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News for 13 December 2020

All the news for Sunday 13 December 2020

Campo reach both Spanish cup finals with Junior and Egara lying in wait

Club de Campo are in the running for a potential Spanish cup double with both their women and men through to Sunday’s finals following their runs this weekend.

In the women’s competition, Campo will face Junior FC in the grand final of the 2020 IBERDROLA Queen’s Cup in Valencia on Sunday (11.00 am, CET).  

They will do it for the eighth time in history after beating CD Terrassa (0-4) and Club Egara (1-0), respectively.

Junior were the first to reach the final, going in front inside two minutes via Laia Vidos and it was 2-0 by the fourth minute courtesy of Laura Bosch. Anna Gil added a third goal before half-time and Teresa Lima completed the result in the closing minutes.

The second semi was much closer with Campo edging out Egara 1-0 with Carola Salvatella getting the only goal in the 21st minute.

Club Egara and Club de Campo will meet tomorrow in the men’s grand final of the Copa del Rey 2020 (1.30 pm, CET) following their respective wins over FC Barcelona and Atlètic Terrassa.

Egara won 2-0 in their contest with both goals coming in the second half. Barcelona had his the post in the opening period but Ramon Sala’s crew were the stronger after the big break. Marc Recasens broke the deadlock from a corner and Pau Quemada took the high road to the roof of the goal for the crucial second.

Campo reached the final in dramatic fashion from another close contest as they won the shoot-out 4-2 against Atlèti following a 1-1 contest. Jose Basterra put Campo in front in the eighth minute but Pau Cunill earned a shoot-out chance in the closing minutes from a 68th minute corner.

Mario Garín and Marc Calzada were both in fine form to facilitate that result in normal time but it was the Madrid side who prevailed in the shoot-out with Garín producing the vital saves.

The women’s grand final (11.00 am) can be watched via LaLigaSportsTV, EuroHockeyTV and, in Catalonia on Esports3 channel. Meanwhile, the match for the Bronze medal (8.45 am), between CD Terrassa and Club Egara, can be done through these first two platforms.

The men’s final is available through the same outlets from 1.30 pm. FC Barcelona and Atlètic Terrassa will play the bronze medal match at Tarongers from 9.15 am.

Euro Hockey League media release

Dragons confirm playoff spot as Racing face huge date with Herakles

KHC Dragons confirmed their place in the top eight playoffs in Belgium with a vital 2-1 win over Racing Club de Bruxelles in the men’s Honor Division, setting up a Sunday battle royale between Racing and Herakles.

After an early scare from Conor Harte, going inches wide of Tobias Walter’s goal, Dragons took the lead in the 26th minute when Henri Raes was in the right place to net.  

Cédric Charlier and Felix Denayer went close to doubling up but the minimum remained in the difference at half-time.

Racing started the second half on top but they were stung again when Luke Noblett found the net from a corner. With nine minutes to go, Racing coach Craig Fulton swapped out his goalkeeper for an extra outfielder and it was 11 outfielders on nine soon after when Lucas Putters saw yellow for a reckless foul on Victor Wegnez – who is out injured for three to six weeks as a result.

In that time, Conor Harte got one back and Quentin van Lierde was very close to grabbing an equaliser but Dragons clung on for the win.

The sixth win of the campaign allows the Antwerpers to secure their place in the top 8 before the last day and their trip to Namur.  

“It was a pretty close match,” admitted Felix Denayer to Le Soir. “Tactically, the Ucclois played well. They handled the key moments well but we were clinical at the right time.  

“We have been playing well for several weeks without winning. Against Racing, we were a bit below par but we won the match. We have taken small steps forward and that gives us confidence for the second part of the season. For two or three years, we have been trying to rebuild a new competitive team with new players and a new coach. But it takes longer than expected. ”

For Racing, they are now ninth must win against Herakles to snatch a place in the top eight. Herakles moved into eighth place courtesy of a 7-1 away win over Old Club.

The Waterloo Ducks won the other game, a 7-1 success against Namur which moves them up into second place.

Euro Hockey League media release

Sjoerd Marijne says women’s hockey team has improved fitness levels

Indian women's hockey team coach Sjoerd Marijne believes the core group has worked hard towards a good build-up to the Olympic Games next year.

Indian women's hockey team coach Sjoerd Marijne.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Indian women’s hockey head coach Sjoerd Marijne on Saturday said that the team has achieved its primary target of improving fitness during its camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in Bengaluru. The camp ends on Saturday.

The last time the Indian women’s team stepped out competitively was in February when it toured New Zealand. “One of our goals was improving fitness and that worked out very well. In the past few weeks, we also worked with the junior men’s team in a few sessions to test our speed and handling skills and I am happy with the progress we have made as a group,” Marijne said.

Primary Focus

He believes the core group has worked hard towards a good build-up to the Olympic Games next year. “We have done well so far in utilising this time and our primary focus is the Olympics.

“We are hopeful of playing good matches early next year that will show where we stand and we can plan the months leading up to the Games keeping in mind the areas that require improvement on the basis our performance in these tours,” the head coach explained.

Tackling mental fatigue

Marijne said the break will help the players recover from mental fatigue. “The players have worked hard these past four and a half months. They have done it without complaining about anything, be it living in a bio bubble with zero outside interaction or living away from their families for so long.

“I am extremely happy with the attitude they have shown these past four months and I understand that the training camp was physically and mentally quite challenging.”

"I would want the players to enjoy time with their family and follow the Hockey India SOP when they meet people and socialise because the pandemic is still not over,” the coach said.

“They have all been given some homework to do as well because this break is part of our training schedule except, they won’t be using the stick and the ball.”


Rourkela’s preparedness for World Cup pleases hockey bosses

As a build up to the event, the Sports department has commenced process for laying synthetic turfs in 16 blocks of Sundargarh district.

The visiting officials inspecting a stadium in Rourkela on Friday | Express

ROURKELA: Odisha Government’s preparation for the 2023 edition of the Men’s Hockey World Cup has received the endorsement of International Hockey Federation (FIH) as its chief Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra on Friday expressed pleasure with the State’s commitment and readiness for the grand sports event.

After an assessment here on the spot, Batra said he was pleased with the commitment of the public authorities of Rourkela. “I am convinced that it will be a great venue for the FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup India 2023,” he said after a visit during which top bosses of Odisha government and Hockey India (HI) reviewed the Steel City’s infrastructure and logistic needs for hosting the matches of Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023.

Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy, Sports Secretary Vishal Dev, Director R Vineel Krishna, IDCO Chairman-cum-Managing Director Sanjay Singh accompanied by Batra and Hockey India (HI) chief executive officer Elena Norman visited the Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium of SAIL and Birsa Munda multi-purpose stadium.

They later held a preparatory meeting with the Sundargarh district administration at Rourkela House to assess the preparedness of the city to host the mega event. After the meeting, Behera said, following the success of Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018 at Bhubaneswar, Odisha was appreciated across the world and the State’s brand image got a major boost. It was a matter of great pride that Odisha will again hold the prestigious event in 2023, he said and hoped that required infrastructure augmentation and air connectivity to Rourkela would be completed much ahead of the World Cup.

Rourkela MLA and Sundargarh District Planning Committee chairman Sarada Prasad Nayak said the top government officials and hockey administrators were given two presentations on different Smart City projects and further upgradation initiatives of the city.

“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has gifted Rourkela with an opportunity to host the prestigious event for the first time. While Bhubaneswar would be the principal venue, Rourkela has been chosen as the second venue,” he added.

The Chief Secretary said the State has been at the forefront of sports promotion and the development work in Rourkela and Sundargarh will redefine the sports landscape in the region.As a build up to the event, the Sports department has commenced process for laying synthetic turfs in 16 blocks of Sundargarh district.

The New Indian Express

Brennan appointed Under-21 men’s coach

Joe Brennan in coaching mode with Corinthian. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Joe Brennan has been appointed as the national boys development coach and Under-21 men’s head coach.

The current Corinthian men’s coach, in the absence of a specific Under-21 boys programme in 2021, will take over the Under-19 boys team later this season with Niall Denham stepping away from the programme in May for a sabbatical period.

The former international is also a former assistant coach to the senior women, as well as previously holding head coach roles in Muckross, Three Rock Rovers, and Glenanne, winning All-Ireland titles with the latter two clubs.

Simon Lowry takes over as head coach to the boys Under-18 squad, supporting Brennan as they set their sights on the Under-18 EuroHockey Championship in Valencia in July, facing Germany, the Netherlands, and Russia in Pool B. Hockey Ireland is sending Under-19 squads to the event which was postponed from last summer.

Ronan Hickey will take over the boys Under-16 squad as Head Coach as they focus on an Easter Five Nations, Covid 19 dependent.

Speaking on the appointments, High Performance Director Adam Grainger said: “It’s fantastic to be able to announce these appointments. Between international playing experience, and coaching at domestic and international level, the knowledge and experience these individuals will bring to the squads will have a lasting impact on the development of underage boys’ hockey in Ireland for years to come.”

The Hook

Newcomers to light up the Women's Malaysia Hockey League

By Jugjet Singh

MHC competitions committee chairman Datuk Seri Anil Jeet Singh at the press conference in Bukit Jalil yesterday. BERNAMA PIC

YOUNG Tigress, modeled after the FA of Malaysia's (FAM) Young Tigers, will make a roaring entry into the Women's Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) on Jan 14-Feb 20.

It will be a one-round tournament, and all matches will be played without the presence of spectators.

"Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) Ladies and Young Tigress are the new teams in the women's league.

"In the men's MHL, Sabah will be making their entry this season," said Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee chairman Datuk Seri Anil Jeet Singh in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Anil said more details about the Tigress will be announced by MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal soon.

"We will have eight teams in the men's MHL and six in the women's league."

UniKL, Terengganu Hockey Team (THT), Tenaga Nasional, Maybank, TNB Thunderbolts, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Nur Insafi and Sabah make up the men's MHL, while the women's section will comprise PKS Uniten, Police Blue Warriors, Mutiara Impian, Sabah, Young Tigress and UniKL Ladies.

Taking the Covid-19 pandemic into consideration, Anil said only one round of matches will be played in each competition.

"We are confident of hosting the MHL in January. However, we will not allow spectators into the venues in Bukit Jalil."

On foreign players, Anil said teams can still have them provided they inform the MHC accordingly.

"I believe it will be difficult to source for foreign players next year, but if clubs want to hire them, they must inform us so that we can facilitate their entry into the country with the relevant authorities," he added.

New Straits Times

MHL may lose its oomph due to the pandemic


UNIKL players celebrate after get a score during TNB Cup final match between THT and UNIKL at National Hockey Stadium, Kuala Lumpur. FAIHAN GHANI/The Star.

PETALING JAYA: Hockey is the latest sport to feel the ill-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Next year’s Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) from Jan 14-Feb 20 could lose some its lustre as it will be played over one round instead of two and teams may be bereft of foreign players.

All matches will be held at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee chairman Datuk Seri Anil Jeet Singh said there seemed to be not much interest from teams in recruiting foreign players for the new season.

“Teams must let us know if they want foreign players because the competition is under MHC. So far none has come forward yet because to bring players from overseas is not easy because of the pandemic, ” said Anil.

“We have also shortened the duration of our league which I am sure the National Security Council (MKN) will allow us to hold.

The MHL will also be played behind closed doors.

“Honestly, as the competition’s director, I do not want to bring in spectators because I am afraid some would not be able to adhere to the standard operating procedures, ” said Anil.

The men’s edition involving eight teams – Tenaga Nasional, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Terengganu, TNB Thunderbolts, UiTM, Nur Insafi, Maybank and new team Sabah will start on Jan 14 while the women’s event comprising PKH-Uniten, Mutiara Impian, Police, Sabah, UniKL Ladies and Young Tigers will begin on Jan 20.

The top four teams from the men’s and women’s league will qualify for the TNB Cup and Vivian May Soars Cup respectively.

The semi-finals would be held over two legs.

The Star of Malaysia

Former hockey player makes nursery to nurture rural underprivileged children in Punjab

20 years ago, an accident shattered Harbhupinderjit Singh Samra's dream, but he is determined to make ace players out of rural kids.

By Harpreet Bajwa

Harbhupinderjit Singh Samra is founder-president of the Rural Hockey Development Society to which Pendu Hockey League is affiliated. (Photo| EPS)

Harbhupinderjit Singh Samra (42) was a promising hockey player, but an accident 20 years ago forced him to stay off the field. Today, he is determined to make ace players out of rural underprivileged children -- he runs Pendu Hockey League (PHL), a nursery of hockey coaching.

Samra is founder-president of the Rural Hockey Development Society (RHDS) to which Pendu Hockey League (PHL) is affiliated. He doesn't forget the day when doctors gave him the saddest news of his life: he could no longer play the sport.

"I had got admission in Khalsa College in Amritsar and was selected for the college hockey team. In 1999, our college team went to Faridkot to play the Baba Farid Hockey tournament. On the way to the venue, my scooter skidded and hit a jeep coming from the opposite direction. My spine received injuries at three places," recalls Samra.

"A few days later doctors told me that I would not be able to play hockey for the rest of my life. That was the end of my fledgling hockey career, which started in my first year in the college," says Samra.

Young Samra was shattered, but his determination pushed him ahead in another direction. "I always dreamed of representing my country. When I saw budding rural players, I thought I’d do something for them," says Samra.

He decided to open a facility where young underprivileged players could train. But it remained only a dream until his marriage in 2010. "I shared my aspirations with my wife, who suggested we utilized our 'shagun' money of Rs 67,000 for the project."

He took another four years to start RHDS and set up seven centres in Dosanjh Kalan, Sarihn, Chania, Seechewal, Sindhar, Samrai Jandiala and Tehang villages. Samra is a small farmer with four acres of land and is the current chairman of the market committee of Jalandhar Cantonment.

He has been organizing funding campaigns for the PHL through sponsorship from Capital Small Finance Bank, Markfed, NRIs and other companies. "A sponsor can contribute anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 1 lakh," he said. Every year Samra’s centre spends around Rs 10 lakh on training the children, kits, balls, uniforms, shoes and socks.

He also takes care of their diet besides arranging pick-and-drop for them. The PHL tournament kicks off usually in November and continues for three weeks. However, this year COVID-19 didn'’t allow them to hold the tournament.

Young PHL players have been selected for several national hockey tournaments such as Under-16 National Rural Hockey, Hockey Indian National Under-14, Under-17 and Under-19, School National Games and Khelo India National Games. Meet Rajini, 14, from Samrai Jandiala village.

Her father is into small-time business. "When I started playing, my parents were unimpressed. I have earned villagers’ respect with my persistence and discipline. When they say 'look hockey girls are coming', it gives us a lot of encouragement."

Sachin (15) is also from the same village. He plays for under- 17 and nurses ambition to represent the country. "My family is proud of the fact that I play and also study."

The PHL now welcomes girl hockey players -- at four of the seven centres, there are women hockey teams. There are at least 20 girls at each of these centres. “The rural mindset about girl players is changing,’’ says Samra.

Each centre has at least 70 children in the age group of five to 17 years. There are four teams per centre, so all the centres have 28 teams. "We get a lot of support from government schools as most of these children study in these schools," says Samra.

Former Indian hockey captain, who is also an MLA from Jalandhar Cantt, Pargat Singh, admires Samra’s efforts. Jatinder Pal Singh Rai, a Hindi teacher at government senior secondary school of Samrai Jandiala village, doubles up as a coach for the students.

"The children are doing fine -- two of them have been selected in BSF under the sports quota. Another student has played for the rural national. So far around 550 children have learnt A-Class hockey in five years," says Rai.

Harmesh Lal, a physical training in-charge at government senior secondary school of Samrai Jandiala, says the rural children are physically better off than their urban counterparts. "Samra remains firm to produce national-level players for the Indian team. He is persistently working to achieve that goal," says Lal.

The New Indian Express

Nottingham hub adds two pitches to world leading hockey centre

December sees the completion of £2 million worth of investment by Nottingham High School, creating an incredible purpose-built sports facility for hockey at Nottingham Hockey Centre.

Already regarded as one of the UK’s premier hockey centres, the development added two new hockey pitches, taking the total to six.

Kevin Fear, Headmaster of Nottingham High School said: “We are thrilled to have completed this impressive development of our sporting facilities.  Since our very successful move to co-education in 2015 we have focused on hockey as one of our major sports for boys and girls.

“The Sunday Times have recently named us as East Midlands Independent School of the Decade and our sport plays a key part in this success. This facility will also be used by the local community and means that our pitches play an important part in the city’s sporting offering.”

Nottingham Hockey Centre Chairman, David Griffiths commented, “During the course of the pandemic, nothing has given me greater pleasure than to finally be part of the formal handover of the newly enhanced Nottingham Hockey Centre as the largest hockey centre in the world, outside of the Netherlands; there is plenty of work to do for our sport, not least the beginning of our ambitious community outreach programme. I’m in no doubt that Nottingham High School’s investment will be one of the most critical parts of this incredibly important undertaking.”

The project completion ran to time following some favourable weather conditions, the impressive build saw 4500 tons of topsoil removed then recycled, 1 kilometre of ball stop fencing and over 75,000 man hours on site.

Located at Nottingham Hockey Centre which is home to Nottingham Players Hockey Club and the University of Nottingham Hockey Club, as well as Beeston Hockey Club which was founded by former Nottingham High School students in 1907, the new facility will expand the school’s already impressive hockey provision and help to establish an ambitious outreach programme for hockey in the community, with a particular focus on local schools.

The new development will also be available to the general public and has the full support of Nottingham City Council, England Hockey and other key sporting bodies.

Dan Tilley, Director of Sport, University of Nottingham, commented, “‘As partners of Nottingham Hockey Centre we are delighted to see this significant investment from Nottingham High School, that will make the venue a leading international hockey venue. We look forward to working with Nottingham Hockey Centre, Nottingham High School and England Hockey to help maximise the opportunities of this world class venue to increase participation and improve the visibility of the sport through hosting major events.”

The re-developed hockey centre joins Nottingham High School’s other specialist sporting facilities including an onsite swimming pool, newly developed fitness suite and sports ground with pavilion at Valley Road.

Euro Hockey League media release

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