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News for 23 January 2019

All the news for Wednesday 23 January 2019

Third Test goes Canada's way

Photo: Tristan Urry

Hongge Sports Center, Panzhihua, China - Canadian team celebrates a 2 - 0 victory against China and welcomes Anna Mollenhauer to the WNT program.

Canada played their third match against China on Tuesday evening and defeated the number 10 ranked team, 2 - 0. China currently holds two wins of the six game series, and has proven to be great competition for Canada.

“I think we played well as a team today! We did an excellent job of putting the Chinese defenders under pressure and forcing the ball to areas where we could create turnovers. Our quick counterattacks were also key in the positive result. Overall, our team was relentless and hungry for the win! So far the competition has been high. The Chinese are tactically very sound and have excellent basic skills. They’ve obviously been working hard on their game, and are a tough opponent. On the flip side, we’ve been putting in many hours, and it’s definitely showing. I think China is surprised to see how difficult we are to play against” said Madeline Secco, Canadas’ number 22 striker.

Tuesday nights game was a very important one for the most recent WNT inductee, Anna Mollenhauer, daughter of two time Canadian Olympian Nancy Mollenhauer. Anna received her first international cap wearing red and white and was proud to celebrate a win with her team.

“China is a really talented, fast and skilled team and provide strong completion for us. Playing against one of the top ten teams pushes us to work very hard and perform at our best and todays match really shows what that looks like. I wasn’t quite sure when this moment was going to come but I knew that with hard work and commitment this moment would come eventually. It felt somewhat surreal to play for my country on an international stage, and it will certainly be a moment that I will never forget. It was really special having my mom here on the field for this momentous occasion in my field hockey career” said Anna Mollenhauer.

Stephanie Norlander scored the first goal with a backhand tip into the top left corner after receiving the ball from Hannah Haughn. Sara McManus scored the second goal after receiving a short corner ball from Amanda Woodcroft with a powerful sweep into the lower left corner.

“I think we made some key adjustments in today’s game that really allowed us to simplify the game. I thought we did a better job of focusing on our individual roles and communicating with our teammates” said McManus.

“We are definitely enjoying our time in China so far. The hockey has been intense, but rewarding. Our rest day at the natural hot springs was notable - a cool place to visit! The Chinese culture is also fun to take in - there are so many foods and cultural things that I’ve never been introduced to before!” added Secco about the China tour.

The Canadian JWNT team is also playing at the Hongge Sports Centre against the Chinese U23 team and has enjoyed getting to play against some great competition. WNT player, Alison Lee has subbed in to a few of the JWNT matches and said, “The completion has been phenomenal so far, I have played a few games with the JWNT team and it is great to see the JWNT players step up to the international competition level. To not only step up, but keep up with the Chinese is very impressive.”

The teams will play their fourth matches against each other on Wednesday at 4:20pm.

Field Hockey Canada team media release

FIH Pro League preview: Spain v GB

Sam Ward

Great Britain begin their men’s FIH Pro League campaign on Friday with a trip to Valencia to face Spain.

The FIH Pro League is a brand new global hockey competition that will be bringing you regular action from the highest level with Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan and Spain competing in the men’s league.

GB’s hosts have started the new competition in good form, mounting a heroic late comeback to draw 2-2 with newly crowned world champions Belgium before beating them on a penalty shootout.

That result means they sit top of the table on two points (one for the draw and one for winning the shootout) with the Red Lions currently on one.

GB Head Coach Danny Kerry named his squad for his team’s opening clash last week, with several names to look out for on Friday. Perhaps most notably, fearsome forward Sam Ward has returned from injury in time to take on Spain and, with three goals from four previous matches against Friday’s opposition, his presence could be pivotal.

Overall the squad contains a blend of experience and youth, with Adam Dixon (32 years-old, 239 international caps) and Rhys Smith (21 years-old, 7 international caps) both included, ensuring there’s quality at both ends of the spectrum.

There’s plenty of talent in Spain’s side too. Despite being just 22, Enrique Gonzalez already has over 75 caps for his country and got off to the perfect start in the FIH Pro League as he scored Spain’s second goal to take their match against Belgium to penalties.

Pau Quemada is a name that many hockey fans will recognise, with the veteran having scored against them GB at London 2012, and his experience will also be a huge aid to Spain’s cause.

Compatriot Sergi Enrique also boasts plenty of experience - with over 280 international caps to his name – and his influence continues to be pivotal for Spain as he registered a match high of 70 passes last time out against Belgium.

Friday’s match is due to kick-off at 10am GMT on Friday with the game to be broadcast live on BT Sport.

The full GB squad for the fixture can be found by clicking HERE.

Great Britain Hockey media release

Hockeyroos Suffer Kershaw Injury Blow Ahead Of FIH Pro League

Ben Somerford

The Hockeyroos have been dealt a blow on the eve of the inaugural FIH Pro League with star midfielder Steph Kershaw ruled out for the year after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament.

The Townsville product, who was runner-up in the 2017 Hockeyroos Player of the Year, suffered the injury at training at Perth Hockey Stadium on Saturday morning.

The midfielder underwent scans on Saturday which confirmed the devastating news on her left knee.

She successfully underwent surgery on Tuesday and will now begin her rehabilitation with a view to returning to training later in the year, working closely with Hockey Australia Manager of Planning and Performance Dee Jennings who has previously helped rehab several high profile athletes from knee injuries.

Kershaw had torn her right ACL in 2015, effectively ending her bid to be part of the 2016 Rio Olympics team.

She had regained her place in the side over the past two years, excelling in 2017 across 24 appearances to finish runner-up to Jane Claxton in the Player of the Year award.

Kershaw backed that up by making the most appearances for the Hockeyroos in 2018, with 28 caps and three goals.

The Hockeyroos’ FIH Pro League commences in less than two weeks against world champions Netherlands in Melbourne on Saturday 2 February. The side also plays Belgium on Sunday 3 February.

All matches will be broadcast on FOX SPORTS or kayosports.com.au.

The FIH Pro League is a world-first global home-and-away league which pits nine of the world’s best international teams against each other on a weekly basis.

Tickets are selling fast. Head to www.ticketbooth.com.au to secure your seats.

Australia’s home fixtures are as follows:
Saturday 2 February 2019 - State Netball & Hockey Centre, Melbourne
Kookaburras v Netherlands - 3pm start Hockeyroos v Netherlands - 5pm start
Sunday 3 February 2019 - State Netball & Hockey Centre, Melbourne
Kookaburras v Belgium - 3pm start, Hockeyroos v Belgium - 5pm start
Saturday 9 February 2019 - Tasmanian Hockey Centre, Hobart
Kookaburras v Pakistan - 3pm start, Hockeyroos v China - 5pm start
Sunday 10 February 2019 - Tasmanian Hockey Centre, Hobart
Kookaburras v Germany - 3pm start, Hockeyroos v Germany - 5pm start
Saturday 16 February 2019 - Perth Hockey Stadium, Perth
Kookaburras v Great Britain - 3:30pm, Hockeyroos v Great Britain - 5:45pm
Saturday 2 March 2019 - Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney
Kookaburras v Spain - 3pm start, Hockeyroos v USA - 5pm start
Saturday 16 March 2019 - Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney
Kookaburras v Argentina - 3pm start, Hockeyroos v Argentina - 5pm start
Sunday 17 March 2019 - Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney
Kookaburras v New Zealand - 3pm start, Hockeyroos v New Zealand - 5pm start

*All times local

Hockey Australia media release

Black Sticks over shock and ready to hound Hager

By Nigel Yalden

Olivia Merry. Photo / Photosport

The Black Sticks women's hockey team are ready for the post-Mark Hager era.

It's been a fortnight since coach Hager's sudden departure to Britain after a 10-year tenure in which he oversaw their most successful period.

Hager was at the centre of an independent review launched by New Zealand Hockey last year regarding allegations of a negative team environment and he left before the findings were released - expected to be later this month.

"Obviously there was a big shock a couple of week ago, but we're a pretty positive and down-to-earth bunch of women who just get on with things," said striker Olivia Merry, who has made won 206 caps for the Black Sticks.

"There's a positive mood in the environment, and while it's a big change, it's an exciting one as well."

The squad are preparing for the start of the inaugural FIH Pro-League, a nine-team tournament played on a home and away format over the next six months, with the top four teams to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Hager's departure has seen assistant coach Sean Dancer elevated to acting head coach, with former assistant coaches Jude Mendes and Chris Leslie to help.

Merry said Dancer was doing a fantastic job.

The squad is also benefiting from the presence of former Black Stick Katie Glynn, who has been helping out at training and offering "a wealth of knowledge".

"I was in awe of her career in the early days [of my career] so it's pretty awesome to have her around some of the young members of the squad."

Glynn was one of seven former Black Sticks who strongly refuted the allegations levelled at Hager, putting their signatures to a "letter of support".

The sixth-ranked Blacks Sticks face 2018 World Cup champions and perennial hockey powerhouse the Netherlands on Sunday before playing Belgium a week later.

However, it's their round three match in Christchurch that many will be looking ahead to, as its pits them against their former coach and his Great Britain team.

Merry admitted it was going to be weird facing their former mentor in that match.

"We anticipate it will make that clash a little more competitive knowing who's coaching the other team," she said. "He'll probably yell out 'run' and we're all going to because we're just so used to it."

The New Zealand Herald

South African Women’s Training Camp Squad Announced

The South African outdoor hockey women are currently in camp in Johannesburg preparing for a tough year of outdoor hockey. Two big tournaments for South Africa in the current year are the FIH Open Series Final in Spain in June and the African Cup in Potchefstroom in August.

The squad gathered yesterday with some players still returning from Europe with the SPAR SA Indoor Hockey side after their successful tour. The broader national squad were invited to attend two camps, the current one taking place as well as another camp taking place in February. Of the broader squad identified, 30 players confirmed their availability for the January camp. From the 2018 World Cup squad a host of players return to the camp including Lisa Deetlefs, Candice Manuel, Erin Hunter, Kara Botes and Dirkie Chamberlain amongst others.

Celia Evans, the SA Hockey player of the year in 2016, has been called up after recovering from her cruciate ligament injury, much to the delight of South African hockey fans. Tegan Fourie and Lilian du Plessis will also join the squad when they return from the successful SPAR South Africa European Indoor Hockey tour.

There are also a host of players who have impressed at PHL and IPT over the past few seasons including Nicky Veto, Mmamoagi Kungoane and Monique Bartsch to name a few. The group of players will be looking to play their way into the team for South Africa this year.

It’s also the first chance for Robin van Ginkel to work with the ladies as the national coach since his appointment late last year. Having coached many of the ladies together within either the SA U21 side, at IPT or at various PHL sides he will know them individually well. This will be a great opportunity to identify their cohesion together.

South African Women’s Training Camp Squad (16-25th January 2019)

Mishka Ellis
Ashleigh Datnow
Jade Mayne
Lisa Deetlefs
Stephanie Baxter
Natalie Esteves
Erin Hunter
Robyn Jonson
Nicky Veto
Kara Botes
Monique Bartch
Mmamoagi Kungoane
Nicole Walraven
Courtney du Preez
Marlise van Tonder
Kirsten Paton
Hannah Pearse
Mmathshepo Modipane
Nicolene Terblanche
Izelle Verster
Lilian Du Plessis
Candice Manuel
Sylvia van Jaarsveldt
Toni Marks
Tarryn Glasby
Marizen Marais
Tegan Fourie
Dirkie Chamberlain
Casey-Jean Botha
Celia Evans

SA Hockey Association media release

UHC win indoor classic over Mulheim to reach semi-finals

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Defending German indoor champions UHC Hamburg narrowly defeated west German winners Uhlenhorst Mülheim 6-5 in a thrilling quarter-final, taking them through to next Saturday’s final four.

Speaking afterwards, the two coaches' voices were characterised by mutual respect as the side delighted a crowd of 650. Mülheim’s Omar Schlingemann said: "To be honest, this was such a high-class, close match that could have gone either way. This time, UHC won and you have to congratulate them!"

His UHC counterpart Benedikt Schmidt-Busse added: "For 60 minutes, this was an eye-level fight. Mülheim played a man-to-man press and puts us under enormous pressure.

“Even if a few top performers were not playing in the hall there, it was two very strong teams and I expect another such emotional, close match in the semi-final."

Hannes Müller got the only goal of the first half before all hell broke loose in the second half with Jan Schiffer equalised at 1-1; Julius Schmid and Malte Hellwig progressed it to 2-2 before a pair of Tino Teschke goals put UHC 4-2 up.

They stayed just about clear despite another couple of Hellwig goals with Moritz Furste making it 6-4 with two minutes left, keeping them out of reach depsite Niklas Bosserhoff’s goal.

Club an der Alster won a big battle with Rot-Weiss Koln 6-5 with Carl Alt and Niklas Bruns scoring twice with 800 fans watching on with Koln coach Andre Henning describing it as “a great hockey festival”.

TSV Mannheim were 4-2 victors over the Zehlendorf Wasps while Munich SC surprised Berliner HC 9-5 to complete the final four line-up.

Euro Hockey League media release

Three Rock land seventh trophy in 12 months with Leinster indoor title

Irish club Three Rock Rovers made it seven trophies in the last 12 months when they beat Railway Union 6-4 to the regional Leinster Indoor League title last Sunday in St Columba's.

They will now go on to defend the National Indoor Trophy crown next weekend in Antrim before heading to Oslo for the EuroHockey Indoor Challenge I having won promotion last year in Georgia.

Those titles add to the outdoor EY Champions Trophy, Irish Senior Cup, Mills Cup and Neville Cup, marking this out as one of the most special periods in the club's history which dates back to 1893.

In the final, Railway led 2-0 after 13 minutes as their counter-attack set-up paid early dividends but Rovers picked off two corners within 60 seconds of each other with Ross Canning slamming home each time for 2-2 at half-time.

Rovers went in front for the first time seconds after the break, a lovely team move with Jody Hosking squaring for Harry Morris to touch home. Hosking flicked in the next from Jack McAllister’s lay-off for 4-2 in the 23rd minute.

Hosking kept his cool to make it 5-3 before McAllister killed off the result with a near post touch to Daragh Walsh’s pass. Rob Abbott did get one back in the closing seconds but Rovers were in the clear, earning them one of the trophies they did not win last term, meaning their first team currently hold seven different titles.

Three Rock will face KHC Dragons in the KO16 of the Euro Hockey League with all the action taking place from April 17 to 22, 2019 in HC Oranje-Rood in Eindhoven.

Euro Hockey League media release

Vickneswaran keeps MHL leaders Terengganu on their toes

By T. Avineshwaran

PETALING JAYA: Terengganu are on a high with three wins and a draw but coach I. Vickneswaran (pic) insists his team are still far from their best.

The East Coast side started the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) season by winning the Charity Shield after beating Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 3-1 via penalties after a 2-2 draw. Terengganu went on to beat TNB Thunderbolts 4-0, Nur Insafi 6-1 and Maybank 4-3.

Terengganu lead the table with 10 points after four matches.

For Vickneswaran, the unbeaten start had its challenges as the team had to struggle with injury issues and inconsistent form.

“It has been a roller-coaster ride so far. In our last game against Maybank, we were struggling. Only in the last quarter of the match, we came alive.

“We were only good in patches, and that has to be fixed. We are misfiring too. Now that we are back in Kuala Terengganu, we’ll work things out and train more effectively. Right now, we have to plan for future games and see how we can reduce our errors.

“We also have injury issues. Right now, Firdaus Omar is a long-term casualty due to a broken finger and two of our foreigners, Gonzalo (Merino) and Ahmad Shakeel (Butt), are recovering from injuries.

“The synergy of the team is affected and at the moment, we’ll have to work with whatever that we have at our disposal,” he said.

Terengganu will look to continue their unbeaten run when they face Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup champions Tenaga Nasional on Jan 27 at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.

For Vickneswaran, that game will be a litmus test for the team as Tenaga – led by Nor Saiful Zaini – are just a point behind Terengganu.

“Tenaga are super charged and they’re a strong team. When we play them, we have to be on our toes.

“They have a good mix of national senior and junior players in the squad. An astute coach is also leading them. They have strength in depth.

“It will be a tough game but we’re going in with a winning mindset,” said Vickneswaran.

The Star of Malaysia

EB Member HRH Abdullah Ahmad Shah ascended to be Sultan of Pahang

Executive Board Member of the International Hockey Federation and President of the Asian Hockey Federation HRH Abdullah Ahmad Shah was recently ascended to be the sixth Sultan of Pahang Darul Makmur.

A passionate hockey fan, HRH Abdullah has been a member of the Executive Board of the FIH since 2012.

His great dedication to the game has made of him one of the most experienced expert in the world of hockey.

HRH Abdullah also serves as President of the Asian Hockey Federation. Under his leadership, he oversaw significant inroads that were made under his tenure and puts the AHF in a take-off position for the year 2019.

The International Hockey Federation would like to congratulate HRH Abdullah on this significant milestone and wish him well in his new role.

FIH site

FIH renews agreement with DAZN

Lausanne, Switzerland: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has renewed its media rights agreement with DAZN for a period of four years (2019-2022). The rights include all FIH Pro League matches, the Olympic qualifiers and the Hockey World Cups 2022 – both Men and Women - for the territories of Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

FIH and DAZN first entered into a media rights agreement back in 2017.

“FIH is delighted to extend its working relationship with DAZN. This partnership will help us to increase the exposure of hockey. In particular, it will contribute to promote FIH’s brand-new competition, the FIH Pro League, our global home and away league involving many of the world’s best hockey teams,” commented FIH CEO Thierry Weil.

Thomas de Buhr, Executive Vice President DAZN DACH said: "The multisport approach has been part of DAZN's core DNA right from the start. For fans of smaller sports, often in the shadow of major sports, it's nice to know that DAZN is home to all sports fans. Field hockey has been an integral part of DAZN since 2017 and we look forward to accompanying the German national teams on their way to the Olympics 2020 and beyond."

FIH site

Modern hockey proponent Olympian Bhola is no more

K. Arumugam

India's double Olympian R S Bhola is no more. He died today at his residence in New Delhi. The Melbourne Olympics god medallist was 92 years.

Incomparable left winger of his times, Raghubir Singh Bhola represented Services in the National Championships before getting selected for India.

A highly qualified academician, Bhola epitomized the feature of early times of Independent India when educated elites like Engineers, doctors and journalists played hockey for the country.

During my long association with the great Olympian, I found him to be pioneer of modern hockey. He was one of the earliest proponents of modern hockey when most of his peers were groping in dark about changes that were coming up globally like synthetic turf, composite sticks, focus on player fitness rather than skills etc.

Bhola occupied top rank in the Indian Air Force.

He stayed in the United States for larger part of his last two decades in which he used to go to various libraries and make in depth study as to how India can improve fitness, bring science into their game etc.

I had the benefit of many his sessions, which were truly enlightening.

He was often looking for right platform to espouse his views, and was somewhat dejected that the new medium of communication a ka TV channels did not evidence much interest. This was when private TVs were coming up. He did make many presentations to various bureaucrats with the concerned ministries and helped them take vital decisions.

In the 80s and 90s India was almost a sulking country, not accepting any change that the FIH would introduce.

Bhola fumed at those who complaint of rule changes as the FIH 'plot' to kill Asian hockey kind of stuff.

His first retort will be, "We are fools". "Hum sab gadhe (donkeys) hain"

"We should be positive in thinking and accept everything that is global, modern".

"Our hockey community is misleading the country on many fronts, they are always scared of reality"

When the FIH gave a go ahead for composite sticks for use in the international matches, there was a hue and cry in India.

He castigated all those in his inimitable style. "We can't have wooden sticks on turfs. They are many benefits of having composite sticks. First of all, it can improve power, can be mass produced".

He said so when entire hockey community was up against introduction of composite sticks!

He was habituated to calling spade a spade, and naturally was a strong critic of the now defunct Indian Hockey Federation especially the regime headed by late KPS Gill.

When I organized many events to highlight the short-comings the powers that be, Bhola was a pillar of strength to me.

He was at the forefront of protest rally that I organized in New Delhi after India failed to get a medal in 2006 Asian Games, and was also part of the delegation that met Sports Minister Mani Shankar Iyer.

So also two years before that in a protest that I organized in front of the IHF office on omission of Dhanraj Pillay from the Olympic probables' list.

When Sports Authority of India was reluctant to spare their lawns for organizing a condolence meeting that I arranged, he came to my rescue. It was on his call even Army officers attended the meet on the lawns of national stadium.

He was straight forward, had the gift of gab and fearless in expressing views.

Till the last breath he was thinking about hockey.

Old timers will recollect Bhola as a great hockey player but won't stop reminding how he missed a sure goal in the Rome Olympics, where India lost the gold for the first time in its hockey history and the way he managed the 1976 Olympic team as its Manager.

For a hockey career that spanned six decades such criticisms are not uncommon.

I lost a great friend.

May his soul rest in peace.


I am deeply shocked to hear of the passing of Group Captain (Retd) Raghubir Singh Bhola.

A part of the Indian men's hockey teams that won Olympic gold in Melbourne in 1956 and silver in Rome in 1960, he has made outstanding contribution to hockey, as player, umpire and team manager.

I have known him as one of the most upright and outstanding students of the game and as someone who was always willing to assist anyone who sought his counsel. He was always willing to lend his ear and offer his honest opinion.

The sport of hockey will be indebted to him for his glittering role in its evolution.

My sincere prayers that his soul finds eternal peace and my heartfelt condolences to his family and the entire hockey fraternity.

Narinder Dhruv Batra President, FIH


Hockey veteran Bhola passes away

Won gold and silver at the 1956 & 1960 Olympic Games

Uthra Ganesan

Raghbir Singh Bhola. Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

Hockey Olympian and former India selector Group Captain Raghbir Singh Bhola passed away in his sleep at his residence here on Monday. He was 92 and is survived by his wife Kamla, three daughters and three grandsons.

Bhola was a member of the Indian team at two Olympics — 1956 and 1960 — winning gold and silver respectively. The Indian Air Force veteran, born in Multan in Pakistan on August 21 1927, completed his studies from the Delhi College of Engineering and joined IAF as an aeronautical engineer in 1952. He was part of the National championship-winning Services side in 1953, the first time ever, and made his India debut in 1954.

He was also selected by the IAF for a two-year post graduation course in Electrical Engineering at the College of Aeronautics, Cranfield University, UK In 1962 and retired from the IAF in 1978. Bhola was awarded the Arjuna for Lifetime Contribution in 2000.

Different roles

Bhola was also one of the few former India players to continue their association with hockey after their playing days. He was a national selector in the Indian Hockey Federation regime for almost nine years, was inducted as an international umpire by the FIH for five years, was appointed manager of the Indian team on several international tours and was the government observer till the late 90s, including the 1994 World Cup and the 1998 Asian Games.

Even till the late 2000s, Bhola kept himself abreast of the developments in hockey, including attending seminars and workshops at his own expense before poor health forced him to withdraw.

Batra condoles death

FIH president N.K. Batra condoled the death of Bhola. “I am deeply shocked to hear of the passing of Group Captain (Retd) Raghubir Singh Bhola. He made outstanding contribution to hockey, as player, umpire and team manager. I have known him as one of the most upright and outstanding students of the game and as someone who was always willing to assist anyone who sought his counsel.”

The Hindu

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