All the news for Wednesday 16 March 2016
Men's Champions Trophy tickets on sale now
GB men sing the national anthem
It was announced last week that London would be hosting the event instead of Argentina as originally planned, and there is now an exciting opportunity for Olympic sports fans to see the men’s Great Britain hockey team in action on home turf, just a month before they do battle at the Olympics in Rio.
Most of the main Olympic medal contenders will provide the opposition at the Champions Trophy too, with World Champions Australia, Olympic Champions Germany, and India included alongside Korea and Belgium.
Don’t miss out on your chance to see the best of the best come together in the last competition before the Olympics in Rio. See the likes of Jamie Dwyer; Moritz Furste, Sardar Singh, and Tom Boon go up against the best of British in Ashley Jackson, Barry Middleton, Iain Lewers and the rest of Bobby Crutchley’s Olympic hopefuls.
Tickets are available now also including the women’s tournament which has been on sale since last year.
Get your tickets now to ensure you get the best seats in the superb hockey legacy venue Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which offers a brilliant day out, and the hockey is a perfect night out after work which is not to be missed.
More information about both events can be found at www.englandhockey.co.uk/championstrophy.
England Hockey Board Media release
Australia Tests next
By Jugjet Singh
AFTER playing six Test matches in New Zealand, the Malaysian senior team landed in Perth Tuesday for another four matches in preparation of the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh on April 6-16.
In New Zealand, Malaysia played four Test matches against the Kiwis and lost two (4-1 and 4-2), won one (3-2) and drew one (0-0).
And in the two Test matches against South Korea, Malaysia won 2-1 and drew 3-3.
In Perth, coach Stephen van Huizen's team will play three Test matches against the Australian side. However, the will warm up agaisnt Western Australian Institute of Sports on Thursday, before the Test matches on 19, 21 and 24 March.
Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) technical director Terry Walsh believes this is a good opportunity to gauge Malaysia's physiological development against arguably the best team in the world.
"We have put in a lot of work but are still nowhere near the pinnacle of our development plan, but the progress has been extremely encouraging.
"It will be interesting to see how we fare against Australia especially after playing six very tough matches in NZ", he said.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Decision to skip CT not taken in oblivion: PHF chief
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar said on Monday that the decision not to participate in the FIH Champions Trophy was taken after thorough deliberations.
“The decision not to send our team to England to take part in the Champions Trophy was not taken in oblivion as we held thorough discussion before pulling out of the event,” the PHF president told APP.
The timing of the Champions Trophy did not suit us, he said, arguing that Pakistan hockey was passing through the revival stage.
“We’ve have selected some really talented players from the recently-held player identification and trial camps in different cities.
“But these young men, many of whom have no international exposure, need some time to settle down before featuring in important events as we don’t want to shatter their confidence,” Khokhar reckoned.
The Trophy considered as one of the most awaited events is held every two years with the Great Britain being the hosts for this year’s Champions Trophy scheduled to take place from June 10 to 17 in London.
It is important to remember that the FIH had given Pakistan a wildcard entry for the event and its president Leandro Negre in an interview has expressed disappointment over PHF’s decision not to send team for the event.
However, Khokhar said that he would talk to FIH president to explain the reasons behind staying away from the event.
“Leandro is a nice man. We are thankful to him for offering us a wildcard entry. However, I will apprise him about the reasons behind our decision of not fielding our team and I am sure he will understand our view point,” maintained Khokhar.
He further said that the incumbent federation having taken over in August last year had clarified that it would need at least two to three years to raise a good outfit and bring Pakistan hockey at par with international standard.
“We’ve clearly stated that we can’t change the situation overnight and will require some time to put our hockey back on track,” he maintained.
“We’ve set a target for us and that is preparing a formidable side for the 2018 World Cup. The nation has shown trust in the federation and we don’t want to disappoint people by taking part in an event we know we won’t be able to finish at some respectable place,” Khokhar stated.
PHF laying special stress upon grooming technical officials
LAHORE - The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), realising the importance of coaching technique and innovative approach, has recently launched an ambitious ‘National Hockey Education Programme’.
“Under the programme, the PHF has successfully conducted three level-1 coaching programmes and one technical officials workshop in different parts of the country,” said PHF spokesman here on Tuesday.
The first level-1 coaches’ clinic was held in conjunction with 62nd National Senior Hockey Championship at Karachi where 20 coaches participated followed by another level-1 coaches’ clinic at Peshawar during the qualifying round of 35th National Junior Hockey Championship where 20 participants were trained.
The recently-concluded coaches clinic and the technical officials workshop were the third of the series of such education programmes, where 52 and 60 participants participated respectively.
“Such clinics and workshops will be a regular feature of PHF calendar of activities,” he added.
After the successful completion of such useful activities, a merit list has been formulated and top most competent candidates will be exposed to continental and international clinics, he said.
Pursuing the same objectives, four umpires i.e. Sohail Akram Janjua, Amir Hamza Khan, Ch Anwaar Hussain and Binish Hayat and three coaches i.e. Rehan Butt, M Saqlain and Mudassar Ali Khan have been directed to attend FIH/AHF Education Programme in Malaysia which will be held during the Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia from April 8-12.
“The PHF foresees that the umpires and coaches will gain knowledge and experience from such exposure, which will be beneficial for hockey at grassroots level,” concluded the spokesman.
Indian hockey teams to tour Australia in November
MELBOURNE: The Indian hockey team will play a four-nation tournament at the State Netball and Hockey Centre here from November 22 to 27, also comprising hosts Australia, Malaysia and a yet to confirmed team.
The tourney will be followed by a two-match Test series between India and Australia to be played from November 30 to December 2 at a yet to be decided venue. Alongside the men's competition, the Indian and Australian women's teams will play a three-match Test series.
The involvement of both genders will make hockey the only sport Down Under that delivers annual event content featuring both Australia and India, men and women. These series' are being touted as the Victorian Festival of Hockey.
"The festival of hockey in Melbourne will be the highest profile event the sport has seen in Australia since the 2012 Champions Trophy, allowing us to showcase the sport and our partnership with India to the country and the rest of the world," Hockey Australia (HA) chief executive Cam Vale said on Tuesday.
"In the Kookaburras and India, we have two of the in-form teams in world hockey right now. Malaysia are hot on the heels of the best, sitting just outside the top-10, and we're excited about the prospect of including the proposed fourth team, which we will look to announce after discussions and confirmation of our broadcast partners."
India's participation in the event comes as a result of HA's Memorandum of Understanding with Hockey India (HI), signed last year, which will see the Indian men's team tour Australia over the next three years.
"Perhaps the biggest strength of our sport is its gender equality and it's a great reflection of that strength that the Hockeyroos will host the Indian women's team for three Tests as part of the event," said Vale.
"Their standout Friday night fixture, we are certain will capture the imagination of the public, sponsors and broadcasters alike in the spirit of the famous hockey movie partially shot in Melbourne - Chak De! India."
The Times of India
Bain's career enjoying stratospheric rise
AH&BC Amsterdam striker Kenny Bain admits his life has been “flipped upside down” as his hockey career has exploded into the stratosphere, finally making his mark on the world stage to match his talent.
He is now in his sixth season in the Netherlands, playing five years with Hurley before making the really short hop across the park in Amstelveen. Signing for Amsterdam in January 2015, he said he could not wait to pull on the famous white jersey when it finally came along in September last year.
Bain is now looking forward to playing in the KO16 in front of his home crowd against English side Wimbledon on March 26, another big match among many he has played in recent times.
“The move was extremely exciting but I had a long wait to finally play. After a tough summer with Scotland, not qualifying again for the A pool of European hockey, finally my time arrived. I got to begin what has been the most amazing time ever.”
Despite the proximity between the two clubs in terms of location, Bain says that “the difference between the two clubs is massive”. He loved his time with Hurley and is thankful to many of their members for taking him in, particularly Irish international Andy McConnell who he describes as “like a big brother”.
“But with Amsterdam, it's a team full of big pros and super talents in the Dutch league and it's an honour to step on the field each day with these guys. If all goes well, I see myself here for a long time. The guys have been great in bringing me into the team.”
That was especially important at EHL Round 1 in Hamburg where he scored four times, the tournament coming soon after his grandfather passed away.
“It was an extremely difficult time for me off the pitch but the team was absolutely brilliant and, of course, they were still getting to know me too. They saw a really open side which was not one I wanted to show when I was meant to be having an amazing trip.
“When I got there, it took a lot off my mind and I enjoyed every second. Also, my girlfriend flew over as Hamburg – it is her home town – so that was nice to have her and her family there for me.”
He also became the first Scottish player to get contracted to the Hockey India League in the past few months with the Uttar Pradesh Wizards.
“I am still a bit flattered by it all sometimes; I have been given the chance to play at the top of the top and I am not going to let it slip away!
“I really want to keep my feet both stuck on the ground and they are kept there by my family and girlfriend but, still, after my move and then India, it has just been unthinkable and a dream. I am ready to continue the journey and work double hard to get better and better.”
Bain had previously played in the EHL with Scottish kingpins Kelburne back in the competition’s early years, scoring a memorable goal against Waterloo Ducks in 2008. With them, though, the ambition level was always at a different tone to this year with Amsterdam.
“That really feels like a lifetime ago! I loved the EHL and it was always a massive challenge for us; it was always one round and home so that became a bit normal.
“Now playing with Amsterdam, the ambition and quality we have, I am sure we can go on and challenge anyone for the title. The fact I get to play at home in the Wagener against an English opponent is just cool. But, to be honest, every single game I am just buzzing to pull on the XXX jersey and I think it's a vibe that comes round the whole team.
“We will be getting ready for every game and every session and I hope that I can have a great first season with AH&BC and have lots of silverware. But it's not gonna be easy so hopefully I can help as much as possible. Buzzing for the coming weeks!”
Euro Hockey League media release
Alan Forsyth finishes top marksman in England Premier League
Razor-sharp Scot Alan Forsyth is the leading regular season goalscorer in England’s top men’s hockey league, writes Nigel Duncan.
The Paisley-born striker, who is a key cog in Scotland’s senior men’s team, has netted 21 goals from 16 matches for his club Surbiton in the highly-competitive men’s Premier Division.
This follows a double in Surbiton’s 6-3 victory at Cannock on Sunday which confirms the world’s second oldest club in second place in the ten-strong table. Cannock finished bottom.
The Great Britain international’s total is made up of 19 goals from open play, one from a penalty corner and another from a penalty stroke.
Forsyth’s GB international team-mates Sam Ward, who plays for Holcombe, scored 15 goals (12 field goals and three penalty corners), the same total as Beeston’s Mark Gleghorne who scored two field goals and 13 from penalty corners
The in-form Scot, who is in his third season with Surbiton, is, however, more concerned about helping his club finish the season on a winning note in the play-offs than in personal triumph.
Forsyth, an ex-Kelburne player and a former Scotland Player of the Year, said:
“It has been an up down season after starting so well.
“The Christmas break possibly came at the wrong time for us as the second-half of the season has not been great.
“We’ve had a host of injuries and have had junior players having to step-up. They have done well but it is a big step from junior hockey to the men’s Premier Division.”
Forsyth, who has played in two Commonwealth Games for his country, looked back at the performance against Cannock and added: “We wanted to put on a good performance and to finish the regular season with a win to take us into the play-offs.”
Surbiton finished with 37 points to claim second place behind Holcombe who collected 44 points from their 18, regular-season games.
The 23-year-old, who started playing hockey aged five, said: “It's been a real team effort and it has just worked out that I have been on the end of the play to put the ball in the goal.
“I don't particularly have a favourite goal as they all count and they contribute to helping Surbiton collect points.”
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Nat U-16: Negri Girls' in Round Two
By Jugjet Singh
NEGRI Sembilan Girls beat Kuala Lumpur 2-1 to qualify for Round Two from Group B of the 1MAS-Milo Under-16 hockey tournament Tuesday.
Negri topped the group, and KL also qualified by finishing second.
From Group A, Selangor and Malacca made Round Two, while Penang and Kedah made the grade from Group C.
In the Boys' matches, teams which qualified for Round Two are, Sabah and Pahang from Group A, Terengganu and Malacca from Group B, and from Group C only Johor have qualified while Perak and Selangor will battle for the other slot Wednesday.
RESULTS: BOYS' Group A: Pahang 6 Kedah 0, Sabah 2 Penang 1; Malacca 1 Terengganu 3, Kuala Lumpur 1 Perlis 0; Group C: Selangor 0 Johor 1; Negri 2 Perak 3.
GIRLS' Group A: Johor 0 Malacca 1, Selangor 8 Perlis 0; Group B: Kelantan 1 Terengganu 6, Kuala Lumpur 1 Negri 2; Group C: Pahang 1 Penang 4, Sabah 1 Kedah 2.
WEDNESDAY: Boys' Group C: Kelantan v Perak (MOE, 4pm), Selangor v Negri (KLHA, 4pm).
Girls' Group C: Perak v Penang (MOE, 7.30am), Sabah v Pahang (KLHA, 7.30am).
NOTE: All matches at Ministry of Education (MOE) and Kuala Lumpur HA (KLHA) stadiums at Jalan Pantai.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Pahang, Sabah reach second round of 1MAS hockey tournament
by S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Pahang have made the second round of the 1MAS-Milo Under-16 hockey championships by the skin of their teeth.
Pahang thrashed Kedah 6-0 while Sabah edged Penang 2-1 in the Group A matches on Tuesday.
Sabah, Pahang and Penang ended the group stage with six points each. But Sabah topped the group with a +9 goal difference, Pahang +6 and Penang +5.
While Sabah and Pahang can celebrate making the next round, Penang have only themselves to blame for missing the cut.
Penang began their match against Sabah needing just a draw.
But Sabah had other ideas and goals by Muhajir Abdul Rauf (32nd minute) and Clement Tsai Kien Bin (45th) put them in control. Although Penang reduced the deficit through Mohd Amirul Hamizan (49th), it was too late for them to stage a comeback.
Pahang, playing on the adjacent pitch, made sure they did not have to rely on others for a place in the second round by soundly thrashing Kedah.
“There was no way to know what was going on in the other (Group A) match. So, we told our players to score as many goals as they could. We knew that it will come down to goal difference. We thought we would be scrambling with Sabah for the second spot. Instead, it was Penang who did not score enough goals,” said Pahang coach Mohd Sofian.
Mohd Arif Syafie scored three penalty corner goals (seventh minute, 28th and 50th) to inspire Pahang to victory. Mohd Nazrey Din added a brace in the eighth and 49th minutes while Mohd Syamin Naim chipped in with one in the 48th minute.
In Group B, Terengganu made sure of topping the standings with a 3-1 win over Malacca. Both teams, however, are already through to the second round.
In Group C, Johor made sure of their berth in the second round with a 2-0 win over Selangor.
But Selangor, Perak and Perak can still join Johor in the next round today.
The second round draw will only be made after the completion of Group C matches.
The Star of Malaysia
Kibwezi keeps eyes on the prize
St Joseph's vow to reclaim girls' hockey title
By Elizabeth Mburugu
Sauda Mshai of Pangani Girls struggle for ball possession with Treazer Mbinya , right, of St Joseph Girls Kibwezi at Machakos Boys High school during the Metropolitan 2nd Edition 2014 games at Machakos Boys High School on Thursday, 28th March, 2014. Photo/Jonah Onyango.
After reigning supreme in girls’ hockey, St. Joseph’s Kibwezi may have lost steam, but are now ready to reclaim their top position.
Perhaps borrowing some wisdom from American athlete Mia Hamm, who said it is more difficult to stay on top than to get there, Kibwezi have vowed to have the last laugh.
It has been somewhat a bumpy ride for the former champions in their campaign. St Joseph’s, who have been a dominant force in the region, failed to qualify for last year’s national games. They lost to Moi Girls Nairobi.
According to the team’s coach, Gabriel Ndunga, his girls will aim for victory during this year’s Metropolitan Region games and book a ticket to the nationals games.
“My girls were heartbroken when we failed to qualify for the national games and we don’t want a repeat this year. We have vowed to settle for nothing less than victory.”
Ndunga added that his side has prepared well for the games and knows for them to realise their dream of qualifying for the national games, they must defeat Moi Girls Nairobi.
St. Joseph’s will draw inspiration from their 1-0 victory against Moi in January and according to Ndunga, they should not have a problem repeating the same feat.
“My girls are in good form and determined to make it. First, we must defeat Moi and take our trophy back.”
The team will rely on the services of goalscorer Bahati Mbeli, forward Patricia Kyule, midfielders Eunice Mutuku and Cecilia Mutuku.
Like many teams, St Joseph’s will also be without key players, who sat for their Form Four exams. Nonetheless, Ndunga is not a worried man.
Mbeli scored St Joseph’s all important goal as they defeated Barazani 1-0 in the Makueni County games at Makindu Boys to book their ticket to the regional games.
On their way to victory, St Joseph’s defeated Kiteta 7-0, while Barazani won 4-0 against Ikungu in the other semifinal.
In the boys’ category, Kathonzweni lifted the title after beating Makueni Boys 2-1 a in a penalty shootout in the final. Their match ended 0-0 after normal time. Kathonzweni defeated Matiliku 2-0 in the first semifinal, while Makueni won 5-4 in a penalty shootout against Ikungu in the other semi.
The Standard Online
Investment in indoor hockey pays off for Uddingston
Uddingston HC have made impressive strides forward in the indoor game, making wise investments to produce a huge improvement to the indoor programmes the club provides, including securing suitable indoor facilities and suitable coaches for all levels.
Uddingston point out that they’ve had success across the board from their youth programmes to their male and female senior teams.
Success is measured differently for each group but common factors exist to allow indoor development to occur.
For the youth teams, the club entered four teams across the U10’s, U12’s and U14’s age groups and had 75 children per week training regularly indoors. The combination of regular training, appropriate indoor facilities and aligning the right coaches to work with the children was a recipe for success.
The kids performed very well in the West District indoor competitions winning at two of the age groups but most importantly the kids had fun and learned about the indoor game whilst growing as hockey players.
Their men’s first & second teams also enjoyed success indoors, a similar recipe of facilities, regular training and coaching allowed the first team to achieve third in National Indoor League Division 1, an impressive feat as it was the first time the club had played that level in its history.
The second team also enjoyed a second place finish in Regional Indoor A, also the first time at that level.
To round off the club also managed to enter two teams into the Woman’s West District Indoor League, again a first for the club and a first for many of the players experiencing indoor for the first time.
Uddingston HC Director of Hockey, Steven Percy, commented on the clubs programmes: ‘We’ve really ramped up the indoor programme this year compared to previous years. We encouraged all the players across the club to engage in indoor and this has seemed to pay off.
“Two keys factors can be credited to the success we’ve seen, first obtaining facilities that allows us to train properly and give enjoyable high quality experiences, second having the right people involved.
“We targeted the people with the most indoor experience to lead our youth coaching and this help enthuse and inspire the kids about the indoor game.”
Uddingston will be hoping to expand on the programme they provided this year, improve the positioning of the senior teams and try to offer more children the opportunity to play indoors and access fun and enjoyable competition.
Scottish Hockey Union media release