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News for 19 December 2017

All the news for Tuesday 19 December 2017

Goalkeeper Kumar in shock over positive drug test

By Aftar Singh

Shocking revelation: Malaysian Hockey Confederation president Datuk Subahan Kamal speaking during the press conference to announce the positive drug test of national goalkeeper S. Kumar (right) yesterday. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: National hockey goalkeeper S. Kumar has failed a doping test.

The 38-year-old Tampin-born player was tested positive for sibutramine after the group match against Oman in the Asia Cup hockey tournament in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in October.

Sibutramine is an appetite suppressant which has been banned by the World Anti Doping Agency. It was widely marketed and prescribed as an adjunct in the treatment of obesity along with diet and exercise.

It is the same substance taken by diver Wendy Ng Yan Yee in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation president Datuk Subahan Kamal said in a press conference that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) informed the national body in a letter dated Dec 12.

“We feel sad for Kumar. He has represented the country 295 times in the last 18 years. He has gone through doping test more than 10 times in tournaments and the results have always been negative,” said Subahan.

“We are not sure how the substance was found in his body.

“He is our top keeper and we need his services for the Commonwealth Games (in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15), Asian Games (in Jakarta from Aug 18-Sept 2) and also the World Cup (in Bhubaneswar, India, from Nov 28 to Dec 16).

“Kumar will provisionally be suspended for two years. He will be dropped from the Podium Programme in January,” said Subahan.

“Kumar has decided not to have the B sample tested but instead wants an early hearing. We will reply to FIH tomorrow and we’ll help Kumar clear his name.

“We will support him 100% and we hope he will get a fair hearing. We want to expedite his case as we badly need his services in our quest to win the gold at the Asian Games,” said Subahan.

Kumar will be represented by lawyer Jadadish Chandra and the Anti Doping Agency of Malaysia (Adamas) for the hearing.

Jadadish was the lawyer who represented badminton player Lee Chong Wei when he was tested postive for the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone during the World Cham-pionships in 2015.

Kumar, who was named the best goalkeeper in the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in London in June, said he is still in a state of shock.

“I am puzzled as I never used any supplements other than those provided by the National Sports Institute.

“I have a clean record in my career. I have never cheated ... I’m ready to face the hearing.”

The Star of Malaysia

Van Huizen has a back-up plan


National hockey squad head coach, Stephen Van Huizen has revealed that he has a back-up plan. FILE PIC

KUALA LUMPUR: National hockey squad head coach, Stephen Van Huizen has revealed that he has a back-up plan, A ‘plan B’ in facing the situation involving national goalkeeper, S. Kumar who is temporarily suspended for two years after he tested positive in a doping test during the Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh last October.

Van Huizen explained that in Kumar’s absence, he hopes other goalkeepers like Hafizuddin Othman and Hairi Abdul Rahman will perform and are able to fill the void left by the 38-year-old veteran goalkeeper.

"As the coach, for sure I have a ‘plan B’ if anything shocking happens such as this.

"Kumar has contributed a lot to Malaysian hockey. If he was not implicated in the doping case, then for sure the time would come for him to retire anyway.

"So I had to be prepared to face any possibility that could arise,” he said.

Van Huizen added that goalkeepers such as Hafizuddin and Hairi need to seize such an opportunity as best they can when called upon to play at major tournaments and championships in Kumar’s absence.

"It’s not that we do not want Kumar, but at present with him being suspended, I hope Hafizuddin and Hairi will be ready for next year’s assignments such as the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and the Commonwealth Games,” he said.

Van Huizen added that personally he was shocked with what has happened to Kumar.

"He is the most senior player in the team and acts as a mentor to the other younger players. Whatever it is, we respect the decision made by the International Hockey Federation (FIH)," he said.

Kumar does not want to challenge the findings by taking the B sample, instead he wants to proceed with the hearing which is scheduled to take place in January, to defend himself as he hopes for a lighter sentence so that he can return to action with the national squad as soon as possible.

New Straits Times

National Hockey Championships: Victories for SSGC, FFC, SNGPL, FATA & Sindh

Closely fought contests were witnessed in the three matches involving the departmental sides in the 64th National Hockey Championships in Sukkur.

-Mubashar scored both the goals for Sui Southern Gas Company in their 2-1 win over Navy.
For Sailors, lanky Asad Aziz scored

-Newly raised Fauji Fertilisers Company, appearing in the nationals for the first time, downed Police by the same score of 2-1
Yaqoob and highly promising Wasim Akram found the target for the FFC.
Mohammad Mateen was the lone scorer for the Police

-In a high scoring duel, the youthful Sui Northern Gas Pakistan Limited downed Air Force 5-3
Ghulam Abbas & Ayub Ali both had a brace for the SNGPL while Rana Waheed scored one goal .
For Air Force, Mudassar, Adnan and Anees shared the goals.

The two matches between the provincial sides turned out to be one sided.
FATA defeated Islamabad 3-0
SCORERS: Yaar Jamal 2, Abdul Haneef

Hosts Sindh defeated Baluchistan 4-1
Sindh: Aamer, Yasir, Ismaeel & Abdullah
Baluchistan: Mohammad Aslam

PHF Media release

PHF keen to hire foreign coach as Farhat calls it quits

Mohammad Yaqoob

LAHORE: National hockey coach and Olympian Farhat Khan has resigned from his post, citing other pressing assignments including his duties as a Customs official.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has started making efforts to hire his replacement, possibly a foreign coach, for the national team.

Talking to Dawn, Farhat confirmed that he had informed about his decision to the PHF President Brig. (retd.) Sajjad Khokhar who has accepted his decision and has relieved him.

“I have been promoted in my Customs department and finding it difficult to spare much time for coaching,” said Farhat. “But I am still available for the PHF for any other assignment for which I can spare time easily.”

Farhat was appointed as head coach in July this year in place of Khawaja Junaid after the dismal performance of the Pakistan team in the World Hockey League. Pakistan did manage to qualify for the next year’s World Cup but not on their performance but mainly due to the revised rules of FIH which increased the number of the participating countries from 12 to 16 in its 2018 edition, which will be held in India.

Farhat, during his stint with the team, however failed to perform any miracles. Pakistan finished at third place in the continental contest of Asia Cup held in Bangladesh last September .

“It is not an easy job to prepare a formidable team for international contests because although our players have the talent, they lack in commitment, passion and hard work which are the basic factors that could make help a team become world beaters,” Farhat said.

“But my best wishes are with the Pakistan team and hopefully the PHF will devise solid plans and strategies that could bring success for the team in the future,” Farhat said.

He said World Cup was not far away and efforts should be launched on war-footing to ensure the national team’s success in the mega event.

Meanwhile, when contacted PHF president Khokhar said he had accepted Farhat’s request to relieve him from the job and the federation would soon be annou­ncing the new set up of the team.

To a question, Sajjad said the PHF was considering some foreign coaches for the job and would announce the final name soon. “The PHF has been trying to put the national game on track and the decision on the next coach will be purely taken on merit,” he said.

When asked if the foreign coaches being considered for the job had coached any national team of any country in the past, the PHF president said at this moment he could not disclose any information as nothing had been finalised.

To a question he admitted that a high-profile coach was essential to take guard of the national team and hopefully the PHF would soon done a deal with a suitable one.

There are reports that former captain of German hockey team Christine Blunck has also been approached and is most likely to be the next head coach of Pakistan hockey team.

Blunck led the German team to a gold medal in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. However, he has never coached any team from any country but as a player he enjoyed a very good reputation.

Blunck had toured Pakistan in May last year to meet the hockey players who had played during his playing days in the 1990s, among them current the PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmad, Tahir Zaman and many others. Blunck visited Lahore on the invitation of Shahbaz Senior.


2017 Year of New Zealand Hockey in Review

Photo: FIH/Getty Images

With the chapter coming to a close on 2017, we look back on a year which brought plenty of milestones on and off the turf.

New Year off to an honourable start

The year opened with great news that retired Black Sticks legends Phil Burrows and Katie Glynn had been recognised in the 2017 New Year honours. Burrows and Glynn were both made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for their services to hockey.

Burrows, New Zealand’s most capped Black Sticks player of all time, announced his retirement from international hockey in November 2016 following a whopping 343 tests in a career which saw him compete at three Olympic Games (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012), four Commonwealth Games (Manchester 2002, Melbourne 2006, Delhi 2010, Glasgow 2014) and four World Cups (Kuala Lumpur 2002, Monchengladbach 2006, Delhi 2010, The Hague 2014).

Striker Katie Glynn announced her retirement from the international game in November 2015 following struggles with knee and back injuries. Debuting in 2009, Glynn played 134 tests for New Zealand and scored 77 goals making her New Zealand’s second highest female goal scorer of all time.

Ushering in a new era

In January the new men’s and women’s National Squads were named, demonstrating the first step forward in the new Olympic cycle following the 2016 Rio Games.

Head coach Mark Hager named a women’s squad grounded by a core of experienced athletes with nine having played over 100 tests while versatile defender Stacey Michelsen was the most capped (216). After performances at the FIH Junior World Cup and a test series against Malaysia in Stratford, 20-year-old Midlands defender Frances Davies earned a call up while goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon added to the mix having previously living and playing her hockey in Australia.

Meanwhile, the men’s squad retained plenty of experience along with some exciting young prospects in 2017. The group was led by four players with more than 200 tests caps in Simon Child (274), Shea McAleese (243), Nick Haig (200) and Arun Panchia (205) with plenty of experience alongside them. Canterbury defender David Brydon and Auckland striker Kim Kingstone were the new faces having been named to the National Squad for the first time.

Along with the playing group, it was a changing of the guard in the coaching position with previous head coach Colin Batch departing for Australia and former New Zealand international Darren Smith coming onboard to lead the men’s programme.

A fresh Vantage point

February marked a hugely significant milestone for Hockey New Zealand with a new partnership with Vantage Windows & Doors as the naming rights sponsor of the Vantage Black Sticks Men and Women. The four year deal gave both teams a major boost as they switched focus to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The team at APL are hugely engaged partners and sports fanatics, with other sponsorships including the Kiwi rowing pair Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, Avantidrome, Cycling NZ, Chiefs rugby team, New Zealand rally drivers Emma Gilmour and Ben Hunt, Josh Coppins Motocross Team, Altherm Jetsprint Team and the New Zealand Jetsprint Championship.

Testing the waters

The early months of the year saw the Vantage Black Sticks Men and Women take to the turf for the first time with their new squads.

The women headed to Buenos Aires for a six test series against Argentina, coming home in a positive frame of mind despite surrendering the series with one win, three losses and a draw.

In March the Vantage Black Sticks Men hosted Pakistan across five games in Wellington and Wairarapa taking away plenty of learnings. Pakistan were impressive throughout the series and took away honours with two wins, two draws and one loss although the Kiwis showed flashes of brilliance especially from some of the young guns.

Celebrating success

In April the Vantage Black Sticks Women retained the Hawke’s Bay Cup by defeating Japan 3-0 in the final of the Vantage Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey.

New Zealand came in as top qualifier from round robin with three wins from six matches. Japan also had three wins but had lost three games to finish two points behind in second place. The 2017 final was a repeat of 2016 where the Kiwis beat Japan 2-1.

It was also a good start to the year for the North Harbour Men and Midlands Women who came away with the Vantage National Under 21 Tournament titles.

Big support for Masters

2017 was a big year for Masters thanks to the World Masters Games which saw 105 team take part across age groups from 35 right through to 65+.

Soon afterward the Trans-Tasman Challenge took to the turf in Whangarei with great success while the National Masters Tournament closed out a busy but eventful year in November.

A nod to the greats

Vantage Black Sticks veterans Kayla Whitelock and Shea McAleese took supreme honours at the annual Hockey New Zealand awards dinner.

The awards recognised high performance athletes as well as various members of the community for their outstanding contributions to hockey during the 2016 calendar year.

Former Vantage Black Sticks captain Kayla Whitelock, now retired, was named Women’s Player of the Year while experienced midfielder/defender Shea McAleese took out Men’s Player of the Year.

Midlands midfielder Nic Woods won Men’s Under 21 Player of the Year while Southern’s Tessa Jopp accepted Women’s Under 21 Player of the Year.

The Players’ Player of the Year was selected by other squad members to acknowledge contributions both on and off the turf, with Blair Tarrant and Kayla Whitelock taking out the awards.

Along with community awards, the evening was highlighted by the acceptance presentation to David Appleby who was voted in as a Life Member of Hockey New Zealand at last year’s AGM.

Hockey New Zealand icon Ramesh Patel was voted in as a Life Member at this year’s AGM and will formally accept his award next year.

As part of the awards, the Hari family accepted a Gold Service award for 20+ years’ service to the sport on behalf of their father Govan who passed away in early 2017.

Inclusion in the Pro League

In June the International Hockey Federation (FIH) confirmed that both the Vantage Black Sticks Men and Women will be part of the ‘game-changing’ Hockey Pro League.

The new league, which is due to launch in January 2019, will see the nine best men’s and women’s teams from around the world play each other both at home and away every year, across a total of 144 games. The fixtures will take place in national stadiums, week in, week out, from January to June.

Bronze medal in Brussels

The Vantage Black Sticks Women came away with the bronze medal after defeating Korea 1-0 at the World League Semi Final in July.

Having come painfully close to making through to the final, the Kiwis kept their composure in the bronze medal match in a tight encounter with very few chances for either side. Defender Brooke Neal provided the pivotal strike with a penalty corner flick just six minutes from fulltime.

Central and Canterbury on top

The Central Women and Canterbury Men won 2017’s Vantage National Under 18 Tournament titles at the Whangarei ITM Hockey Centre.

In an intriguing finals day, Central and Canterbury contested both the Men’s and Women’s gold medal matches with each region coming away with a trophy.

In the Women’s final, Central mustered a 4-1 win over Canterbury thanks to a Megan Phillips double as well as goals from Anna Crowley and Kaitlin Cotter. Canterbury’s lone goal came from Emily Wium in the second quarter, which saw the score level 1-1 at halftime. Central then scored three unanswered goals in the third quarter to put the result beyond doubt.

Meanwhile, Canterbury won the Men’s final in an emphatic 6-0 victory against Central with Tim Schulpen and Henry Phelps both scoring braces along with goals from William Mace-Cochrane and Moss Jackson. Canterbury were dominant throughout, delivering three goals in the first half and pouring on three more in the final five minutes of the match.

Tough campaign in Johannesburg

It was a tough World League Semi Final for the Vantage Black Sticks Men in Johannesburg, finishing sixth overall after being edged 1-0 by Ireland in their classification playoff.

Both sides were locked in a goalless stalemate for most of the game before Ireland delivered the winning strike with a 49th minute field goal from Alan Sothern. The result saw the New Zealand Men miss an opportunity for automatic qualification for the Hockey World Cup as well as the World League Final in December this year.

In the weeks to come however, positive news would come for the Vantage Black Sticks Men with results at the continental qualifiers opening a spot for them at next year’s World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India.

Ford National Hockey League

Midlands won the women’s K Cup while North Harbour came away with the men’s Challenge Shield at the Ford National Hockey League in Wellington.

Midlands defeated Northland 4-2 in the women’s final thanks to three goals in the first half from Gemma McCaw, Rose Keddell and Samantha Charlton. Northland’s Ella Gunson was awarded Most Valuable Player while Jodie Nichol (Northland) and Rachel McCann (Canterbury) finished joint winners of the Just Hockey top goal scorer trophy having found the back of the net six times during the tournament.

For the men, North Harbour lifted the Challenge Shield thanks to an inspired come from behind win 5-3 over Auckland.

With the score tied 1-1 at halftime, Auckland grabbed the ascendency in the third quarter courtesy of two quick-fire Jared Panchia goals. But down by a goal, North Harbour mounted an incredible comeback and poured on four unanswered goals in the final eight minutes to snatch a famous victory. Defender Cory Bennett was the star of the day with a hat-trick from penalty corner drag flicks while Robbie Capizzi and George Muir also scored. It was North Harbour’s first Ford National Hockey League title since 2009.

Auckland captain Arun Panchia was named Most Valuable Player while Canterbury’s Sam Lane took the Just Hockey top goal scorer trophy with 13 strikes during the tournament.

Aon Secondary Schools

Christ’s College and St Cuthbert’s College were crowned this year’s Aon Secondary School Tournament champions.

Christ’s won the Aon Rankin Cup in a heart-stopping 2-1 shoot-out victory over Christchurch Boys’ High after the score was locked up 0-0 at the end of regular time. Palmerston North Boys School came through to defeat King’s College 2-1 after Thomas Walshe struck in golden goal to seal the bronze medal match.

In the girls’ tournament, St Cutherbert’s College secured the Aon Federation Cup after edging Rangi Ruru Girls School 1-0 thanks to a second half goal from captain Madison Doar. St Margaret’s College edged past Villa Maria College 3-2 when Emily Wium delivered the winner in golden point to decide the bronze medal.

Finishing on a high

November played host to one of the biggest tournaments New Zealand has ever hosted with the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final at the North Harbour Hockey Stadium.

With the world watching and hopes pinned on the home side, the Vantage Black Sticks did not disappoint after a stunning charge through the knock-out phase to finish runners up after being defeated 3-0 by Netherlands in the gold medal match.

The world number one ranked Dutch were held well by the Kiwis early in the match but gained momentum as time progressed. After a fiercely fought opening quarter, Netherlands stamped their mark with two goals in quick succession to open a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Laurien Leurink delivered another goal for the visitors early in the third quarter and while the Black Sticks continued to fight they weren’t able to find a way past the defence of Netherlands, which did not concede a single goal at the tournament.

During the medal presentations, defender Stacey Michelsen took away top honours with the Best Player award while team-mate Sally Rutherford was named Best Goalkeeper.

It was an impressive way to finish the year for the Vantage Black Sticks Women, who consequently moved up one place in the world rankings to close out 2017 in fourth spot.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Kookaburras Show Off HWL Trophy At FMG Staff Meeting

Ben Somerford

Kookaburras pair Tyler Lovell and Matthew Swann made a special visit to proud sponsor Fortescue Metals Group’s (FMG) final staff meeting of the year in East Perth on Tuesday morning.

Lovell and Swann showed off the newly-claimed FIH Men’s World League trophy which the Kookaburras won in India last week, along with their gold medals.

Australia’s World League triumph also meant the Kookaburras re-claimed their world number one ranking to round out a strong year.

FMG are the Kookaburras Naming Rights Sponsor and also the Major Partner of the Pilbara Community Hockey Program.

Lovell and Swann took part in a Q&A with FMG Director of External Relations Tim Langmead, discussing the World League success, re-claiming number one and their huge 2018 which includes the Commonwealth Games and World Cup.

Staff were also given the opportunity to speak to the players and get photos with them, their medals and the trophy. Incoming FMG CEO Elizabeth Gaines was among those to get a photo.

FMG’s meeting was attended by approximately 300 staff but also streamed into their sites at Cloudbreak, Christmas Creek and Solomon Hub along with colleagues in Singapore.

FMG will enter into their seventh year of the partnership in 2018, with 2017’s successes in winning the World League, Oceania Cup and International Festival of Hockey and re-claiming the number one ranking representing another great 12 months.

Many FMG staff members will be in attendance for the Kookaburras' upcoming four-match Test series against the Netherlands in Narrogin and Perth in late January and early February, including a private sponsors function on Saturday 3 February.

Hockey Australia media release

PAHF hires new Managing Director

Renata Carneiro   

PAHF is pleased to announce that Renata Carneiro will be joining the PAHF as the new Managing Director starting January 15, 2018.

Renata comes to PAHF with a long history in sport administration, management and programming as she worked with Olympic Solidarity of the International Olympic Committee for Brazil.

She is committed to results and people oriented, creative and attentive to details. She is analytical, with the ability for short and long term planning to ensure sustainable systems.

Renata is fluent in English and Spanish, has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration for University of Arkansas, USA and an Executive Master in Sports Organization Management, for University of Lerida, Spain.

"I feel welcome and honored to be part of the Pan American Hockey family. Together, I trust we can aspire great accomplishments towards the growth of hockey in our continent", said Renata.

Please join us in welcoming Renata to the Hockey family.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

adidas confirmed as official International Hockey Federation partner

FIH and adidas will work together to grow hockey across the world

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed a partnership with adidas that will see the global sportswear giant support hockey’s growth until the end of 2018.

FIH will provide adidas with a customised set of visibility and marketing opportunities, all designed to actively create new business, as well as offering exclusive areas for retail space at FIH events.

The partnership will see both organisations working together to boost the profile of the sport through joint marketing initiatives, including campaigns on digital channels. adidas will provide access to a range of content, giving FIH the opportunity to reach out to adidas clubs, including all of their national team partners, as well as adidas sponsored athletes and all of the grassroots work currently being undertaken across the world. They will also provide FIH staff and officials with the latest hockey clothing and equipment.

This new partnership represents another important step for FIH and is proof that the Hockey Revolution strategy provides hockey’s partners with real business opportunities.

Speaking about this, FIH CEO Jason McCracken said: “To partner with the world’s biggest sports brand proves once again the commercial value of our sport. adidas’ commitment to hockey and growing the game, along with their global presence in the sports world, is the perfect match for both organisations. Their marketing assets will allow us to reach new fans in innovative ways whilst their product development will keep us ahead of the game. Working with adidas will therefore significantly contribute to achieving the main aim of our Hockey Revolution strategy – to make hockey a global game that inspires future generations.”

Simon Cartwright, Senior Director of Team Sports at adidas AG commented: "As the market leading global hockey brand we are delighted to partner with the sport’s official governing body. From a brand perspective, it's great to be involved in a sport played by men, women and children all across the world. Hockey is currently enjoying many exciting new developments and we look forward to working together with the FIH to help grow the sport over the coming years."

adidas hockey equipment is available online and in stores.

FIH site

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