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News for 28 June 2015

All the news for Sunday 28 June 2015

Oranje & Black Sticks win Pools as QF line-ups confirmed

Lidewij Welton congratulated on her stunning goal.

Day 7: Following a Thrilling Thursday of men’s action, Fantastic Friday was all about the women as the pool phase of the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Finals came to an end and the line-up for the cross-over quarter-finals became known.

Maartje Paumen scored a hat-trick against Italy as the Netherlands finished top of Pool A, with Oranje now facing a quarter-final match-up against India, Pool B’s fourth placed team. Anita Punt and Gemma Flynn were on target as New Zealand defeated Belgium’s Red Panthers to seal a first place finish in Pool B and will now meet Japan in the last eight.

The other two quarter-finals - which take place on Tuesday 30th June - will see Korea taking on Belgium and Australia doing battle with Italy as the race for the Hockey World League Final and Rio 2016 Olympic Games tickets continues in Antwerp.

More details on today matches can be found below, with the match schedule for the quarter-finals available by clicking here.

Pool A
Japan 0-1 Korea
Korea grabbed a 1-0 win against Japan’s Cherry Blossoms as both teams played their final match in Pool A. The result proved to be enough for Korea to seal second place in the standings and set up a meeting with host nation Belgium.

The only goal of an incredibly close encounter between these two great rivals of Asian hockey arrived in the second quarter of the match, with team captain Kim Jongeun netting with a brilliant penalty corner drag-flick that sailed into the top right corner of Sakiyo Asano’s goal.

Regarding the meeting with the Red Panthers in the quarter-finals, Korea Head Coach Han Jin Soo was cautious. “I would not say that I am confident, because Belgium are good technically and they are the home team so will have a lot of spectators cheering, so if we do face them then we know it will be difficult.”

Netherlands 9-0 Italy
Reigning World, Olympic and Hockey World League champions the Netherlands made it four wins out of four in Antwerp, bringing Pool A to a close with a comfortable victory over Italy.

Team captain Maartje Paumen scored her second hat-trick of the tournament with Lidewij Welten (2), Caia van Maasakker, Ellen Hoog, Marloes Keetels and Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel also on the score-sheet. It was a first defeat of the tournament for Italy, who battled bravely but were ultimately outclassed by the top ranked team in world hockey.

“I think we played a really good game, a nice, fast passing game and I think we did a really good job today to score nine goals against Italy”, said Maartje Paumen after the game. “We want to do better every time we stop onto the field and I am happy the performance today.”

Pool B
Belgium 0-2 New Zealand
New Zealand sealed a first place finish in Pool B courtesy of a 2-0 win over Belgium’s Red Panthers. Anita Punt and Gemma Flynn scored the goals for a Black Sticks team that finished the pool phase with a 100 per cent win record and a defence that has yet to concede a goal here in Antwerp.

“Full credit to Belgium, they came out firing so it was nice to get the second goal”, said Black Sticks striker Gemma Flynn, who has now scored seven times in four matches at the HWL Semi-Finals. “We had a few chances but it was pretty even throughout the game. We pride ourselves on our defence so it is really good to walk away from these pool games having kept a clean sheet.”

Looking ahead to their quarter-final match-up with Japan, Flynn said: “It will be a good challenge, so now our focus switches to preparing for that game.”

Australia 4-2 India
It was another fine day at the office for penalty corner superstar Jodie Kenny, who claimed a four goal haul as Australia’s Hockeyroos battled past a resilient India in the final match of Pool B.

The result sealed a second place finish for Australia in the pool, meaning that they will now face Italy - who finished third in Pool A - in the cross-over quarter-finals. India finished fourth in the pool and now face a tough quarter-final match against world number 1 the Netherlands, who finished at the summit of Pool A.

Speaking after the game, four goal heroine Jodie Kenny said: “There are things that we can improve for the next game but really happy to slot four on the board, which is a bit of deja vu from the first game”, referring to the four she netted against Poland on 21 June.

Looking ahead to their quarter-final clash with Italy, Kenny said: “First thing is recovery straight after the game and then the prep work, including research on the team.”

More details about the event including video clips, imagery and official competition info can be found on the event website.

#HWL2015 #RoadToRio

FIH site

Women's quarter-final line-up confirmed in Antwerp

  •     Reigning World, Olympic & HWL champions the Netherlands play India while New Zealand to face-off against Japan
  •     Korea to meet Belgium while Australia face Italy as race for HWL Final and Rio 2016 Olympic Games tickets continues

Following the completion of the pool phase at the women's FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Antwerp, the line-up for the cross-over quarter-final matches has been confirmed. The top three finishers in the event will not only seal a place at the end of year Hockey World League Final in Argentina but also qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Maartje Paumen scored a hat-trick against Italy as the Netherlands finished top of Pool A, with Oranje now facing a quarter-final match-up against India, Pool B’s fourth placed team.

In Pool B, Anita Punt and Gemma Flynn were on target as New Zealand defeated Belgium’s Red Panthers to seal a first place finish and will now meet Japan in the last eight.

The other two quarter-finals - which take place on Tuesday 30th June - will see Korea taking on Belgium and Australia doing battle with Italy as the race for the Hockey World League Final and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games tickets continues.

Women's quarter-final day will commence with the 9-10 classification match, with the first quarter-final getting underway at 13:00pm local time in Antwerp.

The quarter-finals will take place on Tuesday 30th June with the running order as follows (local time - CEST):

9th-10th  10:30   France  v  Poland
QF          13:00   Australia  v  Italy
QF          15:30   New Zealand  v  Japan
QF          18:00   Netherlands  v  India
QF          20:30   Korea v  Belgium

FIH site

Black Sticks roll into quarters undefeated

Photo courtesy Kiwi Hockey

The Black Sticks Women have wrapped up pool play with a perfect record after a 2-0 win over hosts Belgium at the FIH World League Semi-Final in Antwerp.

In front of a vocal home crowd, Belgium defended hard for the entire game but goals from captain Anita Punt and Gemma Flynn sealed the result for the Black Sticks.

New Zealand finish on top of Pool B with four wins from four games as well as an unbelievable 21 goals scored for and zero conceded.

The Black Sticks are now confirmed to play Japan in their sudden-death quarter final on Wednesday 1st July at 1.30am (NZ time), with live coverage on SKY Sport.

The winner of that match grabs a place in the semi finals and assures themselves a top four placing at the tournament, earning the chance to compete at the World League Final in December.

Adding to the potential prize is the opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, with the top three sides at this tournament securing an automatic berth.

Gemma Flynn, who has scored seven goals at the tournament so far, said it was good to get the result and now the focus shifts to the quarter finals.

“It’s good to come through the pool games unbeaten and with a clean sheet, I’m really proud of our defence and the way we are playing for each other,” she said.

“We’ve got a few work ons from today but it’s good to take away the win and now our focus really turns to Japan.

“Japan can play a similar way to how Belgium did today and they defend hard so we need to counteract that. We know what we need to do to get it done.”

The Black Sticks had all the early running and possession but Belgium were buoyed by their home crowd and defended desperately.

Punt opened the scoring in the 12th minute when she smashed home her own rebound from a penalty corner flick.

Both sides had their chances throughout the second quarter but couldn’t find the back of the net and New Zealand carried a one goal advantage into halftime.

Flynn continued her hot scoring streak just three minutes into the second half, delivering a punishing blow from the top of the circle to give the Kiwis a two goal buffer.

The Black Sticks had the majority of possession throughout the rest of the game but Belgium pushed their players behind the ball and the Kiwis couldn’t add to the score sheet.

BLACK STICKS 2: (Anita Punt, Gemma Flynn)
Halftime: Black Sticks 1-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks remain unbeaten

By David Leggat

Anita Punt was one of the Black Sticks' goal scorers today. Photo / Getty

New Zealand remained unbeaten in pool play, and without conceding a goal, after their 2-0 win over hosts Belgium at the World League hockey semifinal in Antwerp today.

Goals from captain Anita Punt after 11 minutes and Gemma Flynn, just after the second half began, set the world No 4 Black Sticks up for a quarter-final against 16th-ranked Japan early on Wednesday (NZT).

The four pool B games produced 21 goals and New Zealand's defence has impressed in keeping a clean sheet throughout the tournament.

Punt's goal came after her shot from the first of New Zealand's two penalty corners was blocked and the rebound gave her a second chance, which she took with a firm shot.

Belgium's defence didn't make life easy for New Zealand, despite them having an overwhelming advantage in possession (73 percent) and circle penetrations (20-7).

Flynn's seventh goal of the tournament, after a strong drive into the circle and powerful shot, gave New Zealand the cushion they needed.

A third goal could have come right at the end when Kirsten Pearce did well to intercept a loose ball but her one-on-one shot was blocked by Belgian goalkeeper Aisling d'Hooghe, in her 100th international.

"We had a few chances but it was pretty even throughout the game," Flynn said. ''We pride ourselves on our defence so it is really good to walk away from these pool games having kept a clean sheet."

World No 2 Australia finished second in the pool after a 4-2 win over India, and now play Italy; Belgium face Korea while world No1 the Netherlands, who thumped the Italians 9-0 today, will face India.

The top three finishers at the tournament automatically qualify for next year's Rio Olympics.

The New Zealand Herald

Black Sticks women top Pool B after fourth straight win in Belgium

The Womens Black Sticks finish their pool play unbeaten and play Japan next in the quarter-finals.

The Black Sticks women have recorded their fourth straight shutout victory to top pool B at the World Hockey League Semifinal tournament in Belgium, setting up a quarterfinal against Japan.

Following big victories over Poland and India, and a 2-0 win over world No 2 Australia, the Kiwis defeated the tournament host 2-0 in their final group match in Antwerp to sweep through pool play having scored 21 goals. They have conceded none.

Anita Punt scored for the second straight match, opening the scoring in the 12th minute, banging home the rebound from her own penalty corner strike. Gemma Flynn netted her seventh goal of the tournament, scoring three minutes after the main break.

"It's good to come through the pool games unbeaten and with a clean sheet, I'm really proud of our defence and the way we are playing for each other," Flynn said.

"We've got a few work ons from today but it's good to take away the win and now our focus really turns to Japan.

"Japan can play a similar way to how Belgium did today and they defend hard so we need to counteract that. We know what we need to do to get it done."

The winner of the quarterfinal on Tuesday (NZT 6.30am Wednesday) will be assured a top-four placing at the tournament, earning the chance to compete at the World League Final in December.

Adding to the potential prize is the opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, with the top three sides at this tournament securing an automatic berth.

In other quarterfinals, Pool A winners Netherlands face India, Australia play Italy and South Korea take on Belgium.


Kenny to the ’four’

Queensland defender nets all four in 4-2 win over India

Jody Kenny congratulated by her team mates

Another four goal haul from Jodie Kenny helped the Hockeyroos to a 4-2 victory over India in their final Pool B match at the Hockey World League, setting up a quarter final clash with Italy on Tuesday, who finished in third place in Pool A.

Kenny’s early penalty corner double either side of Vandana Katariya’s fifth minute equaliser set the tone for a pulsating game that twice saw India’s Eves battle back to draw level, only for the Hockeyroos to respond immediately.

Poonam Rani’s scrambled equaliser shortly after half time made it 2-2 but less than 60 seconds later Kenny completed her hat-trick to put Australia’s women back in front.
The Queensland defender’s fourth goal came from the penalty spot on the stroke of three-quarter time after Brooke Peris was wiped out by Indian goalkeeper Ranjani Etimarpu with the Hockeyroos awarded a penalty stroke on appeal to the video umpire.

Speaking afterwards, Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens said, “I thought we started off really sharply and we looked pretty good and then our second quarter was a bit average and we let them back in the game.

“One of the things that we’ve been doing over the last three months is working on a number of different game plans that we think will make us a better team in 14 months when we get to the Olympic Games.

“You see the transition from when we’re in ball possession to when we’re defending is probably not as tight as it once was. It’s something that we’re working hard on and we believe it will make us a better team in the long term.

“In this tournament we need to get the job done but to grow and be a gold medal winning team we need to have multiple ways of play and I’ve been really proud of how the girls have been able to adapt and bring in that way of play when we’ve got the ball. Now we just need to tidy up when we lose it.”

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s quarter final clash against world number 16, Italy, Commens said, “Italy are a team that before today, where against the Netherlands they were dismantled quite easily, looked really sharp. A draw against Korea, a draw against Japan, they came third in that pool for a reason, because they’re a quality side.

“They’ve got some experienced players and they’re pretty sound technically and tactically. We’ll need to be on our game and take our opportunities, otherwise you get in a real tooth and nail struggle and that’s something that you don’t want to get in with teams like Italy.”

Responding to as question on whether the Hockeyroos may be seen as relying too heavily on the penalty corner prowess of Kenny, who has now scored nine goals in four games, he added, “We have always complained in Australia we don’t have penalty corner specialists and now we have one we talk about our inability to score field goals. As a coach I would love for us to do both and we’ve demonstrated in the past that we can do it.

“At the Commonwealth Games we had Georgie Parker score seven field goals, at the Champions Trophy we had Emily Smith as one of the leading goal scorers and we were one of the teams that scored one of the most amounts of field goals. So, we can do it. It’s just about sticking to our processes and making sure we just nail down the precision and the detail in the final end.

“And, actually, we have to do it now in the business end of the tournament and that’s what we’ll be aiming to do.”

In her post-match interview, Jodie Kenny said, "I’m happy to get four on the board. It’s sort of déjà vu again from the first game, absolutely stoked!

“I was really confident coming into this tournament and I was really excited about it actually. I’m really happy every time we get a PC. I am really confident and happy I’m executing well.

“The tournament pretty much starts from here. Quarter finals are always very exciting. Looking forward to playing Italy but we need to do our research and get the recovery going straight away from that game. Looking forward to it.”

Casey Sablowski missed the match with a knee injury but is expected to return for the Hockeyroos' quarter final match.                                                                             
Hockey World League
Antwerp, Belgium

Pool B, Match 4

Jodie Kenny 2, 6, 33, 44 (PC, PC, PC, PS)
INDIA: 2 (1)
Vandana Katariya 5 (FG)
Poonam Rani 33 (PC)
Hockeyroos squad v India
Name (Hometown/State) Caps/Goals
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 305/67
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 64/5
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD) 77/2
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 147/33
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 141/87
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 67/7
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 159/31
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 179/63
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA) 80/25
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA) 19/5
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC) 51/0
Used Substitutes
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD) 210/10
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 75/2
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 57/9
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 121/49
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW) 18/2

Unused Substitutes
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 122/0
Casey Sablowski (South Coast, NSW) 225/44

Quarter Final Fixtures - Tuesday 30 June (in Belgium)
13:00 CET / 21:00 AEST (Tues) - Australia v Italy
15:30 CET / 23:30 AEST (Tues) - New Zealand v Japan
18:00 CET / 02:00 AEST (Wed) Netherlands v India
20:30 CET / 04:30 AEST (Wed) - Korea v Belgium                                                            

Match Schedule - Hockeyroos' Fixtures (dates and times all AEST)
30 June – 21:00 - Hockeyroos v Italy, Quarter Final
2 July – TBC - Semi Final / Classification
4 July – TBC - Medal Matches / Classification

Hockey Australia media release

Hockeyroos beat India to set up World Hockey League quarter-final clash with Italy

Another four-goal haul from Jodie Kenny has helped the Hockeyroos to a 4-2 victory over India in their final Pool B match at the World Hockey League.

Next up for the Australian women is a quarter-final clash with Italy, who finished in third place in Pool A.

Kenny's early penalty-corner double either side of Vandana Katariyas fifth-minute equaliser set the tone for a pulsating game that twice saw India battle back to draw level, only for the Hockeyroos to respond immediately.

Poonam Ranis scrambled equaliser shortly after half time made it 2-2 but, less than 60 seconds later, the prolific Kenny completed her hat-trick of penalty-corner flicks.

The Queensland defender's fourth goal came from the penalty spot on the stroke of three-quarter-time after Brooke Peris was wiped out by Indian goalkeeper Ranjani Etimarpu.

Coach Adam Commens was happy with the sharp start but not the second-quarter fade that allowed India back in the game.

"One of the things that we've been doing over the past three months is working on a number of different game plans that we think will make us a better team in 14 months when we get to the Olympic Games," he said

"In this tournament we need to get the job done but to grow and be a gold-medal-winning team we need to have multiple ways of play and I've been really proud of how the girls have been able to adapt and bring in that way of play when we've got the ball. Now we just need to tidy up when we lose it."

The world number two Hockeyroos will be heavy favourites against the 16th-ranked Italians, but Commens said his team will not be taking them lightly.

"They've got some experienced players and they're pretty sound technically and tactically," he said.

"We'll need to be on our game and take our opportunities, otherwise you get in a real tooth-and-nail struggle and that's something that you don't want to get in with teams like Italy."

ABC News

Indian eves lose to Australia 2-4

s2h team

Aiming to win the last match of the pool phase, Indian eves went down fighting and lost to Australia by 2-4 at the ongoing FINTRO Hockey World League 2015 (Women) being played at Belgium.

In a hard fought match between the two teams, Australia took an early lead in the second minute from a penalty corner conversion when the ball rebounded off the back foot and swiftly hit the goal post through the brilliant efforts of Jodie Kenny. The Indian team made some good moves in their circle and showed a very safe and intense game play giving a tough competition to the opposition. Three minutes later, Vandana Katariya skillfully placed the ball and smashed the ball hard into the box through a clear deflection which equalized the scores at 1-1 in the fifth minute. The equalizer was short-lived as Australia’s lead was again restored when Kenny converted a penalty corner in the sixth minute to put her team into the 2-1 lead against India before going into the second quarter.

Indian eves lost to Australia 2-4 at the FINTRO Hockey World League 2015

Antwerp (Belgium), 27 June 2015:The second quarter saw tremendous action as both the teams stepped on the turf with more passion and attacked each other’s halves. High- spirited Indian eves showed willingness to attack and continuously looked forward to the counter- attack as quickly as they can. However, Australia got another chance to stretch their lead by earning a penalty corner opportunity but it was cleared by the Indian defence. The concrete defensive structure from both sides foiled the chances of any scoring and quarter ended without the scorecard being touched. At the end of first half Australia was still leading 2-1 against India.

In the third quarter, the two teams played with better strategies and maintained control over the ball. It was India who managed to force a penalty corner in the 33rd minute which was executed successfully by Poonam Rani who dexterously struck the goal post to level the scores at 2-2. Australia responded quickly through Jodie Kenny who surged ahead and scored the third goal for her team in the 33rd minute taking the scores to 3-2. Just a minute before the third quarter ended, Jodie Kenny once again hit the goal and struck the fourth goal for Australia in the 44th minute through a penalty stroke. By the end of the third quarter, the scores were 4-2 in favour of Australia.

Getting underway to the final quarter, while Australia maintained its dominance on the match, India continued to attack aggressively to convert scoring opportunities. Indian Captain Ritu Rani navigated the ball well and created numerous chances, while goalkeeper Rajani produced some outstanding saves to deny the Aussies from scoring any further goals but the game went in favour Australia who defeated India 4-2.


Indian women lose 2-4 after a gritty fight against Australia

ANTWERP (Belgium): Indian women produced their best performance of the ongoing Hockey World League Semi-Final even though they suffered a 2-4 loss to World Cup silver medallists Australia after a gritty fight in their last preliminary league outing on Saturday.

Australia were served well by their penalty corner shooter Jodie Kenny, who completed a hat-trick of three penalty corner strikes and then added a goal through a penalty stroke conversion at the KHC Dragons Stadium.

India twice rallied to draw parity through goals from Vandana Katariya and Poonam Rani.

India's loss left them at the fourth spot among five teams in Pool B, which was topped by New Zealand, who defeated hosts Belgium 2-0 to complete an all-win record in the league outings.

Australia finished second and Belgium took the third place in the group.

Finishing with three points from four matches, India now meet world champions The Netherlands in the quarterfinals. World's top-ranked Netherlands hammered Italy to take their place atop Pool A with an all win-record, while Asian Games winners South Korea got the second spot in the group after prevailing 1-0 over Japan.

The Indian eves, ranked 13th in the world, kept pace with the second-ranked opponents, who benefited from the penalty corner conversion prowess of Kenny.

Australia took the lead in the second minute from their second penalty corner as Jodie sounded the board with a low drag-flick.

India stunned their fancied rivals to draw parity in the fifth minute when Deepika's firm shot for top of the circle was deflected by diving Katariya into the Australian net.

Kenny sent another drag-flick into the boards in the sixth minute to put Australia into the lead again, after which the Indian girls put sustained pressure on the rival circle.

Indian strikers went into the Australia scoring zone three times in the space of four minutes, but could not produce the goal-bearing shot.

Australian goalkeeper Ashlee Wells palmed away two shots and had to move to her left to keep away a reverse drive by Rani Rampal from top of the circle.

India drew level at 2-2 two minutes into the second half on the first of their two penalty corners. In a goalmouth scrimmage after Rani Rampal's penalty corner drive was blocked by the goalkeeper, a shot from Poonam Rani went over the goal-line off a defender's stick.

Australia were ahead against within one minute as Kenny completed her hat-trick of penalty corner goals with a rising drag-flick to the right of goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu.

India made some valiant efforts to equalize yet again, but conceded a penalty stroke in the 43rd minute when the goalkeeper collided with a striker in making a save. The penalty stroke was duly converted by Kenny for her fourth goal of the match.

The Times of India

Eyes on Quarter Finals

Hockeyroos to face Italy, Netherlands face India

The quarter final draw is complete following the conclusion of the women’s pool phase at the Hockey World League in Antwerp on Saturday.

Australia’s Hockeyroos will face Italy, ranked 16th in the world, after finishing second in pool B. Italy finished third in pool A after beating France 4-0 and drawing 1-1 with Korea and 2-2 with Japan. It was enough to seal third place despite a 9-0 defeat to the Netherlands in their last match.

The next round of fixtures are as follows:

Tuesday 30 June
9th/10th Playoff – 10:30 CET / 18:30 AEST - France v Poland
Quarter Final - 13:00 CET / 21:00 AEST - Australia v Italy
Quarter Final - 15:30 CET / 23:30 AEST - New Zealand v Japan
Quarter Final - 18:00 CET / 02:00 AEST (Wed) Netherlands v India
Quarter Final - 20:30 CET / 04:30 AEST (Wed) - Korea v Belgium

For more on the tournament, including the full match schedule, visit the official website.

The draw for the men’s quarter finals will be confirmed following the conclusion of the men’s pool phase on Sunday evening European time (Monday morning in Australia).

Hockey Australia media release

Shahnaz unhappy with penalty corner conversion rate

Mohsin Ali

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan hockey team head coach Shahnaz Sheikh termed team’s performance against India satisfactory but he was highly concerned about penalty-corner conversion ratio and hoped boy’s would not commit same mistakes against France in the crunch match of the World Series in Belgium on Sunday (today).

Shahnaz while talking exclusively with The Nation from Belgium on Saturday said defenders and goalkeeper played outstanding game and kept green shirts hopes alive in the event. “But I am highly disappointed the way we failed to score goals on penalty corners. In Champions Trophy in India, we have 50 percent goal-scoring ratio of both field and penalty corners but now missing ratio is more than alarming. I can’t sit back and watch boy’s fail to score crucial goals. It makes no sense of earning penalty corners but not to take advantage from them. I will sit with boys and emphasize on scoring more goals on penalty corners.”

He said first task of ensuring quarterfinal birth was achieved and now lies the bigger task of ensuring second place finish in Pool-A which would gave a chance of facing Malaysia in the quarterfinal.

Shahnaz further said to ensure second place in the pool Pakistan not only have to beat France but ensure to win by at least five goals margin. “Today we will face France ahead of India-Australia. Currently, we are lying at number 3 but heavy margin victory against France would ensure we grab second spot. Then we have to wait for India-Australia match outcome, that match would be played soon after our match ends.”

When asked about why Indians were allowed too much liberty and opportunities to dictate terms and they were enjoying lime share of possession during the match, Shahnaz replied: “It was part of our planning. We wanted them to attack, so we could take advantage and play counter attacking game. Goalkeeper Imran Butt, skipper M Imran and Irfan played superbly and according to plan. Credit goes to entire team. All the players played well. We could have scored more goals but poor penalty corner conversion denied us from scoring goals. I will show videos of India match to players and make sure same mistakes would not be committed against France.”

When asked about what if Malaysia would not be the opponent in the quarterfinal, Shahnaz said no matter who would be the quarterfinal opponent we would be prepared for any given opponent but it would make things easier if you face a relatively weaker opponent.

“We would prepare ourselves for the main task of winning the quarterfinal and reaching the semifinal. It would take us a step closer to 2016 Rio Olympics. I am quite sure, boys fully realize the task ahead and ready to unleash their all-out energies to give nation a wonderful Ramazan and Eid gift,” Shahnaz concluded.

The Nation

India aspire for good show against Australia

Indian player Yuvraj Walmiki (9) scores a goal against Australia during a World Hockey League match at Major Dhyan Chand National stadium in New Delhi in January, 2014.

India has two narrow victories while Australia posted impressive victories in all their outings.

As their campaign passing along smoothly, India will now look to upstage fancied world champions Australia in their last preliminary match of the World League semifinals on Sunday.

India’s show against Australia will go a long way in deciding the final pool positions, with Pakistan staying in the frame after the subcontinental encounter on Friday ended in a 2-2 draw.

India has managed two narrow victories ahead of the draw against Pakistan, while Australia have posted impressive victories in all their outings, including a 6-1 drubbing of Pakistan.

India’s new coach Paul van Ass, the former Dutch national coach, is hopeful that his wards will showcase their skills against the best outfit in contemporary hockey.

Australia last year completed a hat-trick of World Cup victories at The Hague and became the first country to win the title trice in a row — at Monchengladbach, New Delhi and The Hague.

Fielding several young players here with the focus on testing the junior in top-level competitions and also a spate of injuries, India has the luxury of going into the contest with little at stake.

The Asian Games gold medal in Incheon has already secured India’s passage to the 2016 Olympics, while for several teams the ongoing World League Semifinals are the last chance to qualify for Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Games.

“Let’s be fair, Australia is No. 1 and India is ranked No. 9 in the world,” said coach van Ass as he assessed India’s chances against Australia.

Indian captain Sardar Singh says his players are improving with every outing.

“We are drawing inspiration from our win over Australia in the Azlan Shah Cup two months ago,” said Sardar, referring to India’s 4-2 win following which Australia have inducted all top players in the side.

“The young players are relishing the opportunity, and we’re playing well as a unit,” said Sardar, whose team is here without both seasoned penalty corner shooters.

India’s defence, featuring two young players, will face its stiffest challenge from the fast-overlapping Australian strikers, whose showpiece performance was last year’s 6-1 drubbing of The Netherlands in the title encounter of the World Cup.

It was the biggest margin of victory in the final encounter in World Cup history.

India’s strikers have been misfiring a lot. With a little more focused shooting in the closing stages of the match against Pakistan, India could have clinched a late match-winner, but they muffed three scoring chances in the last five minutes.

The draw between India and Pakistan has kept hanging the fate of the pool positions for both nations. Australia’s 4-0 victory over Poland last night kept them at the top of the group standings with maximum nine points from three outings.

India has seven points from three matches, while Pakistan is on four points from three games.

Only a shock Indian victory can deprive Australia of the top slot, but the second place is still up for grabs. India’s good show against Australia can ensure them the second spot.

Pakistan will seek to post a big win against minnows France to bolster their goal-difference and edge ahead of India if the two are tied on points.

In Pool B, hosts Belgium have moved to the top of the standings with after their 2-0 victory over Malaysia last night. The Belgians have seven points from three outings, followed by Malaysia on six points from three games.

Great Britain have five points after winning one and drawing two matches, followed by Ireland with four points in three matches following their 6-0 rout of China. The Chinese have finished their four league fixtures without garnering a point.

The Hindu

Indian coach van Ass hopes Pakistan feature in Olympics

ANTWERP (Belgium): Indian hockey coach Paul van Ass hopes Pakistan feature in the 2016 Olympic Games and bolster the sub-continental flavor at the quadrennial event.

"I hope Pakistan is there in the Olympics, as they should be," says Indian coach Paul van Ass, asserting that international hockey could not do without the two sub-continental teams.

Pakistan have played at every Olympics since their first appearance in 1948, while India missed the 2008 Olympic Games when they lost the qualifying event's final to Great Britain.

Pakistan had failed to feature among the 12 teams for the 2014 World Cup, an event that they have won more times than any other country.

Behind India's eight gold medals and Germany's four titles, including one by West Germany, Pakistan are the most successful team in Olympic history.

Pakistan have won three gold medals out of their six appearances in the title contest at the Olympics, but are now facing a stiff challenge to qualify for the 2016 Summer Games at Rio de Janeiro.

India secured their passage by winning the Asian Games gold medal, but the ongoing World League Semi-Final presents Pakistan their last opportunity to clinch an Olympic spot.

The Olympic qualification will depend largely upon the quarterfinal fixtures, which will be finalised after the last round of men's preliminary league matches on Sunday.

Three Olympic qualification spots are available to the top-placed teams from this competition, but some sides ranked slightly lower may also get a chance if any of the countries also feature in the five places available to winners of continental tournaments.

"We are confident of making to the Olympic Games," said Pakistan coach Shahnaz Sheikh, a former captain and Olympian himself.

"A lot is at stake in the quarterfinal, where the opponents would only be known after the last league game tomorrow," Shahnaz said.

The top three teams in this tournament will also advance to the World League Final in India in December.

The Times of India

Desperately seeking discipline

Rutvick Mehta

Devinder Walmiki (centre) reacts to an umpiring decision in the game against Pakistan on Friday. The youngster was guilty of committing a foul inside the Indian circle AFP

Two Indian players committed unnecessary fouls against Pakistan, former captain Rasquinha says such mistakes against Australia today might prove costly

After two quiet victories, the Indian team displayed a rather worrying aspect during the hard-fought draw against Pakistan on Friday. As former India captain Viren Rasquinha put it, the team lacked discipline and this may prove costly against Australia on Sunday.

India's final game of the Hockey World League Semifinals in Antwerp on Sunday is of little consequence in the larger picture of Olympic qualification. However, it will be an indicator of how this team is shaping up under new coach Paul Van Ass.

What might be worrying Van Ass is that two Indian players – Devinder Walmiki and Satbir Singh – committed unnecessary fouls against Pakistan.

Just as India were awarded a penalty corner when a Pakistan player obstructed Satbir from taking a shot inside the circle, it was cancelled as the 21-year-old tried to take the shot after the umpire had blown the whistle.

Satbir was shown a yellow card, and he had to sit out for 10 minutes in the third quarter. To add to India's woes, moments before Satbir returned, Walmiki got a yellow card for a foul inside the Indian circle. It meant India played with 10 players all through the third quarter.

"Discipline is one big aspect they need to improve upon," Rasquinha said on Saturday. "It was shocking that Satbir can commit such a blatant foul, which was so uncalled for. It was so silly that it bordered around stupidity. Walmiki had a great game, but in trying to show his aggressiveness, he didn't help the team at all.

"India played with 10 men in the third quarter, and that could've made the difference in the result. It could've cost the team. It was good that it didn't."

This might cost dearly against world champions Australia, a team that pounces on every minute opening.

"It's tough enough playing with 11 men against Australia, forget 10 or nine. They simply cannot afford to repeat such things. The team must understand that there is a difference between playing tough hockey and playing rough hockey. That is the key aspect they need to work on," Rasquinha said.

Other than the discipline aspect, Rasquinha said the Indian team's focus will have to be at its peak. Captain Sardar Singh wants the team to be quick in breaking Australia's defence chain.

"It's going to be tough. Australia start at a very rapid pace. Every player will have to be at the top of their concentration levels. (Goalkeeper) Sreejesh will have to be alert all the time. Against a team like Australia, if you drop your focus level for five minutes, they can score three goals," Rasquinha said.

India last met Australia this year in a league match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, and beat them 4-2. The team had also beaten the Aussies in a bilateral series last year in Australia. However, with Australia eyeing to seal an Olympic berth in this tournament and the winner of this clash climbing to the top of the table, India can expect little mercy from the champions.

"Irrespective of the result on Sunday, I think it is still too early to judge this team under the new coach. Sure, a good result will give them confidence, but I hope the coach continues experimenting and trying out different things to improve. Use this opportunity, but it shouldn't be an excuse to lose," Rasquinha said.

And what is his word of advice for the boys heading into the big game?

"Play with fire and passion, but balance it out with a cool head under pressure."

vs Pakistan: Devinder Walmiki (Yellow) and Satbir Singh (Yellow)
vs Poland: Devinder Walmiki (Green)
vs France: None

Other than discipline, Viren Rasquinha highlighted a few other areas that India need to be better in if they are to give a tough fight to the Aussies on Sunday...
* Creative in passes: Too many aimless crosses from the right. They need to be more creative
* Ball possession: The boys need to be much tougher, stronger on the ball. There are too many turnovers during passes. The key should be not to lose ball possession
* Short corners: Without Rupinderpal Singh, the team seems short on resources as far as converting penalty corners is concerned

bt France 10-0
bt Pakistan 6-1
bt Poland 4-0


Battle with Britain not kind to Malaysia historically

by S. Ramaguru

Nick Catlin from Britain dribbles during the match against China at the World Hockey League Semi-Finals tournament in Belgium. - KOEN SUYK

ANTWERP: It’s safe to say Malaysia’s record against Britain in hockey is abysmal.

They’ve played against the Brits 22 times – winning just twice and losing 17 times!

So, the odds are clearly stacked against Malaysia as they prepare to take on Britain in their final Group B match of the World Hockey League Semi-finals at the KHC Dragons Stadium on Sunday.

Malaysia will also be going into the match on the back of a disappointing 2-0 loss to hosts Belgium on Friday.

Belgium lead Group B with seven points, followed by Malaysia on six. Britain are third with five points and Ireland fourth with four points. All four teams have qualified for the quarter-finals.

China, the fifth team in the group, are last after losing all their four matches.

Had Malaysia beaten Belgium, they would have sealed top spot, irrespective of what happens against Britain.

National coach Tai Beng Hai defended his men, saying “we tried hard against the Belgians but two unexpected errors cost us the match”.

“We went into the match hoping to at least secure a draw,” he said.

“Still… all the teams in the quarter-finals know that it’s now a do-or-die battle as the winners will be assured of a berth in the Rio Olympics next year.”

Although the stats favour Britain, coach Booby Crutchley remains cautious.

“Malaysia will be a difficult challenge. They are experienced and played well against Ireland. They played a different style but we’re just aiming for another win,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

Malaysia want to avoid Aussies in World League quarters

by S. Ramaguru

Australia's Blake Govers (centre) celebrates with this team-mate after scoring a goal in the match against Pakistan at the World Hockey league Semi-Finals in Belgium. - GRANT TREEBY

ANTWERP: Bring it on! Just not Australia, please.

That’s the wish of Mohd Shukri Mutalib as Malaysia get ready for the quarter-finals of the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in Belgium.

The midfielder-turned-defender reckons that the Australians “are still a notch higher” than the rest of the teams competing here.

“It’s not just us ... all the teams in our group have been fighting to avoid meeting the Australians in the last eight. At this stage, we must ensure that we don’t finish fourth in our group,” he said after Malaysia’s 2-0 loss to Belgium in their third Group B match on Friday. Malaysia’s final group match is against Britain on Sunday.

The current standings see Malaysia in second spot with six points – one behind group leaders Belgium.

Britain are third with five points, followed by Ireland on four. China prop up the standings after losing all four matches.

Should Malaysia finish second or third in the group, they could face either India or Pakistan.

Malaysia could still top the standings by beating Britain and hope that Ireland either beat or draw with Belgium.

“Let’s not worry about that. We just have to go out and get a result against Britain ... that’s all that matters,” said Shukri.

“At this stage, we have to start planning for the last eight and not get overly concerned about who we are going to meet.

“That game (the quarter-final) is not going to be easy ... no matter who we play.”

Shukri also admitted that team were guilty of letting in soft goals in the loss to Belgium.

“We were a little slow in reacting to the rebounds and they capitalised on it. We were confident that we could match them and, maybe, even steal a point,” he said.

Shukri, 29, is one of the most experienced players in the team with 220 caps.

His game is based on his tireless work rate. It was only in recent years that he was moved to the defence to provide it with greater stability.
“I still go forward ... and I’ve also played in midfield from time to time. So, there’s no issue here,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

Great Britain men draw on home comforts as knock out stages loom

Bobby Crutchley's Team GB aim to avoid Australia in quarter-final stages, with only top three assured of Rio Olympics berth
By Rod Gilmour

Standing orders: Bobby Crutchley gives his game plan in Antwerp Photo: WORLDSPORTPICS.COM

Bobby Crutchley, the Great Britain men's coach, hopes that the women's recent success at qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympics will rub off on his side over the next week in Antwerp, Belgium.

Great Britain men face Malaysia on Sunday afternoon in their final World League pool match ahead of the quarter-final knock out stages on Wednesday. The top three finishing sides will automatically qualify for Rio.

Several players from the men's side - Nick Catlin and Iain Lewers - have girlfriends in Danny Kerry's women squad - Susie Gilbert and Georgie Twigg respectively - who tasted victory last weekend when they lifted the women's World League in Valencia.

"We are really pleased for the women’s side," said Crutchley. "A few of the players are happy with the other half at home and hopefully we can follow suit."

Great Britain men's aim is to make sure of victory over Malaysia on Sunday. The higher they can finish in their pool, the less likely they will face rivals Australia in the last eight.

“Australia are an obvious team you want to avoid. India have the potential to beat them, while Pakistan can be up and down and you just don't know what is going to happen,” said Crutchley.

So far in the tournament, Great Britain have drawn 2-2 with both Belgium and Ireland before inflicting an 8-1 defeat over China.

While Belgium were always going to pose a threat, considering they are ranked one place above Team GB at world No 4, Crutchley admitted that the draw against Ireland was below par.

“It could have been better,” he said. “The performance I was frustrated by, the fact that the Irish got back on top.”

The Telegraph

Hockey India congratulates Yuvraj Walmiki for completing 50 intl caps

New Delhi: Hockey India (HI) today congratulated Yuvraj Walmiki for completing 50th international caps during his match against Pakistan in the ongoing Hockey World League Semi-Final 2015 in  Antwerp, Belgium.

The 25-year-old Yuvraj made his international debut in 2010 South Asian Games in Dhaka and since then there has been no looking back. He represented India in the FIH Hockey World League Final 2014 here, where  he drew attention of hockey fraternity.

Congratulating Yuvraj on his achievement, Secretary General Hockey India Md Mushtaque Ahmad said, "Hockey India takes utmost pride in congratulating Yuvraj Walmiki on the accomplishment of his 50th international match. I wish him all the best for the ongoing FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Finals 2015 and hope to see more of similar high quality performances from him in future.”

Yuvraj belongs to a family of hockey players where his younger brother Devindar Sunil Walmiki and cousin Anup Amarpal are professional hockey players.

Devindar recently stepped into the international arena when he made his debut against France in the first league match of the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final 2015 and also, scored his first goal in the same match.

In the Hockey India League, Yuvraj is a key player of former champions Delhi Waveriders whereas Devinder represents Kalinga Lancers. Yuvraj represented Railway Sports Promotion Board in the 2015 HI National Championships.

Day and Night News

Bunce at the double to down Czech Republic

Scotland line-up before this afternoon's match against Czech Republic. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Two goals from midfielder Vikki Bunce, added to strikes from Kareena Marshall and Fiona Bruce, gave Scotland Senior Women a comfortable win against Czech Republic at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre today.

As a result, the Scots have an unassailable 2-0 advantage in the three match series, with the sides meeting again tomorrow morning (11.00) for the third and final match.

Scotland were afforded an early opportunity to test Czech goalkeeper Nikola Lesankova when they were awarded a penalty corner, but Nikki Kidd’s drag-flick was beaten away to safety.

Nevertheless, the opening goal arrived only sixty seconds later, Vikki Bunce taking advantage of a defensive blunder to slam the ball past Lesankova to put her side 1-0 up.

Scotland's Vikki Bunce and Kareena Marshall celebrate. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Another penalty corner award for the home side presented a chance to double their advantage but Aileen Davies’ effort was deflected high over the bar by the on-rushing Czech defence.

In the 13th minute, Becky Merchant’s cross from the right of the circle found Millie Brown, but the Clydesdale Western striker did not put enough purchase on the stick deflection, the ball sliding wide of target.

Bunce was to prove the tormentor for the visitors again in the 18th minute, latching onto Sarah Robertson’s cross to double the lead for Scotland, before almost claiming a first half hat-trick only two minutes later, unfortunately not getting enough power on Kidd’s cross.

The Scottish attacks were not letting up as the second quarter drew towards a close, Louise Campbell driving into the circle, only for her shot to be blocked by Lesankova, before Kareena Marshall rattled home Scotland’s third goal following a penalty corner set-piece in the 29th minute.

Both Kidd and Marshall had chances at penalty corners early in the third quarter but Lesankova was alert to repel both efforts, although she could do nothing about Fiona Bruce producing Scotland’s fourth goal in the 45th minute, her surging run from the middle of the Czech half culminating with the Clydesdale Western striker slotting the ball into goal with ease.

Fiona Bruce rounded off the scoring for Scotland. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Bunce was provided with another chance to secure a hat-trick in the 49th minute, only for Lesankova to frustrate her efforts, while Brown could only push her shot wide of target with an open goal gaping.

There was one final effort from the Scots, Davies’ shot striking the right hand post leaving the home side to settle for a 4-0 scoreline.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Scotland rack up another nine goals in Czech Republic win

Striker Hamish Imrie was on target for the Scots. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Scotland Senior Men delivered another commanding performance packed full of goals as they comprehensively defeated Czech Republic 9-2 at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre today.

There were two goals each for Alan Forsyth, Gavin Byers and Wei Adams, while Scotland captain Chris Grassick, Hamish Imrie and Kenny Bain also registered their names on the score-sheet.

As a result, the Scots have an unassailable 2-0 advantage in the three match series, with the sides meeting again tomorrow morning (09.00) for the third and final match.

Scotland line-up before the start of the match against Czech Republic. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

The home side started with attacking intent and in the fifth minute, Gavin Byers made an advance into the scoring circle to rattle a reverse stick effort on target, only for Czech goalkeeper Tomas Hanus to be equal to the attempt.

Despite a strong opening spell from the Scots, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock in the seventh minute when Lukas Plochy dispatched a drag-flick high into the right hand top corner to make it 1-0.

The national side responded in kind four minutes later, Chris Grassick driving into the circle to cross for Hamish Imrie at the back post, the striker making no mistake from close range to level the scores at 1-1.

Defender Dan Coultas registered Scotland's first attempt on goal from a penalty corner in the 15th minute but his effort was initially blocked by Hanus, with his follow-up disappearing wide of the target.

The continuing pressure on the Czech goal eventually paid off with Scotland taking the lead in the 25th minute; Byers’ superbly playing in Alan Forsyth who finished off the move from close range to make it 2-1.

Scotland striker Alan Forsyth was on target with two goals. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

There was enough time for three Scottish goals in the proceeding ten minutes before half-time; the first an exceptional effort from Alan Forsyth to squeeze the ball into the net from a tight angle on the left of the scoring circle, the second seeing Byers’ diving in at the back post to divert Marshall’s pass past Hanus, and the third a thunderous drag-flick from Wei Adams to put his side 5-1 up right on the half-time hooter.

Wei Adams scored two goals for the Scots in today's victory. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

The onslaught did not let up for the Czechs following the interval with Byers scoring the sixth goal with a cracking reverse stick shot in the sixty seconds following the re-start.

Three minutes later there was some way of respite for the away team when Martin Babicky slammed a low drive past Scotland goalkeeper Jamie Cachia to pull a goal back at 6-2.

In the 44th minute, Imrie got off a shot at a penalty corner but Hanus was on hand to push the ball away to safety.

After a short period with little in the way of goal-scoring opportunities, Scotland returned to scoring ways in the 58th minute when Grassick beat Hanus at the second attempt, firing the ball high into the net to make it 7-2.

Captain Chris Grassick nets Scotland's seventh goal. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Shortly after, striker Kenny Bain started and finished off a fantastic Scotland attack with a low strike into the right hand corner to claim the eighth goal.

Six minutes from full-time, Bain slalomed through the Czech defence with ease before playing in Adams at the back post to round off the scoring at 9-2.

The two sides meet again tomorrow at 09.00

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Scotland's youth internationals find mixed fortunes against England

Scotland's Charlotte Watson competes for the ball against England. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Scotland's youth international squads were action against England today with the U18s in Glasgow and the U16s at Lilleshall.

Scotland U18 Men narrowly lost to England by a solitary goal from Eddie Way, the English youngster dispatching a penalty corner high into the corner of the goal.

Scotland U18 Women found the going tough against England earlier today, going down 7-0 to their opponents in the first of two international matches this weekend.

Megan Douthwaite helped herself to a hat-trick, while there were goals for Georgina Whitaker, Frances Westenburg, Holly Hunt and Connie Vickers.

Meanwhile, Scotland U16 Girls lost 3-1 to England at Lilleshall, Imogen Davies scoring from a deflection at a penalty corner. Chances came and went for the Scots as the England goalkeeper produced a great performance.

Scotland U16 Boys went down 3-1 to England.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Canada sweeps United States in men's Under-21 series

Canadians win final game 5-0 Saturday in Surrey

Shaheed Devji

The Canadian Junior Men's National Team completed the sweep of the United States with a 5-0 win in the final game of the four-game Under-21 test series Saturday in Surrey.

The second straight shutout win was due largely in part to a great performance from Shabaaz Dhaliwal who scored three goals and setup another in Canada's dominant victory.

The pace was quick with lots of scoring opportunities early in the match.

Tom Fannin had a chance to put Canada ahead just moments into the game but was stopped in tight by Nathaniel O'Lari who once again started in goal for the Americans. Fannin followed his early chance with another just minutes later when he was setup for a tap-in at the side of the net but just slightly missed wide.

The U.S. knew it couldn't surrender the game's first goal if it wanted a chance to win, so they pressed to try and take the lead.

Ismael Zapeda found space to the left of Lydon Lemos but couldn't connect on the hit.

Shortly after Zapeda's chance, it was Canada again on the attack. Sahib Suri snuck behind the U.S. defence and went in alone on O'Lari, but was stopped on a good challenge from the U.S. netminder.

The first quarter, despite Canada's offensive pressure, was scoreless.

Early in the second quarter, Canada finally beat O'Lari when Dhaliwal picked up a rebound and snuck it by for the 1-0 lead.

Dhaliwal and Josh Brown had opportunities to extend the lead but both missed wide.

Canada took the 1-0 lead into the half.

The continued pressure paid off in the second half as Canada scored four times but not before Cameron Bonney, who came in at half for Lemos, kicked out a U.S. drag flick on a penalty corner in the first minute of play.

After a missed corner attempt from Canada, the goals came in quick succession from Amrit Sidhu, Tom Fannin, and two consecutive from Dhaliwal for his hat trick.

The win was Canada's fourth in the four-game series as they continue to prepare for the 2016 Junior World Cup qualificaiton process.

Next up, Canada will hold a development camp in Brampton, Ontario alongside the Pan American Games in July. They will then attempt to qualify for the Junior World Cup by finishing in the top two of the Junior Pan American Championships next spring in Toronto.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Marsden looking forward to Wimbledon's EHL debut

Wimbledon’s Director of Hockey Ben Marsden says his side “won’t be putting out any targets” for his club’s maiden Euro Hockey League campaign next season.

The south west London club won their first English Premier League title last season with a thrilling 8-5 final victory over East Grinstead in April with Australian star Blake Govers producing a virtuoso performance.

It qualified the club for the EHL for the first time. Speaking as part of Galvanised Hockey’s “The Wimbledon Story”, Marsden said that it is an exciting time for the club but says that the club is simply “going there to do as well as we can".

“We just hope we can do the country proud and ensure further European qualifications for English clubs.

“We have to be prepared to make mistakes and improve on them. We’re realistic and it’s a challenge of putting all the different factors together for a great performance on that particular date and that particular time.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Suva primary schools hockey standard improves


Action from the match between Marist Primary School and Training and Learning Centre yesterday. Picture: ATU RASEA

THE Suva Primary School Hockey Association continued with its round five weekly competition at the National Hockey Centre in Suva yesterday.

Training Learning Centre and Veiuto Primary School look the top bets to feature in their respective grades finals when the competition concludes proper in four weeks.

The competition will be concluding after round nine with finals and prize presentation.

Association President Sanimeli Pita said the competition was tough between the schools.

"The competitive nature of the competition has bought in many surprise results so far," Pita said.

"On any given day any school can come out on top so I would definitely say the skill level has improved.

"The players are showing a lot of effort with the support of their teachers, coaches and parents.

"This is a pleasing sign for us that the interest among the schools is growing.

"The most important thing we have noticed is the skill level of these young players is improving week by week."

In week eight of the competition the association will host the Super 11 tournament will coincide with the finals.



TLC I 1- TLC II 0, SMPS 0- MGM 0, TLC I 0- VPS 4.


SMPS 4- MGM 0, MGM 0- VPS 0, VPS wbd MBPS.


TLC 0- VPS 0, VPS 0- MGM 4, MGM 0- TLC 0

The Fiji Times

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