookaburras prepare to qualify for Rio 2016

The time has arrived for our two national squads – the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras – to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. This is a journey that brings a mixed bag of emotions for each individual, however, similarly they’re searching to fulfil a childhood dream of winning gold for their country at an Olympic Games.

The World League Semi-Final – the first chance to qualify for the 2016 Olympics – is a significant milestone in the teams’ Olympic campaign. Played in Belgium from 20 June to 5 July, three guaranteed places for Rio will be available to both the ten men’s and ten women’s teams competing. Another three places are up for grabs from each of the other World League Semi-Final events in Valencia (women) and Buenos Aires (men).

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 two of the Hockey World League.

The Kookaburras [1] are part of Pool A and will face India [9], Pakistan [10], Poland [17] and France [18]. The Hockeyroos [2], placed in Pool B, will take on New Zealand [4], Belgium [12], India [13] and Poland [23].

The men’s and women’s World League Semi-Final competitions will take place on the grounds of KHC Dragons in Brasschaat. Hosting 20 teams across 66 matches, the complex will be transformed into a hockey temple, where both new and long-time hockey fans will be treated to an amazing spectacle.

This leg of the tournament will showcase tough competition, world-class players and a stadium packed full of screaming diehard hockey fans. The Hockeyroos will be searching to back-up their previous 2013 semi-final result, gold in London. Runners-up in the men’s 2013 Semi-Final in Rotterdam, the world’s best hockey team, the Kookaburras, will be looking to better their best and finish at the top of the men’s standings.

Tim Pullman [umpire, Belgium], Melissa Trivic [umpire, Belgium], Joshua Burt [judge, Buenos Aires], Murray Grime [umpire, Buenos Aires], Kylie Seymour [umpire, Valencia] and Lisa Roach [video umpire, Valencia] will also be representing the green and gold as officials in Belgium, Valencia and Buenos Aires.

Taking to the field first up, the Hockeyroos will face unfamiliar foes Poland. The Hockeyroos have never previously played Poland, who qualified from round two in New Delhi, in outdoor hockey.

The Kookaburras have been drawn France in their first match of the tournament. This match will bring back memories from the 2013 World League Semi-Final for the Kookaburras, who won 7-1 over the French in Rotterdam. France qualified for the Semi-Final after winning the round two event in Cape Town.

The Hockeyroos will name their squad for the World League Semi-Final in early June. To view the Kookaburras’ World League Semi-Final squad, click here.

Follow the Australian team’s journeys throughout the World League Semi-Final in pictures via Hockey Australia’s Instagram.

For more information on squads and fixtures, visit our World League Semi-Final page on our website here.

Broadcast Information
Details of any Australian broadcast of the World League Semi Final tournament are unconfirmed by the FIH at this stage.

Hockey Australia media release

Schoolboys dominate Europe

Australia’s U16 Schoolboys whitewash Europe’s best

The Australian U16 Schoolboys hockey team have finished atop of their opponents – Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands – in the 2015 DHB Four Nations Tournament in Mannheim, Germany.

Featuring 18 athletes in the green and gold, this tour has enabled the players to improve their skills while being exposed to various styles of play from different countries.

Australia will next play Belgium's development team in Antwerp on Thursday 4 June.

DHB Four Nations Results
Australia 7-2 Netherlands
Australia 4-2 Germany
Australia 4-3 Belgium

U16 Schoolboys Squad
Athlete (State)
Harrison Farrell (QLD)
Sam Ruprecht (QLD)
Michael Francis (QLD)
Campbell Gohlan (QLD)
Alex Barnes (NSW)
Rhiley Carr (NSW)
Patrick Morgan (NSW)
Callum Mackay (NSW)
Jake Wigham (NSW)
Daine Richards (NSW)
James Doherty (NSW)
Patrick Coates (VIC)
Thomas Saunders (VIC)
Linden McCarthy (TAS)
Lachlan Busiko (SA)
Cooper Powardy (SA)
Coby Green (WA)
Benjamin Taylor (WA)

Hockey Australia media release

City Police pound SECR 6-0 in VHA Senior Division Hockey League

Suhas Nayse,

NAGPUR: City Police outclassed South East Central Railway (SECR) 6-0 in the Baidyanath Senior Division Hockey League at the VHA ground here on Wednesday.

The score was nil in the first quarter of 15 minutes. The deadlock was broken in the 21st minute by Gunesh Gupta of City Police. Moments before the half time, Rahul Kalambe made it 2-0.

In the 39th and 42nd minutes, Amit Yesur scored back to back wins to consolidate cops' position.

Kalambe slammed his second goal in the 52nd minute, while Vivek Darsatwar completed the tally just before the final hooter.

On Thursday, AGRC will lock horns with Dr Amedkar College Sports Academy at 5 pm.

The Times of India

Britain's emerging hockey talent should be given Dutch test, says Toon Siepman

Stalwart Dutch coach believes Great Britain's young players would benefit from gaining experience in European leagues
By Rod Gilmour

Eyes on the prize: Sophie Bray (right) has seen her stock rise on international scene Photo: PA

Toon Siepman, the Dutch coach who oversaw the emergence of two of Great Britain women’s rising talents, believes that young players should follow in the footsteps of Sophie Bray and Shona McCallin.

The pair – Bray is aged 25, Macallin 23 – have both benefited from spells in Holland playing under Siepman at HC MOP, while McCallin is the last international to have travelled abroad under the current central contract system.

“It’s always sad when you develop them for two to four years and then they have to go back to England,” said Siepman, referring to the GB pair who have been selected for the Olympic qualifiers in Valencia next month.

“We were getting close to the top four in the Premier League and suddenly we were losing two international players.”

On a wider context, however, Siepman is a fervent believer that British juniors should experience European hockey, given that the current centralised system means that players are held back from playing abroad.

“It would be great if more players came to Holland when they are 17,” said Siepman, who recently left his role at MOP after five years and is now a penalty corner coach for the Belgian national team up until the Rio Olympics.

“Later on, they are picked up by the national squad if they are good enough. But if you are looking at a period of the four-year Olympic cycle, then it might be a smart move to let them play in Holland for the first year and then, perhaps, for a one year period later on.

“Why don’t they let them go to play outside of the country? The top teams here have the best players. Anna Flanagan was [at MOP] last season, practising her penalty corners.

“Training here is different to England. We rely on ball and stick, whereas in England you have a lot of physical and fitness training without ball and stick.”

Bray and McCallin revelled under Siepman and the 62-year-old sought to get the best out of the forward and midfielder respectively.

“Shona had a lot of ankle injuries and I am happy she has recovered completely,” he added. “She fit in really well as she was supposed to go back after one year. She played midfield and we got promotion to the highest league. For me, it was like ‘don’t say too much, let her find her own way’. If necessary I would guide her as she was always looking and inventing what to do.

“With Sophie, I always said to her she was playing at 80 per cent, instead of 100 per cent. If you look at her playing she is phlegmatic. She is technically almost perfect, so that wasn’t the issue. It was more about how to get her hitting with her forehand as her backhand was the favourite.”

The Telegraph

European Club of the Year

Old Sils Notts Sport Club of the year 2015

It has been a pretty good week for Old Silhillians Hockey Club. Named as Notts Sport Club of the Year at the England Hockey Awards they also scooped the prize for Europe’s Club of the Year, awarded by the European Hockey Federation (EHF).

Three clubs were nominated by England Hockey, with Old Sils picking up an historic title, becoming the first English club to win such an award. Up against the giants of Dutch Hockey, Bloemendaal HC and German outfit Harvestehuder HC for Large Club of the Year, the EHF were impressed by the club's growth in membership: a growth that has seen the numbers in the club's junior section increase significantly, as well as in the adult sections. With clear links to the community, the club regularly deals with local schools and businesses as well as enjoying involvement with community activities. Club chairman Stephen Tabb said: "To be recognised as a club for all by two different governing bodies is staggering; a huge thank you must go to all of our members for continuing to make the Sils a great club to be part of."

Oxfordshire club Bicester HC were nominated for the Medium Club of the Year award, having seen a huge growth in their junior section and an eight per cent increase in both the women’s and men’s sections. For the Small Club of the Year award, it was Felixstowe HC who were put forward by England Hockey. Having also won Suffolk Sport Club of the year, the club are no strangers to recognition.

Congratulations to all three for their nominations and of course to Old Sils for their win.

England Hockey Board Media release

Successful PAHF Technical Courses at CalCup 2015

PAHF Level 1 Technical Officiating Seminar   

The Pan Am Hockey Federation (PAHF) completed two Technical Courses hosted by the California Cup Organizing Committee (CCOC) in Moorpark California. The course Level 1 featured an introduction to hockey enthusiasts looking to start their technical career. The advanced one (Level 2) focused on an in-depth study of game management and guidance to transition to senior technical positions.

Historically, technical officials have come from umpires, players and coaches looking for a different path to participate in the game. The PAHF technical course is a venture into developing technical officials by teaching the skills in a structured setting.

A total of twenty participants from various PAHF countries (Barbados, Canada Guatemala, Jamaica, Peru, Puerto Rico, USA, and Trinidad and Tobago) attended the course which was held over four days- 2 days for each Level1 &2.

The three facilitators were Lurah Hess USA- Level 1, Laura Pigretti- ARG and Maureen Craig- Rousseau TTO- Level 2.

The PAHF president, Coco Budeisky, said: “When the CCOC offered to host the courses, we had to think who the beneficiaries of this type of joint action are.  When we decided to move forward, collectively we were pleasantly surprised how many of our members had decided to send their nominated people to the course.  Our initial expectation of attendance was exceeded in both Level 1 and Level 2 courses.”

The California Cup is a committee of the Field Hockey Federation, who are hosting the 44th annual International Field Hockey Tournament, which is sanctioned by the United States Field Hockey Association. The tournament boasts teams with players as young as 5 years old all the way to Olympic hopefuls playing in the top divisions for cash prizes.

Level 1 Level 2
COMBS, Amanda USA LIPKA, Michael USA
    REID, Oraine JAM
    SCOTT, Kimberly USA
    SHAW, Richard JAM
    TEIXEIRA, Sacha Rae CAN
    THOMPSON, Danielle TTO
    WALLACE, Ariel TTO

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Field Hockey Canada adds Canada Masters Hockey to program roster

Shaheed Devji

Field Hockey Canada has officially unveiled a new national initiative for hockey players over the age of thirty-five.  The newly minted “Canada Masters Hockey” property will see National Masters sides competing in major International events as early as the Fall of 2015.

The Canada Masters Hockey initiative supports Field Hockey Canada’s strategic objective of developing and strengthening field hockey across the country and fostering a robust Canadian hockey family.  Engaging Master level athletes, the Canada Masters Hockey program will provide field hockey players of all ages the opportunity to continue participation in the sport at an international level.

“Canada Masters Hockey is a crucial link in engaging our field hockey community across the country,” says Field Hockey Canada President Ian Baggott. “This initiative will encourage this influential segment of our population to continue to support, play and enjoy this wonderful sport.”

The first competition in which the Masters team will represent Canada is planned for September 2015 in Tucumán, Argentina. Teams from around the world will gather to compete in the Pan American Masters event, created with support from the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) and the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

A steering committee of Baggott, longstanding contributor to Field Hockey Canada from Ontario Ed Fernandez, Field Hockey Canada Chief Executive Jeff Sauvé, Vancouver resident and former Olympian John McBryde, and two former Women’s National Team and FHC Hall of Fame inaugural inductees, Nancy Mollenhauer and Sharon Creelman, will oversee the initial development of Canada Masters Hockey.

For athletes who are interested in being involved with future tours and to be added to the distribution list, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Field Hockey Canada media release

Loudoun County makes plans to add varsity field hockey teams in 2016

By Joey LoMonaco

For years, field hockey players in Loudoun County have been patient, waiting for their sport to achieve the same varsity status enjoyed by lacrosse- or soccer-playing classmates. That wait will end in the fall of 2016.

In passing two related measures at a meeting Tuesday night, the Loudoun County School Board both changed the system by which it recognizes sports and made field hockey a case study under the new framework.

Before Tuesday night, Policy 8-45, which governs “Interscholastic Activities Additions or Deletions” was essentially an all-or-nothing proposition. Sports were either fully funded and recognized in Loudoun — or they weren’t.

“It was really hard to add a team under previous policy,” said School Board Chairman Eric Hornberger, “because [the school division] would take on all costs associated with the sport. Money’s tight, and we wanted to keep as much money in the classroom as possible.”

The school board’s solution is a three-tiered system. Under the new model, Tier-one sports are fully funded, Tier-two sports are only supported financially in that students facing economic hardship won’t have to pay to play, and the Tier-three designation applies narrowly to former Virginia High School League sports such as crew, Hornberger said.

Field hockey will either become a Tier-two or Tier-one sport in 2016, a decision that will be finalized along with the school’s budget next April. The school board’s vote to change the athletics additions policy passed 8-1, and the addition of field hockey was unanimous, Hornberger said.

On the VHSL side of things, each school will only need to pay a $30 activity fee to compete with the governing body’s sanctioning. Currently, 143 schools (slightly less than half of VHSL’s members) have field hockey teams. Those programs are mostly clustered in the Northern Virginia, Stafford and Tidewater regions, said Joyce Sisson, VHSL’s field hockey administrator.

“It’s huge for the growth of the sport,” Sisson said. “It’s the first mass entrance of schools in the 12 or 13 years I’ve been here. Schools that have field hockey tend to keep it. It’s a good sport that involves a lot of girls and a lot of female participants.”

Last fall, players from eight Loudoun County Schools competed in the Loudoun County League at the club level. Stone Bridge sophomore Grace Yacura was one of them. At the time, she felt that the sparse opportunities to see the field limited her growth potential.

“And you see the improvement that [varsity teams] have over the fall season, just because they have practice every single day,” Yacura said in an October interview. “You can’t keep up with them, can’t get to that next level.”

For Yacura and field hockey players across Loudoun, the varsity level is now within reach.

The Washington Post

Interesting facts surface in Balbir Sr's biography in Punjabi

CHANDIGARH: Interesting facts have come to light in a soon-to-be-released Punjabi biography of hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr with the writer claiming to have traced the nonagenarian's lineage to famous Sikh warrior Baba Bidhi Chand.

The biography of the 91-year-old iconic centre forward has been written in Punjabi by Toronto-based Principal Sarwan Singh and is likely to be released by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal soon.

According to Balbir Singh Sr's daughter, Sushbir Bhomia, the book is very well researched.

"An interesting fact which has come to light is that the writer has traced my father's lineage to famous Sikh warrior Baba Bidhi Chand ji, who served the sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind ji," she said.

Baba Bidhi Chand was an excellent horse rider and even Balbir Sr has told his biographer, who has 37 books on different subjects to his credit, that horse riding came naturally to him.

"The writer mentions in the book that like Baba Bidhi Chand ji proved his mettle as a warrior, Balbir Sr showed that strength on the hockey ground," she said.

Balbir Sr, who served Punjab Police force before finally retiring as Director of Punjab's Sports Department in 1982, won gold medals at the 1948 (London), 1952 (Helsinki) and 1956 (Melbourne) Olympics.

His 1952 record of most goals (five) in an Olympic final still stands and he also figures in the list of 16 iconic Olympians of all-time.

The writer mentions that he started to write the book in 2013 when the hockey legend's namesake approached him with the Sr's photo telling him that it had been mistakenly posted at his Dosanjh village address in Jalandhar.

"An Indian fan of my father who lived in England had posted the photograph at the Dosanjh address (native village of Sr) as he wanted an autograph on the picture. However, the mail was mistakenly received by a namesake of my father who then approached the writer whom he knew.

"It was at that point in time that Principal Sarwan Singh started to write the biography though he told my dad that he had firmed up his mind to write about him much earlier," Sushbir said.

The writer shares many other interesting details about the life of the legend.

The biography tells how Balbir Sr had to spend his childhood living with his relatives from the maternal side since his father Sardar Dalip Singh used to be in and out of the jails being a freedom fighter.

He later studied in Moga, where he started playing hockey. Singh was later spotted by Harbail Singh, who was also coach of the team's 1952 and 1956 Olympics.

Meanwhile, Sushbir said that she has also started writing a biography on the legend in English and is likely to complete it by next year.

Another biography in Hindi is also being penned by a Delhi-based writer, she informed.

Sushbir lamented that despite Sr's achievements, no award has been named by Hockey India after him, though in March this year, he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Hockey India Awards in Delhi.

"He decided to donate the amount to Balbir Foundation, which will be used for the promotion of hockey in the country," she said.

The Times of India

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