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News for 19 September 2015

All the news for Saturday 19 September 2015

Canterbury take out National Senior double

Photo: Planet Hockey

The Canterbury Beavers and Barracudas have taken out the men’s and women’s titles at the National Senior Tournament.

The Beavers made it two straight titles with a 3-1 win over Tauranga thanks to a Sam Baxter double and another from Garren Fyfe. Joseph Lyons scored the lone goal for Tauranga in the 34th minute.

Meanwhile, the Barracudas defeated Northland 3-1 in their final with a Samara Dalziel double and a third goal from Katie Austin.

Ambrose O’Halloran took out the men’s top goal scorer award in emphatic style with 18 goals at the tournament, 12 more than the next best.

Samara Dalziel won the women’s top scorer with seven goals, consisting of six field goals and one penalty corner.

CLICK HERE for final results and statistics from the National Senior Tournament

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Huge finals day looming at Ford NHL

Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

The Men’s Challenge Shield and Women’s K Cup are set to be decided at the Ford National Hockey League tomorrow.

Hosts Northland will do battle with Auckland in the women’s final at 1:00pm, while the Capital Cobras go head to head against Southern Dogs in the men’s final at 3:00pm.

That leaves the Canterbury Cats and Midlands to play out the women’s bronze game at 9:00am, while Auckland take on Midlands at 11:00am for bronze in the men’s game.

Both finals, along with respective bronze medal place play-offs, will be broadcast LIVE on SKY Sport.

The Capital Cobras upset top seeded Auckland 3-2 in their semi-final, leaving Auckland to play the bronze medal game.

Auckland looked on track early after Arun Panchia opened the scoring in the eighth minute, but the Cobras replied with three unanswered goals courtesy of Matt Symonds, Stephen Jenness and Benedict van Woerkom.

With goalkeeper Devon Machester subbed for an extra field player in the 54th minute, Auckland scored six seconds from fulltime but it was too late to score an equaliser.

The Southern Dogs powered home to grab their berth in the final following a 2-0 victory against a strong Midlands side.

Black Sticks striker Hugo Inglis opened the scoring in the 19th minute for the Dogs after an intentional infringement in the circle from Midlands led to a penalty stroke. Kane Russell then sealed the result six minutes out from fulltime with a powerful penalty corner drag flick.

Following classification results the Canterbury Cavaliers will play off for fifth place against North Harbour, while Northland and the Central Mavericks contest the 7th/8th playoff.

In the women’s semi-finals, Northland booked their place in the final after a hard fought 4-2 win over the Canterbury Cats in front of a vocal crowd.

Canterbury opened strongly with Olivia Merry scoring in the seventh minute, before Northland responded with goals from Hannah Haughn and Samantha Polovnikoff to go into halftime with a 2-1 lead.

The Cats equalised in the first minute of the third quarter but Northland, despite being without injured star Stacey Michelsen (hamstring), muscled up and scored twice more through Jasmin McQuinn and Anna Thorpe to ensure the result.

Auckland joined Northland in the final thanks to a narrow 3-2 victory over Midlands. It was an extremely close match-up which went into halftime at 1-1 following first half goals from Gemma Flynn for Midlands and Krystal Forgesson for Auckland.

Auckland went to score a further two unanswered goals through Julia King and Sam Harrison before Midlands pulled back to within one after a goal from captain Sam Charlton. Auckland were able to hold on to secure a chance to defend their title.

North Harbour will go up against the Central Mysticks in a battle for fifth place, while Capital and Southern Storm are left to play off for 7th/8th.

The Ford National Hockey League is proudly supported by the Whangarei District Council and Trillian Trust.

CLICK HERE for more on the 2015 Ford NHL




Capital won 3-2
Capital: Matt Symonds, Stephen Jenness,
Benedict van Woerkom
Auckland: Arun Panchia, Jonty Keaney

Southern won 2-0
Southern: Hugo Inglis, Kane Russell


Canterbury won 6-1
Canterbury: George Connell, Jason Niles, Dominic Newman, Mitch Hayde, Sam Lane, Richard Bain
Central: Nick Wilson

North Harbour won 6-0
North Harbour: Cory Bennett, Dave Kosoof, Alex Hannon, James Coughlan, Genki Mitani,
Jack Humphries

Northland won 4-2
Northland: Hannah Haughn, Sam Polovnikoff, Jasmin McQuinn, Anna Thorpe
Canterbury: Olivia Merry, Kate Denning

Auckland won 3-2
Auckland: Krystal Forgesson, Julia King,
Sam Harrison
Midlands: Gemma Flynn, Sam Charlton

Drawn 2-2 at fulltime
North Harbour won shoot-out 2-1

North Harbour: Stephanie Dickins, Courtney Winterbottom
Capital: Felicity Reidy, Anita Punt

Central won 5-1
Central: Pippa Norman 2, Rebecca Herbert,
Caryn Paewai, Michaela Curtis
Southern: Dayna Holland

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Capital upset Auckland in national hockey league men's semifinals


Benedict van Woerkom sealed Capital's place in the national hockey league men's final with his 59th minute goal against Auckland. MAARTEN HOLL/FAIRFAX NZ

There will be a new men's national hockey league winner for the first time in five years after defending champions Auckland were upset by Capital in Whangarei on Saturday.

The Wellington-based side and fourth-placed qualifier for the semifinals came from behind to beat the top-ranked team 3-2, setting up a title showdown with Southern after they overcame Midlands 2-0.

It will be a repeat of 2014 in the women's competition after defending champions Auckland and Northland prevailed in their respective semifinals.

Both were the lower-ranked teams, with fourth-placed qualifier Northland beating top-ranked Canterbury 4-2 and third-place qualifier Auckland edging second-ranked Midlands 3-2 to advance to Sunday's final.

Auckland men were healthy favourites to bounce back from their 2-1 loss to Southern, with Black Sticks captain Simon Child returning after sitting out that match to rest an injury and Capital taking a 5-1 thumping from Midlands on Thursday.

Those factors counted for little, however, as the Cobras came from a goal down after eight minutes to claim a famous victory.

Benedict van Woerkom put the result beyond doubt for Capital with a minute to play, ensuring Jonty Kearney's goal in the final seconds was mere consolation for Auckland.

Southern's goals were a 19th minute penalty stroke to striker Hugo Inglis and a penalty corner drag-flick from fellow Black Stick Kane Russell with six minutes left.

It puts them through to their third final in four years after they lost to Auckland in extra-time in 2012 and 2013.

Northland were the form side early in the women's competition, but faded towards the end of round-robin play, including a 2-1 loss to Canterbury on Wednesday.

The home side, however, rediscovered winning form went it mattered, turning a 1-0 quarter-time deficit into a 2-1 halftime lead over Canterbury. Penalty corner goals were traded in the third quarter before Northland sealed victory through Anna Thorpe with 12 minutes remaining.

Auckland, who won last year's final 1-0 and beat Midlands by the same margin in round-robin play, were also forced to come from 1-0 down after the first quarter.

They levelled to make it 1-1 at halftime and went ahead nine minutes into the third quarter, with former Blacks Sticks striker Sam Harrison scoring the winner from a penalty corner with eight minutes to play.


National Hockey League

Semifinal results


Capital 3 (Matt Symonds 12, Stephen Jenness 37, Benedict van Woerkom 59) beat Auckland 2 (Arun Panchia 8, Jonty Kearney 60). Halftime: 1-1.

Southern 2 (Hugo Inglis (PS) 19, Kane Russell (PC) 54) beat Midlands 0. Halftime: 1-0.


Northland 4 (Hannah Haughn 22, Samantha Polovnikoff 26, Jasmin McQuinn (PC) 40, Anna Thorpe 48) beat Canterbury 2 (Olivia Merry 7, Kate Denning (PC) 31). Halftime: 2-1.

Auckland 3 (Krystal Forgesson 24, Julia King 39, Sam Harrison (PC) 52) beat Midlands 2 (Gemma Flynn 5, Sam Charlton (PC) 53). Halftime 1-1.

Finals (Live on Sky Sport 3)

Men: Southern vs Capital, 3pm. Bronze playoff: Auckland vs Midlands, 11am.

Women: Auckland vs Northland, 1pm. Bronze playoff: Canterbury vs Midlands, 9am.


Former skipper eyeing return for Rio

By David Leggat

Former Black Sticks skipper Kayla Whitelock says she wants to be 100 per cent fit before contemplating a return to the national side. Photo / Greg Bowker

New Zealand's most experienced internationals Kayla Whitelock and Emily Naylor are on track for a return to the national team before next year's Rio Olympics.

The pair took time out after last year's Commonwealth Games but returned to play for Central in this week's national league in Whangarei.

In Whitelock's case, she went to Japan with her rugby-playing husband George, and their first baby, Addison, arrived just over four months ago.

In their absence, New Zealand, ranked fourth in the world, qualified for the Olympics and have produced quality performances. Whitelock and Naylor, with their accumulated hockey wisdom, would be positive additions to the mix.

Whitelock is eyeing a return, possibly in time for December's World League 4 tournament in Argentina, but her desire to make the Olympic squad is strong.

However, first the world-class midfielder has to get herself up to speed, fitness-wise.

"It's not too bad, but not where I need to be in terms of playing at this level," said Whitelock, who was the Black Sticks skipper until taking her break.

She damaged the AC joint in a shoulder in Central's game on Thursday but thinks it's more of a niggle than serious.

"I started training at the end of June, had two warmup games then into it, so it hasn't been a great buildup. But each game I've played I've felt better and better, getting more touches."

She had a chat with national coach Mark Hager before the NHL began, and again yesterday - "just sussing out the programme and where I'm at in terms of level of fitness. We've started the ball rolling".

Next month's Oceania Cup in Stratford against world No2 Australia is "way too soon" for a comeback. Whitelock insists she's not at the standard needed for that level of play.

However, her good mate, and fellow 29-year-old, Naylor - the most-capped Black Stick with 256 internationals, 27 more than Whitelock - could be a different story.

"To be honest, Emily could probably go straight back in. Probably having a year off has been great for her. She's always been naturally fit and she's playing the best I've seen in a long time."

On one point Whitelock is adamant: she won't return to the New Zealand squad prematurely. "I don't want to go in underdone, to make up numbers. If I'm back in that squad I want to be at 100 per cent."

Finalists at the NHL will be decided today, with top qualifier Canterbury playing hosts Northland and defending champions Auckland facing an in-form Midlands team, who boast the K Cup's leading scorer, Gemma Flynn, with eight.

Auckland were comfortably the best team in the men's Challenge Shield round robin and face fourth qualifier Capital today. Auckland, chasing a fifth successive men's title (they shared the 2011 crown with Central), were beaten 2-1 by Southern on Thursday in their final round robin game - their first loss in the competition - but were without national skipper Simon Child and international Arun Panchia. They are at full strength for today. Southern meet Midlands in the other semifinal, with finals to be played tomorrow.

The New Zealand Herald

Rot Weiss to cope without star men

Rot-Weiss Köln are among the favourites once again for the German championship title this weekend but they do face the new season, which starts this weekend, with a few obstacles to overcome.

For the early phases of the competition, Benjamin Wess will focus on his career while Christopher Zeller is also not ready following knee surgery to a meniscus injury.

And new coach André Henning says that they are among a number of big losses for the club: "Of course we want to again be the strongest team in Germany at the end of the season but we have to see how we cope with the changes. First of all, it is important to build a new structure in the team. This will certainly take some time, but we will do it."

The reigning champions start their season on Saturday against SW Neuss before making the trip to Club an der Alster. UHC Hamburg and Uhlenhorst Mülheim is the perhaps the pick of Saturdays opening round of matches while Harvestehuder take on Nürnburger.

Crefelder start with a game on Saturday against An der Alster in another attractive fixture but the former have a few injury issues to cope with.

Irish star Ronan Gormley misses the game with a hand fratcure sustained during the European championships, one of a number of absentees. "These are of course not optimal circumstances so shortly before the start of the new season," says coach Matthias Mahn. "But we still have a little time to adapt to these realities."

Euro Hockey League media release

Terengganu and KLHC to set the National Hockey Stadium alight in the final

By S. Ramaguru

Mohd Razie Rahim (centre) is KLHC's top scorer with 11 goals this season.

KUALA LUMPUR: From the day the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) began, everything pointed to double champions Terengganu taking on Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) for the overall title – TNB Cup.

And now, everything again points to Terengganu winning their second double in as many seasons when the two teams clash in the final at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.

But try telling KLHC that.

“There is no doubt that Terengganu are the favourites, but I’m not worried about them. It’s what we can do that matters and that’s play with self-belief, be determined and fight till the end,” said KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj.

His men will definitely need those qualities judging by the way Terengganu fought back to make the final.

Terengganu lost the first leg to Maybank 5-3 but lived up to their “comeback kings” tag by breezing past the Tigers 7-1 in the return leg to qualify for their second straight final.

And Dharmaraj is impressed.

“You have to give them (Terengganu) credit for their fighting spirit ... the way they found the extra push to come back,” he said.

“But we too played well in the semis – winning 6-0 in the first leg and 2-1 in the return leg. If my men can play to instructions and take their chances well, we have a good chance to upset them.

“It all boils down to mental strength. I know what it’s like to be in a final. I’ve taken the team into 15 finals.

“But then again, we’ve only won five times. So, losing is nothing new to us. Anyway, I don’t plan on being on the losing side on Sunday.”

KLHC have lost only once this season – a 5-4 defeat by Terengganu in Kuala Terengganu which handed the league title to the east coast side.

Terengganu have lost twice at the National hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil – 6-1 to KLHC in the Charity Shield match and 5-3 to Maybank in the first-leg semi-final match.

Terengganu’s Faizal Saari is set to retain the top scorer’s award for a third time. He has scored 17 goals and his closest rival is KLHC’s Mohd Razie Rahim with 11 goals.

Terengganu forward Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin is also going great guns, having scored 10 goals.

With Terengganu having two of the most lethal marksmen in the competition, KLHC had better get their game plan spot-on.

The Star of Malaysia

Farcical management from hockey body leaves UiTM fuming

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Leave it to bungling Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) technical committee members to steal the show.

Division One champions Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) set up a showdown with TNB Thunderbolt for the President’s Cup (Division One overall title) – but that wasn’t the talking point.

What was on everyone’s lips on Friday was how UiTM only found out that two of their players – Mohd Taufik Abdul Hamid and Razalee Yahya – had been given two-match bans just one hour before their semi-final, second-leg clash against Ipoh City Council (MBI) in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Friday.

Three UiTM players, including Abdul Rauf Nazri, were sent to the sin-bin in the first-leg clash on Wednesday. MBI’s Mohd Faris Fadila Zulkifli was red-carded in that match for hitting a UiTM player on the head with the hockey stick.

The technical committee met on Thursday to hand Mohd Faris a one-match ban.

Then on Friday, an hour before the teams’ return-leg clash at the same venue, the committee met to hand Mohd Taufik and Razalee two-match bans for their yellow card offence.

No wonder UiTM team manger Ahmad Tarmizy Mohd was peeved.

“The MBI player was red-carded in the first leg and was only given a one-match ban,” said Ahmad.

“The first leg was held on Wednesday and the technical committee heard the MBI player’s case on Thursday. Why couldn’t they have heard our players’ case on the same day also? Why do it an hour before our second-leg game?

“We had to go into the game with 16 players. Is that fair?

“We are disappointed with the MHC for running this competition in such a manner.

“Does this mean the yellow card offence is more serious than the red card?”

UiTM, who lost the first leg 3-2, managed to get over the technical committee’s farcical show to beat MBI 3-1 for a 5-4 aggregate win and a place in the final against TNB Thunderbolt who beat ATM Airod 4-3 in other semi-final match.

UiTM got their goals through Mohd Shafiq Zulzairin (20th minute), Mohd Aliff Mansur (33rd) and Mohd Hafify Rodzi (38th) while MBI’s goal came from Arshad Repakhali (25th).

Thunderbolt, overall title winners in 2013, scored through Danial Asraf (28th, 38th), Mohamed Sabri Mohamed (51st) and Azhad Akmal (68th).

Armed Forces replied through Mohamed Hanip Che Halim (42nd) and Razali Mohamed Hazemi (3rd and 70th).

The Star of Malaysia

Australian help on the way

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal and his team are set to celebrate their 100-days in office in style.

In the cards is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hockey Australia, the unveiling of a five-year blueprint to take Malaysia into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and many changes in the Malaysia Hockey League.

Subahan walked into the MHC office unopposed on May 14, and almost saw Malaysia qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, but fell 3-2 to India in the quarter-finals of the World League Semifinals in Belgium.

At a dinner hosted for journalists in Antwerp, Subahan had said that even though he had no hand in preparing this team, he took full responsibility for their failure, and will unveil a plan to 'make sure' Malaysia play in Tokyo.

Australian Terry Walsh was secured, MoU with Hockey Australia ready to sign and a comprehensive blue-print will be unveiled in a Press Conference at the National Sports Council (NSC) on Wednesday.

First the exciting MoU with World No 1 Australia.

Even though Malaysia are one step behind Singapore on this matter, it does not matter.

The Lion City signed an MoU in July, after a high of holding Malaysia Under-20 side to a 2-2 draw before losing the Sea Games gold 4-3 on penalties.

Singapore plan for two more silvers, men and women, in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Sea Games and are even talking of an upset on our home soil.

Malaysia want to play in the World Cup and Olympics again.

The MoU details are still sketchy, but if it follows what Singapore has signed, then Malaysia will send teams to play in the Hockey Australia national championships in 2016 to 2018, and their 'Hookin2hockey' programme will be implemented into the MHC coach education programme and coaching.

Coaches and umpire exchange programmes should also be in the documents signed with collaboration with the NSC.

It is also believed that youth development and high performance hockey in the country will receive a big boost from Australia, who have shown to the world that their style of total hockey is what gets the results in World Cups and Olympics.

The five-year blueprint will encompass a detailed route to take Malaysia back into the Olympics, a feat last achieved in Sydney 2000.

The MHC are keeping this development under wraps, but good news should be shared and Hookin2hockey is what we need to get the grassroot hooked to the sport in a fun and systematic way.

And the MHC are also keen to follow up the statement made by Walsh when his appointment as Technical Director was made known; That he wanted to see all ethnic groups in Malaysia play like they did in the old days.

The fine print and more details will be elaborated by Subahan on Wednesday, and for starters, he and his team get top KPI grades from this scribe, in their 100-days in office.

And its without taking into account that they reduced MHC's debts from RM2.8 million to RM1.7 million.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

10 weeks to go until men's Hero Hockey World League Final

Friday 18 September marks 10 weeks to go until the men's Hero Hockey World League Final in Raipur, India and excitement is already beginning to build ahead of what will be one of the biggest hockey events of the year.

Eight of the world's best national hockey teams will go head to head as they battle to decide who will be crowned Hockey World League champions.

With all the teams taking part in Raipur already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, these teams are represented by the top players in the world. Fans will therefore be treated to some exemplary displays of skill and physical prowess, with non-stop action and an abundance of goals.

Hero Hockey World League Final 2014 winners Netherlands will be looking to defend their title against reigning world champions Australia and London 2012 Olympic gold medallists Germany. 

Belgium, ranked fourth in the FIH World Rankings along with Great Britain (5), Argentina (6) and hosts India (8) will also be looking to make their mark at this event, while Canada are making their debut in the Final.

This will be the first international hockey event to be staged not only in the newly built Raipur International Hockey Stadium, but also in the city of Raipur, the capital of India’s Chhattisgarh state.

Up to 3,000 people will be able to watch each and every game at the venue throughout the 10 days of competition, while millions more around the world will be able to watch on TV and online.

This is the second edition of the Hockey World League. The inaugural men's Hero Hockey World League Final, won by Netherlands, was held in New Delhi, India in 2014.

Keep up to date with all the latest news and exclusive content via FIH.ch during the 10 week countdown.

For more information about the upcoming Hockey World League Finals visit: http://bit.ly/1HaCSSr

FIH site

I didn't expect to become highest paid Indian player: Akashdeep Singh

NEW DELHI: Striker Akashdeep Singh, who was the highest paid Indian player in the Hockey India League auction, says he is preparing himself to cope with the 'price-tag' pressure in the cash-rich competition.

"I was expecting a higher bid from last year's auction, but I did not expect that I will become the highest paid Indian player. With the price there comes a high pressure to perform and I am preparing myself to cope up with the pressure and the two-field goal theory adds a bit more pressure to the forwards to perform," said Akashdeep, who was bought for USD 84,000 by the Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the auction on Thursday.

He is also looking forward to play with the likes of Jamie Dwyer.

"It is exciting to play alongside Jamie Dwyer as he is a legend in the sport and I will get a lot to learn from him. We have players like Ramandeep Singh, PR Sreejesh and VR Raghunath, with them I play in the national team as well so I will adapt quickly with the team. Being in the Wizards, we will try our best to perform and win the title in the coming season," he added.

The Times of India

English stars to head to India

Ashley Jackson and Barry Middleton celebrate with their rays Teammates at HIL

Following yesterday’s Hockey India League auction, we now know that some of England Hockey’s brightest and best will line up in the star-studded competition when it all gets underway in January.

The auction comprised of 135 Indian players and 141 foreign players and boasted some of the biggest names around. In a frantic day of bidding and counter bidding Germany’s Moritz Fürste fetched the highest price, a record $105,000 to join the Kalinga Lancers. Joining Fürste in the Lancers’ ranks is Beeston and England star Adam Dixon, who was picked up in the auction in the 28th lot.

Fellow Beeston player Mark Gleghorne will join the Jaypee Punjab Warriors, a side with a strong Australian contingent as well as Germany’s star goalkeeper Nico Jacobi.

Also heading out to India to compete will be Iain Lewers who joins the Delhi Waveriders. The Holcombe defender will compete alongside the likes of South African duo Justin Reid-Ross and Austin Smith in another all-star franchise.

Two of England Hockey’s other stars, Ashley Jackson and Barry Middleton will also play in the competition which runs from late January to late February 2016. Franchises had the option to retain the services of certain players before the auction took place. With both Middleton and Jackson outstanding on the way to winning the title last season, Ranchi Rays moved quickly to keep their services.

Jackson, who is the Captain of the Ranchi-based franchise, led the team from the front, scoring 12 goals to help his team to clinch the 2015 HIL title. He was the top scorer of the 2015 HIL and Most Valuable Player of the Tournament. Middleton also showed what people in England already knew, that he is a class act. With four goals, the England captain was the sixth highest goal-scorer in the competition.

Hockey India League (abbreviated as HIL) is a professional league in India. It is organised by Hockey India. The tournament consisting of players from India and around the world is contested by six franchises. The entire event takes place on home and away basis culminating into multi-header playoffs. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has sanctioned the event and also provides a 30-day window at the beginning of a year so that all top players can participate. It is currently sponsored by two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, and is therefore officially known as Hero Hockey India League or HHIL.

England Hockey Board Media release

Black Sticks attract bids for Hockey India League

Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

Five Black Sticks players have been scooped up by teams in the Hockey India League auction.

The auction saw eligible players from around the world put on the bidding block to play in the next edition of the HIL in January and February 2016.

Striker Simon Child attracted the highest bid with US$50,000 to play again for the Delhi Waveriders, where he will be joined by Steve Edwards (US$34,000) and goalkeeper Devon Manchester (US$27,000).

Defender Nick Haig (US$10,000) will play for the Jaypee Punjab Warriors while Shea McAleese heads to Dabang Mumbai (US$10,000).

Andy Hayward, Blair Tarrant, Ryan Archibald, Arun Panchia, Phil Burrows, Nick Wilson, Hugo Inglis and Stephen Jenness all put themselves up for auction but were passed over.

The highest bid of the auction was from the Kalinga Lancers who bid US$105,000 for German midfielder Moritz Fuerste.

This edition of the Hockey India League will also see some new rules around scoring, with field goals worth two goals and drag flicks just one.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks quintet drafted in Hockey India League auction

New Zealand striker Simon Child, left, will play for the Delhi Waveriders. DEAN KOZANIC/FAIRFAX NZ

Five Black Sticks players have been scooped up by teams in the Hockey India League auction.

The auction saw eligible players from around the world put on the bidding block to play in the HIL in January-February 2016.

Striker Simon Child attracted the highest bid with NZ$78,000 to play again for the Delhi Waveriders, where he will be joined by Steve Edwards ($53,000) and goalkeeper Devon Manchester ($42,000).

Defender Nick Haig ($16,000) will play for the Jaypee Punjab Warriors while Shea McAleese heads to Dabang Mumbai ($16,000).

Andy Hayward, Blair Tarrant, Ryan Archibald, Arun Panchia, Phil Burrows, Nick Wilson, Hugo Inglis and Stephen Jenness all put themselves up for auction but were passed over.

The highest bid of the auction was from the Kalinga Lancers, who bid $164,000 for German midfielder Moritz Fuerste.

This edition of the Hockey India League will also see some new rules around scoring, with field goals worth two goals and drag flicks just one.


India hockey teams not interested in Malaysian players

By S. Ramaguru

Faizal Saari (left) was among the four names submitted to play in the Hockey India League. - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Not a single Malaysian player will feature in the Hockey India League (HIL) next year.

Four names – S. Kumar, Mohd Razie Rahim, Faizal Saari and Germany-based Kevin Lim – were submitted by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) to play in the HIL.

But none of the six teams bid for the Malaysians players.

Kumar, Faizal and Razie had played in the HIL in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Last year, the Malaysians opted to stay away as they were on national duty for the World Hockey League Round Two in Singapore.

The six teams taking part in the HIL are Dabang Mumbai, Ranchi Rays, Kalinga Lancers, Delhi Wanderers, Jaypee Punjab Warriors and Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

A total of 48 foreign players have been signed up by the teams. Each team are allowed eight foreign players.

And for the first time also, no Pakistani player has been hired by the teams.

This is believed to be due to the fallout between India and Pakistan from last year’s Champions Trophy tournament, where the Pakistani players are alleged to have over-indulged in their celebrations after beating India.

Australia have the highest number of players in the HIL – with 23. The others are from Germany (4); New Zealand (4); England (5); Argentina (3); South Africa (3); Spain (2); Scotland (1), Austria (1), Sweden (1), Ireland (1) and Holland (1). 

The Star of Malaysia

Captains’ ones to watch

Captain’s highlight players to watch at this year’s AHL tournament

This year’s men’s and women’s Australian Hockey League competitions will showcase a mix of talent, including familiar faces from the national senior squads, emerging talent from the national development and junior programs and new faces from across the country.

We probed the question to a few of this year’s captain’s, who should we be watching out for in your team at this year’s AHL? Read their responses below.

Shelley Watson
Canberra Labor Club Strikers
Watch out for Australian internationals Edwina Bone and Anna Flanagan and Kiwi import Sammy Charlton. Anna and Edwina’s drag flick on penalty corners will be a force to be reckoned with.

Keep your eyes on young goal scoring machine Laura Gray, Kalindi Commerford who is faster than lighting and our rock in defence Tina Taseska.

Madonna Blyth
Queensland Scorchers
Look out for young gun Renee Taylor, who will make her debut in the Scorchers this year. Renee has been training and playing in the Hockeyroos’ centralised training program in Perth since the start of 2015.

She has a high technical skill level and is dangerous across several positions on the pitch.

Mark Knowles
Queensland Blades
The Queensland Blades welcome back Australia’s most capped player Jamie Dwyer to this year’s team. Jamie will provide the Blades with valuable experience and skill in our forward line.

Dylan Wotherspoon, one of the Kookaburras’ newer faces for 2015 will also be a player to watch closely. Currently in good form, Dylan will be looking to make a big impact in this year’s team. 

Rachael Lynch and Stacia Joseph
Victorian Vipers
Emily Hurtz will be a new addition to the Vipers this year having moved to Melbourne after retiring from the Hockeyroos in 2014. She is a World Cup silver medallist who has been dominating the Victorian competition with her pace, skill and goal scoring abilities.

20-year-old Laura Bardon was a key member of this year’s winning Under 21 Victorian team. She was named is the 2015 national development squad, is fast, skilful, a great leader on the pitch and recently made her international debut.

Hannah Calvert
Tassie Van Demons
All eyes should be on Maddy Murphy, who stands out on the pitch with her presence to want the ball. A unique player, Maddy has a creative and versatile hockey style and puts everything into her training and matches.

Hockey Australia media release

Hockey teams for Malaysian assignments to be announced today

Kashif Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Hockey Federation will announce the junior team for the fifth Sultan of Johar Junior Invitational Hockey Tournament and Junior Asia Cup on Saturday (today).

The Sultan of Johar Invita­tional Tournament will be held in Johor Bahru, Malay­sia from Oct 11-18 while the Junior Asian Cup will be held in the Malaysian city of Kuantan from Nov 14 to 22.

The selection committee will announce a 20-member squad which will participate in both tournaments.

“We will announce a 20-member squad which will participate in both tournaments. Secondly, after playing the Sultan of Johar Tournament, we will try to establish a training camp in Malaysia for the Asia Cup,” PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior said.

He said the PHF was taking the Asia Cup seriously as that was a qualifying tournament for next year’s World Cup.

“I hope the junior team will show good performance in Asia Cup and we will manage to qualify for the World Cup,” he said and added that the two-day trails for the junior team will end on Saturday at the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium here after which the selection committee will announce the 20-member squad.

Meanwhile, PHF president retired Brig Khalid Khokhar appointed retired Brig Khalid Mukhtar Farani as manager of the national junior team.


PHF chief Khalid appoints his buddy as team manager

LAHORE: Nepotism is no stranger to the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF). In fact it rules the national federation. PHF president Brig (r) Muhammad Khalid Sajjad Khokhar on Friday appointed his close buddy Khalid Mukhtar Farani, also a retired brigadier, as manager of the Pakistan junior hockey team.

“He will take care of the administrative affairs of the junior team,” said a press release of the PHF.

It is interesting to note that the government compromised merit while appointing Khokhar as the successor of PHF chief Akhtar Rasool, a former Olympian and World Cup winner, who was compelled to step down in the aftermath of hockey team’s failure to qualify for 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

In Pakistan, it has become a practice that whenever PPP or PML N return to power, they manoeuvre and bring in their men at the helm of the PHF, Pakistan Cricket Board and a couple of other national federations irrespective of their merit. These men then ‘play around’ with the fortunes of Pakistan sports.

Pakistan junior hockey team will participate in the 5th Sultan of Johor Junior Hockey Tournament to be played in Johor Bahru, Malaysia from October 11 to 18. The trials to select the final line-up of the junior hockey team are in progress at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium in Islamabad. The final team will be announced on Saturday (today).

The Daily Times

Gurbaj mulls legal options after Hockey India upholds ban

Gurbaj Singh.

The Hockey India executive board decided on Friday to continue the nine-month ban on midfielder Gurbaj Singh, and the player declared that he would take legal recourse since the decision practically rules him out of contention for the Rio Olympics.

The 27-year-old Gurbaj, one of the most talented players in the team and unarguably the fittest, was banned for nine months by the federation’s athletes’ redressal committee in early August for “disciplinary issues and creating rift in the team”.

He had appealed against the ban but the HI executive board that met here and heard all sides — Gurbaj, former coach Jude Felix on whose report the decision was taken, and Harbinder Singh, who chaired the previous committee — decided to go with the existing decision.

“We heard all presentations and looked into every thing, including the reports and previous cases of transgression, before taking this decision. This was not a formality; we considered all angles. The nine-month ban will continue,” HI president Narinder Batra told The Hindu.

Gurbaj said: “I have full faith in the country’s legal system, and I will take legal recourse to get justice. They have repeatedly failed to give any substantial reason to justify such a long ban. This only indicates that the entire thing was pre-planned, including the report against me.

“I still don’t know what indiscipline issue has been made out against me. Even Jude hasn’t mentioned any specific incident.

“If this is the decision on the basis of the feelings of a coach, I don’t think it’s logical,” a visibly hurt Gurbaj told The Hindu.

He added that if the federation did not want him to play for the country, it could just have told him straightaway.

“I was out of the team for almost two years. I came back on merit and proved myself. If they still don’t want me, they can say so openly,” he said.

The federation, on the other hand, has said that Gurbaj can further appeal his case at the general body meeting in October if he files it within 30 days, though there seems to be little hope for a change.

What remains mystifying is that while Felix’s report is the basis of the decision, no one from the present team or the management has backed the accusations. And neither the previous committee nor the executive board had sought their input.

The nine-month ban period makes Gurbaj ineligible to play till May 9, 2016.

The Hindu

Hockey India upholds Gurbaj Singh ban, player to move court

Gurbaj Singh has already served a month and a half of the ban. He will not be a part of the next HIL season as well.

Gurbaj Singh said he has decided to take Hockey India to court, insisting the charges against him are baseless. (Source: PTI)

Hockey India decided to uphold the nine-month ban imposed on midfielder Gurbaj Singh, after they found his appeal and explanation unsatisfactory. The decision virtually renders him unavailable for the Rio Olympics next year, as his ban will be lifted only in May 2016. The Games will be held in August.

Gurbaj said he has decided to take Hockey India to court, insisting the charges against him are baseless. Former India assistant coach Jude Felix had submitted a report to Hockey India in which he accused Gurbaj of misbehaving with the support staff and creating rift within the team.

Gurbaj was subsequently banned for nine months by Hockey India’s disciplinary committee, and gave him an option to appeal. Hockey India decided to hear the matter on Friday, a day after Hockey India League players’ auction.

However, the committee, which included president Narinder Batra, CEO Elena Norman, Harbinder Singh and RP Singh, was not convinced of Gurbaj’s clarification and counter-argument. “Jude has given us a written report against Gurbaj in which he has substantiated his claims. Gurbaj’s past record too did not help his case,” an official said.

Gurbaj, meanwhile, said he will drag the parent body to court. “These charges are all baseless. The allegations against me are pre-planned and there is no truth in whatever is being said. I will go to the court as I know I have done nothing wrong,” Gurbaj said.

Gurbaj has already served a month and a half of the ban. He will not be a part of the next HIL season as well as Hockey World League (HWL) finals in November/December this year.

Indian Express

Gurbaj Singh to move court against HI ban

NEW DELHI: Experienced midfielder Gurbaj Singh has decided to move court against the nine-month ban imposed on him by Hockey India (HI) for promoting indiscipline in the national team.

The 27-year-old was banned by the HI's disciplinary committee last month for allegedly indulging in groupism and creating disharmony within the Indian team.

The charges were levelled against him by former Indian assistant coach Jude Felix in a report submitted after the World League semifinals in Antwerp earlier this year.

The right winger had an option to lodge an appeal before the disciplinary committee on September 18 -- which he did.

But the committee, which also included HI president Narinder Batra, was not convinced of Gurbaj's argument and decided against revoking or reducing the ban.

"I have decided to go to court since the charges put on me are completely baseless," Gurbaj said on Friday.

"All these allegations of misbehaviour and groupism are pre-planned and there is absolutely no truth in that. I have complete faith in the judicial system of my country, and therefore I have decided to take this matter to the court of law," he added.

The ban means that Gurbaj will miss the 2016 Hockey India League (HIL) and the Hockey World League (HWL) finals in December this year, which will negatively affect his chances of returning to the national squad for the Rio Olympics next year.

Gurbaj has already served a month and a half of the ban.

The Times of India

CAS rules in HI’s favour

The CAS, while agreeing that the change in FIH statutes did affect the IHF’s position, refused any relief saying the changes were ‘necessary and neutral in their effect’

Hockey India registered a major legal victory on Friday with the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) recognising it as the governing body and dismissing all claims by the IHF, bringing an end to a seven-year long tussle for authority.

The CAS judgement, a copy of which is with The Hindu, not only categorically dismisses all appeals filed by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), it has also directed the body to bear all the litigation and arbitration costs and pay CHF 6,000 each to HI and the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

“The Court of Arbitration for Sport rules that: the Appeal filed by the IHF on 28 November 2014 is dismissed; the decision of FIH on 1 November 2014 is confirmed; the cost of the arbitration, to be determined and served to the parties by the CAS Court Office, shall be borne by the IHF; the IHF shall make a contribution of CHF 6,000 towards legal fees and expenses incurred by each of the FIH and HI in connection with these arbitration proceedings; all other motions or prayers for relief are dismissed,” the court order states.

The IHF had challenged both the FIH and the HI for not only incorrectly and unfairly applying the rules for recognition but also sought its recognition as the FIH member from India. The CAS, while agreeing that the change in FIH statutes did affect the IHF’s position, refused any relief saying the changes were “necessary and neutral in their effect”. It also summarily dismissed the IHF’s other petitions.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court of India had in February this year dismissed applications filed against the recognition of HI even though it refrained from giving an opinion on the merits of the case.

HI president Narinder Batra was expectedly happy. “The IHF has been constantly trying to file frivolous cases both in India and in the CAS but this will be last nail in its coffin. We already have recognition from the FIH, the Government of India and the IOA.

“Now we have also been favoured by the CAS. As far as I am concerned, the matter is over,” Batra said.

IHF general secretary Ashok Mathur admitted it was a disappointing decision. “We had everything in our favour, including the procedures and the legal aspects. I can talk about our next step only after going through the entire decision. The monetary aspect doesn’t bother us as much as the legal implications do. Let us see, we will decide on further action soon,” Mathur said.

The Hindu

CAS dismisses the IHF plea

CAS Judgement: Final nail in the IHF coffin

s2h Team

Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has dismissed the plea of Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) to be India’s sole governing body, which it was till dissolved by the Indian Olympic Association in 2008 in the aftermath of India’s failure to qualify for the 2008 Olympic and a consequent money scandal exposed by Aaj Tak television channel.

The message of the final judgment is the reigning hockey body of India, Hockey India, has crossed the last mile in its legal battle to rule hockey in India.

The CAS judgement a copy of which is made available to media by Hockey India, also imposes a cost of CHF 6000 to be paid by the IHF to Federation Internationale de Hockey (FIH) and Hockey India as a part of legal expenses.

The operative part of the 32-page judgement is that the FIH’s recognition to Hockey India as the sole governing body of Indian hockey is legally valid, and the appeal against the recognition by IHF is dismissed.


Mediterranean Hockey5s Cup provides rising stars with chance to shine

When Australia men and China women won the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, the Hockey5s finals were played out in an electric atmosphere in front of a capacity crowd in the Olympic Hockey Stadium.

The verdict was a sporting spectacle that was fast-paced, exciting, skilful and most importantly, engaging for sports fans - both devoted hockey enthusiasts and those new to the game.

Now the format is spreading across the globe, with the European Hockey Federation (EHF) Mediterranean Hockey 5s Cup in Malta the most recent event to raise the profile of 5-a-side hockey.

At that event, eight male and six female teams took part, with some nations, who will be new names to the hockey world, participating for the first time.

The U16 men’s competition included Morocco, Turkey, Slovenia and hosts Malta among its participants, while the U16 women’s competition included teams from Greece, Croatia and Bulgaria.

The tournament ended with Italy women and Turkey men winning the events. Besides playing for the accolade of being crowned Hockey5s champions, the teams participating in the Mediterranean Hockey5s Cup will have gained valuable experience and preparation for the EHF Hockey5s competitions in 2016/17 which are pathway events for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.

Such is the growing interest in Hockey5s that it was recently the subject of research testing at world-renowned sporting institute Loughborough University in England, an Innovation Partner of FIH.

FIH, in conjunction with the University, ran a testing programme based upon the existing rules of Hockey5s.

Several members of the England under-21 team, along with members of the University’s men’s and women’s teams, were involved in testing a number of derivatives to Hockey5s rules as well as different formats and equipment.

Speaking about Hockey5s, FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather said: "While 11-a-side hockey remains the pinnacle of our sport, we must continue to look at different ways to inspire the next generation. Smaller sided games and exciting urban events are two elements that can attract and engage new fans of all ages and backgrounds - particularly youths who are the future of our sport.”

Fairweather's words are backed up by Kwan Browne, Trinidad and Tobago's most capped player, and now part of the England Hockey coaching staff. He believes the shortened format will help teams succeed at the highest levels in the international game.

"From my experience of the shortened format, it improves understanding of the speed of the game, decision-making, playing low and making quick decisions under pressure – all good for the 11s format."

Former Netherlands star Sander van der Weide, added: “I like fives because you can score from everywhere, the ball doesn’t go out of the field so it stays in play nearly all of the time. There are a lot of goals so I think it is pretty attractive for spectators as well."

With an average of 10 goals per game during the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, the ability to play at smaller venues, with fewer rules and less stoppages, Hockey5s is undoubtedly a growing discipline across world hockey.

One of its greatest attractions is its ability to draw new nations onto the international hockey stage – Fiji men’s and women’s teams are a case in point.

Both teams, ranked 64th and 54th respectively – won gold at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; success on a world stage that they would be unlikely to achieve in the 11-a-side format of the game.

To get a better understanding of Hockey5s, visit the FIH Rules of Hockey page on FIH.ch by clicking here.

Read more about the Loughborough Testing that occurred earlier in September here.

FIH site

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