All the news for Saturday 25 November 2017
Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final 2017 - Day 9
Losing Q/Finalists Match USA v CHN 6 - 4
Semi Final NED v KOR 2 - 0
FIH Match Centre
New Zealand reach final whilst Argentina secure fifth at Sentinel Homes Women’s Hockey World League Final 2017
New Zealand reached their second consecutive Hockey World League Final Photo: FIH/WSP
Hosts New Zealand qualified for the final of the Sentinel Homes Women’s Hockey World League Final 2017 after defeating England 1-0 at Harbour Hockey Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand today.
They won their semi-final in front of a packed stadium and will now take on the winner of the other semi-final, taking place at 20:15 on Saturday, between Netherlands and Korea.
New Zealand’s win followed Argentina’s 4-0 victory against Germany earlier in the day in the 5/6 classification match.
Rejuvenated following their quarter-final win against Argentina after disappointing Pool performances, New Zealand started confidently, giving the large home support plenty of encouragement throughout the opening stages.
Settling into the second quarter, England created one of the first notable opportunities. Sophie Bray sent the ball into the goal and thought she had scored. However, upon referral it was deemed that Lily Owsley’s pass was from the back of the stick.
New Zealand continued to probe but their opponent’s structure held firm. England too looked dangerous and right on the stroke of half-time New Zealand goalkeeper Sally Rutherford was called on to block Hannah Martin’s direct shot.
While Tarryn Davey, Ella Gunson, Kelsey Smith and Liz Thomson showed renewed confidence for New Zealand, Lily Owsley, Sophie Bray, Laura Unsworth and Hannah Martin were all shining for England.
As the game went on, New Zealand began to exert their influence on the game. In the fourth quarter they created a number of chances. England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, as she often does, was impenetrable, making a super right sided save as she smothered a shot from point blank range from Shiloh Gloyn.
“Tonight we saw two good teams having a good fight and tussle. In the end the game could have gone either way. The difference was Olivia’s goal."
Mark HAger, New Zealand Coach
With just over five minutes to go, Hinch was in the action again, saving brilliantly from barrage of shots, but conceding a penalty corner to New Zealand.
The resulting set-piece was perfectly injected and trapped, allowing drag flicker Olivia Merry to strike the ball to her left past Maddie Hinch’s outstretched right hand and into the England net to give New Zealand the lead.
Five minutes of tense hockey ensued but New Zealand held on to win 1-0 and reach their second consecutive Women's Hockey World League Final after they finished second at the Hockey World League Final 2015 in Rosario, Argentina.
Following their win, New Zealand Coach Mark Hager said: “Tonight we saw two good teams having a good fight and tussle. In the end the game could have gone either way. The difference was Olivia’s goal. We have lost the apprehension we had in the early stages of this event. We are in the top echelon of hockey now.”
New Zealand’s goal-scorer Olivia Merry added: “We got on the front foot from the beginning. The goal was coming for a long time but Maddie Hinch kept England in the game. We wanted to build on the game against Argentina but ended up grinding out the result in the end.”
Speaking after their loss, England’s Lily Owsley summed up their performance. She said: “It was fast, it was attacking. Usually we back ourselves against most teams when it comes to playing an open game but unfortunately they were so quick and so fit. We couldn’t match them in the second half - we just couldn’t control it.”
Earlier in the evening, Argentina fired into action against Germany in the 5/6 classification match. Stung by losing the quarter-final to the hosts, they came out with all barrels blazing, chasing everything down, denying Germany any kind of possession.
In the eighth minute, from a defensive penalty corner Argentina counter attacked down their left flank. Eugenia Trinchinetti was in her attacking circle in a flash and the German players were caught upfield. A one-on-one with Nike Lorenz saw Trincheinetti score to give Argentina a 1-0 lead.
Four minutes later Agustina Habif added her magic to the match with a stunning penalty corner lay-off goal. She was the injector and received the ball back to double the Pan American champions lead.
2-0 became 3-0 shortly afterwards, in the 42nd minute. Delfina Merino received the ball from the right and deftly one-touched the ball up over German goalkeeper Noelle Rother high into the net.
With only 28 seconds left in the match, Argentina concluded their win with another goal. Germany had removed their goalkeeper and Delfina Merino took advantage, jinking her way down the left side, capping off an excellent match with her second goal.
This match marked Argentina’s Roccio Sanchez 200th match. Afterwards she said: “I think we were very effective tonight. We were very hungry following our previous loss.”
Speaking about their defeat, Germany’s Anne Schroeder, who earned her 100th cap today, said: “For us it was a lesson. Argentina did very well. They were aggressive and smart. We can learn a lot playing against the likes of Merino, Granatto and Cavallero. But of course it was a very disappointing finish to this League.”
Saturday’s matches see USA take on China in the 7/8 classification match at 18:00 while Netherlands take on Korea at 20:15 on the second semi-final.
Semi-Final: England 0, New Zealand 1
5/6 Classification: Argentina 4, Germany 0.
Vantage Black Sticks secure spot in final
A late goal from Olivia Merry has lifted the Vantage Black Sticks to a 1-0 victory over England to progress to the gold medal match at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final in Auckland.
New Zealand dominated much of the match against the world number two ranked England side to secure their second successive shot at the World League trophy, having finished runners up in 2015.
After a goalless first half, the Black Sticks lit up the scoreboard in the 55th minute when Merry sent a penalty corner drag flick soaring over the head of goalkeeper Maddie Hinch.
With time counting down a roaring crowd at the Harbour Hockey Stadium watched on with intent as the Kiwis held strong on defence to seal the result.
The Vantage Black Sticks will now await the winner of tomorrow night’s Netherlands vs Korea semi final ahead of the gold medal game at 8:15pm on Sunday.
Head coach Mark Hager said he was relieved to take the game and that it was an immense performance from his side.
“To come out and back up our effort in the quarter finals is very pleasing. I’m probably relieved more than anything but we have to refocus now and move on to the final,” he said.
“The girls really stuck at it tonight and now we have a chance to come away with a gold medal in front of a home crowd which is fantastic.
“We can’t thank the crowd enough and how great they were. When things were tough they gave us an extra pair of legs I thought. They were cheering and chanting for specific players and it was a bit like having another coach out there.”
Event tickets can be purchased along with a full rundown of transport information through www.ticketek.co.nz
VANTAGE BLACK STICKS: 1 (Olivia Merry)
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Late corner strike sees England beaten in semi-final
Shona McCallin v New Zealand
England will play in the bronze medal match of the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final after being defeated by hosts New Zealand in their semi-final.
Olivia Merry’s superb penalty corner just five minutes from the final whistle was enough to give her side the win despite England throwing everything at the Kiwis in the closing stages.
It came at the end of a fraught game played at a blistering pace that the Black Sticks largely dominated although it was England who created the better chances overall, Lily Owsley having an effort disallowed and Sophie Bray smashing the crossbar.
While the result was disappointing for captain Alex Danson, she said she could not have faulted her team’s effort and is already focusing on securing their third bronze medal of the year on Sunday.
"Credit to New Zealand, they were fantastic today,” the forward said.
“I am very proud of the team, we didn’t stop running and we did everything we could. We did not stop until the final minute.
“We’re coming out for that last game. We’ve had a good tournament and we’ve travelled a long way for this. We’ll come out fighting in that final game.”
Buoyed on by their home fans and feeling confident after their quarter-final defeat of Argentina, the hosts won a penalty corner on review in the second minute, with Rose Keddell forcing Maddie Hinch into a smart save after Owsley blocked Brooke Neal’s initial effort.
The game continued at a frenetic pace thereafter with both teams looking to pounce on the counter amidst some crunching tackles, although neither could force a clear opportunity.
England then thought they had taken the lead through Owsley as she bundled the ball home at the start of the second quarter, only for the umpires to rule the ball had touched the back of her stick in the build up.
The Black Sticks then took control and pressed hard to break through the English defence, winning another corner in the 22nd minute that saw Hinch fling herself to her right to keep out Neal.
But it was England who were to have the final two shots of the half as Sarah Haycroft scuffed a good chance wide before Ellie Rayer’s reverse effort was saved on the stroke of half-time.
The second half began at a slower tempo but picked up towards the end of the third quarter as Owsley once again led an England charge down the right before Bray’s instinctive overhead smash cannoned off the crossbar in the 42nd minute.
Sally Rutherford then saved two Giselle Ansley corners before New Zealand won their own set piece with Neal once again thwarted, this time by Laura Unsworth.
That sparked New Zealand back into life and captain Stacey Michelsen led them with aplomb, going on a powerful run in the 49th minute before unleashing a fierce shot that was well blocked by Hollie Pearne-Webb.
Hinch then produced another fantastic save to keep her opponents out shortly after but five minutes from the end she was finally beaten as Merry beautifully lifted a penalty corner over her outstretched hand for the crucial goal.
That lead almost doubled seconds later as Hinch denied Madison Doar with another fine save before England had a penalty corner overturned in the final minute to ensure it was New Zealand who emerged victorious.
England will now play in the bronze medal match at 5am on Sunday 26 November in a game you can watch on BT Sport.
England (0) 0
New Zealand (0) 1
Merry (55, PC)
Starting XI: Hinch, Unsworth, Martin, Paige, Danson, Ansley, Bray, Pearne-Webb, McCallin, Owsley, Balson
Subs (Used): Haycroft, Toman, Petty, Sanders, Rayer, Defroand,
Subs (Not Used): Tennant
England Hockey Board Media release
Black Sticks women into final
By Niall Anderson
Kelsey Smith had a strong game for the Black Sticks. Photo / Photosport
The women's Black Sticks resurgence has continued; progressing to the final of the Hockey World League Finals.
A 1-0 victory over the second-ranked England at Harbour Hockey Stadium has given the Black Sticks a berth in the final - a sentence which seemed oh so unlikely just days ago.
After losing all three pool games, hopes were not high of the hosts progressing deep into the tournament. However, after two solid performances in elimination games, the Black Sticks could now emulate Argentina in 2015, who finished bottom of their pool before reeling off three straight wins on their way to the title.
They will likely be up against it come Sunday's final. The Netherlands are heavily favoured to beat South Korea tomorrow night in their semifinal, and will be very tough to beat.
The Dutch have yet to concede a goal, beat the Black Sticks 4-0 in pool play, and have been comfortable in every contest to date.
However, they still have to reach the final – a task the Black Sticks have locked in after grinding out a victory tonight.
In their first clash against England in three years, it was hard to pick a winner pre-match, with both teams having uninspiring pool play performances before nabbing quarter-final victories.
The opening stages confirmed that belief, with both sides creating a few chances, but failing to capitalise. Playing at a fast tempo, counter-attacks were in vogue, and defences were forced to regularly scramble to maintain order.
It was the Black Sticks with the best opportunities, but two first-half penalty corners – one after a savvy Stacey Michelsen review – were wasted. While Kelsey Smith proved dangerous attacking down the wings, England held strong, and started to grow into the contest.
They looked to have gone ahead in scrappy fashion, but their prospective opener was ruled out due to a back-of-the-stick infringement. They then nearly took advantage of a poor clearance from Black Sticks goalkeeper Sally Rutherford, but a promising opportunity was scuffed wide.
With their best efforts rebuffed, England found themselves on the back foot, with the Black Sticks enjoying a territory advantage, and putting more balls into the circle.
However, for a game with plenty of chances, neither side was clinical. England had a shot rattle off the crossbar, while both teams kept wasting gilt-edged opportunities via the penalty corner.
Eventually, it took until the final minutes to find a winner, where Michelsen earned a penalty corner, and Olivia Merry buried it into the back of the net to keep the Black Sticks' title dreams alive.
Black Sticks 1 (Olivia Merry)
The New Zealand Herald
Black Sticks edge past England 1-0 in tense semifinal at Hockey World League final
Olivia Merry celebrates after putting the Black Sticks in front. ALISHA LOVRICH/PHOTOSPORT
The Black Sticks women may have taken a while to get going, but they are now just one win away from claiming the Hockey World League title.
They edged past England 1-0 in their semifinal on Friday night at North Harbour Hockey Stadium in Auckland, and will now face either the Netherlands or South Korea in the decider on Sunday.
Olivia Merry converted a penalty corner with just over five minutes to go, and they held on from there to claim their second knockout win in a row, in a tournament where they began with three losses in pool play.
With a 1-0 win over England, the Black Sticks are into the decider at the Hockey World League final. ALISHA LOVRICH/PHOTOSPORT
The format of this event - where all eight teams advance to the quarterfinals - has its critics, but the Black Sticks have made the most of it, first coming from behind to beat Argentina in their quarterfinal on Wednesday, then backing up to do it again two days later.
Black Stick Kelsey Smith battles with England's Lily Owsley. ANDREW CORNAGA/PHOTOSPORT
Coach Mark Hager was in a happy mood afterwards, having seen his side emerge triumphant from a tense game.
"It was one of those games where we knew it was going to be tough," he said.
"They're a very good defensive team, they've got a good goalkeeper, and in the end we converted our one chance that we had to and they didn't, so that's the pleasing thing."
Captain Stacey Michelsen was influential in midfield for the Black Sticks. ALISHA LOVRICH/PHOTOSPORT
Captain Stacey Michelsen spoke prior to the tournament about the team's desire to overcome the semifinal hurdle, and she was instrumental in midfield as they did just that, creating several chances, including the one that led to the decisive penalty corner.
Driving from right to left across the top of the D, she then sent a ball in from left to right across goal, and that was when the ball hit an English foot.
The Black Sticks had dominated possession, and had won more penalty corners, but when it came to clear-cut chances, they had only really had one, just five minutes earlier.
England's Hollie Pearne-Webb and Black Stick Olivia Merry battle for the ball. ANDREW CORNAGA/PHOTOSPORT
Michelsen had attacked down the right, finding Erin Goad on the byline, who then sent the ball into Pippa Hayward, who was denied by England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch from dead in front.
England's best chance had come late in the third quarter, when Sophie Bray volleyed a shot into the bar, and they had also gone close just before halftime, when Sarah Haycroft scuffed a follow-up shot after Sally Rutherford had come off her line to make a block.
Otherwise, it was mostly "a battle between the two 25s, or the two circles," as Hager put it.
"We had a lot of ball down their end, but I don't think we did too much with it, so that's an area we've got to look at going forward," he said.
"In the end it's just pleasing that the girls hung in there, and that we never gave up."
The Netherlands take on South Korea in the second semifinal on Saturday night, which will mean the Black Sticks head into the final with an extra day's rest in their legs, just as they had for their semifinal.
Hager is expecting the Dutch to win, and he would like them to, so that his side can have a chance to avenge their 4-0 loss on the opening night of the tournament in the final [which starts at 8.15pm on Sunday].
"We'd love to play them again," he said.
"They're No 1 in the world, they're a very good side, they're very strong, and it will challenge us even more.
"They gave us a touch up in the first game, and as a coach and as players you'd like to have another go at them to see if we can improve on what we did last time."
South Korea also beat the Black Sticks earlier in the tournament, coming from behind to win 2-1, so whichever way the other semifinal goes, there will be no shortage of motivation for the decider.
Black Sticks 1 (Olivia Merry 55') England 0. HT: 0-0
Black Sticks one win away from completing a remarkable turnaround at World League final
Stacey Michelsen says the Black Sticks didn't panic, even as the score remained 0-0 late in their semifinal against England. ALISHA LOVRICH/PHOTOSPORT
It's amazing how quickly things can change.
Four days ago, the Black Sticks women had finished pool play at the Hockey World League final without a win to their name, and were facing a daunting quarterfinal against Argentina, who they weren't expected to beat.
But they did, 2-1, and on Friday they won again, 1-0 over England, and now they are in the decider, on Sunday night, against either the Netherlands or South Korea, who play late on Saturday.
In front of their home fans, at North Harbour Hockey Stadium in Auckland, they have a chance to emulate what Argentina did at this event two years ago, when they were the hosts. They too finished last in pool play, but turned it on once it became a case of do or die, eventually beating the Black Sticks in the final.
Whether it's the Dutch, who are ranked No 1 in the world, or South Korea, that they play on Sunday, the Black Sticks will have their work cut out.
But after the remarkable turnaround of the past four days, you can't say they don't have a chance.
Captain Stacey Michelsen acknowledged after the semifinal win that they had had a rocky start, but said it was pleasing that they had turned up in the important games.
"We all believed that we could make the final, but there were certainly a lot of signs at the start of the week to suggest that we wouldn't, so there was certainly a bit of relief amongst the excitement and happiness."
After emptying the tank to beat Argentina on Wednesday - they went behind after two minutes, but came back with two goals early in the second half - it was impressive that the Black Sticks were so assured from the start against England on Friday.
"That's something that we talked about over the last couple of days," said Michelsen, who was an influential figure in midfield.
"That it was a really awesome performance against Argentina, but we couldn't sit back and rest on that.
"We had to come out today and play the exact same way as we did. I think it's really pleasing that we did that and that we didn't just rest on our laurels and think it was going to happen."
The Black Sticks were in control for most of the semifinal, but didn't fashion many clear-cut chances, and they did feel the pressure building as the score remained 0-0 late on, said Michelsen.
"The important thing for us was we didn't panic, and we all sort of kept saying to each other, just keep doing what we're doing.
"We didn't need to change the tactics because we did have a lot of sustained pressure on their defence, and it's really pleasing that we were able to stay with our game plan, and that it worked in the end."
Olivia Merry's winning goal, from a penalty corner with five minutes to play, means the Black Sticks can now look forward to Sunday night, and a shot at silverware in front of a home crowd.
"It's something that we've never had before [at a major tournament], and it does definitely lift you, particularly in those dying minutes - it just gives you an extra boost," said Michelsen.
"I think everyone's really excited for that game."
Danson: "We'll come out fighting"
England Women World League Finals
England captain Alex Danson has vowed that the team will "come out fighting" in their Sentinel Homes World League Final bronze medal match.
A late strike from Olivia Merry was enough to see hosts New Zealand to a close win over England in their semi-final clash in front of a packed and loud North Harbour Stadium crowd.
England will face either the Netherlands or Korea in the bronze medal match, which will be played at 5am on Sunday morning.
Captain Alex Danson said: “I'm very, very proud of the team, we never stopped running the entire game, we gave it everything we could and didn't stop running until the last minute.
"We’ve made some big strides through this tournament. We battled against a strong New Zealand side and despite being on the wrong side of the result we will come out fighting for the bronze medal.
"This team has the skill, speed and strength of character to bounce back, learn and come back stronger."
After the match head coach Danny Kerry said: “Credit to New Zealand who deserved their win today. We tried some new things with a big year ahead of us in 2018 with the Commonwealth Games and World Cup in London.
“The experience of that semi-final, against a home team, is gold dust and will help the athletes understand the moments and margins at this level.”
England Hockey Board Media release
2017 Men's Asian Challenge
HKG v BRU 11 - 0
TPE v MYA 4 - 2
|1||Hong Kong China||1||1||0||0||11||0||11||3|
Want to see India in top 3 World Rank: Sjoerd Marijne
Bhubaneswar: Dutchman and coach of the India men’s hockey team might have struck gold in his maiden assignment at Asia Cup, but he still has a lot to deliver. Preparing up for the Hockey World League Finals in Bhubaneswar, the coach who replaced Roelant Oltmans, another Dutchman, wants to see India in the top three of World Rankings. A tall order, but his optimism cannot be doubted.
“When I became the coach, I sat with the players asking what do we want to do as a team. I told them we should try to go high on the ranking – we want to go to the first three positions in the world rankings. That is what we are aiming for and this tournament can be a good start,” the coach said on the sidelines of the practice session.
Marijne, who has so far tried to keep minimal changes in the coaching style in order to avoid any last minute confusion and hiccups among the players, is happy with the way the team has shaped up since the Asia Cup.
“The preparations is not very different. For Asia Cup, I had two week to know the team, This time, I got three weeks but players had also participated in a lot of domestic tournaments. So, we focussed on recovery and fitness. Body and mind should be fresh before every tournament and there should be an unending hunger for the ball,” he said.
"Hockey World Finals will see eight of the world’s best teams participating and though Argentina is world number 1, each team will be a challenge".
“I am focussing on our team and I am not busy thinking about others. We are working hard. Our desire is to get medals in the tournament. In the last two practice days, we have given a lot of emphasis on structure. If the structure is good, it will be difficult for the opponents to score goal.”
On the frequent changing of coaches in India, he said, “That is something I can’t control. I am working as hard as I can. If I am doing that really that good, I might stay longer. I don’t feel any pressure.
"I am busy with performance not outcomes. Outcomes add pressure,” said he in a crowded interaction with media after a strenuous practice session.
I expect India to be in Final: Korean Coach Shin Seok Kyo
Bhubaneswar: In his heydays, Shin Seok Kyo would never allow India even a token goal in major tournaments. He was a solid defender who had Asia's best midfield to back him. The Koreans of his times gave torrid time to India and Pakistan to finish their superiority. Much water has flowed down the rivers in the last decade. The same Korean hero, who is in charge of Korean men's team now, predicts India to reach the finals of HWL Finals. And, Pakistan could not qualify for the HWL Finals. Times have indeed changed a lot.
Times have changed so much that Pakistan, which is another side so low in its form, whipped the Koreans 6-3 in the Dhaka Asia Cup bronze medal match recently.
But the Koreans are not disappointed. They want to improve. They are here in India.
“This is part of our preparations for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. We have 20 players out of which 10 are experienced players and will play the Asian Games while 10 other players are young and we want to test these youngsters with this exposure,” stated Shin Seok Kyo, Chief Coach of Korean Men’s Team.
Though the Korean Team is not among the eight participating teams at the Odisha Men's Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017, they will play friendly matches at the Kalinga Stadium against East Coast Railway Team on November 26 and November 30 and also play a friendly against World No.1 Argentina on November 28th. They will also conduct three training sessions at the Kalinga Stadium starting Saturday for their squad.
“These are high level matches for us. Playing a friendly match against Argentina is a big exposure for many of our players and I hope this will help in our preparation for Asian Games which is Olympic Qualifier. I believe the local team we are playing against also has very talented players and it will benefit both teams".
"We also stay for the first three days of the tournament so we will get to watch all eight teams play matches,” added the Coach who is also a former fullback for the Korean national team. At the recently held Hero Asia Cup 2017, Korea missed a berth to Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, as they finished fourth in the tournament. They drew 1-1 against India in the Super 4s and eventually missed the Bronze medal as they lost to Pakistan 3-6.
On asked who according to him is the favourite to win the tournament, he said, “All eight teams are even but I look to see India in the Final."
Taapsee, Angad enjoy lunch with Sandeep Singh
Actors Taapsee Pannu and Angad Bedi, who are currently in Shahbad, Punjab, to shoot for their next film on Sandeep Singh enjoyed a meal with the Indian hockey player.
Angad and Taapsee took time off and were met with warm hospitality at Sandeep’s house where they were greeted by his entire family, including his brother, wife, parents and kids. Apart from talking about the film, they also spoke about his personal experiences as a professional sports player. The actors were extremely happy with the love they got from Sandeep’s family.
“Going to Sandeep’s place was long due. Luckily, we were shooting in the same area where he lives so we decided to go n meet the entire family in person. Though we had met them before briefly on set, it was a good experience meeting them over lunch.
“They are very warm and sweet family and they cooked some amazing paranthas for us. It almost felt similar to how I feel when I visit my extended family members in Punjab. Smaller cities always have people with bigger hearts,” Taapsee said in a statement.
The film is being directed by Shaad Ali.
Source: Shillong times
Arjuna awardee Sandeep Singh made headlines when he made a successful return to the hockey field after being hit by a bullet in a freak incident. He was seriously injured after being hit by an accidental gunshot in Shatabadi Express in August 2006 while he was on his way to join the national team due to leave for the Monchengladbach World Cup in Germany two days later. Sandeep was almost paralysed and on wheel chair for two years. He not only recovered from the serious injury, but also made a stunning comeback and established himself in the Indian team. His four goals in India's 8-1 win over France in the Olympic Qualifer made him a hero, even as his state govt presented him with about Rs.50 lac prize money for the effort.
All rounders Deepika and Poonam Rani back in the reckoning
New Delhi: Injured and out of action all rounders Poonam Rani and Deepkia are back in reckoning, as Hockey India announces 33 players for the Indian Women’s National Camp which will begin in Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru starting November 26.
The Women’s Team recently created history as they won the Women’s Asia Cup 2017 beating China in the Final. Their exuberant performance not only won them the qualification for Women’s World Cup to be played in London next year but it also helped them climb up the FIH World Ranking to a commendable 10th place.
But the team does not want to rest on the laurels of the Asia Cup. Chief Coach Harendra Singh said, “2018 is a very crucial year for Indian hockey. Through our performance in Asia Cup we climbed the world ranking but Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Cup are big tournaments and our training is focused on doing well in these events.”
The team’s aim will be to finish on the podium in at least the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games and Chief Coach emphasized that the national camp will be all about improving speed and strength. “Our aim is to finish in the Final of the Commonwealth Games and also qualify for the 2020 Olympics by winning the Asian Games. The Coaching staff has identified the team’s short comings during Asia Cup and we will work on improving in those areas. Another important aspect will be improving our speed and strength during this month-long camp. We will also be testing a few junior players and see how they keep up with the demands of Senior Women’s Hockey,” Singh added.
1. Savita Punia
2. Rajani Etimarpu
4. Deep Grace Ekka
5. P Sushila Chanu
6. Sunita Lakra
7. Gurjit Kaur
8. Hnialum Lal Ruat Feli
9. Navdeep Kaur
10. Rashmita Minz
11. Neelu Dadiya
12. Namita Toppo
13. Nikki Pradhan
15. Karishma Yadav
16. Renuka Yadav
17. Navjot Kaur
19. Lilima Minz
20. Neha Goyal
22. M Lily Chanu
23. Nilanjali Rai
24. Rani Rampal
25. Vandana Katariya
26. Preeti Dubey
27. Reena Khokhar
28. Anupa Barla
31. Poonam Rani
32. Navneet Kaur
33. Navpreet Kaur
Hockey India names 33 players for women’s national camp
New Delhi: Hockey India on Saturday named 33 players for the Indian women’s national camp to begin in Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru, from November 26.
The players will report to Indian women’s hockey team’s chief coach Harendra Singh and will train together till December 23.
The women’s team recently created history by winning the Asia Cup 2017 after beating China in the final.
Their exuberant performance not only won them the qualification for women’s World Cup to be played in London next year but it also helped them climb up the FIH World Ranking to a commendable 10th position.
“The year 2018 is crucial for Indian hockey. Through our performance in Asia Cup we climbed the world ranking but Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Cup are big tournaments and our training is focused on doing well in these events,” chief coach Harendra said.
The team’s aim will be to finish on the podium in at least the Commonwealth Games or the Asian Games.
“Our aim is to finish in the final of the Commonwealth Games and also qualify for the 2020 Olympics by winning the Asian Games. The coaching staff has identified the team’s shortcomings during Asia Cup and we will work on improving in those areas.
“Another important aspect will be improving our speed and strength during this month-long camp. We will also be testing a few junior players and see how they keep up with the demands of senior women’s hockey,” Harendra said.
Goalkeepers: Savita, Rajani Etimarpu, Swati; Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, P Sushila Chanu, Sunita Lakra, Gurjit Kaur, Hnialum Lal, Ruat Feli, Navdeep Kaur, Rashmita Minz, Neelu Dadiya; Midfielders: Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Deepika, Karishma Yadav, Renuka Yadav, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Udita, M Lily Chanu, Nilanjali Rai; Forwards: Rani Rampal, Vandana Katariya, Preeti Dubey, Reena Khokhar, Anupa Barla, Sonika, Lalremsiami, Poonam Rani, Navneet Kaur, Navpreet Kaur.
Ex-Olympians invited again for hockey revival
Khokhar says taking pragmatic steps to prosper players, national game
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar once again invited former Olympians and greats to join hands for the national cause and stop the blame game.
Addressing the press conference here at his office along with secretary Olympian Shahbaz Senior and treasurer Ikhlaq Usmani, Khokhar said: “We don’t have any magic lamp to turn the fortunes of hockey overnight. It is my open challenge to all the conspirators to prove even a single penny corruption or embezzlement against me. If proven, I will immediately quit.
“I always respected the Olympians and requested them to come forward and join hands with the federation to help Pakistan regain past glory. But they never understand our goodwill gesture and started using foul language, but even then, I stopped all my colleagues from responding and urged them to use patience and still, I am inviting to help us taking hockey to new heights,” he added.
The PHF chief said although the national team is not producing good results, but let him assure all once again that the federation has been working on fresh talent and grooming them by providing international matches. “It is a long process, which will take time and then the team will start producing better results.
“When I took over, the players were not even getting diets and dailies while international tours were far cry. In two years time, I not only provided them with international exposure and jobs, but also worked on fresh talent. We placed U-18 team in Australia, which won gold medal. I am now planning to start PMDC academy very soon and 50 percent of kids will be from our employees’ families and remaining 50 from the entire country,” he added.
He said the PC-I for installing/replacing old astroturf’s at Quetta, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Wah and Peshawar has been approved and soon work will start. “We have conducted the PHF audit from private company and also written letters to AGPR to audit our accounts, which is a clear prove that I want to keep the things transparent. I have requested the Sindh CM to allocate Rs 100 million annually for the PHF, which he, very kindly, accepted and also assured laying down of fresh destoturf and Astroturf at more venues, besides having already top class venues at six different places in Sindh.”
Khokhar said Netherlands top goalkeeping coach is arriving to coach the selected Pakistani goalkeepers and it will help the federation in getting better goalkeepers for the national team, who may exhibit their prowess in the Asian and Commonwealth Games. “We have set vision 2020 for streamlining things and started getting results. I can assure you all that in the next two years, the green shirts would be on right track.
“I would once again like to add that we have been working tirelessly day and night for the betterment of hockey . Only one certain group of one certain province has issues with us, but we have decided to conduct open trials at Mardan on November 30 for U-16 fresh talent. I want to provide equal, free and fair opportunities to each and every youth of the country.
“We got the NOC from Interior Ministry for both World XI and Pakistan Hockey League. The Hall of Fame/World XI will arrive on January 10 next year and play three matches with Pakistan team at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. We wanted to play in Rawalpindi, but so many things forced us to change the venue. We will play shorter format matches, just to provide fun and it would open floodgates of international hockey to Pakistan,” he added.
When asked about Indian players’ inclusion in the PHL, the PHF chief said: “Personally, I would love to have them in the league, as it would help bridge the gaps between both the countries and help further enhance people-to-people contacts, but we have to follow government directions for Indian players.”
“The Naseer Bunda astroturf will be replaced very soon, as Islamabad is well-known for pulling massive crowds, so replacement of astroturf will help us a great deal. I promise that Pakistan team will rise from the ashes. I request all to wait and see, as the time will come and Pakistan team will excel once again.
“Australian coach will be coming soon to train Pakistani team. Our players can fight for the first two or may be three quarters, but they struggle in the later stages of the match. We are focusing on that area, that’s why we have hired Australian coach for this particular purpose. The time is not far when our players will deliver and excel at higher level,” Khokhar concluded.
Five seniors among 24 in the Podium Programme
PETALING JAYA: They may be past 30 but are still key members of the national hockey team.
So it comes as no surprise that S. Kumar, 39; Razie Abdul Rahman, 31; Mohd Sukri Abdul Mutalib, 32; Nabiq Fiqri Mohd Noor, 31; and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil, 32; are among 24 players named by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) for the Podium Programme.
MHC chose the players after a joint meeting with the National Sports Institute (NSI) yesterday.
The two youngest players in national coach Stephen Van Huizen’s team are 22-year-olds Nor Syafiq Sumantri and Nik Muhd Aman Nik Rozemi.
Podium Programme director Tim Newenham was pleased with the mix of young and old in the team, who are gearing up for two multi-sport Games next year – the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, in April and the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, in August.
“We had a very productive planning meeting with hockey today. We looked at the areas where sports science could make the biggest improvement to the players’ performance,” he said.
“There will also be physical screenings of the players’ movements and right through to media training.
“We believe that the extra sports science input would make a difference alongside sports medicine and combined planning.”
Newenham hopes to see hockey making its mark at the Commonwealth Games and Asiad.
“We’re looking at hockey to contribute to the target of finishing as the top 10 nations in both these major Games,” he said.
“We also believe that we will be able to work with hockey during this time to help it achieve another target – building a performance system that will lead to sustained success in the future. “
The Podium Programme aims to help the national hockey team qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after an absence of 20 years.
The Star of Malaysia
Pahang to face Selangor in final
By S. Ramaguru
Back off: Armed Forces’ Siti Rahmah Othman (left) vying for the ball with Pahang’s Fatin Naimah Zaki during the women’s Razak Cup semi-finals at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium yesterday. — Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR: It will be a Pahang-Selangor final in the women’s Razak Cup hockey tournament.
Defending champions Pahang strolled into their second consecutive final after shooting down Armed Forces 2-0 in the semi-finals at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Pahang went 1-0 up when national forward Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohamed scored off a penalty corner set piece in the 19th minute.
Siti Zulaika Hussin extended their lead in the 30th minute with a field goal.
Selangor, meanwhile, had to come back twice to snatch a 3-2 in over host Kuala Lumpur in the other semi-final.
KL went ahead through Nor Azlin Sumantri in the 19th minute but Selangor equalised through Fatin Shafika Mohd Shukri in the 30th minute.
A minute later KL went ahead again, this time through Nur Syafiqah Mohamed Zain.
Selangor hit back in double quick time as Nur Atira Mohd Ismail scored a brace in the 33rd and 34th minutes.
Pahang, who Armed Forces 4-0 last year, are on course for their second straight title.
Pahang coach Benedict Arrais was happy with his team’s display although they played below par against Forces.
“We did not play a good game today. The players were slow. They’re probably tired due to the week-long matches. We also missed some good penalty corners chances.
“We had six penalty corners, but only scored from one. That’s simply not good enough. We need to work on this area before the final on Sunday,” he said.
Armed Forces head coach Sgt Azizan Mustafa admitted that it was always going to be uphill task against the vastly experienced Pahang side.
“Unfortunately, we lost to Pahang again. I’m happy with our performance. We had our fair share of scoring opportunities. So we only have ourselves to blame for the loss.
“We should have done better and not give them too much respect,” he said.
The Star of Malaysia
YM look to take down Dale in repeat of key EYHL promotion battle
Annadale’s Rhiley Carr. Pic: Deryck Vincent
YMCA will have a glint in their eye when they try and take down Annadale, the side that was instrumental in blocking their path to the EYHL, in the second round of the Irish Senior Cup.
Back then, Callum Robson’s last minute winner saw Dale win out 2-1, a goal that put them through to the last round of promotion playoffs with YM bowing out.
Since the spring, Dale have made a good start to life back in the national division with Peter Caruth guiding them to seven points and a marquee win over Monkstown last Saturday.
Whether he can play a part will depend on an injury sustained in the latter part of that game. Without him, the side will look to the experience of David Smyth at the back and the superb range of passes of Australian Rhiley Carr to set swift counters in motion.
YM, meanwhile, are in free-scoring mode in Leinster’s Division One with Ben Campbell and Grant Glutz combining for 22 goals already this campaign. They also have the boost of the three-point deduction against them annulled by the branch which means they are right in the mix at the top of the table.
Another Leinster side keen to show they are able to rise to the EYHL level is UCD who make a short hop across to Monkstown. Indeed, the students beat Railway Union 3-2 in midweek to advance to the next round of the Neville Cup.
Andrew Meates turned in Andy Keane’s pass from a corner break-out move for 1-0. Simon McKeever levelled from a corner before Iain Styles touched in a crash ball for a 2-1 lead.
Mark English’s reverse equalised once again but Andrew Tutty’s corner push won the tie. In the UCD side, there is a half-dozen former Monkstown players in the line-up who will relish having a pop at their former club.
For Monkstown, Gareth Watkins has been back in light training for the first time this season while Geoff Cole is out of a cast but the tie may be a little early for both.
Railway, for their part, go up to Lisnagarvey looking to make life difficult, something they did in their recent league meeting before falling 2-0 to high quality third quarter goals.
Three Rock and Cookstown meet for a second successive week with both sides welcoming back a few players for the tie at Grange Road.
For Rovers, Daragh Walsh missed the 4-1 win last week due to exams while Richard Pautz and Harry Morris are also back. For Cookstown, Keith Black, Scott McCabe and Andy Barbour could return.
It is a busy weekend for Rovers with Cork C of I coming to Dublin on Sunday for an EY Hockey League match brought forward from December.
C of I welcome a rugged Kilkeel side who always make life difficult for higher ranked sides in the Irish Senior Cup. The coastal Co Down side already made their first ever Kirk Cup final in midweek and would love to add another cup run to their list.
Pembroke and Glenanne will be big favourites despite being on the road to Ulster, facing Premier League mid-table sides South Antrim and Queens. Mossley, third in Ulster, face sixth placed Belfast Harlequins.
In Leinster, there are a couple of league ties on the agenda with Avoca looking to get back to winning ways when they host Weston. Clontarf take on Dublin North.
Men’s fixtures (Saturday unless stated)
Irish Senior Cup, second round: Annadale v YMCA, 2.30pm, Strathearn School; Cork C of I v Kilkeel, 2.30pm, Garryduff; Lisnagarvey v Railway Union, 3pm, Comber Road; Monkstown v UCD, 2.15pm, Merrion Fleet Arena; Mossley v Belfast Harlequins, 2.30pm, The Glade; Queens University v Glenanne, 2.30pm, Malone; South Antrim v Pembroke Wanderers, 2.30pm, Friends School; Three Rock Rovers v Cookstown, 3pm, Grange Road
EY Hockey League (Sunday): Pembroke Wanderers v Railway Union, 2.30pm, Serpentine Avenue; Three Rock Rovers v Cork C of I, 3.30pm, Grange Road
Leinster Division One: Avoca v Weston, 12.45pm, Newpark; Clontarf v Dublin North, 2.15pm, Mount Temple
Munster Peard Cup, first round: Ashton v Limerick, 3.15pm, Ashton School; Bandon v Cork Harlequins, 1pm, Bandon GS
Edinburgh Uni host Uddingston to round off Men’s National League 1
Photo by Mark Pugh
The first part of the Scottish Men’s National league 1 campaign is done and dusted, Grange head the division with a three point lead over champions Bromac Kelburne, but Edinburgh University and Uddingston meet for the second time in a week in a catch-up fixture at Peffermill for the sole remaining encounter.
The students are presently in fifth place in the table, but seven points adrift of Western Wildcats for a place in the top four, three points from this weekend`s encounter would go a long way to narrowing that gap.
Despite the usual annual changes in personnel coach Graham Moodie has managed to steer a steady ship with three wins, draws and defeats. But the coach was optimistic about his charges’ record so far this season.
“We have had a positive first half of the league season so far, we are also top of our British Universities league. There have been some good performances in the league and overall we have played some good hockey.”
The students have put in some good performances, a 2-2 draw away at Grove Menzieshill, a 5-1 defeat of Hillhead and the recent convincing 3-0 win over Wildcats were the highlights, and however there were some indifferent results mixed in.
Ironically University played the Lanarkshire team last Saturday with a 3-3 draw the final outcome.
On that Moodie said: “That game was very tight and both teams will feel that they could have won.
“We have some key players returning from injury this weekend which strengthens our squad and we aim to learn from last week and to finish this half with a win.”
There is no shortage of firepower in the Edinburgh ranks – 28 goals in nine outings is proof of that, and only top sides Grange and Bromac Kelburne have scored more. Chief striker is South African Davyn Keuter with ten, he was recruited at the start of the season from second division Dunfermline Carnegie, while Ewen Mackie and David Mawhinney have pitched in with three each.
Photo by Mark Pugh
Uddingston`s Tom Hyndman is also anxious for the three points that would take his side away from the relegation play-off spots to a mid-table situation. The Lanarkshire side are presently in second bottom place with only one win and six points, but curiously they have held both Grange and Kelburne to high scoring draws on their own patch.
On last weekend`s encounter, Hyndman said: “We were ahead twice in the game but then lost two goals from penalty corners, while at the other end we failed to score from our set pieces as our best flicker was on the bench every time we were awarded one.
“Should we convert our penalty corners along with avoiding giving away cheap ones ourselves, I see no reason for not taking all the points this weekend.”
A win for Uddingston would lift them to nine points and level with Clydesdale and Hillhead before the winter shutdown.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Telkom test varsity students in hockey league tie
By BRIAN YONGA
Telkom players celebrate a goal against Strathmore University Scorpions during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match on November 19, 2017 at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Champions Telkom take on United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Spartans Sunday in a top-of-the-table Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League match at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi.
The fixture is one of 11 matches set for this weekend in Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru.
Men’s Premier League leaders Kenya Police take on USIU men’s team Saturday evening looking to move 15 points clear, while in Mombasa, Mvita and Mombasa Sports Club face off in a local derby in the second tier men’s league.
Fresh from their hard-fought 3-2 win against arch-rivals Strathmore University Scorpions last weekend, Telkom face second-placed Spartans, who have turned out to be their main rivals for the title this season.
Telkom lead the table with 42 points, eight ahead of the students and a win will move them closer to a record breaking 20th league crown.
Telkom conceded their first goal of the league after keeping a clean sheet for 13 matches and coach Jos Openda admits his charges will need another big performance.
“Scorpions pushed us all the way last weekend and we expect another tough duel against USIU. We therefore need to rise up to the occasion and show our might,” Openda said Friday spoiling for a fight.
Telkom’s Audrey Omaido, who leads the scoring charts with 18 goals, has not scored in three matches and will be aiming to end the goal drought.
Her strike partner Jackline Mwangi (17goals), scored the opener against the Scorpions.
Spartans coach Willis Okeyo is well aware that the match is a must-win for his team and believes that Scorpions exposed Telkom’s defensive flaws.
“We have had a good season with the only blot been a loss against Telkom in the first leg. We want to avenge that loss,” Okeyo said.
Spartans’ striker Rhoda Kuira, who is on 16 goals, will lead her team’s forward.
Spartans lost the first leg encounter 10-0 on March 26, 2017. Runaway leaders Police will take a huge step in reclaiming the title they last won in 2013 with a win against USIU.
The law enforcers are on a roll winning 19 out of the 20 matches played so far this season, and are yet to lose a match.
Kennath Kaunda’s charges were ruthless in their 4-0 win against Parkroad Badgers last weekend, and Kaunda will want more of the same this afternoon.
“We are not relenting and the goal is to try and win all the matches this season and be crowned champions,” he said.
Fixtures (All matches at City Park Stadium unless stated)
Premier Women: UON v JKUAT- 12noon
National Men: Gorilla v Impala -2pm, Mvita v MSC –Mombasa (3pm)
Premier Men: Sikh Union v Chase Sailors – 4pm, Kenya Police v USIU- 6pm
Premier Women: Vikings v Multimedia- 9am, USIU v Telkom – 11am
National Men: Wazalendo Masters v Parkroad Tigers – 1pm
Premier Men: Nakuru v KCA-U(9am) – Nakuru, Parkroad Badgers v Wazalendo – 3pm, USIU v Parklands – 5pm
Union’s council announces dates for national polls
By BRIAN YONGA
Kenya Hockey Union chairman Nashon Randiek. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
The Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) national elections will be held on December 16 at the Sikh Union Club, Nairobi.
The National Governing Council that met last weekend agreed on the date that will see the union hold its first election since conforming to the 2013 Sports Act.
Ten positions will be up for grabs among them chairman, two vice chairperson, secretary general, vice secretary and match and fixtures secretary. Others are match and fixtures vice secretary, treasurer, assistant treasurer and public relations officer.
The Sports Act restricts all officials in sports federations to hold office fora maximum of two terms meaning a number of the current officials of KHU are eligible for re-election.
The affiliates namely Nairobi, Coast, Central, Nakuru, Nyanza, Western, Rift Valley and Kenya Hockey Umpires Association will each have two votes.
KHU chairman Nashon Randiek, who has confirmed that he will seek another term in office, revealed that the election process will begin with the affiliates starting December 1 and will culminate in the national process.
“This is an important exercise as per our constitution and we hope that everyone involved will play their role in ensuring that all goes according to plan,” he said. The current office’s tenure is four years as per the union’s constitution.
The election were due to be held on October 28 but were postponed due to the Africa Cup of Nations which were held In Ismailia, Egypt from October 22-29.
During the last election held on July 28, 2013, Randiek was elected unopposed for the chairman’s position taking over from the retiring Resham Bains.
Kisumu Simba Union’s Parminder ‘Kake’ Saini was elected the first vice chairperson replacing the elevated Randiek, while veteran broadcaster Elynah Shiveka successfully defended the second vice chairperson’s seat unopposed.
Already, Nairobi Hockey Association’s Tom Olal has confirmed that he will vie for the secretary general’s post. Olal lost out to Davinder Bharij during the last polls by four votes.
Elsewhere, Greensharks regained second place in the KHU men’s Premier League after a 2-0 win over Chase Sailors in a mid-week league encounter on Wednesday night at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi.
A brace from Chris Wokila fired Sharks to victory moving them to 46 points, 12 behind leaders Kenya Police.
GB men ditching the razors in the name of charity
While they may appear serious on the pitch, Great Britain men are also proving they also have plenty of fun off it as they take part in Movember 2017.
Mikey Hoare, George Pinner, Sam Ward, Chris Grassick, Harry Martin, Dan Kyriakides, Adam Dixon, James Albery, David Condon, Chris Griffith and Jonty Griffiths – as well as assistant coach Russell Garcia - have also chosen to 'Grow a Mo’ to raise money for men’s health.
The tradition of growing a moustache for the Movember Foundation has become a common sight across the world over the past few years, in particular amongst athletes - New Zealand’s ‘All Blacks’ and Australia’s cricketers regularly sport their own variations.
The hockey stars have already raised £1,591 at the time of writing - more than three times their initial target of £500 - to help raise awareness of issues that Pinner and his team-mates take very seriously.
The England and GB goalkeeper said: “It is obviously a fantastic cause, not just for men’s physical health but mental health as well.
“It has been a popular topic in the press about the mental pressure we as athletes can go under. So that was big for us about the mental health as well as the physical side as well.
“Mikey Hoare suggested it and, although I have done a bit more of the admin, in fairness he has raised an incredible amount and so have the other guys.
“We have a week of growth to go and another week and a half for people to donate. It is a fantastic cause and we are glad to get behind as a group and we have had a good laugh along the way as well.”
The players have certainly received plenty of feedback about their efforts both from their team-mates and on social media, with Pinner suggesting that some efforts had been much more successful than others.
“Last week ‘Italian’ was the feedback I got, as well as ‘slight RAF bomber’,” he said.
“Adam Dixon has a great one – his comes very naturally as a sheriff. Dave Condon is another top effort and Harry Martin with his little round glasses looks like a professor from some kind of Indiana Jones film.
“There have been some really good ones and then there is Sam Ward and Albery who are really trying their best but are not making much progress!”
With six days of the month remaining there is still plenty of time to show your support to our athletes. Click here for more information on the Movember Foundation.
For more information on the team’s efforts click here or check out their individual Twitter and Instagram pages.
England Hockey Board Media release
Marist duo offered New Zealand scholarships
Liam Bentley (left) and Dale Johansen (right) showing their scholarship documents with Paul Frazer in Suva yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI
FIJIAN MARIST Hockey Club players Liam Bentley and Dale Johansen have been offered a one-year scholarship to study at Mount Roskill Grammar School in Auckland, New Zealand next year.
Johansen, who is from Taveuni, said he was surprised when he was awarded the scholarship.
"I was really excited after getting the scholarship in New Zealand as I was not expecting to get it," he said.
"It means a lot to me and my family. New Zealand will offer a lot to us in terms of developing our skills to have a great future in hockey. I started playing hockey for Marist four years ago and it has rewarded me."
Bentley was carrying his family tradition forward since his father Je'an Bentley also played hockey for Fiji.
"It is a proud moment to get the scholarship," he said.
"I will work harder and become a good hockey player."
Marist Hockey Club official Paul Fraser said the duo had bright future in hockey.
"We managed to get them the contract through club contacts and the duo did very well in hockey competition this year and we thought there would not be a lot of opportunities in Fiji so we decided to send them to New Zealand," Fraser said.
"They have a great potential to go further in their hockey career."
The Fiji Times