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News for 04 June 2015

All the news for Thursday 4 June 2015

Canada impress in Buenos Aires, clean sheet for Argentina

New Zealand, Korea, Canada and Argentina collect points on Day 1

Argentina’s “Los Leones” took the lead in pool B with a strong performance and a 3-0 win against Austria. Earlier at the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires, Canada upset Spain 3-2. On Thursday, Canada will play Austria with Olympic champions Germany facing Spain.

New Zealand are on top of pool A following a 4-1 win against Egypt in the opening game. Korea are second thanks to their 4-2 victory over Asian rivals Japan. On Thursday, the Black Sticks will face Japan with Egypt taking on the current Olympic and World Cup Silver medallists, the Netherlands.

Match 1: New Zealand v Egypt 4-1 (1-0)

New Zealand’s Black Sticks started their Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final affair in Buenos Aires with a 4-1 win over Egypt thanks to goals from Kane Russell, Simon Child, Hugo Inglis and Nick Haig. It was New Zealand’s first win over Egypt. “I played them once in Malaysia in 2009 and it was a 2-2 draw,” remembers Andy Hayward.

Egypt, the current world number 20, kept the match open well into the second quarter, allowing New Zealand just one promising opportunity. Kane Russell (27’) eventually took the lead for the world’s number 7 when he converted the first penalty corner opportunity. Simon Child (41’) doubled the lead with a beautiful backhand-stroke before Hugo Inglis (42’) tipped the ball in to extend the lead to 3-0.

Egypt scored a consolation goal through Mahmoud Mandouh (57’) causing great celebration as he tipped in an Ahmed Elnaggar strike. However, Nick Haig (60’) converted a penalty corner with 18 seconds remaining to secure the Kiwis a 4-1 win.

Match 2: Korea v Japan 4-2 (0-0)

Four goals in the last quarter were enough for Korea to seal their first victory at the  Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires. Lee Namyong’s double-strike (47’/50’) and goals from Jang Jonghyun (48’) and Hyun Hyesung (53’) secured a fine 4-2 win over Japan who had given away a 2-0 lead.

Earlier, against the run of play, Japan had scored first. Kenji Kitazato’s (37’) penalty corner attempt found its way into the goal to put the Samurais ahead. Hiroki Sakamoto (40’) further upset the Asian rivals when he pushed a penalty corner rebound over the line.

Match 3: Spain v Canada 2-3 (0-1)

Canada upset Spain in the opening match of pool B by winning 3-2. Gordon Johnston, James Kirkpatrick and Devohn Noronha Teixiera were the goal-scoring heroes in this key encounter towards the quarter-final qualification.

The Canadians made the better start to the contest, with Gordon Johnston netting with a drag-flick after 6 minutes. James Kirkpatrick (39’) doubled Canada’s lead in the third quarter before Spain struck back with a beautiful penalty corner goal from Mario Fernandez (43’).

However, it took Canada just one minute to get the scoreboard ticking again. Devohn Noronha Teixiera (44’) scored after a terrific solo run to extend the lead to 3-1. The end was hectic as Albert Beltran (52’) pulled one back for Spain after a video referral. The Red Sticks threw everything into the match in search of an equaliser in the last minutes but the Maple Leafs managed to secure the victory.

Match 4: Argentina v Austria 3-0 (1-0)

Argentina walked away with a 3-0 win over Austria in their first match to top pool B at the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires. Ignacio Ortiz, Lucas Vila and Nicolas Della Torre scored the goals in the final encounter of day one.

Austria were defending well throughout the match, keeping their more experiences opponents down to very few chances. Ignacio Ortiz (22’) marked the opening goal through a penalty corner. The Austrians kept Argentina from scoring more goals until Lucas Vila (45’) converted the rebound of a Gonzalo Peillot penalty corner flick.

"Los Leones” produced a few more promising opportunities towards the end of the fourth quarter but Austria goalie Mateusz Szymczyk saved the efforts. Nicolas Della Torre defeated the Austrian goalie with one minute remaining to seal the 3-0 victory.

#HWL2015 #RoadToRio

See more on the event page here

FIH site

Black Sticks Men take 4-1 first up win

Pictured: Captain Simon Child celebrates his goal in today's game. Credit: Hernán Pablo Barrios

A convincing 4-1 win against Egypt has given the Black Sticks Men a good start at the FIH World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires this morning.

Head coach Colin Batch said that although a win is always nice, the team are disappointed with the way they played and will be looking at areas of improvement ahead of their game against Japan tomorrow (5am NZ time).

“The win is good but we are disappointed with the way we executed it, there was a bit of frustration out there. We never under estimated Egypt, they had some good players that came forward, and defensively they limited the shots we had on goal, especially in that first half.”

“I think the area we need to improve is our transferring and passing to create more opportunities – and we will look at that ahead of tomorrow’s game. We know more about the way Japan play, we have played them and had some good results recently, it’s just about getting out there and doing the business tomorrow.”

In today’s match, the 20th ranked Egyptians came onto the park full of vigour and energy to secure a win against the seventh ranked Black Sticks.

In the first half, the Black Sticks had the majority of possession and territory and although they held Egypt out of the game, the Kiwis were unable to get many clear shots at goal.

Veteran midfielder Ryan Archibald took a good shot in the first quarter, but it was well saved by the keeper who was outstretched to his left to bat it away.

With three minutes remaining in the second half, the Kiwis were awarded their first penalty corner of the game and drag flicker Kane Russell rocketed the ball over the line to give his side their first goal of the tournament. 

The momentum really picked up in the third quarter when captain Simon Child won a tackle at the top of the circle and took a clinical reverse stick shot which flew past the keeper. The Egyptians lost their video referral when they asked for the tackle to be checked upstairs, but it was given the all clear and Child’s goal remained.

Only 90 seconds later, Southern’s striker Hugo Inglis stretched the lead to 3-0 thanks to a brilliant touch from a Kane Russell cross in the circle.

In the fourth quarter, as Egypt tired the Kiwis created more opportunities but it was some nice individual play from Mamdouh who caught the Kiwi defenders off guard and slotted it home.

The game was put beyond reach when New Zealand won a video referral for their second chance at a penalty corner and this time Nick Haig flicked it across the line giving the Kiwis a 4-1 win.

The top three finishers from the tournament automatically qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, with the top four progressing to the World League Final in India (28 Nov – 6 Dec, 2015).

The Black Sticks Men play 16th ranked Japan tomorrow at 5am (NZ time), they then face the Dutch at 5am on Monday (NZ time) ahead of Korea at 9am on Wednesday before progressing to a must win quarter-final game on Friday 12 June.

Full time: 4-1 (NZ win)
Half time: 1-0 (NZ led)
Black Sticks goal scorers: Kane Russell, Simon Child, Hugo Inglis, Nick Haig
Egypt goal scorers: Mamdouh

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks men's hockey team start road to Rio Olympics with big win over Egypt

Simon Child and the men's Black Sticks have made a promising start to a crucial Olympics qualifying tournament in Argentina. Getty Images

The Black Sticks men's hockey team made a winning start to their quest for Olympic qualification with a 4-1 victory over Egypt at the FIH World League Semifinals tournament in Argentina.

World No 7 New Zealand controlled the game throughout against their 20th ranked opponents, only conceding a goal late in the match in Buenos Aires.

The top three teams from the 10-team tournament automatically qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, with the top four advancing to the World League Finals in India in November.

New Zealand play Japan at 5am tomorrow (NZ time) and also meet the Netherlands and Korea on their side of the draw.

The top three teams from the tournament automatically qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, with the top four advancing to the World League Finals in India in November.

New Zealand play Japan tomorrow and also meet the Netherlands and Korea on their side of the draw.

New Zealand coach Colin Batch is demanding more from his team with the consequences at this tournament so significant.

"The win is good but we are disappointed with the way we executed it, there was a bit of frustration out there.

"We never under estimated Egypt, they had some good players that came forward, and defensively they limited the shots we had on goal, especially in that first half,"  Batch said after New Zealand completed a historic first test against Egypt.

"I think the area we need to improve is our transferring and passing to create more opportunities – and we will look at that ahead of tomorrow's game.

"We know more about the way Japan play, we have played them and had some good results recently, it's just about getting out there and doing the business tomorrow (against Japan)."

New Zealand didn't open the scoring until three minutes before halftime when they were awarded their first penalty corner of the game. Drag flicker Kane Russell rocketed the ball into the back of the net.

The Black Sticks picked up their pace in the third quarter when captain Simon Child won a tackle at the top of the circle and took a clinical reverse stick shot which flew past the keeper.

Just 90 seconds later striker Hugo Inglis stretched the lead to 3-0 thanks to a brilliant touch from a Russell cross in the circle.

Egypt got on the board in the fourth quarter but New Zealand put the game beyond their reach when they won a video referral for their second chance at a penalty corner and Nick Haig flicked it across the line to complete the scoring.


Timely goals, strong defending leads Canada to victory in first World League Semifinals match

Fifteenth ranked Canada edges eleventh ranked Spain 3-2 in Argentina

Shaheed Devji

The Canadian Men’s Field Hockey Team pulled off an upset to open play at the World League Semifinals Wendesday in Argentina, defeating eleventh ranked Spain 3-2.

The win in its first game is a great boost of confidence for the fifteenth ranked Canadians, who are looking to earn Olympic qualification by finishing third at this tournament.

“We have worked almost nine months for this,” says Devohn Noronha-Teixeira, who scored the eventual game-winner. “We knew all the games were going to be tough and we fought the whole match and we came out on top.”

The game began tentatively with Spain holding more of the possession in the first five minutes but Canada kept a strong defensive shape, not wanting to concede the game’s first goal.

Canada’s first chance of the match came in the sixth minute as a great build-up from Mark Pearson and Gabriel Ho-Garcia led to the game’s first penalty corner.

Gordon Johnston lined up for the drag flick and his attempt squeezed between the Spanish defender and goalkeeper Quico Cortes to give Canada the 1-0 lead.

Despite starting the match on the defensive, the quick goal and turnaround resulted in Canada holding a 70%-30% advantage in possession after the first quarter.

The story of the second quarter was Canadian keeper David Carter, who turned away several Spanish chances to preserve the Canadian lead.

Spain’s best chances came on back-to-back penalty corners when first Carter made a solid stop off a drag flick, and then turned another away with help from Johnston, who got the last touch, hitting the ball off the goal line with a baseball-type swing.

After only one goal in the first half, the third quarter was an offensive explosion.

In the thirty-ninth minute, a Spanish inbound was deftly intercepted by Canadian midfielder Iain Smythe, who quickly fed the ball to Teixeira, who found a wide open James Kirkpatrick to finish the play and give Canada the 2-0 lead.

Four minutes later, however, Spain – now down two goals – scored the important third goal of the match on a Pau Quemada drag flick, to cut Canada’s lead in half.

But just a minute later, Smythe once again found an open Teixeira – this time alone behind the Spanish defenders – who confidently put the ball by an onrushing Cortes to restore Canada’s two-goal lead in the forty-fourth minute.

“Honestly I played a lot of indoor, its just instinct,” says Teixeira about his quick finish. “Nothing was going through my mind, just force of habit. I saw the ball, saw the goalie, and just shot.

Spain got a lucky goal in the fifty-second minute as a shot from Albert Beltran - which was going off target – hit a Canadian defender and deflected in the goal with just over eight minutes remaining.

Despite pulling their goal for an extra attacker, Spain could only manage one more chance in the final minutes, a shot from Sergi Enrique that went wide.

Canada is the first team to earn points in Pool B and will look to go two-for-two when they face Austria on Thursday at 2pm PT/5pm ET. The match can be watched live online via Star Sports.

Field Hockey Canada media release

It is difficult as captain to adjust to different coaching styles: Sardar Singh

Rutvick Mehta

Sardar Singh says that he is impressed with the way the current young players in Indian team conduct themselves professionally, both on and off the field

Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh tells Rutvick Mehta that coach Paul Van Ass has emphasised on building a culture within team and players believe it is one big family now

How is the team settling under new coach Paul Van Ass. What are the areas that he has worked on?
Firstly — and I feel it is the most important thing — Paul Van Ass has focussed on building individual relationships. He has had meetings with every player, both on aspects of hockey and life in general, which is a great thing. He always insists on building a culture within the team, and that has rubbed off on the players. We are one big family, we are friends, and we enjoy each other's success.
As for the on-field aspects, we've improved in almost all the areas, and are still improving. Obviously, defence is one of those major things, and we're working really hard on it. Penalty-corner conversion is another area which we have stressed upon, and I'm confident we'll be an improved team in all those areas in the upcoming tournaments.

Talking of defence, India has a history of conceding late goals. Would you put it down to pressure?
It's not pressure. All of us have played hockey for our country for some time now, and know how to handle pressure. So it's not that. It's also got nothing to do with fitness, because I think the boys are fitter now than before. I think it's a matter of focus. There are a few areas which we lag behind purely because we are not focussed enough. Like you said, we have conceded late goals in a lot of our previous matches, and we know it is a concern. We play really well for the majority of a match, but during the last few moments the level slips. That is because the focus slips. Nothing else.

You spoke of a new game plan of 10 attacking and 10 defending going into the Hockey World League Semifinal that begins from June 20. That must be a new challenge for the players, isn't it?
This is a theory which most Asian teams follow, and we are gearing up to do the same. What happens is if there are three-fours guys going on the attack, and if they lose the ball, it leaves a big space in the midfield for the opposite team to counter-attack. That is what we are looking to stop. If all the 10 players go on the attack, it will give us a better chance of succeeding. It's the same thing with defence. This will in turn strengthen our midfield, and help us control the game better. We have been practising this lately, and the boys are starting to understand it well.

As someone with a bank of experience, how do you assess the young Indian players coming into the team?
I don't think I've seen the kind of players that I've seen come up over the past two-three years ever in Indian hockey. The thing that impresses me the most about these youngsters is their professionalism off the field. The way they carry themselves shows how mature they are. Players like Mandeep Singh, Manpreet Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Akashdeep Singh have so much quality in them. We have some rich young talent now, and I have no doubt that they will serve Indian hockey for years to come.

Is the team's bench strength a bit of a concern? The goalkeeping resources almost entirely rests with PR Sreejesh, while some inexperienced dragflickers are going for the HWL Semifinal...
Look, for the past couple of years, we have had a core group of 30-35 players. And I think every single one of them has shown tremendous improvement. So I don't think there is a problem with bench strength. A lot of credit for that has to go to the Hockey India League, where the players get to play quality, competitive hockey. I think we need more tournaments like that.

Yes, we have taken some new dragflickers for the HWL Semifinal, and that is because the Olympics are around the corner and the coach wanted to try out a few combinations.

The team has seen a lot of foreign coaches come in and go. How difficult is it as captain to adjust to different coaching styles so frequently?
It is difficult, to be honest. We have Paul Van Ass now, before that we had the likes of Terry Walsh, Michael Nobbs and Jose Brasa. It is not ideal, but that is not something I can control. The good thing is we have team meetings that helps us get used to the coach's style. But it is difficult as a captain to adjust, no doubt.

The team had a great last year, with the CWG silver and Asiad gold. Are you confident of a good 2015?
Absolutely. We beat some big teams last year including Australia. The team played good hockey, and I have no doubt that we can repeat it this year. We have some key tournaments coming up, and if we continue to do the right things during training and focus on our process, we will get the results.

Has the team already set any goals for the 2016 Rio Olympics? It will be one of the biggest tournaments of your career, isn't it?
Surely. Everyone who plays this sport wants to be a part of the Olympics and the World Cup. It will be the biggest moment of our careers. Every team who participates comes in to win a medal. We will go in with the same mindset (of winning a medal). But our coach has made it clear that we have to remain in the present. So yes, we have the Olympics in our mind, but we are focusing on the tournaments before that.

You're going to complete a decade as an Indian player next year. What keeps you going?
It's the love that I get, from my teammates, from my fans. The whole process of playing hockey excites me a lot: training, concentrating, sweating it out. All that still gives me a high. And of course, if medals, awards (he was awarded the Padma Shri this year) and recognition comes along the way, it only makes me more eager. I'm really passionate about playing hockey. And the fact that I get to represent my country for it gives me more motivation.

(Indian hockey team leaves for Belgium on Sunday for Hockey World League Semifinal)


Hockey camp for Olympic qualifiers starts

Final 16-man squad for the FIH World League Semi-finals to be decided. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: The training camp to finalise the 16-man squad for the FIH Hockey World League Semi-finals, which will also act as qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics, will commence from Thursday at the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium in Islamabad.

The camp, which was originally scheduled to start on June 1, includes 30 probables. Only half of them will be selected for the qualifiers scheduled to be held from June 20 to July 5 in Antwerp, Belgium.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has planned for the team to play 12 warm-up matches before the mega event to help the players acclimatise.

“The players would be shown which weak areas to rectify noted during the two tours — Australia and Korea — and will then be selected after trials,” said head coach Shahnaz Sheikh.

The PHF has also inducted goalkeeper Ali Haider in place of Talal Khalid and Altaf, while full-back Mubashir Ali has been excluded. Fareed Ahmed and forward Nawaz Asfaq have been incorporated in place of Shah Irshad and Rana Umair.

Meanwhile, assistant coach Danish Kaleem will assist Sheikh, Syed Abu Zar Umrao will act as the video analyst on the tour and Asad Abbas Shah will travel with the contingent as the team doctor.

The Express Tribune

PHF names camp probables for World League semis

LAHORE: Centre-half Rashad Mahmood and forward Rizwan Senior have been included among 30 probables to attend a training camp at the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium in Islamabad from Friday.

The camp is being set up to finalise a team for FIH World League semi-finals to be played in Antwerp, Belgium from June 20 to July 5.

Both Rashad and Rizwan were not part of the Pakistan team which recently toured Australia and South Korea as they were playing league in Europe.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) also axed three coaches Nasir Ali, Sameer Hussain and Malik Shafqat to reduce the cost.

Danish Kaleem is the only coach who is named with the probables.

PHF secretary Rana Mujahid said all the decisions regarding the team management were taken in consultation with head coach Shahnaz Sheikh.

“All the probables will meet Shahnaz Sheikh on Thursday afternoon,” a PHF press release states.

The final team is likely to be picked on June 11.


Goalkeepers: Imran Butt, Mazhar Abbas, Amjad Ali, Ali Haider.

Fullbacks: Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Irfan, Syed Kashif Shah, Kashif Ali.

Halves: Tasawar Abbas, Fareed Ahmed, M. Rizwan Jr., M. Toseeq Arshad, Rashad Mahmood, Zohaib Ashraf, Ammad Shakeel Butt.

Forwards: Mohammad Waqas Sharif, Shafqat Rasool, Umar Bhutta, Kashif Ali, Mohammad Dilber, Rizwan Sr., Ali Shan, Rizwan Ali, Azfar Yaqoob, Bilal Qadir, Arslan Qadir, Faisal Qadir, Niwaz Ashfaq, Ejaz Ahmed, Atif Mushtaq.

Team officials:

Shahnaz Sheikh (manager/head coach), Danish Kaleem (coach), Abu Zar Umrao (video analyst), Asad Abbas Shah (doctor).


Hockey camp for Olympic qualifiers begins

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) announced 30 probables for one-week training camp of national hockey team for all-important Olympic qualifiers to be held in Belgium from June 20 to July 5.
The training camp will start from today (Thursday) here at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium under the command of head coach and manager Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh, while Danish Kaleem, Syed Abu Zar Umrao and Asad Abbas Shah would assist him.

The camp was supposed to start at Lahore, but due to insufficient facilities and keeping in mind top class accommodation, meal at Pakistan Sports Complex, on the special request of Shahnaz Sheikh, the PHF has decided to start the camp at Islamabad. In the past, the camp was shifted to Lahore, just because of pathetic condition of astroturf at Naseer Bunda Stadium, which inflicted a number of injuries to players, and the PHF had time and again requested the PSB director general to order laying down of new astroturf at the venue.

Talking to The Nation, Shahnaz said: “I had traveled to Lahore and discussed in detail with PHF secretary Rana Mujahid and requested him to start camp at Islamabad, as players and coaches feel quite comfortable here. We have decided to practice in morning session at Naseer Bunda Stadium, physical training, gym and video sessions would also be conducted at PSB Islamabad, while we will go for evening training at Army Hockey Stadium. I am grateful to PSB Director General Technical and Training Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera and assistant director hostels Malik Imtiaz Hussain for their superb support for Pakistan hockey.”

“I would once again like to request the IPC secretary, who also holds the charge of PSB DG, to at least release pending prize money of players, which they earn by playing in the finals of Asian Games and Champions Trophy. Under tight financial position of the PHF, this amount will do hell lot to raise the morale of the players. I hope the prize money will be released before our departure to Belgium,” the head coach urged.

When asked about one-week training was enough for the high-profile Olympic qualifiers, Shahnaz replied: “Off course, one-week training is not enough, but we have taken great benefit of playing in Australia and Korea. The boys are in great shape and we have noticed a few minor flaws, as some of the players were struggling to cope with the competitive action in two high-profile events. We will work on that areas and the squad is also boosted with the arrival of Rizwan Senior and Rashid, who joined the camp after taking part in international leagues.”

Shahnaz also thanked Samir, Nasir Ali and Shafqat, who were assigned other duties for their great help and working with the boys during four-month training camps. “I hope they will carry on the good work and pass on their experiences to others,” Shahnaz concluded.

The players who will report in the camp today (Thursday) are Imran Butt, Mazhar Abbas, Amjad Ali, Ali Haider (goalkeepers), M Imran, M Irfan, Syed Kashif Shah, Kashif Ali (full backs), Tasawar Abbas, Fareed Ahmed, M Rizwan Jr, M Toseeq Arshad, Rashad Mahmood, Zohaib Ashraf, Ammad Shakeel Butt (halves), M Waqas Sharif, Shafqat Rasool, M Umar Bhutta, M Kashif Ali, M Dilber, M Rizwan Sr, Ali Shan, Rizwan Ali, M Azfar Yaqoob, M Bilal Qadir, M Arslan Qadir, M Faisal Qadir, Niwaz Ashfaq, Ejaz Ahmed, M Atif Mushtaq (forwards).

The team officials are Shahnaz Sheikh (head coach), Danish Kaleem (coach), Syed Abu Zar Umrao (video analyst) and Asad Abbas Shah (team doctor). The remaining coaches of the national senior hockey team have been given important and special assignments.

The Nation

Scotland Senior Women begin preparations for European competition with Wales matches

Scotland Senior Women Head Coach Gordon Shepherd looking forward to the challenges ahead this summer

Scotland will welcome Wales to Glasgow from 5-7 June for three matches at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

Head Coach Gordon Shepherd has selected twenty players for the series of matches, which includes two senior international encounters and a third contest for a Scotland Development/U21 squad to compete in.

With the EuroHockey Nations Championship in London less than three months away, preparations for this important competition are now increasing, with the players back in full-time training in the lead up to the event.

Speaking ahead of the matches against Wales, Scotland Senior Women Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said, “It’s great to have the players back in full-time training and there is a real buzz around the squad when we have everybody back together.

“The benefits of full-time training are huge; we retained our place in the European Championship two years ago and last year we demonstrated in a number of matches, including the Commonwealth Games, that we have closed the gap on a number of higher ranked nations.

“A number of players will be experiencing this environment for the first time but the players who have been here and done it before will help these individuals adapt and integrate very quickly.”

The Scots are without both Emily Maguire and Sarah Robertson, who continue to train with the Great Britain Women’s squad in preparation for the World League 3 competition taking place in Spain this month.

However, there is potentially a first cap and senior international debut in the offing for Birmingham University’s Rebecca Condie, while a number of other relatively new players will again be given the opportunity to test themselves at international level.

“We knew we would see a number of players retire after the Commonwealth Games, so for the last two years we have invited both U21 and U18 players into the senior set-up to get experience at this level”, said Shepherd.

“Some of these players are now involved fully with the senior squad having experienced recent camps in Germany and Spain, and we have invited another crop of U21 and U18 players to this weekend’s squad too.

“Wales will pose a challenge to us, but we have other objectives to consider as well as the results, including the opportunity to give players game time, for us to try different combinations, and for us to look at new players. Everyone has the opportunity to press home a case for selection for the Europeans this summer.”

Following a number of retirements after last year’s Commonwealth Games, the captaincy will be assumed by Grove Menzieshill’s Leigh Fawcett, with both Nikki Kidd and Vikki Bunce taking on vice-captaincy roles.

South African Olympian and new assistant coach Jen Wilson will also assume her duties in the dug-out for the first time this weekend.

Scotland Senior Women: Aileen Davis (Clifton), Alison Howie, Fiona Bruce, Fiona Burnett, Jennifer Eadie, Millie Brown, Nicki Skrastin, Susan McGilveray (all Clydesdale Western), Amy Gibson (no club), Amy Brodie, Leigh Fawcett (both Grove Menzieshill), Becky Merchant, Emma McGregor, Louise Campbell, Nicki Cochrane (all Edinburgh University), Becky Ward, Vikki Bunce (both Dundee Wanderers), Kareena Marshall (Western Wildcats), Nikki Kidd (Mannheimer), Rebecca Condie (Birmingham University).

Match Schedule

Friday 5 June, 17.00, Scotland Senior Women v Wales, Glasgow National Hockey Centre
Saturday 6 June, 14.00, Scotland Senior Women v Wales, Glasgow National Hockey Centre
Sunday 7 June, 11.00, Scotland Development / U21 v Wales, Glasgow National Hockey Centre

Spectator Entry

Entry for all spectators at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre will be free of charge.
En Croute will be open for the purchase of snacks, teas, coffees, soft drinks and alcohol.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Jr preparatory camp starts on 8th June

New Delhi: The Preparatory Camp of the Indian Junior Men National Coaching Camp starts at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi on 11th June 2015. The camp is for training young players for the upcoming Men’s Junior Asian Cup 2015 in Malaysia and the FIH Junior World Cup 2016 (Men) 2016 in New Delhi.

Forty-Eight Core Probables will be part of the coaching camp starting 11th June 2015, where they will work on their skills and raise their game for international competitions. Fifteen new players were identified from the recently concluded 5th Hockey India National Championships on the basis of their consistent performance and technical skills and which gives them a chance to feature in the Junior Men International team.

After one week’s training session of the camp, the top 33 core probable’s will be selected who will further train under Coach Harendra Singh and aim for a spot in the national squad who will play in the FIH Junior World Cup 2016 (Men) in New Delhi and Junior Men Asia Cup 2015 in Malaysia, to be held from14th to 22nd November 2015.

After their consistent performance during the National Championship, Midfielder Imran Khan, Vikrajit Singh, Vivek Sagar and Somaiah Kuppanda will feature in the camp. From the Forwards, names like Dharamvir Yadav, Gurjant Singh, Ajmer Singh and Nitesh Kiro will get a chance to showcase their talent under Indian Junior Men Coach Harendra Singh.

The young players have gained a significant experience from the recently concluded Hockey India National Championships where all the players contested neck-to-neck for the top honour. The National Championship provided the best platform where the young hockey players showcased their best skills and adaptability to play with various strategies against different teams.

Commenting on the new faces, who will be part of the camp, Roelant Oltmans, Director High Performance, Hockey India said, “The young boys showed talent and capability of playing under tough competition during the recently culminated National Championships. The tournament was very fruitful for the players as they experienced a high-intense atmosphere during the tournament and various strategies against different teams. We kept a close eye on each of the player and monitored their development. We picked the best among them who have the skills to participate at international-level competition. The preparatory camp will be another opportunity for these young players where they will work under National Coaches. They will leave new skills and enhance their capabilities of adapting better strategies. We are looking forward to working with these young generation of players.”

The FIH Junior World Cup 2016 (Men) tournament will be held in New Delhi from 01 to 11 December 2016. The Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2015 will be held in Malaysia from 14 to 22 November 2015.

The List of 48 Junior Men Players


1 Pankaj Kumar Rajak
2 Suraj Karkera
3 Jugraj Singh
4 Subodh Tirkey
5 Vikas Dahiya
6 Karan Thakur
7 Yash Kumar
8 Krishan B Pathak
9 Syed Naseenuddin Shahbaz


10 Abhishek Pratap Singh
11 Anand Lakra
12 Dipsan Tirkey
13 Gurinder Singh
14 Harmanpreet Singh
15 Jarmanpreet Singh
16 Nilam Sanjeep Xess
17 Varun Kumar


18 Vikrajit Singh
19 Abhay Ekka
20 Ajay Yadav
21 Baljeet Singh Boparai
22 Imran Khan
23 Manpreet
24 Nilakanta Sharma
25 Prakash Barla
26 Rajat Sharma
27 Santa Singh
28 Simranjeet Singh
29 Sumit
30 Harjeet Singh
31 Vivek Sagar
32 Somaiah Kuppanda.


33 Gurjant Singh
34 Pawan Kumar
35 Sumit Kumar
36 Sumit Toppo
37 Raushan Kumar Paswan
38 Jamma Majhi
39 Ajit Kumar Pandey
40 Armaan Qureshi
41 Mohd Nizamuddin
42 Parvinder Singh
43 Rajant
44 Dharamvir Yadav
45 Raju Pal
46 Ajmer Singh
47 Nitesh Kiro
48 Ajit Pandit.


Indian hockey colts' preparatory camp begins on June 8

NEW DELHI: Indian hockey colts will kickstart their preparations for this year's men's Junior Asian Cup in Malaysia and next year's FIH Junior World Cup with a preparatory camp at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here, starting June 8.

A total of 48 core probables will be part of the preparatory camp. Fifteen new players have been inducted into the core probables following their impressive outings at the recently-concluded fifth Hockey India National Championships.

After a week, the list will be pruned down to 33 core probables, who will further train under the watchful eyes of chief coach Harendra Singh.

The 33 core probables will then fight for a spot in the national squad that will feature in the 2016 FIH Junior World Cup in New Delhi from December 1-16 and Junior Men Asia Cup 2015 in Malaysia, to be held from November 14 to 22.

The new faces to feature in the camp are midfielder Imran Khan, Vikrajit Singh, Vivek Sagar and Somaiah Kuppanda, who have impressed all and sundry with their performances in the national championships.

Commenting on the new inclusions in the camp, Hockey India's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans said: "The young boys showed talent and capability of playing under tough competition during the recently-culminated National Championships. We kept a close eye on each of the player and monitored their development. We picked the best among them who have the skills to participate at an international level competition.

"The preparatory camp will be another opportunity for these young players."

List of 48 junior core probables:

Goalkeepers: Pankaj Kumar Rajak, Suraj Karkera, Jugraj Singh, Subodh Tirkey, Vikas Dahiya, Karan Thakur, Yash Kumar, Krishan B Pathak, Syed Naseenuddin Shahbaz.

Defenders: Abhishek Pratap Singh, Anand Lakra, Dipsan Tirkey, Gurinder Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Varun Kumar.

Midfielders: Vikrajit Singh, Abhay Ekka, Ajay Yadav, Baljeet Singh Boparai, Imran Khan, Manpreet, Nilakanta Sharma, Prakash Barla, Rajat Sharma, Santa Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Sumit, Harjeet Singh, Vivek Sagar, Somaiah Kuppanda.

Forwards: Gurjant Singh, Pawan Kumar, Sumit Kumar, Sumit Toppo, Raushan Kumar Paswan, Jamma Majhi, Ajit Kumar Pandey, Armaan Qureshi, Mohd Nizamuddin, Parvinder Singh, Rajant, Dharamvir Yadav, Raju Pal, Ajmer Singh, Nitesh Kiro, Ajit Pandit.

The Times of India

Forced to quit hockey, she returns as umpire

GURGAON: Marriage at an early age forced her to quit her career as a state-level hockey player in 1999 and shattered her dream of playing at the international level. But her passion for the game motivated her to restart her career in the sport as an umpire in 2006.

Nine years on, she has been selected to officiate in the 28th South-East Asian Women Hockey Tournament to be held in Singapore from June 6 to June 14. Meet Nirmala Dagar, now 34, a resident of Patel Nagar in old Gurgaon, and a mother of two.

Dagar has to her credit a history of officiating many national and international women hockey tournaments, including Asia Cup in 2007, 2012 Asian Hockey Champions trophy, Hockey World League 1 and Hockey World League 2 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Born and brought up in the city, Dagar played as a state-level hockey player for Haryana and Delhi until 1999. She had been participating in national-level tournaments since her school days. However, she had to give up her career in the sport as she got married at an early age of 18.

"Due to some personal issues, I had to give in to my parents' demands and got married at 18. I had to quit hockey soon after. However, after seven years (in 2006), I started again as an umpire," she says.

Dagar had dreamt of representing India at the international level. "In 2006, my coach encouraged me to take up umpiring as a career, which may help me achieve success at the international level. I am glad that my dreams have come true," she says, adding, "My husband encouraged me to re-start my career in hockey. Now, my aim is not just to do extremely well in the field of umpiring, but also to encourage more and more girls in the city to play and excel in the sport."

Roshini Devi, district sports officer, said, "We are proud of Dagar's success. She has been my student for a long time. It was disheartening for us when she left hockey and couldn't even pursue her graduation."

She added, "We, therefore, guided her to take up umpiring as a career, as no degree or diploma is required for pursuing a career in umpiring. One just needs to have a good understanding of rules and regulations in the game, which comes through experience only."

While Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia will participate in the women's tournament, Denmark, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are to compete in the men's tournament.

The Times of India

Gryphon Hockey new sponsor of Field Hockey Canada

Field Hockey Canada and Perth-based Gryphon Hockey are pleased to announce a new 3-year sponsorship agreement. From grassroots youth development through to high performance programs, athletes will now have access to one of the world’s market-leading brands.

“Gryphon is an innovative, athlete-centered company and supporter of hockey worldwide,” says Jeff Sauvé, Chief Executive Officer of Field Hockey Canada. “In addition to financial support, the Gryphon partnership ensures coast-to-coast access to a wide range of sticks and equipment from a respected global leader in field hockey equipment.”

The agreement between the two organizations will also include the creation of an online store, where Gryphon products can be purchased by the general Canadian field hockey community.

“Canada is an emerging field hockey market, and we are exited to be part of Canada’s continued rise within the international game,” says Jonathon Petterson, CEO of Gryphon Hockey. “By putting the very best equipment in the hands of both current and rising Canadian stars, we hope to play a key role in the continued success of Canadian field hockey on the international stage.”

“We are proud to be affiliated with Field Hockey Canada, and welcome them to the Gryphon family.”

In addition to athlete sponsorship and product access for the local community, members of the Canadian National Teams have joined the Gryphon "G-Team" as ambassadors of the brand and sport in Canada and Internationally.

“I have played hockey with a variety of different sticks and Gryphon's motto is definitely true: nothing hits harder,” says Women’s National Team defender and new G-Team team member Danielle Hennig. “Playing against the best in the world you need a stick that you feel confident in and can not only keep up with the demands of international hockey but possibly give you an edge - Gryphon is exactly that for me.”

“I'm happy to be an ambassador for such a quality product which I believe in.”

The online store will launch in the near future, while new and existing G-Team members are now in active training and competition, on their road to qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Successful JPOL Coming to a Close

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The US Junior Premier Outdoor League (JPOL) is preparing to crown the 2015 champions in all four regions, Pennsylvania (R-5), New Jersey (R-6), Chesapeake (R-7) and Midwest (R-9/10), bringing another successful year to a close.

The championships start this weekend on June 6, as Lehigh University will host the R-5 championships, Princeton University the R-6 U-16 championship, Monmouth University R-6 U-19 championship and Garrison Forest High School R-7 championships. The Midwest Region R-9-10 will be held next weekend, June 13-14, at New Trier High School.

Heading into the championship weekends, here is a recap of the season:

Region 5 (Pennsylvania): In the U-16 division, there were many contested battles of top ranked teams. Last weekend, East Coast FH claimed control as the top ranked team. Xcalibur FHC and Alley Cats are both one game within reach of the championship and Horizon FHC is two games within reach. The U-16 division is playing a double round robin format where the winner will be declared at the conclusion based on points. All the teams have two games remaining meaning any combination of win-loss-tie can change the outcome of who is crowned the champion.

The U-19 divisions, teams will compete in a knock-out for the championship. Xcalibur FHC holds the top seed with an 8-1-1 record and will play the 4th seeded Philly HC in the first semifinal game. In the second semifinal match, 2nd seeded Alley Cats will play 3rd seeded FSC. All clubs improved tremendously throughout the course of the season.

Region 6 (New Jersey): At the conclusion of pool play, three points separate the top three teams in both divisions. New Heights and Princeton FHC are at the top of the U-16 and U-19 divisions heading into the championships. Total Dutch, Jersey Intensity FH and last year’s U-19 champion FC United will be competing for the title.

Region 7 (Chesapeake): Rivalries are the norm in Region 7 as it will be a battle to see who takes home the crown in both divisions. With a double round robin format, the battle for the U-16 title is between Freedom HKY and GottaLoveIt who are tied for first with 207 points each.

After pool play in the U-19 division, Freedom HKY and The Gaels are the top seeds. The other two clubs vying for the championship are Spark and GottaLoveIt.

Region 9/10 (Midwest): In their inaugural JPOL year and having to travel many miles and hours to compete each weekend, the Midwest Region looks to crown their first ever U-16 and U-19 champions.

Playing a double round robin format, the U-16 division will play on Saturday, June 13. At the top of the point board is Pinnacle FH who is ahead of Windy City FH by 3 points and has already clinched a spot in the semifinals. The opponents are still to be determined.

Windy City FH leads the way in the U-19 division, but only by a one point margin. FH Life and Aim FH both have 15 points followed by Milwaukee FHC with 13. The club with the most points on Sunday, June 14 will host the championship trophy.

"The Junior Premier Outdoor League is one of the top junior leagues in the country and promotes a high level of competition throughout the spring,” said Shawn Hindy, USA Field Hockey Board of Directors Chair. “Each weekend of games you can find some of the best junior hockey players, umpires and coaches working together and improving their field hockey. It is also great to watch as a college coach, fan and lover of the great sport of field hockey. Hope to see you there! "

This Junior Premier Hockey league is played annually during the months of April and May with the championships held on the first or second weekend in June. For a complete championship schedule, locations and directions for each region, click here.

Should your club be interested in participating in the 2016 JPOL or need additional information about this year’s event, go to www.JuniorPremierHockey.com or contact Rachael Milne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Nigel Traverso at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
About JPOL
JPOL is a USA Field Hockey Sanctioned Event. Participation in the JPOL provides athletes and coaches with a high level of competition on a regular basis and hopefully preparation for the Regional Club Championship, National Club Champions, National Hockey Festival, as well as any and all domestic and international competitions.

USFHA media release

Women's Sport Week: Back to Hockey sessions in Doncaster

Doncaster HC Back to Hockey

Doncaster Hockey Club is part of an ever-growing number of clubs offering a variety of different ways to play hockey to the local community.  The club are one of over 200 taking part in the latest Back to Hockey campaign which has already allowed 1,000 players take part in the sport. Due to player demand Doncaster Hockey Club run regular Back to Hockey sessions right throughout the year.

For many busy parents fitting in sport alongside other commitments can be a challenge.  Doncaster Hockey Club has the perfect answer with their Back to Hockey sessions being a family affair. Women in Sport suggest in their 'Sway to Play' research that encouraging friends and family to take part in sport can have a really positive influence. Doncaster have put this into practice by encouraging their junior players to invite and attend sessions with their parents.

Andrea Cassidy who recently joined Back to Hockey sessions said:
“I used to play hockey at school from the age of 9 to 19 and loved it! My daughter Lucy started playing at Doncaster in 2013 and I heard about Back to Hockey from one of the coaches.  It took me eighteen months to be brave enough to go along.”  she added “The game is a lot faster now as I last played on grass. I enjoy the fact that it’s fun and I’m getting fitter. “

Kris Lomas another Back to Hockey player said “I played on grass hockey pitches at school in South Africa and really enjoyed it but stopped playing for about seven years.  My son started playing hockey and nagged me to start playing again.”

“Back to Hockey sessions are fun, sociable and not too serious. It’s great to play with different ages too. It’s just good fun! I like the fact you can turn up when you want and it’s not like formal training.”

Becky Bedford who has two young girls at the club said “I wanted to do something we could do as a family to keep fit together. I enjoy playing team sports but hockey has always been my favourite.  I love the fast pace of the game. Back to Hockey allows me to play a game with a variety of people, all different abilities.”

England Hockey Board Media release

Women's Sport Week: McCallin takes it all in her stride

Shona McCallin in action for GB vs Japan in 2015

In the fourth instalment of our Women in Sport Week features, we take some time out to talk to rising star Shona McCallin about her hockey career and her role models.  

Shona McCallin’s rise to international hockey has taken in an interesting path. She started out, like so many other players, running round a hockey pitch at an early age to burn off some of her energy. McCallin also played football to a good standard and at 14 was faced with a choice between hockey and football. Football’s loss was most certainly hockey’s gain and she went on to captain England U21s to fourth place at the Junior World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany, in 2013. McCallin also went to study in the Netherlands, undertaking an International Business degree at Tilburg University. Whilst she was over in Holland she also played for MOP under the watchful eye of the great Toon Siepman, a man for whom she has great respect:

“His tactical and technical knowledge is unbelievable, He really helped me when I was out there and I wouldn’t be the player I am without having the chance of working under him.”

On her return from the Netherlands, McCallin has slotted into the England and Great Britain set up and her energetic style and excellent technical skills have ensured she has quickly caught the eye at the top level. For some, the transition from club to international level would be a daunting one, but McCallin seems to have taken it all in her stride:

“I don’t feel I’ve changed a great number of things in terms of how I go about my day and how I do things. I think as I’ve been thrown into the international stage a little the publicity and spotlight has increased so you need to be aware of that a little bit more, but I don’t think there are massive changes, it’s just about going about your day-to-day business in a professional way.”

Shona McCallin drives forwards for GB vs Japan in 2015

Despite her young years, McCallin exudes a sense of calm; she seems to have her feet on the ground and portrays an air of determination. With her international career still in its early stages she says she feels it is “too early" to consider herself a role model, but perhaps that is something that will change with time:

“Hopefully if I have decent career, perhaps in 5-10 years time maybe I can look back and think I was a role model but I’m still young and I don’t have many caps in comparison to others, so I’m still learning and trying to improve.”

Although she may not see herself in those terms, she is aware that in the Great Britain training squad, there are a host of players who can lay a genuine claim to role model status, something McCallin relishes experiencing on a daily basis:

“Every day I come to training and I look around at this group and everyone is a role model in their own different way. There are some experienced players and you look to them for leadership and guidance but I look to other players for different qualities, too. There’s so much energy, enthusiasm, tactical awareness and technical ability, they’re all inspirational in their own way which is very special.”

With the No24 selected to play in the World League Semi-Final next week, with the possibility of Olympic Qualification as an incentive, her international career could well be heading on the right path. As parting shot, McCallin gives her advice to young, aspiring athletes hoping to follow a similar journey:

“The international route to sport is not a smooth one. You have to keep focusing on your end goal. It’s all about simplifying the process and taking each day as it comes, rather than being overwhelmed by it all. You can expect some highs and some lows but you have to just take it as it comes and work with those experiences to make you a stronger and better player.”

McCallin is certainly taking to the challenges she faces with relish, and will surely go from strength to strength. Perhaps that role model status is closer that she thinks.

England Hockey Board Media release

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