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News for 15 February 2017

All the news for Wednesday 15 February 2017

Resurgent Black Sticks down Argentina

Natasha Fitzsimons in action. Photo: Hernan Pablo Barrios

The Vantage Black Sticks Women have responded with a 1-0 victory over hosts Argentina in the second of six tests in Buenos Aires.

Just a day after their opening 3-0 defeat the Black Sticks shook off the rust and played a much more structured game against the world number three ranked side.

Captain for the match Olivia Merry proved the deciding factor when she calmly converted a penalty stroke in the 43rd minute.

It was a fitting performance for defender Ella Gunson, who brought up her 150th test cap during the match.

Assistant coach Sean Dancer said it was pleasing to respond from the opening loss with a positive and aggressive approach.

“It was a very closely contested match but we were able to create a lot of chances and defended really well,” he said.

“I was impressed with our team’s fight and spirit under pressure, especially in the final quarter where we stood up and Grace O’Hanlon made some good saves in goal.

“We will look to train and improve in a few keys areas over the next 48 hours before our next game knowing Argentina will come out more aggressive after a loss.”

The Black Sticks have a rest day tomorrow ahead of the third test at 10:00am on Friday morning (NZ time), with the game streamed live online

CLICK HERE for more on the Vantage Black Sticks Women vs Argentina

Halftime: 0-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks women beat Argentina to level test series

New Zealand's Olivia Merry scored the goal to give the Black Sticks a much-needed 1-0 win over Argentina. PHOTOSPORT

The Black Sticks women's hockey team have levelled their series with Argentina.

New Zealand scored a 1-0 victory in the second game of the six-test series in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.

Captain Olivia Merry scored New Zealand's goal, converting a penalty stroke in the 43rd minute.

Argentina won the opening test 3-0 on Tuesday.

Assistant coach Sean Dancer said it was a pleasing response from his team, as they played with aggression and a positive approach.

"It was a very closely contested match but we were able to create a lot of chances and defended really well," Dancer said.

"I was impressed with our team's fight and spirit under pressure, especially in the final quarter where we stood up and Grace O'Hanlon made some good saves in goal.

"We will look to train and improve in a few keys areas over the next 48 hours before our next game knowing Argentina will come out more aggressive after a loss."

The third test will be played at 10am Friday (NZ time).


Fear of history repeating itself keeps KLHC on guard

by Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Leaders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) hope that history will not repeat itself in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

Last year, they led the six-team Premier Division standings with three matches remaining.

But they fumbled in the first two matches, suffering identical 1-2 defeats to Terengganu and Tenaga Nasional.

KLHC beat Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 4-1 in the last match and ended up third.

Terengganu won their third straight league title with Sapura second.

Now, KLHC are again top in the eight-team league with 29 points with three matches left.

Terengganu are second on 27 points followed by UniKL (23) and Tenaga (21).

KLHC face a crucial week, playing three tough matches in five days. They take on Tenaga today, UniKL on Friday and Terengganu on Sunday.

KLHC team manager Ahmad Anuar Sham Kamar is keeping his fingers crossed that they will finish the season on a triumphant note.

“We had high hopes of winning the league last season but we fumbled when it mattered most.

“We have learnt our lesson. We will take it one match at a time and stay focused.

“It’s going to be another tough run-in.

“Tenaga are fast on the counter-attack.

“In our first match, we fought our way back twice to hold them to a 2-2 draw.

“I hope our players will rise to the occasion this time to get a win over Tenaga,” said Ahmad.

The Star of Malaysia

Forgotten Sandeep Singh gets Honorary Doctorate

NEW DELHI: Out-of-favour India international Sandeep Singh has become only the second hockey player from the country to receive an Honorary Doctorate.

Sandeep, a dreaded drag-flicker in his hey days, was bestowed with the honour by Desh Bhagat University, a private educational institution in Amloh, Fatehgarh Sahib district of Punjab.

Sandeep is only the second Indian player after former captain and sitting Member of Parliament, Dileep Tirkey, to have an honorary degree for sporting excellence.

Tirkey received an honorary degree from Sambalpur University in 2010.

"It is a big honour for me. Being an hockey player it's a big thing for me to receive such a degree for my achievements in the field of sports. It is a recognition of my hard work," Sandeep told PTI after receiving the degree today.

Once regarded as the country's top drag-flicker, Sandeep has been in and out of the national team since the 2012 London Olympics mainly due to injury.

The Times of India

Upbeat Delhi Waveriders take on table toppers Dabang Mumbai

Delhi: On 15 February, hockey buffs in Delhi will get to witness a nail-biting clash between table toppers Dabang Mumbai and home team Delhi Waveriders, who are eager to keep their winning momentum going and ensure a spot in the Semi Final to be played in Chandigarh on 25 February 2017.

While the visitors led by German forward Florian Fuchs will play with zero pressure as they are almost certain to be through to the Semi Finals, Rupinder Pal Singh and his men will go into the game riding high on the confidence they have gained from the two successive wins against Kalinga Lancers (6-4) and Uttar Pradesh Wizards (8-1).

When the two teams met earlier in Mumbai, the home team had scored a narrow 3-2 win with Affan Yousuf scoring twice for them while Delhi Waveriders goals came from penalty corners converted by Rupinder Pal Singh and Justin Reid-Ross. “We have four more games left in the league and the one against Dabang Mumbai will be a good game and a win will keep our chances of making the semis intact. They are a tough team to beat and they have good results so far and one of their major plus point is their ability to comeback from a goal deficit to win matches,” expressed Rupinder Pal Singh.

He further added that the two back-to-back wins have given his team the much-needed confidence. “I think we did very well in the past two games and that’s given the team a lot of confidence. We were very strong in our defence against Kalinga Lancers which I think was a key factor in our win. We have a specific plan against Dabang Mumbai and I am confident the team will execute it, play to the home advantage and make opportunities count,” added the drag flick expert.

Meanwhile, Florian Fuchs was his usual calm, jovial-self on Tuesday morning when he along his teammates shared some fun banter on the poolside in their team hotel in New Delhi. “Last year we missed making the Semi Final by goal difference and that was a heart break. This year, it was our clear goal to reach the semis. We see the next two matches as a platform to improve and get sharper for the Finals weekend in Chandigarh. Since we have almost made it to the semis already, we will play freely and with less pressure but having said that, we want to win those two games,” asserted Florian who has eight goals against his name in the league so far.

The German forward further insisted that Dabang Mumbai have made great progress this year compared to last year and one of their key strengths has been the team’s ability to comeback in crucial games. “We have made big development through the season and have created a lot of chances. Defensively also we have done well and everyone is happy and upbeat. We did well in the start of the league getting some good wins and the U-21 World Cup players coming in fresh from the tournament and some new international recruits have taken our overall performance to a new level. How we came back in games has given us a lot of confidence and belief in the team’s strength and we would like to preserve it for the Finals weekend,” he added.

Speaking about their chances against Delhi Waveriders, Florian stated that the home team will be on a high from their previous wins. “They have won their last two matches and are definitely on a high. They are playing much better hockey than the beginning and they will put pressure on us and I will it will be an open game. While we are fit and sharp they are mentally tough,” he concluded.

Official HIL site

Coal India’s boost for Hockey in India   

New Delhi: Coal India Limited (CIL), the public sector coal mining behemoth for the second year in succession took the lead in sponsoring the ongoing ‘Coal India Hockey India League’ 2017. The idea behind is to encourage the national game among the youth of the country. So far, going by the spectator turnout at the stadiums where the games are played the tournament has garnered huge popularity.

CIL intends to encourage Hockey India as tournament’s title sponsor for three years and after the success of the 2016 edition, which incidentally was the first title sponsorship, has carried the torch into 2017 edition also.

The flagship coal miner is also actively pursuing the option of encouraging football through association with FIFA and is a significant contributor to the National Sports Development Fund. Coal India also encourages various other sports especially at the grass root level in the proximity of its mining areas and tribal belts.

The commitment shown by CIL has enabled the hockey league to catch young talent from India as well as from over twelve other world-class hockey playing nations including England, Australia, Belgium, Germany and Netherlands.

Coal India Hockey India League which commenced on 21st January, 2017 and shall conclude in a grand finale on26 February 2017. It has completed 22 matches till date. The tournament includes 30 group stage matches and 4 play-off matches.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman, Coal India Hockey India League, Md. Mushtaque Ahmad said, “We are delighted to have Coal India as our title sponsor for this years’ edition of the league. The biggest gainers from their support is the sport of hockey itself and more importantly our players. Young talent is getting the opportunity to dream of a career in hockey and all this is only possible with such incredible support we have received from Coal India Limited.”

 A senior Coal India official said, “Coal India Limited is committed towards the development of hockey in India. The Coal India Hockey India League is a great initiative and I must compliment Hockey India to have had the vision to promote such a professional culture which not only attracts global talent but also encourages development of our players and infrastructure. We are very pleased to see the outcome so far and wish the 2017 edition to conclude as a roaring success.”

Official HIL site

Bree Gillespie Appointed Chair of USA Field Hockey Board of Directors

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Following a weekend of meetings, USA Field Hockey's Board of Directors has elected Bree Gillespie to serve as the Chair of the Board starting immediately for a two-year term. Gillespie first joined the Board in 2015 with a passion for growing the game and a long history with hockey. She has played and coached for more than 20 years, competing collegiately at Ohio University. In addition, she founded and still coaches the Lanco Premier Field Hockey Club based in Lancaster, Pa.

"The mission of USA Field Hockey... to Grow the Game, Serve Members and Succeed Internationally, is a true passion for me," said Gillespie. "Working with our dedicated board in support of the talented USA Field Hockey staff and members, I hope to play a role in growing the game in many ways. I am honored to serve as Chair of the USA Field Hockey Board of Directors."  

Gillespie also acknowledged the previous Board of Directors leadership and their great contributions to the sport at all levels of play. 

"Shawn Hindy and Shannon Taylor deserve many thanks for their dedication and tireless efforts serving as Chair and Vice Chair for the past two years," said Gillespie. "Their leadership has guided the board through continued growth and development. I am excited to help build on their good work."  

Elected as Vice Chair of the Board is Susan Nottingham, who is the longest serving current Board Member with 6 years of service. Nottingham lives in Norfolk, Va., and also Chairs the Finance and Audit Committee.

“As senior board member and a financial consultant by profession, moving into the vice-chair role is a logical transition for me," said Nottingham. "Obviously, leading a non-profit national governing board comes with a special set of legal, financial and fiduciary responsibilities. I’m honored and prepared to provide the oversight needed as we focus on mission fulfillment through strategic planning."

Nottingham continued on to say this year, in particular, is exciting since USA Field Hockey is hosting the Pan American Cup and associated Pan American Federation of Hockey Congress for the first time in almost two decades.

"It’s a real pleasure to give back to an organization that has been such a positive, integral part of my life for the past 15 years," said Nottingham. "Our growing field hockey family includes men and women, young and old; from the Atlantic to the Pacific (and overseas). They are umpires, coaches, players, administrators and advocates. It’s a family I’m proud to be a part of and eager to serve.”

USA Field Hockey extends its congratulations to both Gillespie and Nottingham as well as its gratitude toward Hindy and Taylor as the baton of leadership is passed. 

"Congratulations to Bree and Susan who are both supremely qualified to serve the sport in these leadership roles," said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey's Executive Director. "They both are very accessible and in tune with the hockey community and will make a significant impact in driving our organization forward as we strive to achieve our mission to grow the game, serve members and succeed internationally."

USFHA media release

Mel Woosnam new HA President

Mahers and Carruthers Vice-Presidents

Holly MacNeil

Melbourne, Victoria – The Hockey Australia board has appointed interim president Melanie Woosnam as president of Hockey Australia during the latest board meeting which was held in Sydney last Friday.

Woosnam has held the post of interim president since November, when former president David Hatt stood down. The former Hockeyroo has been on the board of Hockey Australia since 2013.

As a Hockeyroo, Woosnam played for Australia from 1993 until 1995 under her maiden name, Melanie Dempster. Since retiring from hockey, Woosnam has gained extensive experience in the sports industry as CEO of several State Sporting Organisations including Hockey NSW, Queensland Touch Football and NSW Futsal; and as a former Director on the Board of Stadiums Queensland between 2010 and 2015. Currently, Woosnam is Managing Director of her own sporting consultancy, Active8 Sports Solutions.

In addition to Woosnam’s appointment as president, Larry Maher and Stuart Carruthers were both voted in as vice-presidents. Former Kookaburra Carruthers, and former Hockey NSW President Maher were voted onto the board last November.

In addition to the Presidential election, two new board members were also appointed – David Moroney (WA) and Patrick Hall (WA), with Moroney to take up the position of Finance Director. The appointment of Moroney and Hall increases the board numbers to nine.

Of her election and the new board appointees, Woosnam said: “We have a strong, balanced and effective board in place who will be able to lead and effect positive change for Hockey Australia. Our key strategic focus will be enhanced engagement across all areas of the sport.

“It is critical that we commit to building confidence, trust and respect amongst our members and key stakeholders. This will create a strong foundation to enable us to make improvements in other key areas such as participation, competitions and events and of course our high performance programs as we head towards the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and of course the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“We have a very committed, professional and passionate Board and the recent appointments of David and Pat round out the diverse experience the board now holds.”

About Patrick Hall (1 year term)
Patrick Hall is a current board member and former vice-president of Hockey WA. Patrick is currently a director of the Dichotomy Group and has over 23 years experience in advanced information, communications and electronic systems sector, along with over 20 years experience in the RAAF on a variety of operational management and technical systems roles.

About David Moroney (1 year term)
David Maroney will step into the role of Finance Director for the Hockey Australia board, given his extensive experience as CFO of a number of corporations including First Quantum Minerals and Co-operative Bulk Handling Group. David was formerly on the Hockey WA board from 2011 until 2013 where he served as vice-president.

The Hockey Australia Board now consists of:
Tracey Belbin
Stuart Carruthers – Vice President
Patrick Hall
Juliet Haslam
Larry Maher – Vice President
David Moroney – Finance Director
Tracey Scott
Sandra Sully
Melanie Woosnam – President

Hockey Australia media release

Expressions of Interest for two positions at HP in Perth

Performance Analyst and Manager HP Systems

Holly MacNeil

Expressions of interest are being taken for two positions to be located at the High Performance unit in Perth. Expressions of interest are open until this Friday, 17th February at 5pm AWST.

The two positions are:

Manager of HP and PA Systems (view job description by clicking job title)


Performance Analyst / Database Manager (view job description by clicking job title)

Please send your CV and cover letter to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hockey Australia media release

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