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News for 02 August 2015

All the news for Sunday 2 August 2015

England slip to Germany defeat at Hamburg Masters

Goalscorer Florian Fuchs battles with Iain Lewers, Credit Frank Uijlenbroek

A fifth minute strike from Germany’s Florian Fuchs condemned England to a 1-0 defeat in their second match of the Ergo Hamburg Masters. Bobby Crutchley’s side created their share of chances but found Germany goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi in inspired form, ensuring the hosts preserved their slender lead to hold on for the win.

Germany had the better of the opening exchanges and it was Markus Weise’s side who drew first blood in the fifth minute. A driving run along the baseline on the right set up Florian Fuchs who made no mistake from near the penalty spot to slap the ball home.

It took England a while to get going as they felt their way tentatively into the game. Fuchs and Christopher Ruhr gave Bobby Crutchley’s defenders plenty to think about with their darting runs and superb individual skills whilst England’s best chance came as Michael Hoare’s cross from the left flashed across the goal with neither of the two diving strikers quite able to get a touch.

Three minutes into the second quarter England forced their first penalty corner. Ashley Jackson, scorer of a hat-trick in the opening game stepped up but his low drag flick was brilliantly saved by Jacobi in the German goal, plunging to his right to get a stick to the ball. The No7 had another chance moments later from another penalty corner but this time his radar was off and his effort flew wide of the target. England continued to press for the equaliser and Jacobi excelled once again to deny Chris Griffiths with another splendid stick save. Fuchs created Germany’s best chance of the second quarter with a mazy run down the right but his shot fizzed wide of the far post.

The hosts had a gilt-edged opportunity at the start of the third quarter but somehow, Ruhr’s close range shot went wide of the far post with the goal at his mercy. Jackson had a good opening for England but his backhand strike from the left edge of the circle flew over the top. With six minutes left in the third period England won their third penalty corner. Martin Haener got out well to block Jackson’s shot and it remained 1-0 going into the closing quarter.

In the final 15 minutes it was still Fuchs who looked the most likely to add to the scoring. The No23 went on another long run but his shot was well dealt with by George Pinner who beat it away to safety with his gloves. England took off Pinner and played with a kicking back for the final three minutes but despite the extra outfield player they were unable to find the equaliser and Germany held on to claim the win.

England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley:

“Naturally we’re disappointed to lose. It was a scrappy game and neither team really got into top gear. Having said that we did force some penalty corners and created opportunities but our finishing and our general play in and around the final third was below the standard we would expect. We’re looking forward to tomorrow’s clash with Spain which completes our match preparation for the Unibet EuroHockey Championships in London later this month.”

England 0 (0)

Germany 1 (1)
Florian Fuchs 5 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release

Charity Shield: Explosive encounter expected

By Jugjet Singh

FANS can expect no charity from both sides, as Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) square off in the Charity Shield at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil Sunday.

For, not only does the winner gets an early trophy, but also three points.

For the record, double champions THT will be gunning for their first Charity Shield (introduced in 2009), while KLHC have lifted the shield three times in 2011, 2012 and 2014. Tenaga Nasional are the other hat-trick winners in 2009, 2010 and 2013.

Coach K. Dharmaraj and his men dominated the MHL from 2010 to 2013, until THT arrived last season to steal the double from them.

"I don't believe in holding back in any match, and promise an exciting and explosive Charity Shield. We want the three points to start with a bang. But having said that, THT have the best local talent in their fold, and it is not going to be an easy match," said KLHC coach Dharmaraj.

Flushed with six Pakistan imports, and with the best penalty corner flicker in the country -- Razie Rahim -- KLHC are tipped to be among the front-runners in the Premier Division.

As for THT, they have hired four Argentines in Pablo Javier, Nicholas Cicileo, Jose Leandro and Ignicio Quilez. Their Pakistan import is Shakeel Butt.

With 24 imports in five teams, the Premier Division is set to be a showcase tournament this season. Only Tenga Nasional have remained an all-local outfit.

The other team to watch for debelopment purposes is UniKL Young Guns, who will be skippered by national player Baljit Singh.

"The captaincy was awarded to Baljit for his recent excellent performance at the World League Semifinals in Antwerp. It was also for the leadership he provides during training and for his loyalty to the team as a player and also as an employee of UniKL.

"We at UniKL also share Baljit's passion towards hockey, and will field 12 Junior World Cup trainees in the Premier Division this seasion," said team manager Faiz Isa.

RESULTS: Division One B: SSTMI 0 ATM Airod 5; Women's Group A: The Cops 1 Penang Juniors 4; Group B: Manjung Hockey Club 1 MSN Kedah 2.

SUNDAY: Premier Division: KLHC v Terengganu HT (Bukit Jalil II, 5.30pm), Tenaga Nasional v Maybank (Bukit Jalil II, 8pm), Sapura v UniKL (Bukit Jalil II, 8pm).

Division One Group A: TNB
Thunderbolts (Taman Daya I, 5pm), MASUM-USm v MBI (KLHA, 7pm), BJSS v MSP-YP-SSP (KPM, 5pm); Group B: Politeknik v ATM Airod (Taman Daya II, 5pm), Nur Insafi v UniKL Young Guns (Sg Petani, 5pm).

Women's Group A: ATM Pernama v Penang Juniors (Tun Razak, 5pm); Group B: KL-Sukma v MSN Kedah (KLHA, 8pm).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Azlan: It’ll be tough for Terengganu to retain MHL double

By S. Ramaguru

Azlan Misron (left) in action for Terengganu in the MHL last year.

KUALA LUMPUR: Double champions Terengganu are bracing for a tough Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) season.

Terengganu, who won the league and overall titles for the first time last year, will open their Premier League campaign this year by taking on Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the Charity Shield match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.

This is Terengganu’s third season in the MHL and seasoned defender Azlan Misron believes it will be their toughest yet.

“It will take some doing to repeat the double. It’s always easier to win the title for the first time,” he said.

“There will be added pressure on us as we only started our preparations a few days ago.”

The national defender feels that the task has also been made harder by the fact that he will have new partners in the back line – one Pakistani and two Argentinians.

“I’m not familiar with the Argentinian players. We have to learn to adapt to each other’s game,” he said.

Last year, Terengganu had five South Korean players in their team.

This year, they have gone for four Argentinians - Nicholas Cicileo, Pablo Javier Trevisan, Ignicio Quilez and Jose Leandro Tolini - and one from Pakistan - Ahmad Shakeel Butt.

Terengganu also have six national players in their ranks. Besides Azlan, the others are Faizal Saari, Mohd Shahrun Nabil, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Mohd Hafizuddin Othman and Mohd Firhan Azhaari.

Six teams will vie for honours in the Premier Division. The other teams are Tenaga Nasional, Maybank, Sapura and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).
In other matches on Sunday, Tenaga National will play Maybank and Sapura will be up against UniKL.

The Star of Malaysia

MHC coaching committee: We don’t need foreign coach

Ex-national hockey coach Paul Revington looking on at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup last year.

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no need for a foreign hockey coach.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) coaching committee feel that there are enough qualified local coaches for the job and that they should be given the chance to helm the national side.

The MHC coaching committee met for over five hours on Friday to discuss at length the future direction for the national team and review the report submitted by the team officials on the recent World Hockey League Semi-Finals.

Coaching committee chairman Datuk Ow Soon Kooi said it was crucial that the national coach be given a long-term objective and full support.

“There should be no ad hoc measures for the national team. In the last one year, we’ve had four national coaches. How does that help in the development of the team?” he asked.

Paul Revington was the coach in 2013. He resigned in January 2014 and K. Dharmaraj took over.

After the dismal outing in the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Holland, in July, he was replaced by A. Arulselvaraj, who took charge for last September’s Incheon Asian Games.

Although the team finished a creditable fourth, MHC decided to hand over the task to Tai Beng Hai as Arul returned to coach the National Juniors.

The committee also went through the World Hockey League Semi-Finals report submitted by Beng Hai.

“Looking at the report, and also from our own observations, there are a few areas of concern about the national team. One is the lack of fitness,” said Soon Kooi.

“Their on-field discipline was also lacking. The team collected 16 cautionary cards in the tournament and this affected their performance.

“We also feel that more powers should be given to the officials to make decisions.

“Overall, we found that we had the material to do well and could have done better. There is no issue tactically.”

Soon Kooi said the committee agreed that there is a need to hire a technical director to help with the development of the team and coaches.

He said they will make their recommendations to the executive board, which will then decide on the appointments.

“It’s not for us to decide. The executive board will make all the final decisions, including the hiring of coaches,” he explained.

The Star of Malaysia

Canadian 2015 U16 Championships

Kishan Mistry

The U16 Field Hockey Canada Nationals has come to a conclusion this Saturday in Brampton, Ontario. Each and every match was thrilling from start to end and provided much excitement to the spectators watching.

The day was started off with a U16 Boys game between BC White and Ontario East. Ontario East pulled out as the match winners, taking the game by a score of 3-0. Ontario East’s Rielly O’Brien, Josh Kuempel, and Rajan Singh were able to find the score sheet in their final game of the tournament.

Next up was the U16 Boys Bronze Medal match between Alberta and Quebec. After going down 0-2, Alberta was able to clay their way back in the final four minutes scoring two back to back goals to send the game to a shootout. Alberta was able to pull off the comeback winning in the shootout 2-1 to capture the Bronze Medal.

Following, it was the U16 Girls Bronze Medal match between Ontario White and BC White. BC White was able to string together some late game heroics after Jamie Crystal tied the game at 1-1 in the 57th minute. After regulation time, like the match before, both teams were tied and needed a shootout to determine the Bronze Medal. It came down to sudden death in the shootout where BC White’s Chloe Walton was able to win the Bronze for her team.

The U16 Girls Gold Medal game was next, featuring BC Blue and Ontario Red. Ontario Red was able to set the tone early after Madeline Osgraby scored in the 4th minute of the match. They were able to cruise on to a 3-1 victory to claim the Gold Medal.

In the final game of the tournament, it was the Gold Medal match having BC Blue play against Ontario GTA. BC Blue was leading 2-0 until Ontario GTA was able to cut the deficit in half after a Ganga Singh goal in the 45th minute. Leading 2-1 into the final minute, it appeared that BC Blue would come out as the tournament champs. However, with just seconds left on the clock, it was Harbir Kamboj who was able to equalize the game in dramatic fashion. Ontario GTA was able to capture the Gold Medal after winning 3-2 in the shootout.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Please see Field Hockey Canada's site for details and pictures from other days of the tournament

'Indian hockey team's attack bolstered by Sunil's return'

LE TOUQUET (France): The return of senior striker SV Sunil from injury has strengthened the Indian men's hockey team's attack, fellow forward Ramandeep Singh said on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Sunil was injured during a practice session and didn't play the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final held between June 20 and July 5 at Antwerp, Belgium. He was replaced by Devender Walmiki in the Indian team.

"With SV Sunil back in the team, it automatically strengthens our front-line where now I think the opponents will have to find ways to stop us. While the attack has to be maintained we even have to earn the crucial penalty corners," Ramandeep said in a release.

India will be play their first match of the European Tour on Monday against France and Ramandeep feels Indian team needs to improve its game against a side that fought hard before losing 2-3.

"France is a tough team and they have proved that in our last clashed. But we have our strategy ready against them. The target for our match against them is to keep a good possession on the ball and score and not allow opportunities to go a waste."

The Times of India

Aussie Viner to lead hockey women

Jeremy Lim

He took up the reins as head coach of Singapore's national women's hockey team only in February, after Dutchman Coen van Putten resigned.

With just three months of preparation, Sunil Prasad still managed to lead the team to a SEA Games bronze in June.

But the 42-year-old Malaysian's tenure will end on Sept 30, as the Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) president Mathavan Devadas announced his imminent departure at the SEA Games appreciation lunch at the PSA Club yesterday.

He added that Australian David Viner will be Prasad's replacement. Mathavan said: "Sunil has decided against committing as a full-time national coach for the women's team due to his personal commitments.

"He has agreed to extend his contract for a further three months before the new coach takes over."

Mathavan said that SHF has been preparing for Prasad's imminent departure even before the Games.

He added: "We began looking for a coach in May, and have shortlisted eight out of 15 applicants from all over the world. And we chose David Viner, who will be joining the girls on Sept 1.

"We were looking for a coach who has experience with international teams, especially with women's teams. We needed someone with good developmental attributes and who will be able to understand the level of athletes we have here in Singapore. Given David's experience, we felt that he is most suited."

Viner, who is contracted till September 2017, was the head coach for the premier women's team of the Suburban Lions Hockey Club in Western Australia.

The 66-year-old had also coached the Belgian national Under-16 boys' team at the 2012 European U-16 Championships, as well as numerous coaching stints in Australia, Belgium and France.

Viner also had a long playing career in Western Australia, most notably with the University of Western Australia Hockey Club.

Prasad, who also spent four years as assistant to national men's team coach Solomon Casoojee, confirmed his departure and said: "My appointment as the head coach with the national women's side was unexpected, because we had only a short time before the SEA Games.

"It was not possible for me to commit as a full-time national coach, with my long-term commitments with other schools and clubs, which I have been coaching for more than 10 years.

"I do not know much about the new coach, but he was here during the SEA Games. The girls need exposure from international matches and have to be committed to improving as hockey players.

"He will be joining the team and I for September's Women's Junior Asia Cup but I will take a break from the national set-up afterwards. I will speak to him before deciding whether to continue with the girls or not."

National women's captain Chua Xinni, 26, welcomes Viner's arrival and hopes he can bring the team for more training stints in Australia.

She said: "Australia are much better in hockey than we are and hopefully, we will have the opportunity to learn from them.

"We look forward to gaining experience from training trips and maybe play with teams from Australia to improve ourselves."

Straits Times

The sordid tale of sacking coaches continues

The frequent changing of coaches is not good for Indian hockey.

By Y. B. Sarangi

What next? Paul van Ass with the Indian team players during a practice session in New Delhi. S. SUBRAMANIUM

“Indian hockey cannot run on anecdotes, there has to be some reality. Some continuity is needed; the system needs to be structured. There was resistance to me as there was to Greg Chappell. The change has to come from within.”

These were the words of the hockey legend, Ric Charlesworth, hours before he boarded a plane back home on August 6, 2008, severing his ties with Indian hockey as its Technical Adviser.

Despite the change in the National federation (with the formation of Hockey India in 2009), after seven years and four foreign coaches, Charlesworth’s observations are still relevant in Indian hockey.

The recent ‘sacking’ of Dutchman Paul van Ass, who led the Netherlands to silver medals at the Olympics and World Championships, is only a continuity in a sequence of events that has been hampering the eight-time Olympic hockey champion and its quest to regain the lost glory.

The reason for van Ass’ exit — which was not surprisingly unceremonious — is an unwarranted episode that could have been sorted out amicably.

Terry Walsh (above), who guided India to considerable success including the gold medal at the Incheon Asian games, had to leave after his demands for making adequate changes to the hockey structure and delegating authorities to the right people were not met. S. SUBRAMANIUM

The Hockey India President, Narinder Batra, who must be credited for roping in sponsors for the sport and floating the lucrative Hockey India League (HIL), entering the pitch following India’s victory over Malaysia in the World League semi-finals in Antwerp and telling the players that they had to raise the bar to keep the sponsors hooked to the sport was an improper act in the eyes of van Ass. The outspoken coach asked the HI boss to leave the scene immediately, which apparently triggered the trouble.

Keeping aside the tiff between van Ass and Batra for a moment, one is compelled to ask: Do the players, who toil everyday on the pitch and represent the nation, deserve this kind of treatment from an official, no matter how big he is?

No doubt, the players, who are showered with lakhs of rupees after winning a medal in a big event, understand the economics of the sport more than anybody does. However, they don’t play the sport for money alone; they play for pride too — the pride of doing well in National colours.

Or else, why did a Dhyan Chand or a Balbir Singh sweat it out in the black-and-white age when they neither had the scope to find a hefty sponsorship package nor the opportunity to feature in a glamorous advertisement!

The unfortunate incident involving van Ass and Batra kick-started another round of muckraking, which the Indian hockey by now is so used to. Van Ass not returning to India after the World League in Antwerp, stating that he had been fired, and an HI committee recommending his sacking for not reporting at the National camp and not submitting his report on India’s performance at the World League were the fallout of the unpleasant incident between Batra and the Dutchman, who served Indian hockey only for six months.

The role of the High Performance Director, Roelant Oltmans — who reportedly first conveyed van Ass the news of his sacking — in this incident might not be clear, but the fact that Batra has been widely quoted as saying that van Ass is not a good coach gave a strong indication of the mindset of the HI top brass.

Following van Ass’ departure, the National team, despite earning a direct qualification to the Rio Olympics, is clueless even though the 2016 Games is not far away. Oltmans will be in charge of the team until the mega event.

Over the last few decades, beginning with the K. P. S. Gill era, coaches have been treated like puppets. At the time when Charlesworth gave up the India job in utter frustration and joined Hockey Australia to guide his own country to two World titles, India continued its never-ending experiments with coaches that included Spaniard Jose Brasa, Australians Michael Nobbs and Terry Walsh and van Ass.

More than a decade ago, when Gill was the chief of the Indian Hockey Federation, the German coach, Gerhard Rach, had problems working with the Indian system.

For Indian hockey, it has always been the case of one step forward, two steps backward. The philosophy and the style of handling the team differs from coach to coach, and therefore, the premature exit of a coach always upsets the balance of the team. It also means a waste of public money, as the Sports Authority of India (SAI) pays the salaries of the coaches.

Walsh, who guided India to considerable success including the gold medal at the Incheon Asian Games, had to leave after his demands for making adequate changes to the hockey structure and delegating authorities to the right people were not met.

A tendency not to rely on professionals after assigning them a job is apparent in Indian hockey. Besides there is a serious lack of patience among the people who run the show. Even worse is rubbishing a coach after falling out with him. It either speaks of our incompetence in doing a thorough background research about a person before hiring him or our penchant for finding excuses when things go wrong.

The frequent changing of coaches, foreign or Indian, paints a very poor picture of the Indian hockey administration. And most importantly, it adversely affects the sport in the country.


Gerhard Rach (above)

The stocky German was appointed the coach of the Indian hockey team just before the 2004 Athens Olympics, but he lasted for only a few months. India finished seventh at the Olympics, and the nation's first foreign hockey coach had to leave following a war of words with the Indian Hockey Federation bosses.

Ric Charlesworth

The Australian legend was roped in as the Technical Adviser towards the end of 2007. During his seven month stint, he was fed up with the way things worked in India. He also had issues regarding his pay.

Jose Brasa

The Spaniard, who took charge in May 2009, helped the Indian team give an improved showing. Under him, India finished eighth in the World Cup, won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and bagged the bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. He too left on an unpleasant note by the end of 2010.

Michael Nobbs (below)


The Australian took over the reins of the Indian team in June 2011. Under his charge, India - which had failed to make it to the 2008 Beijing Olympics - quali fied for the London Olympics amidst fanfare at home and won the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy. However, the team finished last in London. Nobbs was sacked in July 2013.

Terry Walsh

Appointed as India's coach in October 2013, the Aussie was the most successful overseas coach despite serving for just one year. He guided India to sixth place in the Hockey World League final, a Commonwealth Games silver medal, ninth place in World Cup and an Asian Games gold, which ensured India's direct entry into the 2016 Olympics. He had to go following his demands for more autonomy.

Paul van Ass

The Dutchman, who took over the Indian team early this year, lasted just six months. Under his charge, India bagged the silver medal at the Azlan Shah Cup and finished fourth in the Hockey World League semi-finals before a tiff with the Hockey India president, Narinder Batra, ensured his exit.


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