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News for 12 May 2018

All the news for Saturday 12 May 2018

Men’s National Team appoints Rob Short as domestic trainer

Simply put, Rob Short is one of the Field Hockey greats in Canada. He has the second most caps for the Men’s National Team in the history of Canadian Field Hockey with 346. He may have hung up his boots in 2013, but Short is back in 2018 as an assistant coach for the Men’s National Team.

Short’s international playing career is nothing shy of legendary. He played professional hockey in the Netherlands for 14 years. He attended two Olympic Games, two World Cups, five Pan American Games and four Commonwealth Games for Canada. Known for his competitive desire, Short was the national team captain from 2001-2008.

Short has made coaching his priority over the past several years, founding the Rob Short Coaching Academy. He lives and works in the Greater Vancouver area and continues to be dedicated to the growth and development of the sport in Canada. According to Short, he is excited to be back involved with the national team program.

“For 20 years, the national team was my passion in life and I haven’t lost this,” Short said. “While I would still love to be playing, coaching is the second-best job in the world.”

Short joins the team as a domestic trainer focusing his efforts on the daily training environment. Short joins a coaching staff featuring Paul Bundy and Gregg Clark. Clark and Short battled each other for over a decade of international play and Short said there was no love lost when their rivalry was at its height. The two now make an unlikely duo as they support Bundy and the Canadian Men’s National Team.

“For many years I played against Gregg when he was playing for South Africa and I can’t remember a game when we weren’t yelling at each other throughout the match,” Short said. “He always wanted to win as badly as I did…once we get our history behind us, I am convinced we will make an excellent support team for Bundy.”

According to Bundy, Short brings a wealth of experience from a 20-plus year playing and coaching career to the national team training environment.

“Rob has worked with some of the best coaches in the world. He knows the international game, he knows the Canadian game and most importantly, he comes to training with a whole different perspective,” Bundy said. “He has great energy and a really good rapport with the players.”

Short said he always knew he was going to return to the national team in some capacity, it was just a matter of when. For him, the fit was right, the vision matched his own and he’s excited to return to the fold.

“I love Bundy’s vision and his plan for the current team, but also for the younger generations in Canada,” Short said. “I am excited about what lays ahead for us, and for the future of this sport in Canada.”

The team will host Pakistan, China and France over the summer months leading up to the 2018 FIH World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India in November.

Rob Short (left), assists Paul Bundy (middle left) with a training session at Rutledge Field in West Vancouver. Photo/Kevin Underhill – Field Hockey Canada

Field Hockey Canada media release

Reflections of the European Hockey Experience

National junior development athletes and coaches recount their spring trip to Europe

It was the single largest junior development tour that anyone could remember. Three teams, two weeks and one goal: to give young Canadian athletes top quality training and experience in a dedicated hockey culture.

Over the course of March and April, over 60 athletes, coaches and support staff took off to the Netherlands and Belgium for two-week training tours. With one last team departing this week, this spring has marked a milestone for Field Hockey Canada’s men’s junior development.

Junior Development Squad Head Coach, Indy Sehmbi said the tour served its purpose and definitely opened up some eyes along the way. Sehmbi said it was really rewarding to watch some of the athletes get their first training tour experience and many of them get their first out-of-continent travel experience.

“For some of these guys, it was their first time playing abroad. For others, it was their first real training tour as opposed to a competition tour. I think everyone learned a lot on the tour,” he said.

Sehmbi said in large part, one of the biggest successes was the scope of the operation.

“We had over 50 athletes, representing four provinces all traveling to and from Europe over spring break. We had coaches, managers, athletic therapists, trainers working hard for the whole trip. It really opened up the kids’ eyes to what’s out there,” he said

The teams trained in the Netherlands and in Belgium over the course of the two-week trip. All three teams also played in a series of exhibition teams against junior national and club teams. According to Sehmbi, simply the culture around hockey was enough to really open the young athletes’ eyes to what’s out there.

“Some of these Canadian kids have only played on one or two pitches in their whole life. The emphasis on hockey is just so much bigger in those countries. You might show up at a club for training and they have several fields and a clubhouse,” he said.

Athlete Reflections

Chris Tardiff, 17, lives in Chelsea, QC and plays for the newly established Chelsea Phoenix Field Hockey Club. This spring’s JDS tour to Europe was his first time on tour with the national junior program. Tardiff has, however, been abroad to Europe before with his local club program but said it’s a different feeling when he went with the JDS program.

“It was really intensive. We usually had at least two sessions per day. So that was different than last time. You have to really take care of your body throughout the trip,” he said. Another difference for Tardiff was the feeling he got representing his country abroad.  “There’s also a sense of pride you get when you step out to play with the Canada logo on our chests.”

Tardiff’s squad played several exhibition games against junior national teams and local club teams. He said he definitely got a boost of confidence seeing that Canada can compete with the European junior teams.

“You compare the infrastructure and the numbers…let’s just say it’s nice to know that we can compete with them. They are more technically skilled than us overall. The dribbling, receptions and hitting. We can definitely work harder on those skills to catch up,” he said.

Tardiff said he is glad to be a part of a growing Quebec Field Hockey scene.

“A few more clubs are popping up in Montreal and other regions. We are going to have a provincial team for nationals this year. It will be cool to see some representation from other regionas of the province,” he said. Tardiff credits the hard work of Ian Bird, Mark Dekker and others for the dedicated work developing field hockey in Quebec.

Lyle Fernandes, a 20-year-old from Mississauga, ON, has hockey in his blood. He said his father played so he was exposed to the sport at a very young age. Now, he plays for OKD in the Greater Toronto Area in the senior men’s league.

Coming from the Toronto area, Fernandes was well-practiced in indoor hockey as well. At 20 years old, he was one of the most experienced players to go on the spring tours to Europe. Despite this trip being his first outdoor hockey tour, his playing experience with the national indoor team gave him a sense of confidence going into this tour. For him, one of the biggest differences when it comes to training tours as compared to competition tours is body management.

“Each practice is super intense, then we go straight into a test-game. Then we might have two practices the next day,” he said. “You definitely feel sore. You have to do what you can to take care of your body every day.”

Fernandes also recognized the culture shock of playing in hockey-loving nations. He said the experience was amazing and it makes him think about future playing opportunities.

“First of all, you see a lot of really good hockey there. And the crowd’s interest; They actually know hockey. They love it, they know all the rules. It kind of makes you think that maybe I could go over and play in Europe someday and that it’s a real opportunity.”

Fernandes, who now has experience going on indoor and outdoor tours, had advice for younger national team prospects that may get a chance to go on tour in the future:

“When you go on tour, you are often learning more off the field than you are on,” he said. “From diet, to taking care of your body. Get started early and understanding all the little things. Just learn all you can.”

Fernandes will be playing at Field Hockey Canada nationals and the national junior camp to follow.

Rajan Kahlon grew up in Vancouver, BC and played for the United Brothers Hockey Club growing up. The 20-year-old is currently playing for the UBC Thunderbirds and was another member of the junior development team that traveled to Europe for spring training.

He said the tour definitely opened his eyes to the amount of field hockey going on in those major European hubs.

“It’s just so cool to see how much is actually going on. We’d go somewhere, and they’d have nine or ten pitches all in one area,” Kahlon said. “It was great to get some competition with them. In Canada, not as many people play, especially men. So it was really cool to see how many athletes there was and how they are always pushing each other to be better.”

Kahlon doesn’t take his role in the junior national program lightly. He said it’s an amazing experience to represent Canada on foreign soil and was quick to point out that other countries are very welcoming to Canadian hockey players.

“Representing Canada is a privilege. You have to earn it. It won’t just be given to you,” Kahlon said. “We have grit, heart and professionalism on the field. And other countries have a high level of respect for Canada. It was a really welcoming environment for us.”

Kahlon returns to UBC where he said he wants to continue to develop his skills and take his game to the next level. He said he has a goal of being identified for the senior development squad.

Field Hockey Canada media release

The View from the Middle

By Daniel Dunne

At this summer’s Women’s Hockey World Cup there will be, for the first time, a mixture of both genders officiating to reinforce the sports ‘Equally Amazing’ values. There will be a total of 25 officials from 14 countries appointed, representing all five continents at this year’s tournament. The event itself will take place at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park between 21 July and 5 August. The life of a referee for any sport is hard and hockey is no different. There will be abuse, decisions to make and a rapturous crowd to contend with so keeping a clear head won’t be easy for the officials in the middle. We managed to talk to Alison Keogh, a FIH qualified referee from Ireland, who will be an umpire at this year’s tournament in England. Alison has been with the FIH for just over 5 years now and has been involved in hockey from a young age before becoming a club captain, the Three Rock Rovers physiotherapist all while studying for a PhD in physiotherapy.  She spoke to us about her experiences as an umpire and the upcoming Hockey World Cup.

Q: What is the worst abuse you’ve received as a referee and how did you deal with it?

Alison: Anytime I watch football on TV I think to myself, “why do they do it?”. There is just a total lack of respect there for officials. So, when I think of abuse my mind wanders to that sort of scenario where someone is being surrounded and later vilified across various media platforms. In that case, I consider myself very lucky to not have suffered terrible abuse! That’s not to say I haven’t received it, because we all do! We’re only human and sometimes we have bad days, especially in the initial stages of our development. The mood of a game depends on so much; the teams taking part, their coaches, how their season is going, their memory of you as an umpire, your own day, your performance, your colleague, the type of crowd there, and so much more.

One match in particular stands out for me though. It was a local derby between two clubs in Dublin, both of whom were pushing for the top spot in the league. I remember it because I was having a bad day both on and off the pitch. Work was really stressful and unfortunately, I brought it out onto the pitch with me and as a result my management wasn’t what it should have been. I had taken crowd side, which was also bench side, so I heard everything and anything that was said about me. The line that stood out was that it was a disgrace that I was an international umpire, and that if this was the standard of an international, then umpiring was in a bad place.

I think I was only umpiring about 4 years at the time, so I hadn’t yet learnt the management skills to deal appropriately with the abuse I was getting, but the problem was I didn’t deal with it because I believed it! I hadn’t yet developed the mental skills that it takes to be able to move on from a bad decision and continue with the game. It went from bad to worse and I walked away in tears. Probably one of the most important things I have learnt from that episode, but also from the general abuse you can get at games is how to deal with it. You can’t always stop it (especially if it is off the pitch) but you can try to prevent it with timely management and good decision making, and if it happens, you can control how you deal with it. I’ve worked hard on the mental side of my game to deal with that, and I now have a couple of strategies that I use pre-game to help me focus and plan my role, but also for during a game if it is required. Obviously the more consistent you are in your decision making the better, as I think inconsistency is one of the most frustrating things for teams. Although it’s also important to be approachable and human. I think that is where hockey is really good, we allow a certain level of discussion once it is done in a respectful manner. I will always answer questions, particularly off the pitch. Sometimes the coach doesn’t agree with me but at least if they can understand my rationale they are more likely to accept it. Similarly, though I think it is important to be humble and admit if you couldn’t see, or you missed something, or got it wrong. There is nothing worse than someone who is proven wrong digging in their heels, but if you can say look I’m sorry, and they know you mean it, coaches and players are much more likely to accept it. The human side of the game is so important in building a respectful rapport between everyone.

Q: Have you ever felt a referee that you’re working with has ever been condescending towards you and what do you make of introducing men into the women’s tournaments and vice versa?

Alison: I can genuinely say that certainly at international level I have never felt that. I have been at tournaments where there is a difference in experience and that difference is accepted by everyone, but it is never held against you. The more experienced umpires just know how to help support less experienced ones without patronising them. At the end of the day regardless of your experience the two of you have to go out and work together so it’s in everyone’s best interest that there is a good working relationship where both of you know your game plan.

As for umpiring with men or in men’s games, I’ve umpired both a lot at home. Again, I’ve never had a problem. I think the pool of us is so small at particular levels that there is a knowledge that if you are there, you’re there for a reason, and again at the end of the day you both have a job to do. In the upcoming World Cup there will be male technical officials at the women’s event and vice versa but for now the umpires at both tournaments are all of the same sex. In time this may change, and I personally think that is a really exciting development! Hockey is always at the forefront of change and it is great to see that continuing.

Q: What games stand out in your memory that you’ve been an official for?

Alison: Internationally one of my highlights to date was during the World League final, the quarter-final game between New Zealand and Argentina. The New Zealand home crowd really got behind their team and created such an electric atmosphere. It was a really tight game which is always a good challenge to have. It was great to be a part of and was the first time in years that I had gotten to umpire with Sarah Wilson, a good friend of mine, which was also special. She’s one of the people I met first when starting out and we had been to so many tournaments together without getting to umpire, so it was nice to finally be paired.

In terms of domestic games, I have been lucky enough to be part of the first all-female team on a men’s match. Carol Metchette and I, who would be a mentor of mine, were put on a men’s cup game a few years ago but this year we got to repeat it within the All Ireland league, the EYHL. The speed of men’s matches is always much higher so they’re always very enjoyable. To have two women on it, there was maybe a little fear of how it would go but the teams were brilliant! They got on with it, were respectful and treated us just like anyone else which is all you could want going into it.  

Q: During the last World Cup you were a fitness co-ordinator, how has that experience prepared you for what’s to come?

Alison: Unfortunately, not at all really! I wasn’t actually present at the last World Cup. I’ve been the FIH umpire fitness co-ordinator since 2011, when I was only really just starting umpiring myself. In 2011, the FIH created the ‘Road To’ programme which was the group of umpires (male and female) that they would be choosing their Olympic and World Cup panels from. Anyone on these panels have had to send in 3-4 rounds of fitness results annually since then. My role is to collect and analyse these results to make sure people are reaching the standards set by the FIH and answer any queries regarding fitness or training that the umpires have. So, in that way my role takes place behind a screen so there was no need to have me present at the last World Cup. However, since then I’ve progressed to now being on the panel myself while I’ve also been at various events including the Europeans and the World League Finals. It’s my presence at these events that has prepped me more than anything because you get used to what to expect in terms of crowds, tv, schedules etc. After that, your preparation is very personal. For me there’s obviously a lot of fitness involved, but I would be doing that anyway. There’s also the mental side of your preparation, and then the usual…. practice, practice, practice!

Q: What are you looking forward to most at this year’s tournament?

Alison: Everything! I’ve not umpired at Lee Valley yet, but English Hockey looks like it has been doing a fantastic job promoting the game and the events they’ve hosted in recent years. I’m looking forward to seeing it all first hand. The hockey is obviously going to be fantastic! Every game counts and at this level you can’t take anything for granted so I can’t wait to get out on the pitch. We’ve got a great group of umpires and officials there, most of whom I’ve met before so I’m looking forward to catching up with friends from around the world. We’ve obviously got a job to do there but it’s always easier to do that amongst friends. We will all have been preparing hard for this over the last few months, so it will be great to go and put that all into practice!


Eyes on the Side

By Daniel Dunne

 Phil Edwards is the assistant head coach on the women's national hockey team for the USA. He was appointed to the position in 2017, bringing a wealth of skills and experience in working with young players to the coaching staff; Edwards has previously served as the goalkeeper coach for the women’s U17, U19 and U21 national teams. In his playing days he was actually part of the England U18 team, something he says has helped him understand how new players may feel coming into a team.

“I was only in the U18 group for a brief time and was never selected to go on tour, so I really only got a small taste of the junior international experience. However, that team had a lot of athletes who had played for the various England age group teams for a number of years and I was the new guy, so I am always mindful of how the newcomers may be feeling when they arrive at our camps for the first time.”

As well as playing with the England U18 team, Edwards also graduated at Loughborough University in 2005 after being part of the Loughborough University Hockey Team to back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003. He also added three national indoor championships (2003, 2004, 2005) before turning to coaching and extending his experiences of being a goalkeeper to the younger generation. Being part of a successful team can lead often push coaches into being over-critical of players, specifically when it’s their former position that they coach. Edwards, despite being in this position, believes it’s better to focus on what a player can bring to the table rather than focus on their weaknesses.
“Part of my role involves working closely with the goalkeepers and the specialist coaches we bring in to work with them, so I definitely keep a close eye on them. However, I don’t think this equates to being more critical of them. Each of the goalkeepers has their own unique way of doing things and their own strengths and weaknesses. We tend to spend more time working on their strengths and then playing to them than we do focusing on their weaknesses.”

During his coaching career Edwards has been building his résumé by working at Boston College and being the interim Head Coach at Indiana University. Having acquired a master’s degree in sport science including a specialty in performance analysis and skill acquisition, he’s also a Level 3 qualified coach in both England and the USA.. With over a decade of experience in coaching Edwards knows what it takes to make it to the top of the game.

“The physical piece is important, there must be a certain level of physical competency to be able to play at this level, especially within the USA field hockey culture. Also, they obviously need to have a certain level of technical competency, and some stand out if they have a specialist skill such as a drag flick. Away from that, I like to see players who have game sense – they can read the game and solve things on the fly. I value creativity, which is easily squashed in some development environments, on the ball which is sometimes more evident in those athletes who have had less formal coaching growing up. And, critically, can they do this under pressure. It’s also always interesting to observe how they interact with their teammates, coaches and families before, during and after games.”

Phil was with TEAM USA when they had a four-game series against the Netherlands in January this year. The series didn’t quite go according to plan as they lost all four games however there’s still a strong sense of optimism in Edward’s words.

“We learnt a lot from that series against the Dutch. Any time you get to play that calibre of opposition you can’t help but take something from the game. We saw growth across the four games so there was immediate feedback, but we’ve also seen some long-term benefits.”

Edwards is slowly working up the coaching ladder and with the experience of the World Cup to look forward to, the chances of seeing him lead a team in the future remain strong. While he’s currently in charge of the U21s for Team USA alongside the assistant coach role, could we see him stepping up sooner rather than later?

“I’m not in a rush. I read something the other day that said that the best form of athlete development is coach development which fits nicely with my thoughts on continuous personal development. I spend a lot of time reflecting on my own coaching practice with the aim of being better myself to help the athletes get better. So, that is my focus right now.”


Hockey has become a very fast and physically demanding sport requiring the highest degree of fitness.

By Ijaz Chaudhry

Daniel Barry encouraged by Pakistani players' attitude

The changes in surface and rules have contributed in making hockey a tough sport. Synthetic turfs replaced grass ones on the international circuit more than three decades ago. In 1996 the off-side rule was abolished.

Obstruction and turning rules have been softened and more recently the self-pass was introduced. These changes have greatly increased the pace of the game.

There has always been a debate about which sport produces the fittest athletes?

The Loughborough University of the UK is home to the world’s largest university-based sports technology research group.

The sports scientists at Loughborough studied hours of action from the 2014 hockey World Cup, looking mainly at two qualities: the distances run during a match and the intensity maintained while running.

They then compared these to two other fast-paced team sports, football and rugby 7s.

The results revealed that on average, field players in hockey cover more distance and work at a higher intensity than footballers or rugby players.

Recently, famed Dutch coach Roelant Oeltmans took over Pakistan’s national team. The Commonwealth Games was his first assignment.  According to him, the skill level of the Pakistani players is still quite good. But their fitness level is poor as compared to the top international sides.

On Oeltmans’ recommendation, Pakistan Hockey Federation has acquired the services of the renowned Australian physical trainer Daniel Barry.  His initial contract is up to the World Cup 2018 in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar from November 28– December 16.

Champions Trophy in Breda, Holland, 23 June-1 July, is Pakistan’s next appointment.  In the first phase of the preparation, a physical conditioning camp for the 38 probables, has been set up at Abbottabad from May 1-15
Daniel Barry holds a Master’s degree in Exercise Science from Perth’s Edith Cowan University as well as professional accreditation from the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association.

In his professional career of more than 10 years, he has worked with sports persons from a number of disciplines in various countries. These include Australian Rules football, basketball, cricket, diving, hockey, track cycling and volleyball among others. In addition, Barry also had a stint with the Shanghai Sports Institute interacting with athletes of various disciplines.

In hockey, he was with the Indian national junior women team where his guidance was also sought by the national senior squads.

Barry tells about this fitness camp at Abbottabad.

“I believe it is possible to take the fitness level of Pakistani players to a level comparable to that of world’s top hockey teams. It is a long process. Some fitness markers such as aerobics should show improvement in a few weeks. But in terms of results on the field it might take up to six months to attain the levels we want to see.”

-About his assessment of the general physical condition of the Pakistani players

“Speed and aerobic endurance is below par. For instance, in a typical aerobic test, the average was found to be 17, not satisfactory for the national senior outfit.. My goal is to take it to at least 20. Presently only a couple of players are there.”

-Coming to strength

“Body strength in hockey is obviously essential: to run fast with or without ball as well as for effective execution of skills like hitting, flicking and pushing.  Strong body is also more resilient to injuries.  For this, work in gymnasium is of paramount importance which is a part of our daily routine.”

-He is encouraged by the attitude of the Pakistani players

“I have found them to be very attentive and importantly quick learners. It was visible from the day one”.

-Food plays a vital part

“Roelant and I have stressed on a clean diet i.e. less fat and carbohydrates.  Though, carbs are good but only to a certain extent. Normal Pakistani meals carry a lot. For a top level athlete, body fat should be below 16% of the total body mass. But most of the players exceed this.  In this regard, we work with the cooperation of the kitchen staff”.

-Fitness regimes may vary

“There will be a centralised general programme during the initial phase, focused on core competencies such as aerobic training and running techniques plus upper and lower boys strengthening. Later, some specialized elements would be included e.g. different running technique for the forwards. It will definitely vary for the goal keepers. An individual’s strengths and weaknesses will also be considered in devising his particular fitness programme.”

-Certain markers/standards will be set

“Players will have to come to minimum levels such as the timings to cover five metres, 20 metres, etc.  Then there are strength markers.  Individual’s body weights should be appropriate. “

-Players to train when off camp

“We have been told that often Pakistanis get complacent when they go home, and return to the next camp with poor fitness levels.  To counter this, the players will be given homework so that they remain fit.  Periodically, online surveys will be sent during these off camp days. They have to feed data related to the fitness markers. Of course, a lot would depend upon trust.  But on their return to the camps if they don’t hit the markers, the team’s hierarchy would deal with them in an appropriate manner”.

-Facilities are satisfactory

“The army set up here is very good. It is a beautiful mountainous place and we have been provided with nice accommodation. The gymnasium needs a little bit of uplift.  On the whole, the facilities are very much satisfactory and people cooperative. “

The skill level is good.  Barry is confident of enhancing the fitness standards to the required level in six months.  Pakistan might spring big surprise at the World Cup in India later this year.

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey & other sports. For more about him and his work, visit: www.sportscorrespondent.info  


NWU snatch win away from Wits at the death

By Dan Lombard

Anru Kock of NWU and Cody Van Wyk of Wits during Game 17 NWU v Wits varsity hockey match at Tuks Hockey field Pretoria Photo by: Christiaan Kotze/SASPA

The North-West University played the patient game until the final moments of the match, to sneak in a Power Play goal which saw them pip the University of the Witwaterstrand 8-7 in the opening match of the second weekend of Varsity Hockey at the Tuks Astro.

Both teams tried to find each other’s weaknesses in the first quarter but it was Wits who opened their account first as Brandon James netted a penalty stroke in the ninth minute. NWU struck back almost immediately as a short corner was converted by Pierre Bothma to level the scores and another by Bothma saw the men from Potchefstroom take the lead.

The players threw everything into the final minutes of the first quarter as play moved up and down the astro but it was Wits who levelled matters courtesy of James. The teams struggled to break the defence in the second quarter but the action did not wither as they pushed each other hard throughout the match.

NWU’s Sinoxolo Mbekeni broke the deadlock with an excellent field goal as he took a crack at the ball that sailed into the net which NWU defended until halftime.

Wits, in what became the theme of the opening match of second leg of Varsity Hockey, made it a level playing field shortly after the match resumed as they sunk a field goal. The seesaw match continued with Pretoria providing perfect playing conditions.

Wits converted a field goal and nailed a shot from a short corner to take back the lead in the dying minutes of the third quarter.

The final 15 minutes of what can only be described as a pulsating Varsity Hockey match was dominated by strong running and effective defending that shut out any scoring opportunities for both teams.  NWU would have the final say of the match as they made good use of their Power Play as they scored through Snyman Thessner in the last 10 seconds to clinch the match 8-7.

NWU: 8
Goals: Pierre Bothma (2), Sinoxolo Mbekeni, Snyman Thessner (2)

Wits: 7
Goals: Brandon James (3), Kingsley Botes, Sean Donaldson

* Field goals count 2 in the Varsity Sports Hockey Competition

FNB Player of the Match: Sinoxolo Mbekeni
Mugg & Bean Star Player: Brandon James
Samsung Super Striker: Andrew Oosthuizen

NWU: 5. Leonard du Plessis, 6. Anru Kock, 7. Gertjie Lamprecht (c), 10. Sinoxolo Mbekeni (c), 11. Francois Cilliers, 12. Damian Tamine, 14. Mitesh Makan, 18. Pierre Bothma, 20. Stean Naude, 21. Siyabonga Mabo, Mthokoza Mbotho (GK).
Subs: 1. Andrew Oosthuizen (GK), 3. Lochner van der Schyff, 9. Killian Ludick, 13. Francois Joubert, 15. Snyman Thessner, 17. Damian Kenny, 23. Clayton Tait.

Wits: 1. Duncan Fischer (GK), 4. Cody van Wyk, 6. Brandon James, 7. Michael Marki (c), 8. Jaryd Thomas, 10. Thabang Modise, 12. Chad Futcher, 14. Sean Donaldson, 15. Michael Horan, 18. Kamal Ramburuth-Hurt, 19. Kingsley Botes.
Subs: 2. Gareth Riley, 5. Brad Riley, 11. Chris Makaba, 13. Bryce Cressy, 17. Rusten Abrahams, 20. John Henning, 23. Sizwe Nyandeni (GK).

Varsity Sports media release

UJ see off Madibaz

By Dan Lombard

UJ celebrates after scoring during Game 18 UJ v Madibaz varsity hockey match at Tuks Hockey field Pretoria Photo by: Christiaan Kotze/SASPA

The University of Johannesburg shifted gears in the second half to win 5-3 against the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University at the Tuks Astro.

UJ were first to score as Che February smashed in a field goal but their lead was short lived as the Madibaz’ Richard Asmah-Andoh converted a field goal of his own to draw matters.

The teams may not as scored as often as they wanted to but this did not deter them from playing at an incredible pace which tested their defence on either side of the astro.

The men from Johannesburg inched ahead in the 44th minute as Courtney Halle was on hand to nail in a short corner during their Power Play. The Madibaz cut the deficit to one goal six minutes later but UJ sealed the match with Halle’s second goal to win 5-3.

UJ: 5
Goals: Che February, Courtney Halle (2)

Madibaz: 3
Goals: Richard Asmah-Andoh, Spencer Botes.

* Field goals count 2 in the Varsity Sports Hockey Competition

FNB Player of the Match: Michael Newland-Nel (UJ)
Mugg & Bean Star Player: Nathan Waters (Madibaz)
Samsung Super Striker: Courtney Halle (UJ)

UJ: 1. Matthew Martins (GK), 2. Brad Robertson, 4. Andile Ndlovu, 5. Kyle Lion-Cachet (c), 7. Chad Burke, 8. Courtney Halle, 9. Che February, 10. Spencer Botes, 13. Ernest Jacobs, 16. Rayner York, 23. Keegan Smith.
Subs: 6. Michael Newland-Nel, 11. Tristan Blackie-Roden, 15. James Gilbert, 17. Jesse Martins, 18. Diego de Abreu, 20. Manessah Dube, 21. Gary Cooper (GK).

Madibaz: 1. Nathan Waters (GK), 5. Jason McGillivray (c), 6. Callan Dewar, 7. Arno van Jaarsveld, 9. Sarvesh Naidoo, 13. Jose Smith, 14. Christopher Wynford, 15. Michael Hansel, 16. Richard Asmah-Andoh, 17. Laython Coombs, 21. Jared de Kock.
Subs: 4. Kurt Wicht, 8. Alexander Penhall (c), 10. Jacques Potgieter, 12. Brodie Fanoe, 18. Joshua Engole, 22. Andre Potgieter, 23. Duncan Hare (GK).

Varsity Sports media release

Maties demolish Kovsies in emphatic comeback

By Dan Lombard

Maties 13 shooting for goal during Game 19 Maties v Kovsies varsity hockey match at Tuks Hockey field Pretoria Photo by: Christiaan Kotze/SASPA

Stellenbosch University slowly suffocated the University of the Free State 8-4 in a scintillating Varsity Hockey match on the Tuks’ Astro.

The sun may have been setting on an exciting first day of play in Pretoria but the action on the astro was white hot as the two universities tried to assert themselves early on.

The first quarter saw the ball being moved across the astro with neither team being able to convert their pressure into points.

It was the men from Bloemfontein who broke the deadlock in the final moments of the first quarter as a sweetly taken field goal flew past the Maties goalkeeper.

Stellenbosch University pulled back a goal in the second quarter as they forced themselves into the right areas with Kovsies having no choice but to defend. The first half was nearing its end but Kovsies showed how quickly defence can turn into attack as they slapped in a field goal by Mvelase Mbombisa to take a 4-1 lead into the break.

The third quarter could best be described as a series of failed scoring attempts as both teams shored up on defence.

Maties made it a one-goal match as they slowly took charge of proceedings in the third quarter with a penalty corner scored by Dayne Samboer and Nicholas Giger making easy work of his penalty stroke.

It was all Maties in the final moments of the match as they sunk a short corner and two field goals to blow Kovsies lead out of the astro and gift the men from Stellenbosch a vital 8-4 victory in the capital.

Maties: 8
Goals: Clayton Saker, Dayne Samboer (2), Nicholas Giger, Gareth Tate, Alex Tate

Kovsies: 4
Goals: Justin Smouse, Mvelase Mbombisa

* Field goals count 2 in the Varsity Sports Hockey Competition

FNB Player of the Match: Wade Dollman (Maties)
Mugg & Bean Star Player: Willam Everleigh (Maties)
Samsung Super Striker: Dayne Samboer (Maties)

Maties: 2. Andrew Hobson, 4. Nicholas Giger, 5. Tom Richardson, 7. Matthew Roman, 8. Alex Stewart (c), 11. Dayne Samboer, 12. Maximillian Pike, 13. Clayton Saker, 14. Gareth Tate, 23. Reece Arendse, 38. William Eveleigh (GK).
Subs: 1. Rob McKinley (GK), 9. Wade Dollman, 15. Ruari Baker, 16. Jordan Turnbull, 17. Luke Schooling, 24. Callen Heynes, 29. Mbuso Mgobozi.

Kovsies: 1. Loufrans Esterhuizen (GK), 2. Andre Nel, 5. Raymond de Villiers, 6. Ryan Scheepers, 7. Matthew Ramos, 8. Willie Kruger, 10. Gerhard van Bosch, 14. Stephan van Vollenhoven, 15. Mvelase Mbombisa, 18. Cheslyn Neethling (c), 22. Tylor Oliver.
Subs: 3. Egon van der Merwe, 4. Jordan Pope, 9. Mpho Tsaoane, 11. Jason Smouse, 13. Tiaan Weldhagen, 19. Shelton Mollentze, 24. Luyolo Nkosana.

Varsity Sports media release

PE hockey star shining in Jo’burg

Callen Heynes of Maties and Cody Van Wyk of Wits during Game 8 Wits v Maties varsity hockey match at Wits Hockey field Johannesburg Photo by: Christiaan Kotze/SASPA

Port Elizabeth local Cody van Wyk followed his hockey dreams to the city where dreams come true in and have since come into fruition in 2018.

Marked as a South African hockey great at the tender age of 17, Van Wyk has since competed at the Youth Olympic Games in 2014, played in U18 Test Series vs Australia in 2014, went to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China, was a member of the South Africa U21 squad in 2015, and played in the Premier Hockey League (PHL) in 2016 and 2017 for the Drakensberg Dragons.

The former Rhodes University student is currently playing for Wits in Varsity Hockey, where the boys from Braamfontein are third on the overall table as they head to the second leg of tournament.

Van Wyk, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Environmental Sciences became endeared to his beloved sport in the unlikeliest of ways.

“I first started playing hockey at the age of 6, when my mother brought back a spare hockey stick for me to use from the school that she was teaching at, and I have played the sport ever since.”

The former Grey High student believes that playing hockey in Port Elizabeth gave him the skills to progress in the sport.

“The level in Port Elizabeth was quite competitive, as I played school hockey, as well as, club hockey at Lakeside Cavaliers hockey club.

“Our derby fixtures against Paul Roos Gymnasium and our fixtures against our brother school, Grey College in Bloemfontein, would be our biggest hockey rivals. Selbourne, St Andrew’s College and Queens are very competitive games as well.”

The Youth Olympian originally attended Rhodes University where he played for the men’s first team but because the Grahamstown university was not in Varsity Hockey, after receiving a scholarship to Wits University, it was a no brainer for him to chase his ambitions North.

Van Wyk is adamant that Varsity Hockey is imperative to his development as a player.

“Varsity Hockey has given me a solid foundation for big tournaments such as the annual Men’s inter-provincial tournaments and the PHL. The dedicated gym and conditioning programs allowed me to improve my field-based performances and I look forward to the next phase and stages of this season.

“With the introduction of dedicated sporting programs at various universities, the level of university hockey has definitely increased and is now starting to serve as a feeder system for players to reach higher levels within the sport.”

The second leg of Varsity Hockey is this weekend at the TuksSports Astro, with the semi-finals taking place on Monday. All games on Sunday and Monday will be televised on SuperSport 210.

Varsity Sports media release

Strathmore Gladiators lie in wait for Police


Kenya Police defender Robert Masibo (left) vies with Kenyatta University's Griffith Okumbe during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match on January 13, 2017 at City Park Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Champions Kenya Police hope to bounce back from last weekend’s loss to Greensharks when they play Strathmore University in a Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League match at City Park Stadium, Nairobi on Sunday.

At the same time, Butali Sugar Warriors will be out to maintain an unbeaten run in the men’s league when they play United States International University-Africa (USIU-A).

Police, who suffered a shock 4-3 loss to Sharks last Saturday, will be more cautious when they take on Strathmore University at City Park Stadium.

The match, that bullies off at 3pm, will be followed by a match between Butali and USIU-A from 5pm at the same venue.

Police coach Patrick Mugambi has said that he will stick to the squad that stunningly lost to Greensharks 4-3 despite leading 3-0 on Saturday.

“Such moments of madness will always occur in matches, especially when you lose concentration or try to underestimate your opponents,” said Mugambi.

“It took 10 minutes to change everything. Even one minute in a match is important.”

And Mugambi has warned his charges against complacency against Strathmore as his team seeks to stage a repeat performance of last season’s outing where they won 6-1.

“We can’t afford to slow down again this time round, considering that teams are turning on the heat on top guns,” Mugambi said.

Police still top the league with 12 points from four wins and one loss.

Greensharks, who are placed second in the log, have 12 points too from a clean run in four outings. They are followed by Butali, who are unbeaten in three outings with nine points.

Butali will welcome back strikers Emmanuel Yumisi and Derrick Kuloba and defender Constant Wakhura, who missed last weekend’s duel against Western Jaguars.

“We are focused on winning the title. Our target is to reclaim the title this season unbeaten,” said Butali’s Kamal Sembi.

USIU-A and Strathmore play Parkroad Badgers and Parklands respectively Saturday at 2pm and 4pm. Nakuru also host Wazalendo on Saturday in the other men’s Premier League match in Nakuru.



National League-men:  Bay Club v UoE (Kisumu) 1pm; Parkroad Tigers v Bungoma (City Park) 6pm

Premier League-men: USIU v- Parkroad Badgers (City Park) 2pm; Nakuru v Wazalendo (Nakuru) 3pm; Parklands SC v Strathmore (City Park) 4pm

Super League-women: Lakers v MMU (Kisumu) 3pm; MSC v KU (Mombasa) 3pm


National league-man: Karate Axiom v Bungoma (City Park) 9am

Super League-men: Chase Sailors v TUK (City Park) 11am; Impala v Kimathi University (City Park) 1pm

Premier League-men: Strathmore v- Kenya Police (City Park) 3pm;  Butali v USIU (City Park) 5pm

Daily Nation

St George's College do the double and Win U13 In2Hockey Schools Champs

StGeorges College in2hockey 2018 winners

St Georges College were crowned champions in both U13 Boys & Girls In2Hockey Finals at Nottingham Hockey Centre.

In girls competition St George’s College topped the group winning 4 from 4, followed by Red Maids High School. In the other pool Surbiton High School topped the group winning all 4 matches followed by Millfield claiming the second sport. They beat Wakefield who had an identical points, wins, goals scored, conceded and goal difference.

In the classification game Millfield were victorious over Red Maids to take 3rd place. In the final St Georges College were victorious beating Surbiton High School via penalty stokes 3-2 after a 0-0 draw.

In the boys competition St George’s also topped the group ahead of Monkton Prep through a better goal difference both finishing on 10 points. Pool B was a tighter affair with Lauceston pipping Warwick to top spot with 9 points to Warwicks 8.

In the classification game Warwick took 3rd spot with a close 3-2 victory over Monkton Combe. In the final St George’s were too strong for Launceston taking the title with a 5-0 victory.

Well done to all those who competed and umpired!

England Hockey Board Media release

Making dreams come true in Africa

Pic credit: Hockey Dreams Foundation

The Hockey Dreams Foundation has a big aim – to take hockey development to ten different African countries. With the Foundation’s support, coaches will be trained to run hockey sessions but also to develop hockey within the community as a sustainable activity. Over time, the coaches will be running hockey in their community as a business, with sponsorship from local companies and businesses, and teaching a new generation of young people the skills of coaching.

The additional impact engendered by the Hockey Dreams Foundation is to make a better society through knowledge and learning. The coaches are expected to finish their mainstream education at school and college, they will learn about the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle, taking exercise and eating nutritious food. They will be expected to act as role models, steering youngsters away from drugs and crime.

The Hockey Dreams Foundation began life in Zambia in 2012 as the Kadish Foundation, initiated by Gijs Hardeman. Its recent re-brand in 2016 was to give it a wider reach across Africa.

The emphasis of the programme revolves around the coaches. The Hockey Dreams Foundation works with trainee coaches to improve their educational, personal and social skills. The concept is a simple one: ten coaches are identified and trained and then each work within their local community to develop a club. Each club attracts hundreds of people to the coaching sessions, they in turn learn the importance of education, health and exercise. They also get the chance to play sport in a safe environment. Gender equality is paramount.

Over time, thousands of people are reached as the creation of a safe sporting environment draws interest and support from family and friends.

“We admire the same good moves and nice skills, we laugh at the same mistakes and we understand it is a team sport and effort and not an individual sport." Tomislav Jamicic

The Foundation’s part in this is a facilitating role. Coaches are helped through their education, including college if that is an option. They also follow a computer course. Once a coach is running a club, the Foundation withdraws from directly helping but offers support and advice from the sidelines.

Currently the Hockey Dreams Foundation is operating in four countries – Zambia, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Support in terms of equipment, coach education and financial aid comes largely from the Netherland, with Bjorn Kellerman and Maria Verschoor two of the ambassadors for the programme.

A number of other hockey players and coaches from Europe have worked alongside the Hockey Dreams Foundation, providing their knowledge of the sport while also experiencing life in a very different culture.

Former Croatian international and high performance coach Tomislav Jamicic was one player who found the call of Africa irresistible. He travelled to Uganda and met local coach Innocent Mbabali, who invited Tomislav to a training session at the local sports ground. Here he recounts his experiences.

“There was a practice session in progress so we introduced ourselves to some spectators on the stands and soon we found out who Innocent was. After the session had ended, Innocent told us that the children would very much like to play against us, team Muzungu (meaning: whitey ones).

“They quickly arranged some sticks for us. Luckily Innocent joined us as well, so we could play an equal match against the dozen of eager children. And you know what… Uganda has a different culture, different climate, different food, different traffic, different economy, different animals, but on the hockey pitch everything was just the same. The same like in Amsterdam or in Stockholm or in Berlin or Buenos Aires or in Tokyo, the hockey language we speak with each other on the pitch is universal.

"We admire the same good moves and nice skills, we laugh at the same mistakes and we understand it is a team sport and effort and not an individual sport.

"During the game more and more children joined, some joined the children’s team, others the Muzungu team. It was a real celebration of the game of hockey. There was a big difference in level, with some kids showing truly impressive skills. Talent is everywhere in the world. We played and played until it was so dark, that we had to stop.”

Tomislav learned that Innocent was developing a new generation of coaches. He coaches at the local club and across a number of schools. There are now five men’s teams and five women’s teams in Uganda thanks to the dedication of Innocent and the support of the Hockey Dreams Foundation.

Later this year, The Hockey Dreams Foundation will be organising the African Hockey Experience, which is a fundraising trip to Zambia. Players and coaches from the Netherlands will have the opportunity to work with coaches and children already involved in the Zambia programme. For more information on the African Hockey Experience click here


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