All the news for Wednesday 19 April 2017
Australia to bring strong squad for Azlan Shah Cup
KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Australia have named an experienced 18-man squad for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh from April 29-May 6.
Five players will make a return to the side as Australia prepare for the World League Semi Finals in South Africa in July.
Veteran midfielder Eddie Ockenden and forward Dylan Wotherspoon will play for the Kookaburras for the first time this year after completing their playing stints in Europe.
Defender Matthew Swann will also make his international comeback after recovering from a broken foot. The others to return are 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallists Andrew Charter, a goalkeeper, and defender Andrew Philpott.
“The team for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is slightly different from the one which competed in Darwin (four-Test series with Pakistan) recently,” said Australian coach Colin Batch.
“We are giving as many players as possible the chance to prove themselves before we pick the team for the World League Semi Finals,” added Batch.
World No. 2 Australia, the reigning world champions, have won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup a record nine times.
They will open their campaign on April 29 against Oceania rivals New Zealand.
“The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will provide good competition for us. It will be interesting to see how our new look side fare against the other teams,” he added.
The other competing countries in the six-nation tournament are hosts Malaysia, India, Britain and Japan.
The Star of Malaysia
Jugraj's presence as PC coach will benefit us, says Rupinder
BENGALURU: Penalty corner expert Rupinder Pal Singh says having a specialist dragflicking coach in idol Jugraj Singh will be beneficial for him and his young colleague Harmanpreet Singh in the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia.
Rupinder along with talented Harmanpreet will be India's dragflick exponents in Malaysia and the team will be banking on them to convert the set piece chances that come their way.
India's chief coach Roelant Oltmans had already emphasised on the importance of improving penalty corner conversation rate and Rupinder is confident that they will live up to the billing in Ipoh.
"We spend one hour everyday specifically for dragflicks. We are also joined by former India dragflicker Jugraj Singh who is part of the coaching staff. Jugraj has been my idol and he was also the one to introduce me to dragflick when I began my career. So working with him has been great," Rupinder said.
"He has been able to help us with finer details which we would otherwise miss. Having a specific coach for dragflicking along with chief coach Roelant Oltmans has been beneficial and I am confident we will do well in Malaysia," he added.
In the absence of senior players like VR Raghunath and Birendra Lakra, Rupinder will spearhead India's backline along with Harmanpreet, Gurinder Singh, Pardeep Mor and Surender Kumar in Ipoh.
So being the senior most player in the backline, Rupinder is expected to shoulder the responsibility of guiding the youngsters in the tournament, a role he is happy to take on.
"Yes I do have an added responsibility of guiding these youngsters but I also believe they are ready to take on individual responsibilities.
"Each of them knows what they exactly need to do and how they need to execute the plans. I think they are ready to take on the big teams," the 27-year-old lanky defender said.
Rupinder said that the 40-day camp here involved a lot of hard work and mental conditioning.
"We have a new analytical coach (Hans Streeder) who has brought in some key changes in strategies. We worked on a lot on specific areas and tried out new combinations during match practice. There has been a lot of emphasis on strong defence and I believe it will come down to how we implement these strategies that will help us win matches," Rupinder added.
The Indian team is slated to leave from Bengaluru on April 22 for Ipoh, where the tournament is scheduled to be held from April 29 to May 6.
Besides India, other participating teams in the tournament are title holders Australia, hosts Malaysia, Great Britain, New Zealand and Japan.
The Times of India
Good defence can help in winning matches at Azlan Shah Cup: Rupinder Pal
Bengaluru [India]: With less than 10 days to go for the commencement of the 26th Sultan of Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, ace drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh has asserted that the youngsters in the team are well-prepared to take on the challenge against top teams like Malaysia, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand and Japan.
“The 40-day camp here in Bangalore involved a lot of hard work and mental conditioning. We have a new Analytical Coach (Hans Streeder) who has brought in some key changes in strategies. We worked a lot on specific areas and tried out new combinations during match practice. There has been a lot of emphasis on strong defence and I believe it will come down to how we implement these strategies in Malaysia that will help us win matches,” stated Rupinder.
The Indian team is slated to leave from Bengaluru on April 22 for Malaysia, where the tournament is scheduled to be held from April 29 to May 6, 2017.
The 27-year-old will be leading India’s defence along with Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Pardeep Mor and Surender Kumar. Being the senior most in the back line, Rupinder will have to shoulder the responsibility of guiding these youngsters through the tournament, a role he is happy to take on.
“Yes I do have an added responsibility of guiding these youngsters but I also believe they are ready to take on individual responsibilities. Each of them know what they exactly need to do and how they need to execute the plans we have against each team. I think they are ready to take on big teams,” expressed a confident Rupinder.
Ahead of the start of the 40-day camp, Indian men’s team Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans had emphasised on penalty corners and improvising on the team’s conversation rate. Rupinder along with the talented Harmanpreet Singh will be India’s dragflick experts in Malaysia and the team will be banking on them to convert the chances created. Rupinder is confident they will live up to the billing.
“We spend one hour everyday between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm specifically for drag flicks. We are also joined by former India dragflicker Jugraj Singh who is part of the Coaching Staff. Jugraj has been my idol and he was also the one to introduce me to dragflick when I began my career so working with him has been great. He has been able to help us with finer details which we would otherwise miss. Having a specific Coach for drag flicking while Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans is also around has been beneficial and I am confident we will do well in Malaysia,” he concluded.
Rupinder says younsters ripe enough to thrive at Azlan Shah
Ace drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh believes that the youngsters in the Indian squad have matured a lot during the 40-day national camp that will keep them in good stead when they will compete in the 26th Sultan of Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia.
Rupinder on Tuesday asserted that the youngsters in the team are well-prepared to take on the challenge against top teams like Malaysia, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand and Japan in the tournament, scheduled to be held from April 29 to May 6.
Defender Gurinder Singh, midfielders Sumit and Manpreet and goalkeeper Suraj Karkera will have a chance to make their debut for the senior India team in Malaysia.
"The 40-day camp here in Bengaluru involved a lot of hard work and mental conditioning. We have a new Analytical Coach (Hans Streeder) who has brought in some key changes in strategies. We worked a lot on specific areas and tried out new combinations during match practice," Rupinder said in a release.
"There has been a lot of emphasis on strong defence and I believe it will come down to how we implement these strategies in Malaysia that will help us win matches." stated Rupinder.
The 27-year-old will be leading India's defence along with Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Pardeep Mor and Surender Kumar.
Being the senior most in the back line, Rupinder will have to shoulder the responsibility of guiding these youngsters through the tournament, a role he is happy to take on. "Yes I do have an added responsibility of guiding these youngsters but I also believe they are ready to take on individual responsibilities.
"Each of them know what they exactly need to do and how they need to execute the plans we have against each team. I think they are ready to take on big teams," expressed a confident Rupinder.
Ahead of the start of the 40-day camp, India chief coach Roelant Oltmans had emphasised on penalty corners and improvising on the team's conversation rate.
Rupinder along with the talented Harmanpreet Singh will be India's dragflick experts in Malaysia and the team will be banking on them to convert the chances created.
Rupinder is confident they will live up to the billing. "We spend one hour everyday between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm specifically for drag flicks. We are also joined by former India drag-flicker Jugraj Singh who is part of the coaching staff. Jugraj has been my idol and he was also the one to introduce me to drag-flick when I began my career so working with him has been great.
"He has been able to help us with finer details which we would otherwise miss. Having a specific coach for drag flicking while chief coach Oltmans is also around has been beneficial and I am confident we will do well in Malaysia," he concluded.
Pakistan Juniors defeat defending champions in opening tie
Pakistan's Junior hockey team began their campaign in the Australian National Junior Championships on a victorious note.
In a hard fought contest the Pakistani colts defeated the defending champions Victoria 2-1.
Ghazanfar Ali and Ahmed Nadeem scored for Pakistan via penalty corners.
PHF Media release
Six of the very best for Colts
By Nabil Tahir
KARACHI: Pakistan Juniors kicked off their tour of Australia on a positive note as they defeated Randwik Hockey Club 6-0 in their match on Tuesday.
The Colts, who are scheduled to participate in the National Junior Championship of Australia, warmed up in style as Naveed Alam and Khairullah scored two goals each, while Abdullah Babar and Ghazanfar Ali added one apiece to their team’s winning cause.
The team has had several training sessions under coaches of some top Australian clubs lately, and head coach Kamran Ashraf feels the 6-0 win is a fruit of that labour.
“To keep up with other nations, the tips and tricks of modern hockey are valuable and this training helped us acquire that,” he said.
Ashraf also reminded that even though their opponents were only a club side, their standard of hockey was pretty high, which makes the win all the more impressive.
“The players here have played much more games than our players and have been training with the latest equipment, but even then our players were able to register an easy win over them; it is an achievement for us,” he said.
“The players are not only improving their skills but also boosting their confidence by interacting with Australian players. The combination of Australia’s modern hockey and our traditional way of playing will make our players ready for any type of situation,” said Ashraf while predicting that by the end of the tour Pakistan will have many top class players.
The Express Tribune
Pakistan's Junior Team in Australia has 5 Dar Hockey Academy Players
By Ijaz Chaudhry
5 boys with Dar HA's President, Olympic gold medallist Taqueer Dar
Pakistan's Junior Hockey Team is in Australia where it will be participating in the National Junior Championships. The 2017 Women's and Men's Australian Junior Championships will take place in Hobart, Tasmania, from 19-29 April.
In what would be a first of its' kind, after the junior championship, the boys would stay in Australia for around four months. They will appear in Australia’s hockey league for various club teams.
The national junior squad has five players from Dar Hockey Academy, Pakistan's great conveyor belt of hockey talent.
Dar HA boys in the side are Waqar Younis (goal keeper), Adeel Latif, Awais Arshad, Ali Aziz and Hammad Anjum.
Two other academy players, Asif Haneef and Zulqarnain are among the standbys.
For four of the five boys, Waqar, Adeel, Awais and Ali Aziz,it will be their second tour in the national colours. They were members of Pakistan's bronze medal winning squad at the 2016 Boys Under 18 Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh. For Hammad Anjum, it is the first international outing.
All the boys have benefited from Dar Hockey Academy's training tours abroad.
Adeel Latif has been to Europe with the Dar HA as many as three times.. Waqar and Ali Aziz toured Netherlands in 2015, and Malaysia in 2016. While Awais Arshad and Hammad visited Malaysia in 2016 with the Dar HA.
Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey & other sports. For more about him and his work, visit: www.sportscorrespondent.info
Busy time for UJ players ahead of title defence
University of Johannesburg hockey player Demi Harmse will be aiming to make an impact in the Varsity Hockey tournament next month. Photo: Saspa
The University of Johannesburg players have a busy period ahead, but hockey manager Elize le Roux said they would be ready to again challenge for the Varsity Hockey title next month.
This year it is the turn of the women to compete in the Varsity Hockey tournament and UJ will be hoping to continue a wave of success after their title win in 2015 was sandwiched by their men’s triumphs in 2014 and last year.
The tournament will be played in Stellenbosch from May 5 to 8 and in Potchefstroom the following weekend.
However, many UJ players have also been included in the Southern Gauteng teams that will play in the annual interprovincial in Johannesburg from April 23 and Le Roux said it would be a case of player management in the next few weeks.
“It is going to be a hectic period and the IPT, placed just before Varsity Hockey, catches us a bit,” she said.
“The girls will need some time to recover but we do have a performance plan in place so we are all aware what awaits us in the next few weeks.”
Le Roux said they had a strong nucleus of senior members, complemented by a few youngsters, as well as a new coach in national star Lance Louw.
“Lance has played in the Olympics and is still in the national squad, but is now beginning to concentrate a bit more on coaching,” she said.
“Each coach has an idea on how to handle things and I feel Lance will definitely bring something new to the squad and a fresh approach will be good for us.”
Played over two pressure-filled weekends, Le Roux said the players were prepared for the challenge.
“The format of the two weekends has worked well because it tests your performance structure and the mindset and psyche of the players.
“We see Varsity Sport as a high-profile competition and it does have a different element, with matches being played over four quarters of 15 minutes each.
“It makes for exciting contests and we know we will not have it easy, especially with some tough matches on the first weekend.”
Le Roux said they would like to be considered favourites to retain the title but added that movement among the playing personnel of the varsities meant you could take nothing for granted.
“We are up against four strong teams in Stellenbosch, but are focused on making at least the semifinals,” she said.
UJ Media release
BJSS Thunderbolt earn extra point to jump to third
by S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: BJSS Thunderbolt gained an extra point, thanks to a penalty shootout win after their 2-2 draw with SSTMI Thunderbolt in a Division One clash of the Malaysian Junior Hockey League.
Having lost to BJSS in the battle for the overall title last year, SSTMI went for the jugular and took the lead after 22 minutes with Mohamad Akhimullah Anuar Esook on target at the SSTMI Hockey Turf in Bandar Penawar yesterday.
But BJSS stormed back to grab a 2-1 lead with Mohamed Ramdan Arifin converting a penalty corner in the 38th minute and Faiq Razin Zariq Idris scoring a field goal in the 56th minute.
But SSTMI made sure of a draw when Mohamad Akhimullah netted a field goal in the 59th minute.
Luck, however, deserted SSTMI in the shootout as they lost 5-6.
BJSS moved up to third with five points from two matches while SSTMI, on four points, are fifth.
BJSS coach Lukman Yahaya was happy to earn an extra point.
“The players did what they were told to do. They kept the mistakes down. We knew SSTMI would come at us. So to get two points from this tough match was a good result,” he said.
In another Division One match at the Education Ministry Turf in Kuala Lumpur, BJSS Juniors and Politeknik Malaysia also fought to a draw.
The score at regulation time was 1-1, but Politeknik bagged an extra point after winning 4-3 in the penalty shootout.
BJSS Juniors took the lead in the 20th minute through Zarreman Shamier Sulaiman’s field goal. But Johor-based Politeknik equalised through a penalty corner conversion by Mohamad Sufian Marsom in the 50th minute.
At the SMK Gunung Rapat Hockey Turf in Ipoh, the match between Anderson Thunderbolt and AHP-MSP Thunderbolt was abandoned after a heavy downpour in the seventh minute.
Anderson were then leading 1-0 through Hazrul Hazraf Hanafi’s fourth-minute field goal.
The Star of Malaysia
England U18 Easter weekend round up
U18 England Girls 2017
The U18 girls were in action against Holland away from home over Easter weekend. The first game saw our young English women put in a strong defence performance but Holland managed to put two pass them, the home side came out on top, 2-0. Head coach Sarah Kelleher said; 'This was a good start to our series of training matches against Holland. We played some good hockey & created several excellent chances which we were unlucky not to convert. Our defending was particularly pleasing. There were lots of positives on which we can build.'
In the second match of the weekend saw Holland claim a second win 3-1 but not without a fight. The Dutch lead by a single goal at half time but Hannah Griggs made it all level early in the second half. The team fought well but it wasn’t enough as the home side scored twice more to give them the win. Head coach Kelleher said; ‘This was a much improved performance. The team played with a lot more expression & freedom than in yesterday’s match. The players stepped up their intensity to compete effectively. They showed real grit & determination in both defence and attack to create some very good opportunities. Overall, there was much to build on.'
The final game of the series saw the Dutch clinch the series title beating England 5-1. Hannah Griggs once again got on the score sheet for England as she tapped in the ball at the far post on the 19’ minute. Head coach Kelleher said; 'Despite the score line, we played some of our best hockey dominating good phases of play and putting the Dutch on the back foot. Over the last 3 days, we have seen a significant improvement in performance and player development. The squad has played with belief and grown in confidence.'
Half time 0 – 1
Full time 0 – 2
Scorers; 27’ (FG) 61’ (PC)
Half time 0-1
Full time 1-3
Scorers; H Griggs 39’ (PC) NED 10’ (FG) 43’ (PC) 69’ (FG)
Half time 1 – 4
Full time 1 – 5
Scorers; H Griggs 19’ (FG) NED 16’ (FG) 18’ (FG) 23’ (FG) 34’ (PC) 70’ (PC)
U18 England Boys 2017
The U18 boys were also in action as they faced Holland in a 3 match series over the Easter weekend.
The first game saw England take the lead 3-1 at half time by goals from Ben Stevenson slotting home a penalty corner and two from Matt Ramshaw, one from a field goal and his second from a penalty corner. Holland made a tremendous comeback after a lack of discipline from England with the final result seeing Holland win 5-3. Head coach Jody Paul said; ‘This was the first international game for the boys and although we started well the game slipped away from us.’
In the second game of the series Holland got the better of our young English men winning 7-1, England's single goal from a Ramshaw drag flick. Head coach Paul said; ‘A tough day in the office, we did not compete well and Holland broke the game flow up and capitalised on the breakdowns.’
In the final game Holland took the lead early on and maintained it though out with the final score 4-1, a single goal from Stevenson for England.
Half time 3-1
Full time 3-5
Scorers; Ramshaw 19’ (FG) Stevenson 29’ (PC) Ramshaw 32’ (PC) NED: 12’ (FG) 45’ (FG) 57’ (FG) 64’ (PC) 68’ (PC)
Half time 0 – 6
Full time 1- 7
Scorers: Ramshaw 49’ (PC) NED: 7’ (PC) 19’ (PC) 23’ (FG) 30’ (PC) 32’ (FG) 33’ (FG) 39’ (FG)
Half time 0 – 3
Full time 1- 4
England Hockey Board Media release
England U16 round up
U16 Boys Eng 2017
England U16 faced the Netherlands in a 3 match series on home turf at Bisham Abbey National sports centre.
The first game saw the young side loose just 2-0 after two quick field goals in the 60th minute from Dutch player Nick Doeser. Goal keeper James Mazarelo made a number of excellent saves throughout the game, keeping the game scoreless in the first 3 quarters. Head coach Mark Bateman said; ‘It was a good introduction to international hockey for the team and the experience will allow the group to benchmark themselves at the required standard moving forwards.’
The second game saw a resilient performance from the England boys; full time score 6-2 to Holland. England goals from Tom Stevenson from a penalty stroke in the 42nd minute followed by Pendle in the 62nd minute. Head coach Mark Bateman said; ‘An encouraging performance in three quarters of the game, the team competed well and deserved to be in the contest. The final quarter demonstrated the level which we need to maintain for the whole game in order to challenge the top international teams.’
The final match of the series saw a tough loss to a top Dutch side, final score 7-1 to the visitors. Head coach Mark Bateman said ‘The test series provided an excellent opportunity for a young England side to experience high level junior international hockey. The lessons learnt here will be invaluable in helping the players to understand what the international environment is like. The games have provided a great focus for our programme going forwards.’
Half Time 0-0
Full Time 0-2
Scorers: NED Nick Doeser 60, 61 (FG, FG)
Half Time 0-2
Full Time 2-6
Scorers: Stevenson 42 (PS), Pendle 62 (PS); NED Chuck Caupain 27, 52 (F, F), Teun van Uunen 34 (PC), Thomas Selles 58 (F), Guus Jansen 60 (F), Silas Lageman 64 (F)
Half Time 0-3
Full Time 1-7
Scorers: Pendle 68 (FG); NED 12, 30, 33, 43, 51, 52, 61 (PC, FG, FG, FG, PC, FG, FG)
U16 Girls England
The U16 England girls were also in action against the Netherlands over Easter weekend away from home.
The first game for the U16 side finished 4-0 all scored by penalty corners from a strong dutch side. Head coach Jon Bell said; ‘For the group’s first exposure of international match experience in the cycle the team were under extreme pressure from the Dutch from the start. With little reward going forward the team worked hard defensively and Mila Welch made some good saves both from penalties and open play however Holland did score from two first half short corners. The 2nd half brought an improvement in our passing and control going forward resulting in some pressure on the Dutch goal and 2 penalty corners. We finished the game strongly but lacked any real final third composure. Many of the squad settling into their first international experiences will use today’s effort and look forward to a stronger performance tomorrow.’
The second match of the 3 part series saw this U16 England side learn from yesterday game with the final score being 3-0. Head coach said; ‘Another step forward for this development group taking on board many development points from the previous encounter allowing them to control longer periods of the game and create some exciting opportunities. The group will need to work on attitude and application in the attacking circle if they are to challenge our European opponents over the Summer.’
In the final game of the series saw the girls embrace the challenge of playing a third high tempo game in 3 days seeing the Dutch take away a 6-0 win. John Bell said; ‘Some new payers to the group have adapted well to the demands of the international game and the team management look forward to the next challenge of games against Ulster and Germany.’
Half time 2-0
Full time 4-0
Scorers: 13' (PC) 35' (PC) 40' (PC) 44' (PC)
Half time 3-0
Full time 3-0
Scorers: 4' (FG) 27' (FG) 31' (FG)
Half time 3-0
Full time 6-0
Scorers: 3' (FG) 26' (FG) 33' (FG) 62' (FG) 64' (FG) 69' (PC)
England Hockey Board Media release
EHL and Dragons sign the contract for FINAL4
EHL chairman Hans-Erik Tuijt and KHC Dragons chairman Hans Borstlap formally finalised the contract to host the Euro Hockey League FINAL4 in Brasschaat in Belgium on June 3 and 4.
It promises to be another epic EHL event following the KO16 in Eindhoven which saw two of the four days completely sold out. And Tuijt, pictured right, says that he anticipates more packed audiences at Dragons’ Mansion on the north side of Antwerp.
“We are delighted to have the FINAL4 at Dragons on the Whitsun weekend,” he said. “We are expecting, again, sold out crowds. The atmosphere we had here in Eindhoven we want to create again for the FINAL4.”
With the hosts Dragons qualifying for the FINAL4 – where they will play English champions Wimbledon – it will add significantly to the party atmosphere with the d-Side crowd.
And the Dragons chairman Borstlap cannot wait to open the gates for hockey fans from all around Europe.
“We are honoured to have the EHL with us and are very happy to work together with Hans-Erik and Angus [Kirkland, the EHF’s Director General].
“We are very happy that we qualified and are ready to receive a huge crowd and make a huge event of this. Everybody is invited to see that Brasschaat is the very best place to be, believe me!”
** Tickets for the FINAL4 are on sale now on www.ehlhockey.tv/tickets.
Euro Hockey League media release
City OKs $500K turf replacement at Minto Field, but field hockey teams aren't happy
By Jon Willing
The City of Ottawa has decided it will go through with another turf replacement at Minto Field, costing taxpayers an additional $500,000.CHRIS DONOVAN / POSTMEDIA NEWS
The city will bite the bullet and spend $500,000 from a parkland fund to replace the harsh artificial turf at Minto Field, a decision that one field hockey coach calls “a bad deal for taxpayers.”
Brian Lee, who coaches field hockey in Ottawa, said the city is spending a large sum of money to appease one football club, while field hockey teams will be left without a field during the turf swap.
Lee believes “the quality of field hockey facility will be degraded” and the turf will likely lose its national-level standard for the sport.
Dan Chenier, the city’s general manager of parks and recreation, confirmed that the city will replace the relatively new artificial turf with another turf with slightly longer blades after consulting with groups who use Minto Field at the Nepean Sportsplex.
The city paid $1.3 million to upgrade the field from the old AstroTurf in 2015, but football clubs, particularly the Myers Riders, flagged the unsafe abrasiveness of the new turf, forcing teams to find other fields out of their district.
The outcry prompted the city to reconsider the turf product.
The city will install a football-friendly turf made by Nexxfield with blades 34 millimetres long, rather than a 25-millimetre alternative that would have been better for field hockey.
A sand ballast, which is the infill between the turf blades, will be applied to the field. The existing cushion below the turf will remain.
The main complaint from football teams is the abrasiveness of the existing turf, which has blades 18 millimetres long.
The city decided to go with the longer turf after discussing a new product with Nexxfield and listening to football representatives, Chenier said.
“The feeling is it will be virtually identical to the (25-millimetre) product after a year of use,” Chenier said, noting that the city wanted to make sure football teams have a decent turf.
The turf will be safe for football even when it mats down, he said.
Work will be done around July and August with hopes of having the field ready for the fall football season.
However, it would mean field hockey teams that use the turf for games and practices in late summer would lose their field.
Lee said the Outaouais Field Hockey Club, which he coaches, probably won’t be able to play anywhere else since natural grass fields aren’t suitable for the sport.
The money to replace the turf at Minto Field will come from a citywide cash-in-lieu of parkland account, Chenier said. The account collects funds from developers who can’t provide mandatory park space in new projects.
Some of the dismantled turf will be immediately repurposed.
“We’re going to use some of the turf that we’re pulling up to create a small practice field for field hockey, just to the north of the existing field but still within the Minto Field compound,” Chenier said. “During our consultation with the group, they said this would be something really valuable to them and a good use of the turf.”
Chenier said the city is looking at other ways to use the rest of the ripped-out turf.
“By the time we’re pulling it up, I’m sure we’ll have lots of ideas,” Chenier said.
In an effort to bolster the supply of football gridirons in south Ottawa, the city is also working to secure a lease for the natural grass field at the former Confederation High School, which is next to the Nepean Sportsplex.
Federal land-use approval came through last week and now it’s up to the city and the National Capital Commission to settle a five-year lease, which Chenier said would be a “nominal” cost to the city.
Landscapers would fix the ruts and replace the goalposts, but the city isn’t intending to install lights during the initial lease period.
The Myers Riders is also expected to be the main customer for the natural grass field, but it would be open to anyone for bookings. The city hasn’t decided if the field will be primarily for football, but Chenier said it’s likely that soccer nets will be put there.
The Ottawa Sun