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News for 30 September 2017

All the news for Saturday 30 September 2017

AHL Day Two Round-up & Highlights

Ben Somerford

Last year’s finalists Queensland Scorchers and Victoria Vipers both made it two wins from two games on day two of the Australian Hockey League (AHL) at Perth Hockey Stadium on Friday.

Queensland were too strong for New Zealand’s Development side, racing to a three-goal lead by half-time.

Ashlea Fey scored a penalty stroke on 13 minutes after a yellow card to Frances Davies, with Savannah Fitzpatrick (16’)  and Stephanie Kershaw (23’) adding goals in the second period.

Victoria backed up their opening day 4-1 win over SA, by defeating India’s Development side 3-1.

Vipers skipper Emily Hurtz (22’) scored her second goal of the AHL, before youngster Aisling Utri (41’) doubled Victoria’s advantage with a penalty stroke.

India replied two minutes into the final period through Preeti Dubey, but the Vipers sealed the win with a Madi Ratcliffe (55’) goal from a penalty corner.

Elsewhere, South Australia Suns claimed their first win with an emphatic 5-0 victory against Tasmania.

Miki Spano (6’) opened the scoring, before Hockeyroo Karri McMahon (30’and 34’) scored two goals from penalty corners. Hattie Shand (50’) and Alison Penington (53’) rounded out the scoring.

On Saturday, NSW plays India (3.30pm all times WST), WA faces NT (5.30pm) and ACT plays New Zealand (7.30pm).

In the men’s tournament, the reigning champions Victoria Vikings also made it two from two with a comfortable 4-0 win over New Zealand’s Development side.

Russell Ford (23’, 29’ and 31’) netted a hat-trick with Max Hendry (50’) adding the cherry on top of the cake.

Hosts WA Thundersticks were downed 4-1 by India, with the visitors opening the scoring early via Armaan Qureshi (6’) from a penalty corner and they never looked back.

Yousuf Affan (30’), Amit Rohidas (45’) and Talwinder Singh (50’) added further goals for India, before WA replied with a consolation from Liam Flynn after 56 minutes.

Tassie Tigers crushed SA Hotshots 6-0, led by doubles from Kieron Arthur (20’ and 31’) and Sam McCambridge (28’ and 48’). Ian McHugh (10’) and Kurt Mackey (50’) also scored.

On Saturday, Queensland meet New Zealand (3pm), ACT take on NT (5pm) and NSW face India (7pm) in a big game.

Hockey Australia media release

AHL : Indian men win, women lose in their first match

AHL 2017: Indian men's A team win 4-1 and women's A team lose 1-3 in their first match

s2h team

India ‘A’ Men’s team started off their 2017 Men’s Australian Hockey League campaign with a 4-1 win over Western Australia. Armaan Qureshi (6’), Affan Yousuf (30’), Amit Rohidas (45’) and Talwinder Singh (50’) were the goal-scorers for India as the visitors registered an emphatic win. Western Australia's solitary goal was scored by Liam Flynn in the 56th minute.

The Indian team started the match on the front foot as they piled pressure on Western Australia in the early stages through great attacking hockey. The visitors were awarded an early penalty corner in the 6th minute which was converted by Armaan Qureshi to give the side a 1-0 lead, scoreline remaining the same at the end of first quarter.

Western Australia were awarded a penalty corner in the second quarter but they could not make the most of it as India’s goalkeeper Krishan Pathak made a great save to deny the opposition. India continued to dominate the match producing some slick passing which brought rewards for the visitors. Affan Yousuf finished off a brilliant field goal in the 30th minute to give India a two-goal cushion at the end of second quarter.

India ‘A' dictated the tempo of the play in the third quarter also as they had most of the possession which helped them in further extending the lead to three goals when Amit Rohidas converted a penalty corner in the 45th minute to end the third quarter on a high.

The visitors continued putting pressure on the Western Australia team as they scored a fourth through Talwinder Singh in the 50th minute to ensure that the match was sealed in their favour.

Western Australia’s Liam Flynn scored a field goal in the 56th minute which served as a consolation.

In the women's match, India ‘A’ team started their 2017 Women’s Australian Hockey League campaign with a loss, as Victoria won the match 3-1 in a high-quality encounter. Goals from Emily Hurtz (22’), Aisling Utri (41’) and Madi Ratcliffe (55') were enough for Victoria to start their campaign with a win as India's consolation goal was scored by captain Preeti Dubey (47’).

Both the teams started the first quarter cautiously. The Indian team was put under pressure early on which saw in the resulting of Suman Thoudam getting a green card in the 4th minute. However, neither team could produce any goals as scores remained 0-0 after the first quarter.

Victoria were quicker off the blocks in the second quarter as they scored a wonderful field goal through Emily Hurtz in the 22nd minute to take a crucial 1-0 lead in the match. The visitors though created chances but could not level the scoreline as Victoria led by a goal at the end of second quarter.

The third quarter saw Victoria dominate possession as they extended their lead through a well taken penalty stroke which was converted by Aisling Utri in the 41st minute. However, India started off the fourth quarter stronger and were dictating the tempo which resulted in India’s captain Preeti Dubey pulled one back for the visitors scoring a field goal in the 47th minute.

But Victoria piled pressure on the young Indian team as they earned a penalty corner in the 55th minute. It was Madi Ratcliffe who converted the penalty corner which was enough to secure the win.

India ‘A’ Women’s team play New South Wales in their next Pool B encounter on Saturday 30 September 2017 at 13.00 hrs IST.

India men's ‘A’ team play New South Wales in their next Pool B encounter on Saturday 30 September 2017 at 16.30 hrs IST.


India A men's hockey team beats Western Australia 4-1

PERTH: India 'A' men's team began their Australian Hockey League campaign with a 4-1 win over Western Australia on Friday.

Armaan Qureshi (6th minute), Affan Yousuf (30th), Amit Rohidas (45th) and Talwinder Singh (50th) were the goal-scorers for India as the visitors registered an emphatic win.

Western Australia's solitary goal was scored by Liam Flynn in the 56th minute.

The Indian team started the match on the front foot as they piled pressure on Western Australia in the early stages through attacking hockey.

The visitors were awarded an early penalty corner in the sixth minute which was converted by Armaan Qureshi to give the side a 1-0 lead. The scoreline remained the same at the end of first quarter.

Western Australia were awarded a penalty corner in the second quarter but they could not make the most of it as India's goalkeeper Krishan Pathak made a great save to deny the opposition.

India continued to dominate the match, producing some slick passing which brought rewards to them. Affan Yousuf finished off a brilliant field goal in the 30th minute to give India a two-goal cushion at the end of second quarter.

India 'A' dictated the tempo of the play in the third quarter also as they had most of the possession which helped them in further extending the lead when Amit Rohidas converted a penalty corner in the 45th minute to end the third quarter on a high.

The visitors continued putting pressure on the Western Australia team as they scored a fourth through Talwinder Singh in the 50th minute to ensure that the match was sealed in their favour.

Western Australia's Liam Flynn scored a field goal in the 56th minute which served as a consolation for them.

India 'A' play New South Wales in their next Pool B encounter on Saturday.

The Times of India

India 'A' women's hockey team loses 1-3 to Victoria side

PERTH: India 'A' women's team started their campaign in the Australian Hockey League with a defeat on Friday, going down 1-3 to Victoria in a high-quality encounter here.

Emily Hurtz (22nd minute), Aisling Utri (41st) and Madi Ratcliffe (55th) struck for Victoria while India's consolation goal was scored by captain Preeti Dubey (47th).

Both the teams started the first quarter cautiously. The Indian team was put under pressure early on and Suman Thoudam got a green card for a desperate foul in the fourth minute.

However, neither team could produce any goals as scores remained 0-0 after the first quarter.

Victoria were quicker off the blocks in the second quarter as they scored a wonderful field goal through Emily Hurtz in the 22nd minute to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

The visitors though created chances but could not level the scoreline as Victoria led by a goal at the end of second quarter.

The third quarter saw Victoria dominate possession as they extended their lead through a well taken penalty stroke through Aisling Utri in the 41st minute.

However, India started off the fourth quarter stronger and dictated the tempo which resulted in their captain Preeti Dubey pulling one back for the visitors by scoring a field goal in the 47th minute.

But Victoria piled pressure on the young Indian team as they earned a penalty corner in the 55th minute. It was Madi Ratcliffe who converted it.

India 'A' women's team plays New South Wales in their next Pool B encounter on Saturday.

The Times of India

Gucassoff looking forward to perfect prep for EHL ROUND1

©: Frank Uijlenbroek/world Sport Pics

Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles goalkeeper Jeremy Gucassoff says the volume of internationals in their squad meant a slightly disjointed preparation for the new season but they are now going all guns blazing for the EHL in Barcelona next week.

Between the senior and Under-21 sides, Racing had a massive seven players involved with the Belgian teams with the latter only finishing up in Valencia with a silver medal early in September.

“Our prep wasn't perfect due to the international summer,” Gucassoff told the EHL website. “As such, we weren't together much before start of September. However, now we have started the competition well and we have now two games left to fix the last details for the first round of EHL.”

This starts with a Friday evening game at home against Beerschot and then a mouth-watering date with Dragons on Sunday. It serves as the perfect preparation for their EHL ROUND1 group where they will meet Poland’s WKS Grunwald Poznan and Ireland’s Banbridge.

It gives new coach Xavier Reckinger – who moved from Herakles during the summer – a great stage to develop his panel and gain knowledge of where they are at.

“I know Reck for a long while now as he was part of the national squad when I started as well as Jerome Truyens, Tom Boon and Cedric Charlier,” Gucassoff added. “Xavier is a great coach as he knows exactly where he wants to go and has a clear idea of what we need to reach top level.

“It's also nice to integrate young guys in our team. They have improved so much during the last two years. Martin Lambeau was captain of the Under-21s this summer and Augustin [Meurmans] has already played two big tournaments with the Red Lions. Tommy has just joined us this season but they are all really important for our team.”

As for the EHL draw, he says it is a big challenge: “We know we have a tough draw. Irish hockey has improved so much last few years and it's gonna be a difficult one. On the other hand, Poznan have a lot of experienced players with a few that used to play in Belgium in the recent past. They know the competition and we'll have to be really focused to avoid problems.

“The EHL is the best competition that you can play with your club. With Racing, our best memory is of course when we reached the FINAL4 a few years ago and that's why we can't wait to take part to this event once again.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Another big weekend in Men’s National League 1

Photo by Mark Pugh

Kelburne are at the top of Men’s National League 1, sharing the perch on goal difference from Grange and Western Wildcats. It is a position they will undoubtedly retain if they can take the six points from this weekend`s double header away to both Grove Menzieshill and Hillhead.

Kelburne coach Gordon Shepherd is rather down-to-earth regarding winning competitions – when asked at the end of last season if the Paisley side were lucky to win the league, he replied: “No, in the end we got more points than our rivals, so we deserved to win.”

A similar approach prevails this weekend. “Every game is important if you are aiming to win the league,” said Shepherd. “Both Hillhead and Grove Menzieshill will pose a good challenge for us this weekend.”

The Taysiders, who finished a very creditable third last season, should present a good challenge to Shepherd`s aspirations. Although Grove Menzieshill have started the season modestly, a 3-1 win over city rivals Dundee Wanderers was followed by a narrow 2-1 reversal against Grange, but the feeling is they have more to give under Gavin Byers.

In contrast, Hillhead have yet to get off the mark, and their 4-0 defeat at the hands of Wanderers was a disappointing outcome.

Once again, it is Kelburne`s cavalier approach to attacking hockey that has come to the fore, eleven goals in two games with Michael and Johnny Christie along with set piece expert Josh Cairns the early clinical finishers.

On these games Shepherd said: “In our first two games this season we have had some periods of good performance, but there are areas we clearly need to improve.”

But Shepherd is also looking forward to a week to the EHL and will use the Grove Menzieshill and Hillhead games as preparation. “It will allow us to experience the back-to-back game format we will experience the following weekend in the EHL.”

Grove Menzieshill have a second chance to pick up points when they travel to Lanarkshire to take on Uddingston on Sunday.

Grange and Wildcats will look to maintain the pressure on the champions, the former take on Hillhead at Anniesland while the latter entertain Dundee Wanderers at Auchenhowie.

The Edinburgh side have started with two wins although Coach David Knipe did admit that his charges did not play to their potential against Grove Menzieshill, but still managed a 2-1 victory courtesy of goals from Frank Ryan and Dominic Wild from a penalty corner.

Wildcats have made a solid start to the campaign with narrow wins over Hillhead and Uddingston, teenager Rob Harwood getting the only goal from the spot in the latter encounter.

Edinburgh University certainly made an impact in their debut match of the season two weeks ago with an astonishing 8-5 win over Inverleith – the question is, will this sort of form be repeated in their home fixture against Clydesdale at Peffermill on Saturday.

Coach Graham Moodie has mixed feelings. “To be honest we just want to improve on what was a really positive first game.

“Great to score so many goals, but I’m not sure we can afford to let in five a game all season.”

Clydesdale had a difficult opening this season with the nightmare start of Grange and Kelburne in their opening two games, but they did hold the latter to a 2-2 scoreline at half-time.

Moodie has taken this into account and said: “I think this will be a really competitive game between two young sides and it`s a game we want to win. If we can continue to be clinical in front of goal and improve defensively, we`ll give ourselves every chance.”

It will be interesting to see if South African recruit Davyn Keuter can come close to his six set piece goals against Inverleith, the Titwood side will need to work on not giving away soft penalty corners.

The final fixture on Saturday`s card pairs Uddingston against Inverleith, with both sides yet to get off the mark.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

The season starts here: Leinster men’s Division one runners and riders take shape for first full series

Grant Glutz opened his season with a hat trick against Dublin North. Pic: Deryck Vincent

With YMCA and Weston already off to winning starts, men’s Leinster Division One kicks off in earnest on Saturday with the first full series of games in the competition.

The Y saw off new entity Dublin North – formed from the amalgamation of Fingal, St Brendan’s/Phoenix Park and Swords – 6-1 on Tuesday evening with Grant Glutz scoring a hat trick.

It was a fine start for the Ballinteer side following a heavy turnover of players during the summer, something which coach Jason Klinkradt was particularly pleased with.

“The most important thing is to develop players,” he said afterwards. “We have had a big turnover so everyone put in a big shift. The younger players did really well and everyone is enjoying the team vibe.”
He also said his side will not be afraid to play an attacjing game: “Defence might win you one or two games but you have to score goals so we have worked a lot on that.”

For North’s David Bane – now in a playing role, stepping back from coaching for the moment – he says: “YM are a quality side and will be right up there, competing to get into the EYHL and will be there in the playoffs.

“We got a huge amount out of the game in terms of learning. It’s a new group coming together so we focus on the positives going into the game into Kilkenny.”

Bane stayed on the sideline due to a hamstring twinge but may figure against Kilkenny on Saturday. The cats are looking to bounce back from an opening day defeat to Weston but will have a trio of Munster Under-18s back with Ben Johnson a potentially big addition.

Corinthian meet YMCA in the big one. The reds have won the last two Division One titles with YM their nearest chasers last season. Trevor Dagg is keen for his side to finally get over the line and land an EY Hockey League berth.

UCD, coached this season by Rudi Wortmann, start their life back in Leinster with a date against another regular challenger, Clontarf. Wortmann has lots of changes to his side but the quality of David Nolan, Jazze Henry and Ziggy Agnew means they should be competitive. Clontarf also have a new coaching team with Craig Stewart and Dave Passmore working together.

Trinity have a glut of players back from Erasmus and several other new names though the departure of experienced heads like Tom Gibbs and Johnny Lewis will be felt. They meet an Avoca side coached by Mark Cullen for a ninth season. Their big arrival is Adam Pritchard while Jonny McCormack is back after a spell in Spain.

Weston will look to continue their progressive start to the season when they host Rathgar. The Chiefs have Rory O’Donoghue in as coach, taking over from another former Glenanne man, Alan Browne.

The target for most is a place in the top three which ensures a place in the EYHL playoffs and also a ticket to the Irish Hockey League Division 2 rankings for next season and national level hockey.

Leinster Men’s Division One

Tuesday: YMCA 6 (G Glutz 3, D Ellison, A Jones, T Ritchie) Dublin North 1 (S Dempsey)

Saturday: Dublin North v Kilkenny, 1.15pm, Abbottstown; Corinthian v YMCA, 2.25pm, Whitechurch Park; UCD v Clontarf, 2.50pm, Belfield; Dublin University v Avoca, 3pm, Santry Avenue; Weston v Rathgar, 3.45pm, Griffeen Valley Park

*** Team by team previews ***

Last season: 8th Leinster Division One, Mills Cup first round; Neville Cup second round
Coach: Mark Cullen (9th season)

Players in: Elliott Goode (Pembroke), Adam Pritchard (Pembroke), Greg Arrowsmith (Monkstown)
Players out: Herbie Fowler-Hudson (Glenanne)

Overview: Mark Cullen will coach the Blackrock side for a ninth successive season as they look to make an improvement on last season which proved a low key one as they await a first win of 2017.

They do have some big arrivals at Newpark with former Irish international Adam Pritchard back in action. He took a year out after his spell at Pembroke but is back playing to bring some serious experience to the squad.

Elliott Goode also played EYHL last year with Pembroke while Jonny McCormack is available again to be their key man in midfield having spent the second half of last season in Spain. Youngsters like Ewan Ramsay and Oisin O’Sullivan will have a growing role in the side.

Cullen feels his side has undergone the most extensive strength and conditioning programme since he has worked with the team and hopes this can lay the base for a much higher performance.

Last season: 3rd Leinster League; EYHL round-robin playoffs phase; Irish Senior Cup first round; Neville Cup quarter-final; Mills Cup first round
Coach: Craig Stewart (1st season) and David Passmore (1st season)

Players in: Max Harris (Camberwell, Melbourne), Robert Forrest (Australia)
Players out: John Mullins (TRR)

Overview: Craig Stewart and David Passmore will take over the reins from long-term coach Gareth Borland and is inheriting a younger team than the one who enjoyed a successful three year period where they won the Irish Hockey Trophy and made it to the EYHL promotion playoffs two years in a row.

They have added Max Harris to the squad from Camberwell in Melbourne who just won the Victorian Grand Final. He should bolster the defensive line in the wake of Dave Power’s injury which should sideline him until the second half of the season.

Robert Forrest has returned to the fray after a year away in Australia. Alan O’Malley has come into the squad on the back of a successful year which started in the Leinster U-17 panel. Dave Lawless, Mark Duggan and Sean Harper – fresh off the back of their success with the Leinster U-18s – will also have a bigger role to play this year.

Luke Hayden returns to captain the side for a second year and they will rely on on the goals of Kevin Murray and Oran O’Donnell to offset those lost with John Mullins departure to TRR. The teams ambition remains the same as there is still enough talent and know-how to compete for the IHL2 spots as they look to continue the sides impressive development since the IHL was introduced.

Corinthian’s Jonny Bruton. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Last season: 1st Leinster League; EYHL playoffs semi-finals; Irish Senior Cup semi-finals; Leinster Indoor Semi Finals
Coach: Trevor Dagg (4th season); Assistant coach: Jonny Bruton (2nd season)

Players in: Jonathan Lewis (Trinity), Tom Gibbs (Trinity), Ian Gibson (Limerick)
Players out: Jakim Berndsen (YMCA)

Overview: The two in-a-row Leinster champions will be hoping to finally rise to the top table after missing out twice at the EYHL playoff stage in the last two years. Preseason has gone well with a trip to the Bath Buccaneers tournament against a number of good quality English conference sides.

The goal for Trevor Dagg’s side is once again to win the Leinster league and then win the playoffs to qualify for the EYHL, hoping that promotion with coincide with a major upgrade to the club’s facilities with a new water based pitch which should happen in the next year.

Hugo Burns, Josh Greaney and Craig MacKay were involved in the schoolboy interpros while the club are also delighted to welcome back Ian Stewart who took some time from the game out due to illness but thankfully has made a full recovery and is raring to go for the new season. With Jonny Bruton up front and Conor Motyer in the spine of the team, they look well set to be pushing for the top spot once again.

Dublin North
Last season (as Fingal): 6th Leinster Division 1; Irish Hockey Trophy round one; Mills Cup semi-final; Neville Cup Quarter Final.
Coach: Gerry Wheeler

Players in: Liam Metcalf (South Africa), Ryan West (Queens) David Bane (Railway Union)
Players out: Jason Rogan (Glenanne), Marcus O’Brien (Scotland)

Overview: Formed from the amalgamation of St Brendan’s Phoenix Park, Fingal and Swords HC with the intention of becoming a premier hub for hockey on the northside, Dublin North played their first formal tie on Tuesday evening against YMCA.

Liam Metcalf has recently moved from South Africa where he played club and university hockey at a high level while Ryan West has transferred from Queens. Dave Bane returns to playing since his retirement from coaching while ex St Brendan’s/Phoenix Park man Brendan Dempsey – Shane’s brother – has previous division 1 experience with Clontarf.

The club also managed to integrate a number of high potential underage players to the squad with the experienced heads of Eamonn Bane, Ben Chillingworth, Paddy Gahan, Conor Connolly, Jim Dunne and Adrian Sweeney all still involved.

Preseason saw them lose 4-3 to North Down, draw 3-3 with Bangor, beat Clontarf 1-0 and draw 1-1 with Trinity. The move has seen the club go from struggling to field a Fingal first team squad at times to having a group of 24 players contesting for a place in their first team. The ambition is to make a push for IHL2 positions and build on the enthusiasm around the new club as well as targeting a good cup run in the Irish Hockey Trophy.

Dublin University
Last season: 4th Leinster Division One, Irish Senior Cup second round, Mill’s Cup first round, Neville Cup first round
Coach: Nasir Munir Chaudry (2nd Season, 2nd spell)

Players in: Eoin Buttanshaw, Wilf King, Eoin Chambers (All returning from Erasmus), David Robinson (YMCA), Eric Prehn (YMCA), David Carroll (Weston), Matthew Begley (Weston), Michael Herlihy (Three Rock Rovers), Josh Bond (Surrey University), David Ulijn (Utrecht Student HC), Fernando Shaetzle (TSV)

Players out: Tom Gibbs (Corinthians), Jonny Lewis (Corinthians), David Stead (Rathgar), Andrew Colton (Railway Union), Alex Simonin (n/a), Ben Arrowsmith (Erasmus)

Overview: Trinity are looking to build on the upward trend of the last two seasons with Nasir Munir continuing for a second year and hopes to continue to implement his attacking, sub-continental playing style.

They finished last season with seven games unbeaten, narrowly missing out on a play-off spot on the final day. Tom Gibbs, David Stead and Alex Simonin all bring an end to five year tenures with the club, while Jonny Lewis moves back to old club Corinthian after a successful year as captain.

Andy Colton’s brief spell with the club ends upon completion of his one year masters and a desire to step up to IHL level. Ben Arrowsmith misses out on the first half of the season as he takes up an Erasmus in Australia.

Their departures are offset by eight new arrivals, welcoming back three old faces from Erasmus. Eoin Buttanshaw and Wilf King share four all Ireland schoolboy medals between them and Eoin Chambers has represented home province Munster at every underage level.

Fernando Shaetzle, Josh Bond and David Ulijn bring an unknown quality to the forward line and are as yet unproven in the Irish game. Eric Prehn’s move from YM completes the summer’s transfers and looks to bring trickery and guile to the midfield and forward lines this season.

Clontarf will hope to make it three top three finishes in succession. Pic: Deryck Vincent

Rory Nichols takes over as captain and will look to anchor the side form the center of defense. Cillian Hynes and Robbie O’Hanlon spearhead the attack and the trio of Nichols, O’Hanlon and Hynes will look to rediscover the scoring form of the latter stages of last season which saw them share 24 goals in the last seven games and finish the season on 14 apiece.

Last season: 7th Leinster Division One; Mills Cup second round; Neville Cup quarter-final
Coach: Rob Morris (first season)

Players in: Ben Johnson (Waterford)
Players out: Eamonn Walsh (Railway Union), Dave McClure (Nottingham)

Overview: Rob Morris takes on the coaching reins at Kilkenny from Emmett Hughes, freeing him up to play and captain the side. A teacher, priginally from Cork and a Harlequin, Morris came to Kilkenny a few years back after stints in England and New Zealand and has played a big role in the amalgamation of the men’s, ladies and junior sections.

Morris, with Howard McDonnell, has presided over a comprehensive and physical pre season which they will hope stands to them as they are a little shy on experience this term. Lloyd Pearson, Tom Manning and Derek O’Gorman may have limited availability.

Dave McClure is freestyle kayaking in Nottingham. The effect of this is the side have plenty of eager young guys involved, bringing a welcome enthusiasm. On occasion, the oldest at training has been guys at 29/30 years of age and training numbers are encouraging with 23 trying to claim a squad berth.

Munster Under-18s Evin McClure, Ben Johnson – the big addition from Waterford – and Declan Coffey will be available having played a role in the interpros.

Last Season: 5th Leinster Division One; Irish Senior Cup first round; Neville Cup second round; Mills Cup first round
Coach: Rory O’Donoghue (first season)

Players In: Richy Jones (Clontarf), David Stead (Trinity)
Players Out: Dan Gribben, Ross Gribben

Overview: Rathgar will hope they can see it through this season as they came within touching distance of a top three place last season only to win just one point from their last five games.

It saw them drop dramatically out of the race for the EYHL playoffs. Injuries forced Shane Gould and Johnny Orr to miss the rest of season and they struggled in their absence.

This season, keeping an injured free squad would be vital to any success we have and how quickly they can pick up the new ideas from our coach with Rory O’Donoghue taking on the role from another former Glenanne boss, Alan Browne, who is now at Railway.

Johnny Orr is still injured and unsure when he’ll be back and could be a long term absence. Their season started in midweek with a helter-skelter 4-4 Neville Cup draw before eventually prevailing in a shoot-out.

Last season: 9th EY Hockey League (relegated via playoff); Irish Senior Cup second round; Mills Cup second round; Neville Cup second round
Coach: Rudi Wortmann (first season)

Players in: John Guilfoyle (Monkstown), Alex Price (YMCA), Dan Raymond (Pembroke), Louis Burke (Kilkenny), Max Maguire (Monkstown), Gary Ruddock (Weston).

Players out: Jeremy Duncan (Herakles, Belgium), Brian O’Malley (Hurley, Netherlands), Aaron Bailey (Monkstown), Ben Campbell (YMCA), Ben McCrea (Three Rock), Conor Quinn (Three Rock), Chris Reilly (Railway), Sam Butler (London), Sliabh Wells (retired).

Overview: Rudi Wortmann takes on the student side with a large number of changes to the panel but, importantly, they have held on to the likes of David Nolan, Ziggy Agnew and Jazze Henry while adding top goalkeeper Max Maguire – dicing with Stephen Dawson – to the mix to make sure they have quality in their ranks. Andrew Ramsay will be a big addition on his return from Erasmus in the Netherlands.

Preseason saw them draw with Weston, beat Avoca 3-1 before losing 3-0 to Pembroke and they are a new side, looking at a fresh start under Wortmann.

“One of our major goals should just be to play a good style of hockey and then the results will come whether it be this year or the next. This year is obviously a big one because of the second tier of the IHL so it’s a great moment for us to step into that at least.

“If we are going for the top three, we need to make sure we train hard and get everything in order and then see how it goes. These guys are hungry and I feel they can challenge anyone in this league.”

Last season: 9th Leinster Division One
Coach: Simon Filgas (second season)

Players in: Simon Pearson (Suttonians), Conor Murphy (UCD), Michael Heneghan (North Kildare)
Players out: David Carroll and Matt Begley (both Trinity), Gary Ruddock (UCD)

Overview: Weston celebrate their 75th anniversary this season, and will hope to be more competitive in the Leinster League Division 1, backing up their opening day win over Kilkenny two weeks ago.

Simon Filgas returns as coach, hoping to build on last years progress, when Weston secured their first ever league points in the top flight (also away to Kilkenny). Most of last year’s squad return with Paul Lawson, Ben Epstein and captain Sean Butler providing the experience, alongside the youthful energy of The King’s Hospital senior captain Tom Cole.

UCD have held on to Ziggy Agnew for a second season. Pic: Adrian Boehm

New additions include Simon Pearson (Suttonians) and Michael Heneghan (North Kildare), who will add much needed attacking threat in the final third. Preseason went well with good numbers at training, and competitive fixtures against Avoca, Rathgar and UCD under the belt. With early fixtures against Rathgar (h) and North Dublin (h), Filgas will be hoping to hit the ground running, before taking on Corinthians on October 14.

Last Season: 2nd Leinster Division 1; Irish Senior Cup second round; Mills Cup first round; Neville Cup quarter-final
Coach: Jason Klindkradt (4th Season), Justin Sheriff (Assistant)

Players In: Ben Campbell (UCD), Jakim Berndsen (Corinthian), Sam Hyland (Monkstown)
Players Out: Alex Price (UCD), Andrew Buckley (South Africa), David Mawhinney (Edinburgh), David Robinson (UCD), Eric Prehn (Trinity), Gavin Gibney (Glenanne), Iain Walker (Glennane), James McGann (Hong Kong), Nick Berichon (South Africa), Stephen Walker (Retirement)

Overview: It has been a summer of change at the club with a lot of players leaving. Iain Walker has decided to go play EYHL with Glenanne after 14 years of playing for YM’s firsts. His brother Stephen has also called time on his playing career, making the rare sight of a YM team sheet without a Walker on it.

The club are delighted to welcome three additions in Ben Campbell, returning after a year with UCD, Sam Hyland and Jakim Berndsen; also re-joining the club after a spell with Corinthian and Edinburgh. Scott Margetson, Daniel Ellison, Kyle Douglas and Matthew McCabe are additions from within the club to a squad with an average age of just 20.

After narrowly missing out on the playoff semi-final’s last season, the aim this year is to finish in the top three of the Leinster league to have a shot at gaining promotion to the IHL. To this end, their 6-1 win over Dublin North in their opening game – with Grant Glutz scoring a hat trick – was the perfect start.

The Hook

The season starts here: UCD the ones to catch in women’s EYHL

Cork Harlequins and UCD look set to be two of the main title contenders. Pic: Adrian Boehm

To be a great champion, teams need great rivals. For UCD last season, while they won the three national titles on offer, it was the close margins that made their success so significant last season.

A last-ditch goal in the EY Hockey League against Hermes-Monkstown, a similar scenario in the Irish Senior Cup against Cork Harlequins and a shoot-out in the Champions Trophy – each trophy was won by the slimmest of differences.

As such, UCD enter this year’s EYHL as reigning champions but coach Miles Warren says that there is no chance his side can rest on their laurels.

“We don’t look back to last season because even though we have a lot of returning players, the dynamics in the group is going to be different so we can’t replicate exactly what we did,” he said of the season ahead.

“We have to see what works for this group and how they react. We start from scratch again.

“The likes of Railway, Loreto and Pegasus are all very strong, traditional clubs who you know will be good but it is always interesting to see who comes out of the pack and challenges the hierarchy.

“I think Pembroke and Belfast Harlequins will be the surprise packages. It’s the thing the EYHL has given us – every week will be really tough and this season will not be any different.”

UCD welcome Irish international Ellen Curran and Bethany Barr following four years in the US with the Liberty Flames with centre midfielder Gillian Pinder graduating and so moving on to Pembroke.

Warren feels his side will again be pushing for top honours but he believes that there are a host of challengers looking to knock his side off their perch.

At the moment, it looks like Cork Harlequins – their first opponent on Saturday – could be the ones to push them all the way. Julia O’Halloran’s return adds star quality while there is the possibility of Cliodhna Sargent and Roisin Upton forming a top class partnership having only played once together for the club last term.

Hermes-Monkstown will have a big job if they are to emulate their performances from recent years. Chloe Watkins and Anna O’Flanagan have moved to Bloemendaal in the Netherlands while Nikki Evans has gone to UHC Hamburg, meaning they have 65 goals from last season now on foreign shores.

With Sarah Greene, Eimear Horan and Curran also moving on, it will be a team in transition for Gareth Watkins as they travel up to Belfast Harlequins on day one.

Quins, themselves, are looking at the season in a diametrically different way following the big signings of Lizzie Colvin and Zoe Wilson. They will hope their quality can pull them well clear of last season’s relegation playoff travails.

Pembroke only escaped a similar fate thanks to a 2-0 win on the final day of the season over Ulster Elks, moving above Belfast Quins on goal difference. They have also made strong additions.

Pinder is the star attraction following her graduation from UCD while Emily Beatty – another international – returns to Ireland following a year with KHC Dragons in Belgium. They start their campaign away to Ards with Aisling Naughton and Ailbhe Coyle further strengthening their hand.

For Pinder, she envisages it being a hugely competitive campaign with any number of clubs having the chance to grow and challenge for the title.

“I have no idea who is going to be winning the title this year or who will be in the relegation battle. It’s going to be like the first year when – apart from Hermes who ran away with the title – every week, you could jump from seventh up to second. It was so tight and as this season shapes up, I would expect to see something similar.

Railway Union and Loreto meet in a Dublin derby. Pic: Adrian Boehm

“You get top class opposition every week and it’s rare that you will come across a team you will hammer or get hammered by. It’s always tight games, week-in, week out. For players coming up through the underage systems, they are now getting a much better standard when they come in.”

Pegasus confirmed the signing of Shirley McCay – Ireland most-capped sportswoman – from cross-town rivals Ulster Elks along with Lucy McKee. They host promoted Trinity on day one who are ambitious that they can carry the momentum through from last season.

Co-captain Niamh Sweeney said of the campaign ahead: “We are really looking forward to seeing how we stand up in the top division in the country, it’s an exciting time for Trinity Hockey and I can’t wait to see how far we can go.”

Loreto face Railway Union in a Dublin derby between fourth and fifth last term. Railway have Holly Jenkinson back after a couple of years in the US and Kate Lloyd returning from KHC Dragons in Belgium. Loreto, meanwhile, aim to build on their run to the playoffs in their first season since promotion.

** For an extended preview on each team in women’s EYHL, click the link below

– Ards
– Belfast Harlequins
– Cork Harlequins
– Hermes Monkstown
– Loreto
– Pegasus
– Pembroke
– Railway Union
– Trinity

Women’s EY Hockey League (Saturday): Ards v Pembroke Wanderers, 2.30pm, Londonderry Park; Belfast Harlequins v Monkstown, 2.30pm, Deramore Park; Loreto v Railway Union, 1.15pm, Beaufort; Pegasus v Trinity, 2.30pm, Queens; University College Dublin v Cork Harlequins, 1pm, Belfield

The Hook

Mombasa Sports Club host KU in hockey league


University of Nairobi's Mercy Oyugi (left) tussles for the ball with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology's (JKUAT) Perpetua Makana during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match on September 23, 2017 at City Park Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Struggling Mombasa Sports Club (MSC) host Kenyatta University (KU) Titans Saturday afternoon in a Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League match looking to scale up the table.

The fixture is one of six matches on the cards this weekend following the union’s move to reschedule some matches to allow the national team more training time.

There will be no men’s Premier League with majority of the players on national team duty. Four second tier men’s league matches will be played this weekend - one ton Saturday and another three on Sunday. Also on Sunday, bottom placed University of Nairobi take on Vikings in another women’s top flight league match at the City Park Stadium.

In Mombasa, the hosts, who had a dismal first leg campaign, will be hoping for a winning start in their second leg campaign. MSC are currently placed ninth with four points in the 11 team women’s league. Their opponents are a place above and seven points ahead raising the stakes for this clash.

The hosts will also be out to exact revenge having lost the reverse fixture 3-0 despite dominating that particular match. MSC player-cum-coach Brenda Wangila is banking on home advantage to see of the students.

“The August break allowed us to go back to the drawing board and we are no ready to give it our best shot in the second leg,” Wangila said on Friday. The hosts will need to improve on their goal ratio having only netted a paltry four goals from 10 matches during the first leg.

Titans on the other hand come into the match on the back of last weekend’s loss to former league champions Sliders. The Moses Kagochi-led side are yet to win a league match in the second half of the season having also lost 3-0 to high-flying USIU Spartans.

Kagochi has challenged his charges to put the losses behind them and embark on a winning run.

“We have got some good players and they must step up and ensure we end our losing streak on Saturday,” Kagochi said. Titans skipper Olympia Chepchumba will be charged with running the midfield as she looks to create chances for the forwards.

A win will see the students move two points off seventh-placed Vikings who play on SUnday. Vikings are also yet to win a match since the second leg began this month, drawing 0-0 with JKUAT and losing 6-0 to champions Telkom.

In the men’s national league, Kisumu Youngstars will be hoping to extend their lead at the top of the table with a win against Dedan Kimathi University on Sunday.

FIXTURES (All matches at the City Park Stadium unless stated)


Premier Women: Mombasa Sports Club v KU Titans – 3pm (Mombasa)

National Men: Bay Club v Dedan Kimathi – 9am (Kisumu)


National men: Kisumu Youngstars v Dedan Kimathi – 9am (Kisumu), Wazalendo Masters v Daystar University (3.30pm), Thika Rovers v Impala (5pm)

Premier Women: UoN v Vikings- 2pm

Daily Nation

Green Army to play Scotland in 3 match series

Ireland will host Scotland this October in a 3-match series.

Nothing separated the sides when they met at the European Championships in August as they played out a 0-0 draw. Sitting side by side in the world rankings, at 16 and 17, means these 3 fixtures are sure to be a tight affair. The series offers a great opportunity to see the Green Army compete at home for the first time this year following a busy 12 months which included World League 2, World League 3 and the recent European Championships.

Squad announcement will follow next week.

Match 1
Location: Playball The Pavilion, Stormont
Date: 22/10/17
Time: 5pm

Match 2:
Location: Banbridge Hockey Club
Date: 24/10/17
Time: 7pm

Match 3:
Location: Playball The Pavilion, Stormont
Date: 25/10/17
Time: 12:30pm

Irish Hockey Association media release

Andrew Brogdon appointed as Scotland U18 Boys’ Head Coach

Scottish Hockey is delighted to announce the appointment of Andrew Brogdon as Scotland Boys’ U18 Head Coach.

Brogdon has been coaching for over ten years at various levels and up until recently at Grange in National League 1. He is the Head of Hockey at Stewarts Melville College, currently the U15 and U18 National School Champions, and was assistant to Graham Dunlop for two years in the U18 programme previously.

He comes come from a big hockey playing family and one of his younger brothers is a Rio Olympian.

Coming through the English system Brogdon has been involved in both Junior and Senior International set ups. His home club is Bowdon, however he played the vast majority of his career for Cannock, winning a number of national titles and competing in two European Cup finals.

Scottish Hockey’s Head of Performance Andy Tennant said, “We are delighted to have secured Andrew’s services to work with this talented young group – and to help accelerate the development of our best young male athletes.

“Our ultimate goal for the under 18 programme is to provide a strong group of players into the under 21 and senior men’s programmes in the future – and ultimately to deliver the medal winning Olympians of the future. Andrew is one of a number of ambitious young coaches who we believe can help us drive towards our ambition of delivering successful Scotland teams and podium athletes.”

Andrew Brogdon said, “I am both proud and humbled to be given the opportunity to develop what is an exciting and ambitious group of young players. I look forward to playing a small part in helping them realise their obvious potential.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Watch All Matches of the women’s Indoor Pan American Cup Live

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – As the final Continental Qualifier with the winner advancing to the 2018 FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup, the Indoor Pan American Cups (IPAC) is an event you don’t want to miss! Watch all of the U.S. Women’s National Indoor Teams’ matches at the women’s IPAC live on EventsHub and the Guyana Hockey Board Facebook Page starting Monday October 16.

A link to watch the games will be provided prior to the start on the IPAC Event Page by clicking here.

The women’s Indoor Pan American Cup holds great potential for the Indoor USWNT, as they look to advance and qualify for the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup which will be held in Berlin, Germany from February 7-11, 2018. In previous editions of IPAC, the Indoor USWNT has accumulated five medals including two silver and three bronze with the most recent coming in 2014 in Montevideo, Uruguay when they went on to defeat the host nation for third place.

Women’s Indoor Pan American Cup Matches:

Monday, October 16        USA vs. TTO        2:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, October 17        USA vs. URU        6:00 p.m. ET
Wednesday, October 18        USA vs. ARG        4:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, October 19        USA vs. BAR        12:45 p.m. ET
                        USA vs. GUY        7:00 p.m. ET
Friday, October 20            USA vs. CAN        2:30 p.m. ET

Click here for the full women’s Indoor Pan American Cup schedule.

With a current FIH Hero Indoor World Ranking of No. 28, the U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team opens tournament play against Trinidad and Tobago and will compete against other highly ranked indoor teams. Tune in on Monday, October 16 at 12:30 p.m. ET to cheer on the Indoor USWNT!

Follow the U.S. Women's National Indoor Team while at the women’s Indoor Pan American Cup by checking Team USA’s Twitter account @USAFieldHockey for event updates as well as going to the Indoor Pan American Cup Event Page. #IPAC2017

USFHA media release

No. 15 Maryland field hockey falls 3-2 to No. 6 Michigan in double overtime

By Jordan Katz

After No. 15 Maryland field hockey rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie No. 6 Michigan and force overtime, a 100th-minute goal sent the Terps packing with a 3-2 loss in Ann Arbor on Friday.

Forward Emma Way was able to slot the ball home after it became loose in the box. Goalkeeper Sarah Holliday was off her line, trying to corral the ball, and it scooted by to give the Wolverines the walk-off win.

That the game went into overtime was a testament to Maryland (6-5, 2-2 Big Ten), which found itself in an early 2-0 hole. Michigan (8-2, 4-0) scored right off the bat to start the game, with forward Carly Bennett registering a goal just a minute and six seconds into the game. Another goal at the 20-minute mark, which defender Halle O'Neill drove home off a penalty corner, gave the Wolverines a 2-0 edge.

The Terps got a goal back soon after that, as midfielder Lein Holsboer came down the left side of the field and was able to find the net past goalkeeper Sam Swenson in the 26th minute.

With less than ten minutes remaining in regulation, Maryland was able to level the game thanks to forward Melissa Wilken, who chipped the ball past Swenson with an excellent finish to the far post.

The Terps had several promising chances, but converting only two of their six shots on goal led to their eventual defeat in overtime. One of their best looks came off a 35th-minute penalty corner, when a diving Swenson deflected away a shot from defender Bodil Keus.

Michigan provided more of a consistent threat on offense than Maryland. The Wolverines outshot the Terps 21-9 overall and also had an advantage with corners. Holliday recorded seven saves out of Michigan's 10 shots on goal.

The Diamondback

Emma Way's double overtime buzzer-beater sends Michigan past Maryland

Michigan Athletics

Emma Way netted the game-winner at 99:59 for a 3-2 Wolverines victory.. Michigan Athletics

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Junior Emma Way scored the game-winning goal at 99:59 — with just one second remaining in double overtime — to propel the sixth-ranked Michigan field hockey team to a 3-2 victory over No. 15 Maryland on Friday night in front of 432 fans at Phyllis Ocker Field. The win was Michigan's first over Maryland since the 2001 NCAA championship game and pushed the Wolverines' Big Ten record to a perfect 4-0.

Way's game-winner started with a free hit with less than 10 seconds remaining in the second overtime. Sophomore Kayla Reed passed the ball back to senior Katie Trombetta, who, from the midfield, hammered a hard pass into the circle. The ball bounced off a couple of sticks and snuck behind Terp goalkeeper Sarah Holliday after a 50-50 ball pulled her out of the cage. Way dove to knock it into the open net just at the buzzer sounded. It was her seventh goal of the season and second overtime game-winner in three contests.

Michigan held a 2-0 lead in the first half after jumping on the Terrapins early, scoring the game's first tally just 1:06 into the first half, but Maryland answered, scoring late in the first before evening the score with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation.

Graduate student Carly Bennett took advantage of a scrum in front of the Terp cage to score the Wolverines' early marker at the 1:06 mark — her sixth of the season — while freshman Halle O'Neill tallied her first collegiate goal at 20:00 to provide Michigan the two-goal cushion, taking a corner pass from striker Trombetta and redirecting it in from the right post.

Maryland responded quickly, however, as Lein Holsboer charged the circle and scored from the left side just five minutes later at 25:12 to put the Terps on the board. Melissa Wilken netted their game-tying marker on a reverse chip that hit the post and went at the 60:15 mark to force overtime.

The Wolverines largely outplayed Maryland through the extra stanzas, outshooting the Terps 8-1 and drew a pair of early corners but could not capitalize on several chances until Way's diving goal.

In all, Michigan outshot the Terps 21-9 and outcornered them 12-3. Senior goalkeeper Sam Swenson earned four saves, while Maryland's Holliday stopped seven of 10 Michigan shots on goal.

Michigan (8-2, 4-0 Big Ten) will close out the home weekend on Sunday, hosting Ball State in non-conference play at 2 p.m. ET at Ocker Field.


The Hockey Women's World Cup Ballot results are in...

HWC results are in

The Hockey Women’s World Cup Public Ballot sent fans into a frenzy from 19 August – 6 September as they applied for tickets to watch world-class teams compete in the biggest hockey event in the world in London next summer!

After a nail biting wait the day is finally here, the Hockey Women’s World Cup ballot results are in! Are you one of the lucky ones that have managed to secure one of the ground breaking 105,000 tickets applied for in the Public Ballot?

Notifications have been sent to applicants via email, so make sure you are keeping an eye out for yours which will reveal whether or not you've been successful.

Do you have any queries or questions regarding your ballot application? Please visit the Official World Cup website FAQ page or call the See tickets helpline on 0115 912 9117.

If you have unfortunately missed out on World Cup tickets in the Public Ballot, check your emails for information on how you can secure alternative tickets.

Hospitality now the only way to see England

In more breaking news, Hockey Women’s World Cup hospitality tickets will be going on sale soon! This will be your only chance to secure tickets to SOLD OUT England matches and to the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Final sessions.

Whether you’re looking to create an unforgettable memory for guests or treat yourself and friends or family to a once-in-a-lifetime World Cup experience, we have a premium ticket package for the Hockey Women’s World Cup to suit you.

To register your interest, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01628 897522

General Sale

All remaining tickets will go on sale to the public prior to Christmas - the perfect gift! To stay up to date with all this latest news and for notifications, sign up to the World Cup newsletter here.

England Hockey Board Media release

Playing the long game with the Alster Grootbos Foundation

The Alster Grootbos Foundation in South Africa is Bringing communities together and fighting racism and prejudice Photo: Alster Grootbos Foundation

Bringing communities together and fighting racism and prejudice were just some of the aims of the non-profit making organisation Alster Grootbos Foundation when it came into being in 2009.

The Foundation’s aims are implemented through three integrated ‘umbrella’ programmes: 'Green Futures’ which focuses on conservation, ‘Siyakhula’ which focuses on the creation of sustainable livelihoods through enterprise development and ‘Football Foundation’ which focuses on utilising sport for development.

Hockey, with the support of the German Hockey Association (DHB), has been supporting the movement since its inception and the Hockey Foundation has been instrumental in developing social integration, promoting healthy lifestyles, and increasing environmental awareness and life skills amongst communities.

Eight years later and the Foundation is thriving as it operates hockey training camps out of three areas in South Africa – Gansbaai, Stanford and Hermanus – and its team's take part in many tournaments for all ages at different locations around the Cape Town area.

There is one full-time coach employed by the Foundation, plus the services of up to six volunteers. More than 300 youngsters receive hockey training across the three centres.

One of the driving forces behind the Hockey Foundation is Delf Ness, of the DHB and soon to take up position as the Director of Marketing and Communications for FIH. He took time out of his schedule to talk about the work of the Alster Grootbos Foundation and how it has developed over the past few years.

“It has all been very positive. The key changes have been more locations, more volunteers and more funding. We are also getting better equipment to each centre and the relationship between the hockey family in Germany and South Africa is stronger than ever. We are also much better at communication, both internally and externally.”

Taking a more strategic approach to the organisation has been key to its development. “We needed to ensure continuity, so there is a familiarity and understanding among the coaches, volunteers and players but we must also allow the organisation to grow. And that growth must be organic, you can’t force things.

“Every year we strive to be a little better at what we do and how we do it, we become more professional with every year that passes by and we have added regular strategy meetings to decide in which direction the project should go – that has been vital to developing a vision.”

The German men’s and women’s national teams have been regular visitors to the hockey camps and this is an initiative that Ness is particularly proud of. Watching and interacting with role models has a tremendous effect upon the aspiration and motivation of the young players. It is certainly something he hopes will continue to happen, possibly with even greater levels of regularity.

For Ness, one of the biggest advantages of hockey is that it is a sport that attracts youngsters from all backgrounds and cultures. He explains that in South Africa, football is largely seen as a sport for black people, while rugby remains the sport of choice for the white population. Hockey is sport where ethnic backgrounds seem to be immaterial.

It is early days to asses the impact of the programme but Ness points to the field of play where children of all ethnic groups are enjoying a game of hockey together. Most children on the camps will have experienced the joy, excitement and camaraderie of playing in tournaments and the regular presence of German internationals is another sign of the programme’s success as a means of inspiring the next generation.

It is not just the children who are learning, says Ness. “Parents are also understanding the value of their children mixing with people of other cultures and backgrounds in an enjoyable, competitive environment where they have to work together.”

Within the next year the Foundation is seeking to procure a used artificial pitch from Germany and also to find the funding for transporting and implementing the pitch. The board would also like to expand its reach, integrating the South Africa Hockey Association and attracting more volunteers from overseas. .

Delf Ness remains deeply involved in the Foundation. He leads the strategic development and is a frequent visitor to the hockey camps. And his passion for the project runs in the family – next year daughter Louisa begins life as a volunteer. “This is a long-term project with a long-term goal,” he says. “I hope to be talking to you about the way we have developed and improved many years from now.”

To find out more about the Alster Grootbos Foundation, visit the Alster Grootbos Foundation Website.

FIH site

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