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News for 28 January 2020

All the news for Tuesday 28 January 2020

Dutch defending champions secure third consecutive win in FIH Pro League

By Nancy Gillen

The Netherlands earned their third successive victory in the women's FIH Pro League ©Getty Images

The Netherlands earned their third successive victory in the women's International Hockey Federation (FIH) Pro League, overcoming the United States in North Carolina.

The reigning world and European champions, who triumphed in last year's Pro League, powered to a 9-0 victory at Karen Shelton Stadium in Chapel Hill.

Player of the match Felice Albers and Frederique Matla scored in the first and second quarters respectively, before Albers got her second and Lidewij Welten added to the scoreline in the third quarter.

The US completely crumbled in the final 15 minutes, conceding five more goals.

Albers and Welten completed hat-tricks, with Ginella Zerbo and Maria Verschoor also contributing.

The first match between the two sides, due to take place on Friday (January 24), was cancelled as a mark of respect following the tragic death of American team manager Larry Amar.

A moment of silence was held in his memory before today's game.

In accordance with the Pro League's regulations for a cancelled match, the points of this game counted double, seeing The Netherlands earn six points for their victory.

"I think it was really great, I've never scored three goals in a stadium before so that was good for me and I'm really happy with the win and also the team performance," Albers said.

"It was a tough game, also due to the circumstances, but we played well and I'm really happy."

The US are back in action against Argentina in Buenos Aires on February 7, while the Netherlands have a longer wait to play the same team on February 15. 

Inside the Games

USA hold moment’s silence in memory of Larry Amar

USA found it tough going against world No 1 Holland PIC: USA Field Hockey

USA held a moment of silence in memory of team manager Larry Amar before their FIH Pro League match against world No 1 Holland.

Following Saturday’s cancelled match, the points for Sunday’s match counted double, meaning that the 9-0 victory by the Dutch earned them a maximum six points from their trip and a handsome nine-point lead at the top of the standings after their three games.

Amar, who died last week, was the US men’s captain at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He joined the US women’s team last February as assistant coach and recently transitioned to national team manager.

A Felice Albers hat-trick led the way for the Dutch, with Lidewij Welten notching a brace.

Albers said: “I’ve never scored three goals in a stadium before so that was good for me and I’m really happy with the win and also the team performance.

“It was a tough game, also due to the circumstances, but we played well and I’m really happy.”

After several high-profile retirements in the USA team, senior debuts were made by Carrie Hanks, Kelee Lepage and Madison Maguire.

USA captain Ashley Hoffman said: “I think we learned that we are a feisty bunch, and we are just starting to write this journey for Pro League.

“We played the best in the world, so I think that shows us exactly where we stand as a team and there is a lot to pull from there.”

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The Hockey Paper

Women go down fighting

An Indian player tries to tackle a New Zealand player during their match in Auckland. Hockey India

The Indian women’s hockey team lost 2-1 to New Zealand in its second match of the ongoing tour here today. The Indians had earlier defeated the New Zealand Development squad 4-0 in the opening match of the tour.

New Zealand started the game on an attacking note and earned a penalty corner early in the first quarter and the chance was brilliantly converted by Megan Hull in the third minute of the match. Pressing for the equaliser, India drew parity when young Salima Tete converted a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the first quarter.

The visitors matched New Zealand in the second and third quarters but a defensive error in the final 15 minutes cost India dearly as they concede a penalty stroke, and Megan Hull made no mistake from the spot.

India’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne was disappointed with the result.

“We created enough scoring opportunities but we were not productive enough. New Zealand were very successful in the little changes they got. They executed them well,” he said.

“It is not about how many opportunities you create but how effective you are. New Zealand were stronger today and in the beginning we were struggling with that. But after the first quarter, we played much better. We created eight shots on goal and four penalty corners. We are definitely working on being more effective in the coming matches,” he added.

The Tribune

Hosts Belarus win first Women's EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship title

By Michael Houston

Belarus lifting the Women's EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship trophy ©EuroHockey

Belarus won their first Women's EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship after a shoot-out win over The Netherlands in the Belarusian capital Minsk.

The two-time runners-up had previously faced the Dutch side - who were playing in their fourth consecutive final - in the group stages and were soundly defeated 4-1.

But in their first final since 2012, Belarus got their revenge, equalising in the final seconds of the game to bring the sides to a shoot-out.

Belarus started the three-shot tie-breaker in the worst way possible, missing their opening shot to hand The Netherlands the lead, before it was brought back level when the Dutch missed their second.

It would reach sudden death at 2-2, at which point both sides missed their fourth shot.

Belarus secured their first title after they scored their sixth shot and the favourites missed theirs, meaning it finished 4-3.

Having scored seven past Switzerland and Austria in the group stages before disposing of defending champions Germany in the semi-finals, the Dutch had been widely fancied.

In another shoot-out, the Czech Republic won 2-1 after a 2-2 draw in normal time against Germany to take third place, giving them their joint-best result in the tournament.

Germany's fourth place was their joint-worst result, continuing their excellent record of making the semi-finals in every women's championship.

Ukraine finished fifth and Austria sixth, with Belgium and Switzerland being relegated to the tournament's second tier for 2022.

Inside the Games

South Africa tumble in second test against Ireland

Since the opening test both teams have been hard at work in Stellenbosch working towards their goals for the Tokyo Olympics. The South Africans were in action against the SA Invitational U21’s and Netherlands U21 while Ireland took on Netherlands U21 and Germany in a test match.

The South Africans had competed well in parts of the first test but the second test was all Ireland as they punished every mistake by the South Africans with ruthless efficiency. Anna O’Flanagan was at the heart of the first goal, laying off to Katie Mullan and then picking up Ellen Curran’s pass, leading to a reverse across goal which Nikki Evans turned in.

Two goals in a minute before half-time made it 3-0. Shirley McCay’s sweep hit a foot on the line and Lena Tice scored the ensuing stroke. Roisin Upton created and scored the third, stepping through to rob possession on halfway and she piled forward, feeding Evans who returned the favour for the Limerick woman to net.

O’Flanagan got her own goal early in the second half before Nomnikelo Veto got one back in 40th minute. Sarah Hawkshaw’s corner goal, however, finished off the scoring toward the end of the third quarter.

For the South Africans it was a case of back to the drawing room with a lot of work to do over the remainder of the series, while for Ireland it was a happy result after their 4-0 defeat to Germany on Saturday.

The two teams lock horns again on Tuesday night at 19:00 for the final test of their series. Although Ireland have already won the series, there are still world ranking points up for grabs as the South Africans look to close the gap between them in 16th and Ireland in 8th.

Earlier in the night the SA Invitational side gave a spirited performance before going down 3-1 to the Netherlands U21, Mishka Ellis creating more highlights on an already impressive CV.

SA Hockey Association media release

USMNT Set to Begin 2020 with Series in South Africa

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The No. 24 U.S. Men’s National Team will be wasting no time in the new year. The red, white and blue announced they will face familiar foe No. 14 South Africa in a test series from February 8 to 12 in Durban, South Africa.

“We are really excited to start a new cycle with the U.S. Men’s National Team,” said Rutger Wiese, USMNT Head Coach. “We are bringing several U-21 players on this tour to give them an opportunity to train and compete at the highest levels and to see where they stand in the group.”

Both teams left it all on the field when they met last summer at the 2019 FIH Series Finals in Bhubaneswar, India. During pool play, USA executed a well-rounded game plan against South Africa. Despite going scoreless through three quarters, USA tallied two goals in the fourth to pick up a critical victory. The sides met once more in the semifinals, where South Africa rallied to tie the game in the second half, then scored the go-ahead goal with under a minute to play to send USA into the bronze medal match. The final score also dashed USA’s hopes of clinching a spot in an Olympic Qualifying Event.

USMNT vs. South Africa Schedule:

Saturday, February 8        8 AM ET
Sunday, February 9            8 AM ET
Tuesday, February 11        10 AM ET
Wednesday, February 12    2 AM ET

U.S. Men’s National Team Series Roster:
Michael Barminski (Ventura, Calif.), Gerald Cutone (Reading, Mass.), Christian DeAngelis (Doylestown, Pa.), Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.), Mohan Gandhi (Ventura, Calif.), Patrick Harris (Moorpark, Calif.), Liam Hawley (Ventura, Calif.), Will Holt (Camarillo, Calif.), Wander Hommes (Westlake Village, Calif.), Aki Kaeppeler(Stuttgart, Germany), Kei Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany), Jonathan Klages (Berlin, Germany), David Kristoff (Darien, Conn.), Michael Mendoza (Monument, Colo.), Adam Miller (Panama City, Fla.), Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas), Johnny Orozco (Ventura, Calif.), Jatin Sharma (South San Francisco, Calif.), Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Calif.)

For more information regarding the U.S. Men's National Team vs. South Africa test series, including the schedule, results, rosters and more, check out the official event page by clicking here.

USFHA media release

Azlan Shah Cup final is Oltmans' KPI

By Jugjet Singh

“But right now, we do not want to plan for failure as Malaysia should make the final considering the strength of the other teams,” said MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal recently. (NSTP/ NURUL SHAFINA JEMENON)

MALAYSIA must play in the final of the Azlan Shah Cup on April 11-18th in Ipoh.

That is the target set by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC), which is also the key performance index of national coach Roelant Oltmans.

It, however, will not be an impossible task as the FIH ProLeague has tied down the top teams leaving Malaysia to battle Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Pakistan for the crown.

India, who are normally a permanent feature in the tournament, will not see action this year as they will be focusing on their back-to-back matches against Germany on April 25 and 26 in Berlin.

Australia, on the other hand, have matches against Germany and the Netherlands in March but are free in April, before they play New Zealand in May.

“Our coaching committee have discussed with Oltmans on his plans for the Azlan Shah Cup as well as the entire season as his contract is until the end of the year.

“If the team do not play in the final, we will then re-evaluate Oltmans’ future role in Malaysia.

“But right now, we do not want to plan for failure as Malaysia should make the final considering the strength of the other teams,” said MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal recently.

Oltmans failed to take 11th ranked Malaysia into the Olympics, and now he has to plan the ‘downfall’ of Canada (10th), Japan (15th), Korea (16th) and Pakistan (17th) in Ipoh.

World No 2 Australia should breeze into the final even if they decide to field their development players.

“Going by our ranking, it is not an impossible target for Oltmans,” said Subahan, who is also the coaching committee chairman.

Malaysia were hammered 8-3 by Australia in their last appearance in the final in 2014.

New Straits Times

Tamil Nadu overcome Uttar Pradesh; Central Secretariat beat Comptroller & Auditor General of India in Senior Men National Hockey Championship

Jhansi: Tamil Nadu beat Uttar Pradesh 1-0 in a closely-fought Pool A match of the 10th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship (A division) on Monday.

Tamil Nadu overcome Uttar Pradesh; Central Secretariat beat Comptroller & Auditor General of India in Senior Men National Hockey Championship

D Muthuselvan converted a penalty corner in the 57th minute to help Tamil Nadu win the match.

In Pool B, Central Secretariat beat Comptroller & Auditor General of India 5-4 in a high-scoring match. Mohd Umar put Central Secretariat ahead in the ninth minute through a field gold before Mani Kanta Venkateswarlu (27th) and Manish Yadav (33rd) helped Comptroller & Auditor General of India take a 2-1 lead.

Thereafter, Mohd Shariq (39th, 43rd) and Malayalan Gunasekar (48th) scored in quick succession and ensured Central Secretariat controlled proceedings at 4-2. Captain Nithin Thimmaiah ensured a fightback for Comptroller & Auditor General of India with a field goal in the 49th minute, but Mohd Shariq sealed the deal when he converted a penalty corner in the 54th minute.

Comptroller & Auditor General of India's Manish Yadav scored another goal in the 56th minute but Central Secretariat managed to stay in the lead till the end.

In Pool C, Punjab and Sind Bank and Hockey Haryana played out a 2-2 draw while Canara Bank registered a comprehensive 5-2 victory over Association of Indian Universities.


Mumbai enters quarterfinals

It beat Telangana 7-0 and qualified for the quarterfinals in the B division of the 10th National senior women’s hockey championship.

Mumabi rode on Priya Dubey’s hat-trick to crush Telangana 7-0 and qualified for the quarterfinals in the B division of the 10th National senior women’s hockey championship at the National Games Hockey stadium here on Monday. Priya scored in the 22nd, 39th and 49th minutes as Mumbai topped Pool A with its second win.

Patiala and UCO Bank WHA also qualified as winners of Pool E and D respectively. Patiala defeated Bihar 4-1 in the crucial match to qualify for the quarterfinals.

A flurry of goals in the third and fourth quarters enabled UCO Bank Women’s Hockey Academy to beat Delhi 5-0.

In Pool H, Sports Authority of Gujarat HA kept its quarterfinal hopes alive after a crushing 6-1 win over Himachal.

The results:

Mumbai 7 (Priya Dubey 22, 39, 49, Ruqqaiya Shaikh 38, Payal Sawat 31, Althea Almeida 43, Resham Mahadik 57) bt Telangana 0.

Patiala 4 ( Mandeep Kaur 1, Taranpreet Kaur 3, Sumanpreet Kaur 7, Sukhveer Kaur 24) bt Bihar (Aprajita Kumari 25).

UCO Bank WHA 5 (Radha 14, Pooja 42, Arthi 46, Deepti 53, Anjali Devi 56) bt Delhi 0.

Sports Authority of Gujarat HA 6 (Shivangi Solanki 48, 57, Prachi Patel 11, Maitry Ramwala 18, Parmeshwari Shah 43) bt Himachal (Pinki 51).

The Hindu

England Hockey Jaffa Super 6s Team Insight: Surbiton

Find out more about Surbiton’s men in our club by club preview of each of the teams competing in this year’s Jaffa Super 6s Finals.

How did Surbiton get to the Finals?

Two goals in the final two minutes of their opening match saw Surbiton narrowly pass Hampstead & Westminster (5-4) as they took victories in their opening three games of the qualifying stage.

Though they did suffer one defeat in the group stage (a 7-5 loss to East Grinstead), Surbiton ended the qualification process with two emphatic victories over Canterbury (13-2) and Bowdon (14-4).

Who will they play in the semi-finals?

Surbiton come up against Wimbledon in the semi-final stage and, after making it to the final in 2019, will be hoping to repeat history in this round where they topped Sevenoaks 7-4 last year.

Qualification goalscorers:

Alan Forsyth (31), William Marshall (10), Zach Wallace (5), Ben Boon and Arjan Drayton-Chana (both 4), Tom Sorsby (3), Theun de Leeuw, Rob Farrington, Jonny Gall, David Goodfield and Jonty Griffiths (all 1).

Players to watch:

Having notched ten goals in the group stage, William Marshall will be the dangerman for Surbiton. Scoring four field goals, three from penalty corners and three from penalty strokes, Marshall is capable of scoring from any scenario.

If you’re hoping to see some spectacular finishes, keep your eyes on Arjan Drayton-Chana who scored an absolute screamer at 2019’s Finals day.

Did you know?

Surbiton are the only side to have halted East Grinstead’s domination of the Jaffa Super 6s title over the last decade, having beaten them 12-5 back in 2017, and came close to repeating this in 2019 only to be defeated in a shootout following on from a 3-3 draw at the end of regular time.

England Hockey Board Media release

England Hockey Jaffa Super 6s Team Insight: East Grinstead

Jaffa Super 6s Team Insight: East Grinstead

Find out more about East Grinstead’s women in our club by club preview of each of the teams competing in this year’s Jaffa Super 6s Finals.

How did East Grinstead get to the Finals?

Having stormed to the title in 2019, East Grinstead look to have continued their fine indoor form after taking top spot in the group with six wins from their eight matches.

After a domineering 10-2 victory over Surbiton in the opening round, the team went on to string four consecutive victories together. Though big victories against Clifton Robinsons (7-0) and Sutton Coldfield (8-1) followed, EG’s final game saw them suffer their only defeat during the qualifying rounds with a 2-1 loss to Bowdon Hightown.

Who will they play in the semi-final?

East Grinstead will face Buckingham, the team they thrashed 10-2 to lift the trophy in the 2019 Jaffa Super 6s final.

A repeat of that scoreline looks unlikely this time around, with the teams playing out a 2-2 draw in this year’s qualifying stage.

Qualification goalscorers:

Sophie Bray (14), Chloe Brown (11), Ellie Rayer (5), Abi Harper and Katerina Lacina (both 3), Lydia MacDonell and Harriet Mitchell (both 2), Ruth Evans and Courtney Hansford (both 1).

Players to watch:

With an Olympic gold medal to her name, Sophie Bray will certainly be one to look out for, especially after her 14-goal haul saw her go second in the qualifying goal scoring charts.

Sitting third on that table is Chloe Brown, with all 11 of her goals coming from set pieces (nine from penalty corners and two from penalty strokes), if EG get a chance from a set play, expect Brown to be a serious threat.

Did you know?

Not only did East Grinstead top the points table, they were by far the highest scorers through qualifying as they registered 42 goals from their eight games (nine more than second placed Bowdon Hightown’s 33 goals).

England Hockey Board Media release

'There is chaos where there could be greater efficiency'

By Sarah Juggins

London Wayfarers in action

At the 2017 England Hockey AGM two clubs, Alderley Edge and London Wayfarers, tabled a proposal for widespread changes to the structure, governance and administration of the domestic league. Here Marcel van Eldik and Nick Rudgard explain why their clubs felt it necessary to call for change.

‘London Wayfarers as an example are dealing with four different leagues and their sets of rules, and multiple associations; county, region and umpires. There are just so many bodies involved and we would very much appreciate a simplified structure with greater clarity for clubs and players. It is sometimes hard to know who to speak to in which organisation and with all the moving parts it can be a challenge.’

The desire for change is clear in former chairman’s Marcel van Eldik’s voice as he explains why London Wayfarers were one of two clubs to put forward a proposal for significant changes to the way the domestic leagues in England are administrated.

The other club leading the charge is Cheshire-based Alderley Edge Hockey Club. Honorary secretary Nick Rudgard explains what lay behind his club’s decision to speak out: ‘We are a large club with more than 600 members playing in a variety of women’s, men’s and junior leagues. These all have different geographical areas and rules. We felt that the time was right for a national review of the governance structure across the country.

‘It’s not just larger clubs with many teams that the changes will benefit. Simplicity and a consistent structure will help smaller clubs retain players and grow in size. All clubs need volunteers to run the club efficiently and to minimise travel time and cost to their members.’

Both London Wayfarers and Alderley Edge tested the water with other clubs, of all sizes, and both found that there was a groundswell of opinion in favour of change. “I think other clubs were waiting for someone to give things a nudge,’ says Rudgard. ‘The thing that resonates with clubs in this area is that there are so many leagues and they all have their own systems, processes and rules. It is confusing and challenging for the people running clubs to keep up with them all. We are inadvertently, getting caught out. And remember, we are all essentially volunteers trying to run the club. There is a huge sense of guilt if we make a mistake and that leads to a fine and points being docked.’

One point that both Van Eldik and Rudgard are keen to point out is that the AGM Resolution, if passed, is only a mandate for change. The two clubs brought the proposal to the table and it was backed by enough other bodies – mainly clubs – to set the process on its way. But, if the proposal is passed, that is the start of the process and many of the finer details are still to be worked out.

Here, Van Eldik stresses that the hockey community must look at the big picture: ‘Once we started talking to other clubs it was clear that everyone recognised the challenges for volunteers involved in running their clubs, from fixtures secretaries to captains. It was fairly easy to find other clubs going through the same pain points.

‘For us, it is not about one club, or one association or England Hockey, it is about how we can work towards achieving our common goal of delivering the best possible hockey experience for all our members. We should work together in a positive manner to see how we can make create the best environment and set-up for the future of our sport.’

And what if the proposal is rejected. Rudgard gives a shudder before answering: ‘If the proposal doesn’t go through there would be massive disappointment. Obviously the game would carry on because it is not in crisis: the game is not withering. But it is chaotic where it could be so much more efficient and streamlined. And so many more people could come and play the game.’

For Van Eldik and Rudgard, this is not just about rules and regulations but about what hockey programmes are on offer to make the sport exciting and attractive to current players and new participants. ‘This could be about so much more than rules and regs and a simple boundary that is moved,’ says the former chairperson of London Wayfarers.

'The plans seem very, very good to me,’ says Rudgard. ‘But it is vital that, assuming the proposal is passed, that England Hockey communicate and liaise widely and effectively. People get the concept, so now it is about the practicalities.’

While Van Eldik agrees with this, he is also keen to point out the role that the hockey community can play: ’So far, what England Hockey has done well is to engage with as many clubs and associations as possible. Now the clubs and associations must take the opportunity to get actively involved in the next wave, it’s not often you have the opportunity to have a direct impact on your club's future. If the clubs and associations give England Hockey the mandate to shape the future, then they must also continue to engage with the governing body. The clubs have a bigger role to play in this than many people realise.’

England Hockey Board Media release

Tenaga buzzing with energy, and just need confidence


KUALA LUMPUR: The energy in Tenaga Nasional is at a high, and coach Nor Saiful Zaini believes a little bit of confidence could make the team all-powerful in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

After five wins on the trot, the former national junior team coach used the Chinese New Year break to speak to his players on how they can boost their confidence.

He said the players have a good grasp of how he wants the game to be played, but feels they need to be more confident with their abilities.

“We are going for the double, so confidence is the key. The win against Terengganu was the right motivation for the players, and the break came at the right time. My job as a coach is to keep them on their toes,” said Nor Saiful.

Tenaga have won their first five matches in the league – beating TNB Thunderbolts 3-1, Nur Insafi 6-1, Maybank 2-0, KL Hockey Academy (Hockademy) 6-0 and Terengganu 4-2.

“Fifty percent of my boys are juniors. They have got the gameplay. Now it is time for them to wake up and realise that they can beat any team in the league.”

Nor Saiful said the confidence should be translated into better technique and an ability to dictate the tempo in any matches.

“When you have the confidence, you will be able to hold the ball well, and you will be smarter when releasing the ball.

“Also, in the box, your finishing instincts will get better. In professional hockey, technically we know you are good but to be a top player, you need confidence. Once you have that, then success would come your way.”

In the five matches so far, they have had seven scorers with Mohd Akhimullah Anuar Esook leading the way with seven goals, followed by Mohd Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal with five.The other players who have scored are Syed Mohd Syafiq Syed Cholan (4), Mohd Shahril Saabah (1), Mohd Aminudin Mohd Zain (1), Mohd Ramadan Rosli (1) and Norsyafiq Sumantri (1).

Nor Saiful is hoping hopes other players will also get into the scoring act.

“When you are in the box, you know where to stand, learn how to get your finishing right. It would be great to have more boys scoring.”

The league leaders face Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) tomorrow at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The Star of Malaysia

Stop the violence, says fullback Deavin

PETALING JAYA: After seeing two teammates getting injured – one out for six months with a broken jaw and another suffering a blow in his mouth – Australian fullback Timothy Deavin (pic) is worried about the safety of players in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

What’s more, he fears foreign imports might think twice about coming to play in Malaysia if nothing is done to improve the safety of players.

The Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) fullback has urged the league to look into the injuries that are being caused by deliberate hits and off-the-ball incidents.

The 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist said he loves playing in Malaysia, but if the problem of dangerous play is not resolved, no one will come over to take part in the league.

“At the end of last season and the beginning of this season, we have had some players getting hit deliberately, and nothing has been done about it,” said the 36-year-old.

On Jan 12, national forward Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil suffered a broken jaw off a ball hit by Pakistan’s Ali Rizwan of KL Hockey Academy (Hockademy).

In that match, Deavin was seen remonstrating to the umpires over the incident, and was peeved that no action was taken against the opposition player.

Ten days later, Dutch striker Roel Bovendeert was hurt in their 3-0 win against Nur Insafi, suffering a chipped tooth in an off-the-ball incident.

Despite the injuries, Deavin is glad his team have gone on a five-game winning run but knows the challenge ahead will get trickier.

“We have been playing well and are currently undefeated even though we have not played two of the top teams (Tenaga Nasional and Maybank).

“The weekend will be tough, but a good challenge.”

The team coached by Arul Selvaraj will face Maybank at Stadium Tengku Abdullah in Bangi tomorrow.

Deavin said the team environment has been great thanks to the coaching staff and warm local players.

“It is excellent. We are lucky to have such a great coach and a great bunch of guys. They make us feel very welcome.”

“I hope we can (go on being unbeaten), but it will not be easy. They (Maybank) are a strong team. But we know their strengths and weaknesses,” he said.

Deavin said one of the factors that pulled him to play in Malaysia was the warm people. But there is a push factor – the violent play and the fact that it goes unpunished.

The Star of Malaysia

Hockey Wales Men’s Club Championship: Weekend 1

Sunday saw the first weekend of competition in the Hockey Wales Men’s Club Championship with Penarth and Swansea meeting at the National Hockey Centre, to play in the opening game of the new formatted competition.

The new format will see Penarth, Swansea and Whitchurch play each other in a series of round robin pool matches, with the winner playing Cardiff & Met, our highest ranked England Hockey (National) League team, in the Hockey Wales Club Championship Finals Weekend on the 2/3 May 2020.

In what turned out to be a very wet morning in Cardiff, both teams had an exciting game with opportunities at both ends, but it was Penarth who were able to capitalise and finish eventual winners by three goals to nil.

The next round of the Championship will see Whitchurch play Swansea on Sunday 1st March, followed by Penarth’s next outing against Whitchurch on Saturday 28th March.

Hockey Wales media release

Hockey Fans – Super Saturday is coming!

The 8th February 2020 sees the inaugural Hockey Wales ‘Super Saturday’. The double header will take place at the National Hockey Centre at Sophia Gardens in a festival of hockey that features the highest placed women’s and men’s club teams in Wales.

The opening game will be a head to head between Swansea and Leeds from the Investec Women’s Hockey League Division One North.

Swansea is in a commanding position towards the top of the table as we enter the second half of the season, with Leeds languishing towards the bottom. A win for the Welsh side at ‘Super Saturday’ will see them challenging for the top spot.

The second game of the day will see Cardiff & Met, who are also in a strong position in the table, take on their rivals from the Men’s Division One North, Leeds.

The event promises to be a real highlight on the Welsh hockey calendar. ‘Super Saturday’ offers hockey fans a chance to come and watch the top Welsh sides play new, unknown opponents, following the change to the English Leagues last season, which saw both move into Division One North.

Further information:

Date:     8th Feb 2020.

Time:    15:00 Gates open
              16:00 Pushback Swansea v Leeds
              18:00 Pushback Cardiff & Met v Leeds

Venue:  National Hockey Centre, Sophia Gardens.
              Free entry

Food, drink and the opportunity to purchase hockey equipment available onsite.

Hockey Wales media release

Former women’s hockey team captain Sunita Chandra passes away

Former Indian women’s hockey team captain Sunita Chandra passed away on Monday. Chandra, an Arjuna awardee, was 76 and is survived by her husband Yatish Chandra and two sons.

She had played for the Indian women’s hockey team between 1956 to 1966 and served as skipper from 1963 to 1966.

Her son Gaurav Chandra told PTI  that Sunita died in her sleep at their residence on Monday morning.

Expressing his grief, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath described Chandra as an “excellent player” and called her the “pride of the country”.


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