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News for 27 November 2019

All the news for Wednesday 27 November 2019

South African Sides learn their opposition in the Tokyo Olympic Games

The South African Men’s and Women’s Hockey sides today received official confirmation of their place in the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. The men have a best finish of 10th at the Olympic Games and will look to improve on that in their 5th appearance at the Games after Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012. The women will also have their fifth appearance having missed out on Atlanta 96, but having qualified for Sydney 2000. The women’s best finish has been 9th in 2004.

The teams have also had their pools confirmed for the 2020 tournament in Tokyo and will look to summon the spirit of the Springboks who have just lifted the Rugby World Cup in the same country. The Men will be in Pool B alongside Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain and Canada. Incredibly it will be the first time the South Africans play either Germany or Belgium at an Olympic Games, while they have drawn 2 of the previous 4 Olympic encounters with Great Britain. They will also take on former national coach and player Greg Clarke when they take on Canada.

Coach Garreth Ewing and his coaching staff have been hard at work and will know that the intensity of their programme will go up a gear as they build towards the tournament starting in July next year.

For the SA Women’s team, the announcement caused superb reactions as there had been a huge degree of uncertainty, however we are excited that the #giftofhockey will be there at Tokyo 2020. The Women’s team have continued their hard work since their victory in Stellenbosch and will now gear themselves up for the challenge of taking on the defending champions Great Britain. Alongside this they will also face world number one Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and India.

Having previously faced Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain at the ultimate multi-sport showpiece, it will be the first time Robin van Ginkel’s side play either Ireland, who remarkably won the silver medal at the Hockey World Cup, as well as India who confirmed their spot in a thrilling victory over USA in the FIH Olympic Qualifying event.

For now, the hockey community will be ecstatic as the countries participation at Tokyo now confirmed. The next eight months promise to be filled with massive excitement and thrilling build up as South African hockey rises to the opportunity!

Pool A: Australia, Argentina, India, Spain, New Zealand, Japan
Pool B: Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Canada, South Africa

Pool A: Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, India, South Africa
Pool B: Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Spain, China, Japan

SA Hockey Association media release

Hockey Ireland Announce Squad for Men's Indoor Tournament

It's an exciting time for Irish Indoor Hockey with the re-establishment of the Men's and Women's Senior National Teams after a 30+ year hiatus. The last tournament the Ireland Indoor Men's Team played in was at home at Loughlinstown Leisure Centre in Co. Dublin in 1987.

"I would like to compliment all players involved in the preparation period so far on their commitment," said Head Coach, Kenny Carroll. "Selecting the final squad was difficult due to the high standard of players who were in contention. The 12 players selected to represent Ireland, the 2 non travelling reserves, the players on the Training Panel and all players playing domestic club Indoor hockey this season are all part of the journey we are on to compete at the top level and also to build and improve the base of Indoor hockey in Ireland. Both of these aims are mutually inclusive and reliant on each other, and will improve and develop Hockey in Ireland, there is no doubt.

"I am very happy to have in our squad an array of talented athletes who I believe will prepare diligently for and play exciting and clinical Indoor hockey while representing Ireland in Santander in January. The team will be lead on the court by our captain John Jackson , who has been part of the many International successes of the Green Machine over the last decade. Throughout the squad we have a nice blend of current and previous International experience, exciting young talent and ambitious athletes. We have tough and experienced opponents in hosts Spain, Scotland , Slovenia and Wales. I know our squad are relishing this challenge.

The supportive management team are also looking forward to assisting the playing group in the next stage of the preparation phase and the Tournament."

Ireland Men Indoor Squad - Santander January 17th- 19th 2020 EuroHockey Indoor Championship III

The Selected Squad is as follows:

1. Ross Canning (Three Rock Rovers)
2. Mark English (Three Rock Rovers)
3. Neal Glassey (Crefelder THC - Germany)
4. John Jackson - captain (Team Bath Buccaneers - England)
5. Jason Lynch - vice captain (Monkstown)
6. Harry Morris (Three Rock Rovers)
7. Stephen O'Keeffe - GK (Railway Union)
8. Brendan Parsons (Railway Union)
9. Rowland Rixon Fuller (Glenanne)
10. Callum Robson (Crefelder THC - Germany)
11. Michael Robson (Crefelder THC - Germany)
12. Stephen West - GK  (Team Bath Buccaneers - England)

Non travelling Reserves

13. Eoin MacArthur (Railway Union)
14. Mark Crooks (Cookstown)

Management Team

Kenny Carroll - Head Coach
Craig Stewart - Assistant Coach / Analyst
Rob Abbott - Manager
Huw Rees - Physio

Training Panel

15. Neil Byrne (Glenanne )
16. Richard Couse (Avoca)
16. Ben O Grady (YMCA)
17. Stu Ronan (Glenanne)
18. Stu Smyth (Cookstown)
21. Jakim Bernsden GK (YMCA)
20. Euan MacKay GK (Corinthians)

Irish Hockey Association media release

Carroll names Irish men’s panel for indoor return in Santander

Ross Canning in action for Three Rock Rovers last season. Pic: Sinead Hingston

Coach Kenny Carroll has named the first Irish men’s indoor team since the 1980s following two weeks of trials as preparations begin in earnest for January’s EuroHockey Championships III in Santander.

Ireland are in a group with hosts Spain, Scotland, Slovenia and Wales for their return to international action with top spot alone earning promotion to the second tier.

The squad features Ross Canning and Harry Morris who have been ever-presents in Three Rock Rovers’ back-to-back European club promotions. They are joined in the panel by Mark English and former Rover Stephen West who played in 2012 Euro club competition before moving to England where he has played indoors with Team Bath for four seasons.

There, he has lined out with John Jackson who will captain the side. He has vast experience on the boards, reaching the English Supers 6s championship final with both Reading and Bath, ending as leading scorer with the latter in 2018.

German-based outdoor international trio Neal Glassey, Michael and Callum Robson also link up with the squad along with Railway Union duo Stephen O’Keeffe and Brendan Parsons.

Glenanne’s Rowland Rixon-Fuller – who has caps for Zimbabwe outdoors – and Monkstown’s Jason Lynch will play their part in the tournament while Railway’s Eoin MacArthur and Cookstown’s Mark Crooks are the reserves. A further seven players form part of a wider training panel.

“I would like to compliment all players involved in the preparation period so far on their commitment,” said head coach Carroll.

“Selecting the final squad was difficult due to the high standard of players who were in contention. The 12 players selected to represent Ireland, the two non-travelling reserves, the players on the training panel and all players playing domestic club Indoor hockey this season are all part of the journey we are on to compete at the top level and also to build and improve the base of Indoor hockey in Ireland.

“Both of these aims are mutually inclusive and reliant on each other, and will improve and develop Hockey in Ireland, there is no doubt.

“I believe will prepare diligently for and play exciting and clinical Indoor hockey while representing Ireland in Santander in January. Throughout the squad we have a nice blend of current and previous international experience, exciting young talent and ambitious athletes. We have tough and experienced opponents in hosts Spain, Scotland , Slovenia and Wales. I know our squad are relishing this challenge.

“The supportive management team are also looking forward to assisting the playing group in the next stage of the preparation phase and the tournament.”

Ireland Men Indoor Squad – Santander January 17th- 19th 2020 EuroHockey Indoor Championship III: Ross Canning (Three Rock Rovers), Mark English (Three Rock Rovers), Neal Glassey (Crefelder THC – Germany), John Jackson (captain, Team Bath Buccaneers – England), Jason Lynch (vice captain, Monkstown), Harry Morris (Three Rock Rovers), Stephen O’Keeffe (GK, Railway Union), Brendan Parsons (Railway Union), Rowland Rixon Fuller (Glenanne), Callum Robson (Crefelder THC – Germany), Michael Robson (Crefelder THC – Germany), Stephen West (GK, Team Bath Buccaneers – England)

Non travelling Reserves: Eoin MacArthur (Railway Union), Mark Crooks (Cookstown)

Head Coach: Kenny Carroll
Assistant Coach/Analyst: Craig Stewart
Manager: Rob Abbott
Physio: Huw Rees

Training Panel: Neil Byrne (Glenanne), Richard Couse (Avoca), Ben O’Grady (YMCA), Stu Ronan (Glenanne), Stu Smyth (Cookstown), Jakim Bernsden (GK, YMCA), Euan MacKay (GK, Corinthian)

The Hook

Scotland women to compete in EuroHockey Indoor Championship II

Scotland Women will compete at EuroHockey Indoor championship II in Zveti Ivan Zelina, Croatia from the 24th to 26th January 2020.

For this campaign the team will be coached by Iain Strachan (Head Coach) and Vikki Bunce (Assistant).

In order to select the best available team for the tournament, Scottish Hockey is seeking applications from committed female indoor players who are playing at a high level to represent Scotland at this tournament.

Applications with brief details and contact information should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 12 noon on Friday 29th November.

Following the receipt of applications, a group of players will then be selected by the coaches for a training squad, who will train in Perth on the following dates:

Saturday 7th December
Saturday 14th December
Saturday 21st December
Saturday 28th December
Sunday 29th December

Following the training day on the 29th the squad will be selected to travel to Croatia, with further training sessions planned in early January.

It should be noted that applications will only be considered from players who can fully commit to the programme – and are regularly playing indoor hockey.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

As Central Pennsylvania watches intently, USA Field Hockey faces big decisions


Central York High School graduate Lauren Moyer, right, is pictured with Janneke Schopman, the head coach of the United States Women's National Field Hockey Team, after Moyer made her 50th appearance with the national team. Schopman is no longer the coach of the national team. Moyer, meanwhile, now has made 72 appearances with the national team.

These are tumultuous times for the United States Women’s National Field Hockey Team.

After failing to make the 2020 Summer Olympics, USA Field Hockey is looking for a new leader of its national women’s team.

And it soon may be looking for a new training home outside of its current central Pennsylvania residence.

Monday, the ruling body of United States field hockey, in a news release, announced the “separation” of Janneke Schopman as the head coach of the national team.

That sounds a lot like a polite way of saying she was fired.

Schopman’s “separation” from Team USA comes as no great surprise. After nearly winning a medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, when the Americans finished fifth, the U.S. team failed to even qualify for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

The Americans, featuring Central York High School graduate Lauren Moyer, fell one goal short of a qualifying berth for the Tokyo Games in a recent two-game series against India.

That failure apparently cost Schopman her job.

In 2016, Team USA looked like a field hockey program on the rise. Now it looks like Team Turmoil.

Before its failure in the Olympic qualifier vs. India, Schopman led the Americans through a disappointing inaugural season in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Pro League, when they finished last in the nine-team field. The U.S. team is now ranked No. 13 in the world. Twelve teams qualified for the 2020 Olympics.

Training facility under fire: In addition, the team’s training facility at the nearby Spooky Nook sports complex in Lancaster County has come under fire.

Spooky Nook became the home of the U.S. women’s national team in 2013. At the time, the sprawling facility in Manheim seemed like a natural fit. After all, the bulk of the Team USA roster came from the mid-Atlantic region, including a large number of Pennsylvania players. That roster includes Moyer, a 24-year-old midfielder who has earned 72 caps (or appearances) while becoming an integral member of the national team.

Recently, however, the field conditions at Spooky Nook have become a matter of serious concern. The national team will continue to train at Spooky Nook, but it looks like the facility won't host international competition anytime soon.

When the 2020 Pro League schedule was recently announced, it was revealed that Team USA will play its home games at the University of North Carolina, where Moyer was an All-American. The FIH confirmed that the move was made because of poor field conditions at Spooky Nook.

The women's program, meanwhile, is in ongoing contract renegotiations with Spooky Nook. The field conditions at Spooky Nook will certainly be a pivotal part of those talks. A new field at Spooky Nook will almost certainly be required if the facility wants the national team to keep its headquarters there.

The issues at Spooky Nook, however, go beyond just the field conditions and have led to speculation that USA Field Hockey could move its women's headquarters from Lancaster County, which would be a blow to the central Pennsylvania economy, including York County.

Petition started: In addition, members of both the men's and women's national teams recently started a petition on change.org listing a number of grievances with the program, which allegedly have hindered both squads' recent success.

The petition reads, in part: "In order for both the Men’s and Women’s teams to succeed, there are standards that need to be met in high performance areas. Both teams feel these standards are not being met, resulting in continued challenges for each program."

As of Tuesday morning, the petition had more than 5,500 signatures.

Schopman era: Schopman, meanwhile, leaves after five years with Team USA, including three years as the head coach.

Her reign did feature some highlights, including a gold-medal performance at the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in Johannesburg, South Africa. She also led the women to bronze-medal finishes at the 2017 Pan American Cup and 2019 Pan American Games. Moyer was a star at the 2019 Pan Am Games with five goals over six games, helping the Americans go 5-1 at the event.

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-medal squad at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and a member of the gold-medal squad at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

She couldn’t achieve similar success as head coach with the U.S. team and now finds herself out of a job.

Key decisions to make: USA Field Hockey now has two very important decisions to make — hiring a new head coach and determining if Spooky Nook is still the best place for the women’s team to train.

The outcome of those decisions will be of intense interest in these parts and will likely determine if the U.S. women’s national team is playing in the 2024 Paris Games or is again sitting on the sidelines.

York Dispatch

Super Surbiton keep winning streaks rolling in men’s and women’s competitions

Surbiton continue to dominate both the English women’s and men’s national leagues as they made it 10 wins from 10.

Emily Atkinson got the league leaders off to a good start when she found the net in the 15th minute from a penalty corner in their 3-1 win over basement side Bowdon.

Hannah Martin doubled their advantage in the 53rd minute before Sian French hit back for Bowdon a minute later to make it 2-1. Martin netted her second of the day in the 60th minute to seal all three points and keep them eight points clear of the pack.

In-form East Grinstead picked up another three points as they won 2-1 at home against Beeston to sit in third place. Tess Howard opened the scoring in the 15th minute from free play before Sian Emslie levelled for the Beeston with 11 minutes remaining.

Sophie Bray hit the winner in the 64th minute when she found the net from open play.

Surbiton’s men, meanwhile, were at home to bottom side Reading and managed to maintain their perfect run with a 4-0 victory.

Zach Wallace scored twice and Alan Forsyth once in the opening ten minutes before David Goodfield capped off the win for Surbiton in the dying minutes of the game.

A Ben Francis hat-trick helped Wimbledon take all three points from their trip to the University of Exeter to remain in second with a 7-1 win.

Old Georgians continued their impressive first season in the Premier Division with a 3-1 win over Brooklands MU.

Peter Flanagan put the visitors ahead after 11 minutes but James Tindall levelled affairs only six minutes later.

Ashley Jackson put Old Georgians ahead after 43 minutes with Tom Carson putting further distance between the sides and sealing the three points for Old Georgians.

Hampstead & Westminster salvaged a point at the death in a tough contest with visitors Holcombe.

Holcombe’s Harry Trusler cancelled out Rupert Shipperley’s opener. The sides traded blows again as the host’s Matt Guise Brown scored two goals either side of Oliver Walker’s goal for Holcombe.

Nick Bandurak scored twice in as many minutes to put Holcombe 4-3 up with five minutes remaining but Kwan Browne shared the spoils 4-4 with a last-minute penalty stroke.

Adam Dixon scored twice on his 300th appearance for Beeston, while Chris Proctor also struck a brace in the Bees’ 5-1 win at East Grinstead.

Nick Park scored Beeston’s other goal while Andy Piper scored East Grinstead’s.

Euro Hockey League media release

Loreto score big win over reigning Irish champions Pegasus

A super second half performance saw Loreto end the last remaining perfect record in the Irish women’s EY Hockey League, beating EHL-bound Pegasus 3-2 in a repeat of last season’s Irish grand final.

The Ulster side had much the better of the first half and they went in front in the 10th minute following sustained pressure with Alex Speers scoring from play.

Loreto had to defend four penalty corners but they managed to stay just one down until half-time and they duly took their chances after the interval.

Sarah Torrans equalised within a minute of the turnaround and they went in front six minutes later courtesy of a cracking reverse-stick shot from Sarah Evans.

Hayley Mulcahy completed the success with six minutes to go from a penalty corner switch move to the left, rendering Olivia Berry’s goal a consolation.

The victory lifted Loreto into the top half of the table for the first time, level in fourth place with UCD but just two points off the leading trio of Pegasus, Pembroke and Old Alex.

The Dublin club’s coach Paul Fitzpatrick described it as a “really big performance”, saying: “we have had a lot of players coming in and out. Today we were down three players again so we are adjusting to it. That has been something we had worked hard on and it is helping us develop the whole group.

“Pegasus are a great team, a very solid unit and we did well to only be one behind at half-time.

“It has been a tough start to the season with a lot of tough games.”

He was particularly pleased with how his side found the net in this tie having found goals tricky to come by in some of the earlier rounds.

“Goalscoring is an art. It’s something you are always working on in training – I thought we got two nice goals from play and the corner was pretty nice as well. We only had two or three corners in the game; one from three is not bad as all.”

Euro Hockey League media release

High 5s for the smallest member of the hockey family

Sarah Juggins

2019 Central American Hockey 5s Championship (women) - PAN v CRC. Photo: Nahir El Barri

For the purist, Hockey5s or any other iteration of the game is not ‘real’ hockey. Across the ocean in Australia, there was an outcry from fans of traditional 11-a-side hockey when the progressive national association introduced a 9-a-side version of the game.

However, it is becomingly increasingly clear that small-sided games must be part of an overall hockey development strategy. For many national associations this is the only way to introduce the game to a wide population and to play regular international fixtures. And with more than 60 countries around the world regularly playing the short-form version, there is clearly an appetite.

Other sports have made the move, some with a lot of success. Rugby 7s is a great example of the way a sport has simplified its code and then allowed it to develop a life of its own. High 5 netball is another example. Where netball – a game not well known outside of Commonwealth nations – is a game with a lot of rules, particularly regarding areas of movement, so High 5s has fewer players and fewer restrictions. This means the players can practice skills and play the game without it breaking down too regularly.

Recognising the need to open the game to a wider audience, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has recently announced the first edition of a Hockey5s World Cup, to take place in 2023. The international body is acutely aware that many nations are lacking in the facilities or finances to run sustainable 11-a-side nations programs but the versatility of Hockey5s means the sport can at least be enjoyed in one, fast-moving version of the game by most nations in the world.

Talking about the FIH’s decision to launch a Hockey5s World Cup, Jon Wyatt, FIH Sport and Development Director, says: “Hockey5s is a proven entry level for hockey in communities where hockey is not yet an established sport. We are keen to promote the short form of hockey to introduce newcomers to the sport which can be played by smaller groups, on any surface, and with simplified rules.

“The 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aries saw the potential of Hockey5s at an elite level to excite and inspire, with Hockey5s the most popular sport for fans across the entire sport portfolio, and tens of thousands of school children attending the matches. Our goal is to introduce hockey to new players and officials, wherever they are in the world and whatever the facilities they have access to, and Hockey5s is a core part of that strategy”.

Just as with the 9s in Australia, reaction to the announcement by the FIH has been mixed. Sports commentator Chris Sharples is  huge fan of the small-sided game: “It's an excellent chance to see players develop and excel in a different format. Those skills that can either be taken into the 11 a side game or even for players to become a specialist in the 5s format - I really dont see a problem with that.”

However, the hockey website Self Pass commented: “I am very disappointed with FIH decision to create a Hockey5s World Cup 2023. This is a bad decision concerning the technical-tactical interest and development of the game (as proven) and might prove to be of irreversible damage for our sport.

“Hockey5s is real and also a joke. Of course the smaller countries will support [it], that’s exactly part of the problem. A permission and a motivation to ‘forget’ hockey 11-a-side. Probably the worst mistake ever of FIH.”

One country which is at the forefront of Hockey5s in our region is Costa Rica. The former has recently held the first edition of the Hockey 5s Clubs Cup Cartage, with teams from Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica, taking part in the event, which was held at Las Brujas Sports Complex in Paraíso de Cartago, Costa Rica.

PAHF spoke to Bernardo Picado, the President of the Costa Rica Hockey Federation about the successful inaugural Hockey5s Clubs Cup Cartage. Before the event even got underway, Picado and his team of organisers faced a big problem: the original facilities had become unavailable, so there was a scramble to find an alternative.

“Everything had to be moved, which was a big inconvenience,” says Picado. “It had already been difficult to get financial support from the local sport authorities but that had been achieved eventually. Then, suddenly, we had to find a facility that was suitable for both players and spectators. We also had to coordinate hosting the participating teams.”

Despite the issues, Picado was delighted with the way things turned out: “The feeling of joy is indescribable and the excitement of seeing athletes doing their best and seeing families [spectating] is great. It is a feeling of "work done" and a commitment to continue adding efforts and events where we can keep growing.”

For Costa Rica, hosting the tournament is a big step along their development pathway. The players had been training two or three times a week for the event since January, which meant the standard of play was high and Picado sees the event as a springboard to more competitions and playing opportunities.

“Players, umpires and officials can take advantage of this and grow their skills and knowledge. We, the Federation, need to continue to create this type of opportunity.”

For Picado, the beauty of the Hockey5s format is that it allows teams to travel and play but on a smaller budget than that of an 11-a-side team. Costs for food, accommodation, travel are all lower, but, he adds, the intensity of the games make the matches fast-paced and exciting.

From this point, the Costa Rica national players will continue to train, with their focus now on the Central American Hockey5s Championship. The girl’s team are playing matches against an university in the USA in December while the boy’s youth team will be competing against El Salvador at the same time.

The successful running of the two four-team competitions served yet another purpose: it demonstrated to the Costa Rican Institute of Sports and Recreation (ICODER) that the Costa Rican Hockey Federation (Fecohockey) was more than capable of hosting and running high tier events.

For Costa Rica, (who are currently ranked 87th in the FIH World Rankings), to move up the world rankings and to play more international fixtures, experiences such as the Clubs Cup are invaluable.

As the developing nations spread their wings and grow, an emerging and common strategy is to start with Hockey5s and progress to the 11-a-side game. It is clear that, although Hockey5s, and its place within the entire hockey offering, may be under fire from some quarters, a trip to an event such as the recent Hockey5s Club Cup Cartage or the aforementioned Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018 is a sweet reminder that for many nations, small steps are the only plausible and sustainable way to success.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Marius Gallagher RIP

Hockey Ireland were saddened today to learn of the death of Marius Gallagher following a long illness.

He served as President of the Leinster Umpires Association from 1974 to 1975 and then again from 1986 to 1987.

He also served as President of the Leinster Branch from 1990 to 1992 and then President of the Irish Hockey Union from 1995 to 1997.

Marius was also an FIH Umpire.

His contribution to hockey was felt throughout the land and he will be sadly missed.   Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

Reposing on Friday evening, November 29 from 5pm to 7pm in Carnegies Funeral Home, Monkstown, A94 XK28. Funeral Mass on Saturday at 10am in the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Foxrock followed by Cremation at Mount Jerome Crematorium, Harold’s Cross, D.6W. Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired, to the Blackrock Hospice. House private. 

rish Hockey Association media release

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