All the news for Saturday 24 December 2016
Vintage Sohail Abbas drag flick earns WAPDA late win
KARACHI: With less than five minutes left on the clock, a trademark Sohail Abbas drag flick helped WAPDA beat SSGC 2-1 in the star-studded opening match of the 63rd National Hockey Championship at National Hockey Stadium in Lahore on Friday.
WAPDA, boasting a number of past and present internationals, started off strong and seemed the side most likely to open the scoring. However, their dominance reaped no rewards as the match remained goalless after the first 30 minutes.
They finally took the lead in the 38th minute as Asad Shabbir tapped the ball into the net, although their advantage evaporated just 11 minutes later when Kashif Shah scored from an indirect drill off of their third penalty corner.
Both sides searched for the winner, which came off the stick of 40-year-old Abbas, who converted a penalty corner to earn his team all three points.
In another match, debutants SNGPL went down 2-1 against Army.
Like the first match, this one too remained goalless for the first half an hour despite several impressive attacking manoeuvres.
Army broke the deadlock when their captain Muhammad Imran converted his team’s third penalty corner with a powerful high-push.
Abbas Alam doubled the lead in the 36th minute before SNGPL found their sole strike in the 54th minute via Sheharyar Ali.
In the last match of the day, defending champions PIA outplayed Navy 3-1 as Haseem Khan, Waseem Akram and Zubair Ahmed all scored for them.
For Navy, Waqarul Haq scored a consolation in the 54th minute.
On Saturday, Police will face PTV, followed by WAPDA and NBP’s clashes with PAF and Port Qasim Authority respectively.
The Express Tribune
PIA, Wapda, SSGC win National Hockey Championship openers
LAHORE - PIA, Wapda and SSGC started their 63rd National Hockey Championship camping on a winning note after winning their respective matches here at the National Hockey Stadium on Friday.
Punjab Sports Minister Jahangir Khanzada inaugurated the championship. Also present on the occasion were Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Shahbaz Ahmad Senior and a great number of former hockey Olympians and game lovers.
Star-studded PIA team was hot favourite against Navy and routed them by 3-1. They were off to a flying start, going ahead in the very first minute. A move starting from their own half found Haseem Khan in the circle, whose cross went in via a defender's stick. The airline's sorties persisted for initial seven minutes.
Thereafter, the sailors recovered and it was an entertaining pole to pole stuff for the next 15 minutes. In the 21st minute, a long strong pass from PIA's captain M Irfan reached unmarked Waseem Akram standing close to the goal, who flicked in the flash of an eye. The first half ended with PIA two goals ahead.
It was a same pattern in the second half with PIA on top for large periods of time. It was 3-0 in the 36th minute. Imran Khan had a good though unchallenged run into the circle and his cut back from the goal line was flicked in by veteran Zubair. Navy's spirits never got dampened and they finally managed to reduce the margin in the 54th minute through Waqarul Haq, who scored via the only penalty stroke.
Wapda had to work hard to defeat spirited SSGC by 2-1. Both the teams played well and didn’t allow each to score a single goal in the first half to finish it goalless. Wapda continued to have the better of exchanges in the early part of the second half and they finally went ahead in the 38th minute. A defence splitting move with a number of deft touches culminated in the goal with the diminutive Asad Shabbir tapping the ball over the line with the goal at his mercy.
The youthful SSGC quickly regrouped and made repeated inroads in the opposing defence, earning penalty corners and also creating open play chances. Off the third penalty corner, Kashif Shah made it all square, scoring off an indirect drill. With 11 minutes to go, both the sides looked for the winner.
Finally, 40-year-old Sohail Abbas scored the winning goal in the last five minutes with a trade mark flick off his team's first penalty corner to earn his team full three points.
In the third match of the day, Army beat SNGPL 2-1. It was very heartening to see a new departmental team SNGPL entering the national hockey scene, facing Army in its first match. Their young side includes a few current junior internationals and is coached by Pakistan's former captain Usman Sheikh.
After a goalless first half, Army's experience came to the fore and they held the upper hand just three minutes into second half, Pakistan's former captain M Imran broke the ice off a penalty corner. Having been outplayed in the second and third quarters, the SNGPL youngsters fought back in the last 15 minutes and a well-contested battle ensued and they got the reward in the 54th minute. A fine cross from the right side was well availed by Sheharyar on the far post to score his side's first ever national championships' goal.
Army had a couple of good opportunities, including their seventh penalty corner of the day, in the dying minutes but it stood 2-1 at the end of the 60 minutes. SNGPL boys displayed good individual skills but the recently raised outfit lacked coordination. Today (Saturday), Police will take on PTV at 10am, Wapda will face PAF at 12pm while NBP will vie against Port Qasim Authority at 2pm.
Wapda, Army, PIA win National Hockey Championship opening matches
The championship was inaugurated by Punjab Sports Minister Jahangir Khanzada.
LAHORE (Daily Dunya) – PIA, Army and Wapda have won their opening matches in National Hockey Championship at the National Hockey Stadium on Friday.
The championship was inaugurated by Punjab Sports Minister Jahangir Khanzada whereas Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Shahbaz Ahmad Senior and a great number of former hockey Olympians and game lovers were also present on the occasion.
The first match was played between Wapda and SSGC which was won by Wapda by 2-1.
On the other hand, Sui Northern Gas team was routed by Army team by 2-1 whereas PIA team clinched the victory against Navy by 3-1.
UniKL feel top-four finish is within their grasp
by S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) have never been able to finish in the top four of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
But they hope to see a change in their fortunes next year after assembling an improved squad.
With former overall champions Sapura not competing next season, UniKL believe they have a bright chance of a top-four finish in the Premier Division. And they have recruited two Sapura players – Mohamed Azrul Hasbullah and Faridzul Afiq Mohamed – to strengthen their squad.
Of the foreign imports, UniKL have retained only Mohamed Touseeq of Pakistan. But they have signed Argentine Ignacio Santiago, who played for Maybank last season, Pakistani youngster Mohamed Aleem and former Indian international Tushar Khandekar.
UniKL are also planning to recruit an Argentine goalkeeper before the start of the season with the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Trophy, a knockout competition, on Jan 6.
UniKL coach A. Arulselvaraj is excited with their prospects.
“We have a more settled side next season. Most of the players we signed are midfielders. Our engine room will be well manned and I believe we can pose a greater challenge.
“We were fifth in the league and failed to make the semi-finals last season. This time we will take one game at a time and see how far we can go,” said Arulselvaraj.
Besides UniKL, the others competing in the eight-team league are double champions Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC), Maybank, Tenaga Nasional, TNB Thunderbolt, SSTMI and UiTM-KPT.
Arulselvaraj will have a chance to gauge his team’s strength when UniKL play in a four-team competition at the MBPJ Stadium from today until Tuesday.
Terengganu, Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and the visiting Inner Mongolia team are the other competing teams.
The Star of Malaysia
Dinanath boys go down fighting in semis against Bhopal IPS School
NAGPUR: IPS School, Bhopal will take on Guru Krishan Public School, Rajasthan in the final of the All India Inter-School U-17 Hockey Championship on Saturday.
The four-day tournament is being organized by National Council for Sports and Youth Development, New Delhi at Nagar Parishad School ground, Kalmeshwar.
In the semi-finals played on Friday, IPS School, Bhopal rallied back strongly to edge out a fighting Dinanath High School, Nagpur 3-2. Dinanath's Nilesh Kathoute provided an early lead to his side by scoring a goal in the 11th minute. However, Bhopal team bounced back splendidly to shatter the hopes of Dinanath boys.
Ravi Panche, Jubair Khan and Naresh Rathi struck a goal each for Bhopal. Dinanath's second goal was scored by Mohit Kathoute.
Dinanath High School had couple of very good chances of scoring an equalizer in the last few minutes in the match but poor finishing and some solid defence by the Bhopal boys undid their efforts.
In another exciting semis, Guru Krishan Public School squeezed past Rani Rasmoni School, Kolkata 1-0. Amanjot Singh hammered the match-winning goal in the 31st minute. Amanjot and other forwards of Guru Krishan Public School could have increased the margin but failed to do so.
Olympian Ashok Kumar, son of legendary hockey player Major Dhyanchand, will be the chief guest of the prize distribution function.
Dr Suryaprakash Yadav, president, National Council for Sports and Youth Development, New Delhi, will preside over.
League Round: Vellamal Vidyashram, Chennai 4 (Siresh 12th, Naved Basha 29th, PS Sunil 41st, 42nd) bt SJS, Panipat 1 (Ritik 21st); Dinanath High School, Nagpur 3 (Nilesh Kathoute 9th, Mohit Kathote 62nd, Archit Thakur 66th) bt St Andrew's School, Agra 2 (Farman 55th, Manish Prajapati 70th).
Semifinals: IPS, Bhopal 3 (Ravi Panche 32nd, Jubair Khan 41st, Naresh Rathi 63rd) bt Dinanath High School, Nagpur 2 (Nilesh Kathoute 11th, Mohit Kathoute 63rd); Guru Krishan Senior Secondary School, Rajasthan 1 (Amanjot Singh 31st) bt Rani Rasmoni School, Kolkata 0.
The Times of India
Voices gather for immortalizing Leslie Claudius legacy
Genuine voices are being raised, and heard, towards immortalizing the legacy of four-time Olympian Leslie Claudius, whose birth anniversary was observed the other day.
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Derek O'Brien unveiled bust size statue of the late legend at Park Street a couple of days back, and then tweeted being 'humbled' to get the honour of doing so.
Derek O'Brien is a well know quiz master too.
Leslie Claudius, a Junior India football international, was born in Kolkata and worked in the Kolkata Customs.
Starting from 1948 he played four Olympics and won three gold and a silver.
A singer and entertainer off the field, he is a gentleman to the core and was involved in the promotion of hockey in various capacities.
Bengalis and India in general owe much to the famous Right-half for its post Independence hockey glory.
Recently, a group of Kolkata based Leslie fans met Mamta Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
Nand Kishor Rai, who was part of the team, observes: "First time I realised how simple and gracious our she (Chief Minister) is. We submitted a letter on behalf of Calcutta Customs Club and demanded Maidan Metro Station may be re-named after icon of the Calcutta Customs Club Late Padamashri Leslie Walter Claudius.
"She immediately called Shri Alapan Bandopadhyay, IAS and told him to do the needful. Didi called Shri Boby Hakim, Minister and told him to install a statue of Claudius Sahab at Mother Museum, New Town".
"She also called Shri Aroop Biswas, Minister in-Charge of Sports, West Bengal, and told him to felicitate the nine Indian Junior World Cup Hockey Champion Players who have come to participate in 121st Beighton Cup Hockey Tournament, Kolkata".
International retirement for England and GB's Mantell
Simon Mantell in Rio
Simon Mantell has this week made public his decision to retire from international hockey. The Wimbledon striker who made his debut in 2005 has brought to a close a long and storied career that has spanned over a decade and seen him collect multiple caps and multiple medals on the way.
"I found the final decision to retire very hard, especially given our disappointing result in Rio. But I feel it is the right time to step away.” Mantell told Great Britain Hockey.
“I'll forever be grateful for the experiences I've had and people I've met through hockey. Life has changed somewhat in the last few months with the arrival of a baby daughter and the search for employment away from the hockey pitch, but I'm looking forward to spending time with my family and having time to focus on work and club hockey.”
Mantell, an intelligent forward with a keen eye for goal has played 212 times for his country (139 England Caps and 73 Great Britain caps) and scored 62 times.
“Si has played for a long time and you couldn’t ask for a better guy to have in your team.” said Head Coach Bobby Crutchley.
“His positivity was infectious and he had a long career with a lot of highs but he had some lows too. He had some difficult injuries including 12 months out with concussion yet he still kept positive, came fighting back and played some of his best hockey right at the end. That’s a real credit to him as a person. I admire him as a hockey player but even more as a person.
“His ability to unite a team by being so positive and his ability on the field really shone through. He worked so hard you could never question his work rate and ability and he is someone the group will miss a great deal.”
Mantell featured in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and World Cups as well as the 2008 Olympics but it was in the 2009 EuroHockey Championships that he collected his first gold medal as England were crowned champions. Since then he has played in all the major tournaments including a second World Cup in 2014, two Commonwealth Games, (he picked up a bronze medal in 2014) and a second Olympic Games in 2016 when he replaced the injured Alastair Brogdon after the first game.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to the many people who have helped me achieve my dream of playing international hockey and supported me through my career including my parents, brother, wife, numerous coaches, support staff, friends and team mates.” said Mantell.
“I feel very lucky that I was part of the first generation of full time professional hockey players in this country and feel proud of the progress we have made over the past decade. I hope that we have helped provide a great platform for the next generation of young, talented hockey players to build on and deliver a successful future for the sport in this country.”
All at Great Britain Hockey wish Simon well in the future and thank him for his immense contribution over the years.
England Hockey Board Media release
Shingles retires with 70 international caps
Dan Shingles in action for England NOW Pensions against Scotland
England and Great Britain defender Dan Shingles has announced his retirement from international hockey. The defender - who won 70 combined international caps - has taken the decision to concentrate on other challenges away from the international hockey scene.
"Representing Great Britain and England over the past four years has been an honour and an absolute privilege. I will look back at my time on the centralised programme with many fond and irreplaceable memories but I feel the time is right for me to retire from international hockey," Shingles told Great Britain Hockey.
The tough tackling defender who could ply his trade in a variety of positions came late to the international scene, making his debut in 2012 at the Champions Trophy after catching the eye domestically for Southgate. Shingles, who is also a talented footballer, represented England and Great Britain with typical tenacity and bravery, often putting his body on the line for the cause.
Whilst he was a consistent performer whenever he pulled on the shirt, many will remember a string of excellent performances from the No20 at the World Cup in 2014 where he kept some of the best attackers in the world quiet as England advanced to the semi-finals. The Reading star also travelled to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games where he was one of the reserves.
"In all honesty I never believed I would be an international hockey player, it simply wasn't on my radar. Having played very little junior hockey and no junior international representation, gaining even one cap was a massive achievement for me. To go to an Olympic Games was beyond my wildest dreams so going to Rio and being part of that squad is something I will always be immensely proud and humbled to be a part of." Shingles added.
“Dan came late into the international scene, but his work ethic and his ability to learn and improve really stood out and he became a very effective international player.” said Head Coach Bobby Crutchley.
“He’s a very tenacious defender and very willing to put his body on the line and do what needs to be done for the good of the team. He did that numerous times.
“It really summed up the type of person he was when he was named in the reserves for Rio. He was still integral to the group and really showed support for the team. It really highlighted what a team player he is. His leadership even though he didn’t play was invaluable and he’s is rightly extremely well thought of in the group.” Crutchley added.
Shingles was capped 53 times for England and 17 times for Great Britain and scored a goal for each during his career.
"I would like to thank all the coaches and staff that I have worked with throughout my career for helping me be the player and the person that I am today. I'd also like to wish Bobby, all the staff and the lads all the best for the Tokyo cycle. I have complete confidence that the group has the strength and talent to achieve great things" said Shingles.
"Since the Rio games I have taken a role as Head of Hockey at St George's College, Weybridge. My wife Emma has also recently given birth to our son George. No doubt fatherhood will provide challenges equally as tough as those faced by international athletes! I hope to be involved in some way with Great Britain and England hockey in the future and will of course be avidly supporting and following both men's and women's squads in the coming years."
Everyone at Great Britain Hockey would like to congratulate Dan on a superb international career and wish him great success for the future.
England Hockey Board Media release
2018 Masters World Cup - Update
Canada’s women compete at the 2016 Masters World Cup in Australia (By Keegan Carroll)
The FIH (International Hockey Federation) and IMHA (International Masters Hockey Association) have now confirmed the location for the 2018 Masters World Cup: Terrassas Hockey Club, which is 35 km northwest of Barcelona, Spain from July 27 to August 5, 2018.
Field Hockey Canada (FHC) has had over 90 players respond with expression-of-interest to join Canada Masters Hockey teams for the event. The expectation is that there may be three men’s teams (o-45 years, o-50 and o-55) and two women’s teams. We encourage you to forward this information to other players who may wish to join this event and the contact information:
The estimated cost of this Masters World Cup tour (to include hotel, registration, uniform, turf costs, team gifts and coaching) will be $1600-$2000, depending upon what accommodation we are able to secure.
In addition, there will be the additional cost to include your air fare, transport to-from airport and game venue plus incidental meal costs, estimated between $1800-$2600. Air fare cost will vary from $1300 from Western Canada to $800 from Eastern provinces.
Individual overall event cost will be between $3,200 – $4,500.
Our estimated budget forecast is attached below and will be updated as time moves toward the event.
Players will need to confirm interest by April 2017, with the following schedule of payments:
25% by July 1, 2017 – $500
50% by Oct. 1, 2017 – $1000
75% by Jan. 1, 2018 – $1500
Balance Apr.1, 2018 – $2000.
For those of you in the Vancouver Lower Mainland:
We have reserved a 3-hour booking at Eric Hamber turf field for a Masters drop-in player event on Family Weekend, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 (1 – 4 PM). We would like to encourage as many of you as possible to join this event and show your support for Masters field hockey.
Field Hockey Canada media release
Team GB hockey stars are top of the tree as they pose for Sportsmail's Christmas picture
By Jonathan Spencer
1) Joie Leigh, midfielder, 2) Nicola White, forward, 3) Hollie Webb, defender, 4) Georgie Twigg, midfielder, 5) Shona McCallin, midfielder, 6) Lily Owsley, forward, 7) Alex Danson, forward, 8) Giselle Ainsley, defender, 9) Maddie Hinch, goalkeeper, 10) Crista Cullen, defender
Team GB's hockey heroines winning gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics this summer was one of the year's sporting highlights.
Danny Kerry's team beat Holland in the final in nail-biting fashion, winning 2-0 on a penalty shootout. And since that famous day, the team have been given much-deserved recognition and were nominated for the Team of the Year award at the Sports Personality of the Year ceremony.
And 10 of our victorious team took time out from the ceremony to pose for Sportsmail's Christmas picture.