Welcome to the Fieldhockey.com Archives

Daily Hockey news updated @ 10:00 GMT

News for 21 February 2017

All the news for Tuesday 21 February 2017

Tristan Clemons stars in Jaypee Punjab Warriors 1-0 win   

New Delhi: Tristan Clemons was at his usual best yet again to help Jaypee Punjab Warriors beat Uttar Pradesh Wizards 1-0 in a crucial match here on Monday. Mink van der Weerden was the lone scorer of the match with his successful 35th minute dragflick.

The defending Champions started the match with positive intent, finding space in the striking circle and attempting a few daring shots at the post but couldn’t quite put it past Uttar Pradesh Wizards in-form goalkeeper PR Sreejesh. Sardar Singh came up with an inspired show in the first quarter when he enthralled the audience with impressive stick work to beat three defenders in the circle and find momentum to strike, but unfortunately it was slightly wide. MG Poonacha won a PC for the Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the 6th minute but a missed trap by Jake Whetton denied them an early lead. Uttar Pradesh Wizards too missed out on converting a PC in the 13th minute resulting in a stalemate at the end of the first quarter.

Jaypee Punjab Warriors goalkeeper Tristan Clemons was kept busy through the second quarter when Uttar Pradesh Wizards’ forward line made brave attempts at scoring field goals but Clemons, who was awarded his third man-of-the-match this season, was impeccable yet again as he denied the opponents a lead. Florent van Aubel, on the other hand, showcased brilliant defence work when Mink van der Weerden’s drag flick was promptly denied in the 21st minute when Jaypee Punjab Warriors won their second PC. The first half too remained goalless.

Clemons continued his brilliance through the third quarter too when he padded away a powerfully struck flick by Argentine Gonzalo Peillat when the Uttar Pradesh Wizards won a PC in the 33rd minute. The defending Champions finally struck in the 35th minute when Mink van der Weerden successfully converted a PC. This was his sixth successful PC this season, giving his team a 1-0 lead.

Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ task was cut out though as just a mere win wouldn’t do. They would have to beat the opponents by a margin of three goals to keep them in the hunt for a Semi Final spot and they earnestly sought the elusive field goal in the final quarter. Clemons, meanwhile, made as many as ten crucial saves to keep the Uttar Pradesh Wizards score a nil.  But the Uttar Pradesh Wizards defence were up to task to deny the title holders further lead.

Mink van der Weerden of Jaypee Punjab Warriors was awarded with a prize money of Rs 50,000 for scoring the Coal India Goal of the Match from Mr. G.K Vashisht, General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Coal India Ltd.

Akashdeep Singh of Uttar Pradesh Wizards won the prize of Rs 25,000 for being the Hero Young Achiever of the Match from Mr. Ajit Pal Singh, Olympian.

The Airtel Most Entertaining Player of the Match was awarded to Florent van Aubel of Uttar Pradesh Wizards that came with a prize money of Rs 25,000 and presented by Ms. Elena Norman, CEO, Coal India Hockey India League.

Tristan Clemons of Jaypee Punjab Warriors was declared the Man of the Match and was awarded a prize money of Rs 50,000 by Mr. Dhanraj Pillay, Technical Director, Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

On 21st February, Delhi Waveriders will take on Ranchi Rays at the Shivaji Stadium in New Delhi at 1900hrs.

Matches will be shown live on Star Sports 2 & HD 2 and Star Sports 3 & HD 3 and live streamed on Hotstar.com

Semi-Finals 1 & 2 on 25th February 2017

-        1st Pool A vs 4th Pool A at 16.50hrs
-        2nd Pool A vs 3rd Pool A at  19.20hrs

3/4th Place Playoff & Finals on 26th February 2017

-        Loser 31 vs Loser 32 at 16.50hrs
-        Winner 31 vs Winner 32 19.20hrs

Official HIL site

JPW win 1-0 against UPW but fail to qualify for the semis

s2h team

New Delhi: Jaypee Punjab Warriors beat Uttar Pradesh Wizards 1-0 in a crucial match here on Monday. Mink van der Weerden was the lone scorer of the match with his successful 35th minute dragflick.

The defending Champions started the match with positive intent, finding space in the striking circle and attempting a few daring shots at the post but couldn’t quite put it past Uttar Pradesh Wizards in-form goalkeeper PR Sreejesh.

Sardar Singh came up with an inspired show in the first quarter when he enthralled the audience with impressive stick work to beat three defenders in the circle and find momentum to strike, but unfortunately it was slightly wide.

MG Poonacha won a PC for the Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the 6th minute but a missed trap by Jake Whetton denied them an early lead. Uttar Pradesh Wizards too missed out on converting a PC in the 13th minute resulting in a stalemate at the end of the first quarter.

Jaypee Punjab Warriors goalkeeper Tristan Clemons was kept busy through the second quarter when Uttar Pradesh Wizards’ forward line made brave attempts at scoring field goals but Clemons, who was awarded his third man-of-the-match this season, was impeccable yet again as he denied the opponents a lead. Florent van Aubel, on the other hand, showcased brilliant defence work when Mink van der Weerden’s drag flick was promptly denied in the 21st minute when Jaypee Punjab Warriors won their second PC. The first half too remained goalless.

Clemons continued his brilliance through the third quarter too when he padded away a powerfully struck flick by Argentine Gonzalo Peillat when the Uttar Pradesh Wizards won a PC in the 33rd minute. The defending Champions finally struck in the 35th minute when Mink van der Weerden successfully converted a PC. This was his sixth successful PC this season, giving his team a 1-0 lead.

Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ task was cut out though as just a mere win wouldn’t do. They would have to beat the opponents by a margin of three goals to keep them in the hunt for a Semi Final spot and they earnestly sought the elusive field goal in the final quarter. Clemons, meanwhile, made as many as ten crucial saves to keep the Uttar Pradesh Wizards score a nil. But the Uttar Pradesh Wizards defence were up to task to deny the title holders further lead.


Goal of the Match: Mink van der Weerden
Young Achiever of the Match: Akashdeep Singh
Most Entertaining Player of the Match: Florent van Aubel
Man of the Match: Tristan Clemons


Warriors beat Wizards, but bow out

Uthra Ganesan

Wizards’ goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh and defender pull off a stop against Jaypee Warriors. Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Jaypee Punjab Warriors ended its campaign with a 1-0 win against Uttar Pradesh Wizards, but the narrow win was not enough to keep it in the race for the Hockey India League (HIL) play-offs as the defending champion bowed out of the competition here on Monday.

Punjab had all but given up on advancing after losing its penultimate match and Monday's game was more about playing for pride than anything else.

Given the permutations of the leaderboard, JPW knew it needed a big win to stay in the race by virtue of more wins. And even though it knew there was little chance, it tried its best, playing an attacking game and creating several chances upfront.

With most of its moves orchestrated from the right, S.V. Sunil had a busy day. Everyone who had the ball for JPW tried to set up a goal.

Sunil, Mirco Pruijser, Sardar Singh and Mark Knowles took shots at goal but hit wide even as UPW goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh tried to foil the moves. V.R. Raghunath and Arthur van Doren beefed up the defence.

UPW had a lot more possession — at one point, it was almost 60% — but the Punjab midfield of Sardar and Knowles and Jake Whetton ensured the ball did not reach the shooting circle or get dangerous.

Sardar and Knowles were in good form after a series of disappointing performances in the previous games, taking the lead in controlling the situation and guiding the youngsters.

Wizards, though, gradually grew in the game after a cautious start. But once it got going, Tristan Clemons had to stretch himself to the fullest.

Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Agustin Mazzilli kept shooting at the goal, only to find the ball hitting Clemons’ pads or gloves.

The desperation was compounded by neither team managing to even stop the ball properly during penalty corners. In fact, the only time it was done, Mink van der Weerden slammed the ball in for the only goal of the match in the 35th minute.

UP also conceded a lot more turnovers, failing to keep control of the ball at crucial moments.

The result makes the four semifinalists all but confirmed with two league matches yet to be played. Even though Ranchi is still in with a chance to go level on points with Delhi Waveriders and UPW, the goal difference of -5 means it would have to score big and expect UPW (+9 GD) to lose by an even bigger margin to make the cut.

Right now, that doesn't seem possible.

The result: Jaypee Punjab Warriors 1 (Mink van der Weerden 1 PC) bt Uttar Pradesh Wizards 0.

The Hindu

Punjab Warriors pip UP Wizards but still out of semifinal

Needing at least a three-goal margin to stay in contention for the semi-final, Punjab Warriors beat UP Wizards 1-0 in their Hockey India League match on Monday.

Action during the Hockey India League match between Punjab Warriors and UP Wizards in New Delhi on Monday. (HIL)

Defending champions Punjab Warriors eked out a close 1-0 win over Uttar Pradesh Wizards but still failed to qualify for the semifinals of the fifth edition of the Hockey India League, here on Monday.

Mink van der Weerden scored the lone goal of the match, successfully converting a penalty corner in the 35th minute of the match.

Needing a win and that too by at least a three-goal margin to be contention, Punjab Warriors scored through Mink van der Weerden’s sixth penalty corner conversion to take the lead but it was not enough to seal their place in the semi-finals.

It was the first in the history of HIL that Punjab Warriors failed to qualify for the last four round.

The win took Punjab Warriors tally to 22 points but UP Wizards and Delhi Waveriders, with 23 points each and still a game in hand, have ensured their places in the semifinals.

Table toppers Dabang Mumbai and Kalinga Lancers are already through to the semi-finals.

UP Wizards (+9 goal difference) and Waveriders (+10 goal difference) also are virtually through to the knockouts as the other team in contention, Ranchi Rays’ have a poor goal difference of -5. The 2015 champions have 18 points from nine games and they face Delhi here tomorrow.

The defending Champions started the match with positive intent, finding space in the striking circle and attempting a few daring shots at the post but couldn’t quite put the ball past Uttar Pradesh Wizards in-form goalkeeper PR Sreejesh.

Ace midfielder Sardar Singh came up with an inspired show in the first quarter when he enthralled the audience with impressive stick work to beat three defenders in the circle and find momentum to strike, but his strike went just wide.

MG Poonacha won a penalty corner for the Punjab Warriors in the sixth minute but a missed trap by Jake Whetton denied them an early lead.

The UP Wizards too missed out on converting a penalty corner in the 13th minute resulting in a stalemate at the end of the first quarter.

Punjab Warriors goalkeeper Tristan Clemons was kept busy throughout the second quarter when UP Wizards’ forward line made brave attempts but Clemons, who was awarded his third man-of-the-match this season, was impeccable yet again in front of the goal.

Florent van Aubel, on the other hand, showcased brilliant defensive work when he denied Mink van der Weerden in the 21st minute from Punjab Warriors second penalty corner as the stalemate continued at the end of the first half.

Clemons continued his brilliance in the third quarter too when he padded away a powerfully flick of Argentine Gonzalo Peillat from UP Wizards third penalty corner.

The defending champions finally struck in the 35th minute through Mink van der Weerden, who successfully converted a penalty corner.

Hindustan Times

Punjab Warriors pip UP Wizards 1-0 but out of semis race

NEW DELHI: Defending champions Jaypee Punjab Warriors edged Uttar Pradesh Wizards 1-0 but couldn't keep themselves in contention to reach the semi-finals of the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) at the Shivaji Stadium here on Monday.

Punjab needing a win and that too by atleast a three-goal margin to be contention but, apart from Dutchman Mink van der Weerden's sixth penalty corner goal of the campaign, they couldn't find any more goal, thereby bowing out before the semi-finals of the HIL for the first time.

Following the win, Punjab took their points tally to 22 but UP Wizards and Delhi Waveriders, with 23 points each, still have a game in hand to ensure their qualifications to the last four stage.

Top two placed teams Dabang Mumbai and Kalinga Lancers are already through to the semi-finals.

UP Wizards (+9 goal difference) and Delhi (+10 goal difference) also are virtually through to the knockouts as the other team in contention, Ranchi Rays' have a poor goal difference of -5. The 2015 champions have 18 points from nine games and they face Delhi on Tuesday.

For Punjab, the campaign is over for one of the most successful sides in the HIL. On the final day they ended a four-game losing streak but it wasn't enough.

The Barry Dancer-coached side made its intentions clear from the push-back. Their high pressing pushed UP Wizards in their own half, forcing all of them of defend and wait to hit on the break.

Captain Sardar Singh showed his classical dribbling skills as he avoided three defenders on a solo run but his shot went inches away from the right post after a foot touch UP Wizards goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh in the fifth minute.

Punjab's Dutch set-piece specialist Mink van der Weerden too a chance each in the first and second quarter. While the first one was not stopped properly, the second flick was blocked by Florent van Aubel, who was guarding the right post.

UP Wizards came on to their own in the second quarter. They had several chances, including a penalty corner which bounced awkwardly for the stopper to trap. A quick counter-attack saw Eddie Ockenden playing a pass to the right near the halfline to van Aubel and the Belgian ran around 30 yards before attempting from a tight angle which was dismissed by Tristian Clemons.

Clemons then denied Vikas Pillay from the close range. Veteran Australian defender Mark Knowles came to Clemons' rescue with a diving tackle on P.R. Aiyappa at the right post in the 28th minute.

Punjab continued to press high and found the lead in the 35th minute as van der Weerden fired a grounder which went in, beating the outstretched left foot of Sreejesh.

Sreejesh's counterpart Clemons was again asked to put away a counter-attacking danger from Akashdeep Singh in the 55th minute.

The missed chance left Punjab with a slim hope but Mirco Pruyser and Jake Whetton's hard work up front couldn't change the scoreline as UP Wizards defended strongly to take a point with a 0-1 defeat.

The Times of India

HIL 2017 Points Table - 20 February

    Matches Goals  
Rank Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Diff Points
1 Dabang Mumbai 9 6 1 2 36 28 8 33
2 Kalinga Lancers 10 5 1 4 32 40 -8 28
3 Delhi Waveriders 9 3 2 4 27 17 10 23
4 Uttar Pradesh Wizards 8 3 3 2 27 17 10 22
5 Ranchi Rays 9 2 3 4 19 24 -5 18
6 Jaypee Punjab Warriors 9 3 0 6 24 39 -15 17

Official HIL Site

For Sardar Singh, Hockey India League 2017 a mixed bag

Sardar Singh showed glimpses of his old self but later struggled to make an impact on HIL game against UP Wizards.

by Mihir Vasavda

Sardar Singh failed to make an impact in the match against UP Wizards.

Germany and Holland, you would imagine, would not be a top-of-the-list holiday destination for an Indian hockey player. They visit these countries routinely to play at some of the prettiest stadiums in beautiful, postcard towns. Although they spend most of their time shuttling between the stadium and hotel, the Indian team is fun-loving and adventurous enough to explore the cities they travel to rather than restricting themselves to the hotel all the time.

They also love to shop, this bunch. Which is what Sardar Singh did during the off-season last year. The senior team players had a 40-day off towards the end of 2016. It’s the longest vacation they’ve received in a long time. So Sardar hopped on a flight to Germany and Holland, spending a good three weeks there, shopping and eating. “Hockey se hatke chahiye tha. The weather there is good, khana-peena, diet…everything. And quite some shopping too,” Sardar says. “Also gym sessions. I had around 10-15 gym sessions.”

As Sardar roamed around the streets of Berlin and Amsterdam, Indian hockey turned a corner in Lucknow. The juniors won the World Cup. And that put the spots of several seniors in doubt. Sardar, suddenly, found himself competing for in the core probables – which gather in Bangalore next month – with the players who he has mentored.

In this context, the Hockey India League (HIL) became an extremely important tournament not just for Sardar but several Indian players who are either clutching on to their spots, or those eager to break into the team. But the focus has firmly been on Sardar.

Against UP Wizards at the Shivaji Stadium on Monday, the former India captain and the current Punjab skipper showed glimpses of his old self. Mid-way through the first quarter, he picked up the ball near the 25-yard line in UP’s half and weaved past three defenders before hitting it inches wide from the goal. It was mesmerizing, the way his body swayed and the use of his wrist to dodge the ball past the players. The kind of stuff he did routinely a couple of years back.

But age has caught on. Thirty might not seem very old but India’s playing style has changed and the emergence of young players who fly on the field has put added pressure on Sardar, who has lost a yard of pace. Consequently, his influence in the Indian team as well as with Punjab in HIL has been on the wane.

After those few moments early in the match, Sardar struggled to make an impact on the game which Punjab had to win by a huge margin to earn bonus points and stay alive in the league. Punjab won 1-0 but that wasn’t enough to keep them alive in the league.

Unable to influence the game, Sardar was increasingly getting frustrated, which resulted in him receiving a green card in the 33rd minute. This is another aspect of his game that has changed over the years. For the longest time, Sardar was the cleanest Indian player on the pitch – the one who never lost his cool, made a rash tackle or sent to the sin bin.

But in an interview recently, he admitted that whenever he ‘carried whatever is happening outside the ground to the field’, he got cards. Over the last one year, there’s been a lot going on off the field with Sardar. The year 2016 was when his place in the national team was in genuine doubt for the first time in a decade. A court case involving his ex-girlfriend made matters worse and a mediocre year went worse after he was stripped off the captaincy before the Olympics.

The time away in Germany and Holland, Sardar said, would help rejuvenate him. The HIL has been a mixed bag for him. Punjab’s Australian coach Barry Dancer calls him a ‘leader, competitor and a player who has the desire to make impact on the team.’

It’s this reputation which will ensure his place in the core probables will still stay safe. For how long, though, remains a question.

Indian Express

Last minute champs

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) scored a last minute penalty corner to beat Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) 3-2 and claim the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division League title yesterday.

THT only needed a draw to win their fourth consecutive League title, and were 2-2 until a penalty corner was awarded to KLHC with five seconds on the clock.

National No 1 drag flicker Razie Rahim made the attempt, which was deflected into goal by Anton Poul Fritz in the 60th minute to lay their hands on the RM100,000 prize money.

THT, who lost their first match in the League yesterday, received RM60,000.

The other KLHC goals were scord by Dedy Aryadi (seventh) and Nabil Fiqri (43rd).

THT's goals were scored by Jang Jong Hyun (ninth) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (51st).

Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) finished third in the Premier Division when they edged Tenaga Nasional 1-0.

Tenaga only had themselves to blame as they squandered eight penalty corners with two in the final three minutes of the match despite having former national penalty corner flicker Amin Rahim as their coach.

UniKL pocketed RM40,000 for third, as they played a good tactical and disciplined game to outwit the more experienced Tenaga side.

Najmi Farizal Jazlan was the hero for UniKL as he converted the winner off a penalty corner attempt in the 12th minute.

"It is a good win and one that I hope will boost the confidence of the players as we head for the semis," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.

"Credit must go to the players for their determination and our our defenders too played a key role"

UniKL were without defender Baljit Singh who had a sore hamstring and was rested for the semi-finals.

Also left out was Pakistani defender Aleem Bilal who was down with fever and flu.

RESULTS: Tenaga Nasional 0 UniKL 1, Kuala Lumpur HC 3 Terengganu HT 2, SSTMI 2 TNB Thunderbolts 1, Maybank 3 UiTM-KPT 1.

WEDNESDAY: Semi-finals First Leg: KLHC v Tenaga (Tun Razak, 6pm), THT v UniKL (Tun Razak, 8pm).

FRIDAY: Semi-finals Second Leg: UniKL v THT (Tun Razak, 6pm), Tenaga v KLHC (Tun Razak, 8pm).


             P  W  D L  F  A  Pts
KLHC         14 11 3 0  61 21 36
T'GGANU HT   14 10 3 1  73 14 33
UNIKL        14 8  2 4  36 19 26
TENAGA       14 7  4 3  45 20 25
MAYBANK      14 6  1 7  32 39 19
THUNDERBOLTS 14 4  1 9  24 44 13
SSTMI        14 1  2 11  9 69 5
UITM-KPT     14 0  2 12 16 70 2

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Confident KLHC eyeing a fifth double after claiming Premier Division crown

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly-crowned Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) have got their swagger back – and are now eyeing a Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) double.

Having played the bridesmaid’s role for three years to Terengganu, KLHC finally ended the jinx when they beat the east coast side 3-2 on Sunday to regain the Premier Division title.

That has boosted their confidence and KLHC have set their sights on lifting the overall title as well – the TNB Cup.

KLHC are the only team to have four consecutive double in the MHL – from 2010 to 2013.

Terengganu have achieved the double three times – from 2014-2016 – and were hoping to match KLHC’s feat this year.

KLHC coach Harun Al Rashid said that it was a big relief for all in the team when they regained the Premier Division title.

“A big burden has been lifted from our heads. For three years we had no answer to Terengganu’s dominance. This time, we planned well and the players showed they were determined not to fail as well.

“It wasn’t easy, but we had faith in our players.

“This is a win to savour ... now we want to finish the job by taking the overall title as well,” said Harun.

In the TNB Cup draw, KLHC will meet fourth-placed Tenaga Nasional, while Terengganu will take on third-placed Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).

The first leg will be played today and the return leg on Friday.

And Harun has told his men to be wary of Tenaga.

“Tenaga have had good results against us ... we need to be wary of them. We need to be at our best in both legs,” he said.

In the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Knockout Trophy tournament, KLHC had to fight back from a two-goal deficit to beat Tenaga 3-2 in the last-16.

In the preliminary rounds of the Premier Division, KLHC drew 2-2 and 3-3 with Tenaga.

Although another tough fight is on the cards, don’t bet against KLHC pulling off a fifth double in the MHL.

The Star of Malaysia

German Lissek appointed as consultant for SEA Games

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have hired German Paul Lissek as a consultant for their men and women’s indoor hockey teams preparing for the SEA Games in August.

The MHC have also roped in former player Kevin Lim (pic) to join the men’s team as consultant-cum-player.

Lissek, a former Germany and Malaysian coach, has wide experience in the indoor game and he will help both the men and women’s teams.

Lissek recently ended a four-year coaching stint with South Korea and is back here.

Kevin, who lives in Germany, has played indoor hockey before and is well-versed in the game.

MHC vice-president and coaching committee chairman Datuk Ow Soon Kooi believes that Lissek and Kevin would provide expert help for the teams.

“We are developing the indoor teams and the women’s side have started training at an indoor court in Klang. The men will start once the MHL ends next week.

“We have the teams’ structures in place .. and also identified players for the teams.

“The problem we face is the lack of training facilities ... that’s why we train in Klang,” he said after the MHC exco meeting.

Indoor hockey is being contested in the SEA Games for first time.

The Star of Malaysia

Bann advance league and cup double hopes in Ireland

Banbridge made a major statement of intent in the Irish EY Hockey League as they thumped long time rivals Monkstown 5-1 at the Merrion Fleet Arena, further demonstrating why they are the fancied side for silverware.

It eked out a two-point lead at the top of the table ahead of surprise package Three Rock Rovers who were 3-1 winners over reigning champions Lisnagarvey.

For Bann, they led at the break thanks to a pair of Eugene Magee strikes as he continues to enjoy his more advanced role in the line-up. Matthew Bell added a penalty stroke to put them all but out of sight. Davy Carson got one back for Town but further efforts from Jonny McKee and Dane Ward sealed an emphatic win.

They added to a perfect weekend on Sunday when they advanced to the final of the Irish Senior Cup - hockey's oldest club competition in the world - with a 4-0 win over Corinthian with Bell scoring twice with McKee and Magee adding to their totals.

Monkstown will meet them in the final; they took some of their frustrations out on UCD in a 6-1 win, scoring three times in the first 10 minutes to set up the result. That Irish Senior Cup final will be played on April 1 and brings with it a qualification place to the EY Champions Trophy playoffs.

For Ireland's other EHL side Lisnagarvey, they struggled in the absence of Timmy Cockram and Michael Robson against a young Three Rock side for whom all three of their goals came from teenagers - Rob McCollum, Conor Empey and Mark Samuel. Garvey drop to third place with Cork C of I in fourth while Monkstown are in fifth place.

Euro Hockey League media release

Dundee Wanderers promoted to Europe’s indoor Championship Division

Dundee Wanderers Europe

Dundee Wanderers flew the saltire in Europe once again, winning silver at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy in Siauliai. The success means that Wanderers have won promotion to the elite Championship Division in 2018.

In the opening match of the tournament, Wanderers rose to the occasion to record an excellent 4-2 win over East Grinstead in Pool A. Emily Dark got the Scots off to a great start, scoring from a penalty corner in the third minute of the match. Emma Lee-Smith equalised before Amy Snelle restored Wanderers’ advantage on 14 minutes. It wasn’t until the second half that Wanderers pulled away from their opponents. Vikki Bunce was on target to make it 3-1 in the 32nd minute of the match. Pilippa Chapman pulled one back for East Grinstead a couple of minutes later but Charlotte Watson put the game to bed just before full time to give the Dundonians a superb start to the tournament.

Their second encounter was another spectacular victory, defeating Lille 5-2. It was the French side who took an early lead; Jeanne Mennesson scoring in just four minutes. Vikki Bunce equalised in the 13th minute before Emily Dark struck to give the Scots the lead. Dark struck again early in the second half to put Wanderers further in front before Ruth Blaikie hit the net to make it 4-1.  Dark completed her hat-trick with just four minutes to play, and although Lille pulled one back just before full time, the match ended in resounding victory for Dundee Wanderers. It was an exceptional first day for the Scots.

Day two saw Wanderers take on Gintra Strekte Uni and it proved to be their closest match of the tournament so far. It was Wanderers who took the lead - Julie Bryce finishing well to give the Scots a 1-0 lead, which was how it remained until half time. Early in the second half Jurate Juodyte equalised for Gintra. The sides couldn’t be separated and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Wanderers’ second game of day two, against Ards Ladies HC, had a dramatic and spectacular finish. A deadly even first half, and a fiery second half, came to a climax in the very last movement of the game when Vikki Bunce struck a penalty corner to give Wanderers a fantastic 1-0 victory.

Into day three, and Wanderers’ sparkling form continued as they clocked up a great 4-1 victory over Partille SC. Wanderers took the lead through Vikki Bunce in the eighth minute of the game, before Bunce doubled their lead on the 18th minute through a penalty corner. Bunce bagged her hat-trick in the second half to make it 3-0 before Emily Dark struck to make it 4-0. A consolation goal for Partille couldn’t stop Wanderers in their tracks as they stormed to a 4-1 win, and prepared for their final game where they could win the tournament.

It was MSC Sumchanka standing in the way of a gold medal for Wanderers, and they inflicted Wanderers’ only defeat of the tournament. Yuliia Shevchenko gave Sumchanka the lead in the second minute before Kateryna Samokhodchenko doubled the lead to 2-0. Shevchenko struck again in the second half before Ruth Blaikie hit the net for Wanderers to make it 3-1. Shevchenko then completed her hat-trick before Olha Honcharenko completed the scoring with a penalty corner to make it 5-1 to Sumchanka at full time.

In the end it was silver for Dundee Wanderers who will join Sumchanka in the 2018 Championship Division – a phenomenal achievement. Carmin Dow was voted goalkeeper of the tournament to cap off a great weekend for Dundee Wanderers, and Scotland, in Europe.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Grange make up ground on Kelburne in men’s National League 1

Photo: Duncan Gray

Grange moved to within two points of Men’s National league 1 leaders Bromac Kelburne following their 4-1 win over Western Wildcats in a catch-up encounter at Auchenhowie, and they still have another game in hand.

Second placed Grange were the more purposeful side in the opening exchanges, Dominic Wild and Todd Mills both had early chances. The opener was not long delayed; Mills moved the ball on to Cammie Fraser and the Scotland player fired home a fierce low shot past Gavin Sommerville.

Chances were then created at both ends; Scott McCartney`s penalty corner drag flick was palmed over the bar by Grange goalkeeper Nathan Doherty, while Mills sent his effort directly over the bar.

Grange`s second was a gift, a Wildcats` defender lost the ball to Mills and he calmly chipped the ball over Sommerville to score.

Wildcats had a chance to pull one back when Alex Morrison found himself with space in the Grange circle but he shot wide of the target. Frank Ryan could have done better at the start of the second half, he had two close range opportunities but failed to get a shot in both times.

The contest was effectively killed off when a scramble ensued in front of the Wildcats` goal, the ball emerged to Luke Cranney and the former Western player sunk his former teammates with a powerful shot for Grange`s third.

The fourth came from Grange`s second penalty corner which Wild converted with a powerful drag flick past Sommerville.

To their credit the Wildcats stuck to their task and were rewarded when Fraser Calder scored with a clever deflection, but the final result was never in doubt.

Grove Menzieshill moved into third place in the table after a convincing 4-0 win over Watsonians.

There was only a goal between the two at the interval with Jamie Golden giving the Taysiders the advantage in the first half.

In the second half Grove Menzieshill extended their lead with strikes from Mike Ross, Ciaran Crawford and Ollie James for a solid victory.

The result leaves Watsonians in seventh position in the table, a point ahead of Western Wildcats, with bottom-placed Gordonians next on the fixtures list.

Grove Menzieshill now have 16 points, three ahead of Edinburgh University in fourth place, and the two will play each other in the next round of fixtures.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Hockey Stars Awards Ceremony: Who will take home the prizes?

2016 FIH Player, Goalkeeper, Rising Star, Coach and Umpire Award winners to be revealed this Thursday at glittering ceremony in Chandigarh, India

The wait is almost over! This coming Thursday (23rd February), the FIH, in partnership with Hockey India, will announce the winners of the Hockey Stars Awards 2016 at a prestigious ceremony in Chandigarh, India.

The Crystal Ballroom at Chandigarh’s five-star Lalit Hotel will play host to a glittering event that will celebrate the success of all nominated candidates, providing a superb opportunity to reflect on what was a truly remarkable year for hockey.

It is the first ceremony of its kind to recognise those who have made such a significant contribution to the sport and, with a huge media presence, live streaming and updates throughout via FIH channels, the event is another milestone in the ongoing drive to raise the global profile of hockey’s superstars.

In addition to announcing the male and female Umpiring Awards, the following nominees are each in with a chance winning the following global accolades:

FIH Player of the Year
Women: Alex Danson (GBR); Carla Rebecchi (ARG); Kate Richardson-Walsh (GBR); Naomi van As (NED); Stacey Michelsen (NZL).
Men: Gonzalo Peillat (ARG); John-John Dohmen (BEL); Moritz Fürste (GER); Pedro Ibarra (ARG); Tobias Hauke (GER).

FIH Goalkeeper of the Year
Women: Belen Succi (ARG); Jackie Briggs (USA); Joyce Sombroek (NED); Kristina Reynolds (GER); Maddie Hinch (GBR).
Men: David Harte (IRL); Jaap Stockmann (NED); Juan Vivaldi (ARG); Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh (IND); Vincent Vanasch (BEL).

FIH Rising Star of the Year (Players under 23)
Women: Florencia Habif (ARG); Kathryn Slattery (AUS); Lily Owsley (GBR); Maria Granatto (ARG); Nike Lorenz (GER).
Men: Arthur van Doren (BEL); Christopher Rühr (GER); Harmanpreet Singh (IND); Jorrit Croon (NED); Timm Herzbruch (GER).

FIH Coach of the Year
Women: Alyson Annan (AUS); Janneke Schopman (USA); Karen Brown (GBR).
Men: Carlos Retegui (ARG); Danny Kerry (GBR); Shane McLeod (NZL).

The ceremony will look back at the Hockey Champions Trophies, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Hockey Junior World Cups and all other key hockey events from the past year, showcasing hockey’s superstars at their best.

Hockey’s action-packed image will be evident throughout, with performances from the likes of ‘India’s Got Talent’ television stars Papai & Antara making this a truly inspirational event, befitting the first ever Hockey Stars Awards ceremony.

Those who cannot attend need not worry as the entire ceremony will be livestreamed via FIH’s YouTube channel, while all of the behind the scenes action will be shared via FIH Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

In recent weeks FIH has been running a competition through our social media channels, giving two lucky fans the chance to attend to attend the Awards in India. The prize on offer included return flights to India for the competition winner and a friend, five nights’ accommodation at the five-star Lalit Hotel, two VIP invitations to the Awards plus VIP tickets to the Coal India Hockey India League Final. We can reveal that the winner of the competition is 23-year-old hockey fan Ward Menken from the Netherlands, who will be accompanied by friend Feiko Keilholz on a trip that neither will ever forget.

Speaking about his feelings regarding the competition win, Ward said: “It came as a massive surprise to me! A friend gave me the link for the competition a few weeks ago and normally I wouldn't fill these in, but we were just sitting on a couch and I thought ‘let’s give it a go’. To be honest, I had totally forgotten about it until I received a phone call from Switzerland telling me that I had won. I thought someone was just joking with me! When the caller convinced me that it wasn’t a joke, I laughed! I had never won anything in a competition like this before so this is a new experience for me, but I think I can get used to it!”

Although the FIH Hockey Stars Awards have been presented for many years to winners across the world, this first Awards ceremony marks a key milestone. The ground-breaking event will bring hockey’s stars together in one location, providing another opportunity to feed the ever-growing broadcast and media interest in the sport.

Speaking about this, FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said: “This Awards ceremony is yet another example of hockey increasing the degree of professionalism across all levels of the sport, a key component of the FIH’s 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy.”

He continued: “These Awards are an important opportunity to generate more followers around the globe by raising the profiles of hockey’s athletes, coaches and officials. By creating hockey heroes who appeal to all sports fans, not just hockey fanatics, it is hoped that these stars will become household names as hockey’s profile continues to grow. This is essential to our strategy’s overarching goal - to make hockey a global game that inspires the next generation.”

More information about the 2016 Hockey Stars Awards is available on the brand new Hockey Stars website which can be accessed via FIH.ch. Other updates will be posted via FIH social media channels during the run up to and during the event using the hashtag #HockeyStars.

FIH site

Hockey transfers: Simba secure two players

One thing for sure is they can't afford to undermine the presence of Wananchi

By Kasozi Balikuddembe

It would come off as some sort of hyperbole but Simba club in Uganda are fancying their chances of finishing among the top two in this year's National Hockey League that is likely to start in May.

One thing for sure is they can't afford to undermine the presence of Wananchi who have developed into wonders of local hockey with the National League last year being their latest acquisition.

However, after winning the Rockets Open a week ago and securing the services of Ahmed Kateregga from Weatherhead, Andrew Lubega and Thomas Opio from Wananchi, Mohammed Ali's Simba have gathered the confidence ahead of the new season.

"I believe we have got the right people to help boost our ranks as we seek to dominate in the national league. We are ready for the top two spots" said Mohammed Ali, captain of Simba Hockey Club.

A student dominated Simba finished among the last two teams last season and to overturn this past poor showing will no doubt require more than just good signings.

The New Vision

Rockets Hockey Club rebuilding team

By Kasozi Balikuddembe

In a bid to claim a spot among Uganda's elite teams, Rockets hockey club are taking the high road to realize the feat as they invest in rebuilding the team.

They received a lot of stick following the disorganization that clouded the club for the past two seasons from poor management within to indiscipline of the players and lack of true sportsmanship;

It needs to be remembered that at the start of last season, during their first game Wilson Olum infamously got into a fight with Kampala Hockey Club players before turning against his own team mates; Isaac Oryema and custodian Kenneth Tamale after he was given matching orders.

This forced the club to suspend him for one year and he has since come up to apologize for his actions then.

The club now feels the player has redeemed himself and has been called back on the team to boost them. In a slightly related case, Kacid Ssekyewa and Samuel Enaka have come back to play for Rockets after some what a long hiatus.

"We are trying to restructure the team and hope the new players will play a huge part in our quest of surging to the top and this is an initial stage. Am also confident It is this kind of arrangement that will help us" said Dan Kyaligonza, the Rockets have in the furtherance secured two players in Aziz Abdul from Kampala Hockey Club and Lawrence Ssempijja from Simba.

After successfully organizing the second edition of the Rockets Open where Simba and Kakungulu won in the Men and Women's category respectively, Michael Nashimolo and Co are ready to focus their charges on the National Hockey League come may.

Nashimolo who is famed for his entertaining style of play will be a key figure for the Rockets who want to break away from the underdog status.

The New Vision

Crusaders hockey team nets success

The men’s hockey team has now been promoted to the premier division after winning the first division.

Duncan Ogilvie and Shaun Davenhill who ended up the team's top scorer celebrate being promoted into the KZN Premier Hockey league.

THE CRUSADERS first team recently won the first division of the KZN hockey league in South Africa. The result now means they have qualified for the KZN Premier Hockey league for the first time in the club’s history. What makes their journey that more remarkable is four years ago, the team was in the third division.

Northglen News recently caught up with captain of the squad, Duncan Ogilvie. The team won 13 out of their 14 games playd, drawing one.

“We were stoked with winning the first division. It’s a massive boost for our club, the premier division is going to be a different challenge, it will be tough but it’s something we are looking forward to at the same time. I think our team has got a good mix of youth and experience, we have some former Protea players like Shaun Davenhill, who ended up the season’s top scorer with 30 goals.

“As a new team we are looking to grow from strength to strength. What has made this victory sweeter is the fact is the club as a whole is doing well. Our ladies first team also won the second division which means they will be moving up to the first division,” he said.

North Glen News

The "home of hockey" gets a new home


Waimakariri District Mayor cuts the ribbon to officially open the hockey turf. Geoff Soper/Canterbury Hockey

New Zealand's home of hockey celebrated the opening of a brand new $2m water turf in Rangiora on Sunday.

The Hinemoa-Kaiapoi and Rangiora hockey clubs are the oldest in the country, but will call the newest turf their home in 2017.

Waimakariri District Councillor Robbie Brine, who holds the greenspace portfolio, was thrilled to see all the players of all ages from both clubs enjoying the turf.

A big group of eager juniors got first use of the Waimakariri Hockey Turf. Geoff Soper/Canterbury Hockey

It is a major asset to North Canterbury hockey but Brine said the turf has far broader community benefits.

"The people coming here to play will also be stopping to buy cups of coffee, stopping at the shops and restaurants."

With the council owning the land from the turf all the way to the golf club, Brine believes it's just the start after the council approved the inclusion of design plans for a proposed indoor court in Rangiora in the 2017/18 Annual Plan.

Phoebe Ingram testing out the new Waimakariri Hockey Turf at the official opening. Geoff Soper/Canterbury Hockey

"We approved $100,000 in the budget on Thursday for further planning on an indoor stadium," Brine said.

"Some are of the view that a stadium is not affordable but we can't afford not to [have one] with the dynamics of our district."

Brine said there is also a third turf on the books, in addition to Kendall Park and Coldstream Rd, but will depend on "which code puts up a case" for it.

Caroline Faass congratulates club mate Lou Trowbridge on scoring the first goal on the new turf. Jonathan Leask/FAIRFAX NZ

Watching the next generation of players have the first hit on the turf made it worth the wait for Rangiora Hockey Club president, Kevin Gainsford.

"Four years ago I didn't think it was ever going to happen," he said.

"It has and it was excellent to see the kids running around, having the first hit."

Hayley McKellow waits to trap the ball on a penalty corner. Jonathan Leask/FAIRFAX NZ

Both Gainsford and Hinemoa-Kaiapoi president, Caroline Faass spoke of their excitement to see their club's players out on the turf this summer, and Canterbury Hockey will also utilise the new facility.

Canterbury Hockey chief executive Rod Templeton said "the turf will be humming on the weekend" all season.

"[The turf] is a superb community asset, not just for the local hockey players but the whole Canterbury hockey community," Templeton said.

Defenders prepare to defuse a penalty corner. Jonathan Leask/FAIRFAX NZ

From a hockey standpoint, Templeton said the benefits of the turf were two-fold; "playing games and growing the game locally".

Some of the top club hockey in the district will take place during the season with spectators getting a taste from the exhibition game on Sunday featuring premier men's players.

Unfortunately, the Canterbury Cavaliers or Cats won't play any national hockey league matches at the turf, however, Templeton said it will be considered to host an international match should Canterbury Hockey be given any matches to host.

Members of the Hinemoa-Kaiapoi women's team cool off under the sprinklers. Jonathan Leask/FAIRFAX NZ

Juniors taking up the opportunity to cool off. Jonathan Leask/FAIRFAX NZ


Tickets on sale for Gryphon Women’s Hockey World League Round 2 in West Vancouver

By Shaheed Devi

With less than two months to go, tickets are now available for Gryphon Women’s Hockey World League Round 2 to be held in West Vancouver from April 1-9, 2017.

The full tournament schedule has also been confirmed and can be viewed here. Canada’s women open the competition against Mexico on April 1st at 4:30pm. All games will be played at Rutledge Field at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver, British Columbia.

While each game can be viewed – free of charge – from standing room only areas around Rutledge Field, the “All-Access Tournament Pass,” priced at $50 + service fee, guarantees fans a seat for all matches, including the tournament semi-finals and final, in the grandstand located centre pitch-side.

Only a limited number of tournament passes are available on a first-come-first-serve basis and can be purchased online immediately here.

Pass-holders will be presented with accreditation for all matches at the first match they attend. Passes – which are transferable – can be picked up by the purchaser at Will Call, which will be conveniently located at the front gate, on the West side of the field.

The Gryphon Women’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in West Vancouver is one of three World League Round 2 events taking place around the world. The top two finishers in West Vancouver will move on to one of two Hockey World League Semi-Final event where qualification spots are up for grabs for the 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup in London, England.

World League Round 2 would not be possible without continued support from the Government of Canada, which this year celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Additionally, Field Hockey Canada would like to thank the Province of British Columbia and viaSport for their generous support of this event.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Massive demand for England v Netherlands tickets

ENG v NED sold out

Over the weekend we went on sale for England v Netherlands and saw huge demand for tickets, with the event selling out within 2 hours of tickets going on sale.
It’s not surprising given the fantastic and inspirational achievements of Team GB in winning Gold in Rio – with families and kids desperate to watch their heroes play.

We are aware that a number of people weren’t able to purchase tickets for the match due to the sheer volume of demand. This is simply down to the demand versus the limited capacity of our stands, and is reflective of hockey’s appeal to its fans which is increasing every year – we’re sorry to those missing out. Individual experiences of seeing 'no availability' of tickets are consistent with the feedback ticket providers often get around high demand events, with customer baskets full of all available tickets within minutes of tickets going on sale (customers have a limited time to complete each transaction which is clearly highlighted on screen, after which seats becoming available again if the purchase isn’t completed). This is because of the volume of customers trying to buy at the same time.

We are of course very keen to ensure as many people can come to our events as possible to be inspired by the team, so we are looking into ways to expand our seating capacity, or put on additional fixtures in future, in response to the demand we are seeing for tickets.

There is a priority access window for a limited number of tickets which rewards past international event purchasers – who are incredibly important to us. Those tickets also sold out within hours and we ensure that a large proportion of tickets are available for general sale so that new spectators can come to watch.

Priority access will also be in play for World Cup 2018 tickets which go on sale soon, and which we’re expecting similar demand for – the World Cup will be the biggest hockey event ever hosted in the UK. Purchasing Hockey World League tickets is a good example of how you could gain access to the priority window, after which there will be access to tickets for the general public.

Our premium event hospitality also offers an opportunity to watch the games and is great for families, offering a chance to meet the players and a really memorable day out. While this has also sold out for Eng v Ned, we can take advance enquiries for events at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01628 8897522.

This is a brilliant time for our sport and while some people have been left disappointed in this instance, it is fantastic to see such interest and we’ll do all we can to embrace this as hockey continues on an upward curve.

England Hockey Board Media release

Vantage Hawke’s Bay Festival back for 2017

Hockey New Zealand and HBSEEC are excited to announce the return of the Vantage Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey this year.

Vantage Windows & Doors, who are the naming rights partner of the Vantage Black Sticks, have also extended their support for hockey as naming rights sponsor for the festival.

This will be the fourth year of the successful event which runs from 31st March – 9th April at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings and Park Island in Napier.

The 2017 Festival features 24 teams playing 76 games over 10 days, including the elite Hawke’s Bay Cup which sees the Vantage Black Sticks Women (ranked fifth in the world) go to battle in a four nations against Australia (4th), USA (6th) and Japan (11th).

Hockey New Zealand CEO Ian Francis said it was exciting to once again have some of the world’s best women’s teams take to the turf in Hawke’s Bay.

“It’s exciting to have this iconic international festival back this year. It’s a tremendous event run by great people and we are looking forward to plenty of top class hockey,” he said.

“Vantage is a very strong New Zealand brand and to have their support extended even further into hockey is fantastic.”

APL CEO Craig Vincent was delighted to extend their partnership deeper into the sport of hockey.

“We are extremely proud of our connection with the Vantage Black Sticks and hockey around the country, and look forward to another great event.”

Festival Event Director David Nancarrow is looking forward to another action packed Festival in the Hawke’s Bay.

“It’s fantastic to once again be welcoming back to Hawke’s Bay some of the top women’s hockey teams in the world to go up against our very own Vantage Black Sticks on home turf.

“In addition, this year sees an even stronger line up of teams competing in the Furnware Cup, it’s great to be able to provide an opportunity for these girls to play at a high level and to have the opportunity to witness elite international hockey at the same time.”

As part of the Festival, the Hockey New Zealand Affiliates Tournament sees the addition of the NZ Universities teams as well as the NZ Indians to compete alongside NZ Maori, Hawke’s Bay, Poverty Bay and the National Senior Tournament XI.

The Furnware Cup is back with a number of the top ranked girls schools from around the North Island participating in Diocesan Auckland, Iona College, Napier GHS, Palmerston North GHS, Hamilton GHS, Woodford House, Havelock North HS and Gisborne GHS.

Tickets will be available to the general public online from 9am this Wednesday or through the Festival of Hockey website (www.hockeyfestival.nz)

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Rio, six months after

Sarah Juggins

Eduardo Leonardo   

There is a public debate over the abandonment of Olympic facilities in Rio but, despite some rocky months, one man is convinced that hockey’s legacy is a step closer to being achieved.

"One of the most amazing things about living in Europe is the time schedule. You turn up for a train a few seconds late and it has gone. In South America we would find that crazy."

Eduardo Leonardo could be described as the face of the Rio hockey legacy. From the first moment he discovered he had been appointed as Hockey Venue Supervisor at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007, until the final whistle blew at the end of the last game of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Eduardo has been leading, cajoling and pushing a hockey revolution in Brazil. Now he works at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) office in Lausanne as a Sport Manager, running international events across the globe. “At 38, I have just seen snow for the first time,” says Eduardo, and he is clearly relishing both the new role and the new environment, but, he says with a smile, his heart will always be with Brazil.

The past few years have been a whirlwind for the quietly-spoken Brazilian. He moved from working within football – the sport that is synonymous with his homeland – to hockey, a sport that, until the Olympics, most Brazilians thought was only played on ice. He became High Performance Manager to both the men's and women's national teams and, a short while later in 2010, he was invited to take on the mantle of chief executive officer for the Brazilian Hockey Federation.

The aim was to get the national teams to a point where one or both could compete at the home Olympics in Rio in 2016. For a nation where both the men's and women's teams were ranked in the low 40s in the FIH world rankings this was going to be some challenge.

It was a challenge that Eduardo took up with relish: "In 2007, I didn't know hockey very well but I got to know people within the sport very quickly. We realized we had to introduce an element of professionalism into the sport. Of course we couldn't pay our players to be professionals but we had to introduce an element of professionalism into their lifestyles."

This meant high quality, regular training but it also meant a change in lifestyle. The players were taught how to be elite athletes with the accompanying values and beliefs.

And it wasn't just the mindset of the players that Eduardo needed to change. For hockey to be a successful sport at Rio 2016 it had to hit two other audiences – the visiting fans and the millions watching around the world. This meant providing top facilities and creating a great experience that would draw in the spectators even if they were not already hockey fans.

Eduardo applied for, and was appointed, as Sport Manager for hockey at the Rio Olympics. He took up his role in 2012 and spent much of that year shadowing his counterpart at the London Olympics. From 2012 to 2014 his time was split between preparation for the Rio Olympics (10 per cent) and running the Brazilian Hockey Federation (90 percent). From 2014 to 2016, the Olympics became the focus of every waking hour.

"Being sport manager was more than being a person that runs the competition,” says Eduardo. "I was very involved in all the buildup, mainly because no-one knows hockey very well in Brazil, so you need to teach them and explain the culture of the sport. I had 12 paid staff and 200 volunteers: these people needed to know everything about hockey players, for example what they like to eat, how they like to arrive at the venue, the whole culture of being a hockey player. It was the same for the officials, they have ways of doing things and certain requirements to do their job effectively. I needed to drum into my team how to think like a hockey player."

Much of the role as Sport Manager is about building relationships and, for Eduardo, one of the most important sources of support came from the FIH events team. "Establishing a good relationship between the local organizing committee and the FIH is essential for a successful tournament," he says, "but equally important is your own team. You must find the right people to work with you. I have learnt that these are not always the most expensive people, but they are the right people. The most important thing is to be confident in this person; even if they do not know everything, they will do what you are requesting and they will deliver the best that they can."

A test event in December 2015 went well and allowed Eduardo and his team to address any issues. By the time August 2016 rolled around, the team was ready for their moment in the sun and, with millions tuning in around the globe, the event was a huge success.

But, with millions of pounds from the public purse being invested into the Olympics, the question of legacy will always arise. A dispute over who would pay for the upkeep of the pitch has left the Deodoro Stadium unused and looking increasingly like another Olympic white elephant. For the former CEO of the Brazilian Hockey Federation this has been a frustration, but you get the sense that it was something he felt was inevitable. "Since Rio, the Deodoro Stadium closed because there are still discussions around who will be responsible for the upkeep and running of the venue.

"It was constructed by the Minister of Sport but the place is owned by the army and used by the Brazilian Hockey Federation, so we have three different stakeholders involved in the negotiations. In the past, the Ministry paid for the infrastructure, the army supplied security and the BHF paid for running events. the three organizations have been discussing the best way to drive things forward but now they have come to a compromise and in the next month the pitch will be open again for competition, training and for schools to use."

Thus, for the immediate future, it seems as if the hockey legacy in the shape of the Deodoro Stadium will continue, although Eduardo concedes that the financial arrangements could throw up problems further down the line: "There is always the danger that the agreement will change. There might be a new general who says he wants to do something different so there might always be the need for negotiations to ensure that the Deodoro stays open."

One factor that may help keep hockey at the Deodoro is the weight of public opinion. "There is a lot of public pressure for the Deodoro to be used," says Eduardo. "There are a lot of examples around the world of Olympic venues lying empty, part of our bid was always about having a legacy. Really it is simply a case of open it and use it."

While the iconic stadium has been having its issues, the pitches constructed at the neighboring Rio University pitches have been used non-stop. The university has a specialist hockey program, which is developing coaches and players and local schools turn up in numbers to use the facilities. The national teams also train at the venue. Eduardo says he visited in December and was delighted to see just how busy the venue was. "For me, that shows that the legacy is working."

Certainly the appetite for hockey has grown in Brazil in recent years. There are two or three new clubs and the numbers of people playing hockey in Brazil has risen to between 3-4,000 people. Currently hockey is played in five main areas, with the most hockey-loving cities being Rio, Sao Paulo, Florianopolis, Curitiba and Porto Alegre. Much of this is due to the 'Olympic effect'. "The sport during the competition really took off," says Eduardo. "Many of the volunteers took up the sport. That is the benefit of watching matches. Here in Brazil people only get to see hockey at the Olympics or Pan American Games because it is not televised the rest of the time. It is only when they see it that they see how exciting it is, and how it is not that dangerous. When it is not on television, they think it is the same as ice hockey."

Eduardo expects another boom in popularity with the re-opening of the Deodoro. As an area with a high percentage of young people, an opportunity to play sport is always seized upon and, with the university producing a raft of new coaches, the time is ripe for more growth in the sport. The presence of the national teams training at the pitch and many of the athletes currently studying at the university provides yet another draw for the hockey stars of the future.

As part of its support for hockey in Brazil, FIH donated sticks and balls to the BHF, which makes playing the game cheap for the youngsters – many of who come from poorer areas.

With the memory of the Olympics fading, talk will continue about the legacy of 2016, but for Eduardo, the hockey legacy is strong. He is confident that Deodoro will continue as a national hockey center and that Brazil will continue to embrace the sport. In fact, an amazing amount has happened in a short time. When he joined the hockey organization, the idea that Brazil would be in a position to compete at the Olympics was verging on the fanciful. That they qualified via the Pan Am Games was a real testament to the work done in a short space of time. Now Brazil continues to move up the hockey ladder.

"We have Chile in our sights," says Eduardo with a glint in his eye. "To reach the levels of Argentina is a long way down the line, but we can certainly start to compete and win against Chile. To compete at the Olympics took a plan, now we have a new long-term plan that involves changing the public's mindset towards hockey."

But there are certain things that Eduardo never wants to see change. Since moving to Europe, he has been amazed and impressed by the culture of detail and organization, which takes us back to the conversation about things running on time.

"In Europe the organization is of a level that South America will never reach. It is part of the European culture. From a South American perspective, we have this great celebratory attitude. It is more than a competition, it is like a party. That is something that sets South American hockey apart. It is something that inspires the athletes and the people. Even if you have the lowest level of delivery, you compensate with these things. That is why it is important to have competitions in different countries, each area will have its strengths and its weaknesses and we have to embrace and work with them."

Pan American Hockey Federaion media release

Scottish Hockey renews partnership with Byte Sports

Scottish Hockey is delighted to announce it has renewed its partnership with sports equipment supplier Byte Sports.

Byte Sports, Scottish Hockey’s preferred training equipment provider, has agreed to provide a range of training equipment and accessories until December 2020, including training balls, bibs, knee pads and gloves used for performance training purposes.

In support of the excellent youth talent we have in Scotland, Byte will continue to sponsor and provide prizes for “Most Valuable Player” awards at our youth events on an annual basis.U18 Indoor inter district MVP

Support will also be given to Scottish Hockey by the organisation in creating and sourcing Scottish Hockey merchandise.

A key partner for Scottish Hockey, Byte Sports has been a supporter of the organisation for many years, and everyone at Scottish Hockey is looking forward to continuing to grow the relationship.

Scottish Hockey CEO David Sweetman said, “I’m delighted that Scottish Hockey continues to have the support of Byte Sports. For many years Byte has backed Scottish Hockey and provided great depth of knowledge and expertise in hockey equipment. I very much look forward to working together with Byte in the coming years and growing our relationship further.”

Billy McPherson, Byte Sports’ Managing Director, said, "I am delighted to extend our partnership with Scottish hockey and look forward to working closely with all the national coaches.

“We are passionate about hockey in Scotland and our aim is to develop products that will assist the performance of players at all levels within the sport."

For more information on Byte Sports and their products and services please visit the Byte Sports website.

Byte sticks

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Walter Dowdall - RIP

Hockey Ireland have today learned of the sad passing of Walter Dowdall, a stalwart of Bangor Hockey Club and a key member of the hockey community in Ulster and Ireland.

Walter was a Past President of the Ulster Branch (1972/73) and also Past President of the Irish Hockey Union (1976/77) and was awarded the Merit Badge of the Union back in 1976.

A great supporter of the Junior Interprovincials over many years, Walter was a true gentleman and will be sadly missed by wife Eileen, his entire family circle and all in the Ulster and Irish Hockey circle.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Fieldhockey.com uses cookies to assist with navigating between pages. Please leave the site if you disagree with this policy.
Copyright remains with the credited source or author