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News for 13 June 2019

All the news for Thursday 13 June 2019

FIH Men's Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019 - Day 8
Bhubaneswar (IND)

Results and Fixtures (GMT +5:30)

12 Jun 2019 08:45     UZB v MEX (7 / 8 Place)     3 - 4
12 Jun 2019 17:00     JPN v POL (QF)     6 - 2
12 Jun 2019 19:15     RUS v RSA (QF)     1 - 2

13 June is a rest day

14 Jun 2019 08:00     RUS v POL (5/6 Place)
14 Jun 2019 17:00     USA v RSA (SF)
14 Jun 2019 19:15     IND v JPN (SF)

IH Match Centre

Japan and South Africa join India and USA in semis

Bhubaneswar, India: With a win over Poland today, Japan will play India in an all-Asian semi-final. The other semi-final will see South Africa, who qualified after defeating Russia today, take on USA. Both European teams will play the match for the 5th place. All games are scheduled on 14 June. Japan - Poland

As has happened so often in this event, Japan did not wait long to set up camp in their opponents’ half. But on a counter-attack, Joseph Hillyer managed to find his teammate Mikolaj Gumny in an ideal position in front of the goal. Gumny had no hesitation in converting this golden opportunity into the first goal of the match.

The ball possession remained mostly with the Asian champions but Poland was defending well. On a penalty corner however, Shota Yamada drag-flicked the ball into the net, giving his side a deserved equaliser. Japan then missed a huge opportunity with Koji Yamasaki deflecting the ball onto the goalpost. But on the subsequent penalty corner, Hirotaka Zendana made no mistake as he put his team ahead.

Another counter-attack from the determined Poles saw Michal Poltaszewski sending a clever pass to Maciej Janiszewski who, in turn, delivered a precise cross to his team’s leading goalscorer Mateusz Hulboj. The striker needed no invitation to score from short distance.

Early in the second half, Poland’s goalkeeper Maciej Pacanowski cleared a penalty corner but the ball came back to Kenta Tanaka, who found the target making it 3-2. Just two minutes later, Japan made the most of the Polish defence’s inability to clear the ball from their own circle to add another goal to their tally. This time the scorer was Koji Yamasaki.

In the final quarter of the game, Poland gave all they could in an attempt to reach the semi-finals. Despite their efforts, it was Japan who increased their lead with two further goals from Kenji Kitazato and Koji Yamasaki – his second of the night.

Japan’s Head Coach Siegfried Aikman: “If you win, it makes you happy. But I was unhappy in the previous games with the way we conceded goals and today was similar: we dominate, our opponents get one chance and it’s a goal. So, then we make it very hard for ourselves. We need to work harder. The inconsistency in our play is troubling me. It’s fantastic to play the home nation. It will a be an exciting match. India play good hockey, they’re skillful, they’re fast, they have everything which should be in a hockey match. For us, it’s a challenge because they are the number one in Asia. We envy them, we want to get that position. So, we accept the challenge with a lot of joy.”

Poland’s Maciej Janiszewski: “I think we just lost energy in the second half. In the first half, we kept our tactic and our positions. At 2-2, we were thinking we could make it. But we lost energy and could not come back when Japan scored again.”

FIH Men's Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019

Result: Japan 6, Poland 2 (cross-over)
Man of the Match: Kazuma Murata (JPN)
Umpires: Gus Soteriades (USA), David Sweetman (SCO)

Russia – South Africa

There were high expectations before this encounter between the second highest-ranked team of the tournament, South Africa, and a Russian side clearly on the rise after their challenging start against hosts India.

Both teams lived up to the expectations as they set a high tempo right from the start of this intensely contested game. The ball circulated quickly from one camp to the next throughout the first half with both teams creating good chances and defending well at the same time. Only goals were missing in this exciting game.

The second half followed the same pattern. The African champions and the European representatives multiplied the attempts on goal but both goalkeepers Marat Gafarov and Rassie Pietersee seemed invincible and their defences were performing well.

Halfway through the third quarter however, Nqobile Ntuli found the target following a penalty corner. But at the beginning of the next quarter, Russia equalised on a penalty corner by Georgii Arusiia. Was the fate of this game to be decided on penalty shootouts for the first time in this tournament? The answer eventually came from South African Ryan Julius who gave to his team a definitive lead. Russia tried hard to come back, but to no avail.

South Africa’s Nicholas Spooner: “We’re feeling pretty good. We didn’t play our best hockey tonight but we’re the winners at the end of the day against a good Russian side, so in these conditions we’re happy to get to the semi-finals. We didn’t have the best start against the USA in this tournament. It’s always hard from a South African point of view as we don’t have a lot of time together. We’ll be looking to put pressure on them and hopefully get a win there.”

Russia’s Pavel Golubev: “I’m really disappointed about our loss because we came here to win as usual and we had a lot of great opportunities to score. This game was even but I think we had more chances to score and we didn’t manage to do this. It’s our main problem nowadays. So, we’ll work to make it better.”

FIH Men's Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019

Result: Russia 1, South Africa 2 (cross-over)
Man of the Match: Austin Smith (RSA)
Umpires: Eduardo Lizana (ESP), Sébastien Duterme (BEL)

The action continues on 14 June with the following programme:

08:00* (IST) Russia – Poland (match for 5th place)
17:00 (IST) USA – South Africa (semi-final)
19:15 (IST) India – Japan (semi-final)

* In order to adjust to the current high temperatures affecting Bhubaneswar and considering that the welfare of athletes, fans, volunteers, officials and everyone involved in an FIH event is paramount, FIH has decided that the game will start at 8am (IST), instead of 8:45am (IST) as initially planned.



FIH event site

Mexico downs Uzbekistan 4-3 to finish 7th in FIH Series Finals

In the match between two lowest ranked sides of the tournament, World No. 39 Mexico scored through Maximiliano Mendez (29th minute), Alexander Palma (30th), Yamil Mendez (54th) and Roberto Garcia (59th).

Mexico players celebrate after a goal against Uzbekistan on Wednesday.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Mexico eked out a hard-fought 4-3 win over Uzbekistan to avoid the wooden-spoon and finish seventh in the FIH Series Finals hockey tournament here Wednesday.

In the match between two lowest ranked sides of the tournament, World No. 39 Mexico scored through Maximiliano Mendez (29th minute), Alexander Palma (30th), Yamil Mendez (54th) and Roberto Garcia (59th).

Gaybullo Khaytboev (41st), Okhunjon Mirzakarimov (42nd) and Ruslan Satlikov were the goal scorers for 43rd-ranked Uzbekistan.

The Uzbeks, thus, finished eighth and last after failing to register a single point in the tournament.


Japan beat Poland 6-2 in cross-over match, to face India in the semifinals

Japan trailed Poland 1-0 after just seven minutes before staging a comeback. (FIH)

Bhubaneswar: Favourites India will face Japan in the semi-finals of the FIH Series Finals hockey tournament after the Asian Games champion thrashed Poland 6-2 in a cross-over match on Wednesday.

World No. 18 Japan completely dominated the match and scored through Shota Yamada (20th minute), Hirotaka Zendana (23rd), Kenta Tanaka (34th), Koji Yamasaki (36th, 60th) and Kenji Kitazato (47th) to emerge winners.

Mikolaj Gumny (7th) and Mateusz Hulboj (26th) were the goal scorers for Poland.

In the other cross-over match of the day, world No. 16 South Africa edged past Russia 2-1 to qualify for the semi-finals.

While South Africa scored via Nqobile Ntuli (40th) and Ryan Julius (53rd) to came out triumphant, Georgii Arusiia (47th) was the goal scorer for Russia.

While India will square off against Japan in the semifinals on Friday, South Africa will take on USA in the last-four round.

Russia and Poland will play against each other for the fifth-sixth place classification game on Friday morning.


Superb Defensive Display sees South Africa into the Semi-Finals

Image - Hockey India

The FIH Hockey Series Finals in Bhubaneswar hit the business end as the cross over Quarter finals took place on the hottest day of the tournament so far. South Africa had finished the group stage in third place and took on Russia in what form dictated would be a mouth-watering clash.

The tempo of the game was blistering as both teams gave 100% effort in creating a spectacle of hockey. The game flowed from side to side with each team having periods in the ascendancy and periods where they had to defend doggedly. Rassie Pieterse was in great form for South Africa and ahead of him Austin Smith, Jethro Eustice and Tim Drummond were showing the stability of experience is so integral in big matches. 

The game finally got its first goal in the third quarter when the man who knows where the goal is Nqobile Ntuli, continued to boost his reputation as a big goal getter. Bili responded to a half save from Gafarov at a penalty corner and finished coolly to the delight of the South African crowd watching on Supersport at home.

That lead was quickly pegged back at the start of the final quarter. Georgii Arussia fired home a penalty corner after Pieterse had superbly saved the previous one. This time the Russian striker made no mistake and put the ball into the net. A grandstand finish was set up as both teams would have the thought of a shootout in the back of their minds.

But it was South Africa that stood tall when it mattered most, and Richard Pautz took the opportunity to capitalize on the space he was afforded by the Russian defence to play through a perfect ball to Tevin Kok. Kok, who was a late injury replacement, showed a maturity that belied his age and squared to Ryan Julius who threw his stick at the ball and sent the South Africans into screams of joy that reverberated around the country much like 9 years and 1 day ago when Shaba scored.

The last four minutes offered South Africa a few chances to bury the game that weren’t taken, and fears were growing when Russia won a penalty corner in the last minute. They had struggled all game to beat Rassie Pieterse but at this corner they did only to be denied by a superb goal line save by captain Tim Drummond. South Africa had won the match and a space in the final four.

Nicholas Spooner: “We’re feeling pretty good. We didn’t play our best hockey tonight but we’re the winners at the end of the day against a good Russian side, so in these conditions we’re happy to get to the semi-finals. We didn’t have the best start against the USA in this tournament. It’s always hard from a South African point of view as we don’t have a lot of time together. We’ll be looking to put pressure on them and hopefully get a win there.”

South Africa know that a top 2 place finish will qualify them for the Olympic Qualifying Matches on the Road to Tokyo. To do that they will have to avenge the earlier defeat to USA in the semi-finals on Friday at 13:30 South African time. The whole country is behind the lads!

South Africa 2 (Ntuli 40’ & Julius 53’)
Russia 1 (Arusiia 47’)

SA Hockey Association media release

Despite spirited performances, it's curtains for Poland and Russia's Olympic dreams

Anish Anand

Japan players celebrate after thrashing Poland. Twitter: @TheHockeyIndia

Bhubaneswar: We all know sports can be cruel. Especially when Olympics dreams are shattered.

India, Japan and South Africa were favourites to qualify for the semi-finals of the FIH World Series in Bhubaneswar. As expected, they all did make it along with the US, but there were heartbreaks for other nations. Both Poland and Russia were seeking to get back to the elite level. Both countries did have a chance, they fought hard in Bhubaneswar's extreme conditions, but it was not enough. Their Olympics hopes are now in the back burner.

Playing their crossover match against Japan, Poland were off to a good start. They scored the first goal of the match against all the pressure from their opponents. Japan equalised, and minutes later, took the lead in the second quarter. Having taken the lead in the match and the fact that Japan were the better side, it seemed like Poland will be blown apart. But just before the half-time, Poland scored their second to stay in the match.

Poland were eventually blown apart. Four more Japanese goals in the second-half saw the end of Poland. The final scoreline read 6-2, cruelly as it may sound, but reflecting the actual picture.

Polish head coach Karol Sniezek walked into the mixed zone with a distraught look on his face. Similar to his players when they passed the waiting media, avoiding any eye-contact with reporters and cameras.

"Our target was to be in the first four. We expected to play the crossover match, but not against Japan. We though Japan will win the other group but that didn't happen. Physically, it was really difficult for us to play in the tournament. We made progression game-by-game. We committed mistakes in the second half of the game. And that's the end of our Olympics dream," Sniezek said after he reluctantly agreed to speak about the defeat.

Physically, it was difficult for Poland in this tournament. Why? The answer is obvious.

"I think it's not normal to play at 5 pm in this weather. I don't know who made the schedule, but for us, it was really difficult," fumed Sniezek as Poland's Olympic dreams were crushed on the hottest day of the tournament.

"We expected this (weather). But we don't have many opportunities to train for this weather. We were training in Malaysia for 10 days in March and then we came back to Europe for two months. We don't have the budget to go to Australia and play games there," Sniezek, who also has a catering business in his hometown, said.

"I have my own business as well. Hockey is not really professional in Poland. But we keep fighting to play in the Olympics, World Cup and other big tournaments. We still have to wait for that."

It was also the end for another European nation on Wednesday.

Russia took on South Africa. A lower-ranked side against a team that played the World Cup at the same venue last year. The difference was there in terms of ranking, but that's that. When it came to quality, both Russia and South Africa were equally matched on the day of their tussle.

Russia, in fact, dominated the game, winning more possession than South Africa in three quarters. They had penetrated the circle number of times than their opponents. They had more penalty corners than South Africa. As the final hooter rang, both set of players fell on the court, exhausted with the scoreline reading in favour of the South Africans. 2-1.

South Africa opened the scoring the 40th minute. Russia made it 1-1 thanks to a penalty corner. The clincher came just seven minutes before the full-time, with Ryan Julius scoring the second for the African side. Russia pressed hard, created chances in the final few minutes, but South Africa held on and took home the win.

"We are disappointed. I think this game was even. We had more opportunities to score but didn't convert our chances. It is what it is," Russia's Pavel Golubev said.

Golubev, though, is more optimistic about the future. He says the Hockey World Series will be a good experience for young players in the squad and they will learn from this tournament and come back stronger in the future tournaments.

"We have many young players in our team so it's a big experience for them. They will perform better in the upcoming tournaments and qualifying events. I don't know when they are but they'll perform better."

After Russia's first match in the tournament against India, Golubev spoke about the heat, but he didn't want to say that as an excuse for not making it to the semi-final. "We came here to fight. Our target was to reach the semis so we pushed as hard as we can. But it's bad luck, we didn't manage to do that."

For both Poland and Russia, the next battle will begin at the Euro Hockey Championship II, the second level of the European field hockey championships for the nations. Once again, the journey to the Olympics will be a long and arduous one, but both teams can take heart from their spirited performances in Bhubaneswar.


Japan to face India in semis of Series Finals

Japan set up a semifinal clash with India after beating Poland 6-2 in a cross-over match of the FIH Series Finals hockey tournament here today. Shota Yamada (20th minute), Hirotaka Zendana (23rd), Kenta Tanaka (34th), Koji Yamasaki (36th, 60th) and Kenji Kitazato (47th) scored for the reigning Asian Games champions.

In the other cross-over match, world No. 16 South Africa edged past Russia 2-1 to set up a semis date with USA. The semifinals are scheduled for Friday.

Feeling hot

Severe heat forced the organisers to allow extended breaks to players and officials during the morning match, while the world body has advanced the start of Friday’s classification game by 45 minutes. FIH said that Friday’s morning match will commence at 8am instead of 8:45am.

With temperature hovering above 40°C and humidity rising to 50 percent, the match between Mexico and Uzbekistan witnessed four-minute breaks, instead of two, between quarters. The third and fourth quarters also saw one-minute water breaks mid-way. Mexico won 4-3 to finish seventh.

The Tribune

Heat wave forces rescheduling

Matches to start at 8 a.m.

Goal! Mexico’s Ruben Martinez scores past Uzbekistan defence. Photo Credit: BiswaranjanRout

The breaks extended beyond stipulated time and the players were barely able to stand or walk off the turf but at the end of their draining encounter, Mexico came out 4-2 winner over Uzbekistan in the classification match for the last two places at the Hockey Series Finals at the Kalinga Stadium here on Wednesday.

The conditions, however, forced the International Hockey Federation to implement its warm weather policy in the second half of the game played early in the morning and also reschedule the morning games for Friday, advancing the timing by 45 minutes.

With severe heat wave conditions continuing across the entire state of Odisha and the meteorological department warning of the situation continuing for the next couple of days, the FIH announced that Friday’s first game — match for 5th place — will begin at 8 a.m. instead of the scheduled 8.45 a.m. Already, the organisers had avoided any match in the day time to counter the hot weather.

“In order to adjust to the current high temperatures affecting Bhubaneswar and considering that the welfare of athletes, fans, volunteers, officials and everyone involved is paramount, the FIH... implemented its warm weather policy (on Wednesday),” it said.

Accordingly, the quarter-break is extended to four minutes instead of two and an additional 1-minute break is given after seven-and-half minutes of play in the 3rd and 4th quarters. In the past, the warm weather policy was applied at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio as well.

“It was very hot and not the best of playing conditions. The organisers did their best to ensure player safety, but when you take unscheduled breaks, it affects the rhythm and tempo of the match. But weather is beyond control for anybody,” Mexican coach Pol Moreno admitted.

The Hindu

Heat Conditions Force Break During Quarters

s2h Team

Even as the country is awaiting the onset of south-west monsoon, Bhubaneswar continues to reel under severe hot and humid conditions. On Wednesday morning, the rules for the Mexico and Uzbekistan classification match for the 7th spot was changed slightly to help the players, to combat the heat conditions.

Both teams were given a minute break at the 7.30 minute of each quarter to keep themselves dehydrated.

Also the quarter break of two minutes was increased to four minutes, as per the decision taken by FIH Medical officer, keeping in view the weather conditions.

Most of the teams, specially countries like USA and Poland are averse to playing in such conditions and were facing fatigue in the first few days of the tournament. This what this learnt from these teams.

"The conditions are not suitable for playing. Not just us, but even other teams are a little uncomfortable due to the weather here. So, we were even given a break today in between quarters. But, that is no excuse for performance because all teams are facing the same issue," said Miguel ake Montiel, doctor of Mexico team.

Most part of India is facing unusually hot summer season. And it will take month before the monsoon sets in all part of India.


Growth of hockey across diverse communities aiding USA's development

Spread of the hockey along West Coast was the genesis of USA's success at the FIH Series Finals, says captain Ajai Dhadwal whose father played for Delhi and Indian Railways hockey teams.

Uthra Ganesan

The diverse culture of the USA men's team is a proof that hockey is not just sport in the sub-continent.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Before the FIH Hockey Series Finals began here, when someone asked USA captain Ajai Dhadwal if his team was hopeful of going all the way despite strong competition from higher-ranked Japan, Poland and South Africa in its group, he simply smiled and said, “that’s the plan”.

The plan has worked perfectly for the side, even though it lost Dhadwal to a rib injury in the very first game. USA drew with Asian Games champion Japan and upset South Africa to end on top of Pool B and earn a direct entry to the semifinals. “The exciting thing about HSF is that it brings teams that are not as high ranked an opportunity to compete against the best in the world. Rankings matter but they are not the be and end all of everything, it’s important to keep your head down and try and get results with the strategies that you come up with,” Dhadwal told Sportstar in an interaction.

For a team that has to not just fight for quality competition but also resources with other sports and the women’s national team – that finished fifth at Rio – the results here have been heartening. But what is more important, says Dhadwal, is the fact that the sport is spreading out of its traditional image of a subcontinental sport and making inroads into other communities.

“I think it is really important because then it will generate more number of those who want to play. On the West Coast Tom Harris very much pioneered hockey and even started the hockey ground at the Moorepark College. Pretty much half our team grew up playing in that area, plus there is a predominant population of non-subcontinental guys playing on the East Coast as well, so it’s diversifying,” Dhadwal said. Harris, incidentally, is in town for the tournament.

Like most other hockey players across the world, the USA team is made up of part-timers who earn a living doing other things. Dhadwal himself is an assistant coach with the women’s team at Rutgers University in New Jersey, although he was born and raised in Los Angeles and picked up the stick at five following in his father’s footsteps, who played for Delhi and Indian Railways before moving abroad.

USA on Friday would take on South Africa for a spot in the final after the African champion beat Russia 2-1 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday to keep its Olympic dreams alive. The other quarterfinal saw Japan thrash Poland 6-2, three of its goals coming in the third quarter, to set up a clash with host India in the last four. The last time the teams met – at the Azlan Shah Cup -- India had won 2-0.


Young goalie Pathak is emerging strongly

s2h Team

Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh is the first choice when it comes to guarding Indian citadel, but the irreplaceable goalkeeper might now be having an able successor in the form of Krishan Pathak. The young blood from Punjab, who though a regular in the team used to spend time mostly on the bench, is now slowly getting opportunities and looks eager to utilise them well.

Pathak knows the task will not be easy for him but he still wants to put his best foot forward. He is looking to avail every opportunity. At the FIH Series Finals, both the goalkeepers have got equal playing time on field - with coach Graham Reid shuffling the goalkeepers every quarter.

"Last year (2018) was very good for me as I got a lot of chances. I knew I had to avail those chances, so I was very focussed. Here I am getting to play half the match which is giving me immense confidence. I will try to keep playing like that," he says.

Pathak's confidence is now visible on field - like his contemporary Sreejesh, he also keeps exercising his vocal chord to communicate with players during the match.

"You learn from your seniors. Sreejesh's communications skills are excellent and I try to adapt the style. Being in the goalkeeper's position, I have the advantage of watching the match closely. So, I keep communicating about the player marking and structure.

Though both Sreejesh and Pathak are way apart when it comes to experience, comparison are bound to happen, and it has so far not pressurized the players.

"You always learn from your senior and want to adapt their good style. But, competition is always good. It helps you improve as a player. I don't mind it at all," he says.

As far as the tournament in concerned, India will now be playing the semis after a three-day break. That being the prime focus, Pathak wants to live up to India's chances of finishing at the top in this tournament.

Pathak's big moment was when his team won the Junior World Cup in Lucknow.


FIH and Hockey India conduct technical courses in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: FIH and Hockey India have taken the opportunity of the FIH Men's Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019 to conduct the following courses for Technical Officials, Umpires and aspiring Coaches on the sidelines of the event:

- FIH Academy - Hockey India Level 2 Technical Officials course
- FIH Academy - Hockey India Level 2 Umpiring course
- FIH Academy Educator course
- FIH Academy - Hockey India Coaching Education Pathway Level 1 Coaching course

All courses are delivered by international FIH Academy experts. They include interactive sessions, practical knowledge and real-time match scenarios.

"Through these courses, FIH Academy and Hockey India aim to provide education and resources to develop Umpires and Technical Officials that are currently at the National Level. Since these are held on the sidelines of the FIH Men's Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019, presenters of these courses can make the sessions interactive as they will be following on-ground action too," stated Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad, President, Hockey India.

FIH Development Director Mike Joyce, who conducted the FIH Academy Educator course, commented: “There are four tiers to our global development programme Hockey4Life, one of each is education. The aim is to professionalize the delivery of education around the world, therefore giving consistency to national associations, continental federations and obviously the FIH Academy courses. It is essential for global hockey development that the FIH works closely with top hockey nation members, like Hockey India, across all areas of the game. In this partnership, Hockey India, the Asian Hockey Federation and FIH are using their expertise to develop a modern national performance pathway from grassroots to elite level, with full integration into FIH education programmes.”

Indian Umpire Javed Shaikh, who umpired at the last Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, is one of the participants of the Educator course. He said: “I’ve had a good experience of umpiring in the last two decades. Now, I want to educate the new umpires and go through the other aspects of the game also. This course is a good learning process for me so that I can educate myself how to deliver the things to the new coaches, umpires or umpires’ managers. So, it’ll be helpful for the development of hockey here in India. “

FIH site

FIH Women's Series Finals Banbridge 2019 - Day 6
Banbridge (IRL)

Fixtures (GMT +1)

13 Jun 2019 15:45     MAS v FRA (Cross-over)
13 Jun 2019 18:00     SCO v CZE (Cross-over)

Live streaming and full game replay on https://fih.live (May be Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

FIH Match Centre

Keep your feet planted, coach Dharmaraj urges his girls in Ireland

KUALA LUMPUR: National coach K. Dharmaraj warned his girls not to get carried away with the 3-1 upset win over the Czech Republic at the FIH Series Finals.

For Dharmaraj the tournament only begins in the crossover match against France, who finished third in Group B.

Malaysia, ranked 22 in the world, need a win over 30th ranked France at the Banbridge Hockey Club in Ireland today to qualify for the semi-finals.

France are the second lowest ranked team in the tournament after Singapore (35th) but the Frenchwomen upset world No. 18 Scotland 2-1 in the opening group match before they narrowly lost to Ukraine (3-2).

In their third group match, they gave a good fight to world No. 11 South Korea before going down 1-0.

Dharmaraj predicts a tough match for his girls.

“Rankings don’t mean a thing in a tournament. France are eight rungs lower than us but they are no easy meat.

“They have made steady progress in the last few years and they proved this by upsetting higher ranked opponents.

“My girls have a tough challenge ahead to get the better of them,” said Dharmaraj.

“We came here with a mission to finish as the top two in the tournament and I want the players to play with full commitment.

“It is a crucial match and they must not be distracted. I have faith that they will rise to the occasion,” added Dharmaraj, who is satisfied with his team’s penalty corner conversion rate thus far.

Defender Nuraini Abdul Rashid has scored three penalty corner goals and Malaysia will be relying on her again today.

Forward Siti Zhulaika Husin, who is only 18, is also having a good run with three goals in three matches.

Group winners, Ireland and S. Korea have qualified for the semi-finals.

(Malaysian Time)MALAYSIA vs FRANCE (10.45pm)

SCOTLAND vs CZECH REPUBLIC (1am, tomorrow)

The Star of Malaysia

2019 FIH Pro League (Men) - 13 June

12 Jun 2019     GER v BEL (RR)     0 - 8     Crefelder Hockey und Tennis Club, Krefeld
13 Jun 2019 19:00 (GMT +2)     ESP v AUS (RR)     Club De Campos Villa, Madrid

Live streaming and full game replay on https://fih.live (May be 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 10 7 0 2 1 30 21 9 23 76.7
2 Belgium 11 6 1 2 2 44 26 18 22 66.7
3 Netherlands 11 5 2 1 3 32 24 8 20 60.6
4 Germany* 13 4 3 1 4 29 36 -7 20 51.3
5 Great Britain 12 5 1 1 5 31 29 2 18 50.0
6 Argentina* 11 5 0 1 4 25 28 -3 17 51.5
7 Spain 11 0 5 0 6 25 38 -13 10 30.3
8 New Zealand 11 0 0 4 7 24 38 -14 4 12.1

* 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) - 13 June

12 Jun 2019     GER v BEL (RR)     2 - 1     Crefelder Hockey Club, Krefeld
12 Jun 2019    NED v NZL (RR)     3 - 2     HC 's-Hertogenbosch, 's-Hertogenbosch

Unofficial Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Win Draws Loss Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Percent
1 Netherlands 13 12 0 0 1 35 8 27 36 92.3
2 Argentina 14 9 4 0 1 28 12 16 35 83.3
3 Australia 13 8 1 1 3 31 18 13 27 69.2
4 Germany 14 8 0 2 4 30 19 11 26 61.9
5 Belgium 13 5 1 1 6 19 22 -3 18 46.2
6 New Zealand 14 5 0 0 9 25 29 -4 15 35.7
7 Great Britain 14 2 2 1 9 19 35 -16 11 26.2
8 China 15 3 0 2 10 23 40 -17 11 24.4
9 United States 14 1 1 2 10 13 40 -27 7 16.7

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

Germany women and Belgium men claim crucial victories in Grand Final qualification race

Germany’s women and Belgium’s men both recorded key victories in the race to secure an all-important top four finish in the FIH Pro League on Wednesday (12 June), while the Netherlands women were also winners as they ended New Zealand’s Grand Final ambitions. A top four finish in the FIH Pro League comes with tickets to this month's FIH Pro League Grand Final in Amsterdam and also the FIH Olympic qualifiers, which take place later this year.

Following today’s results in the women’s competition, there are now only three teams in contention to qualify for the two remaining places at the FIH Pro League Grand Final. Despite producing a superb performance against the Netherlands in s’Hertogenbosch, a 3-2 defeat for New Zealand has seen their hopes of reaching the showpiece in Amstelveen disappear. The Black Sticks can no longer acquire enough points to secure a top four finish, with Australia and Germany being the teams most likely to join Argentina and the Netherlands at the Wagener Stadium. Australia sit in third position with three matches remaining, while fourth-placed Germany’s 2-1 victory against fifth-placed Belgium in Krefeld today has put Die Danas within touching distance of the Final Four at the expense of their opponents. Belgium still have a slim mathematical chance of qualifying, but they need results to go in their favour.

Belgium’s men produced a magnificent response to their two losses against the Netherlands last weekend, powering a sensational 8-0 away victory over Germany in Krefeld as the reigning world champions put their Grand Final hunt very much back on track. Following an even first quarter, the Red Lions dominated the second, third and fourth periods to condemn Germany’s men to one of their heaviest ever defeats on home soil. Belgium sit behind leaders Australia in the FIH Pro League standings, with Germany dropping to fifth position.

Germany v Belgium (women & men) - Crefelder Hockey und Tennis Club, Krefeld (GER)

Despite having lost 4-0 in the reverse fixture in Antwerp, visitors Belgium (FIH World Ranking: 13) needed just four minutes to open the scoring in Krefeld when Ambre Ballenghien pounced on a penalty corner to fire past stranded Germany (WR:5) goalkeeper Julia Sonntag. The Red Panthers were forced to soak up plenty of German pressure for the remainder of the first period but did forced Sonntag into a fine double save in the second quarter, with the shot-stopper twice denying Stephanie Vanden Borre’s penalty corner strike and subsequent follow-up.

The Belgians went into half time with their 1-0 advantage intact, although Charlotte Stapenhorst - who scored three of Germany’s goals in Antwerp - came close to levelling matters with a fine turn and shot on the backhand in the third period only for goalkeeper Aisling D’Hooghe to glove the ball away to safety.

Germany - coached by legendary Belgium men’s international Xavier Reckinger - had 15 minutes to salvage something from the contest and did exactly that, producing a high-quality performance in the final quarter. Nike Lorenz levelled the scores with a backhand strike from the top of the circle that squeezed under the body of D’Hooghe, who was perhaps left unsighted by the close presence of Germany attacker Pia Maertens. The winning goal came from the stick of Maertens with just four minutes remaining, diving in from close range after a wonderful interchange of passes between Germany captain Janne Müller-Wieland and Stapenhorst, giving Die Danas a 2-1 triumph and putting them within touching distance of a berth in the FIH Pro League Grand Final.

When asked about her feelings on Germany’s final quarter fight-back, Player of the Match Nike Lorenz said: “It felt really good. We've actually had a couple of games like this, so its always fun to come back and fight until the end. We come back again on Saturday for our game against Australia, then we fly over to the USA to play them. Hopefully after that we can play in the Grand Final."

The excellent form shown by Germany’s men (WR:6) in recent weeks came to an abrupt halt in the second match of the evening in Krefeld, as Belgium (WR:1) earned a sensational 8-0 away victory against a side that beat them in a shoot-out in the reverse fixture less than two weeks ago. It was a breathtaking display from the Red Lions, who produced the perfect response to back to back defeats against the Netherlands with an energetic and ruthless performance.

There were chances at either end in a goal-less first quarter that gave little indication about what was to come, but second quarter goals from Alexander Hendrickx and Sebastien Dockier (2) put the visitors into a 3-0 half time lead, with Germany’s Timm Herzbruch rattling the frame of the Belgian goal. Penalty corner expert Hendrickx rattled home a fourth at the end of the third quarter before Germany went for broke and replaced goalkeeper Tobias Walter with an outfield player in the hope of triggering a fight-back. However, it was the Belgians who capitalised, taking the score to 6-0 thanks to goals from Tom Boon and Cedric Charlier before Walter was brought back into the action. It did not stop the rampant Belgians from adding to their tally, with Charlier and Victor Wegnez both scoring brilliant efforts to complete the scoring.

“We had to react after our two losses against the Dutch, and I think we did that quite well today”, said Player of the Match Sebastien Dockier. “It helped that they put their 'keeper on the side, but I think we really put the gas on during the whole game and that is our big win today.”

Netherlands v New Zealand (women) - HC Den Bosch, s-Hertogenbosch (NED)

The bumper crowd packed into HC Den Bosch were treated to a thrilling contest between Netherlands women (WR:1) and New Zealand (WR:6), with the hosts emerging with the win but certainly not having everything their own way.

It was the first time that Black Sticks head coach Graham Shaw had faced Netherlands tactician Alyson Annan since the final of last years Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, where Shaw guided his former charges Ireland to a remarkable silver medal.

Following a goal-less first quarter, the Dutch opened up a deserved 2-0 advantage in the second period thanks to Kelly Jonker and Felice Albers, the former scoring her 63rd international goal with a close range volley before Albers netted her first goal for the senior side thanks largely to a superb assist from Xan de Waard.

The Oranje would certainly have extended their lead were it not for some top class goalkeeping from Grace O’Hanlon, who denied Lidewij Welten and Frederique Matla before Olivia Merry gave her side hope with a penalty corner slap-shot from the top of the circle for her tenth goal of the FIH Pro League season.

Merry soon claimed her eleventh from the penalty spot, stunning the crowd by tying the match at 2-2 after Kirsten Pearce was cynically fouled by Lauren Stam. It was a superb fight-back from the Kiwis, but it was the Dutch who snatched their 12th victory in 13 FIH Pro League matches when Xan de Waard fired an emphatic winner with five minutes remaining.

“We started off really well but I think the two goals against were not really necessary”, said Netherlands ace Lidewij Welten, who was named Player of the Match. “In the end we kept on believing that we could win the game, but I think we should have done it earlier in the game. I started off well but we lost a bit of our energy. We need to give full energy to win games, and I think that was a good lesson for ourselves.”

The FIH Pro League continues on Thursday 13 June when Spain men host Australia in Madrid.

FIH Pro League - 12 June 2019

Crefelder Hockey und Tennis Club, Krefeld (GER)

Result: Women’s Match 61
Germany 2, Belgium 1

Player of the Match: Nike Lorenz (GER)
Umpires: Maggie Giddens (USA), Ayanna McClean (TTO) and Coen van Bunge (NED - video)

Result: Men’s Match 45

Germany 0, Belgium 8
Player of the Match: Sebastien Dockier (BEL)
Umpires: Raghu Prasad (IND), Coen van Bunge (NED) and Maggie Giddens (USA - video)

HC Den Bosch, s-Hertogenbosch (NED)

Result: Women’s Match 62

Netherlands 3, New Zealand 2

Player of the Match: Lidewij Welten (NED)
Umpires: Michelle Meister (GER), Sarah Wilson (SCO) and Ivona Makar (CRO - video)


Official FIH Pro League Site

Late Dutch goal sinks Black Sticks hopes

The Vantage Black Sticks Women and Netherlands have battled it out in an outstanding match which has seen the Netherlands side sneak away with a 3-2 win over a fast finishing New Zealand side. The Black Sticks found themselves down by two goals early in the match, however they managed to battle their way back into the contest and scored their equaliser with five minutes to go in the contest. The Netherlands stayed composed and found the match winner moments later through a powerful Xan de Waard forehand shot.

The opening quarter of the match saw both sides look to hold onto possession for large periods of time and construct some positive attack. The Vantage Black Sticks Women had the first penalty corner of the match after Amy Robinson found a Dutch players foot in the circle. The Netherlands defence stopped the shot to keep the score at 0-0. The first quarter was an even contest with both sides having a good amount of possession and circle entries, the Dutch side did hold a slight advantage with seven circle entries to the Black Sticks four.

The Netherlands started the second quarter strongly and earned their first penalty corner of the match. Brooke Neal pulled off a great save on the line to deny the Netherlands. The Dutch side continued to apply pressure on the New Zealand side and were rewarded in the seventh minute of the second quarter when Kelly Jonker was left open in the circle and powered a shot past the Grace O’Hanlon to put the Netherlands up 1-0. The Dutch Women then extended their lead moments later when the Kiwi Women couldn’t clear their circle and the Netherlands Women seized on the turnover and passed the ball around O’Hanlon and into the goal. Overall it was all the Netherlands in the second quarter as they had 63% possession and 12 circle entries as they thoroughly dominated the second quarter which put them in the box seat in the match.

The Vantage Black Sticks started the third quarter off confidently looking to find their way back into the match, it was the Netherlands who had the best of the early chances in the quarter, however Black Sticks goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon pulled off some outstanding saves to keep the Dutch team out of the goal. Late in the third quarter Stacey Michelsen found a foot in the circle to earn the Black Sticks a penalty corner. Olivia Merry then swept the penalty corner shot into the goal to give New Zealand a chance heading into the final quarter.

The final quarter started with end to end play as both sides looked to ramp up the pressure and take control of the match. Midway through the final quarter the Black Sticks earned a penalty stroke after Kirsten Pearce was deliberately hacked in the circle. Olivia Merry stepped up and calmly put the stroke into the goal. The Dutch side almost immediately stormed down the field and then put a fantastic shot in past O’Hanlon to put the Dutch side back in front in the match. The Black Sticks continued to push late but couldn’t find their way through the outstanding Netherlands defence.

Vantage Black Sticks Women 2 (Olivia Merry 44, 54 min)
Netherlands Women 3 (Kelly Jonker 21 min, Felice Albers 24 min, Xan de Waard 55 min)

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Kookaburras Aim To Bounce Back In Spain

Mitch Wynd

The Kookaburras’ European leg of the FIH Pro League continues on Friday morning (3am AEST) when they face world number 9 Spain in Madrid.

Coming off a dramatic 4-3 shootout loss to Great Britain in London after the match had finished 2-2, Australia will be looking to kickstart their run towards the Pro League Finals.

The Kookaburras currently sit on top spot of the Pro League standings, with 23 points from ten matches and a points percentage of 76.67.

With matches to come against Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands – teams that are well in the hunt for top-four places – a win over seventh-placed Spain is a must.

Last time Australia faced Spain, they withstood a determined challenge to secure a 2-1 win in Sydney in early March.

Kookaburras coach Colin Batch says the match is an opportunity for the team to bounce back.

“We’re keen to atone for last week’s disappointing performance against Great Britain,” Batch said.

“We were a bit stale in the first half, the second half was quite good, but there are a number of things we need to improve for the Spanish game.”

Jack Hayes comes into the 18-player team after Dylan Wotherspoon was ruled out with a hamstring injury and has since returned home.

Batch expects a strong response from his team when they step onto the pitch.

“We’ve set ourselves for a good performance, I think we’re very capable of doing that – so we’re looking forward to a strong performance against Spain.”

Friday’s match will be live on www.kayosports.com.au and FOX Sports 507 from 3am (AEST). There will be live updates on the @Kookaburras Twitter page throughout the match.

FIH Pro League Matches:

Spain v Kookaburras – Friday 14 June 3am AEST
Germany v Kookaburras – Sunday 16 June 10:30pm AEST
Belgium v Kookaburras – Thursday June 20 4:30am AEST
Netherlands v Kookaburras – Saturday 22 June 11pm AEST
Semi-Finals – Friday 28 June
Finals – Sunday 30 June

Kookaburras 18-member team:

Athlete (Hometown, State)

Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD)
Tim Brand (Chatswood, NSW)
Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT)
Tom Craig (Lane Cove, NSW)
Matthew Dawson (Killarney Vale, NSW)
Blake Govers (Wollongong, NSW)
Jake Harvie (Dardanup, WA)
Jack Hayes (Wollongong, NSW)
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT)
Tim Howard (Wakerley, QLD)
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA)
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA)
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS)
Flynn Ogilvie (Wollongong, NSW)
Lachlan Sharp (Lithgow, NSW)
Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD)
Corey Weyer (Biggera Waters, QLD)
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA)

Hockey Australia media release

Townsend eyes up Stoop experience as ideal preparation for British hockey stars

By Sportsbeat

Susannah Townsend believes playing in front of a record crowd at the Twickenham Stoop will be the perfect preparation for Great Britain as they step up their bid for a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The former Sutton Valence School pupil, who won Olympic gold in 2016, will make her return from a six-month ankle ligament injury when Great Britain men's and women's teams face New Zealand in a double header on the final day of the new FIH Pro League tournament at the home of Harlequins on Saturday 23 June.

A record number of tickets have already been sold for the 14,800-capacity stadium at the Stoop – although seats are still available – meaning it would be the biggest crowd to watch hockey in Britain since the London 2012 Olympics.

Despite Britain struggling for results after Rio, with the women's team currently sitting seventh in the Pro League standings, Townsend insists the pressure of playing in front of a crowd of almost 15,000 at the Stoop will hold them in good stead for the Olympic qualifiers taking place in the autumn.

"When you go to an Olympic Games, you have to be able to perform in front of big capacity crowds, so I think we need to get used to that kind of atmosphere again," she said.

"It's a big pressure that you can't really experience when you're only playing in front of a couple of thousand fans.

"Playing at the Stoop will be very different to Lee Valley, but it will be very valuable for us playing to step up to the big occasion.

"Hopefully it will mean people who aren't normally interested in hockey will come along and support, especially if the men and women are seen supporting each other – that makes the sport an even greater spectacle."

Despite sitting third from bottom in the standings, Great Britain women's hockey only lost one of their first four FIH Pro League home games this season – 3-1 to United States in March.

And while the experienced Townsend knows New Zealand will be a tough fixture, the midfielder is hoping her side can emulate the successful playing-style of the Harlequins teams when they take to the Twickenham Stoop turf later this month.

"The key to being so hard to beat at home is making wherever you play your fortress," she added.

"Lee Valley has been a special place for us since London 2012, but we love playing at other venues.

"The Stoop is the home of the kings and queens of men's and women's rugby where we see an exciting flair of rugby played and I'm hoping we can do exactly the same with hockey.

"The intention is to make the Stoop another home from home and it would be great to get some points on board as well."

Sportsbeat 2019

Dutch in driving seat on journey to Grand Finals

A double win over the world number one team, Belgium, has put Netherlands men in a strong position going into the final matches of the FIH Pro League. The Dutch are now sitting third in the standings, ahead of Belgium on points but slightly below on percentage points.

Netherlands have three games left – starting on 14 June against Great Britain, then Argentina and Australia – and in such a tight contest, each and every game will count, with all those teams still capable of reaching the Grand Final.

Despite having just secured six points against the World Cup winners, Head Coach Max Caldas was in a cautious frame of mind as he contemplated the next few weeks.

 “We try not to get carried away by a win or a loss. We don’t look at the league ladder but try to stay true to the way we said we would compete and behave at the beginning of the FIH Pro League. So, we always analyse our own performance first and that is what we keep on talking about before and after games.”

This long-term strategy for development included: exposing more players to the top level of international play, improving the competition within the ranks, being competitive while developing players and having a good balance between club hockey, commitments to the Dutch team and recovery time.”

Playing Pro League fixtures across the world, adapting to travel and crucial one-off matches has been a major learning point for all the teams. “Certainly, having to get ready for a game instead of “growing” in a tournament is among the many things the players have had to learn.”

But for the coaching staff and management, Caldas says that liaison between the domestic league clubs and the international set-up is something that must be deal with better in the future. “We have to communicate more frequently and better with the clubs regarding every player. We need to do a better job at that.”

 For the next few months, it is expected that all thoughts will turn towards Tokyo. Caldas says the trick is in balancing what is happening now with where they would like to be in a few months time. “Of course we have Tokyo in our heads, especially when you talk about selections, but we like to live in the present with what we do. We like to have a good balance between what needs to be done and where do we want to end up.”

 With just a few matches left but with six of the eight teams still in contention for a place at the finals, Caldas remains circumspect about whether the Netherlands will be competing on home turf at the Grand Final. “I am always confident in our boys, that will not change with or without the Final, but we understand that there are more than four teams that will have the chance to make it.”

If the recent performances by the Orange are anything to go by, Caldas and his squad will be joining the Netherlands women in Amstelveen in two and a half week’s time.


Official FIH Pro League Site

Camacho: Hockey turf delayed

by Nigel Simon

Douglas Camacho

T&T's long wait for the new $1.3 mil­lion turf for the Na­tion­al Hock­ey Cen­tre, Or­ange Grove Road, Tacarigua will go on for a while longer due to the prob­lems be­tween Poly­tan GmbH of­fi­cials in Chile and the sur­face man­u­fac­tur­ers in Ger­many.

This was stat­ed by T&T Hock­ey Board (TTHB) pres­i­dent, Dou­glas Ca­ma­cho when quizzed on the long de­lay in the ar­rival of the new as­tro­turf sur­face to re­place the ex­ist­ing one at Tacarigua which has been in use since 2007.

Poly­tan GmbH is a Burgheim, Ger­many-based man­u­fac­tur­er and in­staller of syn­thet­ic sport sur­faces, in­clud­ing run­ning tracks and syn­thet­ic turf. Poly­tan sports sur­faces have been in use for more than 37 years, with more than 25 mil­lion square me­ters of sports sur­face in­stalled across the world.

Orig­i­nal­ly in­tend­ed for de­liv­ery ahead of the March 25-April 2, 2017 FIH Men’s World League Tour­na­ment host­ed by the TTHB, the lo­cal hock­ey fra­ter­ni­ty has had a painstak­ing wait for the sur­face from Ger­many, which had been ru­moured to be on its way to T&T for al­most a few months now.

The turf, be­ing pro­vid­ed by Ger­man man­u­fac­tur­er Poly­tan was ex­pect­ed to be ac­com­pa­nied by the ap­pro­pri­ate clean­ing ma­chine for it.

How­ev­er, its first dealy back in 2017 was caused by the Sport Com­pa­ny of T&T's (SPORTT) re-struc­tur­ing and the re­vi­sion of nu­mer­ous ser­vice lev­el agree­ments with all na­tion­al sport­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions falling un­der SPORTT’s re­mit.

Com­ment­ing on the is­sue ear­li­er this year, TTHB pres­i­dent Dou­glas Ca­ma­cho con­firmed that the As­tro­Turf which cost the T&T Gov­ern­ment close to $1,356,000 from Ger­man sup­pli­er Poly­tan, was soon to be en route to T&T with its ar­ri­val date ex­pect­ed to be at the end of April or with­in the first two weeks of May.

Dou­glas stat­ed: "We are now in the process of putting in a place a plan and time frame for the re­lay­ing of the turf when it ar­rives in the coun­try, and at the same time try­ing our best to have lit­tle dis­rup­tion to the se­nior na­tion­al men's hock­ey team prepa­ra­tions for the Pan Amer­i­can Games which comes off in Li­ma, Pe­ru from Ju­ly 29 to Au­gust 20.

In Pe­ru, the T&T men will come up against Cu­ba, Chile and Ar­gen­ti­na and Pool A while Mex­i­co, Cana­da, USA and host Pe­ru are in Pool B.

Ca­ma­cho, a for­mer Pres­i­dent of the T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee, hope is that when the turf ar­rived in T&T, the Hock­ey Board would try its best to have every­thing in place so that it will spend lit­tle time be­tween the port and when it is in­stalled.

Ca­ma­cho said the Gov­ern­ment of T&T had done its part in pro­vid­ing the fund­ing to ac­quire the as­tro­turf two years ago and a let­ter of cred­it was done back in March for Poly­tan's bank Wells Far­go & Com­pa­ny based in Chile via First Cit­i­zens Bank.

How­ev­er, Wells Far­go & Com­pa­ny on be­half of Poly­tan then re­quest­ed that the doc­u­men­ta­tion from First Cit­i­zens re­sub­mit­ted and that was done.

Guardian Me­dia Sports un­der­stands that a new chal­lenge arose dur­ing the process and that cause a fur­ther de­lay.

Ca­ma­cho said, "So the main prob­lem was the hold up be­tween Poly­tan and their in­ter­nal re­la­tions with their agents in Chile and the man­u­fac­tur­ers in Ger­many."

The Trinidad Guardian

Hockey Australia and Member Associations Join Pride in Sport

Mitch Wynd

Hockey Australia and its Member Associations have signed up to the Pride in Sport Index, making a public commitment to the inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) employees, players, volunteers and spectators in hockey. Hockey Australia has also joined Pride in Sport as a Member, said Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier.

“Hockey has long been recognised as an inclusive sport. We are proud to have an even split of male and female participation, and to pay our players the same regardless of sex. We are proud to have players of all ages and abilities in our hockey family.

“We have long considered our sport inclusive of players, volunteers, spectators and employees of all backgrounds, including all sexual orientations and by joining Pride in Sport as a member, we are now making a very public statement about our commitment to that inclusion,” said Favier.

Hockey Australia is joined by Hockey NT, Hockey Queensland, Hockey ACT, Hockey NSW, Hockey Tasmania, Hockey Victoria, Hockey SA and Hockey WA in today’s commitment, showing a united approach to inclusion across Australia.

The step has been welcomed by hockey players from the LGBTI community, with Presidents from LGBTI hockey clubs Perth Pythons and Sydney Bentstix acknowledging the move as important for our sport.

"We are so excited to see our peak body proactively promote diversity and inclusion because fundamentally these are the core values that create stronger, better communities.  It means everyone involved in hockey, from players through to spectators, know they can participate as their true authentic selves," said Reid Smith, President of the Perth Pythons.

His club has been recognised for leading the way in sport, taking home the 2019 LGBTI Community Sporting Award for community sporting clubs and initiatives that make an “outstanding contribution to the broader role of LGBTI inclusion within Australian Sport” last night.

Smith’s views were supported by Presidents Oliver Barrett and Joanna Lamb from the Bentstix Hockey Club.

"Bentstix Hockey Club, Sydney, wholeheartedly congratulates Hockey Australia for joining Pride in Sport Australia. HA’s support for inclusion in sport is hugely important, not only to us as the world's longest running LGBT+ hockey club but also for every club and player across our country. It sends a strong message that anyone, regardless of sexuality, should feel included in the hockey family."
Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist National and State sporting organisations (NSO/SSO’s) and clubs with the inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) employees, players, volunteers and spectators.

Hockey Australia media release

Hockey Players, Volunteers Recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Mitch Wynd

Hockey is a sport driven by passion – and often one that lasts a lifetime. The 2019 Queen’s Honours List reflects this with three Australians recognised for their contribution to our sport, including some who have helped shape and grow hockey over the past 70 years.

Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier congratulated the three recipients, Peter Funnell (OAM), Dell Parkyn (AM) and Dennis Meredith (AM), recognising their significant and continued contributions.

“We are very fortunate to have so many passionate and dedicated people in our sport. Those recognised in the honours are among many hundreds of people who give their time and experience to grow hockey.

“From all of us at Hockey Australia, I’d like to extend a sincere congratulations and thank you to each of the recipients. They have all not only played, but also very generously shared their knowledge with the next generation of players. Thank you, Peter, Dell and Dennis,” said Favier.

Peter Funnell (OAM) from ACT, was recognised in the general division for his contribution to hockey as a player and coach – as well as for his broader contribution to the community through his charity work in the areas of cancer and mental health. He represented ACT and NSW between 1966 and 1978, playing in both Cols and as a State Senior representative. Between 1990 and 2017, he coached junior boys and girls with many of the kids representing ACT at national championships in both indoor and outdoor hockey. Several have represented Australia. 

Queenslander Adell (Dell) Parkyn (AM) started her career in hockey in 1946, playing for Bundaberg, Mt Isa and Dalby before eventually representing Brisbane, Queensland and Australia. She became famous for her talent in selecting talent, including for the Australian Youth Teams, and in 2003 she was inducted in the Hockey Queensland Hall of Fame. More than 70 years since igniting her passion for hockey, she is still a well-recognised face at the Sunshine Coast Hockey Association.

Dennis Meredith (AM) was also recognised for his contribution to hockey here and internationally. The South Australian played 22 games for Australia before moving into officiating, umpiring at both World Cups and Olympics. He has worked for the International Hockey Federation (FIH) as an Umpire’s Manager and Technical delegate and later as the FIH’s Umpiring Development Officer for Asia. He was on the Organising Committee of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, has held the CEO role of Hockey South Australia and is now the President of the Port Adelaide District Hockey Club.

Hockey Australia media release

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