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News for 24 September 2015

All the news for Thursday 24 September 2015

FIH confirms men’s Hero Hockey World League Final schedule

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed the match schedule for the men’s Hero Hockey World League Final being played in Raipur, India between 27 November and 6 December 2015.

Reigning Hockey World League champions Netherlands will begin their title defence against London 2012 Olympic gold medallists and 2014 Hero Champions Trophy winners Germany on the opening day of competition, following the match between Argentina and hosts India.

This year’s Final schedule will see a slight change to previous editions, whereby two matches per day will be showcased to maximise the opportunity for spectators to attend games in the evenings. As a result, only one day, Saturday 28 November, will stage four matches in one day.

The pool matches will take place from Friday 27 until Tuesday 1 December followed by the Quarter-finals which will be held on Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 December.

The Semi-finals will take place on Friday and Saturday, both at 20:45, while the bronze medal game will be played at 18:30 followed by the final at 20:45 on Sunday 6 December.

The latest broadcast partners for the event were also announced by FIH, confirming where people will be able to watch the matches on TV and online during the competition.

Broadcasters partners confirmed so far include: Star Sports (India); Canal Siete (Argentina); NOS (Netherlands); Astro (Malaysia); OSN (North Africa and United Arab Emirates); Supersport (South Africa); PTV (Pakistan) and Willow TV (USA).

The event will feature the eight national teams who qualified through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Antwerp, Belgium.

They are Australia, ranked number one in the FIH World Rankings, Netherlands (2), Germany (3), Belgium (4), Great Britain (5, based on England), Argentina (6), hosts India (8) and Canada (13).

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.

The full schedule is now available to view by visiting the Match page of the official event website here.

You can also discover which games each broadcaster will be showing by visiting the TV page on the website here.

For all the latest news and exclusive content regarding the Hero Hockey World League Final, visit FIH.ch.

FIH site

Indian hockey squad announced for New Zealand tour

NEW DELHI: Hockey India on Wednesday announced the Indian hockey squad for the upcoming New Zealand tour which is scheduled for 2-11 October 2015. India will play a total of six games in the tour. The first two games will be played against New Zealand A and the rest of the four matches against the New Zealand's national squad.

The New Zealand tour will be in preparation for the Hero Hockey World League Raipur 2015 which is scheduled from 27 November to 6 December in Raipur, India followed by the all important RIO Olympics next year.

The 21-member squad was selected post a rigorous preparatory camp under director high performance & chief coach (men) Roelant Oltmans, held in Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi. Under the stewardship of captain Sardar Singh along with the support PR Sreejesh. The Indian men team will be vying for a clean sweep in New Zealand. Understanding the importance of the series ahead, the Indian team has been working on their passes and penalty corner conversions so as to leave no stone unturned and ensure that they come back victorious.

Speaking on the upcoming tournament Roelant Oltmans director, high performance and chief coach said, "The boys are looking forward to the tournament ahead and are confident of a positive show. Also Dave Staniforth recently holding a 3 week goalkeeping camp has got the goalkeepers pepped up and are waiting to exhibit the learning's under the bar. It is a motivation to see a squad which oozes confidence. The team in the last couple of weeks has worked on team coordination and passes. The idea is to convert when in the D and not lose out on those moments."

All games during the series will be LIVE streamed. More details about the live stream will be published on www.hockeynz.co.nz ahead of the series.

India and New Zealand A will be playing their first match on 2nd October 2015 in Auckland.

India squad

Goalkeepers: 1. PR Sreejesh (vice-captain) 2. Harjot Singh

Defenders: 3. Birendra Lakra 4. Kothajit Singh 5. VR Raghunath 6. Jasjit Singh Kular 7. Rupinder Pal Singh 8. Gurjinder Singh

Mid-fielders: 9. Sardar Singh (captain) 10. Chinglensana Singh 11. SK Uthappa 12. Satbir Singh 13. Devinder Walmiki 14. Manpreet Singh 15. Dharamvir Singh

Forwards: 16. SV Sunil 17. Ramandeep Singh 18. Akashdeep Singh 19. Mandeep Singh 20. Lalit Upadhyay 21. Nikkin Thimmaiah

Match Schedule

Date     Local Time     Indian Time     Team     vs     Team     City
2 Oct. 2015     13:00     06:30     India     vs     New Zealand A     Auckland
3 Oct. 2015     13:00     06:30     India     vs     New Zealand A     Auckland
6 Oct. 2015     19:00     12:30     India     vs     New Zealand     Nelson
7 Oct. 2015     19:00     12:30     India     vs     New Zealand     Nelson
9 Oct. 2015     20:00     13:30     India     vs     New Zealand     Christchurch
11 Oct. 2015     13:00     06:30     India     vs     New Zealand     Christchurch

The Times of India

Danish dropped; Dharamvir, Manpreet back in Indian hockey team

Roelant Oltmans, Coach, Indian hockey team. File Photo: K. Murali Kumar.

Experienced midfielder Danish Mujtaba was dropped from the Indian hockey team selected for the Test tour of New Zealand, while Dharamvir Singh, Manpreet Singh and Nikkin Thimmaiah made a comeback to the squad.

The team was picked out of the 26 probables announced on August 31. While Dharamvir and Manpreet have returned to the side following their recovery from injuries, they replaced Mujtaba and Talwinder Singh. On the other hand, Nikkin, who was dropped for the tour of Europe in August, will replace Mohammad Amir Khan in the forward line of the 21-member experimental squad.

“You can say that Danish has not been picked for the tour. We are trying out different combinations. Of course, our main aim is the Olympics but we are also preparing for the Hockey World League (HWL) Final,” India chief coach, Roelant Oltmans, told.

“Danish is not going with us but Dharamvir, Manpreet and Nikkin are back. We are taking a strong midfield team and there is a lot of emphasis on it. But this combination can later be changed. Nothing is fixed. We will continue trying new combinations,” he said.

Not just the midfield but Oltmans, who is Hockey India’s (HI) high performance director as well, also selected as many as four penalty corner specialists, Rupinder Pal Singh, V.R. Raghunath, Jasjit Singh Kular and Gurjinder Singh, for the October 2-11 tour of New Zealand.

India will play four Test matches against the Black Sticks.They will also play two practice games on October 2 and 3 against New Zealand A in Auckland.

The Hockey World League (HWL) Final will be played in Raipur from November 27 to December 6, while the 2016 Olympics will be held from August 5 to 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The squad was selected post a three-week preparatory camp at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here. The team will as usual be led by Sardar Singh with goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh as his deputy.

“The boys are looking forward to the tournament and are confident of a positive show. Also Dave Staniforth recently held a three-week goalkeeping camp, which has got the goalkeepers pepped up and are waiting to exhibit the learnings under the bar,” added Oltmans.

“It is a motivation to see a squad which oozes confidence. The team in the last couple of weeks has worked on team coordination and passes. The idea is to convert when in the D and not lose out on those moments,” he said.

The Hindu

Sardar to lead 21-member squad to New Zealand

Punjab’s Gurjinder Singh (right) has also made the cut. HI

New Delhi: Sardar Singh will lead a 21-member Indian team to the tour of New Zealand, scheduled from October 2 to 11 in Auckland, Nelson and Christchurch.

India will play a total of six games – two against New Zealand A and four against New Zealand's national team.

A strong 21-member squad was selected after a rigorous preparatory camp at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here under chief coach Roelant Oltmans.

"The team in the last couple of weeks has worked on team coordination, with special attention on passing. The idea is to convert when in the circle and not lose out on those moments," said Oltmans.

The coach also revealed that the goalkeepers had a fruitful session under Dave Staniforth of South Africa.

"The boys are looking forward to the tournament and are confident of a positive show. Also Dave Staniforth recently holding a three-week goalkeeping camp has got the goalkeepers pepped up," said Oltsman.

India will be playing their opening game against New Zealand A in Auckland on October 2.

Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh (vice captain), Harjot Singh.

Defenders: Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, VR Raghunath, Jasjit Singh Kular, Rupinder Pal Singh, Gurjinder Singh.

Midfielders: Sardar Singh (captain), Chinglensana Singh, SK Uthappa, Satbir Singh, Devinder Walmiki, Manpreet Singh, Dharamvir Singh.

Forwards: SV Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Nikkin Thimmaiah.

The Tribune

Gurbaj Suspension: Compassion is needed

K Arumugam

The process is clear. It can withstand any legal scrutiny. But the process is not everything and eternal. Yes, we are talking about the case of Gurbaj Singh, who has been suspended from serious hockey for nine months after a 3-member disciplinary committee refused to lift an earlier decision to this effect.

The long, unexpected ban might close down, steam out and even wear down the most impact making player of our current team.

To establish processes that can withstand any amount of legal scrutiny is the hallmark of the present Hockey India, whose procedural exercise can envy any national federation in India.

But, process is different from perception.

Hockey community by and large believes the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Gurbaj Singh, is wronged. Perception comes on its own, wide and popular.

Gurbaj Singh is perhaps the last of veterans who die for the team on the turf and off it. This may sound uncharitable to many current players, but the fact, history and perception do exist and count.

Very much like Dhanraj Pillay, Gurbaj has the knack of being in the controversy though degree of it varied. Even his entry into the national team – Doha Asian Games – created a big news as he was replacing well-entrenched Viren Rasquinha at the right half.

Similarly, right or wrong, like Pillay again, Gurbaj evoked much of emotion among the followers. Gurabaj talks straight and is the problem.

I have a personal, among the many, example to quote here.

When I met him in his room at Busselton, a suburb of Perth during India-Pak-Australia tri-anglular series, first question he threw at me was did I write against Jose Brasa being sacked.

Even before I finished his reply, he shot another: ‘Did you take me or his opinion on the matter? He was pointing to his room mate BS Chandi.

He pulled me straight. “That is the problem, you people don’t write when needed, don’t ask us when we feel we needed to be asked, media is quite calm when it should not be….’’and the kind of words continued.

His plain talking got him many foes, but obviously he did not care. He has his stick to speak for himself on the turf.

Same day evening he was among the four Indians suspended due to India-Pak fracas, which is a different story.

Yes, different story but there lies a message.

The biggest bulk suspension of Indian came as a shock, just a couple of months before the crucial 2012 Olympic Qualifier. India lost out the previous number was fresh in everybody’s mind.

While most others had one or two match suspensions, Baljit Singh Chandi, who was not in the line up, but entered the field to join the fracas, was handed out five-match suspension.

It is said that time that the concerned Hockey India staged a 5-match South Africa test series prior to the home Olympic Qualifier to ward off our players suspension especially Chandi’s.

The incident is recollected because this kind of compassion, strategy and attempt is required now with respect to Gurbaj.

Great, famous players are always a complex pack. Young, fame, zeal to win matches make them so. Groupism, lobby, internal sabotage, provoking the vulnerable are part of team game.

Some players manage themselves well but most others not.

Gurbaj belongs to the second category.

He opens mouth not with journalists, but with coaches, trainers and administrators, though the last one was the least. But one can always feel he takes up team and team’s cause. This cannot be denied. Was he rustic in his approach, may be.

It’s here fans appeal to Hockey India to show compassion.

None of us know what exactly is the complaint against him by Jude Felix, a former player then with the team as a deputy coach during Hockey World League, Antwerp.

HI has to consider fights between present and former players is a common occurrence, a reality.

Public has a right -- and are eager – to know exact happenings that has led to extreme, extended punishment, and if that is not possible for whatever reasons, HI should step in and do something that can cool down the ever-increasing tempers of common man.

Public perception today is that Gurbaj Singh is wronged. This is because he has been wronged a couple of times in the past too, which is manifest in the fact that every time he was dropped, he has to be recalled. One option that I feel appropriate is to reduce the ban tenure by one by third and let him come back into the team well before the next Hockey India League.

HI needs to understand the popular sentiments his case evokes, and the number of picture that float in the social media and huge number of ‘likes’ it gets everywhere.

It’s a measure of public sentiment and it needs to be taken note of.

India has majestically qualified for the Olympics, and its preparations has to be immaculate and get good public wishes.

For that, bringing back Gurbaj at the earliest is essential.


Air Force pip Army XI to win title

The Indian Air Force players celebrate with the trophy after beating Army XI in the final of the 24th All India Baba Farid Gold Cup in Faridkot on Wednesday. Tribune photo

Indian Air Force (IAF) eked out a close 2-1 win over Army XI to win the 24th All India Baba Farid Gold Cup hockey title here today.

All the three goals were scored in the first half of the match. Army XI opened their account through a field goal by Bachittar in the ninth minute. IAF equalised in the 20th minute through Devinder Singh’s field effort.

In the 33rd minute, Devinder scored his second goal, which eventually turned out to be the winner. The second half went goalless despite both the teams getting several opportunities.

The Tribune

EHL aligns with FIH timing for 2015/16

The Euro Hockey League will adopt the latest FIH timing rules for the 2015/16 EHL season which begins on October 9-11, 2015 in Hamburg with Round 1.

This means that matches will now be played in four 15 minute quarters with 40 second time stoppages for penalty corners and for goal celebrations.

The alignment of the rules will increase the similarities between the international and club game, reducing some of the confusion that previously existed for players, officials, spectators and television audiences over the differences in match timing.

Euro Hockey League media release

Club Egara win historic final against Egara 1935

Club Egara won the first title of the Spanish season, beating their own reserve team in the final to become Champions of Catalonia last weekend for the third year in a row.

Patricio Keenan’s squad won 3-2 against Egara 1935 who play in Divisió d’Honor B, making a little piece of history by qualifying for this unique final in Terrassa. 

For the first team, it was a very intense weekend. They faced RC Polo in the semi-final in a repeat of last season’s Spanish League final. This time, Egara won the shoot-out to go through to the final at Pla del Bon Aire.

On its side, Egara 1935 –champion of Divisió d’Honor B, the second category of Spanish hockey– won through by beating FC Barcelona in the other semi-final, a brilliant moment for the club.

On Sunday, the crowd enjoyed a great atmosphere where Club Egara eventually won out by the odd goal in five. Egara 1935, though, took an early advantage, scoring the first goal via Sergi Aurell.

Pepe Romeu evened the score before half time with a penalty-corner and Lluís Mercadé powered in for 2-1. The game seemed done and dusted when Claudi Quera’s goal made it 3-1 but Tommy Keenan, with a stroke, made for a nervy closing phase.

But the first team held on and set themselves up for next week’s return to national league action in perfect shape.

Euro Hockey League media release

Green Machine to Play President's 11 at Portrane Pitch Opening

This Sunday, September 27th, the Green Machine will play against a President’s 11 to open the new pitch at Portrane Hockey Club.

In 2015 Fingal County Council opened an all-weather hockey pitch beside the community centre in Donabate, it will provide Portrane Hockey Club with a great home base and one of the best hockey facilities in Ireland.

Speaking about the match, Men’s National Coach Craig Fulton said “We are delighted as the Irish men's squad to be playing in the opening of the Portrane water pitch. It's a great occasion and we looking forward to a high quality match”.

The pitch opening commences at 3pm.  Click here for directions to Portrane.

Ireland Training Squad Coach : Jonny Caren

1.Matthew Bell - Banbridge
2.Jonny Bruton - Three Rock
3.Peter Caruth - Monkstown
4.Drew Carlise - Banbridge
5.David Cole - Monkstown
6.Lee Cole - Monkstown
7.Timmy Cockram - Lisnagarvey
8.David Fitzgerald GK - Monkstown
9.Kyle Good - Dragons
10.Neal Glassy - Lisnagarvey
11.James Lorimer - Lisnagarvey
12.Eugene Magee Capt - Banbridge
13.Bruce McCandless - Banbridge
14.Michael Robson - Annadale
15.Alan Sothern - Pembroke

Presidents Squad: Coached by Craig Fulton

1. James Carr GK - Three Rock
2.Stephen Cole Capt - Monkstown
3.Luke Chadwick - Three Rock
4.Stephen Dowds - Banbridge
5.Ziggy Agnew - Monkstown
6.Kyle Marshall - Banbridge
7.Owen Magee - Banbridge
8.Peter McKibben - Annadale
9. Jonny Mckee - Banbridge
10.Sean Murray - Pembroke
11.Carl Lynch - Pembroke
12. Matthew Nelson - Lisnagarvey
13.Chris Neville - Portrane
14.Keith O Hare - Pembroke
15.Darragh Walsh - Three Rock
16.Jamie Wright - Banbridge
17. Simon Wolf - Cork C of I

Irish Hockey Association media release

The special correspondent previews week 3 of Scottish National League Division 1

This weekend sees the men’s league slip into cold storage until early October, allowing players to re-group and coaches to re-evaluate the opening three fixtures of the league campaign.

As a result, the focus this week is entirely on the ladies’ fixture in Division 1.

Kris Kane’s much revised, bottom of the table, GHK squad make the daunting trip to Dundee to face Grove Menzieshill. While in Edinburgh, CALA square off against Watsonians in a fixture which will be full of youth players looking to make a name for themselves in the top flight.

Bromac Kelburne could join the top four if they overcome an Erskine Stewart’s Melville team, who have come out the traps fast in the early exchanges, and other results in the division go their way.

In Glasgow, Derek Forsyth takes his Clydesdale Western squad to Milngavie to play against Western Wildcats. Both teams bearing the Western name have underwhelmed so far this season, however, a win for either here could re-ignite a surge towards the play-off spots.

Forsyth is still getting his feet under the table at his new club but can reasonably expect more from his key players, Susan McGilveray and Ali Howie, than in recent weeks and especially against a stuffy Wildcats team who have been moulded into an inexperienced yet decent team by player-coach Kareena Marshall.

Both appear to be suffering the after-effects of a wonderful summer in London with the national team where both performed excellently. The Titwood outfit’s loss of international Nicki Skrastin to German hockey is undoubtedly a boon for the national team but, conversely, a loss for the club and supermarket carpark-based art enthusiasts everywhere; Clydesdale Western should have the experience in playing and coaching personnel to absorb such a loss.

The Wildcats will look to Rachel Houghton, a bustling, maelstrom of a player, to unsettle the their opponents’ backline and will also be hopeful that Rona Stewart can prove her fitness after an injury struck couple of seasons to join the midfield. Stewart is a neat and tidy player who also enjoyed a spell playing abroad in the past.

Wildcats have also lost players in Kirsty Howe and Susan Al Haddad this season but remain an obdurate opponent on their day if the promising pair of Catriona Booth and Zoe Sinclair get involved enough in the game. The same fixture last season ended 3-3 and a draw might be on the cards again this time out.

Game of the day, however, in the ladies’ league is the top of the table clash between Edinburgh University and Dundee Wanderers in Dundee. The University narrowly beat Bromac Kelburne in their last run out and they had keeper Nikki Cochrane to thank for avoiding dropped points.

There was nothing clown-like about ‘Coco’s’ concentration levels as she showed why she is pushing Amy Gibson in the Scotland team for that much coveted number one spot when she denied a couple of very decent Kelburne breakaways with the score delicately balanced at 1-0 in the second half.

University, in truth, were poor in a second half littered with turnovers, however, the Paisley side deserve credit for the level of their performance, orchestrated well from the side-lines by Adam Bain, and marshalled by the explosive Stevie McInally in midfield, they could have stolen a point had they been slightly more clever with their overtime double corner award at the death.

University Coach Sam Judge will be hoping for a stronger performance from her charges against a Wanderers side who have slipped quietly into the top 2.

Maisie Morris in midfield needs to rediscover the form that made her such hot property at GHK and took her to the fringes of the national side, whilst Becky Merchant appears to be struggling to re-adjust to the domestic game after a summer of excelling under the tutelage of the knowledgeable Gordon Shepherd in more advanced positions. New addition Ellie Hutcheson is yet to find her feet in the capital after joining from Wildcats.

Dundee Wanderers have gone about their business quietly in the east coast, an opening day thumping of Watsonians (6-0) was followed by a turgid draw (0-0) with Western Wildcats but they upset Clydesdale Western (3-0) last time out to keep their undefeated record intact.

Vikki Bunce will be pleased with their start in the league and any sort of result in this fixture should allow the blend of youth and experience in the Wanderers ranks to make a push for the playoff spot they missed out on last year.

Big things are expected on Tayside of Amy Snelle (nee Rowan) who is a competent finisher at this level with two goals in three games, matched by her coach at the top of the Wanderers scoring charts.

Whatever you do this weekend; support your club.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

MHC president sets timeline to achieve his objectives

By S. Ramaguru

MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal looking on as MHC CEO Logan Raj (right) exchange the MOU document with his Hockey Australia counterpart Cam Vale in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. On the left is national team technical director Terry Walsh - BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR: It takes a bold man to make a promise. And an even bolder one to set a time frame to achieve it.

Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal, the president of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) is doing just that.

He has promised to settle MHC’s outstanding debts – RM1.8mil – by December this year.

“By January next year the MHC will be debt free. Then, what we owe will be within the 30-day framework. There is no doubt that this (the debts) is a big issue and we need to clean it up,” said Subahan at the launch of the MHC’s new five-year blueprint on Wednesday.

The MHC were initially saddled with a RM2.8mil debt when Subahan took over as president on May 13. Since then he has settled RM1mil.

And Subahan went on to make another promise – to find the money to fund a league competition in each of the 14 states.

“I cannot say how much we will give but rest assured that the MHC will provide the funding so that each state will have a league of their own,” he said.

He added that he wants to see the MHC stand on their own two feet and not be dependent on the NSC for all their funding.

“My plan over the years is to reduce the amount NSC provide. We cannot always hope for the Government to fund our projects. For now we are in need of their help but over the next four years I hope to reduce this dependency.”

For Subahan, making Malaysia a top-class hockey team in the world remains his main priority.

“To tempt the sponsors, we need to have a winning team. The target of the team in the blueprint is to qualify for the 2020 Olympics and get among the top eight teams in the world.

“There are a lot of people who are interested in hockey. I can see that they do pay attention when our national team win.

“But we also need to look at the grassroots level and see how we can develop the game further.

“Signing the MoU with Hockey Australia is a move in that direction. There is no shame in asking for help from others in order to move ahead. I believe that the agreement with Australia will benefit us greatly.

“And with Australian Terry Walsh as the MHC technical director we will be able to implement the programme in the right way,” he added.

The 49-year-old also called on all the stakeholders in the sport to work together as a team.

“The MHC executive board is not the only one responsible for developing the game in this country. It must be a joint effort. I don’t see the point of officials taking on a post and not do anything. I want all the affiliates to work with us to develop the game further,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

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