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News for 14 October 2015

All the news for Wednesday 14 October 2015

Black Sticks Women set for Oceania Cup

Photo courtesy www.photosport.co.nz

Black Sticks Women’s head coach Mark Hager has named a strong team to compete at the Oceania Cup in Stratford next week.

The Oceania Cup will see the Black Sticks Women and Men take on Australia, Fiji and Samoa from 21-25 October with continental titles on the line.

The tournament doubles as an Olympic qualifier and despite both the New Zealand and Australia women having already qualified, valuable world ranking points are up for grabs.

The Black Sticks are fresh off their South Island tour where they drew the series 2-2 with world number three Argentina.

Several key names return to the mix after missing the recent series including influential midfielder Stacey Michelsen, goalkeeper Sally Rutherford, Ford National Hockey League MVP Brooke Neal, Ella Gunson and Jordan Grant.

Auckland striker Charlotte Harrison and North Harbour defender Kat Henry have both earned a place in the side based on their recent performances.

Emily Naylor was ruled out through injury, while Kayla Whitelock is not quite back at full fitness and Gemma Flynn is unavailable for personal reasons.

Coach Hager said it’s a strong group brimming with speed, and the tournament is the perfect way to continue preparations for December’s FIH World League Final in Rosario, Argentina.

“This is a critical tournament for us - we need to perform well and make sure we achieve our targets and secure world ranking points,” Hager said.

“We’ve named the strongest team we have based on form and availability, with all these players having performed well during the Ford National Hockey League and Argentina series.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to view players on the international stage in preparation for the World League Final which is just two months away.”

Meanwhile, the Oceania Cup is all or nothing for the Black Sticks Men who need to beat world champions Australia and win the tournament to book a spot at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Head coach Colin Batch will name his team tomorrow.

CLICK HERE for more information on the Oceania Cup and to buy tickets

Oceania Cup, 21-25 October














Sophie COCKS












Jordan GRANT


















Charlotte HARRISON







North Harbour











Julia KING






Olivia MERRY












Brooke NEAL






Kirsten PEARCE

North Harbour





Anita PUNT (capt)



















North Harbour




Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks squad named for Oceania Cup

Anita Punt. Photo / Paul Taylor.

New Zealand have named a squad of 18 players for the Oceania Cup tournament, in Stratford starting on October 21.

The squad includes returning players, Stacey Michelsen, Jordan Grant, Ella Gunson, goalkeeper Sally Rutherford and national league MVP Brooke Neal, who were absent from the recent series against world No 3 Argentina.

Those missing include in-form attacker Gemma Flynn, for personal reasons, and most capped Black Stick Emily Naylor, who is out through injury while midfielder Kayla Whitelock, who is returning to international hockey, is not ready to play at top level yet.

Auckland striker Charlotte Harrison and North Harbour defender Kat Henry have both secured places based on their recent form.

"This is a critical tournament for us. We need to perform well and make sure we achieve our targets and secure world ranking points," coach Mark Hager said.

"It's a great opportunity for us to view players on the international stage in preparation for the world league final, which is just two months away."

World No 4 New Zealand will face second-ranked Australia and Samoa. Both New Zealand and Australia have already qualified for the Rio Olympics so it's a good opportunity for top class matchplay between the close rivals.

New Zealand women's team for the Oceania Cup: Anita Punt (c, Capital), Amelia Gibson, Charlotte Harrison, Julie King, Liz Thompson (Auckland), Sam Charlton, Rose Keddell, Sally Rutherford (Midlands), Jordan Grant, Pippa Hayward, Sophie Cocks, Olivia Merry (Canterbury), Ella Gunson, Stacey Michelsen, Brooke Neal (Northland), Petrea Webster, Kat Henry, Kirsten Pearce (North Harbour).

The men's Black Sticks are due to be named tomorrow. They must beat Australia to qualify for Rio.

The New Zealand Herald

Black Sticks key figures return to women's squad for looming Oceania Cup


National league MVP Brooke Neal returns to the Black Sticks women's team for the Oceania Cup. DEAN MOUHTAROPOULOS/GETTY IMAGES

Black Sticks women's coach Mark Hager has picked his strongest available team for next week's Oceania Cup in Stratford.

Hager named his 18-strong squad on Wednesday for the tournament against Australia and Samoa, which runs from next Wednesday to Sunday. Fiji have pulled out and have been replaced by a New Zealand invitational team, who only face Samoa.

After missing the drawn series with Argentina, which finished in Christchurch last Friday, a handful of familiar faces are back in the fold for the Oceania Cup, including skilful midfielder Stacey Michelsen, veteran goalkeeper Sally Rutherford, national league MVP Brooke Neal, Ella Gunson and Jordan Grant.

Auckland striker Charlotte Harrison, who has 177 caps and is one of the top five Kiwi goal scorers of all-time, confirmed her return and North Harbour defender Kat Henry earned her place in the squad with strong showings against Argentina.

Henry will fill the hole left by vastly experienced defender Emily Naylor, who remains unavailable through injury. Striker Gemma Flynn has been ruled out for personal reasons, while former captain Kayla Whitelock has been deemed to not be back to full fitness after returning to the game during last month's national league.

Players to miss out from the new national squad named last month are 134-test striker Katie Glynn, defender Natasha Fitzsimons and young goalkeeper Georgia Barnett.

While the Oceania Cup doubles as an Olympic qualifier and strong tournament favourites New Zealand and Australia have already secured their places in Rio, valuable world ranking points are up for grabs in Stratford.

It is also an important part of their build-up for the World League Final tournament in Argentina in December, Hager said.

"This is a critical tournament for us – we need to perform well and make sure we achieve our targets and secure world ranking points.

"It's a great opportunity for us to view players on the international stage in preparation for the World League Final which is just two months away."

The Oceania Cup is the last opportunity for the Black Sticks men to book a spot at the next year's Olympic Games. The New Zealand men must win the event, almost certainly meaning defeating world No 1 Australia in the final next Sunday.

Head coach Colin Batch will name his team on Thursday.

Black Sticks women (caps in brackets): Sam Charlton (140), Sophie Cocks (69), Amelia Gibson (39), Jordan Grant (55), Ella Gunson (121), Pippa Hayward (74), Charlotte Harrison (177), Kat Henry (21), Rose Keddell (91), Julia King (86), Olivia Merry (97), Stacey Michelsen (180), Brooke Neal (56), Kirsten Pearce (21), Anita Punt (c) (209), Sally Rutherford (96), Liz Thompson (79), Petrea Webster (116).


Brazil double as men and women win Pan American Challenges

Photo: Pan American Hockey Federation

Brazil men and women won the Pan American Challenge in Chiclayo, Peru last weekend, and along with runners up Venezuela men and Barbados women, qualified for the 2017 Pan American Cup.

This year’s men’s Challenge saw teams from Brazil, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela compete for the title while the women’s Challenge welcomed teams from Barbados, Brazil, Panama, Peru and Puerto Rico.

This was the first official international hockey competition won by both Brazil men and women, with both teams progressing through the tournament unbeaten on their way to victory.

In the men’s final, Brazil defeated Venezuela 1-0 in a tight game, thanks to a goal by Matheus Borges.

They will be looking to take confidence from this tournament victory into next summer’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which they qualified for earlier this year.

Their women made it a Brazilian double as they won 3-1 against Barbados in their final. Eveline Beljon scored the opening goal for Brazil, who fielded a team that included a number of new and younger players. Mayara Fedrizzi then went on to score another two goals to take Brazil’s lead to 3-0. Tricia-Ann Greaves scored the only consolation goal for Barbados.

The men’s and women’s Pan American Challenges are relatively new competitions, with the first one played in 2011. It is open to all teams not qualified for the top tier Pan American Cup already.

The 2017 Pan American Cup will be held in Lancaster, USA in August 2017. The winners of the men’s and women’s competitions will qualify for the Hockey World Cups in 2018, whilst it will also be one of the qualification events for the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru.

For all the results, videos and photos from the 2015 Pan American Challenge (Men), click here.

Results, videos and photos from the 2015 Pan American Challenge (women), can be found here.

For more information about hockey in the Pan American region, visit the Pan American Hockey Federation website by clicking here.

FIH site

Annan named new Dutch women's coach

Amsterdam coach Alyson Annan has been appointed the new coach of the Dutch women’s national team, taking on the role immediately.

The announcement comes just two days after Annan coach her club side to two strong wins in the Euro Hockey League in Hamburg, earning a place at next Easter’s KO16.

The initial deal runs until the 2016 Olympic Games but the intention is to potentially extend the contract at least until the 2018 World Cup in London.

Annan – a three time world player of the year – takes over from Sjoerd Marijne who vacated the post in the wake of the European Championships, also in London.

Arno den Hartog, technical director KNHB said of the appointment: "Based on the interviews and her record as a coach and player, we concluded Alyson is the best candidate to succeed Sjoerd as coach.

“I want to thank Amsterdam for the dissolution of the current contract as a trainer/coach of their men’s team to allow her to take this next step."

For Amsterdam’s part, Annan will remain in the role until November 15 at the latest but if the club find a coach sooner than this date, she will finish up earlier.

Speaking about the new job, Annan said: "It's an honour to be head coach of the Dutch national team. I set myself the objective to prepare the side in the best possible way for the Olympics and to get the most out of the team. I would like to make not just the team better but all the players themselves.”

She will start work with the panel next Monday primarily with the panel that played in the Euros but says that the training group is not finalised. The first port of call will be the World League finals in Argentina in December.

Amsterdam board member Fons Fontelijn said the announcement was a double-edged sword for the club.

“On the one hand we are proud that one of our head coaches will make a contribution to Dutch hockey and is committed to a gold medal at the Olympics in Rio.

“On the other, this has put a dent in our elite sport team. We lose not only the coach of our men's first team but also a dedicated ‘topper’ who we see as a head coach for our entire team.

“But that's sport and that's all in the game. We give Alyson our wholehearted support and will try to find a good solution.”

The announcement has also opened up a vacancy as Annan was previously the Dutch junior women’s coach with the KNHB now looking for a successor.

Euro Hockey League media release

Arul set to drop goalie Ridzwan for Aussie match

by S. Ramaguru

Argentina’s Joaquin Puglisi (right) tussles for the ball with Malaysia’s Azuan Hasan during the Sultan of Johor Cup match at Taman Daya Stadium, Johor Baru. – ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG / The Star

JOHOR BARU: Having conceded six goals in two matches, Malaysia are expected to rest first-choice goalkeeper Mohd Ridzwan Azmi in the Sultan of Johor Cup hockey tournament.

Reserve Mohd Adi Fazri Rahim is set to be given the job when Malaysia face Australia in the Under-21 tournament at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru on Wednesday.

Ridzwan was fielded against Britain in the opening match on Sunday. Malaysia lost 4-2 and Ridzwan was blamed for three of the penalty corner goals.

Coach A. Arulselvaraj persisted with Ridzwan on Monday, but he again let the team down by conceding two penalty corner goals in Malaysia’s 2-2 draw with Argentina. He was replaced by Mohd Adi in the last five minutes of the match.

Said Arulselvaraj: “Ridzwan is our first choice. But he let in some soft goals and we cannot take any chances. Australia are a top team. They are fast and have good penalty corner flickers as well. We have to be on our toes from the start.”

Arulselvaraj also wants the experienced players in the team to stand up and be counted.

“Losing is one thing, but the manner you lose matters. I cannot accept playing below our best and giving away soft goals. We are capable of playing better hockey and I expect the players to put in their true worth in every match,” said Arulselvaraj.

It is, however, not all gloom and doom for Malaysia despite only lying in fifth place in the six-team tournament with only one point.

The good news is that Mohamed Shahril Saabah is in good form. He has scored three penalty corner goals and Malaysia will again rely on him against Australia.

Australia kicked off the tournament on a dismal note, surprisingly losing 1-0 to debutants Argentina.

But coach Ben Bishop’s team recovered to humiliate Pakistan 6-2 on Monday to move to fourth with three points.

Bishop conceded it would not be easy to beat Malaysia, who triumphed over Australia to emerge champions in the inaugural tournament in 2011.

“Playing Malaysia here is a good experience as they have an ample crowd to cheer for them. We want to win, but we will not take Malaysia for granted. We have lost once here and there is a need to keep up a winning momentum,” said Bishop.

The Star of Malaysia

Indian juniors eye positive result against Argentina

JOHOR BAHRU: The Indian junior hockey team will look to put the reverse in its last match behind as it takes on Argentina in the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup on Wednesday.

India started the campaign with a win against Pakistan, beating them 5-1. The junior team continued its attacking game in their second match against Great Britain, but the opponents came back strongly in the second half to defeat India 4-3.

The Indians will now look to get back to winning ways, earn more points and seal a place in the semi-finals.

India faced Argentina twice in 2013 and registered convincing wins on both occasions. The Indian colts defeated the Argentines 3-2 in the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia and repeated their success in the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup, where they outplayed the Latin Americans 4-2.

Before that, India easily beat Argentina 6-1 to clinch their maiden FIH Junior World Cup Men's title in 2001 in Hobart, Australia.

Along with the in-form Sumit Kumar the rest of the forward line includes Arman Qureshi, Ajay Yadav and Parvinder Singh, who provide the required strength.

Argentina started their campaign with a huge upset, beating Australia 1-0. They will aim to continue in same vein against India.

Speaking on the eve of the match, India coach Harendra Singh said, "The team is geared up for the next challenge and looking for a close battle tomorrow. We have beaten Argentina in the past and outplayed them in all the matches. The team in the last two matches showed their best game during vital moments and their mental strength is quite strong. We are expecting a positive result in tomorrow's game."

India captain Harjeet Singh added, "We are playing against Argentina after a long time but we have knowledge of their playing style. We have beaten them earlier and this time also we will play to win the match. They have good players in their side. We will play our natural game and hold our defence strongly."

The Times of India

Indian hockey going in right direction after New Zealand win: Oltmans

NEW DELHI: Indian chief coach and high performance director Roelant Oltmans on Tuesday said the national hockey team's bilateral series victory over New Zealand has proved that it is moving in the right direction.

Asian Games 2014 champions India lost the first match but won the next two and drew the final match to claim the series 2-1. Prior to that they also defeated the host's A side to mark a successful Kiwi tour.

"The team performed exceptionally well in the New Zealand Tour which proves that our players are ready to take on greater challenges," Oltmans said in a release.

"The highlight was that we played an attacking game throughout the tour and did not lose our possession easily which will definitely boost our preparations for the Hero Hockey World League (HWL) Final scheduled to take place towards the end of this year," the Dutchman added.

"I hope the team does its best and display high-level performances."

Skipper Sardar Singh also echoed the sentiments of his illustrious 61-year-old tactician.

"We are in high spirits after the historic series win against a team which is ranked higher to us and the team has shown that they are ready to take on tougher opponents," Sardar said after landing here from New Zealand.

"After losing the first game against New Zealand, our team did not lose its focus and managed to win the series which proves that the team has nerves of steel. We look forward to the upcoming Hero HWL Final to be held later in the year."

The HWL Final starts on November 28 with Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Britain and the Netherlands taking part in it.

The Times of India

We are ready to take on tougher opponents: Sardar Singh

NEW DELHI: Following a successful campaign in New Zealand, the India men hockey team arrived with a feeling of pride at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi on Monday night. The team scored a resounding 2-0 win in first two games against New Zealand A and secured a series win against the New Zealand national team 2-1 in a four-match series.

The team returned with many positives that give them a boost of confidence for the upcoming Hero Hockey World League Final, to be held in India later this year. The team enjoyed an impressive winning campaign as they stepped up defensively on the field and took good control of the game in every match that they played against both the teams.

Speaking from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Roelant Oltmans, director high performance and chief coach, Hockey India said, "The team performed exceptionally well in the New Zealand tour which proves that our players are ready to take on greater challenges. The highlight was that we played an attacking game throughout the tour and did not lose our possession easily which will definitely boost our preparations for the Hero Hockey World League Final scheduled to take place towards the end of this year, I hope the team do its best and display high-level performances."

Speaking post landing, captain Sardar Singh said, "We are in high spirits after the historic series win against a team which is ranked higher to us and the team has shown that they are ready to take on tougher opponents. After losing the first game against New Zealand, our team did not lose its focus and managed to win the series which proves that the team has the nerves of steel. We look forward to the upcoming Hero Hockey World League Final to be held later in the year."

The Times of India

Eddie Latouf - The Man who sparked South Africa's first artificial Hockey surface


How did South Africa obtain its first artificial hockey surface and where?

Not many people currently involved in South African hockey will be able to answer this question.

Yet it is a vital cameo of our hockey history and one that proved catalytic to the proliferation of such surfaces in the fight to maintain the highest playing standards in this country.

As far as we recall the first time hockey was played on an artificial surface in an Olympic Games was in Montreal in 1976 and the consequences of this for the evolution of the game sparked various people but especially a prominent umpire and administrator, Eddie Latouf, to move mountains to ensure that South Africa had such a surface as soon as possible.  He knew that this would be catalytic to many processes.

Living as he was then in Durban he approached Councillors and Council Officials and motivated that Queensmead should be the first artificial hockey field and stadium and that it would be a flagship for Durban and a source of pride to the city.

We really do not know the quantum of hours Eddie spent motivating this, consulting with the likes of the late Dave Metter, about the type of surface, base, floodlighting and other details.  However, it certainly added up to thousands of man-hours and many lunches!  Eddie must have spent a small fortune wining and dining various influential people and decision-makers but as a man of action he disliked lengthy hockey meetings!

He managed to make this hockey dream a reality in 1984 with the inauguration of the artificial playing surface followed not long thereafter by the grandstand and extra facilities.

It immediately resulted in the (then) Natal Provincial Men’s Team dominating domestic hockey for a lengthy period and other provinces in their desperation to close the gap  also began to construct artificial surfaces.

This process and the vision also ensured that despite our isolation we were able to emerge in 1992 as a top 10 Hockey Playing Nation with our Men’s National Team qualifying and playing in the World Cup in Sydney in 1994 and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.  Furthermore, they were able to produce very competitive performances on this world stage.  Our National Women’s Team failed to qualify for Atlanta but finished in a magnificent 7th Place at the 1998 World Cup in Utrecht, Holland.

So the recent death of Eddie Latouf at the age of 83 may have passed relatively unnoticed by most of the South African hockey fraternity but we owe the warm, colourful and gregarious Eddie Latouf an enormous debt of gratitude.  Behind the charming exterior was an iron will and determination.  Thank goodness as it engendered a seismic shift in South African hockey!

In 2022 when the Commonwealth Games comes to Durban the spectators watching exciting hockey at a World Class Queensmead Stadium will probably not know that one man’s vision turned into incredible reality, but it will be a fitting legacy for Eddie Latouf’s herculean efforts.

SA Hockey Association media release

Hockey icons’ skills passed to pupils

Nicole John

Current SA men’s hockey player, Miguel de Graca (middle), shares his expertise with KZN schoolgirls.

THE recently held Investec Hockey Academy gave KZN high school hockey enthusiasts a chance to improve their skills by working with various South African hockey players.

The courses featured six Olympian players and two World Cup players as well as SA Men’s Hockey coach, Fabian Gregory, and SA Women’s Hockey U21 coach, Lindsay Wright. The academy coaches used their expertise to provide players with an understanding of what it takes to succeed in women’s sport, and in life.

The academy acts as a platform to identify potential talent which allows players to be noticed in order to grow the sport nationally. The two-day courses provided players with lessons on professionalism, mental toughness, nutrition, functional ability, vision training, recovery techniques and athlete education.

“We try to give young, aspiring hockey stars a glimpse, and start the process of what is required to fine-tune their skills and abilities. I would love to see the natural-born talent we have in abundance in this country be directed in the correct way so we can grow the sport nationally and, subsequently improve our international standing,” said current SA Women’s Hockey player and Investec Hockey Academy’s general manager, Shelley Russell.

The next set of courses will commence on 12 to 16 December at St Mary’s School in Johannesburg. To book, contact Bernadine at 031 940 5565 or visit www.investechockeyacademy.com


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