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News for 24 November 2017

All the news for Friday 24 November 2017

Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final 2017 - Day 8

Losing Q/Finalists Match ARG v GER 4 - 0
Semi Final ENG v NZL 0 - 1

FIH Match Centre

England and Netherlands win to confirm Semi-Final line-up at Sentinel Homes Women’s Hockey World League Final 2017

Netherlands and England could now meet in the Final after their wins today Photo: FIH/WSP

England defeated USA 2-1 whilst Netherlands won 4-0 against China to secure their place in the semi-finals of the Sentinel Homes Women’s Hockey World League Final 2017 being held at Harbour Hockey Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Their wins confirmed the semi-final line-up which will see England take on hosts New Zealand on Friday at 20:15 and Netherlands play Korea on Saturday at 20:15.

The quarter-final losers will also play off in classification matches, with Argentina taking on Germany on Friday at 18:00 while USA will play China on Saturday, also at 18:00.

The first quarter-final of the day saw England come up against USA, a team they lost to only a few months ago in the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg, South Africa.

England dominated the first two quarters with captain Alex Danson and Lily Owsley’s dynamic understanding in the attacking half proving a real handful for the American defence. Owsley’s strength and speed on both flanks was telling whilst Danson’s ability to steal possession and work the ball in small areas had their opposition back-pedalling.

It was from one of the Danson - Owsley forays that England scored the only goal of the half. In the seventh minute Owsley drove down the left, Danson worked her magic in close confines and slipped the ball across the face for Sophie Bray to score with her reverse hit.

Maddie Hinch in England’s goal had to wait until the 29th minute to touch the ball, an important block from Erin Matson’s drive in the context of the score, which kept the match 1-0 to England going into the half-time break.

In the third quarter, USA forced two penalty corners in the opening minutes but could not convert. England then swept back on attack and increased their lead in the 41st minute with another well worked goal.

From the baseline, this time from the right, Olivia Page passed to Elena Rayer who was able to find a gap behind the deep USA defence for Sophie Bray to tap in her second of the game to make it 2-0.

In the 54th minute USA earned another penalty corner, their third of the game. Michele Vittese looked to drag flick but neatly laid the ball to captain Melissa Gonzalez who took a couple of steps in and found a gap low past goalkeeper Maddie Hinch’s right to make the last few minutes a bit more frantic than England would have liked.

England’s team structure, accurate passing and trapping denied USA the ball for much of this match but USA kept running hard - desperate for an opportunity to get on equal terms. England however were too good and saw out their victory.

Speaking afterwards, England’s double goal-scorer Sophie Bray said: “It was a solid defensive performance from us. USA got a late goal and I was proud of how we defended after that. We definitely had good control of the match.”

USA Captain Melissa Gonzalez said: “I thought England came out really strong. They played the entire game really strong. They were really well-connected as a unit - they were tough on the ball – we only showed up in the second half. Sometimes we joke that we run out of time, but we are always in a match.”

In the second quarter-final of the day Netherlands Xan de Waard earned her 100th cap and played an important role in her team's victory.

China started the match in full blown defensive mode as Netherlands mounted sustained attacks. And it wasn’t long before the European champions opened the scoring, with Lidewij Welten searing in from the left flank to send her team 1-0 ahead.

In the 23rd minute Netherlands captain Marloes Keetels pounced on a pass, cleverly jinked the ball in and scored to double the lead for the world’s number one ranked team.

As the game progressed into the third quarter, China forced their first penalty corner, but a brilliant Marloes Keetels aerial save on the post kept the Dutch defence intact.

“The Asian sides are very quick. They just keep running and are very good at defence. We are very excited for the semi- final but we will have to be at our best.”
Marloes Keetels, Netherlands

The Netherlands got their third goal in the 51st minute when Caia Van Maasaaker scored a direct drag flick low to goalkeeper’s Li Dongxaio's left. Five minutes later Frederique Matla finished off a Dutch baseline dribble to make the score 4-0 and qualify them for the semi-finals.

Speaking afterwards, Netherlands captain Marloes Keetels said: “I think we played very well. We were very effective at the penalty corners, scoring many goals. I am very proud of the team – I’m just very happy to be in the semi-final. We had a lot of goal-scorers and worked well together as a team today. The defence kept a clean sheet which is another positive from our performance.”

On playing Korea in the semi-final, she added: “The Asian sides are very quick. They just keep running and are very good at defence. We are very excited for the semi- final but we will have to be at our best.”

China goalkeeper Li Dongxiao said: “We can play better than this. Our team is young and every game we learn more and gain experience. But Netherlands certainly gave us a lot of work to do tonight!”


USA 1, England 2
Netherlands 4, China 0.

FIH site

Bray double sends England into HWL semi-final

Sophie Bray gets congratulated by Alex Danson

Two goals from Sophie Bray ensured England progressed to the semi-finals of the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League final with a hard fought win over the USA.

The forward struck in the first and third quarters, turning the ball into the net after strong work down the baseline by Alex Danson and Livy Paige respectively.

A late penalty corner strike by Melissa Gonzalez gave the Americans hope and they pressed to find the equaliser but England managed to hold firm.

They will now play hosts New Zealand - who overcame Argentina in their quarter-final - on Friday 24 November, a match which Danson is relishing as her team continues to improve with each game.

England’s captain said: “We’re delighted with that performance. We had to battle hard at the end but we’re delighted that we came through it.

“It was a really professional performance tonight. We had a lot of control against a very good American team who are very physical and very quick so we’re very happy with the win.

“It’s fantastic to be here in New Zealand and to have the opportunity to play against the host nation will be special for us. It’s going to be a fantastic game.”

As she did in the final group game against China, Lily Owsley sparked England into life in the fifth minute with a defence-splitting run, winning a corner that eventually fell to Laura Unsworth but her scuffed strike was easily saved by Jackie Briggs.

Owsley then narrowly failed to find Bray after another great run down the baseline but the forward was able to capitalise on an almost identical opportunity just seconds later, this time deflecting Danson’s cross into the net.

England dominated the rest of the first half from there on without creating too many chances, Hollie Pearne-Webb coming closest from a 12th minute corner, although Maddie Hinch was called into action for the first time to keep out Erin Matson seconds before the interval.

That seemed to inspire the Americans as they started the second half on top, Jill Witmer forcing Hinch into another save in the 31st minute before Caitlin van Sickle just failed to deflect Michelle Vitesse’s corner flick on target.

Ali Froede then also came close from a corner but it was England who struck next as Bray deflected home Paige’s cross after the 20-year-old showed some class by rolling away from a defender before an intelligent exchange with Ellie Rayer.

Danson almost increase the lead to three with a diving effort at the start of the final quarter before Gonzalez smashed a corner into the corner of Hinch’s goal in the 53rd minute to give her side hope.

But despite dominating the closing minutes, the US could not find a way past a compact English defence determined to inflict revenge on an American side who beat them in a shootout in the summer’s Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final.

After the game Bray admitted she was happy to find herself on the scoresheet for a second consecutive game - taking her tournament tally to three - after a tough start to the tournament.

“As a striker you want to score goals and when they don’t come it is frustrating as you want to help the team. It’s just a case of patience and waiting.

“To be fair both goals today were just a case of being in the right place at the right time. They both came after some fantastic build up play and I just had to turn the ball into the net.

“It’s really exciting to see the young ones come in with the new energy and it’s really enjoyable to play with them and watch them grow.”

England will face New Zealand at 7:15am on Friday 24 November in a game you can watch on BT Sport.

USA (0) 1
Gonzalez (53, PC)

England (1) 2
Bray (7, FG; 41, FG)

Starting XI: Hinch, Unsworth, Haycroft, Toman, Petty, Danson, Defroand, Ansley, Bray, Pearne-Webb, Owsley

Subs (Used): Martin, Paige, Sanders, Rayer, McCallin, Balsdon

Subs (Not Used): Tennant

England Hockey Board Media release

England beat USA to reach last four

England beat the United States 2-1 to reach the semi-finals of the Women's Hockey World League Final in Auckland

Two goals from Sophie Bray - in the first and third quarters - sealed England's second victory of the tournament, with Alyssa Parker scoring a late consolation for the US.

England, who have eight Team GB Olympic champions in their squad, will face hosts New Zealand (Friday, 07:15 GMT).

The Kiwis beat Argentina 2-1 to book their last-four place on Wednesday.

Captain Alex Danson said the England side was "delighted" with their "battling" quarter-final win.

"It was a really professional performance. We had a lot of control against a very good American team who are very physical and very quick so we're very happy," she added.

"It's fantastic to be here in New Zealand and to have the opportunity to play against the host nation will be special for us. It's going to be a fantastic game."

BBC Sport

England Defeats USWNT in Quarterfinal Match of Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – November 23, 2017 – On the second day of quarterfinal play of the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final in Auckland, New Zealand, the U.S. Women’s National Team and No. 2 England competed in the opening match. The previous day’s result saw two upsets, meaning going into this match anything was possible. Goals were produced for England in the first and third quarters, and USA added one back in the fourth but the late push would fall short as England defeated the red, white and blue 2-1.

"I thought England came out strong," said Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), USWNT Captain. "They played an entire game connected as a team, they were really tough on the ball and threatening. For us, we have to make sure we show up for an entire game."

The opening minutes of the first quarter saw a lot of possession held between the 25-yard lines as both teams looked to find momentum forward. England earned a penalty corner in the 5th minute but no result would show. Just two minutes following, Alex Danson spun on the baseline, sent it across the goal and Sophie Bray was there to tap it in to give England a 1-0 lead. England continued to apply a high press on USA’s defense, causing difficulty on the outlet. In the final two minutes of the quarter, USA showed promise as Ali Froede (Burke, Va.) threaded a ball forward to Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) but possession in the final yards of the field was lacking.

USA picked up the momentum to start the second but turnovers quickly sent control the other way. England remained composed as they transferred the ball across field working it around USA’s structure. Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.) marked well as she collected a dangerous ball sent deep in the circle and cleared it out of danger. Similar to the first half, USA found forward movement in the final minutes of the quarter as Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) sent a hard ball that Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) gathered and ripped for USA’s first shot of the game. The halftime score remained in favor of England 1-0.

One minute into the third, USA earned a penalty corner but although the chance did not convert they held possession in the attacking end. Another opportunity came as Gonzalez weaved into England’s defense and earned another penalty corner but the sweep went wide. Back the other way, USA struggled to take care of the ball deep on the field giving England an opening. In the 41st minute, a drive that started in the right corner of the field finished with Bray touching it in as she tallied her second goal of the match.

As the fourth quarter started, USA was keen to find offensive possession and connect within the final yards. England generated some attack earning a penalty corner, and later almost capitalized on a deep turnover off an outlet turnover by USA. With seven minutes remaining, USA found energy and positive possession, and earned a penalty corner. Gonzalez buried the ball into the left corner of the goal to add one back and make it 2-1. As USA searched for the equalizer, England tried to be savvy on the ball but was called for delay of game. Pressure continued forward but USA ran out of time as they fell to England.

"One of the great things about our team is that we are always in it until the last whistle," commented Gonzalez, on USA's final minute fight. "We have to do a better job of not putting ourselves in those situations."

In the consultation round, the U.S. Women’s National Team will face China on Saturday, November 25 at 12:00 a.m. ET (6:00 p.m. local).

USFHA media release

Vantage Black Sticks face England in semis

Photo: www.photosport.nz

The semi finals schedule has now been confirmed at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final in Auckland.

After a stunning 2-1 result over Argentina in the quarter finals the Vantage Black Sticks go up against England at 8:15pm on Friday night, following the classification playoff between Argentina and Germany at 6:00pm.

On Saturday night USA clash with China in their classification match at 6:00pm before the Netherlands face Korea in the second semi final at 8:15pm.

New Zealand last played England (not as Great Britain) at the 2014 Champions Trophy in Mendoza, with the Black Sticks coming away 3-1 winners in that encounter.

Tickets for Friday’s and Saturday’s semi finals sessions are still available through www.ticketek.co.nz, with live coverage also on SKY Sport.


Friday 24th November
6:00pm – Argentina vs Germany (classification playoff)
8:15pm – Vantage Black Sticks vs England (semi final)

Saturday 25th November
6:00pm – USA vs China (classification playoff)
8:15pm – Netherlands vs Korea (semi Final)

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Danson and Hinch preview Semi-Final with New Zealand

Danson World League

England duo Alex Danson and Maddie Hinch have expressed the squads excitement ahead of their semi-final with New Zealand tomorrow at the Sentinel Homes World Hockey League Finals in Auckland.

The squad booked their place in the final four with a 2-1 win over the United States of America as Sophie Bray bagged a brace to see England past the Americans.

In the other semi-final the Netherlands take on Korea with the bronze medal and final matches taking place on Sunday.

Danson said: “We’re delighted with our performance against what is an athletic and strong USA team. We had really good control in the first half with our defence looking really solid and we are all really excited for the opportunity to play New Zealand on home turf.

Hinch added: “We have been slowly progressing throughout the tournament and momentum is building and carrying us through. We showed more of what we are about against the USA, defending soundly as a unit and creating chances with speed on the break.

“What could be better than playing New Zealand in a semi-final in New Zealand, there will be a big crowd in under the lights and we are ready to go out and put in our best performance.”

England Hockey Board Media release

The focus is to get intensity higher: Chief coach Marijne

BHUBANESWAR: Indian men's hockey team's chief coach Sjoerd Marijne emphasised on speed and tactical training as the hosts had their first training session ahead of the Hockey World League Final, starting on December 1.

Under the watchful eyes of the 43-year-old Dutchman, the squad members played 30-minute half-court match against each other.

The mega event will see top teams in the world battle for supremacy when defending Champions Australia will meet India in their first Pool B match on December 1 while England will take on Germany.

"Our first practice session went well. It is good to be at the Kalinga Stadium. While it is my first time here, for the players it is like home because all of them have played many Hockey India League Matches here. The pitch is fast so we like it," said Marijne after the 90-minute training session.

"The focus is to get the intensity higher and higher for our conditioning as we approach match day. Our preparations have been really good with the 18-day national camp in Bengaluru but there is scope to get our level higher ahead of the tournament. We play short matches among ourselves so we keep the guys in match momentum," he added.

The next one-week Marijne wants to build the intensity during the training sessions.

The team also plays practice matches against Olympic Gold medalists Argentina on November 27 and England on November 28 respectively.

"For me the most important thing is performance. Rupinder and Biru (Birendra Lakra) who are making a comeback also get an extra match before going into our first game against Australia. While I am happy with how the players have done in training, playing matches is always good.

"It doesn't matter that England are grouped with us. Playing practice match against any team is welcome and also both teams follow each other closely so there are not many secrets between each other," he remarked.

The Times of India

Dipsan excited to excel at his maiden home international tournament

s2h team

It just happened during the ongoing All India Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Cup in Delhi. Saddened at the way the teams in action failing to trap the ball dead, this writer wondered when will we Indians master the art of stopping dead? Pat came reply from Ajay Kumar Bansal, well-known Indian coach, standing nearby: "Only tribal players can."

You agree or not, here comes a solid example for this.

A defender who can do everything perfect all the time in the game: he is here in Bhubneswar now: Dipsan Tirkey.

When India faces Australia in the opener of the Hockey World League Finals on December 1, the day will be a memorable one for 19-year old Mr. Perfect Dipsan Tirkey, the local lad.

Born in Sundargarh district of Odisha, the hub of hockey in the state, HWL will be the first international tournament for Dipsan at home ground. Not surprisingly, the young lad is eagerly waiting for the big day, to play in front of his home crowd.

“This is my first international tournament at home. I have been waiting long for this kind of moment. I can’t express my excitement. I have played Hockey India League matches here. But wearing India jersey and playing for the country in front at home ground is a different feeling altogether,” says the local lad, who has been flocking headlines in the regional media.

The defender, who made a smooth transition into the senior team during the Europe tour this year; was also a part of the gold medal winning Asia Cup team.

Pic above: Dipan Tirkey, Amit Rohidoss, Birendra Lakra

He is also Jr World Cup gold medallist.

However, unlike the Asia Cup, the HWL will be different as India faces some of the top hockey playing nations in the tournament. But Dipsan is positive about the outcome.

“The last camp was very enriching. The player combination is also good. The fitness is also proper. We are hopeful of a good show,” he says.

Young in age but rich in skills, Dipsan is close to all team mates but shares a special bond with fellow defender Birendra Lakra, another localite.

“All the senior players are very helpful. We guide each other. But Birendra Lakra and I share a room. Since, we are together on and off the field, he keeps telling me about my mistakes and how to improve.”


Sharp Excited To Debut At World League Final

Ben Somerford

Kookaburras newcomer Lachlan Sharp will make his Australia debut at the World League Final and he’ll be wearing Jamie Dwyer’s famous number one shirt too.

Lithgow miner Sharp was a late replacement along with Jake Harvie for the injured Tom and Ben Craig for the upcoming tournament which begins on December 1 in India.

The 20-year-old NSW Waratahs attacking midfielder will be wearing the number one shirt, last worn by Australia’s most decorated player Dwyer who retired after last year’s 2016 Rio Olympics.

“I’ll be wearing the number one following after the famous Jamie Dwyer, hopefully I can do it some justice,” Sharp said.

Sharp found out about his maiden call-up earlier this week and will follow in the footsteps of Harvie, Corey Weyer and Tim Howard to debut for the Kookaburras recently.

“I knew I was reserve for Tom Craig coming into it,” Sharp said.

“(Kookaburras coach) Colin (Batch) told me before our practice game on Tuesday and it was pretty cool.

“I was overwhelmed when I found out. I was really excited.

“I couldn’t wait to get out there and play the practice game the other day.

“Now I cannot wait to get to India.”

Australia are grouped with India, Germany and England in Pool B for the tournament which will be televised on Fox Sports.

The Kookaburras are the reigning champions having triumphed two years ago in Rajpur.

Sharp said debuting during such a prestigious tournament was a big honour.

“I’m pretty excited. Not many people get to debut for Australia and especially to do it at a big tournament like the World League Final, it’s pretty unreal,” he said.

The Kookaburras will fly out for India on Saturday.

Hockey Australia media release

U-19 USMNT Finish Strong to Win Series Over Canada

MOORPARK, Calif. - The U.S. U-19 Men's National Team finished the four game test series yesterday in Moorpark, Calif. against Canada's U-18 Men's Team strong with a victory. Deadlocked through three quarters, it was USA who put one on the board in the fourth to secure the 1-0 win and clinch the series against a well matched Canada squad where all games were one goal differential.
The U-19 USMNT squad, comprised of all U-18 athletes except for two players, took part in a 6-day training camp on top of the test matches. U.S. Men's National Team athletes Mikey Barminski (Ventura, Calif.), Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.), Alex Grassi (Brookeville, Md.) and Will Holt (Camarillo, Calif.) assisted with the training and games throughout the week.

November 23, 2017 | 10:00 a.m. PT
Match 4: USA 1, Canada 0

Canada was on attack for most of the first quarter producing multiple shots on goal to which USA's goalkeeper David Kristof (Darien, Conn.) rose to the challenge. In the 9th minute, Canada shot one into the goal but the umpires called a foot foul prior resulting in no goal. The second quarter saw USA become more aggressive on the counter attack but the score remained 0-0 at halftime.

Canada tried to regain control in the third quarter earning two offensive penalty corner chances in the first three minutes. The second which finished with a shot into the net, was called a no goal due to the shot being too high. USA responded with five penalty corners of their own in the final five minutes of play, as the final opportunity resulted in a shot from Graeme Jackson (Moorpark, Calif.) that bounced off the crossbar leaving the score still standing at 0-0.

The final quarter saw play go back and forth with the turning point being an offensive corner for USA at the five minute mark. Off the initial attempt, USA's shot sailed behind Canada's goalkeeper and was subsequently deflected by a defender's foot behind the goalkeeper, resulting in a penalty stroke for USA. Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas) lined up and buried the ball stick-side into the goal, giving USA the 1-0 lead. The remainder of the game saw increased energy from both teams as the clock wound down, and ultimately USA held on for the game and series win.

Match Roster: Breslow, Curtis, Cutone, DeAngelis (C), Govaert, Hawley, Heller, Hennessy, Hommes, Jackson, Kristof (GK), Montilla, Quaile, Schofield (GK), G. Singh, P. Singh, Spach, Vig, Zuzick

 "Since being brought onboard to assist the coaching staff, it’s clear that the boys have improved immensely," commented Barminski, on working with the squad this week. "With ample opportunities overseas and a strong performance against Canada, it’s clear they’re becoming a unit. It’s been fun to watch and coach these boys, but it has been a particular highlight to see the commitment from them as a group towards the game plan and the information Rutger Wiese has provided. I’m excited to watch and assist this future generation progress towards its full potential."

The U.S. U-19 Men's National Team and coaching staff would like to thank the coaches, staff and parents for their continued support and assistance. #GoUSA

USFHA media release

World class Jamaican hockey?

Hubert Lawrence

Guyana’s captain Trisha Woodroffe (left) moves the ball away from Jamaica’s Demi Nicholson during the final of the Women’s CAC Games Qualifying tournament at the JN Hockey Field recently. Shorn Hector

Jamaica has the human resources to produce world class hockey teams. That's the considered opinion of Fabian Stewart, the president of the Jamaica Hockey Federation (JHF).

Stewart is optimistic about the prospects for the sport in Jamaica but cautions that they rest on the federation's ability to raise sufficient funds to support development. Central to that goal, he believes, is the development of young players.

Speaking earlier this week, the JHF president expressed confidence in the ability of Jamaicans to play world-class hockey.

"We're going to put our hands down in order to work really hard to put the necessary programmes in place because we have the human resources here to compete internationally and I will say globally," Stewart asserted.

He said the federation places youth at the centre of such an effort. "It's absolutely necessary that we build the youth in order for them to matriculate in not only clubs but also to continue the national programme," he reasoned.


Jamaica currently appears at number 65 and number 61 in the men's and women's world hockey rankings respectively. Caribbean neighbours Trinidad and Tobago appear at number 33 and number 35, with Cuba and Barbados also more highly ranked among both men and women than Jamaica.

According to Stewart, the federation wants to propel Jamaica up through the rankings.

"One of the things I would like to say is that there is a correlation between your participation in tournaments and world rankings and your participation in tournaments is directly related to your financial capacity to do so.

"The important issue is our ability to raise the funds in order to have the teams participate in, especially points-related tournaments," he said of the sport's World League and other events where world ranking points can be accumulated. Jamaica hosted a leg of the World Hockey League in 2014.

At the recent CAC Games hockey qualifying tournament in Kingston, Jamaica beat marginally more highly ranked teams. The men defeated Guatemala who arrived with a world ranking of 62 while the women beat Bermuda, currently ranked at number 60.

Stewart noted there are benefits from playing against the best.

"Once we start to participate in most of these points related tournaments, ... what you'll find is that the ranking will go up, but correspondingly, it is clear that especially for Trinidad and other teams, the more tournaments you participate in, the better the athletes perform on the big stage," he explained.

Cuba beat Trinidad and Tobago to win the CAC Games men's gold medal in 2014 and edged the Dominican Republic in the women's final. Mexico took both bronze medals with Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago fourth, respectively.

The Jamaica Gleaner

Pahang and Selangor have their hands full in s-final action

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Pahang and Selangor will start as favourites to qualify for the final in the second edition of the women’s Razak Cup hockey tournament.

In today’s semi-finals, Pahang will face last year’s finalists Armed Forces while Selangor will take on hosts Kuala Lumpur at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.

Pahang, who outplayed Armed Forces 4-0 in the final at the Tun Razak Stadium last year, are definitely the team to beat in the last four.

The East coast team, powered by seven internationals, have netted 15 goals and conceded just one in four group matches. Their semi-final opponents, Armed Forces, only managed to score three goals and let in two in three matches.

Armed Forces coach Azizan Mustafa admitted that “we will start as underdogs against high-riding Pahang”.

“They look far too strong.

“I hope my players can put up a strong challenge,” said Azizan.

Selangor are on a high after going unbeaten in the group, including crushing Johor 5-1 to top the standings on Wednesday.

KL, meanwhile, only found their scoring touch in their last group match – hammering debutants Indonesia 8-1 in the last group match to qualify for the semi-finals.

Last year, Selangor defeated KL 4-2 to finish third.

KL, parading a young team, will be out for revenge against Selangor and qualify for the final.

KL team manager Noor Saliza Soobni was glad that her girls finally found their scoring touch against Indonesia.

“I hope they get the better of Selangor and qualify for the final,” she said.

Selangor coach Ikmar Abdul Jabar has warned his girls not to take KL for granted despite their fine form.

“We know KL’s strengths and weaknesses. They can be dangerous if given room to manoeuvre,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

Brooklands MU prepare for Beeston challenge

Brooklands MU and England U21 player James Sutcliffe. Credit Sara Flanagan.

It is the last round of games before the mid season break this weekend and teams will be without those England players who are travelling to India for the World League finals at the beginning of December.

Brooklands MU helped Beeston go top of the table when they held former leaders Surbiton to a dramatic draw last weekend and the two sides will now meet each other on Sunday in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Hosts Beeston will be aiming to hold on to the lead with an eighth victory in ten matches while Brooklands MU – who are eighth in the table with just two wins so far – want to get a victory under their belts prior to the winter break.

“The underdog mentality helped us against Surbiton,” said Brookland’s first team manager Paul Gannon. “Before the game we would’ve taken a point, but we feel we dominated the game and it was bitter-sweet when we conceded in the last minute.”

Prior to the Surbiton draw Brooklands MU had lost five times and Gannon added: “It has been a typical Brooklands season really; we feel we’ve been better than some of our opponents, but we haven’t been able to convert the chances we’ve created.

“Playing at Beeston is always tough for us but we have some great games, and we’re good friends with them as the two northern teams. But we won’t be taking anything for granted as although they have some players away they have a lot of quality in their squad.”

Elsewhere, former leaders and reigning champions Surbiton play host to former title winners Wimbledon on Saturday night as they bid to re-take top spot from Beeston, while in other top flight action Hampstead & Westminster head to East Grinstead.

Fourth-placed Reading have an away match at Holcombe. With the two teams level on league points with five wins each, the clash could prove crucial to both side’s play-off ambitions.

Meanwhile the bottom two play each other in a local derby, with Sevenoaks at home against fellow Kent side Canterbury.

The top two teams play each other in the Men’s Conference North, with leaders Bowdon – who struggled to beat Cannock last weekend – hosting the University of Nottingham.

The Conference North table is very close and third-placed University of Durham take on fourth-placed Loughborough Students with either side able to go top if Bowdon and the University of Nottingham draw.

There could be a new leader in the Men’s Conference East table too. Second-placed Oxted head to third-placed Southgate, with either of those two sides able to go top of the table if leaders Cambridge City lose to visitors Old Loughtonians.

Men’s Conference West leaders the University of Exeter play host to third-placed University of Birmingham in the Men’s Conference West as they look to extend their six-point lead at the top of the table. Meanwhile, second-placed Cardiff & Met are at home against strugglers Clifton Robinsons.

Saturday, November 25 2017

Men’s Premier Division
Sevenoaks v Canterbury 17:00
East Grinstead v Hampstead & Westminster 18:00
Holcombe v Reading 18:00
Surbiton v Wimbledon 18:00

Men’s Conference East
Richmond v Chichester 18:00

Sunday, November 26 2017

Men’s Premier Division
Beeston v Brooklands MU 14:00

Men’s Conference North
Univ of Durham v Loughborough Students 13:00
Deeside Ramblers v Cannock 13:30
Sheffield Hallam v Doncaster 13:30
Bowdon v Univ of Nottingham 14:30
Leeds v Preston 14:30

Men’s Conference East
Cambridge City v Old Loughtonians 12:30
Brighton & Hove v Teddington 13:00
West Herts v Old Georgians 14:00
Southgate v Oxted 14:30

Men’s Conference West
Cardiff & Met v Clifton Robinsons 12:30
Cheltenham v Isca 12:30
Univ of Exeter v Univ of Birmingham 12:30
Fareham v Olton & West Warwicks 13:30
Havant v Team Bath Buccaneers 14:00

England Hockey Board Media release

Time to make the stars shine

It’s that time of year again when the hockey world comes together to celebrate all that is great and inspirational about our sport. Yes, the voting for the 2017 Hockey Stars will be opening on 1 December and you can play your part in making sure that your favourite players are rewarded for their amazing performances over the past year.
There are 10 winning categories and the hockey public are eligible to vote in six of them. Cast your vote for the Player of the Year (men and women); Goalkeeper of the Year (men and women) and Rising Star (men and women).
There will also be awards for the mens’ and women’s Coach of the Year and the men’s and women’s Umpire of the Year. Coach of the Year nominees are voted for by the international coaches and the coaches from the High Performance Panel, while Umpire of the Year Awards are decided by an international panel of umpires and technical officials, as well as athletes.
In addition, a panel will select an FIH All-Stars Team, so check to see if your favourite players make the final cut.
Five male and five female nominees have been selected for each award. The Player, Goalkeeper and Rising Star awards were selected by a panel consisting of the FIH Athletes' Committee, Continental Federations, coaches and media (the panel consists of coaches, FIH Executive Board, Master Coaches, Athletes Committee and media). All awards are based on performance at international events during the 2017 season, as well as the player's overall contribution to the sport. These nominations will be released on 1 December.
Winners will be decided by the combined results of an online vote that is open to the public and a peer vote from international athletes. Voting closes on 14 January, so make sure you have made your vote count.
And as a timely reminder of the calibre of players, coaches and officials who adorn the FIH roll of honour, here are last year’s winners.
FIH Player of the Year (men and women):
Dutch dynamo Naomi van As (Netherlands) is a double World Champion and twice Olympic gold medallist who has since retired from international hockey. John-John Dohmen (Belgium) continues to lead the Red Lions with panache.
FIH Goalkeeper of the Year (men and women):
Maddie Hinch (GR and England) continues to star between the posts as England picked up bronze at the 2017 EuroHockey Championships, while David Harte (Ireland) is the backbone of an Ireland team that secured qualification for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018.
FIH Rising Star (men and women):
Maria Granatto (Argentina) weaves her magic in the famed blue and white and is a Las Leonas legend in the making. Arthur Van Doren is on his way back from injury and is eyeing the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 as the next challenge.
FIH Coach of the Year:

Danny Kerry (GB and England), Karen Brown (GB and England). The winning coaches, Kerry and Brown, led Great Britain to their first ever Olympic gold medal, to add to the European gold they won with England in 2015.
FIH Umpire of the Year:

Lauren Delforge (Belgium) and Christian Blasch (Germany). Two umpires at the top of their games. Both Delforge and Blasch took control of the 2016 Olympic finals but they are also hugely supportive of their coaching colleagues and portray the very best in professional attitudes.
Watch out for the nominations on 1 December and then make sure your vote counts!

FIH site

New Appointee to Hockey Ireland Board

Hockey Ireland are delighted to announce that David Passmore has been appointed to the Hockey Ireland Board with specific responsibility for High Performance.  This appointment takes place with immediate effect.

Speaking about his appointment David said “my appointment to the HI Board will enable me to support my passion in seeing the Ireland national teams maximise and reach their potential. It is key that high performance is represented on the board to help shape and steer strategies that will support the coaches, staff and players and aim to push hard for increased funding and sponsorship from all stakeholders. We also need greater athlete voice in what we do and will be seeking athlete representation on the working group that should be formed in the new year. I would encourage anyone, especially with ideas or queries to make contact with me"

We would like to wish David every success and look forward to working with him.

Irish Hockey Association media release

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