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News for 13 June 2015

All the news for Saturday 13 June 2015

Buenos Aires awaits the semi-final

Canada will take on Argentina with Germany facing the Netherlands in Saturday’s semi-finals at the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires.

The 5-8 classification round sees Korea playing Spain with New Zealand taking on Japan.

Let’s take a closer look at these knock-out matches!

SF 2: Canada v Argentina (15.30 local time)

Canada will face Argentina in an Panamerican semi-final. Both teams have already met in pool B with Argentina winning 2-1. Canada battled their way into the semi-finals with a breath-taking 8-7 shootout victory against New Zealand. This quarter-final was tied at 0-0 after regulation time before it went into a dramatic shootout with Adam Froese scoring the winner after 14 rounds. “This Pan American semi-final will be good. We play Argentina a lot and also in a lot of important finals. They have got the home crowd but we have a lot of positive energy going right now. So we are going to come out really hard,” says Froese.

Argentina qualified for the top four through their 2-1 win over Japan. Top scorer in the Leones squad is FIH rising star 2014 Gonzalo Peillat who has scored four goals in this tournament so far making him joint top scorer. Team-captain Matias Paredes said “The corners and the circle penetrations will be the key to beat Canada. In our pool match their keeper Dave Carter saved a lot, so we need to ensure that we convert our chances.”

SF 1: Germany v Netherlands (18.00 local time)

Germany and the Netherlands set up an European encounter in the semi-finals. Both teams know each other very well. They also met in the London 2012 Olympic Final where Germany grabbed the Gold medal following a 2-1 win. The Olympic champions reached the top four after a deserved 2-0 victory over Korea in Thursday’s quarter-final. Knowing that the ticket for Rio 2016 hasn’t been completely saved yet, coach Markus Weise said: “We definitely want to reach the final to ensure that we are qualified for the Olympics. We would like to avoid any calculations in case we finish fourth.” FIH rising star 2013 Christopher Rühr is top scorer in the squad having scored on four occasions.

The Netherlands are still unbeaten in Buenos Aires following the win of pool A and a 3-1 victory against Spain in the quarter-final. Mink van der Weerden joins Rühr & Co. on top of the tournament scoring list having also scored four goals so far. “As far as I have seen Germany here, they took a really good team which is playing very well. It will be a tough game. We need to take a look on the video to find out the key to beat them,” van der Weerden adds.

5-8 classification matches

Day 7 in Buenos Aires will kick off with Spain taking on Korea in the 5-8 classification at 10.30 local time. “Korea is a tough team. We need to play our best hockey. We need to do more than in the quarter-final and with a bit of luck we can win it. We have to keep going to get the Olympic ticket,” said Spanish captain Manel Terraza. The Red Sticks lost their quarter-final 3-1 to the Netherlands while Korea were defeated 2-0 by Germany. The current FIH world ranking sees Spain on rank 11 with Korea being ranked 8th. The Koreans Lee Namyong and Nam Hyunwoo have scored four goals each in this competition so far, same as Spanish Pau Quemada, making them joint top scorers with Peillat (ARG), van der Weerden (NED) and Rühr (GER).

The second 5-8 classification match will see New Zealand facing Japan at 13.00 local time. The Blacksticks were deeply disappointed after the 8-7 loss against Canada in a heartbreaking shootout. “The Olympic dream is not over,” said Shea McAleese knowing that a 5th place finish in Buenos Aires would still mean good chances on an Olympic berth. New Zealand defeated Japan 2-1 in pool A. Top scorer in the Blacksticks team is Simon Child with three goals. Despite having grabbed just one win against Egypt so far, the Samurais will give everything to play off for the 5th place in Buenos Aires. Japan had lost their quarter-final 2-1 to host nation Argentina.

FIH site

Canadian men look to clinch Olympic berth Saturday against Argentina

Pan Am Rivals set to write another chapter to a storied history

Shaheed Devji

It was 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico and Canada was one win away from the Olympic Games. Bu there was one team standing in their way: Argentina.

Despite a good start in the Pan American Games Final and the 1-0 lead at half time, the Canadian Men’s Field Hockey Team ended up giving up three second half goals to its long-time Pan Am rival, losing the game and not qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games.

On Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the two teams meet again – not in a Pan Am final, although that still may be a possibility and is likely probable this July in Toronto – but rather in a World League Semifinal semifinal match with equally large implications.

“It’s so important to us to beat this group,” says Adam Froese, who was one of the heroes in Thursday’s quarterfinal shootout win over New Zealand. “We have to make we study and do everything we need to do to be prepared for this match.”

This International Hockey Federation competition serves as a qualifying tournament for the sport’s world championship, the World League Final, which will be played in India in November and for which the four semifinalists have already qualified. It also – and more importantly – serves as an Olympic qualifier for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The top three finishers in Buenos Aires earn a spot in Rio, which means if Canada wins Saturday’s semifinal match against Argentina, their spot in Brazil in 2016 is guaranteed.

“We’ve set a bar for ourselves an expectation of what level we need to be at for these big games,” Froese adds. “I have full confidence that this group will be able to bounce back and prepare. It’s going to be a huge crowd and a great atmosphere again and we relish the opportunity.”

While the stakes are high and both teams likely want to clinch the Olympic spot on the first try, the loser of Saturday’s match (11:30am PT/2:30pm ET) will have a second chance to qualify in the third place match on Sunday, albeit against one of the world’s top three teams in the loser of the second semifinal between the Netherlands (World No.2) and Germany (World No.3).

Argentina and Canada will likely cross paths again at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto this summer, where the winner of the field hockey competition also earns an Olympic spot. The two teams have met in the Pan American Final ten straight times.

By the end of the summer, both teams would like to be qualified for the Olympics, and Saturday's match guarantees one of them will be, making the road for the other that much longer. Fitting for two teams who have always given the other their best.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Rio ball still in air after painful loss to Canada

By David Leggat

New Zealand will play Japan early tomorrow and they must win it, and then their final match on Tuesday, to press their Rio claims. Photo / Hernan Barrios

New Zealand's Rio Olympic hopes are still alive, if not entirely in their own hands, after a shattering loss at the world league semifinal in Buenos Aires yesterday.

The men's Black Sticks lost a dramatic penalty shootout 8-7 to Canada, after the match ended scoreless.

Canada, ranked 15th, eight spots lower than New Zealand, are through to the last four and a big chance to qualify for Rio.

New Zealand will play Japan early tomorrow and they must win it, and then their final match on Tuesday, to press their Rio claims.

Finish worse than fifth and the Olympics will drift further back on the horizon.

The qualification process is convoluted. The top three teams from each of two world league tournaments - the second starting in Antwerp, Belgium next week - progress to Rio, as do the winners of the five confederations, Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Pan America.

However there will be double-ups. For example, Germany or the Netherlands will be expected to win the European event, and qualify through the world league; as will Australia, if they beat New Zealand in October's Oceania tournament in Taranaki.

So there is wriggle room and an optimism among the New Zealand camp that they will still make the Olympics. But yesterday's defeat was a heavy blow and leaves nerves jangled.

"We should have won the game in normal time," experienced midfielder Shea McAleese said.

Canada were tough and resilient but spent the final quarter in a major defensive operation.

In one period during the shootout, which took a stunning 28 attempts to find a winner, eight successive penalties were saved by New Zealand's Devon Manchester and his Canadian counterpart David Carter, with some spectacular work.

Veteran Ryan Archibald missed all three attempts; captain Simon Child missed both his. By contrast, midfielder Steve Edwards converted all three of his chances impressively.

New Zealand did have some bad luck.

Archibald's first attempt crossed the goal line a fraction after the eight-second hooter sounded.

Blair Hilton's second deflected off the cross bar.

In a game of centimetres, either of those would have had New Zealand through.

"Devon was absolutely phenomenal in the shootout and did all he could to help us win," McAleese said of the dramatic finish.

"It was crazy to watch.

"You went through the ebbs and flows of emotions and by the end of it you were almost feeling sick in terms of the emotional roller coaster," he said.

McAleese said it was up to the Black Sticks to regroup for a game they could not lose.

They beat 16th-ranked Japan 2-1 in pool play this week.

Finishing fifth, by their calculations, gives them a strong chance of Olympic qualification once the double-up qualifiers have been sorted out.

It's not the way they wanted to have to get to Rio, but at least they still have a chance.

The New Zealand Herald

Hockey World League Buenos Aires: Where is your hair Valentin?

Sometimes playing games with your team mates is not a good idea!!

You have probably noticed Valentin Verga’s new hair cut. But why has the Dutchman decided to wear short hair?

“I lost a game of cards,” Verga explains. “We usually play for bets, sometimes we play for the hair, sometimes for buying some stuff from the supermarket or for really stupid things and this time we played for the hair.”

Six players were involved in this game, which eventually cost Verga his hair. “I don’t like it much, the other hair cut was much better,” Verga says.

For more behind the scenes insights check out: fih.ch

Follow us on Twitter: FIH_Hockey
Valentin Verga: @valentinverga
Netherlands team: @oranjehockey

Follow us on Instagram: fihockey

FIH site

Argentina and Great Britain set for big showdown in Valencia

A couple of sides can potentially nail down a quarter-final spot on day three of the women’s Hockey World League semi-final in Valencia as the race for the playoff spots ramps up another notch on Saturday.
Perhaps the highlight of this well-matched day is the meeting of Argentina and Great Britain at 5pm with both sides looking to add to their wins from their respective opening games of the competition.
Alex Danson, as so often, was the GB inspiration, scoring one and creating the other goal in their 2-0 win over Spain on Wednesday evening. Whether she can weave her magic again against the world number three Las Leonas is another matter.
They looked in devilish form in their 6-0 win over Canada on Thursday with newcomer Agustina Albertarrio netting three times to announce her arrival on the scene in style. With teenagers Paula Maria Ortiz and Sofia Toccalino also slotting in nicely, they look to be regenerating their panel well.
Games between the two sides are always close with Argentina shading the 2012 Olympic semi-final 2-1 while they also won by a single goal in the Champions Trophy that year.
Elsewhere in Pool A, one of the stories of day two was Spain’s gritty 1-0 win over China, outdoing the world number seven side for the first time since 2006.
It means that they can qualify for the quarter-finals if they get a result against the Pool A basement side Canada who have yet to score in the tournament. The Maple Leafs will look to ace striker Brienne Stairs and Thea Culley to break that duck with Natalie Sourisseau pulling the strings in midfield.
It will be hard work, though, for them to break down a rugged Spanish defence, backed up goalkeeper Maria Lopez de Eguilaz. This tie will be played at 7pm.
Earlier in the day in Pool B at 1pm, Ireland meet Uruguay with a victory for the Green Machine guaranteeing them a place in next Thursday’s last eight. It will be no easy task, though, as the Cimarronas improved their defensive setup massively between games one and two, frustrating a highly ranked USA for long periods.
Goalkeeper Rosanna Paselle and her defence held out 17 of 18 penalty corners conceded and will be looking to tame the likes of Anna O’Flanagan and Nikki Evans – a hat trick scorer on day one against South Africa.
At 3pm, South Africa will be hoping to get off the mark when they meet the US. Sheldon Rostron’s side will look to the likes of Illse Davids and Shelley Russell for the inspiration against a more experienced opposition.
Recent history between the teams has produced a huge amount of goals with US winning 4-2 in the last World Cup meeting in 2014. Two months prior to that, South Africa won 2-1 in Glasgow and they also have a 7-0 win under their belt in recent times – that coming in the 2012 Olympics.
But the US have been on a sharp upward trajectory in the last 15 months and, if they get their corner routine flowing, will cause plenty of danger when Katie O’Donnell and Kelsey Kolojejchick get going.

FIH site

SA hockey girls looking to bounce back


The world’s 11th-ranked South Africa women’s hockey team will be looking to turn the disappointment of their 4-1 defeat by world 14 Ireland in the opening match of the World League Semi Final tournament in Valencia, Spain on Wednesday into resounding success this weekend when they take on USA and Uruguay.

Captain Nicolene Terblanche’s team meet world number five USA at 3pm Saturday (SuperSport 8) at the Campo Del Hockey venue before tackling world number 29 Uruguay at 1pm Sunday (SS8).

Missed opportunities cost South Africa dearly against the Irish, who took their recent record versus the girls in green and gold to three wins from four matches, while better control of the midfield and tightening up at the back will also serve SA well.

There was just one goal in it on Wednesday, with the fourth and final quarter well under way, but the South Africans appeared to tire in the heat and the strong-finishing Irish capitalised to score two goals.

Avoiding contact situations as much as possible when on attack, allied with accurate passing and effective running off the ball, should give SA more time and space to make better-quality goalscoring opportunities.

The USA battled to score goals against Uruguay on Thursday, winning just 2-0, this in contrast to world number six Germany’s 8-0 romp against the South Americans on Wednesday.

To be fair, the well-drilled USA team who have risen so rapidly up the world rankings since the introduction of a full-time training programme, had 29 shots at goal against the rank outsiders and earned 18 penalty corner opportunities.

Yet only conceding two goals does indicate the fighting spirit of the Uruguayans, this just a day after being outplayed by Germany. USA head coach Adrian Parnham’s USA line-up will be determined to improve their finishing Saturday.

SA head coach Sheldon Rostron and his management team will have dissected the reasons for the defeat by Ireland and no doubt training on Thursday and Friday has been targeted at rectifying the shortcomings.

Uruguay, South Africa and the USA will have conducted intensive analysis of the three teams’ World League Semi Final matches to date and it will be fascinating to witness what tactics are implemented.

What is certain is that there will be no lack of intent.

South Africa’s Pool B matches: SA 1 Ireland 4; USA vs SA (Saturday, 3pm on SuperSport 8); SA vs Uruguay (Sunday, 1pm on SS8); Germany vs SA (next Tuesday, 5pm on SS7).

POOLS (world ranking in brackets) – Pool A: Argentina (3), China (7), Great Britain (8), Spain (15), Canada (20). Pool B: Germany (6), USA (5), South Africa (11), Ireland (14), Uruguay (29).

SA team: Sanani Mangisa (GK), Anelle van Deventer (GK), Lisa Deetlefs, Nicole Walraven, Erin Hunter, Line Malan, Nicolene Terblanche (capt), Quanita Bobbs, Celia Evans, Kelly Madsen, Illse Davids, Shelley Russell, Jade Mayne, Bernie Coston, Dirkie Chamberlain, Lilian du Plessis, Candice Manuel, Tanya Britz.

SA Hockey Association media release

Ayanna is The Real Thing

Trinidadian umpire aims to become first female from Caribbean to umpire at the Olympics

Nearly making the Trinidad and Tobago under-21 side, only to lose out on a place in the final selection was all the motivation Ayanna McClean needed to make it to the top in her umpiring career.

Ayanna, who also holds a sales and marketing position with global giant Coca Cola, is well on her way to becoming the first female umpire from the Caribbean to make it as an FIH World Cup/Olympic List umpire, qualified to blow the whistle at Olympic and World Cup events. If she achieves her goal, Ayanna will also be only the second umpire from the region: Roger St Rose, also from Trinidad and Tobago holds that honour.

“Consider it done.. just kidding,” says Ayanna, who is currently part of the officials team at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Valencia. “It is a very competitive field, and there is definitely an additional pressure of not being from one of the powerhouse field hockey countries. But the goal of being the first female representing not only Trinidad and Tobago but also the Caribbean in hockey at the World Cup or Olympics is a goal that I plan on achieving.”

Hockey was always going to be Ayanna’s first love. Her mother, Cherill was a player  with Ventures Hockey Club and, like her daughter, also a high-flying umpire – becoming the first female FIH Grade 1 umpire in Trinidad and Tobago.

Much of Ayanna’s umpiring experience has been gained in the USA, where she was sometimes umpiring up to four matches a week. On the international circuit she has umpired at a number of high-profile events, such as the Junior Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2011, the  2013 Junior World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany, as well as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2014.

She was also the neutral umpire at the South American Championships in Santiago, Chile, in 2013 and 2014, and the FIH World League in Trinidad and Tobago in 2012 and the following year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ayanna is a member of the FIH Development Panel of High Potential Umpires. This is a group of 35 female umpires from all over the world from which FIH will identify and develop a minimum of 17 World Panel Qualified Umpires for the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

For the next few months, Ayanna is going to be heavily involved in Olympic qualification events. Here in Valencia she is one of the video umpires at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, she then flies to Canada to be the neutral umpire in Toronto for the Pan-American Games. At the end of the year she will be blowing the whistle in Argentina at the World League Finals.

Away from hockey, Ayanna is Business Development District Sales Manager with Coca Cola Refreshments in Manhattan, New York, where her responsibilities include leading the team responsible for acquiring all the new business and marketing opportunities in New York city. She says that the ability to work as a team, a skill she learnt on the hockey pitch both as a player and an umpire, has been invaluable in her working life.

How does she find the time to fit it all in? “Well there is 24 hours in the day,” she says cheerfully, “Why not use them all.”

FIH site

Imran to lead Pakistan at Hockey World League

Pakistan will begin their campaign on the first day of the tournament on June 20 against Poland PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) selection committee has announced an 18-member squad that will be traveling to Antwerp, Belgium for the FIH Hockey World League Semi-finals, which will also serve as the 2016 Rio Olympics qualifiers.

The players were selected after holding trials at the Naseer Nunda Hockey Stadium in Islamabad on Friday.

The team will be led by senior defender Muhammad Imran, while experienced players Rashid Mehmood and Muhammad Rizwan Senior, who were unable to take part in preparatory tours and the training camp due to their busy season at the European league, have been named in the squad.

Pakistan will begin their campaign on the first day of the tournament on June 20 against Poland. They have been placed in Pool A along with top-ranked Australia, India, Poland and France. In Pool B, hosts Belgium, Great Britain, Malaysia, Ireland and China will compete against each other.

The Greenshirts have to finish in the top three in order to qualify for the FIH Hockey World League Final Round and to secure a berth in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Head coach Shahnaz Sheikh is satisfied with the team’s preparation. “As they will be clashing with the finest teams, the players are working on their strategies and are confident of putting on a good show,” Sheikh told The Express Tribune. “Their pool is tough, but our boys are excited to face Australia yet again, while a match against India is always exciting.”

The Express Tribune

Imran to lead 18-member Pakistan squad at World Hockey League

Greenshirts to play their first match against Poland on June 20

By Muhammad Ali

LAHORE: Muhammad Imran will lead Pakistan at the FIH Hockey World League Semi-finals to be played from June 20 to July 5 at Antwerp, Belgium. The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) selection committee named an 18-member squad after one-day trials at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium in Islamabad on Friday. The national selection committee comprised of Islahuddin Siddiqui, Ayaz Mahmood, Khalid Bashir and Musaddiq Hussain.

The WHL is a qualification round for the Rio Olympics 2016. In September-October last year in Incheon Games, defending champions Pakistan, high on confidence after having defeated India in the group stages, were the 17th Asian Games' only unbeaten team into the final. But lady-luck alluded them against India in the final, where they lost on penalty shootout 4-2. The Indo-Pak Asiad final was witnessed after 32 years. With the defeat in South Korea, Pakistan also failed to qualify for the Summer Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro next year. India have already qualified for the Rio Olympics and will look to use the World Hockey League as a good source of preparation.

Pakistan will begin their journey for the Rio Olympics with two practice matches against Ireland in Antwerp before taking part in the qualifiers which get under way next Saturday. The greenshirts are likely to fly off to the venue on June 15, where they are scheduled to play two practice matches on June 16 and June 18. "The team were supposed to play five matches - three against the USA and two with Ireland - but as the team will be flying off late, we have missed three of those games," head coach Shahnaz Sheikh told Daily Times yesterday. "The delay occurred because of financial constraints faced by the PHF and the issuance of visas. The team are expected to receive visas on June 14 and will fly off the following day," he added.

The Ministry of Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) are providing funds to the national sport's governing body for the upcoming tour of Belgium. Speaking on the selection of the team, Shahnaz said: "The team is full of confidence. As they will be clashing with the finest of the teams, the boys are working upon their strategies and are confident to put up a good show in the tournament. Our pool is tough but the boys are confident of putting up a great show. The team members are excited to face Australia and India." Pakistan are a part of Pool A along with France, Poland, India and Australia. China, Ireland, Malaysia, Great Britain and Belgium are the teams in Pool B. Pakistan have to go through the tough qualification round while their opponents are in practice and have been touring different countries for matches, while the greenshirts have not played any bilateral series since 2011, taking part only in tournaments. Three top teams - apart from India, who have already qualified courtesy of their Asian Games win - will finally go for the Olympics. Pakistan will play their first match against Poland on June 20.

Pakistan squad:

Goalkeepers: Imran Butt and Mazhar Abbas.

Full Backs: Muhammad Imran (captain), Muhammad Irfan and Syed Kashif Shah.

Halves: Fareed Ahmed, Muhammad Rizwan Junior, Muhammad Toseeq Arshad, Rashid Mahmood and Ammad Shakeel Butt.

Forwards: Muhammad Waqas Sharif, Shafqat Rasool, Muhammad Umar Bhutta, Muhammad Kashif Ali, Muhammad Dilber, Muhammad Rizwan Senior, Ali Shan and Muhammad Azfar Yaqoob.


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

The Daily Times

Players gear up for Olympic qualifiers as selectors name squad

Kashif Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan hockey selectors on Thursday named an 18-member national squad for Olympic Games 2016 qualifying round, to be held in Antwerp, Belgium from June 20.

However, surprisingly, centre-forward Arslan Qadir who had played instrumental role in the Champions Trophy semi-final against India, could not get the selectors’ nod while newcomers Asfar Yaqoob and Fareed Ahmed managed to make the national team.

The trials to select the final team for participation in the Hockey World League semis at Antwerp from June 20 to July 5 held here at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium. The trails were observed by two-member selection committee comprising Islahuddin Siddiqui and Musaddiq Hussain.

“We have selected the team purely on merit and I hope this team will produce good results in the qualifying round,” said Islahuddin.

Two senior players, Mohammad Rizwan (senior) and Rashad Mahmood, will not be available for the country in the upcoming mega event that will decide Pakistan’s fate about its participation in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Both Rizwan and Rashad will be absent due to their prior engagements in league matches at Doha.

Addressing a press conference, chief selector Olympian Islahuddin Sidiqui said that the selection committee picked the best available team from the available lot. He said that national team is going to play against the best teams of the world, which could give it tough time. “You (team) have to take every match very seriously, each game should be treated as the final,” he said.

To a query, the former Olympian said: “Honestly speaking we (team) will face tough competitions.”

He was optimistic that team will show good performance and will qualify for Olympic Games.

Later, speaking to Dawn, he said that Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Irfan, Shafqat Rasool and a few others are seasoned players and have the ability to match the best in business. “I hope they will be playing a leading role in the event,” he said.

The national team will leave for Belgium on Saturday night after the Pakistan Sports Board on Friday released a sum of around Rs110 million for the PHF for this tournament.

However, the PSB could not fulfil its promise of releasing the grant for the national team for clinching silver medal in the Asian Games and the Champions Trophy.

It is relevant to note here that according to the PHF schedule, the team should have been in Belgium on June 10 for playing five matches against the US and other teams. However, due to the funding issue, the team could not leave on time for the qualifiers.

“I agree, we are a little late, we should have been there for playing maximum matches before the commencement of the mega event,” the chief selector said and added that now Pakistan will play two practice matches.

Meanwhile, while speaking to Dawn, head coach Shahnaz Sheikh said he is satisfied with the selection of team.

“The team was selected on merit. I hope we bring laurels for the country,” he said.

Talking about Arslan Yousuf’s poor show in Australia and Korea which led to his ouster, Shahnaz said: “Yes, he was dropped on my recommendations because his performance has been below par of late.”


Mohammad Imran (captain), Imran Butt, Mazhar Abbas, Mohammad Irfan, Syed Kashif Shah, Fareed Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan Junior, Mohammad Toseeq Arshad, Rashad Mahmood, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Mohammad Waqas Sharif, Shafqat Rasool, Mohammad Umar Bhutta, Mohammad Kashif Ali, Mohammad Dilber, Mohammad Rizwan Senior, Ali Shan, Mohammad Azfar Yaqoob.

Officials: Shahnaz Sheikh (manager cum head coach), Danish Kaleem, Syed Abu Zar Umrao and team doctor Dr. Asad Abbas Shah.


Adapting to changes do not happen overnight: Rupinder Pal

s2h team

New Delhi: Gearing up for the FIH World League Semi-Finals, Indian hockey team's fullback Rupinder Pal Singh said the side will look to plug the gaps in their defence in the tournament starting June 20.

"The defence in this tournament intends to come out strong. We are working on closing the space which will make things tough for the opponents," Rupinder said ahead of the event in Antwerp, Belgium.

"We are now realising that, earlier there were gaps which helped the opposition to score against us. This time around we have particularly worked on this area, now awaiting to start putting this learning into play."

Speaking on the new strategies that the team is working on, he said, "I am confident with the strategies that the team is working on and it will yield positive results for the team. Adapting to changes do not happen overnight but I am sure we will get into the groove soon and start delivering as per plan".

India will be seen clashing against France in their opening match of the tournament.


We intend to offer a strong defence: Rupinder Pal Singh

ANTWERP: Ace drag flicker Rupinder Pal Singh said on Friday that India hope to offer a strong defence when they take on other top teams at the Hockey World League (HWL) Semifinal here from June 20 to July 5.

"The defence in this tournament intends to come out strong. We are working on closing the space which will make things tough for the opponents. We are now realising that earlier there were gaps which helped the opposition to score against us. This time around we have particularly worked on this area, now awaiting to start putting this learning into play," Rupinder said.

India have been placed in Pool A with reigning world champions Australia, Pakistan, Poland and France. They open their campaign against France on June 20.

"A new situation is always a challenge for everyone but I will not allow this to deter my determination to showcase a strong play. I have been practicing and I am gaining confidence with each day," said the defender.

"I am confident with the strategies that the team is working on and it will yield positive results for the team. Adapting to changes do not happen overnight but I am sure we will get into the groove soon and start delivering as per plan."

The top-4 sides from the 10-team tournament will proceed to the HWL Final to be played in November-December in India. The top-3 teams will, however, qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, India became the first team to qualify for the Olympics when they won the 2014 Incheon Asian Games gold.

The Times of India

Malaysia retain women's gold medal with ease

By Aftar Singh

Malaysia defeated Thailand 3-1 to retain the gold medal. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star

SINGAPORE: Malaysia turned on the heat in the second half to beat Thailand 3-1 and retain the gold medal in the women’s hockey competition at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium.

Malaysia, who beat Thailand 4-0 earlier in the round-robin event, did not convert their chances in the first half.

After a scoreless first half, Malaysia managed to break the duck with a field goal by Nurul Nadiah Hanis Onn in the 37th minute.

The goal boosted Malaysia’s challenge and they netted two more goals in the space of one minute.

Siti Shahida Saad doubled the score in the 48th and a minute later Nurul Nadiah Mansur made it 3-0 from close range.

Thailand narrowed the deficit with a field goal by Sirikwan Wongkeaw in the 51st.

National coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli said the pressure was on them to defend the title.

“Thailand gave us a good fight in the first half and they also defended in numbers.

“My forwards looked nervous in the first half, but I’m glad we managed to penetrate their defence to take the lead just two minutes after the breather,” said the former international.

“The goal by Nurul boosted the morale of the team.

“I am happy we won the title for the third consecutive time since the Jakarta Games in 2011,” said Nasihin.

The Star of Malaysia

USA Men’s and Women’s Trials Announced for the 2016 FIH Masters World Cup

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The USA Field Hockey Men’s and Women’s Masters Committees recently announced dates for trials for the four U.S. National Masters Teams participating in next year’s FIH Masters World Cup. We are planning to send two men’s and two women’s teams in the Over-40 and Over-50 age competitions to the tournament to be held in Canberra, Australia from March 28 to April 9, 2016. The trials are planned as follows:

    Sunday July 12, 2015 at Drexel University, Pa. from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (men’s and women’s selection trials)
    Saturday August 1, 2015 at Brown University, R.I. from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (women’s selection trial only)
    Weekends of August 15-16, 2015, or 22-23, 2015 at Moorpark College, Moorpark, Calif. (times and dates to be confirmed) (men’s and women’s selection trials)

There will also be a Masters pick-up play session (no selection trials) on Sunday July 26, 2015 at the WC Eagles facility, 88 Wells Road, Pottstown, Pa. 19465 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Email notifications have been sent to all Masters players registered on the USA Field Hockey Masters databases with details on how to register for the trials. If you are not registered and would like more information on the trials and the Masters programs in general, please contact Maria Keesling at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the women, and Warren Prestwich at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for the men.

If you're over the age of 35, you are considered a "Master" in field hockey. Age qualification is calculated at December 31 of each year, so, for example, if you turn 50 before the end of 2016, you are can still play for the Over-50s national team any time in 2016. You must also be a USA Citizen to represent Team USA at Master’s level.

As with previous years, for those unable to attend any of the trials, we will be offering alternative methods for selection, including video. More details on this will be announced soon, but we encourage all interested USA Masters to attend the trials if possible.

For more information, check out the Masters page on usafieldhockey.com or the 2016 FIH Masters World Cup event page.

USFHA media release

Missed opportunities cost Dar Academy victory against Victoria

By Ijaz Chaudhry

Dar Academy players celebrate after scoring against Victoria

Dar HA’s fifth match in Holland was against the visiting Victoria. Yes, one would call it a home game for them. This is their fourth tour of Holland. Each time, the MOP club in Vught has been Pakistani side’s hosts in this country. Victoria HC’s under 18 side, who travelled from Rotterdam to MOP to face Dar HA is currently in the top division of Holland’s under 18 league.

Start was delayed by 15 minutes due to a heavy downpour and the surface remained slippery for some time. As early as in the third minute, Dar HA had an try on the goal when Asad tried a reverse hit from a difficult angle which was padded away by the custodian. A counter attack ensued and Victoria had game’s first penalty corner. Eric Smit sounded the board with an angular flat push.  Within two minutes, there was an opportunity for an equalizer. Aqeel had a good shot on the target but the net minder was equal to the task. In the 10th minute, a rash challenge by the Victoria’s defender in the circle made the umpire signal to the dreaded spot. Usman senior stepped up to cash on Dar HA’s first penalty stroke of the tour. Dar HA’s offensive continued till the end of the first quarter and  attempts on the goal were also made but the deep defence led by the goal keeper kept  the score 1-1.

Next 15 minutes saw the academy from Lahore lay siege to the Victoria HC goal for large periods of time with forays coming in a cascade. In the 17th minute, Usman senior’s cross from left couldn’t be stopped. Very next minute another cross, also from left, this time by Umair, found Usman junior whose deflection went out. Then Asif tricked his way into the circle only to be denied by the custodian. Usman senior’s top of the circle shot in the 25th minute required only a regulations save by the Victoria’s brilliant goal keeper.  A few minutes later, Umair, who had a very good match, after a pacy run down, presented Usman Senior a sitter who fired a blank. In a strange twist, a rare attack from Victoria caught the Dar HA defence off guard. Jochem Krooswijk was given enough time and space to make it 2-1, seconds before the mid break.

Against the run goal didn’t dishearten the youngsters who continued their fluent attacking game. Within three minutes of the resumption, Usman junior in a moment of genius beautifully eliminated two defenders before slotting the ball in with a reverse stick. Back to level terms again, the Dar HA looked to go ahead for the first time. The goal arrived and luck played its part. An Usman junior strike in the circle going out was deflected in by Umair’s stick who was apparently taking an evasive action.  So the third quarter ended with Dar HA in front for the first time.

After being out played for most of the match, the Victoria club came back strongly in the last quarter which witnessed entertaining end to end stuff with both the sides getting opportunities. The team from Rotterdam got as many as three penalty corners in the period. They employed an indirect drill on the first but Zeeshan read it well and intercepted the manouvre. A high flick on the second was well palmed by DHA’s net minder Waqar who brilliantly stopped the rebound as well. However, Victoria was successful in making it even via their third penalty of the fourth quarter. After a one-two at the top of the circle, Eric Smit scored his second and team’s third goal.

Dar HA again had quite a few chances but goal eluded them due to poor finishing and the excellent form of the goal keeper.  The last minute of the game did see a high ball in the circle sent into the net by Umair but umpire ruled a foul. Dar HA’s protest didn’t change the decision. They only had themselves to blamed for the draw as they had more scoring opportunities than inany other tour match till now.

That said, the Victoria club deserves a lot of praise. Despite being under pressure for considerable periods of time, the deep defence kept them in the game and they also availed most of the chances especially off the set pieces.  It was an entertainer for the spectators.

The goal keeper of the Victoria HC was a popular choice for the Man of Match award.

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey and other sports. For more about him and his work, visit www.sportscorrespondent.info


Flyerz Sessions taking off at Queen Alexandra College

Flyerz Sessions at Queen Alexandra College

The number of disabled people who take part in sport has risen significantly and England Hockey are committed to providing hockey playing opportunities with an emphasis on inclusion and participation.

Queen Alexandra College in Harborne with support at a local level have been running inclusive Flyerz sessions for their players for a number of years.  England Hockey use the term ‘Flyerz Hockey' as opposed to disability hockey as it is something players want to belong to.

Queen Alexandra is an inclusive college for students with a range of over thirty disabilities and impairments. Many of the students take part in a wide variety of sports and since 2013 have added Rush Hockey onto the list.

At first, the college’s Sports Tutor, Wendy Salmon ran Rush Hockey sessions for some of the visually impaired students who found the large, bright coloured ball easier to use compared to the traditional, smaller, white ball. The sessions quickly became popular with a range of students with varying levels of impairment and it was at this point in time that some of the college’s wheelchair users tried their hand at playing too!

“It was difficult to use one of the Rush Hockey sticks to play with. The head was too small for me to use and the long handles got stuck in my chair’s wheel” said student Kerri.

Wendy and England Hockey Relationship Manager Paul Smith came up with a plan; the idea being to use shorter and lighter goalkeeper sticks. The larger heads it made the ball easier to control and with shorter handles Kerri and her classmates could use the sticks without them impeding their wheelchairs.

Paul put out a request on for any old goalkeeper sticks lying around in sheds and garages.  To the college’s delight Cheltenham based company The Stick Club offered to donate two new Kookaburra goalkeeping sticks to support activity.

It was easy to see the difference that the new sticks made to the wheelchair players, Kerri said “The new sticks have made it much easier to play; I can now join in with everyone else.”

In addition to the stick donation, the college has also received funding from Sport Birmingham to establish a Flyerz Hockey satellite club linking with England Hockey’s Club of the Year, Old Silhillians Hockey Club.

The college will use the funding to buy specialist equipment and coaching support. This will enable the students to continue to play outside of college time and become members of the Flyerz section of Old Silhillians Hockey Club.

An ever growing number of clubs and community groups are delivering Flyerz Hockey sessions to local players. In celebration of this fact and to further support growth in participation England Hockey will be hosting a Flyerz Festival on the 26th of August at the Copper Box Arena as part of the Unibet European Hockey Championships.

This free event is a fully inclusive and open to Flyerz players from clubs and groups from across the country.  Further information about this event can be found at www.englandhockey.co.uk/flyerz

England Hockey Board Media release

Hockey player slaps umpire

Ross Roche

Cape Town - Former South Africa hockey player Reece Basson, who hit an umpire during match in East London two weeks ago, will learn his fate after United Hockey and Border Hockey meet to discuss his sanction.

Basson, who struck an umpire during a United 'B' v Parkside match in the Border men’s Premier League, was brought before a Border Hockey disciplinary committee last week, following which a sanction was imposed upon himself and the club, last Friday.

In the sanction, of which the Daily Dispatch has a copy, Basson received an automatic two match ban for the red card he received in the match.

He was given a further three match suspension for failing to leave the field of play after being issued a red card and then another 12 match suspension due to the assault on the referee.

“United Hockey and the player both received the sanction last week Friday and had 48 hours to appeal, yet we have not received anything yet,” said Border Hockey president Neil Klaasen.

United Hockey met last week, before receiving the Border Hockey sanction, and punished Basson with a five game suspension and community service within the club.


Former Field Hockey Canada president John Chapman passes away

Shaheed Devji

Photo: UBC/John Chapman's Personal Collection

The Canadian field hockey community recently lost one of its pioneers as Dr. John Chapman passed away at the age of 93 on June 9th.

Chapman was the president of the Canadian Field Hockey Association from 1972-74 and was instrumental in growing the game locally, nationally, and internationally through its nascent stages in Canada.

At a celebration for his 90th birthday in 2013, many of his colleagues and friends stressed three key themes of Chapman's career: his contributions to Higher Education in British Columbia, his teaching and research of the geography of natural resources and energy, and his playing and organizing of field hockey in Canada.

It is said that one of the highlights of his involvement in the sport was hosting the Junior World Cup in Vancouver.

A professor emeritus of Geography at the University of British Columbia, Chapman was the second Head of UBC's Geography Department from 1968-1974 and oversaw the creation of the B.C. Atlas of Resources.

According to his obituary, John's legacy will live on through his son Ian and daughter-in-law Judy and their children Ryan, Sara, Craig; and his great-grandchildren Caleb, Allie, Ella, Charlie, Andrew, Margo, and Clare.

A celebration of his life will be at Cecil Green Park House in Vancouver onMonday, June 22nd, 2015.

Field Hockey Canada would like to convey condolences to Chapman's family and friends and recognize his great contributions to the sport in Canada.

Field Hockey Canada media release

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