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News for 26 February 2016

All the news for Friday 26 February 2016

Black Sticks edged by Argentina in second test

Photo: Hernan Pablo Barrios

The Black Sticks Women have been narrowly defeated 1-0 by hosts Argentina in the second of six tests in the coastal town of Mar del Plata.

Coming off Wednesday’s 2-2 draw, both sides were strong on defence with the world number two team able to keep a clean sheet despite some strong attacking hockey from the Black Sticks.

Argentina scored the decisive goal in the 43rd minute with Carla Rebecchi finding the back of the net following some good lead up work from Maria Granatto.

Canterbury’s Sophie Cocks played an impressive game in the midfield and was unlucky to miss out on an equalising blow following a good shot at goal in the final minutes.

Assistant coach Sean Dancer said it was a tough loss and shows the importance of being sharper and more structured going into a double-header on Sunday and Monday (NZ time).

“We did well to create chances but needed to do more with our opportunities in the first and fourth quarters,” he said.

“Argentina’s structure and quick counter attacking gave our defence some headaches and opened up the field a lot throughout the middle of the game.”

The Black Sticks have a rest day before the third test at 11:00am on Sunday morning (NZ time).

The Argentina series serves as an important part of the team’s build-up to the Hawke’s Bay Cup in April, FIH Champions Trophy in June and Rio Olympic Games in August.

ARGENTINA 1: (Carla Rebecchi)
Halftime: 0-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks women beaten by Argentina in low-scoring second test in Mar del Plata

Sophie Cocks shone in the midfield for the Black Sticks in the second test against Argentina. STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

Unconverted goal-scoring opportunities have proved costly for the Black Sticks women in a 1-0 defeat to hosts Argentina in the second of six tests in the coastal town of Mar del Plata.

After a 2-2 draw on Wednesday (NZ time), both sides were strong on defence and the world No 2 Argentinians were able to keep a clean sheet despite some impressive attacking hockey from the Kiwis on Friday.

The home team scored the decisive goal in the 43rd minute, with Carla Rebecchi finding the back of the net following some good lead-up work from Maria Granatto.

Canterbury's Sophie Cocks, who shone in midfield for New Zealand, almost stole a late draw for her side with a strong shot on goal in the final minutes.

Black Sticks assistant coach Sean Dancer said it was a tough loss and showed the importance of being sharper and more structured going into a double-header on Sunday and Monday.

"We did well to create chances but needed to do more with our opportunities in the first and fourth quarters," he said.

"Argentina's structure and quick counter-attacking gave our defence some headaches and opened up the field a lot throughout the middle of the game."

New Zealand have a rest day before the third test at 11am on Sunday morning (NZ time), with matches to follow on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The series serves as an important part of the Kiwis'  build-up to the Hawke's Bay Cup in April, FIH Champions Trophy in June and Rio Olympic Games in August.

Argentina 1 (Carla Rebecchi) New Zealand 0. Halftime: 0-0


Private Property Summer Series: SA women beat Scotland

The South African women's hockey team beat Scotland 2-1 at Hartleyvale in Cape Town Wednesday after leading 1-0 at half-time.

This Test match forms part of the Private Property Summer Series.

Candice Manuel got SA on the scoreboard in the first half with Tanya Britz increasing the lead after the changeover before Scotland captain Rebecca Merchant pulled one back five minutes from the end.

SA Hockey Association media release

Black Sticks Women set for Easter exhibition

The Black Sticks Women will play their first tests of the year on home soil against Canada in Hamilton this Easter weekend.

The Kiwis host the Canadians at the Gallagher Hockey Centre on Sunday 27 and Monday 28 March with both tests at 3pm.

It will be a timely hit-out for the Black Sticks leading into the Hawke’s Bay Cup from 2-10 April, with teams for both series to be named next month.

Tickets are on sale now from just $5 and are cheaper online than at the gate.

Both tests will also be broadcast live on SKY Sport.

Black Sticks Women vs Canada
Match Schedule – Gallagher Hockey Centre, Hamilton

Sunday 27th March (Test 1) - 3:00pm
Monday 28th March (Test 2) - 3:00pm

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Ireland's Senior Men Team to face FRANCE named

Irish Coach, Craig Fulton, has announced his squad to play France next week.  The games will be played at the Merrion Fleet Arena, at Rathdown School

1.       Jonny Bell – Lisnagarvey
2.       Matthew Bell – Banbridge
3.       Drew Carlisle – Banbridge
4.       Chris Cargo – Racing
5.       Peter Caruth - Monkstown
6.       Stephen Cole – Monkstown
7.       Lee Cole – Monkstown
8.       Mitch Darling – TRR
9.       Stuart Loughrey – H&W
10.   Neal Glassey – Lisnagarvey
11.   Paul Gleghorne – Lisnagarvey
12.   Ronan Gormley – Krefeld
13.   David Harte (GK) – Kampong
14.   Alan Sothern – Pembroke Wanderers
15.   Shane O Donoghue – Dragons
16.   Michael Robson – Annadale
17.   Michael Watt – Lisnagarvey
18.   Kirk Shimmins – Pembroke Wanderers
19.   David Fitzgerald (GK) – Monkstown
20.   Gareth Watkins – Monkstown

Match 1 – Tuesday March 1st 19.00
Match 2 – Wednesday march 2nd 18.00

Irish Hockey Association media release

Holcombe closing in on EHL place in England

Holcombe could move within touching distance of a Euro Hockey League place this weekend in the English Premier Division when they meet third placed Surbiton on Saturday evening.

Last weekend, Holcombe were 3-2 winners over East Grinstead while the previously second placed Surbition dropped to a 4-1 defeat to Wimbledon.

It means Holcombe – who feature the likes of Ashley Jackson, Barry Middleton and George Pinner – have a five-point lead over the pack with four games to go with a place in the end of season playoffs already assured.

Win and Holcombe will be able to sew up the title on a double weekend on March 5th and 6th.

It starts a busy period for all the teams with the final four rounds of matches taking place in the next three weeks.

Elsewhere, Hampstead and Westminster face a busy and important weekend as they try to move away from relegation danger, with home games against East Grinstead and Reading on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

In other top flight action last season’s champions Wimbledon go to Beeston on Sunday, while Brooklands Manchester University will want to return to winning ways after the Cannock defeat as they host East Grinstead on Sunday.

Euro Hockey League media release

Cannock battling to avoid the drop

Cannock in defensive action against Surbiton. Credit Tim Reder

After beating in-form Brooklands Manchester University last weekend, Cannock have Canterbury in their sights on Sunday in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Now eighth in the table, they battled back from behind to overcome play-off hopefuls Brooklands last Sunday, and will hope to keep their run going with a win over bottom of the league Canterbury, which could lift them to sixth depending on other results.

“We’re playing good hockey and it has given us confidence and belief,” said Cannock Head Coach Mark Moss. “But we just need to make sure that our defence is solid at all times, even if we’re not playing well.

“It was frustrating to concede four goals last weekend, and although we scored six and got the win, ideally we don’t want to be in that position.

“We’ve got three out of the remaining four games at home, and two of them are teams that are around us in the table. Our rivals also have tough run ins, so we feel that our fate is in our own hands.”

Elsewhere, Hampstead and Westminster face a busy and important weekend as they try to move away from relegation danger, with home games against East Grinstead and Reading on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

A four-game losing streak has seen Hampstead drop into the bottom two, but they will hope to display the sort of form which saw them beat Beeston and Brooklands earlier in the season.

Third-placed Surbiton host leaders Holcombe on Saturday evening as they aim to cement their play-off spot, while Holcombe will want the points to hold on to top spot.

In other top flight action last season’s champions Wimbledon go to Beeston on Sunday, while Brooklands Manchester University will want to return to winning ways after the Cannock defeat as they host East Grinstead on Sunday.

Loughborough Students could be crowned the Men’s Conference North winners this Saturday if they can beat Olton and West Warwickshire. Second-placed Bowdon will be hoping their rivals lose and they beat Sheffield Hallam to keep alive their feint hopes of the title.

Similarly, it’s crunch time for Cardiff and Met, who lead the Men’s Conference West and could seal the title if they win both their games this weekend.

They host Indian Gymkhana on Saturday before heading to Cheltenham on Sunday.

But it is much closer in the Men’s Conference West, where Southgate currently top the table by just one points from Richmond and Sevenoaks.

All three are on the road this Sunday, with Southgate going to Cambridge City, Richmond heading to Brighton and Hove and Sevenoaks providing the opposition for West Herts.

FIXTURES – Saturday, February 27

Men’s Hockey League

Men’s Premier Division
Hampstead and Westminster v East Grinstead 14:00
Surbiton v Holcombe 18:00

Men’s Conference West
Cardiff and Met v Indian Gymkhana 12:30

FIXTURES – Sunday, February 28

Men’s Hockey League

Men’s Premier Division
Cannock v Canterbury 14:00
Beeston v Wimbledon 14:00
Brooklands Manchester University v East Grinstead 14:00
Hampstead and Westminster v Reading 14:00

Men’s Conference West
University of Birmingham v Team Bath Buccaneers 12:30
Isca v Chichester Priory Park 12:30
Cheltenham v Cardiff and Met 12:30
Guildford v Fareham 14:00
Indian Gymkhana v University of Exeter 14:00

Men’s Conference North
Lichfield v Doncaster 13:30
Sheffield Hallam v Bowdon 13:30
Loughborough Students v Olton and West Warwicks 14:00
Preston v Wakefield 14:00
University of Durham v Deeside Ramblers 14:00

Men’s Conference East
Oxted v Bromley and Beckenham 12:45
Brighton and Hove v Richmond 13:00
Cambridge City v Southgate 13:00
West Herts v Sevenoaks 14:00
Harleston Magpies v Teddington 14:00

England Hockey Board Media release

Play-off rivals ready to face off

Clifton's Caitlin Jefferies makes a save against univ of Birmingham. Credit Peter Smith

Clifton are preparing to take on Canterbury in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday, as the season reaches a crucial point for many teams' hopes of reaching the play-offs.

Currently fifth, Clifton have beat leaders the University of Birmingham in the Investec Cup, before losing out to the same opponent in a six-goal thriller last weekend.

“We’ve been playing some good hockey over the last few weeks, and now we’re getting into the last few games of the season it’s all about getting the results we need,” said Clifton captain Aileen Davis.

“The next couple of matches we’re playing teams in second and third, but there are no easy games in this league and we focus on one match at a time.

“We’re in good shape, and although there are one or two niggles in the squad, most teams have injuries at this time of the season.”

Undefeated Surbiton are keen to close the four-point gap the University of Birmingham have established at the top, but won’t have it easy as they take on East Grinstead who themselves are looking to cement a play-off spot.

The University of Birmingham host eight-placed Reading and will be hoping to keep the form that saw them score four goals against Clifton last weekend.

Buckingham will be looking to chalk up their second win of the season against Holcombe and are just one point away from Bowdon Hightown at the bottom of the league. Bowdon will play Leicester, who beat Buckingham 2-0 last time out.

Leaders Slough will clinch the title if they win or draw in the Investec Conference East as they travel to sixth-placed Hampstead and Westminster.

Wimbledon have to keep winning and hope that Slough suffer a drop in form. They face St Albans. At the bottom, Ipswich are still searching for their first win and travel to Harleston Magpies.

It’s second against third in the Investec Conference North as Brooklands Poynton host Beeston. Brooklands only have a two-point lead over their opponents so a tight game is expected. If they win and Wakefield lost to Belper, they could go top. If Whitley Bay and Tynemouth beat Liverpool Sefton they could leapfrog their opponents and climb out of the bottom two.

Sutton Coldfield lead the Investec Conference West by just a single point and have to keep winning if they are to keep Stourport at bay. They both play teams in the bottom half of the table with Sutton Coldfield playing Isca and Stourport facing Olton and West Warwicks.

FIXTURES – Saturday, February 27

Investec Women’s Premier Division
Canterbury v Clifton 11:45
Buckingham v Holcombe 12:00
University of Birmingham v Reading 12:30
East Grinstead v Surbiton 13:30
Bowdon Hightown v Leicester 13:45

Investec Women’s Conference East
Hampstead and Westminster v Slough 12:00
Sevenoaks v Chelmsford 12:00
Maidenhead v Cambridge City 13:30
Wimbledon v St Albans 14:00
Harleston Magpies v Ipswich 14:00

Investec Women’s Conference North
Brooklands Poynton v Beeston 11:45
University of Durham v Loughborough Students 12:00
Whitley Bay and Tynemouth v Liverpool Sefton 12:30
Wakefield v Belper 13:30
Springfields v Ben Rhydding 14:00

Investec Women’s Conference West
Oxford Hawks v Swansea City 12:00
Trojans v Gloucester City 12:00
Isca v Sutton Coldfield 12:30
University of Bristol v Bristol Firebrands 13:00
Stourport v Olton and West Warwicks 14:30

England Hockey Board Media release

Belper Hockey Club attract parents back to the game!

In 2014 Belper HC decided to run Back to Hockey as they wanted to attract new blood to the club and specifically targeted those parents who brought their children to junior sessions. Julie, the clubs Back to Hockey organiser shares with us what they did and how it went.

On organising and promoting

We picked a night and time when the juniors train and put the Back to Hockey sessions on the other side of the pitch to utilise the space and the parents time! We then contacted the parents of all juniors to tell them about the sessions, along with promoting them on our website, social media and placed posters in places like local supermarkets, gyms and leisure centres.

How did the sessions go?

They were really well received! We had mums and dads of the juniors take part plus others who had seen the posters and information on our website. We pitched the sessions so players were able to have a laugh whilst learning new skills and we made sure they didn’t feel out of their depth at any point. At the end of the sessions we supplied Pimms or mulled wine to emphasise the social aspect of the club. A number of the players then indicated they wanted to play regular games for the club so we have been able to field and extra adult team.

What’s next?

We want to maintain Back to Hockey at the club and to keep running regular sessions for those players who don’t want to come straight back into club training.

It was also great to hear from Sarah who has joined the club after giving the Back to Hockey sessions a go. Having stopped playing shortly after University, hockey had been Sarah’s first sporting love in her teens and twenties. So it was no surprise when she encouraged her daughter to attend the clubs junior section. It was here where she found out about Back to Hockey and tells us in her own words how she reacted;

‘When I saw a poster advertising back to hockey I wondered if I dared? It was only the very kind encouragement I received from the organiser that got me to the pitch side one cold evening. The coaching was great, I met and made new friends, and felt exhausted and exhilarated. I asked myself  why had I every stopped playing?

Now two seasons on, I train most Wednesdays and play on Saturdays, and my daughter is playing for the U12s squad that I help support too. All because I did get out of my car that cold evening!’

England Hockey’s national Back to Hockey campaign is taking place from 9th May to 19th June 2016 and it promises to be bigger and better than ever! For full details and to get your club involved click here or speak to you local Relationship Manager whose details can be found here.

England Hockey Board Media release

Broke NYS kicked out of National Hockey League


Boniface Mukunga (left) of National Youth Service (NYS) and Kevin Kibet of Dedan Kimathi University compete for the ball during the national men's hockey league match at City Park on November 14, 2015. The NYS men’s hockey team has been removed from the Kenya Hockey Union National League after failing to honour three consecutive matches owing to financial problems. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |   NATION MEDIA GROUP

The National Youth Service men’s hockey team has been removed from the Kenya Hockey Union National League after failing to honour three consecutive matches.

KHU chairman, Nashon Randiek, said failure by any team to play three matches automatically locks them out of the league as per the rules.

NYS played their last match in October last year during the first leg.

Randiek said the union was left with no choice but to kick them out of the competition.

“The union’s rules and regulations are clear. Any team that fails to honour three matches and therefore, awarding their opponents a walkover, will be shown the door. Based on these rules, they (NYS) are out,” Randiek said.


The chair said the team will only be readmitted if they pay a fine for missing the matches and explain their absence in writing to the league’s executive committee.

Reached for comment, an NYS official, who did not wish to be identified, regretted the development, but was quick to reveal financial constraints had left the team helpless.

The official said: “The team played a few matches in the first leg, but until now, the players are yet to resume training.

“Our hands are tied. The players lack playing kit, allowances and a training field.

We used to partner with Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) to train at their field in past years but we are yet to resume training as the government is yet to pay for the services.”

The official, however, appealed to the government to bail them out.

Daily Nation

Dual NIT Weekend Set for Lancaster and Richmond

LANCASTER, Pa.| RICHMOND, Va. - Club teams will travel to both the north and south to attend one of two National Indoor Tournaments, presented by YOLO Sportswear, being hosted in two different states this weekend. In Lancaster County, Pa. Spooky Nook Sports will see action from both the U-10 Co-Ed and U-12 Co-Ed Divisions while Richmond, Va.'s Greater Richmond Convention Center will host the U-17, U-19 Boys and Adult Divisions. Both events will run from Friday, February 26 to Sunday, February 28.

2016 National Indoor Tournament Event Program
Whether you are looking for the schedule, rosters, results or list of vendors, download the USA Field Hockey App to access the complete NIT Program at your fingertips. Simply go to your mobile device app store and search USA Field Hockey. Download the app and on the upper left hand corner click the three horizontal bars to access the left-side menu and scroll down to NIT Program.

Click here for the web version.

All NIT participants are encouraged to post tournament pictures on their social media accounts, such as Instagram or Twitter. Be sure to tag us at @USAFieldHockey and use the hashtag #NIT2016. Some of our favorite will be featured in a photo gallery!

Stop by the USA Field Hockey Tent!
Have questions about accessing the event program or about the tournament in general? Stop by the USA Field Hockey Tent for the answers. There will even be a drawing to win some awesome USA Field Hockey gear!

USA Field Hockey would like to welcome all athletes, coaches, umpires and hockey fans to Lancaster, Pa. for the U-10 Co-Ed and U-12 Co-Ed National Indoor Tournaments and to Richmond, Va. for the U-17, U-19 Boys and Adult National Indoor Tournaments.

* A parking fee of $5 per vehicle at Spooky Nook Sports will be charged daily, per vehicle for all parking at Spooky Nook Sports. This includes a shuttle ride from the South lot. Parking in the Spooky Nook lot will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. All payment for parking will be processed at the Guest Services Oval, which is located just inside the entrance to the Spooky Nook Sports facility. Satellite parking will also be available in lots located a few miles from the facility. Shuttles will run throughout the day and will be available to return participants to the satellite lot.

USFHA media release

Three reasons for Anderson to celebrate

By Jugjet Singh

ANDERSON Thunderbolts edged Sabah Sports School 5-4 to qualify for the TNB CUP quarter-finals in a nerve-racking encounter at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil Thursday.

Six teams from Division Two are involved in the play-off in Group X and Y, and four will advance to the quarter-finals.

Anderson were the first to achieve the feat as they had beaten Penang MSSPP-USM 10-1 on Wednesday.

Anderson joins three other Thunderbolts from Division One -- SSTMI, BJSS and SSP-MSP -- in the last eight while the other qualifier from Division One is UniKL Young Guns.

Anderson team manager Saiyuti Samad was elated with the fact that they not only made the last eight, but also topped Group B and gained promotion to Division One next year.

"This is a great moment to savour for us because we have achieved three of our goals and are looking forward to play in the knock-out. The goal is, obviously, to advance to the semis," said Saiyuti.

Barely a few months under the Thunderbolts programme sponsored by Tenaga Nasional, Anderson has transformed rapidly to rise to Division One.

"We receive coaching, equipment and allowance support from Tenaga under the Thunderbolts programme and to a certain extent, it helped my boys to become better players in a short span," said Saiyuti.

The Anderson goals were scored by Najme Hayazi (10th, 50th), Akram Hakkam (20th), Fuad Zaquan (57th) and just when the score was tied at 4-4, captain marvel Nur Syahmi Zulkifli delivered the winner in the 65th minute.

Sabah Sports School scored off Muhajir Rauf (16th), Saifuddin Azli (23rd, 48th) and Haziq Asyraaf (60th).

Sabah will now face Penang MSSP-USM today in another exciting Group X play-off and the winner will advance to the quarters.

In Group Y, BJSS Juniors and TBSS Tampin played to a 1-1 draw, and the crucial match between TBSS and Perlis Young Lions Juniors will decide which two teams advance to the quarter-finals.

JHL Division Two Playoffs: Results: Group X: Penang MSSPP-USM 1 Anderson Thunderbolts 10; Group Y: Perlis Young Lions Juniors 3 BJSS Juniors 4.

Group X: Anderson Thunderbolts 5 Sabah Sports School 4; Group Y: BJSS Juniors 1 v TBSS Tampin 1.

FRIDAY: Group X: Sabah Sports School v Penang MSSP-USM (National Stadium Pitch II); Group Y: TBSS Tampin v Perlis Young Lions Juniors (National Stadium Pitch II, 7pm).

GIRLS JHL -- FRIDAY: Group A: SSTMI Thunderbolts v SMK Tun Hussein Onn (SSTMI), Southern Girls v Sabah Sports School (Batu Pahat), SMK Za'aba v Selangor Girls (Kuala Pilah).

Group B: MSN Kedah v YP-MSP-PHP (Padang Serai), SMKGR Highlanders v MSNT-SMKPM (Gunung Rapat), Kuala Lumpur Wipers v SMK Sultan Ibrahim (KLHA).

Note: Matches start at 5pm unless stated.


           P  W  D  L  F   A  Pts
ANDERSON   2  2  0  0  15  5   6
SABAH      1  0  0  1   4  5   0
PENANG     1  0  0  1   1 10   0


             P  W  D  L  F   A  Pts
BJSS JNRS    1  1  0  0  4   3   3
TBSS TAMPIN  1  0  1  0  1   1   1
PERLIS       1  0  0  1  3   4   0

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Pro Hockey League: PHF hopes to hold inaugural event in November

By Nabil Tahir

KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is all set to launch Pakistan’s inaugural Pro Hockey League in November featuring both local and foreign players.

According to PHF secretary Olympian Shahbaz Ahmed Senior, who is part of the new management aiming to revive the national game, youngsters need professional hockey in their own country to enhance their skills and attract others to follow in their footsteps.

“We have been working on this since the start of the year and will be giving a brief plan by mid-March,” Shahbaz told The Express Tribune. “The response during the national championship was better than last year and it shows that players have already begun to come back to the game.”

The secretary further said that sponsors were attracted to the national event as they saw their money used efficiently. “We are already in talks with sponsors and hopefully we’ll be able to attract plenty in order to carry out our plans for the league.”

He added that since Pakistan has not been performing well in the international arena, the league would be a means to increase their confidence by playing with foreigners while helping the country regain its lost glory.

Shahbaz said that the league would be open for foreign players including those from India but believes that some European players will not be willing to participate.

“In the inaugural edition of the league, players mainly from Asian hockey-playing nations will participate as the ones from Europe will be hesitant due to safety concerns,” he said while adding that after a hopefully successful launch of the Pakistan Pro Hockey League, others would be more willing to visit.

The Express Tribune

Dar Academy’s Arslan Qadir tops the scoring charts at the South Asian Games

By Ijaz Chaudhry

Arslan Qadir celebrates scoring against India at the South Asia Games 2016

In this darkest phase of Pakistan hockey, the gold medal at the South Asian Games was welcome news for country’s hockey lovers.
India were the only worthwhile opponents.  Pakistan overcame the traditional rivals twice, in the league and the final.  In the first tie, Arslan Qadir scored both the goals in the 2-1 victory.  While in the final,  the solitary goal netted by the young centre forward  Awaisur Rehman was a deflection off an Arslan Qadir hit. 

With four goals, he also finished as the top scorer at the SAG 2016.

This D.G.Khan lad seems to have developed a knack for scoring against the Indians on the latter’s soil.

When the last time, these two nations met in India, it was that classic semi-final of the 2014 Champions Trophy. Pakistan prevailed in the pulsating encounter 4-3.  With two beautiful striker goals including the match winner, two minutes from the end, Arslan emerged as his side’s hero.  In fact, that live televised match catapulted him to national fame, at least for some period.

This time around Arslan was mostly played at the right out position instead of the centre forward spot but he adjusted well in his new role. He has displayed his liking for the mega occasions on a number of occasions. The first evidence came at the Youth Olympics in 2010. Arsalan played a stellar role in Pakistan winning the silver medal, country’s solitary medal at the games competed by 204 countries in 26 sports. With 10 goals, he had finished as the joint top scorer. 

He gives a great credit to Dar Hockey Academy in polishing his talent in the nascent phase of the career.  “Turning point in my career came when I joined the Lahore based Dar H A in 2008. Excellent training on astroturf was imparted by the coaching team led by Olympian Akhlaq. We, the outstation boys, were also provided with boarding and lodging as well as schooling by the academy.  My game improved a lot during that period”.

His scoring prowess and big match temperament has attracted interest of several clubs outside Pakistan. “I have received offers from English, Malaysian and Bangladeshi leagues but have to put them on hold. I am getting married in March and then there is Pakistan national team’s camp for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup”.

“I hope to become a regular in the national team”.

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey and other sports. For more about him and his work, visit www.sportscorrespondent.info


SA Hockey icons to mentor young players at the Investec Hockey Acedemy

Young hockey players and coaches from the Western Cape can look forward to meeting and working closely with some of SA Hockey’s best former and current, players and coaches on Saturday, 5 and Sunday, 6 March at SACS.

The Investec Hockey Academy aims to provide the best coaching available for young female hockey players in SA. The academy offers courses for school-going players at different levels, providing them with the opportunity to work closely with an impressive line-up of coaches and players, including a number of former World Cup, Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and All Africa Games players.

The coaches featured at the academy are leading goal scorer in women’s international hockey Pietie Coetzee-Turner, SA u21 Women’s Hockey coach Lindsey Wright, double Olympians Shelley Russell and Lloyd Madsen, former SA Women’s Hockey player Roxy Coetzee Turner and Irish player Matt Guise-Brown.

Behind the scenes training is also a feature of the Investec Hockey Academy and specialists Marc Booysen (Vision and Reaction Training specialist), Karen Turner (Sports Psychologist) and former Lions and Sharks Physiotherapist Ruan Fourie will be sharing their expertise with players and coaches.

 “By creating a platform where passionate hockey players can learn and improve their skill by being exposed to diverse and top-level coaching personnel, we hope to create an environment where young players can grow their games,” says SA Women’s Hockey player and general manager of the Investec Hockey Academy Shelley Russell.

The two day courses are more than physical skills training, they allow for personal development through a comprehensive look at current international tactical and technical trends used by professionals, providing an understanding of what it takes to play at the highest level.

The academy offers courses for players at all levels; a Fundamental Players course (aged 8 to 12), an Intermediate Players course (aged 13 to 15), an Advanced Players course (aged 16 to 18) and a Coaches course (all levels).

“The courses we offer work on creating a dynamic well-rounded athlete. Very important aspects such as mental toughness, functional ability, vision training, fitness, nutrition, recovery techniques and athlete education in general are addressed at the academy. These aspects are vital in one’s sporting development,” emphasised Russell.

While the Investec Hockey Academy is a platform for aspiring professional hockey players to be noticed and trained, it is also a platform for female hockey players at all levels to improve their skills and share the camaraderie. 

“Although we try to identify and nurture future hockey stars through the program, we are by no means an elitist programme, and any female players with a desire to improve their hockey expertise are welcome at the Investec Hockey Academy,” says Russell.

The Investec Hockey Academy’s next course will take place on 5 and 6 March at the SACS in Cape Town. To book contact Bernadine on 031 940 5565 or visit www.investechockeyacademy.com

Investec Hockey Academy media release

Outdated AstroTurfs need to be replaced, says IPC minister

Kashif Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) Riaz Hussain Pirzada on Thursday said that AstroTurfs in various hockey grounds of Pakistan were outdated and needed to be replaced.

Speaking during a question hour session at the floor of the House, the federal minister said that currently there were 25 hockey stadiums and all were outdated, adding that athletic field and synthetic track at the Jinnah Sports Complex Islamabad were also in dilapidated condition.

The federal minister was speaking while responding to a supplementary question asked by MNA Naeema Kishwar Khan of the JUI-F.

She had asked the minister that there are reports that through a single contractor, substandard AstroTrufs were laid down at hockey stadiums in Abbottabad, Peshawar and Bannu.

Answering the question, the minister said that in the light of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, sport was now a provincial subject. However, he said that all the AstroTurfs were outdated.

“We don’t have funds to replace them,” Pirzada maintained, adding: “a PC-1 had been submitted and whenever we get funds, the outdated AstroTurfs would be replaced.”

Earlier, responding to a question asked by PPP’s Musarat Rafique Mahesar, the federal minister in his written answers told the House that currently there were 21 cricket and 25 hockey stadiums in the country.

Also, the minister while responding to yet another question asked by MNA Sajida Begum told the House that hockey players were not paid any remuneration for any match.

He, however, said that hockey players were paid daily allowances during any tournaments as per the constitution of the Pakistan Hockey Federation.

He said that during camps for tournaments in Pakistan, each player gets Rs 1000 per day, whereas each player is given Rs1000 per day for any tournament in the country, adding that each player gets Rs 15000 per day in any international event.

Talking about football, the federal minister said that at present no match fee was paid to the national football team by the government.

In the past, the Pakistan Football Federation used to pay US$100 per match to each player in any international match, he further said.

On the other hand, a former hockey player while speaking to Dawn differed with the minister, stating that the AstroTrufs at the Islahuddin Hockey Academy, Karachi, Army Ground Rawalpindi, Custom Ground, Karachi, Hockey Stadium, Bhawalpur, Hockey Stadium, Karachi, Mirpurkhas Hockey Stadium and Lahore Hockey Stadium were relatively far better.

However, he said that there were some hockey grounds wherein any AstroTurf was never laid down.


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