All the news for Tuesday 26 November 2019
Black Sticks Men name experienced 2020 National Squad
The Vantage Black Sticks Men’s National Squad for 2020 has been named with Coach Darren Smith recalling several Olympians for the naming of the 25 strong group. The exciting squad will contest the second season of the FIH Hockey Pro League as the New Zealand Men begin their quest for Olympic success.
The squad features six players with more than 200 caps for the Black Sticks as well as 20 of the 25 named players have more than 50 caps, the experience in this team is going to be critical for the program which will be striving to earn their first medal at the Olympic Games since 1976.
The 2020 season could be one that will feature plenty of milestones in the men’s program with both Arun Panchia and Simon Child looking like they could bring up 300 caps for the side. Phil Burrows currently holds the New Zealand goalscoring record where he amassed a whopping 150 goals throughout his career, Simon Child is within touching distance of this record as he currently sits at 142 heading into the news season.
Darren Smith commented on the 2020 season “We get to play the FIH Hockey Pro League where we will be able to match up against the best teams in the world including playing matches against Australia, Argentina, India and Spain who are in our pool at Tokyo, testing ourselves against these teams is going to be great preparation for the Olympic Games in July”.
The team has been able to recall a number of players into the squad in the hopes of pushing the team towards Olympic Glory, Smith commented “We have been able to reintroduce Simon (Child) and Steve (Edwards) into the squad throughout the later stages of 2019, both players have been in outstanding form and have been selected as their skill and experience will be indispensable for the 2020 season”.
Having been overseas for the past few seasons Jacob Smith worked his way back into the squad in 2019, Smith was rewarded after showing some outstanding consistency throughout the latter part of the year.
Dwayne Rowsell and Leon Hayward have been selected for their first national contract, both were in outstanding form for Auckland at the 2019 Ford National Hockey League where the Auckland Men would go onto finish as the runners up. Leon Hayward was then selected in the Black Sticks squad to take on Japan and Korea in Stratford where he performed with great distinction in goal.
The Vantage Black Sticks Men will next return to the turf on February 1st when North Harbour Hockey will play host to the World Champion Belgium Men as the sides will look to match the epic 4-4 draw they played out in 2019.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Changes to GB women's squad in lead up to Tokyo 2020
After qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the women’s programme sees a number of changes with two players having been called in and two players released.
The programme is delighted to welcome Charlotte Watson and Leah Wilkinson on a full-time basis, with both having both made their GB debuts in recent months and played in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers.
Leah is the most capped Welsh team athlete of all-time having made 169 appearances. She has also captained the team since 2017 and helped them secure a famous 3-2 win over India at the 2018 Commonwealth Games before making her GB debut against India in October 2019. Leah will be taking a sabbatical from her full-time job as a history teacher at Ewell Castle School in order to train full-time with the squad in the build-up to Tokyo 2020.
Charlotte, 21, received her first GB call-up for a two-Test trip to Japan back in July before scoring her first goal in her third cap against India last month. She was also part of the Scotland side that won gold at the 2019 EuroHockey Championships II in Glasgow, scoring the winner in the final to secure the title having already helped them book promotion back to the top tier for 2021. Charlotte has suspended her fourth year studying Accountancy and Finance at the University of Dundee to commit to the programme full-time.
Meanwhile both Erica Sanders and Suzy Petty will be leaving the programme. With just eight months to go until Tokyo, a number of more targeted selections and deselections have taken place aimed at maximising the team’s performance in Tokyo.
Having joined the programme at the beginning of the cycle, Erica made her first senior international appearance against South Africa in February 2017, scoring on her debut. She featured at the 2017 World League Final, 2018 Champions Trophy and in several FIH Pro League matches but has not played since June.
A Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Suzy has featured in a number of tournaments for England and Great Britain since 2017. This includes last year’s Champions Trophy and the 2018 Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup held in London, where England played each of their games in front of 10,000 raucous fans.
Great Britain Hockey’s Performance Director, Ed Barney commented: “This period of the cycle is always difficult as our focus and attention narrows on Tokyo. We are sorry to see Erica and Suzy go and wish them all the very best over the coming months and years.
"Erica and Suzy’s commitment has been unwavering, not only through their senior programme time, but also through their extensive involvement in junior international hockey. As with all athlete transitions, we look forward to supporting them to the best possible extent over the coming months”.
“We are delighted that Leah and Charlotte are joining the programme on a full-time basis. This is real credit to all their hard work, perseverance and commitment. It’s a pleasure to see the increase in Welsh and Scottish representation across the senior programme and is a real reflection of Scottish Hockey, Hockey Wales and the GB Elite Development Programme.
"We wish Leah and Charlotte all the very best over the coming months as they strive to maximise the programme and vie for Olympic selection”.
Great Britain Hockey would like to thank Erica and Suzy for all their contributions over the last three years and we wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.
Great Britain Hockey will compete in the second season of the FIH Pro League in the run up to the all important 2020 Olympics. Join #ThePride and support Leah, Charlotte and the rest of the GB women’s team in their preparations.
Great Britain Hockey media release
Charlotte Watson joins GB women’s programme full time
Scotland’s Charlotte Watson has joined the Great Britain women’s programme on a full-time basis.
It is a tremendous achievement for the Scot and rewards the hard work she has put in to excel for Scotland and in the GB Elite Development Programme.
Charlotte, who has been supported by Winning Students, made her GB debut in recent months and played in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers. After qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the GB women’s programme sees a number of changes with Watson and Leah Wilkinson called in and two players released.
Watson, 21, received her first GB call-up for a two-Test trip to Japan back in July before scoring her first goal in her third cap against India last month. She was also part of the Scotland side that won gold at the 2019 EuroHockey Championships II in Glasgow, scoring the winner in the final to secure the title having already helped them book promotion back to the top tier for 2021. Charlotte has suspended her fourth year studying Accountancy and Finance at the University of Dundee to commit to the programme full-time.
Andy Tennant, Head of Performance at Scottish Hockey, said, “Its fantastic news and an excellent reward for all the hard work Charlotte has put in – she has emerged as a very bright talent with an exciting future. We’re all delighted to see Charlotte join the full time programme at Great Britain, it’s a tremendous opportunity for an exciting young player, and we wish her all the best in the programme with Olympic selection on the horizon.”
Great Britain Hockey’s Performance Director, Ed Barney commented: “We are delighted that Leah and Charlotte are joining the programme on a full-time basis. This is real credit to all their hard work, perseverance and commitment. It’s a pleasure to see the increase in Welsh and Scottish representation across the senior programme and is a real reflection of Scottish Hockey, Hockey Wales and the GB Elite Development Programme.
“We wish Leah and Charlotte all the very best over the coming months as they strive to maximise the programme and vie for Olympic selection”.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Leah Wilkinson and Charlotte Watson join GB squad for Tokyo Olympics bid
Wales captain Leah Wilkinson and Scotland's Charlotte Watson are joining the Great Britain hockey squad full-time as they prepare for the Olympics.
Erica Sanders and Suzy Petty are making way for Watson, 21, and Wilkinson, 32, who will take a break from her job.
GB Hockey boss Ed Barney said increasing Welsh and Scottish representation is a credit to both nations and GB's elite development.
"This is a credit to their hard work, perseverance and commitment," he said.
"We are delighted that Leah and Charlotte are joining the programme on a full-time basis."
Wilkinson, Wales' most-capped team sport player with 169 appearances, is taking a sabbatical from from teaching history at Ewell Castle School in Epsom, Surrey, to challenge for a place in the final squad for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
Barney added: "We are sorry to see Erica and Suzy go and wish them all the very best over the coming months and years.
"Erica and Suzy's commitment has been unwavering, not only through their senior programme time, but also through their extensive involvement in junior international hockey.
"As with all athlete transitions, we look forward to supporting them to the best possible extent over the coming months.
Latest injury update on Sam Ward
During the final FIH Olympic Qualifier match against Malaysia on 3 November, Great Britain forward Sam Ward took a ball to the face and suffered significant facial fractures. He underwent surgery on 13 November to reconstruct his cheek and last week saw a number of eye specialists. He currently has a very small amount of sight in his left eye. Contrary to earlier inaccurate reports this morning, Sam has not retired.
Sam commented: “Over the last week, I have received advice from three separate eye consultants. They have all told me that I have suffered damage to the retina of my left eye and that this damage is partly irreversible.
"I may get some sight back, but this won’t be a quick process, and whether it will be sufficient for me to get back to playing international hockey only time will tell. It is a tough pill to swallow but, as people know, I am not one to give up easily and I will do everything can to make myself available for selection for Tokyo.”
It will be a number of months before we understand the extent of the damage to Sam’s retina. Athlete well-being is Great Britain Hockey’s priority and Sam will receive the best possible support over the coming weeks and months.
Great Britain and England Hockey’s Performance Director, Ed Barney, said, “Sam has suffered a very serious injury. At present, our focus is on supporting Sam to the best possible extent and ensuring that he has access to the best medical provision and wider support. The players and staff wish Sam well during this challenging period.”
Great Britain Hockey media release
GB hockey player Sam Ward loses sight in one eye after being hit in the face
England forward pledges to reach Tokyo 2020 despite injuries. ‘I may get some sight back but this won’t be a quick process’
Sam Ward suffered the injury during an Olympic qualifying play-off win on 3 November. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images
British hockey player Sam Ward has pledged to do all he can to make the Olympics despite losing the sight in his left eye in recent weeks.
The GB and England forward, 28, was hit in the face by a ball during the Olympic qualifying victory over Malaysia on 3 November. He underwent surgery 10 days later to reconstruct his cheek.
“Over the last week, I have received advice from three separate eye consultants,” Ward said. “They have all told me that I have suffered damage to the retina of my left eye and that this damage is partly irreversible.
“I may get some sight back, but this won’t be a quick process, and whether it will be sufficient for me to get back to playing international hockey only time will tell. It is a tough pill to swallow but, as people know, I am not one to give up easily and I will do everything can to make myself available for selection for Tokyo.”
It is expected to take several months before the extent of the damage to Ward’s sight is fully understood.
Great Britain and England Hockey’s performance director, Ed Barney, added: “Sam has suffered a very serious injury. At present, our focus is on supporting Sam to the best possible extent and ensuring that he has access to the best medical provision and wider support.”
Sam Ward: GB & England player still 'dreams' of Tokyo 2020 despite 'freak' eye injury
Sam Ward on the ground after being struck by the ball. He had surgery on his facial fractures earlier in November
Great Britain and England hockey player Sam Ward says it remains his "dream" to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympic squad despite suffering a "freak" eye injury.
The 28-year-old was struck in the face by the ball during GB's play-off win over Malaysia on 3 November, sustaining a crushed retina and facial fractures.
Ward has lost some vision in his left eye but hopes to play in Tokyo.
"That is my dream," he said. "It's been in my sight the last couple of years. I hope to be back and going to that."
Ward has scored 72 goals in 126 appearances for Great Britain and England and represented GB at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
He scored twice against Malaysia as GB secured qualification for the 2020 Games, which begin on 24 July.
"In my head, I've got a strong chance of coming back," he told BBC Radio 5 Live Drive.
"You've got to work hard, train hard, do your rehab right. The biggest thing is putting yourself in the best position possible, so making sure you make the right decisions day in, day out."
Ward's parents were at the Malaysia game and spoke to their son before he went to hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair the fractures.
He now has peripheral vision in his left eye and a grey patch in the middle, which has improved since what he described as a "freak incident".
"I have been informed there is retinal damage and it will never return to its full state," Ward added. "To what degree [it will recover], at the moment we don't know.
"It's a tough pill to swallow but it depends how you look at things. I'm a fully-functioning man, I've got everything I need, I've got all the support around - medical staff, the lot. There's a lot worse things out there in life. As long as you keep perspective, I'll be fine."
Head protection 'practically tough'
Hockey players wear face masks when defending penalty corners but Ward was attacking when he inadvertently blocked a goalbound shot by a team-mate.
"I remember seeing the ball heading towards my head, everything just seemed to slow down," he said.
"The way I play, I get into some funny positions. It helps me score goals but for the first time ever it really caught me out.
"It was a freak incident. I've known of other incidents but never this severe. I'm just unlucky. I put myself in that place so I've got to take it on the chin.
"It's a tough one to say whether it [head protection] should be worn in more areas of the game. It's one of those things that needs weighing up in time. Practically, it's pretty tough."
How I became pro: Maddie Hinch
Written by Lucy Waterlow
© Patrik Lundin / Red Bull Content Pool
The world number one female hockey goalkeeper reveals how she overcame the doubters to become an Olympic champion.
Maddie Hinch was the heroine of the GB hockey team at the Rio Olympics after her incredible saves in the final penalty shootout helped her team win the gold. Since then, she's stayed at the top of her game and has been named Female Goalkeeper of the Year by the International Hockey Federation for the past three years.
Yet with more than 100 caps playing for her country, an MBE, and, of course, that Olympic gold medal, she isn't yet ready to rest on her laurels. Instead, she's currently preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, where, once again, she hopes to be part of the winning team.
Despite all she has achieved so far, Maddie admits she's never had the build of a traditional goalkeeper, and her ability was often questioned when she was younger. So, how did she overcome the doubters to become the best in the world?
“It's taken grit, patience and determination,” she admits. “It's been a rollercoaster but I have enjoyed the ups and downs. I'm lucky that I have been able to make playing hockey my full-time career.”
Maddie had to prove that her athleticism could be an advantage in goal © Patrik Lundin / Red Bull Content Pool
It all started when Maddie's potential was spotted by a teacher when she started at a new school.
“My dad was in the Navy so I moved around a lot when I was younger,” she recalls.
“When I was about 13, I started at a new school in Somerset. It was the summer term when rounders was being played. A teacher saw me diving for the ball and said I should try playing as the keeper in the hockey team when the new season started in September, as she thought I would be perfect in goal.”
Maddie jokes: “I don't know if she really spotted any natural ability or they just needed a goalkeeper for the team and thought, 'Let's get the new kid to do it.' But it's all thanks to her that I gave it a go. It wasn't a position I would have considered playing previously, as I had always wanted to be running around and in the thick of the action.”
Maddie admits she didn't love the position immediately. "I felt like all I was doing was standing around or picking the ball out of the back of the net,” she said. "It took time for me to learn what it was all about, but once I did, I loved it.”
You have to have a relentless attitude and be strong-minded
She went on to play for Kings College, Taunton, after winning a scholarship to attend the boarding school, and was then selected to play for the county – one of the first big milestones in her career.
“Everyone at school told me I was good, but playing for the county was a chance to test myself outside the school environment and see if I really was as good as people said,” she says.
However, while there were many people who supported and nurtured her talent – there were others who doubted it. “I didn't look like other goalkeepers at that time,” she explains. “I was smaller and more athletic. I was often told I wouldn't be good enough.”
Maddie was determined to prove them wrong and show that her athleticism and agility could be an advantage in goal. “You have to have self-belief as an athlete and be strong-minded,” she said. “I wasn't going to give up.”
At Loughborough, Maddie realised that hockey was a viable career choice © Patrik Lundin / Red Bull Content Pool
It was when she became a student at Loughborough University, where she studied sports science, that she decided to take her hockey more seriously. Around the same time, hockey was being given extra funding to enhance the GB teams ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.
This made being a hockey player a viable career choice, and not just a hobby, so Maddie was determined to make the team. This meant she didn't live like a typical student.
“I don't like the term 'making sacrifices' to play hockey, because the sport has given me so much, but if I had to pick something, I would say it was when I first started at Loughborough,” she said. “Even though it was a sporty uni, my hall of residence didn't have anyone in it who was taking sport as seriously as I was.
“It was hard to explain to people when I couldn't go out all the time in Freshers' Week. That made it difficult for me to settle into uni life early doors. I missed out on a lot of nights out.”
The trouble with playing as the goalkeeper is you can't switch to a different position if there is someone better than you. There's only one on the team, so you have to be the best
She adds: “In many ways, being a student was the most challenging time of my life. It was intense because I was studying for a degree at the same time as training hard every day, with early morning and late evening sessions around lectures.”
Her hard work paid off, and she was selected to play for England in 2008, sharing the time in goal with another up and coming keeper.
Maddie was keen to prove she should stay in goal for an entire international match, and become GB, as well as England's, first choice goalkeeper. But she knew it wouldn't be easy.
“The trouble with playing as the goalkeeper is you can't switch to a different position if there is someone better than you,” she says. "There's only one on the team, so you have to be the best.”
She got her shot in 2010 when she was called up to make her GB debut in a match against Germany.
“I couldn't believe it when I saw my name on the team sheet,” she said, "it was such a surprise. This was my chance to prove myself.”
Staying on top
Maddie was named Female Goalkeeper of the Year three years in a row © Patrik Lundin / Red Bull Content Pool
Maddie loved her first experience of playing for GB and was in contention for the London 2012 Olympic team. She was gutted when she wasn't selected.
She took the knock-back on the chin and came back stronger, with 2013 being the best year of her hockey career so far.
“A lot happened in a short space of time,” she said. “By the age of 26, I became England and GB's number one goalkeeper. That felt really cool. I had been playing since I was 13, now I was the country's number one, after many people had told me I would never be good enough.”
I knew there were other girls who wanted the position on the team, I had to make it difficult for anyone to take it away from me
But Maddie knew she couldn't be complacent. "The shirt was now mine to lose,” she said. “I knew there were other girls who wanted the position on the team, I had to make it difficult for anyone to take it away from me.”
As the team worked towards the Rio Olympics, Maddie did everything she could to ensure she would play well.
Giving an insight into what it takes to be a world-best keeper, she says: "As well as playing hockey with the team, I work out in the gym doing weights and strength and conditioning work. My regime differs to the other players in that I have to do more sprint training and more super-explosive exercises.”
When it comes to the mental side of the game, she said: "It's best to be prepared. I watch videos of the opposition and practise what I would do in a penalty shootout. You have to have self-belief. I always know if I have prepared, practised and then do my best, if a match doesn't go my way, then I can't have any regrets.”
Maddie was named Female Goalkeeper of the Year three years in a row © Patrik Lundin / Red Bull Content Pool
Matches kept going Maddie's way, as in 2014 she helped England win silver at the Commonwealth Games, and then gold with GB at the Euro Hockey Champs. This gave the team the confidence to believe they could become the Olympic champions, but that came down to the wire in the final against the Netherlands.
The gold medal hung on a penalty shootout in which Maddie made a string of saves, making GB being victorious, and her a hero back home.
You have to have self-belief as an athlete and be strong-minded. I wasn't going to give up
“It was mental going home,” she recalls. "Becoming an Olympic champion changed my life. For six months I couldn't go anywhere without being recognised, and I was invited to be on TV shows I used to watch at home. Everyone was talking about hockey and there was a real buzz around the sport.”
Maddie continued to be on a career high after Rio, being named Female Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017 by the International Hockey Federation, an accolade she won again in 2018 and 2019.
Also in 2017, she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
Maddie has her sights on another gold medal at Tokyo 2020 © Patrik Lundin / Red Bull Content Pool
Now Maddie hopes to add another gold medal to her list of achievements at the Tokyo Olympics.
Is she feeling the pressure? “Yes,” she admits, but she'll carry on as before to ensure she goes to the games as fit, strong and prepared as she can be.
When she's not busy training, Maddie has been giving back to the sport by setting up her own coaching programme for young, aspiring goalkeepers.
She was amazed and delighted that hundreds of hopefuls signed up for the course last summer, and she hopes even more will be inspired by Tokyo.
So, what's the best piece of advice she can give to aspiring hockey players, who hope to achieve as much as she has so far?
“You have to have a relentless attitude and be strong-minded,” she said. "Work hard, be patient, and go for it when you are given opportunities. It's a rollercoaster of ups and downs but enjoy the journey and never give up.”
Red Bull media release
India's Olympic chances determined by Pro League performance, says Manpreet
Indian men's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh felt that the team needs to prove itself in the upcoming Pro League against the top teams in the world
Indian hockey team captain Manpreet Singh said that the team will have to work hard for every win at the Olympics. - Biswaranjan Rout
Indian hockey team's performance against top sides like Australia and Argentina in the upcoming Pro League will help the team assess its preparation ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, feels men's team captain Manpreet Singh.
The Indian team is scheduled to compete at the five-month long FIH Pro League starting January 18, featuring eight other top sides.
“Finishing top two in the (Olympic) Pool is the first goal for the team. We play Australia and Argentina in the Pro League next year. How we do against these top teams will determine the level we are at ahead of the Olympics and what we need to improve in the lead up,” Manpreet said.
The Indian men’s team, which beat Russia to qualify for the Olympics, has been clubbed alongside, world number one side Australia, defending champion Argentina, host Japan, Spain and New Zealand in Pool A of the quadrennial mega event.
“At the Olympics, there’s no easy draw. It may seem that as the third highest ranked team behind Australia and Argentina in our pool, we are grouped in an easier pool compared to Pool B which has Belgium, Netherlands, Germany apart from Great Britain, Canada and South Africa,” Manpreet said.
“But at the Olympics, rankings hardly ever matter. No team can be taken lightly and we need to be our best in every match in the Pool stage which will determine who we play in Quarter Finals. We all still remember what happened against Canada (2-2 draw) in Rio,” he added.
On the other hand, the Indian women’s team has been grouped in a tough Pool B where it plays world champions Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa.
But skipper Rani Rampal is confident of her team’s chances of reaching the semifinals.
“There is no doubt we have to produce our best in each and every game in the pool stage to make the quarterfinals. The team is very confident that this time we can make it to the top four and from there on it can be anybody’s game,” she said.
“We have played against Ireland and Great Britain in the past year and we have good understanding of the level we need to bring to the game when we play against them but Netherlands is one team we have always wanted to do well against and we have not played enough matches against them. They are one team we look forward to play against,” she added.
Schopman to Leave USA Field Hockey
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Field Hockey announce today the separation of Janneke Schopman as the head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Schopman was appointed to the role of assistant coach in March 2014 and was a part of the coaching staff during Team USA’s fourth place finish at the 2014 World Cup. She also served as head coach of the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team during that time and coached them at the 2016 Women's Hockey Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile.
In January 2017, Schopman took over the role of U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach and led USA to a gold medal performance at the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in Johannesburg, South Africa and qualified the team for the 2018 Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup in London, where the team finished fourteenth. She also led the women to bronze medal finishes at the 2017 Pan American Cup and 2019 Pan American Games, and through the journey of the first-ever FIH Pro League season.
Schopman is a former captain and a two-time Olympic field hockey medalist for the Dutch National Team. She was a part of the silver-medalist squad at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and a member of the gold-medalist squad at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Schopman also played on the Dutch squad that won gold at the 2006 Women’s Hockey World Cup and the Champions Trophy on three occasions in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Next, USA Field Hockey will undertake a recruitment process to identify a new head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
USFHA media release
Concussion blights University of Birmingham’s early season
East Grinstead's Sophie Bray, right, scored her 10th of the season Credit: Peter Smith
In a worrying trend for hockey, University of Birmingham’s defeat to Clifton Robinsons on Saturday saw the students suffer their fourth concussion injury of the season.
Three of the players sidelined are current England junior internationals, with Pippa Stewart becoming the latest to receive a head injury during Birmingham’s 1-0 defeat to the Bristol side.
Phil Gooderham’s squad currently sit second bottom of the Investec Premier Division and are feeling the effects of an increasing casualty list, which includes Millie Giglio, a civil engineering student and promising Great Britain under-23 player, who suffered a serious head injury last month.
Giglio was playing at East Grinstead on October 19 when she was struck on the back of the ear after a backhand cross was hit at a dangerous height in the circle.
The 19-year-old was behind several players as the ball deflected and she only managed to turn her face away before receiving a slight fracture on the skull and a small hole in her ear drum.
Giglio blacked out and doesn’t remember being hit while the match was delayed for 30 minutes as an ambulance arrived. She spent two days in hospital and hopes to be back playing after Christmas.
“I had concussion in April but nowhere as bad this one and it took me four weeks to get over,” said Giglio. “When that happened I felt gutted but more frustrated, whereas now I feel grateful that it turned out the way it did.
“There was a chance I would have to have surgery, there was liquid in my brain that they needed to drain. The fact that I couldn’t play hockey for eight weeks is a pretty good consequence from what could have happened.”
Giglio, who moved from Wimbledon to Birmingham this season, admitted that high-profile concussion stories in hockey over the last 18 months have helped give her a better understanding.
She added: “How it affects you is incredible. I struggle with anything in everyday life and after six weeks I have only started now to regain normal thought processes and hold a conversation.
"They’ve [Nicola White and Shona McCallin] all been through it and it helps me to be a little bit more patient. If they spent however many months out then I should probably be doing the same. I’m not the only player it’s happened to, even though now everyone else seems to move on from their injuries and I’m stuck in the same cycle.”
England Hockey have been monitoring injuries over the last four years at domestic level and clubs have reported 11 incidents of concussion in that time. From this season, reporting of all injuries is mandatory within England Hockey competitions.
Vicki McCabe celebrates her goal with Loughborough team-mates Credit: Peter Smith
Gooderham’s seasonal worries
The elite performance set up at the University of Birmingham, coupled with match day physios, has given the students the best possible support when it comes to concussion.
“To have a performance behind the girls when they are playing so much hockey as students and to be looked after is vitally important,” said Gooderham.
“I don’t think necessarily there is more concussion, it’s just that we have a better understanding. Ten years ago there would be an ice pack to the head and then the players got on with it."
Every season Gooderham has to contend with a mass player exodus as students finish their studies and move on to other clubs. Every season, Gooderham works wonders to keep Birmingham in the top flight.
This year Gooderham lost eight players, including Lily Owsley, with most of his athletes are involved in the England and Great Britain set up. On Saturday, Clifton's in-form Claire Thomas added to Birmingham's travails with the only goal of the game.
“It’s a big ask when you lose so many players but the second team have stepped up, they’re young and still developing,” he added. They include Lily Walker, a 17-year-old talent who was selected for the England under-21 squad in the summer.
Hampstead cut down Holcombe
Joyce Esser scored four times and Owsley twice as a rampant Hampstead & Westminster thumped Holcombe 7-1 at Paddington Rec on Sunday. Their win kept the Londoners eight points behind leaders Surbiton who accrued their 10th win in a row with a 3-1 win on the road at Bowdon. East Grinstead lie in third, their improving season showing no sign of abating thanks to goals from Tess Howard and Sophie Bray, the league's top goalscorer, in a 2-1 win against Beeston. They travel to fourth-placed Clifton this weekend in what looks set to be an enticing clash.
Elsewhere Loughborough Students picked up their fourth win of the campaign as they won 2-1 at home against Buckingham. Sophie Byrne and Vicki McCabe scored for the hosts while Natasha James hit the only goal for Buckingham.
Violence marks Nehru Cup final
Punjab captain and manager (in green pullover) and their team chasing PNB's Sukhjit Singh (Jersey No.10) before pinning him down and beating him black and blue Pic by K. Arumugam
How ironical that in a tournament named after a global peace messenger Jawaharlal Nehru, players produced another ugly chapter in the ailing domestic hockey scene.
Violence marred the 56th Nehru Cup final between Punjab Police and Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Monday. The teams were level at 3-3 when PNB launched an attack that ended with a hard tackle inside the circle.
That led to a riot and ugly scenes at the main pitch of the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium that hosted the 2010 World Cup.
For the 300-plus fans, it was a forgettable experience. To bear witness to their favourite stars wielding sticks against each other was a veritable nightmare.
The shameful incident reminded one of the 1995 Aga Khan final at the Bombay Gymkhana which also involved Punjab Police who played Indian Airlines.
The writer was witness to the entire match while his team of trainees videoed the entire encounter including the vital third quarter during which the sordid incident occurred.
The images suggested that the Punjab Police manager who entered the field as the players were involved in a scuffle fed fuel to the fire.
He was seen in the thick of things in the five-odd minutes that brought the game into disrepute.
At the beginning of the ordeal, one could easily spot PNB's Sumit Toppo being hit on the head. The forward fell to the turf, covering his head and writhing in pain. It infuriated PNB players who until then only endeavoured to calm the other side down.
Pure bedlam followed. The “stickwork” on display was all but pleasant as rival players brandished sticks as weapons. Sukhjit Singh of PNB was chased to the non-playing area behind the technical table where he was beaten black and blue. There, the Punjab Police manager once again charged on the hapless Sukhjit and he was a victim of further violence when Punjab Police captain came hard at him, despite being restrained by his own team's goalie.
Inevitably, an ambulance was rushed in to take a couple of players to hospital.
Sarwanjit, capped over a 100 times for India, made himself scarce after the match. He did not wait for the prize giving ceremony and was seen hailing an auto rickshaw at Gate No. 7 and fleeing the scene.
Well-known umpire Raghu Prasad, officiating from the other side of the pitch, rushed to the spot at which the fracas took place to assist the other umpire. The Olympic umpire observed the episode and, after order was restored, flashed three red cards to Punjab Police and two to PNB players before restarting the match from the 43rd minute.
PNB struck three goals, even as Gurbaj Singh mishit one God-sent opportunity, to retain the Cup with a 6-3 verdict.
Several players injured after domestic hockey match turns violent
Players and support staff of Punjab Police and PNB were involved in an ugly brawl leading to multiple injuries during a match in Nehru senior hockey tournament.
For a couple of years, the Punjab Police hockey team seemed to have turned over a new leaf in terms of on-field discipline after being barred from the domestic circuit. On Monday, it was back to its violent ways and found its match in Punjab National Bank.
The final of the 56th Nehru senior hockey tournament on Monday saw the teams getting into a free-for-all even as officials tried to separate the players. “It was so unexpected and unprovoked that before anyone could react, it had turned into a game of swinging sticks. It took a couple of minutes for tournament and team officials and umpires to get into the act and separate the teams. By then, things had deteriorated badly,” an official of the organising committee said.
The incident happened in the 43rd minute of the game with the scoreline tied 3-3 and PNB in possession of the ball and on the attack. Inside the Punjab Police circle, there was minor pushing between PP’s Hardeep Singh and PNB’s Sumit Toppo. Hardeep then swung his stick at Toppo’s legs, who responded by a wild swish of his own at Hardeep’s face.
That was all it took for things to go downhill with both teams and even their managers getting into the act. The fight got carried on to the sidelines for several minutes before things settled down. Several players, from both sides, including the two who started it all, had to seek medical assistance and needed stitches. The match continued with eight players each with three each from either side being red-carded, along with the PP manager Amit Sandhu. PNB eventually won the game 6-3.
Nehru Hockey Tournament Society secretary Kukoo Walia said strict action would be taken against both teams. “The incident has marred the entire tournament which had been conducted peacefully so far. Strict action would be taken against both teams, no one is innocent in this case. As the secretary, I would be recommending a ban of minimum two years on both teams,” Walia, who is also a member of the society’s disciplinary committee, said.
While Hockey India did not comment on the issue, only saying they were still waiting for official reports from all concerned including the umpires and the tournament director, IOA president and former Hockey India president Narinder Batra condemned the incident. “Such irresponsible teams and their careless/unconcerned management, such players and weak and spineless organising committees spoil the name of the game and bring bad reputation to the sport. I urge Hockey India to take maximum strict action,” he said.
Hockey turf turns battlefield
Fight breaks out between Punjab Police and PNB during Nehru Hockey final
The players seem to be calming down when a Punjab Police player (encircled) runs in from behind and hits a Punjab National Bank player on the head with his stick, leading to the situation getting out of hand. Video grabs
In a big embarrassment for Indian hockey, players of Punjab Police and Punjab National Bank today got involved in an ugly brawl during the final of the 56th Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament, prompting the organisers to impose bans on both the sides. National federation Hockey India also sought a detailed report from the tournament organisers.
The brawl started in the third quarter of the match while PNB were on the attack inside the Punjab Police circle. Both teams were locked at 3-3 at that point of time.
The players exchanged blows and fought with sticks on the turf for a while before the tournament officials rushed to douse the fire.
The match continued, after both teams had players sent off, following a brief interruption. The on-field umpires showed red cards to three Punjab Police players and two PNB players, the organisers later revealed. Besides, the Punjab Police manager was also shown the red card for instigating his players.
PNB, eventually, won the title by winning the match 6-3. Dismayed and disturbed by the incident, the managing committee of the Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament Society decided to impose bans on both the teams. “It is therefore decided to suspend both the teams from participating in the tournament. Punjab Police has been suspended for a period of four years while PNB has been banned for two years,” the tournament orgainsers said in a statement.
The organisers further added that they will ask the “concerned authorities” of both the teams to take strict action against the “errant players”.
The incident didn’t go down well with Hockey India, which immediately sought a detailed report from its Tournament Director, Mahesh Kumar. “We are waiting for the official report from the tournament officials and on its basis Hockey India will take necessary action,” HI CEO Elena Norman said.
Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra, who is also the chief of the international hockey federation (FIH), called on HI to take strict action against the players and officials involved in the ruckus.
“Such irresponsible teams and their careless and uncensored managements, such players and weak and spineless organising committees spoil the name of the game and bring bad reputation to the sport,” a fuming Batra said. “I urge Hockey India to take maximum strict action,” he added.
Former India goalkeeper Arvind Chhabra had come to the National Stadium to enjoy a hockey match. What he witnessed, instead, was a “shameful” display of “hooliganism”. “It was horrible, shameful. They were behaving like hooligans,” said Chhabra, who played for India in the early 1980s. “We were enjoying a highly competitive match, with both teams playing fast and exciting hockey. And there were no incidents till then. Then suddenly all hell broke loose. Sticks were flying like it was a warzone. Someone could have died. Who knows, there could be long-term injuries. The strictest action is needed. Hockey India needs to set an example. What was stranger for me was that the organsiers restarted the match,” he added.
Watch: Shocking on-field fight in Nehru Cup hockey final
NEW DELHI: The field of hockey at the National Stadium in New Delhi turned into a battleground after players from Punjab Police and Punjab National Bank got into an ugly brawl during the Nehru Cup final on Monday
Broke Blazers pull out of African tourney
By AGNES MAKHANDIA
Kenyatta University's Gloria Juma (left) vies for the ball with Blazers' Rachel Ousa during their Kenya Hockey Union Women Premier League match at City Park Stadium on November 17, 2019 Blazers won 2-1. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Kenya will be without a representative at this year's Africa Hockey Club Championships after Blazers formerly Telkom women’s team pulled out of the event slated for December 1-8 in Egypt.
With Blazers out of the annual event, it brings to four the number of Kenya teams that will not feature in the tourney due to financial constraints. Butali Sugar Warriors, Kenya Police and Strathmore University's Scorpions are the other Kenyan clubs who will not be travelling to Ismailia.
The development means the 10-time African champions will not defend the title they won last year in Nigeria following a 2-0 win over rivals Ghana Revenue Authority in the final.
Blazers coach Jos Openda said it was unfortunate they didn’t get financial support to boost their kitty after former sponsors Telkom cut links with the team mid this year.
“We had a round table meeting with the players on Sunday and we all came to a conclusion to pull out of the championship. Although it’s painful that we won’t grace the occasion, I think it’s for the better of the team. We want to restructure and get sponsors ahead of the new season that will see us return to the Club Championship next year,” said the award-winning coach.
Meanwhile, Parklands and Sikh Union at the weekend were relegated from the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s Premier League with a game to spare.
Parklands lost 2-0 to champions Butali Sugar Warriors on Saturday to remain bottom with seven points from 17 matches, while Sikh went down 2-1 to Strathmore University's Gladiators to stay second from bottom with nine points from as many matches.
Champions Butali are top of the table with 45 points from 17 matches. Wazalendo are second with 33 points one ahead of third-placed Kenya Police with both teams having played 17 matches. The two clash on Sunday to decide who finishes second.
In the Super League, leaders Parkroad Badgers earned promotion to the top tier with three matches at hand having earned 46 points from 19 matches.
The other remaining slot is up for grabs with Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA), Mombasa Sports Club (MSC) and Mvita being the candidates.
KCA are second with 40 points from 21 matches, MSC are third with 37 points from 20 matches while Mvita have 36 points from 20 matches.
KHU assistant fixture secretary Moses Majiwa confirmed the Premier League season comes to an end this Sunday.
Lima Cricket keeps Women's National Hockey Championship Trophy
Federación Deportiva Peruana de Hockey
Photo: Federación Deportiva Peruana de Hockey
Oncena de Magdalena beat San Silvestre Sport 1-0 and won the first title played at the stadium built for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
Next Sunday, December 1st, Santa María Sport and OMA will meet looking for the men's crown of the year.
Villa María del Triunfo, November 24. Lima Cricket celebrated at the top. With a goal from Maryannis González, at minute 28, the Magdalena team beat San Silvestre 1-0 to keep the first title of the National Field Hockey Championship that takes place in the new stadium of Villa María del Triunfo.
The only goal, reached by the reinforcement arrived from Barinas, Venezuela, allowed Cricket to round off an excellent season in which he won four games, tied four others and fell only twice.
The Grand Final was played at a good pace, with both teams alternating the attacks, which allowed the two goalkeepers turned into the main figures of the field.
Until this event, the finals of the last five years had been played in Chiclayo, where the other official field of the Peruvian Hockey Federation is located. In 2019 they have been played entirely in the field of Villa María del Triunfo, the same one that was built for the Lima 2019 Pan American and Para Pan American Games.
OMA THIRD POSITION
The OMA girls also achieved a 1-0 win, against Mater Admirábilis, to keep the third official position of the contest. The only goal was by Gabriela Gallardo at 35’.
The final positions of the tournament are as follows:
1. Lima Cricket (Champions 2019!)
2. San Silvestre Sport
4. Mater Admirábilis
Next Sunday will be held the second final of the Male National Championship. The main characters will be OMA and Santa María Sport. The seconds played today and beat Libardoni 13-0, while OMA tied 1-1 with Lions. Both of them end their preparation for the last match, scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
Lima Cricket and Lions will define which of the two teams will finish in third place.
After these games, the federation chaired by Gianni Delucchi will hold the awards and closing ceremony, with the presence of the main sports authorities in the country.
Pan American Hockey Federation media release