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News for 24 January 2020

All the news for Friday 24 January 2020

2020 FIH Pro League (Men) - This weekend

24 Jan 2020 11:00 (GMT +1)    ESP v GER (RR)  Estadio Betero, Valencia
25 Jan 2020 13:00 (GMT +1)    ESP v GER (RR)  Estadio Betero, Valencia
25 Jan 2020 18:30 (GMT +11)    AUS v BEL (RR) Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney
26 Jan 2020 17:30 (GMT +11)    AUS v BEL (RR)  Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney

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

FIH Match Centre

2020 FIH Pro League (Women) - This weekend

24 Jan 2020     USA v NED (RR) Cancelled in memory of Larry Amar, USWNT Assistant coach who died this week
25 Jan 2020 16:00 (GMT +11)     AUS v BEL (RR) Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney
26 Jan 2020 14:00 (GMT -5)     USA v NED (RR) Karen Shelton Stadium Chapel Hill, North Carolina    
26 Jan 2020 15:00 (GMT +11)     AUS v BEL (RR) Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney

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

FIH Match Centre

Australia ready for tricky encounter with Red Lions

The first season of the FIH Hockey Pro League was a successful one for the Kookaburras. They won the inaugural competition, beating Belgium 3-2 in an exciting Grand Final, after storming to the top of the league with 10 wins during the season.

This weekend of FIH Pro League action sees that final being replayed as Australia men play host to Belgium men on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 January at the Olympic Park in Sydney. In the corresponding league matches during the previous season, Belgium won 4-2 in the opening match in Australia, while the Kookaburras exacted revenge when they won 2-0 in Belgium. Tyler Lovell is a long-standing member of the team, having made his international debut in 2013. Here he talks about the forthcoming season and how the squad’s preparations have continued apace, despite the country being hit hard by bush fires.

You have a tough couple of matches against Belgium to open your FIH Pro League campaign, how is the squad feeling ahead of the fixture?
Tyler Lovell: “I think we are feeling good. We have had three weeks back now and we have been building slowly over the past two weeks. I mean, what an opportunity to play the current World [Cup] Champions. If you look across their team, they have a very fast and talented strike line, a dynamic midfield and a pretty rock solid defence, and Vincent Vanasch is probably their best player – in my opinion. So it will be a good challenge for us to see where we are at.

How have the preparations gone for the Pro League and have the devastating fires in Australia had any impact on the team’s preparations?
Tyler Lovell: “The fires haven’t directly affected us here in Perth but they have come really close to a lot of the athletes’ family homes on the East Coast, particularly in the countryside near Sydney and across New South Wales, so we have been very lucky. But it has really hit home.”

What are your thoughts on the changes to the FIH Pro League format this season?
Tyler Lovell: “Yes, we are unsure at this stage as it is new to hockey and means you have to perform every game for the whole season and means you cannot just make the top four and then play finals. It is going to be a good challenge for us to play good hockey game in, game out.

What can the spectators expect from this opening weekend of hockey in Australia?
Tyler Lovell: “I hope they will see a lot of high skilled, fast hockey, exciting hockey, and hopefully a lot of goals scored by the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos.

What are your ambitions for the season?
Tyler Lovell: “I just want to do my part in every game this year. We have a great year leading into Tokyo. It’s going to be a lot of challenges for us and, if we can perform, play our best when it counts that will be fantastic.”


Official FIH Pro League Site

Kookaburras keen for early Belgium blockbuster

The Kookaburras are itching to launch into their highly anticipated FIH Pro League opener against the team they defeated in last year’s grand final of the new global competition.

The Kookaburras will host current World Champions Belgium at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre tomorrow in a showdown featuring the world’s top two ranked men’s hockey nations.

In winning the inaugural Pro League title, the Kookaburras leapfrogged Belgium into the number one spot and the teams will reignite their growing rivalry in Sydney.

“Belgium have been an outstanding team for a number of years,” said Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch.

“They were runners up at the last Olympics and they won the last World Cup so they are definitely one of the best teams going around.

“Belgium are a great attacking team so we know we need to defend well and we know we will get some opportunities, so it will be a matter of who takes their chances.

“The fact that the top two ranked teams in the world are squaring off first up is a great opportunity for the Australian public to watch the games, whether it is LIVE or on television through Fox Sports and Kayo.”

Tomorrow’s opening match will be the Kookaburras’ first international match since 8 September last year when they defeated New Zealand in the Oceania Cup to qualify for the Olympics.

Batch says the team is eager to be back competing and has laid a solid foundation heading into an Olympic year.

“In the early stages of the 2019 Pro League we didn’t start too well but we feel we’ve got a really good focus, the guys have enjoyed the first two weeks of training in Perth and we’re heading into the first round in a much better position than where we were last year,” said Batch.

“The last six months of 2019 we didn’t play a lot of games, so it is about revisiting a lot of the tactical side of our game, the way we play, and coming up against Belgium is a great opportunity to do that.”

“We’re just worrying about our performances and to do that well we’ve got to make sure that every training session is meaningful and that we’re developing.

“Coming into the year it is like starting off again. Last year we know we had some success but by no means do we see that we’re the complete team at the moment.”

Batch and his coaching staff have selected the team of 18 that will take on Belgium, with Jeremy Hayward and Matt Swann both on track to celebrate significant milestones.

Darwin born Hayward will make his 150th appearance tomorrow, while Swann is set to play game 200 on Sunday.

“I think both of them just love playing for the Kookaburras,” said Batch on the duo.

“They are great team players…it’s a great achievement by Jeremy to reach 150 and then Swanny his 200th on Sunday.

“They are both constantly looking to improve, they are terrific around the group and I think it says a lot about them.

“It’s not always smooth sailing as a hockey player, there are always ups and downs but it is a great effort to reach these milestones and hopefully there are many more games to come for both of them.”

Meanwhile, forward Blake Govers, who was the Pro League’s top scorer last year, continues to make excellent progress on his recovery from a torn adductor, while Corey Weir is also unavailable due to some hip tightness.

“Blake’s recovery is on track,” said Batch.

“He’s very close to returning to full training and will likely come into contention after the Great Britain games in early February.”

Pleasingly for Batch, a number of the Kookaburras who will not feature in the Pro league this weekend have been part of an Australia A team that has played two matches against a Belgium A side and will play a further two over the coming days.

“We are fortunate to have these Australia A matches as it gives the majority of our squad some quality match time on the opening weekend.”

Tickets for the Pro League double headers against Belgium and Great Britain are available now through Ticketek.

Kookaburras Team v Belgium – FIH Pro League 2020


Name (Number) Date of Birth Hometown, State Hockey One Team Caps (Goals)
Jacob Anderson (9) 22/03/1997 Mackay, QLD Brisbane Blaze 19 (8)
Daniel Beale (23) 12/02/1993 Brisbane, QLD Brisbane Blaze 171 (28)
Tim Brand (29) 29/11/1998 Chatswood, NSW NSW Pride 34 (15)
Andrew Charter (gk) (30) 30/03/1987 Canberra, ACT Canberra Chill 177 (0)
Tom Craig (2) 3/09/1995 Lane Cove, NSW NSW Pride 97 (27)
Matthew Dawson (6) 7/04/1994 Killarney Vale, NSW NSW Pride 132 (12)
Jeremy Hayward (32) 3/03/1993 Darwin, NT Tassie Tigers 149 (62)
Tim Howard (16) 23/06/1996 Wakerley, QLD Brisbane Blaze 54 (1)
Tyler Lovell (gk) (24) 23/05/1987 Perth, WA Perth Thundersticks 141 (0)
Eddie Ockenden (11) 3/04/1987 Hobart, TAS Tassie Tigers 358 (70)
Flynn Ogilvie (22) 17/09/1993 Wollongong, NSW NSW Pride 103 (21)
Lachlan Sharp (1) 2/07/1997 Lithgow, NSW NSW Pride 42 (8)
Josh Simmonds (15) 4/10/1995 Melbourne, VIC HC Melbourne 15 (0)
Matthew Swann (20) 16/05/1989 Mackay, QLD Brisbane Blaze 198 (7)
Jacob Whetton (12) 16/06/1991 Brisbane, QLD Brisbane Blaze 197 (64)
Tom Wickham (5) 26/05/1990 Morgan, SA Perth Thundersticks 48 (20)
Dylan Wotherspoon (26) 9/04/1993 Murwillumbah, NSW Brisbane Blaze 86 (30)
Aran Zalewski 21/03/1991 Margaret River, WA Perth Thundersticks 183 (23)

Kookaburras v Belgium – Overall Record

Played 38; Won 28, Drawn 6, Lost 4

FIH Pro League 2020 matches – Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre

Saturday 25 January
Hockeyroos v Belgium (4:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Belgium (6:30pm local)

Sunday 26 January
Hockeyroos v Belgium (3:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Belgium (5:30pm local)

Saturday 1 February
Kookaburras v Great Britain (4:00pm local)
Hockeyroos v Great Britain (6:30pm local)

Sunday 2 February
Kookaburras v Great Britain (3:00pm local)
Hockeyroos v Great Britain (5:30pm local)

Hockey Australia media release

Australia and Belgium set for hockey showdown and top bragging rights

By Richard Bright

Belgium, the men’s world and European champions, open their FIH Pro League account this weekend gunning for revenge against Australia – and the world No. 1 spot.

Should Belgium, who lost to Australia in the first men’s Pro League final, claim more points than the Kookaburras over the two matches, the Red Lions will move back to the top of the FIH world rankings.

“There’s a rivalry building between us. They were an emerging team going into the last Olympics and made it to the final,” Flynn Ogilvie told Australian Associated Press this week.

Sydney will be the host for the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos, as Australia aim to start 2020 in winning mood for their Belgium double headers, ahead of their tilts to overturn poor last Olympics, where both the men’s and women’s teams exited in the quarter-finals.

Ogilvie added: “Having them first up is ideal, they’re a quality team and we will see where we’re at and what we need to improve.

“The Pro League is a big positive for us. In previous Olympic years, the European teams would play a lot of games against other European teams. Whereas we’re stuck out here with not a lot of countries nearby.”

With both Australia teams ushering in coaching changes following the 2016 Games, this year represents new hope.

The Kookaburras haven’t won an Olympic gold since 2004, while the Hockeyroos haven’t been on the podium since winning gold in Sydney, the venue, 20 years on, for their Pro League encounters.

Elsewhere this weekend, Spain men host Germany, while current Pro League women’s champions Holland travel to the USA, where the matches will be played at the swanky $15m new stadium at North Carolina University.

The Hockey Paper features North Carolina in our next edition.

Subscribe to our print or digital edition for the bigger picture in 2020. Discounts with our partners and major savings on our digital product for global readers. Find out which subscription suits you best. Sign up now!

It’s a huge year for the sport – and our mission is for all juniors, grass roots, masters and general hockey lovers to read the game.

The Hockey Paper

Swann preparing to lace up for game 200

Matthew Swann will become just the twentieth Australian men’s player to reach the 200 game milestone when he runs out for the Kookaburras against world number two Belgium on Sunday.

The Mackay product isn’t big on tracking his games tally but when pressed to consider the esteemed company he’ll now accompany, was able to reflect on his journey to date and those players he has considered role models.

“Now that you mention it, the players that come to mind are fellow Queensland players like Dean Butler, Jamie Dwyer, Mark Knowles, Rob Hammond and Liam De Young,” Swann said.

“To be honest its hard to reflect because the journey is not over yet, but I feel privileged and lucky to be able to do something I enjoy so much for such a long period of time.”

The 30-year-old burst onto the international scene in 2009, before earning the FIH Young Player of the Year Award in 2011.

Swann had many standout performances during this period, with his trademark headband placing further emphasis on his eye-catching skills and aerobic capacity.

It is understood that the headband originated from former teammate Luke Doerner’s father Harold’s home in Altona, after the pair visited during the 2010 Champions Trophy.

“We somehow got rummaging through all dad’s old junk and an Australian headband from another sport caught Swanny’s eye. Dad said if he took it, he’d have to wear it when he played and Swanny did as he was told,” Doerner revealed.

The country boy attributes much of his longevity at the top level to him being a more well-rounded player, with greater consistency in defence than when his career began.

“I think if you can play for a long period of time it means that your adaptability to the game is of a high level, so I would consider that I’m still playing some of my best hockey,” Swann said.

“My role in the Kookaburras is to be a fire fighter. I defuse dangerous situations and help my team to counterattack, as well as bringing a lot of energy to the group.”

Swann is one of the first players selected in Kookaburra sides and figures prominently in physical testing, including achieving mid 16 beep test scores.

But he also has one eye focused on his future post-hockey, having taken a break from the Kookaburras training environment in early 2018 to focus on his professional career as an Associate with PwC.

“I’m lucky enough to work for a great company who have been assisting me to achieve my professional career endeavours, as well as my sporting endeavours.”

“I have a great team that I work with at PwC Perth, so going away with the Kookaburras is so much easier knowing I have their support to manage both careers.”

“Of course, I also wouldn’t have made it this far if it wasn’t for the support of my family, particularly my parents and sisters and my wife Rose.”

Swann will bring up his milestone on Sunday against Belgium at Sydney’s Homebush Stadium, with tickets available at Ticketek and the games live on Fox Sports and Kayo.

Hockey Australia media release

Hayward set to reach 150

By Adam Clifford

With his athleticism and power, it’s not difficult to imagine Jeremy Hayward bounding off the half back line starring in the AFL.

“I often wonder if I would be able to make it into the AFL and play football for a living.”

“Who knows, but if a category B rookie spot might become available on a club’s playing list, I will be ready,” Hayward says tongue firmly in cheek.

Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch needn’t worry though, because despite being elite at a number of sports growing up, Hayward resisted their overtures in favour of hockey due to the mateship it provided.

“I had great bonds with the boys I played hockey with back in Darwin, and now great bonds with the guys I’m playing with in Perth. It was and still is about fun for me,” Hayward adds.

“Growing up in Darwin, it was so easy to get around the place and this allowed me to play multiple sports.”

“With hockey, growing up I was often playing above my age group in national tournaments but that helped me learn.”

It’s been nearly six years since the 27 year-old made his Kookaburras debut against China at the Azlan Shah Cup in 2014.

“I honestly can’t remember much about the call up and the game, other than my mother surprised me with a visit to Malaysia to be there.”

Hayward is widely expected to bring up his 150th game milestone against world number two Belgium in the Kookaburras’ opening Pro League match on Saturday in Sydney.

It gives the composed defender a moment to indulge in reflection of the highs the sport has presented him.

“My favourite memory would be beating the Dutch in the Netherlands in the World Cup Final. I was so young at the time and maybe didn’t realise how big an effort that was being so naïve, but it’s something I grow more and more proud with each day that passes.”

“Winning the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast with my family watching in the stands and playing in Mark Knowles’ last game for Australia is also right up there.”

“But I never think about total games played. I just really love playing hockey and love competing and have enjoyed my hockey journey all the way.”

Hayward’s positive nature is also on full display when asked about missing the Rio de Janiero Olympic side.

“That was a tough blow but I learnt so much from the experience. Something so negative at the time turned out to be a positive in so many ways.”

“150 games experience now allows me to help guide the young talent, but also the young guys coming into our squad have taught me things that help me improve my game.”

“Approaching these Olympics, you can’t rest on your laurels because you need to always keep improving.”

“Once you’re comfortable, you are satisfied and that’s when other people start to get better than you.”

In a unique situation, Hayward’s older brother Leon is a former Kookaburra goalkeeper capped 13 times, and he says Jeremy was always destined to go far with his sport.

“Athletics, football, gymnastics, rugby league, you name it he was good. I guess he was just gifted by whoever was giving out genetics,” Leon says.

“However, he’s not good at everything because Jeremy’s nickname was ‘Weasel’ for a long period of time because he basically never bought any drinks and just weasels his way into someone else buying!”

Hayward senior recently switched playing allegiances, playing four internationals with New Zealand and being selected in their Olympic squad. The shot stopper says there’s no need for the brothers to prepare for mind games should they cross paths on the field.

“It’s just kind of like if you have a little brother then you know that you can beat them. It doesn’t matter if its playing Mario Kart, playing hockey or wrestling.”

But ahead of such a major milestone match, it’s only fitting that Hayward junior gets the final say.

“Ah Leon the journeyman. He has been all over and now has an opportunity for the Black Sticks. I support him but in saying that, if he lines up against me, I can’t wait to score past him.”

Let’s hope Hayward kick starts his goal scoring form against Belgium in Sydney this weekend on 25/26 January, followed by Great Britain on 1/2 February.

Hockey Australia media release

Eddie ready for big year ahead

Australia’s Eddie Ockenden is an attacking midfielder with three Olympic Games under his belt. With more than 350 caps to his name, he is also one of the Kookaburra’s longest serving players. But, as he enters his 12th season as an international, his enthusiasm burns as brightly as ever as he reflects on a good year in 2019 and an exciting 12 months ahead.

Each of the Hockey Stars interviews published on the FIH website are with the nominees for Best Player. The winning athletes will be announced in February.

What does the nomination for FIH Best Player mean to you?
Eddie Ockenden: “It’s nice to get a nomination and it’s a good reward. Having Aran and I nominated and also [other team members] in the other categories. It was a really good year for the Kookaburras last year, so that is fantastic.”

Looking back to 2019 what was your best and most memorable moment?
Eddie Ockenden: “The most memorable thing about last year was qualifying for the Olympics. It was at the end of the year and we had enjoyed a really good year. Also, winning the first FIH Pro League, that was amazing. But qualifying for the Olympics, giving us a chance [of gold] this year – that was a great year.

Why do you think 2019 was such a good year for you?
Eddie Ockenden: “I was really enjoying my time with the team, I still love coming to training. The team here is fantastic and we have a great atmosphere. The thing I love most is playing with the Kookaburras so while that’s fun and I’m enjoying that, then that’s a good reason to keep playing hockey.

What are your dreams and aspirations for this year?
Eddie Ockenden: “This year is a very big year. I just want to get stuck into training and give myself the best opportunity to make the Olympics. If I make the team, then obviously we have big goals in Tokyo, so it’s going to be a fantastic year.”


FIH site

Consistency key for Hockeyroos on eve of Pro League opener

The Hockeyroos’ 2020 campaign begins tomorrow when they take on Belgium in the first of back-to-back FIH Pro League matches at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre.

Entering an Olympic year after finishing runners up to the Netherlands in a nail biting Pro League Grand Final in 2019, Hockeyroos Coach Paul Gaudoin says the focus for his group from the outset will be maintaining an extremely high standard in every match.

“Training has been really good in Perth, there is a positive feeling among the group and we’re really looking forward to taking on Belgium tomorrow,” said Gaudoin.

“In this early part of the year we’re trying to build on our connections, but we understand that we are playing against a very good team.”

“Consistency is what we are after for the duration of the year and that starts this weekend.”

Belgium proved somewhat of a bogey team for the Hockeyroos last year, the Europeans winning both encounters 2-1 and 1-0.

Reflecting on those performances, Gaudoin knows what the Hockeyroos need to improve on to reverse the ledger.

“Both of the games were very close and the thing we know is that we need to be able to finish and score goals which we struggled to do against them last year, so our finishing has to be better,” said Gaudoin.

The team of 18 players to play against Belgium has been finalised, with the most notable inclusion being talented Queenslander Steph Kershaw, who will play her first international since recovering from a second knee reconstruction.

“It’s really pleasing for Steph. She has worked really hard in her rehab and she has had to come back from a serious knee injury before so I’m really happy for her and to see her back,” said Gaudoin.

Another player who that this weekend’s matches carries added significance for is Kalindi Commerford.

The 25 year old from Milton in the south coast region of New South Wales has pledged to donate $50 for every goal scored by both Australia and Belgium (Men’s and Women’s matches) across this weekend’s Pro League double headers to aid people in the area who have been affected by the bushfire crisis.

In addition, she will also commit $100 for every goal she manages to score in the two matches against Belgium.

“When you represent your country you represent everyone,” Commerford said.

“To see how people went about their business so stoically after losing their homes and their livelihoods, together with the firefighters and emergency crew who have led the recovery effort, they are the people I feel really proud and honoured to represent.”

“It’s really exciting to be back in Sydney in front of what is hopefully a big home crowd tomorrow to kick start the year.”

“We have definitely come ready to play. The start of this year is about building that momentum and bettering where we finished last year.”

Tickets for the double headers against Belgium and on the following weekend against Great Britain are available now through Ticketek.

Hockeyroos Team v Belgium – FIH Pro League 2020


Name (Number) Date of Birth Hometown, State Hockey One Team Caps (Goals)
Jocelyn Bartram (gk) (19) 4/05/1993 Albury, NSW NSW Pride 48 (0)
Edwina Bone (13) 24/04/1988 Orange, NSW Canberra Chill 197 (4)
Emily Chalker (26) 28/07/1992 Crookwell, NSW NSW Pride 235 (82)
Jane Claxton (18) 26/10/1992 Adelaide, SA Adelaide Fire 177 (18)
Kalindi Commerford (23) 18/11/1994 Ulladulla, ACT Canberra Chill 45 (7)
Kate Jenner (22) 5/05/1990 Mudgee, NSW NSW Pride 122 (1)
Jodie Kenny (7) 18/08/1987 Wamuran, QLD Brisbane Blaze 229 (111)
Stephanie Kershaw (14) 19/04/1995 Townsville, QLD 59 (6)
Amy Lawton (4) 19/01/2002 Emerald, VIC HC Melbourne 10 (3)
Rosie Malone (2) 8/01/1998 Burleigh, QLD Brisbane Blaze 46 (10)
Karri McMahon (11) 27/02/1992 Berri, SA Adelaide Fire 147 (10)
Gabi Nance (16) 29/07/1994 Adelaide, SA Adelaide Fire 70 (7)
Kaitlin Nobbs (15) 24/09/1997 Newington, NSW NSW Pride 76 (4)
Brooke Peris (3) 16/01/1993 Darwin, NT Canberra Chill 167 (26)
Grace Stewart (30) 24/04/1997 Gerringong, NSW NSW Pride 81 (24)
Renee Taylor (21) 28/09/1996 Everton Park, QLD Brisbane Blaze 77 (8)
Ashlee Wells (gk) (5) 1/08/1989 Morwell, VIC Adelaide Fire 119 (0)
Georgia Wilson (8) 20/05/1996 Mahogany Creek, WA Perth Thundersticks 33 (0)

Hockeyroos v Belgium – Overall Record

Played 18; Won 11, Drawn 5, Lost 2

FIH Pro League 2020 matches – Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre

Saturday 25 January
Hockeyroos v Belgium (4:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Belgium (6:30pm local)

Sunday 26 January
Hockeyroos v Belgium (3:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Belgium (5:30pm local)

Saturday 1 February
Kookaburras v Great Britain (4:00pm local)
Hockeyroos v Great Britain (6:30pm local)

Sunday 2 February
Kookaburras v Great Britain (3:00pm local)
Hockeyroos v Great Britain (5:30pm local)

Hockey Australia media release

Kenny’s natural knack of the drag flick

By Adam Clifford.

Walk through any hockey centre in Australia and you’ll undoubtedly spot several players practicing their drag flicking skills, hoping to be the Hockeyroos or Kookaburras’ next penalty corner attacking weapon.

This Saturday, Hockeyroos champion Jodie Kenny will hold one of the keys to defeating bogey side Belgium as the FIH Pro League arrives in Sydney.

Kenny’s set piece ability is worth serious consideration given she has maintained a record of almost a goal every second game across an international career spanning nine years and 228 games.

The six-foot defender isn’t simply making the most of her strong physical traits but has mastered what drag flick expert Luke Doerner terms the ‘six key points’ for success.

“Every drag flicker from around the world is different, particularly their run ups,” Doerner who made 175 appearances and scored 112 goals for the Kookaburras.

“But there are six key points that they all do the same and it starts with what I call the starting position which is when they first make contact with the ball.”

“The stick is in their left hand well outside the right part of their ball, which is a very different position to get into compared to other aspects of playing hockey.”

Doerner likens the skill of drag flicking to that of a baseball pitcher, where the emphasis is on getting both the body and ball into the right position to execute maximum power.

“It’s about going slow, slow and then fast. The first three quarters of the movement is the hardest part to get right because the natural inclination is to go fast, and it takes lots of training and co-ordination to execute all the elements at the same time.”

“For someone like Kenny, that training might also look like flicking 100 balls per week at full speed, but another 100 at half speed or off one step to work on technique.”

When it all comes together, Kenny can reach speeds well above 90km per hour with her flicks, with Madison Fitzpatrick and Georgie Morgan others that Doerner has seen consistently in that speed bracket.

“The key with Jodie in particular is that she works incredibly hard, she’s a good listener and learner and is very persistent.”

“That’s also reflected in her ability to come back post-motherhood.”

Now an assistant coach with Belgium, Doerner has just spent ten days with the visitors who have brought a big group with them to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of victory.

“They have brought their full squad and an under 23 squad to play Australia A in four matches as well.”

“It’s been great to work with their flickers, with Alex Hendrickx in particular leading the speed gun with consistent efforts in the 113-114km per hour category.”

“After beating the Hockeyroos both home and away last year, the Belgium women unfortunately missed the Olympic qualification, so they have brought some new faces with one eye to the future.”

Watching one of the best exponents of the drag flick in world hockey on your doorstep, as well as the two top ranked men’s sides on the planet is an opportunity not to be missed.

Hockey Australia media release

Great Britain’s Men & Women Aiding Australia Bushfire Recovery

GB Hockey’s men and women are looking to help Australia recover from the devastating bushfires that have devastated parts of the country.

With the teams due to take on the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos when they begin their new FIH Pro League season on 1 February, both have decided they want to help the country that has been heavily affected by fires since September.

When they arrived in Brisbane on Tuesday (21 January) the men delivered several bags of handcrafted pouches knitted by UK Crafters. These have been designed to provide a shelter for young marsupials – including kangaroos, wallabies and koalas – who have been left orphaned and homeless as a result of the fires.

The women’s team have now set up a fundraiser and are hoping to raise at least £2,000 for the Penny Appeals Australian Bushfire Emergency to ensure firefighters have the means to continue fighting the fires. They are running a raffle, where for just £5 you can be in with a chance of winning 26 signed sticks, one from each member of the team. You can enter the raffle by clicking here.

Great Britain Hockey media release

FIH Hockey Pro League: USA-Netherlands to be played in one match

As a mark of respect for, and to pay tribute to, US National Teams Manager Larry Amar, who passed away this week whilst with the US Women’s Team, and also to provide support to the US team at this particularly painful time, the International Hockey Federation (FIH), USA Field Hockey and the Dutch Hockey Association (KNHB) have jointly decided to cancel the first match of the upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League double-header between USA and the Netherlands initially scheduled on Friday 24 January, at Karen Shelton Stadium, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

However, the second match, planned on Sunday 26 January in the same venue, is maintained and, in accordance with the League’s regulations for a cancelled match, the points of this match will count double (6 points for the winning team, no point for the losing team; in case of a shoot-out, the team winning the shoot-out will get 4 points and the losing team 2 points).

Yesterday, FIH had extended its condolences and deepest sympathy to Larry Amar’s family, friends and all members of USA Field Hockey.


Official FIH Pro League Site

Dynamic Striker, Olympian Sharkey Hangs Up Stick from USWNT

Photo : George Brink

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Whenever the U.S. Women’s National Team was in the heat of battle over the last decade, an iconic number 24 of the red, white and blue could be frequently seen leading the charge on offense. After nine years and 176 international appearances, USWNT captain and Rio 2016 Olympian Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) has formally announced her retirement from the team.

“Kat has been a key member of the U.S. Women’s National team for the past nine year, and an influential captain since 2018,” said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey’s Executive Director. “Her level of play is up there with the best in the world. We extend our best wishes for the next chapter in her life."

“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team for this long,” said Sharkey. “It was incredibly rewarding, fulfilling and challenging. I truly enjoyed being on this journey with such strong and inspiring women and I’ll always cherish the memories that we made on and off the field.”

Participating in a variety of sports growing up in Pennsylvania, Sharkey found an especially powerful connection to field hockey through her older sister, Laura. When her first opportunity to play popped up in the seventh grade, she was one of the first to register.

“I liked the challenge of learning about this new sport that I had never played before and also being a part of a team with my closest friends,” added Sharkey. “After that first year, I tried to play as much as I could and so I joined a club team and I signed myself up for as many camps and clinics that I could find.”

The rest slowly became history as Sharkey continued to develop by playing with the Valley Styx club, as a student-athlete at Wyoming Seminary and a recognizable participant in Futures from 2005-08. During her senior year at Wyoming Seminary, Sharkey was the second-highest goal scorer in the United States and was ultimately named Most Valuable Player for both the team and Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Class A before moving on to play at Princeton University.

As a Tiger, Sharkey continued to display outstanding play and collected a multitude of accolades from 2008-10 and 2012. She was named First Team All-Ivy and First Team All-Region each of her four seasons and was a three-time First-Team All-America selection (2009, 2010, 2012). Sharkey was also named Ivy League Rookie of the Year and third-team All-America in 2008. In 2010, she was the NCAA Division I leading scorer, was named Princetonian Female Athlete of the Year, Ivy League Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Honda Award for field hockey. As a senior in 2012, she became the program’s all-time leading scorer with 107 goals, and became first in all-time points with 245, enroute to another season as the Division I leading scorer. These accomplishments led to Sharkey being named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year.

“From very early on in my playing career, I knew I wanted to play in college,” continued Sharkey. “I wanted to be the best field hockey player that I could possibly be and I knew that college was an environment that would help take my game to the next level. Princeton was exactly what I was looking for in a college field hockey experience. I enjoyed the challenges that I faced both on the field and in the classroom. I learned so many lessons through my athletic and academic experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

While excelling on the pitch at Princeton, Sharkey was also making an impact in the Olympic Development Pathway. In 2008, she was named to the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team and helped lead Team USA to a gold medal at the Junior Pan American Championship in Mexico City. In 2010, she was named to the U.S. Women’s National Development Team before joining the senior USWNT in 2011. After she received the invitation to represent USA on the highest level, Sharkey had decided to take a year off from Princeton in order to give full attention and training to the team, returning for her senior season in 2012. Her first international trip with USA was during the Germany/Belgium tour and she quickly made her presence known on the pitch for years to come.

Sharkey was on the squad that played in the 2012 Four Nations Tournament in Barcelona, Spain. The following year she helped the red, white and blue to a silver medal at the 2013 Pan American Cup in Mendoza, Argentina. Next, she was on the 2014 team that shocked the field hockey world with a fourth place finish at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in Hague, The Netherlands, and gold medal at the 2014 Champions Challenge in Glasgow, Scotland. Just before selections were made for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, Sharkey experienced her first major sports-related medical setback which sidelined her for the Olympic-qualifying tournament. USA prevailed over Argentina to win gold and punched their ticket to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and being named to that squad was a moment that Sharkey noted is among the top of her career highlights.

“I always strived to be the best that I could be and to play at the highest level,” said Sharkey. “It was an incredible moment for me to read the team selection for the Olympic Games and see my name on the list. The team’s performances throughout the Olympic Games was the result of years of hard work and many sacrifices. To see all of our hard work pay off in those games was such a special feeling as an athlete.”

“The Olympic Games was one of the most amazing experiences of my life,” continued Sharkey. “Standing on the field during the national anthem with my teammates in our first game was very emotional for me. It was a surreal feeling listening to the national anthem with my arms around my teammates next to me and to see my family in the stands supporting me as always. It was a goal that I had been chasing for a while and to know that I had accomplished it felt amazing.”

Following Rio, Sharkey’s presence on the field continued to be felt during many international events including a first-place finish at the 2017 FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in Johannesburg, South Africa. The team’s “never say die” performance propelled USA’s momentum the following month at the women’s Pan American Cup on their home field in Lancaster Pa. In their opening match against Mexico, Sharkey registered a hat trick to boost USA to a first place finish in pool play and eventually a bronze medal. Her individual performance was recognized, and she was named to the Pan American Hockey Federation’s (PAHF) 2017 Pan American Elite Team.

Appointed team captain following the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London, Sharkey competed in all of USA’s matches in the inaugural season of the FIH Hockey Pro League before the team shifted focus to the 2019 Pan American Games. Prior to competition she had the honor of being selected as Team USA’s flag bearer during the opening ceremonies. She tallied four goals throughout her first Pan American Games, helping the USWNT to a bronze medal, and was named to the 2019 Pan American Elite Team.

Last November, Sharkey led USA in the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier against No. 9 India, where the red, white and blue fell just short of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“First, I would like to thank my family,” said Sharkey. “My parents, Thomas and Anne, were incredibly supportive throughout every moment of my career. They were there for me after every win, loss, injury, setback or obstacle and without them I would not have reached my goals. I’m so grateful for the sacrifices that my parents and three siblings, Laura, Thomas and Jeffrey, made to allow me to devote my life to field hockey for the past seventeen years. I know it was not easy to plan family vacations and weddings around my schedule, but it meant so much that they would prioritize my career when planning these events. Their encouragement, love and positive messages were never-ending, and always meant so much to me.”

“I would like to thank my fiancé, Tom Schreiber, who has supported me every step of the way throughout my career,” continued Sharkey. “He has always believed in me and encouraged me to do whatever it takes to reach my goals. Without his support I would not have been able to have a career of this length on the national team.”

She would also like to thank all of her coaches from across her extensive career. High school coaches Karen Klassner and Kim Barbacci, club coaches Susan and Samantha Lloyd, Princeton coaches Kristen Holmes-Winn and Melisa Meccage, Craig Parnham and former USWNT head coach Janneke Schopman.

“Thank you for always believing in me, pushing me to be the best that I could be and helping me grow and evolve as a field hockey player,” added Sharkey. “You each had an impact on me as an athlete and person that has ultimately shaped me into who I am today and I am forever thankful.”

Sharkey is currently wrapping up her MBA and enjoying life with her fiancé. She hopes to stay involved in field hockey to some degree and will never stop supporting USA on game days.

USA Field Hockey would like to wish Sharkey best of luck in her future endeavors.

USFHA media release

P.R. Sreejesh: Sometimes, I hurl abuses to remove frustration

P.R. Sreejesh has found a strange way to switch from negative mode and get back the positive feel after conceding a goal.

Stan Rayan

P. R. Sreejesh believes his game and style of thinking have changed with time.   -  Special Arrangement

P.R. Sreejesh has found a strange way to switch from negative mode and get back the positive feel after conceding a goal. And it’s not something you'd like to hear.

“Sometimes, I hurl abuses at somebody to remove the frustration. Raghunath was a good companion earlier. In fact, at times before 2016, he used to tell me to shout at him during matches so that both of us could regain our energy,” revealed the star Indian hockey goalkeeper here on Thursday.

“Now, it’s (V.S.) Sunil and Birendra Lakra... even if you hurl abuses at them, they will not take it negatively. But, if you use it against youngsters, their performance will suddenly go down.”

After his fine performance in the Hockey Pro League against the Netherlands recently, Sreejesh and the Indian team are on a high these days. Now 32, Sreejesh is a mature player, at peace with himself.

“Goalkeepers play a very different game in hockey, it's more of a mental game. I’m more relaxed during games now. There is no unnecessary pressure, like I have to shoulder the team’s full burden. I just think I should do my job, if I do that, the team will win. That’s the transformation I’ve had,” said the star goalkeeper who was in Kochi to talk about the launch of the Campeones Sports City, a project he is closely associated with.

“Earlier, when the ball came to me, I used to prepare myself mentally for it. I used to predict that it would come this way or that. Now there no prediction, there is only reaction. I see the ball and I go to save it. Goalkeeping is mainly about reaction, if you predict there could be mistakes. That is a big plus point now and it took 10 years to understand that.”

Big question

This being the Olympic year, the big question is whether the Indian team would finish among the medals in Tokyo.

“The semifinal or final, that’s the target at Tokyo. Of course, all will be going for gold but I think we have the quality to get to the final,” he said.

“We are sure of making the quarterfinal. The actual ‘game’ starts after that, for till then (in the league) you have the next match to do better. But once you enter the quarterfinal, your pressure-management skills come into play and you will be given your ‘marks’ accordingly.”


Hockey Wales Senior Women Announce EuroHockey Indoor Squad.

This weekend sees the Welsh Women’s indoor squad travel to Croatia to compete in the EuroHockey Indoor Championship II.

Under the watchful eye of Head Coach Gareth Terrett, the squad will open their campaign against Poland on the Friday morning, followed by Russia later that day.

The pool matches continue over the weekend with clashes against Lithuania and Scotland on the Saturday.

The Sunday sees them opening the days play with a match against hosts Croatia, and a final game against Turkey later that day to close Wales’ Championship.

Gareth Terrett believes the tournament will be a good test for this more than capable Welsh side, providing them with a real opportunity for further development.

“This tournament is a chance to give this young squad experience of playing in a top-level international competition. 

“Some of the matches will see us up against more experienced indoor teams, but the players have worked hard to prepare for the tournament, particularly given there were some tough calls in selection.

“We are ready to challenge and to compete at this level, but most of all we hope that the players will learn from the experience and enjoy themselves.”

Wales Senior Women’s squad to compete in the EuroHockey Championships:

Amy Burton
Beth Collier
Bethan Doughty
Emily Drysdale
Heather Francis
Jodie Beddow
Lauren Roberts (GK)
Olivia Hoskins
Lizzie Jones
Morgann Williams (GK)
Olivia Strickland
Stephanie Beaumont

You can follow the action at:
All the games will be live streamed on www.eurohockeytv.org

Hockey Wales media release

Experience no issue for Irish women’s indoor side for Euro return

Experience is no prerequisite this weekend in Bratislava as Ireland’s women return to European action for the first time since their sixth place finish in the top tier back in 1990.

Since then, that hiatus has only been broken by the six-match series in South Africa before Christmas. Those games, though, actually give Ireland a big upperhand over most of their rivals this weekend in Slovakia in a seven-team field at the EuroHockey Indoor Championships III.

For Spain, Finland and Denmark, it will their very matches together with no indoor caps between them. First opponents Portugal have just three players who have international experience with only Slovenia and hosts Slovakia the only teams with prior time on court together.

Ireland, meanwhile, have the third highest combined cap total but it still represents – like the men a week ago – a trip into the unknown but one which they hope will be the start of something bigger.

They have three newcomers from the SA series with Ali Meeke, Sarah Patton and Hannah Humphreys coming in.

For the UCC goalkeeper – who was last week named in an Irish Under-23 development panel – she has probably had the shortest crash-course introduction to the code of anyone.

Due to exams, she could not attend trials before Christmas for the South Africa trip. Plans to play in the Munster championships were scuppered when a spate of clubs withdrawing saw the competition scrapped.

But Irish coach Dave Passmore felt Humphreys all-action outdoor style could be easily adapted to indoor which requires a fearless and fast keeper, often deployed running number one at penalty corners and racing off their line to act as an extra defender.

“I’ve no experience at all!” Humphreys joked to the Examiner. “Dave asked me try out before Christmas so I watched [some games online] and saw how involved the keepers were and thought that looks like me!”

It is something her earliest goalkeeping coach at Ashton HC and St Angelas’s, Alan Good – who landed a prime assistant coach job at the Liberty Flames this week – backs up.

“When I first saw her at Under-14s, she was a lunatic in the pads,” he said. “By then was a force to be reckoned with in terms of her reactions and athleticism, but it was her attitude that stood out.

“Most goalkeepers need help being aggressive but she had no issue. It was an instinct I never wanted to suppress. We used her as an auxiliary centre-back to help transfer around the back, as she loved diving and making big clears with her stick; she wanted to use it as a passing skill!

“It doesn’t surprise me one bit that her style transfers so well to indoor. She has always joked about wanting to be the first runner on corners, and now she actually gets to!”

Humphreys is relishing being part of it and particularly thankful to Passmore for getting her in the loop for trials and training since Christmas.

“Being from Munster, you are on the blindside of some coaches but he has given me so many opportunities and seen something in me which I am really grateful for.

“Sometimes we feel a bit hard done by [in Munster] but hopefully that is changing. Especially with indoor: this is a sport every can play it, you don’t need a big pitch, just a hall.

“If it can grow, the sport generally can grow. Hopefully it gives a bigger impetus for Munster hockey to get something properly set up.”

She will share the goalkeeping duties with Millie Regan, a club mate of Chloe Brown’s at East Grinstead who previously played for England underage but now has her papers in order for Ireland by virtue of her parents.

The tournament begins on Friday morning at 10am (Irish time) against Portugal before facing Spain (4pm). Saturday brings Slovakia (11.30am) and Denmark (4.15pm) and Sunday sees matches against Finland (7.15am) and Slovenia (11am).

Elsewhere, the Irish women’s outdoor team have a double-header in Stellenbosch over the weekend. They play Germany on Saturday and the South African hosts on Sunday looking to continue their winning start to the tour. They beat SA 1-0 last Sunday before seeing off the Netherlands Under-21s on Tuesday 3-1.

Hannah Humphreys in outdoor action for UCC

There is a full set of Leinster women’s Division One fixtures with leaders Corinthian hosting Glenanne looking to continue their immaculate season to date and protect the eight-point lead they built in the first half of the season.

Avoca’s midweek tie against Genesis was cancelled due to frost, adding to the former’s cancelation woes this term.

On the men’s side, Sunday sees the culmination of the Leinster indoor league with Three Rock Rovers facing Monkstown in the first semi-final with YMCA up against Railway Union. The final will be at 3.30pm at St Columba’s.

In Leinster Division One, second hosts third with Portrane welcoming Railway Union to Donabate in the pick of the games.

Friday 24th January 2020


EuroHockey Indoor Championship III (Bratislava, Slovakia; Irish time): Ireland v Portugal, 10am; Ireland v Spain, 4pm

Saturday 25th January 2020


Leinster Division 1: Avoca v Dublin North, Newpark, 1pm; Bray v Kilkenny, Temple Carrig 1pm; Portrane v Railway Union, Donabate CS, 2pm; Rathgar v Dublin University, The High School, 12.30pm; Weston v Clontarf, Griffeen Valley Park, 12.30pm

Munster Division 1: Ashton v Waterford, Ashton School, 2.30pm; Cork Harlequins v Catholic Institute, Farmers’ Cross, 1.05pm; UCC v Cork C of I, Mardyke, 2pm

Irish Junior Cup – quarter-finals: Clontarf v Railway Union, Mount Temple, 12.30pm; Lisnagarvey v Bangor, Comber Road, 2.30pm; Pembroke Wanderers v Three Rock Rovers, Serpentine Avenue, 3.30pm; UCD v Corinthian, Belfield, 4pm


Senior international (Irish time): Ireland v Germany, Stellenbosch, 3pm

EuroHockey Indoor Championship III (Bratislava, Slovakia; Irish time): Ireland v Slovakia, 11.30am; 4.15pm

Leinster Division 1: Corinthian v Glenanne, Whitechurch Park, 3.15pm; Genesis v Trinity, St Raphaela’s, 3.30pm; Monkstown v Naas, Rathdown, 2.30pm; North Kildare v Avoca, The Maws, 2.45pm; Rathgar v Clontarf, The High School, 2.15pm

Munster Division 1: Ashton v Belvedere, Ashton School, 12.30pm; Limerick v Bandon, Villiers, 1.30pm; Waterford v UCC, Newtown, 12.30pm

Irish Junior Cup – quarter-finals: Corinthian v Pegasus, St Columba’s, 1.15pm; Monkstown v Loreto, Rathdown, 12.20pm; Pembroke v Railway Union, Serpentine Avenue, 2pm; UCC v Old Alexandra, Mardyke, 2pm

Sunday 26th January 2020


Leinster Indoor League (all at St Columba’s Colege)

Semi-finals: Three Rock Rovers v Monkstown, 12pm; YMCA v Railway Union, 1pm

Final: 3.30pm


Senior international (Irish time): Ireland v South Africa, Stellenbosch, 3pm

EuroHockey Indoor Championship III (Bratislava, Slovakia; Irish time): Ireland v Finland, 7.15am; Ireland v Slovenia, 11am

Munster Division 1: Belvedere v Waterford, Ballincollig CS, 1.30pm

Munster Senior Cup – 1st Round: Cork C of I v Bandon, Garryduff, 12pm

The Hook

Coach Arul has to mug to keep UniKL top


PETALING JAYA: Just like Tenaga Nasional, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) are on an inspired run in the Malaysia Hockey League, with both teams having won all their five matches and separated only by goal difference.

On Wednesday, UniKL tamed Nur Insafi 3-0 at the Sungai Petani Hockey Stadium to go into the Chinese New Year break with full points.

Goals from Roel Bovendeert (13th minute), Mohd Razie Abd Rahim (39th) and Mohd Najmi Farizal Jazlan (60th) saw them remaining second in the league with 15 points, having scored 20 goals and conceded five. Tenaga also have the same points, but scored 21 and conceded only four.

With five days to prepare for their next match against Maybank on Jan 29, UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj said the next 48 hours would be crucial for him.

The former national coach said he would be going through videos of the team’s previous matches to see what can be enhanced.

“I might even have to order takeaway meals because I will be spending a lot of time on the computer watching these videos, ” joked Arul.

“During the league break, training goes on as usual. Right now, it is up to me to make sure we continue this run. I will be doing hours of study and send them to the players individually.

“We are getting the three points, and that is good, but I am sure enhancements can be made to our game.”

Against Nur Insafi, the scoreline suggests that UniKL had it easy, but Arul said the energy levels during the game was not up to his expectations.

“Maybe it could have been the heat and long journey from Kuala Lumpur to Sungai Petani. I tried to push them during the match, but the conditions took a bit out of their legs.

“I gave them a full break yesterday because the boys only reached Kuala Lumpur at 3am.

“The travelling is pretty tiring, but after this, most of our matches will be in the Klang Valley, so it should be okay.”

Arul said he was happy with Bovendeert and Razie as they have been the key players in the team with their goals.

Bovendeert, who plays for Holland, has scored five goals in the league, while Razie has scored six.

“It is good to have field goal and penalty corner scorers.

Bovendeert has been sharp in open play, while Razie, we all know his capability as a drag-flicker.”

Bovendeert was hurt in the game against Nur Insafi after he chipped his tooth during an off-the-ball incident.

Arul is certainly not happy seeing his players getting injured due to dangerous play.

National forward Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil suffered a broken jaw off a ball hit by Pakistan’s Ali Rizwan in the 25th minute of the match against Hockey Academy (Hockademy) of Kuala Lumpur on Jan 12.

“This time it was another Pakistani player who caused it.

“It is not healthy, and it is not right.

“It is upsetting to see your players go through such situations.”

The Star of Malaysia

Hockey coaches' turn to be grilled

By Jugjet Singh

Roelant Oltmans oversees the Malaysian players’ training at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) yesterday “interviewed” their men’s and women’s coaches to find out what went right and what went wrong in their Olympic qualifying quests.

The women were actually a success story as they blossomed from a mediocre side to a fighting unit within four years, but the men failed miserably in two Olympic attempts.

Facing a fact-finding panel yesterday were men's chief coach Roelant Oltmans and his assistants, Stephen van Huizen and Amin Rahim, as well as women's chief coach K. Dharmaraj and his assistant Lailin Abu Hassan.

The others grilled for answers were goalkeeping coaches Nasihin Nubli and Roslan Jamaluddin as well as physical trainer Carl Alexander.

“This is the second phase of our fact-finding mission, as we had spoken to selected men and women players earlier. The coaches were called up to give their side of the story, and we also picked their brain on what needs to be done in the next four-year circle.

“The findings will be compiled and they will give us a clearer picture on what actually happened in both the Olympic qualifiers,” said MHC deputy president Datuk S. Shamala.

She said MHC had named Wallace Tan and Lailin to helm the national men's and women's juniors teams respectively.

“Since the women's Junior Asia Cup will be held on April 6-12 (in Kakamigahara, Japan) while the men’s is on June 4-12 (in Dhaka, Bangladesh) we were short of time to call for an interview and made direct appointments.

“However, we will call for interested coaches to apply for the senior women's coach’s job on Friday.”

The Junior Asia Cup is a Junior World Cup qualifier. While the men should be a shoo-in, the women will find it harder to prevail against India, China and Japan.

MHC released all their coaches, except for Oltmans, after the London Olympic Qualifier and the national body will call for fresh appointments batch-by-batch.

New Straits Times

Semi-final places up for grabs in Scottish men’s Indoor National League 1

The quest for a place in the semi-finals of this year`s men’s National League 1 indoor championship is a fascinating scenario in Pool A with only three points separating all four sides, while Pool B is on more traditional lines with Grove Menzieshill (9 points) and Dundee Wanderers (6 points) in good positions to advance.

Inverleith head Pool A with six points, only two ahead of Saturday`s opening opponents Grange in an all-Edinburgh affair. And the earlier league encounter also demonstrated that there could be little between the sides. Kyle Taylor and Charlie Jack gave Inverleith a two-goal lead after ten minutes, Callum Milne replied for Grange in the second half but they just failed to get the illusive equaliser.

Inverleith in their second encounter face a Clydesdale side that finished the league programme with only four points from their seven games, and in last spot.

But the Titwood-based outfit proved to be Inverleith`s nemesis, they produced a big performance in a 7-6 win over the Edinburgh side. Even more impressive was the fact they were 5-1 down early in the second half, and then Clydesdale scored six goals including a Struan Walker hat-trick.

So nothing can be taken for granted, and a repeat of that outcome would certainly put a dent in Inverleith`s aspirations.

The Grange versus Western Wildcats clash could also have a major influence on the destiny of the semi-final spots. The champions are struggling to find the same quality of form that brought them their first indoor title last season, and they need to win both their games to be in contention to defend their crown.

Last time out Grange took the honours with a 4-2 victory, and now hold a single point advantage over the Wildcats.

Western Wildcats would also have to repeat their 8-3 win over Clydesdale in their opening game of the day to maintain their semi-final momentum.

So it`s very much all to play for on Saturday in Pool A.

Grove Menzieshill look to be the front runners in Pool B with nine points brought forward from the league section, and that included a 4-2 win over second-placed Dundee Wanderers, here there was a hat-trick for Albert Rowling. A similar result on their first game on Saturday would secure a place in the penultimate stage for Grove Menzieshill.

Grove Menzieshill follow up with a fixture against Uddingston who they earlier beat 7-3.

At the moment Wanderers are in second spot, and even if they fall to Grove Menzieshill, have the chance to retain their position in the pool if they claim victory over Dunfermline Carnegie later in the day.

However, Uddingston could put some pressure on Wanderers if they can open their account with a win over Dunfermline, they won the earlier encounter by the odd goal in 15, Josh Cairns, Blake Hinton and Josh Baxter sharing most of the goals.

The relative positions in both pools will not be finalised until the last pool matches.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

50 years of Kelburne Hockey Club


There’s a big 50th birthday party coming up for Kelburne as they celebrate with a dinner and ceilidh, sponsored by Bromac Ltd, on Saturday 1 February at the Glynhill Hotel.

The club is inviting all past members and guests to take a stroll down memory lane and celebrate half a century of Kelburne. Gordon Smith will MC the event where a number of club-speakers will delve into the history of the Club by the decade.

The Club is also running an auction for various rare sporting memorabilia. Congratulations to all at Kelburne, enjoy the celebrations!

A history of Kelburne…

Kelburne Hockey Club emerged in April 1969 from the remains of the old Ferguslie Hockey club when they moved to the Whitehaugh grounds in Paisley.

The initial squad of only 14 players joined the old South West District League, competing with clubs like Ayr, Kilmarnock and old Paisley rivals Anchor.

Player numbers increased steadily and the first ever championship win was recorded when the 2nd XI won the South West Reserve League. Throughout the 70s the club continued to progress and by the mid-seventies had expanded to four teams.

Kelburne Ladies were born in season 77/78 through an amalgamation with the old Neilsonians Ladies Club and Camphill Former Pupils. Steady progress was made and by season 81/82 they had won the South West League title and in season 82/83, the ladies took a major step by joining the National League set up.

Kelburne Ladies grew in strength over the years to a point where they became a regular feature in the top four clubs in National League Division 1, whilst also competing in European club competitions. Recent seasons have not been quite so kind with respect to the Kelburne Ladies fortunes, however the grassroots are strong and they hope to stabilise in National League 2 and then reach the Premiership with the continuing development of their youth program.

The last few decades have been successful for Kelburne men, winning the Scottish Championship title on several occasions.

In particular, the Gents 1st XI captured five Scottish Championships in a six-year period, including a first ever league and Scottish Cup double in season 91/92, which culminated in a first ever European Club Cup success with victory in the “B” Division Championship in Gibraltar. The late 90s saw Kelburne re-building from it’s growing youth section going in to the 2000s.

Season 2003/04 saw Kelburne Ladies in particular make significant progress by finishing Runners up in Nat League Div 2 and gaining promotion to the 1st Division of Scottish Hockey for the first time.

2006/07 was a landmark year for the Kelburne Ladies when they competed in a European club competition for the first time.

The story of the Kelburne gents’ success in Scottish domestic outdoor hockey continued right throughout the decade from 2004. The incredible succession of 13 Championship titles in a row came to an end in season 2017/18 when they lost out on goal difference on the final day of the season to Grange.

At this point in time the club are going through another re-building phase at all levels and it is hoped that with good fortune, good guidance and a lot of hard work, this great club will rise once again to achieve more success in Scottish hockey.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Legendary Openda quits coaching role at Blazers


Telkom Kenya women's hockey team coach Jos Openda gives instructions to players during a training session on April 17, 2019 at City Park Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Jos Openda is hoping he will not go back on his word as he steps aside from a permanent coaching role at Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League side Blazers this season.

Last season, Openda had stepped down as coach leaving Josephine Ataro in charge with Rose Mbulo, Jackline Atieno and Judy Apiyo being her assistants.

However, a slump in performance saw the acclaimed coach resume his role to guide Blazers, formerly Telkom, to a record-extending 22nd league title.

Openda is now challenging the present technical bench to stand and be counted.

“I want to be in the background and allow the present coaches to take full charge of the team. It’s only through this arrangement that they will grow and gain confidence to lead and guide the club. I will not be there forever. I know leading such a club comes with a lot of sacrifice and they need to come out of my shadow and stamp their authority. I have seen it all and once again I’m passing on the baton and I hope this time it's for good,” said Openda.

Openda said the club has not recruited players as they are yet to secure a sponsor ahead of the new season set to begin in March.

“We haven’t signed any player. We have reached out to companies for a possible sponsorship but none has come through but we remain optimistic that something will give. However, we will participate in the league as we had spared some cash to start us off,” added Openda.

Blazers were previously sponsored by telecommunication company Telkom before they cancelled their partnership last June.

The development saw the back-to-back league winners skip last year's Africa Club Championships that was staged in Egypt and thus failed to defend their African title.

Daily Nation

Angela Durnin named as Non-Executive Director

England Hockey is delighted to announce that the Board has co-opted Angela Durnin as a Non-Executive Director to fill the role vacated by Mike Stoddard on his election as President.

Angela has a wealth of experience across the finance industry and was appointed to England Hockey’s Audit Committee at the end of 2019, joining her first meeting in December. She has subsequently agreed to join the England Hockey Board to fill the empty seat on the Board for the period to the Annual General Meeting on 17 March 2020.
Angela is an active and committed Hockey Club member having volunteered with London Wayfarers in various roles for over 10 years. During this time LWHC has seen an unprecedented increase in members and now provides Hockey for over 1500 players, (up from c250) with Angela providing expertise and influencing the financial model to enable controlled and sustainable growth.
Away from grass roots hockey, Angela is a qualified Chartered Accountant with experience across a multitude of specialisms in the finance industry and has a track record of delivering significant cost reduction in challenging and resistant environments. In addition to her expertise in finance, Angela is in the process of designing and delivering an ambitious back office modernisation strategy incorporating Governance, Facilities Management, Finance, HR, Technology and Operations at the Bank of England.
England Hockey Non-Executive Chairman Royston Hoggarth said, “I am delighted to welcome Angela who has a strong history in the game of hockey as a player and volunteer at London Wayfarers and a range of commercial skills and experiences to add to the Board. Angela joins at an exciting time for the organisation and we look forward to her contributions.”
On joining the England Hockey Board, Angela states, “I am passionate about accessibility to grass roots sport for all players regardless of ability, social demographic and ethnicity and will embrace the opportunity to participate in, and influence the strategic direction of hockey participation in England.”
Angela has been co-opted to the vacant Non-Executive Director position on a fixed term basis (co-opted) until the AGM on 17 March 2020 when members will be invited to vote for their Member Elected Non-Executive Director. Angela will be standing for formal appointment through this process.’

England Hockey Board Media release

Elisabeth Shellenberger, international field hockey player, coach and umpire, dies at 98

by Bonnie L. Cook

Courtesy of the Shellenberger Family

Elisabeth Shellenberger, 98, of Philadelphia, a standout player, coach, and official whose ongoing dedication to field hockey helped establish it as a national and international sport, died Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, of respiratory failure at St. Joseph Villa, Flourtown.

Miss Shellenberger, who was called “Betty” or “Shelly,” was known as a matriarch of the sport. She picked up a hockey stick at age 10, and the game defined her for decades, USA Field Hockey, the sport’s governing body, said in a message posted Jan. 4.

She played at Agnes Irwin School in Bryn Mawr and at Mount Pocono Hockey Camp, which helped establish the sport in the United States.

Since no college competition existed for the sport in 1939, when Miss Shellenberger graduated from Agnes Irwin, she skipped college and went on the road as a field hockey player based at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. She continued to play for the next 30 years.

At age 18, she was the youngest athlete to make the U.S. Women’s National Team. She was a starter on the team from 1939 to 1941, from 1946 to 1955, and again in 1960, and spent two years on the national reserve squad, logging a record for years served, USA Field Hockey said.

When she stopped playing, she became a national umpire. Because of her commitment to the game, the USA Field Hockey Association created the Shellenberger Umpiring Award, which recognizes long-term service on and off the playing field.

“Betty was an icon, and played such a huge role in so many capacities to help shape the sport,” said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey’s executive director, in a statement. “She was a huge supporter of USA Field Hockey and helped the organization develop. She will be dearly missed.”

Miss Shellenberger represented the U.S. at four international tournaments and during several U.S. National Team tours. “Shelly was the ‘face’ of the USA Field Hockey Association to the field hockey world beyond the United States,” said Sharon Taylor, a former USA Field Hockey president.

Miss Shellenberger was head coach at Chestnut Hill College from 1964 to 1977, supervising both field hockey and lacrosse teams. She also coached field hockey at Friends Select School and the now-defunct Stevens School.

Because of her dedication to both sports, she was admitted to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1986, the USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988, the Agnes Irwin School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005, and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

She was a coauthor of the 1969 book Field Hockey, and served on the International Hockey Federation’s rules board from 1967 to 1990.

Born in Germantown to Charles Dixcy Shellenberger and Elisabeth Lincoln Shellenberger, she lived in the same home on School House Lane for 75 years. While a senior at Agnes Irwin, she made her debut in Philadelphia society.

At the start of World War II in 1941, she joined the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve. She was based at Air Station El Toro in Southern California, serving as an aviation mechanic until she was discharged several years later.

She immersed herself in the history of Germantown and became so proficient in telling its story that she conducted tours at Cliveden, a historic house at 6401 Germantown Ave. where the 1777 Battle of Germantown was fought.

She was president and cofounder of Historic Germantown. The nonprofit is a partnership of 18 historic houses and museums in Northwest Philadelphia that seeks to showcase the past.

She was a member of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, a member of Strawberry Mansion in Fairmount Park, and treasurer of the Committee of 1926, a Philadelphia historical society.

Miss Shellenberger kept active until late in life as a high school umpire for local track-and-field events and swimming championships. She bowled and played tennis, squash, and golf.

She is survived by two nephews; a niece; and great-nieces and nephews. Her brother died earlier.

Plans for a memorial service were pending.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

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