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News for 17 July 2016

All the news for Sunday 17 July 2016

Ward double secures Great Britain win over Netherlands

Ashley Jackson made his 100th Great Britain appearance against the Netherlands. Credit Ravi Ghowry

Two goals from striker Sam Ward helped to fire Great Britain to a convincing 3-0 win over the Netherlands at the Ergo Masters Four Nations Invitational in Dusseldorf. Ward struck in the first quarter and then again in the third before Henry Weir’s second goal for Great Britain put the gloss on the score in the final period. The win sends Great Britain top of the table with Germany facing Belgium later on today.

The first quarter started with an early chance for the Dutch. Good approach play from Mirco Pruijser set up Robbert Kemperman but George Pinner did well to block from the No14 from point blank range. The Netherlands enjoyed the better of the possession and territory in the early going but found Great Britain’s defence in stubborn mood. A wall of white shirts awaited them every time they broke forwards and after his early sight of the ball, Pinner was largely a spectator for the rest of the first period. With four minutes to go till the break Bobby Crutchley’s side created their first real chance. A long ball out of defence found Alastair Brogdon on the left. He did well to break into the circle and his cross found its way to Ward at the back post. The striker spun and slotted home to make it 1-0 and sent his side into the second quarter in the ascendancy.

The second period yielded more possession for Great Britain but once again, both sides were finding chances hard to come by. The best opening of the quarter fell to Phil Roper with five minutes to go until the break. The Wimbledon man did well to engineer some space in the circle but his backhand effort flew over the bar. At the other end, a fine tackle from Dan Fox halted a promising break forwards from Jeroen Hertzberger late on in the half and it remained 1-0 at the half way stage.

Great Britain made a bright start to the second half and a marauding run by Brogdon set up a chance for Mark Gleghorne but his shot on the turn flashed wide. Just a minute later the Dutch won the first penalty corner of the match. Despite the threat on the goal, Pinner stood firm with a solid glove on the ball and kept the shot out. The Dutch continued to have more of the possession but it was Crutchley’s side that looked the more threatening. On more than one occasion Brogdon and Simon Mantell got round the back but the final pass didn’t quite come off. Ian Sloan could have doubled the lead but his shot from the top of the circle was inches wide. 

With just two minutes until the break Great Britain finally did extend their advantage. Ashley Jackson, making his 100th GB appearance in the game fed the ball wide to Dan Shingles. The No20 made his way into the circle and hit the ball towards goal. In amongst the crowd of players, Ward ghosted in to divert the ball past Jaap Stockmann to make it 2-0.

The Dutch withdrew Stockmann and moved to play with a kicking back at the very start of the final quarter as they searched for a way of getting back into the match. It was a gamble that backfired almost immediately. Jackson collected the ball on the left and at first there seemed to be little on. A drop of the shoulder and lovely jink inside put the Great Britain captain into the circle and with no goalkeeper he calmly played the ball through the crowd for Weir to touch in and make it 3-0. The goal prompted a re-think from Netherlands coach Max Caldas and Stockmann returned to the field shortly after. Ward was still searching for his hat-trick and forced two smart stops from Stockmann late on but despite the striker’s best efforts there were to be no further goals and it finished 3-0 to Great Britain.

Great Britain’s next match is on Sunday against the Belgium at 1030 UK Time.

Head Coach Bobby Crutchley:
“We had to do a lot of defending in the first half and we weren’t secure enough in possession which invited them to put us under pressure. I thought we defended well but in the second half we added a bit more attacking threat. When they went to a kicking back we were well organised and a great piece of skill from Ashley Jackson set us up to score a third and make it safe.”

“We’ve been very good defensively for a while now so I am pleased that has continued out here. We want to create chances and to punish teams when we do. Scoring three goals today was nice and it was nice to keep a clean sheet as well.”

“Very few players get 100 Great Britain caps so it tells you something about Ashley Jackson as a player and person that he’s reached that total. He’s taken on the captaincy on this trip and he’s really led by example. He’s a fantastic player and it’s great to see him achieve another milestone.”

“Belgium tomorrow will be a challenge. We know each other very well so they will be prepared for us and we will be prepared for them. The important thing in this competition is the performances. Results are nice but I’m more worried about how we play. We’ve had two good performances and I’m hoping for a third tomorrow.”   

Netherlands 0 (0)

Great Britain 3 (1)
Sam Ward 11, 43  (FG, FG)
Henry Weir 48 (FG)

Great Britain Hockey media release

Great Britain beat Netherlands 3-0 as Ashley Jackson earns 100th cap

Ashley Jackson made his Great Britain debut in 2008

Great Britain beat the Netherlands 3-0 in the Ergo Masters Four Nations Invitational in Dusseldorf as Ashley Jackson won his 100th cap.

Samuel Ward scored a goal either side of half-time to set up the victory, before Henry Weir made sure of the result in the final quarter.

Jackson went close to scoring, shooting after the Dutch had pushed their keeper outfield, but Weir deflected it in.

The result follows Thursday's 1-1 draw against hosts Germany.

Britain face Belgium in their final match on Sunday (10:30 BST).

BBC Sport

Rangitikei company raises $50,000 for Black Sticks' Olympic bid


Ex-Tall Black Nick Horvath, centre, entertains the audience as part of a panel with former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, compere Lesley Murdoch and Black Sticks captain Kayla Whitelock.

A Rangitikei company has collected more than $50,000 for the women's Black Sticks' bid for Olympic gold.

Forestry consultancy John Turkington Ltd organised Saturday night's dinner at the Awapuni Racecourse in Palmerston North, which included an auction and a celebrity Q+A with former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, ex-Tall Black Nick Horvath, and Black Sticks captain Kayla Whitelock.

Horvath is a former captain of the Manawatu Jets basketball team and Whitelock is also from Manawatu.

John Turkington and his wife Angela Turkington are long-time supporters of the Black Sticks and Manawatu Hockey.

Angela Turkington said the night had been a huge success and it was great the whole Black Sticks women's squad had been able to attend.

"My husband and I have been talking about it all year, but we only put it together in the past four to five weeks," she said.

"It was hard to get a date both Richie McCaw and the girls could come."

McCaw said he knew the Turkingtons through his fiancee, Black Stick Gemma Flynn, and was more than happy to be involved when they asked him.

"It's amazing what they have done for the girls."

The Black Sticks squad have just finished their Olympic buildup training and after a four-day break will be going to Argentina for two practice games, before heading to Rio.

"I can understand how it is preparing for big games; it's nice to be on the other side of it all for once."

Turkington said the region's community had been hugely supportive of the fundraiser, donating gifts – from fine wine to fishing trips and holiday packages – for the auction.

"We had 450 people at the dinner. Tickets were $150 a head, so it wasn't a cheap night, but we sold out 2½ weeks ago. The Rangitikei and Manawatu really got behind us."

Former Black Stick Emily Gaddum said the support from the Turkingtons was much appreciated and the fundraiser was a nice way to relax after an intense time for the team.

"It's absolutely amazing the support they've given us; the fundraiser is just the icing on the cake."

Palmerston North's Gaddum (nee Naylor) sacrificed her Olympics swansong in Brazil because she is expecting her first child.

"I grew up in Palmy, it's a pretty strong hockey region and it's families like the Turkingtons that really help build it up," Gaddum said.

Turkington said people particularly enjoyed the in-depth Q+A about the experience of high-performance athletes.

"There were nearly 500 people in the room and you could hear a pin drop."


Our men's hockey team will make India proud this Olympics

As new skipper PR Sreejesh and his boys spend the last few days at the final camp in Bangalore, the mood is one of optimism.

S Kannan

It's hard not to sing lines from the Swedish band "The Final Countdown."

When this song was belted out exactly three decades ago by a group called Europe, it became an instant rage.

Top of the charts in 25 countries, this is not what the rock group had expected.

As the Indian men's hockey team embarks on the long ride to the Rio Olympics, lines from the song come readily to the mind:

"We're leaving together But still it's farewell And maybe we'll come back To earth, who can tell? I guess there is no one to blame We're leaving ground (leaving ground) Will things ever be the same again? It's the final countdown The final countdown Ohh!"

Having been present inside the hockey arena at the London Olympics in 2012 where the Bharat Chetri-led side finished 12th among 12 teams, the atmosphere was funereal.

If the players did not know where to look, it was equally embarrassing for the media as well.

Phone calls came from office and the demand was for post mortems, RIP (rest in peace) lines and so on.

There was no escaping it as the loss to South Africa was the final nail in the coffin.

As new skipper PR Sreejesh and his boys spend the last few days at the final camp in Bangalore before departing for Rio, the mood is one of optimism.

They could well be hearing the lines from "The Final Countdown" on their iPods and phones as the final countdown has begun.

When Hockey India held a glittering function this week in the capital to announce the men's and women's teams, the excitement in the air was huge.

At the same time, when India's lucky talisman Sreejesh was named captain ahead of Sardar Singh, reactions were mixed.

Perhaps, it required the right sound bites from Bangalore where Sreejesh has put the captaincy issue in perspective by speaking about it at length.

To be sure, captaincy in hockey cannot be equated with captaincy in cricket. Yes, leading the Indian team is a big thing and Sreejesh deserves it for the way he has performed as India's goalkeeper in the last two years.

Since the time Sreejesh showed his wares in the Asian Games and India won gold in the final against Pakistan in Incheon, South Korea, the goalkeeper from Kerala has been inspirational.

And he has played with the same passion and poise as a result of which captaincy in the Olympics has been bestowed on him.

It could be purely coincidental that even during the last Olympics in London, a goalkeeper was the Indian captain - Bharat Chetri.

Going by what has been heard and said, Sreejesh and star forward SV Sunil will have the captain's band on their arms.

In fact, one should not be surprised if the band adorns a few more arms in Rio, as that's what the philosophy is among the players - share the responsibility.

A quick word about Sardar Singh. He has been the fulcrum of Indian hockey for a while and in the 2012 London Olympics was seen as a sturdy worker.

He was "rested" for the Champions Trophy in London and reasons were quite clear as Hockey India did not want any trouble for him outside the field.

The genial Sardar has been dealing with a few issues away from hockey but the federation has done well to keep him insulated.

Sardar Singh, former captain Indian men's hockey team. (PTI)

As a solid player in the midfield, Sardar still has the fire in him to play as a team man. And that is what India needs from him more than him being a decorative captain.

Back to Sreejesh. The 28-year-old is aware of what the pressure will be at the Rio Olympics. He was part of the side which flopped in London 2012 and one of the seven members who had to face heaps of humiliation after the 12th place finish.

For Sreejesh and Indian hockey as a whole, this is redemption time. When the Indian team did not make the cut for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, there was anguish and turmoil at home. It was no different in 2012 when the team played so poorly, each match was a nightmare and the very thought of having to visit the hockey arena was dreadful.

There is hope in the air now and the way the team has shaped up under Roelant Oltmans is impressive.

The Dutchman has tried hard to understand the psyche of the Indian players and blend the team well.

Winning a bronze medal in the FIH World League last year and a silver medal in the Champions Trophy is a mirror reflection of how the Indian players look at each other with pride.

In India, old-timers who were part of medal-winning campaigns at the historic Olympics talk of sheer nostalgia and how the team needs a medal badly this time.

So what's in store for Indian hockey in Rio. Hope? Yes. Medal?

Wait and see.

It's the final countdown.

Mail Today.

It’s wrong to make false allegations: Ritu Rani to Hockey India

Hockey India named Sushila as the skipper in place of Ritu Rani who was dropped from the squad by the selectors.

Hockey Ritu Rani (L) has hit back at Hockey India selectors. (Source: Express Photo)

Unceremoniously dumped from the Rio Olympics squad last week, a crestfallen Ritu Rani has hit back at Hockey India selectors and dismissed the allegations of poor attitude and performance levelled against her as false and baseless.

“The news came as a shock to me. I had no issues of fitness or attitude at all. No explanation was given to me properly as to why I have been dropped,” said Rani, who was instrumental in guiding the Indian women’s team to seal an Olympic berth after a 36-year hiatus.

“I didn’t leave any training or camps, I got engaged when the camp was on a break.”

Hockey India named Sushila as the skipper in place of Ritu Rani who was dropped from the squad by the selectors due to her poor form and attitude problems.

The 24-year-old Rani pointed out that although Sardar Singh is also facing issues off the field he has received better support from Hockey India.

Sardar Singh lost his captaincy to PR Sreejesh as a result of his dip in form in recent times.

“I feel playing hockey for all these years has been useless. My fiancee is hugely upset. Sardar Singh is also facing personal problems, his captaincy has been taken away as well, but he is still in the team as he deserves to be. Then why this treatment with me?” said Rani in an interview to a television channel.

“It’s wrong to make false allegations. I don’t think I will be able to watch the Olympic matches on TV,” Ritu added, while breaking down on live television.

Indian Express

Hockey India makes a mistake, and reveals double standards, with Ritu Rani

Dileep Premachandran

Even as hockey aficionados hope against hope that the silver medal in the recent Champions Trophy doesn’t represent yet another false dawn, Indian hockey is struggling to shake off the controversies.

Sardar Singh, who first captained the side in 2008, was stripped of the captaincy after all the negative publicity that followed allegations of abuse from his former fiancee.

Sardar, though, remains part of the squad for Rio 2016. Ritu Rani, who had led the women’s team since 2011 and helped them qualify for the Olympics for the first time since 1980, has no such consolation. She was dropped from the side altogether, with Hockey India citing poor attitude and a dip in performance.

As recently as March, Neil Hawgood, the one-time Australian Olympian who now coaches the Indian women’s team, had said: “Ritu just gives us a work-rate that is second to no one else in the world ... I think we’ve got to be careful with her because every game she turns up, she gives us that performance. We need to manage her now going into the Olympics."

Rani made her debut as a 14-year-old in 2006, and has been one of Indian hockey’s stalwarts. It’s understood that her decision to get engaged in the run-up to the Olympics also didn’t endear her to those that matter.

“I didn’t leave any training or camps, I got engaged when the camp was on a break," she said, before breaking down in a TV interview.

“I feel playing hockey for all these years has been useless. My fiancee is hugely upset. Sardar 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?"

Rani may have been late for a few practice sessions, but at the highest level, coaches and other support staff are supposed to be able to manage even the “difficult" characters.

By dropping her altogether, at a time when many think Sardar has been treated with kid gloves, the women’s team may just have done serious harm to their chances of making an impression on the biggest stage.

The National

No hockey player issued notices by NADA: SAI DG

Bengaluru: Sports Authority of India Director General Injeti Srinivas today made it clear that no Rio Olympics-bound hockey player was issued notice by the National Anti-Doping Agency for 'whereabouts' filing failure as has been reported in a section of the media.

Srinivas, who accompanied new Sports minister Vijay Goel to inspect the facilities at the SAI Centre here, disclosed that two "individual athletes" were issued notices for not updating their 'whereabouts' status to the NADA.

"There was a case of two athletes who had not updated their whereabouts status with NADA. They later explained the reason for their difficulties to update their whereabouts on NADA website. NADA was satisfied and therefore this matter is behind us," Srinivas told reporters.

"No hockey player was involved. They are individual athletes," he added.

A section of the media had reported that three Rio-bound Olympians have been issued show-cause notices by the NADA for 'whereabouts' failure and two out of them were senior men hockey players.

NADA Director General Navin Agarwal had also told that a few sportspersons had committed 'whereabouts' failures but all the Rio Olympics-bound contingent have undergone tests and were dope free.

Sportspersons included in the reserve testing pool need to provide their 'whereabouts' on a quarterly basis and a 60-minute time slot between 6am and 11pm each day to be available for testing at a specific location for out-of-competition testing.

Three such 'whereabouts' failures is treated as a doping violation.

The Times of India

JKUAT edge Daystar Falcons in varsity derby

Maram Ngugi's sixth minute strike was enough for JKUAT to grab the three points in the closely contested university derby.


Vikings Hockey Club Carole Okoth (left) vies for the ball with Nancy Chepchumba of Daystar Falcons during their Kenya Hockey Union National Women's League match at City Park Stadium on January 31, 2016. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) on Saturday beat Daystar University Falcons 1-0 in a Kenya Hockey Union national women's league match at City Park Stadium.

Maram Ngugi's sixth minute strike was enough for JKUAT to grab the three points in the closely contested university derby.

It was JKUAT's opening match of the season and the result sees them move third in the table with three points same as leaders Sliders and second-placed Telkom Orange both of whom won their respective openers two weeks ago.

JKUAT Team Manager David Onaka was pleased with the result but urged his charges to build on the win as they look for an improved performance this season.

"I think the early goal helped us settle in well and we should have added to the tally because one goal is never enough in such matches," Onaka told Sunday Nation Sport.

"We are hoping to finish in the top five this season and this result should motivate us to keep up with such results in our upcoming matches."


Falcons had barely settled in the match when their defence was breached in the sixth minute in the game's first attack. Ngugi was well placed to fire home a cross from Linet Akeyo which gave Falcons keeper Wanjiku Kangangi no chance.

"The early goal unsettled us but we responded well and we should have at least gotten a point if not all three points. This marked an improvement from our last match," Orunga said.

The result leaves Falcons bottom of the log with no point after two matches. They lost 10-0 to Sliders in their opening match a fortnight ago.

On Sunday, men's champions Butali Sugar Warriors take on two-time champions Strathmore University Gladiators while Kenya Police face debutantes Chase Sailors at City Park Stadium.

Daily Nation

Fleckhaus and Swiatek join Rot-Weiss Köln

Rot-Weiss Köln have added to their squad for the new season with confirmation of the arrival to the club of Jan Fleckhaus from Uhlenhorst Mülheim and, from Belgium, Benedict Swiatek.

Fleckhaus took a year out to focus on his studies after several years with Mülheim and previously played in the 2009 Junior World Cup in Singapore.

Speaking about the move, he said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity once again after a year to play with a top-notch club in Germany. I have already been well received  and this young team has great desire in it, despite their current success, to work. I think Köln have the perfect blend of sporty appeal, an interesting team and a professional outlook."

Swiatek moves back to Rot Weiss after a season with Pingouin in Nivelles in Belgium. He said he is “happy to be back in the Bundesliga after a year and, of course, particularly pleased that I once again get the chance to be playing at this level at Rot-Weiss. I hope to play my part to contribute to their desired success. "

André Henning, head coach of the men's Bundesliga team, added: " Our team gains from the arrival of Bene and Flecki. I know both guys through our work together in the DHB or in Mülheim and know exactly that we are getting strong personalities who can really play good hockey."

Euro Hockey League media release

MHC’s Koshy: Stop abusing umpires or pay hefty fine

by Aftar Singh

Koshy wants to put a stop to the abuse of umpires in MHL.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have had enough of team officials, coaches and players abusing umpires during and after the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) matches.

MHC competitions committee chairman George Koshy said that they have decided to come down hard on the culprits.

The guilty party will, he added, be suspended and slapped with a hefty fine, which is likely to be “in four figures”.

“We’re concerned with the rise in such incidents against umpires in the MHL matches,” said George.

In the Division One semi-final, first-leg match between Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UiTM) and Ipoh City Council (MBI) last season, three UiTM players – Mohd Taufik Abdul Hamid, Razalee Yahya and Abdul Rauf Nazri – were sent to the sin bin for going after an umpire.

George said that video referrals would only be used for matches aired live on television.

He also said that teams who finished in the top two in Division One this season would be promoted to the Premier Division next year.

Unlike previous seasons, these two teams cannot refuse to be promoted.

“If the two teams don’t want to play in the Premier Division next season, they will be not allowed to participate in the MHL,” said George.

“There are six teams in the Premier Division this year and all these teams will remain in the same division next year. This is because we want to have at least eight teams competing in top flight next year.”

The committee also decided that, for the next four years, the MHL will start in January and end by March.

“This is so that the MHL will not clash with international tournaments and it’s also easier for teams to get the foreign players to play in the league as it will be winter time in Europe,” said George.

“The MJHL (Malaysian Junior Hockey League), which is organised every year from January to March, will now be held after the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri in June or July.”

The Star of Malaysia

New image for MHL with big buck$ and special knockout

by Aftar Singh

Happy faces. File photo of Terengganu’s hockey team celebrate after emerging as the TNB-MHL hockey league (premier) champions last year. – ZABIDI TUSIN/The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: The total prize money for this year’s Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) competitions – the Premier Division, Division One and Women’s League – has been increased by RM139,000 to a whopping RM653,000.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) will also introduce a special knockout competition this season involving 14 teams – six from the Premier Division and eight from Division One.

“This is to give the Premier Division and Division One teams more playing time,” George said after briefing the teams about the changes in the prize money and competitions at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday.

“None of the 14 teams in the special knockout competition will be seeded. We will conduct a new draw after every round and Premier Division teams could find themselves playing against each other.”

While the Premier Division and Division One league matches will be played on weekends, the new knockout competition will be held on Tuesdays.

The first-round matches of the new knockout competition will be played on Aug 23, the quarter-finals (Aug 30), semi-finals (Sept 6) and final (Sept 13).

Premier Division double champions Terengganu and Charity Shield winners Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) have been given first-round byes.

The Division One will begin on Aug 5 and the Women’s League will start on Aug 11.

The Premier Division will only begin on Aug 19 due to the Rio de Janiero Olympic Games.

All three – Premier Division, Division One and Women’s League – will end by Sept 25 as the national men and women’s teams will feature in the Australian National League (ANL) from Sept 29-Oct 10.

“We have also increased the subsidies for the Premier Division teams from RM2,000 to RM15,000 in a bid to attract more teams to take part next year,” said George.

The eight Division One teams and five Women’s League sides will receive RM2,000 each in subsidy.

George said that Premier Division teams can register six foreign players, but “there is no restriction on the number of national players”.

“But only eight players (six foreigners and two national players) are allowed to play in each match.

“For Division One and Women’s League, each team will be allowed to register five foreigners but two of them must be from South-East Asia,” said George.

The Star of Malaysia

Coach Bob hopes to steer Penang hockey to elusive gold in Sukma

by Loganath Velloo

Bob Rajendran (centre, standing) will lead the Penang men's hockey team for a eighth time in the Sukma Games this year. – GEORGE CHEAH/The Star.

GEORGE TOWN: Coach Bob Rajendran has never failed to steer the Penang men’s hockey team to at least the semi-finals in all his seven previous outings in the Malaysia Games (Sukma).

The 67-year-old is out to keep the proud record intact on his eighth appearance in the biennial event in Kuching this week.

Bob has coached Penang in every edition since the 2000 Penang Games, with the exception of Negri Sembilan 2004 when he was briefly coaching in Sarawak.

“This is my eighth Sukma in charge of Penang. My fire and enthusiasm is still strong. I’m doing this (coaching) for the love of the sport and I will continue to serve hockey as long as I can,” said Bob.

In the Sukma hockey competition, which begins on Wednesday, Bob will not be satisfied with just reaching the last four again. He wants the elusive gold medal.

The nearest he got to winning the gold was in Sabah in 2002, when Penang went down fighting to Kuala Lumpur on a wet night.

As he is no longer able to physically keep up with his players during training, Bob is aided by former international M. Jiwa Mohan.

Jiwa featured for Penang in the 2000 and 2002 Sukma competitions under Bob.

“Jiwa came forward to help me whip the boys into shape. He is a big help.

“We took the boys for a short playing stint in Perth during the fasting month. We played five friendlies against Australian opponents. We expected to get thrashed by the Aussies, but the boys held their own and even managed to beat a junior team 6-1 in one of the matches,” said Bob.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Penang in their preparations for the Games.

The men’s hockey team do not have a permanent training venue and had even travelled to train in Sungai Petani, Kedah.

There are only two artificial hockey pitches in Penang – one within the Universiti Sains Malaysia campus and the other is the Mutiara Impian Sports School turf, which is used by the Penang women’s hockey team to prepare for Sukma.

The artificial turf laid at the Bertam Hockey Stadium in Kepala Batas for the 2000 Sukma has not been replaced despite it being in a deplorable and unplayable state for many years now.

In the Sukma men’s hockey competition, Penang are in Group A with Perak, Malacca, Johor, Perlis and Sarawak.

The Star of Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur cry foul over Sukma hockey draw

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur hockey team are crying foul over the Malaysia Games (Sukma) hockey fixtures.

And they want a re-draw.

KLHA secretary V. Rajamanickam claims that the fixtures are unfavourable to some teams and should be redrawn to give every team a fair chance at winning.

“For example, KL play four games in a row before getting a break, but a team like Terengganu have a break after just two matches. It’s the same with some other teams,” he said.

“We are unhappy with what we see as an unfair situation. I hope the others teams will also raise the matter so that it can be looked into.”

Negri Sembilan are also in a similar situation of having to play four matches in a row while Selangor have matches on the first three days.

The Sukma hockey competitions starts on Wednesday and the team managers’ meeting is slated for Tuesday.

“The fixtures can be changed. There is ample time. We have lodged a complaint with the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC). But so far there has been no reply. We hope they will act before the tournament starts,” said Rajamanickam.

“We understand that there can be some issues when you have seven teams in one group. But this is not a good fixture.”

A total of 13 teams are competing in the event. Defending champions and top seeds Perak are in Group A with Penang, Malacca, Johor, Perlis and Sarawak.

Group B comprises second seeds Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Selangor, Sabah, KL, Pahang and Kelantan.

The Star of Malaysia

Hockey appoints new development officer


THE Solomon Islands Hockey Federation has a new development officer. He is Erick.

Erick was appointed by the Solomon Islands Hockey Federation (SIHF) together with the Oceania Hockey Federation (OHF).

OHF Continental Officer Gil Gemming confirmed that Erick has a one year contract with us.

“The contract is initially for one year, but we are hoping that we will get continued funding so that we can increase it for three years.

“Apart from Erick, we also had Wiki Yee and Bently Donga as school development officers.

“So Solomon Islands is fortunate in that we’ve actually been able to contract three people to do the hockey development work here.”

Gemming stressed that Solomon Islands is the first country to have three people put in place to develop the sport.

“I believe as a team, they will work really well to develop hockey here,’’ she said.

Gemming said she will keep in touch with them to see how things are going.

 “My role would be to support them and keep in touch with them every week to see how they getting on with their job.”

 In response to the appointment, Erick thanked OHF and SIHF for having confidence in him.

“I don’t think I will be given this job, but with the trust and confidence OHF and SIHF have in me, I am really glad and honoured.

He said he will do his best as he is prepared to commence the task.

Sunday Sports understands Erick’s appointment came after Joseph Iniga’s contract was ceased.

The Solomon Star

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