All the news for Thursday 23 June 2016
Australia too strong for GB U23 Women
GB U23 Women v Aus, June 22 2016
Great Britain Under-23 Women lost out to Australia in the latest match of the Futures 2020 Invitational Tournament at the Nottingham Hockey Centre on Wednesday afternoon.
Trailing at half time, GB tightened up somewhat after the break and created more chances, but they couldn’t break through and fell to a defeat in their penultimate match of the Tournament.
“It was a disappointing first half as we didn’t compete in our one on one battles, therefore we let Australia dictate the game to us,” said Head Coach Colin Clarke. “In the second half there was a slight improvement, but we couldn’t hit back.
“We now need to come together and turn our focus to the Dutch game tomorrow, where hopefully we can end on a high.”
Laura Barden gave Australia an early lead with a goal from open play after just six minutes of the match, and Savannah Fitzpatrick added another after 17, again from free play.
Barden bagged her second goal on 24 minutes, while Madeleine Ratcliffe fired home from a penalty corner a minute before half time.
Ratcliffe’s second goal put Australia further ahead in the 40th minute, before a penalty corner goal from Sophie Taylor. GB showed more fight in the second half and created a couple of penalty corner chances, but they couldn’t convert them into goals.
Great Britain will now take on the Netherlands in their final match tomorrow at 1.30pm, before Australia versus the Netherlands completes the women’s fixtures on Friday.
Great Britain U23 Women 0 (0)
Australia U23 Women 6 (4)
Great Britain Hockey media release
Veteran Black Stick back to full health
Kayla Whitelock in action during the Commonwealth Games. Photo / Getty Images
Key Black Stick Kayla Whitelock is confident her body's coming good at the right time.
Whitelock missed the first two games of New Zealand's Champions Trophy hockey campaign in London with a quad injury, but returned for the win over Great Britain.
The veteran midfielder says she's recovered well from that game, and is ready to take on Argentina overnight.
Whitelock says they didn't want to push it too early.
The game is at 1:30am, with New Zealand still in the hunt to make the medal matches.
2015 women's Umpire of the Year Michelle Joubert collects her award in London
South Africa’s Michelle Joubert has been presented with her 2015 International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey Stars Women’s Umpire of the Year Award at a special ceremony at the women’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2016, currently being played at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, Great Britain.
The ceremony took place on Saturday 18 June, with FIH Executive Board Member Jan Albers (NED) presenting Michelle with a prize earned thanks to her consistently excellent umpiring displays throughout 2015.
Michelle is known throughout the game for her fairness, great knowledge of the sport and her support for her colleagues.
“This is a thoroughly deserved award and on behalf of the FIH I would like to congratulate Michelle on her achievement”, said Jan Albers. “Everyone I have spoken to about Michelle holds her in the highest regard, and it is clear to me that she is a very popular first winner of this prize.”
2015 proved to be a very memorable one for Michelle. She celebrated her golden whistle (100th senior international game) in Rosario last year at the Argentina Hockey World League Final, being one of four women’s umpires to reach the milestone in 2015 alongside Nor Piza Hassan (MAS), Elena Eskina (RUS) and Frances Block (ENG).
Later this year, Joubert will travel to Rio as part of the elite umpiring group that has been selected for the 2016 Olympic Games.
For more information about the Hockey Stars 2015, click here.
Hockey India demands eight-member support staff each for men's, women's teams
New Delhi: Hockey India (HI) president Narinder Batra on Wednesday shot off a letter to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) top brass, asking the sports body to allow eight coaching and support staff each for the men and women's national teams at the upcoming Rio Olympics.
"Hockey Indian stands firm that eight coaching and support staff with each men and women hockey teams (total 16 coaching and support staff) are required to accompany each of the teams," Batra wrote in his missive.
The letter has been addressed to IOA president N Ramachandran and secretary general Rajeev Mehta.
"The matter of number of coaching and support staff accompanying each of the men's and women's teams has been addressed by Hockey India in its various correspondence to IOA. We request to utilise the permitted allocation of accreditation in the best interest of the athletes and by not doing so, IOA will be undermining all the preparations and hard work of the athletes," Batra wrote.
Batra warned that if the IOA does any sort of compromise then it will be held responsible for the teams's showing at the Rio Games.
"If the IOA indulges in compromising, then Hockey India will assume that the IOA has decided to demoralise the teams even before they have left for Olympic Games and then IOA should be prepared to take moral responsibility in case the teams are not able to give their best performance during the Olympics," Batra further wrote in the letter.
In his response, Rajeev Mehta said that the percentage of accompanying officials cannot be more than 40 percent of the total athletes qualified.
"The percentage of accompanying officials cannot be more than 40 percent of the total athletes qualified but the names we have received from each of the National Sports Federations (NSFs) is far more," wrote Mehta.
He has also urged all the NSFs to send the final list of the accompanying officials (maximum 40%) to the IOA by 24 June.
Hockey gets more support
By CROFTON UTUKANA
Heritage Park Hotel’s HR Nancy Slalom Basui hands over the Jersey to SIHF president Nihal Senevirantne. (Photo: S.Lofana)
THE Solomon Islands national hockey squads are receiving overwhelming support from business houses in the country ahead of their departure for Suva, Fiji this weekend to compete in the Hockey World Round League One.
Heritage Park Hotel was the latest company to support the squads this round.
The Hotel’s General Manager Sanjay Bhargava handed over their support to president of the Solomon Islands Hockey Federation (SIHF) Nihal Senevirantne.
“Heritage Park Hotel has its obligations to the society and we would definitely like to support our hockey teams who will be representing the country in Fiji for the Hockey World Round League,’’ he said.
The hotel has donated a set of jersey uniforms branded with Solomon Islands national flag’s colour.
Bhargava on the same note wished our hockey teams all the best.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to wish them all the best in their games that they are going for in Fiji.
“We hope that they will achieve good results,’’ he said.
He also stressed that two of the hotel’s staff are in the squad.
“Our staff in the squad will be receiving their full salaries and benefits, despite they will be absent from their duties,’’ he said.
He said during their training camp both players were allowed to concentrate with their training sessions.
“We wish to support them in that way for the betterment of the sport in the country,’’ he added.
“It’s not only in hockey, we even support weightlifting.
The general manager said anything to do with sports and social related activities, the hotel is willing to give hand.
Meanwhile SIHF president Senevirantne thanked Heritage Park Hotel for their abundant support saying it will have great impact on the squads’ performance as well as the development of the sports in the country.
“I wish to thank Heritage Park for this support,’’ he said.
“This support will definitely have positive impact in our preparation for the World League,’’ he said.
He also added the support rendered towards hockey development in the country was really outstanding.
The Solomon Star
Canadian women making the most of 2016 after busy 2015
Oh, what a year can do.
As Canada’s women’s field hockey team prepares to open a four-game series with Japan Thursday in Osaka (5:00pm local/1:00am PT/4:00am ET), the team is reinvigorated.
After a grueling 2015, which saw the Canadian women compete in many high stakes tournaments, and culminated with a bronze medal winning performance on home soil at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, 2016 has a different feel.
A welcome difference this year has been the women being able to spend lengthier periods of time training at the home base in Vancouver in between competitions.
“It’s actually been pretty nice,” says veteran forward and team captain Kate Gillis. “As fun as competing and travelling is, it’s been good to kind of get back to basics and train together as a team.”
While 2015 was a very successful year – the bronze medal win was the first Pan American Games medal for Canada’s women since 1999 and propelled the Women’s National Team inside the top twenty of the International Hockey Federation World Rankings – by no means are the Canadian women resting on their laurels.
After chasing Olympic qualification last year, the Women’s National Team now has its sights set on the 2018 World Cup, for which the qualification process begins next March when Canada hosts World League Round 2 in Vancouver.
And, with the end goal further down the line, the present is about focusing on the little things that lead to success.
Canada began this year with a test series against the United States in San Diego. It was a way to get ready for the prestigious Hawke’s Bay Cup, an eight-team tournament in New Zealand in April, which featured a handful of 2016 Olympic bound-teams.
The invite was an honour for the Canadians. But Canada’s women were there for more and proved they belonged, beating eighth ranked Korea in a historic upset.
It was evidence that despite a contrast in nature from last year, the women are as focused as ever.
“I think the period between San Diego and New Zealand really showed that we were able to progress and really realize what we need to do,” Gillis says of the team’s preparation.
“Throughout these past weeks we’ve been trying to mimic that. Playing here against each other and working on skills; something that we didn’t get to do last year because we were always competing.”
Women's National Team. Training. February 2016. Shannon Pereira.
What they also didn’t have a lot of last year was change in the touring roster.
The team was pretty well set throughout 2015, with little time for exploration. But this year has allowed for more internal competition and an infusion of youth.
“I’m just really excited to have this opportunity and finally play with the National Team,” says Shannon Pereira, a native of Toronto, Ontario who will be making her senior international debut this week against Japan.
Pereira is part of a select group of Junior athletes who have been training with the Senior Team since the beginning of the year.
“It’s been pretty intense and really fast paced. Everybody expects a lot. But it was really nice having everyone welcome me to the squad.”
Not only does the inclusion of the Junior athletes in the larger picture expose more athletes to a higher level of hockey, it serves as a testament to the growth of the Women’s Program on the whole.
It is a case of success breeding success.
And that makes for a competitive – but positive – environment according to Gillis.
“It puts pressure on the senior players,” Gillis says. “We’ve been really lucky. Steph (Andrews, Women’s Junior Head Coach) has done a really great job with the juniors.”
It’s just the latest feather in the cap for the Canadian women, as they continue on their rise to the top hockey’s upper echelon.
Field Hockey Canada media release
National hockey team on playing tour in Australia
by S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian national hockey development squad will embark on a 10-day, six-match playing tour of Queensland, Australia, from Thursday.
Goalkeeper Hafizuddin Othman, who featured for the senior team in the Sultan Azlan ShahCup in April, is among the 18 players selected for the tour.
Others from the senior training squad in the team are Faiz Helmi Jali, Nik Muhammad Aiman Nik Rozemi and Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin,
Development team head coach Wallace Tan has described it as an “exposure trip” and to give some of the fringe players from the senior side more playing experience.
“These four players did not go on the recent tour to Japan with the senior team.
Thus, we will benefit from their presence,” he said.
“This will be the first foreign tour for the development squad since being assembled earlier this year. This kind of exposure is important for the team as we prepare for future tournaments.”
The main assignment for the development team this year is their participation in the Australian National League, which will be held in Perth from Sept 29. The matches will be played in Brisbane.
“Playing against strong opponents will help us gauge our men’s performance on a different platform,” said Wallace.
“Queensland has several top players. So, we’re likely to get some quality matches that will also give us an idea of what we will be up against in the Australian National League.”
Their first friendly in Brisbane is today against the Queensland side.
Mohd Hafizuddin Othman, Mohd Zaimi Mat Deris, Mohd Aslam Mohd Hanafiah, Harmesh Singh, Shazril Irwan Nazli, Mohd Najmi Farizl Jazlan, Mohd Firdaus Omar, Faiz Helmi Jali, Mohd Amirol Aideed Mohd Arshad, Nik Mohd Aiman Nik Rozemi, Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin, Mohd Hafiz Zainol, Syed Mohamad Syafiq Syed Cholan, Mohamad Ashran Hamsani, Luqman Nul Hakim Ahmad Shukran, Rafizul Ezry Mustafa, Norsyafiq Sumantri, Mohd Hafiizhuddin Zaidi.
Coach: Wallace Tan.
Assistant coach: Mohd Amin Rahim.
The Star of Malaysia
Eyes on Europe tour, World Cup: ‘Hockey-5 to have direct bearing on int’l tours’
By Nabil Tahir
KARACHI: Youngsters and coaches taking part in Hockey-5 Championship at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore believe that the ongoing fast-paced tournament will be beneficial for their upcoming Europe tour and Junior Hockey World Cup.
According to national junior team captain Azfar Yaqoob, the Hockey-5 tournament has increased the players’ stamina, which was lacking in the previous competitions.
“This is a fast-paced game; you don’t get a second to miss,” Yaqoob told The Express Tribune. “Every player has to keep moving and keep his eyes on the ball and the opponents, unlike normal hockey.”
Former junior captain Dilber Hussain, one of the key players in the competition due to his prolific goalscoring exploits, observed that the format is easy and hard at the same time. “Easy for those who have built their stamina, while difficult for those whose physical fitness is not up to the mark,” said Hussain. “However, this will definitely help the players in the camp to prepare for the tours.”
Head coach and manager Tahir Zaman said the novel nature of the hockey being played in the tournament will go a long way to attract young and upcoming players.
“I’m confident this initiative will garner considerable attention among the young talent of the country,” he said. “Moreover, the juniors have been placed with the senior players in this contest, which will give them the required experience and motivation, which will be effective in their forthcoming tours.”
Zaman added, “The selected players will be called to a two-month training camp after Ramazan to prepare for the European tour, where they would possibly be playing against the top nations before the Junior World Cup in December.”
The Express Tribune
Hadfield ‘hungry for more’ after Scotland debut
Sean Hadfield reflected on his Scotland senior men’s debut and declared: “I’m hungry for more.”
The Grange goalkeeper claimed a shutout in the 4-0 victory over Italy on Sunday as Scotland came out on top in a Four Nations Tournament featuring two countries eight and nine places ahead of them in the world rankings.
The 23-year-old, who has graduated through the age-groups, starting at under-16 level, to the full squad had to wait until the final game of the 90th anniversary tournament in Gniezno before getting his chance.
And he had to make two key saves early on before Scotland netted through Michael Bremner which caused the Italian side’s heads to go down.
Kenny Bain, who celebrated his 150th cap, Willie Marshall and Cammy Fraser, Hadfield’s captain at Edinburgh club side Grange, completed the scoreline.
The 6ft-plus keeper said: “The early saves got me into the game and after that I’ve had busier days. It’s been a long road from age-group hockey through to this.”
Hadfield also underlined the confidence-boosting nature of the success in winning the event to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Polish Hockey Association.
France are ranked No 17 in the world and Poland No 18 with Scotland in 26th position. Italy are No 34 in the world and Hadfield said: “We drew 2-2 with France and then beat hosts Poland 5-4. I got the nod for the final game and it was a great experience to play for the senior side.
“I was with the squad recently in Lillieshall when we beat the Great Britain under-23 side but did not get on. Being down there and away with the squad in Poland has helped be feel part of this. I sat out the first two games here before playing and I would love to play again but that is a decision for the coaching staff.”
Two other Edinburgh players earned their first senior caps on the trip, the first international competition for the squad which is building for the World League, Round One, in Glasgow in September.
Former Grange player Duncan Riddell, who currently plays for Grange Menzieshill, and ex-Inverleith player Patrick Christie (Durham University) also featured in all three games in Poland.
Both players enjoyed the experience and it was an early birthday present to be capped for Christie who turned 19 on Monday.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Hockey players vying for victory
Shameel Ayob, Vernon van Staden, Chris Roswell, Christopher Reinecke and Tyron Roux.
NEWCASTLE – Come July, Newcastle, in KZN, South Africa will be dominating hockey fields beyond the town’s borders.
A determined squad of local hockey players will be participating and vying for top spot in the South African Country District (SACD) tournament.
The squad will consist of 15 women from Newcastle and Dundee, who will be representing Northern KwaZulu-Natal Inland against teams hailing from a far as the Western Cape, from July 2 to July 9.
Aiming for gold, Louise said she had the utmost faith in her team.
“We have a lot of heart, and once we are done at the SACD, we will be looking at competing at the Inter Provincial Tournament (IPT) and then aim for as many of our women to be selected to compete on the national side,” she said eagerly.
While the group of women is looking at bringing a sense of pride back home to Newcastle, the men’s division has shown just as much promise.
Tyron Roux, Stephen Brown and Christopher Reinecke will be representing the men’s division at SACD and they will be joined by Vernon van Staden, Chris Roswell and Shameel Ayob from Dundee.
The six men will be travelling to Cape Town for their leg in the SACD from July 9 to July 15.
“We are aiming to win the tournament and as we won it last year, we are the current champions and are hoping to do it again,” Tyron said on behalf of the players.
As the hockey players eagerly await to put their skills to the test, Craig Pedersen and Tanya van Niekerk will be umpiring for the IPT to be held in Bloemfontein.
The duo are set to put their vast knowledge of hockey to the ultimate test from June 26 until July 1.
“This means a lot to me,” said Craig, who started umpiring at the age of 14.
Craig, who will be umpiring for the u/18 division at the IPT, explained that umpiring was not an easy task.
“You have to be fit, as you run just as much as the players. It is also a tough job, as people don’t always like the decisions you have to make in the match,” he said.
Despite this, he said it was an honour to have been selected.
“This will be the biggest tournament I will have ever umpired for, and it would not have been possible had it not been for Tanya,” he concluded.
For Tanya, this another notch on her belt in her illustrious hockey career.
Tanya has been a qualified umpire for nearly two decades and is the highest graded umpire in NKZN – a qualification which has seen her work as umpire manager at IPT for five years.
Craig and Tanya are sure to do Newcastle proud.
The Newcastle Advertiser
Hockey India seeks ten weeks time to respond on DCW notice to Sardar Singh
In a letter to DCW Chairperson Swati Mahliwal, HI said ,it would be able to send a comprehensive response on the matter only after August 23.
Germany's Timo Wess (L) challenges India's Sardar Singh during their men's Group B hockey match at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Riverbank Arena on the Olympic Park August 3, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo
Hockey India (HI) on Wednesday sought 10 weeks’ time to respond to the Delhi Commission for Women’s notice on the allegations of sexual harassment against Sardar Singh but firmly threw its weight behind the Indian captain by questioning the complainant’s “belated” charges.
In a letter to DCW Chairperson Swati Mahliwal, HI said since the national team has a six-nation Tournament followed by the Olympic Games, it would be able to send a comprehensive response on the matter only after August 23.
“We shall provide you with a detailed response once the team is back from Brazil and after ascertaining and verifying all the facts as stated by you in your notice dates June 14, 2016,” HI said.
“It is obvious that the complaint has been filed at a belated stage. Therefore we would like to verify all the facts and only after the verification will be able to respond to the notice issued by you,” it added.
The woman, in her complaint, has alleged that Sardar physically abused her after promising to marry her. Sardar, on his part, has denied the allegations.