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News for 23 December 2016

All the news for Friday 23 December 2016

Indian eves clinch bronze in U-18 hockey Asia Cup

BANGKOK: Sangita Kumari scored twice as India blanked Korea 3-0 to clinch a bronze medal in the 4th Women's Under-18 Asia Cup hockey tournament on Thursday.

Sangita scored in the 55th and 58th minutes after Ritu had put India ahead in the 45th minute in the bronze-medal play-off.

The two teams played out a goal-less first half, with India content with dropping deep and relying on the counter to create opportunities.

Korea earned several penalty corners but failed to convert from any, as India's defence closed them down perfectly.

The best chance of the half, however, fell to India as a defensive mistake in Korea's circle saw the ball came to Sangita Kumari who took a shot across the goal with Mahima also waiting for an opportunity. The weight on the pass was too much though as the chance went wide.

India took the lead minutes after the break as Ritu scored the opener off a penalty corner. A few minutes later, some brilliant interplay between Lalremsiami and Sangita saw the latter's shot stopped on the line illegally as India won a stroke. Manpreet Kaur's attempt from the spot was, however, denied by Korean goalkeeper Lee Da Bom.

The Indian eves kept applying pressure and in the 55th minute, Lalremsiami showed great vision to send an inch perfect pass to Sangita, who cut past two defenders to slot the ball into the goal and extend India's lead.

The third goal came off a similar route, Sangita scoring her second of the game in the 58th minute.

From there on, India took firm control of the game, and despite a late Korean penalty corner, they held strong to march to a 3-0 win and secure a bronze medal.

For their creditable bronze-winning performance, Hockey India announced cash rewards of Rs 1 lakh for each player and Rs 50,000 for each of the support staff.

The Times of India

Junior Girls fifth in Bangkok

By Jugjet Singh

THE MALAYSIAN Under-18 girls ended fifth in the Fourth Asia Cup in  Bangkok yesterday when they hammered Thailand 8-0.

The star of the day was Nurzafirah Aziz who scored four goals (23rd, 25th, 57th, 66th) while the other goals were scored by Qasidah Najwa (seventh), Nursyuhada Suhaimi (45th), Nur Adirana Nawawi(52nd), and Nuramirah Shakira (63rd).

Malaysia, in Group A, only lost to India 3-1 while they drew with China 2-2 and hammered Taiwan 7-1 but failed to advance to the semi-finals.

Malaysia will host the Sea Games next year where four gold medals are at stake, and the women are expected to deliver both in the field and indoor events while the men are sure bets for both golds as well.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

MHL to feature 17 teams in two divisions next season

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 17 teams will compete in next year’s Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

It’s an increase of three teams as only 14 took part in the two-division league last season.

The top-flight Premier Division will feature eight sides since its introduction in 2009. Previously, only six teams competed each year.

Five regulars – double champions Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC), Maybank, Tenaga Nasional and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) will be joined by the three newly-promoted teams – TNB Thunderbolt, SSTMI and UiTM-KPT – for the new season on Jan 6.

The Division One will have nine teams, one more than last season.

The two new sides are Police and Johor. Teams making a return include Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), Terengganu Juniors and RMAF Rajawali.

Yesterday was the closing date for all entries.

Said Malaysian Hockey Confe­deration (MHC) competitions manager Brian Fernandez: “All the teams have submitted their team lists.

“But there are some who have yet to get their players’ signatures. The teams must get every­thing ready at the team managers’ meeting on Dec 29.”

The Star of Malaysia

Pakistan's National hockey championship begins today

KARACHI: The 63rd National Hockey Championship, featuring 13 departmental teams, will commence from Friday (today) at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore.

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Director Development and Domestic Naveed Alam announced the schedule of the championship while addressing a press conference at the National Hockey Stadium on Thursday.

It was unveiled that two league rounds will be played in the championship followed by the semi-finals and final.

13 departmental teams will first clash in four pools of the Premier League. The top two teams from each pool will advance to the Super League. The eight teams making to the Super League will be further divided into two pools.

The top two teams from each of the two pools of the Super League will then play the semi-finals followed by the final on January 4.

Three matches are scheduled to be played daily in the League stages. The first match will start at 10am today. January 1 and 2 will be rest days.

Pool “A” has PIA, Navy and Railways, while Pool “B” comprises WAPDA, SSGC and HEC. Pool “C” consists of NBP, Port Qasim, Police and PTV, and Pool “ D” has Army, SNGP and PAF.

All matches will be played at the National Hockey Stadium, Lahore. 

There will be a separate championship for the regional teams after a few weeks, Naveed disclosed.

Naveed said when the regional sides compete with the departmental teams one-sided results are often witnessed with the former suffering huge defeats.

The regional championship would have divisional sides rather than provincial. “Hopefully, around 30 divisional sides will be in the fray. Hence, a lot of new talent would be on display in the regional championship,” he added.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the PHF will announce the prize money and other awards for successful players of the national championship in a few days as talks are under way for the sponsorship.

The News International

Wright, Martin, Gill, Bissett retire from Men's National Team

Shaheed Devji

PHOTOS: Phil Wright, Benjamin Martin, and Jagdish Gill taken by Yan Huckendubler. Stephen Bissett taken by Kent Locke.

After long and successful careers representing Canada, four Men’s National Team veterans have announced their retirement from international hockey.

Benjamin Martin, Jagdish Gill, Philip Wright, and Stephen Bissett have informed the Men’s National Program of their decisions, which take effect immediately.

Combined, the four Men’s National Team players have played 334 games for Canada at the Senior level and competed at every level of international hockey.

Philip Wright (Forward – Vancouver, BC – 150 Games Played)

2014 Commonwealth Games. Glasgow, Scotland. Philip Wright. Photo By Yan Huckendubler

The most experienced of the bunch, Philip Wright comes from a field hockey family, with his father and brother both having played for Canada’s Men’s National Team and his grandfather serving as the former President of the Canadian Field Hockey Association (now Field Hockey Canada). But Wright’s legacy is impressive in its own right, as he retires as one of Canada’s most experienced senior international players.

Wright played his first senior international match at the Pan American Cup in London, Ontario in May 2004, beginning an illustrious career than spanned over 12 years, countless countries, and hockey’s biggest competitions.

He quickly became a staple on the Men’s National Team, and played in major competitions like the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, the 2010 World Cup and 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Benjamin Martin (Defender – Vancouver, BC – 106 Games Played)

2016 Olympic Games. Men's National Team. Canada vs Ireland. 4-2 loss. August 11, 2016. Photo:Yan Huckendubler.

Ben Martin retires at the top of his game, having recently become an Olympian for the first time at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Olympic Games capped off a senior career which began in 2009 in the United States when Canada played a two-game test series against the U.S. to prepare for the Pan American Cup.

Martin went on to play in that ensuing Pan American Cup in Santiago, Chile, where Canada finished 1st and qualified for the 2010 World Cup. He then played at the next Pan American Cup in Brampton, Ontario in 2013 and went on to play in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, and the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario, before playing in the Olympics this past summer.

Benjamin is currently a PhD candidate in LeAnn Howe’s Lab at the University of British Columbia, where he studies how gene expression states are maintained, in other words, how cells remember what they are.

Jagdish Gill (Defender – Toronto, ON – 69 Games Played)

2016 Olympic Games. Canada vs Germany. Jagdish Gill (Photo by Yan Huckendubler)

Growing up in India, where field hockey is one of the country’s most popular sports, Jagdish Gill’s goal was always to play at the Olympic Games. This year, he realized that goal as a part of Canada’s field hockey team at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

After moving to Canada in 2006 and an enduring a tough journey to settle and support his family, Gill took a break from hockey until 2009.

He made his way back to the sport in 2009, but did not play his first senior international match until 2011 at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico – an exciting entrance onto he international scene. That began Gill’s participation in a string of high-profile tournaments including the 2011 Champions Challenge in South Africa, and the 2012 Champions Challenge in Argentina.

Gill battled injury in the years leading up to the 2016 Olympics, but made his way back into the fold consistently beginning at the end of 2015 when he competed at the Hockey World League Final in India.

Stephen Bissett (Forward – New Westminster, BC – 9 Games Played)

Stephen Bissett in South African vs Ireland. January 2016. Photo by Kent Locke

Don’t let the number of games fool you, Stephen Bissett had a senior international career than spanned over seven years.

Bissett, who had two brothers who also played for Canada (Matthew, who played 15 games; and Brenden who has played 64 and represented Canada at the 2016 Olympic), began his senior international career in Vancouver in a test series with the United States in October 2009.

It was until 2012 that Bissett returned to international competition at the 2012 Champions Challenge in Argentina.

After another break while recovered from injuries, he battled his way back into the conversation at the beginning of 2016, where he played two matches in South Africa and was a part of Canada’s squad as they prepared for the 2016 Olympic Games, a team for which he narrowly missed out.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Brogdon retires after 149 caps and 23 goals

Alastair Brogdon

Alastair Brogdon, the England and Great Britain forward has announced his retirement from international hockey. The former Wimbledon star has brought the curtain down on a long and distinguished international career which began back in 2009 when he made his debut against Australia.

Brogdon, who won 149 combined caps (107 England Caps and 42 Great Britain caps) and scored 23 goals, is currently playing his club hockey in the Netherlands for Rotterdam after leading Wimbledon to back to back titles in England before that.

The 29–year-old told Great Britain Hockey, “I'm proud to have represented my country since 2009 and there have been many memorable moments during that period. Most notably winning bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and winning Gold at the 2009 Europeans in my first international tournament.

“International hockey has also allowed me to experience many different places and cultures across the world, seeing the positive impact hockey has on these people whether they are from India, South Africa, Brazil, Great Britain or anywhere else. I feel very privileged to have been given that opportunity.”

Head Coach Bobby Crutchley paid homage to the retiring forward, “Having picked him up as a junior player when I was involved in the U21s I’ve seen Broggy progress from being a very shy but talented player to someone who is highly impactful and effective internationally. He has an incredible engine and his work rate is phenomenal. His speed on the ball made him very dangerous against any defence but what was really nice is how much he came out of his shell to become a strong figure in the group.

“He developed into a core player and deserved all the caps he got. He was never one to shout or scream and tell anyone how much he was putting in but it was obvious to anyone who watched him how hard he worked and that showed in what a key player he became. Like all the retiring players we’ll miss him and I hope Holland sees the best of him.”

Brogdon’s first international tournament was the 2009 European Championships in which England took home the gold medal. Brogdon featured in numerous tournaments thereafter, including the 2010 Champions Trophy where he collected a silver medal, the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he won bronze and the 2014 World Cup. He was selected for the Rio Olympics but his tournament was cruelly cut short after one game due to injury.

“I made the decision going into the Olympics that it would most probably be my last international tournament as I'd already signed a contract with HC Rotterdam for the coming seasons and I would be moving to live with my girlfriend Lexi in Amsterdam.” said Brogdon.

“Whilst I'm sure I'll miss the international competition in the short term, I still have the challenge of achieving success with my new club in the Netherlands and also that of starting a career away from the hockey pitch.

“I'd also like to thank everyone from when I first started playing hockey all the way through to the wider team at international level for their support and I wish the squad and British hockey as a whole more success in the future.”

Everyone at Great Britain would like to congratulate Alastair on a superb international career and wish him great success for the future.

England Hockey Board Media release

Dan Fox announces retirement from international hockey

Dan Fox in action for GB at HWL2015

Dan Fox, the England and Great Britain defender has announced his retirement from international hockey. The double Olympian calls time on an international career that spanned just over seven years and saw Fox captain his country many times as well as competing in a number of prestigious world tournaments.

“Playing hockey for England and Great Britain has been a lifelong dream come true.” said Fox. “My proudest moment was representing Great Britain at the London Olympic Games and scoring in the first game against Argentina; I'll never forget the atmosphere.”

Fox came relatively late to the international fold, making his debut in 2009 but over the course of his career he forged a reputation as a top class defender and a fearless penalty corner runner who was arguably the best in the world. He was a popular and well-respected member of the squad whose sense of humour and good nature ensured he was liked by all inside and outside the group.

Head Coach Bobby Crutchley paid tribute to the Holcombe defender saying, “Where do you start with Foxy? He came out of left field at a time when not many did that. He brought a lot of tenacity and the ability to progress quickly. His improvement was rapid and his effort and endeavour was admirable. That showed in the amount of times we picked him.

“He was great for us on the field but his ability to unify any group and his leadership qualities were right up there. He brought a lot to the party as a player, as a leader and as someone the rest of the squad wanted to be around off the field. In team sports those qualities are so important and Dan has them in abundance.

“We will miss him a lot; I’m really pleased and proud to have worked with him. I wish him a lot of success in his post international career.” 

Fox lined up for England 101 times and for Great Britain 63 times. He scored two goals for England and one goal for Great Britain, that memorable strike in the opening game of London 2012 against Argentina.

Fox has also stepped in to captain the side in the absence of regular skipper Barry Middleton.

Over the course of his career, he competed in almost 20 international tournaments including the World Cup in 2014, the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and of course the Olympics twice, in 2012 and 2016.

He collected a number of medals including a Champions Trophy silver in 2010, a World League silver in 2010 and Commonwealth Games bronze.

Fox told Great Britain Hockey, “To all the British supporters, my team mates, my friends and especially to my family that have supported me and believed in me along the way; thank you. And thank you to England and Great Britain Hockey, UK Sport and all The National Lottery players that have made it all possible.

“I look forward to continuing my playing career at Holcombe Hockey Club, to an exciting new role as Director of Hockey at Charterhouse School, to coaching at Guildford Hockey Club and working with England Hockey to help develop this wonderful sport.”

Everyone at Great Britain Hockey would like to thank Dan for his immense contribution over his international career and wish him luck for the future.

England Hockey Board Media release

No Maharaja treatment for Hockey Junior World Cup-winning coach, striker

Harendra Singh celebrates after India’s win over Belgium in the final of 2016 Hockey Junior World Cup. (HT Photo)

A struggling Air India on Thursday announced cash awards of meagre Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,000 for two of its employees — coach Harendra Singh and striker Armaan Qureshi — who were part of the historic Indian hockey team that won the Junior World Cup last week after a gap of 15 years.

Harendra, who is working as a senior manager in Air India, was the head coach of the Indian colts who defeated Belgium 2-1 in the final to lift the Junior Hockey World Cup in Lucknow last Sunday.

Armaan is a contractual employee and plays for Air India in the domestic circuit.

Announcing the cash awards, Air India Chairman and Managing Director, Ashwani Lohani said if the national carrier was in a good position financially, he would have rewarded the duo more for their accomplishments.

Promising to get the national carrier out of troubled waters, Lohani said he wants Air India to promote sports as it used to do in the past.

“I would like to congratulate both Harendra and Armaan for what they have achieved. It is a matter of pride for the Air India family. I would like to announce a small cash award of Rs 25,000 for Harendra and Rs 10,000 for Armaan from Air India’s behalf,” Lohani said during a felicitation ceremony here on Thursday.

“I would have liked to reward them more if not for our current position. But we pledge to work as a family and get Air India back on track,” he added.

Asked if Air India is planning to regularise Armaan’s job or considering a promotion for Harendra, Lohani gave a diplomatic reply.

“We have a policy to promote sports but we have to look at the matter. But definitely the matter will be under our active consideration,” said Lohani, who is also the President of Air India Sports Promotion Board.

Air India also felicitated all-rounder Jayant Yadav, who impressed in his debut Test series against England recently.

Jayant is not directly associated with the Air India family but his father is a regular employee of the national carrier.

Hindustan Times

Changes to Hockey World Cups plus match timing Regulations approved by FIH Executive Board

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) Executive Board has agreed a number of changes to the forthcoming Hockey World Cups as well as adopting four quarters of 15 minutes for international hockey matches at all levels.

These were the key decisions taken during FIH Executive Board meetings at the Hockey Revolution Part 2 Conference in Dubai in November.

The FIH Competitions Committee recommended changes to the Hockey World Cups, which the FIH Executive Board approved. With the 2018 Hockey World Cup moving to a 16 team event, changes to the format are as follows:

  •     4 pools of 4 teams each
  •     Winners of each pool qualifies for Quarter-Finals
  •     Last placed team in each Pool eliminated
  •     Crossovers between 2nd and 3rd in each of the Pools to determine the other four Quarter-Final teams
  •     Losers of crossovers eliminated
  •     Losers of Quarter-Finals eliminated
  •     Semi-Finals and medal matches then take place
  •     Ranking of eliminated teams based on their performance at the time of elimination

It was also decided that the 2022 Hockey World Cup would also be a 16 team competition, per gender. As a result, the next two editions of the event can be staged over 16 days which will include three weekends.

Another key decision taken was to make all international hockey matches four quarters of 15 minutes in length. This will come into effect on 1 January 2017.

Whilst this was agreed by the FIH Executive Board in November, it was decided that the decision was made too close to the start of the Hockey Junior World Cups, which is why those competitions were still played using the existing Rules of Hockey relating to two halves of 35 minutes.

For a full breakdown of all key decisions taken at the Hockey Revolution Part 2 Conference and 45th FIH Congress in Dubai, click here.

FIH site

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