All the news for Thursday 22 February 2018
Dawson Replaced In Azlan Shah Team Due To Injury
Hockey Australia today confirms defender Matthew Dawson has been ruled out of the 18-man Kookaburras team for next month’s Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia due to injury.
Dawson sustained a fractured eye socket from a training accident on Wednesday morning and will be replaced in the team by Gold Coast defender Corey Weyer.
Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch said: “It’s unfortunate for Matt. The group has been training at high intensity where there is always the risk of injury, Matt is always 100 per cent committed and unfortunately in the wrong spot at the wrong time.
“The most important thing is Matt’s health and we want to make sure there’s no damage to his eye.
“He received positive news from initial scans on Wednesday but he’ll have further tests next week to get the all clear.”
Weyer is a 21-year-old with eight caps who hails from Biggera Waters on the Gold Coast, having played for Labrador Tigerstix. He was added to the National Senior Men’s Squad for this year after debuting in November.
“Corey has had a good couple of weeks in training following the Netherlands series,” Batch said.
“He’s played in Malaysia before, so he’ll be accustomed to the conditions and challenges that they bring.”
Australia will meet England, Malaysia, India, Ireland and Argentina in the Azlan Shah Cup which runs from March 3-10 with matches televised on Fox Sports.
The 18-man Kookaburras team is due to depart for Australia for Malaysia on Sunday morning.
The Azlan Shah Cup will be the Kookaburras’ final tournament before the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast from April 4-15.
The Kookaburras team for the Commonwealth Games will be named in mid-March after the Azlan Shah Cup.
Hockey Australia media release
Indian hockey team can succeed at CWG, World Cup: Manpreet Singh
NEW DELHI: Indian men's hockey captain Manpreet Singh, who led the side to the Asia Cup title last year, believes that the challenges of a very critical 2018 can be met with successful results, given the promise he has seen at close range over the past few years.
This year, leading upto the FIH World Cup in Bhubaneshwar in November-December, the Indian team will compete at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. Writing in his column for TOI, Manpreet felt that his team could win laurels in 2018 given the good mix of experience and youth under the guidance of coach Sjoerd Marijne.
"The importance 2018 cannot be over-emphasised. It's not only important but critical too, looking ahead to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Most fans would know that we are steadily climbing in terms of performance, displaying better skills and that would reflect in our rankings which at the moment put us at No 6 on the FIH listings," wrote the 25-year-old.
"I am confident that a year in which we play the Commonwealth Games (April), Asian Games (August) and the World Cup (November) will see a spike in our performance resulting in massive doses of confidence that should see us more often on the victory podium with the national team winning more and more medals. Younger players get more chances as the team is rotated for tournaments; importantly they also get to play with the seniors and the mentorship helps them gain confidence against bigger teams."
Under the captaincy of Manpreet in 2017, the men's hockey team beat Malaysia 2-1 to secure the Asia Cup title after ten years. In additional, it took home bronze medals at the Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneshwar and the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and finished second in Pool B at the WHL semi-finals in London, highlights being wins over Pakistan by 7-1 and 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast City, in the southeast of the Australian state of Queensland from April 4-15, will see the hockey team start off in the qualification round. Manpreet felt India had caught up with Australia, one of the dominant teams in international hockey.
"The Commonwealth Games is very important and we have closed the gap on the Australians. Even though it's a challenge meeting them in Australia, we will go all out to beat them; hopefully what should be the final. But it doesn't mean we are taking the others lightly," he wrote. "As captain of the team, we are working on creating more penalty corners and converting them into goals. We realised to win consistently; we have to score from every opportunity we get."
On Tuesday, Hockey India announced a squad for next month's Sultan Azlan Shah in Malaysia that did not include Manpreet. In his absence, the captaincy went to the recalled veteran Sardar Singh. According to Manpreet, the squad for the tournament was well-balanced, coached by Marijne, who in his first assignment last year oversaw the Asia Cup triumph.
"The team for the Azlan Shah is a good combination of young and senior players with four players making their debut. I have to say that our coach Sjoerd Marijne is a positive influence and constantly motivates us off and on the field. Players always share with him and a very strong team spirit has been forged. Tactically we are working hard so that we can beat the bigger teams consistently," he wrote.
The Times of India
USWNT to Host Chile at Home of Hockey in April for Test Series
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – They’re coming back to the East Coast! The U.S. Women’s National Team will host Chile in a four-game test series at Spooky Nook Sports, the Home of Hockey, in Lancaster, Pa. from April 9-14. This is USA’s second international series of the year in their preparatory line-up before the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 and another opportunity to support the team along their journey. Tickets are on sale, so secure yours today!
“Chile is a very passionate team that never gives up, as we were made aware during the Pan American Cup in Lancaster,” said Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach. “To play them in a series in April will gives us the opportunity to play highly competitive and potentially emotional games. Our ability to incorporate our focus points from the training block prior to these games and at the same time bringing a high level of intensity will be key.”
The last time these two sides met was on the very same pitch this past August in the semifinals of the women’s Pan American Cup. A thrilling match until the end, Chile scored a last-minute goal to advance to the final, leaving USA to fend for the bronze. Before that, the USWNT hosted Chile in a three-match series where USA was victorious in all contests.
Tickets for the Chile series are now on sale and can be purchased by clicking here. All games in the four-match event will also be live streamed on usafieldhockey.com.
USWNT vs. Chile Series, presented by Citi, Schedule:
Monday, April 9 6:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, April 11 6:30 p.m. ET
Friday, April 13 6:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, April 14 6:30 p.m. ET
Games will be played on the outside turf at Spooky Nook Sports. Tickets will be for sale by assigned sections during the series. Single game tickets start at $14 to sit in Section D (farthest from the center of the pitch), $16 for Section C and $18 for seats in Section B (closest to the center). Youth (age 17 and under) and Active Duty Military tickets will be available for 50 percent off the normal single ticket prices.
There will be an option to purchase a full series pass starting at $25 for children under 18, senior citizens and military, and $50 for adults. Click the text below for a full ticket listing!
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS
USFHA media release
Frazer and Sargent named in Irish squad for upcoming series
Megan Frazer could potentially return to Irish action. Pic: Adrian Boehm
Megan Frazer and Cliodhna Sargent are hoping they can make their respective returns to the Irish senior women’s international line-up following their inclusion Graham Shaw’s 29-player panel for upcoming series in Glasgow and Bisham Abbey in March.
The coach will hope they can show the potential to hit full stride for the summer’s World Cup in London.
For Frazer, it would mark the end of a painful 16-month journey. In November 2016, she ruptured her anterior cruciate as well as tearing a medial cruciate ligament in her knee, leading to two surgeries.
She is back training on-pitch with her club Mannheimer HC in Germany with hopes Frazer can reach the heights from before the injury when she was regarded as one of Ireland’s most talented performers.
Cork Harlequins’ Sargent is further along in her comeback, returning to club action before Christmas. She stepped back from the national squad in the wake of January 2017’s World League Round 2 to give birth to her first child.
On the goalkeeping front, regular number one Ayeisha McFerran is available, taking the place of Clodagh Cassin in the panel. Based at the University of Louisville, she was not involved in the trip to Malaga earlier this month where Ireland shared a four-game series with higher ranked Spain.
Sinead Loughran is another back in the mix following an ankle injury that rumbled on a little longer than expected to heal while Leaving Cert student Hannah McLoughlin is named.
Stepping out this time are Kate Lloyd, Erin Getty, Chloe Brown and Emma Russell in addition to Cassin. The Scottish leg of the tour sees Ireland play Scotland at Glasgow Green on March 5th and 6th. A week later, they go to Bisham for games on March 12th, 13th and 15th to face World Cup hosts England.
Ireland women’s panel (March 6-15, Glasgow and Bisham Abbey): Ayeisha McFerran (University of Louisville), Grace O’Flanagan (Railway Union), Emma Buckley (Cork Harlequins), Zoe Wilson (Belfast Harlequins), Yvonne O’Byrne (Cork Harlequins), Lena Tice (UCD), Chloe Watkins (HC Bloemendaal), Ali Meeke (Loreto), Lizzie Colvin (Belfast Harlequins), Anna O’Flanagan (HC Bloemendaal), Ellen Curran (UCD), Deirdre Duke (UCD), Nicola Evans (UHC Hamburg), Naomi Carroll (Cork Harlequins), Hannah Matthews (Loreto), Sarah Torrans (Loreto), Rebecca Barry (Cork Harlequins), Emily Beatty (Pembroke), Aisling Naughton (Pembroke), Gill Pinder (Pembroke), Shirley McCay (Pegasus), Leah McGuire (UCD), Roisin Upton (Cork Harlequins), Katie Mullan (UCD), Nicci Daly (Loreto), Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins), Megan Frazer (Mannheimer HC), Hannah McLoughlin (Loreto), Sinead Loughran (Hermes-Monkstown)
Ards Indoor superstar Brown would relish second offer from Germany as she looks to impress in Prague
Ards’ Chloe Brown. Pic: Stephen Findlater
Chloe Brown has revealed she turned down the offer of a move to Germany last season but she says she would jump at the opportunity if it were to come along again, writes John Flack.
The Ards striker will, therefore, be doing her utmost to impress when she plays in the European Indoor Trophy tournament in Prague at the weekend.
With all five of her team’s games being broadcast live on the internet, Brown will be in the shop window as she aims to enhance her reputation as the best indoor player in Ireland.
She has scored more than 30 goals for the club in five previous European tournaments and will be expected to add to her tally over the weekend.
Brown explained: “I had an offer to go Germany but due to other factors happening in my life I decided it was not the best time to go.
“I would love to play abroad especially in the likes of Germany where they have an indoor league.
“I really enjoy indoor and I am always gutted when it ends as I feel I never get much time to play it and build momentum.”
The 24-year-old Irish outdoor international would love to see the six-a-side version of the game expanded here although there have been encouraging signs of late in that regard.
Brown added: “Ulster hockey have planted the seed at underage level with U-15 and U-18 indoor tournaments that were a great success.
“There is also the Pro Series indoor (PSi) initiative that seems to have taken off across the country with the Belfast Bears taking off uo here in Ulster
“Hockey Ireland should have the final say and need to take the initiative as they will need to look at the national schedule to ensure that a proper indoor league is set up.”
“Leinster hockey seem to have done a good job at it this year by organising a league whereas we just had a one-day tournament in Ulster.”
This weekend, Ards will be targeting a top-six finish in Prague which would enable them to retain their second-tier status.
They are up against opposition from the Czech Republic, Croatia and Lithuania in the first phase before playing two classification matches.
“When we go to Prague our aim is to stay in B division. However every year we have played in a Euros, we have gained more and more experience and this shows in our play. “We always want to improve and do one better than last time. My aim is to not just to stay up but do it comfortably..” Chloe said..
However, she believes if things don’t change in Ireland as far as the indoor game is concerned, despite the encouraging signs, Ards’ task will be difficult, if they are to achieve their objective.
“I believe so. All these teams we play have their own respective indoor leagues. Before the tournament starts they have had at least two months of training and matches, yet this year we had two days of matches between ulster and Irish indoors.” she said.
“I always worry going into the first day of matches in the Euros as it’s been a while since we have played any competitive games but that doesn’t stop us and in fact it encourages us to give more and show that we are a threat.”
Charlier hopeful to be back in time for EHL KO16
©: Frank Uijlenbroek/world Sport Pics
Racing Club de Bruxelles are hoping Cedric Charlier can recover quickly from a broken toe in time for the EHL KO16.
The Belgian international striker was part of the club’s indoor side that won a EuroHockey Club Cup silver medal last weekend but sustained the injury during the group stage of the competition in Wettingen.
As such, he told the Hockey Belgium website that it will be touch and go whether he is available in time for Racing’s EHL KO16 campaign, starting against Dinamo Kazan on March 30 in Rotterdam.
"I was injured at the European Cup in Zurich during our last group match against Arminen,” he said. “I took a ball to the foot. Ususally, it takes between four to six weeks for the fracture to be completely healed.
“But, luckily, there is no fracture. This means that there is a possibility that I can start playing a little earlier but that will depend on the pain."
Euro Hockey League media release
Three Rock Rovers achieve first European goal for 2018
Three Rock Rovers won their EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge II in Georgia last weekend with six wins out of six to earn gold and promotion to the third tier of continental competition for 2019.
While they ended with 54 goals and a goal difference of plus 41, it was not all plain sailing for the Dublin club who will play in the EHL KO16 against Saint Germain on March 31 in Rotterdam.
In game one, Armenia’s Harzadan proved a tough nut to crack with Ben McCrea’s second-half goal providing a 3-2 victory.
They had largely been on top in that opening tie but had some star men in Arsen Gevorkyan they had one of the legends of Dinamo Kazan in their line-up, keeping them in touch at 2-2 at half-time.
Rovers followed up with a 10-0 win over hosts Tbilisi Club and then beat Finland’s HC Klippari 6-2. The best performance came in game four against the other side with a perfect record thus far, Norway’s Kringsja. Rovers burst into a 5-1 lead by the 14th minute with Richard Pautz, Daragh Walsh, Jody Hosking, Harry Morris and Ross Canning all scoring.
Kringsja got a sniff of a chance with two goals late in the first half but another couple of Morris strikes in the 28th and 29th minutes put them in the clear and on course for an 8-5 win.
It meant that promotion was within touching distance but a sleepy start to Sunday morning saw them fall 2-0 behind against Lithuania’s Klevas Siauliai.
Canning and Hosking equalised with goals in the three minutes before half-time and a Canning corner early in the second half put them on course for a fifth successive win.
With promotion achieved, gold followed a few hours later. The task was simple enough – avoid defeat by 13 goals. In the end, they swept to a sixth win, running up a 23-2 win over Bulgaria’s Lokomotiv 1929.
Reflecting on the weekend, coach Liam Canning said: “Ross [Canning], Richard [Pautz], Jody Hosking and Stephen Dawson were excellent in the spine of the team but all others progressed enormously as the tournament developed. They were all willing to learn and they did.”
He singled out Pautz as one who made a massive difference and was the coach’s player of the tournament, the tactics giving him space and freedom to show his quality. He cannot wait for taking on the challenge again next year and continue the job of rejuvenating Irish fortunes on the indoor scene.
Euro Hockey League media release
Ipoh City Council out to seek revenge against UiTM in semi-finals
By Aftar Singh
KUALA LUMPUR: It’s time to settle a two-year old score.
Ipoh City Council could not be more motivated when they face Division One league champions Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)-KPT in the semi-finals of the President Cup today at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
In 2016, the Ipoh side suffered an agonising 3-2 defeat in a penalty shootout to the university team in the quarter-finals after both teams were tied 4-4 on aggregate.
The teams also met in a Division One league match last month. That game, goalless after the first two quarters, was abandoned due to a downpour.
En route to today’s semi-finals, Ipoh edged Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) 4-3 while UiTM trounced Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Tigers 7-1.
Ipoh team manager Azahari Effendy Abdul Rahim said the two-year wound still lingered as his side seek to avenge the 2016 quarter-final defeat against UiTM.
“This time, we hope to turn the tables on them to reach our first-ever final.
The Star of Malaysia
Uniten forward Hanis aims to steer team to second league title
KUALA LUMPUR: PKS Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten)-KPT forward Hanis Nadiah Onn is brimming with confidence over the prospect of winning a second women’s league title.
But the national player is quick to keep her teammates on guard against over-confidence.
The team have two easy matches ahead of them before the title is decided. They face MSN Kedah on Saturday before wrapping up the league fixtures against Penang Juniors on Monday.
In the first round, Uniten trounced Kedah 8-0 before they outplayed Penang Juniors 7-1.
Hanis, who has netted six goals for Uniten in 10 matches, said winning the title was all in their hands.
“The good news is that we have three days’ break before we face Kedah. We’ll have enough rest and fresh legs to go all out to score another big win over them,” said the 21-year-old Hanis.
“My teammates are all in high spirits but we must not take anything for granted. We must capitalise on our chances to collect full points.
“A convincing win over Kedah will put us in a good position to win the title,” said Hanis.
Hanis said her challenge was to score as many goals as possible in the league.
“It’ll be really nice if I can deliver goals in the last two matches to help Uniten win the league title by staying unbeaten in the league,” said Hanis.
Uniten and Blue Warriors are tied on 24 points after 10 matches but the university team have a two-goal advantage.
Blue Warriors, powered by three Indian players Ritu Rani, Renna Rani and Narinder Kaur, face a tricky situation as they face two tough matches – against Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) today and against last year’s double champions Terengganu Ladies on Monday.
Blue Warriors struggled against UiTM before winning 4-3 in the first round. The Warriors were held 1-1 by Terengganu Ladies in the opening match.
The Star of Malaysia
Hockeyroos & Kookaburras To Run In Comm Games Baton Relay
Rachel Lynch makes a young fan's day
Several current and past Hockeyroos and Kookaburras will this week take part in the 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay as part of the Western Australian leg.
Former Hockeyroos pair Ashleigh Nelson and Kellie White will run the relay in Albany in WA’s south on Thursday morning.
Current Hockeyroos pair Rachael Lynch and Emily Smith and current Kookaburras forward Trent Mitton will carry the baton in Perth on Saturday afternoon, along with decorated ex-Hockeyroo Rechelle Hawkes.
Former Kookaburras duo Simon Orchard and Chris Ciriello will take part on Sunday in Perth in City Beach and Scarborough.
Australia goalkeeper Lynch said: “I think the home games are awesome. We want to boost hockey in Australia and get more people to get excited about it and watch it.
“To have one here in Australia where we can showcase what we do day-to-day and often to a crowd of people who don’t normally watch it, whether live or on TV, for me is going to be great.
“The multi-sports events, when you’re part of a broader team representing Australia, makes it really fun.
“I think Gold Coast will put on a really good show with the facilities and the actual event.
“We need to make sure we play really well and do Australia proud.”
Hockey Australia media release
Roo Insight - Kershaw: What A Home Comm Games Means To Me
By Stephanie Kershaw
Can the hope of making the final 18 players selected to go to a Commonwealth Games get any better? It probably can for the seven girls in the squad who all hail from the beautiful, sunny state that is Queensland.
As a Queenslander myself the prospect of playing in my home state in front of friends and family is doubly exciting.
A home Commonwealth Games is most probably a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s the chance for your grandparents, friends, siblings, cousins, uncles, and aunties, to see you play for your country.
One of the biggest international sporting events is in your own backyard, and is open to many people who otherwise might never get the chance to cheer for you in person. That’s incredibly special.
But, as life goes, all these good things also come with the bad. Does a home Commonwealth Games bring extra pressure to perform? Does it create more stress than it should, because it’s in front of friends, family, the media, and an excited country? Does the fact the Hockeyroos have won the last three Commonwealth Games put a higher expectation on our back? I believe that it might, but it also creates a pretty awesome opportunity to show our country what we are made of.
The Hockeyroos have won the gold medal at the last three Commonwealth Games. Winning again this year, however, will be no easy feat.
We are going up against teams like New Zealand, who knocked us out of the 2016 Olympics; Great Britain, who are fresh off an Olympic gold; a red-hot South African team; and Canada, who have already been to the Gold Coast for a sniff of the facilities.
Everyone is vying for that Comm Games glory.
While the competition is clearly tough and the pressure palpable, everyone who forms a part of the Hockeyroos squad believes a gold medal is achievable. We are also acutely aware, however, that our performance, diligence, and energy, on each and every day, will be the making or undoing of our gold medal campaign.
For Australian hockey players, these multi sport events create a hub where people who don’t play or follow hockey actually get around the sport and provide an audience we would never get at any other international hockey event here in Australia.
An event like the Commonwealth Games or Olympics is not just a place for us to do well and win a medal, but a platform for us to showcase this incredible game we love to the rest of the world who, a couple of months before, might never have picked up a hockey stick or known what a drag-flick or tomahawk is.
So get around the Hockeyroos (and the Kookaburras) this Commonwealth Games. Show your support, cheer us on, and fingers crossed we can win a fourth straight gold medal right here on home soil!
Hockey Australia media release
Hookin2Hockey Heads To India: Thanks To DFAT & Tata Steel
In conjunction with the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Tata Steel, members of Hockey Australia’s Participation Department recently completed their fifth Indian Hookin2Hockey campaign since 2016.
The team, comprised of Participation Manager James Liggins, Participation Programs Coordinator Tom Winter and Graphic Designer Ivy Whelan, travelled across rural India and assisted in the delivery of Hookin2Hockey programs to over 500 children.
Children from all over rural India received coached lessons, an opportunity to compete in a tournament and the same Hookin2Hockey packs that children in Australia receive. The packs contain brand new shin pads, balls, backpacks, playing singlets and hockey sticks.
In the rural area of Gomardhi, Odisha, Hockey Australia assisted in the coordination of a Stick2Hockey style competition which saw more than 300 children compete on the pitch and receive a participation medal.
The program, which is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and supported on ground by Tata Steel’s Corporate Social Responsibility team, aims toward building a sustainable hockey pathway program for children in rural areas of India.
Importantly, the Hookin2Hockey program is gender equal and provides equal opportunity for participation in terms of playing and coaching.
Tata Steel employs coaches for the Hookin2Hockey programs. Providing jobs to coaches ensures that the programs are delivered correctly and professionally for the benefit of developing young athletes.
Hookin2Hockey is run through schools in rural India which encourages children to always attend school, get an education and live a healthy lifestyle.
The pathway gives children an opportunity to be selected for Tata Steel’s Hockey Academy. Any athletes who is selected to join the academy receives coached training, equipment and healthy food to benefit their development.
James Liggins, who has been on-ground for all five trips to India, noted the immediate impacts of the project.
“You can see it straight away, the smiles on these kids’ faces when they receive a hockey stick or a participation medal make it worthwhile. Hookin2Hockey offers them an opportunity to be part of a team sport in a healthy and fun environment, something they might not get to experience otherwise.”
Hockey Australia would like to thank the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Tata Steel’s Corporate Social Responsibility, Tata Steel’s Chief of Corporate Social Responsibility Mr. Sourav Roy and Tata Steel’s Corporate Social Responsibility Head of Skill Development Captain Amitabh for their assistance in the delivery of this exceptional program.
Hockey Australia media release