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News for 06 June 2015

All the news for Saturday 6 June 2015

Netherlands and Germany entered the stage in Buenos Aires

Canada and New Zealand to maintain a perfect record after Day 2

FIH/Frank Uijlenbroek

Day 2 at the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires saw Canada walking away with a 3-0 victory over Austria putting them into a good position to reach a top four finish in pool B. Germany entered the stage with a fine 4-1 win against Spain.

Earlier, the Black Sticks had grabbed their second win thanks to a narrow 2-1 over Japan to remain top of pool A. The Netherlands started their HWL campaign with a 4-0 victory against Egypt.

On Saturday Korea are taking on the Netherlands with Japan playing Egypt in pool A.  Pool B will see Germany face their rivals Austria with host nation Argentina meeting Canada.

Match 5: New Zealand v Japan 2-1 (2-0)

The Black Sticks grabbed their second win at the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires. Steve Edwards and Simon Child scored the goals in an entertaining afternoon match that was played in beautiful condition. As Korea are not playing today, New Zealand will remain top of pool A. The Samurais suffered their second defeat in Buenos Aires after losing the opening match 4-2 to Korea.

In today’s encounter, it took the world’s number 7 team just three minutes to get on the scoreboard. Steve Edwards (4’) scored after a brilliant interchange between Blair Tarrant and Arun Panchia. Team captain Simon Child (15’) doubled the lead from a penalty corner. Japan pulled one back through Kenji Kitazato (59’) who scored his second goal in this competition.
Match 6: Netherlands v Egypt 4-0 (1-0)

The Netherlands started their Argentina Hockey World League campaign with a 4-0 win over Egypt. The teams had never met before in an FIH competition.

The world’s number 20 kept the match open for quite some time but they eventually could not avoid the world’s number 2 getting the better of them, as Bob de Voogd (26’) finished a solo run with an unstoppable strike.

Egypt defended well to keep the Netherlands from scoring again soon after but the Dutch persevered and doubled the lead thanks to Seve van Ass (33’). Mink van der Weerden’s (51’) penalty corner goal and another strike by de Voogd (58’) sealed the 4-0 victory for the current Olympic and World Cup Silver medallists.

Match 7: Canada v Austria 3-0 (1-0)

Mark Pearson, Devohn Norohnha Teixiera and Matthew Sarmento were the goal scoring heroes for Canada in their encounter with Austria. The Maple Leafs walked away with a 3-0 victory putting them into a good position to reach a top four finish in pool B.

While Canada are unbeaten after two matches, Austria suffered their second defeat after losing 3-0 to Argentina on Wednesday. Mark Pearson opened the scoring on 29 minutes, firing home from the circle line, though this goal had to be confirmed by the video umpire.

Canada were the stronger side throughout the second half, adding two more goals.  Devohn Norohnha Teixiera (44’) defeated the Austrian goalie in a one-on-one before
Matthew Sarmento finished a solo run with 30 seconds to play.

Match 8: Spain v Germany 1-4 (0-1)

The Olympic champions from Germany produced a fine 4-1 win over Spain in their first match in the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final. Germany took the lead through a penalty corner goal scored by Moritz Fürste (13’). The Spanish defense focussed on Christopher Zeller who laid the ball off for Fürste to flick.

The Olympic champions gained good control of the match but failed to add more goals in the first half. Germany dominated the third quarter, with goals from Linus Butt (36’), Mats Grambusch (38’) and Christopher Rühr (44’) extending the lead to 4-0.

The fourth quarter saw Spain fighting hard to get on the scoreboard. They managed to eventually break through the German defense when Alvaro Iglesias (56’) converted a penalty corner. 

#HWL2015 #RoadToRio

FIH site

Aiming high at Semi-Final in Buenos Aires

FIH speak to top player from Canada, Egypt, Japan and Austria about their experience so far at the Hockey World League Semi-Final event in Buenos Aires.

Egypt Captain Amr Elhady (FIH/Frank Uijlenbroek)

For some of the lower-ranked teams, the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Buenos Aires are the pinnacle of their achievements so far but, as FIH.ch learnt, these are players that mean business. We spoke to Amr Elhady (Egypt), Scott Tupper (Canada), Kenji Kitazato (Japan) and Benjamin Stanzl (Austria) about their experience in Buenos Aires, how it feels to play the top seeds in the world, what they can learn from the higher-ranked teams and what the event means for hockey in their country.

FIH.ch: How do you feel having played against one of the top teams in the world?

Amr Elhady: This is a very good preparation for the Africa Cup held in Egypt later this year. We hope to beat our rivals South Africa to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Scott Tupper: This is hugely important for us. We want to get better by playing the top nations in the world. The last time we were in the same tournament as Germany and the Netherlands was at the 2010 World Cup. To participate in those tournaments more frequently, we need to beat the teams ahead of us to move forward.

Kenji Kitazato: This is a good chance and a good opportunity for us to develop our game.
Benjamin Stanzl: This is something very special. We are looking forward to playing all these games; playing against Germany or Argentina in the pool stage is definitely something special.

FIH.ch: What can you learn from this type of experience?

Elhady: Sure, we can learn a lot. This is why we are here.

Tupper: We probably don’t have the skills to do the same as some of the top nations do but we can take some aspects which we think can be incorporated to our game. Hopefully this will pay off for us and we will be successful.

Kitazato: The top nations have very good skills and they are tough to play, they also have good tactics and, of course, we like to improve by playing them.

Stanzl: Definitely. We are doing a lot of video analysis and especially the younger players in our team can benefit from watching what the top nations do. We are happy to play at this level.

FIH.ch: What does this mean for hockey in your country?

Elhady: This is very important for us and also for our federation because it gives us more exposure and experience against the top countries.

Tupper: It is very important for us, too. In Canada, funding is usually dictated by how you do in the world rankings, so good results in tournaments such as the World League Semi-Final would potentially mean more funding for our sport. Canada is very professional sport-dominated. If we can get Canada back into the Olympics we probably can get more kids playing the game, new sponsors will hop on board and we can develop the game back home.

Kitazato: It is a great experience for us being here. Back home people are following what we do here, getting an Olympic ticket would be a huge success because it would make hockey even more popular in Japan.

Stanzl: The support we receive from home is phenomenal. The hockey fans in Austria are following us, I am sure the sport of hockey in Austria can benefit from our experience.

#HWL2015 #RoadToRio

FIH site

Qualify for Olympics again: Coach tells team

Harpreet Kaur Lamba

Having qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games, India have the liberty of approaching the upcoming World Hockey League semi-finals in Belgium with the aim of fine-tuning their skills and working on areas of weakness.

But coach Paul van Ass has set a new target for his wards saying it "would be good to qualify once again", asking them to be at their best in the event that will Australia, Great Britain, Belgium and Pakistan in action besides others.

"I have asked them to qualify (for the Rio Games) once again which means the aim is to finish among the top three. If we manage to do it again, it will prove that we have done it the right way," said van Ass here on Friday.

A lot of emphasis is on the defence structure with the Dutchman trying out different strategies and positions. "The problem is that we do not close the total space. That is what we have changed now and it looks good. But will it stand under real pressure in a big tournament? I am yet to see that. People tend to go to old habits under pressure, so I am working in that area."

Leary’s Rose

van Ass, who guided Holland to a silver each in the Olympics and the World Cup, is known for his novel ideas. These days, the 54-year old has drawn on American psychologist Timothy Leary’s Theory of Rose, that dwells on a person’s behaviour under different circumstances, and is teaching his boys the same.

Explains van Ass, "There are four areas in this: above, below, opposed, together. It is about how people relate to each other and react. Leary’s theory is very important in human relationships and in teamwork. Sometimes, the sending is not good and sometimes, the reaction is not good, which can lead to either aggressive and competent behaviour or a co-operative and dependent one.

"You have to make the players understand that when you communicate (on the pitch), both sending and receiving is important and that you are together. It is more than the game, more than just scoring a goal... it’s actually a way to learn to do something special."

Rupinder in for injured Raghu

Drag-flicker Rupinderpal Singh, who was dropped last week, was handed another chance when a hamstring injury ruled V.R. Raghunath out.

van Ass, however, has decided to field the 24-year-old in a new position - on the flanks - from his original role of a central defender.

Said Rupinderpal, "I was not expecting to be part of the team like this. Last week was a bit of shock for me when I was dropped. But I take this role as a new opportunity.

"The coach has asked me to work on agility and positional play and I will utilise the tournament to prove myself yet again."

Youngsters Satbir Singh and Devindar Walmiki will replace S.V. Sunil (shin) and Kothajit Singh (ankle), both out with injuries.

The Asian Age

Injury scare for Indians, coach says team is relax

s2h team

With the Indian side already qualified for next year’s Rio Olympics, the Indian men would look to develop mental aspect of the game, in the upcoming FIH World Hockey League semis in Belgium. The Sardar Singh-led-side looked in a relaxed mood while interacting with media on the eve of departure to Belgium.

Indians are facing some injury foes with lead drag-flicker V Raghunath missing out due to injury along with striker SV Sunil and defender Kothajit Singh. Though, coach Paul Van and skipper Sardar are not worried of their absence.

Defender Rupinderpal Singh who earlier missed out on the Belgium ticket, will replace Raghunath on the defensive duties along with his power-bags draggies. According to coach Paul, Rupinderpal will not be seen playing in the center defence in this tournament.

“I am seeing him in another position on the pitch. He will not play in the center, he will play on the sides. Will see how he plays there. I am looking at more mobility in the center”. Coach Paul Van said.

While Devender Walmiki and defender Satbeer Singh will get in the squad for SV Sunil and Kothajit Singh. Another midfielder, Gurbaj Singh, had suffered a fractured nose after being hit by a ball around the same time, but is fit to play.

Van Ass said injuries are part and parcel of the game.

"It will always happen. It happens when you push the level and intensity up while training. When you raise level it is severe on the body. But I take it as it is, key players are missing but it's also an opportunity for others. If one is missing, the other can step up," he said.

Birender Lakra, who was recently named as player of the year, said there was "no pressure on the team" since they were playing well.

"Under the new training structure, the players are being trained on different positions. It has been a learning period, like man-to-man marking. We have to adjust to new structure," he said.


Raghunath loss is Rupinder's gain

s2h team

Lead Indian drag-flicker V Raghunath picked his hamstring just before the all important FIH World Hockey League semifinals starting June 20th in Belgium. Raghunath has been India’s leading drag-flicker in recent times. He has scored consistently and developed as an efficient hand in Sardar Singh-led-side.

Raghunath had an brilliant home series against the Japanese side, scoring three goals in four matches and guided India to a 3-0 series win. Not only his drag-flicks, he’s been a live wire in defense and very quick on his feet making combinations through the middle.

But what came as disappointment for Raghunath, can be termed a important lifeline for the fellow Indian defender and a world class drag-flicker Rupinderpal Singh. Once a mainstay in the Indian side Rupinder was not included in the first squad announced last month and was shown the door for his poor performance on the field. Coach Paul Van then has opted for V Raghunath as a lone drag-flicker and young Jasjit Singh Khullar for his aggressive defensive work. Well luck has it say as Rupinderpal is back in the scheme of things again. With Raghunath’s injury and he been the only penalty corner specialist in the original squad, it was supposed to be someone with experience and who better then Rupinder.

Though coach Paul Van Ass has already made it clear Rupinderpal would not be playing in his normal centre position which is now been occupied by Khullar. He might be seen playing in sides as per team demands.

Rupinder on the other hand is happy and simply glad to be back in the squad, “I did not want to come into the team like this. On one hand I am sorry for Raghunath because I only came into the team because he was injured. But I also want to prove that the decision to drop me wasn’t the correct one. I have to prove that I am good enough, I have to be mentally prepared since playing from a different position is difficult. If I miss a penalty corner, it will add to the pressure on me,” he said.

Well it remains to be seen if the lanky defender and drag-flicker can catch on to this opportunity and make merry ways or goes down fighting.


Walmiki brothers in Indian squad

Ritu Sejwal

NEW DELHI: Mumbai forward Devender Walmiki was included in the Indian team on Friday for the Hockey World League (HWL) Semifinal starting on June 20 in Antwerp, Belgium.

Devender, who replaced the injured winger SV Sunil, joined his better-known brother Yuvraj in the team, making it a rare instance of two siblings getting a chance to represent the national team.

The most well-known pair of brothers to have represented India together was that of the great Dhyan Chand and Roop Singh in the 1930s.

"It's a good feeling as my younger brother used to follow me during my training. There is a lot of excitement at home. I have told him to just go out there and enjoy. He should just play his game," Yuvraj told TOI.

In another significant development, drag flicker Rupinder Pal Singh was called in for an injured V Raghunath who has suffered a hamstring injury. Satbeer also got a call as a replacement for Kothajit Singh, who is nursing an old injury picked during the recent series against Japan.

"It was sad (being dropped) and now that I'm back, I will stay positive. I didn't want to be included in the team for an injured player (and friend). I was already preparing myself for the next tournament," Rupinder said.

Rupinder, who has been playing in the centre for long, will be tested in a different position in Antwerp.

"All I am thinking of is proving myself and working as per the coach's expectations and game plan. I was playing on the sweep but will have to mentally prepare and work on my weaknesses. After all, it's not easy to leave your position and get accustomed to a new one in a short span," he added.

Coach Pau van Ass believes that the team has to get used to such situations. "Things like this always happen ahead of tournaments. We go through high-intensity training sessions and raising the level can sometimes be severe on the body. But none of them was injured due to training," he said.

"Rupinder will not play in the position that he is used to. He will play on the flanks now. I am play on the flanks now. I am looking at more mobility in the centre. We have to live with this fact that some players will be injured. At the same time, it gives opportunity to other players to step up," he said.

Talking about the tournament, Van Ass said: "We have four good practice matches before the start of the tournament. After that I will have enough information to fine-tune the system."

The Times of India

Hockey team to focus on mental strength at World League Semifinal

NEW DELHI: As there is no pressure of Olympic qualification on the players, the Indian hockey team will focus on the mental aspect of the game at the World League Semifinal Round to prepare for the bigger challenges in the future.

The team looked in a relaxed mood on the eve of the departure for Belgium and despite the absence of key players -- V Raghunath, SV Sunil, Kothajit Singh -- head coach Paul van Ass and captain Sardar Singh are not overtly worried.

While Sunil, Gurbaz and Kothajit were ruled out recently, the coach on Friday informed that Raghunath has also been ruled out after injuring his hamstring during practice.

Rupinderpal Singh will take place of Raghunath while Devender Walmiki and Satbeer are the other replacements in the team. Rupinder though will not play in his usual position from the centre but will be tried from the lines on both the sides. The good news is that Gurbaz has started practicing and will not miss the tournament.

Van Ass is applying the Leary Rose's model, which focuses on interpersonal relationship between people, to help the players understand each other better.

"Finishing is like defence. We have to make sure that we have a fair chance and that's a team effort. You can train for that but biggest part is execution. That's a mental aspect. Of course we are working on that. you have to grab tiny chances that can make a big difference," Van Ass said ahead of a practice session at Major Dhyan Chand National stadium.

The coach said that the "real test" for the side would be the final round to be held in India.

Van Ass said injuries are part and parcel of the game.

"It will always happen. It happens when you push the level and intensity up while training. When you raise level it is severe on the body. But I take it as it is, key players are missing but it's also an opportunity for others. If one is missing, the other can step up," he said.

The coach said the players have "realized" their mistakes in the defence.

"We need to close the space. We have changed (tactics) and we have to work on that. We are doing practice but we have to see how it works under pressure."

Rupinder, who was initially dropped, said it will be a challenge for him to adapt to the new position.

"I did not want to come back to team like this. I feel for Raghunath. But now I have to prove that I am good enough. I have to be mentally prepared since playing from a different position is difficult. If I miss penalty corner, it will add to pressure on me," he said.

Skipper Sardar said injuries to a few players can open the door for other players.

"Injuries are there but we want to try new players. The replacement players are doing well. But still there are areas we need to work on. Fitness is there but we have to use our mind during those 60 minutes. We will apply (new methods) in this tournament," he said.

Birender Lakra, who was recently named as player of the year, said there was "no pressure on the team" since they were playing well.

"Under the new training structure, the players are being trained on different positions. It has been a learning period, like man-to-man marking. We have to adjust to new structure," he said.

The Times of India

Irishman David Ames set for Great Britain tournament debut

Highly-rated midfielder included in Bobby Crutchley's 18-strong party for trip to Antwerp for the World League, doubling up as Olympic qualifiers

Centre of attention: Beeston players celebrate with club team-mate David Ames Photo: JOSH DIXON

David Ames, a player described as "phenomenal" by Ashley Jackson, will face his former country Ireland in this month's World League semi-final after being selected to make his Great Britain tournament debut.

The 25-year-old has spent the last three years in the international wilderness after declaring his intention to switch allegiance and having completed the necessary qualifying period he finally turned out for GB in two matches against Argentina three weeks ago.

He has now been named in Bobby Crutchley's 18-strong party - which includes Iain Lewers and Mark Gleghorn who made a similar switch a few years ago - for the trip to Antwerp for the World League.

The tournament, where Ames will come up against his former Irish team-mates, offers the first chance of Olympic qualification.

"David's trained with us for a while so he's settled in nicely," said Crutchley.

"He's rarely flustered so he's been very impressive in that respect but it'll be a big tournament for him.

"He's a quality player and it certainly makes us stronger having him in the squad."

Ames is one of four changes to the squad which finished seventh in December's Champions Trophy, with fellow Beeston club-mate Harry Martin, Wimbledon goalkeeper James Bailey and Reading's Dan Shingles all returning.

There are six Olympic qualification places up for grabs via the World League, which concludes in November, so a top-three place in Belgium is GB's top priority.

"You try to ignore it but you can't because Olympic qualification is so important," added Crutchley.

"This tournament is massive for us because the Europeans (which England host in August) will be such a difficult competition to win.

"You can't really rely on your continental championships (to qualify) so we've faced up to the fact that there'll be pressure especially in the quarter-finals.

"If we can win that we are almost certain to be in the Olympics. If we don't, we have a big task to find a way through."

Squad: Pinner (GK) Catlin, Fox, Lewers, Middleton, (all Holcombe); Bailey (GK), Brogdon, Hoare, Weir (all Wimbledon); Ames, Dixon, Martin, Ward (all Beeston); Gleghorne, Griffiths, Condon, Jackson (all E Grinstead); Shingles (Reading).

The Telegraph

Six Racing players pursue Olympic dream

Six Racing Club de France were confirmed as part of the extended French World League 3 selection in Antwerp as part of their Olympic qualification pursuit.

The six sky-blue and white players are Corentin Saunier, Christophe Peters-Deutz, François Scheefer, Jean-Laurent Kieffer, Olivier Sanchez and Simon Martin-Brisac for a couple of pre-tournament games against China, India and Belgium this week.

Plenty of other players in the panel bring Euro Hockey League experience with Saint Germain trio Martin Zylbermann, Guillaume Samson and Francois Goyet in the mix.

Of their non-France based players, Atletic Terrassa’s Gaspard Baumgartern, Waterloo Ducks’ Charles Masson, Victor Charlet and Viktor Lockwood played in this season’s EHL.

The competition itself gets underway on June 20th where they will play India, Australia, Poland and Pakistan in the group phase.

In the same competition, Ireland are in the other group with hosts Belgium, Great Britain, making up a large European contingent.

Currently in Argentina, Germany got off to a great start in their WL3 campaign, beating Spain 4-1 with goals from Moritz Fuerste, Linus Butt, Mats Grambusch and Christopher Ruhr.

Austria fell to consecutive 3-0 losses to Argentina and Canada while the Netherlands beat Egypt 4-0 with OZ’s Bob de Voogd netting twice.

Euro Hockey League media release

Scotland in comfortable win against Wales

Scotland vice-captain Nikki Kidd opened the scoring for Scotland against Wales. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Scotland Senior Women began their preparations for this summer’s European Championships with a 3-0 win over Wales at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre this evening.

In the eighth minute, Nikki Kidd was presented with a half-chance on the right hand side of the circle but her shot was easily beaten to safety by Wales’ goalkeeper Rose Thomas.

However, the home side only had to wait sixty seconds longer to break the deadlock, Kidd making no mistake to slide home at the back post to finish off an excellent move involving Vikki Bunce and Fiona Bruce.

Thomas was alive to block a Kidd penalty corner drag-flick two minutes later, before Wales were denied by the Scottish defence twice in quick succession from the short corner set-piece.

Bruce almost registered her name on the scoresheet in the 14th minute, latching onto a long cross from Aileen Davies, only for her shot to career narrowly wide of the left hand upright.

Susan McGilveray had a shot saved at a penalty corner two minutes before the interval but with no further goalmouth action the two sides went into half-time with Scotland retaining a slender advantage.

In the 37th minute, Bunce was on the receiving end of a cynical challenge inside the circle, but much to the chagrin of the home team and Head Coach Gordon Shepherd on the touchline, only a penalty corner was awarded.

Kidd’s subsequent drag-flick attempt was a comfortable height for Thomas and she made a simple save to the right of the goal.

Home pressure was eventually rewarded with a second Scotland goal in the 48th minute; a fizzer of a pass from Kareena Marshall was expertly directed by Amy Brodie’s outstretched stick to leave Thomas with no chance of stopping the ball’s path into the corner.

With the match its final throws, Kareena Marshall made sure of a home win, slamming home the ball from a penalty corner in the 58th minute.

The two sides will meet again tomorrow, pushing back at 14.00 at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

Scotland Senior Women: Aileen Davis (Clifton), Alison Howie, Fiona Bruce, Fiona Burnett, Jennifer Eadie, 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).

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Scotland U21s produce encouraging results against strong French side

Scotland U21 squad after their final game in France. Photo Credit: Heather Howie

Scotland U21 Women today returned from a three match series against France this week with some very encouraging performances and results.

Neil Menzies' team were thrown the challenge of taking on a side including several senior players and after a 4-0 loss in the opening game, the Scots demonstrated real improvement, losing 2-1 in the second match, but winning an exciting final game 4-3 last night.

Scotland's goal in the second encounter came from a Heather Howie deflection after short corner drag flick from Jessica Ross.

In the third contest, a hard fought and remarkable victory was clinched following a dramatic comeback from three goals down.

Emma McGregor's field goal just before half-time gave the Scottish side hope after losing three French goals in the first half.

Reverse stick strikes from Karin Belch and Waverley Miller drew the Scots level shortly after the interval, leading to a tense second period that culminated in Claire Hill converting a short corner to hand her side the win.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Women's Sport Week: The Inspirational One

Alex Danson in action against Japan

In the latest of our Women's Sport Week series we talk to England and Great Britain striker Alex Danson about her work with young people in sport and the importance of inspiring the next generation. 

Alex Danson is a familiar face to a lot more people than she probably realises. Not only is she one of the most experienced members of the current squad, with over 200 caps and 80 goals to her name, she is also an athlete mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport, in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust and she is also working with United Learning. Both roles are of huge importance to her:

“I do what I love doing but I’ve always felt it’s a responsibility that comes with what I do, to give something back. I love playing but at the back of mind the one thing I want in the future is to know the next group of people are coming through and playing our sport.” she adds “It wasn’t until I got involved in these projects that I realised how valuable and how transferable some of the skills I have learnt are. Actually it has amazed me what engages a young person and what people find interesting. I feel privileged that I am in a position to be able to pass on that knowledge. I am so proud of my team mates and the positive effect we are able to have on young people.”

Danson has been in the spotlight for a long time, having made her international debut aged 16, however she admits that she was oblivious to the famous faces in the public eye as she was growing up, instead choosing her role models from her family:

“A famous person could have walked past me and I wouldn’t have known. I think that’s something we need to change even now. Female role models should be more visible and more recognisable. It’s hugely important but it’s also important for people to recognise that role models don’t have to be famous people. Mine were my mum and my sister. They are the most generous, time giving people and they’re also influential, determined and strong. They have values that I’ve tried to pass on myself and I hope I’ve been able to do that.”

Alex Danson signs autographs for the fans

With a discussion on visibility of female role models the conversation inevitably turns to media coverage of women’s sport. Whilst the attention women’s sport receives has undoubtedly improved, there is still, as Danson says, a long way to go.

“It’s getting better but there’s so much room for improvement. We’ve had some great coverage from the BBC and Sky and it’s great the women’s cricket and rugby teams have had some spotlight, too. There are aspects of women’s sport out there, but there is such an imbalance. We have to generate crowds in the sports in order to generate the coverage and then we’ll see the benefit. I’ve seen a huge uplift in coverage across my career but there still needs to be more.”

With Danson often touring the country in her various ambassadorial roles, it is fair to say she has developed a keen sense of the sporting landscape for young people across the country. Whilst she loves the sport of hockey and everything it has given her, she is keen to emphasise that there are plenty of choices on offer for aspiring athletes.

“We live in a diverse world and there is not one sport for every person. Physical activity is key for life. I strongly believe that. Not just for enjoyment, but for the physical benefits, the skills and all the health benefits. You can’t achieve that by just pushing a handful of sports. The better the variety available, the more opportunities the young people have, the better the place we’ll be in terms of health, well-being and sport itself. That’d be a marvellous future.”

With that in mind, Danson’s advice to youngsters taking their first steps on the sporting path is simple:

“Give it a go. Don’t be shy. Don’t be nervous and don’t be scared. If you go out and give it your all and don’t be afraid of looking silly you’ll gain far more than if you don’t. Try different things, take a friend along, have a good time and never ever say no to any sporting opportunities.”

England Hockey Board Media release

Govt keen to revive hockey: Pervaiz Rasheed

ISLAMABAD - Federal Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid has said that the government is keen to revive national game hockey and are ready to assist the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) to regain lost hockey glory.

Talking to the media at the closing ceremony of 1st Anwar Feroze Memorial Hockey Tournament here Friday, Pervaiz said: “Hockey is Pakistan's national game and many countries have learnt the game from us during our past golden era. Unfortunately, its standard did suffer during the last 10 to 15 years in the country.”

He said the youth lost the opportunity to play games in grounds during the last 12 to 13 years due to terrorist activities. However, with the success of the operation Zarb-e-Azb, sports activities were being revived in the country. Zimbabwe cricket team's recent tour was a clear manifestation in this regard, he added.

Pervaiz Rashid said international hockey teams would also be invited to play in Pakistan, which would help revive the game. The Pakistani youth had the right to enjoy the play in grounds from which they were deprived due to terrorism.

To a query, he said on the directives of the Prime Minister, funds had been released for the national hockey team. The team management should utilize the same for the development of game and welfare of the players.

He said the government was ready to release more funds for hockey but there were reports in the recent past that the management had spent fewer funds on the development of the game and more for administrative expenses.

He expressed the hope that the administration would adopt austerity and spend funds for revival of the game. The minister said that the development of sports was the responsibility of the government and it would take necessary steps in this regard.

Earlier, he handed over winners’ trophy to the Apex Club who defeated star-studied Al-Abbas Club 7-6 on plenty shot out in the breathtaking final here at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium. Senator Pervaiz Rasheed was the chief guest, while National Press Club (NPC) president Shahryar Khan, PSB DG Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera and other PSB officials and sports lovers were also present there.

The Nation

U.S. Men’s U-21 National Team Announced

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After evaluation during the 2015 California Cup and the Regional High Performance season, a 24-athlete 2015 U.S. Men’s U-21 National Team has been named.

“We have some talented players in the junior ranks who are aspiring to follow in the footsteps of the current senior plays,” said Chris Clements, U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach. “Our regions have been doing a stellar job in increasing the opportunities for boys within their region to compliment what we are able to put together for the junior programs.”

USMNT U-21 Roster:

Doug Allison (Westlake Village, Calif.), Rishi Bhargava (Mountain View , Calif.), Christian Deangelis (Doylestown, Pa.), Jaspreet Gill (Placentia, Calif.), Hamzah Hashmi (Granada Hills, Calif.), Graeme Jackson (Moorpark, Calif.), Stuart Kentwell (Spring City, Pa.), Amar Khokar (Valencia, Calif.), Kai Kokolakis (Wiesbaden, Germany), Ethan LaSala (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Jayce Lewis (Moorpark, Calif.), George McGuigan (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Nate O’Lari (Orange, Mass.), Ajit Pamar (Freemont, Calif.), Walter Pfaff (Johannesburg, South Africa, Keeling Pilaro (Southhampton, N.Y.), Nick Richardson (Kents Hill, Maine), Amandip Sandhu (Sacramento, Calif.), Javieer Singh (Hayward, Calif.), Ryan Torigian (Simi Valley, Calif.), Ruben van Dam  (Valkenswaard, Netherlands), Casey Walker (Ventura, Calif.), Trent Warren (Moorpark, Calif.), Ismael Zepeda (Ventura, Calif.)

Paul Lewis, Mike Whitehead and Ben Howarth with travel with an 18-athlete roster to Vancouver, Canada to play in the 8th annual India Field Hockey Club (IFHC) Junior Tournament, June 19-21, followed by a four game test series against Canada, June 23-27. After a training day, competition will start in a Super League tournament format where Team USA will compete against other U-21 Men’s Regional Teams. For a complete schedule of the IFHC Junior Tournament and to watch all the games live, click here.

After a day of rest, the U.S. Men’s U-21 National Team will start a four game test series against the U-21 Canadian National Team on June 23.

“The purpose of this trip is to begin the preparation for the Pan American Junior Championship next year and ultimately qualify for the next Junior World Cup,” said Clements. “We are thankful for the support of the Field Hockey Federation in supplying some financial assistance toward the trip.”

USMNT U-21 Canada Roster:

Doug Allison (Westlake Village, Calif.), Christian Deangelis (Doylestown, Pa.), Jaspreet Gill (Placentia, Calif.), Graeme Jackson (Moorpark, Calif.), Stuart Kentwell (Spring City, Pa.), Amar Khokar (Valencia, Calif.), Kai Kokolakis (Wiesbaden, Germany), Ethan LaSala (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Jayce Lewis (Moorpark, Calif.), George McGuigan (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Nate O’Lari (Orange, Mass.), Ajit Pamar (Freemont, Calif.), Walter Pfaff (Johannesburg, South Africa, Keeling Pilaro (Southhampton, N.Y.), Javieer Singh (Hayward, Calif.), Casey Walker (Ventura, Calif.), Trent Warren (Moorpark, Calif.), Ismael Zepeda (Ventura, Calif.)

For younger talented players, be sure to sign up for the U-16 Boys Talent Identification Camp Tuesday, July 14 through Friday, July 17 at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center in California. The camp’s intention is to identify and evaluate boys between the ages of 12 and 15 with aspirations of representing their country in the future. For more information or to register for the camp, click here.

USFHA media release

Red White Blue and You Clinics to Inspire the Next Generation of Team USA Athletes

The U.S. Women’s National Team will be offering a unique skills clinics for advanced middle and high school athletes with their eyes set on playing to their ultimate capacity. The clinics will include 3 hours of skill instruction and one-on-one training with USWNT players. The clinics will conclude with a demonstration of skills and autographs. At the conclusion of the full day, there will be a 1 hour Q&A with any local coaches in attendance about the skills cover. USA Field Hockey hopes these skills clinics inspire the advanced player to become proficient in some of the more difficult technical aspects of the game. The 3 hour clinic will cover skills such as: aerials or flicks, shooting, skills on the forehand and backhand, and mastering the hit.

"It is an exciting month for our U.S. Women's National Team as they embark on qualifying for the 2016 Olympics Games," said Keli Smith-Puzo USA Field Hockey's Regional Development Manager, Region 9. "We look forward to sharing their expertise abroad in our backyard with our youth athletes in July at the Red White Blue & You clinics."

Each clinic will have five national team players with a target registration of 50 athletes per clinic. Registration per athlete is $100.

For their registration fees, registrants receive:

Instruction from Olympic athletes

U19 USAFH Membership



USA Field Hockey believes that interaction with the USWNT will encourage and motivate young player to continue their dream to play at the next level- whatever level that may be!

Register today with the following links:

July 26, 2015

Wyoming Seminary Middle School option

Wyoming Seminary High School option 

Wyoming Seminary Coach option

July 27, 2015 

Rutgers Middle School option

Rutgers High School option

USFHA media release

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