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News for 26 January 2018

All the news for Friday 26 January 2018

2018 Test Matches: ARG v BEL (W)
Buenos Aires (ARG)

ARG v BEL     5 - 2

FIH Match Centre

No. 1 The Netherlands Leads Off Series with Class Performance Against USWNT

PALO ALTO, Calif. – January 25, 2018 – A chilly evening welcomed the U.S. Women’s National Team and The Netherlands to the pitch at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. for the first match of the series. Two goals in each half for The Netherlands disrupted USA’s play as they tried to generate positive attack, but the final score stood in favor of the Oranje 4-0.

“For us it a matter of committing to progress and growth,” commented Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), USWNT Captain. “Coming out making sure we don’t play timid, forcing us to make decisions and progression as the series moves forward.”

The opening minutes were met with both squads finding their rhythm and positioning on the field. A few circle entries for The Netherlands were met by USA’s defense, as Ali Froede (Burke, Va.) stepped up to make a hard tackle on one opportunity. Just 6 minutes in, a long ball down the left-side of the field found Kitty van Male who maneuvered past two USA defenders to finish and give the Oranje a 1-0 lead. USA tried to reciprocate but struggled to work the ball into their attacking end. With a minute remaining in the quarter, The Netherlands was successful off a penalty corner when Caia van Maasakker’s drag flick sailed into the net making it USA 0, Netherlands 2.

A spark came from USA to start the second quarter as they took possession to their attacking end but were unable string the final passes together. This forward momentum was short lived as the Oranje took the ball to the other end of the field. A close chance came when Laura Nunnink spun and dumped the ball across the goal to a teammate, but USA marked tightly and cleared it away. A few more chances came for The Netherlands but Jackie Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.) made a save and USA held strong as the half finished out.

Picking up where they left off, The Netherlands instantly took it the other way almost capitalizing off a dangerous turnover, but USA was able to recover possession. Play was back and forth for a period before Gonzalez swept it ahead to Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) who generated some offense. When the Oranje regained possession, they used their speed to take USA’s defense head on. The quick ball movement forced Briggs to make a great save as the rebound fell to The Netherlands, but the attempt went over the goal. A string of penalty corners was earned for the Oranje before they tallied their third goal off an unsuccessful 16-yard clear by USA. Quick passing found Maria Verschoor positioned perfectly on the far post to tap it in and make it USA 0, Netherlands 3. Momentum maintained with The Netherlands forcing Briggs to make back-to-back saves and defend a penalty corner before the quarter concluded.

The final quarter continued with USA trying to break The Netherlands’ strong-hold on the defensive end. In the 55th minute, The Netherlands’ Lidewij Welten found room at the top of the circle and ripped a backhand in to extend the lead. A minute following, USA took it the other way where a near cross by Loren Shealy (Charlotte, N.C.) was cleared by The Netherlands’ goalkeeper Josine Koning. Time wound down with a few promising looks for the USA but the score stood at USA 0, The Netherlands 4.

“Internally, we need to focus on what we can do to play,” said Gonzalez. “We know The Netherlands is a good squad and consistently No. 1 and there are reasons for that, but we need to focus on our strengths and hone in and being consistent with that.”

The U.S. Women’s National Team will have tomorrow off before taking on The Netherlands on Saturday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m. PT for match two of the series. Althought this game is completely sold out, all games will be live streamed on usafieldhockey.com. For the full schedule, results, rosters and more, check out the official USWNT vs. The Netherlands Series Event Page.

USFHA media release

India edge past Belgium in match punctuated by defensive brain fades

Sundeep Misra

It was a nine-goal epic. And one which heaved and bounced like a river in spate. Great moves, smart deceptive play punctuated by defensive brain fades but a match that India would like to remember in a year that should see them march up the rankings, one tiny step after the other. In a 5-4 winning score-line, India led twice (1-0, 4-3) and Belgium fought back each time. Belgium led twice (2-1, 3-2) and India punched hard, controlling the match in the middle and pushing from the flanks. It was at 4-4 in the 56th minute when Tom Boon had equalised off Belgium’s fourth penalty corner and both teams would probably have downed shutters and be happy to trade points. Not yet.

Cedric Charlier had PR Sreejesh in front but the angle was sharp. Yet the Indian goalkeeper who had conceded a soft one in the previous penalty corner brought off a brilliant save. Exactly a minute and 14 seconds were left on the clock when India switched at pace and within a few deft touches, six players were in the Belgian striking circle. Seeing the sea of legs in front, Ramandeep Singh shot hard into the middle where Dilpreet Singh crouched down on the turf to deflect it into goal. Scorer of nine goals at the U-21 Sultan of Johor Cup, the youngster was the unexpected but exultant match-winner. To a point, India had solved the Belgian equation.

The scorers for India were Rupinder Pal Singh (fourth, 42nd penalty corner), Harmanpreet Singh (46th), Lalit Upadhyay (53rd) and Dilpreet Singh (59th). Belgium scored through John-John Dohmen (17th), Felix Denayer (37th, penalty corner), Alexander Hendrickx (45th, penalty corner) and Tom Boon 56th, penalty corner)

It wasn’t just a match-up between the Olympic silver medallist, ranked third in the world and India sixth and the HWL Final bronze winner. It was also a contest where India has been steadily cutting the distance between itself and probably one of the most improved and consistent teams in the world. So for Indian coach Sjoerd Marijne and his band of boys, this win will be sweet. It’s also a vindication for the coach validating the direction he has taken the team in. Youngsters like Dilpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar, Krishan Pathak are sticking out, if not this year but definitely packed with potential and talent for Tokyo 2020.

India got the opening goal early. Vivek’s run, a sharp angled sprint into the Belgian striking circle was met with a soft shove. But the penalty corner to India couldn’t be denied. Rupinder Pal Singh, itching to be on the score sheet, fired in a flick that was fast and into the top corner. India 1-0. Both teams were still trying to get their rhythm. Belgian’s had the upper hand, but the Indian defence marked their zones well, intercepting the crosses and clearing early.

Belgium’s equaliser came in the second quarter, 17th minute. India was defending deep into their own striking circle when the ball was on Varun Kumar’s stick and he paused, a brain fade moment for him. It was the pause of a player waiting for the umpire’s whistle for a Belgian infringement. The whistle never came and Belgium’s John-John Dohmen extremely dangerous in such situations pounced and with a reverse stick sent the ball into the Indian goal. Varun’s pause had also put the rest of the Indian defence off guard. Varun looked at the umpire but the umpire had rightly played an advantage. It’s a basic lesson that is taught to every hockey player–always play to the whistle. Varun played to his own instincts and paid the price. But the youngster will learn.

At 1-1, Belgium upped the ante and forced Sreejesh into a good couple of saves. Augustin Meurmans, meanwhile, was opening up the belly of the Indians, with some fine runs through the middle. Meurmans was on fire with some great skills and it took some very good work from Harmanpreet and Surender to get over this period. Towards the end of the second quarter, good play from Chinglensana created India’s second penalty corner but a slight delay allowed the Belgian runner to deflect the flick. Two goals in 30 minutes and nobody had an inkling of the carnage to come.

Belgium took the lead in the 37th minute off their second penalty corner. Chinglensana, one of the four runners ran early and was penalised. India was left with three runners and a gaping hole on the left. Felix Denayer flicked it wide and high, beyond the reach of Sreejesh and the defender. Errors also came from Belgium and a back stick in their own striking circle gave India their third penalty corner. Rupinder scored his second consecutive goal, a flick that flew in like a bullet.

The pace had increased in the midfield and teams were giving space, allowing for end to end hockey. Belgium had their third penalty corner and Sreejesh saved. But the Indian defence was slow allowing Amaury Keusters to pass back to Alexander Hendrickx to smash in. Belgium led 3-2 with the fourth quarter to follow.

India pushed further and the right flank was creating problems for the Belgian defence. India had their fourth penalty corner and Rupinder’s flick was strong but the ball rebounded off Vincent Vanasch’s pads. Harmanpreet, the second flicker in the Indian penalty corner battery picked up the rebound and smashed it into the Belgian goal. India was back on equal terms at 3-3.

India wasted their fifth penalty corner and at that moment, a little over ten minutes were left in the match. The pace was quite frenetic now and Vivek Sagar was switching the ball and his own position with the guile of a veteran. In fact, the commentators were calling him India’s ‘little general.’ It was a Vivek initiated move that created India’s fourth goal. Mandeep Singh couldn’t go past the Belgian defence and gave it to Vivek who sprinted from the right flank and pushed for Arman Qureshi who flicked it onwards and Lalit Upadhyay tapped it into goal. India was leading 4-3 and all they needed was to hold on and control the proceedings. But for nothing is Belgium the Olympic silver winners. They earned a fourth penalty corner and Tom Boon flicked it low past Sreejesh’s left pad. It seemed a soft goal but overlooking Boon’s rock-solid temperament to score in those dying moments would also not be fair.

Both teams didn’t fall back to cutting the pace. They went all out and Belgium had the first crack when Cedric Charlier faced the Indian goal with Sreejesh advancing. A sharp shot and Sreejesh brilliantly judged it to fob it off. India had the counter and a build-up. They held and went through the middle, pushing six players into the Belgian striking circle. Ramandeep faced with a sea of legs and no space, didn’t waste time. He shot in as Dilpreet judging it perfectly crouched down and deflected it past the Belgian goalkeeper. With just over a minute left, India defended, clearing once and then held on for a sweet and well-earned victory.

Indian coach Sjoerd Marijne grinned at the end saying he was proud of the boys. “I think we were good with the PC’s,” he explained. “We have a lot of young players and we played with discipline. Belgium is a really good team and it was a good victory for us.” In the end, it was quite an amazing victory. It’s also a team under progress. India with two wins have six points and a leg in Sunday’s 4-Nation Final. They play Japan on Saturday, a team they beat 6-0 in the last leg.


Vantage Black Sticks seal thriller

Photo: www.photosport.nz

The Vantage Black Sticks put on a goal scoring clinic in their 6-2 win over Japan at the University of Waikato Four Nations in Hamilton.

New Zealand scored twice in the first half before pouring on four more in a frenetic second half against a determined Japan side.

Stephen Jenness scored a brilliant double while Harry Miskimmin, Dane Lett, George Muir and Marcus Child also added to the card with strikes all certain to make the highlights reel.

Head coach Darren Smith said it was good to put together a solid overall performance along with some well-constructed goals.

“I thought we had control over large parts of the game tonight but Japan still tested us out and are a very capable side,” he said.

“We created some great opportunities and worked well especially through the midfield, and the pleasing part was how we were able to finish a lot of those chances.

After an evenly matched opening quarter, New Zealand struck first in stunning style with Harry Miskimmin carrying the ball into the circle before unleashing a crushing reverse stick shot into the side of the goal.

The Black Sticks doubled their advantage through a penalty corner just out from halftime when Dane Lett got the final shot past the goalkeeper.

Late in the third quarter the Kiwis opened a three goal buffer when Jared Panchia put a perfect ball into the circle for George Muir to send the ball into the roof of the net.

The final 10 minutes of play saw the game lift to an incredible tempo with Stephen Jenness scoring a quick-fire double and Marcus Child delivering a cracking upright reverse to seal the victory.

Japan managed two late goals through Koji Yamasaki and Hirotaka Wakuri to pull back some pride on the score board.

In today’s earlier clash, India snatched a late 5-4 win over Belgium in an absorbing encounter which went goal for goal throughout the match.

Teams have a rest day tomorrow before getting back to the turf on Saturday with India playing Japan at 2:15pm before the Vantage Black Sticks battle Belgium at 4:00pm.

Both tests will be streamed live and then available on demand through the Vantage Black Sticks Facebook page (facebook.com/nzblacksticks).

Tickets are still available online through www.dashtickets.co.nz or at the gate


VANTAGE BLACK STICKS: 6 (Stephen Jenness 2, Harry Miskimmin, Dane Lett, George Muir, Marcus Child)
JAPAN: 2 (Koji Yamasaki, Hirotaka Wakuri)
Halftime: NZ 2-0

INDIA: 5 (Rupinder Singh 2, Harmanpreet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh)
BELGIUM: 4 (John-John Dohmen, Felix Denayer, Alexander Hendrickx, Tom Boon)
Halftime: 1-1

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks take big win over Japan in Four Nations

By Christopher Reive

Black Sticks' Shea McAleese. Photo / Photosport.

The Black Stick were clinical in front of goal on Thursday night, dominating Japan 6-2 in the second match in their Four Nations campaign in Hamilton.

After India beat Belgium 5-4 in the early match, the Black Sticks and Japan added to the goal-fest, however it looked like things might have gone differently early on.

Both sides had their chances in the opening period, with the goalkeepers making important saves to keep things scoreless after the first quarter.

The Black Sticks opened the scoring in the second quarter through an unlikely source, with defender Harry Miskimmin firing a rocket into the top corner from the top of the circle.

Fellow defender Kane Lett followed suit soon after to give the Black Sticks a 2-0 halftime lead.

From there, the Kiwi side went on with the job as George Muir and Steve Jenness got their names on the scoresheet before Japan struck back.

With time winding down in the fourth quarter and the result out of reach, Jenness added to hit total before Marcus Child made it six for New Zealand.

With a couple of minutes left Japan got another back, but the Black Sticks coasted to a 6-2 victory.

They'll now play Belgium on Saturday with a chance to play in Sunday's gold medal match on the line.

The New Zealand Herald

Black Sticks ease past Japan in Four Nations hockey tournament


Marcus Child was influential when he was brought off the bench for the Black Sticks on Thursday night in Hamilton. ANDREW CORNAGA/PHOTOSPORT

The Black Sticks proved too strong for Japan in their 6-2 win on Thursday night to keep them in the running for the gold-medal match of the Four Nations tournament.

New Zealand showed some positive play in a more dominant match than their loss to India on Wednesday – the main difference being their clinical finishing.

The home side took some time to gain momentum with their first goal coming midway through the second quarter off a brilliant reverse from Harry Miskimmin to put them in front.

Captain Blair Tarrant was thrilled with his side's dominance and felt prepared for their crucial match against world No 3 Belgium on Saturday.

"Our goals were pretty special today – we transferred the ball from one side to the other which is what we have been working on," Tarrant said.

Also in the second quarter, the Black Sticks were able to do what they couldn't against India and score of their first penalty corner opportunity. A clinical shot from Dane Lett took the Black Sticks into the halftime break 2-0 up.

Japan never really made the Black Sticks fight from this point and should have been easy pickings. However, several goal-scoring opportunities went begging early in the second half – one of those Stephen Jenness will remember after he was unable to put the ball past the keeper in a one-on-one.

There was an ounce of over-eagerness from the Black Sticks when they were close to the attacking circle and turned over ball they would usually have control over. But Marcus Child again showed his steady head in the midfield when he was brought off the bench early on, with his leadership giving the game some direction.

Coach Darren Smith would be pleased to see some aggression that was lacking in Tauranga last week in the first round of the Four Nations. However, Japan's stacking of players in the circle made it difficult for them to get any shots away.

The match took a turn in the direction of the home side when George Muir slotted a perfect goal late in the third quarter to make it 3-0 and in the final quarter, Jenness eventually got the goals he was seeking; first from a penalty corner then from general play.

Japan were able to sneak one past substitute goalkeeper Devon Manchester with five minutes to go, then Child netted for the victors before Japan got the last goal among eight.

Earlier, India upset Belgium 5-4 in another high scoring thriller.

New Zealand 6 (Stephen Jenness 2, Harry Miskimmin, Dane Lett, George Muir, Marcus Child) Japan 2 (Koji Yamasaki, Hirotaka Wakuri). HT 2-0.

India 5 (Rupinder Singh 2, Harmanpreet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh) Belgium 4 (John-John Dohmen, Felix Denayer, Alexander Hendrickx, Tom Boon). HT 1-1.


Champions Telkom seal final berth


Telkom's Lillian Aura (left) in action against Ghana Police during their Africa Cup for Club Championship match on January 25, 2018 at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra, Ghana. PHOTO | BRIAN OTWAL |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Champions Telkom on Thursday secured their place in the final of the ongoing Africa Cup for Club hockey Championship after a 1-1 draw with Ghana Police in their last preliminary match.

The result at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium saw the nine-time champions finish top of the pile with 13 points, booking a final date with Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Saturday.

GRA drew with Nigeria’s Kada Queens 0-0 to finish second with 10 points same as Police, but nicked second place courtesy of their superior goal difference.

Telkom had taken the lead at the half-hour mark through Audrey Omaido’s third goal of the competition, but conceded their first goal at the tourney as international Nafisatu Umaru levelled for the hosts after 47 minutes.

It was the first time Telkom had dropped points in any competition since they drew 2-2 with Strathmore University Scorpions in a KHU women’s Premier League match on July 24, 2016.

Telkom coach Jos Openda, who had set a target of winning the competition without conceding a goal, was however relieved to make the final.

“Conceding the goal was a mistake because we had the game in the bag. But we are happy with the result because had we lost this match we would have been out of the competition,” Openda said.

In Thursday’s match, Telkom appeared to be suffering from fatigue of playing four matches in five days with Police on top in the early proceedings.

Telkom keeper Cynthia Anyango twice saved from skipper Umaru and Telkom took the lead with the final piece of the action to lead 1-0 at the halftime break.

A lapse in defence saw Telkom punished 17 minutes later with Umaru scoring to level the scoreline for Police. The goal saw the homeside, buoyed by the home crowd, go in search of a winning goal that would have sealed their place in the final.

Umaru, Cecelia Ofoi and Rejoice Noi all went close but were thwarted by Anyango’s heroics as well the Telkom defence marshalled by the experienced Terry Juma.

Telkom, who are chasing a record 10th title, will now have to overcome GRA for a second time having beaten them 1-0 on Wednesday.

The 20-time national champions opened their account at the tourney with a 5-0 drubbing of Nigeria’s Yobe Desert Queens, before edging out compatriots Strathmore University Scorpions 1-0 in their second match.

They then beat Kada Queens 3-0 to make it three wins on the trot. Strathmore on the other hand have found the going tough losing four straight matches.

Daily Nation

Telkom and Ghanaian cops draw

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Champions Telkom shelved their ambitions of winning the Africa Cup of Clubs Championships title on a clean slate after yesterday's 1-1 draw against Ghana Police.

The clash was tightly contested at Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra, Ghana.

The nine-time continental winners were on course until Ghanaian Police captain Nafisatu Umaru drew first blood in the 48th minute to stain their run. Telkom, who make the bulk of the national women’s team, should have marked her well as she has been staging brilliant attacks. This was the second time in less than three months that Umaru has tormented Kenyans. She scored Ghana’s winning goal in last October’s Africa Cup of Nations cum World Cup qualifiers, subjecting Kenyans to a 2-1 defeat.

Telkom had taken the lead through Audrey Omaido seconds to the half-time break but failed to hold on to it, allowing the Ghanaian cops to restore parity in the last quarter. Team coach Jos Openda expressed displeasure over the performance, saying they had it all but lost focus. “It was a mistake conceding that goal, we had it all. When we scored first, I knew that were on the right track," said Openda.

The Standard Online

Indoor Insanity continues this weekend...

Indoor hockey action is taking place across the world this weekend

This weekend sees hockey's 'Indoor Insanity' continue with a number of high profile events taking place across the world.

England's Jaffa Super 6s Indoor Finals return on Sunday 28 January in what will be a hugely entertaining and action-packed event in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park's Copper Box Arena. Rio 2016 Olympic Gold medallists Kate Richardson-Walsh, Helen Richardson-Walsh and Sam Quek will all be in action. The action begins at 10:45 when East Grinstead take on Leicester in the first semi-final before Bowdon Hightown and Holcombe go head to head in the second semi-final at 12:00. The men’s semi-finals get under way at 13:15 as Wimbledon play Team Bath Buccaneers with East Grinstead and Surbiton battling it out for a place in the final at 14:30. The Women’s Championship final begins at 15:45 ahead of the Men’s Championship Final at 17:15. With the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup being held in London between the 21 July and 5 August, the trophy will be in attendance on site as will Great Britain and England goalkeepers Maddie Hinch and George Pinner. Tickets for the finals at the Copper Box Arena are still available and can be bought here.

This event will be broadcast live on the BBC Sport website and app and can also be viewed via the Red Button on connected TVs. Viewers around the world will also be able to view all the action via https://www.eurohockeytv.org

The fight for Germany’s men's indoor hockey championship in 2018 continues this weekend. Many hockey fans will be able to see a star ensemble which include defending champions Rot-Weiss Cologne who will be the favourites for the title once again. However there’s a number of other teams who will have legitimate hopes of glory. These include Alster, who qualified from the North Group ahead of strong competition from UHC and HTHC. Their opponent is Mannheim HC who beat them 4-3 in last year’s semi-finals. The full line-up in the men’s competition is as follows:

27 January 2018:
16:00: Berlin HC v Krefeld
16:15: Alster v Mannheim HC
17:00: TSV Mannheim v UHC Hamburg

28 January 2018
14:00: RW Cologne v BW Berlin

The battle for the German women's Indoor Hockey Championship has also reached the quarter-finals. With the winners reaching the final four and the losers exiting the competition, its all to play for this weekend. With last year’s champions UHC Hamburg already out the competition, there will be a new winner this year. Like their men’s team, Alster are amongst one of the favourites for the title whilst Rüsselsheim return to this stage of the competition for the first time in six years. The match between Berlin HC and Uhlenhorst Mülheim is certainly going to be an interesting encounter as will Mannheim who play Harvestehuder. The full women’s fixtures are as follows:

27 January 2018
14:00: Alster v Rüsselsheim
14:00: Berlin HC v Mülheim
14:00: Düsseldorfer HC v Leipzig
14:00: Mannheim HC v Harvestehude

For more information on German hockey, click here.

On Saturday, the top men’s indoor hockey teams in the Netherlands will play their ninth and tenth matches in the last rounds of their national indoor competition. The results this weekend will determine which teams participate in the play-offs for the national championship and which teams will be relegated. In Pool A, leaders Amsterdam can still miss the play-offs if they lose to both Kampong and Schaerweijde on Saturday. Cartouche must then win from Reigers, Almere from Kampong and Cartouche and Almere then have to play against each other later in the day. Considering both Almere and Cartouche also have at least eleven goals to make up on Amsterdam in the league, this scenario is however not very likely. That duel, Cartouche v Almere at 16:00, could determine the second play-off spot. Currently both teams have fifteen points. Even Kampong can still get the play-offs in theory. The Utrechters have thirteen points, but remain dependent on the results of the other teams. At the bottom, Reigers and Schaerweijde divide who is relegated immediately and who plays in the relegation play-outs. At 16:00, the teams meet each other in a direct game, which in all likelihood will determine who will descend to the next tier.

In Pool B it is a lot less exciting. Hdm and Den Bosch have already qualified for the play-offs. De Hagenaars are four points ahead of Den Bosch, which means that in theory they can still relinquish first place. At the bottom, USHC is the almost certain to be relegated. The Utrecht students are two wins and a lot of goals behind fourth placed Union. On paper an escape for the students is possible however which team goes to the relegation play-outs is still difficult to determine. Union seems to have the 'best' statistics on paper, three points behind Rotterdam and four from SCHC. If Union takes at least three points and works very well on the goal difference in the matches against SCHC and USHC, there is still an escape possible.

The Dutch women’s indoor hockey league is also taking place with a number of fixtures taking place this weekend. To find out more about all the Dutch indoor action, visit hockey.nl.

Lots more hockey is taking place across the world this weekend. To find out if any matches are taking place in your local area, contact your National Association.

The Indoor Hockey World Cup begins in only a couple of weeks time, on 7 February in Berlin, Germany. The latest ticket news can be found here.


FIH site

BBC Sport to live stream Jaffa Super 6s Finals

England Hockey is delighted to announce that the Jaffa Super 6s Indoor Finals will be broadcast live by BBC Sport on Sunday 28 January.

The entire day’s play will be shown live on the BBC Sport website and app and can also be viewed via the Red Button on connected TVs.

Rio 2016 Olympic Gold medallists Kate Richardson-Walsh, Helen Richardson-Walsh and Sam Quek will all be in action with clubs heading to the Copper Box Arena from all corners of the country.

Commercial Director Jon Cockcroft said: “We are delighted to showcase the Jaffa Super 6s on the BBC, which will provide excellent exposure for domestic Hockey in this country. 

"Increased visibility and the support of major media organisations is of paramount importance.  With a new sponsor in Jaffa on board and strong ticket sales for our first visit to the Copper Box Arena, we’re looking forward to a fantastic day of top-class hockey.”

The Jaffa Super 6s will take place at a new venue this year at the Copper Box Arena on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with the tournament a highlight of the England Hockey domestic calendar.

The action begins at 10.45am when East Grinstead take on Leicester in the first semi-final before Bowdon Hightown and Holcombe go head to head in the second semi-final at 12pm.

The men’s semi-finals get under way at 1.15pm as Wimbledon play Team Bath Buccaneers with East Grinstead and Surbiton battling it out for a place in the final at 2.30pm The Women’s Championship final begins at 3.45pm ahead of the Men’s Championship Final at 5.15pm.  

With the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup being held in London between the 21 July and 5 August, the trophy will be in attendance on site as will Great Britain and England goalkeepers Maddie Hinch and George Pinner.

Tickets for the finals at the Copper Box Arena are still available and can be bought here.

England Hockey Board Media release

Indoor Finals To Be Live Streamed

The Irish indoor final line up is confirmed following the provincial indoor finals in Leinster and Ulster this weekend. Ards and Queens were triumphant in Ulster on the ladies and mens sides respectively. While in Leinster, Railway Union ladies and mens sides were both victorious and will be joined by runners up Three Rock in the mens competition and Glenanne in the ladies.

The 2018 Irish Indoor Finals will take place on Sunday 28th of January 2018 in St Columba's College Dublin. All matches will be streamed live on our Youtube page, click here!

Match schedule:

10am Mens- Railway v Queens
11am Ladies semi final 1- Glenanne v Ards
12pm Ladies semi final 2- Railway Ladies v Galway
1pm Mens - Queens v Three Rock
2pm - Third place play off - ladies
3pm - Railway Men v Three Rock
4pm - Ladies Final

Irish Hockey Association media release

Canadian Kathryn Williams selected to Indoor Coaching Course in Berlin

High performance course organized by FIH Academy during Indoor World Cup

2017 Indoor Pan American Cup - Canada vs USA. Photo: Yan Huckendubler

Canadian coach Kathryn Williams has been selected to attend a High Performance Indoor Coaching Course organized by the FIH Hockey Academy during the Indoor World Cup in Berlin, Germany.

The FIH Athletes Committee offered to sponsor one female international athlete to attend this course and asked National Associations to submit the names and qualifications of potential candidates. Field Hockey Canada submitted the name of Kathryn Williams, current goal-keeper of the Canadian Indoor Team, who is involved in coaching in her home town of Toronto.

Of all the candidates from around the world, Kathryn was selected based on her strong indoor record as a player, the fact that she is currently on the University of Toronto coaching staff and is also involved in coaching at the local level.

The course lasts four days, includes attendance to matches of the Indoor World Cup and is fully paid for by the FIH Athletes Committee. It will give Kathryn an excellent opportunity to learn about the FIH Academy programs and from its coaches, and meet other national indoor coaches. Field Hockey Canada is asking Kathryn to bring back her experience and present it to other coaches when she returns, possibly through a webinar. It is also anticipated that she will become a lead Provincial Coach for Eastern Canada.

“I am so grateful and excited for the opportunity to share my passion for the sport with international coaches from around the world. I have been playing indoor hockey for over 10 years now and have been coached by some incredible individuals, both in Canada and internationally. After attending the FIH Coaching Academy in Berlin, I hope to inspire the next generation of athletes and coaches in Canada. Thank you to the FIH and Field Hockey Canada for their continued support in my transition from athlete to coach!”, said Kathryn Williams upon hearing the news of her selection.

Kathryn Williams has been on the Canadian Indoor Team since 2010, participating in three Indoor Pan American Cups and in the 2015 Indoor World Cup. At the recent Indoor Pan American Cup in Guyana, she was named Goal-Keeper of the Tournament and subsequently selected to the 2017 Pan American Indoor Elite Team. Kathryn had a successful playing career with the University of Toronto, and also played a season in Australia.

PAHF thanks the FIH Athletes Committee for their initiative, and wishes Kathryn a successful experience in Berlin.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Big year for Benoni hockey ‘boykie’ Jethro Eustice

He is excited to showcase his talents on the international stage

Logan Green

Jethro Eustice (middle) is hoping to enjoy a mightily successful 2018, starting with the Indoor Hockey World Cup in Germany next month.

The 2018 FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup is just around the corner, and kick-starts a busy year on both the indoor court and outdoor turf for South African Jethro Eustice.

The former Arbor Primary School learner and Benoni Northerns Junior Hockey (BNJH) player will fly the flag for the BlitzStoks at the indoor hockey showpiece in Berlin, Germany from February 7 to 11.

He also hopes to be on the plane to Australia’s Gold Coast for the XXI Commonwealth Games in April and the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India in November and December.

Team SA for the Commonwealth Games is expected to be announced on January 26.

The Benonian is well aware of his outdoor hockey ambitions for the year, but is fully focused for now on achieving success with the BlitzStoks.

“I have never been to an Indoor Hockey World Cup before, so I am really excited about what will happen in Berlin,” said Eustice.

“My expectations are quite simple; I am going there to learn more about the sport of indoor hockey and to try my best to express my talent on the international stage.

“The BlitzStoks have a good chance of making some inroads into becoming a top indoor hockey nation in the world, but the tournament will be the ultimate learning curve for us,” Eustice added.

“On a personal level, I will like to see myself scoring many goals from penalty corners, as well as being the person who will bring that little extra for the better of the team.”

South Africa is drawn in the six-team Pool B against Austria, Belgium, Iran, Russia and Switzerland, and Eustice is expecting tough competition.

South Africa will need to finish in the top four places of the pool to earn a quarter-final berth.

“After watching some of the European nations fight it out in the EuroHockey Championship recently, I will be expecting a very fast style of indoor hockey, with the teams scoring plenty goals,” Eustice said.

“This will mean we will have to be sharp on our defence, but also extremely effective on attack.

“The toughest opponents will definitely be Austria and Belgium, who both played in the final of the Euros.

“We can’t dismiss the Russians and the unknown entity of Iran, who will be strong and tough to break through.

“It will be a tough pool to get through to the quarter-finals, but we are expected to do that, and if we get a bit of luck, with an easier opponent in the quarter-finals, we could just sneak into a semi-final.

“A top four position is our ‘gold medal’, but to get into the quarter-finals is our first goal.”

A major fundraising effort has been on the go to get the team to Berlin.

“We have been working tirelessly to find some sponsorship and to raise the funds to cover our expense to Berlin,” Eustice said.

“Our crowdfunding is still taking place, and those interested in helping the team can find out more on www.thundafund.com/project/blitzstoksworldcup2018.

“This process will be continuing until February 7, to help us get as much as possible.

“We have been truly amazed by the support and messages from the hockey community around South Africa, and even certain parts of the world.

“The BlitzStoks would like to thank everyone who has helped, in any shape or form, over the last month.”

Never one to forget his roots, Eustice thanked all those who have helped him in his career throughout the last 20 years.

“From where I started in Benoni all the way to where I am now, it has been an amazing experience and I hope there will be more great experiences to come.”

Benoni City Times

World XI tour heralds new dawn for Pakistan hockey

Anwar Zuberi

THE two-match series between the World XI and Pakis­tan under-18 hockey teams heralded a new dawn for the national game and is could prove to be the crucial step towards revival of the golden era.

The World XI comprised players from six-nations — Netherlands, Australia, Ger­many, Argeneina, New Zealand and Spain. Pakistan‘s renowned striker Sohail Abbas, who was named captain of the World XI, stayed away for reasons best known to him. Most of the visiting players were veterans with many feathers in their caps.

The World XI was pitted against a young Pakistan under-18 outfit who, despite losing the Karachi match 1-5, put up a resolute performance in the second match at Lahore to hold the experienced World XI to a three-all draw.

Victory and defeat are immaterial but what is important is that the series marked the revival of the game on home soil which was a great sight for hockey-starved fans.

It was a wise decision of the PHF to invest in the juniors and give them exposure. Modern hockey has completely changed and belongs to the youth.

Unfortunately, however, no arrangements were made to bring in school, college students to watch the matches at Karachi and Lahore as the general public enclosures remained empty which was not a great sight.

Looking back in history, Pakistan hockey team has achieved the distinction of performing the Grand Slam twice, the first occasion being the Mexico Olympics (1968), Bangkok Asian Games (1970), Barcelona World Cup (1971) and the second being Mumbai World Cup (1981-82), Delhi Asian Games (1982) and the Los Angeles Olympics (1984).

Such was the passion of people at the time that even a layman could correctly name all the 16-players of Pakistan hockey team. But the last quarter-of-a-century has created a big vaccum and unfortunately, Pakistan is now ranked amongst the also ran.

What can be more embarrassing than Pakistan ’s failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, held at The Hague and then at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Pakistan is presently ranked 13th in the FIH rankings, a relegation of eight places in six years.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan jumped to fifth spot, their best ranking in recent times, after securing a bronze in the 2012 Champions Trophy at Melbourne. The greenshirts were home 3-2 over India in the playoff for the third position.

Despite suffering from lack of international exposure at home, the greenshirts climbed one place to seize a silver medal in the 2014 Champons Trophy held at Bhubaneswar in front of a hostile Indian crowd. In the final, Pakistan lost 0-2 to Germany.

Besides that, Pakistan annexed a silver at the Incheon Asian Games. But manager Shahnaz Shaikh, who was instrumental in Pakistan winning back-to-back medals, was shown the door following change of guard in the PHF on Aug 28, 2015.

Lahore’s National Hockey Stadium had served as a venue for the 1990 World Cup and the 1994 Champions’ Trophy. Pakistan lost the World Cup final to Holland but lifted the Champions Trophy.

As for Karachi, the last high-profile spectacle that took place was the Champions’ Trophy in 1992 where Pakistan clinched a bronze. Hall of Fame: The selection of foreign and Pakistan stalwarts for the Hall of Fame by PHF has raised many eyebrows. Nobody is challenging the credentials of the legendary players who were named but those who keenly follow the game bitterly criticised the glaring omission of living legends such as Abdul Hamid ‘Hamidi’, Abdul Waheed Khan, Tariq Aziz, Manzoor Hussain Jr besides the late A. I. S. Dara, M. H. Atif and one of the great administrators of all time, Air Marshal Nur Khan among others.

“There were no sane people to advice the PHF to start clockwise and keep a balance,” said the critics.

Hamidi, who led Pakistan to victory at Rome in 1960, had played in four Olympics – 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960. He is alive and should be honoured in his lifetime. He had also served as secretary of the PHF and the Director General of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

Waheed also had an enviable record to his credit. Besides being a member of the victorious Pakistan team at Rome, he managed the Buenos Aires gold medal winning team, the inaugural Champions Trophy at Lahore in 1978, Delhi Asian Games 1982, Asia Cup at Dhaka in 1985 besides winning the inaugural Pakistan-India series in 1978.

His record of 17 goals in a tournament including Pakistan’s first double hat-trick in a match at the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games is still intact.

Dr Tariq Aziz led Pakistan to victory at the 1968 Mexico Olympics.

Manzoor Hussain Jr had won gold in the inaugural junior World Cup at Versilles, France, in 1979, senior World Cup at the Buenos Aires in 1978 and Mumbai in 1981-82, LA Olympics in 1984 as a captain, 1978 and 1980 Champions Trophy. He was part of the 1981 and 1982 Champions Trophy teams where Pakistan finished fourth.

Col Dara earned double colours of British India at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and later represented Pakistan at the London Olympics in 1948 where Pakistan was placed fourth. He also served as the vice-president of the FIH.

Pakistan hockey is incomplete without Atif. He played in four Olympics –1952, 1956, 1960, 1964 and is the only Pakistani icon who had all three Olympic golds in his kitty, 1960 as a player and 1968 and 1984 as manager. He also managed Pakistan team at the Montreal Olympics.

He was also the first Pakistani who had been elected chairman of the FIH Rules Board. He was, indeed, a towering figure of the game.

Nur Khan is the Rene Frank of Pakistan hockey. It was under his presidentship of the PHF that Pakistan won the 1968 and 1984 Olympics, two World Cups 1978, 1981-82 and two Champions’ Trophy in 1978, 1980.

Khawaja Zakauddin had two Olympic and a World Cup gold besides an Olympic silver (1964) under his bag. Zaka, who played at Rome, was coach of the Pakistan team at the LA Olympics. He also coached the Mumbai World Cup goal medal winning team.

Besides, there are many other stalwarts who have won laurels to the nation and can’t be accommodated at one time. It is up to the PHF to draw a line and chalk out criteria for future.

A word of thank is due to the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for their whole hearted support to the games controlling body.

Conclusion: The domestic hockey needs to be on the right track if the PHF is serious for the uplift of the game. There used to be a number of annual all-Pakistan competitions across the country and the players hardly find time for their families. The Aga Khan Gold Cup, the General Musa Gold Cup, the competitions at Karachi, in Gojra and Khanpur are among others that used to unearth budding players.

Hockey is the national game and needs special treatment from the government. The Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa should step in and issue directives to at least 10 to 15 financial institutions, cellular firms and others to raise hockey teams under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Once done, it will give mental relief to players who could then focus solely on the game and help in winning more laurels.


KLHC making their presence felt in Premier Division

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: KL Hockey Club (KLHC) are slowly but surely making their mark in the Premier Division.

The star-studded team, powered by six import players and seven national players, have registered three consecutive wins and are third in the standings with 11 points in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

They outplayed Maybank (5-1) and trounced TNB-Thunderbolt (7-0) in the first round matches before beating the Thunderbolt (4-0) in the second round.

And today, KLHC will be out to maul the Tigers at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.

KLHC coach Lim Chiow Chuan said his team had enough depth to deliver the three points.

“We’ve scored three consecutive wins and we hope to keep the momentum going,” said the former national assistant coach.

Maybank, powered by six foreign players, are having their worst season in the league as they have only one point in six matches.

KLHC will be banking on Jang Jong-hyun today to deliver goals from penalty corners.

The South Korean, who was the top scorer in the MHL last season, has netted seven goals in six matches.

Chiow Chuan, who guided KLHC to win two titles – the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup and Charity Shield – said the destiny to win the league title was in their own hands.

“We’ve four more matches to go and we need to win every match to clinch it. It is easier said that done.

“We’ll take one match at a time and we cannot hope for other teams to do us a favour,” he said.

KLHC’s biggest challenge will be against Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) on Sunday.

Their other matches are against Tenaga Nasional on Jan 31 and Terengganu on Feb 2.

The Star of Malaysia

Coach: T’ganu need to tighten up game

All eyes on him: Tenaga will be out to stop Terengganu’s Gonzalo Peillat (left) from scoring in their top-of-the-table clash today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Failure to convert chances and sloppy defence stick out like a sore thumb for Terengganu in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

And it’s giving coach Sarjit Singh a big headache.

The shortcomings were exposed in Terengganu’s last two matches against Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).

They drew 2-2 in the first round match last Sunday in Bukit Jalil and also drew 1-1 in Kuala Terengganu on Wednes­day.

Former national coach Sarjit said they needed to tighten up their game.

“The team need to score at every chance and also beef up their markings in defence,” said Sarjit.

“We cannot afford to drop points anymore in the remaining four matches if we harbour any hopes of winning the Premier Division title.

“Four teams have an equal chance of winning and I believe it will go down to the wire.

Tenaga Nasional lead the six-team standings with 13 points from six matches while Terengganu are second with a point adrift.

KL Hockey Club (KLHC) are third with 11 points and UniKL are fourth with nine points.

All four teams have four more matches to go.

Terengganu face Tenaga in a top-of-the-table clash today at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.

Defender Ahmad Shakeel Butt will miss the action as he has collected eight demerit points and face one match suspension.

“Tenaga rely on teamwork and they are fast on counter attacks.

“They’ll be going all out to end our unbeaten run to stay top of the standings. We need to make full use of our chances,” said Sarjit.

Tenaga coach Nor Saiful Zaini said they would be keeping an eye on world’s top penalty corner specialist Gonzalo Peillat.

“We’ll have a chance of ending Terengganu’s winning streak in their own backyard if we can stop Gonzalo from scoring,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

Olak coach calls for review of MJHL duration

KUALA LUMPUR: The duration of the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is too long, says Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) team manager Joseph De Silva.

Joseph hoped the organising committee of the league, scheduled for Feb 23-May 5, would review the matter.

The closing date for entries is on Feb 2. The managers meeting will be held on Feb 10 to discuss the format of the Under-19 league.

Joseph said the league that span over two months would affect the juniors preparing for their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations.

“We have been participating in the league since 1995 and usually, the league ends in two months,” said Joseph.

“We have a number of players from other states such as Perlis, Kedah and Negri Sembilan, who will be sitting for their SPM examinations. These players will miss their tuition classes and school.

“I hope the organisers will complete the league fast so that the players can also concentrate on their studies,” said Joseph, who has been in charge of the Olak team since the MJHL’s inception 23 years ago.

Teams will be using this year’s MJHL as part of their preparation for the Sukma (Malaysia Games) in Ipoh in September.

Last year a total of 30 teams – 10 in Division One and 20 in Division Two – featured in the league.

The Star of Malaysia

Kalinga stadium capacity to be doubled for Hockey World Cup 2018

BHUBANESWAR: The capacity of the Kalinga Stadium here will be doubled for the Men's Hockey World Cup 2018 scheduled to be held in November this year, an official said on Thursday.

Besides, work on the second hockey turf inside the stadium premises will be completed by July this year, the official added.

The Men's Hockey World Cup 2018 is scheduled to be held at Bhubaneswar from November 28 to December 16 this year.

"The capacity of spectators at the main hockey stadium would be doubled. Importance is being given to world class lighting, best infrastructure and a stay worth remembering for the guests," said chief secretary AP Padhi after taking a review meeting.

He said a new stadium is being built which will be completed by the end of June this year.

Padhi informed that new turf will be installed in both the stadiums as per the Olympic regulations while the old one will be sent to be used in Rourkela and Sambalpur hockey stadiums.

Hockey India CEO Elena Norman said, "Everything is on track, we are now finalizing on the seating capacity. Tickets sales will be made available in a couple of months."

Besides, promotion of the Hockey World Cup will be carried out in all blocks. LED panels will be installed in every district to facilitate spectators watch live matches during the hockey tournament, said Sports and Youth Affairs secretary Vishal Dev.

The International Hockey Federation has asked the state government to arrange accommodation for over 1100 players and officials from the participating countries.

The Times of India

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