All the news for Sunday 30 December 2018
The Hockey Paper’s top 10 most read stories of 2018
Wonder goalie, Ireland’s Ayeisha McFerran PIC: England Hockey
From Ireland’s heroic women’s World Cup campaign to a bored motorist keeping up motorway stick skills, our most read online stories from the last year
10. The making of Alex Danson
Alex Danson has spent over half her life as an elite athlete playing for England and Great Britain. Here, we profiled the national captain’s brilliant career ahead of England’s World Cup tilt.
9. Jackson departs East Grinstead for Dutch side HGC
Ashley Jackson’s career still retains plenty of interest, judging by four articles on the former Great Britain star in the top 25 most read stories.
8. Controversy as Belgium denied in shoot out over Spain
Belgium’s Red Panthers were denied the chance of a World Cup quarter-final berth in controversial fashion as Spain advanced in a tense shoot out to keep World Cup hopes alive.
Belgium can't refer the referees decision and are knocked out of the #HWC2018
People are NOT happy…
⚠️ Contains some strong language pic.twitter.com/sdDria9cZl
— BT Sport (@btsport) July 30, 2018
7. Watch Bath University student get flattened by hockey water cannon
A University of Bath student got more than she bargained for when she attempted to gatecrash the annual Varsity hockey match against Cardiff Met.
6. World hockey open to grass tournaments; water-based pitches stripped for Olympics
In at number six, this story proved that not everyone reads the whole article, judging by our Facebook comments.
5. Women’s Hockey World Cup shirts: 16 nations ranked and assessed
When we placed Germany’s shirt at No 16, it went viral. Were we right?
4. Ireland hockey sent into Women’s World Cup wonderland as Holland awaits
“I’ve been asking the Dutch for a bloody game for three years, so they don’t have a choice now,” Irish coach Graham Shaw boomed as his brilliant group of Irish women took their place in the World Cup showpiece final.
3. Sentencing hockey players to airport lounges and motorway services is pulling roots of our sport
Todd Williams did the maths and weekend travelling didn’t make for pretty reading for some English National League clubs.
2. Why modified formats are hurting hockey’s Olympic status
Having been in the packed stands of the Riverside Stadium watching the men’s and women’s Olympic tournaments in London months before the 2013 vote, it was hard to understand why hockey could be so close to the Olympic axe, wrote our columnist Todd Williams.
1. Hockey player practices on M6 motorway after traffic chaos
On his way back for pre-season training, a hockey player decided to thrown in some extra practice after being stuck on the motorway for three hours. It seems that our readers have training on their mind wherever they are.
The Hockey Paper
Need to get over World Cup disappointment and focus on Olympics, says Manpreet Singh
It was a disappointing year for India with the men’s team failing to live up to the expectations in all the three big ticket events.
Indian men’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh in action during the Hockey World Cup 2018 in Bhubaneswar. Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout
India need to get over the disappointment of a quarterfinal exit from the men’s hockey World Cup and focus on the challenge of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, said skipper Manpreet Singh on Saturday.
It was a disappointing year for India with the men’s team failing to live up to the expectations in all the three big ticket events — the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the World Cup.
The men’s team will now begin the season with the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia in March and will also be preparing for the Olympic Qualifiers.
“It is now important for us to move on from the disappointments of 2018. There are always lessons we learn from every tournament we play regardless of how the result went and this time too, we will meet as a unit when we report for National Camp in February and discuss on the areas that need improvement,” he said.
Failure at Asian Games
India were expected to defend their Asian Games title and directly qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but they could only manage a bronze in the showpiece event.
With the FIH Series Finals in June to be held in Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium, the team’s main focus for the year will be to win an Olympic Qualification.
“The road to 2020 Olympic Games will be challenging and surely the ideal way to qualify would have been winning the Asian Games like we did in 2014. But that should not be a deterrent to our motivation,” he said.
“We have a good setup, very talented pool of players with good international experience. We just need to remain focused.”
The men’s Team finished fourth at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, settled for a bronze at the Asian Games and exited the World Cup at Bhubaneswar after a close 1-2 loss in the quarterfinals against The Netherlands.
The team’s silver lining was a gold medal at the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat where they split the title with Pakistan and remained unbeaten in the tournament.
The silver medal at the FIH Champions Trophy in Breda earlier in the year had helped the team improve their World Ranking from No.6 to No.5.
While it’s been a little over two weeks since Belgium were crowned new World Champions after they beat the Netherlands in a tense shootout, Manpreet regrets not making use of the home support to reach the final four of the tournament.
“What Belgium has achieved over the years is quite remarkable and my hearty congratulations to them for winning the World title. As far as our performance is concerned, we (Indian team) are obviously disappointed and regret not using the home support to our advantage,” he said.
“We had topped the Pool and were very positive going into the Quarter Final against the Netherlands. It was a close match and though personally I am very disappointed we lost in the Quarter Final, I am proud of my team. We gave our best particularly the youngsters who were playing the World Cup for the first time.”
The midfielder, however, said the exposure that the young players got at the event in Bhubaneswar will stand them in good stead for future tournaments.
“We had few players from the junior set-up who have been part of the senior core group for about two years. I am sure the exposure they gained at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 will help them improve further,” Manpreet added.
Telkom hotline rescues Kenya's stature in 2018
By Elizabeth Mburugu
International competitions are key to improving a country’s sporting standards.
But for Kenyan hockey players, they never got such opportunities and the trend has been perfected over years. Year in year out, Kenya has depended on International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Africa Hockey Federation (AFHF) organised events to expose players to high standard competition.
Without FIH and AFHF events for the national teams on the calendar this year, Kenyan players did not play a single international match. Save for Africa champions Telkom and United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) who featured at the just concluded Africa Cup of Club Championships (ACCC) in Abuja, Nigeria. Other teams had to contend with playing in the local league.
Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) once again failed players by not securing international friendly matches which would have helped them gauge their strength ahead of next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers.
Away from the national teams, there was no better way to end 2018 than seeing continental women’s club hockey titleholders Telkom reclaim their title. The Kenyan girls snatched the trophy after beating Ghanaian giants Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) 2-0 in finals at Abuja National Stadium, Nigeria, last week.
Despite going down 1-0 to arch-rivals GRA in their last preliminary match, Telkom were breathing fire in the final with veteran Jackline Mwangi and Audrey Omaido netting the winning goals. Telkom had lost their title in Accra, Ghana, early in the year and were not ready to let the Ghanaians secure a second bite at the cherry.
It was Telkom’s tenth continental title. Locally, they have won the title 21 times. USIU-A, who were making their first appearance, finished fourth after going down 2-0 to Ghana Police side in third play-offs.
KHU had a relatively impressive scorecard after running a well organised league this year. For the first time in many years, the league was consistent ending in good time. Butali Sugar Warriors reclaimed the men’s Premier League title in a dramatic fashion after beating rivals Kenya Police 2-1 in their last league match to win on a superior goal difference. While Police needed a draw to retain their crown, Frank Wanangwe disappointed with three minutes to the final whistle.
Super League champions
Kenya College of Accountancy and Nakuru Hockey Club were demoted to the newly established men’s Super League while Chase Sailors returned to the top tier after being crowned men’s Super League champions. In the women’s Premier League, Strathmore University Scorpions finished second behind Telkom to secure their place in next year’s ACCC. Vikings were demoted to the Super League after finishing at the bottom with a winless run.
Kenyatta University Titans won the women’s Super League trophy with newcomers Lakers finishing second. Bungoma Farmers made one place up the ladder after winning the men’s national league.
The Standard Digital
MHC force to move P. Alagendra matches due to deplorable pitch
The deplorae state of Pitch Two (National Stadium) has forced MHC to move matches.
By SAIFUL AFFENDY SAPRAN
KUALA LUMPUR: Pitch two of the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil has been declared unplayable and it has forced the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) to move all P. Alagendra Cup matches on Thursday to the adjacent pitch, which is the main venue.
Tournament director Jusvir Singh, who confirmed the matter, said the decision was made after an inspection.
“Pitch Two is not suitable for competitive matches.
“MHC’s competition committee inspected the pitch and found it unsuitable.
“In fact, we were aware of it during the recent National Under-14 tournament, so we have decided to move all matches on Jan 3 (Thursday) to Pitch One, which is also the main venue of the National Stadium.
“All the concerned teams have been informed about it,” said Jusvir.
As for the Malaysian Hockey League, which starts on Jan 11, Jusvir added that the committee will discuss with the concerned teams over their home venues.
“P. Alagendra Cup comes under our purview, and that is why we decided not to use Pitch Two.
“For the league competition, teams decide on their home venues. Some have made Pitch Two as their venue, so we need to speak to them about it.”
P. Alagendra Cup
Maybank v UiTM (4pm)
UniKL v TNB Thunderbolts (6pm)
Nur Insafi v THT (8pm)
New Straits Times
Brown & Nevill Recognised In New Year's Honours List
Brown & Nevill New Year's Honours
Barcelona ’92 bronze medalists Karen Brown and Mary Nevill have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to the sport by being named in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List.
Brown - who made 355 combined international appearances, putting her second on the all-time list of female British players - has been awarded an MBE for her services to hockey.
Across a career spanning from 1984-1999, Brown played in three Olympic Games and five European championships - another British record - before becoming a vital member of the coaching set-up in 2005.
As assistant coach, Brown helped the women’s team to Olympic bronze in 2012 and European gold in 2015 as well as their famous victory at Rio 2016.
She also won two FIH Female Coach of the Year awards before stepping down from the role in 2017, although she still continues to do fantastic work in a coach development capacity with GB Hockey.
Speaking on Twitter, Brown said: “Thank you to the hockey family, [I[ feel honoured and quite chuffed!
“Thanks to my teammates, athletes, colleagues, friends and family that have supported me over the years.”
Mary Nevill - who was Brown’s captain when Great Britain’s women won their first ever Olympic medal in 1992 while both were part of the England side that won European gold the year before - has been awarded an OBE for services to sport and sports science.
Following her retirement she moved into academia, lecturing and researching at Loughborough University from 1989-2013 - specialising in the effects of maximal and high intensity exercise - as well as being Director of Hockey at the university for 15 years.
She was also the Director of the Institute of Youth Sport from 2001-2013 before taking on her current role as Head of Department of Sport Science at Nottingham Trent University.
Nevill has also coached the England U21s women’s squad while some of her other roles include being the Chair of the Sport and Performance Division and a Board Member of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, while she was also a member of the UK Sports Council from 1998-2000 amongst others.
Great Britain Hockey media release
Shahbaz Sr quits PHF citing govt's apathy towards hockey
Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior, on Saturday resigned from his position citing the government's alleged apathy towards the national sport.
Shahbaz, in his resignation, mentioned that since the government and the inter-provincial coordination ministry have no time for hockey than he too can't spare any.
"India's annual budget for hockey is more than Rs1 billion, whereas the annual grant for hockey in Pakistan is only Rs3.5 million." the legendary former hockey player pointed out.
Shahbaz said there was no infrastructure for hockey in the country, and that the PHF has no asset or a system in place for the generation of funds. He said that the government had been informed several times but to no avail.
"The ministry of inter provincial coordination didn't cooperate even one per cent," he regretted.
The PHF secretary complained that an uncertainty always prevails in the PHF because of a lack of funds. "Since the day I joined the federation, I have been saying that hockey could not be run with the prevailing system," he said.
"Funds are not provided but results are inquired about," he said, adding that he has been trying his best to bring some improvement despite the gloomy situation.
"The prevailing situation of the game is not acceptable," he said. The game could not be put on the right path without the help of revolutionary measures by the government."
Shahbaz resigns as PHF secretary
ISLAMABAD - Olympian Shahbaz Senior Saturday tendered his resignation from the post of Pakistan Hockey Federation Secretary tendered to PHF President Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar.
Talking to The Nation, Shahbaz Senior who was looking highly emotional and somewhat dejected, confirmed he had sent his resignation to PHF president. He said the government didn’t have any time for national game hockey and it makes no sense of clinging on to federation, when government, IPC Minister and Prime Minster don’t have time or funds to revive hockey.
“I along with Brig Khokhar had worked tirelessly for last four years and trust me I would have long tendered my resignation had Brig Khokhar was not the president.”
He said if the government high-ups didn’t have time for hockey then why he should be bothered to continue. Shahbaz said there was a lot of uncertainty revolving around Pakistan hockey for the last few years and despite having no funds, no fresh blood and under highly negative surroundings, he had given his level best and tried to lift hockey from the ashes.
“When I joined the federation, I had made it very clear that until and unless taking bold steps and putting special efforts and getting financial backing, hockey will never rise and we would never been able to win major tournaments. But no heed was paid and we were forced to literally begging for funds. They way Brig Khokhar had arranged funds form his own resources and his friends and even had to sing agreements in case government won’t return the borrowed amount he will return even if he had to sell his property, is a clear indication that how much that person was serious and involved in hockey. But here in Pakistan it is very easy to criticise and point fingers at others but almost impossible to come up with solutions.”
He said there was no hockey infrastructure in Pakistan and they didn’t have any funds-generating mechanism as private sponsors don’t bother to help national game as they had their own way of dealing things and that left the federation to begging and requesting government, IPC Ministry, Pakistan Sports Board time and again and. “We have informed them day-by-day situation of the sorry tale of hockey affairs but no one woke up from deep slumber.”
“I am heartbroken the way government gave step-motherly treatment to hockey and is not bearable at least for me as today whatever I am enjoying worldwide is firstly due to Pakistan and secondly purely because of hockey. I don’t think I would be able today to have such respect and regard, if I had not played hockey for my country.”
He said government never ever asked about facilities nor about funds situation but everyone was more concerned about the results and despite facing huge negativity, we tried our level best to put honest and sincere efforts according to our capacity and by the grace of Allah Almighty, I can easily hold my head high and claim that in highly bleak days, the federation at least bring Pakistan hockey out and qualified for World Cup, won series in Australia and finished 13th in India in the World Cup.
“One must understand the ground reality before pointing finger at others. The Rs 3.5 million annual grant, which the PHF received from the PSB is not even enough to pay utility bills and run day-to-day affairs. How we could arrange tours, training camps, pay dailies to players? How we can appoint tam management and international-reputed coach for national team and no one had answer to this question.”
He said he was bearing all this for long just hoping that the government might finally woke up and secondly due to Brig Khokhar but now it was too insulting to stay any further to this post. “When no one is ready to admire, respect your services, then it is best time to get sidelined.”
When this correspondent ask Shahbaz whether he will reconsider his decision of taking back resignation and continue as secretary if Brig Khokhar requests him to do so, Shahbaz said: “No I won’t. I had already worked beyond my dignity for so long just for Brig Khokhar’s sake. I am not going to back off from the stand I had taken.”
When asked about if the PM or IPC Minister approach him and promised to address genuine concerns and provide hefty funds then what would be his answer, Shahbaz replied: “Only if PM or IPC Minister give him assurance of streamlining things he can reconsider his decision as I had taken principle stance. It is not about my personal glory or ego, it is about hockey and Pakistan. I will live and die for country and hockey is my passion and nothing can stop me from helping hockey without holding any posts,” Shahbaz concluded.
Shahbaz Senior resigns as PHF general secretary
LAHORE: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior on Saturday resigned from his position citing the government’s alleged apathy towards the national sport.
Shahbaz, in his resignation, mentioned that since the government and the Inter-Provincial Coordination Ministry had no time for hockey than he too can’t spare any.
“India’s annual budget for hockey is more than Rs1 billion, whereas the annual grant for hockey in Pakistan is only Rs3.5 million,” the legendary former hockey player pointed out.
Shahbaz said there was no infrastructure for hockey in the country, and that the PHF had no asset or a system in place for the generation of funds. He said that the government had been informed several times but to no avail.
“The Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination didn’t cooperate even one per cent,” he regretted.
The PHF secretary complained that an uncertainty always prevailed in the PHF because of a lack of funds.
“Since the day I joined the federation, I have been saying that hockey could not be run with the prevailing system. Funds are not provided but results are inquired about,” he said, adding that he had been trying his best to bring some improvement despite the gloomy situation.
“The prevailing situation of the game is not acceptable. The game could not be put on the right path without the help of revolutionary measures by the government,” he concluded.
The Daily Times