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News for 25 February 2016

All the news for Thursday 25 February 2016

Indian eves beat South Africa in 2 consecutive games

STELLENBOSCH (South Africa): India Under-21 women's hockey produced impressive performances and defeated South Africa in two consecutive matches in their tour to the African nation.

While the Indian eves beat the hosts 3-1 on Tuesday, the visitors thrashed South Africa 8-0 in their second game on .

India will next play Scotland national team on Thursday.

The Times of India

Green Machine To Face France In Dublin

The Green Machine will face France in a 2 match series on March 1st (7pm) and 2nd (6pm) in Rathdown School, Dublin. The match series will be the first chance of 2016 to see Ireland men’s hockey team in action as they continue their preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

France, ranked 17th in the world, are a notoriously difficult side to face and the last time the two teams met the men in green edged the tie with a 4-3 victory. That 4-3 victory came in the opening match of the 2015 Eurohockey Championships where Ireland went on to claim Bronze medals for the first time in history.  But the two sides have always enjoyed tight battles and Ireland will be looking to turn the tide in this home series; the last 2-match series saw the teams meet in Lille in May where France snatched the series with a 1-0 victory and a 3-3 draw.

Speaking about the upcoming series head coach Craig Fulton said “We look forward to playing France in Dublin a month after our warm weather camp in South Africa. France are a very attacking team and we enjoy playing against them, and it will be a good challenge for us playing at home. We looking to build on all we did in South Africa and reach the same, if not a higher, level of performance in the next two games”

This two match series is the ideal opportunity to see Ireland’s Olympic hockey team and meet the players in post-match autograph signings. Come along and support the Green Machine!

Tickets are priced at €5 per adults, school children are free, and all tickets will be available at the gate.

Please note the squad for the series will be announced tomorrow morning.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Veteran Black Sticks on selection outer

Andy Hayward of New Zealand celebrates scoring a goal. Photo / Getty Images

Three of New Zealand's most decorated hockey players are on the outer, less than six months out from the Rio Olympics.

It's understood the Black Sticks' most capped player Phil Burrows, long-time midfielder Steve Edwards and veteran defender Andy Hayward have missed out on national contracts.

They won't feature in the men's side's first matches of the year next month and their place in the overall pecking order will be confirmed when the Black Stick squads are finally released next week.

There's still a chance the trio could earn a trip to Rio, but now barring injuries, it's unlikely.

The New Zealand Herald

Field Hockey Canada honours 2015 player award winners

Shaheed Devji

The Canadian Men’s and Women’s National Program Players of the Year and Top Goals Scorers were announced and honoured at an event Tuesday night in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Winning the Senior Player of the Year award is David Carter for the men, and Brienne Stairs for the women. Balraj Panesar (men) and Stephanie Norlander (women) took Junior Player of the Year honours, while Scott Tupper, Norlander and Thea Culley were Top Goal Scorers for their respective programs.

David Carter – 2015 Men’s National Team Player of the Year

Carter’s year was incredibly memorable and was highlighted by his performance at the 2015 International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League Semifinal in Argentina. Commentators regarded his performance at the tournament as the best individual goalkeeping performance they had ever seen.

The Canadians upset the New Zealand Blacksticks in the tournament quarterfinal, a win which would eventually earn Canada a spot at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Brienne Stairs – 2015 Women’s National Team Player of the Year

Brienne Stairs has become a perennial contender for the Women’s National Team awards, having won Top Goal Scorer honours in 2014.

Last year, not only was she a threat offensively, creating offense from both the forward and midfield position, and was a leader both on and off the field.

Stairs’ year was capped by scoring the winning goal in the bronze medal match at the 2015 Pan American Games, giving the Canadian their first medal at the Games since 1999.

Scott Tupper – 2015 Men’s National Team Top Goal Scorer

Team captain Scott Tupper had an historic year, scoring a whopping 14 international goals.

He played in his 200th international match for Canada while at World League Round 2 and scored a hat trick in that very game, leading his team to a win in the quarterfinal against Italy.

Tupper was clinical in the dragflick position and cemented his spot as one of the world’s best flickers.

His defensive prowess and leadership shone through at the World League Round 3 in Argentina, and his goal scoring was once again on display at the 2015 Pan American Games and Hockey World League Final in India later in 2015.

Stephanie Norlander, Thea Culley – 2015 Women’s National Team Top Goal Scorers

With eight goals a piece, Stephanie Norlander and Thea Culley tied as Women’s National Team top goal scorers in 2015. Both Norlander and Culley started the year off on a positive note at World League Round 2 in Ireland, where Norlander scored in two consecutive shootouts to help Canada advance to the World League Semifinal.

The two continued to score big goals and lead the Canadian women to victory and the bronze medal at the Pan Am Games.

Stephanie Norlander – 2015 Women’s National Team Junior Player of the Year

Norlander, who scored a hat-trick in the opening game win at the Pan Am Games, was also named Junior Player of the Year as her stellar year came as a junior playing at the senior level.

Balraj Panesar – 2015 Men’s National Team Junior Player of the Year

In 2014, Balraj Panesar was part of the Under-18 men’s team that won silver at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. He followed up in 2015 leading the way as the Junior Men’s National Team began its preparation for a big 2016.

Panesar, the younger brother of senior National Team member Sukhi, was a part of the Canadian junior squad that swept the Americans in a four-game series last summer.

He also gained a fair amount of senior experience during the year and will undoubtedly be counted on as the Junior Men’s National Team aims for a Junior World Cup spot at the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship in Toronto, Ontario this May.

International achievements also recognized

Field Hockey Canada also honoured athletes who were recognized with international accolades in 2015.

On the men’s side, David Carter was named Player and Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the 2015 International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League Semifinal in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His performance led the Canadians to a fourth place finish at the tournament.

Additionally, Carter was joined by teammate Sukhi Panesar as one of the FIH’s 2015 Hockey Stars nominees. The Hockey Stars are the international body’s annual award recognizing the world’s best player in their position.

Carter was nominated for Goalkeeper of the Year and Panesar was nominated for Rising Star of the Year.

On the women’s side, Hannah Haughn and Kaitlyn Williams were recognized for winning Top Young Player and Top Goalkeeper of the Tournament, respectively, at World League Round 2 in Ireland.

Also honoured at Tuesday’s event were the member’s of the Canadian Men’s and Women’s National Team named to the Pan American Hockey Federation’s 2015 Elite Team.

PAHF names an Elite Team every two years and seven Canadians were recognized in 2015. Carter, Adam Froese, Gabriel Ho-Garcia, and Scott Tupper made the men’s team, and Stairs, Abigail Raye and Karli Johansen were named to the women’s team.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Junior women add two to Pan Am roster with Rae and Harris off to New Zealand

Shaheed Devji

The Canadian Junior Women’s National Team that will be headed to Trinidad and Tobago for the 2016 Junior Women’s Pan American Championship at the end of March has added goalkeeper Robin Fleming and forward Jordyn Faiczak to its roster after Rowan Harris and Thora Rae were selected to represent the senior National Team at the same time in New Zealand.

Things are progressing rapidly for Rae and Harris, who began the year competing for the Junior National Team in Chile as a tune up for the Junior Pan Ams.  Just a month later and their focus has now shifted to the senior team.

Harris was one of three junior athletes to play her first senior international match for Canada in a four-game series with the United States earlier this month (the others were Alexis de Armond and Nikki Woodcroft). Rae is slated to play her first in the senior tour to New Zealand.

“Off the back of a positive debut series, Rowan’s performances demand more senior exposure,” says senior Women’s National Team head coach Ian Rutledge. “Young Thora Rae has impressed in both the U21 Chile Series and Women’s National Team trainings and has demanded our attention and that her performances be rewarded.

The Women’s National Team will be competing in the Hawke’s Bay tournament in New Zealand from April 2-10, where they will face six of the teams that will be competing in the women’s field hockey tournament at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil later this year.

Harris and Rae were previously named to the Junior Women’s National Team set to compete at the Junior Pan American Championships, a Junior Women’s World Cup qualifier, in Trinidad and Tobago from March 29-April 10.

“Following Rowan and Thora’s inclusion in the senior team, we have been able to call upon Robin Fleming and Jordan Faiczak as replacements,” adds Rutledge. “This will mean that we have been able to provide our next best 24 junior players with the exposure and opportunity to develop and push their way into the senior team.”

Field Hockey Canada media release

Chasing the Dream with USWNT athlete Lauren Crandall

As part of our weekly Wednesday Chasing the Dream posts, we’ll be featuring a USWNT athlete up until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The ball is launched wildly upward, spinning dizzily out of control leaving her teammates’ mouths partially agape in awe and wonder if she’ll be able to repossess the pass. Out of nowhere, in her Team USA uniform, Lauren Crandall positions herself underneath the spiraling ball, to connect it with her foot; on purpose.

Oh, you haven’t heard?

Hacky sack is a USWNT pregame tradition carried on since Crandall’s induction onto the team in 2005. But Crandall isn’t just the captain of the hack crew. She also wears the highly regarded band around her shin guard for the U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team.

In her teenage years, moving from Pittsburgh back to Philadelphia with her family, Crandall’s friends introduced her to the sport of hockey. Her neighbor Colleen’s premonition in middle school regarding Crandall’s hockey career path stuck with her. 

“Our neighbor at the time said, ‘You’re going to get a scholarship someday. You’re going somewhere with field hockey. I’m telling you. You understand the game.’ And I’m like, what? I don’t get anything about this sport. I’m not even sure about the rules.”

Colleen kept repeating these votes of confidence from 8th grade to high school until Crandall did fulfill her fate of earning a scholarship and graduating college in 2007 as a Wake Forest University Field Hockey athlete.

“It’s crazy that she saw that in me,” said Crandall.

During the course of her hockey timeline, many people have seen something special in Crandall.

The Doylestown, Pa. native completed her four-year career as a Deacon with a pair of NCAA national championships in 2003 and 2004 before moving onto Team USA full-time. The USWNT defender and two-time Olympian captained the Team USA at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Staying busy off of the pitch in an effort to further her education, Crandall has also earned her graduate degree from the DeVry University Keller Graduate School of Management. She currently applies this degree as a Marketing Specialist for Ecore when she’s not on tour with Team USA. Aggressive and motivated in every facet of her life, Crandall keeps an air of humor with her.

“As I have gone further on in my career, I’ve moved farther back on the field,” said Crandall chuckled. “I don’t know what that really means, but the only position I haven’t played is goalie. And that’s the only place I have left to go to. That’s as far back as it takes me. I think I’ll stop before that happens.”

Crandall is many things to many different people.

To her young niece and nephews she is Aunt Lala. “You go bye-bye back to work. You go play hockey,” repeats Harrison, her nephew, every time she leaves for an event. 

To her old hockey friends she is a standout baker already creating five USWNT wedding cakes. She put her baking days on the back burner in order to focus on her nutrition plan going into Rio which caused surprise. “It’s like you’re canceling Christmas on us,” commented a friend.

To her teammates, she is a leader. She is the captain.
When Crandall was first named dual captain of the squad in 2011, it was a transition period. Kate Barber had been the captain and from this point, the team had always had a mono captain system.

At first, Crandall was focused on what it meant to be in the captain role, the on-field responsibilities, but not necessarily the leadership that went with it. In 2012, after she had captained the team at the 2011 Pan American Games, her mindset changed. She wanted to learn how she could better lead the squad.

“My teammates will tell you I’m a talker,” said Crandall. “Sometimes I talk too much. If there’s something that needs to get done, I just start talking because I want to get it done. But what I’ve learned in these last few years is that listening is a leadership quality and skill that could be a lot more useful than just talking. I’m trying to develop my listening so that I can understand my teammates’ wants and needs and make decisions as a team. My progression of that would be from a mono captain system to okay, I wear a captain’s band now but all that means is during the coin toss I guess heads or tails. We’re a squad of 23 people that decide things together and different people lead at different times. My job is to allow that to happen. As the technical captain of the team, I think that’s the best thing I can do.”

While guiding the team into the 2016 Olympic cycle, Crandall has big goals for Team USA.

“This time I don’t just want to go to the Olympics,” said Crandall. “I’ve been there two times. I want to make a statement at the Olympics. I want to medal. My focus is very process oriented on that.”

It’s a spot she hasn’t let herself think about mentally yet.  

“There are 16 Olympic roster spots and everyone is trying to win one of them,” said Crandall. “We train every single day, twice a day and I think it’s healthy to have competition for every one of those spots. For everyone to think, ‘I have to win my way onto that roster. I have to be better than I was yesterday’ makes us stronger as a whole.”

Whether wearing the captain’s band or not, she carries the kind of commitment and grit one looks to emulate to be the best pitch player possible.

USFHA media release

Bachmann's on-field success continues into her coaching career

Tina Bachmann's success on the field has followed her into coaching (Photo: hockey.de)

Tina Bachmann needs no introduction to hockey fans. The double Olympian is a national hero in Germany and hugely respected by players and fans across the hockey-playing world. Now she is turning her hand to coaching with equal amounts of success.

Bachmann started coaching HTC Uhlenhorst Mulheim in 2014 and, just 18 months later, her team won the German Indoor Clubs Championships. This is a big deal in Germany as indoor hockey is taken very seriously and the club scene is highly competitive.

“We spend much more time preparing for indoor in Germany than they do in other countries,” explains Bachmann. “In the Netherlands where I played for Oranje Zwart, we maybe trained for a month before the club indoor championships. In Germany we start training three months ahead of the competition.

“It is getting tougher because the outdoor schedule is intense, but I believe that the indoor game has a very positive impact on the way we play the outdoor game, so we continue to put in a lot of effort into the indoor game.”

HTC Uhlenhorst Mulheim’s victory was made an even bigger deal because it is the first time a woman has coached a team to the gold medal in this competition and Bachmann’s success, so early in her coaching career, is making waves in a sport where female coaches at the top level are far and few between.

Why there are so few coaches is something that Bachmann feels unqualified to comment on. “I have no idea. All I know is that I have always loved coaching. I coached the junior boys at this club years ago, and now they are grown-ups playing in the men’s team. Coaching has just always been something I have been interested in.”

The structure is in place for Bachmann’s coaching career. Like all the national team players, she has a second career. In the morning she teaches mathematics, German and Physical Education in a primary school. In the afternoon she coaches her club team.

“For me there is no difference who I am coaching,”says Bachmann. “Whether it is the U18 men’s team, the U16 women’s team or the senior men’s team, it is all about hard work and pushing yourself. That was Tina Bachmann as a player and that is Tina Bachmann now. I might make some adaptations when I am coaching men because they are more physical and stronger, but my philosophy is simple - I am a coach that always wants to win and I ask a lot from the players. I am pretty hard – on myself and on others.”

Bachmann says she has learnt a lot in the first 18 months of her coaching career. “I have gradually distanced myself from the players so I can take a wider view. For example, as a player and as a coach I like structure. But I know there are creative players who like flexibility and freedom and to work outside the structure. It scares me, but I know they are really important for the team.”

Hockey is a sport that prides itself on inclusiveness therefore the fact that Bachmann has achieved such success with a men's team is of no surprise. Reflecting on her progression from the field to the sidelines and offering advice to those who want to get into coaching, she said: "For me, as a teacher, it was not difficult to get into coaching, it is just something that I have always wanted to do. For a woman, or a man, looking to get into coaching I would suggest getting involved with your club and then just learn as much as you can - from other coaches, from players and by going on coaching courses. I learn something new as a coach every day."

The past 18 months have certainly been a sharp learning curve. Bachmann pays tribute to the knowledge she has gleaned from the FIH Coaching Academy, but also says that she has had tremendous support from the other coaching staff and management at the club. Where her coaching career will take her is anyone’s guess, but she says she is not ruling anything out. Based on this initial success, Tina Bachmann’s coaching career could turn out to be as glittering as her playing career.

Bachmann's story is yet another example of the progress being made in the sport of hockey, progress that is driving the International Hockey Federation's Hockey Revolution. This 10 year strategy is aimed at making hockey a global game that inspires the next generation and highlighting such success is key to engaging and motivating others to get involved in hockey.

For more information about the Hockey Revolution, click here.

More information about hockey in Germany can be found here.

FIH site

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