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News for 12 September 2017

All the news for Tuesday 12 September 2017

Europe Tour W: India draw Belgium Jr Men

--s2h team

Antwerp (Belgium): In what can be described as satisfactory result, the touring Indian Women's Hockey team drew 2-2 against the Belgium Junior Men in a closely fought encounter here on Monday.

India, led by Captain Rani Ramphal, started the match on a positive note earning a penalty corner within 40 seconds of the start but could not convert it. Two minutes later, another PC was saved by the Belgian goalkeeper.

However, it was the young Belgium team who got three PCs in a span of six minutes, but goalkeeper Savita did well to keep the home side from taking an early lead. Forward Vandana Katariya created a beautiful chance for India inside the striking circle a bit later, but could not score as the first quarter ended goalless.

The second quarter saw both sides taking a more direct approach as Belgium enjoyed more possession which paid off for them as they took the lead through Stan Branicki in the 19th minute. India soon earned a penalty corner but their effort was saved by the Junior World Cup finalists’ goalkeeper which meant Belgium led by a goal at the end of second quarter.

Third quarter started on a bright note for India as Nikki Pradhan levelled the score in 36th minute. India dominated the third quarter as midfielder Neha Goyal came close to scoring but was denied by another brilliant save by Belgium’s goalkeeper. However, the home team took the lead again in the 43rd minute as they rallied for a wonderful field goal scored by Matthieu de Laet.

Belgium Junior Men's team started the fourth quarter swiftly as Indian goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu had to make a reflex save. Indian Women's Team fought back into the match in the dying stages as Vandana Katariya (54th minute) scored with just few minutes left to full time and equalise the scores at 2-2.

However, Belgium were awarded a PC which was well saved by Rajani and cleared by defender Sunita Lakra. The home team forced Rajani into making yet another impressive save in the dying minutes as the Indian defence held on to a well-deserved 2-2 draw.

India will play Ladies Den Bosch in their third match of the Europe Tour on September 14, 2017 at 2130 hrs IST.


Arminen win first ever Austrian Super Cup title

SV Arminen got their EHL preparation off to the perfect start as they won the first ever Austria Super Cup title with a 5-2 win over WAC.

Right from the start, the national champions started in a dynamic, attacking style, putting pressure on their opponent. Patrick Schmidt scored the 1-0 from a penalty corner and, only two minutes later, Arminen captain Robert Bele made it two.

Alexander Bele and Lucas Loser were responsible for a 4-0 lead at half-time. In the second half, WAC came into the game, pulling two goals back in reply to one from Arminen.

Speaking about the win, player-coach Dariusz Rachwalski said: “It was a productive start for our team. Due to the recent European Championship, it was our first game with more or less a full squad.

“Therefore it was a good opportunity for us preparing for the EHL. Though we were efficient, our game didn't look fluent yet and we made too many unforced errors.

“Nevertheless, we're happy to start the season with a win and we congratulate WAC for the opening of their new hockey pitch.”

Euro Hockey League media release

WKS Grunwald Poznan celebrate 70th anniversary in style

WKS Grunwald Poznan celebrated their 70th year anniversary of hockey with a big 12-0 win over KS Lipno Stęszew who were back in the top league for the first time in 17 years in Poland.

They were unable to match the standard of the Polish EHL representatives as Karol Majchrzak scored in the second and third minutes en route to a first half hat trick.

Szymon Hutek scored twice while there were further goals from Pawel Bratkowski, Artur Mikula, Adrian Krokosz, Maciej Poltaszewski, Mateusz Hulboj, Tomasz Dutkiewicz and Michal Poltaszewski.

The win was only one element of the celebrations. Together with the military agency, the Grunwald club organized the "Militaria in Sport" Festival which provided a range of attractions for allcomers and the local Poznan residents.

The event aimed to entertain and promote all of the club’s sports with a family fun day with football, athletics, archery, taekwondo and other sports on display.

Euro Hockey League media release

Clubs to source own umpires for opening series of games following IHUA and Hockey Ireland impasse

The IHUA’s Warren McCully is seeking greater supports from Hockey Ireland for what his organisation says is a crisis. Pic: Adrian Boehm

EY Hockey League clubs will have to source their own umpires for the opening round of matches next Saturday following an impasse between Hockey Ireland and the Irish Hockey Umpires Association (IHUA).

As of Sunday evening, issues between the two organisations have not been resolved with the IHUA not publishing any appointments for the opening weekend of the season.

As such, the Irish Hockey League Working Group has “made a decision to invoke the contingency plan to minimise disruption to the EYHL program while a resolution is sought between the two parties. We are seeking the clubs support and help to mitigate the impact and ensure the EYHL Round 1 happens as planned.”

This involves asking clubs to “take responsibility to provide an umpire for their game and to ask their nominated umpire to umpire their game this weekend”.

The impasse between the IHUA and Hockey Ireland centres on the former’s requests for greater supports for umpiring in Ireland which they feel is now deep in crisis.

Outlining the situation, the IHUA released a statement on September 8, saying they “are deeply disappointed at the continued failure of the Board of Hockey Ireland to take action concerning a number of important umpiring issues and more recently, through recommendations in our 4 Year Plan for Umpiring.”

The IHUA say they first highlighted the crisis in the number of qualified umpires six years ago. They now have 120 qualified umpires across the island with 92 of them over 40-years-old.

“In the next ten years, we expect to lose around 72 qualified umpires but who will replace them? The crisis we face stems firmly from the underfunding and under-resourcing in umpiring over many years and we believe the decline in qualified umpires is in part due to the low level of expenses that our umpires receive.”

In addition, they add that the current disciplinary procedures for abuse toward umpires and officials “are inadequate and not acceptable to the IHUA”.

“Despite bringing this issue to the Hockey Ireland Board for the past two years, and highlighting the negative consequence on our numbers and the game, this continues to be neglected. Umpires are simply turning their back on the game due to a lack of support.”

IHUA Chairman, Warren McCully commented: “Given the Board of Hockey Ireland’s total inaction over many months and years, as well as the failure to grasp a number of opportunities to deal with all these issues, the current situation is very unhealthy.

“We simply get ignored which is highly disrespectful to all qualified umpires who dedicate themselves to the sport. This is not a battle with the clubs, most of whom are very supportive to us, as we work closely together for the benefit of club hockey.

“Our members are bitterly disappointed at the prospect of not being involved in Irish competitions, which are due to commence this weekend, but they will continue to umpire at provincial level if that is the case.

“That said; our members fully understand the gravity of the situation and the wider consequences for the future of umpiring. If Hockey Ireland wants to properly discuss all the issues, we would welcome that but we will not be made scapegoats in this long running saga.”

Outlining their position, the IHUA statement added that they are willing to:
· Discuss the current umpire expenses issue and how the clubs can be helped with the additional costs (as previously requested).
· To agree the fees to be collected with the Board of Hockey Ireland, on behalf of the clubs, on an annual basis similar to other sporting organisations.
· To negotiate and provide assurances to clubs, through financial safeguards to ensure that fees are capped as appropriate, for forthcoming seasons.

Hockey Ireland Chief Executive Officer Jerome Pels said that the Board of Hockey Ireland cannot directly sanction the change in umpiring fees but must put this an AGM or Special General Meeting of Hockey Ireland for approval due to governance concerns.

“First and foremost, we do not believe that under the rules and regulations of Hockey Ireland- your proposal of introducing a cost or fee for umpiring can only be ratified or supported with a decision by the Board of Hockey Ireland.

“Hockey in Ireland has up to this point run as a volunteer driven sport. A change in major policy – paying officials – is not something currently in any endorsed policy or strategy.

“Such change is not supported at this stage by the Board as the Board feels the proposal – as presented – is very unlikely to be supported at club (member) level.

“A proposal from the IHUA for payment of umpires would need to be put before the members at an AGM. The Board is not authorised to implement such policy without AGM approval.”

Pels added: “If you go to payment of match officials, the level of scrutiny on transparency and fairness will go up significantly. Sports governing bodies are under strict guidance by our funding agencies and our superior bodies with regard to checks and balances and transparency.

“A situation where ‘persons with significant control’ in an organisation make decisions that directly benefits themselves financially, would be unacceptable. IHUA as a body controlled and run by umpires, setting their remuneration fee and making decisions on who is the recipient of the fees, does not pass the current standards of good governance.

“This doesn’t mean that officials can’t be remunerated, it only means that the structure of responsibilities and control need to be fit for that purpose. We only need to look at other sports to learn from that. In addition, there are also issues of taxation.

“Last, but perhaps important as well, in your proposal you give examples of other sports where the umpires receiving compensation above their cost. In those examples, the financial strength or financial model of the competition – in short the economics- are very different from hockey.

“In those sports there is more money being generated through commercial activity of the clubs, gate revenues and rights deals. Hockey is (not yet) at this level.”

He cites the examples from Belgium and Austria where umpires are currently paid €50 plus expenses. In both countries, the national association sets the fee rather than the umpiring body.
Earlier today on September 11, Pels wrote directly to the clubs to update them on the situation.

In it, he stated: “The Board understands the proposal and the reasons explained by the IHUA for payment of umpires, however, the Board cannot support this without the approval of our members.

“The main change of policy is that the IHUA is proposing paying umpires fees above the level of expenses. Such a change also has a significant impact to the costs of running hockey competitions for the Clubs.

“Hockey Ireland has proposed to the IHUA to facilitate a Special General Meeting on October 1 to deal with the IHUA proposals.”

The IHUA, though, reject the idea that an AGM is required to agree to a new fee structure:

“In response to your email, the IHUA Executive Committee does not accept the Board’s stance in relation to umpire expenses and would contest that there is no constitutional basis for the Board’s position regarding a proposal nor necessity for the issue to receive the approval of the membership.

“IHUA is a separate association, with a separate constitution and the money sought from clubs is merely to ensure that our members receive reasonable recompense for the time and cost associated with umpiring Hockey Ireland competitions.”

The letter to the clubs concluded that “these issues should not be an unwelcome disruption to all Irish competitions which are due to commence on 16th September 2017”.

But the lack of appointed officials for this weekend and the request for clubs to provide their own suggest that a major disruption will take place as the marquee league attempts to raise the curtain on the new year.

In addition, it will also raise concerns for the viability of IHL Division 2 next season with the increased volume of officials and travel required for officials.

The Hook

SCR rally to down Indian Navy 3-1

Mumbai: South Central Railway (SCR), Secundrabad in splendid fashion rallied to put it across Indian Navy, Mumbai 3-1 in a Pool-A league match of the of the 13th PMC Bank-Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup All India Hockey Tournament, played at the MHAL-Mahindra Stadium, Churchgate on Monday evening. Aiyappa P.R. (25th min & 70th min) and Raju Pal (40th) scored for the Secundrabad team, while Indian Navy scored through Jugraj Singh (8th min).

Earlier, Army XI, Bengaluru overcame MHAL President XI by an identical 3-1 margin after leading 1-0 at the end of the first session in a Pool-B league match. Bhinay Bhengra (33rd min), Sudhakar T.B. (45th) and Chandan Aind (69th) were on target for the Armymen, while beat MHAL President’s XI reduced the deficit through Manpreet Singh (68th).

The sailors started on a positive note as they launched a series of raids at the rival citadel and went ahead when Jugraj converted from their first penalty corner in the eight minute. But, South Central gradually got into their stride and kept attacking the Navy goal. They found success in the 25th minute through Aiyappa to level the scores.

After switching ends, Navy forged ahead when Raju Pal, who had a great day in office found the net with a precise reverse his from a tight angle in the 40th minute, before Aiyappa got his second goal and the team’s third in the final minute of the match.

Earlier in the afternoon, the fitter Army side played much below their best and were not able to assert their dominance against their younger opponents from Mumbai. After firing a couple of sorties at the rival goal initially the Army side finally found the net when Bhinay Bhengra scored from a pass from the right in the 33rd minute and they went into break with a slender 1-0 lead.

After the change of ends, the visitors continued to struggle in the humid conditions and doubled their lead when Sudhakar T.B. positioned near the right post deflected home Vinod Yadav’s long hit from the left.

The MHAL President outfit had a golden chance to cut the deficit when they were awarded a penalty stroke, but Mayur Patil pushed wide. The Mumbai side managed a goal late in the match through Manpreet Singh’s reverse hit in the 68th minute. But in the next minute the services side got an insurance goal scored by Chandan Aind.

Results - Pool-A: South Central Railway, Secundrabad (Aiyappa P.R. 25th, 70th, Raju Pal 40th) beat Indian Navy (Jugraj Singh 8th).
Pool-B: Army XI 3 (Bhinay Bhengra 33rd, Sudhakar T.B. 45th, Chandan Aind 69th) beat MHAL President’s XI 1 (Manpreet Singh 68th).

Tuesday schedule:

2.30 pm: Indian Oil vs Central Railway – Pool-B
4.30 pm: BPCL vs Punjab Police – Pool-A.


Player unavailability: Top three teams pull out of Gold Cup

Sudheendra Tripathi

MUMBAI: The 13th edition of the PMC Bank-Guru Tegh Bahadur All India Hockey Gold Cup tournament has lost a bit of its sheen even before it could get a proper start. Defending champions Western Railway, last year's runners up Punjab and Sindh Bank and the high-flying Air India have all pulled out of the tournament citing non-availability of players. Western Railway have lost a few players to injuries and a couple of others - Amit Rohidas and Neelkant Sharma - to national duty. A few others have gone back home to attend to "some serious issues".

"Being a local team and not being able to participate in such a big tournament is frustrating," Western Railway manager Hari Mohan Sharma told TOI.

"But we don't have any option. We can't even field a proper playing XI. Many of our players are injured, a couple of them are away at the national camp in Bengaluru, while two others have rushed back to be with their folks. Their problem is so grave that we couldn't stop them," said Sharma.

Sharma, however, assured that the team will participate in the Mumbai Super Division League, which gets under way next month. "Sure we will miss out on the Gold Cup but the handful of boys that we already have are training for the Super Division League. We are hoping that by the time the league starts, we will be back to full strength," Sharma said.

Air India, who are struggling with recruitments, and the Punjab and Sindh Bank also have player availability issues and have therefore decided to skip this edition of the tournament.

Meanwhile, South Central Railway (SCR), Secundrabad, rallied in splendid fashion to put it across Indian Navy, Mumbai, 3-1 in a Pool A league match on Monday. Aiyappa PR (25th min & 70th min) and Raju Pal (40th) scored for the Secundrabad team, while Indian Navy scored through Jugraj Singh (8th min).

The Times of India

Bottom-placed TUK struggle to keep up with the big boys


Alex Nyawira of Technical University of Kenya (left) tackles Ian Lang'at of Parkroad Badgers during their Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League match at City Park Stadium on September 10, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP.

Debutantes Technical University of Kenya (TUK) are definitely not enjoying their maiden season in the men’s Kenya Hockey Union me’s Premier League. Having won men’s second-tier league last season to secure promotion, TUK had vowed to take the Premier League by storm.

However, things have not gone according to plan and after 15 matches, the students find themselves at the bottom of the table with only one win and a paltry four points. They are the bookmakers’ favourites to go back down after a baptism of fire.

It was no different at the weekend as they kicked off their second leg campaign with a 1-0 loss to Parkroad Badgers at the City Park Stadium. It was their 13th loss of the season and with another 13 matches to play, they face a real battle in maintaining their top-flight status.

But why exactly has it gone wrong for the students? According to the club coach Peter Mwathe, his side’s inexperience is mostly to blame for their poor form this season.

“We have a number of players who have not played in this level of the league and they are still finding their feet. Problem is time is not on our side, we have got to learn first and win matches if we want to survive,” the coach said.

Mwathe is optimistic his side can survive the chop but admitted that it will be a gigantic task.

“The teams above us are also not consistent and that gives us hope that if we win matches we can save our season,” he added. TUK play USIU in their next match this Saturday.

Kenya College of Accountancy of University (KCA-U), who lost 2-1 to USIU, occupy the second bottom place with 11 points, two behind 13th placed Chase Sailors.

The last two teams at the end of the season will be relegated to the men’s National League. The top three places remain unchanged with Kenya Police maintaining top spot with 40 points, seven ahead of second placed Butali Sugar Warriors.

Greensharks, who are third with 30 points, missed the chance to move level on points with Butali after they lost 2-1 to the 2012 winners Sikh Union Nairobi. Wazalendo, 3-1 winners over USIU and Sikh occupy fourth and fifth places respectively.

There was little change in the women’s Premier League with only two matches played. Former champions Sliders moved one spot into seventh after their 4-0 win over newcomers University of Nairobi.

UON remain bottom with a solitary point as they wait for their maiden win of the season.

Daily Nation

Tim White Appointed National Women’s Junior Coach

Ben Somerford

Hockey Australia (HA) have appointed Tim White to the position of National Women’s Junior Coach.

The key position within the HA athlete pathway will see him overseeing the development and transition of talented young athletes from the National Training Centre (NTC) programs around Australia into the HA High Performance Program based in Perth.

White was the Australia Jillaroos head coach at the 2016 Junior World Cup where the side claimed a bronze medal and is decorated in South Australian coaching ranks, where he also heads up the South Australia Sports Institute (SASI) Hockey Program.

Australia Women’s National Head Coach Paul Gaudoin said: “It’s pleasing Tim White is on board as National Junior Coach. He’s been involved with our NTC program through SASI for a number of years now.

“He’s an experienced hockey player in his own right and has a teaching background, which is fantastic. He has also shown he can coach with his success with the Junior World Cup team last year.

“He’s displayed over the last few years a real diligence in managing his program and we have full confidence he’ll do a terrific job in coordinating his athletes at SASI with the national program and being able to coordinate the National Junior Women’s program to further develop and bring through Australia’s next senior athletes.”

White will maintain his role as SASI head coach, while assuming the role as National Women’s Junior Coach.

White said: “I’m really excited to accept the role of National Women’s Junior Coach.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to Head Coach the Jillaroos at the 2016 Junior World Cup after working with the National Junior Women for the previous 18 months.

“Now to be able to continue to work in a leadership role with the National Junior Women's program is a great opportunity.

“I see this role as a really important part of the Hockey Australia pathway. There’s a lot of great coaches around the country currently working in our programs and I look forward to working with these coaches to try to widen our talent base.”

White moved into the coaching pathway after a successful playing career which included being selected within Australian squads.

In March 2013, White transitioned into the role of Head Coach of the SASI Hockey Program after a 20-year teaching career at Pembroke School in Adelaide.

White’s progression into high performance coaching saw him originally receive a position as a Scholarship coach with the SASI Hockey program prior to leading his first Australian Hockey League campaign in 2013.

He is a multiple premiership-winning Premier League coach with Men’s and Women’s teams at a club level and has won Hockey SA Coach of the Year on multiple occasions. He has an excellent record coaching SA state teams at National Championships.

He has held numerous assistant coaching roles within HA developmental programs over several years, culminating in his appointment as the Australia Jillaroos head coach for the 2016 Junior World Cup in Chile, where he led the side to a bronze medal, marking the first time they had medalled at the tournament since 2001.

HA National Talent Pathway Manager Michael Crooks said: “Tim has demonstrated not just a high level of coaching delivery on the pitch during his time working in and around Hockey Australia’s national programs in recent years, but also a very strong ability to engage and support athletes and coaches right around the country to deliver the best possible development outcomes for our talented young athletes.

“We look forward to working with Tim, the SASI and Hockey SA to set up a rejuvenated Women’s National Junior program that will consolidate on the outstanding achievements from the 2016 Junior World Cup, by delivering athletes of an international standard into the HA High Performance Program.”

Hockey Australia media release

New Core Group for Jr Men Camp for SoJ Cup

Lucknow: Second preparatory camp, which has just commenced in Lucknow, under former India captain Jude Felix, will have 37 members. The first camp was held in Bengaluru and lasted six weeks where about 50 prospects were pruned to 33.

Hockey India today announced a 37-Member Core Group for the Junior Men's National Coaching Camp which will take place at SAI, Lucknow from 11th September 2017 to 17th October 2017 to prepare for the 7th Sultan of Johor Cup (Junior Men).

During the course of the camp, selection trials will be conducted under the purview of Hockey India’s Director, High Performance, David John and Junior Men’s Team Head Coach Jude Felix, to pick the 18-member squad for the 7th Sultan of Johor Cup (Junior Men) that takes place from October 22th-29th, 2017 in Malaysia.

The group will work on important aspects of the game like their speed, agility, skill and understanding of the game along with team-play keeping in mind the prestigious 2020 Junior World Cup where the team will be defending their coveted crown.

“We have worked very hard in identifying the Junior Men’s Core Group in the past few months to carry on our development process which has given us a strong pool of players who can represent the country at the biggest stage. We believe that these players have the attributes required to go on and compete in India in future international tournaments. Our main focus right now is to train them and select the best to play at the 7th Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia next month under the guidance of Coach Jude Felix," said David John, Director, High Performance, Hockey India.

Junior Men Core Probables:

Goalkeepers: Pankaj Kumar Rajak (Steel Plant Sports Board), Tanuj Gulia (Hockey Haryana), Prashant Kumar Chauhan (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), AS. Sentamizh Arasu (Services Sports Control Board)

Defenders: Suman Beck (Hockey Odisha), Harmanjit Singh (Hockey Punjab), Mandeep Mor (Hockey Haryana), Mohd. Faraz (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), Prince (Punjab & Sind Bank), Pratap Lakra (Hockey Gangpur-Odisha)

Midfielders: Varinder Singh (Hockey Punjab), Sunny Malik (Hockey Haryana), Vishal Antil (Hockey Haryana), Yashdeep Siwach (Hockey Haryana), Vishal Singh (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), Vivek Sagar Prasad (Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy), Akshay Avasthi (Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy), Sukhjeet Singh (Hockey Chandigarh), Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem (Manipur Hockey), Dinachandra Singh Moirangthem (Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy)

Forwards: Shilanand Lakra (Steel Plant Sports Board), Jai Prakash Patel (Steel Plant Sports Board), Dilpreet Singh (Hockey Punjab), Mohd. Saif Khan (Sports Authority of India), Raushan Kumar (Sports Authority of India), Abhishek (Hockey Haryana), Shivam Anand (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), Rahul Kumar Rajbhar (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), Mohd. Alishan (Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy), Sanjay (Hockey Chandigarh), Maninder Singh (Hockey Chandigarh), Rahul (Services Sports Control Board), Anand Kumar Bara (Hockey Bihar), Rahul Shinde (Hockey Maharashtra), Venkatesh Kenche (Hockey Maharashtra), Kishore Arya (Delhi Hockey), Iktidar Ishrat (Uttar Pradesh Hockey)


HI names 37-man core group for junior men's national coaching camp

LUCKNOW: Hockey India (HI) on Monday announced a 37-member core group for the junior men's national coaching camp which will take place at SAI centre till September 17 to prepare for the seventh Sultan of Johor Cup.

During the course of the camp, selection trials will be conducted under the purview of HI's Director, High Performance, David John and junior men's team head coach Jude Felix, to pick the 18-member squad for the Sultan of Johor Cup which will take place from October 22th to 29 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

The group will work on important aspects of the game like speed, agility, skill and understanding of the game keeping in mind the prestigious 2020 Junior World Cup where the team will be defending their coveted crown.

"We have worked very hard in identifying the junior men's core group in the past few months to carry on our development process which has given us a strong pool of players who can represent the country at the biggest stage.

"We believe that these players have the attributes required to go on and compete for India in future international tournaments. Our main focus right now is to train them and select the best for the 7th Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia next month under the guidance of coach Jude Felix," said John.

The Times of India

Indian Hockey and the art of musical chairs

Sanjeev Singh in Narad Muni

New President of International Hockey Federation Narinder Batra addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. PHOTO BY RAJESH MEHTA.

When Hockey India sacked Roelant Oltmans as the coach of the national team, one expected that future plans had been elaborately planned before making this sudden move. Hockey India was busy inviting proposals for a new coach and one expected that they would ask an interim coach to take over till a final call could be taken with a long-term vision in mind. But the appointment of Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne within six days of Oltmans’ removal has come as a surprise to most Hockey lovers and experts as well.

Till last Saturday, Marjine was coaching the women’s team and had achieved just about moderate success. Wonder what made HI officials so enamoured with him that they decided to hand him the job of the men’s team till 2020 Olympics? As per reports, Marjine was reluctant to take the new job but was convinced to take over.

What has complicated matters is the appointment of former junior coach, Harendra Singh, as the new coach of the women’s team. Most were expecting Singh to be rewarded with the responsibility of the senior team after he delivered the junior world cup to India last year. As many as six players of that winning team are already playing in the senior team. That had made Singh a natural choice as more juniors are expected to make their way into the senior team over the coming years.

These appointments defy logic as both Marjine and Singh have been given a complex task by moving them from their current area of expertise. What is surprising is the news of these appointments was put out in the public domain by none other than the new sports minister and former Olympian, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

TOI Blogs

Maryland field hockey relied on Sarah Holliday’s leadership at Terrapin Invitational

By Scott Gelman

Goalkeeper Sarah Holliday closely defends an opponent during the penalty shootout in Maryland's 2-1 win against UMass on Nov. 12, 2016. (Matt Regan/The Diamondback)

Though there weren't any Towson attackers in sight for much of the Maryland field hockey team's Friday win, goalkeeper Sarah Holliday made constant noise.

Holliday alternated between, "Good job!"; "Stay on the ball!"; and "Look right!" or "Look left!" She admits at certain points it was "useless fluff talk," but it kept her engaged in the game and interacting with the backline.

It was all part of the Terps' strategy, coach Missy Meharg said, to maintain possession and dominate the game. Maryland fired off a program-record 58 shots, while Towson didn't attempt one.

Holliday's approach in the Terrapin Invitational tournament opener against Towson proved beneficial during Sunday's matchup with No. 9 Louisville. It helped the Terps keep Louisville forward Nicole Woods and an attacking unit that hadn't yet been held scoreless this season off the board in Maryland's 1-0 win.

"She's staying on her feet," Meharg said. "That's what we work on every day. Sarah handled that one-on-one like a top level goalie."

After defeating Towson, Maryland players sat in the stands to watch Louisville's first contest of the weekend against American, a perk of the tournament-style setting. In that contest — a 2-1 Cardinals win — Woods scored about eight minutes in to give the Cardinals an advantage. Two minutes later, Louisville demonstrated its offensive potential with another goal.

But the Terps prevented a similar goalscoring display on Sunday.

Defender Bodil Keus scored in the 47th minute against the Cardinals to give Maryland the lead. Led by Woods, Louisville seemed poised to respond, becoming more aggressive and earning a penalty corner opportunity about a minute later.

The penalty corner attempt sailed wide right, and Holliday's presence helped the Terps secure the win in the low-scoring contest. Holliday saved Louisville's final attempt to tie the game — midfielder a shot off Holliday's pad by Katie Walsh with about four minutes remaining in regulation.

Holliday ended the day with just four saves, but her presence kept Maryland organized. Woods took three of Louisville' eight shots, one of which came on goal. But none snuck past Holliday.

"I had more of a role in making sure we're forcing girls to the outside," Holliday said. "Keeping them where they're supposed to be. [Against Towson], they could do that all on their own because we were completely dominating."

Holliday, who recorded a career-high 13 saves in Maryland's loss to then-No. 2 Duke on Sept. 1, has responded to increased playing time. After splitting time in goal with Sarah Bates last season, she has started each of the Terps' first five contests, adding stability between the pipes.

And regardless of whether an opposing team's most potent offensive threats is testing her, she can always be heard.

"She's always there," freshman defender Hannah Bond said. "She's got my back. She's communicating. I can hear her [and] I know she won't let me down."

The Diamondback

Maryland field hockey’s Bodil Keus named Big Ten Defensive Player of Week

By Scott Gelman

Maryland field hockey defender Bodil Keus was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, the team announced.

Keus, a sophomore from Amsterdam in her first year at Maryland, scored the Terps' lone goal in Sunday's 1-0 win against No. 9 Louisville. Her 48th-minute shot lifted No. 11 Maryland to its first win against a ranked opponent this season.

Led by Keus, who has been Maryland's go-to player off penalty corners this season, the Terps backline didn't allow Towson to attempt a shot Friday. The Cardinals took eight shots Sunday, but Maryland kept a clean sheet.

Keus has started four of Maryland's five contests this season and leads the team with three goals. She has six points and 21 shots, 14 of which were on goal.

The honor is Keus' first in her Terps career.

Maryland is scheduled to open Big Ten play with a match at Indiana on Friday afternoon.

The Diamondback

Christ’s and St Cuth’s take top school honours

Photo: Planet Hockey

Christ’s College and St Cuthbert’s College have been crowned this year’s New Zealand Aon Secondary Schools champions over the weekend.

Christ’s won the Aon Rankin Cup in a heart-stopping 2-1 shoot-out victory over Christchurch Boys’ High after the score was locked up 0-0 at the end of regular time.

Palmerston North Boys School came through to defeat King’s College 2-1 after Thomas Walshe struck in golden goal to seal the bronze medal match.

In the girls’ tournament, St Cutherbert’s College secured the Aon Federation Cup after edging Rangi Ruru Girls School 1-0 thanks to a second half goal from captain Madison Doar.

St Margaret’s College edged past Villa Maria College 3-2 when Emily Wium delivered the winner in golden point to decide the bronze medal.






Gold Medal Match

Christ’s College beat Christchurch Boys 2-1 (s/o)

Bronze Medal Match
Palmerston North beat King’s 2-1 (golden goal)


Gold Medal Match

St Cuthbert’s beat Rangi Ruru 1-0

Bronze Medal Match
St Margaret’s beat Villa Maria 3-2 (golden goal)



Gold Medal Match

St Kentigern beat Wellington College 3-1

Bronze Medal Match
Pukekohe High beat Rathkeale 5-4


Gold Medal Match
Waikato Dio beat Christchurch Girls 4-2 (s/o)

Bronze Medal Match
Bethlehem College beat Tauranga Girls 3-0

CLICK HERE to see all results from the Aon Secondary Schools Tournament

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Robinson giving back at AIMS Games

Photo: Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

Vantage Black Sticks striker Amy Robinson works full-time at Tauranga Intermediate, travels to Auckland three times a week to train and still dabbles in track and field when she gets the chance.

Somehow, the 21-year-old also finds time to help coach her school’s Anchor AIMS Games girls’ hockey team, one of a number of sporting stars giving back to next week’s annual intermediate-aged tournament.

The AIMS Games has special resonance for Robinson, who made her Vantage Black Sticks debut last year – she played two years for the Tauranga Intermediate team in 2007 and 2008, coming away with a silver medal in her first year.

“That silver was the best we’d ever done, until last year when we finally broke though and won,” Robinson, who works as the assistant sports coordinator said.

“It made it pretty special to go one better last year and hopefully we can go back and get a medal again this year. Back in 2007, as an 11-year-old, AIMS was huge for me but even now as an adult, with all the growth it’s had, it seems equally huge. It’s awesome to still be part of it.”

More than 10,100 competitors will line up from Sunday in the six-day tournament in Tauranga, representing more than 300 different schools, all of them chasing medals and cherished memories.

And included in the coaching ranks are a clutch of Olympians and former internationals.

Ricki Herbert, who played for and coached the All Whites at two World Cups, is now the coach of the St Peter’s boys football team in Cambridge, with former Silver Fern Amigene Metcalfe and Olympic swimmer Alison Fitch also on the St Peter’s coaching roster.

Tu Umaga-Marshall is coaching the Titahi Bay rugby sevens team, having played basketball at NBL level, sevens for New Zealand and Super Rugby, while former Samoan netball star and current Samoa coach Frances Solia is managing the St Margaret’s swimming and cross country teams.

Former All Black lock Chresten Davis is branching out, meanwhile, managing the Cambridge Middle School multisport team, which consists of his son Liam.

The tournament started on Sunday with cross country, gym sports and sailing, along with a double opening ceremony because of huge demand.

All AIMS Games coaches throughout New Zealand were offered free ACC SportSmart Warm Up workshops this year, with ACC also hosting a series of warm up zones throughout the venues.

ACC ambassadors include All White star Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, former Silver Fern Leana de Bruin, New Zealand sevens players Scott Curry and Selica Winiata and Tall Black Paora Winitana.

CLICK HERE for more on the AIMS Games

Hockey New Zealand Media release

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