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News for 22 September 2016

All the news for Thursday 22 September 2016

Scotland U21 men defeated away to England

Scotland U21 Men v Wales 2016Scotland U21 men lost to England U21 men 2-0 at Lilleshall in a close competitive game.

Scotland’s Head Coach Graham Moodie said there was a lot of positives to take away from the game as the two prepare to meet for a second time today.

The 0-0 score line at half time gave a good indication of a really tight game – there wasn’t much between the sides.

England took the lead after half time through a penalty corner goal, and it was a really soft one to concede. The goal was scored from the baseline to give England a 1-0 lead.

It was in the fourth quarter where things began to go against Scotland. Tiredness set in in the fourth period and the Scots didn’t keep the ball well enough. England’s second goal came during the fourth period and was a well-deserved goal for the hosts.

Graham Moodie said there were lots of positives to take from the game – Scotland created chances with three good shots, and three penalty corners. There were players making the step up from U18 level, Lee Morton stood out, looking good in attack, and there is good belief in Scotland’s play.

There was not much between the sides and the players are disappointed at the result. Graham Moodie said he is looking forward to the next game, which will start today at 11am at Lilleshall.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Terengganu HT, Sapura on fire... ALL THE BEST

By Jugjet Singh

TERENGGANU Hockey Team (THT) virtually qualified for the final of the TNB Cup when they thrashed Maybank 6-1 in the First Leg semi-finals at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium Wednesday.

In the other semi-finals, Sapura beat Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) 3-1.

The second leg of the semi-finals will be held Friday.

Maybank shocked the TNB Cup defending champions with an early goal, but collapsed in the fourh quarter and need a miracle to make a come-back Friday.

The Maybank goal was scored by Firdaus Fauzi in the seventh minute, but that was as far as the Tigers went.

THT came back with vengeance to score six, and Ismail Abu started the count in the 16th minute. The other goals were scored by Faizal Shaari (44th, 53rd), Ismail (49th), Jang Jong Hyun (50th) and Amirul Mirza Rozi (57th).

As for the second semis, the Sapura goals were scored by Oscar William Wookey (35th), Phillip Ross (42nd) and Gurbaj Singh (52nd). The KLHC goal was scored by Nam Hyun Woo in the 40th minute.

"It was a slow start, but a great finish by my players to take control of the first leg. However, we can't take it easy in the second leg and need to score early goals to keep Maybank out of the picture," said THT coach Sarjit Singh.

Maybank were listless after taking the lead, and even though they had many chances to increase it, they decided to play defensive and were punished for holding on to a one-goal lead.

RESULTS: TNB Cup semi-finals First Leg: Terengganu HT 6 Maybank 1, Sapura 3 Kuala Lumpur HC 1.

President's Cup semi-finals First Leg: TNB Thunderbolts 3 Politeknik 2, UiTM-KPT 4 SSTMI  3.

Vivian Soars Cup semi-finals First Leg: Semi-finals: SSTMI 2 PKS-Uniten 0, Blue Warriors 1 ATM Pernama 0.

FRIDAY -- TNB Cup semi-finals Second Leg: Kuala Lumpur HC v Saura HC (KLHA, 6pm), Maybank v Terengganu HT (KLHA, 8pm).

President's Cup: Semi-finals Second Leg: SSTMI v UiTM-KPT (Tun Razak, 6pm), Politeknik v TNB Thunderbolts (Tun Razak, 8pm).

Vivian Soars Cup: Semi-finals Second Leg: ATM Pernama v Blue Warriors (Ministry of Education, 6pm), PKS-Uniten-KPT v SSTMI (Ministry of Education, 8pm).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Terengganu thrash Maybank in TNB Cup semis

by S. Ramaguru

Terengganu's Ismail Abu (right) scored a brace during the match against Maybank. - M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Premier Division champions Terengganu took a giant step towards their third overall final after whipping Maybank 6-1 in the first leg of the TNB Cup semi-finals.

Terengganu, the 2014 and 2015 overall champions, surprisingly conceded an early goal before fighting back to secure a convincing win at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium on Wednesday.

Maybank took a seventh minute lead when Mohamed Firdaus Fauzi netted a field goal after a quick counter-attack.

But Terengganu regained their composure to equalise through Ismail Abu’s field goal in the 16th minute.

Faizal Shaari then made it 2-1, also a field in the 44th minute.

Ismail was again on target in the 49th minute. A minute later South Korean Jang Jung-hyun scored his 11th goal of the tournament by converting a penalty corner.

Faizal capped a fine show with his second goal in the 53rd minute and Mohamed Amirul Mirza Rozi completed the scoring in the 57th minute.

Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh was surprised by the big win.

“Now we have a good advantage for the second leg (on Friday). But there are still some areas we need to improve on. Overall I’m happy the players took their chances well despite the early setback,” said Sarjit.

In the other semi-final, Sapura secured a 3-1 win over Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC).

Sapura only managed to break the deadlock after 35 minutes with Australian Oscar Wookey hitting a penalty corner past goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin.

Five minutes later KLHC drew level when South Korean Nam Hyun-woo scored a direct attempt from a penalty corner.

Sapura, however, regained the lead in the 42nd minute through Kiwi Phillip Burrows’ field goal. And Gurbaj ensured Sapura secured a two-goal advantage by scoring a field goal in the 52nd minute.

In the President’s Cup, Division One champions TNB Thunderbolt scored a slim 3-2 semi-final, first-leg win over Politeknik Malaysia at the Tun Razak Stadium.

Mohamed Idris Samad (first and 37th minutes) and Mohamed Azraai Aizad (51st minute) scored for TNB while Mohamed Zulfikar Abdul Gani (38th) and Mohamed Asyraf Zuhry were on target for Politeknik.

In the other semi-final, former champions UiTM-KPT beat SSTMI 4-3.

The Star of Malaysia

The home teams bringing it to AHL

Kookaburras & Hockeyroos in sides

Holly MacNeil

With the Australian Hockey League coming up, WA hockey fans will get to see a number of Hockeyroos and Kookaburras take to the field for the WA Diamonds and Thundersticks, giving the home sides an extra edge in the competition.

Among them will be Kathryn Slattery from South Stirling who is fresh from Rio, having played in her first Olympic Games, scoring a number of goals for the Hockeyroos.

Goalkeeper Ashlee Wells, originally from Victoria, will play for the Diamonds as well as she lives in Western Australia having moved to be a key member of the women’s number 4 ranked team, the Hockeyroos.

The Thundersticks will also be bringing it to the league, recruiting WA locals Tyler Lovell, Fergus Kavanagh, Aran Zalewski and Trent Mitton from the Kookaburras. The Thundersticks will also be stealing from the competition with recruits Kiel Brown and Nick Budgeon originally hailing from interstate.

The Diamonds and Thundersticks line ups look sure to be up there with the best with many players the Jillaroos and the Burras – the National Development teams also included in the Thundersticks and Diamonds teams.

Who do you think will be the Best in the West…?

Hockey Australia media release

India’s Junior Men Hockey team ready for Australian Hockey League

New Delhi: The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey team is geared up to participate in the Australian Hockey League (AHL) starting September 29th in Perth.

The team will be led by Harjeet Singh and Dipsan Tirkey will shoulder the responsibility of the Vice Captain. Defender Vikas Dahiya, who was stand-by goalkeeper for PR Sreejesh at the Rio Olympics will also feature in the Team.

The defence line-up will include Varun Kumar, Gurinder Singh and Vikramjit Singh, while Nilakanta Sharma, Harjeet Singh, Santa Singh, Sumit and Manpreet will form the midfield. The forward line will be led by the talented Mandeep Singh whose performance at the FIH Champions Trophy earlier this year was lauded and will also include Armaan Qureshi, Gurjant Singh, Parvinder Singh, Simranjeet Singh and Ajit Kumar Pandey vying to get goals to their names.

This will be the first time international teams from India, Malaysia and New Zealand will be seen in the Australian Hockey League. There will be 12 teams in the tournament including defending champions Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, Malaysian Tigers, Malaysian Blues and New Zealand Futures. As the country’s premier domestic hockey tournament, the AHL sees a wide range of top class athletes - including players from the Kookaburras take to the field to compete for their home State or Territory.

“Ahead of the upcoming Junior World Cup to be held in India in December 2016, this is will a very good exposure event for our boys. This is the first time we have been invited for the AHL and we hope to make the best use of the opportunity,” stated Harendra Singh, Indian Junior Men Hockey Team Coach.


Goalkeepers: Vikas Dahiya, Krishan B Pathak

Defenders: Varun Kumar, Dipsan Tirkey (Vice Captain), Gurinder Singh, Vikramjit Singh, Anand Lakra

Midfielders: Nilakanta Sharma, Harjeet Singh (Captain), Santa Singh, Sumit, Manpreet

Forwards: Armaan Qureshi, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Parvinder Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Ajit Kumar Pandey

The open match of the tournament on 29 September 2016 will feature India Junior Men Hockey Team up against the Malaysian Blues. The matches can also be seen via live stream on www.Epicentre.tv for two days of the competition – Friday 7th and Sunday 9th October – showing eight finals matches; the men’s and women’s semi-finals, bronze medal and goal medal games.


EY Hockey League 2016/2017 Season Starts This Saturday

The second season of the EY Hockey League gets under way this Saturday, September 24th, and will see no fewer than 11 Olympians take to pitches around the country along with a plethora of capped international players from Ireland, France, USA, Canada, South Africa and Germany to name just a few.

The EY Hockey League is Ireland’s premier hockey competition which sees 10 men’s and 10 women’s team competing over 18 rounds.  Speaking about the start of the upcoming EYHL season Mike McKerr, Country Managing Partner, EY Ireland commented:

“EY is delighted to sponsor the second season of the EY Hockey League where we will see the best teams from all over Ireland playing in 18 rounds of the highest quality hockey throughout the year.  At EY, we are committed to building the highest performing diverse teams. Hockey is an equal sport where both men and women can compete at the same level and we are committed to strengthening gender equality.

On behalf of EY, I would like to wish all the teams competing in the EY Hockey League every success in the upcoming 2016/2017 season. I would also like to thank you, the supporters, for your continued backing of these tremendously hard working teams. Your support is an invaluable source of motivation for players, coaches, officials and volunteers who give up so much of their time to bring you a top quality and entertaining competition”.

EYHL Men’s Preview 2016/2017 Season

Hot on the heels of a first Olympic summer for the Irish men’s team in over a century, the EY Hockey League provides a major showcase for new fans of the sport to see the Rio stars up close and personal.

The second season of the all-Ireland competition begins with a bang this weekend with a double-weekend, a full series of matches for each team on both Saturday and Sunday in the race to be named Ireland’s best club.

Lisnagarvey are the reigning champions following a breathtaking run last season, losing just once in 18 regular season games before seeing off both Pembroke and Banbridge in the end of season EY Champions Trophy playoffs.

As such, they will be the side that everyone will target. They have retained the majority of last season’s panel bar Michael Watt who has moved to English club Hampstead and Westminster for this season.

Otherwise, they can look to Olympians Jonny Bell, Paul Gleghorne and Timmy Cockram along with rising international stars like Sean Murray, James Lorimer and Neal Glassey while they have added Irish Under-18 captain Peter McKibbin from Annadale.

Coach Erroll Lutton is in his fourth year with the team and the aim for the season is to “replicate the consistency we showed last season and be amongst the contenders for the EYHL and the Irish Senior Cup”.

As national champions, they also have a Euro Hockey League (EHL) adventure to look forward to next Easter when they will play in the last 16 of the world’s premier club hockey competition.

Banbridge, as last season’s runners-up, will also play in the EHL. They become the first Irish club to host the competition when Round 1 comes to Havelock Park from October 7th to 9th.

Their Olympian is Eugene Magee, the second most capped player in Irish history while Matthew Bell and Drew Carlisle are two other current internationals to look out for. They will, however, miss Stevie Dowds who moves to London. Coming the other way, former Bann striker Dane Ward returns to the club from England to lend his skills to their attack.

Leading the Dublin charge, Monkstown will be hoping to become national league champions following success in 2013, 2014 and 2015 along with last term’s Irish Senior Cup.

Peter Caruth has moved back to his home club of Annadale to work as a player-coach with the Ulster Premier club while Jonny Bruton switches to Corinthian in Leinster Division 1 to be an assistant-coach along with playing.

Town’s David Fitzgerald and Kyle Good were both in Rio at the Olympics in a team packed with international caps. With Jason Lynch moving from Pembroke, they now have eight Irish internationals in total.

Munster’s leading lights Cork C of I made the early running last season and will be aiming to get off to a similarly strong start this season. John Jermyn – Ireland’s all-time top goalscorer – takes on the captaincy after a very impressive last 12 months.

Neil Welch takes over as coach and he has Wesley Brownlow, Andrew Power and Ken Twomey adding to his squad.

Looking forward to the season, manager Barry Crowley said: “The team should have a more settled look this year and are hoping to push themselves into the top half of the table and are also looking for a good cup run. The experience of last season’s competition will stand to a lot of their younger players and they are hoping to hit the ground running in the first weekend of the season.”

Mitch Darling and Shane O’Donoghue add to the attractions, returning from Rotterdam and Antwerp, respectively, to play for their hometown clubs Three Rock Rovers and Glenanne.

For both Dublin clubs, they will hope the new arrivals can provide the impetus to push them toward the playoffs. For Rovers, they were in the top four for the majority of the last campaign before just missing out on the top four in the closing weeks.

With a young panel, they struggled in front of goal but will hope that Darling’s arrival along with Clontarf’s Kevin Mullins – who became the first player in the north Dublin club’s history to score over 30 times in a season – will add to their firepower along with Shane Madeley from UCD. They start off with a pair of games on the road, travelling to Banbridge on Saturday before facing UCD on Sunday.

For Glenanne, O’Donoghue can provide a similar boon. The Tallaght side will miss the scoring prowess of South African Shannon Boucher but the returnee is a much more than adequate replacement having scored at over a goal every two games on the international stage including three goals at the Olympics.

They will hope Leo Micklem can step into the goalkeeping pads vacated by Polish star Lukasz Domachowski who has returned home after a couple of seasons in St Mark’s. The arrival of Richard Couse is another boost from Avoca.

The Glens were fifth in the league last season but will hope to move up a rank this term. They start with key games against Dublin rivals Railway Union on Saturday before meeting Banbridge on Sunday.

Railway, for their part, have added 10 players to their wider squad with Peter Catchpole from Cork and Australian Kieran Springett the key new players while James Dick has moved back to Tasmania.

Pembroke’s squad has been trimmed with Cork quintet Karl and Jason Lynch (both Monkstown), Scott Sullivan (USA), Adam Pritchard (retired) and Nick Burns all moving on. They do have Mossie Elliott back from a spell in Beligum, however.

Instonians and UCD were both promoted last year, the Ulster side taking the short route via the playoffs while the students saw off Cookstown in an all-or-nothing showdown.

UCD have a tough ask on their hands to avoid the relegation places but have retained the services of James Duncan and added YMCA duo Aaron Bailey and Ben Campbell from the Leinster league.

Inst, meanwhile, have grown their squad considerably with Zach McLelland looking the pick of the bunch.

Men’s EY Hockey League, fixtures

Saturday: Railway Union v Glenanne, 2.15pm, Park Avenue; Monkstown v Cork C of I, 2.30pm, Merrion Fleet Arena; Banbridge v Three Rock Rovers, 2.45pm, Havelock Park; Lisnagarvey v UCD, 3pm, Comber Road; Pembroke v Instonians, 4pm, Serpentine Avenue

Sunday: Instonians v Monkstown, 1.30pm, Shawsbridge; Railway Union v Lisnagarvey, 2.15pm, Park Avenue; Cork C of I v Pembroke, 2.30pm, Garryduff; Glenanne v Banbridge, 3pm, Glenanne Park; UCD v Three Rock Rovers, 4pm, Belfield

EYHL Women’s Preview 2016/2017 Season

A new season and a new entity could potentially lead the way in the second edition of the women’s EY Hockey League as reigning champions Hermes have amalgamated with Monkstown during the summer.

The new conjoined club goes into the new season as the clear favourites following a dominant 2015/16 campaign for Hermes, winning the regular season title last year by 12 clear points before taking the EY Champions Trophy with playoff wins over Ulster Elks and Pegasus.

Their attacking triangle of Chloe Watkins, Anna O’Flanagan and Nikki Evans for 63 goals last term as they blitzed the field. International team mate Naomi Carroll has moved on to Cork Harlequins in one of the moves of the summer but there is a glut of young stars like Ellen Curran, Suzie Kelly and Amber Barnwell with an extra year’s experience under their belt to improve their lot further.

Pegasus – last year’s finalists – are looking to close the gap. They will do so with a new coach as last season’s assistant coach Alison McNeill takes on the main role following Arlene Boyles’ decision to step down and focus on her coaching role in the Irish senior women’s set-up.

The Ulster side’s main signing is Michelle Harvey after three seasons playing with KHC Leuven in Belgium. She starts the season with an ankle injury but could make an impact as time goes on. Robyn Chambers returns to the club after a year with Ulster Elks, bringing Dawn Axon with her while Katy McKee – from Lurgan – is another good addition.

Leah Paul moves the other way, joining a much changed Elks side who will have a completely new look to their line-up this season. Last term, they won the Irish Senior Cup title for the second successive year but their side will be almost unrecognisable from those vintages.

Long-term coach Ricky Lee has been replaced by Davy Menaul in the hot seat. Out go Kirstie Lammey, Danielle Wilson, Lyn Brown, Axon and Jessica McMaster along with the key trio of internationals Gemma Frazer (Belfast Harlequins), Rebecca Barry (Cork Harlequins) and Irish captain Megan Frazer who is playing with Mannheimer in Germany.

Incoming are 10 newcomers. French international Andrea Desneaux returns to the club to add a cosmpolitan flavour with Megan Rogers from the US and Danni Wilson from South Africa joining Canadian powerhouse Anna Kozniuk.

Young stars like Emma Quinn and Leah Paul add to their mix which Menaul will be looking to mesh together quickly ahead of a season-opener against their local rivals Pegasus on Saturday before hosting a Cork Harlequins filled with new talent.

Indeed, the Cork side – the last remaining Munster side in the competition – have been the most active in the summer swaps. In addition to Irish players like Carroll and Barry, Roisin Upton will arrive at Farmer’s Cross during the season when she completes her college commitments with the UConn Huskies where she won an NCAA title.

Former German international Lina Geyer is another big addition with over 100 caps to her name. Stephen Dale coaches the side for a seventh season while manager Robert O’Sullivan has been in situ for eight years and the latter says the side will be looking to have a greater sense of consistency this season after a mixed bag last time around.

“While on any given day, Quins were a match for most teams last season, their lack of consistency & squad depth would ultimately count against them. However, this looks to have been addressed during the off season with some key additions,” he said of the new panel.

They look set to be battling it out for a playoff place in what could be a titanic tussle. Railway reached last year’s EY Champions Trophy with a third place finish. Anna-May Whelan is their marquee signing following her Irish senior debut in the summer while UHC Hamburg’s Maja Heiden could also prove a big addition.

On the coaching front, head coach Colm Blennerhassett has brought in the goalscoring expertise of Jean McDonnell as a specialist coach while Jody Hosking is his new assistant to give plenty of know-how to a side packed with young talent. They have seven Leinster Under-18 panelists while 17-year-old Niamh Carey has been brought into the Irish Under-21 selection.

Newly promoted Loreto will be looking not just to consolidate a position in the league but to also make an impact. They arrive in the national league with an array of top talent with all 18 of their front-line panel having played for Ireland at some level, be it senior or underage.

They will miss Lena Tice who has picked up an elite scholarship with UCD but the likes of Ali Meeke, Lizzie Colvin, Hannah Matthews and Hayley Mulcahy along with the experience of Louisa Healy and Nikki McConnell mean they can cause plenty of problems.

In addition to Tice, UCD have kept five of their senior internationals while Emma Russell – following a successful stint in the US with Syracuse – is back in Ireland after four years. The departures of Emily Beatty, Kate Lloyd (both to Belgium) and Elaine Carey (USA) will be keenly felt.

At Pembroke, Elun Hack is the new coach in charge and has 10 new players at his disposal to cope with the retirements of Sarah Clarke and Natalie Fulton while goalkeeper Stella Davis is replaced by Tiffaney Ellis.

Ards will be hoping for a less nervy end to their season this time around after a brief flirtation with the relegation playoff position before eventually prevailing. Chloe Brown, with 14 goals to her name, was their key player.

Belfast Harlequins, meanwhile, complete the table following their dramatic win over UCC to secure their place in the top tier. Gemma Frazer is a huge addition to their squad having captained Ulster Elks to Senior Cup glory and will look to get the likes of Jenna Watt firing in front of goal.

Season openers do not come much bigger than Hermes-Monkstown but it will give them an early taste of the challenges that lie ahead.

Women’s EY Hockey League

Saturday: UCD v Ards, 2.50pm, Belfield; Loreto v Cork Harlequins, 1.30pm, Beaufort; Pembroke v Railway Union, 2pm, Serpentine Avenue; Belfast Harlequins v Hermes-Monkstown, 2.30pm, Deramore Park; Ulster Elks v Pegasus, 2.30pm, Jordanstown

Sunday: UCD v Loreto, 2pm, Belfield; Ulster Elks v Cork Harlequins, 1pm, Jordanstown; Ards v Hermes-Monkstown, 1.30pm, Londonderry Park; Pegasus v Pembroke, 2.30pm, Queen’s; Railway Union v Belfast Harlequins, 4.15pm, Park Avenue

Irish Hockey Association media release

'We carry wonderful memories of our Pakistan  tour"- Mohammed Al-Batrani, manager of Oman under 18 hockey team"

Mohammed Al-Batrani

The recent visit of Oman’s under 18 hockey team for a 4-test series against their Pakistani counterparts saw return of international hockey in the country after more than half a decade.

The team has left Pakistan for Dhaka to participate in the Boys Under 18 Asia Cup  where they have their first match on September 25.

Prior to the departure, the manager of the Omani team, Mr Mohammad Abdullah Al-Batrani expressed his views about the tour.

“Alhumdulillah! The Omani contingent leaves Pakistan with great memories. Pakistan is a beautiful country with beautiful people.  I am especially grateful to the PHF for making our stay comfortable as well as memorable.  We were looked after very well

 “The security arrangements were excellent. Importantly, we didn’t remain confined to our hotel but frequently went out and also did a lot of sightseeing.  Members of our squad have even mentioned on social media that Pakistan is a safe country and a wonderful place to visit.  I even mentioned that in an interview given to an Omani newspaper. Hockey always gets good media coverage in our country”.

“Lahore is a historic city and we consider ourselves lucky to visit places like Badshahi mosque, fort and Allama Iqbal’s tomb besides enjoying Lahori cuisine. The flag lowering ceremony at the Wagah border depicts Pakistanis’ Nationalism.”

“It is hoped that the Pak/Oman hockey ties would grow further and there will be frequent exchange of teams. Pakistan has always been very helpful. Shakir Munir, a former Pakistani junior international, has been with the Oman hockey for last many years as the goal keeping coach.  Now, he has also been the international coordinator for the Oman Hockey Association. Mr Tayyab Ikram, the Pakistani CEO of the Asian Hockey Federation, has extended great help in promotion of Omani hockey”.

“Before signing off, I want to convey the message to the hockey world that Pakistan is a safe country to send teams and people here, love sports”. 

PHF media release

Dar Hockey Academy Boys Shine for Pakistan Under 18 against Oman

By Ijaz Chaudhry

Taqueer Dar stands proudly with (from left) Ali Aziz, Waqar, Adeel & Awais

Ever since Pakistan missed the bus for the 2016 Olympics due to non-qualification, there is a consensus that the future of hockey in this country depends on the quality of our age group teams.

The PHF has been working in this direction. The under 21 side is getting good international exposure before the Junior World Cup later this year.

The newly raised under 18 side had its first taste of international competition when they recently played a 4-test home series against Oman. Both the teams will be participating in the Boys Under 18 Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh starting from 24 September.

Dar Hockey Academy has been the biggest source of talent for Pakistan at all the tiers. The under 18 side which won the series against Oman had as many as four academy players: Goal keeper Waqar Younis, mid fielder Adeel Latif, and forwards Ali Aziz and Awais Arshad.

Remarkably, all four of them distinguished themselves during the series.  Goal keeping has been Pakistan’s weakest link for quite some time. The tall Waqar Younis was the first choice net minder during the series. He gave an impressive display under the bar and appears to have suitable temperament and technique to go places. Adeel Latif, who played at centre half, showed exceptional skills. So many times, his defence splitting runs created chances for his team and many were availed. His passing was visionary and he also netted a goal. Adeel was also very sound in the defence- complete package.

The tall and handsome forward Ali Aziz possesses sublime skills and his stick work was a joy to watch. He also scored two wonderful opportunistic goals; at right place at the right time.

The above mentioned three players have made tours of major European hockey countries, Netherlands, Germany and Belgium with the Dar Academy teams over last few years where they gained valuable experience playing against various teams in these countries. 

Awais Arshad, a relative newcomer in the Dar HA, won the national selection in a very short time. The small forward is full of potential.

Academy’s founder president, Olympic gold medallist Taqueer Dar was there at the National Hockey Stadium, Lahore during the matches. His face exuded pride, happiness and satisfaction over his wards’ show.

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey and other sports. For more about him and his work, visit http://www.sportscorrespondent.info/


Hurt Ritu Rani retires from international hockey

NEW DELHI: Former Indian women's hockey captain Ritu Rani has retired from international hockey after being deeply hurt following her axing from the Rio Olympics-bound squad.

Ritu, who was controversially dropped from the team for the Rio Olympics citing "attitude" issues, however was included in the 29 probables for the national camp which began in Bhopal on Sunday.

But it seems the 24-year-old midfielder hasn't quite been able to come to terms with the Olympic axing and decided to call time on her international career.

"We got a mail from Ritu Rani 2-3 days back stating that she will not be able to join the national camp as she is retiring from international hockey," Hockey India president Narinder Batra said.

"It is her personal decision and we at Hockey India respect her decision. Hockey India would like to thank her for her service to the game and the nation," he said.

However, repeated calls to Ritu went answered.

In fact, it was under Ritu's captaincy that the Indian eves qualified for the Rio Olympics after a gap of 36 years. It was also under her captaincy that the national team had won a bronze medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and a silver medal at the 2013 Asian Champions Trophy.

After being left out of the Olympics squad, Ritu got married to a Patiala-based Punjabi singer, Harsh Sharma on August 18.

The Times of India

Olympics now a “palpable” goal for Shanlee Johnston after supporting brother, Gordon, in Rio

Shaheed Devji

The Johnstons take a family photo at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil (Courtesy Instagram/Gordon Johnston)

When Women’s National Team defender Shanlee Johnston packed her bags and headed for Rio this summer, it was not for the reason she had first hoped.

A defender on Canada’s women’s field hockey team, Shanlee had her sights set on the 2016 Olympics as a player.

But with Canada’s women just narrowly missing out on qualification, she instead went to the Games as a spectator and supporter of her younger brother Gordon, who competed in Rio as a defender on Canada’s men’s team.

“I was a little apprehensive at first because,” says the 26 year-old native of Vancouver, British Columbia. “I knew that it was still a pretty fresh wound having not qualified.”

But after the initial shock wore off, Shanlee – like most other siblings would be – was excited to be in Rio supporting her brother and his teammates.

“When it became all about the guys playing, it was a lot easier to get into it and get behind them,” she says.

The relationship between the two Johnston siblings is a close one because of the shared experiences of field hockey, which made Shanlee’s presence at the Games in Brazil valuable for her brother.

“They had a pretty rough first game despite playing some good hockey in there,” she recalls, referencing Canada’s 6-2 loss to Germany to open the Olympics. “And my brother needed a little bit of support.”

It was welcomed support, according to Gordon, who was playing in his first Olympic game.

“Shan and I share common goals, she’s definitely someone I can relate with in terms of how I feel after a certain match,” he says. “Having her there to relate with is always easier, to communicate with her in terms of actual hockey.”

But the benefit of being in Rio was not just seen on his side.

For Shanlee, who is still in the prime of her field hockey career and hopes to represent Canada at the next Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, being in Rio also presented an opportunity to see the realization her end goal in person.

As self-proclaimed fan of watching the Olympics, she remembers the expression on the face of Alexander Bilodeau when he won gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and saw similar expressions when seeing her male field hockey counterparts becoming Olympians for the first time in Rio.

It was as if she put a face to the name of the Games, so to speak; and a tangible feeling to the goal of getting there.

“Last year, when we were in the qualification process, everyone felt that we were close but it wasn’t palpable, something within our reach, something that we could know,” she says of the goal of reaching the Olympics.

“But now having actually seen it up close and personal and actually seeing the teams that we have played in the last year at the Olympics playing there, it really almost became more clear that we belong at that level.”

While for some, re-starting the four-year Olympic cycle can be a struggle, Shanlee’s experience in Rio and the resulting sense of reality has motivated her even more.

“I feel like I’m on such a high right now wanting to get out there training and get better,” she says. “I just need to work on making sure it’s maintained. That passion and that drive to want to get to the Olympics has to be maintained from now until four years from now.”

And if it is, there is a good chance that her Olympic experience will too soon become a reality.

Field Hockey Canada media release

National Girls Hockey Academy to double up on offering this October

The Urban Legend, former SA International Tshoanelo Pholo

It has been 18 months since the launch of the national hockey development initiative, the Investec Hockey Academy. These holidays, to celebrate its phenomenal growth, the academy will be taking its coaching line-up of SA Hockey icons to both Durban and Nelspruit.

Recognising the need for development of the sport, the Investec Hockey Academy travels around the country, throughout the year, with the intention of growing and sustaining the future of SA Women’s hockey on the international stage.

This October, the academy’s courses will be offered to the both KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga hockey fraternities for the first time since its inception.

Among the exciting line-up of SA Hockey players, coaches and experts are SA Women’s Hockey players’ Shelley Russell, Bernadette Coston and Sulette Damons, SA Under-21 Women’s coach Lindsey Wright, former Sharks Head Physiotherapist Ruan Fourie and many more.

Based on the Investec International Rugby Academy, an affiliated initiative for boys founded in 2009, the Investec Hockey Academy allows former and current, national players and coaches a chance to use their experience and knowledge to offer mentorship to young players and coaches.

The Investec Hockey Academy offers courses for players at all levels; a Fundamental Players’ course (aged 8 to 11), an Intermediate Players’ course (aged 12 to 15), an Advanced Players’ course (aged 16 to 18) and a Coaches course (all levels).

“I really feel that SA players have to work at twice the intensity of other nations, in order to compete in a professional environment. In order to facilitate in this process, the Investec Hockey Academy aims to start this process from a school-level so that when these players have finished school, they are already equipped with the knowledge needed to become a professional,” says SA Women’s Hockey player and general manager of the Investec Hockey Academy, Shelley Russell.

The academy’s courses are designed to cover a variety of key principles to the sport; including vision and reaction training, sports nutrition, mental toughness, injury prevention and recovery, as well as the latest information on skills training and player development.

Hockey coaches, according to Russell, are vital to the development of players and the sport in the country. The Investec Hockey Academy’s Coaching Course enables coaches to stay-up-to-date with the latest international trends in the game and to create a platform where coaches can share their knowledge and experiences with one another.

“By creating a platform where passionate hockey players and coaches can learn by being exposed to top-level coaching personnel, we hope to create an environment where young players can grow their games. We want to see the natural-born talent that we have in abundance in this country, be directed in the correct way, so we can grow the sport nationally and subsequently improve our international standing,” says Russell.

The Investec Hockey Academy is passionate about installing the values and health benefits of playing sport into school girls, regardless of whether or not they want to play professionally someday.

“I feel that it is important to be out there, taking part in outdoor exercise, from a health and general well-being perspective. There are so many life lessons to be learned from the discipline of sport, especially fitting into a team dynamic. If we can instil love for sport within the youth, that would be first prize,” says Russell.

The Investec Hockey Academy’s next courses will take place on 8 and 9 October at St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls in Durban, and on 22 and 23 October at Curro Independent School in Nelspruit. For more information or to book contact Bernadine on 031 940 5565 or visit www.investechockeyacademy.com

Investec Hockey Academy media release

Tickets for Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 go on sale tomorrow

Photograph: LONDON –  Unibet Eurohockey Championships 2015 in  London. final Netherlands-Germany (6-1) . Prize giving Ceremony. Dutch team with gold. (COPYRIGHT WSP KOEN SUYK)

Brussels/Nieuwegein – From 18th – 27th August 2017 the European Hockey Federation (EHF), the Royal Dutch Hockey Federation and main sponsor Rabobank will organise the Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017. The tournament will take place in the newly renovated Wagener Stadium in Amsterdam. Tickets for the Championships go on sale tomorrow 22nd September at 12.30 CET and are available from the tournament website, www.rabo-eurohockeychampionships2017.com, which is also being launched tomorrow! We are also delighted to launch the Official Logo of the event today.

Ticket Sales:

Over the 10 days in August 2017, eight men’s and eight women’s teams from 10 different European nations will compete for the Rabo EuroHockey Championships title. During the Pool phase (18th-23rd August) every team will play 3 pool games. Pools and matches Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017.

The opening match of the tournament on Friday 18th August will be The Netherlands vs Spain (women). The official Opening Ceremony of the renovated Wagener Stadium will also be held that day. The finals will take place on Saturday 26th August (women) and Sunday 27th August (men).

The Logo:

The Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 revolves around the Hockey Players. They are the stars of the event and both EHF and KNHB decided the event will be athlete centric.

Therefore the image in the logo represents all these Hockey Stars in one colourful star.

Many of the colours of the flags of the countries participating in this EHC2017 are represented in this star. The use of colour in the star makes the logo cheerful and inviting as well and shows the diversity of all countries. And, of course, a hockey stick forms a significant part of the star shape.

The star figure in the logo itself is made up of ten components which together form a whole; each share represents one of the participating countries. In contrast with the colourful star is the background colour KNHB and EHF deliberately chose blue, to emphasise the European character of the tournament.

For further information contact

Siobhan Madeley                                                  Clarinda Sinnige
Communications Manager                                 Head of Media and Communications
EHF                                                                         KNHB
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mobile: ++353 87 9066379                               Mobile: ++31 6 26 10 80 27

EuroHockey media release

Latest FIH Hero Indoor World Rankings revealed

Germany men and Netherlands women remain top of the FIH Hero World Rankings Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek

The updated International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hero Indoor World Rankings were released today with Germany men and Netherlands women retaining the number one spots.

The FIH Hero Indoor World Rankings were last updated following the completion of the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup 2015, where Netherlands men and women claimed a superb double success in Leipzig, Germany. The current update reflects the points earned by nations who competed at the European Indoor Championships which took place earlier this year as well as those from the men’s Asian Indoor Championships in 2015.

In the men’s FIH Hero Indoor World Rankings, the top seven positions all remain unchanged. Germany, winners of the men’s EuroHockey Indoor Championships in Prague, Czech Republic earlier this year, continue to top the rankings table ahead of second placed Austria, who finished runners-up to Germany at the event in the Czech Republic.

The Netherlands hold on to third place in the rankings despite a disappointing seventh place finish in Prague, with Russia, Poland and Czech Republic hanging on to their respective fourth, fifth and sixth positions.

Iran, champions of 6th Men’s Indoor Asia Cup in Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan in May 2015, remain in seventh place, with Switzerland (8), Sweden (9) and Canada (10) completing the top ten. 

On the women’s side of things, the Netherlands have continued their dominance at the top of the FIH Hero Indoor World Rankings, extending their advantage thanks to their title success at the women’s EuroHockey Indoor Championships in Minsk, Belarus earlier this year.

Germany remain in second place despite a fourth place finish in Minsk, while a sixth place finish did not stop Czech Republic from moving up one ranking position into third.

Solid performances in Minsk from Poland and Belarus helped both nations climb up one place in the rankings table and now occupy the fourth and fifth positions respectively, while Austria’s seventh place finish in the Euros has proved costly, seeing them drop down from third in the world to sixth.

Ukraine (7), Australia (8) Canada (9) and Belgium (10) complete the top ten, with Belgium edging South Africa into 11th place thanks to the points earned from finishing eighth at the Minsk event.

The next update to the FIH Hero Indoor World Rankings will be published following the completion of the Continental Indoor Championship events in 2017. For a complete guide to the FIH Indoor Hero World Rankings, click here.

The latest FIH Rules for Indoor Hockey for both 2016 & 2017 can be downloaded here.

FIH site

High Performance Director role

Recruitment campaign launched for new HPD

Hockey Australia has commenced the search for its new High Performance Director.

The High Performance Director will be responsible for the leadership and implementation of Hockey Australia’s contribution to Australia’s Winning Edge targets and the development of strategies to ensure the sustained success of the sport and national teams at the elite level.

Launching the recruitment process, Hockey Australia Chief Executive Cam Vale said, “Our two national teams – the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos – are amongst the best in the world at what they do and we are looking for a candidate of equally high calibre to lead our high performance program.

“We are on the hunt for a leader who understands what it takes to deliver success at the top level of international sport and who can think strategically, working with key partners to bring that strategy to reality.

“Leading our national teams and our national system, and the key and varied stakeholders within the sport in this country, is both a great challenge but one of the biggest opportunities for the next HPD.”

Hockey Australia will partner with global search firm Sports Recruitment International on this critical role. To see more about the role visit the Sports Recruitment International website here. To download the position description (PDF) click here

Applications close Friday 14 October.

For other jobs in Australian hockey, including coaching and playing opportunities, visit hockey.org.au/jobs, powered by Recruitment4Hockey.

Hockey Australia media release

Gemma Flynn follows fiance Richie McCaw into adventure racing

Gemma Flynn is keeping up her fitness by adventure racing as she contemplates her future in international hockey. PHOTOSPORT.NZ

Gemma Flynn is following in the footsteps of fiance Richie McCaw and getting into adventure racing.

The 26-year-old is taking time out from hockey to contemplate her future in the sport after the frustration of going so close to an Olympics medal in Rio with the Black Sticks, who finished fourth.

But she's keeping her sporting instincts burning despite the pressures of planning her impending wedding with All Blacks great McCaw. And like her husband-to-be, that includes taking on some radical terrain.

Flynn will this weekend contest the 10th Spring Challenge, a women's adventure race in Golden Bay that involves rafting, moutain-biking and hiking.

She also kept up her fitness while holidaying in Hawaii with McCaw on their way back from Rio.

McCaw quickly developed a love for adventure racing as a way of maintaining fitness as he stepped stepping away from rugby after leading the All Blacks to back-to-back Rugby World Cups with victory in London late last year.

His new sporting interest was highlighted by completing the gruelling five-day, 530km GODZone race at the top of the South Island in April.

Flynn told Radio Sport this week that she's keen to focus on life outside hockey for the rest of the year and then consider her playing future in 2017.

"I don't know the exact answer as yet but that will become clearer as the year moves forward," she said.

"I think some [players] will take time, maybe the rest of the year. For some it was their first campaign so they will be still just as eager to get back into things. It will be a personal choice and it will probably be a fairly even split," she said

She was also part of the Black Sticks team that lost in the bronze medal playoff match in London in 2012, a result that was agonisingly repeated in Rio.


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