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News for 12 August 2015

All the news for Wednesday 12 August 2015

We will bounce back against Spain: Sunil

SANT CUGAT DEL VALLES: Following their shocking 1-4 loss to Spain, Indian hockey forward SV Sunil said they will bounce back in the second match of the three-game series against the European nation here on Wednesday.

India defeated World No. 17 France 2-0 in a two-match series last week and will play No. 11 Spain in three matches to complete their European tour.

"We did a few mistakes in the match against them but we are aware that we are a very strong team and we can bounce back," Sunil, who scored the lone goal for India in Monday's match, said on Tuesday.

"This loss will not deter us in our determination and for tomorrow the aim is to cash on the opportunities. For the next match the key will be our passes in the opponents D and our reaction time. We have to be quick in capitalising and not allow them easy possession of ball."

Adding on the same, India chief coach Roelant Oltmans said: "While it was a tough match, we still had our opportunities to score. This is a learning for us and we will work on this for the next match. The team is aiming to turn it around as this is a very confident unit."

The Times of India

India to clash against Spain in second Hockey Test today

The Indian men's hockey team will be aiming to restore parity in the second match of the three-game series against hosts Spain at Sant Cugat del Valles on Wednesday.


New Delhi: The Indian men's hockey team will be aiming to restore parity in the second match of the three-game series against hosts Spain at Sant Cugat del Valles on Wednesday.

Earlier, the Sardar Singh-led team suffered a 1-4 defeat against Spain in their opening game of the second tier of European tour.

India had started their European tour in an imperious style as they claimed a 2-0 series win over France before venturing into Spain.

This is a preparatory tour for the upcoming World League Final which will be held in India later this year. India have already booked their spot for next year's Rio Olympics.

India will play its third and final match against Spain on August 13 at Terrassa.

Zee News

Poland women ready for EuroHockey Championships debut

Poland captain Marlena Rybacha and her team are ready to take on Europe's elite

The Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015 will see Poland women make their debut, marking their sharp rise into the elite of European hockey.

In London they will join seven other teams to battle it out for the European title, knowing that a win will also guarantee qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Ambitions of European titles and Olympic qualification may be a step too far at their inaugural EuroHockey Championships, but this Polish team is confident of making their mark according to their captain Marlena Rybacha.

Speaking to eurohockey2015.co.uk, Rybacha said: “It’s the first time in our history (they are competing in the EuroHockey Championships) so we are extremely excited about it. We don’t have big expectations. For us, the most important thing is to learn from the best teams in Europe. We have a great opportunity to compete against them and improve step by step as a team. But expect us to play hard because we want to stay at this top level.”

Consistency has been the key for this Polish team. For the past few years the same group of players have been involved in the national team, guided by head coach Krzysztof Rachwalski.

Speaking of this, Rybacha said: “We all know each other really well and continually develop together. Every year we are getting more experience at international level, so we are playing more efficiently and making better decisions. We are creating our own hockey style with more effective tactics.”

Over the past few months, Poland have been participating in several international events. They started with a strong performance in Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 in Delhi, India where they finished second behind their hosts.

That qualified them for the HWL Semi-Finals in Antwerp, Belgium, where they faced some of the best teams in the world, including Australia, Belgium, India and New Zealand. While they lost heavily to the Oceania teams, they did defeat France 5-1 to finish ninth overall.

Despite their losses in Belgium, captain Rybacha spoke of the positives: “We definitely learnt a lot playing against teams like Australia and New Zealand at the tournament. After Antwerp we were all given individual programmes to work on before we go on a national camp just before the EuroHockey Championships.”

Ranked 24 in the world, Poland are looking to secure qualification for the next edition of this event by finishing in the top six.

First up for them is a game against world number one ranked Netherlands. Despite the gulf between the two teams, the Polish captain is looking forward to a good game. She said: “The Dutch are a quality side with great experience, and I know a lot of the girls from living and playing in Holland for the past few years. Hopefully some of that experience will help us in defence. That will give us a good base to hold some possession and build some attacking opportunities. We are definitely looking forward to that challenge and learning from the world’s best.”

The EuroHockey Championships will certainly be a learning experience for the Polish women, but with each competition they grow stronger and with that they will surely be in and around the top level of world hockey for years to come.

FIH site

Bobby Crutchley names squad for Unibet EuroHockey Championships

Bobby Crutchley England Head Coach

Head Coach Bobby Crutchley has named the 18 athletes to compete at the Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015 in London. With a strong finish to the World League Semi-Finals in Antwerp and Olympic qualification secured, Crutchley’s men turn their attention to seeing off the best in Europe in front of a home crowd at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. The squad includes one change, a recall for Reading’s Dan Shingles who missed the World League through injury. The rest of the group is the same as the squad who took that Olympic berth as Great Britain in June.

The England squad has just one change from the Great Britain squad that finished third at the World league semi-final in Antwerp. Dan Shingles comes in for Tim Whiteman. Shingles had originally been selected to go to Antwerp but the Reading player was ruled out through injury. He has since recovered and takes his place in the squad for the Unibet EuroHockey Championships, where he is set to win his 50th England cap, currently he has 48.

Two stalwarts of the side will be aiming to reach personal milestones during the competition in London. Captain Barry Middleton has scored 97 times for England and Great Britain and so could reach the century mark should he find the net three times in the tournament.

Lewers and Middleton celebrate

Holcombe defender Dan Fox, currently on 95 England caps will reach 100 in the final game if he features in every match.

The squad contains 13 of the group who finished fourth at the 2013 EuroHockey Championships in Boom with Captain Barry Middleton joined by Harry Martin, Alastair Brogdon, Nick Catlin, David Condon, George Pinner, Adam Dixon, Dan Fox, Iain Lewers, Michael Hoare, Dan Shingles, Henry Weir and James Bailey. In addition, the squad contains four players who won this tournament back in 2009: Middleton, Brogdon, Jackson and Dixon.

Beeston’s David Ames, who has impressed for Great Britain is set to make his tournament bow for England. The No30 has three England caps and ten Great Britain caps so far.

England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley:

“The squad is largely unchanged from the Great Britain squad that competed in Antwerp, Dan Shingles has come in.

We’re really excited about playing in front of a home crowd. The warm up tournament in Hamburg has given us some great preparation and now we’re down to the last few sessions before we start the competition. There won’t be huge changes to the way we play or approach games. We’re in good shape and we’re looking forward to what will be a tough tournament. The European Championships is one of the hardest competitions there is. You have four of the top five sides in the world and then some really talented teams in Ireland and Spain. France, too have improved a lot in recent times.

We’d love to win the tournament, of course. We have some players left from 2009 when England won the competition and their experience and the belief that it is possible will be a big help, but of course it is an extremely difficult competition to win. We’re playing well and we’re confident so fingers crossed we can emulate 2009.”

England Squad for the Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015

Name, Club
David Ames, Beeston
James Bailey, Wimbledon
Alastair Brogdon, Wimbledon
Nick Catlin, Holcombe
David Condon, East Grinstead
Adam Dixon, Beeston
Dan Fox, Holcombe
Mark Gleghorne, Beeston
Chris Griffiths, East Grinstead
Michael Hoare, Wimbledon
Ashley Jackson, Holcombe
Iain Lewers, Holcombe
Harry Martin, Beeston
Barry Middleton, Holcombe
George Pinner, Holcombe
Dan Shingles, Reading
Sam Ward, Holcombe
Henry Weir, Wimbledon

England Hockey Board Media release

Danny Kerry announces England squad for Unibet EuroHockey Championships

Danny Kerry gives his team talk

England Head Coach Danny Kerry has named the 18 athletes who will compete for the title of European Champions as world class international hockey returns to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015. Kerry hands a recall to Holcombe’s Sam Quek and a first call up to Leicester goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh.

The England squad shows just two changes from the Great Britain squad that secured Olympic Qualification at the World League in Valencia. One of those changes is enforced, as Emily Maguire will represent Scotland at the Unibet EuroHockey Championships. Her place is taken by Sam Quek who returns to the squad for the first time since the Champions Trophy in December. Quek, who captained the side at that tournament, has a wealth of experience with 57 England caps to her name.

Sam Quek in action for England

Kate Richardson-Walsh, who captains the side, has 48 international goals for England and Great Britain combined, so could reach a half century at the tournament. Striker Alex Danson, who has been named as vice captain, is also closing on 50 goals. Currently she has scored 47 times for England and will be aiming to reach the 50 mark in London.

There is also a call up for Leicester goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh. The 23-year-old has yet to make an appearance for England but has impressed during training and in her two Great Britain appearances so far. Heesh replaces East Grinstead goalkeeper Kirsty Mackay in the squad.

The squad contains 14 athletes who picked up a silver medal at the 2013 EuroHockey Nations in Belgium. Alex Danson, Kate Richardson-Walsh, Sam Quek, Helen Richardson-Walsh, Susie Gilbert, Laura Unsworth, Nicola White, Georgie Twigg, Hannah Macleod, Susannah Townsend, Maddie Hinch, Giselle Ansley, Hollie Webb and Lily Owsley will all be hoping to go one better and win gold this time out.

There are a number of milestones due to be reached during the tournament. Surbiton’s Giselle Ansley, East Grinstead’s Sophie Bray and University of Birmingham’s Lily Owsley are all in line for their 50th England caps, currently sitting on 46, 47 and 47 respectively.

Laura Unsworth is currently on 99 England caps and if she plays will reach her century in the opening game of the tournament. She reached 50 Great Britain caps and 150 combined international caps at the World League in Valencia.

England Head Coach Danny Kerry
“On returning from a short break post World League it was made clear to the England players in the Great Britain squad that the athletes who demonstrated focus and form in the lead up to European selection would get the ticket to the tournament.

It’s been impressive watching the training group off the back of an Olympic qualifying period, showing commitment to hard and focused training. It is testament to the type of resilience required during a very intense period of international competition.

Sam Quek has taken the opportunity to gain a place within the side and we as a group of coaches are taking the opportunity that the tournament presents to give Sabbie Heesh some senior international tournament exposure. Susannah Townsend and Sophie Bray have shown exciting attacking intent within the preparatory matches. Hollie Webb continues to demonstrate what an accomplished player she is in defence and similarly Laura Unsworth, a driving force within training and matches provides necessary steel and competitiveness for high performance.”

England squad for Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015

Name, Club
Giselle Ansley, Surbiton
Sophie Bray, East Grinstead
Alex Danson, Reading
Susie Gilbert, Reading
Sabbie Heesh, Leicester
Maddie Hinch, Holcombe
Joie Leigh     Clifton
Hannah Macleod, St Albans
Shona McCallin, Slough
Lily Owsley, University of Birmingham
Sam Quek, Holcombe
Helen Richardson-Walsh, Reading
Kate Richardson-Walsh, Reading
Susannah Townsend, Canterbury
Georgie Twigg, Surbiton
Laura Unsworth, East Grinstead
Hollie Webb, Surbiton
Nicola White, Holcombe

England Hockey Board Media release

Hockey coach plots road to glory

by David Isaacson

South Africa's players celebrate their goal against the US during their women's group B hockey match at Riverbank Arena at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Picture: REUTERS

TIRED of not having funding and losing big games, resulting in the SA women’s hockey team not qualifying for the Rio Olympics, national coach Sheldon Rostron has developed a plan to make the side successful world-beaters.

He is hopeful his structures will be in place by the beginning of next year.

"Funding is always going to be a problem," he said on Tuesday. "Structure is more important than funding."

Since the women’s team lost its Investec sponsorship early this year, players have had to cough up simply to attend training camps. Rostron’s plan is about basing at least a core of players in Gauteng, and securing sponsors to provide jobs and accommodation for players.

"That way we could have eight hours of training in a normal week. Right now we have weeks with zero training."

He had ascertained that lack of training time was one of the big differences between SA and their top opponents at the World Hockey League in Valencia.

"Some sponsors are on board," he said, adding he was looking to do for hockey what Roger Barrow had done for rowing, which has produced crews that have won Olympic and world championships.

With players based in one location, he would be able to monitor them and provide them with the services of sport scientists and psychologists.

Rostron was speaking during a clinic for schoolgirls organised by the Investec Hockey Academy, which is spearheaded by national star Shelley Russell.

He said he also wanted age-group teams to dovetail as much as possible with the national team plan by co-ordinating training camps.

Business Day

The Hockey Insider – Total Disarray in SA Hockey

When our cricket or rugby team doesn’t perform, they receive immediate criticism from the media, which results in the general public also asking questions. Be it over the players, tactics, coaching or management of the team when the results aren’t what we expect, we ask questions and if needs be, changes are made. Now I’m not saying after every single bad performance I would like to hear critical feedback because sometimes you have an off day. What scares me though, is when we record our worst set of results in our sports’ recent history and nobody besides the players are asking questions.

Now, I know people reading this  are going to be saying “ah well, the SA Hockey Men don’t get any funding so they are still doing well“. That’s partly true because for the past 15 years there have been two constants in SA Hockey: a total lack of support from the government and limited support in the terms of sponsoring to fund our program.

With that thought in mind, let me take you back to the London 2012 Olympic Games. There, the SA Hockey Men pulled off some huge upsets and came agonizingly close to making SA hockey history! That team drew to the hosts Great Britain who are all full time hockey players. That team beat India who are also a fully professional team. That side came very close to beating Pakistan and Spain, again, both teams who are professional hockey players.

Fast forward back to January, February and March 2015 and now that same team (who at that time had remained 12th in the FIH world rankings) loses a four match series to Austria (ranked 22) on home soil. That same team loses against Ireland (ranked 14th), China (ranked 31st), Egypt (ranked 20th) and only manages to beat Azerbaijan (ranked 27th) by a single goal and Switzerland (ranked 33rd) by two. Ultimately the team’s poor results and loss to Egypt in the 3rd/4th  play-off meant they couldn’t qualify for the World League semi finals or fulfill SASCOC’s personally dreamed up double Olympic qualification. (which coincidentally, the team managed to do back in 2012, again, with zero support from government.)

Would you not expect some kind of review after results like that, after slipping down to 15th in the World? Would you not expect the players, management, captain and the SA Hockey executive to be questioned as to how this could have happened? How could a team on the brink of accomplishing what no other SA Hockey Team could do in the past, now three years later on, be struggling to beat teams ranked 33rd in the world?

Now, we, the players, have a chance to tell our side of the story and explain to the public who often only see score lines how we could record such a dismal set of results. Thank you for the opportunity to give our side of the story, @punditsSA.

As a player I believe it’s a combination of three things.

Firstly a total lack of ambition from the SA Hockey executive.

I get the feeling they see our team as a bunch of unprofessional players who enjoy playing for their country but because of funding issues can’t achieve anything besides maintaining our ranking. Which coincidentally, we haven’t managed to do because for the first time in at least 15 years we are not ranked 12th! That is backed up by the fact that there has still been no review of players or management since the January – March phase. When the players started raising concerns, asking questions and giving possible solutions they were dismissed as being disruptive or simply ignored. Surely the fact that the players are taking time to do that, shows how desperate they are to succeed? No players waste their time coming up with possible solutions if their heart isn’t in it.

Secondly, we have absolutely no plan.

The players have been without a real program since the London Olympics. To be clear I don’t call two weeks notice or ‘there may be a camp next month’, a clear plan. Creating a program doesn’t cost money, all it requires is clever planning and the involvement of the right kind of people. Back in 2012 we successfully beat Great Britain in Cape Town in front of a capacity crowd and it was amazing! The Cape Town players stayed at home and hosted the out of town guys. We gave clinics at schools to raise money and WP Hockey very kindly allowed us to keep the gate money.

Despite SAHA having a paid journalist, the players still ran the SA Hockey social media accounts and did a great job in spreading the word. (@SA_Hockey_Men) The result being, we didn’t have to pay for the camp and it also didn’t cost SA Hockey anything. So with clever planning you can still have a program, which allows you to be competitive. This point once again proves the players’ willingness to do whatever it takes to become successful. Can you imagine the SA soccer players doing that???

I don’t think we can ask for much more from the players who in January 2015 were given little more than two weeks notice along with a bill for R6000 to appear at the training camp / series against Austria. No surprise to see the results which ensued there, two losses, a draw and win against the world number 22.

Thirdly there is a total lack of communication.

As we have no clear management team and emails largely go unanswered, players revert to talking among themselves to try and get / find answers. Often months will go by when the players don’t hear from the coaching staff or SAHA. That leads me back to my initial point, a lack of ambition to make history with the SA Hockey Men.

The Hockey Insider is a new segment on The Pundits where we focus on the problems facing SA Hockey, coming from INSIDE the camp. A first hand look at where we are falling short and what can be done to sort things out. In this, part 1, we look at some of the problems – tomorrow in Part 2, we’ll take a look at some suggestions on improving things to leave a better legacy for future Hockey stars.

The Pundits

Jaypee Warriors reveals list of its retained players

Among the most successful teams in the Hockey India League (HIL), Jaypee Punjab Warriors will be aiming to clinch the prestigious title in the 2016 HIL backing on the experience of its best players in the team for the upcoming seasons. The two-time finalist have retained Australian trio - Christopher Ciriello, Mark Knowles and Jacob Whetton - and India’s experienced forward player SV Sunil along with young talents Satbir Singh and Varun Kumar for the fourth and fifth seasons of the Hockey India League.

Australia’s legendary drag flicker Ciriello is among the core group of players who have been with the team since the first season. The penalty corner specialist scored three goals in the first season and two in the second season. Ciriello displayed his best performance in the HIL 2015 where he scored four goals through penalty corners, which helped his team to reach the final of the League. His fellow countrymen Mark Knowles is a key member of the defence, who keeps the defence-line intact. He scored three goals in the 2014 HIL and one goal in 2015 HIL.

Among the Indian players, SV Sunil is a regular member of the team and has improved a lot season by season. The presence of Sunil will solidify the forward line and help Jaypee Punjab Warriors to remain an attacking team. The young guns Satbir Singh and Varun Kumar will again get the opportunity to play with the world's best players and show their skills.

In the last three seasons, Jaypee Punjab Warriors played with the worlds best players, who include Sandeep Singh, Australia’s Jamie Dwyer, Kieran Govers and Simon Orchard along with Jaap Stockmann (The Netherlands) and Lucas Ray (Argentina). With the top-line players of the world available for the Hockey India League, Jaypee Punjab Warriors were able to reach the final of the HIL 2014 and 2015, though lost both the final with a very close margin.

Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ Coach & Manager Mr. Jagbir Singh stated, “We are very proud to have the players in the last season retained and with their sheer passion for the sport, we achieved a lot in the Hockey India League. We are confident most of the players will remain Warriors at heart through-out their professional careers. The players, which we have retained for the next two seasons, belong to the core group of the team and their experience is invaluable to us. We will build a new team around them and their presence will help the new players to adjust with our style of game. I would also like to thank Hockey India for the esteemed hockey league, which has been getting more competitive year by year. Everyone can expect a good performance from the Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the upcoming season.”

SV Sunil said, “I am happy to be part of this wonderful team and very motivated as they have retained me. This shows their faith in my abilities and skills. I am glad to know that Christopher Ciriello, Mark Knowles and Jacob Whetton will remain with the team as their contributions to the team are immense. Having Satbir and Varun in the team will help the team’s core strategy of attacking game. I am expecting a good result in the HIL 2016 and we will try again to clinch the title this coming year.”


Dabang Mumbai releases Tom Boon, retains only three players

Dabang Mumbai players celebrate a goal during a Hero Hockey India League match.

Dabang Mumbai have released its star striker Tom Boon, the costliest player ever of the league, while retaining just three players for the 2016, 2017 editions of Hockey India League (HIL).

He was expected to be the most happening player of last season but Boon, who fetched a whopping $ 103,000 for the 2015 season, turned out to be a big disappointment having scored just one goal.

Dabang Mumbai, who made its debut last year, had the option of retaining a maximum of six players — three Indians and as many foreigners, but they chose to retain only three players.

The Mumbai franchise retained Indian defender and penalty corner specialist Harmanpreet Singh, besides Irish goalkeeper David Harte and Australian defender Jeremy Hayward.

Apart from Boon, other notable names who have been released by Dabang Mumbai are Dutchman Floris Evers, Australian trio of Matthew Swann, Glen Turner and Timothy Deavin, England’s Nick Catalin and Indians Arjun Halappa, Chinglessana Singh, Bharat Chikkara among others.

Speaking on the decision, Dabang Mumbai’s strategic advisor and mentor Viren Rasquinha siad: “It was a well deliberated decision keeping in mind the contributions of all the three retained players from last season. Each player adds a unique element to the team composition.

“Given Harmanpreet’s brilliance as a drag-flicker and a defender, he has a bright future and we are happy to have him in our team this year as well. Clearly, David Harte and Jeremy are international stalwarts and were an easy choice for us. I am confident we will work towards setting up a strong core for the team in addition to these players and build a winning team for the upcoming season.”

The Hindu

Hockey’s ‘Great Wall’ gets his due

Stan Rayan

Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh had picked up the best goalkeeper award in hockey’s Junior Asia Cup.

Seven years ago, people in his native village near Kizhakkambalam had not even heard about him. Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh had picked up the best goalkeeper award in hockey’s Junior Asia Cup, which India had won around that time in Hyderabad, but the word had not spread in his quiet village.

Things are very different now. With a road near his home named after him, folks in the area are frequently reminded about the big star in their small village.

They must be quiet proud too, for Sreejesh, currently on a European tour with the Indian team, is now rated as one of the world’s best goalkeepers. There will be more to celebrate, with news coming in on Tuesday that the 27-year-old had been selected for the Arjuna Award. When he receives the Arjuna, Sreejesh will be the first male hockey player from Kerala to get the honour.

“Omana Kumari, in 1998, and Helen Mary (2004), who was born in Kerala but who played for Maharashtra, were the two women from the State to get the Arjuna earlier,” said Mariamma Koshy, the Kochi-based vice-president of Hockey India.

India’s Asian Games triumph at Incheon last year, where Sreejesh stood like a rock in the nerve-wracking shootout against Pakistan in the final, played a big part in the goalkeeper getting the Arjuna.

The Asiad gold, which India won after 16 years, also helped India qualify for next year’s Rio Olympics.

Wanted to be a sprinter

But as a little boy, hockey was far from Sreejesh’s mind. Athletics was his first love. He was keen to become a sprinter but soon realised that he was not fast enough.

He then went to the long jump and shot put and even tried his hand at volleyball before his coach at Thiruvananthapuram’s G.V. Raja Sports School asked him to try goalkeeping for the school team. He was in class eight then.

Wall of India

The country should be happy that Sreejesh made the switch for he has saved India during many high-pressure situations and gained the reputation as ‘the Wall of India’.

“My strength and my weakness are the same, my stubbornness to excel once I have made a choice. It helps me adjust to everything but also keeps me agitated, trying to get better,” he had said once.

That had helped him work tirelessly despite being in the shadows of senior goalkeepers in the national team for a major part of his career. But he rose to prominence in the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy in 2011 with a sterling display in the final.

“It has taken me so long to reach here, someone has to really push me off to take this spot,” he often keeps saying.

He has worked hard and patiently for years, he is now reaping the rewards.

The Hindu

It's hockey Olympians versus rest in MHA elections

MUMBAI: Olympians Gurbax Singh Grewal, Merwyn Fernandis and Joaquim Carvalho, a former national coach, along with a host of other internationals will be up against the ruling group led by Manga Singh Bakhshi in the elections of the Mumbai Hockey Association Limited on Wednesday.

Accusing the present committee of not doing enough for the promotion of the game, players' group's chief spokesperson Carvalho said on Wednesday that all the development work in evidence at the MHAL's Mahindra Stadium had been done "by us when we were in the committee which was dissolved once the dirty work got done by us".

He was referring to himself, Gurbax, who was the then secretary and former umpires Peter Menezes and Ranjit Dalvi, all of whom did a lot of spadework as managing committee members in getting clearances from the Maharashtra government, local municipal authorities and through talks with the neighbouring Mumbai Cricket Association.

"We did not spend a single rupee in renovating the club house, installing the floodlights and the new Astro Turf which were done free of cost by MCA headed by Sharad Pawar," Carvalho said.

He conceded his group was facing an uphill task and said the ruling group had included many family members as voting members while denying the same to women Olympians Selma D'Silva and Elisa Nelson -- both members of the gold medal winning 1982 Asian Games squad.

"We do not subscribe that only players will make better administrators, but we do strongly believe that players can do better than the present lot of businessmen.

"It is the players in these last three years who have salvaged the little hockey in view in the city and not the officials in power. During our last tenure, inspite of working against a brute majority enjoyed by the then/present President Mangha Singh Bakhshi, we ensured the promotion and development of hockey with complete financial support from our well wishers who appreciated our efforts in being genuine hockey lovers," he reiterated.

Carvalho also said that the present MHAL officialdom has not adhered to the Union government's sports code, like 60:40 representation to women and not fielding anyone above the age of 70 for office bearer or committee member.

"For example the current president, along with treasurer (Govind) Chokhani, is contesting for his third term in office which is against the government's rule. The government's guidelines on age and tenure are also being openly flouted," Carvalho said.

Carvalho's group is fielding former woman international Neena Rane as one of its candidates for managing committee and has promised that the age-old MHAL constitution would be amended to give memberships to hockey clubs and players if they get elected.

In the election manifesto, the players' group has also promised an ultra modern clubhouse, professionally run residential hockey academy for players from all over the state; renewal of ground lease, membership to all players and clubs; representation for women in the committee, scholarship/ financial support for promising and retired players/officials in need, free hockey sticks to all under 10 playing schools hockey and conducting one international tournament.

Carvalho also made it clear that the players group, if it came to power, will continue to be part of the Hockey India set-up "as Hockey India, currently, is the officially recognised body of (world body) FIH".

However, the former half back hinted that things could change at the national level if the FIH-derecognised Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) wins its case in the Lausanne-based CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport), as a final ruling on the HI-IHF dispute is scheduled on August 24.

Gurbax, member of the 1968 Mexico Olympics squad, is contesting for the president's post against incumbent Bakhshi, while Carvalho is eyeing the general secretary's post in a straight contest against incumbent Ram Singh Rathor.

Former inside forward and triple Olympian Merwyin, member of the V Baskaran-led gold medal winning squad in the 1980 Moscow Games, is contesting for the vice president's post along with former goalkeeper/umpire Satinder Walia.

Also in fray from the players' group are Olympian Gavin Ferreira and ex-internationals Ramesh Pillay and Raju Bagade.

World Cuppers Mir Ranjan Negi and Darryl D'Souza are, however, contesting from the ruling group.

Rathor's contention is that the same group of Olympians had played their part in MHAL's lease not being extended in 2012.

"After losing the elections they played a part in harming the institution's interest and now they are talking about promoting the game," he fumed.

The Times of India

Brisbane showcase pedigree of coaches

Seven former Kookaburras coach in 2015 Brisbane Hockey League

Lee Oliver

Photo: Husted Images

It's a roster of coaching talent that not even the NRL or A-League can match. 

In fact with more than 1000 international games between them you're unlikely to find another sports league in Australia with a pedigree of coaches like this.

Seven of the ten clubs contesting this year's men's Brisbane Hockey League are coached by former Australian Kookaburras international players.

The players are; Liam De Young (Pine Rivers St Andrews Hockey Club), Troy Elder (Bulimba Hockey Club), Matthew Smith (Kedron Wavell Services Hockey Club), Greg Browning (University of Queensland Hockey Club), Lee Bodimeade (Valley Hockey Club), Jason Wilson (Labrador Hockey Club) and Peter Shaw (Easts Hockey Club).

Between them they have tallied 1025 games for Australia and won eight Olympic medals.

Joining Elder, Smith and premiership winners Browning and Shaw in Brisbane's coaching ranks this year are Wilson, who last played for Australia in 2014, and three-time Olympians De Young and Bodimeade, who played for Australia then twice coached the USA women's team at an Olympic level.

Peter Shaw and his Easts team is shooting for a hat-trick of premierships.

Career History
Liam de Young - Pine Rivers St Andrews
302 games for Australia
3 Olympic Games - 2004 (gold medal); 2008 (bronze medal); 2012 (bronze medal)

Troy Elder - Bulimba
169 games for Australia
2 Olympic Games - 2000 (bronze medal); 2004 (gold medal)

Matthew Smith - Kedron Wavell
166 games for Australia
1 Olympic Games - 1996 (bronze medal)

Greg Browning - University of Queensland
145 games for Australia
2 Olympic Games - 1972 and 1976 (silver medal)

Lee Bodimeade - Valley
143 games for Australia
1 Olympic Games - 1992 (silver medal); 2 Olympics as USA women's coach (2008, 2012)

Jason Wilson - Labrador
97 games for Australia

Peter Shaw - Easts
3 games for Australia

Hockey Australia media release

UC Berkeley Women's Field Hockey Team Still Doesn't Have A Field

Men's teams have gotten replacement fields, but the women's field hockey team has not.

Tyler Kingkade

The women's field hockey team thought they were going to have their season opener on their home turf, but they're still without a playing field.

The women's field hockey team at the University of California, Berkeley still does not have a field of its own to play on, close to two years after athletes were told the school was taking theirs away.

The team originally lost its practice and game facility because the school was constructing a new parking garage. A replacement field built in spring 2014 has turf that works for the school's football and lacrosse teams, but the women's field hockey squad cannot use it.

Construction on the field hockey team's new field began in May, even though the players say they were told they'd have it in time for the spring 2015 semester. As of August, construction still isn't complete.

A school athletics spokesman said they are working to expedite the "complex construction process," but the team on site "recently discovered a construction issue that is going to disrupt the expedited timetable." He did not elaborate.

"The field was supposed to be ready by August 21, and we were informed last Monday that there is a construction delay and it will not be ready in time for that date or in time for our opening weekend," said Kristen Lee, a senior member of the team. "They haven't given us a new date, but it seems like we could now still be without a field until well into September, possibly October."

Instead, the women's field hockey team has to travel more than an hour's drive to play on the turf of their rival, Stanford University, and on the University of California, Davis campus. The team announced location changes last week. They had planned their season opener at Berkeley on Aug. 28.

The field hockey players have not ruled out potential legal action accusing the university of a Title IX violation, since the men's sports teams are not similarly displaced. The university insists it is doing what it can to resolve the issue.

"This will not deter our efforts to complete this project for our team," the athletics department said in a statement, referring to complications in the construction. "We will continue to work through this unfortunate setback with all partners involved to ensure a first-class field is produced for our deserving student-athletes."

The Huffington Post Sports

PHF thanks NA, IPC ministry for revealing truth about funds

LAHORE: Responding to a move initiated by the National Assembly, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) said it is grateful to the Inter-Provincial Coordination Ministry and the National Assembly for giving the nation the true picture about the grant given to it by the Federal Government in the last five years.

In response to a question by a legislator in the National Assembly, the IPC informed the assembly the total grant from 2011-13 given to the PHF was Rs430.62 million.

“The PHF also desires to add that in 2014-2015, the Punjab Government was kind enough to help the Federation with a sum of Rs100 million. The PHF hopes that the critics, who have been blaming that the federation had looted billions of rupees, must correct themselves and realise their mistake,” the PHF said in a press statement issued here on Tuesday.

“The PHF also regrets for not qualifying for the 2016 Olympics for different reasons. However, during the last two years Pakistan hockey team played three finals — Asian Games, Asian Champions Trophy, FIH Champions Trophy — which is a distinction indeed amid shortage of funds,” the statement added.

Critics of the PHF had been raising allegations recently that the Akhtar Rasool-led body had wasted billions of rupees but according to the information provided to the National Assembly, the federal government did not give any grant to the PHF in 2014 and 2015.

Had the Punjab government not released the Rs100million sum, the national team wouldn’t have been able to play three finals over the last year.

The paucity of funds saw the PHF unable to hold a proper camp for the team ahead of the Olympic qualifiers in Belgium in June-July where it finished eighth.


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