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News for 21 June 2016

All the news for Tuesday 21 June 2016

Champions Trophy powerhouses lead the charge

Maria Granatto has been in inspired form for Las Leonas. Photo: FIH/Getty

The race for a top two finish and a subsequent place in the event final at the Women’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 is very much up and running, with the three most successful teams in the competition’s history occupying the top three positions ahead of the third day of competition at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

World and Olympic champions the Netherlands (FIH Hero World Ranking: 1) have made a sparkling start to the competition with superb victories over New Zealand and hosts Great Britain, ensuring that they currently sit top of the standings with six points. Team captain Maartje Paumen continues to be the team’s talisman, having netted five goals here at the London 2012 Olympic legacy facility to sit at the top of the scorer's table and extend her all-time women’s Champions Trophy goals record to 33.

The Netherlands have won six Champions Trophy titles down the years, a record that they share with title holders Argentina (WR: 2) and Australia (WR: 3), who last won the event in 2003. Las Leonas and the Hockeyroos are currently locked together on four points, with Argentina sitting in second place thanks to a marginally superior goal-difference over the third-placed Aussies. That could all change on Tuesday (21 June) when the two sides meet in the first match of day three (1430 - UTC/GMT +1). If one team emerges victorious it would not only keep them in touch with Alyson Annan's high-flying Dutch girls but also provide great confidence ahead of a pool phase meeting with the top ranked team in world hockey later this week.

For Argentina, Carla Rebecchi has been at her brilliant best in London. She scored a sensational penalty corner in Argentina’s 2-2 draw with Great Britain on Saturday before notching a hat-trick of field goals as Las Leonas powered to a 4-1 victory over Pan American champions USA. Rising star Maria Granatto has also been turning heads with her high quality performances and goals, marking herself as an early front-runner for the Best Young Player award. Another player who could be in the running for that award is Hockeyroo Grace Stewart, the 19-year-old forward who has scored in each of the two matches that she has played so far in London.

Following the meeting between Las Leonas and the Hockeyroos, the fans in London will witness the Netherlands in action against United States at 1800. USA will be looking to bounce back from Sunday’s defeat at the hands of Argentina and certainly have enough quality to cause their opponents some serious problems, although few would argue that the Dutch go into the game as heavy favourites. The USA have been creating plenty of goal-scoring opportunities so far in this competition, but will need to turn those chances into goals if they are to upset the form book against the European giants.

The final match of Tuesday will be contested between two sides looking for their first win of the competition, with New Zealand’s Black Sticks (WR: 4) facing home favourites Great Britain (WR: 5). The fans have flocked in their thousands to see Team GB in action so far in this competition, and this match is expected to be no different as the Olympic bronze medallists from London 2012 aim to kick-start their title challenge. The atmosphere is expected to be electric, which will certainly be an advantage for the hosts. However, New Zealand have the experience and quality to not be overawed by the occasion, and in Anita McLaren (formerly Punt) they have a player who can turn a game in an instant.

It promises to be another fascinating day of top class international hockey, so be sure not to miss out!

#HCT2016 #BestOfTheBest

FIH site

Defence key for Black Sticks

By David Leggat

Black Sticks defender Liz Thompson says missing two key players is no excuse. Photo / John Cowplan

Sharpening their defensive operation will be a key consideration for New Zealand as they chase their first win at the women's Champions Trophy in London tomorrow.

On the back of defeats to world No 1 the Netherlands, 6-2, and Australia 3-1, the fourth-ranked Black Sticks face Britain, sitting one spot lower, and if they want to get themselves off the foot of the ladder in the six-team tournament, need to smarten their act up.

The Dutch punished New Zealand chiefly through their penalty corner prowess - star player Maartje Paumen scored from four of them - while sloppy defensive work, and getting caught short on a fast break, cost them two of the three Australian goals.

Two players who would usually help anchor the defensive operation, Emily Gaddum - New Zealand's all-time most capped international with 274 caps - and Sam Charlton, were late withdrawals from the trip through injury. That's no excuse, reckons Auckland defender Liz Thompson.

''We can't be too reliant on missing players," Thompson, who at 21 already has 111 caps, said.

''They are obviously two key players in our group but everyone has to step up in our roles in the group.

''As much as it's a bummer for them not being here, and we'd love to have them, we need to lift as a group."

Thompson said there was disappointment at the Black Sticks' failure to make the most of their opportunities against top class opposition with the Rio Olympics around the corner.

''I guess it's always really disappointing when you do put out performances like that, especially when we know we can compete with these teams. We have to make sure we're on track for the next game," Thompson said.

After the Britain match, New Zealand play world No 2 Argentina and seventh-ranked United States before the final-day games to sort out tournament standings.

Another problem for the Black Sticks has been the absence in the first two games of former captain and key midfielder Kayla Whitelock.

She has been in her tracksuit on the sideline. New Zealand officials are tightlipped on why Whitelock has not been in action yet, other than to call it a precautionary move over a minor leg injury.

Thompson said New Zealand would need to have ''some fire in the bellies" against Britain, a team they have had their issues with in the past.

A poor performance in the match for bronze against them in London, losing 3-1, cost them a first Olympic medal. Losing a shootout to England - effectively Britain -- after drawing 1-1 denied New Zealand the chance of shooting for gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

''We know we always have a close game with them, and playing at home is a big advantage for them. But we'll do our research and have our game plans," Thompson said.

The New Zealand Herald

Scotland Win 4 Nations Tournament

SCOTLAND’S senior men’s team were today reflecting on winning the Four Nations trophy in Poland by topping a table which contained sides eight and nine places above them in the world rankings, writes Nigel Duncan.

Coach Derek Forsyth guided his men to a 2-2 draw in their opener against France, ranked No 17 in the world.

Scotland followed with a 5-4 win over hosts Poland, rated No 18 in the world, and completed their unbeaten run with a 4-0 victory over Italy who are ranked No 34.

Kenny Bain was presented with a commemorative Quaich before the Italy game to celebrate his 150th game for Scotland.

Sean Hadfield (Grange) secured a shutout on his senior debut against Italy and three other players – Patrick Christie (Durham University), Duncan Riddell (Grove Menzieshill) and Ed Greaves (Loughborough University) – also made their Scotland senior debuts in the opening game against France.

Coach Forsyth was pleased to open the squad’s season with the win and to have welcomed four new players to international hockey as he strives to build a squad with real depth for the World League, Round 1, in Glasgow from September 6-11. There, Scotland play Switzerland, Wales, Portugal and Slovakia.

In Poland, Scotland, ranked No 26 in the world, finished on top of the table with the hosts second, France third and Italy, who come to Glasgow for three internationals in August, in fourth place.

Greaves, Hamish Imrie (Beeston), Cameron Fraser (Grange) and Willie Marshall (Surbiton), who captained the team against France and Poland, scored two goals each during the tournament.

Cammy Fraser (Grange) scored 53 minutes into his return to the international scene after a five-year absence, slotting home from a penalty corner. Greaves netted nine minutes later on his senior debut, nipping in front of a defender from a Fraser cross to prod the ball home to put the Scots 2-1 ahead. France’s drag-flick No 1 Victor Charlet, the team captain, netted his second penalty corner with four minutes remaining to deny Scotland victory.

Scotland started strongly against the highly-fancied Poles in high wind and driving rain and Imrie netted after nine minutes, deflecting the ball home from an acute angle on the right. Poland then hit Scotland with a double salvo in the 21st and 22nd minutes to go 2-1 ahead but Forsyth’s men did not buckle and Greaves scored his second in two games after 23 minutes. Poland went ahead again after 28 minutes and the scoreline stayed that way until the break but Scotland secured a confidence-boosting win with three goals in eight devastating second-half minutes. Marshall scored to level from a penalty corner after 56 minutes, slamming the ball home from the middle of the circle, before Imrie scored his second four minutes later. Poland were back on level terms two minutes after that but Nicholas Parkes (Surbiton) dived to prod the ball home through a ruck of players with six minutes remaining to secure the win following a penalty corner award.

Scotland took 31 minutes to break through the Italians in the final game despite dominating the early play, Michael Bremner, who plays his hockey in Germany, taking his time to pick a spot and firing home following a penalty corner. Amsterdam-based Bain, who was captain for the day to mark his 150th cap, then scored No 2 ten minutes later and five minutes after that Marshall was again on target from a penalty corner. Fraser completed the win with a fourth, also from a penalty corner, after 51 minutes.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Senior Women head to Alicante to take on Spain

Our Senior Women fly out to Alicante on Saturday morning to face Spain in a 4 match test series. Following on from matches against Japan and Great Britain 23s the squad hope to take their good form into these matches. With a new and improving squad these matches are a great opportunity for the younger players to experience international hockey.

There are two girls in line to make their international debuts on this trip. Coach Gordon Shepherd has high hopes for both Sarah Jamieson and Lucy Lanigan and suggests they will be a great asset to the team.

The trip will also be a special one for Western Wildcats star Kareena Marshall as she is set to receive her 100th international cap which is a terrific achievement in any sport. Kareena has been a key player for Scotland for a number of years now taking part in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the more recent European Championship in London in 2015.

We hope she continues to dominate the international stage and a huge congratulations from all at Scottish Hockey for reaching this mark.

Scotland’s matches will be on the following dates:

Monday 27th June- 18:30
Tuesday 28th June- 18:30
Thursday 30th June- 12:30
Friday 1st July- 12:30

Follow the girls on twitter for updates throughout the trip @SCOhockeywomen

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Dutch defeat for GB Under-23 Women

GB U23 women v NED, June 20 2016

GOALS from Holly Hunt and Grace Balsdon were not enough as Great Britain Under-23 Women lost out 5-2 to the Netherlands in their second match of the Futures 2020 invitational Tournament in Nottingham on Monday afternoon.

Three goals in a six minute period spanning half time put the Netherlands on the front foot, and although GB battled well to close them down, they couldn’t battle back.

“This is a frustrating result as we competed for large parts of the game,” said Head Coach Colin Clarke. “Unfortunately lapses of concentration either side of half time gave away some opportunities to score that we could’ve prevented.

“But improvements in defensive shape restricted the Netherlands’ attack and showed that we were able to win the ball from them.

“Our work rate into the defensive shapes was a lot better and we’re closing down the channels quickly. Our conversion rate is very pleasing and a lot of the time we get into the D we’re getting something out of it.

After a 16th minute opener from Imme Ven Der Hoek for the Netherlands, GB pulled back level on 25 minutes when Lucy Wood ran down the right and gave the ball to Holly Hunt who fired home.

But goals from Pien Sanders and Joosje Burg on 30 and 34 minutes put the Netherlands into a 3-1 half time lead.

They made it 4-1 with Yentl Leemans scoring on 36 minutes, and although Grace Balsdon’s 40th minute drag flick from a penalty corner narrowed the gap, the final word went to the Netherlands with Ginella Zerbo scoring on 43 minutes.

“We’ve proved we can compete with these World class nations,” added Clarke. “Our challenge is to come back after a rest day, regroup and compete and go out to win the games.”

Great Britain U23 Women 2 (1)
Netherlands U23 Women 5 (3)

England Hockey Board Media release

Sardar Singh returns to lead India in 6 Nation tourney

NEW DELHI: Rested from India's silver medal winning Champions Trophy campaign, Sardar Singh was on Monday named captain of the 18-man squad for the 6 Nations Invitational hockey tournament to be held in Valencia from June 27.

Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh also made a return with Sardar, and so did Birender Lakra. Goalkeeper P R Sreejesh captained the Champions Trophy side in London where India won their maiden silver in the competition history.

The squad features a strong defensive line up, with experienced campaigners VR Raghunath and Kothajit Singh joined by the returning Lakra and Rupinder Pal. Vikas Dahiya remains a back up to custodian Sreejesh.

The other teams in the tournament are Argentina, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland and hosts Spain.

"After winning our first medal at the prestigious Champions Trophy tournament over the weekend, we are confident to deliver our best at the 6 Nations Tournament as well. All these matches are stepping stones towards the ultimate goal - Rio Olympics 2016," said Sardar.

"The brilliant display of tactical hockey during Champions Trophy by the squad has positively elevated our Olympic medal-winning hopes. Three of the teams we face in Valencia are in our Pool at the Olympic Games, so that will help us assess and analyse our tactics better too," he added.

Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans said the squad is building up nicely for the Rio Olympics.

"I am really impressed by the boys with their recent performances, especially at the Champions Trophy. They are implementing the learnings of the training well into action at the tournaments. I hope we keep up the spirit and continue to deliver performances like this.

"The key to the tournament will be to use it almost as a host of friendlies, before the Games. We will try to maximise on our squad rotations, tactical experiments and analyse our opponents there," he said.

"Most teams, will come with what resembles their full strength squad and so it will give us a good indication of our strengths and weaknesses, prior to Rio."

India take on Germany in the opener on June 27.

The Times of India

Birendra Lakra back in national squad

Birendra Lakra.

Having undergone surgery and in a race against time to return to full fitness ahead of the Rio Olympics, defender Birendra Lakra has made a return to the national team for the upcoming six-nation invitational hockey tournament to be played in Valencia, Spain, from June 27 to July 3.

The 20-member squad for the event was announced on Monday with Sardar Singh, drag-flicker Rupinderpal Singh and striker Ramandeep Singh also returning to action after being rested for the recent Champions Trophy, where India finished runner-up. Sixteen of the 18 players that featured in that tournament have been retained. Young striker Mandeep Singh and midfielder Pradeep Mor have returned home as coach Roelant Oltmans continues to try and test all the players from the core group in competition before finalising the 16 for Rio.

Lakra was seriously injured during the Hockey India League in February this year and had to undergo urgent knee surgery in the first week of March. Since then, he had been in rehabilitation at the SAI centre, Bengaluru, under the supervision of physio Shrikant Iyengar. His match fitness would be crucial to Oltman’s final plans for Rio.

“He has improved a lot and is now training properly. The six-nation event will help better in assessing his fitness,” captain Sardar Singh told The Hindu.

Young defender Surender Kumar has been rewarded for his impressive performance during the Champions Trophy with an extended stay with the national side.

The tournament, played on a round-robin format also features Argentina, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland and host Spain — all teams that have qualified for the Olympics.

The squad: Goalkeepers: P.R. Sreejesh, Vikas Dahiya; defenders: Rupinderpal Singh, V.R. Raghunath, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra; midfielders: Danish Mujtaba, Chinglensana Singh, Manpreet Singh, Sardar Singh, S.K. Uthappa, Devindar Walmiki, Harjeet Singh; forwards: Talwinder Singh, S.V. Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah.

The Hindu

We are almost at par with top teams: Oltmans

Manuja Veerappa

BENGALURU: A few hours after the historic silver medal at the Champions Trophy, a fatigued Indian men's hockey team hit the road again. Destination: Valencia, for a six-nation invitational tournament which gets under way on June 27. As the team left London on Sunday, India's chief coach Roelant Oltmans, in an interview with TOI, said the side's improvement was there for all to see. Excerpts:

What is the biggest takeaway from the Champions Trophy performance?

The biggest positive is that we are making good progress and that's what I was looking for. Also, it showed that we are almost on a par with the top teams in the world. That is something we had to start believing in before the Olympic Games.

The event also gave our team the opportunity to play some big matches ahead of Rio. At the same time, it is important that we don't get complacent and continue to make progress in the build-up to the Olympics.

Against whom, according to you, did we play our best hockey?

We played well in more than one match. For example, in the match against Korea , we completely dominated the game. Not a goal or penalty corner was conceded. Having said that, we can be critical about the game because we scored just twice, instead of scoring 4-5 goals. And, of course, the final against Australia: bouncing back from the 2-4 result the previous day was encouraging.

What are your thoughts on the defence which has been inconsistent?

There are positives in that area too but we conceded too many penalty corners against Australia (in the final). Overall our defence was good. We played different defence structures and that is encouraging for the future.

How much do you think the team has improved mentally?

If you look at the back-to-back matches in this tournament, we won two on the trot and performed better in the second match against Australia. This shows that along with our physical fitness our mental health is also improving.

How important will the six-nation tournament in Valencia be for India's Olympic build-up?

It is not at the same level of Champions Trophy as it is not a world-ranking tournament. But Germany, Argentina and Ireland are in the fray and these teams have been pooled with us in Rio. New Zealand and Spain too are participating, but these are teams which we may face later in the tournament (in Rio). So, it is an important tournament.

How important is the tournament for experienced defender Birendra Lakra?

This tournament will be a test for Birendra who is playing his first tournament after undergoing surgery for a ligament rupture in his right knee.

The Times of India

Fulton Announces 21 Man Squad

Craig Fulton, Ireland men’s head coach, has today announced his 21 man squad for the 6 Nations Tournament in Valencia and the 2 match series against the Netherlands in Cork.

The 6 Nations tournament, running from June 27th until July 3rd, will see the Green Machine face off against the world’s best in their final tournament before the Rio Olympic Games. Ireland will face no fewer than 4 of the world’s top 10 teams, as well as Spain who, at 11th, sit marginally above the men in green. The Green Machine will open their tournament against Argentina before a quick turnaround sees them play India the following day. Close contests should be the nature of this tournament as the boys in green play the hosts on June 30th before meeting the Blacksticks (New Zealand) on July 2nd. Rounding out the tournament against the world number 3 Germany will be no easy task as the Germans recently finished third in the FIH Champions Trophy.

The squad is awash with experience as John Jackson, currently on 199 caps, gets ready to join the 200 club alongside Ronan Gormley and Eugene Magee.

The 21 man squad will be cut further to a final 18 man panel after the 2-match Dutch series on July 4th and 6th in Cork. An 18 man team will travel to the Rio Olympics; rules state that 16 will comprise the primary playing panel with 2 further players in reserve.

Coach Fulton said “I have chosen a squad of 21 players to travel to Spain and play in the 6 Nations in Valencia and the two tests against the Dutch in Cork. Selection is always hard and has been no different in this last phase. I am looking forward to the next 7 games, all against teams ranked higher than ourselves and who will all be in Rio”.


1. Jonny Bell - Lisnagarvey - Defender
2. Matthew Bell - Banbridge - Defender
3. Chris Cargo - Racing - Midfield
4. Tim Cockram - Lisnagarvey - Forward
5. Peter Caruth - Annadale - Forward
6. Mitch Darling - Rotterdam - Forward
7. David Fitzgerald - Monkstown - GK
8. Paul Gleghorne - Lisnagarvey - Defender
9. Kyle Good - Monkstown - Forward
10. Ronan Gormley - Krefeld - Defender
11. David Harte - Kampong - GK
12. Conor Harte - Racing - Defender
13. John Jackson - Reading - Defender
14. John Jermyn - Cork C of I - Midfield
15. Eugene Magee - Banbridge - Midfield
16. Shane O’Donoghue - Dragons - Midfield
17. Alan Sothern - Pembroke - Forward
18. Michael Robson - Annadale - Midfield
19. Kirk Shimmins - Pembroke - Midfield
20. Michael Watt - Lisnagarvey - Forward
21. Gareth Watkins - Monkstown - Forward

Non -Travelling:

1. Jamie Carr - Three Rock Rovers - GK *
2. Drew Carlisle - Banbridge - Midfield
3. Lee Cole - Monkstown - Defender
4. Stephen Cole - Monkstown - Midfield
5. Neal Glassey - Lisnagarvey - Midfield
6. Stuart Loughrey - H&W - Defender

*Please note David Fitzgerald will not travel to Valencia due to injury, Jamie Carr will travel in his place.

Match Schedule (note all times CEST):

27/06/2016 16:00 India - Germany
27/06/2016 18:00 Argentina - Ireland
27/06/2016 20:00 Spain - N. Zealand
28/06/2016 16:00 Ireland - India
28/06/2016 18:00 Germany - N. Zealand
28/06/2016 20:00 Spain - Argentina
30/06/2016 16:00 Argentina - Germany
30/06/2016 18:00 India - N. Zealand
30/06/2016 20:00 Spain - Ireland
02/07/2016 10:00 Ireland - N. Zealand
02/07/2016 12:00 Spain - Germany
02/07/2016 14:00 India - Argentina
03/07/2016 10:00 Germany - Ireland
03/07/2016 12:00 Spain - India
03/07/2016 14:00 Argentina - N. Zealand

World Rankings:

Germany 3
Argentina 6
India 7
New Zealand 8
Spain 11
Ireland 12

Ireland vs The Netherlands- July 4th 7pm University College Cork
Ireland vs The Netherlands - July 6th 7pm University College Cork

Irish Hockey Association media release

Sluyk appointed TD for EHL Round 1 in Banbridge

Cees Sluyk, pictured centre, has been confirmed as the Technical Delegate for Round 1 of the Euro Hockey League when it arrives in Banbridge from October 7-9 for the 10th edition of the world's best club competition.

Under the leadership of the Technical Delegate, Dutchman Cees Sluyk, the well experienced Umpires and Officials will oversee the crucial games that will see teams from Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Spain, England, France, Poland, Ireland, Russia, Scotland, Italy and Wales compete for the four KO16 slots on offer.

Speaking about his nomination to the important role, he said: "This appointment means a lot to me. First of all, it is great to have the confidence of the Appointments Committee from my work as a TD in Europe. Also, to be part of EHL Round 1 as TD is to set the standards for a new season of the competition."

"At every tournament, I mention at the pre-tournament briefing with the Team Managers that we have the same goal: to create the most perfect circumstances for the participants - the players, umpires, officials - and to promote the fantastic game of hockey."

It continues his association with the EHL. He received his first appointment in Lille in 2008 as a technical officer and became a TD for the first time in 2014 in Barcelona.

"The EHL is the 'Champions League' of hockey with the huge media coverage and the live streaming. It is one of the showpieces in Club Hockey in Europe! That makes it special.

"The Euro Hockey League sets out to promote and reinforce the status of club level hockey by creating new and more opportunities for the big European clubs to play each other in the international arena and giving club hockey more exposure, more spectators, more high quality TV coverage and a broader media and marketing platform. To give my contribution to achieve that is fantastic and an honour!"

It will be the first time the EHL has come to Ireland and Banbridge. Sluyk, though, does have prior experience working at events on the island, working at nearby Lisnagarvey in 2012 as TD for the Celtic Cup.

“I will never forget their great hospitality and I am sure that the hospitality and cooperation in Banbridge will be the same.”

Technical Delegate:     Cees Sluyk (NED)
Judge: Stefano Bresciani (ITA)
Umpire Manager: Rob ten Cate (NED)
EHF Appointed Umpires:     Andres Ortiz (ESP), Paul van den Assum (NED)

Euro Hockey League media release

Kazan to meet Elektrostal in Russian final

Dynamo Kazan will play Dinamo Elektrostal in the Russian final with both sides qualifying for European competition for next season as a result.

Kazan’s path to the final was much the simpler, beating Tana 7-2 in game one and then 8-2 in game two, building a 3-1 lead in the first half. Ilfat Zamalutdinov scored four times over the course of the series.

The other semi-final series was much closer. The first leg finished 2-2 in normal time with Elektrostal seeing off Dinamo Stroitel in a shoot-out after Artem Borisov’s double was cancelled out by Mikhail Proskuryakov and Dimitry Azarov. Marat Khairullin scored the winning shoot-out in the sixth round to land the victory.

They used the same route to win game two in the series in Moscow after the game, once again, finished at 2-2 with Azarov and Sergi Lepeshkin getting the key goals for Elektrostal, the latter coming late in the game to earn the draw. They prevailed 3-2 in the shoot-out.

Speaking afterwards, Elektrostal coach Igor Shishkov said: “It was a very tough game and I think Ekaterineburg Stroitel showed their best hockey. They showed very good dedication and their desire was off the scale.

“They were very positive and pushed for the win, especially in the second half. The shoot-out was great once again, especially our young goalkeeper Ivan Zuikov.”

The sides will now meet in the finals on July 1 and 2 with the winner playing in Round 1 of the Euro Hockey League while the runners-up will play in the Club Champions Trophy.

Euro Hockey League media release

U16 Girls Squad Announced

Irish Under 16 Girls coach, Alison McNeill, has announced her panel for a 6 Nations Tournament in Belgium. Speaking about the squad and upcoming tournament McNeill said "We would like to thank all the players for their commitment and effort at all sessions. The following players have been selected to play in 6 Nations tournament in Belgium. We are looking forward to some highly competitive matches against Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain and England".

Players Selected for Belgium

Gemma Ferguson (GK)
Ellie McLoughlin
Niamh Shaw
Caitlin Sherin
Caoimhe Perdue
Sarah Dunleavey
Jodie Douglas
Sophie Thomas
Anna Nawn
Erin Anderson
Sophia Cole
Christina Hamill
Caroline Mathews
Yasmin Pratt
Rachel Houston
Soifra O’Brien
Natasha Twomey
Betty Scott

Irish Hockey Association media release

Inverleith claim U16 title

Saturday 18th June saw Peffermill play host to the U16 Boys National Competition. The teams competing for the title were Inverleith, Watsonians, Western Wildcats and Aberdeen Grammar.

The format of the day ran as a round robin tournament so that all teams got to play 3 games each therefore playing everyone once.

The first round of matches saw Inverleith take on their rivals from the East, Watsonians. The entire game both teams were evenly matched and it was only one goal which separated them. Watsonians took an early lead in the 3rd minute with a goal by Andrew Mortimer. Inverleith came out strong in the second half and got the equaliser in the 25th minute through Hanru Wehmeyer. Into the latter stages of the match both teams were pushing for a winner, but it was Inverleith who clinched victory in the 34th minute with a penalty stoke converted by Jake Inglis.

Elsewhere Aberdeen Grammar dominated their match against Western Wildcats winning 4-0. Goals coming from Leon Potts, Lewis Ross and Harry Hall. The team from the North proved too strong for a determined Wildcats side.

In the second round of matches the current leaders Aberdeen Grammar took on Inverleith. Again in what was a very close match both teams were looking for the win to make them outright leaders. Aberdeen Grammar took the lead in the 7th minute through Harry Hall. The rest of the match was very competitive and hard fought. Inverleith however did not give up and in the last minute of the match got the equaliser through Cameron Stevenson bringing the final score to 1-1.

Watsonians were looking to get their first points on the board when they took on Western Wildcats. The made an instant impact by scoring in the 1st minute through James Graham. This set the tone of the match as Watsonians pushed for more and more goals however Wildcats were proving difficult to break down. Not long before half time Watsonians got their 2nd with a goal from Ted Porter. Shortly after the break they got a 3rd through Roddy Craig. And in the 31st minute Ted Porter got his second of the match. However, Wildcats were not done yet and they got a well-deserved goal in the 36th minute through Matthew O’Toole.

As it stood both Inverleith and Aberdeen Grammar were on 4 points, with Watsonians on 3 which meant that either of these teams could go on and win the tournament.

The final match on pitch 2 saw Inverleith take on Western Wildcats. Inverleith needed the win to put pressure on Aberdeen Grammar who currently led on goal difference. Inverleith proved too strong for Wildcats as they came out 3-1 winners with goals from Coll Shirridan, Cameron Stevenson and Jake Inglis. Lewis Morrison claimed the only goal for Wildcats.

Watsonians took on Aberdeen Grammar with both sides needing a vital win. The first half saw Aberdeen Grammar dominate but they were unable to take their chances as Watsonians defence and keeper were proving difficult to beat. Shortly after the break however Watsonians took the lead through James Graham. It was looking as though they would hold off and claim the win but Aberdeen Grammar had other ideas. In the 39th minute they were awarded a penalty corner which resulted in a penalty stroke being awarded. This was converted by James Morrison bringing the final score to 1-1.

These results meant that Inverleith were outright winners of the tournament with Aberdeen Grammar 2nd, Watsonians 3rd and Western Wildcats 4th.

Congratulations to all teams for what was another great day of youth hockey.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

2016 National Futures Championship Commences in Lancaster, Pa.

LANCASTER, Pa. – For the next 9 days, top athletes from across the country will take the fields at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County, Pa. to compete in the 2016 National Futures Championship (NFC). The Citi National Futures Championship, presented by Harrow Sports, is the premier championship event for USA Field Hockey's Futures Program and Olympic Development Pipeline. Held annually in late June since 1990, the NFC brings together the top female field hockey players selected from over 5,000 athletes across nine regions for a high-level multi-day tournament-style competition.

USA Field Hockey’s High Performance staff evaluates and selects top talent from the NFC to represent the United States in its other elite programs, including the Stars and Stripes Elite Games and Tournament, AAU Junior Olympics, Junior National Camps and Junior National Teams. These elite Junior High Performance Programs feed into the U.S.Women’s National Team that trains and competes domestically and internationally throughout the year.

USA Field Hockey invites all parents, coaches and field hockey fans to come watch this exciting tournament and to cheer on the athletes as they pursue their dreams to play at the highest level. Admission is free.

The 2016 Citi National Futures Championship, presented by Harrow Sports, will be held at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County, Pa., with the Under-16 age division competing June 21-24, followed by the Under-14 age division on June 24-26 and the Under-19 age division on June 26-29.

“We anticipate that the 2016 National Futures Championship will be very exciting and give athletes a great opportunity to perform their best,” said Lisa McCoy, USA Field Hockey Senior Manager of Futures and Olympic Development. “The NFC is the perfect event as we build up to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer.”

NFC has been the starting spoke for many selection opportunities to USA Field Hockey Development programs, as well as the chance to showcase their skills in front of some top collegiate coaches. Nearly every athlete currently on the U.S. Women’s National Team once played at the NFC where their determination and talent took them through the Olympic Development Pipeline.

New at this year’s NFC is the Stars and Stripes Game. At the conclusion of each age division, a competition of the top 72 athletes in U-16 and U-19 and the top 36 athletes in U-14 will have an opportunity to showcase their talents in the Stars and Stripes Game.

The NFC provides multiple opportunities for selection to advance in the USA Field Hockey Olympic Development Pipeline. These opportunities are listed in the Athlete Packet on pages 5-6, click here to access it.

The 2016 National Futures Championship program is available online for free. Click here to view the program in a web version for a desktop.

Download the USA Field Hockey App to access the 2016 National Futures Championship Event Program. After the App is downloaded, simply click the three horizontal lines in the upper left-hand corner and scroll down to 2016 NFC Program to launch. Here you will be able to navigate through colleges in attendance, vending hours, official player guide, schedule and more.

USA Field Hockey is pleased to be kicking off another summer of wonderful events and the opportunity for athletes to showcase their talents. Best of luck to all athletes participating at the 2016 National Futures Championship! #NFC2016

USFHA media release

Spotlight on Klenk, who makes first step on to international stage

Ali Lee

2016 Junior Pan Am Championship - ARG vs. USA - Umpires Paul Walker (left) and Tyler Klenk   

With the 2016 Rio Olympics around the corner the world’s eyes are focused in on high performance athletes fine tuning their skills and preparing for the biggest sporting event. Alongside the thousands of athletes and teams preparing are the many, many officials that help ensure the sport is conducted in a fair and safe environment.

Though the Rio Olympics are not in the sights of Canadian field hockey umpire Tyler Klenk, there is still lots of time for the 23-year-old to check a visit to the most prestigious games off his bucket list. Recently Klenk officiated his first international appointment at the Toronto-hosted Junior Men’s Pan American Championships, May 23-28.

“The experience was fantastic,” exclaimed Klenk. “Being that it was my first international appointment, it was a great opportunity to ‘get my feet wet’ so to speak.”

“It was also fantastic that I was able to do my first international competition on home soil. It was great to see Canadian Field Hockey rally behind the whole tournament.”

Junior World Cup qualification was on the line for the eight teams participating and while the Under-21 athletes were busy getting in the right mindset for their young international careers, Klenk was just beginning his show on the world stage.

Having umpired since the age of 14, Klenk has had several years of experience blowing the whistle but it wasn’t until he relocated to British Columbia that he started to take things more seriously. Moving to Vancouver Island to attend the University of Victoria and play for the school’s varsity team placed him in one of the biggest hockey hotbeds in Canada. Along with playing in the Vancouver men’s premier league, Klenk was also a junior national team identified athlete giving him a slight advantage when he does trade in his stick for a whistle.

“Playing at such a high level previous to umpiring gives me the ability see situations from the perspective of the players,” said Klenk, who banked five international games in Toronto. “It also helps me to anticipate the play before it happens. As the speed of the game is also increasing, this anticipation is very important for me to be in better position.”

Klenk’s first appointment was in round-robin play between Argentina and Trinidad and Tobago and from there he finished the tournament umpiring the bronze medal game between Chile and the USA. Klenk’s performance will see his current National rating improve to his international badge. From there the ladder gets steeper with fewer international officials moving on to later qualify for the Promising Umpires List, FIH Grade 1 Umpire, World Development Panel and the World Panel, the latter of which include most of the officials that go to the Olympics.

For now, Klenk can look back on his first international event as a success and the first step on his pathway to being a stand out umpire for Canada.

“The one thing I will take away from the Toronto event is the speed of the international game,” noted Klenk. “Players are becoming more and more skillful and this requires umpires to be on top of their game as well. I really became aware of the importance of using domestic matches to work on all of the areas I need to improve. That way, when I get another international appointment, I will hopefully be on top of my game.”

Prior to this Klenk has banked several major Canadian tournaments including multiple national championships, BC premier men’s games, BC provincial championships, Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships, Canada West matches as well as the 2015 Canada Cup and 2015 California Cup. Klenk was also named the 2015 Canada West Umpire of the Year following a strong season in the University scene.

Klenk’s umpire development continues both in Vancouver and Victoria and he credits two local officials for helping guide him to where he is now.

“The two most influential people in my umpiring career so far are Chris Wilson and Denise McGeachy,” highlights Klenk of Victoria-based Wilson, a former FIH umpire and current umpire manager, and McGeachy, a Nationally-ranked umpire. “They have both pushed me to improve myself by taking on more and more challenging games. They have helped me develop my skills while helping to identify the areas that I need to improve. I think most importantly; they have not tried to change the kind of umpire I am. Instead, they help make my skill set shine.”

Inevitably Klenk’s skill set will continue to develop and shine upon his return to the West coast and although Klenk may be forced to watch the Rio Olympics from his TV this August, it seems likely that one day the country will be able to watch him on the Olympic stage in years to come.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

At least Dutch beaten at Golf

Poppa Pat

The press covering the Women's Champions Trophy had their Media Golf Day at Woodford Golf Club on Monday's rest day of the Champions Trophy.

They waited for the rain to stop and then the sun came out and the beautiful course played pretty well.

After Great Britain's hockey defeat by Holland, I am pleased to report that GB press beat the Dutch press.

"I hope we will get massive publicity on various web sites." one British journalist was heard to say.

Star of the British team was Neil Mallett (Grays) who was partnered by an octogenarian called Poppa Pat.


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