All the news for Saturday 21 May 2016
Mexico stun host Canada at Junior Pan Am
Argentina, USA and Chile also win on opening day
Kaelan Watson, for PAHF
Today marked the first day of the Junior Men’s Pan American Championship. The standard of hockey seen in today’s matches has set a high bar for what is to be expected for the remainder of the tournament. It was evident that each team worked hard in their preparation for the competition and plan to make the most of the hard work they’ve put in.
Trinidad came out guns blazing to kick off the first game of the Junior Men’s Pan Am Championship against Argentina. They dominated the play in the initial minutes and created the first goal scoring opportunity in the form of a corner early in the first half. The seemingly flawless flick was cast aside by an outstanding stick save from Argentina’s goalkeeper; Ignacio Correa. The momentum slowly shifted and Argentina was awarded the first goal of the tournament by way of penalty corner flick from Domene Thomas in the twenty-third minute. Argentina managed to net two more field goals before breaking for halftime. Trinidad and Tobago started the second half true to form and maintained the majority of possession early on in the second half. Although they matched level of play demonstrated by Argentina for most of the second half, Argentina skillfully found the back of the net two more times before the final horn blew.
The second match of the day between USA and Puerto Rico started off slowly on both sides. Puerto Rico created a couple scoring opportunities but skill breakdown in the circle ultimately prevented these opportunities from rendering any goals. USA’s Doug Allison eventually lit up the score board in the seventh minutes. This goal seemed to give the USA their sea legs and Sean Cicci was quickly identified as a fan favourite as he scored USA’s following three consecutive goals to finish out the first half. Though Puerto Rico played a tough and physical game, Cicci was able to pot two more penalty corners in the second half and an eighth and final goal was scored by USA’s George McGuigan in the seventieth minute of the match. The final score rounding off to 8-0 in favour of the USA.
Both Guyana and Chile managed to generate heavy attack in the first half of the third match of the day. But It wasn’t until the twentieth minute that Chilean Franco Becerra was able to open up the scoring with a reverse shot from the top of the circle. Chile managed to secure their lead with one more goal before heading into halftime. Chile demonstrated excellent patience in their possession and managed to sink five more goals in the second half. Guyana fought hard and managed to get themselves on the scoreboard with a reverse shot off the stick of Aroydy Brandford in the fifty-eighth minute. Guyana, as the youngest team in the tournament, put up a strong effort against a very talented Chile and ended up with a result of 7-1 for Chile.
The final match of the day between host team Canada and Mexico was likely the most evenly matched competition of the day. Canada maintained possession in the offensive zone in the first half, but Mexico’s aggressive defensive style continued to send Canada back to their end and back to the drawing board. Mexico also spent their fair share of time in Canada’s circle. They obtained the first goal of the match by a penalty corner flick being neatly deflected into the corner of Canada’s net by Ivan Arballo. Only seven minutes later of even attack, Canadian Brandon Pereira managed to rip a flick into the back of the opposition’s net, nullifying Mexico’s one-goal lead. Mexico took back their lead with another flick slipping past Canada’s penalty corner defense, and a third goal against eleven Canadian field players following coach Sehmbi’s decision to pull the goalkeeper. Canada managed to net one final goal in the last second of the match to round off the score to 3-2 in favour of Mexico.
Pan American Hockey Federation Media release
Mexico hands Canada 3-2 loss in opening match of Junior Men’s Pan Ams
PHOTO: Canada’s Rajan Kahlon (right) is challenged by Mexico’s Miguel Othon May 20 at the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship in Toronto (Photo: Yan Huckendubler)
On the shoulders of three second half goals, Mexico defeated Canada’s Under-21 men 3-2 in both teams’ first game of the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship Friday in Toronto.
All five goals in the game were scored in an intense second half, which featured back-and-forth action, including a Mexican scoring chance in the first moments of the half and Canada scoring in the 70th minute.
“We had a couple chances to score and execution wasn’t the best,” says Canada’s Head Coach Inderpal Sehmbi. “We didn’t do a couple things we talked about before the game. You’ve got to do those things to win games.”
The game began with a quick opportunity for the Canadians, who were playing in front of a home crowd at the University of Toronto’s Pan Am Fields.
In the first minute, a ball was hit hard from the corner of the pitch across the face of the Mexican goal and Ottawa’s Rohan Chopra just missed getting a stick on it at the side of the net.
Canada had another chance to open the scoring in the 6th minute on their first penalty corner of the game. Brandon Pereira lined up and took the dragflick but the Mexicans were able to block.
Mexico got their best chance of the first half on a penalty corner of their own in the 19th minute, but Canada’s lead runner Satbir Brar came up with a big block.
Before the end of the half, Mexico was given a green card for a foul in the midfield and Canada was able to earn another corner in the 34th minute. This time, Pereira got his shot through but narrowly missed to the Mexican goalkeeper Jose Hernandez’s right.
After the scoreless first half, both teams came out with more emotion and intensity in the second.
Only moments into the second frame, Mexico sent a long ball behind the Canadian defense, but the breakaway chance was put just wide by Canadian keeper Iqwinder Gill.
Canada pushed back and a nice run the length of the Mexican half and into the circle by Fin Boothroyd resulted in Canada’s third short corner of the match. But Johnny Gill’s attempt was blocked.
Only moments later, Mexico was given their second corner of the match and scored the first goal of the game when Ivan Arballo beat the right post-man for the 1-0 lead in the 44th minute.
The Mexicans continued to pressure but Canada was able to avoid a second goal against and in the 51st minute got their first of the game when Pereira – on his third short corner attempt – put a high, hard flick into the top corner to tie the game.
Minutes later, Chopra had an opportunity at the side of the goal – similar to his chance in the opening moments of the game – but couldn’t connect to give Canada the lead.
It was Mexico – on another corner conversion at the near post – which ended up going ahead in the 59th minute on a flick by Maximiliano Mendez.
With time running out, Canada threw everything at the Mexicans to try and tie the game.
Chopra got behind the defense in the 62nd minute and was knocked down from behind, but the umpires ruled only a long corner.
After two unsuccessful penalty corners, Canada pulled its goalkeeper for the extra attacker and Mexico ended up scoring in the 69th minute (Raymundo Lemus) to go up 3-1.
Canada continued to press, now trying to lessen the goal differential and in the 70th minute were able to do so on a nice solo effort by Amrit Sidhu.
The game ended 3-2 for Mexico, who join Chile at the top of Pool B with 3 points. Canada will face the Chileans in its next match Saturday at 2:30pm PT/5:30pm ET.
The game can be watched live here.
Field Hockey Canada media release
U-21 USMNT Opens Jr Pan Am Play with a Strong Victorious Performance
Photo courtesy of PAHF
TORONTO - The U.S. U-21 Men's National Team opened up at their account at the Junior Pan American Championship with a convincing 8-0 win against Puerto Rico.
The USA could have taken the lead in the first minute if it wasn’t for an excellent close-in save by the opposition goalkeeper after Amar Khokar (Valencia, Calif.) took the shot. The USA was dominant from the first whistle and created chance after chance in open play but lacked the composure in front of goal to make their dominance count. It wasn't until Stewart Kentwell (Spring City, Pa.) picked the ball up on the opposing 25-yard line, carried left to right and fired a ball that had too much pace for the Puerto Rico goalkeeper to deal handle converting the score to USA 1, Puerto Rico 0.
Following the goal, Sean Cicchi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) started to control the game and after a few warm-up penalty corner flicks on goal, he found his rhythm. His first goal came with a high flick. The USA clearly saw their penalty corner unit as the key to the game. Cicchi would complete his hat-trick before the half was over. It was 4-0 at the end of the first half.
On the other side of the pitch, unnecessary turnovers handed chances to Puerto Rico. Any threat going forward, however, was snuffed out by Ruben van Dam (Valkenswaard, Netherlands) and goalkeeper Nate O’Lari (Orange, Mass.).
The second half had the same flow as the first. Casey Walker (Ventura, Calif.) and Ethan LaSala (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)had chances but couldn’t take them, while George McGuigan (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) imposed himself on the right side of midfield.
The next three goals all came from Cicchi, giving him a remarkable double hat-trick. The icing on the cake came with just 20 seconds to go as great work from Doug Allison (Westlake Village, Calif.), Casey Khokar (Ventura, Calif.) and finally McGuigan brought number eight for the US.
“It was a solid start for us,” said Rutger Wiese, U-21 USMNT Head Coach. “We could certainly have scored more, and we can play better, but to score eight times the very first game is a huge positive. Now we will prepare for Argentina tomorrow.”
The next Jr. Pan Am for Team USA is against Argentina 12:30 p.m. EST on Saturday. Watch a live here by clicking here.
Great Britain set for Australia test
Nick Catlin celebrates scoring against AUS in the World league
Bobby Crutchley’s Great Britain side are all set to take on World No1 Australia in the first of a the three test series tomorrow at 730am UK time. Those of you up and around early in the morning will be able to follow the action live online as these two sides take another step on the road to Rio.
The stakes are always high when these two old sporting foes lock horns and with a number of players from both teams looking to force their way into the reckoning for the Hockey Champions Trophy and the Olympic Games each and every individual will be desperate to give their best and catch the coach’s eye.
Bobby Crutchley has named a travelling party of 22 players with a blend of experienced campaigners and some exciting up and comers. Simon Mantell will win his 200th cap in the next match he features in whilst at the other end of the scale; the likes of David Ames, Ian Sloan and Sam Ward are gaining valuable experience all the time.
Australia’s record against Great Britain is a proud one. The two teams have met 54 times with the Kookaburras winning 32 of those with a goal difference of 137 for and 70 against. More recently, honours have been a bit more even, however with Great Britain winning two and drawing one of the last six meetings between the two sides.
The last clash was a 5-2 win for Bobby Crutchley’s team at the World League Final in India. It was Great Britain’s biggest ever win over the Kookaburras and included a first GB goal for Henry Weir.
Head Coach Crutchley is relishing the challenge, telling Great Britain Hockey:
“This is another important part of our preparation for the Champions Trophy and the Olympic Games. We want to challenge ourselves against the best and Australia in their own back yard is about as tough as it gets.”
“It’s a great opportunity for the squad to play against a different style of hockey in different conditions and will be a chance for a number of individuals to stake a claim for selection for the tournaments this summer. It’s not going to be easy but we are really looking forward to a positive trip and continuing our development as a group ahead of a big summer of hockey.”
The Kookaburras have chosen a squad of 27 athletes to take part over the three games including the return of Glenn Turner, Tim Deavin, Trent Mitton, Dylan Wotherspoon, Daniel Beale, Joshua Beltz, Kiel Brown, Tristan Clemons, Matthew Swann and Andrew Philpott to their squad for the first time in 2016.
Australia Head Coach, Graham Reid said: “We’ve chosen a larger squad than usual to take part in the series against Great Britain, and it’s great that playing in Narrogin and Perth has given us the opportunity to do so. This is really to give everyone the chance to show their worth, and for discovery ahead of both the Champions Trophy and the Olympic Games selection.”
With the two sides facing off in their opening Champions Trophy clash in London on Friday 10 June and then again at the Olympics, this series will also give both sides the chance to strike a psychological blow to their rivals.
Both these teams will come out of the test series raring to go for the Hockey Champions Trophy in London this June. with a re-run of the test series set for the opening Friday of the competition this promises to be a clash not to be missed. Tickets to all days of the Champions Trophy can be bought here.
England Hockey Board Media release
Kookaburra Brown wants one last crack at Olympics
Kiel Brown in action for Australia. Dean Mouhtaropoulos
At 32, Kookaburras veteran Kiel Brown knows he is nearer the end of his international career than the start.
But the Queenslander, who also works as a psychologist at Wesley College in Perth, said he would not consider his hockey future until after the coming Champions Trophy and Rio Olympics.
"When things get a little quieter I'll sit down with my wife and we'll chat about the future," Brown told Australian Regional Media.
In the meantime, he will go full tilt to try to convince national coach Graham Reid to stick with him for Rio.
And after missing last month's Azlan Shah Cup triumph in Malaysia for the birth of he and wife Jessica's second son, Finn, not to mention recovering from a broken finger, he plans to make up for lost time in the three-Test series against Great Britain starting in Narrogin in country Western Australia today.
"I'm really looking forward to facing Great Britain. They will be good opposition," Brown said. "It'll be my first time playing for Australia this year and it'll be great to be back in the green and gold."
While the Azlan Shah success was Australia's ninth in the tournament, Brown said the Kookaburras were determined to improve on their third-placed efforts in the last Champions Trophy and Olympic Games.
"We always go into tournaments with ambitions of winning gold," he said.
Brown also said an insight into the Kookaburras' high standards was made clear after their win over Belgium in the final of the World League tournament in India last December.
After the win, the coach said he was disappointed his team picked up a few yellow and green cards for disciplinary reasons.
"We want our coach to never be satisfied. It would be disappointing if he came out and said 'I'm happy with the performance and there's nothing else they can do'," Brown said.
The Kookaburras' three matches against Great Britain - today, tomorrow and Tuesday - will be streamed live via Epicentre.tv.
Hockey king to end his reign in Rio
The nickname chronology behind hockey legend Jamie Dwyer is an apt reflection of his 15-year career.
The five-times world hockey player of the year was dubbed “Foetus” by his national teammates because he was the smallest and youngest of the Kookaburras class of 2001.
But he will finish his reign after the Rio Olympics in August more appropriately known as “King”.
“I get King a lot these days because they think I’m the king,” Dwyer laughed in an interview withThe Weekend West .
“Foetus is pretty much gone now and King is pretty cool because I loved (rugby league great) Wally Lewis and he was the king.”
Dwyer fittingly has worn the No.1 jersey throughout his elite hockey life.
He said that after a brief feeling of malaise late in his career, he had rekindled his childhood love for the game.
He has long had a hatred for what he describes as “boring hockey” and promises to put on a show in his last two games for the Kookaburras in Australia, tonight against Great Britain in Narrogin and at the Perth Hockey Stadium on Tuesday.
“It will be a little bit emotional for me,” Dwyer said. “I played my first game for Australia against New Zealand in Melbourne almost 15 years ago to the day.
“It’s all gone so quick but I’m lucky to have played this long for Australia and at the end of the day I can look in the mirror and know that I’ve given everything I could for the sport.”
Dwyer has played more games and scored more goals for the Kookaburras than any other player in the nation’s rich history.
He is also part of the identity phenomenon produced by Rockhampton that includes politicians such as Australia’s shortest-serving prime minister Frank Forde. The city’s sporting roll of honour includes Rod Laver, Anna Meares, Mark Knowles, Duncan Armstrong and Kenrick Tucker.
“Coming from a country town to playing for Australia seemed nearly impossible,” Dwyer, a father of three, said.
“But without sport, I really don’t know what I’d be doing.”
Dwyer has lived in Perth since 1999 and has shared an incredible journey with Knowles, the current Kookaburras captain who is now his brother-in-law after marrying his sister Kelly.
The seemingly ageless 37-year-old has memories of wagging school to watch the Kookaburras play in the gold medal match at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
In 2004 he was the hero when he scored the “golden goal” that gave Australia its first Olympic gold medal in men’s hockey.
“It’s been 12 years since Athens but I still can’t believe I did it,” Dwyer said of Australian hockey’s most famous goal.
“It was a boyhood dream come true and the best moment in my life apart from my kids being born.”
Dwyer is short-listed to be Australia’s flag bearer at the Rio opening ceremony after initially setting the 2012 London Olympics as his swansong. But the lure of a fourth and final Olympics was too great to pass up.
“I’m a bit nervous about life after hockey,” he said. “I’ve set myself up well, but I am going to miss it, that’s for sure.
“Hopefully it ends with us having some success in Rio.”
The Western Australian
From needles to superman capes, Indian hockey team gear up for Rio
Harpreet Kaur Lamba
Members of the Indian hockey team during one of the team building activities
Do not be surprised if you see members of the Indian hockey team dressed in Superman capes or trying simple exercises like threading a needle every alternate afternoon at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru. The activities are part of psychology sessions in the build-up to the Rio Olympic Games and are aimed at keeping players relaxed and channelizing their minds to help perform at optimum levels.
Sport, they say, is played as much in the mind as on the field and sport psychologist Priyanka Prabhakar has been roped in to do just that. Players undergo sessions thrice a week focusing on team-building, handling pressure, fun activities, effective communication, besides other areas.
Said Priyanka, who is employed with the Sports Authority of India and had earlier worked with the national volleyball team and high jumpers, "Training the mind is one of the crucial aspect of our lives and it applies to sport too. In high pressure scenarios, athletes often have to take decisions in split seconds and we try and put them through such scenarios.
"Also, there is a lot of focus on staying together as a team, keeping them relaxed in the build-up to the Olympics, making sure that they voice their innermost feelings and learn something new every day. By doing this, they are making use of skills that they usually don’t have time or place to do in their extremely busy schedules with hockey being the focus at most times.
"We try and make these activities fun and creative, but each of them has a serious purpose," she says.
Last week, the team members were divided into four groups and asked to showcase their talent. While some enacted a play, a few posed as comic hero Superman trying to save the world, with the aid of props and a song and dance routine.
Explains Priyanka, "Besides team building, these activities help them shed inhibitions and express themselves more freely. It is also about self-belief and discovering your talent.
"The thread and needle task was based on stress management. The players were given just 30 seconds to do the task and suddenly we begun to throw coloured thermocol balls in the air. They were taken aback, but had to focus despite the surroundings. These are some of the many things that we do," says the 28-year-old, who teams up with Dechamma Muddappa.
The players, in turn, are responding well and look at these sessions as a "welcome break" from their gruelling schedule.
Skipper Sardar Singh says it is helping them come together and learn more about each other.
"It’s important to be tough in the mind. For me, a game is won and lost in the mind and through these sessions, the boys ask and learn about soaking up pressure and how to fall back on different plans in a difficult situation.
"For me personally, I used to get angry on the field when someone was not doing anything right or not giving 100 per cent. It left me frustrated. Slowly, I am learning to curb that and express myself in a more productive manner to take the team forward."
All this was not easy to begin with though. Priyanka and coach Roelant Oltmans did a lot of case study work and made notes according to each player.
"We did background work since each individual is different. While these activities are done together, we conduct individual sessions too. Some players find it difficult to open up or share their feelings, so we work according to their needs.
"The purpose it to help them manage stress, meet the demands of a professional sport life and open up new channels which will help them be more communicative on the field," says Priyanka.
The Asian Age
One week break will rejuvenate players: Oltmans
BENGALURU: India men's hockey team chief coach Roelant Oltmans feels the one week break starting Friday before the Champions Trophy will help the players rejuvenate themselves ahead of the Rio Olympics , the countdown for which has already begun.
The 29-member men's hockey squad will be on a week's break before they rejoin on May 29 and Oltmans said the idea, behind the move was to ensure the players are feeling fresh and hungry ahead of next month's FIH Champions Trophy in London.
"Starting June 5, the team will be away for almost a month playing two different tournaments in two different countries. Everything we do in this period will be demanding not just physically but also mentally," Oltmans said.
"Though we are entering an exciting period and looking forward to the Olympics, it was important to take off for a week and be in a different environment," said the Dutchman, who is also the high performance director of Indian hockey.
However, the players have been advised to stick to a healthy diet, which means no sweets or biryani and have also been given a specific program to follow.
"This includes gym and running only to ensure they stay at the same fitness level, Oltmans added.
After the Champions Trophy in London, the team will leave for Valencia, Spain to play a six-nation invitational tournament and will return only in the first week of July.
"The national selectors are likely to meet on July 5 to pick the final squad for the Olympics. We will start the national camp on July 11 which will be a two-week camp. After that we leave for Madrid to play two friendly matches with Spain and then head to Rio and play a friendly with Spain and New Zealand. I believe we have entered a very exciting period in the lead up to the Olympics," Oltmans said.
While Oltmans will celebrate his 62nd birthday with his wife and three sons, captain of the Indian team for the Champions Trophy PR Sreejesh is eager to meet his two-year-daughter back home in Kerala.
"Last night over the phone she was asking when is daddy coming home. We have been away training really hard for the past six weeks and this break with family will only help us come back fresh and eager to win," said the ace goalkeeper.
The Times of India
Hockey India likely to name Rio squad on July 5
BENGALURU: Hockey India (HI) selectors are likely to announce the men's squad for the Rio Olympics on July 5 while the two-week national camp will start on July 11, chief coach Roelant Oltmans said on Friday.
The team, captained by star goalkeeper PR Sreejesh , is currently preparing for the Champions Trophy in London from June 10 before heading off to Valencia, Spain, to play the six nations invitational tournament. The team will return to India in the first week of July.
As part of the final preparations for the Rio Games, the team will leave for Madrid to play two friendly matches with Spain and then head to Rio for a friendly with Spain and New Zealand before participating in the quadrennial event.
"The national selectors are likely to meet on July 5 to pick the final squad for the Olympics," Oltmans said in a release.
"We will start the national camp on July 11 which will be a two-week camp after we leave for Madrid, to play two friendly matches with Spain and then head to Rio and have a friendly with Spain and New Zealand," he added.
"I believe we have entered a very exciting period in the lead up to the Olympics."
Ahead of the hectic schedule, the 29-member Champions Trophy-bound team has been allowed to take a week's break before rejoining on May 29.
"Starting June 5, the team will be away for almost a month playing two different tournaments in two different countries. Everything we do in this period will be demanding not just physically but also mentally," the high performance director for Hockey India said.
"Though we are entering an exciting period and looking forward to the Olympics, vying to peak at Rio, it was important to take off for a week and be in a different environment."
Despite the break, the Dutchman has suggested to the players to stick to a healthy diet and a specific programme to follow.
"This includes gym and running only to ensure they stay at the same fitness level," Oltmans said.
While Oltmans will get to celebrate his 62nd birthday with his wife and three sons, Sreejesh is eager to meet his two-year-daughter back in Kerala.
"Last night over the phone she was asking when is daddy coming home. We have been away training really hard the past six weeks and this break with family will only help us come back feeling fresh and eager to win," said Sreejesh.
The Times of India
‘We’re coming here to win gold,’ says Argentina’s hockey captain Carla Rebecchi
Powerful women's team practise at Rio venue where they hope to go one better than at London 2012
Argentina are one of the most successful women's hockey teams in the world but Olympic gold has so far escaped them (Photo: Rio 2016/Felipe Varanda)
The Lionesses were roaring loud in Rio de Janeiro this week – Latin lionesses from the pampas of Argentina. The country's women's hockey team, known as Las Leonas, trained from Monday (16 May) to Wednesday in the new Olympic Hockey Centre in Deodoro Olympic Park as part of their quest for a first Olympic gold.
"We are coming here to win gold," veteran team captain Carla Rebecchi said. "The team is built on guts and dedication. When we are on the pitch, we give everything that we've got."
Argentina are the reigning Hockey World League champions but have never won the Olympic title. At London 2012, they lost the final 2-0 to the Dutch, who also knocked them out at the semi-final stage at Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004. On both occasions Argentina went home with bronze. At Sydney 2000, Argentina lost the gold medal match to hosts Australia.
The Lionesses trained at the Olympic Hockey Centre in Rio this week (Photo: Rio 2016/Felipe Varanda)
Before the start of the Olympic tournament, the Lionesses have another date with destiny. The team will be trying to complete a hat-trick of titles at the elite Hockey Champions Trophy in London in June. One more win and they will become the country with the greatest number of titles.
After training in Rio, the Argentines said they had relished the chance to practice on the Olympic pitches. "It is very good and fast, one of the best in the world. We are very happy to have the chance to be here to try it out," Noel Barrionuevo said.
In their first match, Argentina will be looking for revenge against the USA, who unexpectedly beat them 2-1 in the final of the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto.
Noel Barrionuevo hopes to steer Argentina to an unprecedented gold (Photo: Rio 2016/Felipe Varanda)
According to the official rankings of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the Netherlands are currently the world's no.1 team, with Argentina no.2. Expectation is already rising as the two powerhouses prepare to meet again in Rio in what is certain to be a dramatic Olympic showdown.
Men's Home Nations at Glasgow Hockey Centre
Following the success of Kelburne hosting the European Club event last weekend, Glasgow National Hockey Centre is the venue for the upcoming Men's o40 and o50 Home Nations Tournament. England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will lock horns across three days of competition which will feature many well known players.
The Scotland squads include players from all Districts, and also some players now based in England. All matches will be keenly contested and this is a good opportunity for spectators to see how Masters hockey is a growing area of our sport.
Entry to watch all the matches is free.
Friday 20 May
18:00 o50 Wales v Scotland (Pitch 1)
18:00 o40 England v Ireland (Pitch 2)
20:00 o40 Wales v Scotland (Pitch 1)
20:00 o50 England v Ireland (Pitch 2)
Saturday 21 May (all matches on Pitch 1)
10:00 o50 Ireland v Wales
12:00 o50 England v Scotland
14:00 o40 Ireland v Wales
16:00 o40 England v Scotland
Sunday 22 May
10:00 o50 Scotland v Ireland (Pitch 1)
10:00 o50 England v Wales (Pitch 2)
12:15 o40 Scotland v Ireland (Pitch 1)
12:15 o40 England v Wales (Pitch 2)
Scotland o40 Squad
Doug Swanson (Watsonians); Calum Wood (Dunfermline Carnegie); Craig Lamb (Grange); Michael Carnaghan (Kelburne); Scott Smith (ESM); Andy Maclaine (Hillhead); Owen Hadden (Giffnock); Kenny Stibbles (Maidstone); Douglas Lowdon (Grove Menzieshill); Chris Bonnar (Grove Menzieshill); Douglas Nicol (Falkirk); Neil Mitchinson (Grange); Stevie Chalmers (Dunfermline Carnegie); Gordon Moore (Oxton); Jeremy Sudebar (Mid-Sussex); David Brown (Greenock); Don Tervit (Kelburne); Willie Dunster (Dunfermline Carnegie)
Manager : Alan Lindsay; Coach : Keith Joss
Scotland o50 Squad
Martin McCourt (Newmarket); George Batchelor (Granite City Wanderers); Martin Constable (Grange); Greg Browne (Grange); Andrew Rogers (East Grinstead); Peter Fraser (Gordonians); Ian Robertson (Gordonians); John Swift (Hillhead); Peter Justice (Clydesdale); Peter Fowlie (Harris Academy FP); Jonathan Champion (Fidra Lions); Norman MacLeod (Grange); Paul Conkie (Watsonians); Neil Patterson (Gordonians); Barry Cox (Helensburgh); Calum Willard (Nottingham); David Magee (Kelburne); Donald MacFarlane (Grange)
Manager: Judie McCourt; Coach: Robin Plevin
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Mannheimer on brink of EHL place
Mannheimer can claim the first EHL spot from the German league this weekend when they host UHC Hamburg on the second last round of the Liga regular season.
They hold a five point lead at the top of the table with two rounds of matches still to play. It follows an incredible 17 game unbeaten run in the division and, should they win, would put a big dent in UHC’s playoff chances.
They sit fifth but with a game in hand over Harvestehuder THC and Rot Weiss Köln who are three points ahead of them in the rankings. UHC will look to close the gap on Sunday when they face a second tie of the weekend against TSV Mannheim.
For Rot Weiss, they will expect to strengthen their position with a tie against struggling Blau Weiss Berlin which coach André Henning describes as a "mandatory task in two ways.
“First, because we are clear favourites and, secondly, because the table situation is so tight that we can not afford any slips."
Harvestehuder play TSV Mannheim on Saturday in their bid to return to the playoffs. Second placed Crefelder HTC travel to Berliner HC for their one game of the weekend.
Euro Hockey League media release
Butali Sugar Warriors snap up Lawrence Okubasu from USIU
USIU coach Tom Olal believes Okubasu will be a success at his new club.
USIU's Lawrence Okubasu in action during a past Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League match. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s Premier League champions Butali Sugar Warriors have signed centre forward Lawrence Okubasu from United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) for an undisclosed fee.
Daily Nation Sport understands that Okubasu has already been released by the University side and he is expected to join his new teammates who are back in training ahead of the new season which gets underway next month.
Okubasu, 23, an alumnus of secondary school hockey power house St Anthony’s Boys Kitale, has been at USIU for the past three seasons and helped the club finish fourth last term after scoring 12 goals.
Butali head coach Cliffe Okello confirmed the signing saying Okubasu’s acquisition will bolster his team’s options upfront ahead of the new season and also the African Club Championship set for later this year.
“He (Okubasu) will be an asset to the team and his arrival will strengthen our options upfront and help us challenge for titles on all fronts in the new season,” Okello told Daily Nation Sport on Thursday.
He joins a formidable attack that includes former national team captain Zack Aura, Emmanuel Simiyu and Vincent Otieno.
The Kisumu-based side scored 106 goals from 28 matches to finish on 77 points, four more than second placed Kenya Police to claim their seventh league title.
USIU coach Tom Olal believes Okubasu will be a success at his new club as he prepares to look for reinforcements to fill the void.
“In the two seasons I have worked with him, he has given us his all and we wish him the best at Butali,” Olal said.
Lautoka hockey clash
FIVE teams will participate in the Lautoka Hockey Association 5-a-side round one competition in Fiji at the Nadovu grounds today.
The teams are Rockefellers, Mates, Blue Star, Falcons and Tokalau.
The association's president Marcel Hicks said all games would be over 21 minutes.
"After every seven minutes there will be a one minute break in each game," Hicks said.
"This is a new concept that we have adopted whereby the teams will change ends three times. The competition will run for four weeks.
"Also the challenge trophy match will be held in each round. This week, Rockefellers will defend the challenge trophy against Blue Star."
Falcons with district reps Sai Tukuca and Joe Hicks are favourites in the round one competition.
Matches will start at 2pm.
The Fiji Times
Runaway red sock success in South African township
As South Africa men and women’s junior teams both qualified for the Hockey Junior World Cup, the appetite for hockey in the sport-mad country is greater than ever. In fact, the sport is now gaining traction in areas and among communities who have little historical involvement in hockey.
Nowhere is the enthusiasm for developing the sport more on show than in the Langa district of Cape Town, where an innovative campaign has been fulfilling a dual role – it has got many more people playing, watching and talking about hockey, but it has also got more people exercising and thinking about their health and lifestyle.
Langa is the largest suburb of Cape Town and the oldest of the townships that were created in the last century as places for black communities to live. As such, hockey was always a poor relative to the more popular sports of football and cricket, but an initiative started by the Langa Hockey Club is fast pushing our sport into the limelight.
The team of executives running the Langa Hockey Club have launched an initiative dubbed #2000 Fans of Langa, which is an open invitation to the community to support the club’s home games. A concerted publicity campaign is being run to attract people to watch hockey being played at all levels.
“This is an ongoing campaign throughout the hockey season because we want people to support the club, from our junior matches to senior teams. We want people to come out and watch us in the field of play.” explains the team’s publicist Phumzile Malotana.
But even more successful at raising the profile of hockey has been the club’s Friday 5k hockey runs. Publicised through a busy Facebook page, the weekly run is gaining vast support in the community. People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to turn up, join in and, adding a neat quirky twist, wear a pair of red socks to show their support for the hockey club.
“This is attracting people who would never normally take an interest in hockey,” says Malotana. “It is very exciting and people who have never run before are starting to follow us and the feedback we get is amazing. Others have taken to exercising daily because of this.”
Club player Owethu Ebenezer Maholwana says the runs are making a difference in the community.
“The pace is high but a lot of people are starting to enjoy it. They can’t wait to don their red socks on Fridays to be part of the hockey run.”
A side effect of the increased interest in the Langa Hockey Club has been an improvement in results. Malotana says this is partly due to the crowds supporting the teams. “Filling up the stadium with fans has given our players the spirit to fight until the end of the match. In the opening match of the season, we went 1-0 down, but the team bounced back to take the game 3-1.”
Langa Hockey Club was founded back in 1987 by the late South African cricket coach Bob Woolmer. He wanted his cricketers to keep active during the cricket off-season. Since then, the club has grown and is currently the only club in any South African township to have an astro-turf.
Malotana’s vision is to make hockey in the township a vibrant and community-based sport, but a venue that opponents will fear coming to because of the strength of local support. “We want to turn Langa Stadium into our hockey fortress. Visiting teams must fear us but at the same time we want to make the community part of the hockey vibe and entertainment.”
The aim of the Langa Hockey Club is to attract 2,000 fans to each and every match and, in raising the profile of the game, attract more players at each level. Such projects are in line with the FIH's 10 year strategy – the Hockey Revolution – which aims to bring the game to millions of new fans.
For more information about this project, check them out on Twitter or Facebook.
How Popular is Hockey Across the Globe?
In South Africa, Hockey is one of the least popular sports at the moment – at least from a commercial and monetary point of view. Having said that, anyone close to the game will agree to the fact that Hockey is no-doubt the fastest growing sport in the land.
At school level, kids are taking up Hockey like never before and schools all over the country are taking notice. Astro-turfs are being built, left-right-and-centre, and soon, most kids will be able to play on a turf relatively close to where they live.
In some areas of the world, Hockey is much bigger than it is in South Africa – Europe has a couple of professional leagues that draw big crowds and in India, Hockey’s equivalent to Cricket’s IPL, the Indian Hockey League, draws fans and players from all over the world in their annual tournament.
I have often wondered exactly how popular Hockey is when compared to other sports – especially the likes of Football, Cricket and Rugby – the most popular sports in South Africa.
Recently I stumbled upon a post that gives some insight into the popularity of Hockey and I was very pleasantly surprised.
The list, from mostpopularsports.net, takes into account the population of countries and is based on general surveys/discussions on the internet. This is the same sport order as several other lists found online – and Hockey does rather well.
The top 10 of the list looks as follows:
|Rank||Sport||Estimated Fans||Popular Regions|
|1||Football||3.5 Billion||Europe, Africa, Asia, America|
|2||Cricket||2.5 Billion||Asia, Australia, UK|
|3||Hockey||2 Billion||Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia|
|4||Tennis||1 Billion||Europe, Asia, America|
|5||Volleyball||900 Million||Europe, Australia, Asia America|
|6||Table Tennis||850 Million||Europe, Africa, Asia America|
|7||Baseball||500 Million||America, Japan|
|8||Golf||450 Million||Europe, Asia, America, Canada|
|= 9||Basketball||400 Million||America|
||American Football||400 Million||Europe, Africa, Asia, America, Australia|
Some surprising sports on that list – as a keen fan and player of Hockey, I certainly hope this popularity will soon be reflected within South Africa as well and with the growth we can see at youth level, I am sure we will.