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News for 15 July 2016

All the news for Friday 15 July 2016

Honours even between Great Britain and Germany

David Condon celebrates scoring for GB. Credit Ravi Ghowry

David Condon’s first half strike was enough to hand Bobby Crutchley’s side a share of the spoils in their opening match of the Ergo Masters Four Nations Invitational in Dusseldorf against hosts Germany. Christopher Wesley had given the home side the lead in the 20th minute but it was an advantage that lasted just three minutes as Condon slotted home from near the edge of the circle to ensure Great Britain picked up a point.   

Germany showed their attacking intent from the first whistle. In the first minute Christopher Ruhr broke free down the left before smashing in a fierce strike on the backhand which George Pinner did well to glove away from danger.

In the sixth minute Great Britain won their first penalty corner. The ball was not trapped cleanly at the edge of the circle however and the chance was gone. Their second penalty corner followed shortly after. Mark Gleghorne, making his 100th international appearance, took the shot but was denied by a flying save from Nicolas Jacobi in the home goal.

With three minutes until quarter time, Valentin Altenburg’s team forced their first set piece. Tom Grambusch took the honours but his drag flick was wide of the target and did not trouble Pinner. It remained all square at the end of the first quarter.

Germany struck the opening goal five minutes into the second quarter. Wesley turned the ball home from close range after a break down the left hand side. Undeterred, Great Britain hit back and on 23 minutes levelled the scores. A lovely turn and shot from Condon found the bottom corner giving the East Grinstead man his 17th international goal. Ruhr then flashed a shot past the far post, but despite the best efforts of both sides the scores remained level at one apiece at half time.

The start of the second half mirrored the first. Both sides created chances with Phil Roper’s shot well blocked by Jacobi at one end and then Florian Fuchs firing wide immediately afterwards at the other. Ashley Jackson stung the goalkeeper’s palms after a superb solo run and backhand shot from an acute angle as both teams fought hard for the all-important next goal. Jackson’s ability to create chances seemingly out of nothing almost paid dividends right on the stroke of quarter time. Another fierce backhand from the GB captain drew a fine stop out of Jacobi and it was still all square going into the final 15 minutes.  

The final quarter was a game of cat and mouse with both sides keeping possession of the ball for long periods as they searched for an opening. Great Britain lost Chris Grassick who went down injured with eight minutes remaining on the clock. Despite the brief break in play, the pace of the game soon picked up again in the closing stages. Despite some fast attacking hockey from both sides it remained 1-1 at full time. 

Great Britain’s next match is on Saturday against the Netherlands at 1300 UK Time.

Head Coach Bobby Crutchley:
“It was a positive performance from us. We created a number of good chances and scored a nice goal. We improved as the game went on and could have won it on another day.”

“I’m pleased with how we defended after the first quarter. We kept their chances to a minimum and a draw against Germany is a good result. We’re focusing on how we play and getting ourselves ready for Rio so there were plenty of pleasing aspects for me today. The only negative was losing Chris Grassick to injury. We’ll see how he is and assess that when we know more.”
“Our next game is the Netherlands who we haven’t played in a while. They are a class side who play a different style but that is why we’re here: To challenge ourselves and to get things right for Rio. We’re looking forward to it and if we improve from today I will be very happy.”

Germany 1 (1)
Christopher Wesley 20 (FG)

Great Britain 1 (1)
David Condon 23 (FG)

Great Britain Hockey media release

Twenty Canadian women off to United States for matches with Olympic-bound teams next week

Shaheed Devji

Canada’s women’s field hockey team is set to continue a busy year when it heads to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for four games against India and the United States next week.

Beginning July 22nd, Canada will play three straight matches against 13th ranked India, followed by a match against Pan American rival, the 5th ranked United States.

The twenty athletes headed to Lancaster are led by captain Kate Gillis, who leads all women on tour in international matches played with 155. Danielle Hennig and Karli Johansen, who have played in 119 and 68 caps respectively, have been designated as vice-captains for the series.

The touring team also features five athletes who have played in 10 or less senior matches, which continues a recent trend of junior athletes being given an opportunity to test themselves at the senior level.

In India and the U.S., Canada faces two Olympic-bound teams that are in their final stages of preparation for the Rio 2016 Games.

At the conclusion of the four matches, the 18th ranked Canadian Women’s National Team will have played 20 matches in the calendar year, all against teams higher in the world rankings and headed to the 2016 Olympics.

Canada’s women continue to prepare for World League Round 2, which will be hosted in the Vancouver, British Columbia area next spring and begins 2018 Women’s World Cup qualification.

The women began the year in San Diego for four matches against the U.S., before heading to the Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand, and most recently played a four-game set against Japan in Japan.

Click here for the full schedule of the U.S. Pre-Olympic Series

Touring Roster

 Touring Staff

Head Coach: Ian Rutledge
Assistant Coach: Steph Andrews
Nancy Mollenhauer
Video Analyst: Stef Sloboda
Athletic Therapist: Rachelle O’Brien

Field Hockey Canada media release

Indian hockey eves to embark on US tour

New Delhi: The Indian women's hockey team led by newly-appointed captain Sushila Chanu will play a total of five practice games against Canada and US as part of the last leg of their preparations for next month's Rio Olympics.

The squad will leave for the US on Friday, and play three practice games against Canada and two against the US. The tour is the last of the many international exposure matches planned ahead of the Olympics.

Apart from Sushila and vice-captian Deepika Thakur, the squad includes a host of experienced players like Navjot Kaur, Deep Grace Ekka, Monika, Nikki Pradhan, and Vandana Katariya.

"We have selected the best players for the squad who have earned their place purely on the basis of merit. These players have put forth their best performance, have displayed hunger and trained hard for the spot," chief coach Neil Hawgood said in a statement.

"This is the first time this team is going to experience the aura of being at the Olympics, it is a big moment for all of them. Each athlete in the team is both physically and mentally strong for the task ahead of us," he added.

Sushila asserted that the players are determined to put their best foot forward at the Olympics.

"While this is the happiest moment for us to be a part of the Olympics for the first time, there is an equal amount of responsibility. Every match before Rio is crucial and gives an opportunity to reinforce what we have learnt during the training," she remarked.

"This tour will serve as the apt warm-up for Rio Olympics and every step from here takes us closer to turn the dream into a reality. Each player has only one mission on their mind and the Coach has given us immense support and confidence. Now it is our turn to play our best," the captain added.

The Times of India

India hockey team has good momentum: Deepak Thakur

Former India hockey forward Deepak Thakur was part of the junior Indian team which won the junior World Cup in Australia in 2001

by Shub Karman Dhaliwal

Hockey Olympians Balbir Singh Senior and Deepak Thakur during the music launch in Chandigarh on Thursday. (Source: Express Photo by Hardik Abrol)

FOR ARJUNA awardee and former Indian hockey forward Deepak Thakur, being the brand ambassador of a joint music production venture started by his wife Sunaina Thakur and Bharti ‘Music Tym’ is not only a new beginning but also a step towards helping his wife to realise her dream.

“This idea of launching a production house was Sunaina’s dream as she always had affinity for music and wanted to do something. I’m offering her all the help I can in making her dreams a reality,” Thakur told mediapersons here on Thursday.

He was also part of the junior Indian team which won the junior World Cup in Hobart, Australia, in 2001, and scored a total of 73 goals in his career.

The Hoshiarpur-based player, who made his India debut for the senior team in 1999 when he played in South Africa tour under coach V Bhaskaran, was also part of the Indian team which won the silver medal in 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“I think the current Indian hockey team has a good momentum as they go into the Olympics. They have performed really well in the Champions Trophy held recently. We have a good chance of winning a medal this time or at least finishing in top four. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I think the change in the format will give an opportunity to the teams to enter directly in the semi-finals,” he said.

Thakur now also plays in Europe and the USA and runs a hockey academy at Dhuri, Punjab, for aspiring hockey players. Earlier, Thakur spent time in Mauritus where he helped in establishing hockey at college and school level.

“I have collaborated with USA Phoenix Hockey Club and signed a three-year contract with them to teach local players and students alike the nuances of hockey. Working in Mauritius was an honour and a big leaning experience for me as I was given the responsibility of setting up hockey project and teach the youngsters the nuances of hockey. We have tied up with a school at Dhuri and will be training the students of the school along with the local children of surrounding villages like Sangrur and Nabha. We will also put an astro turf for kids to train,” said Thakur.

Indian Express

Ritu Rani, Sacked As Hockey Captain Days Before Rio Olympics, Breaks Down

Ritu Rani was sacked as captain of the Indian women's hockey team and omitted from the squad just days ahead of Rio Olympics because of disciplinary issues

By Suprita Das

Ritu Rani (R), who was snubbed from being selected in the Indian women's hockey team, with her fiance.

Ritu Rani, who was omitted from the Indian women's hockey team for the 2016 Rio Olympics, broke down in an exclusive interview to NDTV, saying that no explanation was given to her for sacking.

Ritu, under whose leadership the Indian women's team qualified for the Olympics for the first time in 36 years since 1980, was unceremoniously dumped from the team due to disciplinary issues.

"The news came as a shock to me. I had no issues of fitness or attitude at all. No explanation given to me properly as to why I have been dropped," said the 24-year-old in an exclusive interview to NDTV.

"I didn't leave any training or camps, I got engaged when the camp was on a break."

The 24-year-old has been at the forefront of Indian women's hockey for more than a decade and has been the key to the midfield.

While 36 players, men and women, celebrated their selection after the announcement of the squad, Ritu was crestfallen at her home after hearing the news of her removal.

"I feel playing hockey for all these years has been useless. My fiancee is hugely upset. Sardara Singh is also facing personal problems, his captaincy has been taken away as well, but he is still in the team. Then why this treatment with me?"

Ritu, who had led the team to two bronze medal finishes in recent times - at the 2013 Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur and the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, said that she would now probably give the Olympics a miss entirely.

"It's wrong to make false allegations. I don't think I will be able to watch the Olympic matches on TV."

NDTV Sports

SA U21 men's hockey team for Junior World Cup in Lucknow, India from December 8 to 18

The South African Hockey Association has released the names of the players who will represent the South Africa U21 national men’s team at FIH Junior World Cup 2016 from December 8 to 18 in Lucknow, India.

SA U21 men's head coach Garreth Ewing said that the announcement of the 18-player team is the culmination of a process that started at the Interprovincial Nationals U21 tournament at Greenfields AB Jackson Hockey Arena in Pietermaritzburg last April.

"It's been a thorough process and there was a lot of competition for final places but now for those 18 selected players, this is when the hard work really starts.

"The players will also be participating in the upcoming Premier  National League, which takes place in September this year."

Ewing said that he is happy with the balance in the team in terms of specialist skills and overall ability.

"I'm reasonably pleased that this group have had good exposure during the selection phase at both the senior SA Interprovincial Nationals tournament as well as the Junior World Cup Africa Qualifier Tournament that took place earlier this year.

"I'm looking forward to the next phase of preparation and rising to the challenge of raising the necessary funds for the JWC tournament."

SA U21 Junior World Cup men's team

1.  Robert McKinley WP
2. Siya Nolutshungu KZN
3. Kyle Lion-Cachet SG
4. Courtney Hallé SG
5. Jayson Reed KZN
6. Tylo Remke KZN
7. Ryan Julius WP
8. Matthew De Sousa WP
9. Charles Bowren WP
10. Alex Stewart WP
11. Nduduzo Lembethe NG
12. Tyson Dlungwana SG
13. Khumo Mokale  NG
14. Ryan Crowe SG
15. Nqobile Ntuli KZN
16. Walter Pfaff WP
17. Tevin Kok NG
18. Amkelwe Letuka SG


19. Steve McManus KZN
20. Bjorn Sorensen WP

SA Hockey Association media release

Hockey Champs


Malaita and Guadalcanal provincial hockey teams are the champions of the 2016 Solomon Games hockey competition.

Malaita women’s hockey team claimed the top spot in their category after narrowly edging Temotu 3-2 in a stunning grand final at the KGVI hockey grounds on Thursday.

Guadalcanal men’s team also claimed the gold medal in their category after beating Choiseul 3-0 in the men’s grand final.

It was a revenge match for Guale who went down to Choiseul 2-1 in their pool match.

Guadalcanal head coach Jack Donga said his team’s victory was achieved because of cooperation displayed by his players.

“My players learned from their mistake and played according to our game plan in this final,’’ he said.

“In fact it’s all about listening, and I would like to praise my boys for paying attention to my instructions,’’ he added.

Junior Ofaio launched the opening goal for Guadalcanal mid-way through the first quarter.

Shortly after Ofai’s opening goal, Choiseul made four goal scoring attempts but was denied by Guadalcanal goal keeper who was superb in manning his side’s goal mouth.

Choiseul did came back strong in the second quarter but was given no rooms to utilize their chances.

Instead they were further punished for not utilizing their golden chances.

Paul Brown stretch his side’s lead to 2-0 before Ofai sealed the victory to 3-0 as full time score.

Women’s category

1.      Malaita - Gold
2.     Temotu – Silver
3.     Guadacanal Bronze

Men’s category

1.     Guadalcanal- Gold
2.     Choiseul- Silver
3.     Malaita – Bronze

The Solomon Star

Hockey competition hailed


The Oceania Hockey Federation (OHF) has expressed its gratitude over the level of performance of the first ever Solomon Games hockey competition successfully staged in the country.

OHF Continental Development Officer Gill Gemming highlighted this to Star Sports in an interview.

 “I am really impressed in the sense of the men and women’s teams who went to a world ranking tournament two weeks ago in Fiji,’’ she said.

“The competition for places for the world ranking was really high and I am really seeing evidence over here.

 “The players that went to play at the tournament are showing the skills that they have learnt.”

She also stressed there are lots of potential players in the Solomon Games hockey competition.

“I am also seeing some new players that are playing at a very high level.

“And also when we select the next teams for next year’s tournaments,   there will be other players pushing for positions in the national teams,’’ she said.

she also acknowledged the hockey officials and umpires who effectively conducted the 2016 Solomon Games hockey games.

  “I am really pleased with the level of performance of local umpires and technical officials,’’ she said.

“They were improving during the duration of the competition,’’ she said.

Gemming also stressed the hockey playing ground that hockey used was fantastic.

“I am really delighted with this playing ground,’’ he said.

“I would also like to congratulate KGVI school principal for allowing their ground to hockey federation in Solomon Islands,’’ he said.

She said now that hockey has its own ground there should be no barriers to hockey.

Gemming added OHF had plans to develop hockey in the country in preparation for upcoming international hockey competition.

The Solomon Star

Round 1 line-up for Banbridge confirmed

The line-up for Round 1 of the Euro Hockey League in Banbridge was confirmed this morning at the draw conducted by EHF President Marijke Fleuren, Vice President Jorge Alcover and Director General Angus Kirkland in Barcelona this morning.

Group A sees reigning champions SV Kampong face a huge battle in their bid to retain the title, facing English newcomers Holcombe who bring a wealth of GB Olympic talent. The group is completed by outsiders KS AZS AWF Poznan who will play in their second EHL campaign.

Three-time champions UHC Hamburg head up Group B where they will face Welsh champions Cardiff & Met and Italian winners SG Amsicora.

Hosts Banbridge line out alongside Belgian third place finishers Royal Leopold in Group C along with French runners-up Saint Germain.

Group D, meanwhile, sees FINAL4 side Atlètic Terrassa hoping to succeed against Russia’s Dinamo Kazan – one of just two ever-present sides in the EHL – and Scotland’s champions Kelburne.

The match schedule for Round 1 will be confirmed and released on Monday, July 18 at 1pm (CET). Tickets will also go on sale at this time.

Twelve sides have received byes through to the KO16 of the EHL. They will play in the knock-out phases of the competition which will take place from April 14 to 17, 2017.

They are AH&BC Amsterdam and HC Oranje-Rood from the Netherlands; Rot Weiss Köln and Mannheimer HC from Germany; Club Egara and Real Club de Polo de Barcelona from Spain; KHC Dragons and Racing Club de Bruxelles from Belgium; Ireland’s Lisnagarvey; England’s Wimbledon; France’s Racing Club de France and Poland’s WKS Grunwald Poznan.

Group A: SV Kampong (NED), KS AZS AWF Poznan, (POL), Holcombe HC (ENG)

Group B: UHC Hamburg (GER), Cardiff & Met (WAL), SG Amsicora (ITA)

Group C: Royal Leopold (BEL), Saint Germain (FRA), Banbridge (IRL)

Group D: Atlètic Terrassa (ESP), Kelburne (SCO), Dinamo Kazan (RUS)

Euro Hockey League media release

Providing int’l exposure to youngsters top priority: Shahbaz

Mohsin Ali

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Olympian Shahzab Senior has said that German embassy has granted visas to 16 junior and two officials for the 4-nation junior series to be held in Germany from 21.

Talking to The Nation, Shahbaz said: “We have dropped one goalkeeper Ali Raza and replaced him with Usman Ghani.

Olympian Tahir Zaman is the head coach and Olympian Zeeshan Ashraf is his assistant.

With the tireless efforts of PHF president Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, the German visas were finally issued.

It will be a great opportunity for the U-18 players prior to the mega U-18 Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh in September and the most important U-21 World Cup in India in December this year.

“The camp for the juniors started here at Pakistan Sports Complex and will continue for 15 to 20 days.

It was PHF president brainchild to give top most priority to junior level, as they are the future of Pakistan hockey.

I fully endorsed that idea which would bear fruitful results in near future,” he added.

Shahbaz said they had still around 6 months before the Junior World Cup and we have managed to gather around 150 players, who are mainly based on recently-concluded U-18 National Championship at Naseer Bunda Stadium.

“A few of the newly-hunted players were also given chance, who could not participate in the national championship, as some of them were busy in annual examinations, but we, on our part, gave equal opportunities to each and every individual.

“Olympian Kamran Ashraf is the camp commandant and Muddasar, who just returned after completing FIH course in Malaysia, will assist him.

The juniors will get great exposure while playing against the best in Europe.

The World Cup is round the corner and it will be a great learning experience for majority of juniors when they will play against Germany,” he added.

He said in the first phase, 16 players would travel to Germany, while in the second phase, the players will be taken to European tour in the last week of August.

Shahbaz confirmed that training camp for senior team would start from July 18 under the command of national coach Khawaja Juniad at either Lahore or Karachi, as national team is almost free from international fixtures after failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

We have ample time to work on seniors but our main focus will remain giving top priority to grassroots level talent.”

He said he had never thought about witnessing such a raw talent in the 1st National U-18 Hockey Championship.

“It was highly pleasant surprise for me and it further boosted my confidence that Pakistan hockey future is quite bright.

It was one major area where no one paid heed in the past.

Had the past managements worked on grooming juniors and provided them with ample opportunities, today situation could have been far different and better.

Anyhow, I don’t believe in wasting time and energies on talking about past.

“I accepted the secretary slot with a challenge and I was pretty sure that I will transform the fortunes of national game hockey under the able guidance of Brig Khokhar.

We have devised a long-term strategy and working on that plan.

I am grateful to all the legends, who joined hands with us in this noble cause and giving us time to implement plans.

The PHF chief and I are highly grateful to sports journalists, who highlight our weaknesses and give so much space and coverage for hockey events.

It is my promise we will steadily accomplish our task to take Pakistan hockey back to old golden days heights, but for that we need full support,” he added.

“The government has issued funds and we are also working on areas to generate funds from private sponsors.

We will soon announce marketing department and the PHF will be self-reliant in a matter of time.

We want to generate funds through our own sources rather than looking at the government for financial assistance,” Shahbaz concluded.

The Nation

New Partnership Brings Rewards to USA Field Hockey Members

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Experticity works with hundreds of top brands to provide members with exclusive access to top brands and products. Through this new partnership, USA Field Hockey members, who are experts in their field, will have access to Experticity’s Promotive.com site and all of the incredible benefits it provides,  including access to brands like KT Tape, Otter Box, OGIO and dozens more.

“USA Field Hockey is excited to partner with Experticity to provide our membership special recognition and access to these great brands,” said Adam Andrasko, USA Field Hockey Member Services Director. “The ProMotive system is easy to use and a resource that can benefit all 25,000+ members of our organization.”

These benefits will include information about, and discounts on thousands of products offered by hundreds of brands that want to put their products in front of the USA Field Hockey audience.  With the launch of this new partnership, USA Field Hockey members will be recognized for their unique expertise among peers in the industry.

Accessing this  exclusive opportunity will be done through your USA Field Hockey Member Account, and brand access is available immediately upon registering.

Ready to get started? CLICK HERE to log in to your USA Field Hockey Member Account. Once on the Home Page, click the ProMotive Login link on the left hand menu to register and start experiencing the benefits.

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USFHA media release

Happy Birthday, Sardar Singh

When it comes to Indian hockey, Sardar Singh perhaps is the most notable name after Dhyan Chand and Dhanraj Pillay. Considered the face of Indian hockey, Sardar became the youngest player to captain the Indian team when he led the side at the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. He was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015. TOI Sports wishes him a fabulous birthday.

The Times of India

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