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News for 03 December 2019

All the news for Tuesday 3 December 2019

3 Nations Invitational Tournament - Canberra (AUS) - Day 1
Under 21 Women's Outdoor, Canberra (AUS)

3 Dec 2019     AUS v NZL     1 - 3

FIH Match Centre

Australia’s Men’s National Development Squad selected for 2020

Nic Kerber

Joel Rintala from Brisbane Blaze is part of the squad

The list of athletes that will make up Australia’s Men’s Hockey National Development Squad for the next 12 months has been announced.

The Men’s National Development Squad comprises athletes on the verge of breaking into the national senior program, with an eye to being selected for the Kookaburras at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, 2023 World Cup in India and Paris Olympics in 2024.

All 19 athletes selected in the 2020 Men’s National Development Squad competed in the recent inaugural Sultana Bran Hockey One League.

Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch said the athletes’ performances in the new reinvigorated domestic competition played a significant role in their selections, and he has been impressed with the level of the players who are knocking on the door.

“There is really good depth in Australian men’s hockey at the moment and the athletes that have been selected have proven they have the quality to be in the mix for the Kookaburras,” said Batch.

“The coaching staff and High Performance department see this group of athletes as integral in driving the Kookaburras to ongoing improvement and success, and being selected in this squad clearly sends the message that they are very much in contention.

“Nathan (Ephraums) and Kurt (Lovett) were both part of the National Development Squad this year and forced their way into the senior Kookaburras squad, so I look forward to monitoring the development of all the players on our radar.”

As part of the National Development Squad, athletes will continue to train in their home daily training environment with their National Training Centre (NTC) programs, under the guidance of the national program coaches.

The National Development Squad features six players from the Sultana Bran Hockey One League’s undefeated NSW Pride team, including capped Kookaburra Jack Hayes.

Lachlan Busiko is the sole athlete from South Australia in the squad and Hayden Beltz, the brother of Kookaburra Josh Beltz, is the only player from Tasmania.

In addition, throughout the year these athletes may be invited to train with the senior Kookaburras squad in Perth as part of a Visitor Athlete Agreement and be involved in training and match environments that are above their current level of competition.

2020 Men’s National Development Squad
Name, State, Hockey One Team
Kiran Arunasalam, VIC, HC Melbourne
Hayden Beltz, TAS, Tassie Tigers
Lachlan Busiko, SA, Adelaide Fire
James Day, ACT, Canberra Chill
Hayden Dillon, NSW, NSW Pride
Matthew Finn, QLD, Brisbane Blaze
Liam Flynn, WA, Perth Thundersticks
Jack Hayes, NSW, NSW Pride
Max Hendry, VIC, HC Melbourne
Dylan Martin, NSW, NSW Pride
Hugh Pembroke, QLD, Brisbane Blaze
Ryan Proctor, NSW, NSW Pride
Jayshaan Randhawa, VIC, HC Melbourne
Joel Rintala, QLD, Brisbane Blaze
Jake Sherren, VIC, HC Melbourne
Ben Staines, ACT, Canberra Chill
Nathanael Stewart, NSW, NSW Pride
Ash Thomas, NSW, NSW Pride
Blake Wotherspoon, QLD, Brisbane Blaze

Hockey Australia media release

Players will be put to test in FIH Pro League, says Manpreet Singh

The Indian men’s hockey team will open its campaign in the FIH Pro League against the Netherlands on January 18 and 19 in Bhubaneswar.

Manpreet Singh has faith in his team to do well in the future tournaments.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

India’s consistency will be put to test in the second edition of the FIH Pro League, said captain Manpreet Singh whose team will make its debut against the Netherlands here in January next year.

The Indian men’s hockey team will open its campaign in the FIH Pro League against the Netherlands here on January 18 and 19.

India will then host world champions Belgium on February 8 and 9, followed by two more home fixtures against Australia on February 22 and 23.

“I think the team has grown steadily in this past year with a number of youngsters getting very good international exposure. We have a good pool of players who can be further tested during the Hockey Pro League,” Manpreet said.

“Although we have maintained our world ranking at No. 5, our consistency will be put to test during the Hockey Pro League where we play top teams like Netherlands, Belgium and Australia in the first three months of the season,” added the midfielder.

The Indian team will then play away games in Germany (April 25 and 26) and Great Britain (May 2 and 3) before returning to play at home on May 23 and 24 against New Zealand before travelling to Argentina to play on June 5 and 6.

India will play the last leg of the Pro League round-robin matches in Spain on June 13 and 14.

Manpreet was delighted that India will be hosting successive World Cups and said his side would try their level best to double up the joy by lifting the title in 2023.

Hosting back-to-back World Cups

“It is the first time that India will be hosting back-to-back World Cups and it is a matter of great pride for us. It would be incredible if we can add to the celebrations by lifting the World Cup,” said the skipper.

He was also thrilled with the fact that the 2023 World Cup would be hosted by a state which is considered as the cradle of hockey.

“There is no doubt that the Kalinga Stadium is one of the world’s best venues we have ever played in. It’s not only the Indian team who enjoy playing here but other teams like Belgium and the Netherlands too enjoy the crowd, the atmosphere and the infrastructure here,” he said.

“(Besides) This is a great initiative taken up by Odisha Government and Hockey India. Rourkela and its surrounding region has a rich hockey culture with many of my team-mates and senior players coming from there. Hosting a major event like the World Cup there will not only boost the hockey scene further, it will also show the real hockey belt of Odisha to the world,” he added.


Gemma McCaw opens up on Black Sticks comeback concerns and Richie's support

Gemma McCaw was recalled to the Black Sticks in November. MARK KOLBE/GETTY IMAGES

Gemma McCaw has opened up about her concerns of coming out of retirement as the Kiwi hockey star juggles being a mum with pursuing her Olympic dream.

After initially bringing her stellar career to an end in 2017, McCaw completed a remarkable return to the Black Sticks last month when she was named in the squad to prepare for next year's Tokyo Olympics.

However, the decision to return to the sport was not one she took lightly.

With her and husband, All Blacks legend Richie McCaw, welcoming their first child, Charlotte, last December, the 29-year-old agonised over the impact it would have on their daughter, particularly with all the travel involved.

While the McCaws are based in Christchurch, Gemma regularly commuted to the North Island, where she played for Midlands, before signing on for the Adelaide Fire in the Australian domestic tournament.

Gemma McCaw praised husband Richie for encouraging her to come out of retirement. KAI SCHWOERER/GETTY IMAGES

"It's definitely harder now that I'm a mum, but it also means there's a lot more to play for," McCaw told Woman's Day. "The dream is that next year, if I make the squad, 'Lottie' will be in the stands at the Olympics watching me give it my all."

A veteran of 246 appearances for the Black Sticks, the seed to return was first planted when Gemma agreed to play club hockey when Charlotte was four months old.

Ultimately, it was an inspirational quote she came across that propelled her to push on with the comeback.

"I was flicking through a little book and came across a quote that said, 'It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it myself,'" McCaw recalled to Woman's Day.

"Something about it just hit me. I couldn't get it out of my head and that's when I realised I had to give it another shot."

McCaw paid tribute to the help and support she's received from Richie, who brought his illustrious rugby career to an end after leading the All Blacks to consecutive World Cup titles in 2015.

She said Richie has embraced fatherhood wholeheartedly and is scaling back his hours working as a helicopter pilot to ensure that Gemma can focus on her training.

"He told me he'll do absolutely everything he can to help make it happen," she added. "The fact he understands totally what this means to me and how much I'll need to put into it means so much. He just supports me 100 per cent."


Bad day for hockey coach Dharmaraj


TALK about having a bad day! Nothing beats what national women’s indoor hockey coach K. Dharmaraj experienced en route to the New Clark City Airport for the Sea Games yesterday.

Firstly, on board his flight to the Philippines with the national men and women’s teams, he bumped into some “unexpected guests”.

The Indonesian men and women’s indoor hockey team, who are not supposed to be playing at the biennial Games, were on board the same flight as they wanted to go there and “try their luck”.

If that’s not bad enough, while the national teams had to squat on the airport floor for more than two hours waiting for their pick-up bus to arrive, the transport arrived promptly for Indonesia and they were whisked away to the Games Village in Subic.

“I’m shocked and lost for words. Confused as well.

“First, we were made to wait for two hours before our bus arrived, but that’s a small matter compared to the Indonesian one,” said Dharmaraj.

“Both their men and women’s teams suddenly appeared on our flight even though they are not on the official fixtures provided by the organisers to us long ago.

“When I asked the Indonesia manager, he said they are here to ‘try our luck and see if the organisers will allow us to compete’,” said Dharmaraj.

“This is madness,” said Dharmaraj, who must have been fuming watching the Indonesians boarding their bus quickly while the national teams were made to wait for a couple of hours.

For the record, Indonesia were silver medallists in the men and women’s events when the sport made its debut in the 2017 KL Games.

Malaysia won the men’s gold and women’s bronze.

New Straits Times

Congratulations to the 2019 US National Hockey Festival Medalists

TAMPA, Fla. - The 39th edition of the National Hockey Festival, presented by CranBarry, is in the books after attracting thousands of field hockey fans to the Tournament Sportsplex of Tampa Bay. Athletes, coaches, families and umpires assembled from regions all across the United States and parts of Canada for the beloved annual holiday tournament. With its rich tradition, USA Field Hockey would like to thank all who participated and helped administer another successful event.

USA Field Hockey would also like to congratulate the 2019 National Hockey Festival Pool Winners:


A: South Jersey Edge Pink
B: Windy City Fire
C: Jersey Intensity Black
D: Gateway Red
E: Freedom HKY
F: X-Calibur FHC
G: Rush


H: New Heights Black
I: Gateway Red
J: New Jersey Starz
K: Shore Byrds
L: Texas Pride
M: AGH-1
N: AIM Field Hockey
O: Nook Hockey

U-14, 11v11:

Q: X-Calibur

U-14, 7v7:

R: Stealth Comets
S: Key Biscayne White
T: Mayhem


V: Key Biscayne Blue
W: Windy City Blast


Red Rose Field Hockey

USFHA media release

Sophie Bray's firepower continues to lift East Grinstead

Rod Gilmour

East Grinstead’s Sophie Bray unleashes against Clifton Credit: Peter Smith

Despite ending her international career earlier this year, Sophie Bray is still an “excellent goal machine” who would stroll into any world XI , according to Mary Booth, East Grinstead women’s coach.

Bray, last season’s joint top scorer in the regular season with 18, moved on to 13 goals in just 12 starts following another classy hat-trick from the 29-year-old captain as East Grinstead ended a successful weekend on the road with a 3-1 victory at University of Birmingham.

On Saturday, Booth’s side overcame Clifton Robinsons 2-1 and these two victories cemented their position in third – behind Surbiton and Hampstead & Westminster – having played two more games than their rivals.

“Sophie's a goal machine, demanding and a great leader,” said Booth. “Being captain is important for her and she feels loyal to this family club. She knows we are going to struggle as we aren’t Hampstead, Surbiton or a Wimbledon and don’t have the demographic.

"But she has done well integrating players into the squad and having high expectations of everybody. She’s not as fit because she now has a working life, but trains in a gym every day. She is just quality and she is still an excellent, technically-gifted hockey player.”

Chloe Brown competes with Clifton’s Tasha Marke-Jones  Credit:  Peter Smith

Bray’s decision to quit the central programme in January and focus on her City career as a business analyst with Cisco left Great Britain not only short of a proven goal threat but also unanswered questions on why such a talent left Bisham mid-Olympic cycle.

“I think she’s come to terms with it, more so than the rest of us in a way as we see what a talent she is,” added Booth.

Although it is understood that GB women’s coach Mark Hager has been in touch with the Rio Olympian, for now Great Britain’s loss is East Grinstead’s gain as her penchant for helping out the West Sussex club’s juniors continues to take effect. “She is getting the juniors to buy into what it means to be a member of a club,” said Booth.

A long-haul weekend

Following Saturday's win, coach Booth travelled from Bristol to take her two Malaysian recruits back to Gatwick and onwards to Birmingham for their second game in 24 hours.

The Malaysian omission for their subsequent victory, plus the injured Tess Howard, led Booth to admit that “winning is a habit” as they still took six points from the weekend.

After losing their opening three games, East Grinstead are now unbeaten in 10, with seven wins and three draws. “You have to learn to want that habit. But we aren’t the finished article in any shape or form and we are still developing,” said Booth.

Their early season woes were perhaps expected given they had to embed nine new players in the team. Booth added: “We’ve got players who are beginning to understand that you have to grind some games out. Their skill levels are better and they’re definitely stronger.”

Added to this has been the form of defender Chloe Palmer at the back. In the first game of last season, Palmer broke her ankle playing against Buckingham but has returned fitter, added better communication through the back channels and the team has prospered with a tighter defence.

“She has been immense for us,” added Booth. “She’s a calm head, experienced and is now fitter than she was. It’s making a difference.”

Double header travails

While the raft of double headers seen in the Premier Division this season has been down to clubs wanting more availability for their GB internationals, the picture is different in the two leagues below the top flight, the Division 1 North and South.

Belper, who are still facing an industrial clean-up operation after the recent floods, were forced to play back-to-back matches, beating Stourport and losing to Swansea on Sunday.

“It would have been nice to have had a little bit more flexibility from England Hockey given what the club has been through,” said coach Craig Keegan, the former GB women’s assistant. “I was pretty disappointed with that to be honest.”

Meanwhile, Keegan senses 'burn out' from unpaid officials with volunteers facing regular double headers and travel time, especially in the expansive North Division.

“Is this healthy for the game and where is the development coming from?” added Keegan. “I've a huge amount of respect for everyone who gives up their weekend to be involved in our national league but I'm not finding many young people coming in.”

Keegan is, however, finding plenty of positives with Belper’s youth system. For such a small club, Keegan says that former player Hollie Pearne-Webb – Anna Toman also came through the junior ranks - remains an inspiration after her gold medal-winning shoot-out goal in Rio.

Keegan said: “Hollie is a big draw, her iconic moment in the winning goal has inspired not just the young players but the coaches and parents to be involved in the club and they see the association." The Australian will give a talk on Friday at the club entitled ‘Rio gold: the people, the place and the process’. It is part of a flood fundraiser to help the club deal with its extensive clean-up bill.

The Telegraph

KU and JKUAT women relegated


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

Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat) women’s teams will compete in lower-tier league next season after being relegated from the Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League at the weekend.

The league ended on Sunday with Blazes crowned women’s champions and Butali Sugar men’s champions.

The two teams finished bottom, with Jkuat managing five points with one match won and two drawn. KU collected six points from one victory and three draws.

However, it remains to be seen how many teams will earn promotion to the top-tier league upon completion of both the second-tier and third-tier leagues on December 15.

Elsewhere, after bagging the top-scorer’s award with 13 goals, Greensharks player Chris Wokila has called on teams to up their game next season to break the monotony of one team wining title year in, year out.

Wokila said having one dominant team winning the league will make the competition lose meaning.

“I won’t be leaving Sharks any time soon. Maybe I will do so in future, having won the title with them. I’m grateful for the award but it’s not my own doing but the team’s effort. Hopefully next year we will go a step further, having finished fourth this season. We will challenge for the title,” said the 25-year-old.

Festus Onyango (Strathmore University) and Amos Barkibir (Butali Sugar Warriors) finished second and third among the scorers with 12 and 11 goals respectively.

Gilly Okumu (Strathmore) and the evergreen Jackline Mwangi (Blazers) emerged joint top scorers in the women’s league with eight goals each, as Barbara Simiyu and Elinah Chebet, both from Blazers, scored seven goals each.

At the same time, champions Butali Sugar Warrior captain Kenneth Nyongesa has bemoaned the absence of Kenya clubs at the ongoing African Cup for Club Championship in Egypt, saying it will have a negative impact of the national teams performance.

Daily Nation

Sindh B, Port Qasim, Customs score wins in National Jr Hockey

LAHORE - Sindh B, Port Qasim Authority (PQA), Customs, Balochistan, Punjab C, MCPL and Islamabad recorded victories in the 36th National Junior Hockey Championship, which resumed here at the National Hockey Stadium on Monday after a day’s rest.

Sindh B outlasted Punjab D 12-1, Port Qasim routed Punjab B 12-1, Customs thrashed Gilgit 18-0, Balochistan defeated Sindh A 4-2, Punjab C outscored AJK 4-0, MCPL thumped Army B 4-2 and Islamabad beat KPK B 2-1.

Sports Board Punjab (SBP) Director General Adnan Arshad Aulakh graced the occasion as chief guest. He was warmly received by PHF officials upon reaching National Hockey Stadium and was also introduced with players of Punjab and AJK hockey teams.

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Asif Bajwa, Tournament Director Olympian Anjum Saeed, Deputy Director Shahid Nizami and others were also present on this occasion. 

Aulakh said the SBP is extending full support to the PHF in its mission to regain lost hockey glory.

Aulakh said the sports board is utilising all resources to promote sports as per vision of Punjab govt. “As many as 315 sports facilities are presently working in the province while 200 new development schemes will be completed during the current fiscal year. In this way there will be over 500 sports facilities for Punjab’s young athletes."

The Nation

MHL 2020: Only 8 in fray as 7 weeks to complete league

By Satwant Dhaliwal

The knockout tournament preceding the Malaysian Hockey League has been – knocked out!

Named after Tan Sri P. Alagendra, the competition was introduced four years ago as a curtain raiser for the start of the new season of MHL.

In 2019, the tournament was still carried out despite only 7 teams in the MHL following the discarding of the first division.

And this time around, with 8 teams registered for the 2020 season, the tournament was scrapped.

A team official confirmed that they received notification that there will no longer be the knockout tournament and the MHL will commence on January 10 and be completed by end of February.

The seven teams that participated last year have registered.

The teams bring Tenaga Nasional, UniKL, Maybank, Terengganu Hockey Team, Nur Insafi, UiTM and TNB Thunderbolts.

The new team in the fray is Kuala Lumpur.

And another drastic change is the reduction of foreign players each team is allowed to register – from 6 previously to 4 for the new season.

With the FIH Pro League commencing in January, top players from Argentina. Holland, India, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Great Britain will not feature in the 2020 MHL.

And this paves the way for TNB which has the bulk of national players to walk away with the double.

Malaysian Sports

SA Hockey AGM elects three EXCO Members

The 2019 South African Hockey Executive Committee Meeting took place this weekend in Johannesburg. In the rotation of roles this year the portfolios for Corporate Governance, Events and High Performance were up for election at this AGM.

In the corporate governance the incumbent in the role Lwandile Simelane stood unopposed and will continue in the role that is an integral part of achieving our objectives over the next 24 months. Josie Milela who has done a fantastic role in the Events Portfolio, including the highlight of the wonderful African Hockey Road to Tokyo in Stellenbosch earlier this year, stood unopposed and will also continue in her role.

Alistair Fredericks has been elected to the High-Performance Portfolio succeeding previous incumbent David Viney. Ally is no stranger to the SA Hockey Community first became a national hero for many when he became the first player of colour to represent South Africa’s Hockey Men. In a career that saw Fredericks feature at the 1996 Summer Olympics the striker collected 57 goals in his 59 caps.  Since his retirement in 1998, Ally has served as a Provincial coach, an assistant coach at national level and of course has been the indoor and outdoor men’s convenor of selectors for the past couple of years. We look forward to the energy of Alistair in the new role.

Deon Morgan, SA Hockey President, thanked the volunteers for stepping up to take on the various portfolios. He also paid tribute to the outgoing David Viney for his contributions to the game of hockey in our country.

“To be successful in any walk of life, one needs to surround yourself with competent, committed, skilled and passionate people.  I am therefore grateful that both Lwandile and Josie availed themselves to serve hockey for another term.

It is also a good sign when more people are availing themselves to serve the game. I want to wish Alistair all the best as he joins the team and thank Dave Viney for all he has done while running High Performance.”

SA Hockey Association media release

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