All the news for Saturday 29 May 2021
Trans-Tasman series 2021 - 29 May
2021 Test Matches NZL vs AUS (M)
Palmerston North (NZL)
27 May 2021 NZL v AUS 1 - 3
28 May 2021 NZL v AUS 0 - 3
30 May 2021 15:00 (GMT +12) NZL v AUS
01 Jun 2021 19:30 (GMT +12) NZL v AUS
2021 Test Matches NZL vs AUS (W)
Palmerston North (NZL)
27 May 2021 NZL v AUS 1 - 1
28 May 2021 NZL v AUS 2 - 2
30 May 2021 13:00 (GMT +12) NZL v AUS
01 Jun 2021 17:30 (GMT +12) NZL v AUS
FIH Match Centre
Late Hockeyroos goal means women draw for second night in a row
The Vantage Black Sticks Women and the Hockeyroos have drawn for the second night in a row in the Sentinel Homes Trans-Tasman series in Palmerston North tonight.
In front of a near capacity crowd at the new Massey University turf, the Australian women finished strongly to grab the equaliser 2-2 and leave the series all locked up.
Meanwhile the Kookaburras men have collected their second win of the series with a convincing 3-0 victory against an under-strength Black Sticks side.
The late women’s match went right to the wire with Hockeyroo Mariah Williams scoring the equaliser with just five minutes left on the clock, with the Australians then threatening to grab the winner.
While disappointed to give away a 2-0 lead, Vantage Black Sticks Women’s Head Coach Graham Shaw was more disappointed with the overall performance.
“We didn’t hit our straps today with a lot of technical errors. We dwelled on the ball which allowed Australian to play that high pressing game and gave them a lot of energy.”
The Vantage Black Sticks Women went ahead in the first quarter with Kelsey Smith cleverly controlling a bobbling ball in front of goal.
The Hockeyroos, wearing their orange, black and yellow strip tonight to acknowledge National Reconciliation Week in Australia, probably had the better of the first half but couldn’t convert any of their chances.
Midway through the third quarter, the Black Sticks extended their lead through a Stephanie Dickins drag flick in her old hunting ground of the Manawatu.
But the Hockeyroos replied straight away with the goal of the game from Stephanie Kershaw, who gave herself space in the circle and then fired away a cracking goal.
And with five minutes left and the home crowd hoping for the first Black Sticks victory of the series, Williams squared the match up at 2-2.
Shaw said he was delighted with Dickins’ penalty corner goal – only her second for her country.
“Steph’s been working really hard on her flicking aspect of her game. We know she can be a threat there with a powerful flick. I’m delighted for her that she able to put one away.”
Vantage Black Sticks 2 (Kelsey Smith 11 min, Stephanie Dickins 35 min) Hockeyroos 2 (Stephanie Kershaw 38 min, Mariah Williams 55 min) Halftime: 1-0 Black Sticks
Hawke’s Bay striker Sam Hiha in action in tonight’s second match of the series
In the earlier men’s clash, it was a tough night for the home side without the experienced trio of captain Blair Tarrant (eye injury from yesterday’s opening match), vice-captain Hugo Inglis (rested) and Nick Ross (leg injury, replaced by Aidan Sarikaya for the series).
And the injury list was instantly added to with stand-in skipper Nic Woods facing a similar fate as Tarrant yesterday with a shot to the face that he didn’t return from.
The Kookaburras opened the scoring in the 12th minute with Nathan Ephraums collecting his first goal for his country after a scramble in the circle. Blake Govers, in his 100th match, made it 2-0 early in the second quarter with a well-taken drag flick penalty corner.
Black Sticks goalkeeper Leon Hayward made a brilliant save from another Govers drag flick to keep the score at 2-0 at three quarter time.
But Hayward’s brother and Kooaburras defender Jeremy got one over his brother with the third goal – another well taken drag flick penalty corner to put the result beyond doubt.
Kookaburras 3 (Nathan Ephraums 12 min, Blake Govers 18 min, Jeremy Hayward 52 min) Vantage Black Sticks 0 Halftime: 2-0 Kookaburras
The third matches in the series are on Sunday at 1pm for the women and 3pm for the men.
Official Blacksticks site
Kookaburras beat Blacksticks to celebrate Govers milestone
Blake Govers marked his 100th international appearance with a goal while Nathan Ephraums scored his first as the Kookaburras accounted for New Zealand 3-0 in Match 2 of the Trans-Tasman Series.
Defender Jeremy Hayward was the other to score, the Kookaburras again proving too strong for the Blacksticks in Palmerston North as they continue to build ahead of July’s Tokyo Olympics.
Looking to turn around a 3-1 result in the first game, the Blacksticks unfortunately lost their captain in the first quarter to an accidental ball to the face for the second successive night, this time Nic Woods on the receiving end.
Kookaburras goalkeeper Tyler Lovell was called upon early to make a slick save high up after the Blacksticks caught the Kookaburras out on the counter attack.
The Kookaburras then started to get into their rhythm and went ahead in the 12th minute.
Captain Eddie Ockenden started the move down the left with effortless control, passing to Ephraums who put the ball into the circle.
Tim Brand showed desperation to keep the chance alive before Ephraums followed up, his initial back flick saved by George Enersen but his persistence paid off as he managed to tumble the ball over the goal line for the first of his Kookaburras career.
Govers then made it 86 goals from 100 games with a clinical drag flick in the 18th minute.
With the Kookaburras defence largely in control, Jake Whetton flashed a shot into the side netting, the margin staying at two going into half time.
Leon Hayward started in goal for New Zealand in the second half and made a quality save to deny Govers a second.
Lachlan Sharp was a livewire in the attacking half of the field as the Blacksticks struggled to contain the Kookaburras’ attacking threats, while the Australians’ tackling and pressure was also a feature when not in possession.
Jeremy Hayward then sealed the result in the 52nd minute when his drag flick beat his brother’s attempted save.
Leon Hayward prevented the score from blowing out further as he kept out another Govers penalty corner attempt.
Jacob Anderson was also keen to get in on the act with a fine individual run that resulted in a penalty corner with 25 seconds left, but the Kookaburras were made to settle for a 3-0 win.
The teams will meet again in Match 3 of the series on Sunday.
Kookaburras 3 (Ephraums 12’, Govers 18’, Hayward 52’)
New Zealand 0
@ Massey University Turf
Kookaburras: 1.Lachlan Sharp, 6.Matthew Dawson, 7.Nathan Ephraums, 9.Jacob Anderson, 10.Josh Beltz, 11.Eddie Ockenden (c), 12.Jake Whetton, 13.Blake Govers, 14.Dylan Martin, 15.Josh Simmonds, 16.Tim Howard, 22.Flynn Ogilvie, 23.Daniel Beale, 24.Tyler Lovell (gk), 29.Tim Brand, 32.Jeremy Hayward
Unused Substitutes: 5.Tom Wickham, 30.Andrew Charter (gk)
New Zealand: 2.Oliver MacIntyre, 3.David Brydon, 4.Dane Lett, 9.Sam Hiha, 10.Steve Edwards, 12.Sam Lane, 14.Jared Panchia, 15.George Enersen (gk), 16.Aidan Sarikaya, 17.Nic Woods (c), 21.Kane Russell, 23.Dylan Thomas, 24.Sean Findlay, 25.Shea McAleese, 28.Dominic Newman, 30.George Muir, 32.Nick Wilson, 34.Leon Hayward (gk)
Hockey Australia media release
Hockeyroos stage stirring fightback to draw with Blacksticks
Stunning strikes from Steph Kershaw and Mariah Williams have seen the Hockeyroos come from two goals down to record a 2-2 draw with New Zealand.
The result is the second stalemate in as many days between the teams who cannot be split with two matches to go in the series.
Despite dominating large periods of the game, the Hockeyroos were forced to play catch up as they found themselves behind 2-0 after 35 minutes.
But Kershaw reduced the deficit in the 38th minute before Williams, playing just her second game since 2019, lit up the Massey University turf with a brilliant tomahawk to level the scores.
Hockeyroos Head Coach Katrina Powell brought in Amy Lawton, Ashlee Wells, Penny Squibb, Maddy Fitzpatrick, Kaitlin Nobbs, Renee Taylor and Williams into the team from the one that drew 1-1 last night.
Just like in Game 1, the Hockeyroos found themselves under pressure from the opening pushback.
Jocelyn Bartram pulled off a crucial double save inside the opening minute before the Hockeyroos defence survived a couple of early Blacksticks corners.
The Hockeyroos then had their own share of penalty corners but could not capitalise.
The hosts then went ahead in the 11th minute when Olivia Merry fed the ball into the circle for Kelsey Smith, who with her back to goal managed to steer it past Bartram.
A well worked build up from Lawton and Brooke Peris saw the ball find its way to Courtney Schonell but she could not send her effort beyond Blacksticks goalkeeper Georgia Barnett.
Trailing by the solitary goal at half time, the Hockeyroos suffocated the Blacksticks in their own half in the early stages of the third quarter.
But the Hockeyroos were dealt a sucker punch when a Steph Dickins drag flick crept through the legs of Ashlee Wells who started in goal in the second half.
The Hockeyroos then showed great character as some sublime skill cut the deficit three minutes later.
Some fancy stick work to the right of the circle from Savannah Fitzpatrick, who started the move inside her own half, saw the ball come to Williams.
With her back to goal, Williams dragged left and right until she picked out Kershaw with a clever reverse stick pass and the talented midfielder took a touch before instinctively rocketing a tomahawk past New Zealand keeper Georgia Barnett.
Fittingly it was Williams, a proud Aboriginal woman, who would score a stunning tomahawk to equalise with five minutes to go on a night the Hockeyroos wore their Indigenous uniform to celebrate and raise awareness for National Reconciliation Week.
The teams will have a day off tomorrow before renewing hostilities in front of an expected sellout crowd in Palmerston North on Sunday.
Hockeyroos 2 (Kershaw 38’, Williams 55’)
New Zealand 2 (Smith 11’, Dickins 35’)
@ Massey University Turf
Hockeyroos: 2.Rosie Malone, 3.Brooke Peris, 4.Amy Lawton, 5.Ashlee Wells (gk), 6.Penny Squibb, 10.Maddy Fitzpatrick, 11.Meg Pearce, 13.Edwina Bone (c), 14.Stephanie Kershaw, 15.Kaitlin Nobbs, 16.Courtney Schonell, 18.Jane Claxton, 19.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 21.Renee Taylor, 22.Kate Jenner, 23.Kalindi Commerford, 24.Mariah Williams, 32.Savannah Fitzpatrick
New Zealand: 2.Olivia Shannon, 4.Olivia Merry, 5.Frances Davies, 7.Kayla Whitelock, 12.Ella Gunson, 13.Samantha Charlton, 14.Tyler Lench, 16.Liz Thompson, 17.Steph Dickins, 19.Tessa Jopp, 20.Megan Hull, 21.Alia Jaques, 22.Katie Doar, 24.Rose Keddell, 25.Kelsey Smith, 31.Stacey Michelsen (c), 42.Georgia Barnett (gk)
Unused Substitutes: 15.Grace O’Hanlon (gk)
Hockey Australia media release
Williams: NRW a time to reflect and commit to equality
On a night the Hockeyroos wore their Indigenous uniform to promote National Reconciliation Week (NRW), it was befitting Mariah Williams would score a scintillating goal and make a successful return to international hockey.
A proud Indigenous woman who is a member of the Wiradjuri people (the largest Aboriginal tribe in central New South Wales), Williams was instrumental in helping the Hockeyroos recover from two goals down to draw with New Zealand in Match 2 of the Trans-Tasman Series last night.
She provided the assist for Steph Kershaw’s goal before scoring herself courtesy of a sensational tomahawk.
After being out of action for eight months with stress fractures, Williams was building up well before hyper extending her knee in a squad game against the Under 18 WA Men’s team weeks before the current series against the Blacksticks.
But having recovered from that latest setback, Williams was back and excited to be playing again.
She certainly did not look rusty after smashing home the Hockeyroos’ equaliser.
“I knew I got to the other side of (Blacksticks defender) Kayla Whitelock, so I just thought I’m going to put this ball into the back of the net as hard as I can…and thankfully it came off,” recalled Williams of her goal.
“Normally mine (tomahawks) go low but that one went high into the corner so I was pretty happy where it finished.”
Making it even more special was that the Hockeyroos played in the Indigenous uniform specially designed by Australia’s first Indigenous Olympic gold medallist and former Hockeyroo Nova Peris OAM, plus artwork by Indigenous artist Nathan Patterson.
Peris painted and designed the uniforms for Hockey Australia’s inaugural FIH Pro League Indigenous Round in March last year.
With this year’s NRW running from 17-23 May, the Hockeyroos decided to wear the uniform against New Zealand in recognition of the importance of the relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Williams, who is also an ambassador of the AIS Share a Yarn initiative, said it is important to drive awareness and understanding of NRW.
“National Reconciliation Week is a time for learning, sharing and celebrating the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their culture and their history,” said Williams.
“As elite athletes who get to represent our country, we as Hockeyroos have the ability to raise awareness of this. For me National Reconciliation Week is a time to reflect and commit to equality.”
The Hockeyroos ae back in action tomorrow against the Blacksticks in Match 3 before the final game of the series on Tuesday.
The Sentinel Homes Trans-Tasman Series is being broadcast LIVE on Sky Sport and the Sky Sport Next YouTube Channel.
Hockey Australia media release
2021 Test Matches BLR v UKR (W) - 29 May
27 May 2021 BLR v UKR 2 - 0
29 May 2021 17:30 (GMT+3) BLR v UKR
30 May 2021 11:30 (GMT+3) BLR v UKR
FIH Match Centre
2021 Test matches CZE v POL (W) - 29 May
28 May 2021 CZE v POL 1 - 1
29 May 2021 16:00 (GMT+2) CZE v POL
FIH Match Centre
The Red Lions crowned champions of 2019-2021 FIH Hockey Pro League
The Red Lions were declared winners of the second edition of the Hockey Pro League. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced it on Friday.
Dutch Women's Hockey players confident of Pro League victory due to cancellations
The hockey players would also compete twice against Australia and New Zealand, but those countries cannot come to Europe. The international hockey federation FIH has decided to no longer play these matches. Because the participants do not find themselves in an equal number of matches played, the FIH examines the percentage of points obtained before drawing up the final score. With 87.88%, Orange is by far the best among women.
National coach Alyson Annan’s side have won eight out of ten games and triumphed once on penalties. Only Argentina lost once (2-0) in February. In 2019, the Orange team also won the first edition of the Pro League.
The Dutch will also close the national competition against Belgium on Sunday. The team of outgoing national coach Max Caldas sit fifth in the championship with nine countries, with a points percentage of 54.55. Belgium, world champion, is already certain of victory overall with 82.05. The Orange team have won four of their eleven games and lost three. Of the four matches that ended in a draw, two were won by penalties.
“It is of course disappointing that it is not possible to play all matches,” said FIH director Thierry Weil. “However, we were able to complete two-thirds of the program, which is a great achievement given the extremely difficult conditions we find ourselves in.”
From June 4 to 13, the European titles will be contested in Amsterdam. The European Championship is used by Dutch hockey teams to prepare for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
SA hockey needs success in the olympics to ensure a brighter future
By Stuart Hess
FILE - Phumelela Mbande (GK) of South Africa leads the defence during a penalty corner during their 2017 Hockey World League Women quarter-final game against Ireland at Wits Hockey Fields in Parktown. Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG — For South Africa’s two Olympic bound hockey teams, playing in Tokyo will not only be about winning medals, but making a more lasting impression for the sport in this country.
Hockey exists in the shadows for much of the years between Games, and when the Olympics do come into view the same story emerges about the sport, led primarily by a lack of funding. That is again the case this year.
In order to attract support going forward the national teams need to show significant progress at the biggest events, and there is none bigger in hockey than the Olympic Games. “I think for hockey in general in South Africa, it’s obviously a huge opportunity to go and represent SA on the biggest international stage that there is,” said the women’s team’s captain Erin Hunter.
Her teammate, goalkeeper, Phumelela Mbande, went a step further, outlining how success in Tokyo was crucial to the future of the sport in this country.
“We weren’t able to go to the previous Olympics and so we understand that this Olympics is important, not just for SA women’s hockey right now, but also for future generations,” said Mbande. “What we do at this Olympics, could set the tone for SA hockey going forward.”
That is an enormous additional goal to attach to Olympic competition. South Africa’s women have never finished better than ninth at the Games, something Mbande is desperate to help change this year. “That quarter-final is 100% the only thing that the SA women’s team is focused on right now,” she said Thursday during the announcement of a provisional list of athletes and teams to represent South Africa in Tokyo.
“Speaking to setting a tone for SA hockey, speaking to achieving goals for ourselves as a team, getting to the quarter-final is literally — besides qualifying and getting to Tokyo — that quarter-final is absolutely, 100% our only focus.”
“We are not going to Tokyo just to get a participation trophy,” she added. “The Olympics is a massive competition not just across different sporting codes but for hockey specifically, there’s big things attached to it like ranking points. One of our biggest struggles as South African hockey, is based largely around our geographic location and also funding.
“We struggle to get lots of international competition. For the teams based in Europe, they can play Euro championships where they play each other. Obviously, like with every sport, the more you compete the better you get. Our participation opportunities are very limited.”
The South African women are in a very tough group that includes the current Olympic champions, Great Britain, World Champions, the Netherlands and the runners-up at the last world championships, Ireland. To get into the quarter-final they need to finish fourth in their six-team group.
“It is very important that when we do get to compete at such a level with this type of competition, we really put our mark down, and say we are a force to be reckoned with and we are changing the future of South African hockey, specifically related to ranking points,” Mbande, 28, reiterated.
“If we can place better at the Olympics, we get better ranking points and that changes, literally the future prospects for South African hockey.”
SA WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM
Quanita Bobbs, Erin Christie, Lisa Deetlefs, Lilian Du Plessis, Nicole Erasmus, Tarryn Glasby, Robyn Johnson, Charne Maddocks, Lerato Mahole, Phumelela Mbande, Edith Molikoe, Kristen Paton, Tarryn Potts, Celia Seerane, Nomnikelo Veto and Onthatile Zulu.
Coaches and Management
Gillian Doig (Manager), Robin Van Ginkel (Head Coach), Nkuliso Zondi (Assistant Coach) and Taren Naidoo (Video Analyst.)
SA MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM
Erasmus Pieterse, Timothy Drummond, Austin Smith, Mohamed Mea, Matthew Guise Brown, Jethro Eustice, Nduduzo Lembethe, Taine Paton, Nicholas Spooner, Clinton Panther, Samkelo Mvimbi, Abdud Cassiem, Mustaphaa Cassiem, Nqobile Ntuli, Keenan Horne and Tevin Kok.
Coaches and Management
Martin Van Staden (Manager), Garreth Ewing (Head Coach), Siphesihle Ntuli (Assistant Coach) and Ashlin Freddy.
‘Training in the afternoon to prepare for Tokyo heat,’ says India drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh
Grounded at the national camp due to travel restrictions, the Indian hockey team is using the time get into the best shape for Tokyo Olympics
By Deepti Patwardhan
Picture by WORLDSPORTPICS.COM/FFU
With less than two months to go for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and no practice matches on the horizon, the Indian hockey team is making the most of their time in the national camp in Bangalore. They have also started simulating the draining conditions expected in Tokyo during the Olympics, which begin on July 24, 2021.
“Tokyo is going to be very hot,” Indian defender and drag-flick specialist Harmanpreet Singh told Olympics.com. “To prepare for that we have started doing afternoon sessions. We are also doing a lot of conditioning work so we don’t get fatigued.”
“Everyone has worked a lot. During quarantine, we did get a lot of time to work on the finer points and we have done that,” he added. “It has been helpful. We have also focused a lot on fitness and diet and making sure we don’t gain weight. At every camp, we have a body fat test, and we have done very well on it this time.”
For the past 15 months the hockey team’s training base in Bangalore has been like their home. As chaos as ruled outside its gates, with the country still tackling the pandemic, the Men in Blue have been trying to focus on working towards regaining lost glory on the hockey field.
“We did have to face a few problems,” said Harmanpreet, who has represented India in 117 matches and has scored 68 goals.
“When the practice is on, suddenly you get to know you have to quarantine. To take that break and try and pick up where you left off. It has happened multiple times with us.
“For a long time, we were just practicing, didn’t get to compete. We played a few practice matches within the squad. The team is playing well. We have learnt a lot, be it in terms of fitness or identifying the areas we need to improve on.”
There was a small window of opportunity for the squad earlier this year, when they played international friendlies in Europe and travelled to Argentina mainly for the FIH Pro League. The Indian team was unbeaten in the 10 matches they played on the two tours.
This included two successive wins over reigning Olympic champions Argentina in the Pro League. In the first match, India beat the hosts 3-2 in the penalty shootout. It was Harmanpreet’s last-minute goal that had helped the team equalize 2-2 and send the match to penalties.
“It used to happen that we would concede a last minute goal. Scoring that goal in the last minute and winning in the shootout was very encouraging,” he said.
Since he is the drag-flicker, and tasked with converting those penalty corners, Harmanpreet often finds himself in these high-pressure situations. The 25-year-old’s mantra of dealing with them is just going back to the basics.
“When it comes to the penalty corners, whatever we had discussed in the team meeting, I just try to follow that. A lot depends on the pusher and stopper as well before I come into the picture.”
Tokyo 2020 will be Harmanpreet’s second outing at the Olympics. He was part of the Rio 2016 team that lost in the quarterfinals to Belgium and had to settle for an eighth place finish. But the defender believes the team has improved in a lot of areas in the last five years.
“I think we are better at converting our opportunities,” he said. “We have focused a lot on penalty corner. The whole team has worked towards creating more penalty corner chances whenever they enter the D circle. In defence, we are focusing a lot on structure.”
The one thing lacking now is match practice as the Indian team has been grounded due to travel restrictions in the wake of the second Covid-19 wave in the country.
“We could only tour Europe and Argentina (for FIH Pro League) and I don’t know if we will get to play anyone else before the Olympics. So I think the other teams, who are getting to play practice matches, will have an advantage,” he said.
In field hockey, India has been drawn in Group A, along with Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and hosts Japan. The event will get underway on July 23.
Indian hockey team focusing on mental and physical fitness ahead of Olympics
A player needs to be mentally strong, and for that, we have been helping each other, says defender Jarmanpreet Singh
The Indian hockey team is training for the Olympics. (File photo: Hindustan Times)
Indian men's hockey team defender Jarmanpreet Singh has emphasised the importance of mental fitness as the team prepares for the Tokyo Olympics in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic.
The 24-year-old has been training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru as part of the senior core group ahead of the Olympics.
"I feel mental fitness is as important as physical fitness to deal with the current situations. A player needs to be mentally strong, and for that, we have been helping each other," he said.
India were supposed to play the FIH Pro League away matches against UK, Spain and Germany this month but it was postponed due to travel restrictions imposed in the wake of a surge in covid-19 cases.
"We communicate with each other, we try to create a positive environment so that everyone stays in a happy zone. I feel there's very good team bonding because of this, which has helped us with our preparations for the Olympics," he said.
Asked how he is preparing for the Tokyo Games, Jarmanpreet said, "My focus remains only on giving my best, and trying to improve each and every day at the training. I have set a challenge for myself: I should keep reducing my margin of error."
Jarmanpreet, who made his debut for the national team in 2018, said he is fortunate to have had the support of senior players throughout his career. "I am very fortunate and thankful to all senior players as well as coaches because they knew my past (the two-year doping ban in 2015), they knew I was returning after a long time. They have guided me , and have been motivating me."
Jarmanpreet says he's also benefitted from rooming with Kothajit Singh during training. "We talk about hockey off the field, and it has been helping me improve as a player."
England Squads For 2021 EuroHockey Championships Announced
The England men’s and women’s squads travelling to The Netherlands for the 2021 EuroHockey Championships, taking place from 4-13 June, have been announced.
Adam Dixon and Hollie Pearne-Webb will captain their respective sides, with the latter set to reach the special landmark of 100 England appearances in their second game against Germany. Laura Unsworth could also play her 150th game for England during the tournament.
With World Cup qualification on offer for both teams, England’s men will face reigning world champions Belgium and 2019 runners-up Spain in their group after beginning their tournament against Russia on 5 June.
The women play their first match the following day against Italy before taking on the Germans and Belgium in their other pool matches.
Men’s head coach Danny Kerry has named an experienced squad for the Europeans. This includes 2009 gold medallist Dixon, while David Ames could make his 50th appearance for England if he features in every game.
Conversely, this will be Ollie Payne‘s first experience of a senior tournament while David Goodfield will pull on an England shirt for the first time since 2018, having returned to international hockey with Great Britain in October.
Speaking about the Euros, Kerry said: “We are, given the pandemic, very fortunate to have this tournament go ahead. We appreciate how privileged we are to do what we do.
“After a very intense period of the GB programme, we as England now need to switch into tournament mode which presents a different set of opportunities and challenges.
“The EuroHockey Championships is one of the most prestigious and high-level tournaments we have the honour to play in. In this event, on top of vying for a medal, there is also the additional lure of automatic World Cup qualification. We look forward to the tournament and playing at the revamped Wagener Stadium in front of some spectators, albeit a limited number.”
The women’s squad is a blend of experience and youth, with three players – Esme Burge, Fiona Crackles and Lizzie Neal – set to make their England debuts. In addition, eight members of the England team that won European gold in 2015 have been selected, including Unsworth for whom this will be a seventh appearance at the tournament.
In addition, the uncapped Catherine Ledesma will travel with the squad as a reserve alongside Alex Malzer, who made her senior international debut for Great Britain during the 2019 FIH Hockey Pro League. Long-term injuries rule Tess Howard and Emily Defroand out of selection, while Hannah Martin is also unavailable as she continues her rehabilitation from a leg injury.
Women’s head coach Mark Hager said: “We are very much looking forward to challenging ourselves against top class European teams at the upcoming Europeans - the competition is always high quality.
“There are a number of good teams competing to win it so we are relishing the opportunity and challenge that awaits us as we look to continue our progression as a group.”
In order to qualify for the 2023 Men’s World Cup in India, Kerry’s side will need to finish in fifth place or higher at the tournament. With The Netherlands and Spain jointly hosting the 2022 Women’s World Cup, a top-three finish would guarantee Mark Hager’s a team a spot at the tournament or – if the Dutch and/or Spanish place in the top three – they could still qualify by ending the tournament in fourth or fifth.
All the games will be shown live on BT Sport.
1) George Pinner (GK)
5) David Ames
9) Harry Martin
10) Chris Griffiths
11) Ian Sloan
13) Sam Ward
15) Phil Roper
16) Adam Dixon (C)
18) Brendan Creed
19) David Goodfield
20) Ollie Payne (GK)
21) Liam Ansell
25) Jack Waller
26) James Gall
27) Liam Sanford
29) Tom Sorsby
31) Will Calnan
32) Zach Wallace
6) Henry Weir
22) David Condon
1) Maddie Hinch (GK)
4) Laura Unsworth
5) Sarah Evans
6) Anna Toman
8) Esme Burge
9) Susannah Townsend
12) Erica Sanders
13) Ellie Rayer
18) Giselle Ansley
20) Hollie Pearne-Webb (C)
22) Lizzie Neal
24) Shona McCallin
25) Sabbie Heesh (GK)
26) Lily Owsley
27) Jo Hunter
31) Grace Balsdon
33) Izzy Petter
38) Fiona Crackles
19) Alex Malzer
29) Catherine Ledesma
Saturday 5 June: England v Russia (M) – 11:30
Sunday 6 June: England v Italy (W) – 10:00
Sunday 6 June: England v Belgium (M) – 16:45
Monday 7 June: England v Germany (W) – 16:00
Tuesday 8 June: England v Spain (M) – 16:00
Wednesday 9 June: England v Belgium (W) – 16:00
Thursday 10 June: Semi-Finals/Group C (M)
Friday 11 June: Semi-Finals/Group C (W)
Saturday 12 June: Medal Matches/Group C (M)
Sunday 13 June: Medal Matches/Group C (W)
England Hockey Board Media release
Irish women’s hockey team ready to make new memories at Euros
Ireland will again face the Dutch in first match of the European Championships
The Ireland team celebrate after qualifying for the Olympics. File photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Almost three years ago now, the sound and vision from a simmering London World Cup final and a silver medal has not dimmed. Aside from a tense double header against Canada in 2019 on a pop-up pitch in Donnybrook, where Ireland earned a place in this summer’s Olympic Games, the Covid blanket over sport has ensured that people hold on to their dearest memories.
In a climate that has made it impossible to mint new ones the 2018 World final against the Netherlands will do. As fate would have it, Ireland have arrived at where they have come from and have been gifted the Dutch in their first match of the European Championships.
A reprise of the historic final against the current number one side in the world has some circularity about it and the Netherlands remain a challenge. The intervening years has not diminished their reputation.
The postponed Olympics from last year has queered the pitch for the 2021 calendar. Never in a normal cycle would the Euros take place just weeks before the Olympic Games. As well as being a tournament in itself the eight-team competition is also acting as a qualifier for next year’s World Cup.
All of those pose a triple demand on the Irish women as they seek a World Cup ticket, which is a top five finish, a European medal, which is a top three finish and to come out of Wagener Stadium in suburban Amsterdam set up and ready to peak again at the end of July.
Because there are only weeks between the two majors, the consequences of injury will also be magnified as Serena and Beth Barr and Zoe Wilson, a central figure in the silver medal winning side, know to their extreme cost. Three players, three ACL injuries, Beth and Serena identical twins and identical injuries, which will keep them all out for the summer.
“It’s a tough injury. It is common in hockey and very common in female high performance hockey,” said Irish coach Sean Dancer.
“The unfortunate thing for us is that we have had three ACLs in 12 months and I think the big, big issue is a set of identical twins have had the same injury. From a personal point of view the group has struggled and we do feel very disappointed for the girls.”
Surgery as well as some players stepping away and form allows 12 of the World Cup side to travel to Amstelveen, which means that if the Dutch have not changed from being stubbornly the best, Ireland has. The sport has been retooled and the Irish set up is now more distant from the amateur era than it has ever been.
Players receive expenses for travel and are not constantly being bounced around grounds over which they have no control to find a suitable surface to train on. Abbottstown has become their base.
That and confidence grown from Olympic qualification and the silver medal has expanded ambition. Scotland and Spain are the other two teams in the pool and Ireland have beaten both this year in training camp matches.
“If you look back on us as a team, we were fully amateur meeting up for weekends only a couple of years ago,” said the 193 capped Irish captain Katie Mullan.
“We qualified for the Olympics in November 2019 and that would have given us just a six-month run into an Olympics, where we want to achieve big things and back up our World Cup silver medal.
“Getting over the disappointment (of the postponed Olympics) took some time. But then seeing the opportunity of 12 extra months to clean up on our basics and to be in that semi-professional environment, where we are together every single week for a minimum of two days in Abbottstown.
“I think there’s huge opportunity for a group that was previously amateur to get our practical elements up to the same level as the top 10 nations in the world. We’ve had the opportunity to do that.
“We haven’t been able to travel away and play as many international games as we would have liked but we’ve been together on a pitch more than ever before. The extra 12 months to do that will stand to us this summer.
“When you step back and look at where we were 18 months ago. I definitely see a huge strength to where we are now purely because of the time on the pitch together, which was restricted in previous cycles.”
"While nothing will replace the World Cup final, the hope is that Amsterdam can provide some of what London offered and add to the squad’s upward journey"
Another aspect to the squad is that the players have become better athletes with access to the high performance unit in Abbottstown and several of them are benefitting from playing other sports, half a dozen or so arriving with GAA backgrounds.
Michelle Carey, from Colaiste Iosagain, played with the Dublin Under-16 football team. Naomi Carroll from Cratloe was part of Clare’s senior camogie and football sides and has a Munster senior Camogie Championship medal
Nicci Daly of Ballyboden Wanderers was a Dublin senior football panelist and Sarah Hawkshaw played Dublin Under-16 football. Katie Mullan won the 2010 All-Ireland club intermediate camogie championship with Eoghan Rua, while Roisin Upton lined out with the Limerick Under-16 football team. Deirdre Duke, from Kilmacud Crokes, is a Dublin Under-14 Ladies football All-Ireland winner.
UCD’s Carey is one of those players Dancer picked because of the skill set camogie and football has shaped, which allows her to be an awkward midfield player, adept at the 3D skills, or, playing the ball off the surface.
Uncapped she has burst into the panel and was so far down the pecking order that last August, she was lining out for her GAA club Ballinteer St Johns in the Junior A Championship.
“Michelle Carey is one of the exciting younger players that has come into the group recently,” said Dancer. “She does offer some different skills from her Gaelic background. She is a handful and she does things a little bit differently and I’m hoping that will create a few headaches for our opponents.
Ireland opens against the Dutch on June 5th. The last win over them was long before the European Championships came into being in 1963 and since then Ireland has lost 27 consecutive times, while the Netherlands have scored four or more goals in each of the last 10 meetings this millennium.
Of the 14 women’s European championships staged since the inaugural event in France in 1984, the Dutch have won the gold medal 10 times, Germany twice and England twice. Since the 2016 Olympic final the hosts have lost just once in over 100 international matches.
Ireland then meet Scotland, ranked 22nd in the world, two days later on June 7th. The final pool match on June 9th is against Spain, who are one place above eighth placed Ireland in the world rankings, before the classification matches begin on June 11th.
“There are some very good opportunities there,” says Dancer. “Holland are the world number one and by far the best team in the world. We are under no illusion how hard that game will be. But every time we walk out on to the field we are expecting to win.
“We think we have an ability to win so we are certainly approaching that game as an opportunity. Whether or not you have a result against Holland you still have to win at least one of the last two games. Certainly, against Scotland and Spain, the girls know those teams very well. They are certainly two games we will be targeting.”
What Ireland were good at in London and then again against Canada in their Olympic qualifiers was seizing the opportunity, squeezing the margins in their favour and the Dutch aside, being difficult to score against with one of the best players in the world, Ayeisha McFerran, in goal.
“We’re in a good place physically,” says Mullan. “The players are super fit and we’ve had more games that most. I think the biggest thing for this squad is the excitement of playing tournament hockey again. It’s been a very long time since we played in an international tournament. It’s pure excitement now.”
While nothing will replace the World Cup final, the hope is that Amsterdam can provide some of what London offered and add to the squad’s upward journey. With a broader spectrum of experience from uncapped Carey to Shirley McKay with 306 caps, the next 60 days will be the most intense in the sport’s history.
“A top five finish to secure a place in next year’s World Cup. That’s a huge point of legacy for this team,” says Mullan. “Also playing in a semi-final in a Europeans is not something we have done before, so that would be a massive goal.
“We know better than anyone that once you secure a spot in a quarter-final or semi-final it’s about who wants it more on that day. Yeah, a place in a semi-final would be something special for this group and it’s something I think we are capable of.”
Ireland women’s squad for EuroHockey Championships - June 5-13th, Wagener Stadium, Amstelveen, Netherlands (club/caps):
Ayeisha McFerran (SV Kampong, 100) - goalkeeper
Lizzie Murphy (Loreto, 13) - goalkeeper
Michelle Carey (UCD, 0)
Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute, 111)
Lizzie Colvin (Belfast Harlequins, 196)
Nicci Daly (Loreto, 189)
Nikki Evans (Old Alex, 198)
Megan Frazer (Belfast Harlequins, 136)
Sarah Hawkshaw (Railway Union, 33)
Hannah Matthews (Loreto, 147)
Shirley McCay (Pegasus, 306)
Hannah McLoughlin (UCD, 14)
Katie Mullan (Ballymoney, 193) - captain
Anna O’Flanagan (Muckross, 207) - vice captain
Lena Tice (Old Alex, 109)
Sarah Torrans (Loreto, 26)
Roisin Upton (Catholic Institute, 76)
Chloe Watkins (Monkstown, 226)
Travelling reserves: Deirdre Duke (Old Alex, 141), Sarah McAuley (Muckross, 0)
Tournament details - EuroHockey Championships 2021 (all times Irish)
Group A (world rank): Netherlands (1st), Spain (7th), Ireland (8th), Scotland (22nd)
Group B: Germany (4th), England (5th), Belgium (12th), Italy (17th)
Irish fixture schedule
June 5th, 2021: Ireland v Netherlands, 2.30pm
June 7th, 2021: Ireland v Scotland, 11.30am
June 9th, 2021: Ireland v Spain, 11.30am
June 11th 2021: Semi-finals/relegation pool
June 12th/13th: Medal matches/relegation pool
The Irish Times
A dose of excitement from Covid jabs
By Jugjet Singh
Arul Selvaraj. NSTP file pic
THE national senior hockey players are getting their Covid-19 jabs batch-by-batch, opening up exciting possibilities of a "return to competition" for them.
Yesterday, 13 of them, comprising players and coaches, received their first dose of the vaccine.
Five more players will get theirs today and another four on Monday.
A few suffered from fever and stiff arms, including chief coach Arul Selvaraj, after getting vaccinated.
"My players are getting their jabs in stages. By Monday, all of them will complete their first doses," said Arul yesterday.
"This is good news because travelling abroad for matches will be easier."
Currently, the players are training from their homes under the supervision of Arul.
"After receiving their jabs, some of them could train immediately (at home ) while others had to rest after coming down with fever.
"Each individual had a different reaction to the vaccine.
"For myself, I did not get a fever, but my arm became sore, and I could not lift it like I normally do," said Arul.
Arul hopes to see hockey become active once again in the country.
He cited Europe as an example.
"In Malaysia, there are many red spots (Covid-19 danger zones), and hockey fields are closed.
"However, in Europe, hockey matches are being played, and even crossing borders are allowed at the moment.
"The Irish women's team left (on Thursday) to play in the European Championships (in the Netherlands), and its business as usual.
"I am also planning for some international matches if we get to travel abroad after the situation in Malaysia gets better," he added.
Belgium will play the Netherlands in their last men's FIH Pro-League match tomorrow before starting their European Championships campaign.
New Straits Times
Bartram selected for inaugural AIS Accelerate Program
Hockeyroos goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram is among 17 current and former elite female athletes to be announced in the inaugural Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Accelerate Program.
The AIS announced the participants for two Women Leadership Programs, AIS Accelerate and AIS Talent, as part of its Women Leadership in Sport initiative.
The 12 month programs are about getting and progressing more females, either elite athletes or women already involved in the industry, into the elite sport workplace.
More specifically, the Accelerate Program is focusing on advancing the leadership skills of women in sport across science, technology, engineering, and medical disciplines.
Olympic, Commonwealth Games and World Cup gold medallist, former Hockeyroo and current Hockey Australia Board Member Juliet Haslam is also among the 17 women announced in the program.
Bartram, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Sports Science) in 2019, credits Hockey Australia Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement (AWE) Manager Holly Walters for initially sparking her interest in working in either elite athlete support or towards a senior role in program organisation or program management.
Then it was current HA AWE Manager Rohan McHugh (covering Holly on maternity leave) who made Bartram aware of the AIS Accelerate Program and encouraged her to apply.
“The process required submitting an application answering questions on why you want to work in high performance sport, what it is that attracts you to it, and what kind of roles you are looking to pursue in your professional career outside of sport,” said Bartram.
“It really appealed to me because being an elite athlete you see the ins and outs of the world through that lens and I have learnt a lot about programs being run and the potential to have a positive impact in sport.
Whether that is progressing my career as a sports scientist or furthering my career in a different direction.”
“I am also passionate about helping to create a pathway for other females to follow and create a more positive journey for those who want to work in the sport industry.”
A predominant aspect of the program is the opportunity for participants to come together and learn from each other’s expertise and experiences, something the 28 year old who heralds from Albury is excited about.
“It’s going to be an amazing experience and an excellent networking opportunity,” said Bartram.
“I’m a bit starstruck by the women that I’ll be surrounded by and what they have achieved, either in their sporting careers or what they have done away from their sport.
“That in itself is going to be an amazing opportunity to be inspired by them, hear about what they want to do and connect and help each other.
“But it’s also the opportunity to learn from women working in higher roles in sport who will engage and mentor us and help us create a clear pathway of what we want our career to look like.”
The Accelerate Program officially begins in June with the aim of supporting women athletes progress their leadership skills in sport well beyond their athletic careers.
More information about the programs and the full list of participants can be found on the AIS website here.
Hockey Australia media release
Swann appointed to FIH Athletes Committee
Days after announcing his retirement from international hockey, Kookaburras defender Matt Swann was appointed to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Athletes Committee.
Swann was chosen as the Oceania representative on the Athletes Committee for a three year term until 2024.
The announcement was made by the Executive Board of the FIH prior to the 47th FIH Congress.
Hockey Australia President Mel Woosnam and CEO Matt Favier both attended the Congress session virtually.
“On behalf of the Hockey Australia Board and everyone involved in the game in Australia, I congratulate Matt on his successful nomination for a position on the FIH Athletes Committee,” said Woosnam.
“To have someone of Matt’s stature and reputation in the game, not to mention his understanding of athlete perspectives and matters of importance will be a real asset to the Committee and the sport more broadly.
“It is great to have an Australian voice on the Committee…he will do an excellent job.”
Swann was one of four new members appointed to the Athletes Committee. The dual Olympian, two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist and two-time World Cup winner was joined by Sreejesh Parattu (IND), Marlena Rybacha (POL) and Mohamed Mea (RSA) as new additions on the Committee.
The 47th FIH Congress session saw hundreds of delegates from around the world gather in a virtual forum to discuss important matters regarding the global status and development of hockey.
Hockey Australia media release
Erin Matson Named a Finalist for Honda Award
By Avery Trendel
Just a few weeks removed from leading UNC to a third consecutive NCAA championship with an overtime game-winning goal, junior forward Erin Matson was selected Tuesday as one of four finalists for the Honda Award in field hockey.
The award recognizes the top player in collegiate field hockey and finalists were selected by a panel of coaches and experts from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.
Matson–who won the Honda Award in 2019–led the Tar Heels with 29 goals in just 20 games played, while also tying for second on the team with nine assists. Her average of 1.45 goals per game led the country, as she earned ACC Offensive Player of the Year recognition for the third time in her illustrious career.
Since Matson arrived on campus prior to the 2018 season, UNC has gone 62-1 in the 63 games she has played in–including a 47-game winning streak to begin her career and a 19-1 record this season.
Over her three years with the Tar Heels, the Pennsylvania native has racked up a whopping 82 goals and 43 assists–good enough for 207 total points.
Despite having another year of eligibility remaining, she has already started to earn comparisons to Mia Hamm and Michael Jordan as one of the best athletes in UNC history.
The winner of this year’s Honda Award will be announced on in early June once voting is completed. Other finalists alongside Matson include: Sophie Hamilton (Connecticut), Megan Schneider (Louisville) and Corinne Zanolli (Stanford).
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually for the last 45 years to the top women’s athletes across 12 different NCAA-sanctioned sports.
Winners become finalists for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2021 Honda Cup which will be presented on a telecast on CBS Sports Network on June 28th.
All-American Julianna Tornetta joins Maryland field hockey via transfer portal
Maryland field hockey coach Missy Meharg smiles during her team's 5-1 win over Michigan State on Oct. 25, 2019 at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex. (Gabby Baniqued/The Diamondback)
Maryland field hockey announced that attacking midfielder Julianna Tornetta has transferred to the program. The Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, native comes to College Park after three seasons at Princeton.
Tornetta, a National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-American in 2018 and 2019 and three-time All-Ivy League First Team honors recipient, started in all 60 matches of her career at Princeton. She collected 18 goals and 33 assists over her three seasons with the Tigers.
Earlier this year, Tornetta was named to the USA Women’s National Squad. She just returned from Belgium and England, where she competed in the FIH Hockey Pro League alongside Terps Brooke DeBerdine, Emma DeBerdine, Riley Donnelly, Kyler Greenwalt and Margot Lawn.
During her time at Princeton, Tornetta and the Tigers reached back-to-back Final Fours in 2018 and 2019, along with an appearance in the national title game.
She headed to New Jersey from Agnes Irwin High School, just outside Philadelphia, after her older sister, Sophia, also played field hockey for Princeton and was the 2015 Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
After the Ivy League canceled all of its sports seasons this academic year, Tornetta will use her fourth and final year of eligibility in College Park while working on her master’s degree in business and management at the university’s business school.
“The team, coaches and atmosphere of the school in general seems like an incredible place to spend the extra year of field hockey that COVID has given me, and I’m extremely excited to continue my education at the Smith School of Business,” Tornetta said in a press release.