Welcome to the Fieldhockey.com Archives

Daily Hockey news updated @ 10:00 GMT

News for 04 July 2018

All the news for Wednesday 4 July 2018

Two Canada players receive caps during the match against Belarus.

Canada win 4 - 1

By Tristan Urry

Photo Credit: Tristan Urry

Breda, Netherlands - Tuesday afternoon was a special day for the Canadian Women’s National Team. Canadas number 17 defense, Sara MacManus received her 150th cap for Canada. The 150 cap is something only nine other Canadian women have obtained. “It’s very cool to be apart of such a small group of players to reach this milestone. Yesterday was a nice reminder of all the games I’ve played and all the experiences I’ve had with this team,” said MacManus.

Canada's number 27 midfield, Alex Thicke received her 50th cap wearing red and white. “I’ve been excited for this day since my first tour in New Zealand where other athletes were reaching or close to reaching this milestone. Right then, I knew I wanted to put the work in to try and reach it too,” said Thicke.

In addition to the two caps, the Canadian team also celebrated their 4-1 victory against Belarus. Brie Stairs and Steph Norlander scored two goals each during the game.

“I think yesterday was great in the sense that we went out and got the result we wanted, against a team that caused us trouble a year ago,” said Thicke.

“It was nice to get some redemption against Belarus. It was good opportunity to test ourselves and I’m happy that we were able to limit their opportunities and capitalize on some of our own,” said MacManus.

The team will practice with Dennis Van de Pol, Toon Siepman, Thyis Bams, and Santi Frexia, to refine their skills at Hockey Club Athena in Amsterdam this week before they go to Spain for the final stretch of their European tour.

“We’ve been able to learn from some new, local coaches who are extremely knowledgeable. Their drills have helped us as a team tactically, and I’ve individually learned a lot technically too. I’m really excited to see what we learn this week,” said Thicke.

Field Hockey Canada Women's Team media release

USMNT Drops Game 1 Against No 8. Spain in Europe Summer Training Tour

MADRID, Spain - The U.S. Men's National Team arrived in Madrid, Spain a few days early to prepare and continue training from where they left off in France. While the extreme heat played a major factor throughout the week, USA's emphasis is on restructuring the offense and defense, which showed in a 6-1 loss to the host nation in a heavily-contested opening half at Club de Campo.

"As the team does not have any major FIH tournaments on the horizon the timing could not be better than now to implement a few changes that will help in the long term," stated Rutger Wiese, USMNT Head Coach. "We all know this will be a lengthy process and that they expect to have ups and downs along the way with the ultimate goal of being more solid in both areas. It is also a great time to see how the changes work when you get to play against the top teams."

This change was on full display defensively in the first two quarters for USA. The Red Sticks were short on opportunities to shoot as USA was able to keep up the defensive pressure. In the second quarter, Spain was first to get on the scoreboard on a pair of penalty corner goals in the 22nd and 29th minutes, both on motion plays being deflected into the net. This set up a 2-0 lead for Spain going into the half.

The third quarter resumed with renewed energy by USA as the ball was being moved around with good pace and authority. In the 34th minute, an attack up the left side was well defended by Spain. USA briefly retreated and passed back all the way to their 25 yard line on the near side of the field. Aki Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) saw the perfect skip pass to his brother, Kei Kaeepeler (Stuttgart, Germany) who was at the 60 yard line. K. Kaeppeler released a powerful sweep toward the near post to find Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands) who successfully tipped the ball into the goal cutting the deficit to 2-1. The Red Sticks countered, forcing the pace and applied the pressure scoring two more field goals in the third quarter, with the first one a minute after and then again in the 39th minute.
USA would head back to the practice field and film room to analyze the game and continue to work on their weaknesses as they prepare for another match tomorrow.

USFHA media release

Scotland men’s squad to face USA in Glasgow

Scotland v Russia – photo by Duncan Gray

The Scotland men’s squad has been announced for the upcoming Atlantic Series matches against the USA in Glasgow.

The matches will be played on Sunday 8 July (12:00); Monday 9 July (18:00); and Wednesday 11 July (12:00) at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

The Scotland squad sees a return to the fold by Ross Stott, who comes out of retirement to take on the USA on home turf.

Adam Le Page of Tilburg will make his Scotland debut as will Grange youngster Callum MacKenzie.

The squad features 13 players from the Gold Coast squad that secured Scotland’s highest ever finish at a Commonwealth Games, and also has youngsters Cameron Golden, Aidan McQuade and Hamish Imrie coming back into the squad to face the Americans.

It’s been an incredible year for the Blue Sticks in which they won EuroHockey Championship II; bagged their highest ever finish at a Commonwealth Games; won the NRS Sunday Post Team of the Year award; and reached the semi-final of World League.

Now Scotland men are back in Glasgow to face USA and will look to continue their momentum against USA in the Atlantic Series.

Tickets (three-match and single match tickets) for the Atlantic Series matches against the USA are available online.

Tickets for the Atlantic Series matches against the USA are available online HERE.

Scotland squad for the Atlantic Series

Tommy Alexander (HTC Ulhenhorst)
Russell Anderson (Cannock HC)
Tim Atkins (Surbiton HC)
Kenny Bain (Hurley)
Michael Bremner (HTC Ulhenhorst)
Gavin Byers (HTC Ulhenhorst)
Patrick Christie (Durham Uni)
Murray Collins (Loughborough Uni)
Ben Cosgrove (Grove Menzieshill)
Callum Duke (Hillhead)
David Forsyth (Qui Vive)
Cameron Golden (Grove Menzieshill)
Rob Harwood (Western Wildcats)
Hamish Imrie (Grange)
Adam Le Page (Tilburg)
Steven McIlravey (Grove Menzieshill)
Gordon McIntyre (Wimbledon)
Callum MacKenzie (Grange)
Aidan McQuade (Grove Menzieshill)
William Marshall (Surbiton HC)
Lee Morton (Reading)
Duncan Riddell (Reading)
Robbie Shepherdson (Loughborough)
Ross Stott (East Grinstead)

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Reigning champions Netherlands confirm World Cup team

Netherlands are ready to defend their World Cup title Photo: FIH/WSP

Netherlands Head Coach Alyson Annan has announced the names of the eighteen players who will compete at the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup London 2018 between 21 July-5 August in London, England.

Speaking about the selection, Annan said: "In the Netherlands we have a luxury problem. There is a lot of talent and experience in the group that I had at my disposal in the past year. Nevertheless, we quickly agreed as a staff on the choice for these 18 players. Of course it is unfortunate that I had to disappoint players, but this is a professional group. We have had a lot of contact with each other."

In preparation for the World Cup, from 11-14 July, Netherlands will play a four-nation tournament in Munich, Germany. Opponents during that include the hosts, Argentina and New Zealand. On that, Annan said: "In Munich we can play with 20 players because it is a preparation tournament. Sanne Koolen and Maria Verschoor therefore travel with us to Germany."

"In the Netherlands we have a luxury problem. There is a lot of talent and experience in the group that I had at my disposal in the past year."
Alyson Annan, Netherlands Head Coach

Netherlands squad for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018:

    Ireen van den Assem
    Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel
    Margot van Geffen
    Eva de Goede
    Kelly Jonker
    Marloes Keetels
    Josine Koning (GK)
    Laurien Leurink Laren
    Caia van Maasakker
    Kitty van Male
    Frédérique Matla
    Laura Nunnink
    Malou Pheninckx
    Pien Sanders
    Lauren Stam
    Anne Veenendaal (GK)
    Xan de Waard
    Lidewij Welten


Courtesy of hockey.nl

FIH site

New Zealand's Black Sticks named for World Cup

Commonwealth Games champions New Zealand will be looking for gold on the world stage Photo: FIH/WSP

Black Sticks women’s Head Coach Mark Hager has named his side to compete at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London next month.

The New Zealand team includes just one change from the group who won a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April. Auckland midfielder Lulu Tuilotolava will suit up for her first major tournament after making her debut during the Pioneer Energy Women’s Tri Nations in Cromwell.

"It’s a very versatile team and we believe there’s a good mix of youth and experience within the group with talent across various positions."
Mark Hager, New Zealand Head Coach

It’s an experienced side led by captain Stacey Michelsen (254 caps), while Anita McLaren (264) and Sam Charlton (219) have also played more than 200 matches.

Hager said it’s a strong team with plenty of players who have proven they can match up against the best in the world.

“It’s a very versatile team and we believe there’s a good mix of youth and experience within the group with talent across various positions,” he said. “We think we’ve got the right balance - all 18 players in the side deserve their spot and I know they are very excited.

“After winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games we probably go in with a bigger target on our backs but hopefully that fuels us to lift even further as a group.”

The Women's Hockey World Cup is the biggest prize and most cherished victory in hockey alongside the Olympics. Every four years, the Hockey World Cup sees the world’s greatest teams play some of the toughest, most skilful and entertaining international hockey imaginable.

In 2018, the tournament has been extended to 16 teams with teams playing three group stage matches before the elimination phase.

All games will be played at England's 10,000-seater Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.

The Vantage Black Sticks Women open their campaign against Belgium (world ranking 13) on Monday 23 July at 6:00am (NZ time).

New Zealand squad for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018:

    Tarryn DAVEY
    Frances DAVIES
    Madison DOAR
    Shiloh GLOYN
    Ella GUNSON
    Rose KEDDELL
    Anita McLAREN
    Olivia MERRY
    Stacey MICHELSEN (c)
    Brooke NEAL
    Grace O’HANLON
    Kelsey SMITH


Courtesy of Hockey New Zealand

FIH site

Team USA women aim to rekindle 2014 form at Hockey World Cup

By The Hockey Paper

For the 2018 edition, United States head coach Janneke Schopman has picked six players who helped pave the way for a fourth-place finish at the last World Cup.

The selected squad is a mix of veterans and young talent, some of who have less than 10 international caps, according to a Team USA team release on Tuesday.

“Selection was very difficult for us as a staff this year, we have so many players with different strengths that all add something to the team,” said Schopman.

“Choosing 18 means leaving players at home, that worked as hard as anyone which is never easy.”

Captain Melissa Gonzalez will lead an experienced set of players at the London World Cup, including goalkeeper Jackie Briggs, midfielder Michelle Vittese and Kathleen Sharkey in attack.

The US have included several World Cup debutants: Lauren Blazing, Margaux Paolino and Tara Vittese, who all step up from junior hockey for the first time.

The world No 7 side have been drawn in a pool alongside hosts England, Ireland and India.

Schopman’s side, which qualified at the World League semi-finals last summer, open up against Ireland on July 21, the opening day of the London tournament.

“Final preparations for the World Cup are underway, the games in Argentina showed us where we should put our focus on and the team is working hard to making sure we have covered all our bases come the first game,” added Schopman.

On July 14, USA Field Hockey will be celebrating the team’s departure for the UK with a meet and greet with the players.

2018 Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup Team:

Lauren Blazing (Durham, N.C.), Jackie Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.), Stefanie Fee (Virginia Beach, Va.), Ali Froede (Burke, Va.), Jill (Witmer) Funk (Lancaster, Pa.), Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.), Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.), Alyssa Manley (Lititz, Pa.), Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.), Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.), Margaux Paolino (Villanova, Pa.), Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.), Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.), Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.), Julia Young (Yorktown, Va.)

The Hockey Paper

Harendra Singh happy with team's show, gears up for Asiad

Manuja Veerappa

BENGALURU: As the Indian hockey team launched its forays against Australia in the final of the Champions Trophy on Sunday, seasoned campaigner Sardar Singh stayed back at the half-line, allowing Manpreet Singh and teenager Vishnu Prasad to go on the attack.

Attack they did, not just in the final, but in each of the six matches the PR Sreejesh-led side played at the event. An alert Indian defence, which conceded only seven goals - the joint least with Netherlands - too came through with flying colours.

After finishing the Commonwealth Games without a medal, the team, under new chief coach Harendra Singh, looked different in attitude and intent.

The loss through the shootout in the final notwithstanding, Harendra rates his team's performance highly.

Ask the 52-year-old on the takeaways and he says, "The youth gelled well with the experienced players. The fact that we have a good structure showed and there was hunger in the players to settle for nothing but gold and that reflected in their attitude on the field."

Harendra, who took over from Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne two months ago, didn't have too much time to work on the players' tactics, but he did make use of the period to motivate them.

The coach, who gave out a questionnaire to players about their goals and expectations immediately after taking over, explained, "We had long dressing room conversations about how Indian hockey has fared since 1975. We decided the time for blame games was over and we had to concentrate on delivering. Each one of us- on and off the field- had to take responsibility and work around team demands. The demands of the sport in terms of skills and fitness had to be met and there was no substitute for that."

On his assessment of what went wrong in the final, Harendra explained, "I don't think anything went wrong in the final. I think in our quest for the elusive title we played good attacking hockey, but in the process, we made some elementary mistakes. On a couple of occasions, the stick was not down. We didn't choose the right skill at the appropriate time and we didn't position ourselves properly while relaying or receiving the ball. These are a few things that we have to revisit as a team and work on."

After a week's break, the team will regroup in Bengaluru to prepare for the Asian Games next month. As Harendra enjoyed some family time, he added, "Our team is work in progress, we can't relax. Asian Games is the bigger challenge of the year for us. We have to finish on top and ensure we book our Tokyo Olympics berth."

On Sreejesh

He was outstanding and his efforts were complemented by the defenders. The goalkeeper should be clearing the ball once and the rebound is the defenders' responsibility. We discussed it extensively and the same was executed.

On Sardar Singh

He was entrusted with a responsibility and role which he delivered admirably. His presence on the ground makes a difference because with a senior player in their mix, the juniors feel comfortable and look to him for guidance.

The Times of India

Hockey captain PR Sreejesh credits coach Harendra Singh for India's Champions Trophy run

PR Sreejesh - File Photo, DNA

Disappointed he may be for not winning the gold at the Champions Trophy but India hockey captain PR Sreejesh insisted that the players took the game to the next level in Breda and it will help them do well at the Asian Games and the World Cup at home.

India were beaten 1-3 by Australia in the shootout after score remained 1-1 at the end of regulation time. It was second consecutive silver medal for India in the tournament. Sreejesh, who stood out under the bar throughout the tournament, said the Indian players had it in them to prevail over Australia.

"I was disappointed for not winning the gold in the Champions Trophy because we anticipated meeting Australia in finals. We did meet them, but could not do well in shootout. We believed we could beat Australia and played with that spirit," Sreejesh told PTI after his arrival from Netherlands here.

"We did extremely well, especially after the team lost striker Ramandeep Singh, who sustained an injury. Boys took the performance to next level and definitely this will help us to do well in Asian Games and World Cup," Sreejesh added.

Looking ahead, Sreejesh said after the five-day break, the team will assemble and chart out strategies and plans for the Asian Games. Talking about his own performance in the tournament, Sreejesh said, it was a challenge to recover from injury and perform.

"I worked really very hard to become match fit and worked on certain aspects of the game. All these could not have happened without team support. I am happy to win the award and I think, our defence really stood out," he said.

Replying to a query, Sreejesh said coach Harendra Singh has been great for the team because he is good at motivating the players.

"Harendra knows the boys really well, for all of us have worked with him at junior level. One of the best parts of him is, he really motivates and pumps up players. He is gifted with using right words just before players walk onto the field. The players also are immensely happy to give Harendra his first silver as the coach, for he had never played as a player for the country in Champions Trophy," Sreejesh added.

Daily News & Analysis

More disappointment: something needs to be done

Abdul Mohi Shah

It was sheer disappointment to see the Pakistan hockey team finishing last in the 37th and concluding Champions Trophy in Breda, The Netherlands.

The overall result — Pakistan lost all matches barring one — is a clear indication that our national sport desperately needs remedial measures. The results are more alarming considering that Pakistan produced reasonably good performances in the last two Champions Trophies. In 2012 in Melbourne, Pakistan defeated the best including India and Germany to earn a bronze medal while in 2014 in India, even the Dutch and the hosts were no match to Pakistan on their way to a silver.

In 2014, the then Pakistan Hockey Federation headed by Akhtar Rasool did not even have the funds to send the team to India and had it not been to the last minute help from Omar Associates, Pakistan would not even have competed in the tournament. Thanks to PHF secretary Rana Mujahid’s personal efforts, the team got enough finances for the trip and ultimately justified its participation.

There was however no dearth of finances this time around. According to an estimate, the PHF has spent around Rs50 million alone on the participation in the Champions Trophy — including expenditures on the training camps in Pakistan and Holland. Apart from the coaching staff’s salaries and the players’ TA/DA, boarding and lodging expenses, a good number of joyriders were also part of the huge convoy. Yet the end result was vthe worst ever as was the case in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Another bad news came from Canada where Pakistan A team that had services of 24-26 years old players were beaten badly by the Canadian Youth side. It sounds terrifying that the PHF invested millions on the players and officials’ travel to Canada where Pakistan scored just one goal and conceded no less than 20 against a nation that is not known for its field hockey prowess.

Pakistan hockey fans around the world have been waiting for almost three years to hear some good news from the sport that introduced the country to the sporting world. This time expectations were even higher as highly paid Roelant Oltmans was handed over the reins of the team. Just recently hockey minnows Japan deprived Pakistan of a three-nation title while 32nd ranked Oman held the Greenshirts to a draw in the same tournament.

Another tournament and another poor finish — this has been the trend in recent past. These past years have been the worst ever in the history of Pakistan hockey. Their FIH ranking slipped to all time low (14) before they recovered somewhat to No 13. Fears are that it would slip further.

The PHF management’s unwise decisions in the last three years have contributed to these results.

To start with it was never a wise decision to appoint local coaches with the national team when Brigadier (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar took over as the PHF chief. The decision to have one after another local coach backfired to the extent that the PHF had to bring back Oltmans for a second stint. Declining a wildcard entry to play the 2016 Champions Trophy and the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup two months back also contributed to the team’s declining standard. A team only gets better with international exposure.

Time and again the PHF bosses were reminded at the time of their taking over the federation in 2015 that getting involved in petty provincial hockey politics would be fatal not only for the PHF but also for the sport’s promotion at the grassroots level. Those having other motives were adamant to have provincial hockey associations of their choice. Now the same PHF officials are eating their words and admitting in open that their biggest mistake was to get involved in provincial politics in special reference to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Now even Punjab’s hockey matters are awaiting court decisions.

Then, a majority of the PHF officials were supporting the idea of having a new-look team. A big part of the first two years saw them ignoring players like Rizwan Senior, Shafqat Rasool, Mohammad Irfan, Rashid, Tauseeq Irshad, Imran Butt and a few others. They did not realise that grooming quality players is never an easy job. The PHF reversed its decision and all those players who were part of the Champions Trophy silver-winning team during Rana Mujahid’s era as secretary PHF are now back. If three years ago these same players had grown old, are they any younger now?

There are a few more such decisions taken in the last three years that contributed to the systematic downfall of the team. Those who have been critical of the hockey bosses’ poor decision-making, now possibly have a strong claim to have a new PHF set-up.

The News International

Men’s Grand Masters National Team finishes 17th at Canada’s first WGM World Cup

Canada defeats France twice to close out positive tournament experience

On June 21, 2018, head coach Donald Paterson and assistant manager Patrick Oswald led the Canadian Men’s 60+ National Team into their first ever World Cup Match. It was a game against South Africa, a team that finished in 5th place at the World Cup two years ago in Newcastle, Australia. Despite losing their first match 3-0, history was made as Canada marked its first ever appearance in the 60+ tournament.

From June 20-30, the world saw The Grand Masters World Cup unfold in Barcelona, Spain, where the Canadian Men’s National Team (60+ division) participated in their first World Cup and finished in 17th place. Despite not advancing past the pool group stage, the team brings back with them a newfound love for the sport and opens up a new opportunity for Canadian Grand Masters teams to come.

Goalkeeper Ken Beckett was crucial in holding the South Africans to just one goal in the first half of the historic first match. However, the opposing team was able to find their way to the net in the 51st and 68th minute, leaving Canada to drop their opening match 3-0. At the end of the match, Canada and South Africa proceeded to exchange pins and pendants, which Oswald described as “wonderful sportsmanship.”

“[That] is exactly what Grand Masters World Cup is all about,” Oswald said. “We are making a lot of new friends and are [feeling] wonderfully welcome as part of the Grand Masters family.”

The following day, Canada dropped 7-0 against Australia who had finished the previous World Cup in second place, before dropping 4-0 against Scotland on Sunday. Canada concluded the pool group stage with a 5-0 loss against the USA, but remained in high spirits with two placement games to look forward to.

“I thought we held Australia early but gave up some easy goals near the end,” said Beckett. “Australia was what I expected. I thought we would be more competitive versus South Africa and the USA. We prepared more extensively this time and…our training drills were very helpful to me in facing shots and build-up by our opposition.”

It was a face-off between Canada and France for 17th place. Canada didn’t disappoint, winning the first match 4-1 after captain Gordon Plottel scored the country’s first World Cup goal in the 10th minute from a penalty corner. Four minutes later, Mark Northcote converted another penalty corner opportunity from close up, giving Canada the lead at halftime.

Andy Haigh scored in the 38th minute from an open field goal and once more in the 52nd minute before the French pushed back with a late goal.

“This victory gave the team a needed lift after the loss to the USA,” Oswald said. “The USA team is…very good but the Canadians felt they did not play their best and the loss was disheartening.  To score goals and win the game against the French was just what the doctor ordered!”

Canada surged to a 2-0 win over France in game two of the mini-series which left Canada as the 17th place team out of 18 nations, after goals from Plottel and Haigh in the second half.

“It was great to conclude the tournament with two winning games,” Plottel said after the match. “Doing so against tough but gracious opponents of our own calibre made it a fitting conclusion for our nine-month goal of showing that Canada belongs and can compete in the WGM.”

Paterson, who described the first game against France as his key moment in the tournament, was pleased by the results and Canada’s performance in the World Cup considering the country was a new entrant.

“Our participation in the World Cup was entirely positive [with] little ups and downs as expected,” he said. “No team overwhelmed us completely so that when we were beaten, we still learned a lot about tactics and individual skills.”

As for what the future holds, the team hopes that their participation in the tournament is the beginning of a long journey for Canadian field hockey and proof that international careers can be pursued with hard work and spirit, regardless of age.

The next WGM World Cup will be held in 2020, location yet to be determined.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Irish U-23s warm up with strong series against Wales

The Irish Under-23/21 selection put in some fine performances over the weekend against Wales at Santry Avenue to continue their preparation for a Six Nations tournament in Antwerp later this month.

On Friday, goals from Jessica McMaster and Ruth Maguire saw them win 2-0 and they closed out the weekend on Sunday with a 5-1 result, Anna Richardson, Michelle Barry, Katherine Egan, Nina Heisterkamp and Taite Doherty scoring.

Next on their agenda is games against Chile and Italy over the weekend at Pembroke before they take on the Antwerp tournament.

There, they will play other Under-23 selections from India, the Netherlands, Canada, Great Britain and Belgium.

For those games, a reduced panel has been named. Emma Buckley comes back in to take up one of the goalkeeping slots alongside fellow Cork woman Hannah Humphries.

A feature of the squad is also the return of players from the US to Europe getting a look in after spells away. Sarah Hawkshaw – at University of Massachusetts – is a case in point while Serena Barr, twin sister of Bethany, is now in England with Ben Rhydding after a college spell with the Liberty Flames.

Edel Nyland, after a spell at the Longwood Lancers, is now in Bremen in Germany and is one of 10 players who lined out at the European Under-21s last summer.

Sarah Torrans, Ellen Curran and Buckley are three members of the senior squad who were left out of the World Cup side but can show more of their talent for the future.

Head Coach David Passmore commented: “This is an ideal opportunity to develop and expose a young group of Irish athletes to different styles of play and the intensity of elite hockey against some of the top nations.

“I hope it provides the platform for some athletes to move to the senior squad after the World Cup and challenge for Olympic qualification places there after. We thank Eugene F Collins for the sponsorship that has provided the platform for this trip ”

Ireland Under-23 squad (for Antwerp Six Nations event): Hannah Humphries (GK, UCC), Emma Buckley (GK, Cork Harlequins), Serena Barr (Ben Rhydding HC, England), Bethany Barr (UCD), Hannah Grieve (Pegasus), Hannah McLoughlin (Loreto), Michelle Barry (Cork Harlequins), Ruth Maguire (Pegasus), Michelle Carey (Railway Union), Sara Twomey (UCD), Ellen Curran (UCD), Erica Markey (Trinity), Abigail Russell (UCD), Sarah Hawkshaw (Railway Union), Edel Nyland (Bremen, Germany), Tori Hastings (Queens), Jessica McMaster (Queens), Sarah Torrans (Loreto)

Fixture schedule
Saturday, July 7: Ireland U-23 v Chile seniors, 6.30pm, Pembroke
Sunday, July 8: Ireland U-23 v Italy seniors, 4pm, Pembroke

U23 6 Nations Tournament at Royal Antwerp Hockey Club (times local)
Saturday, July 14: Ireland v India, 10.30am
Sunday, July 15: Ireland v Netherlands, 10.30am
Tuesday, July 17: Ireland v Canada, 12pm
Wednesday, July 18: Ireland v Great Britain, 12pm
Friday, July 20: Ireland v Belgium, 1.30pm
Saturday, July 21: Crossovers

The Hook

All Set For Under-21 Australian Championships In Sydney

Alexie Beovich

Australia’s next generation of Hockey talent will be on show when the 2018 Under-21 Women’s and Men’s Australian Championships commence in Sydney, New South Wales on Wednesday.

All 48 matches will be played at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre from 4-11 July 2018, thanks to the support of the NSW State Government, Destination NSW, Hockey NSW and Hockey Australia.

All states and territories except Northern Territory will be represented in both gender divisions, while hosts New South Wales will field two teams across both divisions.

Gold and bronze medal matches will be played on Wednesday 11 July.

New South Wales and Western Australia are the reigning Australian Champions in the Women's and Men's competitions respectively.

For details on how to follow the Championships head to http://www.hockey.org.au/u21.

Follow @HockeyAustralia on Twitter for regular match updates throughout the Championships.

Hockey Australia media release

Dale and Sothern add to Belgian-based Irish contingent

Julian Dale is moving to Daring in Brussels. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Pembroke’s Alan Sothern and Cork C of I’s Julian Dale have joined the rapidly growing cohort of Irish senior men’s internationals who will play their hockey professionally on the continent next season.

Dale will join Brussels club Royal Daring where he will link up with coach John Bessell who has been working with the Green Machine as an assistant for the past few months.

“I’m excited because its full-time hockey,” Dale told the Hook. “I’ll be getting good guidance as well as playing alongside two ex-Australian internationals Eli Matheson and Glenn Simpson. The goal is to improve and basically go from being a fringe player to a result with the senior team through my time in Belgium.”

Dale recently finished an ordinary degree in recreation and leisure management and plans to go back in due course to upgrade it to an honours degree.

Sothern, meanwhile, goes to the rising force that is La Gantoise, following Stephen Cole (Oree), Shane O’Donoghue and Kirk Shimmins (both Dragons) this summer.

It continues the wholesale moves away from domestic competition, something that the introduction of the EY Hockey League was supposed to counteract in Ireland.

But until either Hockey Ireland can offer centralised contracts or clubs can afford to pay players, going to the big leagues in Europe remains the avenue to play hockey on a full-time basis.

Lee Cole, Brian Doherty, Jeremy Duncan and Conor Harte are already established in the league with Matthew Bell and Ronan Gormley in Germany and David Harte in the Netherlands. HC Rotterdam look set to unveil a couple of Irish players this week while another couple are in talks elsewhere.

The high volume of moves is partially down to the introduction of the Hockey Pro League in 2019 which has made Irish players more attractive for recruiting clubs.

Bar India, Ireland are the highest ranked country not involved in the competition, making them some of the best players available for the whole season.

Usually, the Belgian league recruits most heavily from Spain, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand but their top stars may now have limited availability for the second half of the campaign.

For Ireland, the upshot is these contracts allow a much wider number of players access to full-time hockey which could be a big boost ahead of November’s World Cup.

The Hook

Fieldhockey.com uses cookies to assist with navigating between pages. Please leave the site if you disagree with this policy.
Copyright remains with the credited source or author