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News for 02 May 2021

All the news for Sunday 2 May 2021

2021 Test matches RSA v NAM (M) - 2 May

Johannesburg (RSA)

1 May 2021     RSA v NAM   7 - 0 (Watch the match replay here)
2 May 2021 15:30 (GMT +2)     RSA v NAM
4 May 2021 19:00 (GMT +2)     RSA v NAM
5 May 2021 19:00 (GMT +2)     RSA v NAM
7 May 2021 19:00 (GMT +2)     RSA v NAM

No Spectators allowed due to COVID restrictions
All matches to be streamed live on the Watch Hockey App

FIH Match Centre

South African Men make statements in opening test victory over Namibia.

Photo: Marcel Sigg, Run, Ride, Dive

A wait of 428 days finally came to an end for the South African Hockey Men as they got themselves back on the turf for the first time since the worldwide covid pandemic changed the playing surface from Astro to Zoom. The South African’s were in the mood to make some statements on the day and the first of those emerged in the kit they were wearing. Joining in the movement, as displayed by the Protea Women, the SA Men wore a black kit to make a stand against gender-based violence.

The team did not take long to make an on-field statement either. Brandon Panther, playing his first test for South Africa since February 2017 was able to convert his own turnover with a superb reverse stick strike into the bottom right corner. One would quickly become two as Keenan Horne, captain of the SA Hockey Men, was on hand to finish after an error from the Namibian defense and finish easily past DJ Strauss in the Namibian goal.

Estiaan Kriek in the South African Goal was awarded his debut and was keen to make the most of the opportunity, denying a break from Scholtz first and then a very good save from Ernest Jacobs off his right leg. Kriek would not be tested too much more in the game, but he will be delighted that he got that first cap for his country and that he was able to keep a clean sheet in the quarters he played.

South Africa were turning the screw once again as they held onto possession and started dominating territory as well. They eventually managed to add the third on the stroke of half time as a great show and go from Bili Ntuli opened a pocket of space that the dynamic striker was never going to miss. He proved me right superbly. 3-0 up at half time and as far as shaking the cobwebs off it was job done for the men.

Ignatius Malgraff had endured a frustrating first half, but he was able to add his name to the scoresheet. A great drive through the middle created the space before he picked up Brandon Panther and the goal scorer turned provider for Malgraff to run in and finish. Shortly after Rusten Abrahams and Mustapha Cassiem were able to show the understanding built on the indoor court as they combined brilliantly for Cassiem to net his third international goal in his fifth start.

Abrahams was able to get his first international outdoor goal after this, but Richter van Rooyen will be disappointed that he was unable to keep the shot out. The SA Men were able to get one later on as Ntuli finished another chance to make it 7-0. The score line could have been more, but after a year of no action there were some promising statements made by the SA Men. None more important than standing together as one against Gender Based Violence.

The men will wear the limited edition Simunye kit tomorrow again. Fans are encouraged to get involved in the conversation. You can buy a replica Simunye kit from TK Sport SA, where a portion of the proceeds will go to the fight against gender-based violence.

The two teams will lock horns again tomorrow at 15:30. Spectators are not allowed due to the COVID regulations; however, the match will be streamed on the SA Hockey Association Facebook page as well as the FIH Watch Hockey app.

You can also re-watch the match on Facebook here.

SA Hockey Association media release

SA Hockey and TK to stand against Gender Based Violence

The South African Hockey Men, in collaboration with TK Sports South Africa, will play in the limited edition black Simunye kit (we are one) as a stand against gender-based violence. A movement that has seen support garnered around sports fields already, including the Proteas women playing in a black kit will now count the SA Hockey Men as part of the movement.

When president Cyril Ramaphosa declared gender-based violence as the second pandemic to hit South Africa in 2020, many around the country chose to stand up and be the difference. The SA Hockey Men, returning to international action for the first time in 428 days, felt it was an integral opportunity to not be silent and make a stand together.

Head Coach Garreth Ewing on the limited edition Simunye Kit

“As men we have a responsibility to lead the fight against gender-based violence. We are grateful that we have the opportunity to use our platform to stand together. We would like to thank SA Hockey and TK for backing us in this endeavour.”

Marissa Langeni, CEO of SA Hockey, was delighted to show support to the movement.

“As a sporting community we have a collective responsibility to be at the forefront of leading through example. I am immensely grateful for the support of TK in coming together to make a statement that will hopefully be felt across the country. To Garreth Ewing and his team, we salute you for your steadfast support to ending gender-based violence.”

The men will wear the limited-edition kit in the first and second test matches against Namibia. Although no spectators are allowed the games are screened on the Watch Hockey App free of charge. Fans are also encouraged to engage in the movement online with #ENDGBV and #Simunye in pledging support for one of the countries biggest challenges.

Replica kits will be available for purchase on TK Sports online. A portion of every sale will be given by TK back to the teams.

SA Hockey Association media release

Two world-class strikers big winners at annual awards

Leading FIH Pro League goal-scorer Olivia Merry and Premier Hockey League MVP Jacob Smith were the big winners at the Hockey New Zealand Awards in Auckland last night.

Merry, named Vantage Black Sticks Women’s Player of the Year for consecutive years, continued her phenomenal goal-scoring form in the interrupted 2020 Pro League claiming 10 goals to sit on top of the goal-scoring table for the second year in a row.

Her fourth goal in a 4-1 victory over Belgium took Merry past Anita McLaren for the all-time record of 106 goals for the Black Sticks. The 29-year-old Canterbury striker, who was nominated for the FIH Player of the Year award in 2019 after 15 Pro League goals and an outstanding Oceania Cup, now sits on a record 112 goals for her country.

Smith, named Vantage Black Sticks Men’s 2020 Player of the Year last night, was in outstanding form in the new Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League in late 2020 helping his Central Falcons side to the inaugural title and claiming the Most Valuable Player award.

The 30-year-old Wellington striker, who has 86 caps for his country after making his debut in 2012, was also instrumental in the Black Sticks qualification for Tokyo.

Manawatu striker Olivia Shannon and new Black Stick Sean Findlay were named Under-21 Players of the Year, with Shannon collecting the award for the second year in a row.

Meanwhile two Outstanding Contribution to Administration awards (known as the Pakistan Trophy) were made last night after last year’s awards event was cancelled because of Covid-19.

The Pakistan Trophy for 2019 was awarded to North Harbour’s Sharon Williamson who was the driving force behind the country’s new premier hockey venue – the National Hockey Centre in Albany.

Williamson volunteered thousands of hours across seven years to ensure this world-class facility opened in time for the first 2020 Pro League matches. Many have commented that the centre would not be a reality today without her input, drive and commitment.

The Pakistan Trophy for 2020 was awarded to Canterbury’s Peter Cox who was instrumental in getting Christchurch’s Nunweek Park redeveloped post the city’s devastating earthquake.

Cox has been a Nga Puna Wai trustee since its inception, helping to develop the venue into a cornerstone of the Canterbury hockey community, as well as assisting with the Mainpower Waimakariri Turf and a new turf in Rolleston due to open later this year.

Hockey NZ AGM

Hockey NZ held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday with Chair Mike Bignell moving from being an appointed to an elected member, and Otago Hockey Chair John Daniel being elected to the Board.

Marlborough’s Andy Rowe finished up after 10 years on the Board, and Tony Morris stepped down. A new appointed Board member is still being sought.

Also at the AGM, Auckland’s Grant Chester was awarded Life Membership of Hockey NZ for more than 50 years of achievements in the sport. As well as playing, coaching and managing, Chester has supported local turf projects at both Mt Roskill Grammar and Henderson High School in Auckland.

Chester has also provided employment for a number of Black Sticks, and with brother Colin they have arranged for surplus gear to be given to Associations around the country and across the Pacific.

Hockey New Zealand Awards – 2020 winners
Vantage Black Sticks Women’s Player of the Year: Olivia Merry (Canterbury)
Vantage Black Sticks Men’s Player of the Year: Jacob Smith (Wellington)

Vantage Black Sticks Women’s Under-21 Player of the Year: Olivia Shannon (Manawatu)
Vantage Black Sticks Men’s Under-21 Player of the Year: Sean Findlay (Hawke’s Bay)

Pakistan Trophy (Outstanding Contribution to Administration): 2019 Sharon Williamson (North Harbour) and 2020 Peter Cox (Canterbury).

Outstanding Contribution to Coaching: Chris Leslie (Canterbury), Verity Sharland (Manawatu) and Colette Mackenzie (Wellington).

Male Umpire of the Year: Gareth Greenfield (Canterbury)
Female Umpire of the Year: Amber Church (Poverty Bay)
Community Umpire of the Year: Georgia Mayo (Hawke’s Bay)

Administrator of the Year: Ally Roberts (Manawatu)
Volunteer of the Year: Judith Quinlan (North Harbour)
Sky Sport Most Outstanding Young Person of the Year: Finn Caske (Manawatu)
Club of the Year: Carlton Redcliffs (Canterbury)
Community Initiative of the Year: Hockey Manawatu – Manawatu Sports Outdoor Holiday Programme

Gold Membership Award (increase in participation numbers): Eastern Southland
Silver Membership Award (increase in participation numbers): Buller
Bronze Membership Award (increase in participation numbers): Counties Manukau

Gold Service Awards (25 years’ service):
Alan Blewett (Hawke’s Bay)
John Daniel (Otago)
David Fisher (Mid-Canterbury)
Shirley Gillett (Otago)
Owen Goodwin (North Harbour)
Merf Hornsby (North Harbour)
Alastair Kerr (Waikato)
Philip Limmer (Waikato)
Dave Ross (Otago)
Kirsten Smith (North Harbour)
Jan Wilson (Nelson)

Silver Service Awards (20 years’ service):
Karen Bennett (Canterbury)
Steve Campbell (North Harbour)
Kim Gilfillan (North Harbour)
Lyndsay Jones (Canterbury)
Brad Montgomerie (North Harbour)
Nic Rankin (Canterbury)
Kirsten Stuckey (North Harbour)

Bronze Service Awards (15 years’ service):
Jack Bramah (North Harbour)
Hamish Ellis-Jack (North Harbour)
Eddie Forster (Wellington)
Paul Hayes (North Harbour)
Barbara Meiklejohn (Wellington)
Sandi Notredame (North Harbour)
Kevin Richards (Wellington)

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Olivia Merry and Jacob Smith take out Black Sticks Player of the Year awards

Olivia Merry was named Black Sticks Women’s Player of the Year for a second consecutive season. ALISHA LOVRICH/PHOTOSPORT

Leading FIH Pro League goal-scorer Olivia Merry has been named Black Sticks Women’s Player of the Year for a second season running.

The 29-year-old was the big winner at the Hockey New Zealand Awards in Auckland on Friday night, along with Premier League MVP Jacob Smith, who scooped the men’s honour.

Merry had continued her phenomenal scoring form in the interrupted 2020 Pro League, claiming 10 goals to sit on top of the goal-scoring table for the second year in a row.

The Canterbury striker’s fourth goal in a 4-1 victory over Belgium took her past Anita McLaren for the all-time record of 106 goals for the Black Sticks.

Hockey New Zealand 2021 players of the year - Olivia Shannon, Olivia Merry, Jacob Smith and Sean Findlay.

Merry, who was nominated for the FIH Player of the Year award in 2019 after 15 Pro League goals and an outstanding Oceania Cup, now sits on a record 112 goals for her country.

For Smith, his award capped off an outstanding Premier League campaign where he helped his Central Falcons side to the inaugural title.

The 30-year-old Wellington striker, who has 86 caps for his country after making his debut in 2012, was also instrumental in the Black Sticks’ qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.

Meanwhile, Manawatū striker Olivia Shannon and new Black Stick Sean Findlay were named Under-21 Players of the Year, with Shannon collecting the award for a second year in a row.


Hockey Pro League season set for percentage conclusion

This season’s FIH Pro League standings will be decided on a percentage rating after the global tournament was ravaged by the pandemic.

This year’s tournament is due to finish its last matches at the end of May, though there are currently an array of matches outstanding due to postponements.

The FIH and the participating teams agreed that the final rankings of the competition will be determined on points earned against the maximum number of possible points from matches played.

To work the percentages out, the FIH noted that a team who has played 10 matches by the end of the season will have a possible maximum of 30 points. If they have won 18 points, their percentage used for their final ranking will be 60 per cent.

Holland women currently have a healthy 87.88 per cent lead at the top of the Pro League standings, ahead of Argentina’s 63.33 per cent.

It is closer in the men’s league, with Belgium topping the table at 82.05 per cent and Germany on 79.17 per cent.

The next Pro League matches will see Great Britain take on Germany behind closed doors on May 12.

The FIH said that Australia and New Zealand are hopeful of completing their Pro League matches in late June.

These matches look like being welcome international matches ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in July.

Meanwhile, the third global home-and-away league for the 2021/22 season starts in October when world champs Holland women host near rivals Belgium for a double header on October 6.

The tournament is slated to finish on June 30.

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The Hockey Paper

India men's hockey team to begin FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-22 campaign against New Zealand

India men's hockey team will have an action-packed first half in 2022

By Samrat Chakraborty

The India men's hockey team are scheduled to begin their FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-22 campaign against New Zealand on February 5, 2022.

The Manpreet Singh-led side are also scheduled to take on Australia and Spain in away matches before hosting Germany and Argentina at home. The encounters against Australia are slated to take place on February 12 and 13 before the Men in Blue take on Spain on the 26th and 27th of February.

An action-packed March 2022 also awaits India as they play Germany on 12th and 13th before playing against Argentina on 19, 20.

April will see India participating in two matches -- against Great Britain -- on 2nd and 3rd at home while they will take on Belgium on June 11, 12 and the Netherlands on 18th and 19th.

Graham Reid along with India players

“It (schedule) gives us an opportunity to plan our preparations well in advance. Though right now our focus is on doing well in Tokyo this July and peaking at the right time to succeed at the Olympic Games, we now know what needs to be done in the second half of the year," India captain Manpreet Singh said in a press release.

“They (New Zealand and Australia) are always a very challenging team particularly at home and we are very excited about the prospects of starting our campaign against them," he added.

India chief coach Graham Reid believes his team will face a tough competition against the Black Sticks.

“We will begin our assault on the title with a trip to New Zealand and Australia in February 2022. These matches are always tough against tough competitors in what can be often very warm conditions during that time of the year," Reid said.

India are, meanwhile, scheduled to take on Spain and Germany in the 2020-21 edition of the FIH Pro League later this month. Reid's side are currently third on the table this season, having won six matches (three of them after shootouts) out of eight.

Olympic Channel

Campo and Atlètic hoping to add national titles to EHL second place

EHL runners-up Club de Campo and Atlètic Terrassa have the chance to add the Spanish national titles to their seasonal haul after their Saturday semi-final wins.

Both beat Real Club de Polo with the former reaching the women’s final where they will be up against Junior FC while Atlèti will come up against Campo’s men’s team.

For Campo’s women, they were 4-1 winners in the first of Saturday’s four games, building a 3-0 lead at half-time and they never looked in trouble after that. Corner goals from Candela Mejías and María López set them on their way and a double from Begoña Garcia put them well clear in the second half prior to a Sofia Maldonado’s consolation goal in the final quarter.

Junior FC advanced to the final thanks to Laia Vidosa’s key goal in the 58th minute as they beat Complutense 2-1. Mariona San Jose deflected in for Junior before Berta Agullo levelled the game at half-time.

In the men’s semi-finals, this season’s fairytale story continued as Pau Cunill rammed home yet another penalty corner goal with two minutes to go to earn Atlètic Terrassa a 3-2 win over Real Club de Polo.

Cunill also opened the scoring for a 1-0 half-time scoreline. Xavi Lleonart equalised two minutes after the break before Jordi Bonastre had the hosts back in front going into the final quarter.

Roc Oliva tied it at 2-2 with a goal against his former club but Cunill added yet another goal to add to his incredible 2020/21 scrapbook.

Campo, meanwhile, scored four times in the third quarter to come back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to beat Club Egara 4-3.

Egara got off to a flying start with Pau Quemada scoring twice in the first half. But Ricardo Sanchez gave Campo a chance only for Egara to restore their two-goal lead via Xavi Aguilar.

But former Wimbledon man scored twice in two minutes to level the game at 3-3 and Sanchez got what proved to be the winner at 4-3.

Sunday sees the women’s final open the day at 10.30am (CET) and the men’s final take place at 2pm (CET).

Euro Hockey League media release

Podcast #94 – The Man Who Would Be President Of The FIH, Marc Coudron, and The Olympic Dilemma, Should Athletes Stay or Should They Go?

This show sees the interviewee take centre stage as we talk at length to former Belgian Hockey International Marc Coudron who has decided to run for the Presidency of the International Hockey Federation on May 22nd.

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