All the news for Saturday 4 February 2017
Day 1 & 2 Recaps of Competition at the 2017 IMHA Masters Indoor World Cup
KREFELD, Germany - February 3, 2017 - Yesterday, competition started at the inaugural 2017 IMHA Masters Indoor World Cup in Krefeld, Germany and will continue until Sunday, February 5. Having a team in each of the Men's O-40, Men's O-50 and Women's O-40 divisions, Team USA has battled it out against some of the best international squads. Both the men's and women's teams feature several former members of the U.S. National and U.S. National Indoor Teams, along with familiar faces of club and college coaches.
Thursday, February 3 Recap
U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team
The U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team started off the IMHA Masters Indoor World facing The Netherlands, a very well-known and number one ranked team in Pool B. The game went back and forth for 7 minutes strong before the Dutch converted their first goal. Although it was a very dominating defeat, Team USA showed some spark and resilience working hard through the entire game. A penalty score goal by Paul Lewis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) near the end of the game, added a smile to the team, along with some confidence heading into the upcoming pool play match against Denmark.
"Compliments to our opponents, they played well and with class," said Steve Danielson (Stanford, Calif.), U.S.O-40 Men's Masters Team Coach and Captain. "This game was a great opportunity to work on our indoor hockey principles under pressure. I look forward to building on our team structure throughout the event."
DNK 8, USA 2
In their second game of the day, it took a bit for the U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team to get going but they came alive in the second half. Team USA's aggressive press helped aid this spark but not enough to make a come back win.
“We did a much better job with our defensive structure and had a number of key changes, but in the end the Danish attack was too decisive," said David Scully (Cambridge, Mass.), stand-in U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team Coach. "I was proud of the effort level from our USA team.”
U.S. O-50 Men's Masters Team
ITA 3, USA 2
Following three intense days of warm-up and practice matches, the U.S. O-50 Men's Masters Team started their first game against Italy confidently. They notched the first goal of the game in the 10th minute off a penalty corner on a good combination between Greg Pereira (Fulton, Md.) and Tommy Hoang (Westlake Village, Calif.). The penalty corner shot was placed beautifully inside the near post by Olaf Maack (San Diego, Calif.) after an acurate insert by Hoang. A minute later, Maack overlapped into Italy's circle from the right back position and flicked a great knee-high shot inside the far post to make it USA 2, ITA 0.
Italy forced their way back into the game and replied with a penalty corner goal of their own. The result ended in a penalty stroke for Italy in which they converted on in the 16th minute. Almost immediately after their first goal, Italy penetrated USA's defense with a great pass off the boards and forced a scrappy goal over the goal line to tie the score 2-2.
The second half was evenly contested between the two teams. Italy added a third goal after a USA penalty corner was cleared which resulted in a breakaway. Despite a valiant attempt by USA's goalkeeper Warren Prestwich (Parkville, Md.), who made a series of great saves, Italy converted.
In the last 10 minutes of the game, USA pulled their goalkeeper to give them a field player advantage. Several misses for Team USA kept the score at USA 2, Italy 3.
U.S. O-40 Women's Masters Team
USA 2, ENG 6
Friday, February 3
U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team
USA 6, ITA 12
The U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team started the day facing the Italy with a bang! Team USA over powered their opponent and were able to finish the half with a 4-2 lead. The second half had some defensive breakdowns but they were able to recover strong the last four minutes to add two more goals. Their short corners were strong, and that is where they converted on 4 of their 6 goals.
"The team played a strong first half, mixing hard-working defense with patient passing on offense waiting for opportunities to develop," said Peter Jones, U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team Coach. "A 4-2 lead at the break was a fair reward. Italy made full use of their indoor hockey experience in the second half and scored some good goals after accurate passing in the circle. Winning the first half was progress for the team and we look forward to the next match."
U.S. O-50 Men's Masters Team
ENG 5, USA 1
U.S. O-40 Women's Masters Team
GER-E 2, USA 1
Masters Indoor World Cup
Three England squads are competing in the World Indoor Championships, in Krefeld, Germany this weekend. Twenty five squads, in three age groups, will challenge for titles at Women’s 040s and Men’s 040s and 050s.
This is the first time this event has been staged and therefore it is difficult to gauge the strengths of the various teams. However, it is well known that Germany, Denmark, Sweden and The Netherlands have a long history of performing well in major indoor events.
The Women’s squad play USA, Germany and Germany Eagles in Pool A, with Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland making up Pool B. The top two in their group qualify for crossover semi-finals with the final on Sunday.
The Men’s 040s are in Group A with France, Germany, Germany Eagles, and Sweden. Pool B is Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and USA. Again, they hope to finish in the top two in their group to qualify for semi-finals at the week end.
The Men’s 050s are in one group with Germany, Germany Eagles, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and USA with the top two ranked teams at the end of the pool games qualifying for the final.
Results and reports will be posted throughout the tournament. Click here for more details
England Hockey Board Media release
Teams set sights on Hockey World Cup qualifiers as Round 2 begins in Valencia
The second Hockey World League Round Two event for women’s teams bursts into action in Valencia, Spain this weekend with the first matches played on 4 February. The prize for the top placed teams is a place at the Semi-Finals later this year and the chance to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
This round throws together some intriguing match-ups with many opportunities for upsets within the rankings. Ghana, currently ranked 27th in the FIH Hero World Rankings, will be a team that may throw a few surprises, particularly as they are accompanied by Darren Cheeseman – a high performance coach from the UK – who has been working with the Ghanian side as part of the West Africa Targeted Assistance Programme.
The West African side won their Round One event easily and, in November 2015, were only beaten by a much higher ranked South Africa in the Africa Cup.
The opening Pool A game is an intriguing fixture between the side ranked 25th in the world, Czech Republic and Turkey, ranked 37th.
Hockey in all its forms, within the Czech Republic, is flying high at the moment as the women’s junior side were recently crowned European Indoor Champions, so expect the team, led by Adela Bizova, to be full of confidence and looking for a podium finish.
Also in Pool A is the team that must be one of the favourites for the title, Spain. Home advantage, a top ranking of 10th in the world, experience of the Rio 2016 Olympics fresh in their mind, and, in captain Georgina Oliva, a player who can turn matches with her midfield magic. Oliva is backed up by the highly experienced quartet of Berta Bonastre, Carlota Petchame, Maria Lopez and Beatriz Perez.
The fourth team in Pool A is Russia. Currently ranked 28th in the world, Russia opens it’s account with a tricky match against Spain. How they emerge from that match will determine the remainder of their tournament. A good start will leave them in a positive mood for their other two pool games – and eyeing up the prospect of a podium finish.
Pool B sees the second lowest ranked team, Ukraine, up against some tough opposition from Scotland (17), Poland (21) and Ghana.
The opening Pool match will see the two eastern European countries face off, so expect two similar styles of play. Hockey players in both Ukraine and Poland have been involved in the indoor season recently, so expect to see some skill transfer from the indoor game to the outdoor game, with structured build-up and good close control. Poland’s advantage will lie with the team’s experience. In Marlena Rybacha, they have a world class player, who can turn a game with her skill.
Ghana versus Scotland may well be the pick of the games on the opening day. Scotland come to Valencia with high hopes of a podium place and a crack at Hockey World League Semi-Finals. They are a team that is rebuilding after some high profile retirements, but this is also a side that boasts three players recently selected for the Great Britain hockey programme: Sarah Robertson, Amy Costello and Nicola Cochrane.
Their rivals will pose a challenge to the Scots as they play a very different style of hockey to that encountered in European competition. Fast, feisty and unpredictable: coach Cheeseman has called his charge’s skills “frighteningly good”.
The top two finishers from the women’s Round 2 events in Valencia, Spain and West Vancouver, Canada (1-9 Apr 2017) will join Ireland and Malaysia [qualifiers from Hockey World League Round Two in Malaysia] in qualifying for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals. These Round Two qualifiers will also be joined in the World Cup qualifier phase by the two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from those three events.
You can keep track of the tournament in Valencia on the official competition pages by clicking here and on FIH’s social media channels using the #HWL2017 hashtag.
Green Machine Draw With Spain In Final Match Of Series
Tri-Nations Tournament, Spain
The opening 10 minutes of the tie saw the Green Machine create more chances than their hosts as Neal Glassey drew an early save from Mario Fernandez while Shane O’Donoghue’s penalty corner drag forced another fine save. The ever-reliable Eugene Magee was the instigator that set up the opening goal, calmly deflected in by Matthew Nelson for his first senior international goal. Ireland was denied their second goal from a well worked penalty corner when the ball was cleared off the line by the post man. The game settled down for the remainder of the half until the final 5 minutes when Ricardo Santana drew the game level for Spain, but minutes later Nelson got his second goal as he was quickest to a loose ball in the circle.
It wasn’t long into the second half before Ireland furthered their lead. Johnny McKee won Ireland a penalty corner and O’Donoghue made no mistake the second time of asking as he drag flicked the ball high into the goal. Higher-ranked Spain pushed to claw their way back into the game but excellent penalty corner running by Jeremy Duncan closed down an early chance of the third quarter. In the final minute of the third quarter the momentum began to shift as Xavi Lleonart scored from a penalty corner and moments into the final quarter he got his second goal to draw Spain level at 3-3. Both sides pushed for a winning goal but the final result remained at 3-3.
Speaking about the series head coach Craig Fulton said “There have been improvements in every game and that was the main objective coming to Spain with this squad. We have made some really good progress as a team and there were some strong performances from the younger players”.
Spain 3 (Santana, Lleonart X2)
Ireland 3 (Nelson x2, O’Donoghue)
Starting: Carr (GK), J Bell (Captain), M Bell, Gleghorne, Harte, Glassey, O’Donoghue, Cargo, McKee, Dale, Nelson
Subs: Ingram (GK), L Cole, Duncan, E Magee, Walker, O’Connor, Murray
Spain 4vs4 France 29/1/2017 4pm in Benalmadena
France 2vs2 Ireland 30/1/2017 4pm in Benalmadena
Spain 2vs1 Ireland 31/1/2017 4pm Malaga
Spain 6vs0 France 1/2/2017 4pm in Benalmadena
France 1vs3 Ireland 2/2/2017 4pm in Malaga
Spain 3vs3 Ireland 3/2/2017 1pm in Benalmadena
*times listed are local.
Irish Hockey Association media release
Thrilling end to the Cape Town Summer Series
A thrilling match between the women hockey teams of South Africa and Belgium ended in a 3-3 draw to bring the curtain down on the Cape Town Summer Series.
It was a fiercely contested battle between two very equally match teams.
A great team goal from South Africa got the scoreboard going with Lilian du Plessis hitting the back of the goal-box.
Belgium equalised and took the lead in the second chukka.
South Africa quickly got on the attack with the start of the third chukka and Bernadette Coston got the goal that made it all square again. She scored from a penalty corner. Shortly after Tarryn Glasby gave the South Africans the lead with a great individual goal.
But Belgium had the final say when they scored from the penalty spot to make it 3-3 all. South Africa did get an opportunity to win the game with a penalty corner in the final minute, but the shot went just wide.
South Africa is 13th on the world rankings and Belgium 14th.
SA’s goalkeeper Marelise van Tonder did great work in the box and saved some sure goals.
This was the last match in the Summer Series. South Africa had mixed results with the victory over China on Sunday the highlight of the series.
The national teams from Germany and England are coming to South Africa in February so Cape Town will see some more international hockey action this summer.
SA Hockey Association media release
Kalinga Lancers score a narrow 6-5 win against defending Champions
Bhubaneswar, 3rd February 2017: Kalinga Lancers registered their first ever win against Jaypee Punjab Warriors with a narrow 6-5 victory here on Friday. It was German stalwart Moritz Fuerste who struck twice (18’ and 28’) while Glenn Turner (11’) and SK Uthappa (32’) scored to ensure the home team bagged five points from the match, despite a late surge by the visitors, and topple Dabang Mumbai from top of the points table.
The encounter between Kalinga Lancers and defending Champions Jaypee Punjab Warriors brought back memories from last year’s Coal India Hockey India League when the two top teams met in the final and this time Kalinga Lancers looked to avenge the loss. Played in front of an enthusiastic and loud Bhubaneswar crowd, it was no doubt this game was of high stakes and the teams did not disappoint.
The first quarter witnessed the two teams trading penalty corners and it was Jaypee Punjab Warriors who won the match’s first PC, thanks to Jake Whetton. The visitors found a perfect chance to take the lead in only the 2nd minute of the match. Though Mink Van Der Weerden successfully converted the goal, the umpire denied them the early lead as the ball was trapped within the circle and not outside.
Kalinga Lancers were quick on winning their first PC in the 9th minute, the flick by Gurjinder Singh was brilliantly saved by Tristan Clemons. But the home team were unrelenting, keen on getting off to a good start they pressed hard in their attack, and it paid off when Glenn Turner struck early. It was Matthew Dawson’s perfect pass forward that found Glenn Turner within the circle who tapped it fiercely into the post giving the home team a 2-0 lead in the 11th minute.
The home team continued to dominate the second quarter too as they found yet another break through when their skipper Moritz Fuerste successfully used the video referral to win his team their second PC. The German is rarely off the mark when it comes to converting PCs and this time too he was inch perfect when he deflected the ball between Clements legs, after an improvised injection by Glenn Turner. This took the Kalinga Lancers score to 3-0.
The Kalinga Lancers played an inspired game making plenty of forays into the striking circle, but couldn’t quite convert a field goal. But the pressure saw Jaypee Punjab Warriors defenders fumble in the circle, gifting Kalinga Lancers their third PC. It was in-form German Moritz Fuerste who took the flick again and he showcased precision yet again. This goal in the 28th minute ensured they went into half-time with a comfortable 4-0 lead.
Coorg lad SK Uthappa starred in the third quarter for Kalinga Lancers when he fired an electric counter attack, intercepting the Jaypee Punjab Warriors defender only to race into the circle working with Glenn Turner to put one past the keeper in the 32nd minute.
The defending champions finally pulled one through a field goal by Mark Gleghorne in the 34th minutue. Jaypee Punjab Warriors converted another goal, this time through a PC and it was Gurdaspur’s Satbir Singh who fired the ball into the post, off a rebound, in the 35th minute to reduce the deficit to three goals.
The final quarter saw some tense moments, with Jaypee Punjab Warriors making desperate attempt to come back into the game. Despite the home team’s defenders doing their best to keep the lead, the defending Champions won a PC in the 52nd minute and Mink Wan Der Weerden converted this one, closing their goal difference to 4-6. SV Sunil won the visitors yet another PC in the dying minutes of the match and a stunning variation attempting for a field goal was successfully converted by Arman Qureshi in the 57th minute but the goal counted for just one goal instead two as it was trapped by Robert Van Der Horst inside the five-meter circle.
Glenn Turner of Kalinga Lancers was awarded with a prize money of Rs 50,000 for scoring the Coal India Goal of the Match from Mr Bipin Bihari Mishra, General Manager, Bhubaneswar, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.
Matthew Dawson of Kalinga Lancers won the prize of Rs 25,000 for being the Hero Young Achiever of the Match from Olympian Dr. A.B Subbaiah.
The Airtel Most Entertaining Player of the Match was awarded to Lalit Upadhyay of Kalinga Lancers that came with a prize money of Rs 25,000 and presented by Mr Martin Gotheridge, Chairman, Jury of Appeal, Coal India Hockey India League.
Moritz Fuerste of Kalinga Lancers was declared the Man of the Match and was awarded a prize money of Rs 50,000 by Mrs Arthi Ahuja, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha.
On 4 February 2017, Ranchi Rays will take on Uttar Pradesh Wizards in Ranchi at 1900hrs.
Official HIL site
Kalinga wins a thriller
In an epic thriller, previous edition finalists Japypee Punjab Warriors and Kainga Lancers fought to the hilt before the latter hung on to the solitary goal lead to garner full points in Bhubneswar today.
Befitting the status of defending champions Jaypee Punjab Warriors launched a late come back which saw the commandable 6-0 lead that the hosts took in the 31st minute wear away as the match meandered. Moritz Fuerste, who would win the Man of the Match award later, struck twice (18’ and 28’) while Glenn Turner (11’) and SK Uthappa (32’) scored later.
When SK Uthappa dived to connect a Glen Turner's cross two minutes into second half, it seemed the 6-0 lead will lead to a dull follow up but credits to the visitors that the game turned into an epic.
However, Mark Gleghorne in the 34th minutue turned the tide (2-6) and them in the 52nd minute and Mink Wan Der Weerden converted a penalty corner to further narrow down the lead.
JPW almost levelled the score when their lat of 10th penalty corner was converted stopping the ball outside circle in order to make it a field goal, and when Arman Qureshi dived to deflect it, the score for sometime was tied at 6-6 but Kalinga would not buy.
They made use of the referral facility to counter that the pushed ball not stopped outside D less than five meters to counter it a field goal.
Just three minutes left in the clock, the crowd and watchers held their breathe for the all important third umpire decision.
Much to the gladness of the full stands, the third referee concurred with the short of 5-m and ruled only one goal, which meant the score is 6-5.
Relieved Kalinga waged a grim battle to see of the last three minutes to save their slender lead.
Unstoppable and penetrative, Kalinga Lancers took a commanding 4-0 lead at half time in the Match No.13 of 5gh Hockey India League being played at Kalinga stadium, Bhubneswar. First Glenn Turner struck a field goal thereafter Mortiz Fuerste, who played extraordinary game in this spell, converted two penalty corners which almost he earned in the first place.
With a field goal that reflected as two in the scoreboard and two penalty corner goals gave befitting 4-0 lead for the home side at lemon time.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors got a chance to bring down the lead when it got a penalty corner after Mink van der Weerden was brought down couple of feets away from top of D. However, his effort at converting, even the other PC that came in his way, were warded off by resolute KL defence.
THRILLING GOAL Rs.50K: Glenn Turner
YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD 25k: Mathew Dawson
MOST ENTERTAINING PLAYER: Lalit Upadhyay
MAN OF THE MATCH Rs.50K: Moritz Fuerste
Kalinga Lancers score narrow 6-5 win over Punjab Warriors
BHUBANESWAR: Kalinga Lancers eked out a close 6-5 win over Jaypee Punjab Warriors, their first-ever victory against the defending champions, to jump to the top of the standings in the fifth edition of the Hockey India League.
German stalwart Moritz Fuerste struck twice (18th and 28th minutes) while Glenn Turner (11th) and SK Uthappa (32nd) also found the net to ensure the home team bagged five points from the match, despite a late surge by the visitors.
The encounter between Kalinga Lancers and defending Champions Punjab Warriors brought back memories from last year's HIL when the two top teams met in the final and this time Kalinga Lancers avenged their loss.
Playing in front of an enthusiastic and loud Bhubaneswar crowd, there was no doubt this game was of high stakes for the hosts and they did not disappoint.
The first quarter witnessed the two teams trading penalty corners and it was Punjab Warriors who won the match's first short corner, thanks to Jake Whetton. The visitors found a perfect chance to take the lead in only the second minute of the match.
Though Mink Van Der Weerden successfully converted the chance, the umpire denied them the early lead as the ball was trapped within the circle and not outside.
Kalinga Lancers won their first penalty corner in the ninth minute, but the flick by Gurjinder Singh was brilliantly saved by Tristan Clemons.
But the home team was unrelenting and desperate to get off to a good start they pressed hard and it paid off when Glenn Turner struck early.
It was Matthew Dawson's perfect pass forward that found Turner within the circle who tapped it fiercely into the post giving the home team a 2-0 lead in the 11th minute.
The home team continued to dominate the second quarter too as they found yet another break through their skipper Moritz Fuerste, who successfully used the video referral to win his team their second penalty corner.
The German is rarely off the mark when it comes to converting penalty corners and this time too he was inch perfect when he deflected the ball between Clements legs, after an improvised injection by Turner. This took the Kalinga Lancers score to 3-0.
The Kalinga Lancers played an inspired game making plenty of forays into the striking circle, but couldn't quite convert a field goal. But the pressure saw Punjab Warriors defenders fumble in their circle, gifting Kalinga Lancers their third penalty corner. It was in-form Fuerste who took the flick again and he showcased precision yet again in the 28th minute to hand his team a comfortable 4-0 lead at half time.
Uthappa starred in the third quarter for Kalinga Lancers when he fired an electric counter attack, intercepting the Punjab Warriors defender only to race into the circle working with Turner to put one past the keeper in the 32nd minute.
The defending champions finally pulled one through a field goal by Mark Gleghorne in the 34th minute. Punjab Warriors converted another goal, this time through a penalty corner which was converted by Satbir Singh from a rebound in the 35th minute to reduce the deficit to three goals.
The final quarter saw some tense moments with Punjab Warriors making desperate attempt to come back into the game.
Despite the home team's defenders doing their best to keep the lead, Punjab Warriors won a penalty corner in the 52nd minute and Mink Wan Der Weerden converted this time, closing their goal difference to 4-6.
SV Sunil won the visitors yet another penalty corner in the dying minutes of the match and a stunning variation attempt for a field goal was successfully converted by Arman Qureshi in the 57th minute but the goal counted for just one instead of two as it was trapped by Robert Van Der Horst inside the five-meter circle.
Ranchi Rays will play Uttar Pradesh Wizards in Ranchi on Saturday.
The Times of India
Lancers defeat Punjab Warriors 6-5
After six matches, Kalinga Lancers, with 20 points, are at the top of the points table. HIL
Bhubaneswar: Glenn Turner and SK Uthappa's field goals handed Kalinga Lancers a 6-5 victory over Punjab Warriors in their Hockey India League match here on Friday. Skipper Moritz Fuerste, too, chipped in by converting two penalty corners in the thrilling win.
Punjab Warriors earned two successive penalty corners within three minutes into the game but failed to convert them. Turner gave host Lancers the lead (11th min) by deflecting Matthew Dawson's stunning pass inside the goalpost. At the end of the first quarter, Lancers were leading 2-0. In the second quarter, Lancers earned a penalty corner and Fuerste successfully converted it into a goal, giving his team a 3-0 lead.
Fuerste again scored through a penalty corner in the 28th minute to take a 4-0 lead at the end of the second quarter.
Uthappa scored a brilliant field goal (32nd min), giving hosts a seemingly unassailable 6-0 lead. However, Warriors reduced the deficit as Mark Gleghorne deflected a pass from Varun Kumar (34th min) into the back of the net. A minute later, Warriors' Satbir Singh converted a penalty corner. In the fourth quarter, Warriors' Mink Van Der Weerden converted a penalty corner in the 52nd minute, making it 4-6.
Armaan Qureshi converted another penalty corner (57th min) to bridge the gap further but the visitors failed to find the net again.
Relationship off the field impacts performance on field: Sardar
Having played 10 years of international hockey, 30-year-old Sardar Singh has gone from being a talented youngster to a prominent statesman of Indian hockey.
Amidst ups and downs on personal and professional fronts, Sardar has learnt that harmony within one’s own self and with one’s peer group is essential as it reflects in the team’s performance on the field.
Speaking to The Hindu, Sardar, who plays for Jaypee Punjab Warriors, looked back at his journey and expressed his desire to secure medals in the Olympics and the World Cup before hanging up his stick.
“When I started (in 2006) as a junior, I saw the team was divided into different groups. I did not have much idea as to what was going on. But I played regularly along with senior players and learnt a few things from them.
“We are lucky that the present group of players, who have been playing for the last four-five years, understand each other well. The seniors gel well. If we have good friendship off the field, then we will perform well on the field. These small things help build the team.
“When I was the captain I was keen on building a good team. Over the years our ranking has improved. We have to work on this as the 2018 World Cup, to be hosted in India, is important for us,” said Sardar.
Sardar said he loved to overcome challenges, be it professional or personal. “When I started I did not have a card for the first three-four years, because I was very cool on the ground. In the last few years I got several cards. I analysed and saw that when I carry whatever is happening outside the ground to the field, I (tend to get disturbed and) get cards. When you don’t maintain your performance, then people expect.
“There were some allegations about which I don’t want to speak. Some people may dislike you, but that is important. Otherwise you cannot improve in life.”
The former India captain loved being pushed by the up-and-coming players, whom he needs to mentor. “When we go into a camp with junior players, it feels good. We get a lot of competition. You get to know how much your body needs to train. Then the experience helps. In order to avoid injuries and play for a long time, one has to take proper diet and look after one’s body well. You need to recover in time to get ready for the next match.”
Sardar does not regret that he was not part of the team that won the Champions Trophy silver medal last year. “No problems. Good that my teammates achieved it for the country. Of course, sometimes I feel that I missed out on it, but we will win a Champions Trophy medal again. We should also aim at winning medals in the World Cup and the Olympics,” Sardar signed off.
Dharmaraj eyes Euro stint for women’s team
KUALA LUMPUR: The national women’s hockey team are looking towards Europe as they eye quality matches to prepare for the World Hockey League Semi-Finals.
National coach K. Dharmaraj said that the lack of exposure against top sides “is a glaring weakness in the team”.
“We may be able to match teams who are on par with us, but our inexperience stands out like a sore thumb against the top sides,” he said.
“Of course we will discuss this with the MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation) and technical director Terry Walsh.”
The Malaysian girls finished second in the recent World Hockey Round Two and qualified along with winners Ireland.
The World League Semi-Finals will be held at two venues – in Belgium and South Africa – in June and July.
Another reason why Dharmaraj wants Malaysia to have more quality matches against the top sides is because “we are the lowest-ranked team in the Semi-Finals”.
“It’s a different ball game at this level ... and that’s something the girls have not experienced yet.”
The players are now playing in the Malaysia Hockey League and Dharmaraj hopes to bring them together for mid-week training.
The national players are only expected to regroup after the MHL ends on March 12.
The Star of Malaysia
Pacific hockey champ calls for support
THE South Pacific Games men's hockey champion side is seeking support from the people as they prepare themselves for the Hockey World League Round 2 in Bangladesh in March.
The Fiji hockey men's team are taking one step at a time as they try to balance their time to manage physically and financially in their preparation for the league.
Coach Hector Smith says that the boys are giving their best in training but there are some matters that need to be agreed upon.
"The boys have been training since the festive season for two hours every day except Monday.
"Our main concern is for the players who are working, if only they are given two hours for training from 6pm- 8pm.
"As for this next league, each player has to provide $2000 as a partial sum to help them travel to Bangladesh," said Smith.
The team consists of about 22 selected players, 4 non-travelling reserves and among the 18 representatives, nine are under-21.
The competition will be held from March 4-12 .
Hector Smith Jr will captain the national team to Bangladesh.
The Fiji hockey men's team is now ranked 51 in the World League and 18th in the Commonwealth Games.
The Fiji Times
Joyce Sombroek retires
Image credit: Worldsportpics
Sad news for the Dutch women's national team, first goalie Joyce Sombroek retires at the age of 26 due to a hip injury. She could continue but refuses with the fear of damaging her hip even more. We wish Joyce a good recovery and best of luck with her career and life outside of professional hockey! You are and will always be a legendary goalie who won everything you could!
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Terengganu win again but UiTM and TNB steal the show
by S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: While defending champions Terengganu continued with their winning ways in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), UiTM-KPT and TNB Thunderbolt stole the show for the wrong reasons.
Terengganu stayed on course for their fourth Premier Division title with a 6-1 humbling of Tenaga Nasional at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu yesterday despite much-vaunted Dutch international Valentin Verga firing blanks.
Former national forward Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin bagged a hat-trick (17th, 29th, 36th) while South Korean penalty corner specialist Jang Jung-hyun chipped in with a brace in the second and 48th minutes. Mohd Amirul Mirza Razi completed the rout in the last minute.
Tenaga scored their only goal in the 23rd minute through Mohd Ramadhan Rosli.
Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh was not too bothered by Verga’s goalless debut.
“He was in and out of the match ... he needs some time to settle down considering he just arrived a day before the game,” said Sarjit.
“We’re happy with what we saw ... I’m sure Valentin will be an asset.”
The only setback for Terengganu is the injury to forward Faizal Saari.
At the Tun Razak Stadium, the match between UiTM-KPT and TNB Thunderbolt was abandoned for the flimsiest of reasons – both teams wearing the same dark blue-coloured socks.
Match technical official A. Sagayanathan decided to abandoned the match after home team UiTM, who were supposed to wear red socks, refused to change theirs.
He waited for 30 minutes before calling off the match.
The matter will now be left to the tournament director to decide. If UiTM are found to have flouted tournament rules, TNB Thunderbolt will be awarded a win.
In another Premier Division match, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) snapped their two-match losing run by thumping Maybank 6-2 at the Bukit Serendit Hockey Stadium in Malacca.
Pakistani Mohamed Aleem Bilal (5th), Rafizul Ezry (14th), Mohd Hazif Zainol (28th, 49th), Izwan Firdaus (34) and Faridzul Afiq (37th) scored for UniKL while Mohd Firdaus Fauzi (13th) and Jang Soon-chan (16th) struck for the bankers.
UniKL coach A. Arulselvaraj was flattered by the score line.
“The match was much closer than the result suggests. Anyway, this win sets us up nicely for the game against UiTM on Sunday,” he said
The Star of Malaysia
Rematch between rivals East Grinstead and Surbiton
Surbiton's Jonny Gall. Credit Tim Reder
Having ended East Grinstead’s run of Super 6s titles last weekend, Surbiton will face them again as the Men’s Outdoor Hockey League resumes this weekend.
Their clash on Sunday will give East Grinstead a quick chance of revenge, and could see them climb into the top four if other results go their way too.
“It should be a good fight,” said Surbiton Team Manager Matt Jones. “I’m sure they will be out for revenge after last weekend, but we will be going all out to carry on our good form.
“Like many Premier clubs we have been playing indoor and at the same time trying to prepare for the resumption of the outdoor. Everyone is in the same boat with the weather having curtailed outdoor training a bit, so we need to get into outdoor mode as quickly as possible
“Both teams are at the top of their game, so it’s a great way to restart the season. We’re a young side who have been improving both indoor and outdoor, and we’re keen to maintain that learning curve.”
Meanwhile, leaders Holcombe play host to Kent rivals Canterbury on Saturday. With the home side having lost just one league match and Canterbury having won just one, Holcombe will be favourites to take the points and maintain top spot.
If Holcombe slip up, Wimbledon could leapfrog them if they can win at Beeston on Saturday, while Reading are at home against Brooklands MU in Saturday’s other top flight match.
And while East Grinstead and Surbiton do battle on Sunday, at the same time bottom of the table Loughborough Students face a Hampstead and Westminster side who could climb into the top four if they win.
With three teams tied at the top of the Men’s Conference East, there are some important games being played this weekend.
Leaders Sevenoaks are at home against Oxted, second-placed Teddington are going to Brighton and Hove, while Southgate are third and will go top for at least 24 hours if they beat Cambridge City on Saturday.
Unbeaten University of Durham face third-placed Olton and West Warwicks in the Men’s Conference North on Sunday, while second-placed Bowdon entertain Cannock on Saturday.
Cardiff and Met have a double header in the Men’s Conference West, with a trip to the University of Bristol on Friday evening followed by a home game against Cheltenham on Sunday.
Friday, February 3
Men’s Conference West
Univ of Bristol v Cardiff & Met 19:00
Saturday, February 4
Men’s Premier Division
Reading v Brooklands MU 13:30
Beeston v Wimbledon 14:00
Holcombe v Canterbury 18:00
Men’s Conference East
Richmond v Indian Gymkhana 18:00
Southgate v Cambridge City 18:00
Men’s Conference North
Bowdon v Cannock 11:45
Sunday, February 5
Men’s Premier Division
Loughborough Students v Hampstead and Westminster 14:00
East Grinstead v Surbiton 14:00
Men’s Conference East
Brighton and Hove v Teddington 13:00
West Herts v Wapping 14:00
Sevenoaks v Oxted 14:30
Men’s Conference North
Sheffield Hallam v Doncaster 13:30
Oxton v Deeside Ramblers 13:30
Olton & West Warwicks v Univ of Durham 13:30
Leek v Preston 14:00
Men’s Conference West
Univ of Birmingham v Chichester 12:30
Univ of Exeter v Univ of Bristol 12:30
Cardiff & Met v Cheltenham 12:30
Team Bath Buccaneers v Fareham 13:00
Old Georgians v Isca 14:00
England Hockey Board Media release
Top two prepare for battle in Investec Premier Division
Surbiton's Sarah Haycroft. Credit Tim Reder
Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division leaders Surbiton head to rivals East Grinstead as the outdoor season resumes after the Winter break.
Both second-placed East Grinstead and Surbiton are unbeaten in the league so far, and both will be aiming to get the better of the other following a 1-1 draw back in October when they last met.
But with East Grinstead preparing to represent England in the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy in Lithuania in two weeks - and having a few key players out injured – their preparations for the resumption of the outdoor programme have been somewhat hampered.
“It’s a difficult start to the second half of the season for us,” said East Grinstead Team Manager Tony Crisp. “We’re preparing for the Europeans, the bad weather has hampered our training, and we’ve got Laura Unsworth [ankle] and Takara Haines [foot] out injured.
“But we’ve still got the nucleus of our team ready to go, and we will be going to take all three points and go top of the table.”
Elsewhere, Kent rivals Holcombe and Canterbury do battle in a double-header with their men’s teams on Saturday.
Hosts Holcombe will be keen to take the points and maintain third spot in the table, while Canterbury will be equally determined to secure a win and boost their hopes of scraping into the top four and claiming a place at the Finals Weekend.
Clifton Robinsons are currently fourth and travel to Bowdon Hightown, while the weekend’s other top flight action sees the University of Birmingham in action at home against Slough, and bottom of the table Reading go to Leicester in search of their first league win.
Wimbledon head to West Herts in the Investec Conference East on Saturday, and will be aiming to notch up their eighth straight victory. Meanwhile, former leaders Sevenoaks – who lost top spot to Wimbledon in their clash in November – will be out to take back the lead.
Elsewhere, third-placed Harleston Magpies go to bottom of the table Northampton Saints as they bid to keep pace with the top two.
Brooklands Poynton went to the top of the Investec Conference North table after winning their rearranged fixture against Sutton Coldfield a fortnight ago, and they will be looking to take another win as they host bottom of the table Belper this Saturday.
Meanwhile second-placed Beeston go to strugglers Timperley, and third-placed University of Durham are at home against a Wakefield side who they drew with earlier in the season.
It’s tight at the top of the Investec Conference West table, with leaders Buckingham ahead of Stourport on goal difference only. Isca host Buckingham on Saturday, while Stourport go to Trojans.
FIXTURES – Saturday, February 4
Investec Women’s Hockey League
Investec Premier Division
Univ of Birmingham v Slough 12:30
East Grinstead v Surbiton 13:30
Bowdon Hightown v Clifton Robinsons 13:45
Leicester v Reading 14:00
Holcombe v Canterbury 16:00
Investec Conference East
Hampstead and Westminster v Chelmsford 13:30
Southgate v St Albans 14:00
West Herts v Wimbledon 14:00
Northampton Saints v Harleston Magpies 14:15
Sevenoaks v Cambridge City 17:00
Investec Conference North
Brooklands Poynton v Belper 12:00
Univ of Durham v Wakefield 12:00
Timperley v Beeston 12:30
Sutton Coldfield v Loughborough Students 14:00
Ben Rhydding v Liverpool Sefton 14:00
Investec Conference West
Swansea City v Exe 12:00
Gloucester City v Bristol Firebrands 12:00
Trojans v Stourport 12:00
Olton and West Warwicks v Oxford Hawks 12:00
Isca v Buckingham 12:00
England Hockey Board Media release
Central Railway, SAI Aurangabad, Dhyanchand Academy in state-level hockey semis
NAGPUR: City-based Central Railway, Sports Authority of India (SAI), Aurangabad, Dhyanchand Sports Academy, Nagpur and Bhusawal Railway won their respective quarterfinals to storm into the semifinals in the state-level hockey tournament at the SK Porwal College ground, Kamptee on Friday.
Central Railway, Nagpur rallied back superbly to edge out Kamptee United 2-1 in an exciting quarterfinal. Abhishek Gajbhiye provided a bright start to the Kamptee side by sounding the board in the 14th minute.
However, railmen fought back strongly to clinch the last-four berth with two late goals. Athar Mirza restored the parity in the 32nd minute and in the 53rd minute Ejaz Qureshi struck the match-winner.
Another city team Dhyanchand Sports Academy drubbed Nagpur Range Police 3-1 to move up to semis. Sakib (24th min), Akib (48th) and Amit (50th) scored a goal each for Dhyanchand Academy. Deepak Malai reduced the margin for Range Police in the 58th minute.
In a high-scoring quarter, SAI Aurangabad derailed South East Central Railway Nagpur 5-3. Ashish Chettey (5th min), Hamid Khan (23th and 29th mins) and Mohit Katode (28th and 39th mins) were the goal scorers for SAI.
For SECR, Imran Sheikh (27th and 55th mins) and Love Yadav (43rd min) fought hard but could not prevent defeat for their team.
In the Saturday's semis, Central Railway Nagpur will face SAI Aurangabad at 2 pm, while Dhyanchand Sports Academy will lock horns with Bhusawal Railway at 3.15 pm. The winners of the two semifinals will clash in the final on Sunday afternoon.
The Times of India
Record number of matches to be played at National Men’s hockey championship
A mindboggling 120 matches are scheduled to be played during the 20-day 7th Senior National Men’s hockey championship, which is a record of sorts as 100 matches were played in the last edition
The seventh National men’s hockey championship will be played in Lucknow in April-May. (Image for representation only)(HT Photo)
Here is some good news for hockey lovers. Action will continue much after the Hockey India League (HIL) concludes this season as the 7th Senior National Men’s hockey championship is slated in the state capital in April-May.
A mindboggling 120 matches are scheduled to be played during the 20-day event, which is a record of sorts as 100 matches were played in the last edition. The ‘B division’ matches comprising 36 teams will be played from April 17 to 29. As many as 20 teams will be seen in action in the ‘A division’ scheduled from April 27 to May 7.
The matches will be played at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium and the Padmashri Mohd Shahid Stadium in Vijayantkhand Stadium (Gomti Nagar).
This will be the sixth national championship being conducted by Uttar Pradesh Hockey. Prior to this, it conducted two senior men’s nationals, two senior women’s nationals and one junior men’s nationals besides the junior men’s hockey World Cup in December.
The nationals hold a lot of importance for Hockey India, as probables for next year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games and the World Cup will be shortlisted from here.
Terming the nationals ‘very important’, chief coach of the junior India team, Harendra Singh, said that the nationals not only give an opportunity to the players to showcase their talent, they also help them earn livelihood by getting them jobs and promotions.
“More than 1000 players will be playing for 56 teams and this is the biggest-ever platform for a player to stake claim to a berth in the probables’ list,” Harendra said.
“Any player left out for some reason in the HIL can showcase his talent to impress selectors in the nationals,” he said.
He added that despite having core groups in both junior and senior categories, Hockey India was always open to spotting talent. “Even if you get 10 good players in the nationals, it will give impetus to the game in India,” he opined.
British Olympian inspires next generation in Bahrain
From Rio to Bahrain, British Olympian Sam Ward helping hockey develop in the Middle-East Photo: Asia Hockey
The Olympic star beats two young players with his silky skills before playing a perfect pass to another youngster waiting by the goal. The player strikes the ball home and rushes to high five the Olympian. The 100 or so watching children applaud and dream of one day being that player.
It’s a scene that is replicated across the world but it is made more special when you realise that it is taking place in a country which just a short time ago had no hockey scene to speak of.
When Great Britain hockey star Sam Ward first travelled to Bahrain to visit a friend, he was blown away by the friendliness and beauty of the island kingdom, which sits between the Qatar peninsular and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia.
Little did he know that he would shortly be spearheading a move to promote and develop hockey in Bahrain but, with his customary enthusiasm, the striker embraced the challenge and was on hand to support the inaugural outdoor National Day Hockey 5s tournament in Bahrain:
“It was an amazing trip [to the Hockey 5s] and amazing to visit and travel all over Bahrain. I had first visited the country when a friend from Britain had moved out there and invited me to stay. That sparked my interest in the country and so I was pleased to do whatever I could to help develop the game.
“My next aim is to help persuade the Hockey Association to get an artificial pitch meaning we can make the game even bigger. The tournament itself was amazing and it was incredible to see so many teams and nations taking part.”
The Hockey 5s tournament was organised by the Bahrain Hockey Association and took place over two days in December at the St Christopher Senior School. The tournament took place in accordance with FIH regulations and was supported by the UK Embassy and sponsor Aqua Cool.
There were 10 teams taking part in the tournament, with sides from Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia competing alongside teams from Bahrain. While one team from Bahrain – the Young Stars Hockey Club – made the Semi-Finals, it was the international visitors who prevailed, with the Naqi Strikers of Saudi Arabia beating Don Bosco, the challengers from Kuwait, 7-1 in the final.
Running alongside the adult tournament was a junior coaching sessions, where the participants were thrilled to find the Head Coach was none other than Olympian Sam Ward. There was also a junior Hockey 5s tournament, where the skills on show demonstrated that Bahrain has a very bright future in hockey. The eventual winners were the Panthers, who beat the Baboons in the final.
At the end of the event, Salim Elias, President of Bahrain Hockey, thanked all teams for coming to the inaugural Hockey 5s tournament. General Secretary Jude D'Souza presented a special memento to HE Mr Abdulrahman Askar, General Secretary of Bahrain Olympic Committee for his support of Bahrain Hockey and the National Day 5s Tournament.
Speaking after the event, D’Souza said: “Our main motivation for running this event is to introduce a festival which we hope to conduct regularly with local regional and international teams. This has been a pivotal year for Bahrain Hockey as we have just become an official organisation and we are now looking to develop the game at all levels.”