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News for 24 June 2017

All the news for Saturday 24 June 2017

England and the Netherlands land World Cup tickets

© Frank Uijlenbroek

England, the Netherlands, Argentina and Malaysia stamped their tickets to the 2018 World Cup thanks to their quarter-final wins in London at the World League semi-finals on Thursday.

The Netherlands made light work of their quarter-final to confirm their World Cup qualification, turning on the style with a sparkling 7-0 win over China.

The Dutch scored some sensational team goals, with Amsterdam’s Mirco Pruijser netting twice alongside strikes from Kampong’s Robbert Kemperman, Jonas de Geus, team captain Billy Bakker, Bjorn Kellerman and Tristan Algera. Bakker’s goal was the 50th of his international career in his 150th international match.

Host nation England were given a real scare by Canada before taking a 4-2 win. Canada established a 2-0 lead in the opening 12 minutes thanks to goals from John Smyth and Gordon Johnston.

Barry Middleton reduced the deficit by tipping in a high ball, getting in just ahead of Canada goalkeeper David Carter to a make it 2-1 at the end of the first quarter. Mark Gleghorne levelled matters with a fine deflection in the second period, with David Goodfield and Sam Ward scored the goals that confirmed England’s place at next year’s showpiece event in Bhubaneswar.

Argentina were too strong for Pakistan with a 3-1 win with Mannheimer HC’s Gonzalo Peillat netting his 12th goal of the tournament.

India, meanwhile, were beaten 3-2 by Malaysia. Razie Rahim and Tengku Tajuddin gave the Malaysians a 2-0 advantage in the second period but a brilliant double strike from Ramandeep Singh restored parity ahead of half time.

Razie claimed his second goal of the match with a 48th minute penalty corner, a strike which proved to be the winner despite Ramandeep missing a golden opportunity to level in the final minutes.

Earlier in the day, Korea were the winners of the 9th-10th classification match, defeating Scotland 6-3.

Euro Hockey League media release

National hockey team all pumped up after qualifying for W-Cup

by Aftar Singh

Hero of the day: Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim (centre) is hugged by team-mates after scoring the winning goal against India in the quarter-finals of the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in London on Thursday.

KUALA LUMPUR: It sure feels good when you defy the odds and come out smelling like roses.

Well, that’s how the Malaysian men’s hockey team are feeling right now – after their 3-2 upset over world No. 6 India in the quarter-finals of the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in London on Thursday.

The win not only ensured Malaysia a place in the semi-finals for the first time, it also sealed the country’s spot in next year’s World Cup, to be held in Bhubaneswar, India.

After the hard-fought win over India, world No. 14 Malaysia can expect an even more torrid time in the semi-finals as they will be up against world No. 1 Argentina at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre today.

The two teams have met 22 times, with Argentina winning nine times and Malaysia five times. They drew the other eight clashes.

They last met on June 16, with the South American champions winning their opening Group A match 5-2 in London.

Argentina are a solid and speedy team, with a deadly penalty corner specialist in Gonzalo Peillat.

Malaysia will definitely have to be wary of him as he has netted 12 of Argentina’s 23 goals in five matches.

“He has been in top form and has scored in every match, including a hat-trick against us (in the opening match). We can expect another tough time from them in the semi-finals,” said national coach Stephen van Huizen, who will be banking on his own penalty corner specialist – drag flicker Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim – to rise to the occasion.

It was Razie who scored twice in the quarter-final win over India. He gave Malaysia the lead in the 19th minute – off their second penalty corner.

A minute later, Malaysia earned another penalty corner and this time Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil reacted fastest to deflect the ball into goal off a push by Razie.

India fought back to score two quick goals in three minutes through Ramandeep Singh (24th and 26th minutes).

But Razie had the last say when he netted the winning goal off another penalty corner in the 48th minute.

“My boys are in high spirits and have vowed to give their best. They have presented Malaysia with the best Hari Raya Aidilfitri gift by qualifying for next year’s World Cup and reaching the semi-finals of the World Hockey League Semi-Finals for the first time,” said Stephen.

The Star of Malaysia

Retegui wants to guide Argentina to World Cup win

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Remember this name: Carlos Retegui (pic).

Though not as well known as Australian coach Ric Charlesworth yet, the Argentina coach has already made his mark in world hockey and ranks among the best today.

Retegui first came to prominence in 2009, when he was appointed as coach of Argentina’s women’s hockey team. He guided them to a bronze medal in the 2010 World Cup on home soil before helping them to the gold medal in the 2012 Olympics in London. The Olympic gold also propelled the Las Leonas (The Lionesses) to the world No. 1 spot.

In 2014, he did double duty – guiding both the men and women’s teams to third placing in the 2014 World Cups in The Hague (both the men and women’s World Cups were held simultaneously).

After that, he decided to focus on the men’s team only.

And last year – after just two years – he led the men’s team to the Rio Olympic gold medal and the No. 1 ranking in the world.

But the 48-year-old former national defender is not done yet. He wants to guide the team to lift the World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India, next year.

He will only consider himself a successful coach when he helps Argentina win the World Cup.

“Yes, the World Cup is missing from my resume. I want to take this team to the title next year. That would be the highlight of my career,” he said in a telephone interview from London yesterday.

Argentina have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup and will play Malaysia in the semi-finals of the World Hockey League Semi-Finals at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre today.

So, what is the secret to his success as a coach?

It’s all about moulding his team in his own way and style, he explained.

“My style is to have a team that works together. There is no place for individual play.

“My philosophy is really simple. Work, work, work, work ... work hard, work hard and then harder.

“I’m very passionate about the game, even when I was a player. I detest anybody who shirks his or her duties. I take pride in playing for my country and I expect nothing less from my players.

“I enjoy it (playing and coaching) very much and there is never a dull moment.

“I eat and sleep hockey. I do not know how long I will continue but I crave success,” he said.

Retegui is married to Maria Grandoli and they have two children – daughter Micaela Retegui and son Mateo Retegui.

“Both my children took up hockey and my daughter still plays the game. My son left hockey this year to concentrate on football. He played both games but decided on football when he joined Boca Juniors. He is 18.

“I’m proud of that and I hope he makes a name for himself,” said Retegui.

For now, his thoughts are on Malaysia.

“Yes, we will be ready for them. We beat them once and we’ll do it again. We will not underestimate any team,” warned Retegui.

The Star of Malaysia

Skipper Shukri wants his team-mates to start thinking big

KUALA LUMPUR: Let’s aim for the sky!

National men’s hockey team skipper Mohd Shukri Mutalib does not want his team-mates to be satisfied with just qualifying for next year’s World Cup.

Malaysia defeated India 3-2 in the last eight of the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in London on Thursday to confirm their berth for the 2018 World Cup in Bhuba­neswar, India.

The national team will face world No. 1 Argentina in the semi-finals at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre today.

“We should not be contented with the quarter-final win over India,” said Shukri in a telephone interview from London yesterday.

“Instead, it should spur us to try harder and go as high as we can.

“I’m extremely proud of my team-mates for fighting tooth and nail to qualify for the World Cup. For once, I can say that we had a team of players rather than individuals.

“Everyone complemented each other. This shows we have the skills to match the best.

“We must capitalise on this opportunity and start thinking big.”

Although coach Stephen van Huizen’s team are a mixture of ageing players and youngsters, Shukri, 31, admitted that it is the seniors who are the core players.

The seniors are goalkeeper S. Kumar, 37; Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, 31; Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor, 30; Mohd Razie Rahim, 29; and Mohd Marhan Jalil, 27.

The rest are aged below 25.

And Shukri believes that today’s semi-final against Argentina would definitely benefit the youngsters in the national team.

“They are very good. They have an all-round team, combining individual play with team work.

“It will definitely be an uphill task, but we must try. Let’s not be overawed when facing them,” said Shukri, who has also warned his team-mates to be wary of Gonzalo Peillat – Argentina’s penalty corner specialist.

The 24-year-old Argentine is the leading goal scorer in the tournament with 12 goals.

The Star of Malaysia

Men’s hockey team set to make Podium Programme after reaching WC

by Aftar Singh

Enlightening: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin looking at an Olympic torch with Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar yesterday. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: It looks like the national men’s hockey team are set to make the Podium Programme after qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India.

“It’s a big achievement for the national men’s team after failing to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last year. We will consider them for the Podium Programme,” said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

The hockey team, under coach Stephen van Huizen, defeated India 3-2 in the quarter-finals of the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in London on Thursday to seal their ticket to the World Cup.

“They have achieved good results by beating higher-ranked teams like India (world No. 6) to make the semi-finals and qualify for the World Cup,” said Khairy.

“The Podium Programme committee will also evaluate the performances of athletes after the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August.

“Those who achieve good results will also be considered for the Podium Programme and those who don’t will be dropped.

“We evaluate all the athletes’ performances every six months,” added Khairy at the Olympic Day celebrations held at KL Sentral yesterday.

The Olympic Day is held to commemorate the founding of the modern Olympic Movement and promote the Olympic ideals.

Khairy said that Malaysia’s mission in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be to win more medals – including the country’s first gold.

“We are not just going to rely on badminton to deliver the gold in Tokyo.

“I believe that three or four other sports can win the gold,” said Khairy, without elaborating.

“We’re also considering hosting the Olympic Games may be in 20 years’ time.”

Former Olympians Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan, K. Selvaratnam, Chelliah Paramalingam, Kuldip Singh, Paul Lopez, Jeffrey Ong, Khoo Cai Lin, Noraseela Khalid and Welson Sim handed the Olympic flag to Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar and Khairy to celebrate the Olympic Day.

Tunku Imran explained that they kept the celebrations low key due to the fasting month.

The Star of Malaysia

Rudderless India consumed by a hungry Malaysia

Sundeep Misra

Action in the quarters of HWL 2017 between India and Malaysia. Image courtesy: Twitter/ @TheHockeyIndia

While pieces fell perfectly into place for a resurgent Malaysian hockey team, disorder and anxiety ruled the Indian side as they collapsed 2-3 in what was the only shock quarter-final result of the Hockey World League Semi-Final. In world hockey’s order of things, Malaysia came in at No 14 and India at No 6, a yawning gap of eight spots.

Yet Malaysia played with more hunger and a yearning which reflected on the pitch. India came in with a reputation. And there it ended. Sport, admittedly, at the end of the day is about winning and losing but into that mix come planning, tactics and strategy. For moments in the match and sometimes seemingly interminable stretches, India looked rudderless, as clueless as a sprinter asked to run a middle distance event. They controlled the start and then suddenly lost the plot. Malaysia sensed the confusion and they did what they do best – stretch the flanks, speed through the midfield, creating confusion and mayhem.

For a World No 6 team and favourites in the match, the normal thing would have been to backpedal, lie back on the ropes, absorb the initial blows and slowly take control. India did just the opposite. They exposed the defence and went into attack. Malaysia used the spaces and earned two penalty corners; both wasted. But doubts had been created in the minds of the Indians. If they came into the match thinking they would ride on talent and skill, they were surprised by a Malaysian side who wanted to fight all the way.

A day before, Malaysian coach, Stephen van Huizen, said, “We will play tight and try and take India to a shoot-out. There is only one team that is the favourite and that is India.” Van Huizen’s plan was falling into place. By the second quarter, India had started pushing hard from the midfield. Malaysia responded with high balls. It was like lobbing someone in a tennis match. The first high ball found Malaysian forward Tajuddin Tengku, trapping it well and finding only the Indian goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya in front. But the tap was saved by Dahiya. Yet another scoop gave Malaysia their third penalty corner, and Rahim Razie’s flick beat Dahiya. India was a goal down. Exactly, a minute later, off a melee, Malaysia had their fourth penalty corner. And they went for an indirect penalty corner, Razie’s hit was flat towards the outstretched stick of Tengku and suddenly in the space of one minute, India was staring at a 0-2 deficit.

India coach Roelant Oltmans pushed the team upwards and Malaysia, with a two goal cushion, relaxed a bit. India went onto the flanks, missed a few chances before Sumit on the left flank hit strongly into the Malaysian striking circle. Ramandeep Singh was on the spot with a deflection. Akashdeep also had an opportunity but the shot was checked at the last second and the Malaysian defender was there to clear. India had their first penalty corner in the 26th minute and it was saved and cleared. But the ball came back into the striking circle. Chinglensana Singh shot towards the Malaysian goal as goalkeeper Subramiam Kumar took it on the pads. With a flash, Ramandeep was there to flick it into the goal. At 2-2, India seemed to be right on top.

At the start of the third quarter, possession was India’s. They were on the flanks as the midfield was non-existent. Sardar Singh did his best which wasn’t enough while Harjeet Singh did some smart play in the second quarter before fading away in the third. Overall, India lost the contest in the middle where dominance was necessary to pressurise the Malaysians. Too much dribble, overplay in the circle and no snap shots gave the Malaysian defence the breathing space they needed. Forwards like Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, and Sunil stayed on the ball not willing to try shots or even earn penalty corners. Sunil, time and again, raced in from the right flank and went too long before being deprived of the ball. Time was moving and India was under self-induced duress.

By now, the match was at its tipping point. Malaysia’s fifth penalty corner hit Manpreet Singh on the wrist as the umpire pointed for a sixth. Manpreet referred it to the video umpire who overruled letting the penalty corner stand. Razie scored his second of the match with a flick that beat Akash Chikte who had been brought in after the break. At 3-2, Malaysia had the upper hand with 12 minutes left in the match. At the 2017 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, Malaysia had also scored in the fourth quarter to hold off the Indians and win the match.

What followed was a maddening rush towards the Malaysian goal. India electrified the midfield to an extent. But the forwards, even though reaching the Malaysian striking circle, were not holding the ball. Anxious to get an equaliser, they pushed towards the wrong player or moved the ball into ineffective zones. Mandeep, a virtual passenger in the match and in the tournament had the ball with space in front. But he tried to be cute with a deflection that rushed past the post. Akashdeep also tried twice to take reverse hits but the Malaysian goalkeeper was in no mood to be beaten.

For the first time in Europe, Malaysia had beaten India. For the first time in their hockey history, Malaysia had beaten India in consecutive matches; the last being the 1-0 victory at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. It was also sweet revenge for losing the 2015 Hockey World League quarter-final in Antwerp.

The Malaysian coach praised his players saying they rose to the occasion. “We needed to put India under pressure and we did. But they did come back,” said van Huizen. “I told my players to hold the third quarter and somehow try and not let India score. We were successful as India was under pressure and then we closed the match with the match-winner.”

Oltmans said the result was unfair as Malaysia’s sixth penalty corner had come off Manpreet’s hand and the ball was above the knees. Technically, a dangerous ball. Oltmans probably forgot that the video umpire allowed it and that the replays clearly showed that Manpreet was bending down when the ball hit his wrist. “We started badly and came back and then the match-winner came off the penalty corner which in my opinion was wrong,” said Oltmans.

India’s Dutch coach did react angrily when a reporter suggested that India were outplayed. “Outplayed? No way,” Oltmans said. “This is the biggest nonsense I have heard. Look at our possession.”

Malaysia’s technical director Terry Walsh, a former Indian coach himself, was grinning like a Cheshire cat after the match. Though he didn’t want to be drawn into a conversation about the match, he did say, “Malaysia did the talking on the pitch.”

Oltmans said he was focusing on the Asia Cup and then the Hockey World League Finals in India. But that shouldn’t stop him from examining India’s fragilities. Defeats are insightful; India’s lack of innovation, creativity and ingenuity was glaringly exposed.


India need to shrug off familiar classification stage woes against Pakistan

Sundeep Misra

Akashdeep Singh celebrates scoring the fifth goal for India against Pakistan on 18 June. Getty Images

Expected to be building towards a top-four finish at the Hockey World League Semi-Final, India find themselves in a dark tunnel locked in a battle for the 5th to 8th positions. Standing in front of them are Pakistan, who honestly India had thought had been consigned to the classification bin after the 7-1 thrashing in a Pool B match. But their own brittle mind, combined with play that should embarrass them whenever they see video replays, have brought forth the rivalry into play again.

It’s not certain whether either team wanted to play this game. But here we are again. The game holds a lot of importance for Pakistan as a win will give them the opportunity to finish 5th and seal automatic qualification for the 2018 World Cup. For India, it’s a question of pride, honour and, without a doubt, ‘self-respect’ that would ensure they take a flight home knowing that half the job has been done, if not full.

Neither Khawaja Muhammad Junaid, Pakistan’s coach or his India counterpart Roelant Oltmans would relish the thought of both teams meeting once again amid the cacophony of nationalistic fervor again in just a span of few days.

“We did our best against the Olympic champions Argentina, fought for every inch and lost a good game. I would be happy if we play a similar game against India. We understand that we have to win,” Junaid said.

Oltmans was slightly more upfront and blunt. He had not envisaged that India would be playing Pakistan as, according to him, they were looking forward to meeting Argentina in the semi-finals. Malaysia provided a rude shock and now at the end of the pitch stand Pakistan, who have been much chastened but are understand their weaknesses much better.

India are jittery after the loss to Malaysia, their second straight at the Hockey World League. And history does tell us that India are not great in classification matches. When asked if there would be a similar scoreline as in the pool game, Oltmans immediately played down the possibility. “It won’t be 7-1 again,” he said, with a shake of his head. “Pakistan will always get opportunities.”

The implication was quite clear. Any plans of a blitzkrieg against Pakistan had been watered down. India would try and play sensible hockey to win and gain some satisfaction after the disaster against Malaysia.

Junaid, on the other hand, spoke about Pakistan’s improvement and how they are taking it match by match to come back into the world’s top six and against any team above them, a win would be considered an improvement.

Oltmans has his work cut out. He needs to inject adrenaline into this Indian side that would still be reeling from the unexpected defeat against Malaysia. The Dutchman said, “If we take our chances and work on the execution, we should do it.” That’s a simplistic view of hockey.

Mandeep Singh, who came into this tournament with five goals in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and a reputation to maintain, has been the biggest letdown. These may be strong words for a player like him but when you don’t show up for any of the five matches with no goals to your credit, it’s time to understand that it’s just not form that is the culprit. At the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, Mandeep was praised by Oltmans as the next big thing in Indian hockey. “I see the striker in him that India has lacked,” said Oltmans. At the moment, if Mandeep can hold a ball and create a move that would be a small win in the larger scheme of things.

In a classification match, the stakes are different. For Pakistan, the motivating factor would be a win over India and to try and finish 5th to seal a spot in the World Cup. India’s only gain is to beat Pakistan. There are no worries over the World Cup as India are the hosts.

In the 2002 Champions Trophy in Cologne and the 2003 Champions Trophy in Amstelveen, India won the Pool match and then went onto lose the bronze medal game to Pakistan; in 2002, India led 3-1 before losing that match 4-3.

But the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan was different. India beat Pakistan 3-2 in the pool game and by the same margin in the final. Here at the Olympic Park in London, India wouldn’t mind a replay of Kuantan.


Pakistan to face India in World League play-off

LAHORE: Pakistan will again meet India when fifth to eighth position play-offs will be played at the hockey World League in London.

Both Pakistan and India bowed out of the competition on Thursday after losing their quarter-finals to Argentina and Malaysia by margins of 1-3 and 2-3 respectively.

In the remaining quarter-finals, the Netherlands outplayed China 7-0 and England came from behind to down Canada 4-2.

All the four winners of the quarterfinals—Argentina, Malaysia, Netherlands and England—have now booked their tickets for the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India. And India as host of the World Cup has automatically qualified for the mega event.

Pakistan will first play India and China will face Canada. The winner of the Pakistan-India match will then play against the losing side of the China-Canada match while the losing side of Pakistan-India match will be contesting against the winner of the China-Canada match.

South Korea had defeated Scotland 6-3 to finish 9th in the 10 team event.

Semi-finals line-up:

Argentina vs Malaysia; England vs Netherlands.


After Malaysia shock, India wary of Pakistan

India, Pakistan, Canada and China will be playing for the fifth to eighth positions in the Hockey World League Semi-Final in London.

Soumitra Bose

India will look to end the Hockey World League Semi-Final round on a high after failing to reach the last-four.(PTI)

Did Roelant Oltmans put the cart before the horse? After Malaysia dented India’s plans to enter the last-four stage of the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final on Thursday, India run into an improving Pakistan for the second time in a week in London.

Dutchman Oltmans never envisaged that India would be playing Pakistan in a placing match at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre here. His eyes were firmly on a semi-final clash against Argentina, but the tables were turned on India.

“We haven’t done enough here. I was not even thinking of playing Pakistan again,” a disappointed Oltmans said after the 3-2 Malaysian setback.

Classification battle

On Saturday, India clash with Pakistan and Canada play China as the teams contest for the fifth to eighth positions in the Hockey World League Semi-Final’s London leg.

Since India automatically qualify as the host nation for the 2018 Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar, Pakistan, Canada and China will be desperate to grab the fifth and sixth slots and remain in the hunt for the world championship.

Argentina, Malaysia, Netherlands and England have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup by virtue of entering the semi-finals here.

On Saturday, Rio Olympics champions take on Malaysia while hosts England play a marauding Dutch team. In the quarterfinals on Thursday, Argentina beat Pakistan 3-1, Netherlands spanked China seven goals to nothing and England scripted a come-from-behind 4-2 win against Canada.

India vs Pakistan treat

This has been a season of India versus Pakistan in the UK. The cricket teams battled twice in the ICC Champions Trophy and it will be a repeat on the hockey pitch. Oltmans is only hoping that the Round 2 results will be different.

India had whipped Pakistan in a group match of the ICC Champions Trophy in Birmingham on June 4 and two weeks later at The Oval, surrendered meekly to gift Pakistan their maiden Champions Trophy.

Oltmans seemed to be aware of what happened on the cricket field and with Pakistan showing signs of improvement in the Hockey World League Semi-Final, the Indians are not even thinking of their 7-1 win in a group match last Sunday.

“Certainly it won’t be 7-1. They got their chances against us in the first match and they scored against Argentina. So we have to respect Pakistan for their abilities,” said Ramandeep Singh, who scored India’s two goals against Malaysia

Desperate for World Cup

Pakistan are desperate to finish among the top six. They lifted their game against Rio Olympic champions Argentina on Thursday and their defence looked tightest in the tournament so far.

For a struggling Pakistan team that had conceded 18 goals and scored just four in the four group matches, to thwart the tactical Argentines in as many as seven penalty corners in a pressure game was a clear sign of improvement. Their goalkeeper Amjad Ali had an outstanding match.

Captain Abdul Haseem Khan was confident of a better show against India. “We are a young team and lack experience of big matches. But we are like soldiers in a battlefield. We will rise for sure,” he told HT.

India’s story of missed chances continued against a tactical Malaysia on Thursday. “We are still not finishing well. It was good to rebound after being down two-nil but we are still not executing our plans and luck is not with us too,” Oltmans said.

India’s inability to score directly from penalty corners has hurt the team. Harmanpreet Singh has drawn a blank in his last six short corners mostly due to the absence of crisp and precision finish.

“It’s a pity we are missing Rupinderpal Singh but it’s no point talking about a player who is not here. Harmanpreet is young and will learn,” said Oltmans.

India’s inability to finish well from inside the 25-yard zone has been a sore point in the Hockey World League semi-final. Sizzling crosses across the pitch, clever deflections and quick counterattacks seem to be factors that is dominating modern hockey. India still have some catching up to do.

Hindustan Times

Inconsistent India eye redemption against Pakistan

LONDON: Bruised and battered after their shocking ouster from the title race, an inconsistent India would look for solace when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan in a 5th-8th classification match of the Hockey World League Semi-Final on Saturday.

India, ranked sixth in the world, crashed out of the podium race after suffering a 2-3 loss to 14th placed Malaysia in a quarter-final match on Thursday.

The loss to Malaysia, their second in two months, would be hard to digest for Roelant Oltmans' men who have been trying hard to regain their place in the elite league of world hockey.

The loss didn't make any difference to India's participation in this year's Hockey World League Final and next World Cup as being the hosts they are already assured of a place in the two events. Both events are to held in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar.

The Indians, who were inconsistent throughout the tournament, should take the loss as a lesson and work on their mistakes.

Even though India hold an edge over Pakistan having thrashed them 7-1 in the pool stages here, the tussle between the two nations can be unpredictable.

Just like the pool match, emotions will run high on both sides and come Saturday, Pakistan will be desperate for revenge.

The defeat against Malaysia still fresh in their minds, it remains to be seen how the Indians regroup so quickly.

A loss would be disastrous for Indian hockey, which has seen an upward trend over the last few years.

A defeat on Saturday will definitely raise question marks over the team's and chief coach Oltmans' progress over the years.

So, Oltmans' and his men would be desperate to bring cheers back into the faces of their fans with yet another commanding performance.

India would look to avoid the mistakes they have been committing on and off in the tournament.

The Indians need to get off the blocks early and take control of the proceedings and it's high time the backline, their perennial problem, pull up their socks and take responsibility.

The strike force, too, have misfired a lot in the tournament, even though Ramandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh have scored some scintillating field goals.

Barring Ramandeep and Akshdeep, no other striker could excel and the duo would look for more support from the likes of Mandeep Singh, Talwinder Singh and SV Sunil.

Another area which would be high on Oltmans' mind is the unimpressive performance of young Harmanpreet Singh from penalty corners.

Pakistan, on the other hand, have improved with every game and fought hard before losing 1-3 to reigning Olympic champions Argentina in the quarter-finals.

So, the Indians can ill afford to dwell on their pool stage performance against Pakistan.

A win will ensure India's place in the fifth-sixth place play-off match scheduled for Sunday.

Meanwhile, in other matches of the day, Canada and China will lock horns in 5th-8th classification match while Argentina will play Malaysia in the first semi-final followed by the second last-four clash between hosts England and Netherlands.

The Times of India

Van der Weerden hoping for more London success

Mink Van der Weerden

Netherlands star Mink Van der Weerden is relishing their Hero Hockey World League Semi-final clash with England and is hoping to make even more memories in London.

The Dutchman was part of the squad that won the 2015 EuroHockey Nations Championship and also silver at the 2012 London Olympics, and Van der Weerden now has his sights on a Hockey World League medal.

Both England and the Netherlands impressed in their respective pools and quarter final ties and after the countries’ women met earlier this month in London, the men are now set for a showdown of their own. Tickets for finals weekend are still available, click here for details.

Looking ahead to the contest Van der Weerden said: “It’ll be another big challenge for us as a team. Playing England will be a big test and a very interesting game for sure.”

“I think we are really making steps in every match. If you look at the way we are playing we have really improved in each game, as a team we are really happy about it, so far so good!”

Van der Weeren is enjoying his time back in the capital and playing at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, he said: “This area here in London at Olympic Park is amazing, we really enjoy being back here and there are a lot of good memories here for me.

“A medal at the Olympics and of course gold at the EuroHockey Championships here in 2015, the venue and set up is really good.”

England and the Netherlands push back at 4.15pm on June 24 with the match also live on BT Sport.

England Hockey Board Media release

‘Cricket’s success can revive dying hockey in Pakistan’

Called the Maradona of hockey, World Cup-winning captain Shahbaz Ahmed has been entrusted with reviving hockey in Pakistan.

Soumitra Bose

Shahbaz Ahmed is the only hockey player to win two consecutive Player of the tournament awards, in the 1990 World Cup in Lahore and at the 1994 World Cup in Sydney.(HT Photo )

World Cup-winning Shahbaz Ahmed has Pakistan’s hockey fortunes in his hand. The 48-year-old former striker, who has played three Olympics, is Pakistan Hockey Federation’s secretary general, a post he has held since September 2015.

Shahbaz Ahmed is one of the greatest hockey players in the game’s history. The all-time leading cap holder, having represented Pakistan 304 times, is the only player to win two consecutive Player of the tournament awards, in the 1990 World Cup in Lahore and at the 1994 World Cup in Sydney.

Shahbaz spoke to HT on the sidelines of the Hockey World League at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Excerpts from an exclusive interview:

You seemed to have booked an early flight home. Don’t you want to see Pakistan qualify for the 2018 World Cup in India?

I have been tasked with reviving Pakistan hockey. I want to see Pakistan bouncing back from where we currently are. It’s not a happy scenario (Pakistan are ranked 13 in the world). There is lot of work to be done. Qualifying for the World Cup is a process.

You have been one of the greatest in world hockey and fans loved you in India.

I started my international career in Kolkata (1986) and played my second tournament in the Indira Gandhi Cup in 1987 in Lucknow. The press in India and Pakistan called me a “superman” and the “man with electric heels.” I was the best player of the tournament and I can never forget the admiration we got.

India and Pakistan do not have any bilateral sporting ties, especially in hockey and cricket. Has that harmed the game at large?

Certainly it has. Pakistan certainly have lost out for sure. We did not qualify for the Rio Olympics and we did not play the (2014) World Cup in The Hague and now we are not sure about 2018 World Cup in India. Beauty of hockey comes when India and Pakistan play each other. Here in London, people came to watch the India versus Pakistan match. If Pakistan do not get the opportunity to play big tournaments, it will be very difficult to revive the game.

The FIH president (Narinder Batra) is an Indian. Given the political scenario, are you hopeful of playing a series with India?

Batra may be an Indian but he needs to understand that he is the president of the world body. He needs to be fair and transparent. He must spread the message of peace and translate them into deeds. On an invitation from Dhanraj Pillay, I have travelled to India when they launched the professional league. I got so much warmth. As players we share good feelings. I am sure administrators can do the same.

Why did you take up hockey administration?

When I played my last World Cup in 2002, I could smell that the current administrators cannot produce good results. A player-turned-administrator has a big advantage. I have played 20 years of international hockey and several years in European league. I have seen what it takes to become a strong nation.

Why is Pakistan hockey not growing?

The biggest problem is that the young players who are coming into Pakistan hockey lack education. Astro-turf hockey is a science and we are not up to it.

In the Hockey World League here, Pakistan lost to India 7-1 and lost to Canada 6-0. Were you shocked?

Yes. I could not digest the results. We are not mentally strong and lack stamina to play hard. Their body language is weak and they are playing simple hockey. We have to mix skill with aggression and then only we can survive. India is doing this quite well.

Is foreign coach a remedy for Pakistan?

I don’t think so. That’s not a solution. The average age of the current side is 25-plus. A foreign coach will be unable to turn them around. My vision is to build a developmental squad of 40-50 boys with strong basics and then hire a high-performance manager. A foreigner is good at strategy and analysis. He is very good on a drawing board but hockey is played on the field.

But you need lot of support to see your vision come good.

That’s absolutely true. The pity is that there is no money in Pakistan hockey. There are no jobs. If we can introduce a league, pump in funds and give proper incentives, Pakistan hockey will be up and running in two-three years.

There was a time when Pakistan was known for hockey, cricket and squash. Now it’s only about cricket.

It’s very true that hockey is dying. But I am not giving up. Our under-18 team won gold in the Australian national championship and the team is spending five months there to groom itself. Now we only need polished products.

Are there role models in Pakistan hockey?

Not really. Cricket’s success (in Champions Trophy) is an eye-opener and that will give hockey new life. Pakistan hockey needs victories and only then it will rise and shine again. Nobody wants to play hockey now but we have a history of resurgence in sports and I will try my best to ensure hockey is not dead in Pakistan.

Hindustan Times

Hockey has no age barrier

Hockey is a sport for all ages. You only have to pay a visit to your local hockey club to see players as young as five or six wielding their junior hockey sticks and, at the other end of the spectrum you will see people in their 60s, 70s and 80s still playing competitive hockey.

At international level the age range is obviously considerably less but within a squad it is possible to find the ages of team members spanning three decades.

We speak to the oldest and youngest players who have been competing at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London at the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final.

Juan Vivaldi is Argentina’s goalkeeper and, at the age of 37, he was part of Los Leones’ Olympic gold medal winning squad at Rio 2016. When Vivaldi travelled to Athens for the 2004 Olympic Games, the Netherland’s midfielder Jorrit Croon was just six years old. If both Argentina and The Netherlands win - or lose - their respective semi-final matches on Saturday, they will come face-to-face on Sunday. The chances are that the old guard will meet the young pretender at some point of the competition.

“Age is not a problem for me,” says Vivaldi. “I'm enjoying playing for Los Leones and our philosophy is the same always: try to give your best effort for the team. Everyday is a new challenge and everybody can still improve. We have a big competitive spirit within the team.”

And in case Vivaldi has ever been in danger of losing his motivation to keep training, his team’s performances in recent years have been enough to persuade him to keep going. “My three favourite moments during my career have been the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara; the bronze medal in the 2014 World Cup and, of course, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.”

To stay at the top of his game and to maintain his spot as number one goalie in Argentina is not easy. Vivaldi says he has to put in double or triple the effort of some of the younger players. He says, over the years, he has changed and improved all aspects of his life – he eats healthier, has a strict fitness routine, does a lot of additional running and, of course, is always looking to improve his technical ability.

“I have changed a lot in the last four years,” says Vivaldi. “I have improved more than in the rest of my career. I'm in a good place, enjoying every tournament and competition and happy to be at this place now. When the end comes close you value every moment.”

Brilliant Dutch teenager Jorrit Croon is just setting out on his career but he is enjoying every moment of life as an international hockey player. He says the squad had been training hard in the build-up to London and personally he feels he is getting much stronger and fitter as a result.

He also appreciates the wealth of knowledge and experience that surrounds him: “For advice I go to the coaches and players, as a young player I can learn a lot and learn from every player.”

Croon was part of the Dutch squad that played in the 2016 Rio Olympics, an event where he celebrated his 18th birthday. It was an experience that has whet his appetite for many more such occasions.

He says that even now, with a little bit more experience under his belt, the moment he starts singing the national anthem and is wearing the orange shirt provokes a really emotional feeling within. Watching Juan Vivaldi belting out the national anthem for the 200th time suggest that is a feeling that never goes away.

FIH site

Dharmaraj positive girls can emulate men’s feat

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian women’s hockey team believe that “if the men can do it, so can we”.

The men’s team bounced back from two straight defeats – 5-2 to Argentina and 7-3 to England – to win their two remaining group matches – 1-0 against South Korea and 5-1 against China – to qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in London.

The men’s team then defeated India 3-2 in the quarter-finals to seal their spot in next year’s World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India.

The women’s team, who are competing in the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in Brussels, Belgium, have also suffered two defeats in Group B.

They were beaten 3-0 by world No. 4 Australia on Wednesday and 3-1 by world No. 10 Spain at the Fullon Stadium on Thursday.

World No. 22 Malaysia surprised 1992 Barcelona Olympic gold medallists Spain by taking the lead off their first penalty corner, which was converted by skipper Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani in the third minute.

But Spain stormed back to score three goals in eight minutes – Carola Salvatella (28th minute), Lola Riera (31st pen, 36th).

National coach K. Dharmaraj believes that his girls can do what the men’s team have done when they meet world No. 14 Belgium today.

“I hope my players can rise to the occasion and do what the men’s team did in London,” said Dharmaraj.

“The men’s team’s achievement can inspire my players to go all out and get the better of hosts Belgium.

“We need a win over Belgium to qualify for the quarter-finals and they are ranked lower than the other three teams (Australia, world No. 5 New Zealand and Spain) in our group,

“It won’t be easy playing against Belgium in their own backyard but nothing is impossible. We need to keep believing in ourselves.”

The Star of Malaysia

Green Machine Too Good For Austria In 7-2 Win

The Green Machine began today’s match in similar fashion to yesterday’s encounter as they got out of the blocks with ferocious pace. Eugene Magee, earning his 250th cap, was the first to cause the Austrian’s trouble as he intercepted a loose ball and charged into the circle to ask questions of the Austrian defence. The opening goal came in the 10th minute as Johnny McKee fired on the reverse to draw a fine save from Benjamin Melinc but Cargo was fastest to pounce on the rebound and made it 1-0. Just 4 minutes later and McKee added his own name to the scoresheet as a rebound again went uncleared by the Austrians, leaving McKee to shoot into the net. Michael Korpers goal came courtesy of a penalty stroke in the 23rd minute; the stroke awarded after a penalty corner shot was deemed to have hit the body of the post player. Austria began to build up their share of possession but Ireland rarely looked troubled and won 2 penalty corners in the final minutes of the half.

The Green Machine began to go through the motions as the second half progressed with Daragh Walsh and Shane O’Donoghue scoring within a minute of each other to put some daylight between the sides. O’Donoghue got his second from a penalty stroke after his initial drag had been stopped on the line by the post player’s foot. Stuart Loughrey kept the scoreboard ticking with a super flick in at the back post from McKee’s pinpoint reverse pass across the circle. Alan Sothern, on his 150th cap, rounded out the scoring for the Irish as he showcased his skill and composure to draw the keeper to the top of the circle before sliding around him to slot the ball into the open goal. Korper got his second from a fine drag flick high into the left corner but it was far too little too late for Austria.

Ireland 7 (Cargo, McKee, Walsh, O’Donoghue x2, Loughrey, Sothern)
Austria 2 (Korperx2)

Ireland’s final match of the tournament is against Germany on Sunday at 11:30am.

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, J Bell (Captain), C Cargo, A Sothern, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, J McKee, P Gleghorne, S Loughrey, S Cole

Subs: J Carr, M Bell, M Nelson, N Glassey, J Duncan, L Cole, D Walsh

Austria: F Zeidler, S Eitenberger, B Schmidt, M Korper, B Stanzl, F Steyrer, P Stanzl, F Lindengrun, L Thornblom, X Hasun (Captain),  B Melinc

Subs: P Schmidt, B Szmidt, O Binder, M Minar, P Kaltenbock, M Mantler

Hamburg Masters (all Irish time)
Thursday 22/6 3:45pm: Ireland 4vs1 Spain
Friday 23/6 3:45pm: Ireland 7vs2 Austria
Sunday 25/6 11:30am: Ireland vs Germany

Irish Hockey Association media release

Green Machine sweep aside Austria in Hamburg

Stu Loughrey, pictured against Spain on day one, scored a rare for Ireland. Pic: Sabine Muller

Ireland’s men scored another emphatic win at the Hamburg Masters as they beat Austria 7-2 on a day when Eugene Magee became just the second Irish man to reach the 250 international cap mark.

It backed up the green machine’s 4-1 win over Spain a day earlier as they controlled long periods of the tie against a side ranked 13 places lower in the world.

Jonny McKee was at the heart of a huge amount of Ireland’s attacking action, ending up with a glut of assists. His excellent receive, turn and shot in the ninth minute drew a fine save from Benjamin Melinc but fell invitingly to Chris Cargo to tap in.

McKee gobbled up the second soon after as Sothern’s bobbler led to a rush of players closing in on Melinc with the Banbridge man swiping in after a couple of pokes.

Austria offered very little in the first quarter but had the better in the second and got a goal on the board when a Michael Korper drag-flick was upgraded to a stroke as it was judged to have hit Lee Cole’s body on the goal line. Korper scored from the spot.

A first international goal from Daragh Walsh – in his second cap – and a field goal from Shane O’Donoghue after half-time, however, put the green machine in the driving seat.

O’Donoghue’s penalty stroke made it 5-1 before Stu Loughrey got a rare goal at the back post from McKee’s brilliant right wing cross.

McKee also set up the seventh for Alan Sothern to coolly roll home around the goalkeeper in the 56th minute. Korper got his second in the last minute as a consolation for Austria.

Ireland now face Germany on Sunday afternoon in a battle for this Hamburg Masters title.

Hamburg Masters
Ireland 7 (S O’Donoghue 2, C Cargo, J McKee, D Walsh, S Loughrey, A Sothern)
Austria 2 (M Korper 2)

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, J Bell, C Cargo, A Sothern, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, J McKee, P Gleghorne, S Loughrey, S Cole
Subs: M Bell, M Nelson, N Glassey, D Walsh, J Duncan, L Cole, J Carr

Austria: B Melinc, F Zeidler, S Eitenberger, B Schmidt, M Korper, B Stanzl, F Steyrer, P Stanzl, F Lindengrun, L Thornblom, X Hasun
Subs: P Schmidt, B Szmidt, O Binder, M Minar, P Kaltenbock, M Mantler

Umpires: T Meissner, M Gabarro

Hamburg Masters
Friday: Ireland 7 (S O’Donoghue 2, C Cargo, J McKee, D Walsh, S Loughrey, A Sothern) Austria 2 (M Korper 2)
Sunday: Ireland v Germany, 11.30am (Irish time)

The Hook

USMNT Gains Valuable Experience Competing Internationally Against France

PARIS, France – After an exciting comeback win on Wednesday against FIH Hero World Ranked No. 17 France, the U.S. Men’s National Team knew the series decider would fall in the final match of the three-game series this morning. France came out strong and took advantage early in the game producing few turnovers while capitalizing on three goals in the first half. They would add another in the third quarter and the USMNT would notch one of their own but it wouldn’t be enough as the final score stood at 4-1.

“The team made improvements every day during this tour, said Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.), USMNT Captain. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t’ end with a win against France today, but overall, we took a huge step in our preparation for the [Pan American Cup]. Training in Germany and playing against a quality side like France were both good opportunities to develop as a team in a very competitive and focused atmosphere. Solid tour overall.”

Early in the match, the USMNT were catch off mark which lead to a France striker open for a deflection goal on the far post. Looking to regroup, Team USA tried to look for open lanes forward the but continual pressure by France led to some difficulties. France’s high press eventually became rewarding as they earned a penalty corner and scored to make it 2-0.

Drawing back to the formulated game plan, the USMNT stayed patient to move the ball up field. Continuing the constantly pressure, France earned a turnover in the middle of the field which resulted in a 1v1 situation with USA’s goalkeeper. France capitalized on this opportunity to go up 3-0.

If they wanted to earn an outcome in today’s match, Team USA knew they had a big task ahead of them in the second half. Key adjustments made by USMNT’s Head Coach Rutger Wiese and coaching staff lead to an improved battle by Team USA. Before the USA could gain momentum, France scored on a rebounded ball to go up 4-0.

Having been trailing in all matches during week, Team USA continued to stick with their keep fighting mentality. They forced a poor pass by France’s defender where Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands) was able to convert on the breakaway to chip away at the goal deficit to make it, 4-1.

Time would be against the USMNT today as the final score would stand at USA 1, France 4.

“I want to thank the U.S. Men’s Foundation for providing us with the resources to go on this tour for our preparations for the upcoming Pan American Cup in August,” added Wiese.

“Although we are disappointed in the outcome in match three, it is extremely encouraging the progress that was made throughout the two-week tour,” said Brian Schledorn, USMNT Assistant Coach. “We look forward to sticking to our philosophy about getting better each day and will continue to do so on our journey to the Pan American Cup.”

Continue to follow the U.S. Men’s National Team by checking usafieldhockey.com for more information.

Team USA Tour Roster:
Michael Barminski (Ventura, Calif.), Tom Barratt (Greensboro, N.C.), Amrit Beaty (Simi Valley, Calif.), SeanCicchi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.), Mohan Gandhi (Ventura, Calif.), AlexGrassi (Brookeville, Md.), Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calif.), Will Holt (Camarillo, Calif.), Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands), Aki Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany), Brandon Karess (Allentown, Pa.), Jaja Kentwell (Royersford, Pa.), Amardeep Khokhar (Valencia, Calif.), Jon Klages (Berlin, Germany), Adam Miller (Panama City, Fla.), NickMolscan (Wanganui, New Zealand), Nate O’Lari (Orange, Mass.), Johnny Orozco (Ventura, Calif.), Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Calif.), Ruben Van Dam (Valkenswaard, The Netherlands)

From August 4 -13, the Home of Hockey in the United States, Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa., is hosting 16 international field hockey squads for the Pan American Cups (PAC).

USFHA media release

Las Leonas new era, Agustín Corradini Legion

Candela Diaz Bustos

Agustín Corradini   

After his successful management with "Las Leoncitas", Argentina's junior team, Agustín Corradini tells us how he manages "Las Leonas" major team day-to-day and his hopes for continental hockey.

2017 starts with many changes for Argentine hockey, especially for the women's senior team, “Las Leonas”. After the administrative election of the Argentine Hockey Confederation (CAH), it was decided to modify the technical direction leadership, transferring the responsibility that Gabriel Minadeo had to Agustín Corradini, who during 2016 coached Argentina’s Junior Women, World Champion in 2016 in Chile, and Champion of the Junior Pan American Championship in Trinidad and Tobago.

Agustín will be responsible of leading the team that won most continental level titles, and twice world champions.

If there is something that the Las Leonas coach is completely sure, is that having the support of as many players as possible is necessary in order to obtain better results. With the incorporation of great players from previous years to their technical team, and the motivation to achieve their group dreams, one thing we are sure, everyone wants to see Las Leonas in Tokyo 2020 Olympic podium and why not, get a new World Cup title, which will take place in London during 2018.The road is long, but not impossible. With more than an interesting international agenda, Las Leonas made their way with satisfactory results a few weeks ago during the England tour, prior to their participation in the World Hockey League Semi Final in Johannesburg, tournament that qualifies for the FIH World Cup.

After the loss of several players in the last years due to retirement or resignations, the structure of the team changed and different natural leaders within the team were arising, such as Delfina Merino, Belen Succi, among others, searching a way to reestablish the team with the motivation of being part of Argentina’s national team who gave us so many beautiful and remarkable moments in this sport.

This change, made Las Leonas include 14 players from the Junior squad, “Las Leoncitas” such as Bianca Donati, Barbara Dichiara, Priscila Jardel, Agustina Gorzelany, Magdalena Fernandez Ladra, Milagro Fernandez Ladra, Agostina Alonso, Azul Rosetti, and the rest that was already part of the team from previous years, such as the chosen Promising Star by FIH, Majo Granatto, Eugenia Trinchinetti, Luchi Von der Heyde, Poy Tocalino, Paula Ortiz and Julieta Jankunas, the youngest of team who became part of the senior team with only 16 years in 2015.

In our interview with Agustín Corradini, we asked several questions in order to understand more of his new management, now as technical leader of Las Leonas.

PAHF: How was your first day training Las Leonas?

Agustín Corradini: It was a very nice moment, returning to the CENARD after many months is always good. From the very first minute we started with all the training and focusing on players preparation for their integration to a new game system.

PAHF: We noticed that Las Leonas have a new team, but we see that you called two players that have international experience, as the case of Noe Barrionuevo (who was disaffected from the team in December 2016). What was the motivation that led you to make these calls and what were their reactions at the time of that meeting?

A: We believe that our team is very talented, but it still lacks international experience. Carla Rebechi’s retirement has modified the reality of the Argentina’s penalty corner, and we thought it was convenient for those 2 reasons. Noe is a great person and professional, and she is executing a double role (as an athlete and as well as a teacher for the rest of the team), of course she took the notice it with great joy.

Silvina "Piti" D'Elia, is another a great player who was called by Agustin, with 16 podiums with Las Leonas, she played her last international game in December 2014, same date as Luciana "La Maga "Aymar farewell. In Piti’s case, she did not join the England tour and stayed training with the rest of his team at the High Performance Center (CENARD) in Buenos Aires. She will revalue her participation in the team when Las Leonas return from the World League in South Africa in July.

PAHF: We understand that a tour like the one they in England playing against the Olympic Champions is always very important for the year's agenda considering next year World Cup is in London, and that you are within weeks of playing Semi Finals in South Africa in July. What are your goals as a coach on this tour and what did you ask the team to do? How do you prepare Argentina’s international agenda thinking of London 2018? Do you want to tell us some details of what things does a tour involves for those who do not know?

A: The main objective in the London tour was to work on the game system that we are going to implement in the future. First we must play world league’s semi-final in South Africa, then the Pan American Cup in the United States and then, if we qualify in South Africa, World Hockey League Finals in New Zealand.

PAHF: You always emphasize the effort that the organizations make for the sport diffusion of, but tell us, what are your dreams with hockey, how would you like to see Pan American hockey in the next years and what is being done from Argentina in order for this to happen? Beyond being a coach, what other things do you do for our sport?

A: My dream is to go beyond and someone goes beyond by leaving something that can be used by those who are in this organization after he is no longer there. I would like to see Pan American Hockey more developed, focusing on the quality of tournaments and facilitating the presence of fans in matches, reducing organizational costs to the minimum so that it is no longer a big cost to organize a tournament. Personally, when I was a player, I was very pleased to have participated in Cuba’s Pan-American and participated of hockey 5 training in Venezuela. From these two moments onwards I value much more Argentina facilities. Since that moment I admire the people of those countries, for the love and passion they put to the development of our sport.

I hope someday I can join some project to continue helping.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Scotland U21 women's squad announced for England matches

Ellie Hutcheson U21 Scotland Women

The Scotland U21 women squad has been selected for the forthcoming three-match test series against England.

The matches will be played at Lilleshall from Wednesday 28 June until Saturday 1 July.

Match 1 will be played at 7.30pm on Wednesday 28 June; match 2 will be played at 3pm on Friday 30 June; and match 3 will play at 1pm on Saturday 1 July.

In July Scotland will travel to the Czech Republic to compete at EuroHockey Junior Championship II on 16-22 July against Turkey, Russia and Czech Republic in Pool A of the tournament. Pool B has Ukraine, Poland, Belarus and Austria.

Squad selection for England test matches

Mairi Fletcher
Megan Inch
Frances Lonergan
Emily Newlands
Kerry-Anne Hastings
Morven Cawthorn
Catriona Booth
Mackenzie Bell
Zoe Sinclair
Shona McNab
Emma McDiarmid
Laura Swanson
Ellie Hutcheson
Lorna Cruickshank
Lexi Sabatelli
Chloe Hardie
Millie Steiger
Rachel Bain

Scottish Hockey Union media release

USA Field Hockey Celebrates Olympic Day with the Nation

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Field Hockey, along with many sport enthusiasts around the nation, will celebrate Olympic Day today. Held annually on June 23, Olympic Day is celebrated by millions of people in more than 160 countries. Commemorating the birth of the modern Olympic Games in 1894, Olympic Day's mission is to promote fitness, well-being, culture and education, while promoting the Olympic values of excellent, friendship and respect. The Olympic Day pillars - move, learn and discover - promoted in every corner of the globe.

In the weeks prior to Olympic Day, USA Field Hockey, in conjunction with the United States Olympic Committee, mailed packages that included an Olympic Day flag and 100 stickers to all club administrators. The package was to encourage and promote an Olympic Day celebration to be held by all clubs nationwide.

Also partaking in Olympic Day festivities, the 2017 Citi National Futures Championship (NFC), sponsored by Harrow Sports, happening at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. waved an Olympic Day flag during the national anthem of the morning's contest.

USA Field Hockey would like to highlight all club teams, athletes, umpires and fans who plan on celebrating Olympic Day! Send us images or videos of your celebration to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will compile them for a photo gallery on our website. #OlympicDay

USFHA media release

Butali Warriors, Sharks clash: Hockey League Action continues today at City Park

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Kenyatta University vs Butali Warriors Butali Warriors Zack Aura(airborne) as Kenyatta University Kennedy Nyongea(down) when they played premier Men at CityPark on 02/07/2016. PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Ten matches on the card on both Premier League and second division action this weekend.

Former champions Butali Sugar Warriors lock horns today with Greensharks in a Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League match at City Park.

This is one of the ten matches on the card this weekend in the men’s Premier, women and men’s second division tier.

Today’s clash between the two rivals will determine who among them finishes second as the first leg nears completion.

Warriors are currently third on the log with 25 points one less than Sharks in second.

However, the 2015 champions are unbeaten with three matches on hand and have higher chances of finishing in the top two at the end of the first round.

They have garnered maximum points from nine matches while Sharks have played 12 winning eight drawing two and losing two.

Kenya Police who will not be in action this weekend top the log with 34 points from 12 outings.

Warriors captain Kenneth Nyongesa said it will not be an easy match.

“They (Greensharks) are a very good side and it’s never easy to play against them. We just have to be at our best because they are in good form this season,” Nyongesa said.

Parkroad Badgers will tackle Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCAU) in another Premier league encounter of the day.

The students who are one place above relegation will be out to reap maximum points and move to safety.

Tomorrow, Kenyatta University Vultures take on 2012 winners Nairobi Sikh Union while United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) will play debutantes Technical University of Kenya (TUK).

USIU-A will be seeking a third win of the season while relegation threatened TUK will be looking for a second.

Strathmore University Scorpions will chase maximum points this in the women’s league.

They take on struggling Multimedia University before facing off with USIU-A Spartans tomorrow.

Double victory for Scorpions will move them to second place with 22 points five less than league leaders Telkom Orange.

A loss for Spartans tomorrow will dent their hopes of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Club Championships.

They are currently second with 21 points and they have to maintain the top two spots in order to make the cut for the continental showpiece.

The Standard Online

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