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News for 31 May 2019

All the news for Friday 31 May 2019

2019 FIH Pro League (Men) - 31 May


30 May 2019     BEL v GBR (RR)     4 - 2     Wilrijkse Plein Antwerp, Antwerp
2 Jun 2019 13:30 (GMT +2)     BEL v GER (RR)     Wilrijkse Plein Antwerp, Antwerp
2 Jun 2019 16:00 (GMT +2)     NED v GBR (RR)     HC Oranje-Rood, Eindhoven

Live streaming and full game replay 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 9 7 0 1 1 28 19 9 22 81.5
2 Belgium 7 5 1 1 0 29 14 15 18 85.7
3 Argentina* 11 5 0 1 4 25 28 -3 17 51.5
4 Great Britain 9 4 0 1 4 23 22 1 13 48.1
5 Netherlands 7 3 1 1 2 23 18 5 12 57.1
6 Germany* 8 2 1 1 3 15 17 -2 10 41.7
7 Spain 10 0 5 0 5 24 35 -11 10 33.3
8 New Zealand 9 0 0 2 7 21 35 -14 2 7.4

* A cancelled match contributes 1 point to each team's results that is not shown in the tables as a cancelled match
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)

30 May 2019     BEL v GBR (RR)     4 - 1     Wilrijkse Plein Antwerp, Antwerp
1 Jun 2019 18:00 (GMT +2)     NED v GBR (RR)     HC Oranje-Rood, Eindhoven
1 Jun 2019 19:00 (GMT -4)     USA v NZL (RR)     Spooky Nook Sports, Lancaster
2 Jun 2019 15:30 (GMT +2)     BEL v GER (RR)     Wilrijkse Plein Antwerp, Antwerp
2 Jun 2019 16:00 (GMT +28)     CHN v AUS (RR)     Wujin Hockey Stadium, Changzhou

Live streaming and full game replay 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 Argentina 14 9 4 0 1 28 12 16 35 83.3
2 Netherlands 8 7 0 0 1 24 4 20 21 87.5
3 Australia 11 6 1 1 3 24 14 10 21 63.6
4 Belgium 9 5 1 1 2 17 12 5 18 66.7
5 Germany 9 4 0 2 3 17 12 5 14 51.9
6 New Zealand 11 4 0 0 7 19 24 -5 12 36.4
7 Great Britain 11 2 2 1 6 14 25 -11 11 33.3
8 China 14 3 0 2 9 21 37 -16 11 26.2
9 United States 13 1 1 2 9 13 37 -24 7 17.9

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

Double glory for Belgium against Great Britain in Antwerp

Belgium’s men and women both claimed impressive wins over Great Britain at the Wilrijkse Plein venue in Antwerp on Saturday (30 May), results which have strengthened their respective prospects of claiming all-important top four finishes in the competition. The top four finishers in the men’s and women’s FIH Pro League competitions will secure tickets to June’s FIH Pro League Grand Final in Amsterdam and also the FIH Olympic qualifiers, which take place later this year.

Belgium men extended their advantage at the top of the FIH Pro League standings with a scintillating attacking display to earn a 4-2 victory over Great Britain, adding to the 4-0 win they secured over GB in London just under two weeks ago. The damage was done in the first two quarters, with Cedric Charlier (2), Tom Boon and Alexander Hendrickx giving the world champions a 4-0 half time lead before Phil Roper and Luke Taylor netted in the third and fourth quarters respectively. The win means that the Red Lions have improved their points percentage to 85.71, while Great Britain have now fallen outside of the top four, dropping to fifth with 48.15 percent.

Belgium’s women avenged their recent 2-0 away defeat against reigning Olympic champions Great Britain by recording a fine 4-1 win on home soil, with Pauline LeClef, Judith Vandermeiren, Anne-Sophie Weyns and team captain Barbara Nelen all on target for a Red Panthers team that continues to confound all expectations in the FIH Pro League. The lowest ranked team in the competition sit third in the standings with a win percentage of 66.67, with Great Britain currently occupying seventh place with 33.33 percent.

Belgium’s men (FIH World Ranking: 1) were at their brilliant best in the first two quarters against GB (WR:7), with the Red Lions looking capable of scoring almost every time they went forward. Cedric Charlier opened the scoring in the ninth minute, bundling home after Tom Boon’s penalty corner effort was only half-cleared by GB goalkeeper George Pinner. The strike partnership between Charlier and Boon was in devastating form, with the former soon setting up the latter for an easy tap-in to double the lead just moments after Boon had hit the post with a remarkable improvised effort whilst lying on the ground.

The two players combined again early in the second period, with Boon’s perfect pass being guided home by Charlier before Alexander Hendrickx made it 4-0 when he unleashed a powerful drag-flick into the British goal despite the best efforts of defender David Ames, who could only deflect the ball into the roof of the net.

Great Britain had enjoyed plenty of first half possession but rarely tested Belgium shot-stopper Vincent Vanasch. However, Danny Kerry’s team gave themselves a glimmer of hope midway through the third quarter when the quick-thinking Zach Wallace picked out Phil Roper who made no mistake from close range for his seventh goal of this season’s FIH Pro League, leaving him just one behind competition top scorer Pau Quemada of Spain.

The visitors made things even more interesting when Luke Taylor’s penalty corner drag-flick sailed into the Belgian goal just two minutes into the final quarter. However, despite coach Kerry replacing his goalkeeper with an outfield player in a bid to force the agenda, it was the Belgians who held on for their fifth win in seven matches.

“I think we had maybe a bit less energy in our press [in the second half] and they were able to find the gaps in our zones which gave them more opportunities and meant we had less counter-attacks, which is one of our strengths”, said Cedric Charlier, who was named Player of the Match. “But the first half was really good and that is what we have to take forward into the next games.”

Great Britain’s Phil Roper said: “In the second half we really tried to put our game out there and we managed to succeed. To take the positives out of the game, we won the second half 2-0 but we cannot make the silly mistakes we made in the first half.”

Great Britain’s women (WR:2) were 2-0 winners against Belgium (WR:13) when they met in London just under two weeks ago, a score-line that was reversed in the first fifteen minutes of the re-match in Antwerp. The Red Panthers - who took two points from a possible three with a shoot-out success in against China in Changzhou just five days ago - matched the achievement of their men’s team by scoring twice in the opening quarter, with Pauline LeClef and Judith Vandermeiren putting the hosts firmly in control. Both goals came from penalty corners, with LeClef’s fierce forehand strike beating GB goalkeeper Nicola Cochrane at her near post before Vandermeiren doubled the advantage with a close range effort.

Emily Defroand went close to pulling a goal back for Great Britain in the second quarter, but it was Belgium who scored again early in the third period when Alix Gerniers pounced from close range after an fine turn and shot from the excellent Ambre Ballenghien. A yellow card five minute suspension for Tessa Howard did not help great Britain’s cause, although the visitors did pull a goal back early in the fourth period when Sarah Robertson netted from a slick penalty corner routine.

Great Britain’s hopes of a comeback ended just one minute after Robertson’s strike. A second yellow card for Howard resulted in a second suspension, with Belgium putting their opponents to the sword just seconds later when team captain Barbara Nelen cashed home a blistering strike from the top of the circle to complete the match scoring at 4-1.

“We played them ten days ago and I think it was our worst game of the Pro League”, said Alix Gerniers, who was named Player of the Match. “I think we had something to prove today and we were happy to play in front of our home crowd. It was a massive team performance today, winning 4-1. I don’t think we have done that before so we are very happy, it is a great feeling.”

Great Britain captain Hollie Pearne-Webb said: “I think it was just a pretty poor performance by us. We are disappointed with the result and disappointed with our own performance. We won’t lose too much confidence - we all know, both individually and as a team, that it wasn’t to the level that expect of ourselves. We’ve got a game the day after tomorrow against the Dutch, which will be a really tough one. We’ll get back on the pitch tomorrow, look at what went wrong and try to improve on that.”

A busy weekend of FIH Pro League action starts in Eindhoven on Saturday 1st June when the Netherlands women face Great Britain before USA welcome New Zealand to the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

FIH Pro League
30 May - Antwerp, Belgium

Result: Men’s Match 35

Belgium 4, Great Britain 2

Player of the Match: Cedric Charlier (BEL)
Umpires: Jonas van’t Hek (NED), Christian Blasch (GER) and Ivona Makar (CRO - video)

Result: Women’s Match 50
Belgium 4, Great Britain 1 

Player of the Match: Alix Gerniers (BEL)
Umpires: Alison Keogh (IRL), Ivan Makar (CRO) and Christian Blasch (GER - video)


Official FIH Pro League Site

Spirited comeback not enough as unbeaten Belgian men take win

Great Britain's men face Belgium in the FIH Pro League

Britain's men's spirited second half comeback was too little too late as Belgium took all three points in Antwerp. First half goals from Cedric Charlier (2), Tom Boon and Alexander Hendrickx gave the home side a 4-0 lead, but Danny Kerry's side certainly did not let their heads drop.

Phil Roper scored not long after the interval, and when Luke Taylor added a second with 13 minutes left, there were hopes of a grandstand finish. But two key saves from Vincent Vanasch calmed any Belgian nerves and they then saw out a good win from their perspective.

Roper said, "At half time we tried to reset and get back to our game plan. We did that, put our game out there and the positive is that we won the second half - but we can't make mistakes like we did in the first half. Next is the Netherlands, we'll go there with a positive mindset and aim for a positive result but there are no easy games in the FIH Pro League."

Belgium 4
Charlier (9', PC), (19', FG)
Boon (15', FG)
Hendrickx (20', PC)

Great Britain 2
Roper (38', FG)
Taylor (47', PC)

Great Britain: Pinner (GK), Gibson (GK), Hoare, Creed, Waller, Taylor, Dixon (C), Ames, Sloan, Condon, Wallace, Gall, Martin, Sorsby, Forsyth, Calnan, Roper, Ward

Great Britain Hockey media release

Defeat for women as Robertson scores first goal for Great Britain

Great Britain's women face Belgium in the FIH Pro League

Having lost in London eleven days ago, Belgium's women took a comprehensive victory over Great Britain in the FIH Pro League.

An early goal from Pauline Leclef meant that the home side were on top throughout, and they were 3-0 up soon after half time; Judith Vandermeiren and Anne-Sophie Weyns on target.

Sarah Robertson's well-taken first goal for GB proved a small consolation, but Barbara Nelen's fourth put the seal on Belgium's win.

Captain Hollie Pearne-Webb said, "We're disappointed with the result and performance. We'll look back on it before we play Holland, but it wasn't to the level we expect from us.

"We won't lose too much confidence, it's another tough game this weekend and we know we can do better."

Belgium 4
Leclef (7', PC)
Vandermeiren (15', PC)
Weyns (38', FG)
Nelen (52', FG)

Great Britain 1
Robertson (51', PC)

Great Britain: Cochrane (GK), Unsworth, Toman, Ansley, Pearne-Webb (C), Balsdon, Costello, Evans, Jones, Sanders, Hunter, Petty, Howard, Defroand, Martin, Robertson, Petter
Unused: Heesh (GK)

Great Britain Hockey media release

Great Britain men & women lose to Belgium

Great Britain's Sam Ward. Great Britain's men lost 4-0 to Belgium earlier this month

Great Britain's FIH Pro League semi-final hopes were dealt a blow as the men's and women's sides lost to Belgium in Antwerp.

The men were beaten 4-2 by the world number ones, while the women lost 4-1

The men are fifth in the table and the women seventh, with five games remaining. The top four sides qualify for the semi-finals in June.

The women play the Netherlands at 18:00 BST on Saturday, and the men's sides meet at 16:00 on Sunday.

In the men's match, all four of Belgium's goals came in the first half - Cedric Charlier scored twice and Tom Boon and Alexander Hendrickx also found the net - before England responded through Phil Roper and Luke Taylor after the break.

GB remain on 13 points with four wins from nine matches.

The women, who beat Belgium 2-0 in London earlier this month, fell 3-0 behind thanks to goals from Pauline Leclef, Judith Vandermeiren and Anne-Sophie Weyns.

Sarah Robertson reduced the deficit before Barbara Nelen's superb strike for Belgium.

BBC Sport

FIH Pro League Preview: The Netherlands v GB

Fresh off the back of facing Belgium in a double header series on Thursday afternoon, there’s no respite for Great Britain’s men and women who go on to face the Netherlands away from home this weekend.

GB’s women will meet the world number one ranked side in Eindhoven at 5pm on Saturday 1 June before the men’s teams come head to head at 3pm on Sunday in the FIH Pro League with both games to be shown live on BT Sport.

There could be milestone matches this weekend for Sarah Evans, who is in line to make her 100th international appearance, whilst Michael Hoare could play his 150th international game on Sunday.

Ahead of the two games, we took a closer look at the European powerhouses:

Dutch women looking to maintain their phenomenal record

The Netherlands’ women’s team are well known for their skill and world class quality. Their 1-0 away defeat to Australia in the FIH Pro League was their first loss since falling to Great Britain in a shootout at the Rio 2016 Olympic final following a 3-3 regular time draw.

Other than that one defeat, the Dutch have looked as unstoppable and strong as ever, recording seven wins from eight matches in the FIH Pro League.

Currently sitting top of the league, the Dutch have given debuts to six young players in the FIH Pro League as they look to develop their squad whilst continuing their reign of dominance.

The Netherlands go into Saturday’s game with momentum well in their favour with six consecutive victories, their most recent a 1-0 win away to Germany with their top scorer in the league, Frederique Matla, scoring inside the first five minutes of the game.

The team has a remarkable record so far in the league with 24 goals scored and only 4 conceded, meaning they lead the way with the average goals scored per game (3) and fewest goals conceded per game (0.5).

Home form has been a real point of difference for the Dutch side who have an incredible record of 13 goals scored and just one conceded from only two games after they cruised past China (6-0) and the USA (7-1) in April.

Including Saturday’s clash, the Dutch have six home games remaining having largely been on the road for the first-half of the league, with a trip to Belgium and Great Britain their last remaining away trips.

Netherlands men targeting top four finish

Despite currently sitting third in the FIH Pro League table, it’s been a slightly inconsistent start to the competition for the men’s team who have three wins, two draws and two losses from their opening seven games.

Starting off with a hard-fought 4-3 victory over New Zealand, the Dutch then draw against Australia (5-5) and Spain (3-3) winning the resulting shootout against the Kookaburras but failing to find a way past the European side.

Unlucky to lose against Argentina (4-3) having conceded two goals in the final ten minutes, the Dutch were then defeated 1-0 by Germany in their first home game of the FIH Pro League.

Since then, there’s been something of a resurgence with back to back victories against Spain (4-0) and Germany (4-2). However, the Dutch haven’t had a game since that match in Moenchengladbach in April and will be hoping to get up to speed quickly against Great Britain on Sunday.

Though they do currently sit inside the top four it’s precariously balanced for the team who have both Argentina and Great Britain hot on their heels in the race to secure an Olympic qualifier match.

Having played four games fewer than Argentina, who have already played 11, the Dutch will need to maintain their winning record to preserve their advantageous position.

Great Britain Hockey media release

FIH Pro League Scouting Report: USWNT vs. New Zealand

In anticipation of the U.S. Women's National Team's upcoming FIH Pro League match, here is a scouting report you’ll want to review before the starting whistle.

Game Day: Saturday, June 1, 2019

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Location: Spooky Nook Sports, Lancaster, Pa.

Live Stream: Don't miss a second of the FIH Pro League action and watch the USWNT takes on New Zealand this Saturday. The FIH has signed a four-year media rights agreement with Bleacher Report Live for the territories of Canada and the United States. Bleacher Report Live is operated by Turner Sports, a division of WarnerMedia. The platform, which is Turner’s live sports streaming service, will be the primary destination for all fans to watch FIH Pro League matches.

FIH Pro League single games are available paid per view for $2.99 per match or $19.99 for the FIH Pro League 2019 Season Pass (all matches). Click here for the FIH Pro League live stream landing page.

Opponent: New Zealand

FIH World Ranking: 6

Head to Head: USA and New Zealand faced each other earlier this year in the FIH Pro League. In that matchup in Auckland, New Zealand, the Black Sticks scored twice in the second quarter and once in the third to beat the red, white and blue 3-1. Before that meeting the two sides met in an exciting match at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final in November 2017. A lot was on the line in this pool play game as the outcome affected the final pool standings and placements in the quarterfinal round. Finishing the first half tied 1-1, USA produced two goals in the third quarter to earn a 3-1 victory over the Black Sticks and finished second in the pool. The last time USA defeated the Black Sticks in a world international event, excluding test series, was at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.  

Head to Head
(since 2013)

18 Previous Matches
4 Draws





Total Goals



What You Need to Know: The Black Sticks have been outstanding performers over the last decade, regularly putting themselves in contention for a place on the podium at the events they have entered. Fourth place finishers at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games split by a fifth-place finish at the 2014 Hockey World Cup has proven some what a frustration, but their gold medal success at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games showed that they are more than capable of winning titles. Their 11th place finish at the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup London 2018 was well below expectations and may act as a catalyst for a strong showing in the FIH Pro League.

The initial squad, originally named by now Great Britain head coach Mark Hagner, is very experienced featuring nine players who have played more than 100 times for New Zealand. Stacey Michelsen, Olivia Merry and Sam Charlton all have over 200 international matches under their respective belts.

Recap of New Zealand's Previous Game:  Australia’s women avenged March’s home loss against the Black Sticks with an emphatic, clinical display to emerge a 5-1 winners against the hosts. Kaitlyn Nobbs, Emily Chalker and Savannah Fitzpatrick helped the Hockeyroos into a 3-1 lead before two Grace Stewart goals in the final quarter sealed the win.

Australia - beaten 3-1 by New Zealand in last month’s reverse fixture in Sydney - needed just two minutes to open the scoring in their first FIH Pro League match on the road, with Kaitlyn Nobbs following her penalty corner injection into the danger area and getting a decisive touch on a Jodie Kenny’s drag-flick. Despite conceding, it was the Black Sticks who posed the biggest threat for much of the opening two periods. Megan Hull had a goal ruled out by an umpire video referral due to back stick, while Ella Gunson and Kirsten Pearce also went close before Australia doubled their advantage six minutes into the second period. Emily Chalker was the scorer, turning brilliantly before unleashing a blistering strike into the bottom corner past New Zealand goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon.

The Black Sticks halved the deficit just before half time when Deanna Ritchie deflected home a pass from Stacey Michelsen, but Australia re-established the two goal advantage thanks to Savannah Fitzpatrick’s fourth goal of the FIH Pro League, beating O’Hanlon at her near post with a fierce forehand strike in the opening moments of the third period.

New Zealand created numerous opportunities in the third and fourth quarters, but their failure to convert their chances combined with Australia’s ruthlessness in front of goal proved their undoing. The Hockeyroos finished the match with a startling statistic of five goals from five shots, with Grace Stewart scoring a close range double from flowing team moves to complete a 5-1 victory on New Zealand soil.

New Zealand's Roster: Click Here

USFHA media release

Vantage Black Sticks Women return to action against the USA

Vantage Black Sticks Women vs United States Women. Sunday 2ndJune at 11:00am. Coverage is on Spark Sport

It’s been just over month since the last time that these sides met, this weekend seed the return match played from Spooky Nook, Lancaster. In April in front of a packed Auckland crowd the Vantage Black Sticks Women came away 3-1 victors in the first match.

Playing with renewed confidence on their home field of Spooky Nook the USA Women will be looking to build on their most comprehensive victory of the FIH Pro League so far when they outplayed China 3-1.

Since 2013 these two sides have played 17 very evenly contested matches which has seen New Zealand with eight wins, to the USA’s five. Throughout that time period the kiwis have scored 31 goals to the USA teams 30. This match sets up to be one that is going to be an incredibly close match between two evenly matched sides.

Spooky Nook will be the first time that Graham Shaw will take the reins of the Black Sticks Women since he took on the coaching duties at the beginning of May. Shaw will be looking to stamp his mark on the team and put out a complete performance against a difficult side.

Key Matchup

Lauren Moyer vs Sam Charlton, these two incredibly strong midfielders will be looking to play a role in feeding their strikers and getting their teams onto the front foot. Moyer has managed to amass 60 caps for the USA over the past three years and is the team’s leading goal scorer in the FIH Pro League with three goals. Contrasting that is Sam Charlton who has amassed a whopping 237 caps for the Black Sticks Women and is considered one of the premier midfielders in world hockey. 

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Hockeyroos’ Finals Push Begins In China On Sunday

Ben Somerford

The Hockeyroos’ run of five games in 21 days commences on Sunday (6pm AEST) when they face world number 10 China in Changzhou in the FIH Pro League.

Australia flew to China on Tuesday and will journey to Europe for four more matches following Sunday’s clash which could set the Hockeyroos up for a top four berth.

The Hockeyroos currently sit third on the women’s FIH Pro League standings with 21 points from 11 matches and a points percentage of 63.6.

Fourth-placed Belgium and fifth-placed Germany are breathing down their necks for finals spots, meaning Sunday’s clash against the Chinese, who are eighth on the standings and out of finals calculations, takes on extra importance.

Australia defeated China 4-3 in a seesawing clash in Hobart earlier in the FIH Pro League while both sides drew 0-0 in their last meeting in Changzhou at last year’s Champions Trophy.

Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin said: “The Chinese are always a tough opponent and we’re expecting a good test in Changzhou.

“China may be eighth in the standings but they’ve been very tough to beat in home conditions during the FIH Pro League and we experienced that at last year’s Champions Trophy.”

Last year’s three-week stay in China for the Champions Trophy will also hold the Hockeyroos in good stead, before they move on to Europe for matches against Great Britain, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands in quick succession, plus potentially two finals.

“The matches come a little bit quicker than what we had in the Pacific leg but we’ll still get some time to prepare for each match. That’ll be interesting,” Gaudoin said.

Jodie Kenny, Georgina Morgan and Mariah Williams will not be part of the side to face China from the 20-member team named on Tuesday.

Belgium and Great Britain were also due to meet in Antwerp on Thursday 30 May, which will help shape the finals calculations.

There will be numerous other women’s FIH Pro League fixtures over the weekend, ensuring the Hockeyroos’ finals scenario will become clearer.

Sunday’s match will be live on www.kayosports.com.au and delayed on FOX SPORTS from 8am (AEST) Monday. There will be live updates on the @Hockeyroos Twitter page through the game.

FIH Pro League matches:
China v Hockeyroos – Sunday 2 June 6pm AEST
Great Britain v Hockeyroos – Monday 10 June 1am AEST
Germany v Hockeyroos – Sunday 16 June 8pm AEST
Belgium v Hockeyroos – Thursday 20 June 2:30am AEST
Netherlands v Hockeyroos – Sunday 23 June 11pm AEST
Semi-Finals – Thursday 27 June
Finals – Saturday 29 June

Hockeyroos 20-member team:
Athlete (Hometown, State)
Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW)
Edwina Bone (Orange, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Lily Brazel (Sydney, NSW) *Plays for VIC
Emily Chalker (Crookwell, NSW)
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Kalindi Commerford (Ulladulla, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Savannah Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Rebecca Greiner (Bundaberg, QLD)
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD)
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC)
Ambrosia Malone (Burleigh, QLD)
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Penny Squibb (Tambellup, WA)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Sophie Taylor (Melbourne, VIC)
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW)

Hockey Australia media release

2019 3 Nations Tournament ITA v MAS v ESP - Day 5
Rome (ITA)

26 May 2019    ESP v MAS (RR)     5 - 1
27 May 2019    ESP v ITA (RR)     2 - 1
28 May 2019     MAS v ITA (RR)     1 - 1
29 May 2019     MAS v ESP (RR)     2 - 4
30 May 2019    ITA v ESP (RR)     4 - 3
31 May 2019 15:30 (GMT +2)     ITA v MAS (RR)

Pool standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Spain 4 3 0 1 14 8 6 9
2 Italy 3 1 1 1 6 6 0 4
3 Malaysia 3 0 1 2 4 10 -6 1

FIH Match Centre

Positives in defeat

By Jugjet Singh

Women’s coach K. Dharmaraj (in grey jacket) addresses the team before their match against Spain in Rome yesterday.

THE Malaysian women’s hockey team narrowed the gap on World No 7 Spain when they lost only 4-2 in a Tri-Nation match in Rome yesterday.

In an earlier encounter a few days back, Spain had hammered Malaysia 5-1.

And the good news is that 18-year-old defender Nur Maizatulhanim Syafi scored both the goals in the 54th and 59th minutes, after Spain had taken a 4-0 lead.

In the 5-1 defeat to Spain as well as the 1-1 draw with Italy, another 18-year-old, Nur Amirah Zulkifli, delivered on both occasions.

“It is nice to see that my young brigade is starting to score against the top teams in the world,” said coach K. Dharmaraj.

“Spain are in a different league compared to Malaysia and Italy, so the 4-2 defeat will be taken by us positively to progress further.

“We have another match against Italy, and hopefully, it will end with our first win,” he added.

Malaysia are preparing for the Series Finals in Banbridge, Northern Ireland on June 8-16.

In the pre-Olympic Qualifier, Malaysia (World No 22) are in Group A with Ireland (8th), the Czech Republic (19th) and Singapore (35th).

In Group B are South Korea (World No 11), Scotland (18th), Ukraine (26th) and France (30th).

Malaysia, due to their low world ranking, must end the tournament as finalists if they want to play in the final round of the Olympic Qualifier in November.

“This is another positive outcome and I hope it will be carried forward to the Series Finals,” said Dharmaraj.

“And even though Spain had a four-goal lead, they never slowed down their tempo and tried to score more.

“It is good to see my girls hit back with two goals in the final quarter.”

After a day’s rest, Malaysia will play Italy and then move to Scotland for more friendlies.

New Straits Times

2019 Test matches RSA v NAM (Men) - Final Test
Randburg (RSA)

27 May 2019     RSA v NAM     4 - 0
28 May 2019     RSA v NAM     5 - 0
30 May 2019    RSA v NAM     5 - 0

FIH Match Centre

2019 Test matches series RSA v BOT v ZIM - Day 3
Durban (RSA)

Fixtures (GMT +2)

28 May 2019     RSA v ZIM     7 - 0 (3 - 0)
29 May 2019     ZIM v BOT     17 - 0 (7 - 0)
29 May 2019     RSA v ZIM     14 - 1 (5 - 1)
30 May 2019     RSA v BOT     20 - 0 (9 - 0)
30 May 2019     RSA v ZIM     6 - 3 (3 - 2)
31 May 2019    RSA v BOT     19 - 0 (10 - 0)
31 May 2019 18:00     RSA v ZIM
1 Jun 2019 10:00     ZIM v BOT
1 Jun 2019 17:00     RSA v ZIM

FIH Match Centre

SPAR South Africa sublime in second Zimbabwe test

The SPAR Indoor Series moved to Danville Girls School in Durban North for the remainder of the series. And after an early knock around with KZN Invitational, all eyes turned to the second test between SPAR South Africa and Zimbabwe. The eyes were numerous as the match was being live streamed by Sports 24 Seven on their Facebook Page.

The South Africans had been tested in their series in Zimbabwe last year in August and were expecting another stern examination from their neighbours in front of the Danville crowd. The Zimbabweans themselves were buoyed after getting their first ever indoor hockey test win against Botswana in their first ever indoor test match. Stephanie Wilde and Alexi Terblanche both got hat-tricks for the Zimbabweans.

Lennie Botha’s side were in the mood and dominated the early engagments and deservingly went into a 5-0 lead with minutes of the break. Cindy Hack, Robyn Johnson, Celia Evans and a brace from Kara-Lee Botes proving the difference. There was a moment of cheer for Zimbabwe just before the break as Roxanne Viviers pulled one back from a penalty corner to take it to the break.

Zimbabwe emerged from the interval with a renewed determination and surged forward putting South Africa under incredible pressure. As the momentum continued to grow there was almost a sense that the game was swinging into Zimbabwe’s favour, Botha showed the perfect reading of the game in calling the timeout. A quick reshuffle and South Africa had regained the ascendancy brilliantly as Chris Fourie’s side failed to respond.

South Africa then ran away with Tegan Fourie netting four and romped to a 14-1 win, their biggest ever win over Zimbabwe. Celia Evans, Kara Botes and Jess O’Connor all got on the scoresheet as well as Alex Kavanagh, the Sports 24 Seven player of the match.

SPAR South Africa will play Botswana and Zimbabwe tomorrow as the action heats up in Durban

SA Hockey Association media release

All thoughts turn to Japan

Sarah Juggins


The three PAHF women’s teams of Chile, Uruguay and Mexico will be getting an early taste of what life could be like if they were to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The three teams will be competing in the FIH Series Finals in Hiroshima, Japan, knowing that a top-two finish will lead to a place in the Olympic qualifying events later in the year.

A fourth PAHF team, Canada, will be contesting the equivalent event in Valencia, Spain, hoping to emulate the Canada men’s team who finished top of the podium in Malaysia at the first of three men’s FIH Series Finals events.

In Hiroshima, Chile (World Ranking:16) and Mexico (WR:29) will open the proceedings with a Pool B clash, while Uruguay (WR:24) will be in the extremely tough Pool A, where ninth ranked India are their first opponents.

All four teams have been undergoing extensive preparations in readiness for the Series Finals, with test matches and training blocks that will stand them in the best position to compete for those all-important top two positions. We caught up with members of two of the teams that are hoping their journey to the Olympics will continue after the FIH Series Finals draw to a close.

Denise Krimerman has long been an integral part of the Chile national women’s squad. She tells us about the preparations that the team, also known as the Diablos, have  been through in the lead-up to the FIH Series Finals.

“We had an international level preparation. We started in January and February, with test series against USA (WR:12), Belgium (WR:13) and Ireland (WR:8). Then we had some very high intensity weeks, getting ready for matches against Korea (WR:11) and Japan (WR:14) that took place in April. That has been great preparation as we have been able to face all kinds of games, and played teams with different cultures, all the time fine-tuning the details for the Series Finals.”

Krimerman, who has more than 140 international caps to her name, says the experience of playing teams such as Ireland, who won silver at the 2018 women’s World Cup and the Asian countries Korea and Japan, who have a long tradition of World Cup and Olympic hockey, has proven invaluable in improving and developing their game.

It should also be noted that in matches against Korea and Japan, Chile were far from outplayed. Against Korea they drew two and lost two, while against Japan, the team lost two and won one match. Aside from the experience of playing Asian teams, with their very different playing style, the test matches also gave the Chile team a chance to learn how to cope with the demands of long travel and playing in different climates. They will arrive in Hiroshima 10 days ahead of the event, in order for the players to acclimatise completely.

Camila Caram is captain of the Chile national squad and one of the team’s most capped players with 220 caps. Like Krimerman, she is certain that the high intensity preparations are just what is needed to achieve success in Hiroshima.

“Everything is going well. We have had a couple of injuries within the squad lately, which has been a little bit of a shock, but still, we have to continue and stay focused.”

“We know we will face tough teams in Hiroshima, but we also know they are not invincible. We have studied our opposition thoroughly, we know their weak points and we will try to exploit those.

“And we know we have to play a very good game, efficient in the attack and very secure in defence. We must go into each game being very confident of the strong points in our own game – our penalty corners, for example, are a very strong part of our game.”

“They will each be different types of games,” adds Krimerman. “Each team does something that makes it different, the important thing is to know the things they specialise at within their system. Then we learn how to break down those structures and make them feel uncomfortable. They will be tremendous matches. The team who makes the least mistakes and the one who knows how to break the other's structure, will be the winner.”

For Uruguay, the FIH Series Finals offers a chance to make up valuable ranking points and overturn recent losses at the hands of their near neighbours Chile. The two teams, until recently, were close in the rankings but Chile have drawn ahead thanks to a strong performance in the Series Open. In players such as Manuela Vilar and Milagros Algorta, they have two wonderful goal scorers, Vilar is a skilful forward, while Agorta is a penalty corner specialist.

Uruguay are, however, a team that is rebuilding, and with ten of their squad on less than 20 caps – including three debutants – Pilar Oliveros and Magdalena Gomez and goalkeeper Victoria Bate – there is a level of inexperience, particularly around ‘must-win’ international competition, where resilience in the latter stages of the tournament are vital. The South American team will be looking to players such as Janine Stanley, Anastasia Olave and captain Agustina Nieto to provide a lead in the Series Final campaign.

Central America’s representative is Mexico, a team that has been developing quickly in the past few years. Mexico played well in the Series Open event, finishing second to Canada and racking up 48 goals in four matches. With those goals coming against lower-ranked teams, it will be interesting to see if Head Coach Arely Castellanos has developed a defensive strategy to match their attacking power. Mexico will field a relatively experienced side, with captain Michel Navarro and goalkeeper Jesus Castillo integral to Mexico’s performance at the Series Finals.

Navarro, in particular, will be important to her side’s adaptation to an international stage. She has played in Germany and Belgium and also has played in four Central American and Caribbean Games, plus two Pan American Games. It is this wealth of experience that she will bring to her team, although as she pointed out in an interview with the sports website Deporte.digital.mx: “If we want to advance, we must all put in total concentration, apply ourselves and not make expensive mistakes.”

Another team that has been undergoing intensive preparations for the challenge of the FIH Series Finals is Canada. The players have been playing in the highly competitive Belgium domestic league since September and have been able to meet for centralised training in Belgium, when not playing club hockey.

It is an experience that Canadian striker Hannah Haughn sees as invaluable: “We had access to high-quality facilities and specialist trainers each week,” she is quoted on the Field Hockey Canada website. “Furthermore, we have been able to fully immerse ourselves in the hockey ‘culture’ and schedule games against other neighbouring countries on short notice with little cost.”

The situation may seem unusual but it is one with which Head Coach Giles Bonnet is both happy and feels necessary.

“Our preparation in Belgium is not really different to other teams who train a few days a week together. I think that this is fairly common place and the difference being for us is that it’s not full time as we need to manage this with the clubs.

“The training and living conditions we have in Belgium are not for the fainthearted. The travel, the hours the players invest on the field are mentally and physically fatiguing. We trust that this will have added to the resilience the team has already had in their value system.

“Playing in the Belgium competition with matches week in and week out will also add to this robustness and provide invaluable experience for each player. As foreigners, the Canadian players are expected to deliver week in and week out, which has a cyclical impact on the players mentality.”

Bonnet adds that this is the best option for a squad that isn’t in a position to have a full-time centralised program in Canada.

“We actually feel we are barely doing enough to not fall behind the other countries who have either full time programs or the funding to come together on a fairly regular basis.”

“It is hard to do what we are doing but, without adequate funding, this is our only option and the time and effort the players put in to be together is commendable and has bonded the group, connecting them in a common cause.”

When it comes to achieving a top-two finish in Valencia, Bonnet says it will come down to small details, in particular, “The set pieces and the players’ resilience to withstand the pressure moments.”

This is the edge that Bonnet hopes his team will have gained through their experiences in the Belgium league. Certainly their results in test matches point to a team heading towards optimal form – with a test series win over Scotland (WR:18) and a 6-0 win over France (WR:30).

The FIH Series Finals in Hiroshima take place from 15-23 June. Uruguay are in Pool A, along wth India, Poland and Fiji, Chile and Mexico are in Pool B, competing against Japan and Russia.

Canada face Spain, Belarus and Namibia in Pool A in Valencia, while Italy, South Africa, Wales and Thailand are the four teams that comprise Pool B.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Consistency is key, need to be wary of all opponents

“I was happy with most of the things that was happening in the first three games. The first game against the Australian team, I thought we played well but we did come under fire in the next game”

Graham Reid

In this November 25, 2018 file photo, provided by Hockey India, Graham Reid is seen. Hockey India on April 08, 2019 announced Reid as new Chief Coach of Indian Men's Hockey Team.(PTI)

This is going to be my first big assignment as the chief coach for India and I am really excited about it. We recently played matches in Australia which gave me a good understanding of the team. The tour was intense since the opposition got progressively tougher as we began with Western Australia Thundersticks (India won 2-0) followed by two matches against Australia ‘A’ (India won 3-0, drew 1-1) and then eventually played two games against the Australian national team (lost 0-4 and 2-5).

I was happy with most of the things that was happening in the first three games. The first game against the Australian team, I thought we played well but we did come under fire in the next game.

The tour was very valuable for us as it’s given us a sharp focus on the things we need to improve and in the next ten days, we will be spending a lot of time on our circle entries, our finishing, tight marking and tackling. We want to see improvements in these areas before we play our first match vs Russia in the FIH Men’s Series Finals in Bhubaneswar (June 6).

This tournament is an important step in the Olympic Qualification process and we have selected a well-balanced team including Ramandeep Singh, who is returning from injury. While we were away in Australia, he worked very hard towards his comeback and we are happy with the progress he has made. Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas, who were rested for Australia, return to bolster our defence and add power to our penalty corner along with Harmanpreet Singh. We have Sumit and Simranjeet returning to add some flexibility and strike power.

We have been talking a lot with captain Manpreet Singh about his leadership and he is starting to mature. It’s a nice stage for him as a personal experience, and he not only plays an important role in the midfield, but also for our team. Other players too are moving towards leadership, having that experience in the team. For example, someone like Harmanpreet Singh, who may not have too many international matches under his sleeves, but he has really stepped up for the team. He is surrounded by some good players like Kumar and Rohidas who will be helping him share the load as a dragflicker. Similarly, we have Surender Kumar, who was vice-captain in Australia and he has also matured with his performance as a defender.

Each quarter, every half, every game

My experience in these tournaments where there are lower ranked teams in the fray is that we can never underestimate any team. For example, we don’t know much about a team like Russia who we play in our first game. We played against Poland at the recent Sultan Azlan Shah Cup; these teams start the tournament averagely but as they get together and play more, they play better and better. We have seen that there were some upsets at the FIH Men’s Series Finals in Malaysia—we also don’t have referrals in this tournament so in that sense, it is important for us to give our absolute best in each quarter, each half and every game.

Consistency in tournaments is imperative and we have to respect every opposition, prepare for every match like it’s the final. I believe that any team on any day can beat another team. The most important thing for us to do is to play our best in every match.

When I was the Australia coach, we would play a lot against teams like Fiji and I would always tell the team to respect the opposition. You don’t go out there to not play your best. That’s the problem when you play against these teams, your confidence levels can go through the roof and you can become complacent. That’s the thing we surely don’t want to do.

(The author is the chief coach of the Indian men’s hockey team)

Hindustan Times

Hockey Series Finals: Hockey India to donate proceeds from tickets sales to Odisha government

The money collected from the sale of match tickets will be donated to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund Odisha, a statement from HI said.

A total of 150 volunteers including liaison officers, ball patrols, media coordinators, competitions assistants have signed up to help in the conduct of a successful FIH Men’s Series Finals to be held from June 6 to 15.   -  Twitter/TheHockeyIndia

Hockey India Thursday said it will donate all the profits from sale of match tickets of the upcoming FIH Men’s Series Finals to the Odisha government in a bid to help the state recover from the damage caused by Cylcone Fani.

The money collected from the sale of match tickets will be donated to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund Odisha, a statement from HI said.

“We have been immensely saddened to see the destruction and loss caused by Cyclone Fani, and to reciprocate the love and support showed by Odisha to the sport of hockey, we are going to give all the proceeds from the match ticket sales to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Odisha,” HI President, Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said.

“Our aim is to help in rebuilding the state of Odisha through whatever contributions that we can make.”

Severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ battered Odisha earlier this month, affecting approximately 1.5 crore people in 159 blocks of 14 districts and caused massive damage and destruction across the state.

Meanwhile, 150 volunteers including liaison officers, ball patrols, media coordinators, competitions assistants, etc have signed up to help in the conduct of a successful FIH Men’s Series Finals to be held here from June 6 to 15.

Thanking the volunteers from Odisha for their continued contribution in conducting world-class hockey events here, HI President, Mushtaque Ahmad, said, “Hockey India is extremely grateful to the people of Odisha for supporting the sport of hockey in such a difficult moment as well.

“It is fantastic to see the response we have received from the local people, and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Odisha State Government for doing exceptional and prompt work in readying the Kalinga Hockey Stadium for the upcoming FIH Men’s Series Finals.”

Besides India, Poland, Russia, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Asian Games gold medallist Japan, United States and Mexico are the other participating nations in the event.


Women’s International Team Announced for FIH Series Final

Hockey Ireland Announce Women’s Senior International Team for FIH World Series in June.

The Irish Women’s Hockey squad was unveiled early this morning for the upcoming FIH World Series in Banbridge, which gets underway on June 8th. This tournament is the first stage in the Olympic qualification process for the Irish women, with the top two teams from each FIH Series Finals securing a place in qualification events for Tokyo 2020, which will be held later this year. It is also the first time the public will be able to see them play at home since their World Cup silver medal last summer.

The Green Army will take on Czech Republic, Malaysia and Singapore in Pool A, with Korea, Scotland, Ukraine and France in Pool B. The squad selection is as follows:

1 Bethany Barr
2 Emma Buckley (GK)
3 Lizzie Colvin
4 Nicci Daly
5 Deirdre Duke
6 Megan Frazer
7 Sarah Hawkshaw
8 Hannah Matthews
9 Shirley McCay
10 Ayeisha McFerran (GK)
11 Ali Meeke
12 Katie Mullan
13 Anna O'Flanagan
14 Gillian Pinder
15 Elena Tice
16 Roisin Upton
17 Chloe Watkins
18 Zoe Wilson


Chloe Brown
Nicola Evans

Gareth Grundie, who has been interim Head Coach in recent weeks, will continue in the Head Coach position until the culmination of the series finals in Banbridge with Sean Dancer in attendance, as well as Arlene Boyles and David Passmore who complete the coaching team. Speaking on the squad selection, Gareth Grundie said “I am happy to announce the squad which will compete in this tournament as the first stage in the Olympic qualifying process. Selection has been really difficult which means there has been healthy competition for places throughout the recent training block, which is great to see. We are looking forward to and excited to see what the next couple of weeks bring.”

Commenting on the selection, Anna O’Flanagan, one of Ireland’s most prolific goal scorers, said “this is definitely the most competitive irish squad I’ve ever been part of. We’re representing a much wider group and we’re very fortunate we’re the ones selected to do this. We want to go out and do ourselves, the wider squad and the country proud.”

2018 World Cup Captain Katie Mullan told us “As we take our first step towards Olympic qualification the 18 players selected for this FIH Series Final represent the 43 Green Army squad members who started this journey. We’re really excited for this home tournament and hope to play in front of a large Irish crowd. The World Cup was a starting point for us, and we’re keen to continue on this journey and stay in the top 10 in the world. This June tournament is an opportunity to show where we are. It’s a busy summer ahead and we’re eager to take it on.”

To find further information on the FIH Series Final tournament in Banbridge this June, or purchase tickets, please see: www.hockey.ie/buy-tickets/ 

Irish Hockey Association media release

Three changes in Ireland women's squad for FIH Series in Banbridge

Railway Union's Sarah Hawkshaw has been brought into the squad for the Banbridge tournament

Emma Buckley, Bethany Barr and Sarah Hawkshaw have come into the Ireland women's squad for the the FIH Hockey Series in Banbridge next month.

Barr is from Lurgan and will make her tournament debut for Ireland in the 8-16 June tournament.

Grace O'Flanagan and Yvonne O'Byrne drop out along with Nikki Evans, who is named as a reserve with Chloe Brown.

"We're excited for this tournament and hope to play in front of a large Irish crowd," said captain Katie Mullan.

Ireland's last tournament game was the World Cup final in London last August and they have had two training camps in 2019 in Chile and Spain.

The Green Army will take on Czech Republic, Malaysia and Singapore in Pool A with Korea, Scotland, Ukraine and France in Pool B.

Irish captain Mullan confident for Banbridge tournament

It is the first stage in the Olympic qualification process for the Irish women, with the top two teams from each FIH Series Finals securing a place in qualification events for Tokyo 2020, which will be held later this year.

"As we take our first step towards Olympic qualification the 18 players selected for this FIH Series Final represent the 43 Green Army squad members who started this journey," added Mullan.

"The World Cup was a starting point for us, and we're keen to continue on this journey and stay in the top 10 in the world.

"This June tournament is an opportunity to show where we are. It's a busy summer ahead and we're eager to take it on."

Ireland squad: Bethany Barr, Emma Buckley (GK), Lizzie Colvin, Nicci Daly, Deirdre Duke, Megan Frazer, Sarah Hawkshaw, Shirley McCay, Ayeisha McFerran (GK), Ali Meeke, Katie Mullan, Anna O'Flanagan, Gillian Pinder, Elena Tice, Roisin Upton, Chloe Watkins, Zoe Wilson.

Reserves: Chloe Brown, Nicola Evans

BBC Sport

O’Flanagan says Grundie’s calming effect a perfect match for Green Army

Anna O’Flanagan at the launch of Park Developments bursaries package. Pic: Inpho

Anna O’Flanagan says Gareth Grundie’s calm, composed demeanour will complement the Green Army’s exuberant outlook for the FIH Series Finals in Banbridge next week.

Sean Dancer has been installed as the new coach for the women’s national team but only arrived in Ireland a couple of weeks ago to take on the role vacated by Graham Shaw.

The Australian will formally take over after the event with Grundie taking on the role for this tournament, offering a measure of continuity from the World Cup coaching team.

And the striker says it will offer as smooth a transition as possible ahead of a big year which features the European Championships in August and a direct Olympic qualifier in October, all going well in Banbridge.

“He ‘s an exceptional coach, reads the game really well, does a lot of homework and is very organised and plans everything exceptionally,” O’Flanagan said of Grundie.

He previously coached with Ards for many years, guiding their path to the upper echelons of the game in Ulster as well as masterminding a string of National Indoor Trophy successes.

He was brought on board with the Irish Under-21s by Dave Passmore and, in 2018, Shaw added Grundie to the coaching ticket ahead of the World Cup.

“He’s quiet and calm and you know exactly what he wants from you,” O’Flanagan continued. “He’s really brought that steadiness to the team and that ability to be calm and composed.

“I think he really complements us because we do have quite an outgoing group of girls. Sometimes we need to be brought back down to earth! It’s perfect.

“When Gareth speaks we all listen and really respect him as a coach. He allows us to have our fun when we need. He would have taken a lot of our sessions with Graham as head coach and also done a lot of analysis and presented to us in meetings so for us it’s not a massive change in what was happening behind the scenes anyway. That’s really positive and it’s great to have that continuity with someone we regard so highly.”

For O’Flanagan, she has just completed a productive second season in the Netherlands, this time with Pinoke who achieved the highes finish for a promoted side to the Hoofdklasse – eighth – in ten years, scoring her share of goals along the way.

There, she has been combining hockey with two to three days a week work with Deloitte. She is not exactly sure where next season will take her, especially in light of the Park Developments announcement, but she did express her gratitude to Pinoke for the opportunity and would relish the chance of lining out again for the Amstelveen-based club.

“It is very difficult to make a decision about the future when I hadn’t met the head coach – the next few weeks is just about focusing on this tournament and after that sitting down with Sean and see what he wants from me.

“But, yeah, Pinoke is my club in Holland and I am extremely grateful for everything they have given me and if I play in Holland, that is where I want to play.”

Indeed, the quality of hockey over in the Netherlands did not allow her much time to rest on the laurels of the World Cup “craziness”.

“It was a bit tough at first to go back over so soon, with so much excitement here still but as I look back I’m very grateful for it because it got me back into the swing of things very quickly. When you go back to Holland and you’ve come second in a World Cup, they don’t really care!”

While the Dutch may not care, the newly-aware Irish public will certainly be looking forward to the Series Finals with an expectation. After many years of being the outsiders, the underdrogs looking to cause a shock, Ireland go into this competition as the top-ranked side in a group that they should top.

O’Flanagan in action last summer. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Managing that change of mindset will be the challenge for O’Flanagan and her cohorts.

“We’re in a different situation now, maybe there’s a bit more of a target on our backs than previously and probably more pressure as well. That’s something we need to deal with.

“It’s definitely the first time we’ve had to deal with that expectation but it’s one of those things we need to stay focussed on our job; on how we can impose ourselves on the game and on tournaments.

We need to just focus on our own performance, how we start matches, how we bring tempo to games, on how we can bring our style of hockey that we want to play.

“Focusing on those things should remove the extra pressure that we don’t need to think about. If we can’t focus on ourselves and get caught up in everything else, we won’t do those things we need to do to win, so that’s what our goal is.”

The Hook

Canada, undefeated in Scotland, prepares for next step in Olympic qualification

Canada returns home for training camp after beating Scotland five times

Feature Photo: Emma Van Mol

Canada’s Women’s National Team is back on home soil for the first time since last summer. They arrive home after completing a five-game sweep of Scotland last week. They will take part in a week-long training camp in Victoria, BC from June 1-8 on the University of Victoria campus. The team is in its final preparation stage for the 2019 Hockey Series Final starting in Valencia, Spain on June 19.

According to veteran defender, Shanlee Johnston, the series against Scotland added to their confidence that the team is on the right track and can get results against teams ranked above them. It’s another piece of evidence that their dedicated centralized training over the last year in Belgium is paying off.

“We have been working consistently for the last nine months on increasing our conversion rates in the circle and I think we really made strides in that area in Scotland,” Johnston said. “We scored a lot of goals that we weren’t scoring last year at the commonwealth games.”

Last year in April, the team tied Scotland in pool play at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Last week Canada won all five matches against Scotland, currently ranked 18th in the world. Canada outscored Scotland 20-4 over five games with Canada’s Brie Stairs leading the way with four goals during the series. The goal keeper combination of Kaitlyn Williams, Rowan Harris and Lauren Logush backstopped Canada, only allowing four goals over five matches. Canada added a 6-0 thumping of France during a final tune-up match in Belgium before heading home.

    Scotland Game Results

    May 15: Canada 4 – 1 Scotland
    May 16: Canada 3 – 0 Scotland
    May 18: Canada 4 – 1 Scotland
    May 19: Canada 7 – 1 Scotland
    May 21: Canada 2 – 1 Scotland

At the Hockey Series Finals in June, Canada will face Spain, Namibia and Belarus in their pool-play games before crossing over against the likes of South Africa, Italy and Wales. Despite being ranked 21st in the world, Canada has notched wins over nine teams ranked ahead of them since the start of 2018. They are on an upward trend and peaking at the right time.

Johnston said they have a plan, they are on track and they are going to stick to that. “We have been relentless for the past two years doing everything we can to better ourselves and our team and that doesn’t stop before a tournament,” she said. “We are confident in our preparation and we will continue to prepare with tuning up our set plays, doing video research on other teams, while maintaining strength and fitness and staying technically sharp.”

The team starts their week-long training camp this weekend in Victoria, BC. Look for a roster announcement and Hockey Series Finals tournament preview next week on the FHC Website.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Junior Green Army ready for key Four Nations preparation matches

Ellen Curran in action for the Irish Under-21s last year. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Dave Passmore’s Junior Green Army will play a key tournament in their Junior EuroHockey Championship preparations at the Cantor Fitzgerald Four Nations at Serpentine Avenue.

With some mixing and matching in midweek, the side beat Canada 3-0 in their opening practice match with Jessica McMaster scoring twice and Michelle Carey also on the mark.

Both are among an experienced spine with six of the 2017 vintage still in situ along with Erin Getty, Hannah McLoughlin, Abbie Russell and Ellen Curran.

Game two against the Canadians ended 1-1 with Siofra Murdock scoring the only goal. She was playing in her first game for Ireland having previously represented USA at underage level – her father is a lifelong Monkstown club member before relocating to the states.

The side starts their campaign in the tournament-proper on Friday against Scotland at 6.30pm in Pembroke before meeting India – who lost to the Irish senior side 4-1 in midweek – and then conclude the group phase on Monday against Canada. Classification matches take place on Tuesday.

For that panel, Passmore will be without the services of the injured Sarah Torrans as well as Leaving Cert students Caoimhe Perdue, Amy Elliott and Caitlin Sherin.

Emma Buckley looks set to be in the senior panel so Loreto’s Liz Murphy and UCC’s Hannah Humphries will take on the goalkeeping duties. The side will be co-captained by Erin Getty (Queens) and Cork Harlequins’ Michelle Barry.

It is part of the build-up to July’s Junior EuroHockey Championships which doubles as a Junior World Cup qualifier.

In that context, Passmore said it was great for his side to get quality international games under their belt at this stage in their programme: “It is an enormous boost for the team to have this support from Cantor Fitzgerald for the tournament along with shirts sponsors Eugene F Collins.

“Competitive matches tell us so much about players and how they react to given situations, and for us to be able to play this event in Dublin is largely thanks to both these sponsors and our fantastic parents’ group who have taken on much of the event organisation.”

Ireland Under-21 squad for Cantor Fitzgerald Four Nations, May 31 to June 4): J McMaster (Queen’s Univerisity), M Carey (UCD), E Getty (Queen’s University), H McLoughlin (UCD), A Russell (UCD), E Curran (UCD), L Murphy (Loreto), J Kilpatrick (Loughborough), S O’Brien (Loreto), L Foley (Catholic Institute), E Reid (Banbridge), G McLoughlin (Loreto), C Hamill (Loreto), Y Pratt (Muckross), M Jennings (Loreto), E Markey (Trinity), H Humphries (UCC), M Barry (Cork Harlequins), A Doyle (Ards)

Cantor Fitzgerald Four Nations Tournament Matches (Pembroke Wanderers HC)
Friday, May 31: India v Canada, 4.30pm; Ireland v Scotland, 6.30pm
Saturday, June 1: Scotland v Canada, 4.30pm; Ireland v India, 6.30pm
Monday, June 3: India v Scotland, 1.30pm; Ireland v Canada, 3.30pm
Tuesday, June 4: 3rd v 4th Play-off, 1.30pm; Final, 3.45pm

The Hook

India's junior team beats Canada

India’s junior women’s team defeated Canada 2-0 in its final warm-up game prior to the Cantor Fitzgerald U21 International four-Nations tournament.

Sharmila Devi and Mariana Kujur scored the goals for India.   -  Getty Images

India’s junior women’s team defeated Canada 2-0 in its final warm-up game prior to the Cantor Fitzgerald U21 International four-Nations tournament.

Sharmila Devi and Mariana Kujur scored the goals for India.

Sharmila provided lead through a counter attack in the third quarter after India custodian Bichu Devi pulled off some good saves.

Kujur then rounded off the tally in the final quarter by converting a drag-flick.


Telkom lead charge in Mombasa tourney


Lakers' Linah Baraza (right) vies for the ball with Telkom forward Maureen Okumu during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match at Simba Club, Kisumu on May 19, 2019. The teams drew 2-2. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Africa ladies hockey champions, Telkom begin their campaign in the two-day national hockey 5s tournament jointly hosted by Mombasa County Hockey Association (MCHA) and Mombasa Sports Club (MSC) Saturday at 10:40am with a game against Kenya Coast Polytechnic.

According to fixtures released by MCHA president, Oliver Mascarenhas, Telkom will then face national secondary schools runner-up Coast’s St John’s Girls Kaloleni two hours later. Both matches will be played at the MSC grounds.

The six women’s teams featuring in the tournament are Telkom, Kenya Coast Poly, St John’s Girls Kaloleni, MSC, MSC Squids and Rovers.

In the men’s category, former national champions Kenya Police who are in Pool B start their campaign against St Charles Lwanga Secondary at 12:20pm before taking on Mvita Daikyo at 2:40pm.

Teams in the men’s Pool B are Kenya Police, Kenya Coast Poly, St Charles Lwanga, Mvita Daikyo and Mtongwe Flickers.

Pool A includes Blue Ocean Chiefs, Mombasa West, MSC, Mvita Marine and Karate Axiom.

Daily Nation

Pahang lose three key players for MJHL but all’s not lost

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Pahang Hockey Academy were handed an early blow when they lost three key players for the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL).

But coach Mohd Sufian Mohamad is unperturbed as he believes that the other players can take them to their third consecutive final.

The trio - goalkeeper Muhammad Hamiz Mohd Ahir, skipper and penalty corner drag flicker Muhamad Hafiz Zauri and forward Muhammad Noor Firdaus Rosdi - were members of the Malaysian team that won their first-ever gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last October.

Sufian said Hamiz and Hafiz are currently pursuing pre-university courses at the Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) in Bandar Penawar, Johor.

“The duo will turn out for league and overall champions SSTMI. Noor Firdaus is in the national team training squad and I’m not sure if he will be released to play,” said Sufian, who has been coaching the Pahang team since 2013.

Sufian said although they would be weakened without their services, he added that all is not lost as they have retained nine players who helped them finish third in the league and took them to the final before losing to SSTMI 4-0 last year.

“We have a balanced team of experienced players and talented youngsters, and I’m confident they will deliver,” said the former international.

The nine players are Muhamad Nazrey Din, Muhamad Haqif Hamdan, Muhamad Syawal Abd Razak, Fikri Mohamad, Wan Muhammad Najmi Ahmad Dzaib, Muhamad Syamin Naim Abdul Hamid, Shafiq Ikhmal Daniel Suzaini, Muhamad Azim Mohd Ahir and Muhamad Haiqal Riduan Osman.

Sufian said his boys, who started training early this year, are ready to mount their challenge.

“Our target is to finish in the top three in the league and reach our third straight final since 2017.

“Our main threats will come from SSTMI and Anderson of Ipoh, who finished runners-up last year.”

A total of 14 teams will feature in the Under-19 tournament which starts from June 21.

The Star of Malaysia

St Rose appointed to FIH Officials Committee

by Nigel Simon

T&T's Roger St Rose was recently appointed as the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) member on the Federation International Hockey (FIH) Officials Committee for a biennial period.

T&T's Roger St Rose was re­cent­ly ap­point­ed as the Pan Amer­i­can Hock­ey Fed­er­a­tion (PAHF) mem­ber on the Fed­er­a­tion In­ter­na­tion­al Hock­ey (FIH) Of­fi­cials Com­mit­tee for a bi­en­ni­al pe­ri­od.

The over­all aim of the Of­fi­cials Com­mit­tee is to as­sist FIH in re­la­tion to out­door or in­door hock­ey, hock­ey5s and any oth­er hock­ey dis­ci­pline to es­tab­lish the de­vel­op­ment, train­ing and man­age­ment of of­fi­cials.

The Of­fi­cials Com­mit­tee is chaired by South African She­lia Brown while Ire­land's Paula Jenk­ins serves as sec­re­tary, and Ger­many's Janne Muller-Wieland, the ath­letes rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Oth­er con­fed­er­a­tion mem­bers in­clude Ghana's Richard Akpokavie (Africa), Aus­tralian Eliz­a­beth Fuerst (Asia), France's Sylvie Pe­tit­jean (Eu­rope) and New Zealan­der Gavin Hawke (Ocea­nia).

A for­mer top um­pire and um­pire man­ag­er, St Rose's ca­reer in in­ter­na­tion­al um­pir­ing be­gan in 1987 at the PAHF Ju­nior World Cup qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment, but he start­ed um­pir­ing when he was at sec­ondary school in Trinidad.

He reached in­ter­na­tion­al Grade 1 sta­tus in 1992 and was up­grad­ed to Olympic/ World Cup lev­el in 1994 with his first se­nior top-lev­el event be­ing the 1994 World Cup in Aus­tralia.

From then, St Rose, an at­tor­ney-at-law, cur­ricu­lum vi­tae just kept grow­ing and in­cludes two Ju­nior World Cups, Cham­pi­ons Tro­phies, Com­mon­wealth Games, Eu­ro­pean Cup Fi­nals, two Olympic qual­i­fiers, many Pan Amer­i­can Games, sev­er­al Cen­tral Amer­i­can and Caribbean (CAC) Games and the At­lanta Olympics of 1996.

He re­tired as an in­ter­na­tion­al um­pire in 2000, but he still um­pires in the do­mes­tic league or­gan­ised by T&T Hock­ey Board (T&THB).

Oth­er re­cent FIH ap­point­ments in­clud­ed USA's Nigel Tra­ver­so (FIH Com­pe­ti­tions Com­mit­tee); Ar­genti­na's Lau­ra Pi­gret­ti (FIH Ed­u­ca­tion and De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee), Ja­maican Dr Michelle Holt (FIH Health and Se­cu­ri­ty Pan­el), and USA's Steve Hor­gan (FIH Rules Com­mit­tee).

The Trinidad Guardian

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