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News for 09 November 2018

All the news for Friday 9 November 2018

2018 Test Matches: RSA v FRA (M)
Johannesburg (RSA)

Fixtures 9 & 10 November (GMT +2)

9 Nov 16:30     RSA v FRA   
10 Nov 14:30     RSA v FRA

FIH Match Centre

Spain squad for World Cup announced

Head coach Fred Soyez has announced the Spanish men's national team who will compete at the upcoming Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018.

The Red Sticks have participated in all World Cups

Spain have been present at every edition of the World Cup and have flirted with the medal positions, finishing second on two occasions – 1971 and 1994 – and third in 2006. The Red Sticks sit in Group A with Argentina, France and New Zealand.

Spain men's team for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018:

Alejandro de Frutos
Albert Beltrán
Álvaro Iglesias
Diego Arana
Enrique González de Castejón
Ignacio Rodriguez
Marc Sallés
Marc Boltó
Marc Serrahima
Mario Garin
Miquel Delàs
Pau Quemada
Pepe Romeu
Quico Cortés
Ricardo Santana
Sergi Enrique
Vicenç Ruiz
Xavier Lleonart


FIH site

Hockey India names squad for World Cup

Courtesy of Hockey India

Hockey India named the 18-member Indian Men's Hockey Team who will represent the host nation at the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 to begin on 28 November at the iconic Kalinga Stadium. The team will be led by Manpreet Singh while the Vice Captain is Chinglensana Singh Kangujam.

The Indian team scheduled to begin their campaign against South Africa on the opening day features PR Sreejesh and Krishan Bahadur Pathak as goalkeepers.

Odisha's experienced defender Birendra Lakra, who makes a comeback into the team after missing out the Hero Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat last month due to rehabilitation and will be joined by fellow Odia Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Kothajit Singh and 2016 Junior World Cup winners Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar to form India's defence with three of them specialized as dragflickers.

“These players have consistently shown their potential in the lead up to the showpiece event and I am confident India will put up a fighting performance"
India Chief Coach Harendra Singh

The midfield will see the dynamic Manpreet Singh who played a pivotal role in India's campaign as defending Champions at the Hero Asian Champions Trophy. Chinglensana Singh Kangujam will add to the experience in the center along with young guns Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma also of the Junior World Cup team and Hardik Singh, who made his International debut last month.

The forward line will see the experienced Akashdeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Junior World Cup winners Mandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh.

India grouped in Pool C along with World No.3 Belgium, Canada and South Africa will need to finish on top of the pool to secure a place in the Quarter Final. "We have chosen the best available combinations for the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. We had to make some tough decisions to select 18 out of a very strong pool of 34 players. The final 18 are a mix of experienced and youth and have been selected on the basis of their current form and fitness. These players have consistently shown their potential in the lead up to the showpiece event and I am confident India will put up a fighting performance," asserted Chief Coach Harendra Singh.

The core group of 34 will continue to train in Bhubaneswar till 23 November 2018 after which the team will finalise its preparations for the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018.

India men's team for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018:

P R Sreejesh                                                                                      
Krishan Bahadur Pathak                                                                
Harmanpreet Singh                                                                                                        
Birendra Lakra                                                                                                                 
Varun Kumar
Kothajit Singh Khadangbam
Surender Kumar
Amit Rohidas
Manpreet Singh
Chinglensana Singh Kangujam
Nilakanta Sharma
Hardik Singh
Akashdeep Singh                                                                                                              
Mandeep Singh
Dilpreet Singh
Lalit Kumar Upadhyay
Simranjeet Singh


FIH site

Sunil, Rupinder Pal, Ramandeep dropped

Team management puts faith in youngsters for global extravaganza

Uthra Ganesan

Manpreet Singh... at the helm. 

It may well be curtains for the experienced S.V. Sunil after the forward was excluded from the Indian squad for the upcoming Hockey World Cup announced on Thursday.

Besides Sunil, Rupinder Pal Singh and Ramandeep Singh have also failed to make the cut as the team management put its faith in youngsters for the prestigious event.

As many as six players from the title-winning 2016 Junior World Cup squad have made it to the final 18 that would continue to be led by Manpreet Singh.

However, barring Manpreet, goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh, defender Birendra Lakra and Akashdeep Singh, there is little experience but enough potential in the ranks.
Lakra is back

Lakra, who missed out on the Asian Champions Trophy last month due to injury, comes back after rehabilitation but the absence of Rupinder would add pressure on Sreejesh under the bar.

It would also increase the responsibilities on Harmanpreet Singh during penalty corners.

It is in the attack that India has taken the biggest risk, preferring to go with the talented but untested and inexperienced Hardik Singh and Dilpreet Singh to join Akashdeep.

He has been struggling for a while now, however, and in the absence of Sunil and Ramandeep it remains to be seen how the youngsters handle the pressure of the big stage.

Rupinder’s exclusion, however, might well be the final warning sign for the senior pro to up his game.

Even the midfield appears uncertain with Manpreeet and his deputy Chinglensana expected to handle the bulk of responsibilities.
Best possible combination

But coach Harendra Singh insisted this was the best possible combination. “We have chosen the best available combinations for the World Cup. We had to make some tough decisions out of a very strong pool of 34 players. The final 18 are a mix of experience and youth and have been selected on the basis of their current form and fitness.”

The core group will continue to train in Bhubaneswar till November 23.

India opens its campaign in Pool-C against South Africa. World No. 3 Belgium and Canada are the other teams in the pool with the team at the top qualifying for the quarterfinals and the next two fighting it out in the cross-overs.

The Hindu

SV Sunil, Rupinder Pal Singh excluded from India's hockey World Cup squad

SV Sunil - File Photo, AFP

Manpreet Singh will lead India's 18-member hockey squad for the FIH World Cup beginning in Bhubaneswar on November 28 but the experienced Rupinder Pal Singh and SV Sunil missed out from the team announced on Thursday.

Veteran striker Sunil's participation in the mega event was always in doubt ever since he picked up a knee injury during the national camp in the lead up to the Asian Champions Trophy held in Muscat last month.

Rupinder Pal has been ignored again after being dropped from the continental event last month. Sunil too did not play in the tournament in which India were declared joint winners with Pakistan after rain played spoilsport on the final day.

The Indian team, which will play their against South Africa on the opening day, features PR Sreejesh and Krishan Bahadur Pathak as goalkeepers. Manpreet's deputy will be Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Hockey India said in a statement.

Odisha's experienced defender Birendra Lakra, who makes a comeback into the team after missing out in Muscat due to rehabilitation, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Kothajit Singh, 2016 Junior World Cup winners Harmanpreet Singh and Varun Kumar will form India's defence with three of them being drag-flick specialists.

The midfield will feature the dynamic Manpreet, who played a pivotal role in India's campaign as defending champions at the Asian Champions Trophy. Chinglensana will add to the experience in the center along with young guns Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma and Hardik Singh, who made his international debut last month.

The forward line has the experienced Akashdeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Junior World Cup winners Mandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh. India, grouped in Pool C along with World No.3 Belgium, Canada and South Africa, will need to finish on top of the pool to secure a place in the quarterfinals.

"We have chosen the best available combinations for the World Cup. We had to make some tough decisions to select 18 out of a very strong pool of 34 players," asserted Chief Coach Harendra Singh.

"The final 18 are a mix of experienced and youth and have been selected on the basis of their current form and fitness. These players have consistently shown their potential in the lead up to the showpiece event and I am confident India will put up a fighting performance," he added.

The core group of 34 will continue to train in Bhubaneswar till November 23 before it plays its World Cup opener.

India's squad

Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak Squad.

Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas.

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (Captain), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice Captain), Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Sumit.

Forwards: Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Simranjeet Singh.

Daily News & Analysis

Oltmans: Kumar will be ready for World Cup

By Jugjet Singh

Roelant Oltmans

KUALA LUMPUR: No 1 goalkeeper S. Kumar did not play a single match in the Asian Champions Triophy in Muscat recently, and coach Roelant Oltmans hopes he will be ready for the World Cup in three weeks time.

Kumar picked up a right thumb injury during the Asian Games, and is having problems holding his hockey stick in a firm grip.

"Yes even though we named Kumar for the ACT, he did not play a single match while Hairi (Rahman) kept goal in all the matches. This is not an issue as we took him along to motivate Hairi and also watch the other goalkeepers in action.

"And Hairi did well to save some good shots, but was also poor some of the time. However, Hairi did well overall and I believe Kumar should be ready in time for the World Cup as he is undergoing rehabilitation now," said Oltmans.

In the pool matches, Malaysia let in only four goals while in the semifinals it was a 4-4 draw with Pakistan but Malaysia lost the shoot-out 3-1.
 And in the bronze battle, Malaysia drew 2-2 with Japan and won the shoot-out 3-2.

"It's also good to see Hairi doing well in the shoot-out against Japan which should build his confidence further.

"We have four goalkeepers in training right now and it should not be a problem in any eventuality. However, I believe Kumar will be ready for the World Cup."

It will be a tight race in Group D for Malaysia as they have Germany, Netherlands and Pakistan for company. The format only allows three teams from each of the four groups to advance while the fourth team in each group pack their bags and head home.

So, the indications are Malaysia must beat Pakistan, or return home early.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

It won’t be a drag for Razie as he prepares for his second W-Cup

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Penalty corner specialist Muhd Razie Abdul Rahim is back in training for the Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India, starting on Nov 28.

The 31-year-old defender suffered a hamstring injury in the Asian Games in Jakarta in August and did not feature in last month’s six-nation Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman, where Malaysia finished third.

Razie’s services are crucial as he’s a vastly experienced defender and is also the country’s top drag flicker.

The Kuala Lumpur-born player was the top scorer for Malaysia in the Asian Games with 10 goals.

Malaysia lost to Japan 1-3 in a penalty shootout after both teams were tied 6-6 in the final.

Razie, who has represented Malaysia 252 times in tournaments since 2006, is glad to be back training for his second World Cup.

He played his first World Cup in The Hague, Holland, in 2014 and Malaysia finished a disappointing last among 12 countries.

Razie, who scored three goals in The Hague, said he has recovered from the injury and has a good chance of making the cut for the World Cup.

“I don’t feel any pain in my leg during training and I’m looking forward to being named for the World Cup,” said Razie before training at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

“Although I did not play in the Asian Champions Trophy in Oman, I watched all matches Malaysia played and I believe that we need to rectify all the errors in defence to make sure we’re ready for the World Cup,” said Razie, who is happy to train under new coach Roelant Oltmans.

The 64-year-old Dutchman was hired on Oct 1 to chart the fortunes of the Malaysian team after they failed to win the Asian Games gold medal to qualify automatically for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

There are 24 players in the training squad and Oltmans will name 20 on Monday.

Malaysia will play three friendly matches with New Zealand in Bukit Jalil on Nov 16, 20 and 22 before Oltmans names the final squad of 18 for the World Cup.

Malaysia will depart for India for the World Cup on Nov 25 and they play their opening Group D match against former world champions Holland on Dec 1.

Malaysia’s other opponents in Group D are Pakistan and Germany.

Sixteen teams feature in the World Cup and Group A comprises Argentina, France, New Zealand and Spain while reigning world champions Australia are drawn in Group B with China, England and Ireland. Belgium, India, South Africa and Canada make up Group C.

The Star of Malaysia

Harte’s fractured World Cup dream takes dramatic turn for the best

David Harte makes a save during Ireland’s 2-1 win over England. Pic: FHCV

David Harte looks set to win his battle to be fit in time for the men’s Hockey World Cup following a dramatic improvement in diagnosis on Thursday morning.

The two-time world goalkeeper of the year had initially been told by Spanish doctors he would likely miss the competition – which starts on November 30 for Ireland – following a freak leg injury.

But a subsequent CT scan downgraded the injury from a fractured fibula to a severe bone bruising and a large contusion but no break.

The Irish skipper will be on the sidelines for between one to three weeks but it is a far cry from the initial diagnosis he was presented with.

“In broken English, the doctors said ‘fracture, broken, minimum 40 days’,” Harte told the Examiner. “My world kind of fell down around me then. I was sitting in a wheelchair in a hallway and just couldn’t fathom it.”

The injury came in the minutes before Ireland were set to take on the Netherlands last Saturday in their Four Nations’ preparation tournament.

The Kinsale man was stepping out of a drill to head off to do the captain’s coin toss when he was struck at full pelt by a ball on one of the few parts of his body that was unpadded, the back of his leg.

“I made a save, then went behind the goal like I have done thousands of times to pick up my water bottle and go.

“When I reached for the water bottle, maybe my right leg was a sticking out a little behind the goal and took the full force of the shot.”

It hit him four inches above his ankle bone and began to swell either side of the strapping of the pads, protruding each side.

“Alexander [Cox] asked was I ok to play or should we get Fitzy ready? Initially, I thought just give me a few minutes but it was instantly painful. I could feel the strap of my pads getting tighter and tighter where the swelling was starting to protrude either side.”

He visited the hospital as a precaution but soon was facing up to the possibility of missing out on one of the biggest stages of his career.

“I did try and think of best case scenarios and hadn’t contemplated a break despite the throbbing. It was just a safe bet to get it checked out given we are so close to the World Cup.

“After waiting and waiting, I eventually got seen and had two x-rays and waited again. When I got into the doctor’s room, he had a specialist with him so I started thinking, I am not sure how good this is.”

The following day was particularly tough, rejoining the squad for their win over England.

The Irish side minus David Harte in Valencia. Pic: FHCV

“Being there the next day was certainly one of the last places I wanted to be, on the crutches, foot in a plaster, answering the same questions – ‘what’s happened? How long are you out for?’ over and over again.

“But being on the sideline for an important warm-up game against a direct World Cup rival was something I wasn’t going to miss. They also needed me sitting in the dug-out to get the extra field player!”

The one ray of light, though, was the medical team had sent the scans back to Ireland for assessment and they were not convinced of the fracture.

Harte quickly sought out a second opinion with his club, SK Kampong in Utrecht, sourcing a CT scan appointment on Tuesday morning, cutting off the plaster cast and having a look. The doctor was a hockey-fanatic friend of the Kampong physio, based in nearby Bilthoven where Harte previously played with SCHC, something that may well have helped speed up the process.

“I was living with a bit of hope. It has been some of the roughest few days and then [on Thursday], I got the best news ever. The Spanish doctors had read it wrong – no break!”

As such, he will link up with the squad for their practice game on Saturday in Evere against Belgium, the second last tie before Ireland jet out for Bhubaneswar.

The new medical advice is, “worst case scenario”, two to three weeks while Harte is hoping it will be seven days out.

“Every day, I am in at the physio, using the anti-gravity machine we have here at Kampong and my aim is to be involved in some way in Belgium this weekend with the guys.”

And, aside from his injury, Harte says Ireland are in a good place following their five games in seven days in Valencia.

“Getting two results against England, a good performance against the Spanish and going 2-0 up against the number three side in the world, the Netherlands… The Dutch showed there is still a gap to close to the world’s top three but we are going quite well and, from the week, we learned a lot about ourselves.”

Hours prior to Harte’s injury, the Kinsale man had been elected by his fellow players to be part of the International Hockey Federation’s Athlete’s Committee as a liaison member.

The committee consists of current and former players and gives them a voice in the FIH’s decision making processes and the make-up of the international calendar.

The Hook

David Harte on track to lead Ireland at Hockey World Cup

David Harte looks set to be fully fit for the upcoming World Cup in India

Ireland captain David Harte remains on course to lead his country at the upcoming Hockey World Cup, which starts in Bhubaneswar, India later this month.

The Irish keeper picked up a leg injury at the weekend, where Ireland were competing in a four-team warm-up tournament, taking on the Netherlands, England and hosts Spain.

Harte hurt his leg during the warm-up to the Netherlands match and was rested for the weekend games, where Ireland lost to the Dutch, and beat England on penalty strokes following a 2-2 draw.

The Irish stopper wore a protective casing on his leg, which led to some inaccurate media reporting, claiming that Harte had fractured his fibula and was a major doubt over his participation at the World Cup.

Hockey Ireland confirmed to RTE Sport this afternoon that Harte had been fitted with a medical boot but only as a precautionary measure.

"David Harte was injured during a warm-up routine in Valencia," said a spokesperson.

"As a precaution, he was fitted with a medical boot and underwent scans in both Spain and the Netherlands. We are optimistic David will be fit to compete in the World Cup."

Ireland will be looking to emulate their female compatriots, who reached the recent World Cup final, as they open their campaign against Australia on 30 November, before completing their Pool B schedule with games against China and England.

RTE News

Bell putting in the extra hours to continue Green Machine lifestyle

Jonny Bell at the launch of Turkish Airlines as Irish men’s sponsor. Pic: Inpho

Jonny Bell says he has worked all the hours available over the last year to put him in position to continue being part of the Green Machine’s World Cup challenge.

It’s the nature of an Irish hockey player’s lot that many straddle the professional-amateur divide, attempting to be as professional as possible in their training to compete while, for the most part, receiving scant financial reward.

It was something that added significantly to the narrative of the Green Army during the summer World Cup odyssey, finding innovative workarounds to compete at an elite level.

Bell, 31, calls it “a lifestyle choice” as he endeavours to make time for hockey and his job in environmental planning.

For the recent six weeks of training camps on Mondays and Tuesdays, he went back to work for the remainder of the week.

For the World Cup in India – which starts for Ireland on November 30 – he will have to cope with a couple of unpaid weeks having taken “significant leave” over the summer which he has “sort of got used to” over the last few years.

“It’s a privilege to be involved in an international team because you can only do this sort of thing once,” he told The Hook.

One arrangement he has with his workplace is a flexi-time arrangement, regularly coming in early and staying late to bank precious hours.

“Any additional hours I work, I can take it in lieu at other times of the year. There is a special leave entitlement of five days so that culminates in about 40 days a year.

“That probably leaves me 15 or 20 days short of what I need. Sometimes there is a bit of good will and, for India, there will be some unpaid leave.”

It does put a major strain on personal lives with weddings missed and events left unattended.

“It is a balancing act and sometimes you don’t get it right – too much hockey, too much work, and your social side suffers. It is very easy for the public to see the high moments, participating in an international tournament.

“They don’t see those 100s or 1,000s of training hours and the sacrifices along the way. Maybe I don’t see them as sacrifices because it is now a lifestyle choice.

“We don’t have to do this and I have made the conscious decision to be the best athlete I can for as long as I can. For now, I am really enjoying it.”

Indeed, describing the moment he found out about his selection, he said he “over the moon”.

“For any hockey player to see their name on the list to represent their country in a World Cup is a very special feeling. These tournaments don’t come around that often, especially for an Irish team. To be part of it is an incredible feeling. There is still a lot of preparation to be done.”

He was not involved the last time Ireland played in India at the 2013 World League Round Two. As such, he cannot wait to experience the passion for hockey in the sub-continent, something fellow Garvey legends like Jimmy Kirkwood and Ivan Morris have told him about from the 1990 World Cup in Pakistan.

“India is another hockey-mad nation and I am sure there will be the same buzz and energy, similar to what they were involved in.

“It has been a lifetime goal to play there. I have been a couple of times in Malaysia and the conditions could be similar, maybe a little more humid than India. There are the same issues around hygiene we need to be on top of to have a fit, strong squad.

“I have no doubt we will go to India and show the qualities we have in the squad.”

And he says the women’s performances in London mean they do not have to look too far for inspiration.

“What they achieved in the summer was incredible and has just added to this really special phase in the history of Irish hockey.

“Both the men and women are now competing in the top ten; we have defied the odds, beating teams higher ranked than us in the past and we will have to do that again if we want to emulate what the women did. We can take inspiration from that.”

The men’s World Cup gets underway for Ireland on November 30 in Bhubaneswar.

The Hook

Hockey team’s WCup participation in doubt after PCB denies help

KARACHI - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) suffered a massive blow ahead of the World Cup in India later this month after the country’s cricket body, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), denied to provide loan.

The PHF had requested for financial aid to clear the outstanding dues of the players and send the national hockey team to the World Cup in Bhubaneswar starting November 28. Pakistan, who are placed in Pool D along with Germany, the Netherlands and Malaysia, start their campaign against Germany on December 1.

Pakistan’s new head coach Tauqeer Dar and manager Hasan Sardar confirmed that they had spoken to PCB chairman Ehsan Mani and requested him to provide a loan to cover the expenses for the World Cup. “Mani was scheduled to meet us on Thursday but due to some urgent issues, he spoke to us on phone. He made it clear that the PCB couldn’t advance any loan to the PHF since the federation had not returned a loan given to them by the board during the tenure of Lt Gen (R) Tauqeer Zia in early 2000,” said Dar.

Dar added that Mani had minced no words in stating that due to the old loan it was not possible for the board to give a new loan since it had to answer to its financial advisors and auditors. “Mani sahib has, however, assured us he will speak to the government and sponsors to help us overcome our financial crunch,” Dar added.

PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed also told PTI that the national team’s participation in the World Cup was in acute danger since the government was yet to respond to repeated requests from the PHF to release a grant of 8 million Pakistani rupees. “We have now written directly to the Prime Minister’s secretariat for the grant to be released this week or else it would be very difficult for us to send the team to India,” he said. “If we are not able to send the team to India, it will not only damage our image in world hockey but we will also face a hefty fine from the FIH,” Shahbaz added.

Dar said that they had told Mani to talk to the Prime Minister and if the government wanted they could directly pay the hotel where the Pakistan team will stay for the World Cup and also credit outstanding dues of the players in their individual accounts instead of giving any money to the PHF.

The players have yet to get their daily allowance for the Asian Champions Trophy and the camp set up prior to the tournament last month in Karachi. To ensure it got visas on time from the Indian High Commission, the PHF has even applied for visas well in advance to avoid any issues later on as two years ago, the national junior team couldn’t travel to India for the Junior World Cup for lack of visa.

The camp for the World Cup kicked off in Lahore from Wednesday with Dar taking charge as the new head coach and Danish Kaleem as his assistant. Hasan Sardar continues to be the manager and Rehan Butt is assistant. The World Cup is scheduled in Bhubaneswar from November 28 to December 16.

The Nation

PCB can’t help PHF, Mani tells Tauqir

LAHORE: Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Ehsan Mani on Thursday expressed board’s inability to bail out the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) from the ongoing financial crisis, newly appointed hockey team head coach Tauqir Dar revealed on Thursday.

Mani’s refusal was due to an audit objection against a similar grant issued to PHF in 2000 by the PCB which still remains outstanding.

However, Tauqir added that Mani assured him that in his capacity as the head of the prime minister’s task force for sports, he will ask the government to help the struggling national hockey body.

It is feared that the Pakistan hockey team will not be able to feature in the this month’s World Cup, set to be held in India, due to financial issues.
Article continues after ad

The PHF has failed to pay the players their allowances for the recently concluded Asian Champions Trophy and also does not have enough in the kitty to cover travel, accommodation and training expenses of the team at the all-important event.

Tauqir said he requested Mani to ask the government to pay the required expenses directly and not necessarily through the PHF and that the federation will have no objection to that.

The PHF had also requested the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) as well as written to the prime minister’s secretariat for immediate release of a Rs 82million grant but have not received any response from either.

The federation is also facing criticism from some former Olympians for not properly using the massive grants totalling to Rs 800million it had received from the government in the last four years.

Meanwhile, as the national side prepared for the World Cup in a training camp, the PHF brought in popular musicians to ‘motivate’ the players.

Pop star Ali Zafar, Waris Baig, popular Punjabi singer Malkoo and singer Nirmal Roy visited the camp on Thursday.

The stars spoke separately to the players and lamented that Pakistan’s national game is not being given the patronage and recognition it deserves and that even Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup is in doubt due to insufficient funds.

The showbiz luminaries spoke words of encouragement for the players and expressed hope that despite all the odds, Pakistan team will do well at the World Cup.


Malaysia may not face 'green shirt' men

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: With Pakistan having financial and visa issues, Malaysia might find themselves playing South Korea in the World Cup in Bhubanesar, India, instead of the Green Shirts.

Malaysia, Pakistan, Germany and the Netherlands make up Group D in the World Cup from Nov 28-Dec 16. If Pakistan can’t travel to India, the first reserves are South Korea.

"Yes, I have heard about Pakistan's problems sourcing for money to play in the World Cup, and I hope they sort it out soon.

"I know all the players personally as I used to coach them before, and it would be very disheartening if they can't play in the World Cup," said Malaysia coach Roelant Oltmans.

However, strategy-wise, the Dutchman is still preparing Malaysia to take on Pakistan in the World Cup.

"Our focus is on planning against Germany, the Netherlands and Pakistan right now, until we receive concrete news about any other developments," said Oltmans.

Malaysia need to win at least one match in Group D, because the team that finish fourth will not be involved in a play-off for higher positions but will pack their bags and head for home.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Hockey Federation's (PHF) request for a loan from their Cricket Board has been rejected.

According to a report in the economictimes.indiatimes.com, Pakistan's new head coach Tauqir Dar and manager Hasan Sardar confirmed they had spoken to PCB chairman Ehsan Mani and requested him to provide a loan to cover the expenses for the World Cup.

"He was scheduled to meet us on Thursday but due to some urgent issues, he spoke to us on phone. He made it clear that the PCB couldn't advance any loan to the PHF since the federation had not returned a loan given to them by the board during the tenure of Lt General (rtd) Tauqir Zia in early 2000," said Dar.

Their government has also not responded to requests for eight million rupees from PHF. Pakistan had to withdraw from the 2016 Junior World Cup in Lucknow, India, because they were not granted visas, and first reserves Malaysia made the trip instead.

New Straits Times

Ruthless Australia Beat GB Women's EDP In Four Nations

GB EDP W v Australia

The Great Britain Women's EDP squad suffered a heavy defeat to Australia as the invitational Four Nations tournament in China continued.

A goal in each of the first three quarters was enough to seal the win for the Hockeyroos, although GB had plenty of their own chances, especially in the opening exchanges.

Furthermore Alice Wills shone in defence with a number of critical tackles while Nichola Cochrane also made several superb saves.

After the game, head coach Kevin Johnson said: "Sadly we couldn’t capitalise on a very positive start to the game today where we looked threatening in the early exchanges.

"Credit to Australia who were clinical when it mattered with their set pieces and circle opportunities despite both sides having created an equal amount of chances in open play.

"Pleasingly again in the final quarter of the match we managed to put Australia under decent pressure but we must learn to be more consistent across the match now and take our chances."

Next up for the squad is the host nation at 08:00GMT on Wednesday 7 November.

Great Britain 0 (0)
Australia 3 (2)

Great Britain Hockey media release

South African Hockey Announces New Head Coach

The South African Hockey Association today has pleasure in announcing Robin van Ginkel as the new South African Women’s Hockey head coach. Van Ginkel will be tasked with leading South Africa through to the 2022 Hockey World Cup.

Van Ginkel has a glowing hockey CV that includes time as the Assistant Coach to the Austrian National Mens team, where they finished 7th in the EuroHockey Championship, their highest finish in history as well as winning the Hockey Series Open in Croatia earlier this year. Further to this, Robin was alongside Sheldon Rostron for both the South African Men and Women in the rare feat of the double gold at the African Cup of Nations 2017. He was also part of the coaching staff of the Delhi Waveriders in the Hockey India League for four seasons including the title winning season of 2014.

Van Ginkel has served through the structures in South African Hockey, coaching the SA U18 against Australia U18 in 2016. He has also overseen the SA U21 side in recent years including in the guise of the Namaqualand Daisies in the Premier Hockey League where he improved them from last place to a semi-final in 2017. Van Ginkel also has three IPT finals to his name including the fantastic Southern Gauteng triumph in 2015.

Away from the provincial and national roles, Robin is also currently the Director of Hockey at St. Stithians College in Johannesburg.  Van Ginkel is also an international sport scientist with an honours degree in Sport Science.

David Viney, Head of High Performance at SA Hockey

“As we did with the Men’s position earlier this year, we embarked on a robust and thorough process evaluating our candidates against the requirements of the role and through a deep interview process. Through this process Robin van Ginkel emerged as the standout candidate with a superb hockey resume, which has also featured a significant amount of time within the South African Hockey structures. Robin presented with a clear vision of the road ahead for the SA Womens Hockey team and we believed his vision aligned with those of SA Hockey perfectly. We were also pleased with Robins commitment to transformation and his plans to achieve the goals of SA Hockey. We wish Robin the best of luck for the journey ahead!”

Robin van Ginkel, head coach of the South African Women

“I am incredibly honoured that I have been given the opportunity to coach my national team. I am excited about building a team that can challenge and make South Africa proud. I am determined to develop the players in the country and it is my goal to leave SA Hockey in a better position that I am given it. Thank you for trusting me, I will do my best to make you proud”

Van Ginkel will begin his reign with a summer series in January with an eye on the Open Series Final in Madrid, an Olympic Qualifying event, in June next year as the major hurdle on the short-term horizon. The South African Hockey Association wish him a successful time as head coach.

SA Hockey Association media release

India men to join FIH Hockey Pro League for 2021 edition

India will be an FIH Pro League team in 2021 PIC: Worldsportpics

India men will join the FIH Pro League in 2021 as an additional team, it can be confirmed.

India men and women had originally been included as participatory Pro League teams before Hockey India pulled out of the global event last summer.

Officials had cited concerns over automatic qualification for the women’s team at Tokyo 2020, given the team’s lower ranking and only the top four teams earning an Olympic berth.

However, it seems that any further problems have been ironed out with the world governing body and they will be included after the Pro League’s inaugural edition.

India men will join as a 10th team, with the FIH yet to decide on a future relegation and promotion policy, for the 2021 edition with 2022 World Cup qualifying on the line.

“Regarding the Pro League format, the possibility of having a promotion/relegation system at some point is a discussion topic, but nothing more concrete than that at this stage,” the FIH told The Hockey Paper in a statement.

The annual global tournament Pro League, which is set to revolutionise the sport by bringing hockey to a wider audience, will launch on January 19 when nine men’s and women’s international teams will play each other on a home-and-away basis until June.

Meanwhile, the FIH has confirmed Pakistan’s ‘home’ matches after Glasgow severed ties last month after failing to reach an agreement.

Pakistan will now play their ‘home’ games in Argentina, Belgium, England, Germany and the Netherlands.

FIH chief executive Thierry Weil said: “Once again, the solidarity of the international hockey family is showcased. It is overwhelming to see that the participating National Associations were willing to adapt their schedules to support a solution for Pakistan.

“FIH is very thankful to all of them. It was important to find a solution to enable the Asian team to participate and I’m pleased with this outcome.”

It is not known at this stage whether Pakistan will be funding their ‘home’ matches, given the recent news that the Asian nation is currently experiencing a funding shortfall ahead of its participation at the upcoming World Cup.

The Hockey Paper

This generation of Maryland field hockey players want to start another Golden Age

Coach Missy Meharg had a dynasty in the mid-2000s.

By Lila Bromberg

Forward Linnea Gonzales beats a defender during Maryland field hockey's 3-1 win over Rutgers at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex on Oct. 5, 2018. (Andi Wenck/The Diamondback)

Before Linnea Gonzales became the Big Ten Player of the Year for her team-high 33 points, the senior forward would line up after Maryland field hockey games, waiting for autographs from players she idolized, like Katie O’Donnell.

And when she became a ball girl, Gonzales remembers players yelling if she didn’t get the ball back quickly enough. She was impressed with how locked-in the Terps were.

After Logan Edmondson switched from cheerleading to field hockey in sixth grade, the junior defender watched Maryland to learn more about the sport. She, too, eagerly waited for the chance to meet and high-five Terp stars and admired how hard each one worked.

The slew of current players who supported Maryland as kids witnessed a golden era for the field hockey program, when national titles and ACC championships flowed with regularity between 2005 and 2011. Now, they have an opportunity to add to the history they grew up watching.

“It’s so rewarding when you look in their eyes,” coach Missy Meharg said. “They’re just so proud to wear the jersey and be on this field and look up at their signage, and they know what this is all about. It has its culture, it’s got its kind of championship way. … That’s what you expect and that’s what you dream about playing for.”

Meharg still remembers seeing midfielder Kyler Greenwalt and goalkeeper Sarah Holliday, among others, playing with their club teams at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex.

From 2005 to 2011, the Terps won five national titles, making it to the NCAA tournament finals six times. Maryland also won the ACC championship four times.

The Terps have consistently been a dominant force since then, but haven’t won a national championship since 2011. Now, players such as Gonzales, Holliday and Edmondson, along with a team stacked with players who were fans of the Terps growing up, are determined to bring the program another national title and raise a trophy of their own.

“Ever since [coming to my first game,] I fell in love with the program, the girls, the style of play,” Edmondson said. “It was just always something I wanted to emulate and be a part of and looked up to as a girl."

Last season, Maryland came close before losing to UConn in the championship game. This year, the Terps finished with Big Ten regular season and tournament championships. They’ve knocked off 13 ranked opponents and have lost just twice. Maryland enters the NCAA tournament as the No. 2 overall seed.

Gonzales remembers watching Maryland beat North Carolina in double overtime of the 2010 title game. She admired how O’Donnell — now named Katie Bam and serving an assistant coach — was as a go-to player and leader. Gonzales hopes to do the same for the 2018 squad.

"It's exciting to get the opportunity to compete in the NCAAs, that's so cool,” Gonzales said. “We have a powerful group. As long as we stay focused and present and do it together, I think we can do it all."

At one time, many of Maryland’s key contributors were in the stands watching past teams find glory. And now, those players are the ones giving out high-fives and autographs.

“I remember when I was little girl and they were winning it, so now it’s my turn to do that for the little girls,” Edmondson said. “I think it’s a different kind of inspiration for us that grew up around here."

The Diamondback

Maryland field hockey relishes the chance to begin the NCAA tournament at home

The Terps didn't earn home field advantage last year.

By Lila Bromberg

The Terps celebrate after scoring a goal during their 6-0 win over Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinal at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex on Oct. 28, 2018. (Corey Hart/The Diamondback)

When coach Missy Meharg was asked about Maryland field hockey’s upcoming NCAA tournament slate, the first thing she said was how excited she was to be opening at home.

Last season, following a 12-5 regular season and a semifinals loss in the Big Ten tournament, the Terps started the NCAA tournament on the road.

This year, Meharg’s team enters as the No. 2 overall seed after finishing the regular season 16-2 and winning both the conference regular-season and tournament titles. That allows Maryland to host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, giving the squad a feeling of comfort.

"It kind of brings a fun atmosphere for us, it's familiar,” defender Logan Edmondson said. “We get a lot of fans, a lot of young kids, a lot of people to play for and a lot of people to cheer for us. And that energy that they bring, I think brings it out on the field for us."

The atmosphere is especially familiar for Meharg, who has coached at Maryland for 31 years. She looks forward to coming to the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex every day.

Meharg often finds a sense of calm in the trees on the premises, especially watching their leaves change color in the fall.

When the field was first built, there were seven weeping willow trees. Now, just one remains and Meharg says her goal is to outlast it. Her objective for the team is to still be playing and competing for a championship by the time the tree loses all its leaves.

The first step toward doing so comes Friday, when No. 2 Maryland faces No.18 Albany in the first round of the tournament. If the Terps come out victorious, they’ll play either No. 10 Rutgers or No. 4 UConn.

Albany has topped the Terps in their last two meetings — a 2-1 loss that ended Maryland’s 2014 tournament run, and another 2-1 defeat in September 2015. The Terps have defeated both Rutgers and UConn this season, though.

If Maryland faces the Huskies in the next round, it would be a rematch of the 2017 national championship, a matchup the Terps lost, 2-1. That defeat has been in the back of players’ minds all season, fueling their 4-2 win earlier this year and making them want a title of their own even more.

"You're talking about people that understand outcome and understand knockout, so with that in mind we need to come to play and we need to start the match so dominant,” Meharg said. “It's not about matching what Albany brings, or Connecticut or Rutgers, it's about matching what we've done and make it better.”

Meharg wants her squad to work on attention to detail, communication and spreading contagious energy as they enter the most important part of the season.

The Terps are hoping that having the home turf will give them an extra edge. Players are excited to have family, friends and fans in the stands supporting them.

And for Maryland seniors, this weekend holds extra meaning. It will be the last time they play at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex, as the final four will be held at the University of Louisville.

“There’s a lot of memories with it,” senior Linnea Gonzales said. “We’re going to go out with a bang just because there’s a lot of passion there."

The Diamondback

UAlbany field hockey to play Maryland in NCAA tournament

Great Danes won conference tournament despite many battling 'flu-like symptoms'

Michael O'Brien @ByMichaelKelly

UAlbany plays Friday at Maryland. Photo courtesy Bruce Dudek

ALBANY — Fresh off winning its conference championship, the University at Albany field hockey team is set to take on its next challenge in the form of an NCAA tournament first-round game at noon Friday against No. 2 Maryland.

UAlbany traveled to Stanford University to play in the America East Tournament last weekend. Going in as the top seed, UAlbany won the tournament beating UC Davis 1-0, Pacific 4-3 and Maine 2-0. UAlbany went 6-2 in conference and 16-4 overall during its regular season as it won its third America East Tournament in five years.

“There was something to us that we were the No. 1 seed,” senior Frederike Helmke said.

That resolve showed when UAlbany hit adversity out at Stanford, as a number of Great Danes experienced “flu-like symptoms” before the tournament got started. The team’s first game had to be postponed, and UAlbany had to play three games in three days.

“Last week has been quite the adventure going West Coast, getting food poisoning, seeing if we would even survive our first game,” UAlbany head coach Phil Sykes said. “We've come a long way.”

“Other [players] who were healthy were taking care of us,” Helmke said. “It was really great we ended up winning the America East.”

Sophomore Ghislaine Beerkens, who led UAlbany in goals scored in the regular season with 13, was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.

Previously, Helmke was named the America East Defensive Player of the Year and redshirt junior Melissa Nealon — a Shenendehowa graduate —  was named the league’s co-goalkeeper of the year.

Before playing Friday at Maryland’s Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex, it’s likely the Great Danes will settled any nerves they have with some help from their pregame rituals. For Nealon, that means putting together a puzzle, a ritual that started innocent enough with one puzzle being bought to do . . . and, now, 30 puzzles later, it’s an every-game thing.

“It’s just calming and relaxing,” Nealon said. “Everyone individually has their own thing to do.”

UAlbany heads into the tournament unranked. The Great Danes want to make that work for them.

“I think it’s kind of nice sometimes if you can fly under the radar,” Sykes said. “Sometimes if you get ranked a bit too high, the pressure kind of adds to you.”

Maryland has an overall record of 19-2. The last two times UAlbany has faced Maryland was in 2014 and 2015, and UAlbany won in both meetings.

In 2014, UAlbany advanced to the tournament’s semifinals.

The Daily Gazette 

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