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News for 20 March 2017

All the news for Monday 20 March 2017

Ireland win Men’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in Belfast

Green Machine defeat France in final shoot-out after late strike from Shane O’Donoghue

Ireland are the winners of the Men’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in Belfast after overcoming a stern challenge from France to triumph in a shoot-out on a dramatic final day on Sunday (19 March).

Lower-ranked France (FIH Hero World Ranking: 17), who recorded five successive victories on route to the final, took the lead against Ireland (WR: 10) just before half time thanks to a penalty corner from team captain Victor Charlet.

It was an advantage that the French held until eight minutes from the end of the contest when a penalty corner from Shane O’Donoghue locked up the score at 1-1 and sent the match into a shoot-out. From there, Conor Harte, Eugene Magee, Lee Cole and Johnny McKee all scored while Ireland goalkeeper David Harte made a pair of saves to seal the competition victory. 

Both Ireland and France, who impressed greatly in Belfast, will now move forward to the Semi-Final stage of the Hockey World League and will feel rightly optimistic about their own World Cup qualification hopes. 

Scotland (WR: 27) sealed third place in the competition with a resounding 4-0 win over Wales (WR: 34). Wei Adams scored two penalty corners in the contest with Gavin Byers and Ben Cosgrove also on target. Scotland must now wait until the completion of all the men’s Round 2 events before knowing if they are one of the two highest ranked of the three third placed finishers, something which would be enough for a ticket to the Semi-Final phase of the Hockey World League.

Earlier in the day, a double strike from goal-machine Michael Körper helped Austria (WR: 21) to a sixth-place finish courtesy of a narrow 2-1 win over Poland (WR: 19). Körper’s two efforts ensured that he finished top of the scoring charts with eight goals at the competition, one more than Scotland’s Alan Forsyth with seven. 

In the 7-8 classification match, Thomas Keenan scored two penalty corners as Italy (WR: 35) claimed seventh place with a 4-2 win against Ukraine (WR: 24) who finished the competition in eighth.

Like all the Round 2 events, the competition in Belfast featured a clash between teams that came through the first phase of the competition against sides that were automatically given a bye through to Round 2 due to their higher placement in the FIH Hero World Rankings. The highest ranked teams will enter the competition at the Semi-Final stage of the Hockey World League.

The top two finishers from the men’s Round 2 events in Dhaka (4-12 Mar 2017), Belfast (11-19 Mar 2017) and Tacarigua, (25 Mar-2 Apr 2017) are certain to qualify for the Semi-Finals, being joined in the World Cup qualifier phase by the two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from those three events. Malaysia and China took the top two places at the event in Dhaka, with Egypt (FIH Hero World Ranking: 20) finishing in third place.

More information about the tournament in Belfast can be found on the official competition pages by clicking here and on FIH’s social media channels by using the #HWL2017 hashtag.

Final Standings
1: Ireland
2: France
3: Scotland
4: Wales
5: Austria
6: Poland
7: Italy
8: Ukraine

FIH site

Green Machine Crowned World League 2 Champions

Ireland added Hockey World League Round 2 gold on Sunday evening to their all-important ticket to the next phase of the competition with a 4-2 shoot-out win over France at Stormont. While David Harte picked up GK of the Tournament and Jonny McKee was named Best Young Player of the Tournament.

The primary objective for the week was achieved on Saturday with a hugely impressive 3-1 win over Wales, ensuring Ireland finished in the top three with goals from Shane O’Donoghue, Ben Walker and the irrepressible Neal Glassey.

That ensures they go forward to World League Round 3 where the 2018 World Cup places will be decided.And they followed up with the tournament win, putting another feather in the cap of a very young side.

The first half of the final was a subdued affair with flowing hockey at a premium. France earned a couple of penalty corners that David Harte kept out while his counterpart Arthur Thieffry did likewise, keeping out shots from Shane O’Donoghue and Jonny McKee.

With the half petering out, France won their third corner and Victor Charlet rammed home the opening goal with a low bullet down the middle.

The third quarter provided more of the same before Ireland stirred in a big way in the closing quarter, rattling the French who were reduced to nine men for various indiscretions.

During that time, Gormley won Ireland’s only corner which Shane O’Donoghue nailed for 1-1 with eight minutes to go. Jonny McKee and Lee Cole then both stung the palms of Arthut Thieffry in a rousing finale.

In the shoot-out Conor Harte, Eugene Magee, Cole and McKee all scored while David Harte’s pair of saves ensured victory.

For coach Craig Fulton, it was hugely satisfying in seeing a much-changed squad prevail with eight tournament debutants while he had to cope with the injuries to John Jermyn and Chris Cargo late in the day.It meant numerous new faces but coach Craig Fulton was quick to praise the squad for building game on game to produce ever-improved performances.

“They are the future of Irish hockey,” Fulton said of the new faces. “We want to blood them and there’s no better place than a tournament like this with the quarters, semis and final. They now have that experience.

“We played five games with 15 guys [due to the injuries]; that’s not normal for a squad. The team environment has been building and is something that is very strong with these guys.

“Anyone coming into the group feels it. We have a world class staff; there’s a lot of things going on behind the scenes that make this team tick and a huge amount of work.”

Fulton added that the discipline of his side was crucial, keeping their heads while France lost theirs in the final quarter: “Our discipline has been very good this tournament and is something we worked on to improve for key moments. It worked today.

“It was a good battle; France played really well, controlled the ball nicely but I knew if we could get our press going, we could put pressure on them.

“It was a tough game. The last 20 minutes, the intensity started to liven up. We knew we would create something and the last quarter turned in our favour when they got the two green cards and the yellow which opened the gate for us.”

The tournament also featured a new captain with Jonathan Bell shining whilst donning the armband.

Looking back on the competition, he said that taking on the new role was made easy by the players around him.

“I really enjoyed it. The guys aren’t difficult to lead because they are all self-motivated and self-driven guys. It’s just about creating an environment and a culture for the young guys to thrive.

“Ireland are ranked 10th in the world now and that brings expectation. You may have younger players coming in but you are playing for the Irish men’s team which brings a level of performance and we got that. Regardless of the age group, you expect a performance from an Irish senior men’s team and that’s what we got from them.”

Ireland will next play at World League Round 3 in South Africa in July before contesting the European Championships in August in Amsterdam.

Hockey World League 2 final
Ireland 1 (S O’Donoghue)
France 1 (V Charlet), Ireland win shoot-out 4-2

Ireland: D Harte, J Bell, M Bell, R Gormley, E Magee, N Glassey, S O’Donoghue, J McKee, P Gleghorne, C Harte, J Duncan

Subs: B Walker, M Nelson, S Murray, L Cole, J Wright

France: A Thieffry, P van Straaten, J-L Kieffer, T Genestet, H Genestet, S Martin-Brisac, V Lockwood, C Masson, G Deront, J-B Forgues, V Charlet

Subs: C Peters-Deutz, B Rogeau, N Dumont, G Baumgarten, F Goyet, E Tynevez, C Saunier

Third place playoff:

Scotland 4 (W Adams 2, G Byers, B Cosgrove)
Wales 0

A series of Scotland penalty corners saw them get the better of their Celtic rivals Wales 4-0 to claim third place for their efforts from Hockey World League Round 2 in Belfast.

Wei Adams was the man to power home a double as they looked the side in the box seat for the vast majority of the tie though they took their time to fully kill off the result.

Alan Forsyth had a couple of near misses in the opening quarter with David Kettle proving his nemesis on a number of occasions. They did take the lead in the 23rd minute when a powerful, low Adams drag-flick that broke the Welsh defences from their fourth corner.

It stayed 1-0 until half-time and they continued to win corners in the second half. Lewis Prosser made a superb block to deny Gavin Byers from close range while Forsyth was blocked again.

The striker, though, did play a big role in extending the lead in the 42nd minute from yet another corner, beating two runners before the ball broke to Byers to flick into an open goal.

Wales pushed on and penned Scotland back for the early stages of the final quarter but found precious little space to work with in a crowded circle. William Marshall saved their best chance at the left post, deflecting away Gareth Furlong’s corner drag.

Scotland were always dangerous on the counter in this phase and when they won another corner, Adams killed off the tie with another drag-flick. Ben Cosgrove added an extra gloss into an empty net after Wales withdrew their goalkeeper, leading to the 4-0 result.

5th-8th Place Matches:

Austria held off a concerted Poland fightback late in the game to claim fifth place in Stormont, prevailing 2-1 thanks to two goals from Michael Korper.

The Harvestehuder striker scored his seventh goal of the tournament in the third minute, sliding in at the back post. Two goals followed in the space of the 18th minute with Mateusz Hulboj equalising for Poland only for Korper to reply immediately for 2-1.

Both sides had their chances to add their totals with goalkeeper Mateusz Popiolkowski saving well from Benjamin Stanzl while Poland saw a couple of chances slip by.

Austria, though, were able to run down the last few minutes in their own corner to secure their third win of the competition and fifth place.

Italy finished seventh as they got the best of an early barrage of goals against Ukraine to run out 4-2 winners. Andrii Koshelenko gave Ukraine an early lead from a corner before Thomas Keenan levelled in the same minute.

Keenan added his fourth goal of the tournament for 2-1 only for Maksym Onofriiuk to tie things again, once again from a corner. Gonzalo Ursone’s field goal – the only one of the day – made it 3-2 in the 15th minute. Julien Dallons added a fourth Italian goal in the 23rd minute to complete the scoring. Italy held more of the play from there on but did not require further goals to augment their win.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Ireland win Hockey World League Round 2 final

They overcame France in the decider

Ireland's Neal Glassey celebrates Matthew Nelson's goal in their pool fixture ©INPHO/Presseye/Rowland White

Ireland have come out on top in World Hockey League Round 2 final in Belfast.

The home side were up against France in the decider and Ireland found themselves 1-0 down to a Victor Charlet goal from a penalty corner on 30 minutes.

But Shane O'Donoghue equalised in the same way on 62 minutes, with the game going to a shootout.

In the end Craig Fulton's side won the shootout 4-2 to take victory, with Conor Harte, Eugene Magee, Lee Cole and John McKee scoring their efforts to give Ireland the win.

Scotland beat Wales 4-0 in the third-fourth place match.

It's been a positive unbeaten showing for Ireland over the past week as they won all three pool games against Ukraine, Austria and Italy.

The Irish team then followed that up with a 5-1 quarter final win over Poland to set up a semi final against Wales.

Fulton's side prevailed 3-1 from that encounter to setup the finale with France.

News Talk

Scotland defeat Wales to finish third in World League 2 Belfast

Scotland Men Seniors

Scotland beat Wales 4-0 to claim third spot in Hockey World League 2 in Belfast. It was a superb performance by an inspired Scots side who looked dangerous throughout the match.

Scotland were in charge from the start of the game, asking questions of the Welsh rear-guard from the push-back. The Scots were unlucky with an early penalty corner, Wei Adams’ effort was deflected clear just in front of the Welsh goal line.

A short while later and another Scottish penalty corner was charged down as the Blue Sticks went pressing for an early goal.

A third penalty corner was awarded to Scotland and this time the shot was saved low to the right post, keeping the Scots at bay.

Then from open play, some good build up down the left saw Scotland work their way close to the Welsh goal but the danger was eventually snuffed out.

Wales then went on the attack early in the second quarter and a solid save by Tommy Alexander at his near post denied Wales the lead.

Scotland came close from yet another penalty corner, Adams’ effort was deflected over the bar by the Welsh charge.

Adams wouldn’t be denied for long from penalty corners however, and Scotland opened the scoring when Adams sent a drag flick into the right corner of the net to make it 1-0. It was deserved lead for the Scots who had the bulk of possession and attacking opportunities.

Almost instantly Alan Forsyth nearly doubled Scotland’s advantage; he went twisting and turning in the D but he couldn’t get his final effort on target.

On the cusp of half time Adams nearly converted another drag flick but was denied by an excellent diving save low to the right.

Alan Forsyth then made a great run into the Welsh D, he tried to scoop the ball over the advancing goalkeeper but the effort was blocked and Wales survived.

Forsyth came close again when he smashed a penalty corner towards the bottom right corner. It resulted in another penalty corner for the Scots. It was set up again for Forsyth but rather than smash it goal ward he twirled his way towards goal, and a couple of quick passes later the ball found Gavin Byers free at the far post to finish. 2-0.

Wales went seeking for a goal and came close when a penalty corner was deflected wide on the line by a combination of Alexander and Willie Marshall.

Then, up the other end of the pitch, Adams sent another penalty corner drag flick into the roof of the net to make it 3-0 for Scotland. A great finish to take the game out of reach.

Wales went to playing a kicking back following the third goal and it allowed the Scots in for a fourth. Ben Cosgrove took the ball into the D, created a good angle, and slotted the ball home to put the icing on the cake.

The game finished with the Scots recording a sensational victory to claim third spot in Hockey World League 2 in Belfast.

Scotland Head Coach Derek Forsyth said, “I’m really pleased, the players were fantastic today and it’s a great way to finish the tournament. We dominated for the majority of the game and it was a great team performance.

“Finishing third is a good achievement for a young squad. It’s great to see Ben Cosgrove scoring at his first senior tournament and Tommy Alexander keeping a clean sheet. As a squad we were excellent.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Prepared for action in Tacarigua

FIH World League R2 - Tacarigua - March 25 to April 2

Sarah Juggins

The eyes of the hockey world will turn to the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago at the end of March as the second of three men’s Hockey World League (HWL) Round Two events bursts into action.

“Action-packed, welcoming and with an electric festival atmosphere,” is the expectation of Reyah Richardson, non-executive chair of the Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board (TTHB), as she talks about the event and her hopes for hockey on the island.

For Trinidad and Tobago, hosting the event is a big deal. The team is ranked 33rd in the world but has ambitions to move up the rankings and make their mark on the international hockey scene. A third place finish at the 2013 Pan American Cup, a first-ever win at the 2014 Commonwealth Games [a 4-2 win over higher-ranked Malaysia] and a top of the table finish in Round One of the 2015 HWL season, all serve to demonstrate that this is a team who knows how to win.

However, the team that went from that victorious Round One win in 2015 was well out of its depth in Round  Two and ended the tournament in bottom place with no wins. Legendary player and coach, and T&T’s most capped player, Kwan Browne, says the team was just too inexperienced that time around. “We had nine under 21 players and the physicality of the tournament was too much for them. It's the fourth quarter where we were always really punished.”

Experience will not be such an issue this time around, with Browne (302 caps), captain Darren Cowie (128), Akim Toussaint (172), Mickel Pierre (119) and goalkeeper Andrey Rocke (117) all appearing on the team sheet for Tacarigua.

However, T&T does remain at a serious disadvantage compared to many of its HWL Round Two rivals when it comes to increasing the depth of quality in the squad. A small population base anyway is further compromised when you realise that hockey still remains largely under the public radar. As one young player, Jordan Reynos pointed out just before he set off to last year’s Junior Pan American Championships: “In Trinidad and Tobago, anybody that plays national hockey does so because we have a love for the game, we do not get paid, so the incentive definitely comes through a love for the game”.

“I have always been proud to hoist my national colours and represent my people but hockey is not a sport that is well recognised in the country. When I speak to people about hockey, the first thing many will say is ‘I didn’t know we had ice hockey in Trinidad’.”

But of course, hosting this tournament is precisely what the sport needs to increase its visibility on the island. Richardson says: “Tacarigua, where the hockey facility is located, is a residential community. So, to the local community, it provides the opportunity for residents to come out and view international teams as they play on local soil.”

The event also gives the local hockey community the chance to get involved in their sport. Whether as volunteers, concessionaires or spectators, hosting the event on their own doorstep affords the local clubs an opportunity to watch top class, international hockey; interact with participants and fans from other countries; and for some, there will be the opportunity to raise funds for local hockey projects.

The inspirational impact of hosting the event is another key factor, says Richardson: “This tournament not only increases the visibility of the sport in Trinidad & Tobago, but such a tournament, with the level of skill and tactics expected to be displayed, would be very attractive to any young boy or girl interested in playing the sport of field hockey”.

“Each time T&T hosts a tournament, young aspiring players are inspired to improve, compete and make their mark on the international level, and the TTHB expects this tournament to be no different in motivating the next generation of hockey players.”

As the tournament approaches, with the home side facing a tough encounter against Russia, it is not just the players who will be nervous. Hosting an international event is always a challenge, with a variety of stakeholders to be managed and integrated. In this case, the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the PAHF and the TTHB, as well as the local organisers, will all have responsibilities to ensure that the event passes successfully. Richardson is an experienced official who understands just how important it is for all parties involved to work together.

“This is an FIH tournament being held in the Pan American Region. The FIH is ultimately in charge of the event, and is working with the TTHB to ensure that the preparations for the tournament are on track. PAHF’s role in this event will be reporting on the performance of the PAHF teams –Barbados, Canada, Chile, USA and Trinidad & Tobago.”

For Richardson, early preparations are key to success, along with hard work and a committed team of organisers and workers. “A strong, experienced, cross-functional organising committee is a must. There will be stumbling blocks along the preparation journey but the ability of all the people involved in the planning and organisation of the event to be resilient and tenacious permits for smooth sailing in the rough waters”.

“As with any event, there are challenges encountered that have to be properly managed so as to obtain a desirous end result, which is a quality, incident-free event that all participants - officials, participants and the fans – thoroughly enjoyed.”

With the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago, other government ministries and departments, and corporate Trinidad and Tobago all signed up as supporters of the event, TTHB is hopeful that the forthcoming competition will be a resounding success. One thing that will signify this more than anything is a full stadium.

Again, Richardson reports, the organising committee has been working hard in the lead-up to the competition to ensure that people are both aware and enthused about HWLR2. “We’ve been using the traditional forms of advertising, for example the use of physical and digital billboards; distribution of flyers in the community and in schools; media – print and electronic; appearances on TV and radio programs; along with the use of the social media platform – Facebook and Instagram, for example.”

So, it is all coming together in Tacarigua. The pitch, the match schedule, the media, the teams – everything is ready for the opening day of competition. The two factors that Richardson and her team cannot control are the fans and the results. But, she says, one can influence the other: “The T&T team and coaching staff have been working diligently and are excited about putting on a great show and being successful in front of the home crowd. For a team playing at home, the spectators, the fans and the families present are the twelfth player – urging and driving the team to work harder and strive for higher levels. The fans will give that extra push and boost of confidence that will motivate the guys. They are aiming for a top half finish and a move up the world rankings.”

HWLR2 starts on 25 March, the opening game sees top ranked team for this tournament Canada (World Ranking: 11) take on USA (WR: 29), followed by Chile (WR: 26) versus lowest ranked team Barbados (WR: 49). Then it is a clash between two teams unfamiliar to many PAHF fans, as Japan (WR: 16) take on Switzerland (WR: 30). The final match of day one, sees the home nation Trinidad & Tobago begin their campaign against Russia (WR: 22).

Pan American Hockey Federaion media release

Abubakr Mahmood's Hat Trick in Pakistan's  4-2 win over New Zealand in 3rd Hockey Test

This is young Abubakr Mahmood's first selection with Pakistan's senior national team.

The Faisalabad boy was his team's hero, slamming a penalty corner hat trick in Pakistan's well deserved 4-2 win over New Zealand, ranked six places higher, in the third test at Wellington's National Hockey Stadium.

The 5 match series stands at 1-1.

The match began with New Zealand entering Pakistan's circle a few times. Off a fierce tomahawk, Pakistani goal keeper Amjad made an exceptional save with out stretched right hand.

Thereafter, Pakistan had better of the exchanges for most of the first half. They combined well and repeatedly entered opponents' 23 metre area and chances arrived.Off the second penalty corner, captain Haseem Khan put his side ahead with a well executed indirect drill.

Half Time: Pakistan 1, New Zealand 0

Just minutes into the second half, Pakistan doubled the advantage via another penalty corner. Abubakr's superb low drag flick found the right corner of the goal. The third goal in the 35th minute off the fifth PC was the replica of the previous one as Abubakr was again spot on.

Down by three goals, the hosts applied tremendous pressure in the last 10 minutes of the third quarter. They had opportunities. A few were squandered while Amjad under the bar also had a great day. The persistence paid as off the second PC in the 45th minute, Cory Bennett sent an unstoppable flick high into the roof.

After seeing off early New Zealand pressure in the last quarter, including two PCs, the green shirts got a penalty corner of their own. Brilliant Abubakr completed his hat trick, this time off a ripper sent high to the left side of the net.
Ttrailing1-4 with just seven minutes left, black sticks continued to search for goals. After wasting another PC, they finally added another goal when Stephend Jennes sent a scorcher via an upright reverse in the last minute.

Pakistan team's show here has shown an upward graph.  After losing the first test, the green shirts gave an improved performance to draw the second game. And today, they had a convincing win.

Fourth test on Wednesday.

Final Result: Pakistan 4, New Zealand 2
Pakistan: Abubakr 3 (all PC) & Haseem Khan (PC)
New Zealand: Cory Bennett (PC) & Stephen Jennes (FG)

PHF Media release

Abu Mahmood's drag flicks help Pakistan level series against Black Sticks

Liam Hyslop

Pakistan's Abu Mahmood celebrates scoring one of his three goals against New Zealand on Monday. RAGHAVAN VENUGOPAL/PHOTOSPORT

The drag flicks of Abu Mahmood have propelled Pakistan to a series-levelling men's hockey win against New Zealand.

Mahmood scored a hat-trick in the 4-2 win in the third test at the National Hockey Stadium in Wellington on Monday night.

The series now heads to the Clareville turf in the Wairarapa for the final two matches tied at 1-1.

Blacksticks player Cameron Hayde tries to run past the Pakistani defense on Monday night. RAGHAVAN VENUGOPAL/PHOTOSPORT

While Mahmood provided the goals, it was an equalling impressive showing from Pakistan goalkeeper Amjad Ali, who made a string of impressive saves to help secure the win.

But their highlights would come in the second half, as it was Pakistan's captain, Abdul Haseem Khan, who gave his side a deserved 1-0 halftime lead, deflecting in a Mahmood flick from a penalty corner.

Aside from an Mac Wilcox reverse shot in the opening two minutes, New Zealand failed to force Ali into a save or force a penalty corner over the first 30 minutes.

Pakistan's defence was solid, marking tightly and making the Black Sticks force passes that weren't quite on.

At the other end, they looked hungry to get their first win of the series.

Aside from Khan's sixth-minute effort, they had two other good chances in the half, but lacked a definitive finish to extend their one-goal advantage.

Black Sticks captain Arun Panchia put the lacklustre first half down to experimenting with a few different strategies.

"We tried a few things different out, trying to be more aggressive with the ball and change shape a little bit more and it didn't quite work out for us in that first half.

"Pakistan were able to get a few good attacks and executed on their PCs throughout the game. It's a credit to them, they stepped up their game and we weren't quite on the pace for the first three quarters."

Pakistan put their first half wastefulness behind them early in the second half when Mahmood got his first two goals within five minutes of the restart, nailing drag flicks low and to the left of Black Sticks goalkeeper Devon Manchester.

The Black Sticks almost got themselves back into the match two minutes later, but Ali produced a great save diving to his right to deny Sam Lane.

New Zealand finally won their first penalty corner nine minutes into the second half, which Ali made another outstanding save from to deflect onto his crossbar.

The Black Sticks' next attempt went a lot better, with Cory Bennett firing high above Ali to get his side on the board 60 seconds before the end of the third quarter.

The final quarter started with New Zealand well on top, but it was that man Ali again in the thick of the action to deny Lane from another penalty corner.

Mahmood completed his hat-trick midway through the final quarter, this time going high and to the right with his drag flick.

Stephen Jenness added a consolation goal for the Black Sticks with 70 seconds to play with a quality reverse shot.

Panchia said the loss would be a good learning experience for the younger players.

"There's plenty for us to work on, but it's a five game series, we're trying to mix it up and we will in the Wairarapa."


Pakistan 4 (Abu Mahmood 3, Abdul Haseem Khan) Black Sticks 2 (Cory Bennett, Stephen Jenness). HT: 1-0.


Kookaburras announce new squad members and team for International Hockey Open in Darwin

Perth, Western Australia – National selectors for the men’s national hockey team, the Kookaburras, have today announced four new squad members, along with the team who will compete in the Darwin International Hockey Open.

Tristan Clemons (WA), Tom Wickham (SA) and Matt Willis (NSW) all make the move up to the 2017 national squad from the 2016 national development squad, alongside Josh Pollard (VIC) who recently debuted for the Kookaburras at the Trans-Tasman Trophy.

Kookaburras head coach, Colin Batch said: “After hosting an intensive super-camp with 38 athletes and now having a better idea of out playing depth, I believe we have added four athletes who will bring maturity and an extra layer of skill to the current Kookaburras line-up.

“Tristan has been a regular face at an international level over the last few years and has shown he has the talent to progress to the senior squad, Matt and Josh were both impressive at the Trans-Tasman Trophy and the International Festival of Hockey, while Tom performed well at the AHL and has shown his commitment to playing hockey for Australia.”

Along with the new squad members, the team who will take on Pakistan in a four-game test at the International Hockey Open in Darwin from March 28 until April 1 has been announced.

Among the notable inclusions, is Darwin local Jeremy Hayward, who will return home to play at the Marrara Hockey Stadium for the first time since 2012; while Kiran Arunasalam will make his international debut for the Kookaburras off the back of stellar performances for the junior national team, the Burras, at the Sultan of Johor Cup and the Junior World Cup in late 2016.

Of his selection, Hayward said: “I’m looking forward to going back to Darwin to play for my country in front of my home crowd, on the very pitch I grew up playing on. It's very exciting times!”

Batch commented: “It’s the start of the new campaign for the Kookaburras; it’s a new coaching staff, a number of new players and some players who have been around the program for a little while but need to establish themselves or re-establish themselves in the squad.

“I believe the team we have selected will be able to show Darwin just why they are ranked number 1 in the world when they take on Pakistan in the four-game test. Hopefully, giving some our younger players more international experience will also help us make our team selection for the Azlan Shah Cup and the World League semi-finals.”

The team depart for Darwin on Saturday, 25 March. Tickets for the event are available through Ntix.com.au

New 2017 Kookaburras Squad Members
Athlete (Hometown, State)

Tristan Clemons (Bunbury, WA)
Joshua Pollard (Melbourne, VIC)
Thomas Wickham (Adelaide, SA)
Matthew Willis (Victoria Park, NSW)

International Hockey Open Kookaburras Team
Athlete (Hometown, State)

Kiran Arunasalam (Doncaster East, VIC)
Joshua Beltz (Hobart, TAS)
Tristan Clemons (Bunbury, WA)
Ben Craig (Lane Cove, NSW)
Tom Craig (Lane Cove, NSW)
Matthew Dawson (Killarney Vale, NSW)
Jeremy Edwards (Hobart, TAS)
Casey Hammond (Bundoora, VIC)
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT)
Aaron Kleinschmidt (Melbourne, VIC)
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD)
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA)
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA)
Flynn Ogilvie (Wollongong, NSW)
Joshua Pollard (Melbourne, VIC)
Jacob Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)
Thomas Wickham (Adelaide, SA)
Matthew Willis (Victoria Park, NSW)

The Times of India

Talwinder stars in Rest of India's 4-1 win over PSPB

BHUBANESWAR: Forward Talwinder Singh struck twice to lead Rest of India (ROI) to a 4-1 win over Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) in an exhibition match at the Kalinga Stadium on Sunday.

ROI was led by PR Sreejesh while PSPB was captained by VR Raghunath.

Roelant Oltman's coached ROI's breakthrough came in the 34th minute after the master strategist Dutchman made key changes in the half-time break that was perfectly executed by his team. Santa Singh who scored a stunning field goal to take a much-needed 1-0 lead.

Talwinder doubled the lead with a 41st minute field goal while Ajit Kumar Pandey who was part of the Junior World Cup winning team scored in the 53th minute to take the score to a formidable 3-0.

PSPB made a late comeback with a successful penalty corner converted by Harmanpreet Singh, who is now part of the senior men's core probables for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, in the 56th minute. It was a respite for PSPB which boasts of a fine line-up featuring SV Sunil, SK Uthappa, Harjeet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, Devinder Walmiki among the others.

Rest of India scored almost immediately and showed their dominance with a 57th minute goal by Talwinder to win the match.

The Times of India

Butali Sugar Warriors subdue Western Jaguars


From left: Butali Sugar Warriors players Zack Aura, Rijsen Joost, Bernebus Odhiambo and Bran Musasia celebrate a goal during their Africa Cup of Club Championships match against Ghana Police at City Park Stadium on January 9, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

New coach of Butali Sugar Warriors Godfrey Wakachunga got his stint off to a winning start after his charges thrashed Western Jaguars 8-0 in their opening match of the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s Premier League match at City Park Stadium at the weekend.

A brace each from striker Emmanuel Simiyu and Vincent Odhiambo set the former champions on course for a comfortable win in the Saturday night encounter. Others on target were Lawrence Okubasu, Hannington Otieno, Seth Oburu and Peter Nyambura.

Wakachunga replaced former coach Cliffe Okello, who died on January 24 this year after leading Butali to back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015 before they were dethroned by Strathmore University Gladiators last year.

“The team played well and followed the system we used in training. It was a good start to the season for us. Hopefully we can build on this result going forward,” a delighted Wakachunga said.

A ruthless first half performance saw the Kisumu-based side score four goals with the attacking trio of Zack Aura, Simiyu and Lawrence Okubasu constantly terrorising the Jaguars’ defence.

It was actually Jaguars, who posed a threat early on, wasting two good chances to take the lead before they were dully punished for the misses. Four more goals followed in the second half as Butali showed their attacking depth despite the absence of forwards Frank Wanangwe and Barnabas Odhiambo (both knee injuries).

Jaguars however recovered to claim a 3-2 win over Parklands on Sunday in their second match of the weekend. Ian Baron scored the winning goal five minutes from the end to give the Kakamega-based side the much needed points.

“It was the perfect response after the awful result against Butali and we realize we need to tighten up at the back to avoid conceding many goals,” Jaguars team manager Sammy Mushiru said. In another men’s top flight encounter, United States International University of Africa (UISU-A) came from behind to beat Nakuru Club 2-1.

The visitors had taken a first half lead through Dolean Mugaisi but the students rallied in the second half to first level through Brian Kiplimo’s 56th minute field goal before Pollycarp Otieno sounded the board eight minutes from time.

Nakuru were looking for their second win of the weekend having beaten debutantes Technical University of Kenya (TUK) 4-1 on Saturday. In the women’s Premier League, Sliders beat newcomers University of Nairobi 4-2.

A brace from Anita Agunda and further strikes from Georgie Randall and Doris Kirui handed the points to Sliders.

Daily Nation

Hasya leads KL's charge

By Jugjet Singh

SKIPPER Hasya Syahida scored four goals to help Kuala Lumpur Girls' hammer Perak 8-0 in the National Under-16 tournament Saturday.

KL, the bronze medallists last year, fielded 15 Titiwangsa Sports School players while Perak had 15 Gunung Rapat Sports School players.

KL coach A. Kannagi said: "Some of my players have been together for the last four years and it was a good start to the tournament.

"We hope to exchange our bronze to gold this year."

The KL goals were scored by Nur Syaza Afiqah (seventh), Hasya Syahida (13th, 18th, 38th, 52nd), Kirandeep Kaur (17th, 35th) and Nur Natasha (26th).

KL Girls next play Malacca on Monday.

RESULTS -- BOYS': Group A -- Terengganu 4 Negri 1, Johor 0 Penang 3; Group B: Selangor 3 Perlis 0, Malacca 2 Perak 4; Group C: Sabah 5 Kelantan 5, Pahang 4 Kuala Lumpur 1.

GIRLS': Group A -- Selangor 7 Kelantan 0, Kedah 0 Sabah 5; Group C: Kuala Lumpur 8 Perak 0, Malacca 1 Johor 3.

SUNDAY: Boys Group A -- Kedah v Penang (KPM, 7.30pm), Terengganu v Johor (KLHA, 7.30pm); Group B: Sarawak v Perak (KPM, 3.30pm), Selangor v Malacca (KLHA, 3.30pm); Group C: Kuala Lumpur v Kelantan (KPM, 5.30pm), Sabah v Pahang (KLHA, 5.30pm).

GIRLS' Group A: Sarawak v Sabah (KPM, 9.15am), Selangor v Kedah (KLHA, 9.15am); Group B: Penang v Pahang (KPM, 7.30am), Negri v Terengganu (KLHA, 7.30am).

Note: All matches at Jalan Pantai, Kuala Lumpur.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Hockey Australia Board nominates Danni Roche for AOC Presidency

Melbourne, Australia – The Board of Hockey Australia has nominated Olympic gold medallist Danni Roche OAM for the position of President of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

Roche represented Australia with distinction between 1987 and 1997, most notably as a member of the gold medal-winning Hockeyroos team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

Following her retirement from the national hockey team, Roche served as a director of the Hockey Australia Board from 2004 to 2012, and represented Australia as vice-president of the Oceania Hockey Federation.

Roche currently serves on the boards of the St Kilda Football Club, the Australian Sports Commission and the State Sports Centres Trust of Victoria.

She has led a successful career in business, including as a director for UBS Wealth Management. She holds a Masters of Business Administration.

Candidates for positions on the AOC Executive Board, including for roles of president and vice-president, can be nominated by one of the National Sports Federations.

The ballot for the AOC presidency is scheduled to be held at the AOC’s Annual General Meeting on Saturday 6 May 2017.

John Coates has been an outstanding servant of Australian sport and the Olympic movement over the past 36 years, the last 26 of them as President of the AOC. The board of Hockey Australia honours his contribution.

Quote attributable to Melanie Woosnam, President, Hockey Australia:

"The board’s decision to endorse Danni’s nomination wasn’t taken lightly. Current AOC president, John Coates, has made a significant contribution to Australian sport and the Olympic movement over an extended period of time and we acknowledge and applaud this. However, we feel that at the start of a new Olympic cycle, the timing is right for sport in Australia to recalibrate, and feel that Danni can make a strategic and valuable contribution."

There will be no further public comment at this time.

Hockey Australia media release

Olympics - AOC chief Coates faces rare challenge to role

by Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - John Coates, an IOC vice president and one of the most influential sports administrators in the world, is facing a challenge to his role as Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president for the first time since winning the role in 1990.

Olympic hockey gold medallist Danni Roche launched her surprise bid for one of the top jobs in Australian sport on Monday and is calling for an overhaul of the organisation's leadership.

Roche, who won gold with the Hockeyroos at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, was nominated by her sport on Monday to contest the election for a four-year term at the AOC's Annual General Meeting on May 6.

Coates, a former rowing cox, played an integral role in Australia winning the right to host the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and delivering a highly successful Games.

The 66-year-old is also the head of the IOC's coordination commission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and president of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

He has, though, become embroiled in a public feud with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) head John Wylie since the Rio Olympics and last month accused the head of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Matt Favier, of plotting to depose him.

Roche, who sits on the board of the ASC, said her goal would be to build bridges between the various stakeholders in the Australian sports environment.

"The Australian Olympic Committee needs new leadership," Roche said on Monday.

"It needs make sure that every available resource is directed to sports and athletes. It needs to lead a new culture of collaboration in Australian sport."


Roche said she would reduce the AOC's administrative costs to 30 percent of revenue and shift that funding back towards sports.

The 46-year-old also took aim at the A$700,000 Coates receives each year as a consultancy fee, saying she would work for free.

AOC media chief Mike Tancred told reporters on Monday that his mentor and boss was "probably worth 10 times" the amount he receives.

"John Coates is a world leader in sport, he's highly respected, he brings a lot of corporate dollars through the door," he said.

"If he was a banker, he'd be getting bonuses of 10 times that amount. We're getting John Coates on the cheap."

Tancred added that he thought the feud with Wylie had led to Roche's candidacy, and said Coates had been looking for a successor for a number of years.

"He doesn't want to hand it over to the first Tom, Dick, Harry, Janet or Tracey who comes along," he added.

"This is his baby. He lives it, he eats it. He's not just going to be pushed aside by someone suddenly saying to him, 'Your days are up mate, see you later, go.'"

Sports-mad Australia has traditionally punched above its weight at the Olympics but 10th place on the medals' table in Rio last year continued a decline from fourth in Sydney in 2000 and Athens four years later.

The Star of Malaysia

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