All the news for Tuesday 9 July 2019
Women's team set for Japan trip as part of Olympic acclimatisation
Shona McCallin of Great Britain's women's team
Great Britain's women's team have departed for Japan as part of their preparations for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The climate and conditions in Tokyo are set to be the most extreme for an Olympics in recent memory, and this trip is an important step for the squad to become as accustomed as possible to the heat, humidity and culture in the Far East. Our women's team do not play many fixtures in that part of the world and this will be a perfect opportunity almost exactly one year before the 2020 games take place.
The team fly into Tokyo and will then play four games in Hiroshima, with test matches against Japan on 15th and 20th July. On 12th, 13th, 17th and 18th we will play uncapped training matches, two against Japan and two against the Coca Cola club side.
Scotland's Charlotte Watson is set to make her first Great Britain appearance after being called up for the very first time. The 21-year-old already has more than 50 caps for Scotland and played in last summer's Commonwealth Games.
Rio gold medal winner Shona McCallin is welcomed back to the 22-strong squad. She was concussed in a match away to Argentina last February, and having recovered from that injury she has now overcome a separate minor injury that prevented her from playing in any of our FIH Pro League matches this year. The 27-year-old will be aiming to add to the 73 international caps she has to her name.
Sarah Evans is back from injury, having missed the final FIH Pro League match at the Twickenham Stoop. Ellie Rayer has not quite recovered from an injury so unfortunately misses out, as does Suzy Petty.
Giselle Ansley (Surbiton) (ENG)
Grace Balsdon (Canterbury) (ENG)
Esme Burge (University of Nottingham) (ENG)
Amy Costello (University of Birmingham) (SCO)
Emily Defroand (Surbiton) (ENG)
Sarah Evans (Surbiton) (ENG)
Maddie Hinch (SCHC) (ENG) (GK)
Tess Howard (Durham University) (ENG)
Jo Hunter (Surbiton) (ENG)
Sarah Jones (Holcombe) (WAL)
Hannah Martin (Surbiton) (ENG)
Shona McCallin (Holcombe) (ENG)
Lizzie Neal (Loughborough Students) (ENG)
Lily Owsley (University of Birmingham) (ENG)
Hollie Pearne-Webb (Surbiton) (ENG) (C)
Izzy Petter (Surbiton) (ENG)
Sarah Robertson (Hampstead & Westminster) (SCO)
Amy Tennant (Reading) (GK)
Anna Toman (Wimbledon) (ENG)
Susannah Townsend (Canterbury) (ENG)
Laura Unsworth (East Grinstead) (ENG)
Charlotte Watson (Dundee Wanderers) (SCO)
Performance Director Ed Barney said, "We’re delighted to be heading out to Hiroshima later in the month. It will be an invaluable trip for us as we continue with our planning and preparation for 2020. We’re hugely grateful for the support from Hiroshima City Council. The squad are thoroughly looking forward to the training, competition and experiencing the local culture."
Head Coach Mark Hager commented, "The main reason we’re going out to Japan is to get acclimatised to the heat to see what it’s like at this time of year with the humidity. Probably the biggest thing is when you get 90% humidity, the girls aren’t used to that so to get that experience that will be fantastic
"We’ve been watching Charlotte Watson closely over the last four to six months. She performed pretty well at the World Series in Ireland, so we felt it was a good opportunity to bring her in to have a taste of what we’re doing and give her a chance to play internationally with GB, which she hasn’t done yet, so that will be exciting for her.
"The big thing with Shona is she brings that real experience. We’re not expecting too much from Shona because she hasn’t played for so long, but I think this trip for her is about getting used to being back on the hockey field and playing at this tempo. Hopefully everything goes well for her and if she’s selected for the Euros then this will be a really good preparation for her."
Whilst over in Hiroshima the squad will visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
For both our women's and men's teams there are two routes to Olympic qualification from here; either for England to win the EuroHockey Championships in August, or for Great Britain to then win a two-legged Olympic qualifier at home at the end of October / start of November.
The Tokyo 2020 hockey tournament is scheduled to begin on Sat 25 July 2020, with men's finals on Thu 6 August and women's a day later. Currently only hosts Japan have qualified for the men's and women's events.
Great Britain Hockey media release
Shona McCallin back in Great Britain squad after long recovery from concussion
Olympic gold medal winner Shona McCallin has been named in the Great Britain hockey squad for the first time since suffering concussion playing for England 17 months ago.
McCallin is included in the 22-strong squad for a tour of Japan.
The 27-year-old took an opponent's shoulder to her head playing for England against Argentina in February 2018.
She missed the 2018 Commonwealth Games and World Cup during her recovery.
McCallin described the injury, which saw her experience headaches, sickness and a sensitivity to light and sound, as a "hangover in handcuffs" and said it had given her "more perspective on life".
She has since sought to raise as much awareness about the injury as possible.
After recovering, a separate minor knee injury then meant she missed all of Great Britain's FIH Pro League matches this year.
McCallin, who has 73 international caps for Great Britain, was part of the Team GB side that beat the Netherlands to win gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Scotland's Charlotte Watson, 21, is included in the squad for the first time.
Sarah Evans also returns but Ellie Rayer and Suzy Petty are still sidelined.
Great Britain will play six games in Hiroshima during the tour, including two Test matches against Japan, as part of their preparations for next year's Tokyo Olympics.
New National Hockey League To Play Across Australia In A 48 Game Schedule
The fixture for Australia's new national hockey competition, Hockey One League, has been released, revealing a 49-day season with 21 double header home and away event days plus finals. The league will feature Australia's best hockey players competing in Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, Brisbane, and Sydney.
The cream of Australian hockey will be fighting for a place on the podium in the inaugural Hockey One League from Sunday September 29, according to Hockey One League Interim General Manager, Tony Dodemaide.
"Hockey One League has been created to give fans more chances to see world class hockey, and the fixture reflects this. We will be playing at least three games in each capital city aside from Darwin over a period from September 29 to November 16," said Dodemaide, adding that the league hoped to welcome a team from Darwin in the future.
"In its first year, Hockey One League will see seven men's teams and seven women's teams compete for national honours and bragging rights.
"Uniquely, the fixture features 21 double header days in the home and away phase, so that fans can watch both men and women play on the same day. The format is family friendly and most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays. We can't wait to welcome fans of all ages to our games," Dodemaide said.
The seven rounds will give each team a bye. Following the home and away phase, the top two men's and women's teams will host semi-finals against the 3rd and 4th ranked teams over the weekend of November 9-10.
The winners of the semi-finals will progress to the Grand Final in a double header on November 16. The hosting venue of the grand finals is planned to be the home of the highest-ranking women's team in 2019, followed by the highest-ranking men's team in 2020, and alternating thereafter.
The teams, each with a men's and a women's playing squad under the same name, and home venues are:
- Adelaide Fire (State Hockey Centre, Gepps Cross)
- Brisbane Blaze (Queensland State Hockey Centre, Morningside)
- Canberra Chill (National Hockey Centre, Lyneham)
- Hockey Club Melbourne (State Netball & Hockey Centre, Parkville)
- New South Wales Pride (Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre)
- Perth Thundersticks (Perth Hockey Stadium, Curtin University Campus, Bentley)
- Tassie Tigers (Tasmanian Hockey Centre, New Town)
While it has been confirmed that the league will feature players from the Kookaburras (Australia's national men's team, currently ranked world number one) and the Hockeyroos (Australia's national women's team, currently ranked world number two), player lists have not yet been released.
Team membership packages will be available as from this Thursday July 11th. For further details stay tuned to your team's Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
The fixture details are:
|SEMIS||2v3||2nd Ranked Women's Team||Saturday||TBC||9 Nov|
|SEMIS||1v4||1st Ranked Women's Team||Sunday||TBC||10 Nov|
|SEMIS||2v3||2nd Ranked Men's Team||Saturday||TBC||9 Nov|
|SEMIS||1v4||1st Ranked Men's Team||Sunday||TBC||10 Nov|
|GRAND FINAL||GF||1st Ranked Women's Team||Saturday||TBC||16 Nov|
New Approach To Officials To Provide Pathway To International Opportunities
Australia is known internationally for its world class hockey players and officials, and now Hockey Australia (HA) is taking further steps to support officials on their journey from community level to national and international officiating.
According to Hockey Australia’s Championships & Officiating Pathway Manager Cheyne Hackett, the new approach gives our sport a more robust process of identifying talent, monitoring progress and supporting those with national and international aspirations on their journey.
“One major shift for this approach is that with the support from each State and Territory member association, we will collectively review our officials’ qualities and abilities (competencies) against those that are required at a National and International level year-round. The approach would be similar to what we do for our players,” Hackett said.
The process is voluntary, allowing officials focused on community only to continue as always, while those with their eyes on national and international opportunities will start to have access to a number of tools and need to meet a number of standards before they are able to progress. The new formal identification and support process includes:
a. Formal identification on pathway, including potential appointment to National Championships
b. Coaching & monitoring through State and Territory member association or Hockey Australia
c. State and Territory member association providing updates on the officials’ development to Hockey Australia four times per year
d. Officials commitment to fitness standards, including testing three times per year
“The new process is an opt-in system, designed for officials who have the desire to officiate at the highest possible level. We of course recognise that many do not have those aspirations and so for many of our officials there will be no change,” said Hackett.
As part of the new process in the 2019 squads, 21 women and 23 men have been identified for the Developing National Squad, while 6 women and five men have been identified for the Promising Squad. The National Squad includes 11 women and 12 men, while the Elite International Squad currently includes three women and five men.
HA congratulates all the officials chosen for the squads and send a sincere thank you to all the officials, across all levels, who support our sport and continue to make it possible for players of all abilities to play.
Hockey Australia media release
AHF: More ranking points on offer from next year
By Jugjet Singh
Malaysian hockey coach Roelant Oltmans (2nd-left) speaking to his players during a training session at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil. -NSTP/Aswadi Alias.
Test matches and invitational tournament such as the Azlan Shah Cup could be offered world ranking points from next year.
The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) yesterday revealed that efforts are being made to close the ranking points’ gap among teams.
“There will be changes next year. Teams who play Test matches sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) will be offered ranking points.
“I am also confident the Azlan Shah Cup next year will offer points as well,” said AHF CEO Datuk Tayyab Ikram.
Tayyab added: “For Test matches, teams need to secure a sanction from FIH for ranking points.
“However, these matches can only be played inside a time frame which will be worked out soon.
“This way, teams who want to challenge another will have to make sure they are well prepared for the Test matches.”
The recently-concluded Pro League was an invitational tournament for 10 teams but India and Pakistan withdrew due to various reasons.
Teams in the Pro League this year earned more ranking points compared to the lower-ranking nations who played in the FIH Series Finals.
Even the European champions earn more points than the Asian Games gold medallists.
JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Men: UniKL-Datuk Bentara 7 Penang HA 0, BJSS Juniors 2 KL Wipers 4, Perlis Young Lions 3 Anderson Thunderbolts 4, Pahang Thunderbolts 1 SSTMI Thunderbolts 3, PJCC Tigers 2 BJSS Thunderbolts 2, SSTMI Juniors 3 Sabah Juniors 1.
Women: SSMS Girls 0 Terengganu HA 1, PKS-UniTen 2 KL Wipers 0, PJCC Black Widow 1 SSTMI-PKS UniTen 1.
New Straits Times
Oltmans plans visit to Malaysia's possible foes
National hockey coach Roelant Oltmans leading a training session at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil. - NSTP/Mohamad Shahril Badri Saali
National chief coach Roelant Oltmans feels that Malaysia will play either Germany, Spain, New Zealand or Canada in the final Olympic Qualifier in October.
The final opponent will only be known after all the continental championships are over and ranking points are updated.
And that is why he had planned to play these teams, except for Canada, on their Europe Tour starting July 21.
“We will only know for sure when the continental championships are over and ranking points are tabulated. Right now, the four possibilities are Germany, Spain, New Zealand and Canada,” said Oltmans.
Malaysia will depart on July 21 to Dusseldorf, Germany, and play the World No 7 on July 25.
“We then move to Terrassa and play against Spain. Then, there will be a Four-Nation against England, Ireland and Spain.”
The Europe Tour will also see Malaysia play against the Netherlands and Belgium before ending their Europe trip on Aug 12.
Malaysia will head to Japan on Aug 19-23 to play at the Olympic venue against New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
“So you see, we are covering all the possible teams (except Canada) who we might play in the final Olympic Qualifier,” said Oltmans.
Malaysia played Canada twice in the Azlan Shah Cup, and won both games 3-2 in the group stage and 4-2 in the bronze battle.
However, in the third encounter at the FIH Series Finals, Malaysia lost 3-2.
On the possible ranking points to be introduced from next year in Test matches by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), Oltmans took a wait-and-see approach.
“Some might abuse it by playing against lower ranked teams to collect points, while I always believe in playing higher ranked teams to gain experience. We will wait and see its mechanism.
“The same goes for the Azlan Shah Cup, if the tournament offers ranking points (from next year), it might turn into a different kind of environment.
“Right now the teams come in a relaxed atmosphere but ranking points will make the Azlan Shah Cup a totally different tournament. So, let’s see what the FIH have to offer first.”
Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) CEO Datuk Tayyab Ikram had said the FIH are looking to introduce points for Test matches, as well as ranking points, for the Azlan Shah Cup.
New Straits Times
Ex-Australia hockey player Kavanagh to conduct camp for Indian defenders
Fergus Kavanagh will be working closely with 14 Indian defenders identified by Hockey India.
Fergus Kavanagh is conducting a seven-day camp with the Indian defenders. - AFP
Two-time World Cup-winning Australian hockey player, Fergus Kavanagh has been roped in to conduct a seven-day camp with Indian defenders at the Sports Authority of India centre in Bengaluru.
The camp, which started on Monday, will end on July 14.
Kavanagh was part of the Australian dream team that won the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi and the 2014 World Cup in The Hague.
Besides, he also won the gold medal at consecutive FIH Champions Trophy from 2008 to 2012 and won the 2014 Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar.
He will be working closely with 14 Indian defenders identified by Hockey India.
Speaking of this initiative, India’s chief coach Graham Reid said, “As a group we are really looking forward to this camp as we get to address some of the ongoing focus points we have identified over the last few months. One of these is of improving our defensive capabilities and we have been lucky to secure the services of former Kookaburra great Fergus Kavanagh.
“The first week we will be focusing on all aspects of our defence using the unique experience of Fergus’ last 10 years with Australia and more recently with Amsterdam in the Netherlands.”
Reid further said that India’s focus during the last FIH Series Final in Bhubaneswar was on “collective defensive mindset”.
Defenders list: Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surendra Kumar, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Jarmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Rupinder Pal Singh, Mandeep Mor, Pratap Lakra, Suman Beck, Parampreet Singh.
Western Jaguars miss chance to go top
By AYUMBA AYODI
Diana Akinyi (left) of Strathmore Scorpions tussles with Agriphina Misoi of USIU Spartans during their Premier League match at City Park in Nairobi on June 16, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Western Jaguars squandered a golden opportunity to reclaim the men’s hockey Premier League lead when they lost to Greensharks and Sailors respectively over the weekend at City Park Stadium.
It’s a weekend that saw United States International University (USIU Spartans and Lakers win their respective matches to tie with defending champions Telkom on top of women’s Premier League with 11 points each.
Jaguars seem to have lost their killer instinct, going down to Sharks 3-2, before being subdued by Sailors by the same score-line. That cost them as they dropped one place to third with 13 points, swapping places with Wazalendo, who have the same points. Jaguars now have four wins, a draw and three losses.
Sharks’ victory moved them one place to fourth with 12 points, exchanging places with former champions Kenya Police, who were not in action. Sharks have four wins and three losses.
Fifth-placed Police have 11 points from three wins, two draws and one loss.
Sailors improved one place to seventh with seven points from two wins, a draw and four defeats.
Defending champions Butali Sugar Warriors upheld their top spot in the league with 14 points despite not being in action last weekend. It’s the only side yet to concede defeat this season with four wins and two draws.
Chris Wokila put Sharks ahead in the 11th minute from a penalty corner, but skipper Willis Malesi levelled in the 23rd minute for Jaguars after also latching on a penalty corner delivery.
Benson Mawich reclaimed the lead for Sharks two minutes into the second session from a field goal, before Wokila completed his double in the 41st minute to put Sharks ahead 3-1.
Jaguars would then stage a thrilling rally, but could only put one back through Conrad Bihembo’s penalty shot in the 57th minute as Sharks held on for heir third win of the season.
On Sunday, Felix Opola put Sailors head of Jaguars with a field goal in the 24th minute as the sides took break. Robinson Omutekete levelled in the 31th minute from field play to put Jaguars back into the match, only for Abraham Musee to reclaim the lead for Sailors from the spot three minutes later.
It was a see-saw affair with Kelvin Machinji netting in the 50th minute to level for Jaguars, only for Douglas Nyerere to break their hearts when he grabbed the winner for Sailors with seconds to full time.
Lakers briefly claimed the second spot in the league when they crushed visiting Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology 2-0 at Kisumu Simba grounds on Saturday.
However, USIU Spartans would retain the position after an emphatic 3-0 drubbing of Kenyatta University Titans at City on Sunday. Telkom, USIU and Lakers have 11 points each, but the champions have a better goal difference.
Telkom and Lakers are the only side yet to lose a match this season. Telkom, who were not in action have three wins and two draws, USIU have two wins, two draws and one loss, while Lakers have five draws and one win.
In the other women’s Premier League duel, Amira Sailors forced former champions Sliders to a 1-1 draw at City Park. Leah Omwadho placed home in the 44th minute from a penalty corner to give Sailors the lead, only for Charity Miller to level for Sliders in the 55th minute.
Sailors stays fourth in the log, but with an improved tally of seven points, while Sliders scaled one place to sixth with six points.
Jiwa aims to raise a fallen power
Former national player Jiva Mohan is tasked with revitalising Penang hockey team.
Penang were double champions once, in 1996, but their Malaysian Junior Hockey League (JHL) fortunes have since gone downhill. And today they are languishing at the basement.
In about 20 years, from a thriving force that used to produce national players, Penang have turned into punching bags — losing five and drawing one so far. Coach Jiwa Mohan’s team have also scored only four goals, and let in a staggering 35.
Jiwa has seen better days as a player — like when he featured for Electrical Switchgear Automation (ESA), who were double champions in 1996 and also league champions the next year.
“We had great parental, as well as coaches’ support, at the grassroots level back then. But when the sports schools came into the picture, Penang and other states, started slowing down their grassroots development, and we can see the consequences inside 20 years,” said Jiwa.
Together with his brother, Jivan, as well as siblings K. Logan Raj and Keevan Raj, Jiwa and ESA became junior stars, and all four went on to don national colours.
So, what’s Jiwa doing about it?
“Giving back to the sport I love most. We managed to regain the support of grassroots coaches, as well as dedicated parents. Every weekend, more than 100 young hopefuls train at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) grounds.
“I believe we will be great again in a few years’ time. This JHL team made it to the top division and are actually having a bit of a culture shock, but this experience will benefit them as they are all still eligible to play in the JHL next season,” said Jiwa.
Last year, there were 30 teams: 10 in Division One and 20 in Division Two; and Penang and Malacca Warriors qualified from Division Two for the Overall quarter-finals, where they lost 5-0 to Pahang Thunderbolts and Anderson Thunderbolts respectively.
This year, Penang have played only BJSS Thunderbolts, losing 5-1. The other three Thunderbolts — SSTMI, Anderson and Pahang — are still on their fixtures.
Despite more whipping in store for Penang, hopefully Jiwa’s long-term plans will see better results inside five years.
New Straits Times
Marquee hockey events on the cards for North
Recovery possible: Burnie Baptist. Picture: Simon Sturzaker.
Hockey Tasmania CEO Damian Smith says the organisation is looking at ways to improve participation and felt marquee events in the North or North-West would increase the sport's footprint.
Hockey Tasmania board chairman Ken Read raised concerns over the health of the sport, highlighted by the decrease of players competing.
"We understand we attract most of our players to the South and also attract more of the high profile events down here because the facilities are world class," Smith said.
"It is a concern for our efforts to improve the sport across the state and it is our goal to get a Hockey One game somewhere in the North of the state."
One competition Smith was hopeful of getting up was a senior statewide regional competition.
"We want to accommodate a regional cup where the best players from the North, North-West and South represent their regions for both men and women."