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News for 08 March 2016

All the news for Tuesday 8 March 2015

Black Sticks Men edged in second test

Photo: www.photosport.nz

Malaysia have levelled the four test series with a 3-2 win over the Black Sticks Men in tonight’s second test at Blake Park in Tauranga.

After coming away convincing 4-1 winners in yesterday’s opener, the Black Sticks couldn’t slow the resurgent visitors who were never behind on the scoreboard.

Despite the result, it was a special milestone for Capital Cobras striker Blair Hilton who earned his 150th international cap.

Head coach Colin Batch said it was a disappointing result and performance.

“It was a very disappointing game for us. We were looking to play four good matches and as we have seen in the past we’ve had a good result and then not performed the next game,” Batch said.

“At 2-2 we had some momentum and it was disappointing we allowed them to come back into the game with too many rushed and emotional decisions in defence. We need to improve greatly around overcoming those situations.”

The opening quarter saw another slow start for the Black Sticks with Malaysia enjoying the majority of possession and earning a penalty corner in just the second minute. Captain Razie Rahim put his flick into the back of the goal to give the visitors an early advantage.

The Black Sticks built some momentum in the second quarter and the pressure told in the 21st minute when they were awarded a stroke, which Hugo Inglis calmly slotted to level the score.

With the game locked up 1-1 at halftime, it was Malaysia who were next to strike when Joel van Huizen found himself in the right spot to knock in an aerial cross in the circle.

Eight minutes from fulltime defender Cory Bennett created some magic to equalise again, pouncing on his own penalty corner deflection to put the ball into the roof of the net on his reverse stick.

But Malaysia silenced the crowd in the 55th minute when Rahim scored his second goal of the game with another penalty corner flick which sealed the result.

The Black Sticks have a rest day tomorrow ahead of the third test against Malaysia on Wednesday at 6pm, tickets are still available through www.dashtickets.co.nz

The Black Sticks vs Malaysia series is proudly supported by the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT).

BLACK STICKS 2: (Hugo Inglis, Cory Bennett)
MALAYSIA 3: (Razie Rahim 2, Joel van Huizen)
Halftime: 1-1

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Tauranga 2nd Test: Malaysia 3 NZ 2

By Jugjet Singh

THE national seniors team bounced back from a 4-1 hammering to beat New Zealand 3-2 in the second Test in Tauranga Thursday.

Razie Rahim, who scored in the first Test, delivered two more penalty corner goals while the third was scored by Joel van Huizen.

Coach Stephen van Huizen said: "We started off really well as Razie scored a goal in the second minute and we pretty much had the match under our control."

MHC Technical Director Terry Walsh believes the result indicates that the team is getting stronger, both physically and mentally.

"They never went behind and always held a lead. NZ is not an easy team, and they are in the midst of preparation for the Rio Olympics. So to beat a team ranked higher in an environment favourable to them, clearly states that the players are now beginning to develop a sense of confidence about their ability", Terry added.

Malaysia will play their Third Test against NZ on Wednesday.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Malaysia snatch a win in hockey Test with New Zealand

KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim scored a brace to steer Malaysia to a 3-2 win over New Zealand in their second Test hockey match.

With the win, Malaysia levelled the series at 1-1. New Zealand, who will feature in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August, were 4-1 winners in the opening match on Sunday.

At the Blake Park in Tauranga on Monday, Mohd Razie gave Malaysia the lead after only two minutes. The Kiwis, however, managed to equalise through Hugo Inglis in the 21st minute.

In the second half, Joel Samuel van Huizen put Malaysia in front again with a 43rd minute strike. But eight minutes later, Cory Bennett cancelled out Malaysia’s advantage.

Penalty corner specialist Mohd Razie then came to Malaysia’s rescue, scoring in the 55th minute to clinch victory.

National head coach Stephen Van Huizen was pleased with the team’s significant improvement in the second match.

“We can improve further if our communication and organisation is better,” said the former international.

Malaysia will play another two more matches against New Zealand.

The tour is part of Malaysia’s build-up to the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from April 6-16.

The Star of Malaysia

Scrappy NZ pegged back in series

By Stuart Whitaker

Striker Shay Neal gets through the Malaysian defence. Photo/Andrew Warner.

The Black Sticks men slumped to a 3-2 defeat against Malaysia in the second game in the four-test series at the Tauranga Hockey Centre at Blake Park last night.

It leaves the series balanced at one game each with two to play after the Black Sticks won Sunday's first game 4-1.

As they did on Sunday, the Black Sticks started slowly, conceding inside two minutes with Malaysian skipper Razie Rahim converting a penalty corner won after some neat footwork by Firhan Ashari on the left.

Shay Neal and Hugo Inglis shone early for the Black Sticks, but goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex was also called into action several times, with the Malaysians winning two more penalty corners, and from a shot by Azuan Hasan who found himself in space in front of goal.

George Muir and Arun Panchia combined well to create one of the Black Sticks' best equalising chances early in the second quarter as the New Zealanders looked to exert more pressure.

Moments after a penalty corner claim was waved away, the home side got their first and, while the shot from Nic Woods produced an excellent save, the ball was put in the net at the same time as a penalty stroke was awarded, Inglis stepping up to score the equaliser.

More pressure and a series of penalty corners went unconverted and the teams were equal at the break.

Early in the second half, a pin-point through ball to Neal could have seen the New Zealanders take the lead. The Black Sticks survived a two-minute sin binning for Inglis, but moments after he returned a shot was deflected into the net by Joel van Huizen for the Malaysians to retake the lead.

The New Zealanders were guilty of too many wayward passes and looked rusty and unfamiliar with one another, making it difficult to build pressure, but in the final quarter managed to win a series of penalty corners from which their second equaliser came, scored by Cory Bennett after a fine save had prevented Woods scoring his second.

The lead appeared to have been short lived when the Malaysians had the ball in the net a few moments later, only for the goal to be ruled out for an earlier infringement. But the visitors did not have to wait for long to re-establish their lead, Ramadan Rosli firing home with some power.

Goalkeeper Pontifex was withdrawn from the game with just under five minutes to go as the Black Sticks pushed for a third equaliser with an extra outfield player, but the gamble did not pay off.

The game was the 150th for striker Blair Hunter, but it won't be one he remembers fondly, as he spent two minutes in the sin bin during the final quarter.

The two teams have a day off today and resume the series tomorrow with the concluding game scheduled for Thursday, both at the Tauranga Hockey Centre starting at 6pm.

Bay of Plenty Times

Malaysia level series with Black Sticks

Blair Hilton. Photo / Greg Bowker

Malaysia have levelled the four test series with a 3-2 win over a below-par men's Black Sticks in last night's second test at Blake Park in Tauranga.

After coming away convincing 4-1 winners in yesterday's opener, the Black Sticks couldn't slow the resurgent visitors who were never behind on the scoreboard.

Despite the result, it was a special milestone for Capital striker Blair Hilton who earned his 150th international cap.

Head coach Colin Batch was unimpressed, describing it as a disappointing result, and performance.

"It was a very disappointing game for us. We were looking to play four good matches and as we have seen in the past we've had a good result and then not performed the next game," Batch said.

"At 2-2 we had some momentum and it was disappointing we allowed them to come back into the game with too many rushed and emotional decisions in defence.

We need to improve greatly around overcoming those situations."

The world No 8 Black Sticks began slowly and were behind, to a Razie Rahim penalty corner in the second minute.

Hugo Inglis equalised with a penalty stroke after 21 minutes but Malaysia, ranked No 13, regained the initiative in the third quarter through Joel van Huizen.

Eight minutes from fulltime defender Cory Bennett created some magic to equalise again, pouncing on his own penalty corner deflection to put the ball into the roof of the net on his reverse stick.

But Malaysia silenced the crowd five minutes from the end when Rahim nailed his second goal of the game with another penalty corner flick.

The third match is at the same venue on Wednesday night.

The New Zealand Herald

Black Sticks men fall short in second test against Malaysia

The Black Sticks were let down by some poor defence during the second test against Malaysia. MARTY MELVILLE/PHOTOSPORT

Malaysia have hit back to level the four-test series against the Black Sticks men after clinching a 3-2 victory in the second game in Tauranga on Monday night.

Having cruised to a 4-1 victory in Sunday's series opener, the Kiwis were brought back to earth at Blake Park by a determined Malaysian outfit who were never behind on the scoreboard.

And coach Colin Batch was left bemoaning a lack of consistency from the home side.

"It was a very disappointing game for us. We were looking to play four good matches and as we have seen in the past we've had a good result and then not performed the next game," Batch said.

"At 2-2 we had some momentum and it was disappointing we allowed them to come back into the game with too many rushed and emotional decisions in defence. We need to improve greatly around overcoming those situations."

The Black Sticks were on the back-foot from the outset, conceding a goal from a penalty corner by Malaysia skipper Razie Rahim after just two minutes.

The hosts built some momentum in the second quarter and the pressure told in the 21st minute when they were awarded a stroke, which Hugo Inglis calmly slotted to level the score.

Malaysia regained the lead after the break when Joel van Huizen found himself in the right spot to knock in an aerial cross in the circle.

Eight minutes from fulltime defender Cory Bennett created some magic to equalise again, pouncing on his own penalty corner deflection to put the ball into the roof of the net on his reverse stick.
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But Malaysia had the final say in the 55th minute when Rahim scored his second goal of the game with another penalty corner flick which sealed the result.

The third test of the series is on Wednesday at 6pm.

New Zealand 2 (Hugo Inglis, Cory Bennett) lost to Malaysia 3 (Razie Rahim 2, Joel van Huizen). HT: 1-1


FIH confirms location, teams and schedule for men’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2016

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, England to host men's event between 10-17 June

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is pleased to confirm that the men’s Hockey Champions Trophy will take place at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in England from 10-17 June 2016.

As a result, sports fans will now be able to experience two weeks of action-packed, world-class hockey, with the women’s Hockey Champions Trophy taking place immediately afterwards, from 18-26 June.

This year’s men’s showcase event will see Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, India and Korea go head to head as they battle it out to be crowned the best of the best as Hockey Champions Trophy winners.

Speaking about this announcement FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather said: “Following the hugely successful 2012 Olympic Games and more recently the Unibet EuroHockey Championships held in this venue we know that England Hockey and all of their partners will truly embrace the FIH Hockey Revolution’s vision of creating innovative and exciting events for our fans. This is key to our aim of making hockey a global game that inspires the next generation.”

He continued: “This is the first FIH event to be held here as part of a three event series in addition to the 2017 men’s Hockey World League Semi-Final and the women’s Hockey World Cup in 2018. We are reaching out to sports fans and asking them to join us, particularly this year as we get the Rio Olympic festivities underway right here in the legacy venue in London’s Olympic Park.”

The opening day of play sees hosts Great Britain, currently ranked fourth in the FIH World Rankings (based on England’s position), get their campaign started against the world’s top ranked team - reigning World Cup and World League champions Australia.

Some mouth-watering action then gets Saturday 11 June off to a flyer as reigning Olympic and defending champions Germany (ranked third) go head to head against Hero Hockey World League Final 2015 runners-up Belgium (ranked fifth).

Other schedule highlights include a rerun of the 2014 Hero Hockey Champions Trophy semi-final between Germany and Australia on Monday 13 June, before the all-Asian derby between 2014 Asian Games champions India (ranked seventh) and 2014 Champions Challenge winners Korea (ranked ninth) takes place the following day.

The round-robin games will conclude on Thursday 16 June before the classification games begin the next day, with the final taking place at 20:15 on Friday 17 June.

With the line-ups and location now set for both the men’s and women’s Hockey Champions Trophies, the stage is set for two truly epic competitions.

These will be the last major international hockey events before many of these teams meet again at the Rio 2016 Olympics. With the matches taking place in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, host of the 2012 Games, the Hockey Champions Trophy will officially kick off the sport’s Olympic celebrations.

Fans are being encouraged to make sure they don’t miss out on world-class hockey in one of the most exciting cities in the world. Tickets for the women’s event are on sale now and can be purchased online here. Men’s tickets will go on sale here on Tuesday 15 March.

To see the full match schedule and other information about the two events, visit the Champions Trophy 2016 official event websites.

#HCT2015 #BestOfTheBest

FIH site

Champions Trophy returns to six team format

Once considered third best field hockey competition, the Champions Trophy will return to sport six-team round robin format this year when it comes to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, England.

The elite event will be held between 10-17 June

When conceived in the late 70s, Champions Trophy was a field of world's best six teams played on round robin basis, before knock out ranking matches were added in the early 90s.

After 2010, the event was reduced to biannual with eight teams played on two pools with quarterfinal and other ranking matches. The FIH has now reverted to the 70s. Only six teams will take part at London which was originally allotted to Argentina.

On the opening day, India will engage Germany.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is pleased to confirm that the men’s Hockey Champions Trophy will take place at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in England from 10-17 June 2016.

This year’s men’s showcase event will see Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, India and Korea go head to head as they battle it out to be crowned the best of the best as Hockey Champions Trophy winners. India's Match Schedule
10th June Vs Germany
11th June Vs Great Britain
13th June Vs Belgium
14th June Vs South Korea
16th June Vs Australia
17th June Ranking Matches


Spirited Black Sticks Women’s squad named

Photo: www.photosport.nz

Black Sticks Women’s head coach Mark Hager has confirmed the 2016 National Squad in the lead-up to the Rio Olympic Games in August.

Having just returned home following their series win over world number two ranked Argentina, the Black Sticks now switch focus to two tests against Canada over Easter and the Hawke’s Bay Cup in April.

It’s one of the strongest and most experienced squads named in recent years with four players who have played more than 200 internationals.

Experienced campaigners Kayla Whitelock and Emily Naylor, who have 498 caps between them, have both been named along with Anita Punt (222) and Gemma Flynn (224).

Hager said selections were extremely tough given the depth of players that has been built over the past few years.

“This is a really strong group of athletes who are vying for Rio Olympic selection later in the year. We have built great depth and healthy competition between all squad members,” he said.

“The experience within this group will greatly benefit all players as they strive to become better and push hard for the final selection ahead of Rio.

“All squad members are looking forward to the challenge Rio will present and are excited about what opportunities will come over the next six months.”

Whitelock impressed during the recent six test Argentina series in what was her first taste of international hockey since the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Following the Glasgow Games she took a hiatus from the sport which included the birth of daughter Addison, but is now fully committed to helping the Black Sticks achieve their goals.

“I believe this is the strongest squad I've been involved in to date with really tough competition for spots leading into Rio,” Whitelock said.

“I’m excited about the challenge of continuing to work my way back into the team. I know it’s not going to be easy and a lot has changed since I played last.

“As a team we have great confidence for this year with genuine belief we can achieve something special at the Olympics.”

Next up for the Black Sticks Women on the road to Rio are two tests against Canada on Sunday 27 and Monday 28 March at the Gallagher Hockey Centre in Hamilton.

Leading on from that is the Hawke’s Bay Cup in Hastings from 2-10 April where the Black Sticks (ranked 4th) will battle it out for the title along with Australia (3rd), China (5th), Korea (9th), Japan (10th), India (13th), Ireland (15th) and Canada (19th).

Teams for both events will be named later this month.

















Sophie COCKS




















Shiloh GLOYN





Jordan GRANT










Charlotte HARRISON











North Harbour









Julia KING





Olivia MERRY





Rachel McCANN















Brooke NEAL





Kirsten PEARCE

North Harbour




Anita PUNT
















North Harbour









 2016 WOMEN’S DEVELOPMENT SQUAD               






Michaela CURTIS





Stephanie DICKINS

North Harbour




Maddie DOWE






North Harbour




Tessa JOPP




















Kelsey SMITH










Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks name squad for Rio

Anita Punt. Photo / Paul Taylor.

An impressive squad of 25 have been named by Black Sticks women's coach Mark Hager to prepare for the Rio Olympics.

It is among the strongest groups named in recent times, with four players who have accumulated more than 200 internationals.

Experienced Central pair Kayla Whitelock and Emily Naylor have 498 caps between then, while Midlands attacker Gemma Flynn has 224 and pocket rocket midfielder Anita Punt has played 222.

Hager said selections had been tough, given the depth of players built up in the last few years.

"His is a really strong group of athletes who are vying for Rio Olympic selection later in the year. We have built great depth and healthy competition between all squad members," he said.

"The experience within this group will greatly benefit all players as they strive to become better and push hard for the final selection ahead of Rio.

"All squad members are looking forward to the challenge Rio will present and are excited about what opportunities will come over the next six months."

New Zealand, world ranked No 4, have two internationals against Canada coming up on March 27 and 28 in Hamilton, followed by the Hawkes Bay Cup, featuring eight of the world's leading nations, in Hastings, starting on April 2.

New Zealand women's squad for 2016:
Amelia Gibson, Charlotte Harrison, Julia King, Liz Thompson (Auckland), Georgia Barnett, Emily Naylor, Kayla Whitelock (Central), Sam Charlton, Natasha Fitzsimons, Gemma Flynn, Shiloh Gloyn, Rose Keddell, Sally Rutherford (Midlands), Jordan Grant, Pippa Hayward, Olivia Merry, Rachel McCann, Sophie Cocks (Canterbury), Ella Gunson, Brooke Neal, Stacey Michelsen (Northland), Kat Henry, Kirsten Pearce, Petrea Webster (North Harbour), Anita Punt (Capital).

The New Zealand Herald

Surbiton dominate as Rupert Shipperley and Giselle Ansley shine

By Mike Haymonds

Rupert Shipperley scored twice to guide Surbition to a 2-1 Premier Division victory at Reading. HockeyImages

SURBITON'S Wales international Rupert Shipperley scored a double in his side’s 2-1 win at Reading which took them above their opponents into second place and brought them a second success on the Premier Division’s double header weekend.

Shipperley said: “We’re starting to get the momentum and progressing in the right direction, leading up to the play-offs, after three defeats in February.”

On Saturday Surbiton won 5-1 at East Grinstead with Dave Beckett and Alan Forsyth, the Premier ’s leading scorer, both twice on target. On Saturday Reading beat Cannock 3-2, thanks to a penalty corner strike by Richard Mantell in the last action of the game.

Holcombe clinched the league title – in their first Premier season – with wins against Brooklands MU (3-1) and Beeston (4-1) to remain unbeaten while Wimbledon, last season’s champions, sealed the fourth play-off berth with victories over Hampstead & Westminster (1-0) and East Grinstead (2-1).

At the foot of the table Canterbury‘s weekend double – 4-3 against Beeston and 3-2 over Brooklands MU – gave them hope of a late escape act and sent Cannock, who suffered two defeats to two points below them. East Grinstead and Beeston, who meet next weekend, could still be dragged into the relegation play-off place.

Surbiton women’s two wins over the weekend initially helped them overtake University of Birmingham with a 3-1 win against Clifton and then a 4-1 victory over Bowdon Hightown consolidated their lead in the Investec Premier Division and increased their points advantage over Canterbury to three with two games to play. Surbiton stretched their unbeaten league run to 38 games dating back to February 2014.

Olivia Chilton and Great Britain international Giselle Ansley scored for them on both days with Sarah Page, Georgie Twigg and Jenna Woolven also on target. Canterbury’s 3-2 win against bottom team Buckingham also took them above the Students who drew 2-2 with East Grinstead.

The leading trio are already assured of play-off places while Holcombe and East Grinstead are vying for the fourth spot.

At the bottom Buckingham are eight points away from safety while Bowdon who lost twice, 2-1 to Holcombe and 4-1 to Surbiton, are in ninth place, four points behind Reading who lost 1-0 to Leicester.

Daily Express

McNab's win for Oxford and Cambridge

By Patrick Rowley

The McNab family had particular reason to celebrate the 116th Varsity matches at Southgate Hockey Club yesterday (Sunday March 6th). Son Fergus played in the winning Cambridge men’s team and daughter Shona, a Scottish Under 18 international, in Oxford’s successful side.

Both were educated at Firrhill High School in Edinburgh.

Before a capacity crowd, Cambridge won the men’s match 2-1 after Oxford had snatched the women’s by the same score with a late goal. It was Cambridge men’s third successive Varsity success.

The Cambridge winning team was coached by former cricket blue Charlie Bannister and Oxford’s women by John Shaw, the former England and GB international,.

Deborah Greer score the winning goal for Oxford with two m inutes remaining after Sophie Wright had put them ahead on 12 minutes with Cambridge replying with a well worked penalty corner finished off by Alexandra Maskell.

Jamie Bristow (14) gave Cambridge lead in the men’s match with William Mooney replying before half-time. The players had to contend with a hail storm before Johnny Staunton-Sykes settled the result for the light blues from a 46th penalty corner.
Oxford’s cause was not helped by a late harsh yellow card to Jamie Bristow.

Fine goalkeeping by Oxford’s Samuel Goss and Cambridge’s Sam Brooks kept the score down but it was elegant Cambridge midfielder Nipune Sanaratne who was named player of the men’s match.

The day was also marked by the anniversary of Oxford’s record breaking 7-0 win in 1976 with players from the match, including former outstanding internationals John McBryde (Australia) and Alan Hopkirk (Canada) both travelling over form Canada for the occasion.


Van der Weerden drags OZ to top spot

Oranje Zwart went top of the league as Mink van der Weerden’s hat trick of penalty corners propelled the Eindhoven club to the top of the Dutch Hoofdklasse table.

All his goals came in the first half before Niek van der Schoot and Caspar van Dijk extended out a 5-0 win over Voordaan.

The result sees them move ahead of Amsterdam who were stunned 6-1 by HGC at the Wagener Stadium. It was level at half-time as Mirco Pruyser cancelled out  goal from Dick Möhlmann but two goals each from Rik van Kan and Gonzalo Peillat saw the HGC race away and into second place.

Kampong continued their recovery with a 4-1 win over Schaerweijde. Philip Meulenbroek opened the scoring before Jur van der Have tied the game up at 1-1. Boet Phijffer restored the Kampong lead before Constantijn Jonker made the game safe and Erik Bouwens slammed into the roof of the net for the fourth goal.

Rotterdam eased to a 5-1 win over Hurley, Bloemendaal beat SCHC 6-2 and Pinoké saw off Den Bosch, also by 6-2.

Euro Hockey League media release

The match-winner: Körper chasing Euro double-double

Michael Körper knows a thing or two about winning European club titles and is on course for a potential double-double following his exploits with Harvestehuder THC already in 2016.

The Austrian goal-getter top-scored in the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Cup with 11 goals on his adopted home court in Hamburg in the famous black and yellow colours.

He scored the winning goal in the final, continuing a growing habit – it was his third consecutive European final in which he played and scored.

In the 2014 EHL final, he crucially scored the equaliser in normal time for HTHC against Oranje Zwart, earning a shoot-out in which he was the man to secure the title for the German side. That result completed a unique double as it add to HTHC’s European indoor success just a few months earlier – of course Körper scored in a 10-4 win over Dinamo Yekaterineburg in the final.

It continues a stunning career with the club he joined in 2010 after prior spells in his home country with HC Wiener Neudorf and then in Munich.

Looking back at all those successes, he describes the EHL victory in 2014 as “definitely a highlight”. His side produced a string of dramatic performances to win the title.

They came from 2-0 down to beat Racing Club de Bruxelles in the semi-final 3-2 – he scored the winning goal – after a rousing half-time team talk before beating OZ.

“Winning the EHL in the first attempt is a really big thing that you can’t forget. When I think back, there are lots of things I remember about the week.

“For example, the half-time speech from our coach Christoph Bechmann in the semi-final, the short corner in the 2-2 draw in the final where I needed four attempts to score; the big save from our goalkeeper Tobias Walter in the last second and the penalty shootout. Most of all, the celebration with the fans after winning the cup!”

Indeed, the connection with the HTHC fans is something that has been in full bloom in recent times. The club hosted the EHL Round 1 this season before being the venue for the indoor club cup.

“Every time, its special to play a European club competition. But, when you look back to the first round of the EHL and the indoor championships, the club make it really special for us.

“The whole entertainment around the tournaments was amazing. And to see your home pitch in the style of the EHL is pretty cool!”

“The support and the help from all club members is amazing. It’s like a big family and, because of that, it makes a big difference for us. You enjoy everything off the pitch and, especially on the pitch, you can see the difference.

“Most of the guys know each other for a long time. Last summer, there was a big change in the team because many players left the club to search for a new challenge but we got new players in and it was easy to integrate them, not just in the team but also in the whole club.”

The German club outdoor season has yet to return to action with Harvestehuder’s first game back against Rot Weiss Köln on March 19 before the sides meet again in the KO16 in Amsterdam.

Looking forward to those showdowns, the striker says “preparations are going well” with the side hitting outdoor training hard just a couple of days after the indoor Europeans.

“The weather has not been that good to play outdoor but we can work with it. This week, we will play a good tournament in Krefeld to prepare.

“Its not a really problem that some of our players have been missing due to Germany’s tour of South Africa. We are used to that.

“Last year, four players had a training camp with their national teams. Now, just two players are missing from the squad but they have better conditions to train than we have. When all players are coming back from their training camps, they help us to raise the level in the squad even faster.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Blaak to Oranje-Rood; Vanasch to WatDucks

The goalkeeping merry-go-round is in full effect with Pirmin Blaak set to join Oranje-Rood in the summer from Rotterdam with Vincent Vanasch set to return to Waterloo Ducks for the 2016/17 season.

Vanasch was part of the OZ side that won the Euro Hockey League last season as well as the Hoofdklasse title. The goalkeeper returns to the club where he won the Belgian title three times.

"Naturally, I let Watducks know from the moment I made my decision to leave Hoofdklasse. Honestly, I could not see myself play for another club in Belgium," he told the Hockey Belgium website.

“That's why I did not really have any other contact with other clubs.I want win more titles and Waterloo Ducks is extremely ambitious for years to come, not only in honor division.

“We wish, as well, in the coming years, to win the EHL.The club will naturally attract even more reinforcements for next season.”

Blaak, meanwhile, told hockey.nl of his move from Rotterdam to the newly formed amalgamation club of Oranje-Rood: "Out of respect for the club Rotterdam I do not really delve into why I'm leaving.

“But I'm 27, I want to make a step up.That could have been in Rotterdam, but also Oranje-Rood gives me that option. With a view to my personal development, I chose a new environment. "

Euro Hockey League media release

Two points separate leaders Police and Butali Sugar


Dennis Owoka (left) of Butali Sugar vies for the ball against Allan Irungu of Nairobi Sikh Union during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match at City Park Stadium on January 24, 2016. Kenya Police lead the log with 57 points followed by Butali on 55 points. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Police maintained their two-point lead at the top of the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s Premier League standings after the weekend matches.

Police crushed 2012 champions Sikh Union Nairobi 5-2 to move to 57 points from 22 matches.

Champions Butali Sugar Warriors are hot on the heels of the leaders after recording a vital 2-1 win over two-time champions Strathmore University Gladiators to stay in second place with 55 points.

Butali have, however, played 20 matches, two less than their arch-rivals Police. Butali have eight matches remaining while Police have six left. The title race is turning into a two-horse race between the teams.

Police coach Kenneth Kaunda knows there is no room for error. His team must win all their matches and hope that Butali drops points between now and the end of the season in May.

“This is a real battle and we are up to the challenge. We need to keep up our winning form and see what happens at the end of the season. The boys are fired up,” Kaunda told Daily Nation Sport. His Butali counterpart, Cliffe Okello also maintains the his team will cope with the pressure and retain the title. “No one wants to drop any points at this stage, this adds to the pressure. We are, however, taking a game at a time and are confident of retaining the title,” Okello added.


United States International University of Africa (USIU A) are placed third with 43 points after their 1-0 over Kenyatta University Vultures on Sunday.
Isaac Kamau’s first half strike settled the closely contested university derby.

Greensharks leapfrogged Wazalendo in fourth place after a 3-0 win over the latter and Sharks have 38 points, two more than Wazalendo who are fifth with 36 points.

At the wrong end of the table, Coastal sides Mvita XI and Mombasa Sports Club (MSC) imminently face the axe. MSC are bottom with three points and are yet to win a game this season after 21 matches.

Mvita XI are second last with nine points from 19 matches. Parklands missed a chance to move further from the relegation zone after 2-1 loss away to Nakuru.

In the women’s National League, Strathmore University Scorpions got three free points after their opponents Mount Kenya University failed to turn up for their match. Scorpions remain in second place with 40 points, eight behind leaders Orange who clinched the title two weeks ago with two matches to spare.

Daily Nation

No room for error as Police open two-point lead

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Kenya police vs Sikh Union Kenya Police Samuel Wakila(l) and Richard Birir(c) block Sikh Union Haggai Pepela when they played Premier Men at city Park on 06/03/16. PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Kenya Police have maintained their two-point lead in the league standings after the weekend matches.

The former men’s hockey premier league champions beat 2012 champions Sikh Union 5-2 to lead with 57 points. On Saturday, current title holders Butali Sugar Warriors, who are second on the log with 55 points, defeated Strathmore University 2-1.

Police’s coach Kenneth Kaunda knows too well that there will be no room for errors. For them to be assured of the title, his team must win all the remaining matches and pray for the Warriors’ downfall.

“This is a real battle and we are equal to the challenge. We need to keep winning and see what happens at the end of the season. The boys are determined to fight to the end,” Kaunda said.

It will not be business as usual for Warriors either as they seek to defend their title. Butali have two games in hand having played 20. Police have played 22 matches.

Warriors’ coach Cliffe Okello is confident his side will cope with the pressure and retain their crown.

“The league is at a very crucial stage and no one wants to drop any points. This leaves us with so much pressure, but our fans should not worry because we are taking it one game at a time and we are confident of retaining the title,” Okello said.

Okello said their objective is achievable and all they have to do is win all their remaining eight matches.

United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) are third with 43 points following their 1-0 over Kenyatta University’s Vultures. Isaac Kamau scored USIU-A’s all-important goal in the 19th minute for the maximum points.

Greensharks are fourth with 38 points after they defeated Wazalendo, who are now fifth with 36 points, 3-0.

Coastal sides Mvita XI and Mombasa Sports Club (MSC) are still stuck at the bottom of the table. MSC are last with three points after 21 rounds of matches.

Mvita XI are one place better in 14th with nine points from 19 matches. Parklands missed the chance to move clear of the relegation zone after they lost 2-1 to Nakuru.

In the women’s league, Strathmore University’s Scorpions got a walk-over after their opponents, Mount Kenya University, failed to honour the match. Scorpions remain second with 40 points, eight behind leaders Orange, who retained the title two weeks ago with two matches to spare.

The Standard Online

BJSS wary of Anderson rising

By Jugjet Singh

BUKIT Jalil Sports School Thunderbolts are wary of Division Two champions Anderson Thunderbolts, especially as they will be playing the first leg semi-finals of the TNB Cup at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh on Wednesday.

Anderson have been the most improved team this season, as their rise from Division Two has been meteoric -- especially their giant-killing feat against UniKL Young Guns in the quarter-finals.

The Ipoh school, the first team from Division Two to advance to the semi-finals of the TNB CUp, beat UniKL 3-2 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil and then held them to a 2-2 draw at the Azlan Shah Stadium to advance on 5-4 aggregate.

The other semi-finals will be between League champions SSTMI Thunderbolts and SSP-MSP Thunderbolts.

SSTMI will be going for their fifth consecutive JHL double.

"There is no doubt that Anderson are actually Division One material, and they are the most improved team in the JHL. And playing them at their own den in Ipoh will not be easy, so we will take a cautious approach and try for the kill in the return leg in Bukit Jalil," said BJSS team manager K. Rajan.

BJSS last became champions in 2009, after which Bandar Penawar Sports School (who are now SSTMI) took over.

"It has been a long time since BJSS played in a final, but I believe my boys are game for it this season, even though Anderson will not be easy to beat," said Rajan.

WEDNESDAY -- TNB CUP Semi-finals, first leg: Anderson Thunderbolts v BJSS Thunderbolts (Azlan Shah, 5pm), SSTMI Thunderbolts v SSP-MSP Thunderbolts (National Stadium Pitch II, 5pm).

FRIDAY -- TNB CUP Semi-finals, second leg: BJSS Thunderbolts v Anderson Thunderbolts (National Stadium Pitch II, 5pm), SSP-MSSP Thunderbolts v SSTMI Thunderbolts (National Stadium Pitch II, 7pm).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Koshy clears Under-16 confusion

By Jugjet Singh

Pic: George Koshy

THE National Under-16 Boys' and Girls' tournament will be played on a 9s format this year, and teams are allowed to register 18 players but only 16 can play in a match.

The tournament will be held at the Kuala Lumpur HA grounds on March 12-20.

Earlier, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee had only allowed 15 players to be registered for the 9s tournament, however, they changed it to 18 yesterday after taking into account that 84 players from 14 states each for the boys and girls teams, will not get a chance to play in the age-group tournament.

"We had sent out entries stating that only 15 can be registered per-team but after discussing with the stake-holders, we have changed the rules to accommodate more players.

"The intention of the tournament is to expose as many players as possible, and not to deny anybody a chance to represent their state," clarified coaching committee chairman George Koshy.

The 9s format will be used for the first time in an under-16 tournament to give more playing time, as well as more goals to make it exciting.

"The 9s format will see more substitution and this will allow as many players as possible to play in a match. Also, it will be more exciting if more goals are scored in a match," said Koshy.

Earlier there was some confusion on selection when only 15 players could be registered as many states started dropping the second goalkeeper.

However, as news reached the states that 18 players can be registered, two goalkeepers were promptly selected per team, saving 28 goalkeepers from both the Boys' and Girls' events the fate of not playing in the Under-16 this season.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

PHF changes coaching staff for Azlan Shah Hockey Cup

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Monday announced the appointment of head coach Khawaja Junaid Ahmad and assistant coaches Mohammad Sarwar and Mohammad Rafiq for the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, scheduled to be held from April 6 in Malaysia. Junaid will be replacing former coach Hanif Khan, who has been made the camp commandant, and will oversee the preparations of the team for the event. “We will initially begin training with two sessions of three hours each per day,” said Junaid, while talking about the training routine. “In the morning session, the players will be focusing on their fitness and basic game training, while in the evening session we will be working on how to handle elementary flaws during the game.” The new coaching staff has already begun training sessions after 41 players reported for the second phase of the camp and Junaid remains confident of the team’s prospect ahead of the mega event. “The players are in good form, they have recently won a gold medal in South Asian Games and have been awarded by the Prime Minister which has raised their confidence,” he said.

Nine more players will join the camp later. Three of them - Mohammad Irfan, Rashid Mehmood and Mohammad Rizwan - are currently playing in foreign leagues, while six - Qwaisur Rehman, Samiullah, Shaharyar, Zeeshan, Ali Akber and Qazi Asfand - are currently taking part in the National Junior Championship. Meanwhile, Junaid revealed that 30 players would be selected for the final phase of the camp after a week, while the final team would be announced on March 15.

The Daily Times

National Jr Hockey enters quarters stage

LAHORE - Wapda, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), Army, Railways, NBP, KP Whites, Customs and Punjab Whites have squeezed into the quarterfinals of the ongoing 35th National Junior Hockey Championship here at the National Hockey Stadium.

Four matches were played on Monday as Wapda thrashed KP Colours 11-0, Army defeated SSGC 1-0 in a hotly-contested match, Customs hardly defeated Punjab Colours 1-0 and NBP routed Police 7-0.

Hat-tricks by M Mateen and Ilyas Ahmed steered Wapda to a convincing victory in the opening match of the day.

Mateen struck three field goals in the 2nd, 20th and 21st minutes respectively.

Ilyas also netted field goals in the 22nd, 25th and 28th to complete his hat-trick.

Shahbaz Ahmed added two field goals in the 26thand 59th minutes.

Bilal Mehmood converted two penalty corners in the 46th and 49th minutes.

Junaid Manzoor netted a field goal in the 31st minute.

KPK (c) got two penalty corners but failed to convert.

Abdul Mannan and Yasir Khursheed supervised the match.

Match between ARMY and SSGC was hotly contested.

Both teams fought hard to take control of the ball which kept on rolling between two halves.

Both teams wasted one penalty corner each in the first quarter.

SSGC again wasted a penalty corner in the 43rd minute Zeeshan’s cross from the line into the Circle was neatly deflected by Waseem to ARMY lead.

The tussle to get possession of the ball intensified in the fourth quarter.

SSGC exerted pressure amid a series of attacks which forced their opponents to be on the defensive.

Rana Sohail failed to deflect a cross from Iftikhar in the 56th minute.

Ameer Hamza and Mehmood Ali were field umpires.

Customs and Punjab (c) also fought hard in their last pool match.

After playing a quiet first quarter both teams demonstrated aggressive stick work in the second quarter.

Customs’ Captain Ahad along with Asif and Zain made a very fine move and earned a penalty corner in the 22nd minute.

Zeeshan struck hard to score the only goal of the match.

Punjabians launched few counter attacks after conceding a goal but Customs’ defenders tackled them skillfully.

Punjab also spoiled a penalty corner in the 54th minute which deprived them to level the score.

Sohail Janjua and Anwar Chaudhary were the field umpires.

Policemen were far behind in speed, stamina and skill which was reflected from their performance in the last match of the pool against NBP.

Whereas the bankers were agile as usual and their forwards moved in the middle at will and enjoyed a good practice session before their important quarterfinal against Customs on Tuesday (tomorrow).

The Bankers struck three goals in the first quarter

Their team Captain Mohammed Atiq struck the first blow in the 1st minute through his field goal.

Mohammed Dilbar’s field goal came in the 5th minute and Bilal Qadir scored his field goal in the 8yh minute.

Shan Irshad netted a field goal in the 25thminute to take the tally to four.

Then Ameer Ali hammered  two field goals in the 53rd and 58th minutes.

Finally Faizan struck the seventh goal for his team in the 60th minute.

Faisal Ismail and Ghulam Moheyuddin supervised the match.

Today (Tuesday) in the quarterfinals, NBP will take on Customs, Wapda will vie against SSGC, KP Whites will play against Punjab Whites and Army will face Railways.

The Nation

Quarter-final line-up decided in junior hockey

LAHORE: Wapda, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), Pakistan Army, Pakistan Railways, National bank of Pakistan (NBP), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Whites, Pakistan Customs and Punjab Whites booked their quarter-final berths in the 35th National Junior Hockey Championship here on Monday.

The last eight was decided after four matches were held at the National Hockey Stadium with Wapda routing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Colours 11-0, Army edging SSGC 1-0, Customs overcoming Punjab Colours 1-0 and NBP thrashing Pakistan Police 7-0.

Wapda were fired by hat-tricks by Mohammad Mateen and Ilyas Ahmed and doubles by Shahbaz Ahmed and Bilal Mehmood.

Mateen scored in the second, 20th and 21st minutes with Ilyas’ treble following shortly afterwards with goals in the 22nd, 25th and 28th.

Shahbaz struck in the 26th and 59th with Bilal converting two penalty corners in the space of three minutes to complete his brace in the 49th while Junaid Manzoor scored Wapda’s other goal in the 31st.

Army scraped past SSGC after a hotly-contested game with Waseem deflecting Zeeshan’s cross in the 43rd minute while Customs beat Punjab Colours when Zeeshan converted a penalty corner in the 22nd minute of their game.

In a fast start, NBP struck thrice in the first quarter against Police — captain Mohammad Atiq (first minute), Mohammad Dilber (fifth) and Bilal Qadir (eighth) — to deflate their opponents. Shan Irshad made it 4-0 in the 25th with Ameer Ali scoring twice in the 53rd and 58th and Faizan completing the rout in the final minute.

Quarter-finals: NBP v Customs, Wapda v SSGC, KP Whites v Punjab Whites, Army v Railways.


Kevin Johnson named as Wales Women Head Coach

Hockey Wales are delighted to welcome Kevin Johnson, head coach of Women’s Premiership side Holcombe, as the new Head Coach of Wales Senior International Women’s Programme.

Kevin brings to the role a great deal of international experience from having worked with both England Hockey and GB Hockey, most recently as their Under 21 Coach and Talent Development Coach.

He is also the Director of Development alongside his coaching role at Holcombe and Director of Hockey at Bede’s School in his hometown of Eastbourne. Following the news of his appointment, he said:

“I am delighted and there are exciting times ahead for the whole group as we embark on a busy summer schedule ahead of World League. We will get to work immediately on developing our culture and identity as a group in such a way that matches our individual and collective aspirations. This will in turn determine the future performance standards we set for ourselves.”

The squad are now entering the next stage of preparation for round one of World League, which takes place in Cambrai this September. In the lead up to World League however, Wales will have a series of tough international test matches over the summer months to prepare them.

He added: “Personally, I am fully motivated for the journey ahead and working with a very proud sporting nation.”

Hockey Wales Head of Performance, Dan Clements said: “I was really impressed with the amount of applications and interest that we received regarding the role. As a result the recruitment process has been extremely competitive.

“We are really pleased to have Kevin joining our team here at Hockey Wales. He brings a wealth of experience to the role, so we are confident he will be an asset to the Senior Women and look forward to have him leading them on the international stage."

For more information on the Wales International Women’s squad, click here or follow them on Twitter.

Hockey Wales media release

Kariappa praises coaches from TN

K. Keerthivasan

B.J. Kariappa. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

B.J. Kariappa, the high performance manager (south zone), said that Tamil Nadu has shown keen interest in the Hockey India Online Academy Program (HIOP) structured by Roelant Oltmans, the chief coach of the Indian men’s team and high performance director.

“HIOP is aimed at making a standardised coaching pattern wherein every coach in any corner of the country will adopt a similar coaching pattern. Four academies in TN have already enrolled in HIOP. Within a month, the rest will register,” he told The Hindu here on Sunday, after visiting several academies in the State in the last five months.

From October, Kariappa has visited nine academies — Lakshmi Ammal Memorial Hockey Academy (Kovilpatti), Kamarajar Hockey Academy (Virudhunagar), Manaparai HA (Tiruchi), RV Academy, TNHA, V. Raja Academy and the Thirumalvalavan HA (all Chennai), Nilgiris Sports Development Trust and Rural Welfare HA (Vellore) — to witness first hand the coaching standards and the number of players across age groups.

“Our main objective is to popularise grassroots hockey and ensure the sport is taught in keeping with the trends in modern hockey,” he said, while adding that HIOP offers coaching at the basic, intermediate and elite levels.

After taking charge in September 2015, Kariappa has made visits to Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Kolkata, Gwalior and Anantpur. “I had to make trips to parts of north India as coach M. Kaushik resigned as north zone high performance manager in October last,” he said.

Explaining how coaching has changed in modern times, Kariappa said that it has become a two-way communication with the player and coach. “It should be an interactive session with the players. After every session the coach has to clarify the players’ doubts. We are particular that coaches teach the right way,” he said.

He was all praise for the Tamil Nadu coaches’ commitment and desire to give it their all. “Despite the lack of funds, they work hard, sometimes putting money from their own pocket. That is great,” he said.

The 49-year-old, based in Bangalore, said he would give feedback to Hockey India on the developments made by the coaches, and that he would also identify talented junior and sub-junior players from the State for National camps.

On India’s chances in the Rio Olympics, Kariappa, who has worked with Michael Nobbs of Australia, South African Greg Clarke (former coach of Indian junior boys) and Harendra Singh, said, “India can finish in the top five at Rio. That will be the best possible result.”

The Hindu

Flanagan pledges for parity

Anna Flanagan talks about the positives of gender equality in hockey on IWD

Anna Flanagan, Hockeyroo

On International Women’s Day people all around the world are making a pledge for parity. As a hockey player in Australia I can be thankful that we are one of the few sports where men and women are treated and paid equally.

As a dual gender sport the men and women all train at the same venue in Perth. The amazing staff is comprised of both men and women in roles as physiotherapists, doctors, strength and conditioning, and physiologist coaches. Our budgets are based on our world ranking and therefore the better we perform the more money our programs get. So on a day where we celebrate the amazing females in our society and put light on the inequalities that do exist, I feel extremely proud to be part of a sport where females are level.

As a Hockeyroo we sometimes train more than the men, our program is intense and everyone is fully committed. We work just as hard as them and sacrifice many things in our quest to win a gold medal at the Olympics. We are strict on our diets, have movie nights instead of late nights out, move across the country to train, end relationships and make new ones. I am a female hockey athlete and this is my life. 

Because our sport is still in the process of building a following the media attention and recognition is scarce. It is difficult to compete with the football and cricket codes, despite our hockey teams being amongst the most successful teams in the world. Our men and women are equal in this respect also, as it is hard for even the men to get on television despite the skill and speed of the game. According to Towards a Level Playing Field; Sport and Gender in Australia Media report compiled by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), women feature in only seven per cent of sports programming in Australia. Most people think we play hockey only in the Olympic year when we get mainstream coverage, however, we are training and competing year in year out, with little airtime compared to the marquee sports.

We are grateful that ABC picked up a number of our games on free to air television in recent years, including the 2014 World Cup, and Fox Sports has shown all the World League and Champions Trophy events in the past 18 months. Fox Sports has also shown highlights of our series against China in 2015 and GB, more recently. Many of our games are also streamed online, like the series against GB, and that is a huge step for our sport. Yet as a whole it is this parity that I want to pledge for.

Female sports people offer society positive role models for the next generation. With the obesity epidemic a real and immediate issue for Australia we need girls to be in the media, sharing their healthy, happy, and positive lifestyle that sport has provided them with. I am lucky that hockey has this equality that some sports sorely lack, but females across all codes of sport have a powerful message for young girls and this should be shared. I pledge for parity of female sport in the media, but know just how lucky I am as a hockey player in Australia.

Show your support for International Women's Day via social media using the hashtag #PledgeForParity.

Hockey Australia media release

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