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News for 23 June 2015

All the news for Tuesday 23 June 2015

A look ahead to Day 3

Following an opening weekend packed with excitement, drama, surprises and sublime performances, we look ahead to Tuesday’s competition Day 3 of the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Finals as the HWL Finals and Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualification race hots up.

Men’s Pool B: Great Britain v Ireland - 1200 (CEST)
Great Britain claimed a creditable 2-2 draw against host nation Belgium on Sunday and will be looking to build on that excellent start by claiming victory over Ireland, who will be playing their first match of the competition. However the Green Machine - winners of the Hockey World League Round 2 event in San Diego - are more than capable of causing a shock result in this fixture.

Women’s Pool B: New Zealand v India - 1400 (CEST)
The Black Sticks were in sparkling form in their 12-0 win over Poland on Saturday, and will fancy their chances against an India team that fell to a 1-0 loss against Belgium’s Red Panthers. That said, India's Eves are blessed with immense talent as well as the ability to surprise, so it might not be as easy to predict as some might think.

Men’s Pool A: India v Poland - 1600 (CEST)
Sardar Singh’s men got off to a decent start with a 3-2 victory over France on Saturday, but Poland proved in their narrow defeat at the hands of Pakistan that they are tenacious, talented and extremely well organised. Giant defender Pawel Bratkowski has already shown in this tournament that he has a ferocious penalty corner drag-flick, and a big performance from him could have a significant impact on the outcome of this match.

Men’s Pool B: Belgium v China - 1800 (CEST)
The home fans came out in their thousands to watch the Red Lions kick off their campaign with a 2-2 draw against Great Britain, and another full house is expected once again. However, China’s narrow 3-2 defeat to Malaysia provided plenty of evidence that they are competitive at this level, despite being the lowest ranked team in the competition at 31 in the world.

Women’s Pool A: Japan v Netherlands - 2000 (CEST)
Reigning World, Olympic and Hockey World League champions the Netherlands are sitting proudly at the top of Pool A following triumphs over France and Korea, although Head Coach Sjoerd Marijne was certainly not satisfied with his team’s performance levels in the slender 2-1 win against the Koreans. Japan’s Cherry Blossoms were lively in Sunday’s meeting against Les Bleues, and will be looking forward to the opportunity of having a crack at the number 1 ranked team.

Don’t forget! You can follow all of the action on the FIH website as well as across our social media channels. Live streaming is available on www.starsports.com, dependant on broadcast rights agreements.

FIH site

M’sia dominated match against China but missed good scoring opportunities

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian hockey team had a comfortable match in the World Hockey League (HWL) semifinal Group B opening match win against China, said Team manager Stephen Van Huizen.

In a statement from the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHC), Van Huizen said, however the team missed some good scoring opportunities and ended up with a 3-2 win.

“Nevertheless, we are grateful for the three points. The team is now focused on the match against Ireland on June 25,” he said adding that coaches and players conducted an overall analysis of their match against China through a video session to look into specific areas of improvement which will be the key focus in their lead up to the Ireland game.

Head coach, Tai Beng Hai singled out Azlan Misron, Shahrun Nabil and Nabil Fiqri for their solid performances against China.

There are no injuries reported as of yesterday and the players are geared up and ready to deliver their best come the next match, he said. Malaysia are scheduled to meet Ireland on June 25, Belgium on June 26 and England on June 28

New Straits Times

Keep the respect intact

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA did just enough to beat China 3-2 in the World League Semi-finals, but if one looks to the future, this match should be the fist wake-up call to the new Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) management.

China were friendly and diplomatic before the start of the match, but they were robust, dominant in certain areas, and defended like a pack of wolves and Malaysia were lucky to walk away with three points from a team which is ranked 19 rungs below.

After warm-up, the Malaysian players started to wrap a thick black tape around their arms, and when China players saw this they came over and asked the reason for the band.

And when they found out the black arm-band was in respect for goalkeeper S. Kumar's tragic loss, the China players formed a circle and held a brief discussion, before coming over to the Malaysian side to pay their respects and surprisingly -- requested for the black tape from team manager Stephen van Huizen.

They wore the mourning band in tandem with Malaysia, as respect, but that's all the sympathy Malaysia received from them.

To be honest, China were beaten by two spectacular goals which no goalkeeper in the world could have stopped. The first was a cricket volley from close range, after the ball fell at Faizal Shaari's feet and bounced eight inches for a beautifully set up Sixer.

The second was even more cheeky, as 21-year-old Haziq Shamsul's back was towards the goalmouth and the ball just nicked the tip of his hockey stick and for a moment, even he was unsure of the goal before he started celebrating.

A replay at the stadium big screen, in slow motion, showed just how lucky the goal was -- and luck almost ran out for coach Tai Beng Hai and his men after that.

They barely pulled off a one-goal victory against a team which we beat 4-1 at the Asian Games.

The key word here is RESPECT.

China gave Malaysia no respect, pushed hard, used their elbows to shove aside our boys like they were pesky flies. And it almost worked if not for the two spectacular goals which might just turn out to be the goals of the tournament.

In Antwerp, Malaysia are respected by everybody as a spirited lot, with a history of playing in the World Cup, Olympics and hosts to many international tournaments.

The in-house World League bulletin printed a half-page on Malaysia's hockey history, starting with the first recorded match in 1904 between Singapore and Malaya.

And the write-up went on to note that it was only 52 years later that Malaysia played in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. It also ran accolades to the late Sultan Azlan Shah and his wonderful tournament.

Respect, we had, but respect we're losing fast as even China has closed the gap to a one-goal margin.

We need to beat Ireland next, and not be thrashed by Belgium and Britain to keep this respect. If not, in future tournaments, not only China but Singapore might just beat us.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Beng Hai keeps his cool

by Jugjet Singh

COACH Tai Beng Hai was smiling, but it looked more like grinding his teeth, after Malaysia edged China 3-2 in the World League Semi-finals in Antwerp, Belgium on Sunday.

His answers were simple and diplomatic, but one could sense he was struggling to keep his anger in check.

That anger almost came to a boil when a volunteer refused him entry into the interview area, and after an exchange of words, he smiled for the camera again.

"Well, it was our first match and there were some shaky moments but that is to be expected. The important part is that we won three points," said Beng Hai.

Youngster Haziq Shamsul, 21, who scored the super second goal to give Malaysia breathing space, was much more composed even though he went through a rough period one month before the World League when he lost his mother.

"I am just happy to help my team-mates beat China. This match was supposed to be easier, but China gave us a very good fight and I am just happy that we landed the three points no matter what the score," said Haziq.

Haziq was among the promising juniors side which beat South Korea in the quarter-finals of the Junior World Cup in New Delhi and took Malaysia into the semi-finals -- a feat last achieved in 1982 in the Kuala Lumpur Junior World Cup.

And Haziq's take on the next opponent Ireland: "For me they are just another team which we need to beat if we want to play in the Olympics. I will again give my best, and I am confident my mates will do the same.

"We have been drilled on the score before coming here. We need to beat China and Ireland before turning our focus on Belgium and Britain. We have achieved one, no matter the score, and our focus and determination will be to achieve the same aganst Ireland," said the player who is expected to wear the junior's skippers arm-band in the Sultan of Johor Cup and then the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan which doubles up as a Junior World Cup qualifier.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Malaysia will go on the offensive against Ireland

By S. Ramaguru

Beng Hai (centre) giving instructions to his players during the match against China last Saturday. - FIH

ANTWERP: The best defence is a good offence.

The national hockey team need to be reminded of this if they want a smoother ride in the World Hockey League Semi-Finals.

The 3-2 win over China in Group B could have been easier had Malaysia continued to apply the pressure upfront instead of going on the defensive after taking a two-goal lead.

The change in strategy in the third quarter gave China the confidence to march forward and score the two goals.

National coach Tai Beng Hai said they made some changes to the strategy after the two goals.

“We made some mistakes in attack and gave away too much space for China to attack in the third quarter. I believe we were the better side and were in control of the match. I think the players have realised their errors and we will do an analysis to get ready for Ireland,” he said.

Beng Hai added that they must think of a different approach against the Irish.

“We cannot afford to play the same way against Ireland as we did with China. The Irish are more skilful and much tougher.

“We will make some changes to our line up,” he added.

The Star of Malaysia

Hockey player Haziq training his sights for more goals in Belgium

By S. Ramaguru

Haziq (right) has scored nine goals in 18 matches.

ANTWERP: Youngster Mohamed Haziq Shamsul is fast developing into a top-notch goal poacher.

The 21-year-old national junior scored the second goal for Malaysia in their opening World Hockey League match against China on Sunday.

And he has dedicated the goal to his late mother who passed away earlier this month.

“My mum was my greatest supporter but more importantly I wanted to score so that we can win the match,” he said.

This is Haziq’s fourth tournament since making his senior team debut at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year.

He didn’t make the Asian Games squad but was back in the team for the World Hockey League Round Two in Singapore. He then headed to Ipoh for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in March.

Haziq has now scored nine goals after 18 matches.

“Yes I have had some good outings. In Singapore I scored five goals and then three at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. I hope to score in all tournaments that I play in.

“Of course the big challenge is to cement my place with the senior team and continue to improve,” he added.

Haziq is one of three national junior players in the team. The other two are Meor Mohamed Azuan and Mohamed Shahril Saabah. 

The Star of Malaysia

Rana upbeat about hockey team’s chances for Olympic qualification

LAHORE - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Rana Mujahid Ali has hoped that after beating Poland in its first encounter of Olympic qualifiers, the national team will play well to win its next matches and qualify for the Rio Olympics.

Talking to the reporters, Rana said: “The first victory against Poland proved a morale booster for green shirts.

Although it was not an impressive victory and they have to play better in the next matches, yet a good start always helps in doing well in the next tasks ahead.”

The PHF secretary termed the top ranked Australia a tough opponent and said: “Pakistan team will play its next match against Australia on June 24, which is top ranked and tough team to take on, but our boys are also in good form and if they play their heart out, they can beat the Australians.”

To a query regarding the match against arch-rivals India on June 26, Rana replied: “Although the Indians will have less pressure than the Pakistanis, as they have already qualified for the Rio Olympics, yet I can say that the green shirts are eager to take on them and ready to beat them at a neutral venue.”

To another query regarding provision of substandard accommodation and meal to Pakistani players in Belgium, Rana rubbished the rumors and termed the facilities being provided to the players as satisfactory and good standard.

“Our players have been enjoying very good accommodation and meal there in Belgium.

They are fully fit and committed to help the team score wins and qualify for the Rio Olympics.”

The PHF secretary also thanked the IPC minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada and secretary Ejaz Chaudhry for provision of funds to the federation due to which the team reached Belgium in time.

The Nation

Pakistan’s morale high after Poland win, says Rana Mujahid

Mohammad Yaqoob

LAHORE: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Rana Mujahid claimed the team’s morale is high during the Hockey World League semi-finals currently underway in Antwerp, Belgium, but appealed to federal information minister Pervaiz Rasheed to ensure the live telecast of the matches.

Pakistan beat Poland 2-1 on Saturday in their opening game of the event, which serves as qualifiers for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and Mujahid also put down reports that the national team might be ousted from their hotel in a couple of days due to non-payment of their bills.

“The reports available to the PHF are quite satisfactory and the national team is staying in a five-star hotel, enjoying all other facilities while their morale is quite high,” Mujahid said on Monday.

“Those who are spreading this baseless news are enemies of Pakistan hockey,” added the PHF secretary who was due to leave with PHF president Akhtar Rasool for Belgium on Monday night for the remaining games of the World League.

He lamented the fact that PTV Sports did not telecast the Pakistan-Poland game despite showing the matches involving other teams.

“It surprises every hockey lover in the country that except for the Pakistan-Poland match, PTV Sports showed all other matches,” he said. “I would like to appeal to the federal information minister to ensure the live telecast of all the remaining games involving of Pakistan through the PTV Sports as hockey is our national game.”

Pakistan face Australia in their second Pool ‘A’ match on Wednesday but Mujahid was eyeing the battle against arch-rivals India two days later.

“The game against Australia is a tough one but everyone is looking forward to the match against India as it will be a real battle,” he said. “India lost the last time they met Pakistan [in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy] before their home crowd [last December] so they will be looking to avenge that defeat.

“We are well-prepared, though, are looking at securing top position in our group.”

Mujahid added that the PHF will meet Hockey India (HI) officials in Belgium and will try to negotiate the possibilities for the resumption of the bilateral series between the two countries.

“It is necessary to resume bilateral series in order to raise the standard of the game in the sub-continent,” he said.


India looks to carry momentum against Poland

s2h Team

Having eked out an unconvincing 3-2 win over France in their campaign opener, the Indian men’s side will have to quickly pull up their socks, especially at the defence, when they take on lower-ranked Poland in their second group match of the Hockey World League Semifinals in Antwerp on Tuesday.

India needed a last-gasp goal to emerge victorious in their first match on Saturday as their defence struggled and the Frenchmen exploited the gaps to launch several attacks.

The Sardar Singh-led side will have to produce an improved show tomorrow if they want to maintain a winning momentum.

Poland is ranked 17 in the world, eight spots behind India, but they have the potential to pull off a surprise win and India can take them lightly to their peril.

Like France, the Polish also have some speedy strikers who can mount brisk counters, as they displayed against Pakistan, and the Indian defence will have to make amends of their erratic show in the opening match.

Captain Sardar Singh was fully aware that his side cannot lower their guard against Poland tomorrow.

“You cannot take any rival likely. The world rankings do not matter when you step into the field,” said Sardar, hoping the young members of his team would have gained by the experience against France as newcomer Devinder Walmiki scored an opportunistic goal.

India was handicapped to some extent by the absence of their two drag-flickers V.R. Raghunath and Rupinder Pal Singh.

Raghunath was one of the three players dropped from the squad due to injuries suffered in the training camp ahead of this tournament. Rupinder, who was to be rested from this event, came in as a replacement for Raghunath, but did not play the opening match due to an injury sustained in the warm-up matches leading up to the tournament.


Indian Women's face Kiwis challenge at HWL semis

s2h team

ANTWERP: Following its 0-1 loss to Belgium in the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final, the Indian women's hockey team faces a tough opponent in New Zealand in a pool B contest here on Tuesday.

World No.13 India put up a disciplined show but Belgium walked away winners riding on their sole goal at the Brasschaat Municipal Park on Saturday. Come Tuesday, centre-half Ritu Rani-captained India will need to further raise their game against world No.4 New Zealand, who hammered world No.23 Poland 12-0 in their first match.

Prior to this, India and New Zealand recently met in the pool phase of the Hawke's Bay Cup 2015 where India went down to New Zealand 1-4. They also met earlier in the 2014 Commonwealth Games where India lost to New Zealand 0-3.

In the match against Belgium, Indian goalkeeper Savita showed incredible reflexes to restrict the opponent's scoring and she needs to have another good performance. Indian eves also need to improve the penalty corners conversion rate.

"The first match against the home team Belgium was tough as they had an advantage of playing in front of the home crowd. But we stuck to our structure really well," skipper Ritu said in a release on Monday.

"New Zealand is a good team and it is an important match for us. Although the result of the previous match was not in our favour, we are not losing hopes and will certainly come back in tomorrow's match."

Chief coach Mathias Ahrens said: "I am happy with the way the girls performed in the last match. We lacked in a few areas which were quite visible but we will ensure good possession of the ball and try to put pressure on New Zealand by attacking their defence line.

"We will remain confident and try to convert more chances in our favour tomorrow."


New Zealand challenge for Indian hockey eves

ANTWERP: Following its 0-1 loss to Belgium in the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final, the Indian women's hockey team faces a tough opponent in New Zealand in a pool B contest here on Tuesday.

World No.13 India put up a disciplined show but Belgium walked away winners riding on their sole goal at the Brasschaat Municipal Park on Saturday. Come Tuesday, centre-half Ritu Rani-captained India will need to further raise their game against world No.4 New Zealand, who hammered world No.23 Poland 12-0 in their first match.

Prior to this, India and New Zealand recently met in the pool phase of the Hawke's Bay Cup 2015 where India went down to New Zealand 1-4. They also met earlier in the 2014 Commonwealth Games where India lost to New Zealand 0-3.

In the match against Belgium, Indian goalkeeper Savita showed incredible reflexes to restrict the opponent's scoring and she needs to have another good performance. Indian eves also need to improve the penalty corners conversion rate.

"The first match against the home team Belgium was tough as they had an advantage of playing in front of the home crowd. But we stuck to our structure really well," skipper Ritu said in a release on Monday.

"New Zealand is a good team and it is an important match for us. Although the result of the previous match was not in our favour, we are not losing hopes and will certainly come back in tomorrow's match."

Chief coach Mathias Ahrens said: "I am happy with the way the girls performed in the last match. We lacked in a few areas which were quite visible but we will ensure good possession of the ball and try to put pressure on New Zealand by attacking their defence line.

"We will remain confident and try to convert more chances in our favour tomorrow."

The Times of India

India eves must learn to value possession against NZ: Coach

ANTWERP (Belgium): Indian women's hockey coach Mathias Ahrens on Monday said that the team should not only maximise its ball possession but also convert it into goals when they take on New Zealand in a pool match of the World League Semifinals here on Tuesday.

India, who suffered a 0-1 loss to hosts Belgium in their first Group B outing, have a lot at stake and only an improved show can revive their chances of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"We must value the possession after working hard to earn it," said Ahrens, who only recently took up the assignment with the Indian women's team.

"The loss in the first match was disappointing, but we take a lot of positives into the next game," he added.

The coach insisted that the girls failed to grab their chances in the last outing.

"The players can do much better. I think fitness wise they were up to the challenge and they worked hard in the field. We should have made the possession count. We had our chances, but could not convert them into goals," said Ahrens.

It would be an uphill task for India against world No. 4 New Zealand, who started this tournament with a 12-0 thumping of Poland on Saturday. The Black Sticks had prevailed 4-1 over India in their last encounter also during the recent Hawke's Bay Cup in New Zealand.

But Ahrens said that the "Indian eves should belief in their ability".

Belgium's victory over India could help them avoid World champions -- The Netherlands -- in the quarterfinals, but Ahrens is confident that the Indian eves would get a chance to redeem themselves this tournament.

Three teams from each of the World League Semifinals are assured an entry to the Olympics, but some teams outside the semifinals could also qualify for the Olympics. The crucial factor in the World League is to secure an easy quarterfinal, and India have not helped their cause by losing the first tie to Belgium.

But Ahrens said there was a lot still left for India in this tournament, implying that his wards could still aspire for a fifth-place finish if they show some sparkle.

At world no. 13, India could still fancy their chances of making it to the 12-nation Olympic lineup, where five spots are reserved for winners of continental competitions.

Six other slots are confirmed for the top three teams from the two World League Semifinals. Some duplication of continental winners with the qualifiers from the World League Semifinals would open up more spots that could even go down to teams that do not make the last four of the Antwerp event.

The Times of India

Focus on Sardar Singh as India face Poland

Cedric D’Souza

The Hockey World League Semi-Finals have begun and as Indians we can look back with a mixture of joy and dejection at the results of our men's and women's teams first engagements.

The ladies put up a spirited show and held their own against host nation Belgium, narrowly losing by a solitary goal and could have come out on even terms had it not been for a goal line save by a diving Belgian defender. There was so little to choose between the closely ranked 12th and 13th ranked teams and it is rather unfortunate that our girls came out at the wrong end of the stick.

The ninth-ranked men, on the other hand, continued their winning belief and came from behind to win a hard fought match against 16th-ranked France by 3-2. One witnessed the hand of coach Paul van Ass's methodology of total hockey - in non-possession - all getting back in numbers and keeping the defensive structure tight and compact whilst in ball possession - the lines supporting one another thereby having more options to pass as well as leaving no gaps in case of a turnover. Yes, lots of positives as the players freely interchanged positions and the entire team worked as a unit in attack and defence. To sum it up, it was our good organisational structure that earned us a hard earned victory and winning ways to start the tournament.

The eves play against fourth-ranked New Zealand in the next game and in my opinion should take the battle to them. In attack, engage a high press and push two strikers high up into the deep zones and use the help side with playing passes to the open side especially in the opposition half. In defence, get closer to their opponents by tracking the ball all over the pitch and ensure a guard defender at all times.

The men now play Poland in the next game and again it will be a hard fought game as it is a very physical team, with hard running capacity and although a predominantly defence oriented team that plays on the break, they have the skills to take a player one on one. In addition they have an excellent goalkeeper in Pacanowski and a good penalty corner flicker in Bratkowski.

India must be strong on the ball, not give soft turnovers, move the ball around much faster thereby increasing the ball speed when relaying the passes, use the width as much as possible and push up captain and central midfielder Sardar Singh as a free man just behind the strikers where in my opinion he is most effective and dangerous as he can give his penetrative passes as well as has the ability to dodge and get into the circle. Try and earn as many penalty corners as possible and give new flickers Manpreet Singh and Jasjit Kullar the opportunity to gain the confidence and experience for the bigger tests to come at Rio. Yes, by all means we must play to our attacking strengths but remember to close the back door and maintain the defensive structure.

It's always good to start a tournament with a win but keeping in mind the ultimate goal "OLYMPIC GLORY", the motto for the next game should be to "MAKE WINNING A HABIT".

(Former national coach Cedric D'Souza is commentating for Star Sports during the WHL)

The Times of India

India are not mere tourists at Hockey World League, says Sardar

ANTWERP (Belgium): His side might have already booked their place in next year's Rio Olympics, but India captain Sardar Singh asserted that they are not mere tourists and have a lot to play for in the ongoing Hockey World League Semifinals.

There is little at stake for the Indian team in the current tournament, despite their assured spots in the 2016 Olympic Games as well as the World League Finals later in the year.

The ongoing World League Semifinals offers three spots in the Olympic lineup. For several teams it is the last chance to make it to Rio Olympics, while India have already secured their passage by virtue of winning the Asian Games gold medal at Incheon last year.

Three spots are also available for the World League Finals for which India are automatic qualifiers as hosts, allowing the Sardar-led side the luxury of trying out some young players and new strategies under new chief coach Paul van Ass.

"We are not tourists at this tournament, certainly not," says Sardar, as the Indian captain is asked by world media if the Indian team has anything at stake in this tournament.

India are the only team to have already secured a passage to Rio Games, allowing them to breathe easy in the competition where some countries are showing nerves aplenty.

"We may have already qualified for the Olympics, but we certainly want to perform well going into the World League Finals that India will host later in the year," said Sardar.

"We want to do well here as much at any other team," he added as the team prepares to go into their second pool fixture, against Poland, who gave Pakistan a tough time in their first outing before losing 1-2.

Poland are ranked 17 in the world, eight spots behind India, but Sardar was fully aware that their opponents have the potential to pull off a surprise on the erratic Indian defence that barely survived a scare against France.

Like France, the Polish also have some speedy strikers who can mount brisk counters, as they displayed against Pakistan, who also paid the price for wasting several scoring opportunities until the match-winner came in the fourth quarter.

"You cannot take any rival likely. The world rankings do not matter when you step into the field," said Sardar, hoping the young members of his team would have gained by the experience against France, where newcomer Devinder Walmiki scored an opportunistic goal.

India managed to put it across France 3-2, with the match-winner coming in the dying stages of the match in which they were hampered by the absence of their two drag-flickers VR Raghunath and Rupinder Pal Singh.

Raghunath was one of the three players dropped from the squad due to injuries suffered in the training camp ahead of this tournament. Rupinder, who was to be rested from this event, came in as a replacement for Raghunath, but did not play the opening match due to an injury sustained in the warm-up matches leading upto the tournament.

India's chief coach Van Ass is hopeful that the Indian defence will put up a much-improved show compared to the match against France, who repeatedly managed to cause problems through penetrative bursts.

Trying to impart new strategies to his wards, including some juniors, Van Ass is expected to again use this outing for some more experiments ahead of the tougher encounters against subcontinental hockey rivals Pakistan and reigning World champions Australia.

The Times of India

Hockey India awards Devinder Walmiki Rs 1 lakh for goal on debut

NEW DELHI: Hockey India (HI) announced a a cash award of Rs 1 lakh to Devinder Walmiki for scoring a goal on debut international match in the ongoing FIH World League Semifinals in Antwerp, Belgium.

Devinder scored one of the three goals during India's 3-2 win over France in the Asian country's opening match of the ongoing tournament in Belgium on last Saturday.

Congratulating Devinder on his brilliant performance, HI secretary general Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, said: "Devinder is a disciplined player and has an impressive track record throughout his junior career.

"His consistent performance in Hockey India League, Hockey India National Championship and in training sessions, has helped Devinder him earn a place in the national team for this tournament."

Devinder comes from a family of hockey players. He is the younger brother of striker Yuvraj Walmiki, who is a regular player of the Indian team.Hockey India (HI) announced a a cash award of Rs 1 lakh to Devinder Walmiki for scoring a goal on debut international match in the ongoing FIH World League Semifinals in Antwerp, Belgium.

The Times of India

Devinder Walmiki: A struggling career takes off in style

K. Arumugam

Every goal that India struck against vastly improved and fighting France in the Hockey World League Semifinals opener on Sunday merits erudition and adulation.

More so the stunner of a strike by stylish debutant Devinder Walmiki.

The first goal of Manpreet Singh, off the second penalty corner, a grounder that crashed into the right corner of the cage l past the inform French goalie, is first set piece goal by the mad Mithapur lad.

That has partly filled in the vacuum created by injuries of V. Raghunath and his replacement Rupinder Pal Singh.

The third goal that ensured full points for the only Rio team in Antwerp, India, will be against the name of Ramandeep Singh -- who seemed to have graduated from Indian hockey’s greatest mis-timer in the striking circle to perfect timer of first shot – but the real credit must go to captain Sardar Singh, who wove cobweb around two defenders to set even Ramandeep to fire on.

But Devinder Walmiki’s goal – he is younger brother of Yuvraj in the team, but taller and better built – is significant development in the youngster’s struggling hockey career.

Devinder, who has humble moorings, has had a painful journey to where he is now.

That goal may do wonders for him, much like the hitherto unknown Shivender Singh at the PHL 2 in Chandigarh.

Its almost shanty like habitats in Mumbai where normally ‘Bawa’ of Bombay catches talents. Meharban Patel ‘Bawa’ picked and nursed Devinder too along with many other ‘Walmikis’ there many are knocking the doors of national team.

Devinder was drafted into the inaugural Sultan of Johor Cup in 2011.

Among a sea of rustic players there Devinder stood head and shoulders above the rest.

May be he comes from shanty locality in Mumbai maganar, but zeal and spirit has taken him to new heights early in life. A quick learner, Devinder had already played for a season in a Germany Club, and the sophistication of lifestyle he picked up there told at Johor.

He played centre-half, and combined beautifully with left half Pardeep Mor. More than the game, what separated him was his approach on and off the field.

That the 2011 Johor team was poorly managed by coach Mukesh Kumar. The choice of manager in Janardhan Reddy was questionable. But those are a separate story.

The point is, the new team was rude to umpires on the field, one player was even suspended for a match, some misbehaved with crowd, a player even showed finger at crowd after scoring a goal against the host, and etc etc. But the most irritating scene had been questioning and surrounding umpires for every decision! The new faces, unmindful of international platform, behaved much like a Namdhari team would in KSHA or BHA league!

Fortunately, Devinder was among a few players there, to control their team mates, explaining their points in English to umpires and bring some sort of comfort to Indian fans. Most others just surrounded the umpire unable to explain their position that included a surprising choice of captain. Later, even an umpires wanted to know from me what is ‘Bhaji’, is it a polite word or abusive?

However, more often Devinder had to intervene on behalf of captain to bring a semblance of maturity in the game and appeals.

However, misfortune fell on him soon. Devinder opted to play for the WSH guided by ‘Anna’ of Mumbai whom the Walmiki family can hardly ignore.

Devinder had a great WSH tournament as an all rounder, even excelling in drag flicks at PC situations, winning MoM awards, but had to face the wrath of Hockey India.

The two years succeeding WSH is a dark era of Indian hockey, as huge number of talents had been sacrificed at the altar of WSH-HIL fracas.

Sidelined and silenced, young Devinder suffered even suppression.

Its really the spirit and survival of sportsmanship in him that kept him going at those frustrating times.

Devinder Walmiki saw friends below his calibre making big splash with both the National team and Hockey India League, but he had to endure the humiliation of isolation.

Godfathers came in succession, in sync with his elder brother scoring the last of goal at the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy. So also jealousy.

Both brothers had to pay for being popular and famous in Mumbai. While Michael Nobbs somehow kept his faith on Yuvraj, younger Devinder had to undergo the ignominy of negligence.

Even their pay masters shunted them, leaving them stipend / jobless.

Only did recently Railways come to their rescue.

They returned the compliments with HI National Championship title for the Railways.

New coach Paul van Ass’ professional need for speedy and physically strong players came in handy for Devinder to make it to the Antwerp side.

The rest is history.

Don’t make any mistake. Devinder is a kind of stuff who will die for the team’s cause, and on his days can change the course of match on his own.

He is a game changer

What is required is patience from team management, and continued faith in the emerging star.

He will deliver for long.

Antwerp goal is just a beginning.


From brother in arms to competitors on field

Harpreet Kaur Lamba

It was a wish that their mother had made since Yuvraj and Devindar Walmiki began playing hockey. Each time the youngsters went home and related their tales of matches, she would ask just one question: "When will you play for India together?"

While Yuvraj broke into the national team through his exploits in the 2011 Asian Champions Trophy in China -- a triumph that brought limelight and electricity into his household in Mumbai -- Devindar slowly worked his way up through the junior ranks. Together, they learnt and grew up on hockey and were part of the junior and senior teams, but were never chosen to play together.

This week, the Walmiki brothers joined the list of only a handful of siblings who have played for India together, when they competed in the World Hockey League semi-finals in Antwerp, Belgium.

Ask who among the two was more excited, and pat comes the reply, "Our mother is the happiest!"

"She was the first person I called and she was simply elated," says Devindar, who plays in midfield and made his senior international debut. "It is a huge, huge moment for me. While I have the experience of playing in the junior team, I will look up to Yuvi to guide me ahead. He is my best friend and mentor."

From teenagers who learnt the nuances of the game in the by-lanes of Mumbai - they spent their childhood in a 16x16 shanty near Marine Drive with no electricity - and endless nights under the street light to finish their homework, the Walmiki brothers have been a fairytale story of Indian hockey.

Young, enthusiastic and hard working, the ever-smiling brothers are proof of what can be achieved if an aim is pursued with passion and determination.

Says 25-year-old forward Yuvraj, "I am happy that Dev has made it to the team. It’s always a special feeling when your younger brother gets in the team. During the Hockey India League, we played opposite each other for two years and this time we will be together."

As kids though, the brothers had a tough time convincing their mother to let them take up hockey. Worried that her sons would give up education for sport, she would often hide their ticks.

"Our parents are not educated. They came to Mumbai 40 years ago, but could not earn enough to get proper education, meals or living. So, skipping education was never a choice for us. They were adamant that we should not end up suffering like them. Sometimes, she used to hide our sticks as she believed sport wouldn’t provide us with a comfortable life," says Devindar.

Shoes, sticks, kit, and even books weren’t a novelty and were often provided by fellow players or relatives, until the boys were spotted by Merzaban Patel - popularly known as Bawa - who runs a local hockey team called Bombay Republicans.

Says Yuvraj, "Our parents took a loan for our education when both of us were very young. We were into an English medium school. If other students had nice uniforms and fancy pencil boxes, our parents tried to reduce that gap by providing us with the best of education and facilities.

"Our parents were our first role models... they taught us to make the most of life with the minimum of resources."

Today, Yuvraj and Devindar are among the most stylish players on the team and "turn to each other for everything".

"You can say we are more like friends, and not brothers. We have a special bonding and since we are the only ones in the family -- we are four brothers -- who play hockey, we have a lot to talk about. We go out for movies and shopping together and even talk about girls and relationships," says Yuvraj, adding that he never felt the need to be strict with ‘Dev’.

"I took up hockey because of him. As a kid, I would follow whatever Yuvi did. He started played hockey, so it was a given for me," says Devindar, insisting that unlike other siblings, they never fight or argue with each other.

Yuvraj nods in agreement, but has a tale to relate.

"I was short tempered as a child. I think I was around eight years old, and one afternoon, Devindar was just irritating me with non-stop banter. I took a tile and hit him on the head... there was blood all over and I was very, very scared. I carried him in my arms and ran around to get him treated.

"From that day on, I vowed to just take care of him."

Today, as they continue to do the country and their parents proud, the bond has only grown stronger.

Famous siblings in hockey
Dhyan Chand-Roop Chand
Gurbax Singh-Balbir Singh
Baljit and Daljit Dhillon
Ignace and Prabodh Tirkey
Nitin and Nikkin Thimmaiah
Yuvraj and Devindar Walmiki

The Asian Age

'Stunning' goalkeeper keeper Maddie Hinch takes Team GB to Rio Olympics

By Graham Wilson

Maddie Hinch gave a stunning performance against Germany

WHAT a difference a year makes. After finishing 11th out of 12 nations in the World Cup, England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch could have been forgiven for doubting herself.

She never lost her inner belief but the demons were finally banished in the World League in Valencia, Spain, at the weekend as the Great Britain squad, under returning coach Danny Kerry, qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio by defeating Germany 1-0 in the semi-final, where Hinch was stunning, and then winning the event with a 2-0 victory over China.

GB’s defence conceded only two goals in seven matches and Hinch was duly named goalkeeper of the tournament.

There were many other brave performances, particularly from the event’s joint top scorer Sophie Bray on five goals, Hannah Macleod, the first runner at penalty corners with Lily Owsley, and defender Laura Unsworth.

That takes all the pressure off England in the Unibet European championship in the Olympic Park, London, in August, an event they would otherwise have had to win to qualify for Rio.

Hinch said: “We came here with one job in mind and here we are – a Rio place and we couldn’t be happier.

“We have a great team here and back home and an incredible goalkeeper coach in John Hurst. I felt in good shape coming into this tournament and once my nerves had settled down I started to enjoy myself.”

Hinch has hailed goalkeeping coach John Hurst

That enjoyment will soon become apparent in front of an adoring home crowd at the Olympic Park.

GB’s men, out in Antwerp also need a top three place to qualify for Rio and after a 2-2 draw against their difficult hosts Belgium, face Ireland on Tuesday.

Hinch’s praise of Hurst came after the goalkeeping coach was knocked out in a fall at the Valencia ground the day before the tournament started.

He had driven down to Spain carrying video, medical equipment and spare sticks and had “been overdoing it”.

“I had driven two reserve players to Alicante airport that morning and rushed back to sort things out at the ground. I legged it up to the top of the stadium stairs and felt a bit strange.

“I remember coming round just as I was falling to the ground and knocked myself out.”

Hurst, 63, needed 14 staples to stitch up a head wound and an overnight stay in hospital for concussion.

“The hospital was superb and I was well looked after by them and our own staff,” he said.

“There is so much logistical stuff to do and I was only getting five hours sleep a night, not drinking enough and it was so hot. I am better now but having some tests.”

Hurst added: “Maddie she is fantastic, so quick and agile.

“She had a fantastic 2013 but the World Cup knocked her confidence. She hadn’t experienced that before but she has got back to form and she can still get better.

“To concede only two goals in seven matches in a top tournament like that is a very special moment in our game.

“All credit to Hannah, who is black and blue with bruises, and to Lily and to assistant coach Karen Brown in charge of planning corner defence.”

One problem for Hurst. He had to get his car back from Spain.

“You are not allowed to drive for a month,” he said.

So performance operations manager Michaela Smith, accompanied by head coach Danny Kerry, were driving it home on Monday.

Daily Express

No Olympics for SA hockey teams

Wesley Botton

SA penalty corner drag-flicker Lilian du Plessis follows through as Nicolene Terblanche watches intently.

South Africa will have no men’s or women’s hockey teams at next year’s Rio Olympics, after both sides were eliminated from the World League qualifying series.

The national women’s squad, who needed to finish in the top six to keep their Olympic dream alive, lost 2-0 to Spain in the World League semifinal tournament in Valencia on Saturday and were relegated to the playoff for seventh and eighth positions.

The SA men’s team were unable to reach the World League semifinals after settling for fourth place at the round two event in Cape Town in March.

While International Olympic Committee and International Hockey Federation rules allow teams to qualify through their continental championships, the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee confirmed last month it had closed the African door, as part of its strict criteria for the Games.

It will be the first Olympics since 1992 that the country will not be represented in either the men’s or women’s tournaments.

The Citizen

US Men's U-21 National Team Secures Bronze Medal at India Field Hockey Club Junior Tournament

The U-21 Men's National Team traveled 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's U-21 National Team, June 23-27. Winning the bronze medal at the Junior Tournament, USA Head Coaches Paul Lewis, Ben Howarth and Mike Whitehead look to keep momentum going into the second part of their tour. Get a better insight of IFHC matches from the player blog posts below!

Arriving in Surrey a day late after some rough travels the team was pretty tired yet eager to start the tournament.

Match One: USA vs Ontario
Having only had one quick training session the night before the game, we started off a little unorganized and overwhelmed by the opponent. After struggling to get the feet underneath us in the first half we held Ontario to a scoreless half.

As they come flying out of the break, they were able to capitalize on an early chance of the second half. Throughout the game they kept us to a very limited number of chances and the game looked to be lost.
With less than a minute to go Casey Walker tied the game with a great flick in the bottom right corner.

After our slow start and unorganized play we managed to hold Ontario to only one goal and showed great resilience in scoring a buzzer beater to get a point out of that game.
USA Match MVP - Kai Kokolakis, Captain-Doug Allison

Match Two: USA vs British Columbia Blue
Following a quick transition from our tied first game two hours beforehand, the United States stepped on to the field heavy legged and lethargic. The game commenced with shots on goal by both teams.  British Columbia Blue scored a quick goal on a rebound on a quick counter attack. United States quickly turned the tides with increasing the match pace and ball control. Then the United States received a short corner where Doug Allison scored a decisive goal off a drag flick to the right side net. The game continued play with possession switching from both teams.  Then with three minutes left in the second half a British Columbia Blue player crossed the ball in our circle to score a goal off a deflection. The buzzer rang with British Columbia 2 to United States 1.
USA Match MVP -  Nathan O'lari, Captain-Kai Kokolakis
Match Three: USA vs Red Devils
The third match took place on Saturday, June 20th, against the Red Devils. After coming out strong the US team scored on a short corner with Khai flicking it past the goalie. The Red Devils equalized with the half ending 1-1. In the next half, we led the match 3-2 for most of the half. Christian scored on a broken up short corner play and Amar scored after dribbling down the base line and past the goal keeper. In the last 45 seconds of the match, the Red Devils tied the game 3-3 on a short corner hit. Despite tying, we showed tremendous improvement from the day before - our outlets were faster, our forward transitions more consistent, and our midfielders were more disciplined. Having come very close to 3 points in Game 3, we were determined on securing a win later that day.
USA Match MVP - Walter Pfaff, Captain-Nathan O'lari

Game Four: USA vs BC White Caps
Saturday, June 20 at 4:00 p.m., the USA U-20 Team beat the BC White Caps 1-0 in their fourth game of the tournament. The USA got off to a quick lead with a short corner goal scored by Kai Kokolakis. The rest of the game was a battle of defenses. The USA faced immense pressure from the White Caps push for an equalizing goal.  The last twenty minutes of the second halve was where the USA was bent but didn’t break having to overcome four short corners and the ball mainly staying in their halve. With a few key saves by goalkeeper Nate O’Lari the USA was able to keep the ball out of the back of their net. Although frantic at the end this was a key victory for the USA to stay alive in the tournament.  The man of the match was Casey Walker. This victory was able to secure the USA a place in the bronze medal match at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday June 21.
USA Match MVP - USA Casey Walker, Captain Walter Pfaff

Game Five Bronze Round: USA vs British Columbia Blue
After a good night of preparation and ice baths the red, white and blue arrived at the field hungry for a bronze medal. Facing off against British Columbia Blue, the only team to beat the USA, the start of the first half saw constant pressure from the United States and offensive penalty corners, giving them momentum into the second half. After starting the second half with seven minutes of pressure from the Americans, striker Walter Pfaff received the ball around the 25 meter line and dribbled his way through the D beating the B.C. Blue defenders and goalie, earning the USA a goal. B.C. Blue proceeded to retaliate against the Americans only to be stopped by keeper Nate O'Lari in a series of exciting saves, keeping the U.S. Team in the lead.  Walking off the field having achieved their goal of a bronze medal, the Americans cooled down to prepare for their matches against the Canadian U-21 National Team.
USA Match MVP - Amar Khokhar due to his strong efforts and control of the U.S. midfield Captain-Casey Walker

USFHA media release

2015 National Futures Championship Gathers 680 Athletes

LANCASTER, Pa. – During the course of 10 days, 680 athletes from across the country will take the fields at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Lancaster, Pa. for the 2015 National Futures Championship (NFC). This annual tournament, hosted by Harrow Sports, is a place where the next generation of athletes will push themselves to the limit in pursuit of their future ambitions.

The start of the National Futures Championship is held in conjunction with Olympic Day, tomorrow June 23. Celebrated by thousands of people in more than 160 countries, Olympic Day commemorates the birth of the modern Olympic Games but also is an international effort to promote fitness and well-being, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship.

Following the start of the Young Women’s National Championship, previously the U-21 National Championship, the U-14 Division will kick off NFC action June 23-26, followed by the U-16 Division from June 26-29 and lastly the U-19 Division from June 29-July 2.

“This is an exciting and suitable time for the National Futures Championship,” said Caitie Tornes, USA Field Hockey Manager of Futures and Olympic Development. “With the build-up of it being a pre-Olympic year, we expect athletes to give it their all and really produce a competitive fire.”

The National Futures Championship has been the starting spoke for many selection opportunities to USA Field Hockey Development programs, as well as the chance to showcase their skills in front of some top collegiate coaches. Nearly every athlete currently on the U.S. Women’s National Team once played at the NFC where their determination and talent took them through the Olympic Development Pipeline.

From the National Future Championship, approximately 125 athletes will get selected for the Futures Elite program which is the top level of the pipeline including U-17, U-19 and U-21 Junior National Squads. The top 72 athletes from the Futures Elite program will get the opportunity to participate in the 2016 Futures Elite Championship (FEC). Approximately 110 athletes from the NFC, FEC and Young Women’s National Championship will be invited to Junior National Camp, a premier camp for U-21 athletes. Running from July 5-8, 2015 at Spook Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. athletes will have the opportunity to display their talents for possible selections to junior squads, high performance centers or the U.S. Women’s National Team. AAU Junior Olympics is the last selection opportunity which is only for the U-14 and U-16 Division athletes. USA Field Hockey will select eight teams (approximately 128 athletes) to participate in the annual event being held in Hampton Roads, Va.

The 2015 National Futures Championship program is available online for free. Click here to view the program.

USA Field Hockey is pleased to be kicking off another summer of wonderful events and the opportunity for athletes to showcase their talents. Best of luck to all athletes participating at the 2015 National Futures Championship!

USFHA media release

Scotland U18 squads face England tests in Glasgow

Scotland U18 Men and Women continue their preparations for this summer's forthcoming EuroHockey U18 Championship tournaments with matches against England at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre from 27-28 June.

Both sides will play two internationals against their English counterparts in what will be vital pitch time with high quality opposition.

Match Schedule

Saturday 27 June

Scotland U18 Women v England, 11.00
Scotland U18 Men v England, 17.00

Sunday 28 June

Scotland U18 Women v England (pitch 2), 10.00
Scotland U18 Men v England (pitch 2), 12.00

Scotland U18 Men







St Columba's High School




Robert Gordons College




Adams' Grammar School

Telford & Wrekin



Bellahouston Academy




Glasgow School of Sport




Blairgowrie High School

Dundee Wanderers



University of West Scotland

Western Wildcats



George Heriot's School

CALA Edinburgh



St Leonards

Grove Menzieshill



Edinburgh Academy

CALA Edinburgh



Hutchesons' Grammar School








Douglas Academy

Western Wildcats



Thomas Telford School

Telford & Wrekin



Douglas Academy

Western Wildcats



Edinburgh Academy

Western Wildcats



Glasgow Clyde




Stirling High School

Western Wildcats



St Columba's High School


Scotland U18 Women







Mary Erskine School




St George’s

CALA Edinburgh



Bearsden Academy

Western Wildcats



St Johns Dundee

Dundee Wanderers



George Watsons

CALA Edinburgh



St Columbas




The High School of Glasgow

Western Wildcats



The High School of Glasgow

Clydesdale Western



Mearns Castle

Clydesdale Western



George Watsons




Balerno High School





Borders Fjordhus



George Heriots

CALA Edinburgh



George Heriots

CALA Edinburgh




Clydesdale Western



NE Scotland College

Merlins Gordonians


Al Haddad

Glasgow Academy

Western Wildcats




CALA Edinburgh

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Top two confirm place in German playoffs

Rot-Weiss Köln and UHC Hamburg have both confirmed their place in the top four of the German league and a place in the playoffs. Harvestehuder are close to making it, too, but require another result to get over the line.

But the fourth spot remains very much up for grabs with Berliner, Krefeld and Uhlenhorst Mülheim covered by just two points with only two games remaining in the regular season.

Rot-Weiss were emphatic 8-1 winners over Mülheim on Sunday to affirm their place in the leading quartet with Marco Miltkau scoring a hat trick.

A day earlier, though, they lost to in-form Krefeld 2-1 thanks to a pair of goals from Max van Laak, overturning Benjamin Wess’s 22nd minute opener. Krefeld, though, missed their chance to breach the top four on Sunday when they drew with Mannheimer 1-1 – their tenth game without defeat.

Berliner HC, therefore, held on to fourth place as they beat Düsseldorfer 6-0 before they tied with HTHC.

UHC Hamburg moved up to second place with wins over Nuremburg 3-2 and Munich SC 6-1. Harvestehuder had a pair of draws – 2-2 against Berliner and 4-4 against Blau-Weiss Berlin.

Euro Hockey League media release

Warriors toppled

Strathmore Gladiators win weekend matches to go top of KHU Men’s Premier League

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Strathmore Festus Odhiambo vies for the ball againsts USIU-A's Alex Kubasu in their Kenya Hockey Union Match played at City Park Stadium

Strathmore University Gladiators registered two crucial victories to shoot to the top of the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Men's Premier League standings.

The two time champions beat Parklands Sports Club (2-0) on Saturday and United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) (1-0) on Sunday to dislodge reigning champions Butali Sugar Warriors.

Gladiators played their hearts out, outshining their opponents and going all the way to the top from fourth place for the first time in a long time.

Festus Onyango starred for Gladiators, scoring the all-important goal in their 1-0 victory over USIU-A before adding a second goal in their tie against Parklands.

Strathmore head coach Meshack Senge, who was impressed, showered his players with praises saying they had fought a good fight and deserved the victories.

"They (Gladiators) played well and deserved the wins, with that kind of determination, we are on our way to regaining our lost glory," Senge told FeverPitch at City Park Stadium on Sunday.
See Also: Scorpions sting Titans in hockey contest

Strathmore were last crowned KHU champions in 2010 in a disputed league that saw them declared winners by a tribunal at the expense of Kenya Police. Police came back stronger and dethroned them in 2011 and since then, the students have never bounced back to reclaim their title.

Gladiators top the table with 16 points from eight matches, while reigning champions Butali are second a point shy of Strathmore, having played six matches.

The 2013 champions Police are third with 12 points from four wins and a loss, while USIU-A are fourth with 11 points from six matches. Wazalendo, who regained their footing after a bad start to the season, are fifth with 10 points from seven matches.

Despite not being in action at weekend, champions Orange Telkom are still at the summit of the women's log with 12 points. The African queens have scored 26 goals in four matches and are yet to concede a goal in their title retention campaign.

Last year's runners up Strathmore Scorpions are second with ten points from three wins and a draw after recording a 1-0 victory against Kenyatta University at the weekend. The scorpions have failed to shine this season, a move that is worrying their coach Senge.

"We have to go back to the drawing board, something is definitely wrong with my players and I have to find out what it is, with this kind of display we can't count ourselves as major title contenders," a very disturbed Senge said.

he biggest beneficiaries in the women's league were Vikings and Sliders who earned three points to move places on the table.

Vikings beat Mount Kenya University ladies 2-0 to earn their second victory of the season and move to third place with seven points.

Sliders, on the other hand, sounded the board three times to beat Daystar University 3-0. They are fifth on the log, tying on six points with fourth placed USIU-A but with an inferior goal difference.

The Standard Online

Lewis keeps Paragon on repeat course

Nigel Simon

T&T women’s team captain Alanna Lewis came up big for her club Paragon when needed once again, netting the lone goal in a 1-0 win over fellow title chasers Shandy Carib Magnolias in the T&T Hockey Board Women’s Championship Division at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua, on Saturday.

Lewis, who is also her club captain,  scored as early as the second minute for the unbeaten Paragon women to improve to 16 points from four matches, only four behind Georgetown Cricket Club of Guyana which ended its 12-match campaign with 20 points while Magnolias remained on 13 points, the same as Harvard Checkers.

However, Magnolias has five matches to play while Paragon and Notre Dame has four and Checkers three to complete their campaigns.

In the Men’s Championship Division, Paragon whipped Fatima 3-1 to strengthen its hold on fourth spot with 16 points from ten matches, three behind Queen’s Park which has played two matches more.

Playing without national forward Kiel Murray, Paragon still had enough “firepower” and got a goal each from Ryan Cowie (16th), Gerron Frank (34th), and Isaiah Scott (36th)  before Mario Mohammed got a 43rd-minute consolation for Fatima.

Petrotrin leads the table with 28 points from 11 matches and needs only one win from its three remaining matches to claim the title as it lies seven points clear of defending champions Notre Dame which also has three matches left to play.

Defence Force has 12 from 11 matches in fifth spot.

Saturday’s T&T HB Results

Under-19 Boys:
Courts Malvern 6 (Jeshajam Dayton 15th, 17th, Aidan Marcano 23rd, 65th, Jovan Wren 24th, Jabari Wyke 26th) vs Fatima 0
Men’s Championship:
Paragon 3 (Ryan Cowie 16th, Gerron Frank 34th, Isiah Scott 36th)  vs Fatima 1 (Mario Mohammed 43rd)
Women’s Championship:
Paragon 1 (Alanna Lewis 2nd) vs SC Magnolias 0

Current T&THB selected tables​

Men’s Championship:
Teams    P    W    D    L    F    A    Pts
Petrotrin    11    9    1    1    41    16    28
Notre Dame    11    6    3    2    29    16    21
QPCC    12    5    4    3    29    21    19
Paragon    10    5    1    4    25    24    16
Defence Force    12    2    6    4    24    26    12
Malvern    11    2    4    5    16    21    10
Fatima    12    2    3    7    17    33    9
Paradise    9    2    0    7    16    41    6
Women’s Championship:
GCC    12    6    2    4    22    20    20
Paragon    8    4    4    0    18    7    16
SC Magnolias    8    4    1    3    20    9    13
Checkers    8    3    4    1    8    4    13
Notre Dame    7    3    1    3    12    13    10
Malvern    6    1    2    3    7    13    5
Ventures    7    0    0    7    1    22    0​

The Trinidad Guardian

Checkers edge Dames to stay in hunt

Nigel Simon

Petrotrin’s Nicholas Grant, right, and Neil Lashely of Defence Force battle for the ball in their T&T Hockey Board Men’s Championship Division match at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua on Friday. Petrotrin won 5-2. Photo: Anthony Harris

Mindy Charles and Cristina Abreu were both on target as  Harvard Checkers edged past Notre Dame 2-1 to stay in the hunt for the T&T Hockey Board Women’s Championship Division at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua on Sunday. After a 0-0 first two quarters, Charles opened the scoring for Checkers in the 45th minute to lead 1-0 at the end of the third quarter while Abreu doubled the advantage in the 50th.

But four minutes later, national forward Blair Wynne sliced the deficit in half to give the Dames hopes of turning the contest around. However, Checkers held on for the valuable win to join Paragon in second spot with 16 points, but while the latter has played eight matches, Checkers which tackle Magnolias from 8pm tomorrow has played nine.

At the top of the table is Georgetown Cricket Club of Guyana which ended its 12-match campaign with 20 points while Magnolias is fourth with 13 points from eight matches as well, three more than Notre Dame which is still in the title race with ten points from eight matches.

In the Men’s Championship Division, Petrotrin leads the table with 28 points from 11 matches and needs only one win from its three remaining matches to claim the title as it sits seven points ahead of defending champions Notre Dame which also has three matches left to play. Queen's Park is third on the table with 19 points from 12 matches, three ahead of Paragon which has four left to play while Defence Force has 12 points from 11 matches in fifth spot.

Sunday’s T&T HB Results
Trinity Men:
Paragon 1 (K Quashie 25th) vs Notre Dame 0
Women’s Championship:
Courts Malvern 7 (Krizia Layne 21st, 23rd, 29th, 53rd, Kherdine Gonzales 17th, Liselle Parris 53rd, Sherlan Cabralis 56th) vs Ventures 0
Harvard Checkers 2 (Mindy Charles 45th, Cristina Abreu 50th) vs Notre Dame 1 (Blair Wynne 54th)

Current T&THB selected tables:

Men’s Championship:
Teams    P    W    D    L    F    A    Pts
Petrotrin    11    9    1    1    41    16    28
Notre Dame    11    6    3    2    29    16    21
QPCC    12    5    4    3    29    21    19
Paragon    10    5    1    4    25    24    16
D/Force    12    2    6    4    24    26    12
Malvern    11    2    4    5    16    21    10
Fatima    12    2    3    7    17    33    9
Paradise    9    2    0    7    16    41    6

Women’s Championship:
GCC    12    6    2    4    22    20    20
Paragon    8    4    4    0    18    7    16
Checkers    9    4    4    1    10    5    16
SC Magnolias    8    4    1    3    20    9    13
Notre Dame    8    3    1    4    13    15    10
Malvern    7    2    2    3    14    13    8
Ventures    8    0    0    8    1    29    0

Trinity Men:
Notre Dame    8    4    1    3    24    13    13
QPCC    6    4    1    1    18    7    13
Paradise    6    4    1    1    18    11    13
Malvern    6    4    0    2    9    6    12
Paragon    6    3    0    3    4    10    9
Carib    4    2    0    2    6    6
Shape    5    2    0    3    7    9    6
Fatima    5    0    1    4    3    14    1
Police    4    0    0    4    1    13    0

Trinity Women:
Magnolias    4    4    0    0    24    12
Checkers    4    3    1    0    21    3    10
Paragon    5    3    1    1    11    10    10
Malvern    3    1    0    2    10    8    3
Police    4    1    0    3    4    14    3
Paradise    4    0    0    4    1    12    0
Raiders    2    0    0    2    0    24    0

Under-19 Boys:
Malvern    7    7    0    0    54    2    21
QPCC    7    6    0    1    37    6    18
Fatima    6    3    1    1    13    12    11
Paragon    7    3    1    3    15    10    10
Petrotrin    7    2    1    4    7    43    7
Shape    4    2    0    2    11    10    6
Paradise    5    1    1    3    8    14    4
Notre Dame    8    1    0    789    38    3
Raiders    5    0    1    4    0    19    1

Under-19 Girls:
Magnolias    5    5    0    0    75    1    15
Paragon    5    3    1    1    47    5    10
Malvern    5    3    1    1    30    13    10
Checkers    5    1    2    2    10    4    5
Notre Dame    3    1    0    2    3    13    3
Petrotrin    5    1    0    4    3    90    3
Raiders    4    0    0    4    2    42    0

The Trinidad Guardian

Honduras ready to welcome their counterparts from Central America in September 2015

Photo: Head of the Physical Education Department of Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán, Mr. Ramón Antonio Vega , Norin Palencia , President of the Honduran Federation of Hockey , Laura Macchiotti ,PAHF Events Coordinator.

The II Central America Indoor Cup will take place in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, from September 11th to September 13th. Besides the event, technical and umpiring courses will be run.

PAHF made the pre tournament visit in early June to assist with the organization of this important event. The second edition of this cup will have the representation of women's and men's national teams of Honduras , Costa Rica , Guatemala , El Salvador , Panama, and Ecuador men's team as a special guest.

Soledad Iparraguirre (ARG ) Olympic Umpire , will be responsible for training the umpires, and international Alicia Takeda ( MEX ) will conduct the course for technical officials (September 9th and 10th).

The event is part of PAHF development program to encourage competition of new countries, and it will be held at the venue of the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán.

Norin Palencia, President of the Federation, and Laura Macchiotti worked on the draft of the National Development Hockey Plan for Honduras. During the meetings with Salvador Jimenez Cáceres, President of the Honduran Olympic Committee, the feasibility of delivering this plan to gain Olympic Solidarity resources in the next cycle was discussed.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Development of hockey in Ecuador

The Ecuador Hockey Federation is still going through a stage of reorganization after the intervention by the Ministry of Sports.

The Ecuadorian Olympic Committee and the Sports Ministry are seeking to train managers and coaches for this new era to come. FIH Coach Ernesto Lucero and Laura Macchiotti visited Ecuador to help this purpose.  Once the clubs complete the formalities required by the government, the Hockey Federation may call to elections to normalize their operation.

Dr. Augusto Moran, President of the COE and COE Treasurer Andrea Sotomayor with auditors Magaly Campoverde and Paul Sarzosa representing the Ministry of Sports, organized the arrival of the PAHF experts to train coaches and managers.

For five days, Coach Ernesto Lucero worked with potential coaches delivering the foundation and tools to teach hockey in the country. Laura Macchiotti worked with representatives of the clubs in their development plans, so once the new board will find these institutions working systematically.

The theoretical and practical courses were run at the venue of the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee in the city of Guayaquil, and were attended by more than 30 people.

Coach Lucero worked with the Men's National Team and with their coach, Rolando Mera, in preparation for the Central American Cup, which will take place in Honduras in September 2015 and the PAHF Challenge to be held in Chiclayo, Peru in October this year.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

USA Field Hockey Announces Departure of Executive Director

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Field Hockey has announced the departure of Executive Director Steve Locke after over five years of service to the organization.

“We appreciate Steve Locke’s tenure at USA Field Hockey and recognize the positive impact he made on our organization.  We feel a change in leadership is necessary at this time to achieve the high level goals and new challenges that we have for USA Field Hockey,” said Chair of the Board of Directors, Shawn Hindy.

Under Locke, USA Field Hockey has grown from a $6 million entity into a nearly $9 million revenue-producing governing body.  He was instrumental in establishing the Home of Hockey at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa., where our Women’s National Team is based. Currently ranked number five in the world, the team is at its highest world ranking in over twenty years.

Locke helped establish our Men’s National Team residency program in Chula Vista while working with the United States Olympic Committee to provide athletes with more high-level programming.

On the club field hockey side, he advanced the sanctioning of more USA Field Hockey events accompanied by the club ranking system and Regional and National Club Championships. Locke increased the insurance coverage for members of USA Field Hockey.

“The Board of Directors for USA Field Hockey is focused on the strategic plan for USA Field Hockey and the development and growth of the sport in the United States.  We want field hockey to succeed and thrive on all levels throughout the United States,"  added Hindy.

An international search will be conducted to fill the Executive Director role in the coming months.

USFHA media release

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