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News for 15 July 2015

All the news for Wednesday 15 July 2015

Argentina with big win and United States and Cuba draw to start 2015 Pan American Games-Men

2015 Pan American Games - USA vs. Cuba. Photo: Yan Huckendubler

United States and Cuba traded possession throughout the first part of the first quarter. The United States earned the first penalty corner of the match. The United States’ Moritz Runzi made sure the United States capitalized as he completed a well-executed corner play to give the United States the lead in the 9th minute. Two minutes later, Cuba looked to tie the match, but a high shot was blocked by the United States keeper Christopher Rea. With either team unable to finish in the final minutes of the first quarter, the United States kept the lead going into the second quarter. Throughout the beginning of the second quarter play was in the midfield.  In the middle of the second quarter the United States earned a couple more penalty corners. This time it was Aki Kaeppler to complete the penalty corner play to give his team a two goal lead over Cuba in the 24th minute.  The United States maintained their attacking intensity and Will Holt scored in the 28th minute to make it United States 3, Cuba nill to close out the first half.

The second half started with Cuba on attack and quickly earning a penalty corner. Cuba’s Maikel Trizant converted the penalty corner in the 32nd minute to pull Cuba within two goals of the United States. The United States Captain Pat Harris kept trying to work the ball in the midfield, but Reynaldo Gonzalez and Yasmanny Gutierrez played strong in the midfield for Cuba. For the rest of the third quarter Cuba had more of the possession, but like the United States was unable to get the ball out of the midfield and into their attacking half. The fourth quarter continued as the third left off with both teams battling in the midfield. Cuba’s Yoandy Blanco found the back of the net past Rea to pull Cuba within one goal in the 51st minute. Following Blanco’s goals, the overall intensity of the match increased and the United States traded penalty corners in the final minutes. While the United States was unable to convert their penalty corner, Blanco capitalized off Cuba’s penalty corner opportunity to tie the match in the 59th minute. With Cuba able to hold off a last minute United States attack the final result was a 3-3 United States Cuba draw.

The first day of the 2015 Pan American Games Men began with a Pool A match between Argentina and Trinidad and Tobago. Prior to the start of the match, Trinidad and Tobago’s keeper Andrey Rocke was honored for his 100th cap. Both teams battled for possession throughout the first quarter. Rocke made a number of big glove saves to prevent Argentina from converting their penalty corners. Argentina’s keeper Juan Vivaldi also saved a Trinidad and Tobago penalty corner during the first period.  The first period ended scoreless. In the second period, Argentina had more attacking opportunities than Trinidad and Tobago, but Rocke continued to be a rock to stop Argentina from getting on the scoreboard.  Argentina’s Gonzalo Peillat finally converted one of Argentina’s penalty corners in the 26th minute for the first score of the match. Three minutes later, Lucas Vila went on to score three goals right before the end of the first half. Thus, the first half of the match ended Argentina 4, Trinidad and Tobago nill.

The third quarter began with Argentina continuing their rapid scoring from the end of the first half as Matias Paredes fired a shot  past Rocke in the 37th minute. Argentina was soon awarded two more penalty corners and Nicolas Della Torre converted the second to put his team ahead by six goals in the 42nd minute. Behind the strong defense and leadership of Captain Darren Cowie, Trinidad and Tobago kept Argentina from scoring further in the third quarter. Throughout the fourth quarter, Trinidad and Tobago continued their strong defense, but eventually could not withstand Argentina’s attacking pressure. In the final four minutes of the match, Argentina scored five goals; including another penalty corner drag flick by Pelliat, two goals by Facundo Callioni and one by Joaquin Menini. Thus, Argentina came away with a big 11-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Los Leones head Pool A, Canada & Chile off to a flyer in Pool B

Men’s Pan Am Games competition begins in Toronto as teams hunt down ticket to Rio

Following the start of the women’s competition at the 2015 Pan American Games on Monday, it was the men’s turn on Tuesday with the action beginning in Pool A. Argentina - who qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at last month’s Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires - got their tournament off to a fine start with a convincing victory over Trinidad & Tobago, while Cuba produced a stunning fightback to snatch an entertaining draw with USA. In Pool B, Chile edged past Mexico while Canada claimed all the points against Brazil.

The coveted Pan American Games Gold medal comes with a direct qualification ticket to Rio 2016, ensuring that there is a huge amount at stake in this illustrious competition. More details on the matches can be found below.

Pool A
Argentina 11-0 Trinidad & Tobago
Despite the heroics of Trinidad & Tobago keeper Andrey Rocke on the occasion of his 100th senior international appearance, reigning Pan American Games champions Argentina proved themselves to be too strong for their opponents with a convincing victory. T&T shot-stopper Rocke was in terrific form to deny the world number 6 ranked team on numerous occasions in the opening 25 minutes before a penalty corner rocket from Gonzalo Peillat and a quick-fire double from inspirational attacker Lucas Vila established a 3-0 half time lead. Vila completed his hat-trick shortly after the break before team captain Matias Paredes and Nicolas Della Torre took the score to 6-0 ahead of a sensational five goal burst in the final four minutes of the match. Agustin Mazzilli started the flourish, with Peillat, Callioni (2) and Menini showing extraordinary finishing to take the score to 11-0.

USA 3-3 Cuba
48th ranked Cuba staged a remarkable fightback to secure a creditable draw against higher-ranked USA in their Pan Am Games opener, a result which shows that they are determined to surpass the 4th place finish that they achieved at the 2011 Games in Guadalajara (MEX). The Americans - ranked 26th in the world - powered into a 3-0 lead ahead of half time thanks to penalty corners from Moritz Runzi and Aki Kaeppeler with Will Holt on target from open play. However, the momentum of the game changed two minutes after the break while Maikel Tritzant bagged a penalty corner goal which gave his Cuban team-mates plenty of self belief. The drama really began to unfold inside the final ten minutes, with Yoandy Blanco becoming an instant hero with two crucial goals. Blanco made the score 3-2 with nine minutes remaining before snatching a last-gasp equaliser one minute from the end of the game to ensure that Cuba took home a share of the spoils.

Pool B
Chile 3-2 Mexico
Martin Rodriguez hit the winner with four minutes of the match remaining to give Chile a 3-2 win in their first match of the Pan Am Games, defeating Mexico 3-2. Mexico were the first team to make a dent on the scoreboard, with Alexis Campillo registering after just two minutes of play before goals either side of half time from Chile’s Sven Richter and Vincente Martin turned the match on its head. Mexico thought that they had claimed a point from the content when Guillermo Pedraza found the target five minutes from time before Rodriguez’s winning goal settled the contest.

Canada 9-1 Brazil
2011 Pan Am Games Silver medallists Canada were in fine form in their opening match, overpowering Brazil to move to the top of Pool B on goal difference. The Canadians - who claimed a 4th place finish at the recent Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires to leave themselves within touching distance of a place at the 2016 Olympic Games - were in imperious form, suggesting that they are more than capable of claiming the Gold medal and the guaranteed ticket to Rio up for grabs at the event in Toronto. The two sides exchanged goals in the first period, with Canada’s Brenden Bissett registering before Matheus Borges pulled Brazil level a minute later. Vastly experienced Canadian duo Scott Tupper (C) and Mark Pearson both hit the target in the second period ahead of a rampant five goal blast in the third quarter with Gabriel Ho Garcia, Adam Froese, a second for Pearson and a double for Matt Guest taking the score to 8-1. Paul Wharton completed the match scoring ten minutes from time.

Keep up with all of the action on www.panamhockey.org.

#PAGhockey15 #TO2015 #RoadToRio

FIH site

Canada dominates Brazil in Pan Am Games opener

Mark Pearson and Matthew Guest score twice in 9-1 win

Shaheed Devji

Mark Pearson celebrates. Photo: Yan Huckendubler

Following up a 12-1 win by their female counterparts was no easy task, but the Canadian Men's Field Hockey Team put up an equally impressive performance in their 2015 Pan American Games opening match, winning 9-1 over Brazil Wednesday at the Pan Am Fields in Toronto.

Mark Pearson scored twice and Scott Tupper scored the eventual game winner on a dragflick in front of a large pro-Canadian crowd.

"It's a big crowd here at home and lots of friends and family and those guys (Brazil) came gunning for us," says Pearson, who is one of two Canadian men who have competed at an Olympic Games.

"We came out strong and grew as the game went on. We're happy with the second half and happy with the 9-1 win."

The Brazilians were able to keep the second ranked Canadians at bay for the better part of the first quarter, but after shaking off the nerves Canada was able to get the game's first goal in the eighth minute when Brendan Bissett knocked a ball out of the air from the goalline and past Brazilian keeper Rodrigo Faustino.

After another Canadian chance off the stick of Iain Smythe, Brazil answered in the ninth minute when Mattheus Borges beat David Carter.

The Canadian crowd wasn't silenced for long though as captain Scott Tupper made good on a Canadian penalty corner in the sixteenth minute, firing home one of his lethal dragflicks into the top right corner to give Canada the lead.

Brazil kept fighting back and earned a great opportunity to once again tie the game, but as he has done so often over the few weeks, Carter made an unbelieveable kick save with his left pad to keep the Canadian lead at 2-1.

Pearson scored his first of the match late in the first half. When another Tupper dragflick was stopped, the Tsawwassen native pounced on the rebound.

Canada led 3-1 at half and never looked back. In the second half, the scoring came fast and furious.

Within the first five minutes, the Canadians had scored three times on tallies from Gabriel Ho-Garcia, Adam Froese, and Pearson's second of the match, a bullet hit across the face of goal.

Guest then scored his two goals back-to-back in the thirty-ninth and forty-fourth minutes. Paul Wharton rounded out the scoring with Canada's ninth goal in the fifieth minute.

Overall, Canada improved its play throughout the course of the game to a point where it will feel comfortable moving into the next match, a tilt with Chile on Thursday (7pm ET).

"It's a team we know really well," adds Perason. "We were down in Chile in January. They're no easy team out there. We know a lot of the guys. They're going to give a hundred percent just like us."

Canada will then close out the preliminary round against Mexico on Saturday at 7pm/ET

Field Hockey Canada media release

Late Goal by Cuba Ties USMNT at Pan American Games

Photo: Paul Winstanley

TORONTO, Canada – July 14, 2015 – On the first day of pool play competition for the men’s division at the 2015 Pan American Games, the U.S. Men’s National Field Hockey Team tied 48th FIH World Ranked Cuba 3-3 in a hard fought physical game. Just last week in Boston, Mass. Team USA met Argentina for two preparatory test matches. These games were a solid starting ground in anticipation of the level of play they were guaranteed to encounter in Toronto.

Winning the opening possession, the USMNT acknowledged the need to maintain organization throughout the entire pitch and capitalize on all possible chances. While holding defensively strong to eliminate a threatening circle entry against Cuba, Team USA stopped the play and quickly transitioned it up the field earning their first penalty corner in the 9th minute. Although Will Holt’s (Camarillo, Calif.) initial shot on the corner was stopped by Cuba's flyer, Mortiz Runzi (Boston, Mass.) found the rebound and fired off a drag flick to put Team USA up 1-0.

Cuba responded by quickly transitioning play to their attacking end and sending fast shots on cage. Still under pressure, USA’s goalkeeper Chris Rea (San Diego, Calif.) made a spectacular glove save to deny an aerial ball and keep Cuba off the scoreboard.

Physical play continued as both teams struggled for possession. In the 23rd minute, Team USA gained momentum and earned their second penalty corner. The stick stop was bobbled, but the ball found a Cuban foot awarding Team USA another penalty corner. On the second attempt, the plan was executed perfectly and Aki Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Ger.) buried the ball into the lower left corner of the cage to establish a new score of USA 2, Cuba 0.

The scoring continued five minutes later when Holt blasted a backhanded shot from close range to lift Team USA to a score of 3-0 just before the half.

"We played very, very well in the first half and it obviously showed on the scoreboard," said U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach Chris Clements. "However, we weren't quite up to par in the second period, and it made life on the pitch difficult for us. The result is what it is, and we'll move forward from this in a positive fashion."

Coming out of halftime strong, Cuba sped into their attacking end to secure their first penalty corner of the game in the 32nd minute. The opportunity translated into a goal as Cuba’s Maikel Tritzant found the back of the cage from the right side of the circle to create a score of USA 3, Cuba 1. Team USA was quick to react as they applied high pressure on Cuba’s defense to turnover the ball and earn their fourth penalty corner in the 39th minute. The shot was turned away by Cuba's goalie.

The fourth quarter started with back and forth action as both teams attempted to gain possession. Cuba was able to grab ball control in the 51st minute to record a second goal courtesy of Yoandy Blanco who beat Rea and netted the ball near the stroke mark to make the score USA 3, Cuba 2.

Team USA’s defensive unit dug deep and showed grit in the final match minutes but were unable to keep an equalizer off the scoresheet. Cuba's tying goal came off a penalty corner in the final minute of play by Blanco on a low drag flick.

"Our ultimate tournament goal is to win a medal," said Kaeppeler. "We can accomplish this by consistently playing strong like we did in the first half of today's match. We made a few unacceptable errors that conceded three goals. We'll continue to grow and improve as a team as we shift our focus to the next game."

The U.S. Men’s National Team will be back on the pitch Thursday, July 16 at 11 a.m. EST against familiar opponent Argentina in their second pool play game. For all information regarding USA Field Hockey at the 2015 Pan American Games, including the full schedules, check out the event page and be sure to follow on Twitter @USAFieldHockey for live Team USA game updates.

USFHA media release

Pan Am Games: the contenders for the men’s hockey title

Eight teams, contesting one continental title and an automatic qualification spot for Rio 2016 – this is what the Pan-Am Games means to the competitors in the men’s hockey event, which begins today in Toronto, Canada.

We meet the teams as they prepare to do battle to become Champions of the Pan American continent.

Pool A

They may have already qualified for the Olympics by virtue of a second place finish in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Buenos Aires, but Argentina – who are currently ranked sixth in the world – will not be taking their collective foot from the pedal.

The Argentine men have enjoyed a renaissance of late. They won bronze medal in the 2014 World Cup, finishing much higher than their then 11th-place ranking had suggested, and their subsequent rise up the rankings has served notice of their intent. In Gonzalo Peillat they have a drag-flicker extraordinaire and in Coach Carlos Retegui, they have a man who gives coherence, strategy and a solid defence to the team.

Cuba has form in the Pan Am Games. At the turn of the century the Cuban team won bronze in consecutive years – 1999 and 2003. Since then, the team has picked up a fifth place in 2007 and a fourth place in 2011. Four years ago, Cuba beat both USA and Mexico, despite being many places lower on the world rankings. They remain low on the rankings – 48th – but the ambitions of Coach Guillermo Stakemann and his team will burn bright. Cuba has one of the oldest teams – six of the squad are in their 30s and no-one is younger than 23-years-old.

The bad news for Trinidad and Tobago is an injury to their talisman Kwan Brown. The player, who coaches and plays at the highest level in England, picked up an injury to his achilles tendon that has left him on crutches. Browne will still be in Toronto but in a coaching capacity. Before his injury, Browne spoke of this Pan-Am Games being one that gave his side the best chance of qualifying for Rio. “The players have been together a long time now, so we have experience and we know each other well.” Trinidad and Tobago is ranked 29th in the world and finished 2011 in seventh spot.

USA men come to Toronto ranked 26th in the world, but with aspirations to achieve a podium finish. Patrick Harris is by far the most experienced player with 107 caps to his name, but with 13 of the players aged between 20 and 23, this will be a squad that is far more about energy and work rate than it is experience. In years gone by USA were bronze medal winners at this event, but the past three editions have seen two fifth place finishes and a seventh place.

Pool B

As host nation for Rio 2016, Brazil need to finish sixth or above to be certain of qualifying for Rio 2016. This could be a challenge for the team as they have only qualified for the Pan Am Games on one previous occasion and they finished eighth then. However, there is an air of optimism in the camp and the lure of an appearance in front of a home crowd in Rio. In 2013, Brazil won their first ever hockey medal – a bronze at the South American Championships. Stephane Vehrle-Smith plays hockey in England but represents Brazil. He was part of that medal-winning team and says that this is just the start for Brazilian hockey.

Canada are the in-form team right now. A fourth place finish at the Hockey World League Semi-Final means that Canada’s Olympic dream remains very much alive. With an enhanced support team, a tough training regime and a higher level of commitment from the players, Canada will be eyeing, not just a podium finish, but a gold medal. With the excellent David Carter in goal and the experience of Scott Tupper, David Jameson and Mark Pearson – who all play domestic hockey in Europe – Canada are a team on top of their game.

Chile are a team that have real aspirations to move up the rankings. They are currently 25th on the FIH World Rankings, and a good performance at the Pan-Am’s will see them rise further. The head coach, Alfredo Castro expects Argentina and Canada to be on the podium, but he sees the USA as the main threat to Chile’s chances of picking up a medal. Castro says that Raimundo Valenzuelo and Felipe Eggers will be key players in Chile’s success.

Ranked 34, Mexico are the dark horses of the tournament. In 2011 they finished sixth, losing out in the 5th/6th play-off to USA, a team they had beaten in the pool matches. With experienced players such as Roberto Lopez, Moises Garcia and Ricardo Miranda in the team, Mexico are a side capable of pulling a surprise win out of the bag.

FIH site

Scotland Senior Men squad selected for EuroHockey Nations Championship II

Scotland captain Chris Grassick believes promotion is in his team's sights. Photo Credit: Jeff Holmes

Scotland Senior Men Head Coach Derek Forsyth has announced his squad selection for the EuroHockey Nations Championship II in Prague, Czech Republic.

Taking place from 19-26 July, the Scots will face Croatia, Poland and Ukraine in Pool A of the competition, while hosts Czech Republic, Austria, Azerbaijan and Switzerland make up the teams participating in Pool B.

Scotland captain Chris Grassick said, “Promotion is the aim and we definitely have the quality to do it. It will not be easy as the strength and depth of European hockey is improving every year but I really believe we have an exciting team that will not be scared of playing and will be giving it our all to gain promotion.

"We know a decent amount about the other teams in our group and the competition which is really important but the key for us will be how well we can impose our style and play onto the opposition. We have some really talented players in our team who can be very hard to play against, so it is down to us to deliver some top performances when it matters.

“The squad has made big strides forward each time we have been training and playing matches together. We hit form in the recent games against the Czech Republic scoring 24 goals in three matches and we will be looking to continue that heading into the Europeans.”

The national side will also play Poland in two back-to-back warm-up matches in Katowice starting today.

Scotland Senior Men: Gavin Sommerville (Western Wildcats), Jamie Cachia, Hamish Imrie, Gordon McIntyre (all Beeston), Michael Ross, Gavin Byers (both Grove Menzieshill), William Marshall, Alan Forsyth, Chris Grassick, captain, (all Surbiton), Ross Stott (East Grinstead), David Forsyth (HTC Hurley), Kenny Bain (Amsterdam), Nicky Parkes (Sheffield Hallam), Wei Adams (Canterbury), Murray Collins (Loughborough University), Michael Bremner (Kelburne), Callum Duke (Hillhead), Dan Coultas (Holcolmbe).

Live Broadcast

You can follow the competition live online:

Scotland v Poland
Scotland v Croatia
Scotland v Ukraine

Match Schedule:

19/07/2015, 0900, Game v Poland, Prague, Czech Republic
20/07/2015, 1100, Game v Croatia, Prague, Czech Republic
22/07/2015, 1315, Game v Ukraine, Prague, Czech Republic
24/07/2015, TBC, Crossover match, Prague, Czech Republic
26/07/2015, TBC, Finals Day, Prague, Czech Republic

Please visit the EuroHockey Nations Championship II website for more information

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Bain and Imrie have Scotland in good shape

New Amsterdam signing Kenny Bain, pictured, and Beeston’s recent addition Hamish Imrie were both on the mark for Scotland as they beat Poland 2-1 in Katowice in the build-up to the EuroHockey Nations Championship II in Prague, Czech Republic.

That event begins next weekend with the Scots set to face Croatia, Poland and Ukraine in Pool A of the competition, while hosts Czech Republic, Austria, Azerbaijan and Switzerland make up the teams participating in Pool B.

All the sides will be battling it out for a top two spot and promotion up to the top tier of European competition and Scotland captain Chris Grassick – who played in the EHL before with Surbiton – is confident his side can contend.

“We definitely have the quality to do it,” he said. “It will not be easy as the strength and depth of European hockey is improving every year but I really believe we have an exciting team that will not be scared of playing and will be giving it our all to gain promotion.

"We know a decent amount about the other teams in our group and the competition which is really important but the key for us will be how well we can impose our style and play onto the opposition.

“We hit form in the recent games against the Czech Republic scoring 24 goals in three recent matches and we will be looking to continue that heading into the Europeans.”

Bain is their totem up front while Imrie is a rising star, helping Grange last season to end Kelburne’s lengthy reign as Scottish champions. Ross Stott is one player looking forward to the EHL next season with East Grinstead.

Euro Hockey League media release

Indian junior hockey team to take on Germany in opening tie

NEW DELHI: The Indian junior men's hockey team will clash against Germany in their opening match of the Volvo International U-21 tournament which will get underway on July 18 with six teams competing against each other in a round-robin format.

High on confidence after their title win at the Sultan of Johor Cup, the Indian team will be looking at continuing their good form in the upcoming tournament.

Speaking post a practice session, defender Harmanpreet Singh said: "It's a very important tournament for us as post this we will be playing the Men's Junior Asia Cup 2015 in November this year and hence we have to be sure that we are in line with our strategies by that time.

"The team is very confident of a winning start and it will be about getting the penalty corners and convert them."

Speaking on Dipsan Tirkey, he added: "He is a huge morale boost in the defence chain and I look at him to be the key member here for the tournament.

"The way he tackles the opponents is amazing and I'm trying to learn these tricks from him."

The Volvo International U-21 Men Tournament will be held in Breda, The Netherlands from July 18-25. The Men's Junior Asia Cup will be played in Malaysia from November 14 to 22, followed by the FIH Junior World Cup 2016 (Men) from December 1 to 11 next year.

The Times of India

Harmanpreet: Good to have Dipsan in defence

s2h team

The Volvo International U-21 Men Tournament 2015 is all set to commence from 18th July 2015 with six teams and is to be played in a round-robin format. The Indian Junior Men Team will be seen clashing against Germany in their opening match of the tournament.

The team already high on confidence post their Finale win during the Sultan of Johor Cup 2014, where they beat Great Britain by 2-1, will be looking at continuing their good form in the upcoming tournament.

Defender Harmanpreet Singh feels “It’s a very important tournament for us as post this we will be playing the Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2015 in November this year and hence we have to be sure that we are in line with our strategies by that time. The team is very confident of a winning start and it will be about getting the penalty corners and convert them”.

While talking about Dipsan Tirkey, the drag-flicker says, “He is a huge morale boost in the defence chain and I look at him to be the key member here for the tournament. The way he tackles the opponents is amazing and I'm trying to learn these tricks from him”.

The Volvo International U-21 Men Tournament will be held in Breda, The Netherlands from 18-25 July 2015. The Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2015 will be played in Malaysia from 14 to 22 November 2015, followed by the FIH Junior World Cup 2016 (Men) from 01 to 11 December 2016.


'Dipsan will boost Indian junior hockey team's defence'

BREDA (The Netherlands): India Under-21 hockey team's defender Harmanpreet Singh said on Tuesday that fellow rearguard man Dipsan Tirkey will boost the defence unit of the team in the Volvo International U-21 men's tournament.

The tournament is scheduled to begin on July 18 here with six teams and is to be played in a round-robin format. India take on Germany in the opening match of the tournament, which ends on July 25.

Harmanpreet said that the team is brimming with confidence following their Sultan of Johor Cup win last year and will be looking to continuing their good form in the tournament.

"He is a huge morale booster in the defence chain and I look at him to be the key member here for the tournament. The way he tackles the opponents is amazing and I'm trying to learn these tricks from him," Haramanpreet said of Tirkey, after sweating it out at a practice session here on Tuesday.

Haramanpreet added that the team is viewing the tournament as an opportunity to fine-tune their strategies ahead of the men's Junior Asia Cup in November.

"It's a very important tournament for us as post this we will be playing the men's Junior Asia Cup 2015 in November this year and hence we have to be sure that we are in line with our strategies by that time. The team is very confident of a winning start and it will be about getting the penalty corners and converting them," he said.

The Times of India

Senior hockey players asked to reconsider quit decision

Malaysia hockey player Azlan Misron (left) in action in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup last year, is planning to quit the national team in Ipoh. - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Hockey players Razie Rahim and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil have been urged to reconsider their decision to quit the national squad.

Forward Mohd Haziq Samsul, 21, said the two senior players are still young and important because they are the backbone of the national hockey squad.

He also called on the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) and coaches to reconsider the decision of five senior players to quit the national squad.

The other senior players who plan to quit are goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin, Baljit Singh and Azlan Misron.

“Perhaps, it’s time for some senior players to quit but players like Razie Rahim, Shukri Mutalib and Tengku Tajuddin are still needed for their experience,” said Haziq.

“Senior players such as Roslan Jamaluddin and Azlan Misron gave me advice and encouragement. I’m confident that we will perform better in the qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.”

Haziq said he will return to play for the National Juniors in the Sultan of Johor Cup in October and the Asian Youth Cup in November.

Malaysia finished sixth at the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in Antwerp, Belgium, after losing 4-1 to Ireland, thus missing out on qualifying for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

Following the failure, the MHC are expected to reshuffle the national squad, including deciding on the fate of coach Tai Beng Hai.

The Star of Malaysia

One on one with hockey midfielder Robin Jones

Nicole John

Robin Jones will be participating in the Greenfields Elite Club Hockey Challenge.

PIETERMARITZBURG’S Robin Jones (23), will be participating in the Greenfields Elite Club Hockey Challenge from 17 to 19 July at Riverside Sports in Durban North.

Question: What club do you play for and in what position?

Answer: Kearsney, midfield-defence.

Q: When did you start playing hockey and what is it about it that you love?

A: I started playing at the age of 10. I love everything about hockey, particularly the fact that it’s an exciting team sport and the unique range of skills required to play the game.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Greenfields Elite Club Challenge? Do you think it is an important part of growing and developing hockey as a sport in SA?

A: It’s such a fantastic event. Something that has been needed for some time now.

It’s an opportunity for non-tertiary institute teams to compete at an elite level.

It contributes significantly to the growth of the sport as the event now draws great media attention. Also its a chance for people to see quite a number of the national players represent their club teams.

Q: What has been the highlight of your sporting career?

A: Attending the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Q: Which sports personality do you look up to and what values have you learnt from them?

A: Roger Federer, Hashim Amla. I am a massive fan of world-class sports people who are recognised for their incredible ability, while still remaining humble and treating everyone as equals. - Supplied


PMB hockey teams in tourney finals

Ready for action ahead of the Spar KZN Regional Hockey Tournament finals which takes place on July 25 and 26 at St Mary’s DSG and Thomas More College in Durban (from left) Teagan McFall from Durban Girls’ College, Katie Dawe from Ashton International College

PIETERMARITZBURG Girls’ High and St Anne’s College will battle it out with eight other girls’ first teams from around KwaZulu-Natal in the finals of the 2015 Spar KZN Regional Hockey Tournament on 25 and 26 July.

The 10 regional games were played early this year, with the finalists from each region participating in the finals and will play 29 games in order for the winner to be crowned.

The favourites are St Mary’s DSG and Durban Girls’ College that are just outside the top 10 rankings in South Africa for girls’ first teams. Not far down the list are both the Pietermaritzburg teams.

Durban Girls’ College are the defending champions, having raised the trophy in the past two years. Promising to give them a run for their money are previous winners St Mary’s DSG and St Anne’s College.

Teams that will compete in the tournament are Ferrum Hoërskool from Newcastle, Amanzimtoti High School from the Durban South Regional, Ashton International College from the Durban North Regional, defending champions Durban Girls’ College from the Durban Central Regional, Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High and St Anne’s College from the Pietermaritzburg Central and Northern Regional, St Mary’s DSG from the Highway Regional, King Edward High School from the Southern KZN Regional, Empangeni High School from the Northern KZN Regional and Wartburg Kirchdorf High School from the Inland KZN Regional.

Another vital part in this tournament is the growth of umpires. At each regional, one umpire was selected as the “most promising umpire” and they have been invited to officiate at the finals.

These umpires are from various parts of KZN with two representatives from Pietermaritzburg, Craig Warren from Treverton and Bryn Merton from Grace College.

“We look forward to a great weekend of top schoolgirl hockey. It has been truly exciting to see how this tournament has helped to grow a love for hockey in KZN. The festive atmosphere created by Spar has given school girls the opportunity to have fun playing in a competitive tournament and have seen the interest in the game increasing,” said Les Galloway, tournament director.

For more information and the fixtures list “like” the Spar KZN Regional Hockey Tournament Facebook page or follow the tournament on Twitter @SPARGirlsHockey


IPC committee to resume hearing on 23rd

Kashif Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: The probe committee formed by the prime minister to know reasons behind the shameful performance of Pakistan hockey team in Belgium will again hold discussions with PHF president Akhtar Rasool and secretary Rana Mujahid.

“We have decided to hold another meeting with PHF president and secretary on July 23, then we will compile a report for the prime minister,” said Ejaz Chaudhry, federal secretary, Ministry of IPC, who is head of the probe committee.

It is relevant to note here that there were several reports in the media that the probe committee had finalised its findings, but the head of the committee said: “The probe is still underway. We will start writing the report after July 23.”

Another member of the committee said the reports appearing in the media about the probe committee’s findings were based on speculations.

“We are covering all aspects. The basic purpose of our committee is to guide the prime minister for pulling out the hockey from existing crisis,” he said and added that it was a reality that the hockey federation faced lots of difficulties in getting the funds from the government.

“We are also keeping this reality in the view that government didn’t give the required attention to hockey as the players, despite the promises, were not provided a chance to meet prime minister.

“Almost four scheduled meetings of the hockey team and its management with the prime minister were postponed.

“Whereas, this a also a reality that the federation instead of focusing on generating funds for uplifting the game always kept its focus on getting foreign trips. All these issues could be behind the debacle. Our report is yet to be complied,” he said.

On July 9, the committee held its first meeting at the Sports Complex, in which head coach Shahnaz Shiekh and captain Mohammad Imran, PHF secretary Rana Mujahid and president Akhtar Rasool recorded their statements.

Pakistan needed to finish at least fifth at the Hockey World League semi-finals in Belgium to have an outside chance to qualify for next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro but the eighth-place finish means the three-time Olympic champions miss out on the extravaganza for the first time in their history.

To know the reasons of shameful performance of the national team, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is patron of hockey, constituted a six-member probe committee headed by Ejaz Chaudhry and comprising retired Col Mudassar, Olympian Shahbaz Senior, Khawaja Junaid and Pakistan Sports Board DG Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera.

During the first meeting, the head coach submitted a 20-page report highlighting the facts that had led to the debacle.

He told the committee that the team was not provided with required training and funding, which resulted in the shameful defeat.


Lack of funds root cause of all problems: Imran

LAHORE: The three-member facts and finding committee of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), which was formed to determine factors which led to national hockey team’s failure in Belgium, held its first meeting at the PHF office here on Tuesday.

The committee comprises three former Olympians Shahid Ali Khan, Mansoor Ahmad and Akhlaq Ahmad.

Three players of the Pakistan team — captain Mohammad Imran, goalkeeper Imran Butt and Waqas Sharif — appeared before the committee on the first day.

On Wednesday, some more players of the playing XI like Shafqat Rasool, Rizwan Senior and M. Irfan will appear before the committee.

Chairman of the committee Shahid Ali Khan said that after completing the hearing on the second day, the committee would restart its work after Eid and invite team management and chief selector Islahuddin.

He said Islah and head coach Shahnaz could submit their reply in writing if they did not want to appear before the committee personally.

Pakistan failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time after finishing at the eighth place in the qualifying round which ended in Belgium on July 5. Top five teams were to qualify for the mega event.

While the IPC ministry formed a committee to investigate Pakistan team’s failure, the prime minister also asked the PHF to form its own committee for this purpose.

Later talking to the media, Imran said he gave some reasons to the committee for the debacle, the main among them was lack of preparation, obviously due to shortage of funds.

He denied the reports that the PHF had forced some players in Belgium to resign from the game after the debacle.

Imran also denied the reports that the players were forced to resign during the qualifying round.

He also said preparations were not enough for the mega event, adding that they tried their best despite all odds but failed to earn the desired results.

The skipper said players would have been happier had they qualified for the Olympics.


Islah XI win honours

KARACHI: Islahuddin XI beat Dr M A Shah XI 2-1 in the final to clinch the under-16 hockey tournament played on Tuesday.

Hammad and Abdul Wahab netted a goal each for the winners while Shahzeb Shah scored consolation goal for the losers. Former Olympian Shahbaz senior graced the final and gave away the prizes.

Former Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui, Kamran Ashraf, Sameer Hussain besides Sagheer Hussain were prominent among others who were present on the occasion.

Eight teams featured in the event which was played at the Islahuddin and Dr Shah hockey academy.


Participation Officer - Schools

New contract role available to join Hockey Australia's Melbourne office

Hockey Australia (HA) is the peak national governing body responsible for the development, coordination and promotion of the sport of hockey in Australia.

Sporting Schools is a national initiative, run by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), which aims to help children develop a lifelong interest in sport, gain a healthier mind and body, have fun and learn sport-based skills in a safe environment. Sporting Schools is available to all Australian primary schools.

It will engage more children in more sport based activity within schools and then convert their interest into club based settings.

Direct Responsibilities
HA Strategic Plan
• Assist in the delivery of HA’s Strategic Plan, specifically in relation to the Participation Growth Performance Targets as outlined in the 2014-2018 Hockey Australia Strategic Plan.

Sporting Schools Program
• Coordination and promotion of HA’s Sporting Schools Program, which will include providing strategic, operational and administrative support to State/Territory Hockey Associations, schools, school sport organisations, clubs, coaches and other stakeholders

• Act as the main point of contact for all HA Sporting Schools Program enquiries

• Assisting State/Territory Hockey Associations and clubs with the recruitment and linking of coaches to the Sporting Schools Program

• Assist HA’s Game Education Manager in the development, production and distribution of HockeyEd support resources (e.g. coaching manuals) for HA’s Sporting Schools Program. This includes aligning HA’s Sporting Schools Program resources for teachers with the Health and Physical Education (F-10) Australian Curriculum

• Preparation and submission of all performance reports and/or presentations required by the ASC as part of HA’s funding agreement for the Sporting Schools Program

• Ensure that the activities completed as part of the Sporting Schools Program are regularly promoted on HA’s website and through HA’s e-newsletters and social media platforms. Ensure that all information on the HA website pertaining to HA’s Sporting Schools Program is accurate and reviewed regularly

• Represent HA at all ASC workshops, forums, conferences and meetings relating to the Sporting Schools Program

Assist HA’s Participation Coordinator in the:
• development, implementation, administration and promotion of HA’s grassroots participation program Hookin2Hockey, as well as any modified development programs (e.g. social hockey)

• coordination, production and distribution of Hookin2Hockey support resources (e.g. registration guides and manuals, promotional material, etc.)

• liaison with HA’s Hookin2Hockey partners to coordinate all of the ordering and warehousing processes for the Hookin2Hockey participant packs

• ensuring that the activities completed as part of Hookin2Hockey programs are regularly promoted on HA’s website and through HA’s e-newsletters and social media platforms. Ensure that all information on the HA website pertaining to Hookin2Hockey and any modified development programs is accurate and reviewed regularly

General Responsibilities
• Provide administrative support to the various Participation Department Committees and Advisory Panels as required

• Assist the General Manager – Hockey in the preparation of regular strategic and operational reports for the HA Chief Executive, HA Board and HA Committees/Advisory Panels as required

• Assist the General Hockey – Manager and/or Chief Executive in other duties as directed




Hockey Australia media release

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