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News for 09 October 2015

All the news for Friday 9 October 2015

Women: Barbados and Brazil will play in the final of the Pan American Challenge

Barbados, Brazil, and Peru all finished with 8 points, but the first two will go to the final because of goal difference

Patrick Espejo

Brazil and Barbados are finalists of the II Pan American Challenge; both teams were defined this afternoon.  Peru will have the consolation prize for the bronze medal. In a quite even tournament, the three teams finished the round with 8 points, but Barbados and Brazil with more goals scored than Host Peru.

Brazil was the first to secure the spot in the final of the tournament organized by PAHF together with the Peruvian Hockey Federation, with a 6-0 win over Puerto Rico. Mayara Fedrizzi and Jacqueline Peyloubet scored two goals each, and the rest were scored by Eveline Beljon and Anita Rodríguez.

“We’re extremely happy. The team worked well, we did as planned, and obtained a victory that led us to the final,” said Peyloubet.

The main event of today in Chiclayo was the match played by Barbados and Peru to define the other team for the final. With the victory of the Brazilian team, Host Peru needed to win to play in the final. Anxious, Peru was not focused, and Tricia-Ann Greaves took advantage of the situation giving Barbados the lead. However, Ximena Ardiles, attacking from the right equalized just before the end of the first period.

At the beginning of the second period, Marianella Álvarez executed a penalty stroke, and Peru did not have the time to celebrated, because on the next play, again the speed of Barbados finished with a goal from Ayanna Wilson defining the final 2-2 tie.

The Women’s Competition was so even that all teams finished with 8 points. Barbados with a +15 goal difference, Brazil with a +13 goal difference, and Peru with a +10 goal difference.

Thus, Brazil and Barbados will meet on Sunday. Peru will play for the bronze medal, with the winner of the match played by Puerto Rico and Panama on Saturday.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Black Sticks women lack killer instinct as series drawn against Argentina

Argentina celebrates a goal during their 2-1 win over the Black Sticks in Christchurch. PHOTOSPORT

A 2-1 loss and a scrappy performance from the women's Black Sticks saw them draw the test series against Argentina in Christchurch on Friday.

New Zealand's coach Mark Hager didn't mince his words when he said he had expected more of his team, and felt they had lacked focus for the final test.

"I think from the start our attitude was poor, we weren't really up for the game and there was too many distractions through the day," Hager said.

He felt the team lacked the will to win and hadn't been prepared to put in the "hard yards" to win the series.

"I don't think we played as a team. We probably did in the last three minutes with some urgency, but apart from that we just watched the game go around us."

Hager wouldn't use his team's rotation of players, or a lack of star striker Gemma Flynn, as an excuse for the defeat but didn't feel anyone had stepped up.

"Every team you put on the park needs to go out and perform, and some of our individuals were down on form which is unfortunate."

The first half saw New Zealand look the more dominant side, as both teams were prone to easy mistakes and wasted chances. As they exchanged turnovers, the Kiwis looked to have more impetus early on.

They pressed the Argentinian defence, but despite a few chances, none found the net and it was all square after the first quarter.

Argentina pushed higher and confined New Zealand to their half of the pitch in the second quarter, holding the ball more consistently down the wing and working it around the circle.

New Zealand's defence stayed firm, Rachel McCann offered vital support when called upon, but there was nothing she could do when Argentina won a penalty corner late in the quarter.

They missed that chance, but with just two minutes left before the half-time break, a stick obstruction by New Zealand offered Argentina redemption from the set-piece.

They happily took it as Noel Barrionuevo fired it past Black Sticks keeper Georgia Barnett from the top of the circle to take the lead .

New Zealand couldn't make the most of their limited possession, struggling to connect passes between the midfield and attacking line after the break.

With 15 minutes left to get level, New Zealand got an opportunity off a contentious penalty corner.

They opted to use Anita Punt at the top of the circle but a fine save in the air by Argentina's goalie Belen Succi kept them at bay.

It wasn't long before Punt was back in the mix, her run down the wing and pass into the stick of McCann in the circle gave them another penalty corner.

They wouldn't be denied a second time, and after sending it out wide to Merry, a deflection dropped to Kathryn Henry, who slotted it in.

More loose defending from New Zealand allowed Argentina another penalty corner soon after however, and Julia Gomes mirrored their earlier move to shoot it past Barnett's left hand.

Despite another penalty corner and two spirited runs down the field by New Zealand, Argentina had closed up shop and didn't succumb to the pressure around their goal to level the series 2-2.

Argentina 2 (Noel Barrioneuvo, Julia Gomes) New Zealand 1 (Kathryn Henry) HT: 1-0


Haig ready to impress his home crowd with the Black Sticks

Canterbury defender Nick Haig celebrates his goal against India in Nelson on Tuesday PHOTOSPORT

Nick Haig has over 170 caps for the Black Sticks, but Friday will be the first time the defender has represented his country in his home town in Christchurch.

Haig missed out on the international tests in the Garden City last December thanks to a couple of broken fingers. This time there will be nothing to stop him pulling on the black singlet and stepping on the Marist Park turf on both Friday and Sunday to face India for the final two tests of their series.

"I've missed out once, so I'm looking forward to Christchurch and playing front of my friends and family as well as the local hockey community I've always been around," said the 28-year-old, who made his Black Sticks debut in 2007.

Having not had too many injuries during his career, it was frustrating to be ruled out of those tests, but he won't feel the pressure of home town support when he walks onto the pitch this week.

"I obviously want to play well in front of them, but I don't think it adds any pressure, it's quite cool more than anything.

"I think I've played enough games now to know not to put extra pressure on myself and just relax and play my game and it should go well."

Haig is having a stellar season, particularly at the top of the penalty corner set piece which led to a goal for the Black Sticks in Nelson on Tuesday, and saw the Cantabrian end the National Hockey League as top-scorer.

"Yeah it was nice to win the goal-scoring title through essentially drag flicks, which was cool...

"But it's not really about those individual things. It was more I would be happier if the team was able to make it through to the semis and the final, then win it."

Canterbury's lacklustre performance in the NHL may have contributed to Black Sticks coach Colin Batch selecting just two players from the region for his Oceania Cup squad, but Haig believed there might be a chance for players like Richard Bain and George Enersen to return in 2016.

The major focus for the Black Sticks is the Oceania Cup later this month, as it's their last opportunity to qualify for the Rio Olympics. Their matches against India are vital preparation for the tournament where they have to win the final against likely opponents Australia.

"It's a situation we haven't really been in before where everything counts on one game and we know a long way out who we'll be playing and their style, so our training has been quite focused on that.

"So India in a way have a similar style, very aggressive strikers, fast and quick, direct at goal which is what we expect from the Aussies so it's perfect prep. So while we're playing India, everything is geared towards Oceania Cup."

The series against India is tied at one match a-piece after two tests in Nelson earlier this week. New Zealand won the first fixture 2-0, but then went down 3-1 to a resurgent Indian team the following day.

"They have sent a very good side, the quality of their players through their midfield and some very good penalty corner drag flickers as well so it's definitely not going to be a walkover.

"We'll have to be ready and playing our best to make sure we beat them."

Haig knows winning the next two tests will a long way to boosting the confidence of the squad before they head to Taranaki and put the Olympics on the line against Australia.


SA women’s hockey team named for Africa Olympic Qualifier Tournament

The South African women's hockey team has been named to take part in the Africa Olympic Qualifier Tournament at Randburg Hockey Stadium from October 23 to November 1.

“The SA selection panel, comprising of convenor Mickey Gordon, Jo Morley-Jepson and myself debated long and hard about the final 18,” said national head coach Sheldon Rostron.

“The composition of the team has been carefully planned to give the nation the best possible chance of success at Randburg.”

Rostron sent best wishes to SA player Kelly Madsen, who was unavailable due to injury. “Kelly is in our thoughts as she recovers from a knee ligament injury and we wish her well in her recovery.”

The SA coach made mention of Sulette Damons, who has also suffered from an ACL ligament tear that has seen the striker out of action for some time. “Sulette will be ready for SA duty in the New Year.”

Sanani Mangisa, Lisa Deetlefs, Christine Roos, Toni Marks, Shelly Russell, Bernie Coston, Lilian du Plessis (all Southern Gauteng); Anelle van Deventer, Celia Evans (both North West); Nicolene Terblanche, Dirkie Chamberlain (both Northern Blues); Candice Manuel, Illse Davids, Jade Mayne, Tarryn Bright (all Western Province); Tanya Britz, Nicole Walraven, Cornelle Botha (all Free State)

SA Hockey Association media release

Malaysian Final 18 for Sultan of Johor Cup

By Jugjet Singh

NATIONAL Juniors coach Arul Selvaraj left out two notable players when he named the final 18 for the Sultan of Johor Cup on Oct 11-18 at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru.

Hamstring injuries floored Sufi Ismat and Rafidzul Ezry, and Arul is keeping his fingers crossed that both will recover in time for the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan in Nov 14-22.

"It was a tough decision to leave them out but it's best to let them recover for the Junior Asia Cup next month (which is a Junior World Cup qualifier)," said Arul.

"They will remain in the training squad and undergo rehabilitation with NSI (National Sports Institute) and will not travel to Johor.

"I will add another two players to the training squad together with the duo and we will give all 22 players another chance to try for the Junior Asia Cup after the SOJC," said Arul.

The team will depart for Johor Baru Friday morning and play Britain in a friendly at 5pm.

Najib Abu Hassan, 20 and played for Tenaga Nasional in the Malaysia Hockey League Premier Division, will skipper the squad.

The youngest player, the only 18-year-old, is Khaliq Hamirin from Sabah. He played for Universiti Kuala Lumpur in the MHL Premier Division.

Malaysia, who finished fifth in the last edition, will be up against two-time champions India, Australia, Britain, Argentina and Pakistan in the Fifth Edition of the SOJC.

NATIONAL Juniors: Ridzwan Azmi (Gk), Adi Fazri Rahim (Gk), Najib Abu Hassan (capt), Nik Aiman, Ashran Hamsani, Nor Azrul Rahman, Meor Azuan, Haziq Samsul, Firdaus Omar, Khaliq Hamirin, Norsyafiq Sumantri, Amirol Aideed, Shahril Saabah, Zulpidaus Mizun, Syed Syafiq, Azwar Rahman, Aminuddin Zain, Najmi Farizal.

Coach: Arul Selvaraj; Asst Coaches: Jivan Mohan and Amin Rahim; Manager: Mirnawan Nawawi.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Three seniors to beef up hockey squad for Sultan of Johor Cup

by S. Ramaguru

Shahril Saabah is one of three senior players included in the Under-21 squad for Sultan of Johor Cup hockey competition.

KUALA LUMPUR: Three senior national team players – Mohamed Haziq Shamsul, Meor Mohamed Azuan Hassan and Shahril Saabah – have been included in Malaysia’s final Under-21 squad for the Sultan of Johor Cup.

National Juniors coach A. Arulselvaraj named his final 18-man squad on Thursday. The tournament, which begins at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru on Sunday, is part of the team’s preparations for the Junior Asian Cup in Kuantan next month.

Arulselvaraj said he had to drop two regulars – Mohamed Sufi Ismat and Rafizul Ezry Mustafa – due to injuries.

“Sufi and Rafizul are experienced players, having played in last year’s tournament. They are down with hamstring injuries. We don’t want them to aggravate their injuries as we need their services for the Junior Asia Cup.

“The final 18 players we have selected is the best available. But it’s not the final squad for the Junior Asia Cup.”

Malaysia will play a friendly against Britain on Friday as their final run-up to Sultan of Johor Cup.

Malaysia, the 2011 champions, will kick-off their campaign on Sunday against Britain. The other competing teams are defending champions India, Australia, Pakistan and debutants Argentina.

The Star of Malaysia

India looking for triple success at Sultan of Johor Cup

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: India have named an experienced team for their three-peat assault on the Sultan of Johor Cup title.

Promising midfielder Harjeet Singh will lead the 18-member squad for the fifth edition of the Under-21 tournament which begins at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru on Sunday.

India were winners in 2014 and 2013 while the other two editions were won by Australia (2012) and Malaysia (2011).

India will again be coached by Harendra Singh, who led them to victory last year.

“Most of the players in the present squad played in our victorious campaign last year. Our aim to retain the title,” said Harendra.

India, who arrived in Johor Baru on Wednesday, will kick off their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday. After that, they play Argentina (Oct 14), Malaysia (Oct 15) and Australia (Oct 17). The final is on Oct 18.

Like Pakistan and Malaysia, India are using the Sultan of Johor Cup as their run-up to the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan in November. The Junior Asia Cup is a qualifier for the Junior World Cup Finals in New Delhi in 2016. As hosts, India are automatic Finalists.

“We take all the tournaments seriously. We are here to win the Sultan of Johor Cup. We also want to do well at the Junior Asia Cup to build up our morale and confidence for next year’s Junior World Cup.

“I don’t want out players to take things for granted. The players must prove their worth to remain with the team. I am sure those who are still eligible to be in the team next year would want to play in the Junior World Cup at home,” said Herendra. 

The Star of Malaysia

Ninth edition of EHL ready to roll!

The ninth edition of the Euro Hockey League gets underway in Hamburg on Friday morning as 12 teams from 12 different countries start their journey, hoping to stake their claim to be the best club in Europe.

Round 1 features four groups of three teams with each club vying to be the winner of their group in order to advance to next Easter’s KO16 knock-out phase.

Host club Harvestehuder THC – winners of the title in 2013-14 – is hosting the EHL for the first time and will be the clear favourites in Pool B.

They will face Scottish champions Grange, who will be looking for their first in the competition, on Friday evening before meeting Austria’s HC Wien on Sunday. Wien are playing in their maiden EHL having won their national title for the first time in 22 years.

Their star man is 2013 FIH Player of the Year Tobias Hauke and he says the club has pulled out all the stops to make it an event to remember.

“We are really happy to host such a big tournament at our home ground; our club members have worked really hard to make this tournament the very best and we are looking forward to welcoming the other top teams from all over Europe.”

Amsterdam are the big attraction in Pool A, a group that also features the runners-up from France and Poland, namely Saint Germain and KS Pomorzanin Torun.

South African sharp-shooter Justin Reid-Ross has been in inspired form for Amsterdam over the past few seasons and he is looking forward to playing in the competition for the first time.

“Playing in the EHL has been a dream of mine for a long time and the first round in Hamburg will be a special moment for me.

“European club hockey is played at an incredibly high level and being exposed to it has definitely helped to shape and refine my game.

“The club competitions provide players from around the world a great opportunity to play at the highest level and to be exposed to many different styles of European hockey.”

Pool D looks like the most evenly matched group with Spain’s Club Egara, England’s East Grinstead and Irish champions Monkstown battling it out.

Egara’s Pere Arch says “it is, without any doubt, the hardest group in the Round 1.”

“You only have to see the last European Cup to see how quickly Irish hockey is improving. “East Grinstead are an historic club that has been always on the top of Premier league for the last few years. They will be a dangerous team.”

Belgium finalists Royal Leopold, meanwhile, are the fancied bet in Pool C where they will hope to get the best of Russia’s Dinamo Elektrostal and Italian newcomers SG Amsicora who become just the second side from the country to contest the EHL.

The action gets underway on Friday morning at 10.15am (Central European Time) with live streams available on the EHL website as well as via the FIH and EHL channels.

There will also be “almost live” video highlights of all the goals and other key incidents through the EHL’s social media channels so you will never miss a big moment!

Where to follow the Euro Hockey League?

- Streaming - Available via three outlets 1) www.ehlhockey.tv 2) the EHL Youtube channel 3) the FIH Youtube channel

- Instant Updates - Goal updates, interviews and highlight reels will be posted via the EHL Facebook and Twitter outlets 

- Twitter - Official hashtags: #EHL and #EHLHamburg; Official EHL twitter handle: @ehlhockeytv

- Instagram - Tag us using #EHLHockey - this will instantly filter through to our Facebook page!

- Facebook - Find us at “Euro Hockey League”

- Tickets - To experience the world's premier club competition live, tickets can still be bought online here and will also be available at the gate!

Full schedule

Friday 9 October

10.15h, Pool C: Dinamo Elektrostal (RUS) vs SG Amsicora ASD (ITA)
12.30h, Pool D: Monkstown HC (IRL) vs East Grinstead HC (ENG)
14.45h, Pool A: Saint Germain HC (FRA) vs KS Pomorzanin Torun (POL)
17.00h, Pool B: Harvestehuder THC (GER) vs Grange HC (SCO)

Saturday 10 October

10.15h, Pool C: Royal Leopold (BEL) vs SG Amsicora ASD (ITA)
12.30h, Pool D: Club Egara (ESP) vs East Grinstead HC (ENG)
14.45h, Pool A: AH&BC Amsterdam (NED) vs KS Pomorzanin Torun (POL)
17.00h, Pool B: HC Wien (AUT) vs Grange HC (SCO)

Sunday 11 October

09.30h, Pool C: Royal Leopold (BEL) vs Dinamo Elektrostal (RUS)
11.45h, Pool D: Club Egara (ESP) vs Monkstown HC (IRL)
14.00h, Pool A: AH&BC Amsterdam (NED) vs Saint Germain (FRA)
16.15h, Pool B: Harvestehuder THC (GER) vs HC Wien HC (AUT)

Euro Hockey League media release

EHL Round 1 - the runners and riders

On the eve of EHL Round 1, here's the lowdown on all 12 of the teams starting their journey toward hopefully being crowned the champion of the world's best club competition.

Pool A


AH&BC Amsterdam return to the Euro Hockey League for a fifth campaign looking to win the competition after near three misses in the past, ending with a silver medal and two bronzes.

They bring plenty of star power with drag-flicker Justin Reid-Ross continuing on where he left off last season in the Dutch Hoofdklasse. Last time around, he scored 35 league goals. He has already scored a hat trick this season in a big win over Kampong. Creating the chances will be European gold medalists Valentin Verga, Mirco Pruyser and Billy while Scottish sharp-shooter Kenny Bain adds to their options after a few strong seasons with Hurley THC.

They come into the EHL Round 1 with three wins and two draws in the Dutch Hoofdklasse and sit second in the table behind Oranje Zwart.

Saint Germain

Saint Germain will compete in the Euro Hockey League for a seventh season but will do so as France’s second ranked side following their final defeat to Racing Club de France in the spring.

Last season’s run came to an end at the KO16 stage in a shoot-out against Club Egara and they still look back on 2007/08 as their best season, making it to the KO8 of the competition.

International goalkeeper Martin Zylberman is a fine last line of defence. Francois Goyet is indicative of France’s national team’s positive outlook in recent times, a young star with an attacking mindset. They will be hoping he will be fit enough to play along with the Samson brothers Gregoire and Guillaume who missed the last round of the French league.

The Parisian side are second in the French elite division after four rounds of matches, five points off the pace set by Racing Club de France thanks to two wins, a draw and a loss. The towering Jean-Baptiste Pauchet is their key marksman and was recently honoured for his goalscoring exploits in the 2014-15 season. He stands at 1.93m tall.

KS Pomorzanin Torun

Poland’s runners-up relinquished the national title to WKS Grunwald Poznan last May with a 7-1 final defeat but nonetheless qualified for a fourth EHL campaign.

Three previous entries in the EHL have yet to yield a victory and so that will be their primary task but they will have to do without key forward and top scorer Krystian Makowski who has lost his battle to be fit in time for the competition, robbing Pomorzanin of the fulcrum of their attack.

Bolstering their side this season are a trio of Ukranian players with Vitalii Kalinchuk already making an impact with six goals in the league already. He is joined by Artur Mazurkevych and Volodymyr Stretovych. They replace Michal Nowakowski, Bartosz Zywiczka, Sebastian Sellner and Wojciech Zadka who have all moved on to contracts outside of Poland.

Pool B

Harvestehuder THC

After the dream debut in the Euro Hockey League, Harvestehuder THC found the going much tougher last Easter at Bloemendaal when they fell 6-2 to KHC Dragons in the KO16.

A third place outcome from the German league means they will play in Round 1 and act as hosts in Hamburg for an initial group that sees them as clear favourites against Austria’s HC Wien and Scottish representative Grange.

The Harvestehuder squad is one of immense talent. Germany’s double Olympic Gold medallist and 2010 FIH Young Player of the Year Tobi Hauke is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest players while Austrian international Michael Körper is a penalty corner expert of the highest quality.

Benjamin Stanzl has moved to Oranje Zwart while Richie Dawson-Smith has returned to England. On the plus side, former English Under-21 players Brendan Creed, George Farrant and David Goodfield arriving to a multi-cultural squad with Xaver Husan from Austria, Nick Spooner from South Africa and Oliver McIntyre from New Zealand.

Early season has seen them win three and draw two of their five league games to sit third behind Rot Weiss Koln and Mannheimer.

HC Wien

One of three newcomers to the Euro Hockey League this season, HC Wien defeated SV Arminen in the Austrian national final to earn their shot at the world’s premier cup competition. That was their first national success in 22 years.

Their side has a distinct Polish influence with coach Leszek Specjal in charge of the side with Michal Siejkowski, Michal Zdrojewski, Sebastian Wladysiak and Lukasz Staniczek in the ranks too. Tobias Handel-Mazzetti captains the team.

They have been hampered by the departure of last season’s star Bartosz Szmidt who moved to a contract in Germany in Frankfurt. Andreas Wellen is the one man with prior EHL experience having played with SV Arminen in the competition a few years ago.

Despite the club having just 200 members, they anticipate having 75 fans travelling to support. They have two wins from four games in the Austrian Bundesliga and sit in fourth place, incredibly scoring 18 and conceding 18 goals.

Grange HC

The Edinburgh side ended Kelburne’s incredible decade-long reign as Scottish champions in May to claim the title a 4-3 shoot-out win after both legs of their two-pronged final had ended in draws.

It means they will play in their third Euro Hockey League campaign but they have yet to record a win in the competition with heavy defeats to Berliner and Rotterdam in their most recent campaign in 2012/13.

Grange finished fifth in the EuroHockey Champions Trophy in Dublin earlier this year which suggests they may find the going tough again as they meet recent champions and hosts Harvestehuder THC and Austrian winners, HC Wien, in Round 1 in Hamburg.

Hamish Imrie has moved on to English club hockey with Beeston but goalkeeper Sean Hadfield and captain Cammy Fraser are feisty performers who could make an impact. They also have a trio of Australians – Arin Doig, Todd Harmsworth and Ryan Holding. Their start to the league has been middling with two wins and two losses to sit in fifth in the table.

Pool C

Royal Leopold

Royal Leopold are making their second appearance in the Euro Hockey League having reached the KO16 in their debut season in 2012/13 thanks to an impressive 4-1 win over Izmaylovo Moscow.

Leo reached the Belgian Audi Hockey League final to qualify for the EHLand have strengthened their hand significantly with the return of Elliot van Strydonck from last year’s champions Oranje Zwart while Spanish star Gabriel Dabanch has made the same move.

With Agustin Mazzilli also in situ, the Brussels-based side has plenty of quality about and will be looking to make their mark in Round 1 and are probably the favourites in a group featuring Russia’s Dinamo Elektrostal and Italy’s SG Amsicora.

Arthur Verdussen carries a suspension through to the competition from the 2012-13 season and will miss the first game in Hamburg. They completed their preparation for the EHL with a 4-1 away win over La Gantoise, ending a rough spell that saw them lose 5-1 to Dragons and 3-1 to Racing Club de Bruxelles.

Dinamo Elektrostal

Dinamo Elektrostal are the second ranked team from Russia having finished runners-up behind Dinamo Kazan in the national championship, earning a place in the Euro Hockey League for a fourth time.

Their last campaign was in 2013/14 when they narrowly missed out on a KO16 place on goal difference to Saint Germain. There is plenty of international talent in their ranks with goalkeeper Roman Rogov, Dmitry Azarov, Alexandr Zhirkov and Evgeny Mokrousov among them. The grand old man of the team is Alexandr Platonov who is 41 and is still a part of the playing staff.

The club has primarily been focussing on developing their homegrown talent several of their panel under 21 with Georgii Arusiia the youngest at 16 years and 39 days old on the day of their game against SG Amsicora.

Elektrostal are second in the Russian championship going into their winter break, ending their build-up with a 4-1 win over Dinamo Ekaterineburg.

SG Amsicora

Italy’s champions SG Amsicora, from Cagliari, will make their debut in the Euro Hockey League to become just the second side from their country to play in the competition after HC Bra.

Czech international Richard Kotrc is among their key players while Giaime Carte and Federico Lai are current international panelists. The side has also added Ukrainian player Oleh Polishchuck to their ranks in the summer along with Argentinian Mariano Tisera to their ranks.

The extended panel features 15-year-old Tommaso Spanu as well as potentially the first EHL player from Senegal in goalkeeper Sergine Mbacka Diop though Marcello Manca is the regular number one.

Last May, the Cagliari based side finished sixth at the EuroHockey Trophy in Dublin but they have started the Italian league in good form this year with a 3-0 win over island rivals CUS with goals from Tisera, Lorenzo Asuni and Mattia Magno.

Pool D

Club Egara

Spain's third ranked side return for their fifth appearance in the Euro HockeyLeague.There is plenty of experience to hand with Spanish legend Edi Tubau the catalyst for their attack while they have an excellent goalkeeperin 32-year-old Quico Cortes. 

Egara, in their famous faded blue and white shirts, will be looking to improve on their fourth place finish in the inaugural season of the EHL, just missing out on a medal in a shoot-out in Rotterdam against HGC. Last season saw them reach the KO8 with a shoot-out win over Saint Germain.

Xavier Aguilar has been their chief source of goals in the early stages of the season, scoring a hat trick in a 9-0 win over Taburiente last weekend while they have also won the Catalunya Championship.


The Irish champions for the past three years, this will be Monkstown’s second run at the EHL having lost both their matches a year ago against Racing Club de France and Royal Daring. They will feel better equipped this year with Kyle Good returning after a year with Dragons and Jonny Bruton moving from Three Rock Rovers.

Peter Caruth was injured last year for Round 1, too. It adds a large amount of firepower to their side and brings their total to four players that helped Ireland to bronze at the European championships in London in August – goalkeeper David Fitzgerald was the other.

The panel features four brothers – Stephen, David, Lee and Geoff Cole – three of whom have won Irish caps in the past few years while Richard Sykes returns to the squad after a summer playing in the Malaysian Hockey League.

Jonny Caren – also the Irish assistant coach – is the new coach, taking over from Graham Shaw and he is assisted by former Lille and New South Wales man Robbie Campbell. They have won both of their league games to date this season.

East Grinstead

East Grinstead are back for a seventh EuroHockey League appearance in seven years but are once again pitted in one of the toughest Round 1 groups. Last season, they were eliminated by SV Kampong in dramatic fashion with late goals denying them a famous win over the Dutch side.

Since then, their panel has undergone big changes. Ashley Jackson has switched to up and coming Holcombe, Mark Gleghorne moved to Beeston while Andy Bull has gone to Pinoke in the Netherlands. Mark Pearn has also retired.

Former England Under-21 player Tim Deakin captains the team while Niall Stott brings a lot of experience for Round 1 but will depart for Australia after Christmas. It all means added responsibility for the likes of Chris Griffiths, David Condon, Joe Naughalty and Ross Stott.

They lost their first three English league games but bounced back with a 4-3 win over Reading, ending their 100% start to the season. Adam Seccull, an Australia by way of Tilburg, was the goalscoring hero in that game.

Euro Hockey League media release

East Grinstead set for their assault on Europe

East Grinstead Coach Karl Stagno

East Grinstead have endured a tough start ot the season but Coach Karl Stagno believes they are heading into form at just the right time. The Saint Hill outfit lost the talents of Ashley Jackson, Makr Pearn, Andy Bull and Mark Gleghorne over the summer and so have had to undertake an element of rebuilding before launching their assault on domestic and European titles.

“We have lost some big players and personalities within the group,” Stagno told the Euro Hockey League website. “We have managed to replace them with a number of good players. As a consequence the team and the squad is very new, young and untested. Therefore we need time to bed in and learn about each other and how best to play together.”

Having slipped to three consecutive losses, the Sussex side picked a hard-fought win against previously unbeaten Reading this past weekend, ensuring they go into the EHL on a high.

Adam Seccull, the Australian signed in the summer scored the winner, his second of the match from a penalty corner and looks to be a threat from set pieces, whilst in England goalkeeper Paddy Smith and international teammates David Condon and Chris Griffiths there is proven quality in the ranks. The arrival of Dom Bowden, a former university teammate of Griffiths and Condon, has further boosted the squad and Stagno is certain his big players will step up in Hamburg this weekend.

“Both David and Chris are very talented and above all else very exciting players. I am certain they will grace the EHL with their skills.

“Nonetheless, we are looking to develop a squad mentality and it’s important we don’t rely on them but spread the load around the team. The team is able to do this and I am certain therefore that David and Chris will then be able to play with freedom.”

With Irish outfit Monkstown first up, followed swiftly by Spain’s Club Egara, the one qualification spot is sure to be hotly contested, but with his squad revitalised and full of confidence, Stagno will be hoping to mastermind his side’s safe passage into the KO16 in April.

East Grinstead's first game is against Monkstown on Friday 9 October at 11:30am UK time. For more information or to watch the action live, visit the EHL website.

England Hockey Board Media release

High-flyers Holcombe head to Reading

Holcombe Barry Middleton. Credit Ady Kerry

NEWLY-promoted Holcombe head to Reading on Sunday as the battle for the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division gathers pace.

The pair are second and third respectively, with just one point separating them. Both will want to take the victory and keep pace with early table-toppers Surbiton.

“We’re delighted with the way we’ve started, we’re just taking each day as it comes,” said Holcombe president and first team manager Keith Martin. “Our aim is a top four finish and so far we’re doing well.

“The boys still aren’t firing on all cylinders, and we haven’t been able to put a full strength team out yet. We know we will lose our England players for quite a lot of the season, so the plan is to get as many points in the bag while we’ve got them.”

In the other matches Surbiton entertain Cannock as they bid to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season, while Brooklands Manchester University host Canterbury in a clash between two sides without a win so far.

And Saturday evening’s match features last season’s champions Wimbledon at home against Beeston.

Leaders Cardiff and Met are on the road to Isca on Sunday as they bid to make it five out of five in the Men’s Conference West, while the University of Birmingham go to Team Bath Buccaneers and Indian Gymkhana are at home against Chichester Priory Park.

In the Men’s Conference North unbeaten Loughborough Students take on third-placed Doncaster in the clash of the day on Sunday as they bid to maintain top spot, while second-placed Bowdon are at Lichfield on Saturday afternoon.

Richmond will want to preserve their 100 per cent record in the Men’s Conference East as they host West Herts on Saturday evening. Meanwhile, Sevenoaks are second and entertain fourth-placed Cambridge City.

Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, October 10 2015):

Men’s Premier Division
Wimbledon v Beeston 18:00

Men’s Conference West
Fareham v Cheltenham 17:00

Men’s Conference North
Lichfield v Bowdon 13:30
Wakefield v Deeside Ramblers 11:30

Men’s Conference East
Harleston Magpies v Brighton and Hove 14:00
Sevenoaks v Cambridge City 15:00
Bromley and Beckenham v Oxted 16:30
Richmond v West Herts 18:00

Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, October 11 2015):

Men’s Premier Division
Reading v Holcombe 14:30
Surbiton v Cannock 14:00
Brooklands Manchester Univ v Canterbury 14:00

Men’s Conference West
Indian Gymkhana v Chichester Priory Park 14:00
Isca v Cardiff & Met 12:30
Team Bath Buccaneers v Univ of Birmingham 13:00
Guildford v Univ of Exeter 14:00

Men’s Conference North
Loughborough Students v Doncaster 14:00
Sheffield Hallam v Olton and West Warwicks 13:30
Preston v Univ of Durham 14:00

Men’s Conference East
Teddington v Southgate 12:30

England Hockey Board Media release

Scottish National League weekend preview

Men's National League Division 1

Round 5 of fixtures in Men’s National League Division 1 holds only four fixtures this week with Grange and Bromac Kelburne sitting out the fun as the Edinburgh side travel to Hamburg for their third appearance in the EHL, writes the special correspondent.

In Glasgow, table toppers Hillhead continue to impress with their unblemished start. This week they entertain Graham Dunlop’s PSL Team Sport Clydesdale side who have had experienced a mixed bag of results in their start to the season with two wins and two draws from their four fixtures.

Clydesdale will need to tighten up their defensive strategies – having conceded ten goals in their last three fixtures - against a Hillhead team who have scored freely in every fixture thus far. Keith Joss’ side will be hoping for three points ahead of a run of fixtures which is not to be envied; Grove Menzieshill, Grange, Bromac Kelburne, and Edinburgh University lie in wait.

Western Wildcats are in Aberdeen to face AAM Gordonians on Saturday. The Wildcats’ frontline must have goals on their minds, particularly with Gordonians having conceded 21 goals in their last three fixtures whilst it is not quite clear which Western team will turn up.

The Auchenhowie side are fresh from an exciting 4-3 win against Grange last weekend, which most definitely lived up to the pre-match billing in these very pages if not for the goals, the crowd and the sending offs, but for the Jekyll and Hyde performance from the home team.

An away win restores them to the sharp end of the league after a hesitant start and forces Craig Harper’s charges to have one eye over their shoulder with Uddingston and Dundee Wanderers in close quarters. How valuable will that opening day point against Edinburgh University turn out to be for Harper et al?

A most intriguing fixture is the battle of the basement boys in Dundee where Uddingston travel to face Wanderers.

Uddingston have found the step up from Division 2 a tough one; the loss of set piece specialist Josh Cairns back to Bromac Kelburne has had a dramatic impact on the supply of goals and they have also conceded a number of goals in recent weeks to add woe to heartache.

That said, Uddingston do appear to be tightening up as the weeks progress, narrowly losing 2-0 to top four hopefuls Edinburgh University last week. Laurie McKelvie and Nairn Scobie will continue to use their previous experience of top flight hockey to steady the ship.

This will be a close game with goals at an absolute premium. Bruce Rowan and Paul Daily have been important players in the Wanderers’ first team for longer than some of their team mates have been alive but their influence remains key to the club survival in the top flight. Expect a tough battle in this one.

Edinburgh University against Grove Menzieshill will be a fascinating encounter.

‘The Hill’ have started like an runaway colt, racking up three wins on the bounce including last Sunday’s derby with Wanderers and their opening game against Bromac Kelburne, respectively tough encounters.

Ciaran Crawford has joined from Clydesdale and has found the net on a regular basis. Promising youngster Cameron Golden is a debutant at this level alongside Aidan McQuade and Duncan Riddell, all of whom have shown signs of being comfortable despite their inexperience and youth. Time will tell if their impact is short term or if the Dundee side have genuine players matching the quality of Scotland international Gavin Byers. Bruce Cuthill continues to orchestrate from the side-lines with years of know-how.

In the other coaching area is U21 Scotland Men’s Head Coach Graham Moodie, who will be well aware of the capabilities of the younger players from Dundee.

The former Olympian will continue to rely upon his younger brother, Ian, and international Dan Coultas, for goals and hope that the recent lack of concentration in defence will be absent from this week’s performance. Generous observers would describe the last University outing against Uddingston as ‘controlled’; generous, like we said. Moodie will be looking for a much more polished performance from his side ahead of a big week administratively for the University.
Women's National League Division 1

Game of the day in the Women’s National League is the clash between Bromac Kelburne and Grove Menzieshill in Glasgow where youthful exuberance takes on experienced acumen with the opportunity for both teams to move top of the table should University fail to overcome CALA Edinburgh in the capital derby.

Bromac Kelburne, as a result of said youth, have started the current season well with their only loss a narrow 1-0 reverse to champions, Edinburgh University.

They have improved in all departments this season, adding a doggedness in defence (that was absent in previous seasons) to their slick build-up interplay. In addition to a new found maturity in captain, Stevie McInally, the Paisley side have Natalie McKinnon excelling in goals at the other end of the pitch.

Both are capable of turning games for very different reasons.

However, the real change in dynamic has come from the blossoming of juniors through the club’s ranks, several of whom are now making a difference at the top level. Maddie Cleat is, without doubt, the cherry on the Kelburne cake with a scintillating ability on the ball and an eye for goal which has brought four goals in the first four fixtures. Cleat is firmly in the ‘Johnny Christie’ mould; capable of ghosting into position at the key moment to devastating effect with seemingly little effort. Laura Carlton provides a more than capable foil for Cleat in attack with assured pick-ups in key areas under pressure.

Grove Menzieshill have cruised into the top four with less of a fanfare. The Tayside behemoth took apart GHK 6-1 last time out with an appearance on the scoresheet of the evergreen Pauline Stott, returning to front line action.

The spine of the Dundee side has undoubtedly ran the course before on several occasions however, and experience could be a key deciding factor in a close game such as this.

Louise Carroll continues to provide the base for all moves to progress, the ex-international player is capable of the booming outlet ball as well as the more considered placed pass and remains a tiger in the tackle.

Linda Clement remains a player with the requisite panache and guile to unlock any defence in the land despite international retirement and a first step into coaching this season.

The splash of youth comes in the form of Katie Robertson, who gained a first senior cap this summer, and Sarah Jamieson, both of whom have been among the goals this season and will continue to progress well under the direction of another experienced hand, centurion Leigh Fawcett, who is the high class engine in the middle of the park driving the Dundonians forward.

Been around the block v rock around the clock! Who is taking the spoils? Second v third in the league is your game of the day with a chance to go top of the leagues if other fixtures go their way - what a treat.

Elsewhere, division newcomers Erskine Stewart’s Melville have made a solid start to life in the top flight with two wins and two losses. They welcome Western Wildcats, who are aiming for their first win of the campaign, to Edinburgh for a tough encounter.

Dundee Wanderers travel to Glasgow knowing that GHK Ladies have yet to pick up a point so far this season and will be confident of heading back to Tayside with three points in the bag to consolidate their spot in the play-off positions.

A win for Derek Forsyth’s Milne Craig Clydesdale Western is also the likely outcome as point-less Watsonians make the trip through on the M8 to Titwood.

Whatever you do this weekend; support your club.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Scotland hosts EHF Umpires 4 Europe programme this weekend

Scottish Hockey is delighted to welcome the European Hockey Federation’s (EHF) Umpires 4 Europe (U4E) programme to Scotland this weekend.

The programme is designed to support umpire development by exposing them to different hockey styles in different countries. The participating umpires this weekend are supported by experienced Scottish umpires and umpires coaches, and will be involved in officiating a number National and Regional League fixtures.

There are four Scottish umpires taking part; Alistair Munro, Duncan Ruzzak, Claire Edwards & Lena McCrea and they are joined by six colleagues from across Europe:

    Luka Zupancic (Austria)
    Ivan Grgurev (Croatia)
    Vitas Guziejus (Lithuania)
    Adrian Bucher (Switzerland)
    Raphael Cavalho (Portugal)
    Anne Van Den Bosch (Belgium)

On Friday evening, West District Umpires Association will be running a Rules Workshop at the Western Wildcats clubhouse, Auchenhowie starting at 6.30pm.

Anyone is free to attend and then invited to watch two of the participating umpires take charge of Western Wildcats v Rottenrow.

The exchange comes just two weeks after the successful EHF umpire coaches seminar run at the Boys Inter-Districts that saw umpire coaches and umpires from across Europe attend workshops and practical assessment to help develop their skills

The programme for this weekend is being led by John Heron, and is supported by a number of individuals from across Scotland, including Martin Monaghan, Grace Cowan, Barbara Morgan, Martin Madden, Fraser Bell, Ali Munro, Greig Cunningham, Maggie Connagher, Aileen Ross, Ged Curran & Anne Heron

A number of partners including the Glynhill Hotel, West District Umpires Association and the European Hockey Federation have also supported the initiative.

Scottish Hockey is delighted to support the U4E exchange and wishes all the best to the umpires involved and thanks to all its members who are involved in the programme this weekend.

For more information about the Umpire 4 Europe programme, please visit the EHF website.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Hockey league kick off


The first ever hockey league to be organized in the Solomon Islands will kick off this weekend.

This was confirmed yesterday by the president of the Solomon Islands Hockey Federation (SIHF), Nihal Seneviratne.

The league venue will be at the Ports Authority Sports Ground, Kukum.

Two separate leagues will kick off this weekend, the hockey club league and the school hockey league.

Nine schools have been confirmed to take part in this first ever school hockey competition.

They are, Selwyn College, St Joseph Tenaru, St Nicolas School, King George VI, Betikama, Honiara High, Bishop Epalle, White River and Don Bosco.

Two weeks ago the Solomon Islands received an invitation to take part in the junior hockey world cup qualifying tournament.

The tournament is scheduled to take place at the Gold Coast Hockey association grounds at Labrada, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia in January next year.

The age limit for all players will be under 21 years of age as of December 3.

The Solomon Islands Hockey federation (SIHF) will use the proposed school hockey competition to select a team to represent the Solomon Islands.

Matches will be played on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Solomon Star

HI announces online ticket sales for Hockey World League Final

The tickets are priced at Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 for the General Stands, while the VIP Stand is priced at Rs. 1000.

A screenshot of the Hockey India website.

The ticket sales for the much-awaited Hero Hockey World League (HWL) Final has begun online as HI gears up to host the eight-nation event slated between November 27 and December 6 at the newly-built international stadium in Raipur.

The tickets are priced at Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 for the General Stands, while the VIP Stand is priced at Rs. 1000.

Speaking on the announcement, Hockey India Secretary General Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said, “I am proud to announce the kick start of the online ticket sales of the much awaited Hero Hockey World League Final to be held in Raipur. We are confident of a positive response from the hockey fans in the city and I am sure the spectators will have a great time watching their favourite players LIVE in front of them.”

With the tournament divided into two Pools (’A’ and ‘B’), India is placed in Pool ‘B’ along with The Netherlands, Germany and Argentina. India will be playing their first match against Argentina on November 27.

The other four teams in Pool ‘A’ include Belgium, Great Britain, Australia and Canada.

The teams had qualified for the event through the HWL Semi-Finals in Buenos Aires and Antwerp.

The Hindu

Weekend College Games

USA Field Hockey highlights some of the top college games in Division I, II and III each week.


DI: No. 20 University of Iowa vs No 16 University of Michigan
The match-up between the University of Iowa and the University of Michigan is a great Big Ten rival. Michigan is currently sitting in second place in Big Ten standings after a close loss to the University of Maryland, who is in first place in the conference standings. Although Iowa is currently sixth in the conference, they are not to be looked over. All of Iowa’s losses have been to top 20 teams, with a win against currently ranked No. 7 Wake Forest. The game could be a season changer for Iowa or help Michigan gain momentum into the conference tournament.

DII: No. 10 Stonehill College vs Bentley University
The match-up between Stonehill and Bentley is sure to be a quality game. Susan Ciufo, first-time head coach and former U.S. Women's National Indoor Team athlete, has helped Stonehill gain momentum throughout the season with key wins against No. 7 Limestone College and Adelphi University. However, Bentley has had a good start with wins against No. 9 Assumption and No. 8 Merrimack. Could No. 10 fall to Bentley or will they continue to gain momentum?

DIII: No 1 TCNJ vs No. 5 Montclair State University
Without a doubt, the game between The College of New Jersey and Montclair State University will be a top game this season. Both teams are top contenders for the New Jersey Athletic Conference. Going into the game, TCNJ maintains a perfect season. TCNJ was truly tested against Salisbury University, who they prevailed against in double overtime. Montclair State heads into the game with a 10-1 record, only falling to New Paltz. Montclair State is also lead by first-time head coach, Eileen O’Reilly. The game will certainly be a close one.


DI: Bucknell vs Lafayette
The game between Bucknell and Lafayette will be a great Patriot League match-up. Bucknell is currently sitting at second place in the conference standings with wins against Colgate and Lehigh. Lafayette is fourth in the standings with a loss to Boston University and a win against Lehigh. Will Bucknell remain undefeated in conference play or will Lafayette take home the win?

DIII: York vs No. 14 Christopher Newport University
The game between Christopher Newport University and York should be interesting. So far this season, Christopher Newport has only been stopped by Lynchburg College, another Virginia field hockey powerhouse. Although York has been stopped by a handful of teams, they are no stranger to top 20 competition, having faced both Lynchburg and Mary Washington. The game could certainly provide some great hockey for the weekend.


DI: California vs Pacific
While California is a long-time West Coast powerhouse, Pacific is starting to grab spectators' attentions under the leadership of Head Coach,Andy Smith, who is in his third season. Cal has had a great season so far with just a few hick-ups, including a loss to the University of Connecticut, but has also had some great wins, including games against Penn State, Indiana, and in-state rival, Stanford. Pacific is having a season to remember, including a win against Michigan State. For all the West Coast field hockey fans, definitely head to this game.

DI&II: Bellarmine vs Ball State
The game between Bellarmine and Ball Sate is exciting because it is between a Division I and Division II school. Bellarmine is a Division II school that competes in the Eastern College Athletic Association. Ball State is part of the Mid-American Conference. The two have only met once before, in 2012, when Ball State came away with a 3-0 win.

DII&III: Newberry vs Centre
The game between Newberry and Centre is another great game that has two teams from different divisions competing. Newberry is a third year Division II program while Centre is a perennial Division III field hockey powerhouse. Last year was the first time the two teams met and Centre pulled off a 4-1 win. Will Newberry find redemption again this year or will Centre continue to lead the series?


DII: No. 1 Millersville vs No. 3 East Stroudsburg
Millersville will have another tough game and looking to remain undefeated. East Stroudsburg has only suffered two losses so far this season and will be looking for redemption with their 0-1 loss to Millersville earlier in the season. For those in Pennsylvania looking to see all that Division II has to offer, this will be a game to watch.


DI: No. 8 University of Maryland vs No. 15 Old Dominion University
The game between the University of Maryland and Old Dominion University is a game that won’t disappoint spectators in the Mid-Atlantic region. Maryland is currently at the top of the standings in the Big Ten with a 4-0 conference record. ODU on the other hand is just getting into conference play. So far this season, ODU has secured wins over top 20 teams like James Madison University and Wake Forest University. For all those hockey lovers, this game just might be going into overtime.


DI: No. 5 Virginia vs No. 12 Liberty
The game between these two Virginia schools is definitely one you need to follow. Liberty has quickly become a field hockey powerhouse. So far this season, Liberty has secured wins against James Madison University and Old Dominion University. More recently, Liberty took No. 11 Boston College into double overtime. UVA will definitely come to the game prepared. So far this season UVA has only fallen to No. 1 Syracuse (No. 1) and No.3 UNC. If you’re in Virginia, head to this game!

DII&III: No. 17 Messiah vs No. 4 Shippensburg
Another great match-up this week will occur between Division II and Division III. Messiah is a great field hockey school in Pennsylvania. So far this season they have been successful, highlighted with a win over the No. 15 University of Mary Washington. Shippensburg is also another great field hockey powerhouse in Pennsylvania having won the Division II National Championship in 2013 after reaching the semifinals the year before. Under Head Coach Bertie Landes, Shippensburg has won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Field Hockey Championship 15 times in 16 years. This will be a great game to watch between to great schools in Division II and III.

USFHA media release

Team USA Develops Gold-Medal Coaches Including USMNT Head Coach With Innovative Leadership Education

Courtesy of Team USA

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- ­A volleyball coach, a speedskating coach and a wrestling coach walk into a room.

There’s no punch line. It’s the very real environment of the United States Olympic Committee’s National Team Coach Leadership Education Program (NTCLEP).

The NTCLEP is the USOC’s blueprint to assist Team USA coaches in achieving international competitive excellence. The program is open to national team coaches of any Olympic, Paralympic or Pan American sport, and over the course of 16 months, coaches attend five seminars. This allows coaches the opportunity not only to learn from experts within the seminars, but learn from their colleagues as well. For many of the coaches, this unique environment was a large part of what attracted them to the NTCLEP.

Coaches work on a personality assessment exercise as part of the National Team Coach Leadership Education Program on Sept. 17, 2015.

“Really, one of the biggest pieces is being exposed to all the other coaches, all the other sports, and all the different perspectives that they have,” said Mike Jankowski, head coach of the U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing teams for the halfpipe and slopestyle disciplines, and a member of the first cohort of NTCLEP coaches. “We all share common goals, and at the same time, we all have such varied sports and varied backgrounds. So it’s really interesting to get everybody’s perspectives on things and share best practices, challenges that we’ve had along the way, and how much we’ve learned so we can really feed off of each other.”

While similar coaching education programs exist, this inclusivity across both summer and winter sports make the NTCLEP the first of its kind in the world. The USOC brings in some of the best leadership developers in the world to work with the participating coaches, tailoring the seminars to provide development that the National Governing Bodies specifically asked for. Seminar topics include discussions about high performance sport, a look at personality types and communication, practice structure and skill acquisition, how the human brain works and other aspects of sport science, how to cultivate a coaching staff and more.

“The USOC has never really offered any type of continuing education to our national team coaches, so we wanted to come up and fill the gap of not necessarily sport-specific information, but some general pillars of knowledge that they would need,” said Christine Bolger, associate director of coaching education at the USOC.

Over 40 national team head or assistant coaches applied for each of the two cohorts, with 24 in total being selected. All of the 24 are medal-impacting coaches that will have opportunities at either the Rio 2016 Olympic Games or the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

“We didn’t know what to expect when we put it out there because there aren’t any mandates for coaching education, especially at the top level, in the U.S.,” Bolger said. “So the number of applications we got, we were very excited about. Narrowing it down to what became 10 in the first group was very difficult because we want to get all the coaches trained and give them this experience.

“Since they’re coaches from different sports, it’s very rare that they get to sit around the table like this and share war stories and strategies and tackle issues together. It’s been fantastic to have them collaborate. We’ve got beach volleyball working with bobsled. Where are you going to get that kind of experience?”

The first cohort of coaches completed its fourth seminar last month at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, while the second cohort wrapped up its second seminar later that week. Though no coaches have yet been through the full program, many have already begun to see results by implementing what they’ve learned.

Coaches work on a personality assessment exercise as part of the National Team Coach Leadership Education Program on Sept. 17, 2015.

Jankowski has been so pleased with the results he’s seen that he volunteered to give a presentation to the second cohort about how they can start implementing the lessons they’re learning.

“I just thought it’d be nice to share some of what I’ve learned so far in terms of using a lot of these communication styles, learning how to adapt to other people more quickly,” Jankowski said. “The results have been really, really phenomenal.”

Despite only being on their second seminar, the coaches in the second cohort are already appreciating how advantageous the program is.

“We’re trying to build a legacy for them, and connect the pipeline of coaches and have the information that these guys are learning trickle down to their development process,” Bolger said. “We’re seeing that with ski and snowboard already. We’ve got two coaches in the pilot and one in the second cohort, so they’re working together to kind of establish some processes that may not have been there before.”

Both Jankowski and Skogen Sprang, head coach of the slopestyle skiing team, were part of the coaching staff that led the freeskiing and snowboarding teams to an unprecedented five out of six available gold medals at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. In July, Sprang was named the USOC’s 2014 Coach of the Year. A finalist for that award behind Sprang was Tuffy Latour, head coach of the U.S. skeleton team that won two medals in Sochi. Already no stranger to success, these three found themselves in a room with coaches of equal caliber. While those in the room represented great variety among their sports and experience level, each coach had one thing in common: they want to get better.

“I just (wanted to) learn more about all types of coaching and push myself to learn more just in general,” Sprang said. “I’d been an athlete for a bunch of years and just wanted to meet all these (other coaches), find out what their perspectives are, and just push myself to learn more.

“I think it’s been really good, for sure. As (Jankowski) has mentioned, he’s applied it towards (our teams) and I’ve applied a bunch of it as well, with recognizing different personalities different athletes have and working on just being better in categories like that. And I really like the idea of reflecting and using a journal, things like that. You do some of these things already but there’s ways to improve them and do them better so you get more out of it.”

Bolger says that the feedback she’s received so far has been overwhelmingly positive. As the coaches chatted during breaks in the seminar, congratulating each other on recent world championship wins and discussing coaching methods, it’s easy to see why.

“I’ve been to many leadership seminars and coaching groups over the years with mixed results,” Jankowski said. “This has really stood out as being really effective, really practical for me to use in my teams that I work with and really just develop great relationships with some other coaches at other NGBs where we can use each other as resources when we come up with challenging situations.

“It’s gone above and beyond my expectations in many ways.”

U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach Chris Clements comments on his experience with the NTCLEP and how it has further sharpened his coaching skill set:

"The opportunity to be selected to this course and then be in the same room with the coaches of the best teams and athletes across the US olympic field is amazing. We as coaches on a daily basis are always asking more from our players. As coaches at all times in our career, we too must ask the same of ourselves. It is critical to grow and expand your knowledge, not only within tactics and technical elements but also the management of athletes and ourselves."

"The practicality of the course is directly related to our day-to-day needs as coaches and I am enjoying sharing these experiences with our players to aid them in their development, as well as mine. We are always looking to improve and set the highest expectations for ourselves and the players."

"To be able to work with people that understand and live in the high performance environment provides healthy dialogue. The day-to-day coaching demands are similar across all sports and to have a close network of experts to work with along our journey is something that I and my colleagues are extremely grateful for what the USOC has created."

USFHA media release

FIH announces hosts for 2016/17 Hockey World League - Round 1

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed today that nine locations around the world will host 2016/17 Hockey World League (HWL) Round 1 events.

Taking place in the summer of 2016, joint men’s and women’s events will be held in Accra (Ghana); Singapore (Singapore); Prague (Czech Republic); Salamanca (Mexico); Chiclayo (Peru) while a location in Oceania will also be confirmed at a later date.

In addition to the joint gender events, another women’s competition will take place in Cambrai (France) while Antalya (Turkey) and Glasgow (Scotland) will host men’s competitions.

These host awards mark a historic occasion for both Peru and Turkey who will hold their first ever FIH events, a clear indication of the rapid development of hockey within these nations.

The events were announced as excitement continues to build ahead of the Season 2 Finals taking place later this year. The men’s Hero Hockey World League Final will take place in Raipur, India between 27 November and 6 December, while the women’s Argentina Hockey World League Final will take place in Rosario, Argentina between 5-13 December.

Speaking of this news, FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather said: “These latest host announcements really do highlight the global spread of hockey around the world. Each award is an indication of the growth of the sport taking place in these countries, of which is incredibly inspiring.”

He continued: “I’m sure that the excitement and buzz created by the Hockey World League Finals in India and Argentina later this year will continue into these events. All of the hosts are in tune with our Hockey Revolution goals, in particular our aim to develop innovative and exciting entertainment events. As a result, we’re sure each local organiser will put on a fantastic platform for hockey and in doing so, inspire many more people to take up hockey.”

The dates for each event are currently being finalised in conjunction with each host National Association and as soon as they are finalised they will be published on the FIH website.

These latest confirmations follow the announcement of six nations that will host HWL Round 2 events, including Trinidad & Tobago, Ireland, Bangladesh, Canada, Spain and Malaysia.

Rankings at the Round 1 competitions will determine which teams will qualify for the Round 2 events which will take place in in early 2017.

Composed of four rounds and played over two years, the HWL takes place in venues around the world. This unique competition gives even the smallest hockey-playing nations the opportunity to write their own chapter in hockey’s history books, as they are given the chance to progress through the Rounds, with the added incentive of Olympic or World Cup qualification also on offer.

The 2016/17 HWL will decide which teams will qualify, alongside the Continental Champions and hosts, for the FIH World Cups in 2018 in England (women) and India (men).

All teams participating in the HWL will also receive FIH World Ranking points which could prove crucial when it comes to qualification for other hockey events, while the winners will qualify for the 2018 Champions Trophies in Argentina (women) and the Netherlands (men).

FIH site

FIH delegation meets IOC President Thomas Bach

FIH President Leandro Negre with IOC President Thomas Bach

FIH President Leandro Negre and CEO Kelly Fairweather met the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, on 7 October 2015 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The gathering, which also included IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper and IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell, was a great opportunity to discuss the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020, the Hockey Revolution, preparations for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the role of athletes as well as joint projects in the field of sport development.

Leandro Negre congratulated the IOC President on the success of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement.

The FIH is fully supporting the strategy which offers many links to the FIH’s own ten year strategy, the Hockey Revolution. The core ambition of the Hockey Revolution is for hockey to be, in ten years’ time, a global game that inspires the next generation.

To get there, the FIH has launched various initiatives, including the development of a fan focused entertainment portfolio and of world-class TV production and distribution.

The IOC President was also provided with an update on Hockey 5s. Following the tremendous success of Hockey5s at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, and as part of the Hockey Revolution, short-form hockey will play an integral part in FIH’s event portfolio moving forward. The aim is to integrate a version of short-form hockey into the international hockey scene whilst also increase opportunities for mixed gender competitions.

The new format will facilitate access to hockey in all corners of the world and thereby increase the universality of the sport.

The FIH expressed a desire to work with the Olympic Channel on this exciting project which is aimed at inspiring youth to participate and become hockey fans.

You can learn more about the Hockey Revolution here.

With less than a year to go to the Olympic Games in Rio, talks also focused on the Games’ preparations and the hockey test event coming up in November.

Qualification for the Olympic hockey events are in full swing with ten of the twelve teams qualified. The final events are taking place later this month – the Oceania Cup in New Zealand and the Africa Cup for Nations in South Africa.

The meeting showed that the well-being of athletes features high on both the IOC’s and the FIH’s agendas. FIH Athletes Committee Chair Michael Green and fellow Committee member Marsha Cox will meet the IOC President at the IOC’s International Athletes’ Forum taking place in Lausanne later this week.

FIH site

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