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News for 14 May 2016

All the news for Saturday 14 May 2016

Germany Take Match 2 Of Series

An improved performance by the Green Machine wasn’t enough to hold the home side at bay as Germany sealed the 6-0 victory.

Tom Grambusch gave Germany an early lead in the 3rd minute and Moritz Furste doubled the lead with a penalty stroke 4 minutes later.

The 17th minute saw Ronan Gormley stop the ball on the line with his glove and Furste converted the resulting stroke to make it 3-0.

A good phase of Irish play was interrupted by a swift German counter attack, not dissimilar to yesterdays encounter, and Trompertz fired home to bring the score to 4-0 going into half time.

The men in green earned their first penalty corner in the opening moments of the third quarter but clever play by Michael Robson and John Jermyn was eventually cleared by the experienced German defence.

Jermyn was again causing trouble for the German defence as he darted into the circle but his pass to Sothern was quickly smothered by Andrea Spack in the German goal.

Another goal didn’t come until the 57th minute when Christopher Ruhr was on the receiving end of a crossed ball and deflected it goal-bound.

Before the final whistle could ring out Mathias Muller made it 6-0 for the Germans in the closing minute.

The final match of the series takes place in Hamburg on Sunday May 15th 12pm (local time).

Ireland 0
Germany 6 (Grambusch, Furste x2, Trompertz, Ruhr, Muller)


BELL Jonathan
WATT Michael
ROBSON Michael

Irish Hockey Association media release

Day 1 Round Up – EuroHockey Club Tournaments – Men

SCO cc

Today is the first day of our biggest hockey weekend, where we have 11 EuroHockey tournaments all over Europe.

Follow our coverage of events our Twitter (@eurohockeyorg), our Facebook page (European Hockey Federation), our instagram(eurohockeyorg), and our Snapchat (eurohockeyorg)

Here is the round-up of the Men’s events:

EuroHockey Club Trophy – Glasgow, Scotland

The first match of the tournament was a real game of two halves. HC Bra went in 2-1 up at half time. However Prague, having the larger squad, made a difference in the second half scoring five goals in the last twenty minutes of the match. 6-3 (1:2)

13 May 2016 at the National Hockey Centre, Glasgow Green, Scotland. Eurohockey Club Champions Trophy 2016 Men, Day 1. Pool B match -SK Slavia Prague (CZE) v HC Bra (ITA)

Banbridge (IRL) met HC Rotweiss Wettingen (SUI), in what was a very physical game with two well-matched teams. Banbridge kept up the pressure but was thwarted by the Wettingen keeper, man of the match Michael Kaufeler. The Irish side managed to equalise late in the game. 2-2 (1:2)

13 May 2016 at the National Hockey Centre, Glasgow Green, Scotland. Eurohockey Club Champions Trophy 2016 Men, Day 1. Pool A match - HC Minsk (BLR) v Bromac Kelburne (SCO)

HC Minsk was met by the host, Bromac Kelburne. It was an even first half, with Minsk taking the advantage. However, the hosts kept up the pressure and it paid off as they walked away with a fought for victory. 1-2 (1:0)

13 May 2016 at the National Hockey Centre, Glasgow Green, Scotland. Eurohockey Club Champions Trophy 2016 Men, Day 1. Pool A match - HC Minsk (BLR) v HC Rotweiss Wettingen (SUI)

EuroHockey Club Challenge I – Vienna, Austria

The first match of the day came as heavy rain receded, with HC OKS-SHVSM Vinnitsa (UKR) tied with Servette HC (SUI). The match was tied at halftime and it looked like Vinnitsa had the game, but a late goal guaranteed the draw.  3-3 (1:1)


The second match paired HAHK Mladost (CRO) and Stroitel Brest (BLR). The Belarusian team dominated most of the game, and bested Mladost who pushed until the very end. 2-3 (0:2)

Whitchurch HC (WAL) and  TJ Slavia Hradec Kralove (CZE) had a scoreless first half. Hradec Kralove gained the advantage in the second half, scoring two goals within five minutes. A yellow card left Kralove one man down for the last ten minutes, but Whitchurch was unable to turn it around in time. 1-2 (0-0)


The final match of day one saw hosts SV Arminen put on a show for the home crowd, beating AD Lousada with 3 goals in each half. 6-0 (3-0)

EuroHockey Club Challenge II – Bratislava, Slovakia

Gibraltar’s Gramarians HC met Bulgaria’s NSA Sofia for the opening game. It was a well balanced game, with Gibraltar taking an early lead, but NSA managed to equalise and hold on to a draw. 2-2 (1:0)

Slagelse and Ardas Rudamina put on an exciting show for the crowd today, with the Danish team taking an early lead in the first half. Not to be deterred, Ardas Rudamina ended the first half up by a goal. Slagelse came back in the second half to score three more goals, netting the win. 4-2 (1:2)


Gaziantep Polis Gucu SK fell to HK Marathon in a close game this afternoon. 1-2 (1:1).

Lastly, host SK Senkvice had a comfortable win over Inta Baltic Champignons with three goals in the first half. 3-0 (3:0)

EuroHockey Club Challenge III – Predanovci, Slovenia

Napeos Apollon HC (GRE) met SZLG DSE – Olcote HC (HUN) for the first game of this tournament. After a scoreless first half, the Greek side rallied and netted two goals and their first five points. 2-0 (0:0)

The second match of the day saw Portugal’s Clube de Futebol Uniao de Lamas  take on Sweden’s Nacka LHK. Nacka took the lead in the ninth minute and was up at the end of the first half. However, Lamas’s Pedro Pinto (#14) had other plans and equalised at 43 minutes and once more for the win at 64 minutes. 2-1 (0:1)

last one

The last match of the day saw the host, HK Triglav Predanovci fall to a formidable Danish side, Copenhagen HC. HK Triglav opened the score in the 21st minute but it was all Copenhagen from there on.  2-6 (1:2)

EuroHockey Club Challenge IV – Kordin, Malta

Malta’s Qormi HC and Finland’s Seinjoki United met in the first match of the day. Quormi narrowly maintained its lead at the end of the first half. They rallied in the second half and secured their victory, to the delight of the home crowd. 4-3 (2:1)


The second Maltese/Finnish match up of the day saw hosts Sliema Hotsticks and HC Kilppari. This time, the Finnish side came out victorious. After a goalless first half, the second half kicked off with two goals in two minutes. Kilppari managed to score once again minutes before the end to secure the win. 2-1 (0-0)

To follow events:

  Website Twitter Facebook Instagram
Glasgow www.kelburne.com/euros  @Kelburne1969    Kelburne1969
Vienna www.arminen.at/cc @svarminen svarminen  
Bratislava www.EuroHockey-CCCII.eu    facebook.com/www.sksenkvice.sk  
Predanovci      facebook.com/HKTriglav/  
Kordin  http://www.sliemahotsticks.com/results/ @SliemaHotsticks  facebook.com/Sliema-Hotsticks-Hockey-Club-173543756061358/  
Bilthoven www.ehccc2016.com @EHCCC2016 facebook.com/ehccc2016 Rabo.ehccc2016
Barcelona www.rcpolo.com @rcpolohockey facebook.com/rcbarcelona  
Prague www.hockeyslavia.cz @slaviaofficial facebook.com/hockeyslavia  
Lille www.mhc.fr/coupe-deurope LilleHockeyClub facebook.com/lillehockeyclub Eurohockeylille2016
Gibraltar www.hawkslhc.wordpress.com HawksLHC_GI facebook.com/hawkslhc hawkslhc1992

Day 1 Round Up – EuroHockey Club Tournaments – Women


Today is the first day of our biggest hockey weekend, where we have 11 EuroHockey tournaments all over Europe.

Follow our coverage of events our Twitter (@eurohockeyorg), our Facebook page (European Hockey Federation), our instagram(eurohockeyorg), and our Snapchat (eurohockeyorg)

Here is the round-up of the Women’s events:

EuroHockey Club Trophy – Barcelona, Spain

The EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy kicked off this morning in the Pau Negre Stadium, in the Olympic mountain of Motjuïc (Barcelona) with a draw  between Belgium’s Royal Antwerp HC and Ukraine’s MSC Sumchanka. 1-1 (1:1)


The two Belarusian teams met in the second match of the  day, with GHC Ritm Grodno besting HC Minsk by a goal. 2-1 (1:1)


The hosts RC Polo met German side Rot Weiss Köln in the last match of the day. Rot Weiss came out on top, winning the match easily 4-1 (3:0)

EuroHockey Club Challenge I – Prague, Czech Republic

The tournament began early this morning Polisportiva Ferrini Cagliari meeting Gintra Strekte Uni HC, who walked away with with a thunderous victory, with Doneta Grigiene (#8) scoring a hat trick. 0-5 (0:3)


The second game also came with a lot of goals, with HC Donchanka beating SV Arminen by five goals, after an even first half. 6-1 (1:1)

Swansea City met University of Edinburgh HC, with the latter taking the victory after no goals in the first half. 0-3 (0:0)


Lastly, Ulster Elks were met by the hosts SK Slavia Praha. An even game, the host just could not make it through and the Ulster side took the points. 2-0 (1:0)

EuroHockey Club Challenge II – Lille, France

The tournament opened with Belgium’s Waterloo Ducks beating Turkey’s Kecioren Baglum SK. After a goalless first half, WatDucks came back strong and scored four goals to secure the five points. 4-0 (0-0)


In another high scoring game, Iris Hockey Lambesart met HC Hostivar. The French side was in control of the game and conceded no goals. Marie Billore (#22) also scored a hat trick. 5-0 (3-0)

The third game resulted in a draw between HC Rotweiss Wettingen and Black Boys HC  Geneve, both Swiss teams. They were faily evenly matched throughout the game, each side scoring three goals. 3-3 (2:2)


The last match of the day saw Grove Menzieshill meet the host Lille MHC, who delighted the crowd with a victory and also conceded no goals. 0-4 (0:0)

EuroHockey  Club Challenge III – Gibraltar, Gibraltar

The tournament opened with NAVAX AHTC Wein and HAHK Mladost. The Austrian team was the better side and earned the win. 2-0 (2:0)

The second match saw HFTC Tauras draw with Gibraltar’s Eagles HC. 0-0 (0:0)


The last match of the day saw hosts Hawks LHC meet NACKA LHK from Sweden. This match was held after an official opening ceremony attended by the Minister for Sport. Although Hawks had the home crowd’s enthusiastic support, the Swedish side was better and took the win. 0-2 (0:2)

To follow events:

  Website Twitter Facebook Instagram
Glasgow www.kelburne.com/euros  @Kelburne1969    Kelburne1969
Vienna www.arminen.at/cc @svarminen svarminen  
Bratislava www.EuroHockey-CCCII.eu    facebook.com/www.sksenkvice.sk  
Predanovci      facebook.com/HKTriglav/  
Kordin  http://www.sliemahotsticks.com/results/ @SliemaHotsticks  facebook.com/Sliema-Hotsticks-Hockey-Club-173543756061358/  
Bilthoven www.ehccc2016.com @EHCCC2016 facebook.com/ehccc2016 Rabo.ehccc2016
Barcelona www.rcpolo.com @rcpolohockey facebook.com/rcbarcelona  
Prague www.hockeyslavia.cz @slaviaofficial facebook.com/hockeyslavia  
Lille www.mhc.fr/coupe-deurope LilleHockeyClub facebook.com/lillehockeyclub Eurohockeylille2016
Gibraltar www.hawkslhc.wordpress.com HawksLHC_GI facebook.com/hawkslhc hawkslhc1992

UJ want to build on unbeaten run in Varsity Hockey

By Coetzee Gouws

The University of Johannesburg emerged unscathed from the opening weekend of Varsity Hockey matches and will be aiming to build on that when the tournament continues in Stellenbosch from Friday to Monday.

Once the league phase is completed on Sunday, the top four teams will contest the semi-finals on Monday, with the rest of the sides competing in the classification games. The final will be played on May 23.

UJ coach Garreth Ewing knows there is still much work to be done but was satisfied with his team’s efforts at UJ at the weekend.

“It’s nice to be unbeaten and I said to my guys that to get 12 points this weekend was really valuable. It sets us up for three hard games in the last three pool games.

“But we are in a good position and if you’d told me before the start we would have 12 points at this stage, I would have been very happy.”

UJ received a scare in the final game on Monday when a determined Kovsies held them to 2-2 scoreline at the end of regulation time before the Johannesburg varsity took the penalty shootout.

It means they are level at the top of the log with Tuks, but the Pretoria team have a superior goal difference. The top two are followed by Maties and Wits, both on nine points.

“There are some exciting matches coming up this weekend,” said Ewing. “Tuks versus Maties should be interesting, as will be our game against Tuks.

“And then we have a Gauteng derby against Wits, who are confident and have been playing some good hockey. We know each other really well so it will be an interesting start to the weekend.”

After defeating Maties and Pukke at the weekend, Ewing said he felt they slipped a bit against UCT on Sunday, despite winning 2-1, and did not take their chances against Kovsies.

“Kovsies were really determined and worked really hard, but I think we let ourselves down a bit.

“We created numerous circle entries and, although I wouldn’t say we dominated the game, we wouldn’t have put ourselves under pressure if we had taken our chances better.

“But I am proud of our guys because they still found a way to get the three points and that says a lot. If you can win when you play poorly, then you must be doing something right.”

Finishing on top of the log at the end of the league phase is now UJ’s priority, said Ewing.

“We may have had some luck, but we have to try to take that luck and run with it.”

UJ’s fixtures are:
Wits (May 13), Tuks (May 14), NMMU (May 15)

Varsity Sports media release

A dozen of the best in hectic eGoli derby

By Jonathan Cook

The opening match of the much-anticipated second leg of the 2016 Varsity Sports men’s hockey competition delivered a 12-goal bonanza early Friday afternoon that had the fans engaged throughout.

The Maties Astro in the picturesque gem that is gorgeous Stellenbosch saw defending champs University of Johannesburg rally after a sluggish start to eventually prevail to the tune of 8-4 after the scoreboard had reflected an edgy 3-2 UJ scoreline at the changeover.

Defences were leaky as the rigours of the Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals was followed hot on its heels by the UJ opening leg of Varsity Hockey 2016.

And it was UJ who were caught napping as early as the fourth minute when the alert Wits striker Brandon James pounced. UJ leveled matters nine action-packed minutes later when Kingsley Botes finished with an impressive economy of movement after Rayner York’s enterprise and foresight had carved up the Wits defence.

Just four minutes later the adjective “topsy-turvy” took on new meaning when marksman Amkelwa Letuka edged UJ ahead from field play. It was hardly a surprise when Wits made it 2-2 five minutes into the second quarter via the trusty stick of Sean Donaldson.

However, the portents of doom boomed out loud and clear five minutes before half-time when the formidable UJ penalty corner machine kicked into gear, the lethal drag-flick expertise of skipper Gareth Heyns simply too much to handle.

At 3-2 up the momentum was almost entirely with the reigning champs and Heyns completed a stunning PC hat-trick inside 10 minutes of mayhem to race his team to 5-2. Field goals (FGs) from James Gilbert and Nicolas Rowe established a five-goal cushion before another successful penalty corner (PC) strike – this time by Courtney Halle – put UJ out of sight against shell-shocked opponents.

Wits redeemed themselves somewhat with the last two goals of an entertaining – if loose – encounter that delighted the casual hockey fan but disturbed the purists.

Craig Daniel (FG) and Dylan Murray (PC) were the last two players to get on the scoresheet to turn 8-2 into 8-4 but in the final analysis it was UJ’s match.

FNB Player of the Match: Brandon James (Wits)

Mugg & Bean Star Saver: Craig Daniel (Wits)

Samsung Super Striker: Gareth Heyns (UJ)

Varsity Sports media release

The big moments are kinder to UCT than Kovsies

By Jonathan Cook

In a match chock-full of endeavour and flashes of great hockey, University of Cape Town (UCT) outlasted University of the Free State (Kovsies) in a penalty shootout after the scores were locked at 3-3 in regulation time.

The shootout belonged to UCT whose 3-0 shut-out of the Free State lads reflected an ability to handle the high-pressure moments in a better fashion than their opponents.

Both sides were guilty of too much individualism at the expense of combination play and this common flaw negated the promise of a number of attacks that were launched from deep.

UCT troubled the scorekeepers first when captain Bjorn Sorensen nailed down a penalty corner (PC) in the third minute. And four minutes from the half-time break in what was a frenetic first half, Sorensen added a second PC strike to establish a two-goal cushion for the Capetonians.

The feisty Free Staters were far from down and out and hit back on the cusp of half-time when Ryan Scheepers netted from field play.

UCT duly restored their two-goal advantage in the 40th minute, thanks to the on-song Sorensen’s hat-trick effort – this time from the field route.

At 3-1 to the good, UCT could perhaps be forgiven for stepping off the gas – even if not consciously – and the lads from Bloem needed no further encouragement.

Egon van der Merwe and Brad Hensberg ensured parity for Kovsies and the last three minutes – with the scores deadlocked at 3-3 – delivered a passage of nail-biting action during which both of these willing outfits enjoyed match-clinching opportunities.

But it was not to be and the final hooter signalled that the teams were going into the penalty shootout phase (draws are not tolerated in Varsity Cup hockey) … and it was in this department that UCT were markedly superior over a gallant Kovsies.

FNB Player of the Match: Louwfrans Esterhuizen (Kovsies)

Mugg & Bean Star Saver: Anton van Loggerenberg (UCT)

Samsung Super Striker: Bjorn Sorrensen (UCT)

Varsity Sports media release

Pukke fight to the very end but Madibaz do enough

By Jonathan Cook

Match three on day one of the Maties leg of the Varsity Hockey competition Friday witnessed another hotly-contested tussle that embodied the pride these exciting young students have in their team colours.

The fancied Madibaz (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) who, player-for-player, boast a healthy number of performers with more illustrious reputations than their hardworking opponents Pukke (North West University), were made to sweat on the way to a 4-3 victory, the score reading 1-0 to the Port Elizabeth lads at half-time.

The tenacious Pukke from Potchefstroom were forced to play catch-up for 75% of the game but it was a tribute to their gritty determination that they were able to stay within a whisker of forcing this absorbing clash into a winner-takes-all penalty shootout.

Madibaz struck the first blow when Kevin Carroll hit a field goal in the seventh minute and that’s the way the score remained until Pukke’s Sinoxolo Mbekeni netted from a penalty corner (PC) three minutes after the interval.

The Madibaz restored their one-goal lead almost immediately from the re-start but once again the Pukke clawed their way back into contention when Gertjie Lamprecht’s effort from field play left the teams at even-stevens (2-2).

But two goals in an eight-minute period in the final quarter by Madibaz’ Kevin Carroll (his second of the match) and Ignatius Malgraff left Pukke with too much to do in too little time.

Madibaz’ 4-2 advantage was whittled down when Francois Cilliers converted a PC at the death but the final hooter forced the proud Pukke to accept defeat, but an honourable loss of the highest order.

FNB Player of the Match: Ignatius Malgraff (Madibaz)

Mugg & Bean Star Saver: Grant Kapp (Madibaz)

Samsung Super Striker: Kevin Carroll (Madibaz)

Varsity Sports media release

Maties mean machine shatters Tuks challenge

By Jonathan Cook

The Mugg & Bean coffee was piping hot and the on-fire Maties from the University of Stellenbosch reflected exactly that in a stunning 6-1 blitzkrieg demolition of an outplayed University of Pretoria Tuks in the finale of day one’s action-packed Varsity Sport men’s hockey fare at a packed Maties Astro Friday night.

Yet the scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story as the teams were level-pegging 1-1 at the changeover. That said, in the final analysis had Tuks keeper Estiaan Kriek not pulled off a series of breath-taking saves during this pulsating encounter the Maties mean machine may well have shattered the double-figure mark.

Head coach Ashlin Freddy’s star-studded young Maties play at a blistering pace which has the potency to overwhelm opponents and it is their swarming presence that throttles the life out of even the most talented of teams.

Wave after wave of maroon-shirted warriors poured forward in lightning raids on the counter that were backed by carefully crafted guile borne of countless hours of productive practice on the training pitch.

It’s not to say that Tuks, chock-full of talented ball players boasting an impressive pedigree, were toothless – indeed the Pretorians had their moments but too few and far between to seriously trouble the hometown heroes or their delighted fans.

The biggest crowd seen so far at Varsity Hockey 2016 were treated to passages of exhilarating play that yielded spectacular goals from set-pieces and the field.

It was great to see, too, the mutual respect and indeed camaraderie between the opposing players as they shook hands in the traditional post-match rituals – and if both teams reach the Monday, May 23 grand finale it would be a fitting epitaph to a great event.

FNB Player of the Match: Keenan Horne (Maties)

Mugg & Bean Star Saver: Kewan Harries (Tuks)

Samsung Super Striker: Daniel bell (Maties)

Varsity Sports media release

Alegre back in FINAL4 after eight year wait

One of the key players in the inaugural EHL season with Club Egara, Ramon Alegre is hoping to make it second time lucky in the FINAL4 with SV Kampong and take down the ultimate prize.

The defender returned to Kampong this season after a two-year stint with Real Club de Polo and would dearly love to win a medal having missed out back in 2008 in the FINAL4.

Reflecting on that time, he told the EHL website: “I played the FINAL4 in Rotterdam in the first edition. It was an amazing experience.

“Everything was new for everybody: competition, rules, environment, TV and so on. Looking back to all EHL Final4 editions, I can assure you that we will face thrilling and unforgettable matches. We have to be mentally well-prepared to perform at our best.”

The 34-year-old says he is delighted that the prestigious event has come to the region where he grew up, one which will guarantee a great atmosphere.

“Hockey is a local tradition that gets passed down from generation to generation. We are a truly passionate hockey community, proud to be competitive with our clubs and the national team in the major tournaments so I expect a fully packed stadium ready to enjoy the best club hockey competition.”

And he says Saturday’s FINAL4 opponent is part of that rich tradition, hailing from nearby Terrassa, just 30km up the road.

“Atlètic is a passionate team and the players have a close relationship with their supporters. Their main strength: they have the faith that, until the last second, everything is possible, especially in a tight match.”

Kampong, though, go into the tie as favourites and they finished the Dutch league on a high, defeating HGC twice in a row to claim third place and a ticket to next season’s competition.

And Alegre hopes to continue that run of form.

“We performed to a high-level during the semi-final matches against Amsterdam but unfortunately we didn't reach the final.

“It was a down moment for the team but we came back mentally really strong to beat HGC in the two matches and get the EHL ticket for next season. So, we are ready for another exciting weekend ahead.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Ranking points for Asian Champions Trophy

By Jugjet Singh

THE Fourth Edition of Asian Champions Trophy finally received  recognition as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) will accord it world ranking points.

Ranking points have become paramount, as the World League format to qualify for World Cups and Olympics relies heavily on it when teams are tied on the same placing.

Malaysia finished sixth in the World League semi-finals in Antwerp, but Argentina World League sixth placed New Zealand went to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics because they were higher ranked.

The decision by the FIH Executive Board, which met in April, was conveyed to the Asian Hockey Federation on May 12.

"This is great news for Asian teams and it will surely make the tournament more competitive as well raise its profile," said Malaysian Hockey Confederation CEO K. Logan Raj.

"From our perspective, gaining valuable ranking points will surely boost our chances of moving up the world rankings."

With a higher profile, it can be rest assured that this years Asian Champions Trophy, slated from Oct 20-30 in Kuantan, could see a more closely challenged event, thus giving Asian hockey the much needed boost.

The other five teams which will compete in Kuantan are India, Pakistan, South Korea, China and Japan -- based on the top-six finish in the last Asian Games.

The ACT, incepted in 2011, was not accorded ranking points and teams started to take it lightly by sending their development squads.

Prior to this teams in Asia could only gain ranking points from continental tournaments like the Asian Games or Asia Cup.

And for the second-tier Asian teams, the FIH confirmed that an Asian Champions Challenge will be held where ranking points will also be accorded.

Malaysia ranked 13th in the World, held world no 8 New Zealand 3-3 twice in the Azlan Shah Cup pool and bronze medal matches, indicating that the team's rankings are well below their playing level.

The first edition of the ACT was held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, in 2011 followed by Doha, Qatar, in 2012 and Kakamigahara, Japan, in 2013.

Malaysia finished third in all three ACT's, which did not offer any ranking points then.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

FIH approve ranking points for Asian Champions Trophy

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) have approved the issuing of ranking points for the Asian Champions Trophy in what is clearly a major endorsement of the Asian-level competition.

The decision by the FIH Executive Board was made in April, but it was only was conveyed to the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) on Thursday.

This will surely raise the profile of the Asian Champions Trophy, which had, since its inception in 2011, never been accorded any FIH ranking points.

Prior to this, teams in Asia could only gain world ranking points from continental tournaments like the Asian Games or Asia Cup.

This led to some teams taking the Asian Champions Trophy lightly, with some sending mixed or developmental squads.

But with this new turn of events, this year’s Asian Champions Trophy should see teams fielding their top sides.

This year’s Asian Champions Trophy is set to be held in Kuantan from Oct 20-30.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) chief executive officer K. Logan Raj welcomed FIH’s decision.

“This is great news for Asian teams ... and certainly long overdue,” he said.

“It will surely make the tournament more competitive as well as help raise the tournament’s profile.

“From our perspective, gaining valuable ranking points will surely boost our chances of moving up the world ranking.

“After all, the European Championship is recognised by the FIH.”

The teams taking part in the Asian Champions Trophy are India, Pakistan, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and China.

The FIH have also accorded the same status for the Asian Champions Challenge

The Star of Malaysia

We are not underdogs anymore: Manpreet Singh

Manpreet Singh. (Getty Images)

NEW DELHI: Ace midfielder Manpreet Singh feels India are no more "underdogs" in world hockey and said they are ready to take on top sides in the upcoming Champions Trophy, starting June 10 in London.

"We have beaten teams like Holland twice in the past two years. We defeated them in Champions Trophy 2014 and then in the World Hockey League Final. Likewise we have beaten Germany and also Australia (in Test Series). We don't feel scared to take on big teams anymore. We don't think ourselves as underdogs anymore. In fact, we will go with the confidence that we are as good as any other team if not better," said Manpreet.

India will face Germany in their opening match on June 10 and Manpreet believes the tournament will provide them the platform to fine-tune their game further in the lead-up to the Rio Olympics .

"We will find out where we need further improvement to our game. We can access each of our abilities to perform under pressure because each of these matches will be high intensity. Also if we make mistakes here, we will have some time to correct them before the Olympics," he said.

Manpreet idolises Germany captain Moritz Furste and said the chance to play alongside the German during the Hockey India League has helped him improve his game.

"For youngsters like me HIL gave us the platform to interact with top players on and off the field. During HIL I got to learn from players like Moritz Furste and Barry Middleton (England) on how to play under pressure situations, how to play a back drive while playing defence and also how to control the game when you are in the lead. I believe these things has helped me mature as a player," he said.

Speaking about Manpreet, India's chief coach Roelant Oltmans said the midfielder has brought value to his scheme of things.

"Manpreet brings attitude, leadership and he brings the mentality of a winner. I think these qualities for a young player like him are very important. He is a winner and we need winners like him in the team. I have seen him evolve as a mature player in these past few years," Oltmans said.

The Times of India

Current PHF regime lacks vision, sincerity: Mudassar Asghar

Mohammad Yaqoob

LAHORE: Former Olympian and ex-secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) retired Col Mudassar Asghar has slammed the current PHF set-up for its wrong priorities and says the federation is not on the right track to achieve the goals in the world of hockey.

In an exclusive interview with Dawn here on Friday, Mudassar said: “Instead of doing some better for Pakistan hockey, the PHF is getting involved in provincial bodies politics, working on the useless idea of holding hockey league at an off-shore venue, defaming the country for a second time after rejection of visas for the veteran players and by taking the decision of not playing in the Champions Trophy due to fear of defeat.

“And on top of all this, the PHF is demanding funds in billions of rupees from the government without having achieved anything substantial so far. All this shows how unconcerned the PHF is about the revival of national hockey and is only keen to further the agenda of its own officials.”

He said the PHF held the elections of the Punjab Hockey Association (PHA) recently just to bring their blue-eyed persons at the helm of affairs as a no-confidence move was passed against the previous set-up of Pervaiz Bhindara without following any rules or regulations. “If you are focused on such issues just to bring friends and well-wishers in the set-up, ignoring merit and professionalism, you will waste time and earn nothing even if you have billions in the account,” said Mudassar.

“It is a fact that in Qasim Zia’s tenure, the PHF received record funding from the government, but was Pakistan able to raise a strong team in that era? It did not happen because nepotism prevailed then too and only ‘friends’ were accommodated,” he lamented.

Mudassar further said that now the PHF was planning to hold its own league on an off-shore venue on the pattern of cricket’s Pakistan Super League but it won’t be of much benefit.

“Though it is a good idea but it should be held here in the country where the game is dying,” he said. “Who will bear the huge expenditure of holding the event abroad and who will sponsor our hockey teams, andhow will our players benefit by playing there?” he asked.

“Instead of holding leagues and wasting the money, the PHF should be more focused on revamping the domestic structure and to bring improvement in club and schools hockey.”

Col. Mudassar pointed out that the 30 years of Pakistan’s reputation and hard work in the Champions Trophy was ruined by the PHF as it did not accept the FIH invitation to take part in its upcoming edition,to be held in London this year, due to fear of defeat.

“Unless Pakistan plays against the strong teams, it could not raise any formidable squad and the Champions Trophy is the best platform for that purpose,” he said. “I would like to ask if the decision to stay away from the Champions Trophy was taken just by some individuals or by the PHF Board.

“Pakistan had finished at a pathetic 11th place in the World Cup 1986, but we made a comeback in Olympics 1988 and in 1990 World Cup to make top four teams in the world just because people functioning in the PHF then had worked with sincerity and dedication,” he recalled.

Speaking about the recent humiliation due to rejection of visas to the veteran teams for a second time, Mudassar said: “The veterans have to play a series against Indian counterpart in England in June this year but the UK High Commissioner issued visa to only one Pakistani player which is such a shame.

“Earlier, the PHF also made a mockery of the national honour when only seven veteran players could get visa of Australia to play a tournament there.”

Commenting on reports that the PHF is asking for funds of Rs1.5 billion from the government to improve national hockey, Mudassar said: “They do not have any vision for the game. The PHF also says it is keen to develop grounds and stada but it the job of the federal and provincial governments PHF has the job to just point out where the stadium should be built.

“I will again advice the current PHF set-up to show sincerity, honesty, dedication as these are the keys to achieve the required goals and victories will come automatically,” he asserted.

He said the 2018 World Cup is not far away and soon the PHF has to raise a formidable team but it is unlikely to succeed if they continue to hoodwink the nation.

He also criticised the PHF for banning Tiger Club, Islamabad without probing the matter thoroughly.


Turkey TAP into Dutch success

The International Hockey Federation (FIH)-led Targeted Assistance Programme (TAP) continues to help hockey grow across the globe, as Turkey becomes the latest nation to embody the principles of the FIH Hockey Revolution.

With two training and education courses already under its belt, the Turkish Hockey Federation is working with the KNHB – the national federation for the Netherlands – the European Hockey Federation (EHF) and the FIH in a joint partnership working towards the development of Turkish Hockey.

The four-year programme focuses on the development of hockey, with courses aimed at players – including specific goalkeeper training – as well as umpires and coaches. The ambition is for professionalism in all aspects of the game to be raised, in line with the aims of FIH’s 10-year strategy.

In April the focus was on coaches and, to that end, a group of 19 Level One coaches attended a four day training course, as part of the “Training the Workforce” element of TAP.

While Turkey is the focus nation for this exciting programme, the EHF is keen that the expertise and impact of the initiative will spread further afield to the other South-East Europe countries.

The April training course was the second educational course to be held under the TAP banner. In October, an Indoor Hockey Seminar took place in Alanya at the Sunprime Numa Beach. The seminar was aimed at regional coaches, club managers, umpires and players.

FIH Course Conductor Michel Kinnen and FIH umpire manager and secretary of the EHF Appointments Committee Yolande Brada joined the seminar as well as other experts in their field.

Overseeing the project through its four-year time scale is EHF Development and Education Manager Norman Hughes who will manage the project on behalf of EHF Development and Education committees.

The indoor hockey seminar’s main goal was to expand the knowledge base of coaches, umpires and players. Over the course of the programme, coaches and players learned about patterns of play, training principles and bench management. The group worked together with interactive video workshops and assigned tasks to get a better understanding of the material.

Yolande Brada’s focus was on the umpires, where she covered the rules of Indoor Hockey and its interpretations, positioning and how the rules work in real life, with the aid of footage from different tournaments.

Approximately 90 umpires participated, ranging from FIH umpires and top regional umpires through to beginners. The range of ability and experience was used to great effect, with the more experienced umpires leading some activities.

There were also sessions on the ‘soft skills’ of coaching. Yolande Brada worked with Professor Dr. Ridvan Ekmekci, Head of Sport Management Department at the University of Denizli in a workshop about communication and with Özgür Atac, sport psychologist, about how to deal with stress.

The Turkish Hockey Federation President Kıvanç Hürdoğan said: "I would like to thank the FIH and the EHF for their support for our seminar. The seminar of Education and Development was attended by 250 people and, according to what we have seen, it was really beneficial and has accelerated the progress. Thanks to this progress we believe that we will succeed in the Round One of the World League for men and the U18 Championships for Girls and Boys’.

The aim over the four-year period is for the bodies involved to support the Turkish Hockey Federation in the training of their key workforce members (coaches, umpires and event management) at the same time as developing a High Performance plan for their National squads. The project links closely with FIH Engage and Empower programmes, a key part of the Hockey Revolution.

For more information about the Hockey Revolution, click here.

Other links:

- Turkish Hockey Federation

FIH site

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