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News for 23 February 2019

All the news for Saturday 23 February 2019

2019 FIH Pro League (Men) - 22 February

Weekend fixtures

22 Feb 2019 21:00 (GMT - 3)     ARG v GER (RR)    0 - 0 (CANCELLED due to rain and thunder)   Cenard, Buenos Aires
24 Feb 2019 16:00 (GMT - 3)     ARG v NED (RR)     -     Cenard, Buenos Aires

Live streaming on https://fih.live (Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Unofficial Pool standings

Rank Team Played Wins Win Draws Loss Draws Cancelled Draw Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Percent
1 Belgium 4 2 1 1 0 0 14 9 5 9 75.0
2 Australia 4 2 0 1 0 1 12 11 1 7 58.3
3 Great Britain 3 2 0 0 0 1 12 9 3 6 66.7
4 Netherlands 3 1 1 1 0 0 12 11 1 6 66.7
5 Germany 3 1 0 0 1 1 5 5 0 4 44.4
6 Spain 3 0 2 0 0 1 10 11 -1 4 44.4
7 Argentina 2 0 0 0 1 1 2 4 -2 1 16.7
8 New Zealand 4 0 0 1 0 3 10 17 -7 1 8.3

The FIH inexplicably and confusingly use a system not used in any other sports League in the World, of making the Percentage more important than Points until the end of the League when they will revert to Points only. Fieldhockey.com prefers to use the conventional Points and so the Unofficial Pool Standings on this site are reflected in this manner.

FIH Match Centre

2019 FIH Pro League (Women) - 23 February

Weekend fixtures

22 Feb 2019    ARG v GER (RR)     2 - 2 (4 - 3 SO)     Cenard, Buenos Aires
23 Feb 2019    CHN v GBR (RR)    2 - 2 (Shoot out 2/5 - 3/5)    Wujin Hockey Stadium, Changzhou   
24 Feb 2019 18:30 (GMT -3)     ARG v NED (RR)     -     Cenard, Buenos Aires

Live streaming on https://fih.live (Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Unofficial Pool standings

Rank Team Played Wins Win Draws Loss Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Percent
1 Australia 5 3 1 0 1 11 7 4 11 73.3
2 Argentina 3 1 2 0 0 6 4 2 7 77.8
3 Netherlands 3 2 0 0 1 6 1 5 6 66.7
4 New Zealand 5 2 0 0 3 8 6 2 6 40.0
5 Belgium 3 2 0 0 1 3 3 0 6 66.7
6 Germany 3 1 0 2 0 7 5 2 5 55.6
7 Great Britain 3 0 1 0 2 3 10 -7 2 22.2
8 United States 2 0 0 1 1 2 7 -5 1 16.7
9 China 3 0 0 1 2 5 8 -3 1 11.1

The FIH inexplicably and confusingly use a system not used in any other sports League in the World, of making the Percentage more important than Points until the end of the League when they will revert to Points only. Fieldhockey.com prefers to use the conventional Points and so the Unofficial Pool Standings on this site are reflected in this manner.

FIH Match Centre

Argentina women edge past Germany; men’s match cancelled due to inclement weather

Argentina welcomed the national teams of Germany to the Cenard National high Performance Center in Buenos Aires on Friday 22 February, a day that was heavily affected by the weather conditions. Argentina’s women claimed a shoot-out victory over Germany in a match that featured numerous forced stoppages due to thunder, lightning and heavy rain, all factors which would force the cancellation of the day’s second match between the two nations’ men’s teams.

Argentina’s women (FIH World Ranking: 4) came into their meeting against Germany (WR:5) sitting top of the FIH Pro League standings thanks to a win against Belgium coupled with a two points earned from a shoot-out success over USA after regular time finished with the scores level. Whilst starting the day fifth in the standings, Germany’s excellent 3-1 triumph in New Zealand against the Black Sticks being the perfect remedy to their earlier narrow shoot-out loss at the hands of the Hockeyroos in Hobart, Australia.

The home favourites, cheered on by a sell-out crowd at Cenard, took the lead just three minutes into the contest when captain Delfina Merino cut into the circle from the right before unleashing a backhand rocket into the bottom corner. Merino’s goal was the second blow in a matter of minutes for Die Danas, who moments earlier had lost attacker Charlotte Stapenhorst through injury.

The second half was hit by numerous delays due to thunder, lightning and heavy rain. A penalty corner awarded to Germany just before the first of the enforced breaks was emphatically converted immediately afterwards by Rebecca Grote, who slammed her drag-flick into the top left corner to level the scores at 1-1.

Things were to get even better for the team coached by former Belgium international Xavier Reckinger, who expressed his delight when captain Janne Müller-Wieland’s deflected penalty corner effort put Germany into a 2-1 lead moments before more thunder and lightening forced both teams to leave the field once again.

Carlos Retegui’s Argentina levelled the scores shortly after the restart with a brilliantly worked penalty corner routine, Player of the Match Rosario Luchetti angling a deflection high into the Germany net before inclement weather forced the match to be halted on two further occasions, with torrential rain creating unplayable conditions due to the pools of water that had formed on the playing surface.

Despite all of the challenges, the match eventually finished with the scores locked at 2-2, meaning that the two sides would try to claim the bonus point in the shoot-out. The one-on-ones went all the way to sudden-death before Carla Rebecchi continued her wonderful return to international hockey with the crucial strike to keep Argentina at the top of the FIH Pro League standings.

FIH Pro League: Argentina-Germany (Men) cancelled due to weather conditions

Due to heavy rain and thunder in Buenos Aires, it was not possible to play today’s FIH Pro League Men’s game between Argentina and Germany. As stipulated in the League regulations, since the match was identified as not being able to be played on the same day as originally scheduled, it will not be re-scheduled to another day. Therefore, the match was cancelled and is considered a draw (0-0).

The FIH Pro League action continues on Saturday (23 February) when China’s women host Great Britain in Changzhou before the focus switches back to Buenos Aires, with Argentina hosting the Netherlands men and women on Sunday (24 February).

FIH Pro League

22 February - Buenos Aires, Argentina

Result: Women’s Match 14

Argentina 2, Germany 2 (4-3 After Shoot-Out)
Player of the Match: Rosario Luchetti (ARG)

Result: Men’s Match 13
Argentina 0, Germany 0
Match cancelled due to weather conditions

Official FIH Pro League Site

Hunt set for debut, Ralph to lead women, milestones for Jones and Toman

Holly Hunt - Great Britain

Holly Hunt is set to make her international debut in Saturday's FIH Pro League match away to China.

Hunt, 21, has been with the 20-strong women's squad for the past few weeks as they faced New Zealand and Australia, and is now set to be part of the matchday eighteen for Saturday's match in China, pushback 6am UK time, live on BT Sport.

David Ralph is leading the women's team for this fixture, with new coach Mark Hager finalising his work permit to move to the UK in March. Ralph led Great Britain in China as recently as November, managing the side for their FIH Champions Trophy campaign.

Saturday's match is also set to see two players hit signficant milestones. Sarah Jones is set for her 100th international cap for Great Britain and Wales, while Anna Toman is set to hit 50 appearances for Great Britain and England. Toman has not missed an international game since making her debut for England against South Africa in February 2017.

Great Britain's first home game in the FIH Pro League takes place on Saturday 27 April at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. Seats start at £7.50 under 18s and £22.50 adults. Click here to buy now.

Great Britain Hockey media release

FIH Pro League Preview: China v GB

Erica Sanders

Great Britain’s women’s face China on Saturday 23 February at 6am in their third match of the FIH Pro League, a game which will be shown live on BT Sport.

With both sides yet to record a victory in the FIH Pro League, we preview the teams ahead of Saturday’s match which will be played at the Wujin Hockey Stadium, Changzhou.

China targeting first FIH Pro League win

Despite failing to record a point so far in the FIH Pro League, China have been very competitive opposition in their opening games.

Despite beginning with a narrow 4-3 defeat to Australia before falling to a 2-0 loss to New Zealand, the 2018 Asian Games bronze medalists have played to a high standard and caused plenty of troubles to their higher ranked opponents.

China have one of the youngest squads in the FIH Pro League, with only four players over the age of 25 (the eldest being 28). They have also fielded the most teenagers in the competition (three), with two of them - Jiaqi Zhong and Wen Dan (both 19) - providing two of their goals.

A key player for China will be 23-year-old Jiao Ye, who demonstrated her class and importance when she was voted Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the 2018 Wanglibao Champions Trophy.

The last time China beat Great Britain was in the group stages of London 2012  as they secured a 2-1 victory. Only two players in the current China squad, Meiyu Liang and Yang Peng, featured in that match, although current captain Qiuxia Cui was in the squad but didn’t play in that game.

GB looking for cutting edge

Like China, Great Britain have played two matches in the FIH Pro League, being defeated by current Commonwealth champions New Zealand (5-1) and world number three outfit Australia (3-0).

Despite tasting defeat in these matches, there have been encouraging signs for a young and inexperienced GB squad who put in spirited performances in their Oceania tour.

Having pushed Australia for much of the game last weekend, often dominating possession, GB were undone by a lack of cutting edge, an area which will need work ahead of a tricky game against China.

China may have one of the youngest squads but Great Britain’s is far less experienced, with 11 of the 18 players who have featured in the FIH Pro League currently having amassed less than 50 international appearances. Furthermore, the average number of caps per player is just 61 for Great Britain, whereas China’s is 73.

There could potentially be two milestones for Great Britain, with Sarah Jones and Anna Toman in line to make their 100th and 50th combined international caps if they feature. Meanwhile, new Head Coach Mark Hager won’t be in attendance for the China match as he travels to Australia to attain his work visa.

The two teams last met back in November at the same ground, with goals from Hannah Martin and Lily Owsley securing a 2-2 draw in the Champions Trophy. That defeat at the 2012 Olympics aside, Great Britain have a good record against their opponents and will be looking to extend that this weekend.

Great Britain Hockey media release

Umpires of the Year 2018: Michelle Meister & Marcin Grochal

Michelle Meister of Germany and Marcin Grochal have both had an incredible year of officiating at high level hockey events.

Meister is renowned for the modest way in which she controls matches, working with the players, communicating with clarity and concision, and working with her colleagues on and off the pitch to ensure the matches run smoothly. It is little wonder that she has found herself umpiring at some of the most prestigious events in the hockey calendar. This year that has included the semi-finals of the Indoor World Cup in Berlin and the semi-finals of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London.

"The award recognises all the hard work and the sacrifices we make in terms of missing out on family time. For my family back home it shows them that their support is valued as well."
- Michelle Meister

Marcin Grochal of Poland has been umpiring for the past 16 years, starting with grass roots club hockey and swiftly moving up to umpire in the top Polish league. He was umpiring internationals by the time he was 21. Like Meister, Grochal is admired for his calmness under pressure. 2018 has proven another busy year for the Polish umpire, culminating in Bhubaneswar where he umpired the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup final.

"We are just very proud of Marcin. At the moment he is the biggest showcase for Polish hockey all over the world."
- Jacek Sobolewski, President, Polish Hockey Association

The President of the Polish Hockey Association, Jacek Sobolewski, said: “We are just very proud of Marcin. At the moment he is the biggest showcase for Polish hockey all over the world. We wish him further successes and good decisions on the pitch that will lead him to the dream final at the Tokyo Olympic Games.”

Michi Meister discovered she had won the award as she was travelling to the European Hockey Federation Indoor Club Cup. She says: “I was as surprised as I was pleased. There are so many good umpires in the world so it is such a great honour for me to be voted Umpire of the Year 2018.

"The award recognises all the hard work and the sacrifices we make in terms of missing out on family time. For my family back home it shows them that their support is valued as well."

“I had a fantastic hockey year in 2018, umpiring two World Cups – the Indoor World Cup and the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup – where I umpired a semi-final at each event. That was then crowned by getting an appointment to umpire at the men’s EHL. I’m very grateful to be part of this hockey family and really happy about getting this award. Thank you.”


FIH site

PREVIEWS: Investec English Women's Hockey League

With six matches left in the regular season, the battle to avoid relegation from the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division is heating up with Slough hosting fellow strugglers University of Birmingham on Saturday.

Both with just one win from their 12 games so far, they are both facing the prospect of a relegation scrap unless they can secure some points – starting with this weekend’s crucial clash.

“There are still games left to play after Birmingham so we cannot pin everything on that,” said Slough captain Kat McGonigle. “But everyone can see it’s a massive game in the fight to stay out of the bottom two come the end of the season.

“We were unhappy with our recent results, but we know that our fate is still in our hands starting with a big game against the University of Birmingham,” said Slough captain Kat McGonigle.

“They are always a great side and our games are always tight - the 2-1 loss earlier in the season was no exception. However, past results don’t always mean much when games become this important - it’s anyone’s game.

“Slough have fought hard for their Premier Division place and we are not about to give it up easily.”

Bottom of the table Canterbury have also not given up their place in the top flight yet, and they will be hoping to get a win at home against Bowdon Hightown.

At the other end of the table leaders Holcombe go to Surbiton in a game both sides will want to win to strengthen their play-off places, while fourth-placed East Grinstead host third-placed Buckingham in another crucial match for both side’s play-off hopes.

Finally, Clifton Robinsons entertain Beeston in the weekend’s other top flight match.

They both secured back to back wins last weekend in the Investec Conference East, and leaders Hampstead & Westminster entertain third-placed Sevenoaks in a match crucial to both side’s promotion hopes.

Meanwhile, second-placed Wimbledon go to Cambridge City.

In the Investec Conference West Stourport will be looking to secure league win 13 out of 13 when they entertain Olton & West Warwicks. Meanwhile bottom of the table Exe have a tough match at second-placed Gloucester City.

And in the Investec Conference North second-placed Leicester go to Sutton Coldfield as they bid to keep pace with leaders Loughborough Students, who entertain Ben Rhydding.

Fylde forfeited their match against Leicester which was rescheduled for 17 February after postponement on 2 February. The decision of the EHL in respect of this was to award the game to Leicester with a score of 5-0 and additionally Fylde are deducted one point.


Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, 23 February 2019)

Investec Premier Division
Slough v Univ of Birmingham 12:30
Clifton Robinsons v Beeston 13:00
Surbiton v Holcombe 13:00
Canterbury v Bowdon Hightown 14:00
East Grinstead v Buckingham 16:00

Investec Conference East
St Albans v Ipswich 13:00
Bedford v Southgate 13:30
Hampstead & Westminster v Sevenoaks 13:30
Harleston Magpies v Horsham 13:30
Cambridge City v Wimbledon 15:30

Investec Conference West
Isca v Swansea City 12:00
Oxford Hawks v Barnes 12:00
Stourport v Olton & West Warwicks 12:00
Trojans v Reading 12:00
Gloucester City v Exe 12:30

Investec Conference North
Belper v Fylde 12:00
Loughborough Students v Ben Rhydding 12:30
Sutton Coldfield v Leicester 12:30
Brooklands-Poynton v Univ of Durham 13:00
Timperley v Leeds 14:15

England Hockey Board Media release

We have our semi-finalists

The third day of the 2019 South African Indoor Hockey IPT is moving day, much like the third day of a major golf tournament, you must move yourself into a position so that you put yourself in a position where the trophy is possible. In Indoor IPT terms that the semi-finals. Having looked at the Indoor IPT Women’s A Section Quarter Finals in the previous post, we now look at who are the four semi-finalists in the Women’s B Section and the Men’s Section.

Women’s B Section Semi Finals

11:00 Namibia vs. SG Witsies

The Namibians have raised their game throughout the tournament and the young side representing the African Champions have emerged as the favourites for the B Section. They secured top spot with a dominant 4-0 win over North West in the pool stage and will look to secure their place in the final with a dominant display against Witsies.

13:00 North West vs. KZN Robins

North West were four from four without conceding a goal before they met Namibia in the last pool game and purposes were the favourites for the title. That thought was soon questioned by the dominant display by the Namibians and they will now have to pick themselves up for the semi-final against the Robins, who they beat 1-0 in the pool stage. Their success will hinge largely on the form of the defensive duo of Amore de Wet and Dunell van Taak. The Robins have themselves performed extraordinarily well in the tournament and will no doubt be ready to pounce against the wounded Potchefstroom side.

Men’s Semi-Finals

11:00 Western Province vs. KZN Inland

Western Province have breathed new life into their IPT with astute selections this year and Ross Willis is winning plaudits with his approach. Their youthful side will be up against one of the most experienced sides in the hosts. Justin Domleo is still the prototype of a perfect indoor hockey star and in Chris McCathie, Keenan du Toit and Matt Fairweather they have superb experience. Western Province are a fantastic team with a superb keeper and the dynamic Cassiem brothers making this look like a game to watch for sure. Its hard to pick a winner, so Ill just enjoy the game!

13:00 KZN Raiders vs. Namibia

The KZN Raiders secured top spot when they overcame Western Province 5-4 in the game of the tournament. The defending champions were pushed and pressured but managed to dig deep and find the answer to some difficult questions. It won’t get easier for them as they take on Namibia, the most cohesive unit at the tournament, who only finished second on goal difference after dismissing the challenge of Southern Gauteng last night. This promises to be a superb game with both teams wielding great coaches, individual match winning stars and a team culture to rival. I can’t wait.

The finals will take place later today and it will be an opportunity for someone to be crowned the champions of South African Indoor Hockey for 2019. All the results will be live here tomorrow!

SA Hockey Association media release

Women’s final four decided after quarter-finals

The quarter finals of the Women’s Indoor Hockey IPT A Section have been completed and the top 4 for 2019 are known. On Saturday morning they will contest the semi-finals before the final is played on Saturday night. Here is what went down in the quarter-finals.

SPAR KZN Raiders 8-0 WP Peninsula

It was routine stuff for the 8-time defending champions as they dismissed the WP Pens challenge easily. Led by Kelly Reed in the absence of injured Cindy Hack, the Raiders stormed into a half time lead of 5-0 through Jodie Oakes, Jess Lardant, Karin Bowyer, Kelly Reed and Cailynn den Bakker. Calvin Price’s side then produced a solid second half which saw them comfortably see out the game. Kelly Reed, Jess Lardant and Jess O’Connor all netted in the second half. The SPAR KZN Raiders will take some incredible effort to beat.

KZN Inlands (2) 1-1 (1) Northern Blues

In the pick of the matches the hosts were expected to run out victors in a tough battle but found themselves chasing the game when Celia Evans put the fantastic Northern Blues ahead. They found themselves level through Rachel Barnard before half-time but neither team could take their opportunities in a thrilling encounter, which meant shootouts would decide the winner. To the delight of the home crowd it was Inlands who succeeded thanks to Edith Molikoe’s winning goal.

Western Province 5-0 Mpumalanga

It was a far tougher in the first half than Western Province had expected as they took on Mpumalanga. The game was scrappy, and the Province ladies failed to hold onto significant periods of possession but found the 1-0 half-time lead through Sasha Sivertsen. Although they got the second through Nidia Vermeulen they were constantly frustrated by the superb Charlize Swanepoel. Eventually the would make it a comfortable win with a trio of goals from Kayla de Waal (2) & Ammaarah Hendricks.

Southern Gauteng 4-2 KZN Mynahs

Southern Gauteng made sure they had a chance to try and improve on last years silver medal thanks largely to a fine first half display. Lilian du Plessis scored the first after great determination by Kara Botes to win the ball. They would add another three before half-time with the impressive Cloe de Souza getting two of them. Southerns did take their foot off the gas in the second half and that ultimately saw them allow the Mynahs back into the game, probably something they will look to improve on in the semi-finals. Mynahs two goals came through Kerry Gaze giving them a glimmer of hope, but it was not to be.

Women’s Indoor IPT A Section – Semi-Final Fixtures

12:00 at St. Johns – SPAR KZN Raiders vs. KZN Inland
14:00 at St. Johns – Western Provinces vs. Southern Gauteng

FINAL – 19:00 at St. Johns

SA Hockey Association media release

2019 South African Indoor IPT - Day 3

Results and Pool standings from the South African Indoor IPT


Results 22 February

KZNM v KZNIB (Pool A)     5 - 2 (3 - 1)
SG v MPU (Pool B)         7 - 1 (4 - 0)
NG v SGW (Pool A)         7 - 2 (3 - 0)
EG v EP (Pool B)         1 - 7 (1 - 3)
KZNC v WP (Pool A)     5 - 4 (3 - 4)
NAM v KZNI (Pool B)     3 - 3 (1 - 2)
SGW v KZNIB (Pool A)     4 - 1 (1 - 1)
MPU v EG (Pool B)         4 - 4 (2 - 1
WP v KZNM (Pool A)     8 - 4 (4 - 2)
SG v NAM (Pool B)         4 - 7 (3 - 6)
NG v KZNC (Pool A)     1 - 3 (1 - 1)
KZNI v EP (Pool B)         5 - 1 (1 - 1)

Pool standings

Pool A

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 KZN Raiders (RSA) 5 5 0 0 31 10 21 15
2 Western Province (RSA) 5 4 0 1 26 15 11 12
3 Northern Blues (RSA) 5 3 0 2 20 9 11 9
4 KZN Mynahs (RSA) 5 2 0 3 16 20 -4 6
5 SG Witsies (RSA) 5 1 0 4 12 24 -12 3
6 KZN Inland B (RSA) 5 0 0 5 7 34 -27 0

Pool B

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 KZN Inland A (RSA) 5 4 1 0 26 7 19 13
2 Namibia 5 4 1 0 28 12 16 13
3 Southern Gauteng (RSA) 5 3 0 2 26 19 7 9
4 Eastern Province (RSA) 5 2 0 3 21 25 -4 6
5 Mpumalanga (RSA) 5 0 1 4 10 23 -13 1
6 Eastern Gauteng (RSA) 5 0 1 4 7 32 -25 1

Women A Section

Results 22 February

KZN v WPP (Quarter Final)     8 - 0 (5 - 0)
KZNI v NG (Quarter Final)     1 - 1 (1 - 1) (2 - 1 SO)
WP v MPU (Quarter Final)     5 - 0 (1 - 0)
SG v KZNM (Quarter Final)     4 - 2 (4 - 0)

Pool standings

Pool A

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Spar KZN Raiders (RSA) 3 3 0 0 9 3 6 9
2 Western Province (RSA) 3 2 0 1 8 5 3 6
3 Northern Blues (RSA) 3 1 0 2 7 10 -3 3
4 KZN Mynahs (RSA) 3 0 0 3 5 11 -6 0

Pool B

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Southern Gauteng (RSA) 3 3 0 0 15 1 14 9
2 KZN Inland (RSA) 3 2 0 1 7 4 3 6
3 Mpumalanga (RSA) 3 1 0 2 2 8 -6 3
4 WP Peninsula (RSA) 3 0 0 3 1 12 -11 0

Women B Section

Results 22 February

NW v KZNR (Pool A)     1 - 0 (1 - 0)
EG v KZNIB (Pool A)     3 - 2 (0 - 0)
SGW v NAM (Pool A)     0 - 4 (0 - 2)
NAM v NW (Pool A)     4 - 0 (2 - 0)
EG v SGW (Pool A)         1 - 6 (0 - 3)
KZNR v KZNIB (Pool A)     4 - 2 (2 - 0)

Pool standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Namibia 5 4 1 0 24 4 20 13
2 North West (RSA) 5 4 0 1 15 4 11 12
3 KZN Robins (RSA) 5 2 2 1 14 9 5 8
4 SG Witsies (RSA) 5 2 1 2 14 14 0 7
5 Eastern Gauteng (RSA) 5 1 0 4 6 31 -25 3
6 KZN Inland B (RSA) 5 0 0 5 9 20 -11 0

SA Hockey Association media release

Tenaga finish second despite defeat

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional ended second in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) even though they lost 5-3 to Terengganu Hockey Team earlier today (Friday).

The League concluded with Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) as champions, and they will play Maybank in the first leg of the TNB Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

Tenaga Nasional and Terengganu HT will square off again in the other semi-final.

Earlier today, Terengganu HT got their goals thanks to Sufi Ismat (19th), Gonzalo Merino (32nd), Faizal Saari (41st), Jung Manjae (43rd) and Gonzalo Merino (46th).

And Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (22nd), Akhimullah Anuar Esook (29th) and Norshafiq Sumantri (38th) on the other hand delivered the goals for Tenaga.

Terengganau HT rested tournament top scorer Jang Jong Hyun, 15 goals, because of a thigh muscle pull.

“We rested Jang, (B.) Namasivayam and Rashid Baharom for today’s match because all three are carrying injuries, and I am not sure if they will be ready for the semi-finals on Tuesday,” said Terengganu HT coach I. Vikneswaran.

Tenaga coach Nor Saiful Zaini said: “I am not worried about the scoreline, as we still ended up second in the League and will play two more semi-final matches against Terengganu.

“We know what we need to do, perform in the knock-out stage, and not here in the league which is pretty much settled already.”


P W D L F A Pts

UNIKL 12 11 1 0 47 12 34
TENAGA 12 9 0 3 61 21 27
TERENGGANU HT 12 8 1 3 44 27 25
MAYBANK 12 5 1 6 30 39 16
TNB THUNDER 12 2 1 9 13 36 7
UiTM 12 2 1 9 13 41 7
NURINSAFI 12 2 1 9 17 49 7

RESULTS: Terengganu HT 5 3 Tenaga Nasional , UniKL 2 0 TNB Thunderbolts, UiTM 2 2 Maybank.


TUESDAY — TNB Cup Semi-finals, First Leg: UniKL v Maybank (Tun Razak, 3pm), Tenaga Nasional v Terengganu HT (Tun Razak, 5pm).
THURSDAY: TNB Cup Semi-finals, Second Leg: Tenaga Nasional v Terengganu HT (Tun Razak, 3pm), UniKL v Maybank (Tun Razak, 5pm).

New Straits Times

Terengganu hardly miss Korean hotshot Jang as they shoot down Tenaga

KUALA LUMPUR: Terengganu were without their top scorer Jang Jong-hyun of South Korea in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) but it did not stop them from winning big against Tenaga Nasional.

The East Coast team, who lost 3-2 to Tenaga in the first-round match, turned on the power yesterday to exact sweet revenge with a superb 5-3 win in the second round at the Tun Razak Hockey Stadium yesterday.

With the win, Terengganu finished third in the Premier Division standings with 25 points from eight wins, one draw and three defeats while Tenaga, despite losing the match, still finished second in the league with 27 points from 12 matches.

Gonzalo Merino of Argentina was the toast for Terengganu, scoring a brace in the 32nd and 46th minutes. The other goal scorers were Muhammad Sufi Ismat Rohulamin (19th), Faizal Saari (41st) and Jang Man-jae of South Korea (44th).

Tenaga replied through goals from Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abd Jalil (22nd), Mohamad Akhimullah Anuar Esook (29th) and Norshafiq Sumantri (38th).

Tenaga face third-placed Terengganu in the TNB Cup (overall) in the first leg semi-finals on Tuesday and the return leg will be on Thursday. The final is on March 2.

Terengganu coach I. Vicknes­waran said Jong-hyun, who has scored a total of 15 goals, suffered a muscle pull in his leg during training two days ago and was rested.

“We were also without two key players B. Namasivayam and Rashid Baharom as both are nursing knee and shoulder injuries. We hope they can recover in time for the overall cup,” said Vickneswaran.

“We made use of our chances well to win but I’m disappointed that we conceded soft goals.

“It’ll be a different ball game in the semi-finals next week but we’ll be ready,” he said.

Tenaga coach Nor Saiful Zaini said his players did not push themselves in the match.

“They will face Terengganu again in the overall cup, so it’s alright. I’m not worried that my goalkeeper Che Shahrul Azmi (Che Saupi) let in five goals. He’s only 17 and this is a learning opportunity for him,” said Nor Saiful.

Newly crowned league champions Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) beat TNB Thunderbolt 2-0 at the Tengku Abdullah Hockey Stadium in Bangi. They face fourth-placed Maybank in the two leg semi-finals next week.

The Star of Malaysia

Big points up for grabs in this weekend’s Scottish National League 1

Grange`s progress towards retaining the men`s National League 1 title will face a big challenge this weekend when they meet Western Wildcats at Auchenhowie on Saturday.

Grange are the only unbeaten side in the division – the champions have only dropped four points all season – and if Western Wildcats can`t get their claws into them, then the title looks to be moving even closer to its return to Raeburn Place. The Edinburgh side now have a six point cushion at the top of the division, courtesy to some extent to last weekend`s dropped points by both Western and Grove Menzieshill.

However, David Knipe`s charges can expect nothing short of a hot reception at Auchenhowie – a point referred to by Wildcats` coach Harry Dunlop. “I`m expecting a tough game, but the squad is confident of a successful outcome.”

The first encounter between the sides might not be a source of inspiration to Dunlop, he watched his charges go down 3-2 at Fettes, and that after taking a two goal lead through Rob Harwood and Joe McConnell. But Western Wildcats took their claws off the prey and Jacob Tweedie, Frank Ryan and finally Duncan Riddell with five minutes left stole the points.

Whatever the outcome at Auchenhowie, Grove Menzieshill will only take advantage of the situation if they can take the three points from Uddingston at Bothwell Castle Policies. A win for the Hill and defeat for Western Wildcats would propel the Taysiders into second spot in the table.

It was certainly no contest in the first encounter, Grove Menzieshill emerged comfortable 4-0 winners, two for Cameron Golden along with John Stephen and Paul Martin did the damage that day.

Hillhead may be seven points adrift of Grove Menzieshill, but they have made fourth spot their own for the time being after seeing off Kelburne last weekend – their first victory over the Paisley side in the league.

Coach Mark Ralph was delighted at the occasion. “I was very pleased with how we played. The guys really took responsibility and stepped up. Big development with a young squad.”

Ralph will now be looking for the good work to continue in this weekend`s away fixture at bottom side Gordonians, a side they beat 11-0 earlier in the campaign.

Elsewhere, Clydesdale will hope to continue their good progress at home to Kelburne while Watsonians` clash with neighbours Edinburgh University could be an interesting confrontation.

Despite being in Vienna on indoor duty last weekend, Clydesdale Western`s hold on pole position in the women`s National League 1 remained unaffected as rivals Edinburgh University fell at home to Kaz Cuthbert`s Western Wildcats.

Western and Edinburgh University are still neck-and-neck on 28 points, the former have a goal difference advantage of only one – so goal difference after this weekend`s fixtures may alter the order slightly.

Western are at home to GHK, a side they beat 3-1 earlier in the season.

Meanwhile the champions take on fifth placed Watsonians in what could be a taxing occasion on paper. Students` coach Sam Judge will not want to drop any more points in the race to retain their crown, so a repeat of a three goal victory earlier in the campaign could be repeated.

At Auchenhowie third placed Western Wildcats entertain a Grange side battling at the foot of the table, every point on offer is vital here.

With Vikki Bunce in such fine goal scoring form – the former Scotland player notched a hat-trick against Watsonians last weekend – Dundee Wanderers will be targeting another three points at home to Hillhead. However, it should be noticed that the Glasgow side moved up to seventh in the table after seeing off GHK 3-2 last weekend.

In the final game on the card Glasgow University take on a Grove Menzieshill side that have yet to make their impact so far this season. Could this weekend see the Taysiders hit their stride?

Scottish Hockey Union media release

‘Chuck de India’ is our policy on hockey coaches

Sundeep Misra

File image of Harendra Singh. Image credit: Hockey India

It will sound strange. Probably even bizarre and outlandish. But it won’t be out of the ordinary to say that Hockey India lacks moral ambiguity. In simple terms, it’s a lack of clarity in ethical-decision making. Sports in India is not serious business. Not yet. It still operates like small kingdoms and caliphates run by various federation bosses. Loosely, unprofessionalism and autocracy are the two boxes you tick off when someone says “Indian hockey”.

Otherwise, how do you explain a situation where almost all the top players turned out for the 9th National Hockey Championships without a national coach on board? It’s easy to construct an answer which would say “it wasn’t needed as Hockey India and its High Performance Director would pass on the relevant information to the coach whenever he joins”. As of now, the final date for inviting applications for the job of the chief coach for the national team has been pushed to Feb 28 from the previous January 31. In other words, the Indian team will depart for Ipoh, Malaysia to play the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup without a coach. Stepping in, as always, would be David John. That’s why the question — aren’t these knee-jerk reactions when a coach is fired or hired? Do we even bother looking at a long-term plan? If a coach crosses four years, many of us would think ‘stability’ has finally been achieved; leave alone results. When was the last time we had a coach for four years? Never. Roelant Oltmans was around for four years but as High Performance Director and then as Coach.

It’s pointless to point out that Hockey India has changed eleven coaches since 2010. Do those numbers make any sense any more? Have we even learnt anything from the past? From 2001 when Baldev Singh was coach for an invitations tournament, we changed ten coaches in ten years. So the math says 21 coaches in 20 years. Whichever way you look at those numbers, one reasoning stares back at us – an exercise in absurdity.

There is no clue as to which coach will now join the Indian team. Till now, we have had nine foreign coaches — Gerhard Rach (2004), Jose Brasa (2009-10), Michael Nobbs (2011-13), Roelant Oltmans (2013-17), Gregg Clark (2013), Terry Walsh (2014), Paul van Ass (2015), Roger van Gent (2016), Sjoerd Marijne (2017-18). Interestingly, the best finishes in a World Cup outside of the 1975 Cup triumph have been fifth in 1982 and 1994 and sixth in 2018. All three came with an Indian coach at the helm — Harmik Singh (1982), Cedric Dsouza (1994) and Harendra Singh (2018). Yet, we salivate at the thought of hiring a foreign coach. And when we engage a top gun like Terry Walsh or even a Paul van Ass, we chuck them. Not because they didn’t deliver. Rather, in the caliphate of Hockey India, ego and false pride hold sway over long-term planning and structured vision. Parochialism is mistaken for patriotism.

We are saddled with a history of eight Olympic gold medals that instead of being a fountainhead of inspiration has become a point of debilitating the Indian team. As coaches come and go different forms of playing structure are built and taken down. Confused and baffled players play both the coach and federation. Coaches with a strong personality resign and walk out. The weaker ones stay put.

With India not participating in the Pro League there is uncertainty regarding a sound schedule for an Indian team that needs to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. In March, India play the Azlan Shah Cup which should again be a mixed team, giving a few youngsters opportunities. By the time June comes, India would be playing the Olympic Qualifying in Bhubaneswar. Playing the final is important as that sets up India for a home and away qualifying match against an opponent that is yet to be decided. It’s a tricky situation. Team India are expected to climb down the rankings when they are released after the Pro League. The present fifth spot could go down to almost eighth in the FIH rankings.

Rather than search for a five-star coach, stability is the need of the hour. If the tactical acumen of a Walsh or a van Ass couldn’t impress Hockey India or ensure they had longer tenures, it’s difficult to imagine a coach who would enthuse the federation.

Not much has changed since Narinder Batra took over after KPS Gill. However, technically, he is the FIH president and officially doesn’t have anything to do with Hockey India. In 2005, in an interview to a newspaper, Batra, then senior vice-president, IHF, said, “People are laughing at us over the manner in which we have been treating our players and coaches. What right Mr Gill had to call Olympians losers?”

Since 2010, eleven coaches have gone. And during a social media rant after India lost in the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals, Batra not only accused the players of “indiscipline and groupism” he also labelled the Indian team as “complainers, bad and sore losers”.

It’s a tough period. Cynicism is the prevailing emotion in the sport. Yet there is enough talent and skill to ensure the team not only qualify for 2020 but also to maintain a high standard which keeps them in the top six. Salvation is not in the appointment of a coach but in the way the sport is administered. In front is the example of Belgium who didn’t even qualify for the 2010 World Cup but ignored the short-term for the larger picture and won the 2018 World Cup. There are no prepared scripts. No off-the-shelf quick-fix. On the day he was removed as coach, Harendra Singh said, “It’s time for everyone to take a deep look.” Maybe, there is still hope for redemption.

Revolving door for coaches

Hockey India has sacked five coaches of the men's hockey team in as many years

Terry Walsh (October 2013-October 2014): Led India to a silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and gold at the 2014 Asian Games, yet he was sacked in January 2015 after he complained of “too much interference” from Hockey India. Players acknowledge he made a significant difference.  Terry coached Holland to silver at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Paul van Ass (Jan 2015 to June 2015): He had a bizarre experience of handling issues, majorly off the field. Van Ass, as he puts it, was asked to go. He called Narinder Batra an ‘autocratic administrator’. Batra’s response was ‘he is an incompetent coach.’ Paul van Ass took Holland to the 2012 London Olympic Final.

Roelant Oltmans (August 2015-September 2017): In his reign for two years, Oltmans coached India at the Olympics and had a fair amount of success. But even that did not mean he got a long term. Took Holland to the 96’ Olympic Gold and 98’ World Cup Gold.

Sjoerd Marijne (September 2017-May 2018): An extremely surprising appointee, he nevertheless had success with an ‘Oltmans-trained team’ to win the Asia Cup. But after a poor showing at the Azlan Shah Tournament and the Commonwealth Games, Marijne was asked to leave.

Harendra Singh (May 2018-January 2019): Won India silver at the prestigious Champions Trophy. Not winning the Asian Games Gold did him in more than the quarter final loss at the World Cup. Coached India to the 2016 Junior World Cup crown.


JAG's Set To Take On England In Lilleshall

A large JAG contingent is set to travel to Lilleshall, England to take on the English JAG teams in the coming weeks. The boys U16’s and U18’s will play 3 matches each against their English counterparts, as will the girls U16’s, while the girls U18’s will play 2 matches.  All matches will take place at Lilleshall National Sports Centre which offers multiple hockey pitches, allowing several matches to take place at once.

Match Details

Boys U16

Ireland 2 vs 5 England Wednesday 20th February– 4:30pm
Ireland 1 vs 3 England Thursday 21st February – 3:30pm
Ireland vs England Friday 22nd February – 1:00pm

Boys U18

Ireland 2 v s5 England Wednesday 20th February– 4:30pm
Ireland 4 vs 1 England Thursday 21st February – 3:30pm
Ireland vs England Friday 22nd February – 1:00pm

Girls U16

Ireland 1 vs 4 England Wednesday 20th February – 6:45pm
Ireland 0 vs 3 England Thursday 21st February – 5:45pm
Ireland vs England Friday 22nd February – 3:15pm

Girls U18

Ireland 1 vs 2 England Thursday 21st February – 5:45pm
Ireland vs England Friday 22nd February – 3:15pm

Irish Hockey Association media release

Long-serving Ogura is the new AHF president

KUALA LUMPUR: Long-serving Datuk Fumio Ogura from Japan is now the new Asian Hockey Confederation (AHF) president.

He replaced Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah as His Majesty did not seek re-election due to his official duties as the new King.

His Majesty however, has graciously consented to be the Royal Patron of the AHF thus keeping close ties with the Asian hockey.

Ogura, who shares a good relationships with members of the hockey fraternity all over the world, said it would not be an easy task to fill the shoes of His Majesty.

“We’re grateful and thankful for his leadership of AHF and thank thim for his contributions,” said Ogura.

There was good news for Malaysia as Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) vice president Datuk Manjit Majid Abdullah has assumed the position as the vice president.

The AHF office bearers
Royal Patron: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
President: Datuk Fumio Ogura (Japan).
Vice presidents: Shin Jung-hee (S. Korea), Datuk Seri Chaiyapak Siriwat (Thailand), Khalid Sajad Khokar (Pakistan), Datuk Manjit Majid Abdullah (Malaysia), Mohammad Mustaque Ahmad (India), Mahadevan Devadass (Singapore), Yokohama Hide (Japan).
Chief Executive Officer: Datuk Tayab Ikram (Macau).
Board Members: Sumitth Edrisinghe (Sri Lanka), Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohd Arif (Malaysia), Tahir Zaman (Pakistan), Yuji Ibuki (Japan), Betikkazy Seksenbayev (Kazakhstan), Dr. S. Shamala (Malaysia), Kim Myeing-sung (S. Korea), Abdul Rashid Sikder (Bangladesh), Anil Sharma (Nepal), Aziman Ali (India), Bakhdir Ahmedav (Uzbekistan), Yeo Seung-jin (Korea), Sajed Addil (Bangladesh), Zuhair Mohamed (Oman).

The Star of Malaysia

Agong is now royal patron of AHF

KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah does not want to be reelected as the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) president, which was decided upon during a conference held in Japan earlier today (Friday).

Instead, Al-Sultan Abdullah is keen on accepting the appointment as the royal patron of the AHF.

The current AHF president is Fumio Ogura of Japan who took over after Al-Sultan Abdullah decided not to defend the top post.

Malaysia has an enviable tradition in the AHF as from 1994, the federation’s president was none other than Al-Sultan Abdullah’s father, Sultan Ahmad Shah, whom he then succeeded.

In related developments, Malaysia received some good news from the AHF conference as Datuk Manjit Majid Abdullah has been given the mandate to take up the post of vice president with the federation.

Manjit is also Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC) vice president apart from being the Johor Hockey Association (JHA) deputy president.

He played an important role in organising the 2009 World Youth Cup which saw Malaysia beings joint hosts with neighboring Singapore, while also playing a role in organising the Sultan Of Johor Cup (SOJC) since 2011.

Manjit was presented with a special award for Youth Development in Asia for helping to host the SoJC for the past eight years.

“This is a honour for not only me but for hockey in Malaysia. The AHF will of course miss the leadership of His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah.

“However I will strive to further contribute towards the continued development and promotion of the sport in the region,” said Manjit.

None of the positions in AHF were contested.

“It will not be easy task to fill the shoes of His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah,” admitted Fumio.

“We are grateful and thankful for his leadership of AHF as well as for his other valuable contributions.

“And we are truly honoured that His Majesty has accepted the appointment of Royal Patron of the AHF.

“On behalf of the Asian hockey fraternity, I wish to place on record our sincere gratitude and appreciation to His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah for all that he has done.”

New Straits Times

Khokhar elected as vice president of Asian Hockey Federation

I will work with more dedication and put extra efforts to ensure Pakistan hockey back on right track. We will continue to convince the FIH and AHF to allocate events to Pakistan and also include us in all the major international events worldwide.

Mohsin Ali

FIH CEO, Theirry Weil, AHF CEO, Tayyub Ikram and AHF vice president  Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar

ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) President Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar was inducted as vice president of Asian Hockey Federation (AHF), as he was elected unopposed vice president. Total 27 Asian hockey playing countries were present in the meeting held in Japan on Friday.

Talking to The Nation from Japan, Brig Khokhar said: “I am highly obliged as FIH CEO Theirry Weil and AHF CEO Tayyab Ikram not only praised the PHF’s role in reviving international hockey in Pakistan, but also its contributions for international hockey and awarded me with a Diploma of Merit and Achievement Award. The PHF conducted Olympic Solidarity Day last year in Pakistan and also hosted International XI tour, in which they had played two matches, which helped in bringing international hockey back to Pakistan and the Asian Hockey 9, which was held last year, paved the way for these high-profile awards for me.”

He said the delegates of 27 countries were present in the elections meeting and all the participants highly acknowledged the role of Pakistan and its contributions for promotion of hockey worldwide, which is a great honour for the country. “I will work with more dedication and put extra efforts to ensure Pakistan hockey back on right track. We will continue to convince the FIH and AHF to allocate events to Pakistan and also include us in all the major international events worldwide.”

He said the main purpose of attending the AHF meeting was to present Pakistan hockey case and the presence of CEO’s of both FIH and AHF was golden opportunity for the PHF to inform them, why Pakistan hockey team wasn’t able to take part in pro-league. “I also met with different representatives of Asian hockey teams and my meetings were highly successful.

“I am sure IPC Minister Dr Fahmida Mirza and IPC Secretary Akbar Durrani will take into account the achievements of the federation, which were duly acknowledged by the AHF and FIH and upon my return on February 24, the minister will invite the PHF high-ups for meeting, which will benefit Pakistan hockey a lot,” he added.

The PHF chief said that Shahbaz Senior will attend next month FIH Board meeting and present Pakistan case there. “I am sure FIH will take into account ground realities and understand our problem. We always abide by the rules and regulations and always try to help the FIH in the best possible manner. Next few months are highly important for Pakistan hockey, as major events are coming thick and fast. “Navy, Army and others are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the PHF in the time of need as they have promised to establish hockey academes, start departmental teams and provide employment to hockey players.

“I want the IPC Minister to order replacement of astroturf’s of major grounds especially Naseer Bunda Stadium, as PSB provide best facilities and Islamabad weather is ideal for training camps. The Olympic qualifiers are also round the corner so we need long training camp to Pakistan team well for earning berth in Tokyo Olympics 2020 in Japan. I have pinned high hopes on PM Imran Khan, who will surely help Pakistan hockey in the best possible manner,” Khokhar concluded.

The Nation

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