All the news for 21 February 2018
Vantage Black Sticks beaten in opener
Photo: Rodrigo Jaramillo, World Sport Pics
The Vantage Black Sticks Women have suffered a 4-0 defeat to Argentina in the first of five tests in Buenos Aires.
In their first international competition since the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final in November, the Kiwis matched Argentina early to go into halftime locked up at 0-0.
The hosts then opened the scoring in the 35th minute through a Maria Granatto field goal before Delfina Merino struck right on three quarter time to double the lead.
Argentina scored twice more in the final 10 minutes of the match with a field goal from Julieta Jankunas and Noel Barrionuevo penalty corner.
The Vantage Black Sticks have a day of recovery before going up against Argentina in the second test on Friday at 10:00am (NZ time).
VANTAGE BLACK STICKS: 0
ARGENTINA: 4 (Maria Granatto, Delfina Merino, Julieta Jankunas, Noel Barrionuevo)
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Argentina thump New Zealand
World Player of the Year, Argentina's Delfina Merino scored the second goal. Photosport
New Zealand have been thumped in their first women's hockey international against Argentina in Buenos Aires today.
The match was scoreless at halftime before the world No 3 Argentina put four goals past the fourth-ranked Black Sticks to comfortably win the first of five internationals in the series.
The hosts went ahead five minutes after halftime through Maria Granatto, before the classy Delfina Merino added a second at the end of the third quarter. Julieta Jakunas and a Noel Barrionuevo penalty corner strike completed the scoring.
The match was the first between the teams since the World League final in Auckland, when New Zealand won their quarter-final clash 2-1 in November.
The second international is on Friday morning (NZT).
The New Zealand Herald
Black Sticks women crash to big defeat against Argentina in Buenos Aires
The Black Sticks have suffered a huge defeat against Argentina in Buenos Aires, going down 4-0. (File Photo).
The Black Sticks women have suffered a 4-0 defeat to Argentina in the first of five tests in Buenos Aires.
In their first international competition since the Hockey World League Final in November, the Kiwis matched Argentina early to go into halftime locked up at 0-0 on Wednesday (NZT).
But they lost their way in the second stanza and allowed the hosts to open up the scoring in the 35th minute through a Maria Granatto field goal before Delfina Merino struck right on three-quarter time to double the lead.
Argentina scored twice more in the final 10 minutes of the match with a field goal from Julieta Jankunas and Noel Barrionuevo penalty corner.
The Black Sticks are using the series as a warm-up to their Commonwealth Games campaign just over a month away.
The Black Sticks have a day of recovery before going up against Argentina in the second test on Friday at 10am (NZT).
2018 Oman Triangular Series - Final
PAK - JPN Final 2 - 3
FIH Match Centre
3-Nation Hockey: Japan beat Pakistan 3-2 in final
Japan defeated Pakistan 3-2 in an interesting final of the 3-nation hockey tournament at Muscat's Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.
The two thousand capacity stadium was jam packed mostly with the Pakistani expats.
Fast up and down game was witnessed Japan availed their first penalty corner in the fourth minute with a deceptive two touch indirect drill. Yamasaki, standing close to the goal, caressed the ball in with an extended flat stick.
A quick counter resulted in the second Japanese goal in the 12th minute after a spate of one touch passes.Pakistani defence was guilty of poor marking in the circle.
Within two minutes, Pakistan pulled back one when captain Rizwan Senior's ball from left side went high in the circle off a defender's stick and Arslan Qadir expertly put it in from near the goal.
There was no goal in the second quarter.
1st Half: Japan: 2, Pakistan: 1
In the second half also, the pattern was mostly the same; fluent hockey.
Japanese displayed planned game with their attacks coming through swift counters.
One such turn over resulted in the third Japanese goal in the 50th minute.
Down by two goals with just 10 minutes left, Pakistan worked hard to come back.
They had a couple of open chances and two penalty corners. Off their last PC in the 56th minute Mubashar Ali's strong push hit the board on goal keeper's right. But time ran out for them
Japan: Koji Yamasaki (4' off PC), Kazuma Murata (12'), Hirotaka Wikuri (50')
Pakistan: Arslan Qadir (14'), Mubashar Ali (56' off PC)
PHF Media release
Sardar eyes Azlan Shah as rebirth
Refutes rumours that Malaysia trip would be his farewell
By Sidney Kiran
The last four months have been testing for Sardar Singh, one of the country's finest creative players. From being pushed back to a free-moving defender role in the Asia Cup to subsequently being ignored for the FIH World League Final besides Hockey India pinning their hope on youngsters, the 31-year-old's career appeared to be all but over.
A flicker of hope arrived on Tuesday when HI, giving credence to mounting speculations over the last few weeks, recalled the veteran for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. But the new lease of life seemingly comes with a rider. If rumours are to be believed, Sardar's trip to Ipoh, Malaysia is a parting gift from the federation to the former skipper whose work ethics still remain uncompromising but pace has come down owing to advancing years.
The soft-spoken Sardar, speaking following an intense practice session, rubbished all rumours, saying he's here to stay and will continue to challenge the youngsters for a place in the side.
"I was very disappointed when I wasn't picked for the World League Final as it is a big tournament and you get to play against big opponents," said Sardar, who first led India a decade ago at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. "I was preparing well but whatever the decision of the coaches and the federation, I was okay with it. Those of us who were here at the camp were following the schedule.
"You've seen that players are being rotated for some time now. The idea behind that is that there are important tournaments coming up -- Asian Games and the World Cup -- and so everyone in the core group should get a chance. We can then see who performs to what level."
While he was okay with the rotational policy, Sardar felt it needs to be stopped right now. "At the Asia Cup, I played as a free defender after a long time. When I came back to the camp afterwards, (coach) Sjoerd (Marjine) and I had a chat. He told me, 'I saw you at the tournament and now we're going to try a few new players.' After that, now that they are rotating players, it's good for everyone.
"In my view, this Azlan Shah should be the last tournament this year where we rotate and I think the federation has the same view. After this we can't try too many players. Those who are performing well will be part of the team henceforth."
Sardar said he never lost heart when he was dropped and is eyeing a shot at this December's World Cup at home. "Look, you have to do what is in your hands, which is to train well. You should take it (dropped) in a positive way. When I started, my dream was to be like Teun de Nooijer and Jamie Dwyer. I used to watch them on TV. I was selected alongside them in the All-Star teams of 2010 and 2011.
"You have been adjudged the best player at a major tournament. You have played against the best. You have won a lot of awards. After all this, you have to keep yourself as fit as possible and play as well as you can. The coach decides after that.
"Hockey has given me a lot and I've been wearing the national colours for 10 years. My attempt will be to keep myself fit as long as possible and play good hockey for my country. That's it."
The Deccan Herald
Shaw Selects Irish Training Panel of 29
Green Army head coach Graham Shaw has announced his 29 strong training panel for the upcoming World Cup. The announcement comes after a 4 match series in Spain that saw Ireland share the spoils with their higher ranked hosts.
Shaw commented “We’ve selected a very competitive panel of 29. The group will train together over the next several months and the final squad for the World Cup will be finalised towards the end of June/early July”.
5/3/18 Ireland vs Scotland in Glasgow
6/3/18 Ireland vs Scotland in Glasgow
12/3/18 Ireland vs England in Bisham Abbey
13/3/18 Ireland vs England in Bisham Abbey
15/3/18 Ireland vs England in Bisham Abbey
1 Ayeisha McFerran- Louisville
2 Grace O Flanagan- Railway
3 Emma Buckley- Cork Harlequins
4 Shirley McCay- Pegasus
5 Yvonne O Byrne- Cork Harlequins
6 Cliodhna Sargent- Cork Harlequins
7 Hannah Mathews- Loreto
8 Lena Tice- UCD
9 Leah McGuire- UCD
10 Hannah McLoughlin- Loreto
11 Zoe Wilson- Belfast Harlequins
12 Gill Pinder- Pembroke
13 Lizzie Colvin- Belfast Harlequins
14 Katie Mullan- UCD
15 Nicci Daly- Loreto
16 Ali Meeke- Loreto
17 Roisin Upton- Cork Harlequins
18 Megan Frazer- Manheim
19 Chloe Watkins- Bloemendaal
20 Anna O Flanagan- Bloemendaal
21 Rebecca Barry- Cork Harlequins
22 Ellen Curran- UCD
23 Nicola Evans- UHC
24 Deirdre Duke- UCD
25 Sinead Loughran- Monkstown
26 Sarah Torrans- Loreto
27 Aisling Naughton- Pembroke
28 Naomi Carroll- Cork Harlequins
29 Emily Beatty- Pembroke
Irish Hockey Association media release
Pakistan to hire Dutch hockey coach Roelant Oltmans?
LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is looking forward to celebrated Dutch hockey coach Roelant Oltmans once again take charge of the national team before the Commonwealth Games in Australia this year. A reliable source said Tuesday that Oltmans, who has coached the team before in 2003-2004, was in Oman where Pakistan are playing a triangular tournament with Japan and the hosts. “Oltmans is in Oman to have talks with the PHF president and secretary and if he agrees to take up the new assignment, he will be leading the Pakistan team in the Commonwealth Games in April,” the source added. “He has apparently asked for a few days to make a final decision as he has been heavily involved with Indian hockey at every level since 2013,” the source said. Oltmans was initially appointed High-Performance Director by Hockey India in 2013 but took over as head coach after the ouster of another Dutchman, Paul Van Ass, in controversial circumstances in 2015. Oltmans’ tenure as India head coach ended last September.
The PHF was upset after a series of poor results by the national team last year, in which it barely managed to qualify for the World Cup finals, due to be held in India later this year. “This is an important year for Pakistan hockey as they will appear in a number of high profile tournaments including the Commonwealth Games, Champions Trophy, Asian Games and World Cup. If they win the Asian Games it will put them directly into the next Olympic Games,” a PHF official said. Pakistan failed to qualify for the last Olympics in Brazil and it sparked off a big debate over the decline of hockey in the country.
The Daily Times
Pakistan Hockey Federation targets former India coach Roelant Oltmans
Roelant Oltmans - File Photo, AFP
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is targetting celebrated Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans to once again take charge of the national team before the Commonwealth Games.
A reliable source in the federation told PTI that Oltmans, who has coached the team before in 2003-2004, was in Oman where Pakistan is playing a triangular tournament with Japan and the hosts.
"Oltmans is in Oman to have talks with the PHF president and secretary and if he agrees to take up the new assignment, he will be leading the Pakistan team in the Commonwealth Games in April," the source said. "He has apparently asked for a few days to make a final decision as he has been heavily involved with Indian hockey at every level since 2013."
Oltmans was initially appointed High-Performance Director by Hockey India in 2013 but took over as head coach after the ouster of another Dutchman, Paul Van Ass, in controversial circumstances in 2015.
Oltmans' tenure as India head coach ended last September. The PHF was upset after a series of poor results by the national team last year, in which it barely managed to qualify for the World Cup finals, due to be held in India later this year.
"This is an important year for Pakistan Hockey as they will appear in a number of high profile tournaments including the Commonwealth Games, Champions Trophy, Asian Games and World Cup. If they win the Asian Games it will put them directly into the next Olympic Games," a PHF official said.
Pakistan failed to qualify for the last Olympics in Brazil and it sparked off a big debate over the decline of hockey in the country.
Daily News & Analysis
Skipper Sukri says fitness is paramount ahead of hectic season
Huge burden: National skipper Mohamad Sukri Abdul Mutalib (right) says the team are determined to win the Asian Games gold to automatically qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
KUALA LUMPUR: The national hockey team will be busy as a bee this year.
And national skipper Mohamad Sukri Abdul Mutalib has called on his players to maintain their fitness and discipline to cope with the hectic season.
They are expected to play in 40 international matches in the next 10 months.
Their overloaded schedule will begin with the six-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from March 3-10.
It will be followed by the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April; six friendly matches against reigning Olympic champions Argentina in June; five friendly matches with world champions Australia in August; Asian Games in Jakarta in August; 10-nation Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman, in October; and the World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India, in November.
Sukri said it would be a challenge to peak at all major tournaments.
“We’ve a heavy calendar with so many matches to play. The biggest challenge is to maintain a good form in every tournament,” said Sukri, who will turn 32 on Saturday.
The Star of Malaysia
Akmal's Lucky Strike for Ipoh
By Jugjet Singh
KUALA LUMPUR: Akmal Tajuddin was the toast for Ipoh City Council in the President's Cup quarter-finals Tuesday, when he scored a last minute goal to beat Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) 4-3 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The Ipoh side will meet Divison One League champions Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)-KPT in the semi-final Thursday.
UiTM hammered Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Tigers 7-1 at the adjacent pitch.
The SSTMI goals were scored by Shahhairul Rusyaidi (13th), Hanif Saad (29th), Sulaiman Razak (56th) and Akmal (60th).
Ipoh got their goals off Hafizal Halmi (16th, 45th), Akmal Tajuddin (23rd).
Ipoh City Council manager Azahari Effendy said: "We played without two key players in forward Soffian Kamaruddin and midfielder Heiry Pami as both are injured but we still went on to beat SSTMI.
"We take on favourites UiTM for a place in the final, and I believe my players will give their best again," said Azahari.
Kedah, with six foreign players, also advanced into the semi-finals by beating Penang Hockey Club 9-4 at the Sungai Petani Hockey Stadium.
Kedah will face Politeknik-KPT in the other semi-finals.
PRESIDENTS CUP Q-finals -- KEDAH 9 PENANG HOCKEY CLUB 4; UITM-KPT 7 MBPJ TIGERS 1; SSTMI 3 IPOH CITY COUNCIL 4; POLITEKNIK-KPT 3 BJSS 2.
WOMEN'S LEAGUE: MSN KEDAH 3 KL WIPERS 3, PENANG JUNIORS 2 TERENGGANU LADIES 7, BLUE WARRIORS 2 PKS UNITEN-KPT 2.
P W D L F A Pts
PKS UNITEN-KPT 10 7 3 0 46 8 24
BLUE WARRIORS 10 7 3 0 45 9 24
TERENGGANU LADIES 9 6 2 1 33 11 20
KL WIPERS 10 2 2 6 10 40 8
MSN KEDAH 9 2 1 6 8 32 7
UITM 9 2 0 7 12 24 6
PENANG JUNIORS 9 1 1 7 6 36 4
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Akmal turns hero
By Aftar Singh
Making his move: UiTM’s Muhd Haikal Abdul Mutalib (right) dribbling the ball away from MBPJ Tigers’ Mohd Shahrul Nizam during their President Cup match yesterday. — AZHAR MAHFOF / The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Muhamad Akmal Tajuddin scored in the last minute to turn hero for Ipoh City Council in their 4-3 victory over Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) in their President Cup match.
The hard-fought win at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil saw the Ipoh team into the semi-finals against Division One league champions Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)-KPT tomorrow.
UiTM packed too much power to trounce a hapless Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Tigers 7-1 at the adjacent pitch.
The SSTMI students took the lead off a penalty corner by Muhd Shahhairul Rusyaidi Abdullah in the 13th minute but the Ipoh team fought back and turned the tables with two goals in a space of seven minutes.
Muhd Hafizal Halmi scored off a penalty corner in the 16th minute before Akmal scored a field goal seven minutes later.
Mohd Hanif Saad equalised for SSTMI in the 29th minute but Hafizal was on target again in the 45th minute to make it 3-2.
SSTMI equalised again in the 56th minute via Muhd Sulaiman Abdul Razak but Akmal joined Hafizal with a brace of his own, scoring from close range in the 60th minute.
Ipoh City Council team manager Azahari Effendy Abdul Rahim was full of praise for his players’ fighting spirit.
“We were without two key players forward Soffian Kamaruddin and midfielder Mohd Heiry Pami as both are injured but we did well to beat SSTMI,” he said.
“We have a day’s rest before we take on favourites UiTM,” he said.
Kedah, powered by six foreign players, also advanced into the semi-finals by outplaying Penang Hockey Club 9-4 at the Sungai Petani Hockey Stadium.
Kedah will face Politeknik-KPT in the other semi-finals.
The Star of Malaysia
KHU mulls over league changes
By BRIAN YONGA
Telkom coach Jos Openda (left) and captain Tracy Karanja lead Kenyan hockey queens in celebrations after they were presented with the trophy for winning the women’s 2017-18 Premier League on February 18, 2018 at City Park Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Next season’s Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s Premier League could be divided into two if team managers adopt the proposals by the league committee.
The league committee is considering having a Super League as well as the Premier League for the 2018 season.
The league committee is set to meet club managers this weekend where the issue will be discussed and if passed, it will be adopted for the new season due in two months’ time.
The Premier League will be the top league followed by the Super League and lastly the National League. The women’s game will continue to have just one league- the Premier League.
According to KHU Secretary General Wycliffe Ongori, teams will be spilt based on their last season performance and the regions the regions they come from. The move, he said, was meant to make the top league competitive and also have it end on time.
“Really when you look at the log for this season and the previous one, you can see the gap as far as the points are concerned between the first and last teams,” Ongori, who was elected during last month’s National elections, said.
“All this is to make the league competitive and for the betterment of the sport in Kenya.”
If adopted, the men’s game will now have three leagues including the second tier men’s national league.
Under the new arrangement, the two bottom placed teams in the Premier League will drop to the Super League and the top two in the Super League joining the Premier League.
The same will happen to teams that finish top and bottom in the Super League and National League.
Kenya Police reclaimed the title they won last in 2013 finishing with 77 points with Butali Sugar Warriors placed second with 70 points and Greensharks completing the top three with 52 points.
On the wrong end of the table, debutantes Technical University of Kenya (TUK) finished last with 11 points behind Kenyatta University (KU) Titans 26 and KCAU 31 points.
TUK and KU Titans were relegated to the men’s National League with Wazalendo Masters and Multimedia University (MMU) set to take their place in the top flight league.
Wazalendo Masters beat MMU 2-1 in the men’s National League play-off final over the weekend to be crowned division one champions.
Unbeaten Telkom retained the women’s title winning an unprecedented 20th title to cement their place in the history books.
Manpreet Singh, Indian Hockey Captain: India is big enough for cricket and hockey to co-exist
Hockey is a sport Indian didn’t just dominate but virtually reigned supreme in. However, that was decades ago. Emergence of other sports and a decline in results in international competitions relegated hockey to a secondary sport in the country for several years. However, of late, both the men’s and women’s national sides have looked to recover some of hockey’s lost glory in India with impressive results. Both the teams won their respective Asia Cups and the men won a bronze in the World Hockey League Finals last year. The two captains, Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampal, were in Delhi recently for an event to announce the teams’ new sponsor, the state of Odisha, and spoke to us about the significance of this year for Indian hockey.
The recent positive results have earned the sport newer fans. Rani says, "The players are better motivated now. Earlier, there was a feeling ki kiske liye khel rahe ho. But when people support you, you want to push that much harder.” Manpreet adds, “The last year was good but that needs to continue in 2018 too for the fanfare to sustain." With three major tournaments lined up this year, 2018 is the make or break year for Indian hockey. Rani elaborates, "2018 is a very crucial year for Indian hockey, since we have the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games, and the Asian Games this year. We are in good spirits after last year’s performances and we want to repeat that this year and get medals in all major tournaments."
Rani adds, "I do believe that if we are able to do that, the graph of women’s hockey will go up. This will empower more girls to think they can take up hockey, so it’s a big responsibility for us to do well."
It has often been said that cricket’s rise in India coincided with hockey’s decline and the former’s dominance in the Indian sports scene has been attributed to hockey ‘not getting its due share’. However, Manpreet disagrees with this notion. "Cricket is also our sport. Whenever, the cricket team wins, we also get happy because India has won. Whenever we win a big tournament, they congratulate us on social media. Fans might think there is animosity between the two games but they should see how we appreciate each other. India is big enough for cricket and hockey to co-exist," says Manpreet.
Due to his on-field successes and the fact that he is the Indian skipper, Manpreet is often compared to another Indian captain – Virat Kohli. The 26-year-old laughs off such comparisons, saying, "Someone recently said I stay calm like MS Dhoni. Then, some say my game is similar to Virat Kohli’s. They are much bigger players than I am. I get to learn a lot from them, to be honest. They are legends who have won a lot of laurels for India, so I always try to learn from them, the way they conduct themselves, how they approach their game, and their focus on fitness."
The Times of India