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News for 26 September 2018

All the news for Wednesday 26 September 2018

FIH Pro League ticket registration open in Australia

Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek

The ticket sales for the much awaited FIH Pro League that launches in January 2019 are on sale! Australia will be participating in the new annual home and away league involving the world's leading hockey nations.

Australia will host 16 matches (men and women) at four venues: Melbourne, Hobart, Perth and Sydney, from 2 February to 17 March 17, 2019.

Both the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos will begin their campaign in the FIH Pro League against the Dutch on 2 February at the State Netball Hockey Centre, Melbourne.

After the high voltage opener, both the teams will face European giants Belgium on 3 February. In the following week the Dutch travel to island nation to provide a tough fight against the hosts in Hobart on 10 February.

February’s fixtures end with the Great Britain traveling to Perth. While Australia’s men may be considered favourites to win this tie, the women’s team will have to overcome a stiff challenge from the visitors – the Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists.

After a two-week break, the show moves to Sydney in March where the Kookaburras face Spain and Hockeyroos take on USA on March 2.

The last four matches in Sydney promise to be an exciting end to the Australian leg at FIH Pro League.

On March 16, The Kookaburras host Olympic Gold medallists Argentina, while Hockeyroos take on Pan American champions Las Leonas in a bid to maintain their supremacy over the South American rivals.

The next day, 17 March promises to be a Super Sunday as the Trans-Tasman rivalry renews on the hockey field. New Zealand’s Black Sticks travel to Sydney to close a fantastic six weeks of hockey down under.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to back your team against the world’s best teams at FIH Pro League.

You can register here for the tickets. http://hockey.org.au/RegisterHPL

For further information about the FIH Pro League, visit the Q&A section on the FIH website by clicking here.

For the full FIH Pro League schedule, here.

FIH site

Hockey women gear up for revenge series

by Helge Schütz

Namibia captain Magy Mengo in action against Germany at the Indoor World Cup.

THE Seaflower Namibia national women's hockey team returns to action for the first time since the Indoor World Cup when they take on South Africa in an indoor test series in Durban next week.

It will be the first time that the two countries meet since the World Cup qualifiers in Swakopmund last year when Namibia stunned South Africa with a sudden death victory in the final to book their place at the World Cup.

At the World Cup in Berlin in February this year, Namibia continued their impressive performances, finishing ninth overall after winning two, drawing two and losing two of their matches.

Since then they have also moved past South Africa on the world rankings and are now the top ranked African side with a world ranking of 11th while South Africa are 16th.

As such, Namibia can expect a big onslaught from South Africa according to national coach Erwin Handura.

“We expect a tough series and South Africa will certainly want to take revenge and prove a point after we beat them last year,” he said.

Eight of the players who represented Namibia at the Indoor World Cup are once again in the squad, while four are not available.

The unavailable players include Jeani Holz and Zani van Lill, due to school exams; Jocelle Deysel, due to work commitments; and Kiana Cormack, who will represent Namibia at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina at the same time.

The new players called up are the experienced Jerrica Bartlett and Zaan Marie Niemand, and the youthful Saints duo of Azaylee Philander and Amber Dercksen.

Philander in fact is still only 14 years old and Dercksen is only 16, while there are several other players in the squad who are still under 21 years of age like Gillian Hermanus, Sunelle Ludwig and Dure Boshoff.

Despite the youthful look of the team they boast a lot of experience with half of the team already having won 20 or more caps for their country.

Captain Magy Mengo leads the way with 48 caps and is sure to reach the magical milestone of 50 caps during the five-test series against South Africa.

Marcia Venter follows with 43 caps, while Jerrica Bartlett has won 32 caps, Petro Stoffberg 30, Gillian Hermanus 21 and Ina Louis 20 caps.

“I have a very young team, but these kids can play and they have shown their worth in the Premier League. We will miss some of our top players like Jocelle (Deysel) and Kiana (Cormack), but I'm confident that the new girls can fill their shoes adequately,” Handura said.

South Africa, meanwhile, has named a strong side which includes some experienced indoor players as well as some exciting newcomers.

They will be captained by Cindy Hack who is their most experienced player with 67 caps, while Jess O Connor has won 65 caps. Other experienced players in the squad include Amore de Wet (29 caps), Amy Greaves (37) and Eloise Walters (33).

There are several newcomers with Alex Kavanagh, Jess Lardent and Lilian du Plessis all due to make their national debuts for their indoor side. Du Plessis, however, is vastly experienced in field hockey, having already played more than 100 outdoor test matches for South Africa, while she was also the top goal scorer at the South African Inter Provincial tournament last year.

The Namibian team will fly to South Africa on Wednesday, 3 October, while the first test takes place the following evening.

Two more tests will be played on Friday, 4 October and two more on Saturday, 5 October.

The Namibian squad is as follows:

Magy Mengo (captain), Petro Stoffberg, Berencia Diamond, Dure Boshoff, Gillian Hermanus, Sunelle Ludwig, Ina Louis, Marcia Venter, Jerrica Bartlett, Zaan Marie Niemand, Azaylee Philander and Amber Dercksen.

The Namibian

Ronan Gormley Formally Retires From International Hockey

Ronan Gormley, an ever-present figure for the Green Machine, has today formally announced his retirement from international hockey. Ronan amassed 256 caps for Ireland with 121 of those coming as captain of Ireland. He became the first person in Irish hockey history to reach 250 caps, cementing his place as a stalwart of the game.

Ronan wished to pay tribute to all those who had an influence on his career, on and off the pitch “First and foremost my teammates - to some extent there is a lot of luck in sport and I was lucky to be playing during a time of immense talent in Irish hockey. Not only that, but those involved went above and beyond to do things no-one expected of them, and achieve things most said they couldn't.

In an era of ever professionalising sport thank-you to the coaches who drove this agenda: David Passmore started the ball rolling by raising standards in the Irish Men's hockey programme. Paul Revington arrived and changed the game. The most inspirational figure I have ever encountered, he took us all to another level in what we could do, what we thought we could do and what we expected of ourselves. And finally Craig Fulton, who came in at a time when the group was dispersed and lacked direction, and through his infectious energy and enthusiasm reinstalled in us the unconditional belief that took us historically to our first ever Olympic Games Qualification. Thanks also to all the staff who backed these men and gave so much of themselves to support our development. I look back with great pride on a rise from 23rd to a high of 9th in the world, a European Bronze medal, and an Olympic Games. Thanks to all who added to and shared the journey - great friends and special memories were made!

Thanks to my clubs - Pembroke, Club de Campo and Crefeld for the opportunity to build an international network of truly great people, and thanks to the Irish hockey community who simply never stopped supporting and backing their national teams.Thank you to the Hockey Ireland and all the sporting bodies who supported us during the years. We have battled for everything we have achieved, on and off the pitch.

Thank-you to mum, dad and two sisters who deserve special mention for their unconditional support of a kid and brother living in large part with only his interests and goals in mind!

Last but not least thanks to my own growing family - Javi, Tiago and Ayla - for the support to date and the fun in the years to come”.

Ronan remains an avid supporter as he concluded “A special congrats to the Irish Ladies for their heroic feat in the summer, and all the best to the Men in India - will very much enjoy from my vantage point on the sofa!”

All at Hockey Ireland thank Ronan for his service to the Green Machine over the last decade and a half, and wish him every success in the future.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Gormley formally ends ground-breaking career, powering the Green Machine

Craig Fulton leads the tributes to Ronan Gormley following his incredible career in green, formally retiring after 256 games and 121 with the captain's armband

Gormley in the lead-up to the 2016 Olympics. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Ronan Gormley has formally retired from international hockey, bringing to an end one of the most influential careers on Ireland’s journey to the world’s top ten.

He was the first player to reach the 250-cap mark – ending on 256 – in 2016 and captained the side 121 times but, if possible, his importance to the sport went far beyond just playing for the Green Machine.

The teak-tough defender, now 35, was a central figure in pushing the boundaries off the field, working tirelessly to push the envelope with the Irish Hockey Association – now Hockey Ireland – on behalf of the team to secure top class coaches and greater funding in pursuit of their dreams.

It is something he made a nod to in his retirement message: “We have battled for everything we have achieved, on and off the pitch. The more we continue to achieve, the more funding and support we need. Please keep taking note.”

Leading the tributes was former coach at both Pembroke and Ireland Craig Fulton: “Ronan has a few outstanding strengths and the one that rings true for me and got stronger with experience and age for club and country is his relentless determination to compete.

“He was never beaten individually in his own mind and he gave as good as he got; he is a formidable competitor. His leadership style was modelled on this action speaks louder than words.

“I remember clearly when he played with a broken hand at right back for Ireland in the match where the European bronze medal was won; he would go on to help relieve other players on the pitch and do whatever needed to be done to help the team even with a broken hand.

“This attitude spilled over into a very well-thought out self-improvement plan where he focused specifically on the mental and physical aspects of his game that needed improvement to compete at the highest level. Ronan collectively helped raise the bar on and off the field on many levels in the Irish Mens team in its most successful period.

“Ronan also has a raw honesty around all who he worked with and especially his teammates which was also key in helping galvanise the belief needed at the time to qualify. He is a winner and has been a true servant to Irish hockey and I wish him all the best for his retirement and the next chapter in his work and family life.”

Born in Cork, he subsequently moved to England before returning to Ireland in his mid-teens where he played in Sandford Park in Dublin – helping win the school’s only Leinster senior league title in the past 40 years.

At Pembroke, he won everything in the game, incredible a quadruple in the 2008/09 season while he also helped Spanish-side Madrid reach the final of the Euro Hockey League in 2011.

With Ireland, he made his debut in 2004 in a 6-2 loss to India at a time when Ireland were ranked outside the world’s top 20. During his time, the side embarked on a remarkable rise, culminating in European bronze in 2015 and a first Olympic qualification for over a century in 2016.

Looking back on his career, he felt it was an element of fortune paved the path.

“To some extent, there is a lot of luck in sport and I was lucky to be playing during a time of immense talent in Irish hockey. Not only that, but those involved went above and beyond to do things no one expected of them and achieved things most said they couldn’t.”

He hailed coaches for pushing the agenda in an era when hockey has undergone a seismic shift toward professionalisation with Dave Passmore starting the ball rolling to raise standards with Paul Revington carrying on the progression.

Gormley – along with his father Frank – was a key figure in bringing Fulton to Ireland in the first place at club level with Pembroke, something which led on to the South African’s stellar time as national coach, finally reaching the Holy Grail.

While he has many playing highlights, Gormley did pick out playing in the 2012 Champions Challenge as “one never to be forgotten”. Hockey Ireland had withdrawn the national side from the competition only for the Irish public to raise €65,000 within a week to fund their journey to Argentina; their support was rewarded by a bronze medal.

Team mates were quick to pay tribute to his impact with Andy McConnell describing him as “without doubt the greatest leader I was lucky to share a pitch with, an inspirational to all and somebody who changed Irish hockey forever”.

David Harte added: “Leader, team mate, friend and legend. Thank you for your incredible service and all you did for me personally. Inspired a generation and leaving behind a legacy”.

His formal retirement was not overly surprising. He last played in green in March 2017 when Fulton was keen to use his experience at World League Round 2 in a transitioning side following the Olympics.

With increasing work commitments at his base in Germany and a growing young family, it became difficult to stay involved in the setup though Fulton was keen to keep the door open as long as possible.

Gormley, meanwhile, concluded his announcement by saying he is looking forward to supporting from afar, something he particularly enjoyed last month when watching the Irish women’s “heroic feats” and he will watch on from his vantage point on the sofa in November when the men are in action in India.

The Hook

Ronan Gormley retires from Ireland international duty after winning 256 caps

Ronan Gormley made his Ireland debut in 2004

Ronan Gormley captained Ireland in 121 of his 256 internationals

Ireland defender Ronan Gormley has retired from international duty after amassing 256 caps since making his debut in 2004.

Gormley, 35, became the first Ireland player to reach 250 caps last year and captained his country on 121 occasions.

The Rio Olympian thanked his team-mates and Ireland managements for their support during his career.

"I was lucky to be playing during a time of immense talent in Irish hockey," Gormley told Hockey Ireland.

I look back with great pride on a rise from 23rd to a high of ninth in the world, a European bronze medal and an Olympic Games.

"Thanks to all who added to and shared the journey. Great friends and special memories were made."

The defender, who plays his club hockey for German team Krefeld, wished his former Ireland team-mates "all the best" for their World Cup challenge in India in November.

Gormley began his club career with Dublin club Pembroke before moving to Spanish outfit Club de Campo.

BBC Sport

'I look back with great pride' - Long-standing Ireland hockey captain and Rio Olympian announces retirement

The defender won European bronze with Ireland in 2015 and represented his country at the Olympic Games.

Gormley made 256 appearances for Ireland.

FORMER INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY captain and one of Ireland’s highest capped players Ronan Gormley has confirmed his retirement from the sport at the age of 36.

Gormley won a bronze medal at the 2015 European Championships and was a member of the the first ever Irish hockey team to qualify for the Olympics, when the Green Machine made it all the way to Rio two years ago.

The defender, who currently plays for German side Krefeld, became the first Irish player to reach 250 caps last year and captained his country on 121 occasions during his international career.

He thanked his clubs and former team-mates in a statement released on Tuesday morning, saying: “to some extent there is a lot of luck in sport and I was lucky to be playing during a time of immense talent in Irish hockey.”

He added: “I look back with great pride on a rise from 23rd to a high of 9th in the world, a European Bronze medal, and an Olympic Games. Thanks to all who added to and shared the journey – great friends and special memories were made.”

The 42

Missy Meharg to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award from Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame

The 59th induction ceremony of the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame (MDSAHOF) will commence on Thursday, November 8. Among this year's honorees is a familiar face of the field hockey community, University of Maryland Head Coach and USA Field Hockey Foundation Board Member Missy Meharg, who will be a recipient of the John F. Steadman Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is presented to a state citizen whose lifetime career in sports has brought honor and distinction to Maryland.

Field hockey coach at the University of Maryland for the last 30 years, Meharg, 55, is the first woman to receive the John F. Steadman Lifetime Achievement Award in the honor’s 20-year history. She also is the first field hockey representative in the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame, which dates to 1956. Meharg’s credentials include seven national championships, 23 conference titles and nine National Coach of the Year awards.

Memorable quote:"I think for some people it's challenging to find people’s strengths when they're not the best. I pride myself on that. I also have had times where top players say I don’t give them enough attention. That is something I've stayed focused on to make sure that I do.”

Voted National Coach of the Year and Conference Coach of the Year an unprecedented nine times, Meharg has exemplified the tradition of excellence at Maryland while leading the program to seven NCAA National Championships, 23 Conference Championships and 11 Regular-Season Conference Titles, solidifying the Terrapins' position among the top programs in the nation.

Meharg was also been involved in the coaching staff for the U.S. Women's National Team from 1993-98, having coached at the 1994 World Cup, 1995 Pan American Games and Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. A few more accolades to her name include being named one of ESPNU's top five recruiters in the country across all sports, a member of the University Senate and the Senate Executive Committee.

Portions of Press Release Courtesy of Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame

For more information about the MDSAHOF Annual Banquet, or to purchase tickets, click here.

USFHA media release

All The 2018 Australian Hockey League Squads

Ben Somerford

The 2018 Australian Hockey League (AHL) is a step closer with all teams submitting their squad lists for last week’s deadline ahead of the opening round on Saturday and Sunday 6-7 October.

There may still be some changes as some teams may bring in imports, but the preliminary squads have been submitted as the anticipation ramps up.

This year’s AHL represents the last national competition in its current format, before next year’s revamped league is launched.

In 2018, the AHL will be played throughout four weekends of October, with three rounds before a finals weekend at a centralised location from 25-28 October.

Tickets are available now. Go to www.hockey.org.au/AHL18 for state-by-state ticket info.

The squads are as follows:

Canberra Lakers
Aaron Knight, Brendan Hill (gk), Owen Chivers, Glenn Turner (c), Davis Atkin, Mathew Neeson, Kazuma Murata, Niranjan Gupte, Jamie Hawke, Anand Gupte, Garry Backhus, Jake Staines, Manabu Yamashita, Ben Staines, Aaron Kershaw, Lewis McLennan, Lewis Shepherd, Thomas Deane, James Day, Thomson Stuckey, Andrew Charter (gk), James Lawrence (gk)
Coach: Peter Morgan

Canberra Strikers
Edwina Bone (c), Catriona Bailey-Price, Jessica Smith, Isabella Apps, Millie Monfries, Meredith Bone, Shelley Watson, Sophie Gaughan, Samantha Economos, Naomi Evans, Elena Tice, Beckie Middleton, Rebecca Lee, Kalindi Commerford, Tina Taseska, Sarah White, Rene Hunter (gk), Talei Forrest (gk)
Coach: Lindsay Burrows

NSW Waratahs
Lachlan Sharp, Tom Craig, Simon Orchard, Jack Hayes, Ash Thomas (gk), Matthew Dawson, Nick Holman (gk), Nathanael Stewart, Hayden Dillon, Flynn Ogilvie, Kurt Lovett, Blake Govers, Matthew Butturini, Daine Richards, Nicholas McEwen, Tristan White, Ben Craig, Ryan Proctor, Dylan Martin, Ehren Hazell, Kieran Govers, Timothy Brand
Coach: Brent Livermore

NSW Arrows
Jocelyn Bartram (gk), Sarah Johnston, Kate Hanna, Emily Smith, Jessica Parr (gk), Lisa Farrell, Grace Stewart, Anna Flanagan, Greta Hayes, Mikaela Patterson, Tamsin Bunt, Kaitlin Nobbs, Makaela Potts, Jessica Watterson, Georgina Morgan, Kate Jenner, Abigail Wilson, Mariah Williams
Coach: Katrina Powell

NT Stingers
Jason Lowe, Tarrant Haami-Jones, Adam Luck (gk), Adrian Lockley, Jamie Hullick, Corey Piggin, Jye Clark (gk), Jacob Andrade, Robert Duguid, Nicholas Hill, Nathan Hochman, Ronan Myyrylainen, Dylan Hill, Jason Hullick, Joel Carroll, Matthew Argent, Dwayne Abbott, Ewan Wallin, Isaac McDonald, Jeremy Hayward
Coach: Barry Shewring

NT Pearls
Elizabeth Duguid (gk), Jennifer Hoes (gk), Brooke Peris, Felicity Gallagher, Natarlia Smith, Grace Nalder, Jessica Martin-Brown, Tayla Ainslie, Courtney Knowler, Georgia Graf, Josie Short, Babette van der Velden, Kim Leiper, Erin Lidbetter, Danarra Bishop, Jacqueline Graf, Carly James, Seriou Frankema
Coach: Tate Napier

Queensland Blades
Corey Weyer, Tim Howard, Hugh Pembroke, Michael Francis, Ashley Hennegan, Joel Rintala, Blake Wotherspoon, Robert Bell, Jacob Anderson, Shane Kenny, Scott Boyde, Cade Banditt (gk), Matthew Finn (gk), Oliver Crane, Douglas Buckley, Matthew Swann, Matthew Shaw, Jake Whetton, Daniel Beale, Dylan Wotherspoon, Justin Douglas, Jared Taylor
Coach: Matthew Wells

Queensland Scorchers
Savannah Fitzpatrick, Madison Fitzpatrick, Ashlea Fey, Ambrosia Malone, Kirstin Dwyer, Jodie Kenny, Jordyn Holzberger, Madeline James, Tegan Richards, Stephanie Kershaw, Rebecca Greiner, Morgan Gallagher, Hannah Astbury (gk), Emily Burrows (gk), Layla Eleison, Britt Wilkinson, Georgia Hillas, Renee Taylor
Coach: Lee Bodimeade

SA Hotshots
William Abbott, Sijbrand Bolhuis, Simon Brown, Lachlan Busiko, Scott Germein, Brodie Gleeson, Fred Gray, Ross Hetem, Dong Hyung Lee, James Keeves, Luke Larwood, Andy Leat, Daniel Mitchell, Alastair Oliver, Glyn Tamlin, Michael Wells (gk), Cameron White, Kurtis Willson
Coach: Michael Nobbs

SA Suns
Jane Claxton, Holly Evans, Celeste Foord, Emily Grist, Amy Hammond (gk), Kate Holland-Smith, Lucy Holland-Smith, Amy Hunt, Euleena MacLachlan, Karri McMahon, Ashleigh Morrison, Alison Penington, Hattie Shand, Miki Spano, Lucy Talbot, Leah Welstead, Ashlee Wells (gk), Mariana Lagos
Coach: Mark Dedman

Tassie Tigers
Jayden Pearson (gk), Nick Leslie, Hayden Beltz, Benjamin Austin, Kurt Mackey, Jeremy Edwards, Linden McCarthy, Eddie Ockenden (c), Samuel McCulloch, Joshua Beltz, Jack Welch, Kieron Arthur, Alistair White, Grant Woodcock (gk), Tim Deavin, James Bourke, Ben Read, James Dick, Oliver Smith, Gobindraj Gill, William Shaw, Sam McCambridge
Coach: Glenn Freeman

Tassie Van Demons
Sofie McLeod, Nicole Geeves, Molly Haas, Madeleine Hinton, Jess Tremayne, Blair Patten, Laura Spandler, Ashleigh Arthur, Samantha Lawrence, Louisa Jacobson, Jean Flanagan, Nellie Paynter, Sarah McCambridge, Eliza Westland, Phillida Bridley, Julia Gunn, Evelyn Dalton (gk), Ruby-Rose Haywood (gk)
Coach: Ilene Carr

Victorian Vikings
James Webster, Max Hendry, Andrew Scanlon, Josh Simmonds, Andrew Philpott, Chris Ciriello, Stephen Gale, Josh Pollard, Nathan Ephraums, Russell Ford, George Bazeley (gk), Joel Hamilton, Jayshaan Randhawa, Jonathan Bretherton, Zach Meaden, Damon Steffens, Oscar Wookey, Kiran Arunasalam, Johan Durst (gk), Tim Cross, James Knee, Aaron Kleinschmidt
Coach: Jay Stacy

Victorian Vipers
Morgan Gould (gk), Aisling Utri, Nicola Hammond, Sophie Taylor, Kristina Bates, Lily Brazel, Kary Chau, Olivia Colasurdo, Sarah Breen, Sabine Van den Assem, Emily Hurtz, Meg Pearce, Hayley Padget, Madi Ratcliffe, Samantha Snow, Hannah Gravenall, Rachael Lynch (gk), Lydia Velzian
Coach: Tim Strapp

WA Thundersticks
Jason Gabriel, Alec Rasmussen, Tim Geers, Jake Harvie, Frazer Gerrard, Marshall Roberts, Tyler Lovell (gk), Coby Green, Graeme Begbie, Tom Wickham, Will Byas, Dane Gavranich, Daniel Robertson, Liam Flynn, Bryn De Bes, Brayden King, Aran Zalewski, Brandon Gibbs, Josuha Bowen, James Richardson (gk), Matthew Fisher, Joseph Kenny
Coach: Chris O’Reilly

WA Diamonds
Phillipa Morgan, Candyce Peacock, Jemma Buckley (c), Shanea Tonkin, Penny Squibb, Kathryn Slattery, Rachel Frusher, Roos Broek, Caitlin Pascov, Annie Gibbs, Aleisha Power (gk), Renee Rockliff, Line Malan, Erin Judd (gk), Sienna Archer, Sara Foster, Danielle Bestall, Sage Rogers-Uff
Coach: Jeremy Davy

Hockey Australia media release

Beeston hockey’s live TV venture once again sets club template

By The Hockey Paper

Beeston HC launch live TV service PIC: David Kissman / www.davidkissman.co.uk

There may have been little fanfare for the opening weekend of England’s domestic season, but there was visibility abound in one part of the UK at least.

Beeston HC launched its first televised Investec Women’s Premier League game on Apple TV in a double live header over the weekend, which also featured the men’s home game the following day.

In recent seasons, we have seen the Nottinghamshire club venture into new media with aplomb.

However, this season they have decided to up the ante, with all their home matches televised live on digital platforms.

And unlike criticism levelled at sports content provider Eleven Sports’ coverage of last month’s PGA Championship, there were no apparent glitches for Beeston during their first broadcast as the Ladies took on University of Birmingham.

Down on the pitch, the tannoy sounded out the line-ups; up in the ‘Chapel’, the name given to Beeston’s media centre, graphics were neatly placed on screen.

There was a pre-match interview with Ollie Willars while lead commentator Nick Irvine was in the hot seat and gave some gravitas to proceedings.

As he signed off for half-time, with the Bees leading 2-0, the broadcast cut straight to the adverts, all with a local focus and featuring a shopping centre and college. Sponsor happy and professional.

Of course, the one worry in England Hockey’s eyes is getting TV execs excited about the domestic game with a lack of crowd attendance.

The only way the domestic scene is likely to be shown on satellite or otherwise is for a ‘Super Weekend’ style matches to be scheduled into the league calendar.

While hockey can’t replicate netball’s Monday night success on Sky Sports, by hosting at one club with, say, four clubs playing double headers across men and women leagues.

But this can’t happen every weekend, which makes Beeston’s vision all the more pivotal for other clubs to act.

On Saturday, there were a few spectators with umbrellas dotted across on the terracing on the TV facing side.

Of course, the weather didn’t help and there were more in attendance for the men’s opener against Sevenoaks.

Yet for those watching from the sofas, the inclusion of local sponsors and seeing the club as a commercial entity in the technology world simply stands out against other top flight clubs.

Beeston, once again, have set a template.

The Hockey Paper

Khokhar urges PM to invite PHF officials for meeting

Mohsin Ali

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar has confirmed that the federation has sent a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan to spare some time and invite the PHF for an important meeting.

Talking to The Nation, Brig Khokhar said: “I went to meet Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza along with secretary Olympian Shahbaz Senior, but she was busy in National Assembly proceedings and we met with IPC secretary Jamil Ahmad for more than two hours. We informed him about the problems being faced by the federation due to acute shortage of funds and Hockey World Cup is round the corner. He told us to write down the suggestions to the ICP Ministry and government and then we will send details in a day or two.”

He said that they wanted to meet PM as soon as possible, as a few so-called hockey lovers and former players were posing them as champions and vowing to take Pakistan hockey to new heights, but the fact is that no one can change the fortunes of hockey overnight. “We have implemented our plans, which have now started bearing fruits. We have done everything we could do and by the grace of Almighty and help of our near and dear ones, we have brought betterment in Pakistan hockey and found a great number of young and talented players, who are real asset of the country.”

He said that the critics must understand that it was only one-goal difference, which deprived Pakistan of Asian Games medal, whether it was gold or bronze. “Yes, it is true that green shirts failed in the crucial semifinal and then the third place play off, but they played better hockey throughout the Asian Games. One or two minor mistakes don’t mean that Pakistan hockey team played badly. Only in near future, they were conceding dozens of goals and could hardly score, but now they have scored more than 40 goals and conceded only handful, which is, for me, a big achievement.

“But the critics have just one aim of spoiling all the good work done by the federation and players. They never appreciate our good work and don’t recognise that the team is gradually rising from the ashes and World Cup is just round the corner, we need to be united, rather than point-scoring. They must come up with ideas and ways how jointly we can improve hockey and win laurels for the country,” he added.

When asked about Oltman’s resignation and whether federation is still keen to get back his services, Brig Khokhar said: “Oltmans has tendered his resignation sighting personal problems and we respect his decision. He spent around nine months with Pakistan hockey team and passed on his knowledge to our coaches. Now time is short before the World Cup in India and we don’t want to hire another international coach for the time being.

“Our own coaches M Saqlain, Rehan Butt and Hassan Sardar are capable of doing job for the country and team. Hassan Sardar is a proven stuff and his presence with the national team will prove very beneficial. I will personally visit the national team training camp in Lahore and motivate the players to deliver for the country,” he added.

The PHF chief said that he could assure PM and IPC Minister that they are capable of handling the pressure, turning the fortunes of national game and winning laurels for the country. Once the federation gets sufficient amount of funds, it will start delivering well.”

The Nation

Navid submits reply to PHF over allegations against Shahbaz

Mohammad Yaqoob

The PHF has terminated Navid's services as its director for issuing a press statement against the PHF - Photo Courtesy: FIH

LAHORE: Former hockey Olympian Navid Alam on Tuesday submitted his reply to a three-member disciplinary committee of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) which is probing the allegations made by the former Director PHF Development and Domestic.

The Khyber Pakhtun­khwa Hockey Association secretary Zahir Shah is head of the committee. It is ironic that in the recent past, Navid himself was appointed as head of the disciplinary committee in a similar disciplinary case against Zahir.

It may be mentioned here that the PHF terminated Navid’s services as its Director Development and Domestic Hockey for issuing a press statement against the PHF in the wake of the poor performance of the national team in the Asian Games and further alleged that various districts have filed complaints against him.

In his reply, Navid pleaded that PHF secretary Shahbaz Senior had biased attitude against him because as chairman of the PHF disciplinary committee he had completed different inquiries against the secretary including that of corruption.

Navid pleaded that his termination was illegal and Shahbaz Senior had turned against him because he had raised objections over the way the secretary had made appointments in the finance and marketing departments. He also alleged that Shahbaz obliged his close friend Olympian Kamran Ashraf by appointing him as coach of the development squad which contributed nothing towards grooming or nuearthing fresh talent.

Navid alleged that huge amount of funds had been spent on the development squad which was sent to Canada and further alleged that the basic criteria set for applying visas to travel abroad was also not followed for the tour.

He said Shahbaz is personally defaming the national game by his suspicious activities and that Shahbaz provoked the players through Kamran to riot prior to the Asian Games, like he himself had done as player in the 1996 Olympics Games by revolting against the PHF.


Jasdev Singh, the voice of Indian hockey, passes away

Vijay Lokapally

Commentator Jasdev Singh. Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Renowned hindi commentator Jasdev Singh passed away on Tuesday after prolonged illness. Jasdev was 87 and is survived by a son and daughter.

“It is with deep sadness that I note the demise of Sh. Jasdev Singh, one of our finest commentators. A veteran of @AkashvaniAIR & @DDNational, he covered 9 Olympics, 6 Asian Games & countless Independence Day & Republic Day broadcasts,” Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore tweeted.

Eminent commentator Dr. Narottam Puri, a long time associate of Jasdev, described him as a “colossus” in India’s broadcasting world. “He was the ultimate professional. His command over the language was amazing... The world of broadcasting has lost a diamond,” said Dr. Puri.

Jasdev was a rare commentator who excelled in commentating on every sport but hockey was close to his heart. “He brought hockey to the homes of sports lovers with his enchanting description of the game when there was no television,” said former India captain Zafar Iqbal. “He was the voice of hockey. He would literally race with the ball, his voice rising and falling with India’s moves on the field.”

He was credited with popularising hockey through his voice on the radio. Players took pride when their names were mentioned by Jasdev on air. “It was amazing how well he identified us in a crowd on the hockey field. We considered him part of the team because he was always travelling with us,” remembered Ajitpal Singh, captain of the team which won the 1975 World Cup at Kuala Lumpur.

It was acknowledged among broadcasting circles that Jasdev, who rose to become All India Radio Director, was a star. “A living legend. He was flawless and his flow was fascinating. He chose his words well and he was a master of pauses.,” said noted commentator Ravi Chaturvedi.

Jasdev’s mellifluous stuff on Republic Day and Independence Day was a feature of the broadcasting world for 48 years. “Going to Olympics was special but 26 January and 15 August were two days I looked forward to excitedly. I would prepare myself well but I must confess I would be nervous too initially,” Jasdev once told this reporter.

Jasdev was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1985 and Padma Bhushan in 2008.

The Hindu

Renowned commentator Jasdev Singh, Doordarshan's voice of Indian sports, passes away aged 87

File image of Jasdev Singh. Screengrab from YouTube

New Delhi: Renowned commentator Jasdev Singh, considered the voice of Indian sports on Doordarshan, died Tuesday after prolonged illness.

He was 87 and is survived by his son and daughter.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, considered to be Doordarshan's best days in sports coverage, Jasdev Singh, along with Ravi Chaturvedi and Sushil Doshi, were some of the household names for sports-lovers.

Minister of State for Sports and Information and Broadcast Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore expressed his condolences at Singh's demise.

"It is with deep sadness that I note the demise of Sh Jasdev Singh, one of our finest commentators. A veteran of @AkashvaniAIR & @DDNational, he covered 9 Olympics, 6 Asian Games & countless Independence Day & Republic Day broadcasts," Rathore tweeted.

While Chaturvedi and Doshi were primarily into cricket commentary, Singh was a regular at the Olympic Games and covered nine editions of the quadrennial extravaganza from Helsinki (1968) to Melbourne (2000).

Former International Olympic Council chief Juan Antonio Samaranch honoured him with the 'Olympic Order' at the Seoul edition in 1988, for his role in spreading the Olympic movement.

He also covered six Asian Games and an equal number of Hockey World Cups.

From 1963, he also did commentary for the Republic Day celebrations for 48 long years. He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1985 and the Padma Bhushan in 2008.


Wearing Kinesio tape for hockey? Get advice for best results

By Natalie Turner

It seems a distant memory watching Vets play on a late Saturday afternoon with my team-mates having to drink two fingers of snakebite and black every time someone who was wearing a tubigrip touched the ball.

But just as my youth and carefree days have been replaced with far more respectable activities such as being the Sport Rehabilitator for the Surbiton HC men’s and women’s squads, tubigrip has also faded into the past. Now we see the emergence of coloured sticky stuff as the new miracle to help players defy age and medical science by keeping them on the pitch.

The big question though is does this new sticky stuff (commonly known as K-Tape) help?

Well, the companies that produce it will tell you that K-tape can be used to reduce pain and inflammation, delay fatigue, enhance strength and optimise performance amongst other benefits. Dig deeper and some manufacturers will claim that K-Tape can “re-educate the neuromuscular system”, “speed up the recovery of over-active muscles” and “help bring dormant muscle back to life”.

“Straight in my basket!” I hear you cry.

Well, here’s what research tells us. There is in fact no convincing evidence for the effectiveness of the use of K-tape. Whilst there is good evidence to suggest a short-term reduction in pain, studies suggesting other possible benefits are of questionable quality.

The fact is that K-Tape needs to be applied in a very specific way and, most importantly, K-tape should only be used after you’ve had your injury assessed by a healthcare professional who will then determine the best treatment option for you.

As tempting as it might be, self-applied K-tape is unlikely to get you back any quicker from injury and nor will it keep you running around long enough to realise the dream of being carried aloft from the pitch with the crowd cheering your last minute victorious goal.

As one of those qualified people, I’m happy to use K-tape as it’s very adhesive and can stay in place even when an athlete becomes sweaty.

It is also elastic and so conforms to muscles and joints well and is relatively easy to apply.

I’ll often apply K-tape for proprioceptive reasons, to help with posture, chronic tendon issues and to reduce swelling but the results will vary.

But that doesn’t mean everyone has a couple of rolls that they use when they get a bit tired or sore. Any player using it will first have been assessed by medical staff who will have made an informed decision on how best to manage their injury.

The K-tape will be part of that process.

So, if you’ve been thinking that this could be the answer to that hamstring, back or shoulder pain, my recommendation is simply to ask whether you really know what you’re doing with it and, if not, then go and see someone who does.

Natalie Turner (MSc) is a lecturer in Sport Rehabilitation at St Mary’s University specialising in pitch side trauma and immediate care in sport. In 2012 she started working for Surbiton Men’s 1st Squad and is now the lead healthcare professional for both Men’s and Women’s 1st team squads. During the summer Natalie likes to catch up with friends and family who have forgotten what she looks over the hockey season.

The Hockey Paper

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