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News for 14 October 2017

All the news for Saturday 14 October 2017

India check in, Japan in trouble

By Jugjet Singh

INDIA hammered Bangladesh 7-0 to become the first team to qualify for the Round Robin of the Asia Cup in Bangladesh yesterday (Friday).

In another Group A match Japan placed themselves in deep trouble when they played to a 2-2 draw against Pakistan.

The draw made it difficult for Japan to reach the Round Robbin and challenge for a World Cup berth.

Now, Japan must beat Bangladesh by a healthy margin in their last Group match on Sunday and hope India beats Pakistan to make the second round.

Arslan Qadir (16th) and Umar Bhutta (50th) socored for Pakistan, while Kenta Tanaka (22nd) and Heita Yoshihara (29th) delivered for Japan.

RESULTS: Group A -- Pakistan 2 Japan 2; India 7 Bangladesh 0.


            P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
INDIA       2  2  0  0  12 1  6
PAKISTAN    2  1  1  0  9  2  4
JAPAN       2  0  1  1  3  7  1
BANGLADESH  2  0  0  2  0  14 0

            P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
MALAYSIA    1  1  0  0  7  1  3
S KOREA     1  1  0  0  7  2  3
OMAN        1  0  0  1  2  7  0
CHINA       1  0  0  1  1  7  0

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

India dominated Bangladesh in 7-0 win, but need to do better on penalty corners

Sundeep Misra

Indian hockey players celebrate a goal during their match against Bangladesh. Image courtesy: Twitter @Asia_hockey

Even though India had never lost to Bangladesh in hockey, the match at the Maulana Bhashani Stadium in Dhaka had enough allure to attract fans to come in for a Pool stage match at the Asia Cup. But the enthusiasm ended there, and so did any stray thoughts that an upset could make the Friday a memorable holiday for the people in Bangladesh.

The start was energetic for the hosts, and there were screams of joy when a shot from outside the Indian striking circle deflected into the Indian goal. And when Gurjant Singh seized a chance inside the striking circle, tapping in a cross in the seventh minute, one knew that a parade of goals would follow. The final scoreline of 7-0 for India was sweet and sour.

Looking back at the match, India should have scored more goals but you have to give due credit to a Bangladesh side that played their best hockey in the third quarter, and to an extent, in the fourth. They retreated, not wanting to give away any more goals.

In fact, apart from the runners in the penalty corners, it was their goalkeeper Nippon Abu who put up a sterling fight. He was smart in coming off his line time and again to try and stop Harmanpreet Singh. Off 13 penalty corners, India could score only two. Against Japan, Jugraj Singh, the coach for penalty corners, said that India had three-four ones that they converted. But on Friday, Harmanpreet was on target with just one and another was an indirect deflection. The rest of the 11 missed could have led to a far bigger tally of goals. What it left was a sour taste in the mouth and a video session that could go on well into the night for the Indian team management before there much-publicised clash against Pakistan on Sunday.

Bangladesh could have folded up early. But their captain Mahmud Rashel was right when he said: “I think we played better against India even though we lost by the same margin against Pakistan. In the third and fourth quarter, we fought to stay on level terms and try and keep looking for goals.”

It was the perfect assessment from Bangladesh. But few Indian fans would disagree that had Harmanpreet been on target, this tally would have much more. Slightly perplexing is the issue of continuing with direct flicks despite knowing that five goals were in the bag. India's master convertor seemed to have left his form back in the hotel room. Harmanpreet’s flick, which got him India’s seventh goal in the 47th minute, was top line and it sped into the top of the net. It was a penalty stroke that came after missing five straight flicks. Yet he is the top scorer for India with four goals in two matches. But if India make these mistakes against Pakistan, they could be punished.

There was enough space for India to move around and control the flow. India kept the midfield tight which plugged any gaps. Sardar Singh put in another good display, and it was India all the way. Akashdeep Singh (10th) and Lalit Upadhyay (13th) were right in the middle of the striking circle and didn’t give any opportunity to Nippon to cut the angles.

By the 13th minute, it was 3-0 up and the crowd was restless. They didn’t have a goal bath here. Holidays are not meant to see your home side get the battering. Few moves came in from Bangladesh and with only two forwards upfront, it was difficult to build up and execute moves. The midfield was too afraid of a counter and pace was a real issue for Bangladesh to tackle.

India’s fourth goal came off a brilliant run-in from Gurjant, who sped in like a sprinter, and his reverse hit was deflected in by Amit Rohidas. Following that, there were four consecutive penalty corners for India, which were topped up with a penalty stroke that Harmanpreet converted. It wasn’t the first time that Harmanpreet has struggled and won’t be the last time either but just flicking away in hope is worrisome. Was the think tank too lethargic or did they just take the match for granted? At the break with a 5-0 score line, India trooped away looking to build while the hosts knew climbing back was impossible so holding out was their only option.

With a lone forward upfront on the lookout for possible counters, Bangladesh now had a new strategy — save the situation and don’t concede. Yet India had 70 percent possession, three penalty corners and four clear chances to hammer home. Despite having a cushion of five goals, this wasn't a team that wanted to relax. Even with Varun Kumar coming in, the misses continued. And when the third quarter finished, the Bangladesh coach must have been relieved and happy that tactically he was finally successful.

India got their sixth at the start of the fourth quarter when Varun played an indirect, giving the ball to Ramandeep Singh, who slammed in perfectly. It took three quarters and eight penalty corners to get an indirect conversion right. There were still more than 12 minutes to play in the match. Two more penalty corners were missed before Harmanpreet finally got one right, the flick powering in to the top of the net giving no chance to Nippon in goal.

At 7-0, the shutters were downed and both teams played it out. Bangladesh did try towards the end too, but with a lone forward, it’s easier to predict the end of the war in Syria than get a goal for Bangladesh.

The Indian coach Sjoerd Marinje pointed out technical errors made by the Indians in not getting more goals after the initial five at the end of the second quarter. “Bangladesh were too far back and we didn’t create enough. At that moment we needed patience.” On the penalty corners, he said, “We did different things like Varun came in and we did a turn but this match doesn’t say anything about the next one.”

Marijne was candid enough to admit that Bangladesh runners were good in defending the penalty corners. “It takes everything to click,” said the coach. “Sometimes the injection wasn’t good and not always did we stop it well. In the one that Harmanpreet flicked the goal, all elements were perfect.” Marijne was, however, happy that penalty corners were created and he did reply sharply on the margin saying, “We were not relaxed and what is enough? Yes, we didn’t finish our goals the way we would have wanted too.”

Playing in an enclosed space called the striking circle can be daunting as that’s where things need to come together — in silky moves or muscular engagements. At the moment, Akashdeep Singh, SV Sunil, Ramandeep and Lalit Upadhyay are getting there, their one-to-one tic-tac sometimes making you gasp. Threading the needle is one thing but threading it consistently is needed in this tournament, especially against Pakistan on 15 October and then in the Super 4 stage.


 India does a Pakistan on Bangladesh

s2h team

With an excellent first half in which it slotted five goals, India notched up of fluent 7- win over the hosts Bangladesh in its second outing of the 10th Asia Cup in Dhaka today. The score is the same as that of Bangladesh - Pakistan's registered on the opening day.

Indian Juggarnauth moved smoothly in the first quarter, pumping in three goals. The second quarter saw two more before a barren but labourious third quarter.

India woke up late to strike a brace in the last quarter to make the score of worth of against far low ranked Bangladesh.

Gurjant Singh (7’), Akashdeep Singh (10’), Lalit Upadhyay (13’), Amit Rohidas (20’), Harmanpreet Singh (28’ and 47’) and Ramandeep Singh (46’) goals ensured India India remain on top of the points table in Group A.

When Gurjant Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Akashdeep Singh carved a goal each against their name, a rout was expected. The expectations went right when in the next quarter India added two, rising a hope that India will score more than Pakistan's seven against the same rival.

However, India missed like millionaire their moves in the third quarter, even half a dozen penalty corners were of no utility.

India tried with youngster Varun to break the poor show of Harmanpreet Singh in this art. Its here Varun's diagonal was deflected in for a rare PC goal.

India lead Bangladesh 5-0 after third quarter

Harmanpreet Singh netted to the right of goalie in his stroke that gave him the first of his two goals. He could convert only once off ten PC tries.

For his twin strikes, however Harmanpreet Singh was given the Best Goal of the Match award

Akashdeep Singh gets Man of the Match award.

On October 15, India will take on Pakistan in their third Pool A match at 17.00 hours IST.


India mauls Bangladesh

Pakistan holds Japan in the other Pool A match

On target: Akashdeep Singh was one of the scorers in India’s thumping win on Friday. 

India produced yet another clinical performance to swamp host Bangladesh 7-0 and register its second straight win in the Asia Cup hockey tournament here on Friday.

India, which controlled the proceedings from start to finish, found its goals through Gurjant Singh (7th minute), Akashdeep Singh (10th), Lalit Upadhyay (13th), Amit Rohidas (20th), Harmanpreet Singh (28th & 47th) and Ramandeep Singh (46th).

But one thing that might be a cause of concern for chief coach Sjoerd Marije is India’s penalty corner conversion rate. India secured as many as 13 short corners but could make use of just two.

The deadlock could have been broken in the third minute but S.V. Sunil’s shot from a loose ball was saved by the home-team goalkeeper.

But in the seventh minute, Gurjant deflected in a Amit Rohidas pass to give India the lead.

Akashdeep then made it 2-0 when he pushed in a Sunil pass three minutes later. Three minutes later, Lalit Upadhyay made it 3-0 in favour of India, slotting home after being set by Akashdeep.

India earned its first penalty corner in the next minute but Harmanpreet’s effort was way off target. Rohidas, lurking insde the D, then made it 4-0 when he deflected in Gurjant’s cross from the right flank. The Indians soon got four back-to-back penalty corners but wasted them all.

Two minutes from half time, India was awarded a penalty stroke and Harmanpreet stepped up to score his first goal of the day.

Soon after resumption of play, India got three more penalty corners but as was the order of the day, failed to utilise the opportunities.

Two minutes minute into the final quarter, Ramandeep scored with a variation from India’s ninth penalty corner to make the scoreline 6-0. The Indians secured four more penalty corners, the third of which was converted by Harmanpreet with a powerful high flick to the top right corner of Bangaldesh goal.

Indian, which leads Pool A with six points from two wins, will next play Pakistan in its last pool encounter on Sunday. Meanwhile in the other match of Pool A, Japan held Pakistan to a 2-2 draw.

The results: India 7 (Gurjant Singh 7, Akashdeep Singh 10, Lalit Upadhyay 13, Amit Rohidas 20, Harmanpreet Singh 28 & 47, Ramandeep Singh 46) bt Bangladesh 0.

Japan 2 (Kenta Tanaka 22, Heita Yoshihara 29) drew with Pakistan 2 (Muhammad Arslan Qadir 16, Muhammad Umar Bhutta 50).

The Hindu

Japan does a near Chennai to Pakistan

s2h team

Fighting Japan gave thrice gold medallist Pakistan a scare before an exciting draw, even as it came close to repeating a Chennai do to Pakistan. Ten years ago, Japan surprised previous finalists Pakistan for an unexpected 3-1. Pakistan never recovered from the shock. It finished fifth in the end, not being on the victory podium only once to date. However, in Dhaka today, experienced forward in the Pakistan side Md Bhutta came out with a 50th minute goal that helped his side equalize in time for a 2-2 draw 2-2 in its second outing. Till then Japan was leading 2-1 with goals from Kenta Tanaka (22 m) and Heita Yoshihara (29m).

Arslan Qadir struck the first goal for Pakistan in the 19th minute before Japanese brace came in.

Yesterday, India outplayed Japan 5-1.

The draw may lead to Pak much discomfort in the days to come. The draw actually put Pakistan in dire straits. It is now under more pressure to beat India to make it to good positioning in the super 4s.

Pakistan captain Irfan Md was expectedly not happy on the outcome. He said: “We are not satisfied with our performance. Though we got a good start, we did not do well in certain areas. Our right penetration on part of the forward-line was not up to the mark today and I also feel there is lack of team work and communication amongst our players. Going into our next match, these are the areas we need to rectify. I believe we need to leave this match behind us and not continue to be disappointed but ensure we comeback strongly in the tournament.”

Japanese National Coach, Siegfried Aikman, too was not happy: “This was a match we should have won. The injury to our defender was a big blow. Pakistan used that situation well. There was a bit of a gap from our side at this juncture. Though I am happy with how the team played, I am not happy with the result.

Aikman now pins his hope on India-Pak match.

"Now it comes down to the match between Indian and Pakistan. If Pakistan loses then we would still stand a chance to make the Super 4s.”


Pakistan held to 2-2 draw by Japan

By Nabil Tahir

KARACHI: Pakistan needlessly dropped points in their second fixture of the 2017 Asia Cup as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Japan in Dhaka.

A day after thrashing hosts Bangladesh 7-0, the Greenshirts were a good bet to collect another win, even more so because Japan had suffered a 5-1 spanking at the hands of India in their opening fixture.

A Pakistan win seemed a forgone conclusion when Arsalan Qadir successfully converted a penalty corner in the 16th minute to put the four-time world champions 1-0 up.

But Japan had other plans as they hit back soon after via Kenta Tanaka’s field goal in the 22nd minute.

A minute before half-time, the script completely flipped when Heita Yoshihara gave Japan an unlikely but not undeserved lead.

The experience of trailing for the first time in the tournament threw Pakistan attackers into a state of frenzy, although Japanese backline kept them at bay.

This, however, changed in the final quarter when the experienced Muhammad Umar Bhutta finally found the back of the net to leave the match level at 2-2.

In the final 10 minutes, both teams tried their best to edge ahead but a winner was not to be found.

“We tried to play the same way we did against the hosts but made some mistakes, and Japan also played well,” Pakistan captain Muhammad Irfan told The Express Tribune.

With two points dropped, Pakistan will now have to avoid defeat against arch-rivals India in Sunday’s blockbuster encounter in order to qualify for the next round.

“We have a tough match next where we can’t afford to make these mistakes again if we want to qualify for the next round,” added Irfan.

The Express Tribune

Pakistan, Japan play out 2-2 draw in Asia Hockey Cup

LAHORE - Pakistan and Japan played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in their Pool A encounter at the Hero Asia Cup 2017 held at Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium, Dhaka on Friday.

According to Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) spokesman, goals for Pakistan were scored by M Arslan Qadir (16th minute) and M Umar Bhutta (50th minute) while Kenta Tanaka (22th minute) and Heita Yoshihara (29th minute) scored for Japan. Both the teams started the match aggressively as they looked to get the lead early on, however, the defence was solid in the first quarter for either team which saw them end the first quarter goalless. However, the second quarter saw three goals being scored as Pakistan were awarded a penalty corner in the 16th minute which was well converted through some lovely team-work. Captain M Irfan flicked the ball fiercely towards M Arslan Qadir, who then deflected the ball towards the goal to give Pakistan the lead.

However, Japan made a comeback into the match as they produced two field goals to take a 2-1 lead going into half-time. First, it was Kenta Tanaka, who scored Japan’s first goal of the match as he ran into the box with the ball, beat two defenders and shot at goal which was saved by Pakistan’s goalkeeper Mazhar Abbas, but Tanaka was quick to score off the rebound in the 22nd minute. The second goal for Japan was scored by Heita Yoshihara, who picked up the ball on the right flank, cut inside and sent the ball past Pakistan’s goalkeeper Mazhar Abbas into the back of the net in the 29th minute.

Japan showed some good defensive skills in the third quarter to keep out Pakistan’s efforts of equalizing the scores as the teams finished the third quarter with the scores 2-1 in Japan’s favour. But it was the fourth quarter where Pakistan really stepped up their attacking efforts as they looked to get the all important equaliser.

With 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Pakistan’s M Arslan Qadir picked up the ball and dribbled past the Japanese defenders parallel to the baseline and passed the ball in front of the goal which was tapped in by M Umar Bhutta in the 50th minute to equalise the scores at 2-2. Both the teams continued to put their opposition under pressure and put the defenders to test, however, neither team were able to make effective forays as the game ended in a 2-2 draw.

Pakistani skipper M Irfan expressed his disappointment on splitting the points with Japan. “We are not satisfied with our performance. Though we got a good start, we did not do well in certain areas. Our right penetration on part of the forward-line was not up to the mark today and I also feel there is lack of team work and communication amongst our players. Going into our next match, these are the areas we need to rectify. I believe we need to leave this match behind us and not continue to be disappointed but ensure we comeback strongly in the tournament.”

Japanese coach Siegfried Aikman said: “This was a match we should have won. The injury to our defender was a big blow because Pakistan used that situation well and from our side there was a bit of a gap created because of his absence. Though I am happy with how the team played, I am not happy with the result. Now it comes down to the match between Indian and Pakistan and if Pakistan loses then we would still stand a chance to make the Super 4s.” Now Pakistan will play against arch-rivals India tomorrow (Sunday) while Japan will take on hosts Bangladesh on the same day.

The Nation

Malaysia ready to take on desperate South Korea in Group B tie

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia are ready for an expected South Korean onslaught when the two teams meet in a Group B match of the men’s Asia Cup hockey tournament at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium in Dhaka today.

Defending champions South Korea are taking the tournament seriously as they know that retaining the Asia Cup title will earn them a spot in next year’s World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India.

Malaysia, Pakistan and India have already qualified for the World Cup Finals.

The records favour South Korea as they have won the Asia Cup four times since its inception in Karachi in 1992. Malaysia’s best was finishing third in Chennai in 2007.

If that’s not enough, South Korea have also recalled four seasoned campaigners for the Asia Cup. The four are Lee Seung-il, Kim Young-jin, Kang Moon-kyu and Lee Seung-hoon.

Both Malaysia and South Korea began their Asia Cup campaigns in impressive fashions. Malaysia trounced China 7-1 while South Korea whipped Oman 7-2 on Thursday.

The last time the two teams met, Malaysia edged South Korea 1-0 in the World League Semi-Finals in London in June.

National coach Stephen van Huizen, who guided Malaysia to fourth spot in London to qualify for 2018 World Cup, admitted that the South Koreans would be desperate to beat them to qualify for the Super Four.

“Our recent matches against South Korea have always been close. Anyway, the pressure will be on them to collect full points against us,” said Stephen.

“They have recalled a few senior players because they know that this is their last chance to qualify for the World Cup.

“What’s important for us is that we take it one game at a time and stay focused for the full 60 minutes.

“The Koreans plays a fast attacking game, so we have to make sure we match their work rate.

“We also need to cut down on our mistakes and avoid giving away unnecessary penalty corners because have good drag flickers.”

The South Koreans will be relying on penalty corner specialist Jang Jong-hyun to get the goals while the Malaysians will be banking on veteran goalkeeper S. Kumar to thwart them.

The Star of Malaysia

Pakistan face India in the last pool game

In their last pool match of the 10th Hockey Asia Cup, Pakistan comes across their arch rivals India on Sunday at Dhaka's Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium.

India are already through to the Super Four round after two convincing wins.
Pakistan were surprisingly held to a 2-2 draw by a determined and fast moving Japanese side.

Japan play Bangladesh in their last match.

Pakistan enjoys +7 goal difference while Japan has - 4.

So Japan needs not only a big win over Bangladesh but also hope for Pakistan's defeat against India by a margin which suits them (Japan).

Pakistan are three time Asia Cup champions Pakistan while India have lifted the Cup twice.

It is interesting to note the Pakistan won all the first three editions: 1982, '85 & '89.

While India's victories arrived in more recent times:2003 & 2007

In all of Pakistan's three Asia Cup wins, India were the runners up.

In 1985 and '89, Pakistan defeated their neighbours in the final. The inaugural 1982 competition was played on a single league basis. There also Pakistan defeated India in the decisive last match.

India's first win, in 2003, came at Pakistan's expense in the final.

In total, the two traditional rivals have met six times in Asia Cup.

Interestingly, Pakistan has won as many as five times while India's lone win against Pakistan in this

event came in 2003. In that edition, they met twice. Pakistan won the pool match 4-2 but lost the final by an identical margin.

Match Starts at 4.30 PM (PST)

PHF Media release

Fans Flock To Meet Stars At Sydney Super Clinic

Ben Somerford

Approximately 70 children turned out for an Under-12's Super Clinic with a host of Kookaburras and Hockeyroos stars at Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre on Friday afternoon.

The children got the opportunity to meet and hear from their heroes, while there were plenty of fun and exciting drills to get involved with.

Kookaburras Josh Beltz, Tom Craig, Trent Mitton, Tom Wickham and Jake Whetton and Hockeyroos Kaitlin Nobbs, Brooke Peris, Emily Smith, Grace Stewart and Kathryn Slattery attended.

The clinic was held before Saturday and Sunday's Oceania Cup matches at the same venue.

Tickets are still available via Ticketbooth.

Hockey Australia media release

Canada ready to face the heat in Guyana

Scott Sandison, coach to Canada, current reigning men’s champions

Sarah Juggins

2017 Indoor Pan American Cup, Guyana - Canada www.richardjohnsonphotography.org

With just a few days to go before the seventh Indoor Pan American Cup bursts into life, we meet up with the coach of one of the teams tipped to take the title.

Scott Sandison is coach to the current reigning men’s champions, Canada, and as one of the players in the last edition of this event, Scott has a good idea of what his players can expect as they seek a third consecutive indoor title.

The first thing the players from the north of the continent have to cope with is the temperature because, even though this is an indoor tournament, with air-conditioned sports halls, things will be hot in Guyana. The Canadians will be coming out of their own summer months but even so, rehydrating after matches and dealing with the climate on a day-to-day basis will be a challenge.

It is something the more experienced players will be used to and Scott says that many of the players have played club tournaments in Guyana so will know what to expect and how to best prepare their bodies for the extra stress of the heat.

In general, Canada’s preparations for the Pan Am Indoor Championships have been good, reports the head coach. The team has been training for this event for the past year. The downside is a lack of international experience.

 ‘We are coming to Guyana not having played any internationals,’says Scott. ‘This is a player funded program so the costs of travel along with the timing of the event make it difficult to play games. We are coming to the end of summer in Canada which is not the time we play indoor so this has made it somewhat challenging to organize our training schedule.’

Scott adds that, as no-one is a full-time athlete, the players must also fit work or study into their daily schedule, something else that adds to the challenges of competing on an international stage. It is a stress that the coaches are working hard to mitigate. All the training times are after school or work hours and the coaching team has arranged coaching ‘clusters’ to take place at weekends. But Canada is a large country and many of the squad have long distances to travel to training. This, says Scott, adds to both the organisational complexity as well as increasing the cost to the athletes. It is a situation that the squad strives to manage but you get the sense that it creates more problems than the coach is prepared to admit.

As someone heavily involved with both the indoor and outdoor version of the game, Scott is clear where the indoor version stands in the pecking order, and why: ‘The outdoor game is an Olympic event and so therefore receives more funding and support from the federal government. Field Hockey Canada understands indoor is both a pathway for development and an opportunity to perform at the highest level. Unfortunately the hotbed for indoor hockey in Canada is in Ontario and the outdoor teams are based in British Columbia – which is a five hour flight away – this causes challenges in trying to figure out a balance for athletes and programs but FHC has tried to support us as best they can.’

Financial and logistical constraints aside, Canada will be arriving in Guyana as one of the favourites for the title. They have a squad with a lot of experience and many of the players have played in both multiple World Cups and Pan American Cups. Micah Teixeira, Jeewanjet Bath, Tyler Branco and Jonathan Roberts all played in both the 2010 and 2014 Pan Am Cup and, of this year’s squad, only Adrien A’Andrade and the teenage duo, Joshua Kuempel and Adam Kapasi, didn’t play in the 2015 World Cup in Germany.

For Scott, this is a crucial factor in Canada’s quest for success: ‘That knowledge of the game at its highest level will hopefully make a big difference for us. Many players have played more hockey with 6's than with the last iteration of the 5's so I think this also plays to our advantage. The selections for the team was difficult as there were additional players very worthy of competing for Canada.’

Despite this, the coach and his players are taking nothing for granted. ‘Every team coming to Guyana is there to win. We can't take any team lightly as the format of top two in the final means you need to be consistent throughout the tournament. Guyana playing at home will have the crowd behind them and they finished third at the last indoor Pan Am Cup, Argentina beat us in the round robin in that same tournament, and Trinidad and Tobago is a constant threat as they have many talented individuals on their team.’

This event will be Scott’s first major international as a coach but his international experience is of the highest order, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics, two Commonwealth Games and two Indoor World Cups as a player. His approach to coaching is to leave any ego at the door and look to his players and fellow coaches for support and advice. ‘There are a number of players that will be important to our success,’ he says. ‘Ken Pereira, as the longest standing member of the team, will provide the smarts and skills to lead the team. Devohn Teixeira will provide a spark to the team as he has been playing in Europe the last couple months and is just rejoining our team ahead of the tournament. Jeewan Bath and Jonathan Roberts will be participating in their fourth Indoor Pan Am Cup’.

‘There are a lot of experienced players on this team and so this has been an easy transition in terms of taking over. I am constantly learning from this position. If you aren't learning you're falling behind. I have appreciated the players and coaching staff's approach to looking for holes in tactics and strategies. It has been a collective effort.’

Scott also names Gurtej Daliwahl and Lyle Fernandes as younger members of the squad who learnt a lot when they competed in the World Cup in 2015 – an event where Canada finished in 12th position.

While the heat might prove an issue in Guyana, it is a trip that Scott is looking forward to. His mother comes from Guyana, so he is looking forward to ‘reconnecting with some familiar faces.’ He is also keen to see how Guyana tackles hosting a Pan American event for the first time. ‘The Guyana Hockey Association has put a lot of time and energy into hosting this event and I have very high hopes for success of the event. I hope this helps them to continue their development and that they are able to host more tournaments going forward.’

Canada men will face Mexico in the first match of the 2017 Pan Am Cup on 16 October. The winner of the event qualifies for the 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup in Berlin, Germany.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

NHA's Vivek Sagar to lead India at Johor

s2h team

National Hockey Academy's Vivek Sagar Prasad will lead India at the forthcoming Sultan of Johor Cup to be held in Malaysia from October 22, 2017. Like in the ongoing Dhaka Asia Cup, India will engage Japan in the opening match in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Pratap Lakra has been announced as the Vice Captain.

The team includes half a dozen players who won gold at the Dhaka Sub-Jr Asia Cup nearly a year ago. Dilpreet, Abhishek, goalie Pankaj Rajak and Rabindro, who are picked up now, graduate to Jr level from Sub-Jr category.

The 18 boys were among the 37 boys undergoing training at the National Camp at SAI, Lucknow since September 11, 2017. Junior Men’s Team Coach Jude Felix and his deputy BJ Cariappa has tried and tested all the players from this Core Grou before pinning down their ultimate 18.

Goalkeepers Pankaj Kumar Rajak and Senthamizh Arasu Shankar will be protected by Suman Beck, Pratap Lakra, Sukhjeet Singh, Varinder Singh, Mandeep Mor and Sanjay in defence. The midfield will comprise of Harmanjit Singh, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Vishal Singh and Vishal Antil, while Shilanand Lakra, Raushan Kumar, Abhishek, Dilpreet Singh and Maninder Singh will lead the forward line.

The Indian team will be participating in the tournament after a gap of 1 year as they finished second in the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup in 2015 where they lost to Great Britain in the Final. However, that podium finish had given the Indian team a lot of experience which helped them in winning the Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup Men Lucknow 2016. Coach Jude Felix is expecting a same kind of exposure for his team which should help them in preparing for the future tournaments.

“The Junior Men’s Team has been training with the objective of performing well at the upcoming Sultan of Johor Cup. We have a very strong pool of players at the Junior level who believe in themselves, and this tournament will give the right amount of exposure to this young talent. I believe this will be a start to our long term objective of retaining the World Cup title at this level," said Coach Jude Felix.

India are scheduled to play against five teams in the 7th Sultan of Johor Cup 2017 as they take on Japan, Malaysia, USA, Australia and Great Britain in a Round-Robin format.

Till departure, for the event, the tam will continue to train until October 17, 2017 in Lucknow itself.

The team: GOALKEEPERS: Pankaj Kumar Rajak Senthamizh Arasu Shankar DEFENDERS: Suman Beck, Pratap Lakra (VC), Sukhjeet Singh, Varinder Singh, Mandeep Mor, Sanjay MIDFIELDERS: Harmanjit Singh, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem, Vivek Sagar Prasad (C), Vishal Singh, Vishal Antil, FORWARDS: Shilanand Lakra, Raushan Kumar, Abhishek, Dilpreet Singh & Maninder Singh


Indoor SA Mens IPT 2017 | The Fantastic Four

Coach Steve Evans gives his team instructions at Half time in the morning game against Southern Gauteng. Picture - SA Hockey

The 2017 South African Indoor Hockey IPT entered its second day in Durban with extra excitement as day one had given the supporters and players a taste of what to expect from day 2.  The morning fixtures completed the group stage with all focus then turning onto the Quarter Finals.

QF 1 – KZN Raiders 19-2 Mpumalanga

It was a dominant and clinical display by the defending champions as they netted goal after goal against the Witbank men.  Justin Domleo put away five goals and Jethro Eustice got a hat-trick. Scoring was shared across the team as 10 first-half goals became 19 full-time goals. Included in the scoring was a brace for Matt Fairweather, Jarryd Jones, Geoff Abbott and Wade Paton with a single goal for Robin Jones, Iain Evans, and Greg Last. Nathi Masango was the popular goal scorer of both of the Mpumalanga goals

QF 2 – Western Province 5-4 KZN Mynahs

Although they tasted a big defeat to Southern Gauteng in the morning, the Western Province boys would have been fairly confident that they would overcome the Mynahs. They were caught surprised when Cameron Mackay netted early for the Mynahs, but Jody Erasmus and a very quick second from Ryan Julius gave WP the half-time lead. That lead quickly stretched to 4-1 in the 27th minute when Craig Haley scored his second and that should have been the point that the door closed. The Mynahs fought back with Keegan Hezlett and Shaun Baker taking it back to 4-3 before Haley completed his hat-trick to make it 5. But the KZN boys refused to back down netting a fourth through Ryan Williams and setting up a nervy final two minutes. The Cape side held on and find themselves in the final four with a massive game against the Raiders tomorrow.

QF3 – Southern Gauteng 6-3 Northern Blues

Southern Gauteng looks the most likely to challenge the Raiders for the title but has shown a frustrating ability to keep their opponents in the games today, when they really should have put the game to bed earlier. In this game, it took just 9 minutes and the score was four-all. Steven Paulo for Northerns, Chad Futcher for Southerns, Kyle Marks for Southerns and then Francois Janse for Northerns meant the sides were level after a frenetic opening. PG Geldenhuys gave Southerns the lead for the second time and Julian Hykes doubled it before halftime. Hykes made it 5 for Southerns but some Richard Conradie made it a dangerous two-goal game in the 27th minute. Eventually, the nail was slammed home when Geldenhuys scored in the last minute of a game that Southerns probably wanted to win a little bit easier.

QF4 – KZN Inland 7-4 North West

There was no shortage of entertainment in the last game of the day as 11 goals were offered up by Inland and North West. Both teams would have heard news of their ladies heroics and would surely have been spurred on. Jarred Mitchell and the brilliant Matt Coombes made it 2-0 before Gavin Jelley added the third in a tremendous start for the Midlands men. Keenan du Toit, in his first tournament for Inland, and Coombes scored either side of a Pierre Bothma brace to make it 5-2 at the break. Jarred Mitchell quickly made it 6-2 at the start of the second half with a fine field goal before the game went into a sort of lull. Pierre Bothma then scored his third and fourth to put a bit of pressure on Inland for the closing minutes but Michael Horan denied them any hope with the final goal of the game. After falling short of the semi-finals last year, this would have been the minimum goal for the Inland side and they will see it as a job well done.

Men's Semi-Finals

11:00 KZN Raiders vs. Western Province

12:00 Southern Gauteng vs. KZN Inland

SA Hockey Association media release

Indoor SA Ladies IPT 2017 | The Fantastic Four

Southern Gauteng miss a penalty corner in their Quarter-Final against Western Province. Picture - SA Hockey.

The 2017 South African Indoor Hockey IPT entered its second day in Durban with extra excitement as day one had given the supporters and players a taste of what to expect from day 2.  The morning fixtures completed the group stage with all focus then turning onto the Quarter Finals.

QF1 – KZN Raiders 7-0 Mpumalanga

It was a fairly clinical display by the Raiders who got off to the perfect start with an early goal from National skipper Cindy Hack. 19-year-old current SA U21 member Teagan Fourie netted the second, she is an exciting prospect for South African Indoor Hockey, which was followed by one more for Kelly Reed. The second half saw Reed complete her hat-trick with another two and international team-mate Shelley Higgo got in on the act. Sethu Sithole also got one finishing off a fantastic team goal to put the defending champs into the final four.

QF2 – Southern Gauteng 1-3 Western Province

In a pulsating and physical battle, it was the Cape ladies who triumphed in a battle of attrition. Lilian du Plessis scored first for Southerns converting after a period of dominance before Heather McEwan, the top goal scorer at the African Indoor Hockey Cup of Nations, pulled level. Skipper Natasha Rootenberg took advantage of a lapse in concentration to pull Province ahead and it was a position they never relinquished. They would add gloss to a resolute defensive display with Kaira Day netting a third.

QF3 – North West 4-1 KZN Mynahs

The Mynahs had smashed their group and were safely expected to navigate the Quarter Final against North West. North West, however, produced the result of the tournament so far and stunned their much-favoured hosts. Stephanie Baxter caught the host’s cold before less than 30 seconds later Jocelle Deysel made it 2-0! Deysel would add a third early in the second half as the quick start paid dividend again. That goal spurred on the Mynahs who pulled one back through Dani Roberts but were making mistake after mistake and it was North West who capitalised netting one more through Elmien Marais. It was the standout team performance in the tournament and produced the standout result for Shaun Hulley’s team.

QF 4 – KZN Inland 5-1 Northern Blues

Inland came into the game on the back of distinctly average form in the group stages and were facing the favourites on the day, the Northern Blues. But as had already been shown by North West, with the right application and attitude any team can win. Following her move from the KZN Raiders, Eloise Walters brought out a player of the match performance to dismantle the Blues. Walters work rate, which was often not needed playing for the Raiders, was impeccable and her hat-trick was nothing less than deserved. Nicolene Terblanche pulled the score back to 2-1 at a stage but Inlands were never truly troubled. Amy Greaves and Nadia Stella got the other two goals to set up a Semi-Final match against North West.

Ladies Semi-Finals

10:30 – KZN Raiders vs. Western Province

11:30 – North West vs. KZN Inland

SA Hockey Association media release

McCay likely to step down after 2018 World Cup

Shirley McCay says the 2018 World Cup will probably be her last for Ireland. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Shirley McCay has revealed that she is set to quit international hockey following next year’s World Cup in London after Ireland sealed their place at the showpiece on Thursday, writes John Flack.

The Omagh woman, and Ulster Hockey talent coach, is the country’s most-capped female athlete and she made her 250th appearance at the European Championship in Amsterdam in August.

Ireland received their ticket to London 2018 yesterday and McCay said it would be the perfect place to close out her international career: “I will be 30 by the time the World Cup comes along and I think it’s a good time to hang up my stick so it will probably be my last tournament.

“I really hope to enjoy my club season with Pegasus, work hard to be the best shape I can be going into the summer and play in what is essentially a home World Cup for us.

“I can’t wait to get stuck into it as big tournaments like this don’t come around too often for us and we don’t want to be going along just to make up the numbers.”

Two other Ulster players who won’t be retiring after the competition, scheduled for next summer, are Belfast Harlequins’ defender Zoe Wilson and ex-Pegasus goalkeeper, Ayeisha McFerran, who is now based in the United States.

McFerran (21) said: “Competing in a World Cup will be a fantastic experience, it is something that, not just myself, but a lot of girls within this squad have been dreaming of and working very hard to achieve.

“It’s an opportunity to compete against the world’s best, and it’s a great moment to look forward to in my career.

“We all know that we are able to compete with the top teams, now this gives us the opportunity to go out and do it on a world stage once again.

“I feel over the past few years there may have been a negative vibe when people think of an Irish women’s team, however, we went out and proved time and time again that we are the real deal despite having very little support and funding.”

McFerran and several other members of the current squad had their hopes of competing at the Rio Olympics dashed in cruel fashion when China beat Ireland in a penalty shoot-out in Valencia two years ago.

She added: “I feel at the point we are at, our team has moved on from the disappointment of missing out on Rio. It’s a different squad from Valencia in terms of the players, but those individuals that were there have developed more and more.

“We used it as a learning experience to drive us and the other individuals on even more and everyone involved is very excited about the journey ahead but it is just another stepping stone in our Tokyo 2020 cycle.”

Wilson, at 20, is one of the youngest members of the current squad and she, too, is looking forward to playing in the second biggest hockey tournament on the global stage.

She said:”In terms of hockey competitions that a player aspires to, competing in the World Cup is at the top of the list alongside the Olympic Games.”

“You only have to turn on the television or radio to see what it means to football in Northern Ireland and, for hockey players, it is no different.

“The prospect of playing on the world stage against the best teams is so exciting and for me personally a challenge I hope to rise to.

“I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to experience this so early in my hockey career and certainly hope it won’t be a one-off.

“There have been heartbreaking moments or near misses for many of the girls and I think it is a special achievement and it will be an honour to represent Ireland at our first World Cup since 2002.

“The fact the competition is being held in London will hopefully encourage spectators to travel and enjoy the games as well as raising the profile of ladies hockey in Ireland.”

The Hook

Perfect records clash at Grange Road while Bann and Garvey face cup classic

The Three Rock Rockets lead out the club’s first team ahead of an EY Hockey League game last season against Instonians. Picture: Adrian Boehm

A half-dozen men’s EY Hockey League clubs will battle on both league and Irish Senior Cup fronts while further changes are also on the horizon.

Crammed in are plenty of highlights, not least the meeting between Three Rock Rovers and Glenanne in the league and Banbridge’s cup tie with Lisnagarvey.

The former pits the only sides to have won two from two so far. Rovers have been in cruise control, running up 11 goals against Annadale and Railway Union with new South African arrival Richard Pautz accounting for five of them.

They will be without key defender Luke Madeley, however, who sustained an ankle injury two weeks ago and is in a protective boot.

Glenanne, for their part, are in rude health following a string of new arrivals this season and a change of scenery. Joe Brennan is back in the coaching role at the Glens for a tie against a side he coached to the Irish Senior Cup in 2014.

The tie will be preceded by a first ParaHockey blitz with Three Rock’s Rockets, the Monkstown Strikers and the Railway Union Railblazers all taking part from 1.30pm before the EYHL game (click here for more on the introduction of ParaHockey).

The Sunday date between Bann and Garvey is always hotly anticipated. The Havelock Park hosts have missed the services of Irish internationals Eugene Magee and Johnny McKee while Sam Farson and Peter Brown were under the weather last weekend at EHL ROUND1 in Barcelona.

For Garvey, Paul Gleghorne has missed some of the early season action but they did impress in their opening 4-2 win of the campaign against Monkstown.

Bann lead into the Sunday cup tie with a home date against Annadale while Garvey will have to travel back up from Pembroke who they play on Saturday.

Cookstown make the long trip to Munster on Saturday for their postponed opening match in the EY Hockey League against Cork C of I. They travel to Garryduff on the back of two defeats and two excellent second half performances.

“Glenanne was another great second half from our lads and to have come away from that game without points is hard to take,” said Cookstown midfielder Greg Allen.

“Listen, we just have to learn from this and when we come up against Cork this week coming we’ve got to magic up that same effort and intensity from the start.”

C of I, meanwhile, will be looking to learn similar lessons following late concessions against both Glenanne and Annadale. Railway host Monkstown who have Andrew Ward back in the fold after a weekend away while Pembroke face Lisnagarvey with Alan Sothern looking to add to his four goals thus far in the campaign.

On Sunday, Bann versus Garvey is very definitely the pick of the first round ties with the other games pitting plenty of regional teams against EYHL teams.

Rathgar welcome an ISC winner into their ranks with Alan White moving from Three Rock with whom he won the title in 2014. They host Pembroke.

Railway go to Clontarf, Dublin University host Annadale while Monkstown face Corinthian in an interesting test.

Like the women’s EYHL, there are several changes in the men’s schedule due to arrangements with the senior international team.

The highlight of the Irish men’s program will be attending the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia in March. Ireland will also include a tri-nation tournament in Spain with the Netherlands at the end of January along with some home games to be finalised.

The upshot of this is Round 13 of the league moves to December 16 from March 3; Round 9 was originally set for December 16 but goes to November 18 to avoid the same clubs meeting twice within a two-week period.

Round 14 moves to February 24 while the Irish Senior Cup semi-finals go from February 24 to March 18. The changes are made to allow all clubs to have access to their international players for all EYHL and Irish Senior Cup games.

Men’s weekend fixtures
EY Hockey League
Saturday: Cork C of I v Cookstown, 1pm, Garryduff; Pembroke v Lisnagarvey, 2.30pm, Serpentine Avenue; Railway Union v Monkstown, 2.40pm, Park Avenue; Banbridge v Annadale, 2.45pm, Havelock Park; Three Rock Rovers v Glenanne, 3pm, Grange Road

Irish Senior Cup, first round
Saturday: Avoca v Kilkeel, 12.45pm, Newpark;
Sunday: Clontarf v Railway Union, 2pm, Mount Temple; Rathgar v Pembroke, 2pm, High School; Dublin University v Annadale, 3pm, Santry Avenue; Banbridge v Lisnagarvey, 3.30pm, Havelock Park; Monkstown v Corinthian, 4pm, Merrion Fleet Arena

Leinster Division One

Saturday: UCD v YMCA, 11.15am, Belfield; Dublin North v Rathgar, 1.30pm, NSC; Dublin University v Kilkenny, 3pm, Santry Avenue; Corinthian v Weston, 3.30pm, Whitechurch Park

The Hook

Double-weekend abounds as women’s fixtures schedule tweaked due to international requirements

Railway Union’s Kate Lloyd tackles Ards’ Kerri McDonald last weekend. Picture: John Keogh

The catch-up rounds of the EY Hockey League lost to the umpires’ impasse begin this weekend, making for a double-weekend for many clubs with Irish Senior Cup games on Sunday.

Indeed, it has been a busy period for the EY Working Group who, in the wake of the Irish women’s qualification for the World Cup, have confirmed a series of changes to the league schedule.

This is to “to ensure that national squad players are available to their clubs for the EY Hockey League and Irish Senior Cup” while also being available for international challenge matches which have been confirmed.

“We appreciate this is another set of changes, but once the line up for the World Cups emerged, all the Federations finalise their preparation programs with a lot of horse trading between them. It is great news that Ireland has been part of this process for both teams.”

The program will see a number of single nation match series against Scotland in October and both Scotland and Great Britain, the Olympic Gold medalists in March as well as a tri-nations tournament in January in Spain with Belgium, the recent European silver medalists also featuring.

The EYHL changes see Round 8, scheduled for December 2, moving to April 28; Round 12 on February 12 brought forward to January 27; Round 14 goes from March 4 to a day earlier on March 3. For the Irish Senior Cup, the quarter-finals will now be played on January 20.

As for this week, for UCD, it’s a varsity warm-up double as they play Trinity on Saturday before facing UCC on Sunday in the cup, giving each side plenty of ideas of what lies ahead of them later this month at Grange Road in the annual third level festival.

Cork Harlequins are in Ulster for the weekend, meeting Ards on Saturday before playing Dungannon in the cup on Sunday.

Quins impressed with their opening day win over UCD, one that caught the eye of many around the island, ending a 20-game unbeaten streak in the league.

Roisin Upton, though, says her side did not read that much into it: “I don’t think any of us thought about it that deeply. There hasn’t been a big gulf between the teams; it was always competitive last year.

“There wasn’t a sense of euphoria you get when you beat a side way better than you but it was a good win!

“Pegasus, we might have hoped for the three points but further down the road, we may see it as an important point. They are a good team as well. We are building each game and are happy with where we are at heading into the double-weekend.”

Hermes-Monkstown and Pembroke are the two sides looking to get off the mark in the EYHL, making their tussle at the Merrion Fleet Arena an important one at this early stage of the season.

Railway Union, meanwhile, travel north for the second weekend running – their third away date so far – to take on Pegasus, looking to add to their pair of draws so far.

On Sunday, there is a chance for a few of the provincial contenders to make an impact against higher tier opposition. In addition to UCC taking on UCD, Ulster challengers Lurgan host Trinity while Corinthian’s exciting side will look to put it up to Pegasus.

Old Alex, meanwhile, will aim to continue their excellent early season form when they go to Banbridge.

Women’s weekend fixtures
EY Hockey League
Saturday: Hermes-Monkstown v Pembroke, 12.30pm, Merrion Fleet Arena; Trinity v UCD, 1pm, Santry Avenue; Ards v Cork Harlequins, 2.30pm, Londonderry Park; Pegasus v Railway Union, 2.30pm, Queen’s

Irish Senior Cup, first round
Sunday: Banbridge v Old Alex, 1pm, Havelock Park; Dungannon v Cork Harlequins, 2.30pm, Steelweld Park; Lurgan v Trinity, 2.30pm, Lurgan JHS, Pegasus v Corinthian, 2.30pm, Queen’s; UCD v UCC, 3pm, Belfield

Irish Hockey Trophy, first round
Friday: Cookstown v Mossley, 8pm, Steelweld Park
Saturday: Ashton v Omagh, 1,30pm, Omagh; Galway v Clontarf, 1pm, Dangan; Raphoe v Catholic Institute, 1pm, Royal & Prior; Waterford v NUIG, 1pm, Newtown School; Rathgar v Belvedere, 2.15pm, High School; Armagh v Bandon, 2.30pm, Ardmore; Lisnagarvey v Cork C of I, 2.30pm, Comber Road; North Down v Avoca, 2.30pm, Comber Road

The Hook

Cameron Golden and Callum MacKenzie selected for GB U21

Callum MacKenzie – photo by Duncan Gray

Scotland’s Cameron Golden and Callum MacKenzie have both been selected for Great Britain U21 Men’s hockey squad for the U21 Johor Cup.

GB U21 men will compete at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia on 16-31 October 2017, where they will face Malaysia, USA, Australia, Japan, and India.

The tournament will be held at the Stadium Hockey Taman Daya in Johor Bharu, Malaysia.

Great Britain start their tournament against hosts Malaysia on Sunday 22 October before taking on the USA the following day and Australia on Wednesday 25 October. Games against Japan and India will follow on Thursday 26 October and Saturday 28 October respectively with the final ranking games taking place the next day.

Both players represented Scotland U21 men in the recent U21 EuroHockey Championship II in St Petersburg where Scotland won the bronze medal. They both also played in Glasgow at the U18 EuroHockey Championship II, winning bronze on home soil.

Cameron Golden plays for Grove Menzieshill and Callum MacKenzie who plays for Cannock, have made great strides over the last few years in a Scotland shirt and its tremendous news that they will progress to GB level hockey.

Scottish Hockey’s Head of Performance Andy Tennant said, “It is excellent news that we have two young Scots in the GB U21 men’s squad for the Johor Cup, the lads have worked extremely hard and committed to a tough assessment process. We wish them all the best for the tournament and look forward to many more Scots earning selection on Great Britain programmes in future.”

Cameron Golden – photo by Mark Pugh


Fixtures (GMT)

22 October – Great Britain v Malaysia, 13:35
23 October – USA v Great Britain, 11:05
25 October – Great Britain v Australia, 09:05
26 October – Japan v Great Britain, 13:35
28 October – Great Britain v India, 16:05
29 October – Final to be played at 13:35

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Six Scots selected for GB women Elite Development Programme

Charlotte Watson, Katie Robertson, and Millie Brown

Six Scottish players have been selected for the GB women’s Elite Development Programme (GB EDP) squad.

Millie Brown, Sarah Jamieson, Charlotte Watson and Katie Robertson, who all featured regularly in the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final and EuroHockey Championships over the summer, have been selected. Laura Swanson and Lorna Cruickshank are also on the programme – both are also set to win their first Scotland cap in the upcoming series against Ireland.

The GB EDP has been launched as part of a strategic objective during the Tokyo 2020 cycle with the aim of developing medal winning Olympians of the future, with the selected athletes having shown their potential to achieve that during a comprehensive selection process.

While the GB EDP is not age categorised, it has been designed for players aged between 19-23. A total of 36 players have been selected for the women’s GB EDP and there is a strong Scottish representation.

Sarah Jamieson

The GB EDP will also see a revised coaching structure with world-class coaches leading the activity as well as spending time engaging and supporting the domestic and university game.

Scottish Hockey’s Neil Menzies, who is the Head Coach of the Scotland U21 Women’s Squad and Assistant Coach for the senior Scotland Women’s squad, is part of the coaching staff for the programme.

The players will now attend an induction camp at Lilleshall between 31 October – 2 November and an exciting new training and competition programme will follow shortly after.

Scottish Hockey’s Head of Performance Andy Tennant said, “We are delighted to have a strong Scottish representation on the Great Britain Elite Player Development Programme, with six young Scots selected.

“It is also great news that we have one of our high performance coaches in Neil Menzies as part of the coaching staff for the programme. Great credit to the girls selected, who have committed to a robust selection process – and hopefully this is another clear indicator of Scotland contributing positively to the GB Hockey partnership.”

Scottish players in the GB Elite Development Programme

Millie Brown – Clydesdale Western
Lorna Cruikshank – Durham University
Sarah Jamieson – Grove Menzieshill
Katie Robertson – Grove Menzieshill
Laura Swanson – Edinburgh University
Charlotte Watson – Dundee Wanderers

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Huge weekend in National League 1

Western Wildcats in National League 1 Photo by Duncan Gray

Western Wildcats are the kings of the jungle in Men’s National League 1 so far – they have full points from the four games played, but the visit of Grange to their den at Auchenhowie will test their credentials as realistic candidates for this year`s title.

Although the Wildcats have yet to face the biggest guns in the competition, they have emerged with full points from their encounters with Hillhead, Uddingston, Dundee Wanderers and Inverleith.

The result is they share top spot with Grange with the Wildcats having a slightly superior goal difference.

So is Wildcats` coach Harry Dunlop approaching the Grange clash with trepidation or confidence? He gave little away: “The squad is very much up for this week`s match against Grange and we’re all looking forward to the home fixture.”

There is no doubt that the Auchenhowie side are on the ascendancy, after a lukewarm start to last season`s campaign they finished in style taking fourth spot in the final league table, and only losing out on a penalty shoot-out to Kelburne in the European play-offs after a draw in normal time.

But games between Wildcats and Grange are notoriously unpredictable irrespective of where the two sides are in the league table. Dunlop agreed: “I think that this year`s fixture will be no different, it will be a close match.”

The last encounter between the rivals was dramatic, Grange needed only a win at Fettes to take the championship and were leading 2-0 into the second half. But the Wildcats roared back into proceedings, scored three goals to take the contest, and leave the Edinburgh side crestfallen.

The Wildcats have certainly piled in the goals in the last couple of weeks with Andrew McConnell, Andrew McAlister, Rob Harwood and Hamish Gault from set pieces all on target.

Grange have also come through their early league programme without dropping any points, but coach David Knipe knows that there is still work to be done before his charges are close to the finished article.

The Edinburgh outfit have dominated their games so far in the sense of possession, pressure and chances created, but converting superiority into goals is another matter. Knipe remarked on the matter: “It certainly isn`t the only thing, we have lot of things to improve on – but one being decision making in the circle.”

However, Grange do have strikers with some form in the circle, teenager Callum Mackenzie, Frank Ryan and Luke Cranney, it will be interesting to see if they increase their potency in the Wildcats` circle on Saturday.

Champions Bromac Kelburne have slipped back to third place following their 2-2 draw with Grove Menzieshill, but coach Gordon Shepherd will be determined to take the three points from the visit to Dundee Wanderers as well as taking advantage of points dropped by either Western or Grange, or perhaps both.

Clydesdale have moved up to fifth in the table courtesy of back-to-back 2-1 victories over Edinburgh University and Uddingston, on Saturday coach Calum McLeod will hope to move further up the division with another three points at Inverleith. That scenario would leapfrog the Titwood side over Grove Menzieshill into a top four place, as the Taysiders are not in action this weekend.

In the final game on Saturday`s men’s card Edinburgh University are at home to Hillhead who have yet to put any points on the board. While a student`s victory is the obvious prediction, Hillhead`s pointless status does not really reflect the quality of their play – in their last two fixtures they only lost 3-2 to both Grange and Kelburne, and on both occasions they succumbed to a late winner.

Western Wildcats Clydesdale Western in National League 1 Photo by Duncan Gray

There is a competitive edge about the top of Women`s National League 1, Wildcats are the only side with a perfect record after four games, but Grove Menzieshill are two points behind with Edinburgh University and Milne Craig Clydesdale Western one further adrift. The safe money might be on there being no change to this as the top four all play sides from the lower reaches of the division, but anything can happen in National League.

Wildcats are at home to Grange who have certainly picked up three points against Hillhead but have also conceded 16 goals in their four games to date. The Auchenhowie side`s strength seems to be at the back under the aegis of player/coach Kaz Cuthbert and keeper Danie McMurray. It is difficult to imagine Wildcats surrendering their unbeaten record on Saturday.

Grove Menzieshill have put themselves into the mix for a title challenge after a 3-1 victory over champions Edinburgh University last week.

Scotland striker Sarah Jamieson is certainly putting herself about in the Grove vanguard, seven strikes in four outings is good shooting. However, she is not the only provider with schoolgirl Jenny Walls and Scotland internationalist Katie Robertson also among the goals. This weekend Grove Menzieshill are away to GHK at Old Anniesland.

Edinburgh University Coach Sam Judge will have the task of rebuilding the students’ confidence after their first reversal of the season against Grove Menzieshill. Fortunately they are at home to Hillhead and will hope the recovery process will not be too painful.

Western got themselves back on the rails with a seven-goal victory over GHK last weekend, while this weekend’s opponents Watsonians could suffer a similar fate at Titwood. However, the Edinburgh side might put up stronger opposition, they sit in mid-table with six points already under their belt.

Dundee Wanderers are only a couple of points off top four status and will look to keep up the pressure with a home win over Kelburne. The Taysiders are capable of rattling in the goals, doubles from Amy Snell and Charlotte Watson was the foundation of the 4-1 win over Grange in Dundee last weekend.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Sinking Sailors out to sail past Multimedia in hockey league


Amira Sailors forward Pauline Naise (left) rounds off Strathmore University Scorpions goalkeeper Maria Natasha during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match at City Park Stadium on September 23, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Amira Sailors will be out to secure their first win of the second leg when they play Multimedia University (MMU) on Saturday in a Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League match at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi.

Nine matches will be played this weekend – six in Nairobi, two in Kisumu and the other in Kabarak.

Bottom-placed Technical University of Kenya (TUK) take on Greensharks in the men’s Premier League as they seek their second win of the campaign as Chase Sailors seek to rise up the table with a win against Kenyatta University Vultures.

Amira, who are into their second season in the league, blew hot and cold in the first half of the season, ending in fourth place. They drew 0-0 with Strathmore Scorpions in their first match of the second leg last month.

The result saw them drop to fifth in the log, 12 points behind leaders Telkom. And with a top two finish their target of the season, the side will need to start winning matches. Amira coach Linet Onyango is confident they can still achieve their target despite their inconsistency.

“We have a good squad and the players just need to have the confidence that they can win matches and this will definitely ensure we have a good run,” the former Sliders player said on Friday. Onyango will wait to see whether goalkeeper Rachel Kerubo and forward Pauline Naise will be available with the national team set to train Saturday afternoon.


Naise is the club top scorer with 10 goals and should partner Susan Oketch upfront, if she will be available. Amira were 12-1 winners in the first leg meeting between the sides. A win will move Amira to third spot in the table.

MMU coach Vincent Adhiambo wants a response after his side loss 2-0 to KU Titans last weekend.

“We have got to pick ourselves and give Amira a match. We want to try and avenge the heavy loss they inflicted on us in the first leg,” Adhiambo said.

In another women’s league encounter, Titans take on Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

On Sunday, Sharks will be looking to make it two wins on the trot against debutantes TUK. Sharks won 1-0 away to Nakuru last weekend and another win will see them leapfrog Butali to second spot. They will also reduce the gap between them and leaders Kenya Police to 13 points.

Sharks will welcome back attacking midfielder Victor Osiche.

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

Premier Women: MMU v Amira – 9am, KU Titans v JKUAT – 10.30am

National Men: Dedan Kimathi v MMU – 12.30pm. Bay Club v Karate Axiom – 3pm (Kisumu), Kabarak University v UON – 2pm (Kabarak)


National Men: Kisumu Youngstars v Karate Axiom – 9am

Premier Men: TUK v Greensharks – 2pm, KU Vultures v Chase Sailors – 3.30pm, Wazalendo v KCA-U – 5pm

Daily Nation

Hockey comes to Diepsloot

Nokuthula Sonile

Nazrien Damons, Gary Dolley, Mervyn Mooi and Marissa Langeni.

Hockey in Diepsloot just north of Johannesburg is making great strides in a community that is more familiar with sports such as netball, soccer and tennis.

Silver Stars hockey coach, Silver Malele from Diepsloot Ext 6 has extended his love for the sport to Diepsloot schoolchildren. He said, “I chose hockey because it is a rare sport in our black communities and it’s great to see kids enjoy it.

“Hockey, like any other sport, keeps kids off the streets where they can fall victim to drugs and crime.”

Malele revealed that the South African Hockey Association recently visited Diepsloot Combined School to encourage the sport.

SA Hockey project manager, Gary Dolley was responsible for the rollout of the programme at the school. He said, “The hockey programme is growing and has been introduced to at least 20 schools throughout Gauteng.

“In Diepsloot, learners had fun playing on the existing tennis courts as there is no hockey play area yet.”

Dolley explained that the association removes obstacles to participate in physical activities by using any smooth surface in a safe and caring environment to promote physical activities within our schools and communities. “The alignment of modified hockey with the outcomes of the physical education programme within schools will help more children to attain and enjoy optimum health and promote physical activities.”

SA hockey programme with Diepsloot kids at Diepsloot Combined School.

The promotion of values such as respect and care for the participant, his family, friends, school and nature is embedded in the programme’s approach, moulding the youth through sport.

To donate U8 to U18 hockey kit to Silver Stars, or to offer transport when the team has to travel to play with other teams, contact Siobhan Brown on 072 706 2123 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fourways Review

USA Field Hockey to Launch New Scout Program Involving Boys and Girls

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Last week, two-time Olympian and Ohio resident Keli Smith Puzo joined USA Field Hockey’s Sport Development team to promote the sport at the G.I.R.L 2017 Convention in Columbus, Ohio. The event attracted more than 10,000 people, including Girl Scout members, supporters, speakers, entertainers and exhibitors, to inspire girls to get active in their communities and build a better world.

Puzo was a keynote speaker and panelist for a breakout session titled “Be the CEO of your Life” sharing the important lessons she learned through field hockey. After her presentation, Puzo joined Sarah Hulsman, Member Services Coordinator, in the USA Field Hockey exhibit booth where she signed autographs, posed for photographs and encouraged attendees of all ages to pick up a stick and play field hockey in their communities with their scout troops.

“Keli is a great role model and a wonderful ambassador for our sport and for USA Field Hockey,” says Sally Goggin, USA Field Hockey's National Development Director.  “She was the perfect spokesperson to kick-off our new Scout Program, targeted to both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts."

Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with more than 2.4 million youth participants and nearly one million adult volunteers. Girl Scouts is 2.6 million strong including 1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults. Both organizations are dedicated to leadership and character development, and are interested in providing opportunities for kids to experience a variety of healthy activities.

“USA Field Hockey would like all scouts to have the opportunity to play field hockey, one of the most popular and widely played sports in the world,” stated Goggin. “Our new Scout Program is designed to grow the game by raising awareness and generating trial opportunities across the country. We hope thousands of kids will have the opportunity to learn to play and enjoy field hockey through the Scouts Program.”

USA Field Hockey will be launching the new Scout Program in November 2017 and is planning to attend the Boy Scout Convention in May 2018. The Scout Program will include a field hockey patch awarded to participants and will provide support for Scouts interested in sharing their passion for field hockey as part of their Silver or Gold Awards projects. We are inviting all Scouts who have included field hockey in their Silver or Gold Award project, to please share their story with us! For more information about the Scout Program, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

USFHA media release

"Turn it Pink" and Play4TheCure in October

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With the month of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, USA Field Hockey and Longstreth have come together to help bring attention to Play4TheCure, a fundraising platform for the National Foundation for Cancer Research. The platform provides funding worldwide to the best scientists to enable cutting edge research that other large cancer organizations can’t and won’t fund.

Longstreth believes Play4TheCure is important because it inspires young athletes and their teams to leverage their passion for sports to "Play4" loved ones affected by cancer and encourages them to actively participate in working to fund cancer research to make a difference.
All over the country teams are using Play4TheCure not only to bring awareness to communities and on the pitch, but to also provide funding for cancer research worldwide.

Turn it Pink with USA Field Hockey:

USA Field Hockey and Longstreth are also looking for your “Play4” story to share. During the month of October have you or your team dedicated a certain game to an individual affected by breast cancer? If so, share your story and pictures with us for a chance to be featured in our exclusive Turn it Pink photo gallery. Email all content and images to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Are you an athlete or coach that is interested in getting your team involved in a Play4TheCure event? Click here to learn more.

About P4TC:
Play4TheCure is a fundraising platform for the National Foundation for Cancer Research which provides funding worldwide to the best scientists to enable cutting edge research that other large cancer organizations can’t and won’t fund. Play4TheCure inspires young athletes and their teams to leverage their passion for sports to “Play4” loved ones affected by cancer and encourages them to actively participate in working to fund cancer research to make a difference.

USFHA media release

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