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News for 31 May 2017

All the news for Wednesday 31 May 2017

Fulton names squad for Ireland v Pakistan series

Irish Coach Craig Fulton has named his squad for the forthcoming test matches v Pakistan. He has selected 29 players and from this group has named two teams for the first two tests. Following the second game on Saturday, Fulton will name a squad to play the third test on Sunday June 4th at 2pm. All three matches will be played at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, Comber Road, Lisburn

Thursday June 1st – 19.30 – IRELAND V PAKISTAN

David Harte (GK) - Kampong
Jamie Carr (GK) - Three Rock Rovers
Jonny Bell – Lisnagarvey
Lee Cole – Monkstown
John Jackson – Bath Buccs
Stuart Loughrey – H & W
Conor Harte – Racing
Matthew Bell – Banbridge
Chris Cargo – H & W
Shane O Donoghue – Glenanne
Neal Glassey – Lisnagarvey
Kirk Shimmins – Pembroke Wanderers
Sean Murray – Lisnagarvey
Eugene Magee – Banbridge
Johnny McKee – Banbridge
Matthew Nelson – Lisnagarvey
Alan Sothern – Pembroke Wanderers
Jeremy Duncan – UCD

Saturday June 3rd – 14.00 – IRELAND V PAKISTAN

Jamie Carr (GK) - Three Rock Rovers
Mark Ingram (GK) – Pembroke Wanderers
Paul Gleghorne – Lisnagarvey
Sam O Connor - Glenanne
John Jackson – Bath Buccs
Conor Harte – Racing
Luke Madeley – Three Rock Rovers
Matthew Bell – Banbridge
Chris Cargo – H & W
Shane O Donoghue – Glenanne
Sean Murray – Lisnagarvey
Stephen Cole – Monkstown
Drew Carlisle – Banbridge
Peter Caruth – Annadale
Julian Dale – Cork C of I
Owen Magee – Banbridge
Johnny McKee – Banbridge
Alan Sothern – Pembroke Wanderers

It will be a special occasion for Conor Harte on Thursday June 1st as he will become the 5th Mens player to reach the ‘200 Cap’ milestone joining Ronan Gormley, Eugene Magee, John Jackson & Michael Watt. At the other end of the scale Three Rock Rovers Luke Madeley will get his first cap on Saturday June 3rd.


    Thursday 1st June - 7.30pm
    Saturday 3rd June - 2.00pm
    Sunday 4th June - 2.00pm

Tickets will be available to purchase at the gate

Irish Hockey Association media release

De Voogd and Oranje-Rood galvanised to make amends at EHL FINAL4

Bob de Voogd’s says HC Oranje-Rood will use the hurt of missing out on the Dutch playoffs to full effect to galvanise them at this weekend’s EHL FINAL4 in Brasschaat.

The Dutch striker was one of the stars of the 2015 EHL final when he scored the crucial effort in an epic shoot-out to bring the trophy to Eindhoven. Since then, the Zwart has changed to Rood but the side still has plenty of the same faces like Mink van der Weerden, Robert van der Horst and Jelle Galema who will be aiming to win another EHL crown.

Their Hoofdklasse hopes ended early in May when SV Kampong, the eventual winners, scored a last minute penalty stroke to earn a draw that pushed Oranje-Rood down to fifth place.

It meant that the Eindhoven outfit missed out on a final for the first time in a long while, something de Voogd said was tough to take.

“Especially the first week after that was hard to get over the disappointment of missing out on the play-offs,” he told the EHL website. “After four finals in a row, we knew we had lost our title. That hurts.”

It meant that focus turned quicker than expected to their June 3 date with Wimbledon with the EHL coming sharply into view.

“Some of the guys went off to train with the national team but we kept training all the way through with Oranje-Rood as well. For the last two weeks, we picked up the intensity in training and also had some good practice matches. I think now the feeling is very positive and we're eager to start next Saturday.”

In those fixtures, they beat neighbours Den Bosch 3-1 and promotion hopefuls Tilburg 4-0. De Voogd said that we cannot read too much into those results but says the side is happy with the team’s form.

Looking at Wimbledon, he adds that Oranje-Rood have looked closely at the video of their opponent.

“They have a strong, collective defence and are dangerous in the fast break. Also, they have some players we have to watch individually. Knowing their qualities will help us but playing our own game will be just as important for us. It's going to be close but we do have the quality to get to the final on Sunday.”

De Voogd also says he is enjoying being a little more in the background for the FINAL4. He was the face of the KO16, appearing front and centre of the promotion of the event.

He admitted afterwards that there were distractions with people asking him for tickets and so on, leading to him having to turn the phone off for a while.

But, overall, playing in front of packed home crowds was a memorable experience and he is looking forward to creating more and more new memories and, potentially, another EHL crown.

“Being closely involved was something I really enjoyed. But to be honest, at this moment, it's also nice to completely focus with the team and just play hockey.

“Nonetheless I really look forward how KHC Dragons will organize the KO4. I'm sure it will be fantastic again. I can't wait.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Telkom Orange battle Sliders in women's league


Vikings goalkeeper Winnie Kiprop (left) tries to make a save from Audrey Omaido of Telkom Orange (right) during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match at City Park Stadium on April 23, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Champions Telkom Orange will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season when they take on Sliders in a mid-week Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League tie at City Park Stadium, Nairobi.

Orange, who lead the standings on 18 points, will move six points clear of second-placed USIU Spartans with a win in the 6pm encounter.

The 19-time champions are also yet to concede a goal all season and have the best attack in the division, scoring 36 goals from six matches.

Sliders on the other hand are struggling to hit top gear this season. They lie in sixth place with seven points and are looking for their first win in three matches. The former league champions will need to be at their best to stop a red-hot Orange side from extending their unbeaten run.

Orange hit Mombasa Sports Club (MSC) 5-0 in their last outing on April 30 and coach Jos Openda will be hoping for a repeat performance Wednesday evening.

“We are playing really well and there is little to change in our formation. We just need to keep our shape and also ensure we do not concede,” a confident Openda said.

“When teams play against us they always rise to the occasion and this match will be no different. Sliders are tough to break down but we have the players who can do special things,” he added.


Orange will have international Lillian Aura back for the match after the attacking midfielder missed the last two matches with a knee injury.

Strikers Jackline Mwangi and Audrey Omaido, who have both scored eight goals, will be hoping to add to their accounts.

Amira's Pauline Naise leads the scoring charts with nine goals.

Openda could start with Cynthia Onyango in goal ahead of Ruth Njoki, who came in the last two quarters against MSC.

Sliders come into the match on the back of a 2-1 loss to Spartans on May 21 and will be seeking only their third win of the season. They are still without influential defender Beryl Auma who got injured during the Africa Club Championship in January.

Sliders coach Felix Okoth has challenged his charges not to be intimidated by Orange's good form.

“We are definitely the underdogs going into the match but we will not roll over and allow them (Orange) to have their way. We will fight till the end,” Okoth said.

Veteran striker Anita Agunda will lead Sliders' forward line. Last season, Orange won this fixture 6-0, while in January's Club Championship, they beat Sliders 4-0.

Daily Nation

York triumph again in hockey challenge

York High were crowned champions for the second successive year when they defeated Outeniqua in the South Western Districts final of the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge in George, South Africa at the weekend.

In shading their George rivals, York became the fourth team to qualify for the provincial finals to be played at Woodridge, just outside Port Elizabeth, on August 12.

The other teams that will compete in the August finals are Union High, Kingsridge and Clarendon, with the final qualifiers to be decided in the PE Coastal leg at Pearson in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

Tournament organiser Erica Combrink said it was a day of exciting hockey in George, with Glenwood House, Point and Oudtshoorn High also competing well.

“The teams met each other in a round-robin format and, with the matches being played over 20 minutes, it produced some well-contested and fast-paced games.”

York went through the round-robin phase unbeaten and Outeniqua finished second on the log to qualify for the final.

Combrink said the teams were deadlocked at 1-1 after 20 minutes, which meant the game had to be decided in the dreaded eight-second penalty shoot-out.

“York won the shoot-out 3-2 and will represent the Southern Cape at the finals in August.”

National director Les Galloway, who pioneered the concept in KwaZulu-Natal seven years ago, said the second year of the competition in the Eastern Cape was proving to be “another big success”.

“The tournaments have been a huge plus for all the schools, especially those who don’t get much exposure in these types of events,” she said.

“The players are excited about it because there’s a different feel as they meet new people and make new friends.

“Some schools appearing in the competition for the first time have given brilliant feedback, saying their players were inspired to become even more involved in the game.”

As was the case in George, Galloway said it had become a hard, but fun tournament.

“On the field there is really good competition and off it there is fantastic camaraderie and a great vibe.”

The final placings in George were: 1 York, 2 Outeniqua, 3 Glenwood House, 4 Point High, 5 Oudtshoorn High.

York High won the South Western Districts leg of the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge in George. Pictured here are, back from left, SPAR promotions and advertising manager Alan Stapleton, Jo-Anne Klue, Frances Herholdt, Ella da Silva, Mieke Hougaard, Emily Klue, Sanja Greeff, Silke Schmidt, coach Erica Combrink, middle from left, Kayla Corker, Erin Coetzee, Nicci Claassen, Jenna Rooyakkers, Megan Buckley, Angie Miller and, front, Britney Marques. Photo: Supplied

SPAR Hockey Challenge Eastern Cape

Sign in tribute to hockey stars


The sign showing the names of the 21 inductees into the Barbados Hockey Federation’s Hall of Fame. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)

A SIGN with of the names of 21 inductees into the Barbados Hockey Federation’s Hall of Fame has been erected at the turf facility at Wildey.

President of the Barbados Hockey Federation, Mark St Hill, told MIDWEEK SPORT the placement of signage was the second phase following the announcement of those persons last year.

“The criterion [for selection] involved a mixture of [people] having served hockey either as a player or administrator, whatever capacity you served in to take the sport forward. It wasn’t limited to players.

“The history of hockey is very rich in Barbados, and last year we decided that we needed to celebrate persons that really took the sport forward and grew it to the point where it evolved into what it is now,” he said.

Nation News

Pathway to success for PAHF Umpires and Technical Officials

Sarah Juggins

2016 Pan American Junior Championship, Toronto - Matias Barbosa (Chile) and Tyler Klenk (Canada)   

It is not simply the players who need training, preparation and a pathway to success. For many umpires and technical officials, although a full-time career in these roles is not yet possible, any international umpire will tell you that the commitment they give to the sport is equal to that given to many careers.

The level of professionalism that goes into umpiring and officiating is immense. It has to be – the speed and skill of the top players is now at such a level that everyone connected with the game has to be equally skilled in their role to keep up with the demands of the teams.

All of which goes to explain the level of commitment, in terms of time and money, that PAHF devotes to developing umpires and officials across the entire continent. And spreading the resources makes sense. If PAHF teams want to compete successfully against teams from other continental federations, then the standard among member nations must be high. Argentina men need the competitiveness offered by an ever-improving Canada to maintain their position as number one side in the world; the intensely competitive matches between USA and Argentina women are essential for both teams to remain in the top 10 teams in the world. The results of a strong continental structure is being seen in the progress of women’s teams such as Chile, Uruguay and Canada – all teams that are pushing each other to move up the world rankings.

For these teams to be competitive, the infrastructure to allow a well-run tournament must be in place. From the local organizing committee, to the technical director and his or her team, to the officials running the event on the field of play, professionalism is key. The recent HWL R2 events in Trinidad and Tobago and West Vancouver were both great examples of competitions being run smoothly and efficiently, with all parties involved working closely together.

So let’s take a look at what is being done to raise levels of professionalism in the PAHF region.

The PAHF has an umpiring committee which is chaired by the hugely experienced Roger St Rose of Trinidad and Tobago. During his time as an international umpire, Roger’s umpiring curriculum vitae includes: two Junior World Cups, Champions Trophies, Commonwealth Games, European Cup Finals, two Olympic qualifiers, many Pan Am Games, several Central American and Caribbean Games and the Atlanta Olympics of 1996.

He is joined on the committee by a vastly experienced group of umpires and former umpires:  Argentina’s Soledad Iparraguirre; Gus Soteriades and Lurah Hess from USA; Canada’s Wendy Stewart; Martin Schafer from Chile and Alexander Schon who represents Paraguay.

This committee’s brief is to identify, develop and train umpires and umpire managers to the standards needed for both domestic and international competitions. This means ensuring the umpiring training system is sustainable, with new umpires moving up the ladder and more senior umpires working with them to pass on their knowledge.

One controversial point that emanates from the International hockey Federation (FIH) is the rule that international umpires must retire from international umpiring when they reach 47 years. For many umpires, this is felt to be too early but the reasoning is clear – for younger umpires to reach their potential, they must be given international experience. Equally, these senior umpires are then needed as umpire managers and video umpires, where their experience can really be drawn upon as mentors to those coming through the ranks.

While PAHF works in line with this rule, it has its own method of ensuring sustainability. The aim of the Federation is to ensure a median average age of less than 34. As St Rose points out, this gives umpires an extensive opportunity to maximize their potential in officiating. One very clear aim of all umpiring bodies across the world is to encourage more young people into officiating.

PAHF also works very hard with the national associations to try to ensure that each nation has at least one certified national umpire with the competency to officiate at PAHF certified competitions.

Three main ways of achieving a high standard among PAHF officials are now either in place or soon to be adopted. Firstly, the umpire managers regularly attend FIH courses so they are always up-to-date on international umpiring developments – to this end, all umpire managers within the PAHF will be attending the FIH Umpire Manager Seminar in Amsterdam in August 2017.

Secondly, a mentoring program across the PAHF is being developed for all international level umpires, with Gus Soteriades leading on the project. Under his guidance, last year a working group of the PAHF Umpiring Committee met in Chile and mapped out for a mentoring program in which each of the FIH Umpires will be assigned a mentor to help guide them through the various stages of their umpiring career. This is earmarked to be implemented in the second half of 2017.

This third development plan is for a certification process to be implemented across the region. This is important as it drives consistency in standards across all the PAHF countries, something that is important, not just for knowledge of the rules and their application, but also in terms of consistency in training and talent identification.

Wendy Stewart is pleased with the progress made by the certification process since its implementation in 2016. “The PAHF Umpiring Certification program was initiated in January 2016 as there was no PAHF umbrella certification program to ensure umpires of different national associations were on a par with each other”.

“The program essentially had to be sustainable for each national association and help them overcome any barriers such as having no local umpiring personnel to instruct and run the certification or a lack of finances or facilities. We are proud that this new initiative program has already been a great success in Chile and Paraguay, with other countries looking to implement it to their specific requirements in 2017. We are also confident that this certification program will be helping to raise the high level of umpiring at PAHF events and better prepare our PAHF umpires for future FIH appointments.”

The success of the program is highlighted by Martin Schafer, whose own national association, Chile, has benefited greatly in the short time the program has been running. “In 2016, Chile pioneered the full implementation of PAHF's Umpire Certification Program. After two A/B-Grade seminars and four courses on rules and basic technical competences for C-Grades, we have been able to certify 18 umpires.

“During 2017, 51 candidates are set to be assessed. The program levelled-up the set of competences of our senior umpires, providing at the same time a clear  development pathway for a group of talented, high potential young umpires.”

And over in Paraguay, Alexander Schon reports that 14 young umpires have taken the certification program over the past few months.

The PAHF committee has high hopes of the program extending out across Uruguay, Jamaica, Barbados, Peru, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico.

The focus on development also extends to technical officials. These are the judges, technical officers and tournament directors who combine to ensure a competition runs smoothly. The PAHF Competitions Committee is responsible for the development of a three-strand pathway for officials – working at national, continental and world level.

To achieve this, the Competitions Committee has designed a framework to allow officials to reach their potential, be it working in domestic events or at world level events. A new Continental Federation Registered Technical Officials List for the Region was launched earlier this year to give clarity and direction to aspiring officials. As the role of technical officials has changed over the past few seasons, the Committee has also introduced new categorizations of officials, so there is a clear picture of what officials are in place to meet the continent’s needs.

To provide training and help people along their developmental pathway, PAHF is running a number of courses, including during the Pan American Cups in Lancaster, USA in August; the Indoor Pan Am Cup in Georgetown, Guyana; and the CAC Games qualifier in Kingston, Jamaica.

Each course will target officials from different national associations at different stages of development. At the Pan Am Cups, for example, the course is aimed at PAHF continental trainees and continental level participants, while the Kingston course has a target audience of elite and elite development.

The point that so many players and coaches sometimes overlook, is that the pace of the game and the organization of the event is only made possible with highly skilled people in key roles; like the players, those umpires and officials at the very top of the game have been through tough training to get there.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Top Northern Ireland hockey company buys Scottish rival in major deal

A Co Down sports retailer has scored a major business goal after buying a Scottish rival in a six-figure deal.

By Margaret Canning   

Steven McMurray (left) of McMurray Sports with DJ Wilson (centre) from Ulster Bank, and Alan McMurray, McMurray Sports, as they mark the deal, which will see the local company acquire Scottish rival, Gilmour Sports

McMurray Sports, which operates the Total Hockey website as well as a shop in Banbridge, has acquired hockey equipment seller Gilmour Sports for an undisclosed sum.

The investment, which was backed by Ulster Bank, will involve McMurray Sports buying Gilmour Sports' online store, as well as its shop in Dublin.

And the deal is expected to create a number of new jobs. Gilmour Sports describes itself as an independent, family-owned sports retailer and "one of Europe's leading field hockey specialists".

McMurray Sports, which specialises in hockey equipment, is run by brothers Alan and Steven.

The company started out as a drapers shop in Bridge Street, Banbridge, which traded for around 80 years.

But from 2001, the brothers started to specialise in selling hockey equipment at the family business, and set up a website after working with Belfast tech firm Export Technologies.

Now Total Hockey is selling to foreign markets including Japan and the US.

Ulster Bank said the latest acquisition will enable McMurray Sports to grow its business in Great Britain as well as into Europe.

Steven McMurray said: "Gilmour Sports is a strong brand with a strong customer-base in Scotland and England, as well as in the Republic of Ireland and elsewhere in Europe.

"We are experiencing ongoing organic growth, but we feel that this acquisition will put us in a very strong position in some key markets.

"We are very grateful for the backing we have received from Ulster Bank who have supported the family business for many years and have provided us outstanding expertise and assistance."

DJ Wilson, business development manager at Ulster Bank, said: "McMurray Sports is a long-standing Ulster Bank client that we have been pleased to support over a number of decades.

"Alan and Steven's vision opened up a new opportunity for the company in terms of online sales of hockey equipment and this latest investment will see them further develop that part of the business."

In 2015, Total Hockey bought Lisburn rival Sports Dock, and last year, the company snapped up a 49% share in a London-based sports retailer, Hockey Centre in Woking.

The company has also been able to make use of social media advertising, particularly Facebook.

Belfast Telegraph

Ravi Ghowry remembered

The Hockey Family community came together on 27 May in Southampton to remember their friend Ravi Ghowry and raise funds for CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably.

Ravi passed away following a long battle with depression and his passing touched many within the hockey community from grass roots players to full Olympic athletes.

Ravi had started his hockey career while at University, where he joined Southampton University Men’s Hockey Club, known as Wessex Hockey. In his debut for the club the side had a bare 11 players to face local rivals Solent University, Ravi stepped in goal and put on a storming display.

This set the tone for Ravi’s involvement in hockey - making sure others got to enjoy the game.

Over the next few years Ravi was an integral part of the hockey club organising the first international tour event for the club in over five years, taking the club to Salou in Spain. It was pointed out by the current Wessex Club Captain that were it not for Ravi’s intervention the club may well still not be going on tour to this date.

Ravi served on the committee throughout his time at University, shuttled players to games even when he was not playing and went in goal constantly to make sure teams could get games.

When former South African goalkeeper Dave Staniforth joined Wessex as a coach he welcomed Ravi into his team at Farnham Hockey Club as well, Ravi producing video for the team as well as photography on occasion. This proved very helpful in their initial seasons in national league, where they remain to this day.

Reading Hockey Club was Ravi’s final club where he travelled to Europe to record the men taking on Europe’s best in the EuroHockey League.

Ravi became a preferred photographer for England Hockey, supplying high quality images to our national governing body at a range of events. His work at the Super 6s Indoor Hockey event really illustrates the standard to which he upped his game as he captured the drama and glitz of the occasion.

The event in Southampton was attended by many of Ravi’s friends and family fondly remembering his contribution to the sport. The aim of the event was to raise funds and awareness of CALM, as well as paying a fitting tribute to Ravi.

For anyone wishing to make donations to the cause you can do by visiting the Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/RaiseForRavi

England Hockey Board Media release

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