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News for 29 July 2017

All the news for Saturday 29 July 2017

Scotland women score four to beat France in Glasgow

Katie Robertson celebration Scotland v France

Scotland women were on top form against France at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre in a dominant 4-1 victory. The match was the first in a three-match series in preparation for the Rabo EuroHockey Championships in Amsterdam next month.

Scotland get the match underway after a rousing rendition of the national anthem and got off to a good start. The Scots applied good pressure in the early stages, Millie Brown and Fiona Burnet were working hard to press high up the pitch.

But it was France who took an early lead. A quick break found Julie Martinot tearing down on goal; Amy Gibson made a great effort to keep it out but the ball found its way under the keeper and into the net. 1-0.

Scotland settled however and began to pay some nice hockey. Sarah Jamieson showed some positivity when she stole the ball from a French stick and drove into the D, the ball managed to find its way to Nikki Lloyd on the stretch, but she was unable to unleash a shot on goal.

Scotland came out for the second quarter firing on all cylinders. Lloyd went on a surging run into the D and it took two blue shirts to block her and clear the danger. The ball only got as far as Sarah Robertson who powered her way into the D, found Lloyd, who shot at goal – it was saved and Becky Merchant tried to scramble the rebound home but was denied.

Scotland came forward again and won a penalty corner when the ball struck a French foot. Sarah Robertson injected and a nice interchange at the top of the D ended in a manic scramble in front of goal and the award of a penalty stroke for Scotland. Lloyd stepped up and sent a great composed finish into the top left corner of the net to equalise. 1-1.

Scotland very nearly took the lead as the half neared a conclusion. Merchant was denied by an excellent save when a sweeping move down the right eventually found the forward darting to the near post, but her deflection was well blocked by the goalkeeper.

Scotland were on top right from the restart. Early in the second half Fiona Burnet denied an early goal after she latched onto Sarah Robertson’s pass but found the keeper out quickly to block.

A penalty corner was later awarded to Scotland after a foul on Charlotte Watson. It took a great save to keep Sarah Robertson off the score sheet when she injected the ball, took the return, and was only denied by the outstretched body of the goalkeeper leaping across her line.

Scotland would take the lead soon enough and it came through an absolute rocket from Watson. The striker hammered a reverse stick shot into the left corner to put Scotland 2-1 up.

In the final quarter the Scots were turning on the style and looked like they would score every time they went forward.

Early in the quarter Robyn Collins nearly scored when she zipped a penalty corner just wide of the left post.

They scored a deserved third goal when Burnet popped up in front of the goalkeeper and sent a deflection into the net to make it 3-1.

Katie Robertson was then denied after some industrious play inside the D, but again a good near post save denied the Scots. Ali Howie was next to come close – she threw herself at a crash ball and deflected it just wide of the left post. Next a cheeky sliding effort by the impressive Millie Brown was saved low at the left post.

It was 4-1 as the match reached its climax and it was Katie Robertson who finished off a lovely move to make it 4-1 to Scotland – a deserved goal for a hardworking performance.

Photos by Duncan Gray

Scottish Hockey Union media release

One Week Out from the Start of the men’s Pan American Cup

LANCASTER, Pa. – Just one week remains before the start of the largest field hockey event in the country in decades. The 2017 Pan American Cups (PAC) begins with the men’s division opening pool play on Friday, August 4 at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa.

FIH World Hero Ranked No. 26 USA is in Pool A along with No. 1 Argentina, No. 27 Chile and No. 48 Venezuela. Pool B consists of No. 11 Canada, No. 29 Brazil, No. 33 Trinidad & Tobago and No. 41 Mexico. Crossover games and semifinal matchups will begin following round robin pool play on Thursday, August 10. The men’s event will conclude on Saturday, August 12 with the seventh-place, fifth-place, bronze and gold medal games.

Among the most intriguing matchups are those on opening day, where several nations aim to begin on a high note.

Friday, August 4, 2017

10:00 a.m.       CHI vs VEN
12:00 p.m.       CAN vs TTO
5:00 p.m.         BRA vs MEX
7:00 p.m.         ARG vs USA

Sunday, August 6, 2017

10:00 a.m.       BRA v CAN
12:00 p.m.       TTO vs MEX
5:00 p.m.         CHI vs ARG
7:00 p.m.         USA vs VEN

Tuesday, August 8 2017

10:00 a.m.       TTO vs BRA
12:00 p.m.       ARG vs VEN
5:00 p.m.         CAN vs MEX
7:00 p.m.         USA vs CHI

The eight-team tournament opens next Friday morning with Chile versus Venezuela, beginning at 10 a.m. ET. Venezuela comes to Lancaster, Pa. as the lowest ranked squad and making their first PAC appearance since 2004. Chile, who placed first in the 2016 FIH Hockey World League Round 1 in Chiclayo, Peru, hopes to ride momentum and medal for the first time in more than 10 years.

Brazil and Mexico will take the turf the same day at 5 p.m. ET. The two teams have taken turns winning in dramatic fashion against each other in recent international matches. The pressure may be more on Brazil, who fell four spots in the recently released FIH Hero World Rankings, and find themselves trying to form their collaborative team identity with an early lead.

The USMNT will close out the opening day of PAC against the Rio 2016 Olympic Gold Medalists Argentina. The Los Leones, who are also the reigning PAC champions, recently punched their ticket to the 2018 Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup after winning their final four games at the FIH Hockey World League SemiFinals in London, England in June. For USA, it is a first major test for a fresh-looking team, as well as head coach Rutger Wiese after being named to the position in January.

Other key matchups will come in the following days, first with Canada and Brazil on Sunday August 6 at 10 a.m. ET. Canada has medaled in every PAC thus far, winning one gold and three silvers. The quest for number five means going through a Brazil team that took Canada in to shootouts in the last Pan American Games.

Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico will face off next at 12 p.m. ET. The two teams have not met much in recent years, but for Trinidad and Tobago, the PAC means riding the recent success from April’s FIH Hockey World League Round 2 where the host nation finished fourth.

USFHA media release

Schopman Confirms USWNT Roster to Compete at the Women’s Pan American Cup

LANCASTER, Pa. – After an impressive gold medal performance at the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in Johannesburg South Africa, U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Janneke Schopman has confirmed the 18-athlete roster to compete at the 2017 women’s Pan American Cup (PAC) in Lancaster, Pa. from August 4 -13.

“With the tight turnaround from Hockey World League Semifinals and the performance there, there was little reason to change the selection,” said Schopman. “Caitlin Van Sickle did get injured in South Africa and therefore will be replaced by Carissa Vittese. The players who trained in Lancaster, Pa. while we were in South Africa have done a great job and I know all of them will and would have been ready if called upon.”

With a few retirements to the squad following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, plenty of new talent made their first international competition duets at the Semifinals in South Africa. The USWNT started off with two pool play wins over No. 20 Chile and No. 12 India before falling to No. 3 Argentina and host nation No. 13 South Africa. This set USA up to play No. 11 Japan in the quarterfinal round, a game that held two very important objectives. The winner of the match would be guaranteed a place at the FIH Hockey World League Final in Auckland, New Zealand at the end of the year and a direct ticket to the 2018 women’s Hockey World Cup in London, England. A solid defensive effort by the team, led the USWNT to a 1-0 victory and advanced them to both FIH events. USA persisted in their semifinal game against No. 2 England to find the equalizer late in the game. As the first round of shootouts finished tied at 1-1, USA netted their first and saved England's attempt for a thrilling sudden death victory. The final followed in a similar fashion as USA used pure grit and determination to tie the match off a late penalty stroke. In the shootouts, USA came out on top, 3-2, to be crowned champions.

In the seven-team event, the No. 4 USWNT sits in Pool B with No. 19 Canada, No. 30 Mexico and No. 41 Brazil. Pool A includes No. 3 and reigning PAC champions Argentina, No. 20 Chile and No. 23 Uruguay. Team USA opens competition play on Saturday, August 5 against Mexico at 7 p.m. ET, followed by Canada on Monday, August 7 at 7 p.m. ET and Brazil on Wednesday, August 9 at 7 p.m. ET. Crossovers and the semifinals round will begin on Friday, August 11.

The top continental champion will qualify for the 2018 women’s Hockey World Cup in London, England and the top six teams qualify for the 2021 Pan American Cup. Both USA and Argentina have already booked their tickets to the World Cup after their finishes at the recent FIH Hockey World League Semifinals.

USWNT’s Pan American Cup Roster.

Jackie Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.), Ali Froede (Burke, Va.), Katelyn Ginolfi (Lewes, Del.), Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.), Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.), Alyssa Manley (Lititz, Pa.), Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.), Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.), Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.), Loren Shealy (Charlotte N.C.), Carissa Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md.), Alesha Widdall  (Whitney Point,), Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.), Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.), Julia Young (Yorktown, Va.)

USFHA media release

FIH confirms Spain men and Belgium women join Hockey Pro League

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed that Spain men and Belgium women will participate in the inaugural Hockey Pro League which begins in 2019.

Following an application process which was oversubscribed, both teams were approved as the first reserves earlier in June once the League participants had been announced.

After India men and women withdrew from the League earlier in July, following the recommendation of FIH’s Event Portfolio Implementation Panel - the FIH Executive Board approved their participation at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on 27 July 2017.

Spain men and Belgium women’s inclusion for at least the first four years of the competition means that the proposed nine-team League structure remains in place.

Representatives from both teams were invited to the FIH Headquarters in Lausanne where they joined fellow participants for the first Hockey Pro League Workshop between 17-19 July 2017.

There, matters including scheduling, League Management structure and a number of League operational matters were discussed collaboratively in what was an extremely positive and constructive session between all nations.

Due to launch in January 2019, the Hockey Pro League will see world class men’s and women’s national teams from around the world play each other both at home and away every year, across a total of 144 one-off matches. The fixtures will take place in national stadiums, week in, week out, from January to June.

Belgium women will go up against Argentina, Australia, China, England/Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and USA.

The men’s competition will now be contested between Argentina, Australia, Belgium, England/Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand Pakistan and Spain.

FIH site

'Big, bold and loud' buzzwords as game goes global

By David Leggat

There's no question hockey has needed a pep up. Photo / Photosport

International hockey is preparing for the biggest rejig in years, designed to raise the profile and competitiveness of the sport.

For years, hockey has had a mix of Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and various other annual, or biennial events such as World Cups, Champions Trophy and World League tournaments.

But in 2019 the International Hockey Federation is launching the Pro League, featuring two nine-team competitions running globally over six months, with every team playing all others home and away to find the champions.

"It's a complete game-changer for hockey," FIH chief executive, New Zealander Jason McCracken said.

New Zealand's two national teams are in the competition, the women ranked sixth and the men eighth. There's no question hockey has needed a pep up and the hope is this event, which will run for a minimum four years, starting in January 2019, will provide it.

Competition will shift around the globe, essentially following the sun, with the expectation it will begin with European and Asian teams visiting New Zealand, Australia and Argentina before moving back to the Northern Hemisphere for the concluding couple of months.

The top four in each will advance to a finals format to find the champions. Expect that to be staged in Europe.

The question is why rework the international game?

"During the World League tournament, most games were played in front of empty stadiums, apart from parents, management staff and real diehards," said McCracken, a former umpire and tournament official.

"You'd get a couple of hundred people. Here we have the concept of home rivalry, defending your turf. Every one of the 144 games is a home match."

McCracken used "big", "bold", and "loud" as buzzwords FIH are hoping to generate.

Among the big upsides for New Zealand fans will be seeing top nations, such as the Netherlands, England and Germany, who are rarely sighted in this country.

Dutch travel companies have been in touch, hoping to organise supporters tours Downunder. A three-week trip taking in Buenos Aires, Australia and New Zealand is in the pipeline.

"Rather than talk hockey for two weeks (the duration of most tournaments), the rhetoric of hockey can exist four or five months. During April/May/June we have a game pretty much every day," McCracken added.

There are some distinct differences in approach. The Dutch are planning to play all matches in their new national stadium in Amsterdam; New Zealand are looking at moving matches around the country.

There are still some details to be resolved, such as whether draws are acceptable or do matches need golden goal, extra time or shootout scenarios.

India, ranked sixth in the men's game, withdrew their teams for reasons which haven't been made clear by its national body. Spain (men) and Belgium (women) are expected to be confirmed as replacements.

The FIH will oversee the television production, aiming for a uniformly high quality production, and while the financial details, prize money, who pays for what, are still to be confirmed the profit-sharing arrangements between the international body and national associations is aimed at ensuring no one is out of pocket.

Experienced New Zealand defender Sam Charlton is enthusiastic about the league.

"In New Zealand we have to travel for a lot of [international] games so it's not going to be that different," the 199-cap veteran said. "But the cool thing is it brings the best teams to New Zealand and you just don't get the European teams, the Netherlands, Germanys and Englands here.

"Hockey fans are going to see awesome games and it makes every test exciting. What the FIH are trying to do is make it more exciting sport to watch and a truly global game."

Pro League
●Nine teams will compete in each of the men's and women's inaugural Pro League, which will run for an initial four years, from January to about July.
●All teams will play an international against each other, home and away, with the top four in each competition advancing to the finals.
●A total of 144 games will be played, and all televised. Olympic qualification will be part of the league.
●It will replace the World League and is intended to bump interest in hockey around the globe for a more sustained period.
●The draw for four years is expected out before the end of this year. The first season will be in 2019.

The New Zealand Herald

Hockey is just sticks, not sticks and stones

Monthati Motaung

Field hockey may pale into insignificance as a mass-appeal sport compared to football but it does many things much better.

That is our conclusion after the football close-season in South Africa led us to attend the Hockey World League men’s and women’s tournaments in Johannesburg.

Here are some differences we noted while enjoying four matches each day for two weeks at the University of the Witwatersrand close to the bustling central business district:

VANITY: Football has so much to it, and hockey none that we could detect. Footballers believe the world revolves around them while hockey players are sportsmen who simply want to play and have fun.

The hockey teams arrived in buses, not luxury coaches. They prepared in spartan change rooms. They often used the word “us” in interviews and rarely the word “me”.

SHOOT-OUTS: Hockey shoot-outs are a more exciting and skilful way to break the stalemate after a draw than the much-criticised penalties “lottery” of football.

Players run from 23 metres out and have eight seconds to beat the goalkeeper and score.

Germany had a goal disallowed as the ball crossed the goal-line 1/100th of a second late.

SIN BIN: Hockey has green (two minutes off the field of play), yellow (usually five minutes but can be longer) and red cards, depending on the seriousness of the offence.

Instant justice is the name of the game. It works in hockey and rugby, but football “ostriches” love burying their heads in sandy soil.

UMPIRES: Hockey has two umpires (referees) and it works a treat because two sets of eyes will always be better than one.

They also have video referrals, which are quick and seen by all on the “big screen”.

We were not shown replays of any controversial incidents at the Fifa Confederations Cup in Russia.

“HOLLYWOOD”: While an increasing number of footballers love to do “Oscar” auditions every time they receive even the slightest of touches from an opponent, hockey players are real men and women.

A hockey ball is hard and sometimes it strikes a player at speed, but they are swiftly treated and play carries on.

They may not get to Hollywood, but we consider them stars.

CAMARADERIE: Hockey teams have genuine respect for each other, before, during and after matches. It was so refreshing to view, given the near war-like behaviour of some football teams.

Hockey sides run onto the field, sing national anthems, play, shake each other's hands and enjoy a few drinks afterwards. True sportsmen and women.

FOUR QUARTERS: Hockey matches last one hour and are divided into four 15-minute quarters or chukkas, with the breaks after the first and third periods very short, with just enough time for water.

With so many unofficial breaks in football, why not legalise one-minute stops in the middle of each half for water and a few kind or harsh words from the coach?

CROWDS: The Wits stadium barely accommodated 2000 spectators but the atmosphere was family-like, a throw-back to the good old days, if you will permit a little nostalgia.

No missiles being flung on to the field, no cursing the officials, no fighting among over trivial issues.

A crisis is going hungry, not a wrong call by an umpire or referee.

With the Hockey World League over, it is back to virtual obscurity for the South African men and women who love playing with sticks. More’s the pity.

African Independent

Six uncapped players named in Indian hockey squad

The European tour begins with India taking on Belgium on August 9 in Boom.

Indian hockey team captain Manpreet Singh. Photo Credit: AP

Six uncapped players have been named in the Manpreet Singh-led Indian hockey squad for the tour of Belgium and Netherlands.

The European tour begins with India taking on Belgium on August 9 in Boom.

Chinglensana Singh has been named Manpreet’s deputy while some of the key players who featured in the World League Semifinal have been rested.

The six uncapped players who have been picked include goalkeeper Suraj Karkerawho, who had missed the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year due to an injury. The others are Junior World Cup heroes Varun Kumar, Dipsan Tirkey, Nilakanta Sharma, Gurjant Singh and Armaan Qureshi.

Talented defender and dragflicker Amit Rohidas, who had an outstanding season with 2017 HIL winners Kalinga Lancers, too finds himself in the squad.

“We will continue to test some of the younger players in this tour in order to give them the international exposure in this new Olympic cycle.

“The team has been training in SAI Bengaluru where we have been working on improving our counter control and defence apart from working on variations that can improve our goal scoring.

“It is important for the youngsters to face top teams like the Netherlands and Belgium early in their career which will undoubtedly benefit our long-term goals,” said chief coach Roelant Oltmans.

India are scheduled to play five matches on their Europe tour.

Ahead of their departure, the national squad will continue their camp till August 5.


Goalkeepers: Akash Anil Chikte, Suraj Karkera;
Defenders: Dipsan Tirkey, Kothajit Singh, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Varun Kumar;
Midfielders: SK Uthappa, Harjeet Singh Manpreet Singh (Captain), Chinglensana Singh (Vice-Captain) Sumit Nilakanta Sharma;
Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh,Armaan Qureshi.

The Hindu

Hawke's Bay hockey opportunity

What a great opportunity Hawke's Bay has to have a premier pathway and breeding ground for the sport of hockey.

Earlier in the year we had the festival of hockey for the Black Sticks, and last week we saw the other end of the spectrum, with Hawke's Bay Hockey running an excellent Big Save Small Sticks hockey festival for primary schools.

What a great success it was, with not only local kids having some great holiday fun and getting to experience a tournament, but many teams also travelling here from outside the region.

The tournament really highlighted, that if given such opportunities, the young kids have so much enthusiasm, and what a critical age it is to give them a taste of sport.

Still at that young age with less fear of giving something a go, and an experience that for many will lead to a long-lasting love of the sport.

They rip into it for the pure joy of competing, blissfully unaware of all the great physical and emotional development they are getting. And of course even more unaware of all the longer-term health benefits they will gain from having developed more physical skills that they can call on later in life.

The beginning of the hockey pathway is great - the fun introduction they get at primary schools, most of which have at least a tennis court to get them started on. The facilities are also there for serious international competition at the Sports Park.

We now need to make sure we join the dots in between, to make for an amazing and exciting hockey pathway.

For whatever reason, there has been an explosion of interest in Hockey in Hawke's Bay - partly due to the Festival of Hockey, programmes and role models like Black Stick Emily Gaddum getting about the schools, and the rise of concussion issues in many contact sports won't have done hockey any harm either.

And then the addition of beautiful shiny turfs at the Regional Sports Park has certainly helped excite the kids, and made it a more accessible sport in Hawke's Bay.

The massive growth in many primary schools means we now need to stay ahead of that growth, and set up the supportive pathways to carry the kids through their intermediate and high school age-groups - and for those that are really keen, into competitive development programmes.

The other exciting factor for hockey, is the real renaissance going on in some of the more rural areas of New Zealand. In the old days it was very strong in those communities, but with the advent of artificial surfaces, it meant hockey died in those places without a turf, which were only in the big centres or the wealthy schools - unfortunate for hockey, as ironically so much of the natural talent lies in the rural settings.

So, hockey sat there like an inert volcano, waiting to be reignited, and now we are seeing it coming back hard. Gisborne just north of us is a great example of a come-back town, after recently building their turf, and a good bunch of teams came down for the primary schools festival last week.

Then down in Central Hawke's Bay funds are being raised for what will be a marvellous multisport turf and centre in Waipukurau, it will be a fantastic future legacy for hockey and other sports, and a great partner aligning with the new Sir Graeme Avery led regional Health and Sport Centre at the Sports Park.

Also last week we had the Central Region U18 girls winning the national championship, six of them Hawke's Bay girls. The U18 boys also made the final (losing to Canterbury) with local boy Harry Lawson taking out the overall tournament MVP award.

Harry and a number of his team mates, and all six girls, are all training in the new Avery led Athlete Development facility at the Sports Park along with many other students from other sports.

An exciting crop of talent, themselves now emerging as a new wave of powerful role models for the younger generations coming through, and showing the exciting opportunities that the sport can provide, with two of the girls about to depart to American universities on scholarships.

Rugby continues to be such a success in New Zealand, not just because it is magically in the "fabric of our society", but because it has mapped out a great continuous pathway of development. The more other sports can learn from that, the better their participation and results on the international stage will be too.

Add to the mix the great climate and environment here in Hawke's Bay, and hockey has great opportunities, as with other sports, to rise up and make a magic pathway from kids healthy participation right through to competitive high performers.

Marcus Agnew is the health and sport development manager at Hawke's Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust and is also a lecturer in sports science at EIT.

Hawkes Bay Today

Soon ready for challenge

by Jugjet Singh

NEWLY appointed Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) coaching committee chairman Soon Mustafa is game to take on the challenge of charting the sport's future.

The two-time Olympian, 1984 Los Angeles and 1992 Barcelona, said that even though he has limited coaching experience, he has many ideas on how to improve the sport.

"I will meet Terry Walsh (MHC Technical Director) soon to discuss some matters and get down to work after that. I have experience playing at the highest level and know what it takes to reach there.

"So, even though I have limited coaching experience, I can contribute fresh ideas with the help of my committee members," said Soon, 54.

Welsh is also on his committee.

Soon said that previous chairman Datuk Ow Soon Kooi also did not have a coaching background, but ran the committee very well.

"Ow is the same as me, both of us have limited coaching experience but Ow proved himself when the men's women's teams improved tremendously in a short span.

"I have a strong committee from various background and we will work together to first impress at the Asia Cup and then the Commonwealth Games in preparation for the all-important Asian Games," said Soon.

The Asia Cup will be held in Dhaka in October where ranking points will be on offer. India are the only team higher ranked than Malaysia, while South Korea, Pakistan, China and Japan have slipped below in the latest International Hockey Federation rankings.

"We have to strengthen the ranking (at 12th presently) at the Asia Cup, as it would be valuable in the World League qualifier for the Olympics.

"There is much more to be done, but I'm up to the challenge and will use the experience I gained playing for the country to help further improve the men's and women's teams," said Soon.

Soon, who retired with 185 caps also played in two Asian Games and one Champions Trophy.

Two women were included in the coaching committee to strenghten the women's team and they are Nuriza Sulaiman and former national skipper Nadia Abdul Rahman.

COACHING COMMITTEE -- Chairman: Soon Mustafa; Deputy Chairman: Datuk Najmi Razak (MHC Independent Member).

Members: Terry Walsh (MHC Technical Director), Alan Black (Coaching director, National Sports Institute), Tai Beng Hai (Development director), Yahya Atan (1Mas women head coach), V. Muralee Vasuthevan (Ministry of Education), Nuriza Sulaiman (Development coach, Pahang),
Nadia Abdul Rahman (Ex-national captain).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

MHC set two more targets

by Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal has set two more targets for the men's team, who moved up from 14th to 12th in the World.

Now, Subahan wants the team to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics two years ahead by winning the Asian Games gold, and then break into the top-10 hockey nation in the world.

In the latest International Hockey Federation (FIH) rankings released after the men's and women's World League Semifinals in London, Brussels and Johannesburg -- the Malaysian men were the biggest movers.

However, the women still remain at 22 after finishing last among 10 teams in Brussels.

"When I took over MHC after a 'good friend' asked me to do so, I had said that I will work towards taking the team into the top-10 in the world and now we are just two steps away.

"The next target is to play in the final of the Asian Games, or better still win gold and qualify for the Olympics two years ahead," said Subahan.

Malaysia last played in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and if they qualify for Tokyo, it would be a good 20 years hiatus.

While Malaysia finished fourth in London and qualified for the 2018 World Cup in India, other Asian teams did not fare well.

Four other Asian teams competed in London, but fared poorly as India finished 6th, Pakistan 7th, China 8th and South Korea 9th.

"If we maintain this grip over the other Asian teams, I don't see any reason why we cant play in the final of the Asian Games," reasoned Subahan.

Malaysia were the biggest winners in the latest FIH rankings as they leapfrogged two of its continental rivals, Pakistan and Korea, to move into 12th place.

Korea dropped from 12th to 13th, while Pakistan are now 14th, Japan 17th and China 18th

India are the higest ranked Asian team at No 6.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Perak to host men’s Razak Cup after almost a decade

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: After almost a decade, Perak will finally host a national hockey tournament in Ipoh.

Perak Hockey Association (PHA) president Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohamed Ariff confirmed yesterday they will host the men’s Razak Cup at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium from Nov 5-15.

The PHA have organised the international Sultan Azlan Shah Cup every year, but shied away from hosting a national tournament.

As for the women’s Razak Cup, the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA) will be the hosts at the KL Hockey Stadium from Nov 20-30.

The Malaysian Hockey Con­federation (MHC) organised both the tournaments simultaneously over the last two years.

The Star of Malaysia

PM disqualification won’t affect PHF: Secretary

PHF always contacted the Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) ministry if they needed financial assistance.

By Nabil Tahir

KARACHI: Pakistan’s political scenario was jolted on Friday with the decision of disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court but the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) stayed unshaken.

The PM of the country is by default the Patron in Chief of all the sports federations of Pakistan, but PHF Secretary Shahbaz Senior said that Nawaz’s role in the operations of the federation was minimal.

“PM’s disqualification won’t affect PHF functions. Patron in chief’s only role was to approve finances for tours and camps,” said PHF Secretary Shahbaz Senior.

He added that they always contacted the Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) ministry if they needed financial assistance. “We are never in direct contact with PM and it’s always through IPC ministry. So if we have any issues regarding financial grants, we will contact IPC ministry.”

He further revealed that PM had provided PHF with a financial grant which is still being used for tours and camps.

Talking about the future of Pakistan Hockey League (PHL), which is scheduled to take place in November and received security clearance from the Pakistan Army recently, Shahbaz said PM had no direct involvement in the operations.

Ronaldinho and friends give hope to Pakistan Hockey Federation

“A private company is organising the league and arranging finances through sponsors. So, we are going to carry on preparations without any impediments,” he said.

The Express Tribune

Shabby astroturf keeps hockey players from training

Mohsin Ali

ISLAMABAD - Pathetic condition of Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium has forced Pakistan Hockey team head coach/manager Farhat Khan to focus on only mental and physical fitness of Pakistan hockey team players, who assembled here for the training camp, which will continue till August 14 for the 10th men’s Asia Hockey Cup, to be held in Dhaka.

While talking exclusively to The Nation Farhat said around 64 players including national team captain Abdul Haseem Khan have joined the training camp. “Only Hammad is absent from the camp due to some domestic issues and he will join the camp in a day or two.”

He said the Astroturf of Naseer Bunda Stadium is in shambles and he couldn’t take risk of injuring his players, as it was not possible for players to practice on such a rough surface where threads are clearly visible from different parts of the Astroturf and it would be shear madness and complete risk to even think about practicing on this surface.

He said he had decided to focus on players mental and physical training and lectures are being given to players at Jinnah Library Hall in two session on daily basis/

“We will shift the camp on 10th and 11th to Rawalpindi Army Stadium for trials to short list 33 players for the training camp for Asia Cup Hockey Tournament. Chief Selector Hassan Sardar and selection committee would be present during the trials. We will ensure sports journalists would be given smooth passage to cover trials and interaction with players.”

He said very little time had been left before the Asia Cup and they will shift the camp to Karachi after three or four days rest, where Astroturf is in excellent condition. And camp would continue till team’s departure to Dhaka.

When asked about whether he is satisfied with the facilities being provided to players and federation at PSB Islamabad, Farhat said facilities were ordinary. “There are a lot of mosquitoes in Allama Iqbal Hostel; spray was conducted on Friday, as players are facing difficulties. Three players are sharing air conditioner rooms while two players share non-AC rooms. In such hot and humid weather, it is highly unjustified to treat players in such a fashion. They are like my kids, I can’t treat them differently. Had Naseer Bunda Astroturf was in good shape, like past coaches, I would have love to settle in Islamabad and continue training camp. I had heard that PC-I for replacing Naseer Bunda Astroturf has been approved and hopefully it would be replaced soon.”

Farhat said as suggested by foreign experts and former Olympians as well that Pakistani players lack physical and mantel toughness, he was giving top focus to these areas. “There is still time left for the next year’s Hockey World Cup. I am sure with the help of federation and my coaching staff, we would be able to rectify mistakes and turn these boys’ into the best in the business. I will work with dedication and to the best of my abilities and I am sure the hard work will pay great dividend,” Farhat concluded.

The Nation

Refreshed Anna Flanagan excited to relaunch career after Hockeyroos training invitation

Chris Dutton

Anna Flanagan is keen to test herself after being invited to train with the Hockeyroos. Photo: Ben Rushton

Commonwealth Games hopeful Anna Flanagan says the chance to reignite her international career makes her feel "like a schoolgirl" after being invited back into the Hockeyroos inner sanctum.

Flanagan will return to Perth next week on a "visiting athlete scholarship" to train with the Hockeyroos eight months after taking an indefinite break from the sport.

The former golden girl is itching for a chance to prove herself and win a spot in the national team after rediscovering her love of hockey and a desire to play against the best in the world.

Flanagan contemplated quitting hockey forever at the end of last year after being convicted of drink driving and losing her Hockeyroos spot for the Rio Olympic Games.

The emotional rollercoaster led her to Sydney for a lifestyle change and Flanagan said he was ready to prove how far she has come.

"It's like the first call I got when I was 17 and at school to tell me I was in my first Australian squad," Flanagan said.

"This opportunity is just to train, there's nothing else guaranteed. But I've got the opportunity and now I'm so excited ... I'm 25 now but I feel like a schoolgirl again.

"I feel relaxed about it and just excited. I haven't put any pressure on myself, I'm happy with how I'm playing. I think I'm a different person to when I said goodbye [at the end of last year].

"It's nice. It will be a lot different and I'll be a lot happier. I'm so much happier.

"When I left [the Hockeyroos] I didn't like hockey, I was in a pretty rough state for a whole year."

Flanagan's phone lit up on Tuesday with former teammates expressing their happiness about her impending return.

She will train with the Hockeyroos for 10 days as part of the invitation in what will be the first step to the defender's road to redemption.

Flanagan has been playing in Sydney's club competition for Gordon and training at the NSW Institute of Sport.

She will also play for the Canberra Strikers at the Australian Hockey League in the coming months and hopes she can add to her 166 games for the Hockeyroos.

"This year has been unbelievable for me. I think I've got so much more balance in my life," said Flanagan, who also works at Fox Sports.

"I've had to find my way a bit and it really couldn't have gone much better. I was in the national program for seven years and it was different going back into a young club team.

"I tried to share some of the stuff I've done over the years ... it's been really fun."

Flanagan admits she is keen to earn back her Hockeyroos spot in time to chase a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next year.

Flanagan won gold at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games and is a former world junior player of the year.

"Of course I have thought about the Commonwealth Games, it's one of my goals," Flanagan said.

"But at the same time if I don't make it, I'll be OK. I'm in a good place in life, but I'm excited to give it a red-hot crack. It's all one step at a time ... This doesn't mean I'll play in the squad, but it's a step."

The Age

Big win for Railways, ONGC

Santa Singh scores Punjab & Sind Bank’s winner

K. Keerthivasan

Commanding show: Ranjan Aiyappa scored a brace in Railways’ demolition of Bengaluru Hockey Association. Photo Credit: V. Ganesan

Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) warmed up for the title defence with an authoritative 6-2 win over Bengaluru HA in a Pool A match of the 91st MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup all-India hockey tournament at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium here on Friday.

Former champion ONGC trounced Hockey Odisha 7-1 in a Pool B contest, augmented by a hat-trick by former International Diwakar Ram.

In the last match of the day Punjab & Sind Bank (PSB) edged out BPCL in an evenly contested Pool A tie, through a solitary goal by Santa Singh.

There was fluidity and cohesion in most of Railways’ moves. Ajmer Singh opened the account for Railways with a stirring run from the left. With the defender giving up the chase thinking the ball was out, Ajmer made the most of it with a neat push. Drag flick specialist V.R. Raghunath equalised with a perfect penalty corner that struck the top of the roof. From there on, it was Railways’ show.

Comprising mostly of youngsters with veterans Vikram Kanth, V.S. Vinaya and Raghunath for company, Bengaluru HA forwards appeared clueless in the striking circle.

If the half-time score (2-1 in favour of Railways) was an indication of a close contest, it was way off the mark. Railways toyed with Bengaluru defence, with Ranjan Aiyappa scoring a brace. The area of concern for Railways coach C.R. Kumar, will be the number of penalty corners, seven, that it conceded.

Hockey Odisha went down without a fight to ONGC conceding seven goals.

The results: Pool A: RSPB 6 (Ajmer Singh 4, Raju Paul 32, Ranjan Aiyappa 49, 62, Manpreet Singh Chahal 56, Kunjan Topno 59) bt Bengaluru HA 2 (V.R. Raghunath 18, K.A. Nilesh 68); PSB 1 (Santa Singh 65) bt BPCL 0.

Pool B: ONGC 7 (Diwakar Ram 7, 9, 60, Machaiah 38, Nilam Xess 56 & 70+, Jagwant Singh 69) bt Hockey Odisha 1 (Cyril Lugun 4).

The Hindu

Five fixtures mark end of hockey league first leg


Polycarp Otieno of USIU-A (left) and Samuel Wokila of Kenya Police vie for the ball during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match at City Park Stadium Stadium on June 18, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Kenya Hockey Union Premier League first leg comes to an end Saturday with five matches on the cards.

Four matches will be played at the City Park Stadium in Nairobi, while one game will be held at Menengai High School in Nakuru.

Men’s Premier League leaders Kenya Police will be looking to end their half season campaign with a seven-point lead with a win against Parkroad Badgers at City Park from 6pm. The game will be preceded by a clash between second placed Butali Sugar Warriors against Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCA-U).

Spluttering defending champions Strathmore University Gladiators are away to Nakuru, while fellow strugglers Chase Sailors battle Kenyatta University (KU) Vultures.

The only second tier men’s national league match of the day, will pit Thika Rovers and Gorilla.

Police have been red hot since the season began in April this year. The 2013 winners have won 12 out of their 13 matches played, and drawn only once. The impressive has firmly put them on top the log with 37 points.

They are overwhelming favourites to beat the Badgers and will be boosted by the return of head coach Kenneth Kaunda, who had been ailing for the last three months.

Police beat archrivals and fellow title hopeful Butali 2-1 in their last outing, a result that made them overwhelmingly favourites to capture the title. However, Kaunda believes the real work lies in the second leg, challenging his charges to finish their first leg matches with a win.

“It is nice to be back at the helm and the team has really done well in my absence.

We have done well this first half but the job is only half done,” Kaunda said Friday.

“We need to strong a send message before the league breaks and that will mean a good performance against the Badgers,” he added.

Police welcome back international Willis Ochieng, who was in Germany for a three month stint Moses Cheplaiti and Samuel Wokila will lead the attack.

Badgers coach Cyrus Kanyi is out to wreck Police’s perfect record.

"It's basically going to be a battle of the youth in our side and experience in theirs," the former Kenyan International defender said. Badgers lie seventh on the log with 18 points.

In Nakuru, champions Strathmore cannot afford to drop any points. The students have had a torrid first half of the season, winning three out of 13 matches and are in 13th place, two points off the relegation zone.


All matches at City Park Stadium unless stated


Men’s Premier- KU Vultures v Chase Sailors (12noon), Nakuru v Strathmore University (2pm) - Nakuru KCA-U vs Butali Warriors (4pm), Park Road Badgers v Kenya Police (6pm)
Men’s National : Thika Rovers v Gorillas (2pm)

Daily Nation

Warriors will be hoping to return to their winning ways

Duo leading league table and are keen to increase their points in weekend matches.

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Butali Warriors Zack Aura(l) fight for the ball with Kenyatta University Kennedy Nyongesa when they played premier Men at CityPark on 02/07/2016. PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Kenya Police and Butali Sugar Warriors will be keen to secure maximum points in their last first leg encounters of this season’s Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League.

Going into the break, the two favourites who are currently first and second on the table standings will be out to increase their points tally as they continue the chase for the title.

Police tackle Parkroad Padgers while Warriors take on struggling Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCAU) students today at City Park Stadium.

The law enforcers will go full throttle as they seek to maintain their unbeaten run and also enhance their chances of recapturing the title. Unbeaten Police top the log with 37 points from 12 wins and a draw.

Parkroad on the other hand are seventh on the log with 18 points and will be seeking their sixth win of the season.
ALSO READ: Champions Orange and Police in action: Hockey League Fierce battle expected this weekend

Police captain Brian Saina said that they will be keen to secure a victory.

Going for maximum points

“Playing against Parkroad is never easy because they are a very good side that has has always made it difficult for us.

“Nonetheless, we are looking for a good first round finish and we are definitely going for a win,” Saina said.

Police last won the title in 2013 and are determined to end the three-year trophy drought.

Warriors will be hoping to return to winning ways having settled for a 1-1 draw against Parklands last weekend. Second on the log Warriors will be seeking to create a three point gap between them and third placed Greensharks.

They are currently tied on 30 points with Greensharks and a win will give them a three-point advantage. Relegation threatened KCAU will be in a battle for survival against the 2015 winners. They are 13th with 11 points having won three matches drawn two and lost eight.

Kenyatta University Vultures will be hoping to get themselves out of relegation with a victory against Chase Sailors.

The Vultures are currently second from the wrong end of the table and they must win against Sailors if they are to escape demotion.

Nakuru will host defending champions Strathmore University Gladiators who seem to have lost the battle in first leg.

The Standard Online

Maddie Hinch impact on HockeyFest 2016

Maddie Hinch at HockeyFest

It was a HockeyFest to remember in 2016 for Basingstoke Hockey Club who welcomed Maddie Hinch to their club. A year on, we assess the impact it has had on the club.

Hampshire-based Basingstoke HC boasts a host of men’s, women’s and youth teams and opened its doors to hundreds of people. There was big press interest locally as well as nationally with both the BBC and ITV attending to film at the event in the wake of Great Britain’s gold medal success in Rio.

Maddie spent time with young goalkeepers at the club before holding a Q&A session with the crowds and letting youngsters hold her gold medal.

Basingstoke’s HockeyFest organiser Miranda Smith said: “It’s certainly raised interest in hockey locally – quite a few non-hockey players came to the event and it was also a great opportunity for families to come along together and get on the pitch. We also had quite a few past members who had left the area coming back to the club, which was nice and showed that people are still enjoying their hockey. Some were juniors of mine from years ago!

“Everyone was welcomed onto the pitch and into the club – we are very hot on that. Since then I have noticed an increase of visitors to the club at the weekend, with local residents walking over to watch and get a drink or their lunch in the clubhouse.”

Miranda highlights one particular visitor who stood out, and who has now begun her own hockey journey off the back of their event. Miranda explains: “We had one non-player who came with a friend. She wanted to get in a photo of club players and Maddie Hinch, so I jokingly said that she could if she came back to try hockey in September. We bantered for a while, she came along to training and now she loves hockey and was at the England v Netherlands game with us – she is going to be a very good player as well!

"I think it was a chance to bring the whole combination of experienced, new and developing players and families of those players onto the pitch together.”

England Hockey Board Media release

Levuka ready to host schools hockey tourney

Pravin Narain

NASAU Park in Levuka, Ovalau will host the 2017 Fiji secondary Schools Hockey tournament next month.

Fiji Secondary Schools Hockey Association president Immanuel Prasad said he was expecting tough competition from the 40 competing teams.

"Our preparation in Levuka are on track in terms of the town council on the use of the grounds with medics and the police. We are waiting to confirm our sponsors for the event," he said.

"We have district playoffs and we get four teams from Suva, four from Lautoka and two from Levuka which makes 10 teams in under-16 and under-19 grades. We have a separate competition for the girls and the boys."

The U19 boys teams would compete for the Bhasin Cup while the U19 girls would compete for the Westmere Trophy. In the U16 grade, boys' would compete for the Noal Gibson Trophy while the girls would play for the Melaia Sandy Cup.

"At the moment I heard there has not been much interest from the senior players. However, at the secondary school level, we have about 800 students playing in the secondary schools competition. The highest number of students who play hockey are from Nadi, Lautoka, and Ba," he said.

"Xavier College is a team to beat in the boys' U19 grade since they have won the Nadi, Lautoka and Ba competition and Sangam Sadhu Kuppuswamy Memorial College looks good in the U19 girl's grade. In Suva, Adi Cakobau School with Sacred Heart College and St Joseph's Secondary School would put up a good performance."

The competition will be held from August 14-16.

The Fiji Times

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