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News for 29 May 2015

All the news for Friday 29 may 2015

Making a little go a long way

Javiera Villagra (Chile)

Sarah Juggins

2011 Pan American Games, Guadalajara - Bronze medal match Chile vs. Canada - katie Baker (CAN) and Javiera Villagra (CHI)
(Photo: © Yan Huckendubler)   

For some teams, such as Argentina and the USA, the players are able to devote themselves to life as a full-time athlete. The athletes are part of a centralized system and as such they train together, relax together and have opportunities to play top level competition on a regular basis.

For other teams within the Pan American Federation there is far less money in the coffers and so the coach and managers have to be clever with their resources. Players get together for intensive training camps and play opposition that is more local and so less expensive to travel to.

We talk to Javiera Villagra, a member of Chile national women’s team. The Chilean player has spent several seasons playing hockey in Spain and Germany and is one of the few players in the team who is a full-time athlete. She explains how Chile, who are ranked at 22 in the world, are preparing for the forthcoming Pan American Games, where they are hoping to do better than their bronze medal finish in 2011.

Question: How are Chile’s preparations for the Pan American games progressing?

Javiera Villagra: “We are having a very intense but entertaining preparation period for the upcoming Pan Am Games. Over the past couple of months we have played against Japan, South Africa, Italy and participated in the Hockey World League Two, where we got to compete against very strong teams.

“At the end of May we are travelling to Spain and Belgium to play against their respective national teams plus an extra match against Ireland. It is probably the best preparation we’ve ever had and therefore we are extremely motivated by our future goals.”

Qu: How much time does your squad spend training together?

JV: “Most of our players are based in and around Santiago, so we are lucky to be able to get most of our players training together on a daily basis. We have a combination of athletic and weight lifting training five times a week, plus two or three sessions of hockey. To that we add the training sessions and competitions from our clubs.”

Qu: How easy is it for your players to get time away from work to train?

JV: “Most of our players are students or are in full-time work, so we usually have our fitness sessions at seven am and then we have hockey in the late afternoons. We do not have the resources to dedicate ourselves fully to hockey and therefore we juggle our own personal responsibilities and accommodate them to the needs of the team. Whenever there is time, we plan some individual session to try and work on specifics for each player. However, as the tournament approaches we commit ourselves fully to the team and try and work on those small details that can make a difference.”

Qu: How would you rate Chile’s performance over the past year?

JV: “We’ve put in some very strong performances over the past 12 months. After our participation in World League Three in Rotterdam in 2013, we received several invitations from teams that were willing to play against us or to travel to us to play. That was the first recognition that we were doing things right. We have been constantly raising our standards, getting closer to better ranked teams and making a name for ourselves, but that does not mean that it has all been perfect along the way. We’ve had our downfalls; one of the toughest and most recent is not being able to qualify for the World League Three in Valencia, but we are not losing sight of our ultimate goal. Not playing this tournament (Hockey World League Three) meant missing out on top quality preparation for the Pan Am Gamess, but our staff was quick-thinking enough to get us on tour again and so we have been able to have an excellent preparation before the main event of the year for us.”

Qu: Have there been many changes to the team in the past two years?

JV: Over the past few years there have been a lot of long-time players that have retired and many new faces have stepped up. Even though it was a tough transition at the beginning, the young players have brought a fresh start and new energy to our program, which is something I believe is also reflected in our more aggressive style of game. Our coaching staff brought us a new style of hockey. Like I said, we are more aggressive. We dare to play our game against any opponent instead of waiting to see what they do and then reacting. That has given us a lot more confidence and has made us get closer to teams that are ranked higher than us.

Qu: Who do you feel are the main danger players in the other Pan Am teams?

JV: “It is difficult to pinpoint just a few players but I think what the USA has done over the past few years is simply impressive. I saw them play last year at the World Cup and they definitely deserved even more than a fourth place finish. For several years they have been second to Argentina and I only think that has made them a stronger team. They play with enormous ambition and certainly are one of the favorites to win the Pan American Games.

Chile will be facing USA in its second pool B match of the Pan American Games. Other teams competing in their pool are Cuba and Uruguay – both lower ranked than Chile, although Uruguay will be confident and match-sharp after making its first appearance at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Valencia.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

SEA Games: Only one senior player for hockey team

By S. Ramaguru

Khairulnizam (right), seen here with S. Kumar, is the only senior player listed for the Singapore SEA Games hockey team.

KUALA LUMPUR: Goalkeeper Khairulnizam Ibrahim is the only senior player in the Malaysian men’s hockey team for next month’s Singapore SEA Games.

The rest of the 18-man final squad announced by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are from the Project 2016 team.

But 27-year-old Khairulnizam, a former member of the national senior squad and 2005 National Juniors teams, is likely to play a back-up role.

National Juniors coach A. Arulselvaraj said having an experienced goalkeeper as a back-up would benefit the team.

“Our regular goalkeeper is Mohamed Ridzwan Azmi and he will play in the matches. But I need an experienced goalkeeper as the back-up. That’s why we opted to take Khairulnizam with us.

“We are fielding a young team, but we’re confident of winning the gold,” said Arulselvaraj.

The other competing teams are Singapore, Myanmar and Thailand.

The MHC have targeted the men and women’s squads to win the two golds.

“Both teams have had good preparations. There’s no reason for them not to return with the two golds we won in Myanmar in 2013,” said MHC chief executive officer K. Logan Raj. 

The Star of Malaysia

SEA Games: Two Pahang hockey players to debut in Singapore

By S. Ramaguru

Noorain (centre) will be making her debut at the Games with Wan Norfaiezah next month.

KUALA LUMPUR: Two Pahang players – Wan Norfaiezah Md Saiuti and Noorain Mohamed Arshad – will make their debut for the women’s national senior hockey team at next month’s Singapore SEA Games.

The two Under-21 players were included in the final 18-member team announced by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation. Injured Norashikin Halim and Norazlin Sumantri were left out of the squad.

National coach Mohamed Nasihin Nubli said Norfaiezah and Noorain were picked for their attacking prowess.

“We need good attacking players and these two girls fit the bill. Although they are untested, we’re confident that they will rise to the occasion,” said Nasihin.

“We are not taking the Games lightly. Our target is to win the gold,” he added.

Nasihin believes Thailand will pose the biggest threat to Malaysia.

“Thailand have been training in South Korea for the last two months and they are putting in a lot of efforts to try and win the gold for the first time. We know what to expect. We have always emerged triumphant against them and I believe we will do so again. There’s no way we are going to lose as the contingent depends on us to deliver the gold,” he said.

Other teams in the fray are Singapore and Indonesia.  

The Star of Malaysia

A new Premier club competition open to clubs worldwide

Aussie Cup aims to provide both an elite international club hockey competition and social competitions catering for all division levels of the sport. The tournament shall exhibit professionalism, fairness and sportsmanship by all involved. It is not just about participating in sport; it is an event that specialises in hockey, but provides travel experiences, combined with mate ship, quality food and a high degree of personal service.

When and Where?

The inaugural Aussie Cup will be a Hockey championship to be held in Hobart, Tasmania from Wednesday 21st October – Saturday 24th October.

An official opening will be held at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre on Wednesday 21st of October and a Cocktail Party will be held on the final evening of the championship to celebrate the conclusion of the Aussie Cup and to formally recognise the winners of respective competitions.

Aussie Cup will be a truly International competition. It is open to 'any' club team in the world - so India, Malaysia, South Africa and New Zealand club teams can enter and play the best Australian club teams - men and women with Hockey Clubs from all over Australia entering. Clubs can either come over and try to be the Number One club team in the World.

Want to compete against the best club based Sporting teams in Australia?

Want to be involved in the first tournament of its kind for Australian Sport?

Want to see if your club has what it takes to be #1?

Aussie Cup information

NB. While the website says the competition is open to Australian clubs I have been assured by one of the organisers that it is open to clubs from all around the World.

Hobart to host inaugural Aussie Cup in major coup for local hockey

Derwent Hockey Club coach Alastair Addison and North West Graduates captain James Bourke. Picture: Carolyn Docking

IN a major coup for the state, Hobart will host the inaugural Aussie Cup that will see the nation’s best hockey players competing with their club sides.

The men’s and women’s hockey competition, sponsored by Wrest Point Casino, will pit the nation’s elite club teams against one another to determine the best in the country.

Teams will also compete for a share in $15,000 in prize money and for the first time ever in the sport – a national ranking position when the tournament runs from October 21-24.

Organisers Brent Williams and Justin Veitch are proud Tasmanians and are excited to see the best club hockey players in the country pit their skills against the world’s best.

“We looked at the mainland but we really wanted to host this event in Tasmania and give the athletes the total travel and social experience,” Williams said.

“Hobart has the best hockey facilities in the southern hemisphere and the Tassie Tigers are the reigning national champions, so it’s only fair that the mainlanders come down here and try to knock off Tassie best club teams on their home soil.”

Key to launching the event in Tasmania was securing a corporate naming rights sponsor and having the support of the Hockey Tasmania Board.

“Wrest Point Casino share our vision for making this tournament a big success and Hockey Tasmania have also thrown their support behind this event.”

The Aussie Cup will be open to all elite club teams in Australia and New Zealand, with teams placed in pool groups before progressing to finals and classification matches.

“How great would it be to see Eddie Ockenden competing for North-West Graduates in a home Aussie Cup Grand Final against the Victorian or Western Australian club champions?” Williams said.

Wrest Point Sales and Marketing Manager Kathryn McCann believes the Aussie Cup will be a huge success.

“This event has the right ingredients – travel, friendship and fitness – that will make it a success.

“We’re really thrilled to be working with the team behind Aussie Cup and we’re confident that this event will only grow in years to come.”

Hockey Tasmania chief executive officer Andrew Winch also sees the benefit for local players who would otherwise not be able to compete against the country’s best without participating in the Australian Hockey League.

“Only 18 athletes can compete for an AHL side at one time, so this tournament is inclusive of other talented players and will offer plenty of challenges for players.”

Winch said there would be plenty of intriguing battles when teams from opposing state competitions face off against each other.

“Perth is widely regarded as the best club competition in Australia but Hockey Victoria have committed to sending their Premier League men’s and women’s champions to ensure they have the best chance of success,” he said.

“Outside of internationals and the Australian Hockey League, this will be the best hockey played in Australia this year and Hockey Tasmania is a proud partner and host of this event.”

Teams can register at www.aussiecup.com.au

The Mercury

Bele to switch from Arminen to Daring

SV Arminen star Alexander Bele will make the switch to Royal Daring for next season after a superb season with the Vienna-based club thus far.

Bele netted three times in this year’s groundbreaking run for Arminen, becoming the first Austrian side to make it out of the group phases.

He is currently en route to Argentina for World League Round 3 with his national squad – for whom he has scored 20 times in 50 games – before he returns home to complete the league season.

Arminen topped the regular season table ahead of HC Wien and will play their Final Four series on the weekend of June 26.

Euro Hockey League media release

Sindh craft 3-0 win in women’s hockey

LAHORE: Sindh crafted a 3-0 win against Punjab (Whites) while Army and Wapda played a thrilling 1-1 draw in the third All-Pakistan Fatima Jinnah Women Gold Cup hockey tournament at the District Sports Ground in Multan on Thursday.

Sindh achieved their first win in the tournament.

In the 30th minute, Rozina took control of the ball near the 25-yard line and dribbled beautifully to reach the D where she gave pass to Iqra who gently deflected the ball into the goalpost.

Six minutes later Rozina initiated a lone attack and Nain Tara scored the second goal for Sindh.

Bushra scored the third goal for her team in the 54th minute.

In the other match, Army and Wapda fought well for the delight of a large number of fans.

Both teams launched a series of attacks on each other throughout the match.

Wapda took lead in the fourth minute through Nazia who scored a beautiful field goal on a pass from Amina.

After taking lead Wapda exerted more pressure upon their opponents but failed to make any dent into their sturdy defence.

Army forwards not only made counter attacks but they also guarded their goalpost effectively. It was a brilliant demonstration of skill and speed which produced an amazing contest to get the possession of the ball.

In the third quart, Army forwards made a calculated move and succeeded to earn a penalty-corner which was converted by Aqsa in the 36th minute.

Friday’s matches:Wapda vs Islamabad, Army vs Punjab University Club.


Kushal brace helps AGRC win in VHA Hockey League

Suhas Nayse

NAGPUR: A superb brace by Kushal Singh helped Accountant General Recreation Club (AGRC) drub Ambedkar College Sports Academy 5-1 in the Baidyanath Senior Division Hockey League at the VHA ground here on Thursday.

Besides Kushal Singh, the other goal scorers for AGRC were MK Bhoikar, Gunwant Yerkhede and Tanveer Jamal.

The lone goal for the losers was struck by Prashant Manwatkar. On Friday, Athletics Club will meet DACSA at 5 pm.

The Times of India

Prof. Joe Ezekiel Inter-School Hockey commences

s2h team

Prof. Joe Ezekiel Inter-School Hockey Cup 2015 commenced today at the Shivaji Stadium in New Delhi with teams looking eager to start the tournament on a high.

The first match between Government Boys Senior Secondary School (GBSSS) Ghitorni and Acharya Tulsi Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya saw the former register a convincing 2-0 win over the latter.

The Second game of the day between GBSSS Saket hold GBSSS Mehrauli in an eventful but 0-0 draw.

Followed was an excellent win for VC Agri School which defeated Citizen XI 5-0, striking bulk of the goal in the first half.

The match between GBSSS Ashok Vihar and Anglo-Arabic Senior Secondary School ended in a one-sided affair as the former won 5-0. Making its intentions clear from the start, GBSSS Ashok Vihar gave no chance to the Anglo-Arabic boys to comeback and register an easy victory.

In the other game, Yogi Arvind Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, Ambedkar Nagar, edged past GBSSS Khanpur 4-3 to emerge victorious in their first match of the tournament. Government Co-ed Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya ShahpurJat also recorded an easy 2-0 win over Saket G-Block.

In the last match of the day, Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya defeated OTHL XI 4-2 to mark their dominance.

The four-day tournament’s second day will resume tomorrow at Shivaji Stadium 7 AM onwards

The 8-team event is the idea of Gulu Eziekiel, son of late Prof Joe Eziekiel, and is organized by the Hockey Citizen Group, which runs the universally popular One Thousand Hockey Legs project.


2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony to be held July 18

Tickets now on sale at fieldhockey.ca/2015hoftickets

The 2015 Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place July 18th at a banquet prior to Canada’s men facing Mexico during Pan American Games competition this summer in Toronto.

This year’s ceremony completes the induction of Field Hockey Canada’s inaugural Hall of Fame class.

Patrick Burrows, Sharon Creelman, Nancy Mollenhauer, Sue Neill, and Marina van der Merwe will be honoured in a special ceremony at Hart House at the University of Toronto, which is located adjacent to the Pan Am Fields, site of the field hockey competition for the Pan Am Games.

This year's inductees join Paul Chohan, Sumesh Putra, and Harry Warren - who were all inducted in a ceremony in Vancouver last October - as the inaugural members of the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame.

The creation of the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame along with its accompanying events could not be possible without the continued support from our partners at the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Tickets for the event in July can be purchased online (http://fieldhockey.ca/2015hoftickets) for $30.


WHEN: Saturday, July 18th, 2015

TIME: 3:00pm-7:00pm

4:00pm - Ceremony
5:00pm - Buffet Dinner
7:00pm - Canada vs Mexico at Pan Am Fields (Match tickets not included)

WHERE: Hart House, University of Toronto 7 Hart House Circle Toronto, ON

FOOD & DRINK: A buffet dinner will be served. A No Host Bar will be available.

ATTIRE: Business Casual or Canada Red & White!

TICKETS: $30 - Purchased online at http://fieldhockey.ca/2015hoftickets

Field Hockey Canada media release

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