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News for 26 September 2015

All the news for Saturday 26 September 2015

FIH announces officials appointed for Rio 2016 Olympic Games

FIH announced today the officials appointed for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The Appeal Juries, Technical Delegates, Assistant Technical Delegates, Judges, Medical Officers, Umpire Managers, Umpires and Video Umpires for both the men's and women's hockey events at the 2016 Olympics are now confirmed.

All appointed officials have extensive experience in international hockey, with many having taken part in previous Olympics and others set to make their Games debuts.

For the men's hockey event, South African Umpire John Wright will be taking part in his fifth Olympic Games, while Germany's Christian Blasch will be officiating at his fourth.

Umpires Adam Kearns from Australia, Great Britain's Martin Madden, India's Javed Shaikh, Netherlands Coen Van Bunge, Spain's Paco Vazquez, along with Video Umpire Deon Nel from South Africa, will be making their first Olympic Games appearance.

For the women's event, Umpires Carolina De La Fuente and Soledad Iparraguirre from Argentina along with Chieko Soma from Japan will be making their fourth Olympic Games appearance.

Meanwhile, Umpires Fanneke Alkemade from the Netherlands, Amber Church from New Zealand, Laurine Delforge from Belgium, Michelle Meister from Germany, Kylie Seymour and Melissa Trivic from Australia and Sarah Wilson from Great Britain will be officiating at their inaugural Olympic Games.

To see the full list of officials appointed for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, click here for the full FIH Appointments 2016 Outdoor & Indoor.

10 men's and 10 women's teams have already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games so far. To find out who has qualified so far and how, click here for the men, and here for the women.

The remaining qualification places will be decided at the remaining Continental Championships, including the Oceania Cup and the Africa Cup for Nations taking place later this year.

FIH site

Tigers toppled on day one

Queensland beat premiers, NSW top Pool A, WA lead Pool B

In the men’s AHL in Darwin, reigning premiers Tassie Tigers were toppled 2-1 by 2013 champs Queensland Blades but it’s New South Wales’ Waratahs that sit on top on top of Pool A after a crushing 7-2 win over SA Hotshots.

Blake Govers’ hat-trick led the way for the Waratahs who were also grateful for a Jack Elliott double and strikes from Kieran Govers and Flynn Ogilvie. Cameron White and Luke Larwood bagged a pair of late consolation goals for South Australia.

In a far tighter contest between Queensland Blades and Tassie Tigers a diving deflection from Tasmanian captain Eddie Ockenden equalized Jamie Dwyer’s first half penalty stroke, but it was Shane Kenny’s blistering top corner strike with seven minutes remaining that earned the Blades victory.

In Pool B, WA Thundersticks came out on top in an incredible ten-goal thriller with a 6-4 victory over the Victorian Vikings. The 2015 runners-up lead the pool after SRA Stingers and RAMS Home Loans Canberra Lakers played out a 1-1 draw in the day’s final match.

Never behind in their contest, the Thundersticks led 5-1 at one stage, only for the Vikings to get back to within a goal at one stage. Tim Bates bagged a double for WA, supplemented by strikes from Frank Main, Tom Wickham, Trent Mitton and Chris Bausor. For Victoria, James Webster, Glenn Simpson, Chris Ciriello and Aaron Kleinschmidt were all on target.

In the battle of the territories there was little to separate NT and ACT with the spoils shared in a 1-1 draw. Robert Duguid had the NT fans on their feet at the start of the second half with the opening goal but the celebrations were short lived when Troy Sutherland equalized just 60 seconds later.

Men's AHL, powered by Premier Technology Solutions
Day 1
Darwin, NT

New South Wales Waratahs 7-2 SA Hotshots
Tassie Tigers 1-2 Queensland Blades
WA Thundersticks 6-4 Victoria
SRA Territory Stingers 1-1 RAMS Home Loans Canberra Lakers

Pool A
1. New South Wales Waratahs (3 points)
2. Queensland Blades (3 points)
3. Tassie Tigers (0 points)
4. SA Hotshots (0 points)

Pool B
1. WA Thundersticks (3 points)
2. RAMS Home Loans Canberra Lakers (1 points)
3. SRA Territory Stingers (1 point)
4. Victorian Vikings (0 points)

Upcoming Fixtures - Men, Saturday 26 September
Tassie Tigers v SA Hotshots
Queensland Blades v NSW Waratahs
WA Thundersticks v RAMS Home Loans Canberra Lakers
Victorian Vikings v SRA Territory Stingers

>> Watch day two live from Darwin

Hockey Australia media release

VIC & WA top standings

2014 top four states claim victory on day one of women's AHL

Victoria's retired Hockeyroos Claire Messent and Emily Hurtz showcased excellent form with a double from Messent and a strike from Hurtz in the Victorian Vipers’ 3-0 win over NT Pearls on the opening day of the women’s Australian Hockey League (AHL) powered by Premier Technology Solutions.

Penalty corner goals from Captain Madonna Blyth and Jodie Kenny in the first 30 minutes of play helped 2014 AHL runners-up Queensland Scorchers to second place on goal difference to Victoria in Pool B after a 2-1 win over the SA Suns.

In Pool A, The WA Diamonds sealed a 2-0 win over the Tassie Van Demons. International Dutch import Kim Lammers helped the WA Diamonds onto the scoreboard after a slow first half before WA’s youngster Kathryn Slattery struck late.

With eyes on defending their 2014 AHL crown, hosts NSW Arrows earned themselves a 1-0 victory over the Canberra Labor Club Strikers after young forward Mariah Williams successfully netted the ball from a penalty stroke.

Women's AHL, powered by Premier Technology Solutions
Day 1
Sydney, NSW
Victorian Vipers 3-0 NT Pearls
Queensland Scorchers 2-1 SA Suns
WA Diamonds 2-0 Van Demons
NSW Arrows 1-0 Canberra Labor Club Strikers

Pool A
1. WA Diamonds (3 points)
2. NSW Arrows (3 points)
3. Canberra Labor Club Strikers (0 points)
4. Tassie Van Demons (0 points)

Pool B
1. Victorian Vipers (3 points)
2. Queensland Scorchers (3 points)
3. SA Suns (0 points)
4. NT Pearls (0 points)

Upcoming Fixtures - Women, Saturday 26 September
Queensland Scorchers v NT Pearls
SA Suns v Victorian Vipers
NSW Arrows v Tassie Van Demons
Canberra Labor Club Strikers v WA Diamonds

>>Watch day two live from Sydney

Hockey Australia media release

Reid-Ross on the treble for Amsterdam

Justin Reid-Ross’s hat trick saw Amsterdam run up a hugely impressive 4-1 win over SV Kampong this evening in the Dutch Hoofdklasse to make it three wins from three in the competition.

He fired home the first two goals of the tie before Kampong got one back. But another Reid-Ross effort stretched the lead out to 3-1 before Mirco Pruyser finished off a superb pass from Teun Rohof to close out the victory.

OZ kept pace with Amsterdam with a 7-2 win over Den Bosch, meaning they share top spot after three rounds of matches.

Bloemendaal were 2-1 winners over near neighbours Pinoké with Glenn Schuurman and Rogier Hofman providing the goals that saw them stay clear of their Amstelveen rivals.

Seve van Ass’s single goal earned Rotterdam a 1-0 win over HGC to lift them to seven points in the table, moving them into the top three in the early season table.

Voordaan beat Schaerweijde 4-0 for their first win of the campaign with Adriaan Stolk firing home a couple of goals. Hurley landed their second three-pointer with a 4-2 win over SCHC.

Euro Hockey League media release

Police takes on Strathmore lads


Kenya Police's Felix Okoth (left) dribbles past Cyril Mandela of Strathmore Gladiators during a past match. Kenya Police will be aiming to consolidate their lead when they take on Strathmore University Gladiators September 27, 2015 at City Park Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

After dislodging champions Butali Sugar Warriors from the top of the Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League standings, last season’s runners Kenya Police will be aiming to consolidate their lead when they take on Strathmore University Gladiators Sunday at City Park Stadium.

The 2013 champions beat Kenyatta University Vultures last weekend to move two points clear at the top of the table and a win against the Gladiators will see them open a five-point lead as champions Butali have no game this weekend.

The disciplined forces side, who were runners-up to Butali last season, have won their last seven games and will start as favourites against a Gladiators that briefly topped the league this season before a string of poor results saw them drop to sixth in the table.


Police will be without midfielder Willis Okeyo who was sent off in the game against Vultures but will rely on skipper Brian Saina and top scorer Moses Cheplaiti to bag the goals as they look to extend their lead at the top.

“We are on a good run and we want to keep our consistency going. I think playing week in week out has helped us and the squad looks in good shape as we challenge for honours on both the domestic and continental front,” Police captain Brian Saina told Saturday Nation Sport.

Gladiators coach Meshack Senge believes his team will end Police’s good run. “We were unlucky against Western Jaguars last weekend.”

Daily Nation

Terengganu hockey team gets over RM1m incentive


Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmed Razif Abd Rahman presenting the cheque replica to Terengganu Hockey Team representative. Pix by MOHD SYAFIQ AMBAK

KUALA TERENGGANU: The victorious Terengganu Hocky Team (THT), which bagged the Malaysia Hockey League and the TNB Cup recently, was showered with over RM1 million in cash incentive.

Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman announced that each THT player and team official would receive RM20,000 each, inclusive of either an umrah package for muslims or an equivalent value of an overseas holiday for the others.

Making the announcement after the weekly state executive council meeting, Razif said that THT had made the state proud via its New Terengganu Transformation programme to create excellence in all fields.

“This is the second year running, that THT has managed to retain both the MHL title and TNB Cup, making Terengganu the best hockey team in the country.

“All of you justly deserve to be rewarded,” he said at Wisma Darul Iman.

Present were state secretary Datuk Osman Muda and state youth, sports and human resource committee chairman Datuk Rozi Mamat.

Razif said each player and official would receive RM10,000 cash each with the balance RM10,000 via the umrah package or overseas trip.

The total cost, he added, exceeded RM1 million but it was well worth it as an incentive to spur THT to greater heights.

“Such a and incentive is also to spur other sports entities in the state to excel. The state government is prepared to provide greater rewards, pending availability of funds, if state teams continue with such commendable performances,” said Razif.

New Straits Times

USWNT to Host Japan in November for Test Series

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The build up to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games continues as the U.S. Women’s National Team prepares to host Japan in a four match test series at Spooky Nook Sports, the Home of Hockey in Lancaster County, Pa. at the end of November. This international series against 10th FIH World Ranked Japan is part of Team USA’s preparatory matches before the Olympic Games and another opportunity to support the team’s journey.

"We are looking forward to hosting Japan," said Craig Parnham, U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach. "Not only does it allow us to play against a quality opponent, but it again brings international hockey to Lancaster, broadening the exposure of the game and allowing spectators to get up close to the action. The series will also provide a great opportunity for our group to experience a different style of play."

The last meeting between the two teams was at the 2011 Champions Challenge in Dublin, Ireland. Team USA advanced to the final match against Japan, but fell just short of the gold medal and advancement to one of the most premier international hockey tournament, Champions Trophy. Both teams were present at the recent 8 Nations Tournament in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand in April playing in different pools and did not meet during crossovers.

After a summer of excitement, the USWNT is ready to face another challenge against a highly ranked competitor. This series will be played in the world-class Dome Arena at Spooky Nook Sports.

Tickets for the Japan series will go on sale Friday, October 2, 2015 at 12 p.m. EST and are for sale at usafieldhockey.com. USA Field Hockey members will have an exclusive 48 hour pre-sale ticket opportunity from Wednesday, September 30, 12 p.m. EST to Friday, October 2, 2015 at 12 p.m. EST.

USA vs Japan Series Schedule:

Sunday, November 29                   USA vs Japan, 8:00 p.m. EST
Monday, November 30                  USA vs Japan, 7:00 p.m. EST
Wednesday, December 2              USA vs Japan, 7:00 p.m. EST
Thursday, December 3                  USA vs Japan, 7:00 p.m. EST

The last series that the U.S. Women’s National Team hosted in the Dome Arena sold out in record time and demand for tickets is anticipated to be high with limited tickets available for each game. Tickets are $9 for discounts (children under 18, senior citizens and military) and $18 for adults. There will be an option to purchase full series tickets for $32 for discounts and $64 for adults. Parking is included in the ticket price.

Group tickets will also be available for each game, when 10 or more tickets are purchased from a like ticket category for a match and a discount will be applied of $3 off per ticket. This is a great option for clubs, middle and high school teams, collegiate programs, or any group of friends wanting to experience international field hockey competition together.

"We are anticipating sell-out crowds in the Dome Arena at Spooky Nook Sports to see Team USA take on Japan," said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey Executive Director. "We can all look forward to exciting international field hockey as both teams play in Lancaster late this fall before heading to play in the Rio Olympics in August of 2016.”

USFHA media release

Improving on our penalty corner conversions, defence: Manpreet

The Indian men’s hockey team will play a total of six games during the New Zealand tour, scheduled from October 2 to 11.

Indian mid-fielder Manpreet Singh

Getting ready for the upcoming tour of New Zealand, India mid-fielder Manpreet Singh today said that his team is working hard on improving its penalty corner conversions and defence.

The Indian men’s hockey team will play a total of six games during the tour, scheduled from October 2 to 11. The first two games will be played against New Zealand A, while the rest of the four matches will be against the New Zealand’s national squad.

“We have prepared a lot for the upcoming New Zealand tour and we are pretty excited about the tournament. The coach is also making us work a lot harder during our preparations, helping to improve on penalty corner conversions and our defence,” said Manpreet.

He said although it will be a challenge to face New Zealand in their own backyard, the team is confident of producing good results.

“We are working on rectifying our mistakes as we would not want repeat the same mistakes in the upcoming tournament.

Playing in the opponent’s home ground, New Zealand will be a tough challenge for us but we are confident of a positive result,” Manpreet said.

India will take on New Zealand A in their opening match in Auckland on October 2.

The Hindu

‘Punjab clique’ in Indian hockey team

The reports suggest that the main reason for India’s poor outing at an Olympics was their failure to play as a team.

Written by Mihir Vasavda

Michael Nobbs and then physio David John stated in their reports that “a group of players (Punjab) were more focused on themselves than the team.” (Source: Express File)

There have always been whispers in Indian hockey circles about a Punjab clique and how it divided the team in factions, both on and off the field.

Those allegations now figure in official reports submitted to Hockey India following India’s disastrous performances at the London Olympics in 2012 and the World League semifinals this year.

The reports submitted by former coach Michael Nobbs, his support staff and two unnamed senior players were used as evidence by Hockey India in the probe that banned defender Gurbaj Singh for nine months in August for indiscipline and creating rift.

The reports, examined by The Indian Express, say that the main reason for India’s worst-ever performance at an Olympics, when they ended last in London, was their failure to play as a team.

Nobbs and then physio David John stated in their reports that “a group of players (Punjab) were more focused on themselves than the team” and added that Gurbaj along with India discards Rajpal Singh and Sarvanjit Singh were the “ringleaders”.

When contacted, Nobbs confirmed the authenticity of the report but did not wish to comment on it further. “I have said this earlier as well that there are players in the team who play not for the country but just to get the tag of being an Olympian. Having said that, the current group of young players is immensely talented and we hope they’ll play to their potential next year,” Nobbs told The Indian Express.

There are even suggestions in the reports that there were plans to injure a player so that Sarvanjit, who was a standby in the Olympic squad, could be a part of the main team.

“…Sarvanjit who came to David the Doctor and I individually and said we are going to have an injury and Manpreet (Singh) is going to cut his hand so that he (Sarvanjit) could play. This is a violation of the Olympic Code of Ethics,” Nobbs wrote in his report to Hockey India.

John added in his report that Manpreet, one of the key members of the current team, was distracted and “struggling with concentration”.

Nobbs, meanwhile, added: “Gurbaj, Sarvanjit were the ringleaders and had started to influence Manpreet’s and Dharamvir’s performance… The influence Gurbaj and Sarvanjit clearly has had an affect on Manpreet.”

Interestingly, Manpreet was not the only player who was approached by Sarvanjit. In an unnamed testimony, a certain ‘Athlete B’ said that forward Gurwinder Singh Chandi too was a target.

The unnamed athlete said: “I read newspaper reports regarding groupism in the team but it is totally wrong… Our team was like a family on and off the field. (But) Some days ago, I got news that Sarvanjit Singh told Gurwinder Chandi to injure his finger so that he will get chance to play at the Olympics. It is not good for the team.”

Another player, ‘Athlete A’, said in his report that a group of players — including Gurbaj, Chandi and Sarvanjit — would laugh at others after India lost matches. “The four of them became a group of their own and were very negative in their remarks after each match. They would laugh at us (after) losing, as if they were not a part of the team,” the player wrote.

The player also mentioned that excessive praise showered on current captain Sardar Singh did not go well with a few players and “there were mumbles heard”.

Taking strict action against the players, Hockey India had suspended Gurbaj for more than a year following the London Olympics and sidelined Sarvanjit.

The 27-year-old right-half, regarded as one of the best players in his position, returned to the side last year after tendering a written apology but finds himself in the dock again.

Jude Felix, who recently resigned as the national team’s assistant coach, echoed Nobbs and John’s sentiments.

In his report to Hockey India after the World League semifinals, which ended in July, Felix once again blamed Gurbaj for creating rifts within the team and accused him of groupism.

The federation consequently suspended him for nine months, virtually ending the right-half’s Rio Olympics ambitions next year.

Hockey India president Narinder Batra insisted the current team is not a divided house. “Everything that happened at the London Olympics is documented with me. I could have made it public back then but I do not divulge internal team information as these are our internal issues. People criticized me, the federation and coaches but it’s okay. But after London Olympics till date, we have not allowed it to happen. If we get a feeling that something’s wrong, we check it immediately. In the last three years, the team has been playing as one,” Batra said.

Indian Express

Hockey’s on a roll in Morocco

Throwing a roll of hockey carpet down upon a public square is the unique way that one North African hockey federation has decided to build its hockey legacy. And sure enough, young people have been turning up in their thousands to try their hand at this new sporting activity.

Kamal Ghallali is President of the Royal Moroccan Hockey Federation, a national federation that is working hard to build a hockey infrastructure to develop the game at grass roots and elite level.

With the Hockey World League reaching its conclusion at the glittering end of year events in India and Argentina and the sight of Rio 2016 looming on the horizon, Kamal is all too aware that there has never been a better time to inspire a new generation of players to take up the sport.

While Morocco will not be entering a team into the Africa Cup of Nations this year, Kamal is hopeful that the national squads will soon be competing on the big stage.

To enthuse and encourage people to take up the sport, the Hockey Federation has introduced four initiatives. Kamal is both pleased and surprised by the speed of change across the North African nation as a result of these projects.

“The Royal Moroccan Hockey Federation was established in 1956, yet hockey was limited to Casablanca city. Now hockey is spreading to many cities thanks to these projects and the tremendous effort on the part of the people running them.

“There are now about 3,800 hockey players in Morocco. The large proportion of these (75 percent) are aged 10-16, which is the target group for the projects.”

‘Hockey Open Days’ are all about inspiration. School children are invited along to an ‘Open Day’, which includes a video presentation demonstrating the speed and skill involved in top level hockey.

The pupils, aged between 10-14 years, then watch a live exhibition match, before being given a chance to put all they have seen into practice through a coaching session delivered by coaches and teachers.

Casahockey is a hockey roadshow. A team of coaches and experienced players will throw down a roll of hockey turf in a public place, such as a market square within the city, and invite the public to join in.

The players may put on a demonstration match first or do a specific skills demonstration, and then it is over to the public to try their hand at the sport.

While Casahockey remains in one town or city, Caravane du Hockey is the travelling roadshow. Here, the team will move from city to city, inviting local schools and clubs to join them as they put on demonstrations, coaching sessions and exhibition matches.

The final initiative is the residential Hockey Camp. Coaches, employed by the Hockey Federation, are sent hockey coaching materials which they use to deliver intensive 10-12 days of training to a group of girls and boys. These camps are organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sport.

Hockey in Morocco is now played in more than 10 cities, with three leagues on the verge of formal recognition by the Federation.

Kamal and the Federation’s aim is to have eight teams in each of the 12 regions of Morocco by 2020. And, with a view to hosting international events, the construction of a hockey complex, complete with two water-based pitches, a hotel, swimming pool and meeting rooms is also getting close to fruition.

The growth and success of these development projects in Morocco are certainly an inspiration to other nations. Whilst Rio 2016 may have come too early for this North African country, if such expansion continues it won’t be long before Morocco are competing regularly on the world stage once again.

FIH site

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