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News for 07 October 2016

All the news for Friday 7 October 2016

Uruguay narrowly beats Brazil

Chile dominates against Paraguay on Day 4 of the Women’s South American Championship

2016 South American Championship & World League R1 (field hockey) – Chiclayo, Peru – 06 Oct 2016 - Chile vs. Paraguay. Photo: Talia Vargas - PanAm Hockey

On the fourth day of the Women’s Competition, Brazil and Uruguay met; and Chile versus Paraguay

Brazil-Uruguay (0-2)

Under the afternoon sun of Chiclayo, Peru, Brazil and Uruguay met on day 4. Brazil’s Anita Rodriguez was recognized prior to the match for her 50th cap. Uruguay applied attacking pressure early to Brazil. In the 7th minute, Uruguay earned the first penalty corner of the match, but the shot by Milagros Algorta went wide. For the next fifteen minutes of the match Brazil held strong positioning to keep Uruguay passing throughout the midfield and their backfield line. In the 21st minute, Uruguay earned its second penalty corner of the match; and again the shot went just wide of the goal cage. Two minutes later, Brazil’s defense blocked a Uruguay penalty corner before the shot was even taken. With the leadership and strong play of Captain and keeper Andrea Gomes, Brazil’s defense blocked another penalty corner shot by Uruguay in the 26th minute. Uruguay kept up their attacking pressure, but Brazil blocked two more penalty corners for Uruguay; and with Brazil unable to capitalize off an attacking opportunity in the final minutes of the first half, the match remained scoreless at halftime.

Brazil’s reserve keeper Teska Tuijt started the second half. Uruguay was fast to get back into their attacking circle in the second half, earning a penalty corner in the 37th minute. Once again Brazil played very strong team defense to keep Uruguay from capitalizing off the penalty corner opportunity. A few minutes later, Tuijt made two big saves to stop two penalty corner shots by Uruguay. Uruguay had another penalty corner in the 46th minute, but the drag flick shot by Manuela Vilar was above the backboard. Two minutes later, Uruguay had another penalty corner, but Vilar’s shot went wide of the goal. Thus 50 minutes into the match, despite Uruguay’s strong attacking pressure around their attacking circle for most of those minutes, the match remained scoreless.

In the 52nd minute, however, Uruguay’s Matilde Kliche was able to break through Brazil’s defense with the first goal of the match to give her team the lead. Uruguay continued to dominate possession in their attacking half. And Brazil continued to play strong team defense to prevent Uruguay from having another scoring opportunity until the 62nd minute, when Uruguay earned another penalty corner. Brazil’s defense blocked up the penalty corner to prevent Uruguay from increasing their lead; and Algorta had a shot go wide. Tujit then made an incredible stick save to prevent another Uruguay goal. Vilar had another penalty corner flick go over the backboard in the 64th minute to keep the match Brazil 0, Uruguay 1. Brazil successfully held off Uruguay’s attacking pressure until Uruguay had a final opportunity to increase their lead with a penalty corner as time expired. This time Milagros Algorta converted the penalty corner as her flick hit the backboard. Thus, Uruguay came away with the two-nill win over Brazil.

Chile-Paraguay (8-0)

The first match on day 4 was between Chile and Paraguay. In just the first minute of the match, Chile set the tone with a goal by Consuelo de las Heras. Four minutes later, Chile was awarded the first penalty corner of the match. Chile’s Denise Krimerman completed the penalty corner play with a low reverse shot into goal. Despite Chile dominating possession, Paraguay did not let up and earned a penalty corner in the 9th minute. Paraguay could not complete the penalty corner play, but managed to keep play in their attacking half for the next seven minutes of the match. In the 16th minute, Chile earned their second penalty corner of the match, but could not get a shot off.

The crowd kept cheering loudly for both teams. After Chile passed around for a few minutes in their attacking circle, Francisca Tala was able to find the back of the net in the 21st minute to make the score Chile 3, Paraguay 0. Chile kept up their attacking pressure and in the 29th minute Captain Camila Caram scored off a penalty corner with a hard low shot to put her team ahead by four goals over Paraguay. Paraguay did a good job of forcing Chile to keep play in the midfield. Chile’s Francisca Pizarro, however, was able to get a shot right past Paraguay’s keeper Claudia Flores just before time expired in the first half. Thus, the halftime score was Chile 5, Paraguay 0.

Reserve keeper Yasmina Samudio started the second half for Paraguay. Just like the first half, Chile got off to a quick start, as Carolina Garcia scored in the 36th minute to give her team a six goal lead over Paraguay. A couple minutes later, Chile earned the first penalty corner of the second half and Tala completed the play to make the score Chile 7, Paraguay 0. Chile kept looking to score and earned another penalty corner in the 46th minute. With Samudio’s strong stance Paraguay played strong defense to block up Chile’s penalty corner shot. Chile continued to pressure on attack, but Paraguay’s Lilian Acuna, Tania Alfonso and Ivanna Romero Gehrmann played very strong defense.  As a result, Chile had a hard time quickly increasing their lead in the second half; and Paraguay even had a few minutes of possession in their attacking half around the 53rd minute. Chile responded in the 57th minute with a goal by Tala, her third of the match, to make the score Chile 8, Paraguay 0. Samudio then saved a shot by Augustina Venegas. To Paraguay’s credit, Paraguay played very strong team defense in the final ten minutes of the match to keep Chile from winning by more goals, including off a penalty corner in the 68th and final minutes, respectively. Thus, the final score remained Chile 8, Paraguay 0.

The final day of the Women’s Competition will be on Saturday the 8th of October. All matches are being live-streamed; and a reminder that each match is being played in two 35 minute halves and cannot end in a tie. Please continue to also check the Pan American Hockey Federation’s website for the Women’s competition for photos and post-match interviews and more: http://www.panamhockey.org/en/competitions-54-2016-south-american-championships-women-

Pan American Hockey federation media release

Women’s hockey team makes history

By Nabil Tahir

KARACHI: The Pakistani women hockey team, for the first time in their history, have qualified for the semi-finals of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Cup with a 1-1 draw against Singapore in their last pool fixture at the Thailand National Hockey Training Centre in Bangkok yesterday.

The women in green went into the match knowing a draw would be good enough to book a place in the final four.

With progression at stake, the players looked a bit nervous and struggled to impose themselves on their opponents early on. They finally calmed down though and took the lead two minutes before the half-time break, thanks to a field goal by Afshan Noureen.

The match turned in the 59th minute when a well-coordinated Singaporean attack from the right found an unmarked Chan Ivy, who finished the move with a superb angular finish to level the tie at 1-1.

The remaining 11 minutes saw a continuous barrage of Singaporean attacks, and had it not been for Pakistani goalkeeper Rizwana Yasmin’s spree of incredible saves, the match would have slipped out of their hands.

The Secretary PHF women wing, Tanzeela Cheema told The Express Tribune that the girls have achieved a great feat for which they should be awarded.

“We will surely be giving incentives to the girls for reaching the semi-finals,” Pakistan Hockey Federation women wing secretary Tanzeela Cheema told The Express Tribune before adding that the player should keep their feet on the ground as the job isn’t done yet. “They have been performing well but in the semi-final tomorrow they will face a tough team in the form of Chinese Taipei, so they have to keep their focus.”

The Express Tribune

Women hockey team creates history, secures AHF Cup semi-final berth

Abdul Ghaffar

BANGKOK: The national women hockey team made history on Thursday by securing a Semi-Final berth during the ongoing Asian Hockey Federation Cup.

In their last pool fixture against Singapore, who had won both of their previous games, Pakistan needed at least a draw to make it to the semi finals.

During the match, both sides penetrated each other’s defenses on numerous occasions.

The contest hung in balance until Afshan Naureen deposited the ball into Singaporean net after a delightful swift move, originating from the right side in the last two minutes.

This is Pakistan’s first appearance in an international tournament in the last three years.

The semi-final contests are scheduled for Saturday.


Pakistan draw with Singapore 1-1 to secure semis berth

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan women’s hockey team made history on Thursday by securing a semi-final berth after playing their contest against Singapore 1-1 draw in the ongoing Asian Hockey Federation Women’s Cup in Bangkok, Thailand.

In their last pool fixture against Singapore, who had won both of their previous games, Pakistan needed at least a draw to make it to the semi finals.

During the match, both sides penetrated each other’s defenses on numerous occasions.

The contest hung in balance until Afshan Naureen deposited the ball into Singaporean net after a delightful swift move, originating from the right side.

But the match took a dramatic turn. In the 59th minute, a well coordinated Singaporean attack from right, found Chan Ivy unmarked and she made it 1-1 with a superb angular shot.

The remaining 11 minutes saw, a continuous barrage of Singaporean attacks. They repeatedly entered Pakistani circle and had a number of shots on the goal but the Pakistani deep defence managed to keep their castle intact.

Goal Keeper Rizwana Yasmin, the player of the match, performed heroically and affected unbelievable saves.

The semi finals are scheduled on Saturday. Pakistan would know their opponent after the conclusion of matches in the other pool.

It is Pakistan women hockey team’s first appearance in any international event in three years and that makes the achievement more remarkable.

Pakistan remained unbeaten in the pool, winning one and drawing two matches.

The Daily Times

Euro Hockey League returns this weekend!

Couresty of Euro Hockey League

The 10th edition of the Euro Hockey League promises to be one of new departures as the world’s premier club competition explores new lands, arriving at Banbridge for its first visit to Ireland since the tournament’s inception.

Over the course of October 7th to 9th, 12 clubs from 12 different countries will battle it out in four winner-takes-all groups of three, all gunning for a coveted ticket to next Easter’s KO16. It means there is little margin for error for any of the competitors.

EHL ROUND1 from Banbridge will be exclusively streamed via the Euro Hockey League website with all 12 matches available worldwide via www.ehlhockey.tv.

Pool A could be the closest of the lot with reigning EHL champions SV Kampong coming up against England’s rising force, Holcombe. They feature a half-dozen Olympians and will become the 67th different club to play in the world’s premier club hockey competition. Polish runners-up KS AZS AWF Poznan have their work cut out against two major contenders.

In Pool B, the EHL’s most decorated force – UHC Hamburg – are the side to beat. They are grouped with two teams from nations who have never won a game in the EHL before, SG Amsicora representing Italy for the second time and Cardiff & Met the Welsh champions in their second trip to the competition.

Hosts Banbridge will hope to delight their home fans in Pool C. They face a star-studded Royal Leopold who feature Olympic silver medalist Elliot van Strydonck and Australian hero Glenn Turner. Saint Germain, with a quartet of returning of international stars, make up a well-matched pool.

Pool D features a number of EHL stalwarts. Spain’s Atletic Terrassa reached last year’s FINAL4 thanks to dramatic wins over KHC Leuven and KHC Dragons and will be the team to catch against ever-present Dinamo Kazan and Scotland’s leading lights Bromac Kelburne.

It promises to be yet another masterclass as the race to be Europe’s best club side begins in earnest!


Fixture schedule (all at Havelock Park, Banbridge, Ireland)

Friday, October 7

Pool D: Bromac Kelburne (SCO) v Dinamo Kazan (RUS), 11.45am
Pool B: Cardiff & Met (WAL) v SG Amsicora (ITA), 2pm
Pool C: Royal Leopold (BEL) v Saint Germain (FRA), 4.15pm
Pool A: KS AZS AWF Poznan (POL) v Holcombe (ENG), 6.30pm

Saturday, October 8

Pool D: Atletic Terrassa (ESP) v Dinamo Kazan, 10.15am
Pool B: UHC Hamburg (GER) v SG Amsicora, 12.30pm
Pool C: Banbridge (IRL) v Saint Germain, 2.45pm
Pool A: SV Kampong (NED) v Holcombe, 5pm

Sunday, October 9

Pool D: Atletic Terrassa v Bromac Kelburne, 9am
Pool B: UHC Hamburg v Cardiff & Met, 11.15am
Pool A: SV Kampong v KS AZS AWF Poznan, 1.30pm
Pool C: Royal Leopold v Banbridge, 3.45pm

FIH site

EHL ROUND1: Pool A preview

With EHL ROUND1 just a day away, we look at the different groups to see the dynamics of how everyone lines up for the 10th edition of the world’s premier club hockey competition.

With five wins from six outings so far in the Polish league, AZS AWF are in strong form at this early stage of the campaign and will need to be at their best to push their Pool A rivals. It is their second EHL campaign, the other coming in October 2009 when they bowed out to English and Dutch rivals in Paris. As such, there is something of a déjà vu for coach Jacek Adrian. He was assistant back in 2009 and only one player – Artur Pacanowski – is still around from that vintage. Top goalscorer Mikolaj Gumny, Patryk Pawlak and goalkeeper Rafal Banaszak are the players to watch.

Holcombe HC
The one newcomer to the EHL this season, Holcombe have been making major waves in the last few seasons in England. Last term, they finished the regular season unbeaten in what was their first year in the Premier Division since promotion from the Conference East. They have done so with some heavy recruitment of top stars like Barry Middleton, George Pinner, Sam Ward, Dan Fox and Iain Lewers, all of whom were in Rio during the summer. They have lost Ashley Jackson’s star quality and fell to English playoff champs Wimbledon 2-1 last weekend but have otherwise had a strong start to the season with two wins from three.

SV Kampong
The reigning EHL champions are one of the star attractions in Banbridge, featuring a side packed with international stars including Irish goalkeeper David Harte. They got off to a slow start to the Dutch Hoofdklasse with a 0-0 draw against Almere before losing to Amsterdam but big wins over Tilburg (6-2) and Qui Vive (10-0) showed their quality. Salva Piera from Spain is a big addition while Dutch stars Sander de Wijn, Robbert Kemperman and Constantijn Jonker are all world class operators as are Bjorn Kellerman, Martijn Havenga and Quirijn Caspers. Their game with Holcombe on Saturday evening is a potential classic.

Friday, October 7: KS AZS AWF Poznan (POL) v Holcombe (ENG), 6.30pm
Saturday, October 8: SV Kampong (NED) v Holcombe, 5pm
Sunday, October 9: SV Kampong v KS AZS AWF Poznan, 1.30pm

Euro Hockey League media release

EHL ROUND1: Pool B preview

With EHL ROUND1 just a day away, we look at the different groups to see the dynamics of how everyone lines up for the 10th edition of the world’s premier club hockey competition. Here's Pool B:

Cardiff & Met
The Welsh champions are playing in their second EHL campaign, doing so with a side packed with international players with several members of the Wales side who recently won World League Round 1. Luke Hawker has been in fine form, scoring a hat trick in a thrashing of University of Bristol in one of their three consecutive league wins in the Conference West. James Carson, Liam Brignull, James Fortnam, Dale Hutchinson and Dan Kyriakides – who is also part of the GB Under-23 squad – make for a strong selection looking to win their first game in the EHL.

SG Amsicora ASD
The Italian back-to-back champions are bidding to become the first side from their country to win a game in the EHL. Last year, in their debut season, they lost 9-3 to Royal Leopold and 6-1 to Dinamo Elektrostal and they have a number of changes for the upcoming season. They have seen a number of changes in their side from last season with Luca Lixi, Mario Cannas, Gabriele Murgia and Czech international Richard Kotrc no longer around. As such, they have their work cut out to get something from their fixtures but play an aggressive, attacking style and will hope to cause problems for Cardiff and UHC Hamburg. One good omen, They opened their Italian league campaign with a 2-0 away win over UHC Adige.

UHC Hamburg
The three-time champions UHC Hamburg arrive in Banbridge this season with a new look side following the departures of key men like Florian Fuchs (Bloemendaal), Jonas Fuerste (retired), Philipp Witte, Dominic Giskes and Pilt Arnold. Coach Kais al-Saadi has mainly replaced them with players from the club’s younger sections. They still have plenty of know-how with 2012 Olympic gold medalists Moritz Fuerste, Jan-Philipp Rabente and Nicolas Jacobi in their ranks. After a tricky first four games in the Bundesliga season, they recorded a 5-1 away to Lichterfelde 5-1 and then beat Berliner HC 7-2 with Moritz Fuerste scoring six times in those games to build nicely for the EHL.

Friday, October 7: Cardiff & Met (WAL) v SG Amsicora (ITA), 2pm
Saturday, October 8: UHC Hamburg (GER) v SG Amsicora, 12.30pm
Sunday, October 9: UHC Hamburg v Cardiff & Met, 11.15am

Euro Hockey League media release

EHL ROUND1: Pool C preview

With EHL ROUND1 just a day away, we look at the different groups to see the dynamics of how everyone lines up for the 10th edition of the world’s premier club hockey competition. Next we look at Pool C:

Royal Leopold
The Belgian side were struck with a rough blow last weekend when Tanguy Zimmer suffered a double fracture to his jaw, requiring surgery and a six-week layoff. From last year’s team, Spanish star Gabriel Dabanch moved to Australia while Argentinean gold medalist Agustin Mazzilli went to Orange Rood in the Netherlands but they have added Australian star striker Glenn Turner which is a big addition. He combines with Belgian stars like captain Elliot van Strydonck and Dorian Thiery along with homegrown talents like Romain Henet, Dimitri Cuvelier and Max Plenneveaux. Leo have made a solid start to the season with two wins and two draws, notably tying 3-3 with title rivals Racing Club de Bruxelles. They have one loss to Royal Daring on the field – this is currently disputed, though, due to a registration issue for Daring which could see the points reversed.

Saint Germain
Goals from Tom Genestet and Guillaume Samson saw Saint Germain complete their preparation for the EHL with a 2-1 win against Lyon last weekend. It means they are unbeaten after five rounds of the French season since the return of the trio of Genestet brothers – Tom, Hugo and Martin – along with Guillaume Deront to sit second in the table behind Racing Club de France. Charles Verrier has taken over the coaching reins from Pascal Poulenc while previous top scorer Jean-Baptiste Pauchet has moved back to Amiens. Nonetheless, they will be pushing for a fifth trip to the KO16 in their eighth EHL campaign.

Tournament hosts Banbridge have a couple of late decisions to make over their squad with Ross Beattie set to sit out the tournament injured but Jonny McKee and Jake Rowe look set to be back fit despite missing their recent league game against Instonians. They won that game 4-1, making it two wins from three games so far with the other a draw. Olympian Eugene Magee is the central force for Bann while defender Matthew Bell, sweeper Drew Carlisle and utility man Bruce McCandless are the ones that make them tick. Stevie Dowds’ move to London is a loss but Dane Ward has returned from Surbiton in England to give them more attacking options for their second EHL campaign.

Friday, October 7: Royal Leopold (BEL) v Saint Germain (FRA), 4.15pm
Saturday, October 8: Banbridge (IRL) v Saint Germain, 2.45pm
Sunday, October 9: Royal Leopold v Banbridge, 3.45pm

Euro Hockey League media release

EHL ROUND1: Pool D preview

With EHL ROUND1 just a day away, we look at the different groups to see the dynamics of how everyone lines up for the 10th edition of the world’s premier club hockey competition.

Bromac Kelburne
The Scottish champions have won their regular season table each year for over a decade and have started their domestic campaign in impressive fashion with wins over Hillhead and Western Wildcats, scoring eight goals into the bargain. Gordon Shepherd is the new man on the sidelines to run the coaching in tandem with Chris Nelson and Iain Scholefield while Johnny Christie captains the team. They are looking to reach the KO16 for the first time since 2013 and are playing in the Euro Hockey League for an eighth season. Australian Ryan Holding played for Grange at this stage of the EHL last year and Kelburne also have international talent from New Zealand in Nick Finlayson and Germany in Jonas Nommensen.

Dinamo Kazan
The Russian champions are one of only two clubs to qualify for every season of the Euro Hockey League and are back for a tenth attempt, hoping to reach the KO16 for a sixth time. They have won all bar one of their pre-EHL games in the Russian Super League with 41 goals in eight outings, leaving them level at the top with Dinamo Elektrostal. Anton Kornilov has been the go-to man with 10 goals already to his name while Nikolai Yankun and Dimitri Kurbanov netting eight and five respectively. The side has a wealth of international players like Marat Gafarov in goal, Pavel Golubev, Ilfat Zamalutdinov, Nikolai Komarov and Aleksey Mayorov named in a recent extended panel.

Atletic Terrassa
Last year’s run to the FINAL4 was somewhat against the odds after a poor showing from Atletic in 2014, getting knocked out in ROUND1. But the return home of Roc Oliva – among other key men – to link up with the likes of Jordi Carrera and Marc Salles saw them elevate their level considerably. They have two wins from two under their belt in the Spanish league, notably beating Club de Campo 4-3 last weekend. Albert Beltran captains the team and Marc Calzada is emerging as a star goalkeeper. Former Spanish national coach Dani Martin takes over the coaching role from Roger Pallarols who held the job for several successful seasons.

Friday, October 7: Bromac Kelburne (SCO) v Dinamo Kazan (RUS), 11.45am
Saturday, October 8: Atletic Terrassa (ESP) v Dinamo Kazan, 10.15am
Sunday, October 9: Atletic Terrassa v Bromac Kelburne, 9am

Euro Hockey League media release

Pinner relishing European assignment

George Pinner playing for GB

Holcombe will make their European debut when they face off against KS AZS AWF Poznan in the EuroHockey League this Friday night.

The Kent side who finished the regular domestic season unbeaten last time out are stepping into unknown territory as a club, however some of their number, such as goalkeeper George Pinner have been here before and are looking forward to pitting their wits against the best players in European club hockey.

“I love playing in the EHL. Some of my best club hockey memories are from EHL games.” The Great Britain stopper told the EHL website. “We came back from a couple of goals down to beat Amsterdam in the group stages as well as regularly making the KO8.”

“Unfortunately, we never made it through to the FINAL4 and that is one thing I'm desperate to achieve with Holcombe. One of my main reasons for joining the club was the vision David South and Julian Halls sold me about one day being the best team in Europe.”

The reigning EHL champions wait in the second match of the pool stage for Holcombe. Dutch Masters Kampong, with their galaxy of stars will prove a stiff test. Despite the pedigree of the opposition, Pinner is looking forward to the challenge:

“Playing Kampong will be a fantastic experience for us as players and the club as a whole. Three seasons ago we were trying to get into the top tier of English hockey after several near misses."

“So to be playing the champions of Europe shows how far the club has come and is testament to the hard work a number of people have out in behind the scenes of the years.

With Ireland's FIH Goalkeeper of the Year David Harte between the posts and Dutch stars Sander de Wijn, Robbert Kemperman and Constantijn Jonker in the ranks along with Bjorn Kellerman, Martijn Havenga and Quirijn Caspers the Netherlands outfit are not short on quality. Their season got off to a slow start in the Hoofdklasse with a 0-0 draw against Almere before losing to Amsterdam. Big wins over Tilburg (6-2) and Qui Vive (10-0) showed their quality and their clash with the English side is arguably the standout contest of the round.

The Great Wall of Ipswich George Pinner

First up however, are Polish outfit Poznan. With five wins from six outings so far in the Polish league, AZS AWF are in strong form at this early stage of the campaign. They have appeared in the competition before, back in 2009, exiting in the first round. Only one player – Artur Pacanowski – is still around from that squad. Top goalscorer Mikolaj Gumny, Patryk Pawlak and goalkeeper Rafal Banaszak are the players to watch.

Despite being the new kids on the block in the competition, Pinner is adamant Holcs are not just going along to make up the numbers:

“We aren't just coming along for the ride. We have shown so far this season that when we play to our potential we are hard to break down and clinical going forwards. There is no doubt that we will have to be on form if we are to get through but we are confident that if we stick to our game plan we can give a really good go.”

You can follow all the action, including live streaming of all the matches from tomorrow on the EHL website.

England Hockey Board Media release

Kelburne in Euro Hockey League Rd1

Kelburne v Grange

Bromac Kelburne play in the opening pool round of this season`s Euro Hockey League in Banbridge this weekend, with the Scottish champions facing Russian side Dinamo Kazan on Friday and then Atletica Terrassa from Spain on Sunday. Only one side progresses to the knock-out stages, which will make it a very competitive weekend of hockey.

"It will take an amazing effort over the weekend to qualify for the next level," said Gordon Shepherd, Kelburne`s coach. "We have a team that is capable of scoring and playing attacking hockey but we must defend well to have a chance."

Shepherd added, "We have video of both Kazan and Terrassa as both have been regulars in the EuroLeague, but that just shows they are playing at a high level year-in, year-out."

Kelburne finished their build-up with a four goal victory over Western Wildcats last weekend with new recruits Nick Finlayson (New Zealand), Ryan Holding (Australia) and Jonus Nommensen (Germany) showing up well.

Shepherd has added Adam Bain, Johnny Christie, Josh Cairns and Rory Kerr to last weekend`s squad, but there is no place for 15-year-old Finn Halliday - he is too young for the EuroLeague but travels with the squad for experience.

Kelburne is looking to reach the KO16 for the first time since 2013 and are playing in the Euro Hockey League for an eighth season.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Dames halt Fatima’s perfect indoor start

Nigel Simon

Ackeem Benjamin, right, of Petrotrin tackles Police’s Ryan Rambaran for the ball in their T&T Hockey Board Indoor Championship Trinity Men’s Division match at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton-Holder Street, Woodbrook on Sunday. Benjamin scored a hat-trick in Petrotrin’s 3-1 win. Photo: Anthony Harris.

Notre Dame became the first team to take a point off of Fatima in the 2016 T&T Hockey Board Indoor Championship Mixed Veterans Division after both clubs battled to a 2-2 draw at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton-Holder Street, Woodbrook on Sunday.

The Dames who entered with a draw and win from their first two matches took the lead in the fifth minute through Scott Dopson and then doubled their advantage in the 13th through Keith De Peza.

However, Fatima, which swept past Defence Force (3-2) and Police (2-1) on Saturday rallied with a double from Cristina Abreu in the 15th and 17th minutes to salvage a share of the points,

Despite the drawn result, Fatima leads the five-team table withs seven points from three matches, one more than Queen’s Park which has a match in hand while the Dames are next with five points from three matches, one ahead of Defence Force to complete the four-semifinal qualifiers. This after Police was beaten in all its matches.

In the Trinity Men’s Division, Malvern edged Fatima 4-3 to climb to seven points, two behind joint leaders Carib and Queen’s Park after three matches each.

Petrotrin is fourth with four points from as many matches while Police and Fatima are both without a point from four and three matches respectively and face an uphill battle to qualify for the semifinals. 

And in the Under-19 Boys category, the quartet of Paragon and Malvern from Pool A while Queen’s Park and Fatima have advanced from Pool B ahead of their pool deciders which were postponed. This weekend is an off week for the tournament due to the unavailability of the venue with matches set to resume on October 15.

The Trinidad Guardian

Jackson inspires players at Lee Valley Schools Festival

Jackson takes on the schools festival players at LVHTC

Hundreds of young people took part in the two-day Lee Valley Hockey Schools Festival and met their GB hero Ashley Jackson, who made a surprise guest appearance.

The students from schools in London, Essex and Hertfordshire played a mini inter-school tournament as part of the event and had the opportunity to meet Ashley, who is the all-time leading scorer with over 130 goals and an extraordinary 234 international caps, who has recently returned from Rio de Janeiro after competing in his third Olympic Games.

Ashley hosted a questions and answers session, where the children gave him a grilling on his hockey career, asking questions such as how much he is paid and what he thought of the Rio Olympic Games. They were amazed to learn that they were playing on the same pitch that Ashley and the national team play on during major international competitions such as this year’s Hockey Champions Trophy. He then followed the session with a demonstration of his tackling and dribbling skills, together with some of the children.

Commenting on the event, Ashley said: “It’s great to be back at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre and to see so many young people taking part at the schools festival. The event offers young people a chance to play on the same pitch where I and the GB and England teams play and is a perfect introduction to this exciting sport.

“Hockey is my passion and I hope that the youngsters will leave today’s event fired up and inspired to continue to play. And we may even see some of them represent our country in the future!”

The schools festival, which was organised by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, gave the 11 to 13-year-olds the chance to follow hot on the heels of the success of Team GB’s women’s hockey team in Rio.

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority’s Chairman, Paul Osborn said: “It’s great to see so many young people keen to play this fast-paced sport. The Hockey Schools Festival is a terrific success with young people inspired and fired up by Team GB women’s team winning gold at Rio 2016.

“We offer young people an opportunity to play on the same pitch where top players like Ashley Jackson compete in major international tournaments such as this year’s Champions’ Trophy. As the sport’s most impressive UK venue, I’m proud that we offer at our world class venues professional and international events, while at the same time providing a welcoming and nurturing environment for the community at grassroots level.”

The two-day Schools Festival was a celebration of hockey and part of the commitment made by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority to deliver a sustainable legacy, following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The event follows popular and successful events held earlier this year, where students from across the region participated in watersports at Lee Valley White Water Centre and cycling at Lee Valley VeloPark.

Founded in 2011 and funded by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, the Schools Festival programme has welcomed more than 5,000 children from across every London borough and all districts of Essex and Hertfordshire to its three inspirational London 2012 venues for free.

England Hockey Board Media release

Weekend College Games

USA Field Hockey highlights some of the top college games in Division I, II and III each week.


DI: Liberty vs No. 20 American | 2 p.m. EST

This Division I game will be the first-ever meeting between the Lady Flames and the Eagles. Liberty enters the match with a 3-6 overall record. Liberty is coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to conference foe Old Dominion last Friday. The overtime loss was the Lady Flames first BIG EAST loss of the season. American is 7-3 overall and are undefeated in the Patriot League. They are coming off a thrilling 2-1 overtime win against conference opponnet Bucknell last Saturday. Liberty will be looking to crack back into the top 20 NFHCA Divison I Coaches Poll while American will be looking to remain on the list. This game is sure to be an impressive one for the spectators.

DIII: No.11 Skidmore vs Utica | 7 p.m. EST
Skidmore, the 11th ranked team in the NFHCA Division II Coaches Poll suffered a disappointing loss this past weekend when they fell 2-1 to Williams College. They took eight shots in the final minutes of the game but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the goal. Skidmore has an 8-3 overall record and the team will be looking to capitalize on its scoring opportunities this Thursday against Utica. Utica is coming off two tough losses in which they were unable to score against their opponents. They will be hoping to get a huge upset win over Skidmore in order to turn their season around. Tune into see if Skidmore can put its chances away or if Utica will be able to end their scoring drought.


DI: No. 2 Duke vs No. 4 Syracuse | 5 p.m. EST
The match-up between these two top ranked teams will be the game to watch in Division I field hockey this weekend. Both these Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams share the same 10-1 record and the teams only loss was against ACC's No. 3 UNC. These two teams are both very skilled so expect this game to be a close one until the very end. In fact, these two teams are extremely close in scoring, Duke has scored 41 goals in 11 games while Syracuse has scored 42 goals in 11. This game is sure to be fast pace with tons of action so make sure to tune into see who moves up in the ACC rankings.   

DII: Southern N.H. vs No. 1 LIU Post | 2 p.m. EST
The game between these two Division II teams will be a great game to watch this weekend. LIU Post remains the only undefeated Division II team in the country and they have an 8-0 overall record and 4-0 conference record so far this season. For the second week in a row, LIU Post has held the No. 1 ranking in the NFHCA Division II Coaches Poll. Southern N.H. is 5-6 overall this season and 1-5 in conference play. Southern N.H. has won its last two games and will be looking to extend that streak with a huge upset win over No. 1 LIU Post this Friday. A win over LIU could be a pivotal moment for Southern N.H so tune into see if LIU Post remains the only undefeated team in the country or if Southern N.H. can pull off a major underdog victory.


DI: No. 5 Penn State vs No. 17 Wake Forest | 12 p.m. EST
This Division I field hockey game makes the list of games to watch this weekend because Penn State is having an outstanding season and has become an exciting team to follow. Penn State is currently boasting the second best record in the nation at 11-1 overall and they are coming off a 2-0 weekend and will look to continue the winning streak against Wake Forest this Saturday. Wake Forest hasn’t performed as well as they wanted this season with a 5-5 overall record so far. Although, the Demon Deacons have lost 5 games, they should not be underestimated. All of their 5 losses have come from top ranked opponents. Winning this game could be a huge momentum shift for Wake Forest. Tune into see if Penn State can maintain its second best record in the nation or if Wake Forest will be able to knock off the top ranked opponent.

DII: No. 3 Millersville vs No. 4 East Stroudsburg | 12 p.m. EST

The match-up between these two top ranked opponents will be the game to watch in Division II field hockey this weekend. Millersville and ESU are neck-in-neck in the NFHCA Division II Coaches Poll. Millersville is 9-1 overall so far this season and are undefeated in conference play. Millersville has won four straight conference games and will be looking to get its fifth with a win against ESU this Saturday. ESU is 9-1 overall so far this season and are 3-1 in conference play. There is no doubt that the Warriors will come fired up hoping to stop Millersville conference winning streak. This game is sure to be a thrilling one until the very end. If you’re in the Millersville, Pa. area, make sure to swing by and check it out.

DIII: No. 7 Tufts vs No. 3 Middlebury | 1:30 p.m. EST
The game between these two top ranked teams will be the game to watch in Division III field hockey this weekend. Middlebury and Tufts are both having great 2016 seasons so far and have very similar overall records. Middlebury is 7-1 overall this season and are 4-1 in conference play. Tufts is 8-1 overall this season and are 4-1 in conference play. Expect this game to be evenly matched throughout the entire 70 minutes. Not only is this game important for both team’s rankings but its is also a New England Small College Athletic Conference match-up. Tune into see which team will get its second overall loss and second conference loss.


DI: James Madison vs Drexel | 2 p.m. EST

The match-up between these two top Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA) teams will be an exciting game to watch in Division I field hockey. Drexel is 1-0 in conference play with a huge 2-1 overtime victory against Northeastern. They will be looking to remain undefeated in conference play when they take on JMU this Sunday. JMU is 1-1 in conference play with the CAA loss coming from No. 10 Delaware last Friday. JMU didn’t let this loss keep their spirits down and they came out Sunday ready to prove something and they did by making a statement when they downed conference foe Towson 12-0. This game should be a hard fought battle between two skilled CAA teams. Will Drexel remain undefeated in CAA play or will JMU be able to keep its steady drive going?

DII: Limestone vs Newberry | 1 p.m. EST
The match-up between these Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) opponents will be a great game to watch this weekend in Division II field hockey. Newberry has a 4-5 overall record but are coming off a three game winning streak. They have appeared to turn their momentum around and it will be exciting to see if they can keep it going when they take on Limestone this Sunday. Limestone is 6-4 overall and is coming off a very successful weekend with two wins over ECAC opponents Bellarmine and Lindenwood. Tune into see which team can keep its winning momentum going and which team will get a big ECAC conference victory.

Photo Credit: Ed Burke, Tufts Athletic Communications and JMU Athletics Communications

USFHA media release

In her first year starting, Terps field hockey’s Courtney Deena adapted to a new position

By James Crabtree-Hannigan

The day before Maryland field hockey's Sept. 2 game against Duke, senior Courtney Deena found out she'd be in the starting lineup for the first time in her career.

"I texted my mom and she was like, 'Oh my god I have to be there for announcements,'" Deena said. "I was like, 'Yeah, you do.'"

Entering Friday's game with Michigan State, Deena has grown accustomed to hearing her name come through the PA system before games. All the while, she's been adjusting to being moved to a new position.

"She is fitter than she has been, she is very versatile and she's a wicked tenacious defender," coach Missy Meharg said. "She has really taken on a very courageous way to play."

The Terps lost three defensive players from 2015, and just one of the 10 freshmen who joined the program are defenders. So Meharg moved Deena, who had been listed as a forward and midfielder in her first three years with the team, to the backline.

"She was really looking to have a more experienced backfield," Deena said. "We graduated a lot of defense … That was the whole mindset of the transition."

Meharg made similar moves with senior Delaney Leathers and redshirt junior Marissa Cutry to make sure the defense was filled with veterans.

With 10 freshman on the team, "it makes sense to have that leadership behind people to talk to them," Meharg said.

In 2015, the team relied on Big Ten Player of the Year Sarah Sprink and three-year starter Kasey Tapman to anchor its defense. Their graduations left openings in the backline that Meharg had to fill.

It was the type of opportunity Deena had been waiting three years for. The Pickerington, Ohio, native played 11 games in her first two seasons and 17 as a junior, but all her appearances came as a reserve.

"We had different girls that really had played from their freshman year," Deena said. "So it was just about waiting [my] turn and being patient in those processes … I just kept working."

Deena has played all of the team's games in 2016 and started in most of them. While Deena spent most of her time at Maryland focusing on scoring goals, defender Carrie Hanks thinks her experience all around the field has helped her this season.

"Getting moved around, you see different perspectives," Hanks said. "You see, as a midfielder, what the back needs out of you, and vice-versa."

Deena was also able to learn from Sprink, Tapman and the rest of the defenders she shared the field with.

"Sarah Sprink was our field general," Hanks said. "She knew how to take charge and how to tell us how to play."

Sprink graduated after last season, but Deena said she sometimes gets texts from Sprink with suggestions on how she could have handled game situations better.

Rather than expect just one person to replace all of Sprink's leadership, Hanks said the team has looked for everybody to step up. That hasn't been a problem for Deena, Meharg said.

"She's a very confident woman," Meharg said. "She's, intellectually, very serious about what she's doing."

In the past, Deena had been mostly restricted to showing those traits on the practice field. This year, she's proving herself as a regular member of the team's starting 11.

"Ultimately, they all want to get on the field," Meharg said. "I love to see it when someone works so hard at it for three years and then finally finds their way into a lot of minutes and into a very important role for us."

The Diamondback

Parnham to Become USA Field Hockey's Director of Coach Education and Learning

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Following a tremendous 4-year journey that led to an impressive upward trajectory of growth within the program, U.S. Women's National Team's Head Coach Craig Parnham has chosen to step down from his head coach position, effective as of December 31, 2016. Parnham has been a hugely successful leader of the USWNT. USA Field Hockey is greatly appreciative of what he has achieved with the team, and, following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and taking the proper time to reflect, he has determined that he would like to pursue a different direction in his career. He will be transitioning out of his current head coaching role and stepping into another high-profile role with the organization - Director of Coach Education and Learning.

“We are committed to developing the infrastructure of the sport, building a strong coach pathway will make a huge impact on the way hockey is coached and experienced across the country," said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey's Executive Director. "This is integral to delivering on our mission of serving members, growing the game and succeeding internationally. I am thrilled Craig is moving into this key area where his wealth of experience and knowledge can help the development of coaches across the country. This is a significant addition to our Coach Education programming.”

Parnham's new role as Director of Coach Education and Learning will have him join forces with Liz Tchou, Senior Manager of Coach Education, to develop the overall “blueprint” for USA Field Hockey's long term Coach and Athlete Development Pathway and Coach Accreditation Plan. Parnham said, "Creating winning teams requires access to a world-class coaching education system. The education and development of coaches and coach educators is a passion of mine and will play a pivotal role in ensuring sustainable future athlete success. Tchou added, "Having Craig, one of the best coaches in the world, join USA Field Hockey to focus on coach education and development will have a positive impact on coaches and players of all levels. His positive and humble approach is what I respect most about him, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to work with him in a way that will greatly expand our resources, grow the game, and improve the way field hockey is taught and played in the United States." 

Parnham was appointed to the role of head coach for the U.S. Women's National Team in January 2013. Through his determined leadership, Parnham guided the team to their best FIH Hero World Ranking in USWNT national team history of 5th and most recently propelled the international squad to a 5th place finish at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, a vast improvement from landing last at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Among his collection of other noteworthy accomplishments, he won gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games and 2014 Champions Challenge, claimed fourth place at the 2014 Rabobank World Cup and made the USWNT an international threat on the pitch. From the first day of his appointment, he has been in instrumental to USWNT's successes.

“I have not taken the decision to step down from my role lightly,” said Parnham. “Rio was my fifth Olympic Games. I feel that I can step back knowing that the program is in a healthier place than it was when I arrived. Perhaps even more satisfying than the results on the pitch has been watching this team grow and develop into a group that holds themselves accountable and takes ownership of their own direction. It has been a privilege to have worked with such dedicated, professional athletes. I would like to thank all those involved in seeing the U.S. Women's National Team elevate themselves to one of the top six teams in the world.”

Prior to this tenure as the USWNT Head Coach, Parnham contributed to Great Britain and England Hockey. With his direction and leadership, England had a remarkable run of podium finishes, including World Cup bronze in 2010, European bronze medals in 2009 and 2011 and bronze medals at the Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games in 2010.

As a player, Parnham represented England and Great Britain 115 times and competed in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games as well as the 2002 World Cup. Throughout his playing career, Parnham completed his coaching qualifications and coached at Bromsgrove School as First Team Coach and then became Director of Hockey. Upon his retirement following the 2004 Olympic Games, Parnham embarked on a career with the Scottish Hockey Union as High Performance Coach before taking on an Assistant Coaching role with England Hockey.

USFHA media release

Women’s hockey team coach Neil Hawgood wants focus shifted to Asian Champions Trophy after Rio

Indian national women's hockey team coach Neil Hawgood said that the players are talented but need to be fitter.

Neil Hawgood and the Indian women’s hockey team is getting ready for the Asian Champions Trophy. (Express photo)

The Indian women’s hockey team coach Neil Hawgood feels enough time has been spent dissecting the Rio Olympics debacle and his side should now let go of the disappointment to showcase high quality hockey at the Asian Champions Trophy later this month.

Having nurtured the eves for quite some time now, the Australian very well understands what needs to be done to bring up the standard of women’s hockey in India.

“There is no question that these girls are very talented. The girls have fast hands but they need to improve their fitness level. Present day hockey is very demanding and athletic and the girls need to up their speed on the turf. We need to have fast athletes,” Hawgood said in an interaction with PTI.

“The Olympics is a thing of past now and there is no point in thinking about it. What we need to do is learn from our mistakes in Rio and correct them.

“The quality of teams in the Asian Champions Trophy is not that high as compared to the Olympics and the girls need to use their Olympic experience to produce high quality hockey in Singapore,” he added.

The fourth Asian Champions Trophy will be held in Singapore’s world-class Sengkang Hockey Stadium from October 29 to November 6.

Besides India, the other teams in the tournament are Korea, China, Japan and Malaysia.

“The team has been training at SAI, Bhopal over the past three weeks and is looking fresh from a well-deserved break post Rio.”

Sushila Chanu, who captained the Indian eves in their first Olympics in 36 years, has been rested following a knee reconstructive surgery and in her place Vandana Katariya has been named as the skipper for the Asian Champions Trophy.

“Sushila has been given rest to recover from her surgery. She is a senior player and is an integral part of my scheme of things,” Hawgood said.

Asked about disgruntled former skipper Ritu Rani’s axing after being dropped from the Olympics squad and her subsequent retirement from the sport, Hawgood said every player has shelf life.

“Ritu’s axing from the Olympics squad was purely on form. During the national camp before the Olympics, she failed to match the level of other players. She failed to raise her game despite repeated chances,” he said.

Ritu was later named among the 29 probables for the ongoing national camp in Bhopal. But the controversial Rio omission still fresh in her mind, the former skipper refused to join the camp and instead called time on her international career.

“Every player has a shelf life. Every player comes to a point in his or her career when they have to make choices. Ritu has done a lot of good work for Indian women’s hockey since making her debut in 2006 World Cup,” the Australian signed off.

Indian Express

We've edge over our rivals in Asian Champions Trophy: Sreejesh

BENGALURU: Indian men's hockey team has an edge over its rivals in the upcoming Asian Champions Trophy but will need to perform consistently to clinch the title, captain PR Sreejesh said on Thursday.

"We have an edge over the Asian countries because we are playing European and Indian style of hockey, but we need to perform consistently," Sreejesh said in an interview here.

An 18-member Indian team, to be captained by Sreejesh, was announced today for the fourth Asian Champions Trophy to be held in Kuantan, Malaysia from October 20 to 30.

Sreejesh, however, conceded that some work needs to be done to strengthen India's fowardline, which he said has not been at its best.

"Some work needs to be done to bolster our forwardline. It has not been at our best. However, this team is capable of scoring many goals as we had seen in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match against Pakistan where we thrashed our rival 5-1," he said.

The Indian captain said that at this level no team can take any opposition lightly.

"We are Asian champions, but we cannot take chances. Koreans are developing their team for 2018 Asian Games. They have been playing good hockey which was evident playing against them Champions Trophy in London," said Sreejesh.

"Malaysia and Pakistan also are working hard in developing their teams. Pakistan is doing it after failing to qualify for the world cup last time around," he added.

He informed that the experienced drag-flicker V R Raghunath has been left out of the team due to his elbow injury.

"Actually, Raghunath was having pain in the elbow for a long time. He is under treatment and that is why we changed him," the Indian goalkeeper said.

In the last edition in 2013 in Japan, India sent a second-string team comprising mostly of junior players and they had finished fifth out of six teams.

Indian team Strategic Coach Roger van Gent said India are the favourites in the six-nation tournament because it's among the highest ranking teams in the world.

"We are a team to defeat because we are among the high-ranked teams in the world at the moment. We are the favorites in Asian Cup Trophy. I am interested to know how our team copes up with the new challenge," said van Gent, who is spearheading the coaching of Indian team in the absence of Roelant Oltmans.

On Birendra Lakra making a comeback, Sreejesh said the ace defender was one of his favourites. He said he would love to fielding him right from the first match, but ultimate decision would rest with Oltmans.

"Lakra is one of my favorites, but unfortunately he had to miss out the Rio Olympics. I would love to have him right from the first match, but all depends on Oltmans - the decision lies with him," he said.

"It will be difficult for him to adjust, even though he (Lakra) is fit. International matches are competitive and challenging, even for a normal player," said Sreejesh.

Gent said Lakra brings a lot to the Indian defence as he is handy in pressure situations.

"It is important to play Biru (Lakra) because he is able to find solutions in pressure situations. His presence boosts the morale of the team," he said.

"Lakra is match fit. Otherwise he wouldn't have been picked in the squad. I have watched him at the training. I really admire how he has improved on his game, especially after coming from an injury," said Gent.

Asked how he rates Talwinder Singh and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, who were picked in the squad, Sreejesh said, "Talwinder and Lalit Kumar are as good as Akashdeep and Ramandeep (who were left out). There is no problem. We get easy replacements, thanks to the availability of core group of players."

The Times of India

Lesley Townsend: The gold medalist's mum.

Lesley Townsend and family

If you've seen any interviews with Olympic and European gold medallist Susannah Townsend you will undoubtedly have heard her mention the important part her family have played in her development as both person and player. With that in mind, we spoke to her mother, Lesley who wrote a two part blog for women's sport week about having children involved in sport. Here's part one:

As a mother of five children all with different attitudes to sport and with varying aptitudes, I feel I can cover a large part of the spectrum of a parent's role in sport. I must firstly confess however, that I am not sporty. Sport wasn’t a very pleasant experience at my school but I was determined that sport would be a part of my children's lives and that it would be fun thing and not something to be dreaded. This piece won’t all be about Susannah but I'll start with her.

Susannah is a twin, so her and her brother Michael went along to something called Tumble Tots (is it still going?) which was a circuit of walking and climbing pieces designed to help co-ordination and balance for toddlers. The twins were about 18 months at that time and the hope was that they would 'socialise' more (they were quite insular and self-sufficient; they even had their own language). It didn’t go very well as they weren’t keen on other kids and they clung to my legs for most of the sessions and cried for no apparent reasons. The last time we went, we had got to the part where mums and children sit down and sing/clap; Susannah went missing. To my horror and amusement she had made her own way onto the apparatus and was gamely traversing the circuit not only the wrong way but by walking on the handrails! It was suggested that we didn’t come back for a while (we got to keep the T shirts) but to this day, I think that Susannah's sense of balance and determination firstly came through at that very moment. What is interesting is that the Great Britain hockey team contains a disproportionate number of girl/boy twins and I wonder if they had similar experiences or even survived Tumble Tots?

The school that the children went to really embraced the importance of sport which is why we chose it. Its philosophy is that every child is good at something and once a student feels good about themselves, the academic side of things tends to follow. I always felt a bit sorry for Susannah's siblings throughout their school years and as a parent had to consider the 'responsibility' of having one child who had an obvious raw talent for sport against the sensitivities and needs of the siblings. I remember Michael being in tears when Susannah was picked for the school football team and he wasn’t and Vicky being lapped by everyone in the 1500 metres on sports day but not giving up even though she was in agony. Susannah hadn’t played hockey until she went to secondary school at eleven but had reached county standard in tennis, cricket and football. Because most of the other girls had played hockey before and some were even in the county development squad, the hockey teacher decided that Susannah would be best placed in goal which did not go down well.

Lesley Townsend with Susannah

Susannah was a good goalie but she begged all season to be given a game outfield. The teacher refused and told me that if Susannah worked hard she may be able to play in goal for Kent. This is the only time I have ever gone into a school and made a fuss about any of my children and for the very last game of the season, Susannah was given a go on the pitch and as they say, the rest is history...

This pattern of Susannah coming back stronger after a rejection shows the determination of character that she has and in a funny way, a setback has always been turned to her advantage.

Finding the right environment for a sporty child to flourish I feel is a pivotal part of developing their full potential. At some point, parents must only be parents and the professional side of things handed over to others. We were very lucky to have Canterbury Hockey Club and Mel Clewlow in particular who fulfilled this function while Mark (Susannah’s Father) and I stood back as chauffeurs, feeders and supporters. To be honest, we had a bit of a bad cop/good cop routine where Mark would insist on Susannah always going to training but with me stepping in and suggesting she missed the odd one as she was exhausted or had too much homework or just needed a night on the sofa watching 'Friends'.

How have we helped Susannah reach her full potential? I've had to ask Susannah's help with this and she says that it's simply celebrating the good times and putting the bad times into perspective (and at times doing her homework for her!)

Part two of Lesley's journey as a gold medalist's mum follows tomorrow.

England Hockey Board Media release

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