All the news for Friday 8 November 2019
Rupinder Pal Singh: FIH Pro League will prepare India well for the Olympics
The Indian team will make its bow in the second edition of the league in January, 2020.
Rupinder Pal Singh: "We have nine months to prepare for the [Tokyo Olympics], and playing in the FIH Pro League will serve as good preparation for us." Photo: Hockey India
The FIH Pro League in January, 2020, will allow the Indian team to gain a fair idea about its strengths and weaknesses ahead of the Olympics, feels senior dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh.
After opting out of the inaugural edition of the tourney last year, the Indian team will make its bow in the second edition. It opens its campaign against the Netherlands at home — on January 18 and 19.
“The FIH Pro League was a great success in its first edition, and we are all very excited to be a part of it next year. These matches will be a great test for us, especially playing against the best teams from around the world. We will be hosting as well as touring some very strong teams in the next eight months,” Rupinder said.
“Our aim was to qualify for the Olympics, and now that we have secured our place, it is now time to put everything into preparation for the Olympic Games. We have nine months to prepare for the quadrennial event, and playing in the FIH Pro League will serve as good preparation for us. We will be able to determine where we stand against the top teams, and we will have enough time to make improvements and corrections in our game leading up to the Olympics,” he added.
Rupinder, whose career has been plagued by injuries, has a new lease of life after having being dropped from the national squad following India’s poor showing in the Asian Games in 2018. The snub almost cost him his career before he gained his self confidence to force his way back into the team for the Olympic Qualifiers.
“It was an amazing feeling to be back in India blue colours after having missed out on some major tournaments last year. I was determined to perform well for my team, and make sure that we secured our place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” Rupinder said.
Schedule (round-robin stage)
January 18, 19: India vs Netherlands at home
February 8, 9: India vs Belgium at home
February 22, 23: India vs Australia at home
April 25, 26: Germany vs India in Germany
May 2, 3: Great Britain vs India in U.K.
May 23, 24: India vs New Zealand at home
June 5, 6: Argentina vs India in Argentina
June 13, 14: Spain vs India in Spain.
Sydney and Perth to host home FIH Pro League matches in 2020
The Hockeyroos and Kookaburras will play feature international matches in Sydney and Perth next year after the cities were announced to host Australia’s home double headers in the FIH Pro League 2020.
Sydney will play host to a blockbuster Australia Day weekend of fixtures against fellow world hockey powerhouse Belgium on 25/26 January.
This will be followed by back-to-back double headers at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre against Great Britain, who are the current Olympic women’s hockey goal medalists.
Attention then turns to Perth where the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos will take on Argentina on 6/7 March before playing their final matches of the global competition against cross Tasman rivals New Zealand on 16/17 May.
Sydney and Perth both hosted home matches in the inaugural season of the Pro League.
“These home matches in Sydney and Perth provide a great opportunity for not only the hockey community but the Australian sporting public to see our elite national teams in action,” said Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier.
“There are fantastic ticket offerings, particularly for families, and there is nothing like watching world class hockey live, so we encourage everyone to come out and support the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras in what will be their only international matches on home soil before they head to Tokyo.”
All FIH Pro League matches to be staged in Sydney in 2020 are supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
That there will again be matches in Perth is also of significant benefit with the Hockey Australia High Performance setup and both national teams being based in the Western Australian capital.
“There is a passionate hockey and sporting community in Perth so we look forward to having big crowds on all of the match days against Argentina and New Zealand,” said Favier.
“Being an Olympic year the Pro League will also be vital preparation for both of our national teams ahead of Tokyo 2020.”
The introduction of the FIH Pro League at the start of 2019 was described as the biggest shake-up to the international hockey calendar in more than a decade.
The second edition of the FIH Pro League sees the world number one Kookaburras enter the competition as the reigning champions, while the Hockeyroos will be attempting to go one better after finishing runners-up in 2019.
The FIH Pro League is an international men’s and women’s competition held annually featuring a host of the world’s best hockey nations.
The FIH Pro League 2020 will see nine women’s and nine men’s teams play in home and away fixtures with the top teams in the women’s and men’s competitions declared the champions. Unlike in 2019, there will be no finals in the 2020 competition due to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Tickets for all of Australia’s home fixtures in the FIH Pro League 2020 are available now through Ticketek.
Click here for a full list of the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras FIH Pro League 2020 fixtures.
FIH Pro League 2020 matches – Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre
Saturday 25 January
Hockeyroos v Belgium (4:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Belgium (6:30pm local)
Sunday 26 January
Hockeyroos v Belgium (3:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Belgium (5:30pm local)
Saturday 1 February
Kookaburras v Great Britain (4:00pm local)
Hockeyroos v Great Britain (6:30pm local)
Sunday 2 February
Kookaburras v Great Britain (3:00pm local)
Hockeyroos v Great Britain (5:30pm local)
FIH 2020 Pro League matches – Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University
Friday 6 March
Hockeyroos v Argentina (6:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Argentina (8:30pm local)
Saturday 7 March
Hockeyroos v Argentina (4:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Argentina (6:30pm local)
Saturday 16 May
Kookaburras v New Zealand (4:00pm local)
Hockeyroos v New Zealand (6:30pm local)
Sunday 17 May
Kookaburras v New Zealand (3:00pm local)
Hockeyroos v New Zealand (5:30pm local)
*Start times are subject to change
Tickets to all home matches are on sale now through Ticketek.
Hockey Australia media release
Eugene Magee: Midfielder retires after Ireland's Olympic heartbreak
Eugene Magee has retired from international duty after Ireland failed to secure a spot at the 2020 Olympics.
Magee is Ireland men's most-capped player with 295 appearances and will still play for his club Banbridge.
The midfielder, 33, represented Ireland at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Ireland controversially lost their Tokyo 2020 play-off after a last-second penalty stroke was awarded by the video umpire, which Canada scored before winning the shoot-out that followed.
Mark Tumilty's team were already celebrating a 6-5 aggregate win when Canada asked for a referral on an incident that happened with one second remaining.
Magee scored twice in the shootout but Ireland would go on to lose in sudden death.
Last year, Magee was part of the Ireland side that reached a first World Cup since 1990 and he scored in a famous 4-2 win over England at the European Championships in 2015.
Gemma McCaw thanks husband Richie on Black Sticks return
Gemma McCaw with daughter Charlotte. INSTAGRAM
Gemma McCaw has given thanks to her husband for encouraging her return to the national hockey side.
McCaw was yesterday named in the women's Black Sticks squad to prepare for next year's Tokyo Olympics.
She last played for the Black Sticks at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and has since started a family with the former All Black captain.
Gemma Flynn in action for New Zealand against Great Britain in the Olympic women's hockey semifinal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. PHOTOSPORT
"My why ❤️ I'm excited about being back in the @nzblacksticks squad and I'm looking forward to the year ahead. A big thank you to everyone who has supported me and a special mention to my husband for encouraging me every step of the way #backinblack," McCaw posted on her Instagram account.
The couple have just returned from Tokyo where they attended the New Zealand-England Rugby World Cup semifinal, where they took their baby Charlotte with them on the trip.
The 246-cap Black Stick retired from the sport in October 2017 after playing in that year's National Hockey League for Midlands.
She gave birth to her first daughter, Charlotte, in December 2018 and made her return to competitive hockey with Midlands in this year's NHL.
Incentive never greater for contenders to impress
Olympic qualification has upped the ante for those back in Hockey League action
Sean Dancer: Ireland’s head coach faces a busy year after the women’s team’s qualification for the Olympics in Tokyo. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
If all concerned can come down off Cloud Nine in time then the new Hockey League campaign will get under way on Saturday, and for players with international aspirations there has never been a greater incentive to catch the eye of the Irish coaching team.
Before returning to his family in New Zealand ahead of Christmas, Sean Dancer will finalise his plans for the build-up to the Olympics and will, no doubt, hope that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s promise of increased funding will allow for the quality of programme he will feel is necessary for the players to prepare for their Tokyo challenge, as well as enabling them to go full-time – or close enough to it – in the months ahead.
The top 10 nations in the world rankings have all qualified for the Olympics – the Netherlands, Australia, Argentina, Germany, Britain (who take England’s ranking), New Zealand, Spain, Ireland, India and China, in that order – as well as hosts Japan.
Although South Africa have also qualified, their Olympic committee is likely to turn down their invitation from the International Hockey Federation because its team does not meet the criteria, in terms of ranking and results, that it sets for them. Unless they have a change of heart, then Korea will take South Africa’s place.
The schedule for the tournament, which will take place from July 25th to August 7th, will be released next month.
A gruelling one it will be too, the teams playing five games in eight days, the demands even greater on squads than in ‘regular’ tournaments because only 16, rather than the usual 18, players can be selected for the Olympics (as well as two non-playing reserves). At least two of the players who were part of the effort to get past Canada last weekend will, then, miss out on the experience. It shows the, at times, cruel nature of sport.
Few players demonstrated greater courage during the shoot-out ordeal than Roisín Upton who was brave enough to step up to convert what proved to be the decisive one-on-one in sudden death having missed in the regulation shootout.
And, as she later revealed, she did so with a broken wrist having sustained the injury earlier in the contest.
Catholic Institute will, then, have to do without their star player in the opening spell of their first Hockey League campaign, Upton having helped the Limerick club qualify when she converted twice in the shoot-out that decided their play-off against Queens back in April.
Institute open their campaign against Muckross at Rosbrien, while defending champions Pegasus travel to Dublin to take on Railway Union.
Pegasus are already through to the Irish Senior Cup final where they will play UCD next March, the early rounds of the competition already completed because of the squeezed nature of the season. The students are away to Cork Harlequins in their opening Hockey League fixture, while Old Alexandra host Belfast Harlequins and Pembroke Wanderers are at home to Loreto.
Hockey League – Saturday: Catholic Institute v Muckross, Rosbrien, 1.0; Old Alexandra v Belfast Harlequins, Milltown, 2.30; Pembroke Wanderers v Loreto, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30; Cork Harlequins v UCD, Farmers Cross, 3.0; Railway Union v Pegasus, Park Avenue, 3.30.
The Irish Times
Neumann’s double act
By Lee Oliver
Photo by Andrew Blanchard
One week she was umpiring Olympic qualifying games overseas – the next she was tackling some of Australia’s top players.
Such is the life of hockey all-rounder Aleisha Neumann.
The 30-year-old has been juggling international umpiring commitments with playing for Brisbane Blaze in the inaugural Sultana Bran Hockey One League.
Neumann umpired at six Australian Hockey League tournaments but had never played at national league level.
That was until Brisbane selectors named the former Australian Country representative in their foundation squad.
“I had accepted that to further my umpiring career I had to forgo playing representative hockey at any level for any state,” Neumann explains.
“I did not expect selection (for Blaze). I was unconvinced that I would be in the final 20, so approached training with no expectations and no pressure and instead focused on improving my fitness and skills.”
Neumann made her Sultana Bran Hockey One debut against Adelaide Fire in Round 3 and has played in all four of Blaze’s victories this campaign.
“I was a little nervous to debut as a player and was excited to get the opportunity,” she says.
“Of course, winning makes every experience more pleasant but we have a really close group with the Blaze who all got around the debutants for that round to make us feel comfortable and confident to do the job needed.”
Neumann, who will umpire at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, believes playing high-level hockey improves her umpiring, and vice versa.
“Knowing what players are wanting to do helps as an umpire to be proactive in movement to be in position ahead of time, while knowing the rules and intricacies of umpiring certainly helps in pressure situations as a player,” she says.
Neumann believes Brisbane Blaze’s chances of winning the first women’s Sultana Bran Hockey One crown are “very high”.
“We have a great group of Queensland-based players who are topped up with five Hockeyroos, creating an awesome team environment and atmosphere,” she said.
“There is competition every week for the final 14 places on game day which is mirrored in the team performance on the field.”
Sultana Bran Hockey One League Media release
PREVIEWS: Men's Hockey League
The top two teams face each other in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division this weekend, with both Old Georgians and Surbiton welcoming back several Great Britain stars following qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Having scored his 100th international goal at the weekend, Alan Forsyth may return for Surbiton at the weekend alongside James Gall, Harry Gibson, Tom Sorsby and Zach Wallace.
George Pinner is also set to return in goal for Old Georgians with Liam Sanford also due to play, although Sam Ward and Ashley Jackson are unavailable due to injury.
Just one point separates unbeaten leaders Surbiton from second-placed Old Georgians and, even though Surbiton have played one game less, Saturday evening’s match still looks set to be a close one.
“This is going to be a great game, and one we’ve been looking forward to for a while as it’s a local derby and a top of the table clash,” said Old Georgians’ club captain Tom Doran.
“We’re obviously without Sam Ward following the injury he picked up, and he’s gutted to be missing, but he will recover and will still come down and support us all. Apart from that we’re at full strength and are looking good.
“The coaches and staff have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to get ready for this match, so we as players just have to turn up and produce the goods now.”
In Saturday evening’s other match East Grinstead go to Reading in need of points to boost their push for a top four spot.
Wimbledon lie third and will want to secure another win when they host Brooklands MU on Sunday, with Phil Roper, Ian Sloan and Jack Waller all in line to return for the south west London team.
Meanwhile reigning champions will be looking to hold onto fourth place as they go to the University of Exeter and will welcome back Will Calnan, Harry Martin and Jacob Draper.
Finally, the top flight’s other match sees Beeston – who are expected to feature GB captain Adam Dixon and defender Ollie Willars - go to Holcombe on Sunday afternoon.
In the Men’s Division One North leaders University of Durham have a home game against Olton & West Warwicks on Saturday afternoon, while the rest of the Division plays on Sunday with second-placed Cardiff & Met playing host to the University of Birmingham.
Leaders Teddington go to second-placed Sevenoaks in the Men’s Division One South, with the winners likely to take top spot. Elsewhere third-placed Southgate head to Team Bath Buccaneers in search of victory, and could also go top of the table.
Men’s Hockey League (Sat, 9 November 2019):
Old Georgians v Surbiton 18:00
Reading v East Grinstead 18:30
Division One North
Univ of Durham v Olton & West Warwicks 14:30
Division One South
Oxford Hawks v Fareham 17:00
Chichester v Spencer 15:00
Wapping v St Albans 18:00
Preston v Belper 14:00
Men’s Hockey League (Sun, 10 November 2019):
Univ of Exeter v Hampstead & Westminster 12:00
Holcombe v Beeston 14:00
Wimbledon v Brooklands MU 14:30
Division One North
Cardiff & Met v Univ of Birmingham 12:30
Sheffield Hallam v Leeds 12:45
Loughborough Students v City of Peterborough 14:00
Univ of Nottingham v Bowdon 14:00
Division One South
Havant v Canterbury 12:30
Brighton & Hove v Oxted 13:00
Team Bath Buccaneers v Southgate 13:00
Sevenoaks v Teddington 14:00
London Edwardians v Harleston Magpies 12:30
Bedford v Bromley & Beckenham 14:00
Old Loughtonians v Cambridge City 14:00
Cheltenham v Isca 12:30
Ashmoor v Khalsa Leamington 13:00
Richmond v Cardiff University 13:30
Univ of Bristol v Old Cranleighans 14:00
Univ of Exeter 2s v Harborne 14:00
Deeside Ramblers v Preston 13:30
Lichfield v Barford Tigers 13:30
Wakefield v Belper 14:15
Alderley Edge v Doncaster 14:30
Didsbury Northern v Timperley 14:30
England Hockey Board Media release
PREVIEWS: Investec Women's Hockey League
After helping Great Britain qualify for the Tokyo Olympics next year, many of our international hockey stars return to domestic action this weekend in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.
With strong representation in the team which beat Chile last weekend, leaders Surbiton hope to be strengthened by the return as they face a tough clash against third-placed Buckingham on Saturday.
Surbiton have lost to Buckingham on three of their last four meetings but will be hoping to make it eight wins from their first eight league matches this season.
“Buckingham have been tough opponents over the last couple of seasons and we don’t expect anything different on Saturday,” said Surbiton’s 1st XI Manager Tony Jones.
“We need to be focussed and ready as they are a physical, well drilled team who are difficult to break down.”
Surbiton’s GB players Gisele Ansley, Sabbie Heesh and Hannah Martin were expected back at training this week and should be in contention for the weekend. However Sarah Evans and Emily Defroand picked up injuries before the Chile match and are still unavailable for this weekend’s game.
“The break for the FIH Olympic Qualifier has given time for a few injuries and illnesses to be recovered from so, beyond Sarah and Emily, we hope to have full availability across our whole squad to select from.”
Elsewhere, Hampstead & Westminster lie second and will be looking for a win over visitors Bowdon Hightown, with GB players Lily Owsley and Sarah Robertson back in the squad to help them keep up the pressure on Surbiton.
Welsh GB player Leah Wilkinson returns to Holcombe’s ranks as they play host to strugglers Beeston as they bid to preserve their spot in the top four, while East Grinstead hope to have Amy Costello, Tess Howard and Laura Unsworth back and could leap-frog Clifton Robinsons in the table if they can beat them on Saturday.
And the top flight’s other match sees the battle of the two student teams with the University of Birmingham making the short trip to Loughborough Students, with young GB stars Izzy Petter and Lizzie Neal expected to return.
In the Investec Women’s Division One North, the only unbeaten team are Olton & West Warwicks, who go to the University of Durham on Saturday.
Elsewhere, leaders Swansea host Gloucester City, while Leicester City play at Ben Rhydding and could go top if they win and Swansea falter.
And in the Investec Women’s Division One South leaders Wimbledon welcome back Anna Toman for a home match against bottom of the table St Albans, while second-placed Reading host Sevenoaks as they bid to keep pace with Wimbledon.
Investec Women’s Hockey League (Sat, 9 November 2019):
Investec Premier Division
Surbiton v Buckingham 12:00
East Grinstead v Clifton Robinsons 13:30
Hampstead & Westminster v Bowdon Hightown 13:30
Loughborough Students v Univ of Birmingham 14:00
Holcombe v Beeston 16:30
Investec Division One North
Swansea v Gloucester City 12:00
Univ of Durham v Olton & West Warwicks 12:30
Belper v Brooklands-Poynton 13:30
Ben Rhydding v Leicester City 13:30
Stourport v Leeds 18:00
Investec Division One South
Isca v Slough 12:00
Trojans v Canterbury 12:00
Wimbledon v St Albans 13:00
Harleston Magpies v Cambridge City 13:30
Reading v Sevenoaks 16:30
Investec Conference East
Barnes v Broxbourne 12:00
Canterbury 2s v Chelmsford 12:00
Horsham v Ipswich 14:00
Southgate v Bromley & Beckenham 14:00
Wimbledon 2s v Bedford 15:00
Investec Conference North
Pendle Forest v Timperley 11:30
Doncaster v Univ of Nottingham 12:00
Fylde v Alderley Edge 13:30
Beeston 2s v Cannock 14:00
Wakefield v Sutton Coldfield 14:00
Investec Conference West
Oxford Hawks v Cheltenham 12:00
Oxford University v Exe 12:30
Univ of Bristol v Clifton Robinsons 2s 13:15
Basingstoke v Univ of Birmingham 2s 14:00
Surbiton 2s v Team Bath Buccaneers 14:00
England Hockey Board Media release
Weekend to bring more top Scottish Premiership action
All eyes on Fettes this weekend where men’s Premiership leaders Grange take on second-placed Grove Menzieshill in a mouth-watering encounter – a home win would give the champions at least a five-point cushion, yet a Tayside victory would put the destiny of the title back into the melting pot.
On form, the champions only dropped their first points of the campaign to a late penalty corner strike by Western Wildcats` Andrew McConnell last weekend. But it could be argued that Grange are the most complete outfit in the competition. At the back the Edinburgh side have only conceded an average of a goal a game. Up front they have found the net 30 times – Josh McRae, Jacob Tweedie, John McCluskey and Dan Coultas from set pieces have been the main contributors recently.
Grange manager Martin Shepherdson confirmed that his squad would be close to full strength, the only main doubt is Alan Johnston with a hand injury.
Shepherdson was up front with his form evaluation. “Our form has been decent but below what we are capable of – we are still looking to find our best form for longer in games.”
On the Grove Menzieshill clash Shepherdson had this to say, “We are confident going into the game, but we know this is always a tough fixture.
“They have been the team that has perhaps pushed us hardest this last couple of years, so we respect them and know they have the potential to score a lot of goals.
“Our defence has been good this season, so it will be a tough battle.”
Grove Menzieshill have yet to show the consistency of Grange this season, losing to Uddingston and last weekend finding difficulty against Edinburgh University after storming into a 3-0 lead – the game finished 4-4.
But the Taysiders do have lethal strikers in their midst – the likes of Albert Rowling, Luke Cranney and Keir Robb are fairly regular goal scorers.
Whatever the outcome at Fettes Western Wildcats will target to make up some ground at home against Uddingston. However, the Western Wildcats goal machine seems to have temporarily dried up over the last two weeks – only three goals in two games and all set pieces by Andrew McConnell.
Uddingston can be hard to predict; they can see off Grove Menzieshill one week and lose to Watsonians the next. So Western Wildcats` coach Vishal Marwaha may not know what to expect at Auchenhowie on Saturday, but if the likes of Rob Harwood, Fraser Moran and Joe McConnell find their shooting boots again, Uddingston will have to battle hard to stop them.
Edinburgh University have now played the other top four sides, with this level of pressure now off to some extent, coach Graham Moodie might see Saturday`s home fixture against second bottom Hillhead as a chance to consolidate the student`s hold on a top four place. Edinburgh is making strong progress this season, they were within five minutes of taking the points at Grove Menzieshill last weekend. Hillhead will be out to disrupt the Edinburgh bandwagon and get some vital points on the board.
After last weekend`s 6-3 win over Kelburne, Clydesdale are within three points of a place in the top four. Three points at Titwood against Watsonians would certainly help the cause. However, nothing is guaranteed. While the Edinburgh side remain third from bottom, they recorded only their second win of the season against Uddingston last weekend, so may be on the up.
The talk of the steamie in the women`s Premiership is the sudden bad results of Dundee Wanderers. After opening up with five straight victories, the Taysiders slumped to back-to-back six-goal defeats at the hands of Edinburgh University and Western Wildcats.
A cause for concern for coach Iain Strachan no doubt.
On Saturday they are at home to a Grove Menzieshill side that is also leaking goals – in fact 17 in their last two outings. It’s a Dundee derby and is sure to deliver an exciting encounter.
Wanderers need to win if they are to hold on to a top four place – now under pressure from Western Wildcats who will target to take full points from the visit of Hillhead.
Western Wildcats` coach Kaz Cuthbert expressed pleasure in the manner in which her side defeated Wanderers – Megan Cox (2), Ava Smith, Kate Holmes, Emma McDiarmid and Alex Stuart were all on target. Cuthbert needs Saturday`s three points to keep up the pressure for a top four place.
Meanwhile, Clydesdale Western continue to impress with double-figure scores in recent weeks, and lead the division by three points from Edinburgh University, Watsonians and Wanderers. Derek Forsyth`s charges will be out to prevent losing any momentum against GHK at Titwood.
After a bit of a stutter at the start of the campaign Edinburgh University have put together an impressive three-match winning streak with Amy Brodie`s seven goals a major factor. They will be hoping their run can extend to four with a home win against a Glasgow University desperate for points.
Watsonians have joined the five team race for the title after some impressive performances – they are currently third on goal difference. On Saturday they travel to meet bottom side Merlins Gordonians who have only scored one goal in their seven matches so far.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Wazalendo eye strong finish in hockey league
By AGNES MAKHANDIA
USIU's John Kabuu (right) dribbles the ball past Wycliff Usagi of Wazalendo during their Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League match at City Park Stadium in Nairobi on August 3, 2019. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Wazalendo coach Fidhelis Kimanzi believes they still have a chance of finishing in the top four in the Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League.
Wazalendo failed to close the gap on leaders Butali Sugar Warriors after settling for a 1-1 draw with Greensharks in their mid-week clash at City Park Stadium to stay six points off the summit.
Mupoga Luvanda scored for the Sharks in the sixth minute while Dennis Burundi levelled the scores on 19 minutes for Wazalendo.
The Wednesday result left the top three positions unchanged.
Wazalendo are second on the standings with 30 points from 15 matches, six behind leaders Butali who have a game in hand. Sharks are placed third with 24 points from 15 matches.
Kimanzi believes a win would have put them in a better place as they seek to make a debut in next year's Africa Club Championships.
“We were a bit rusty and failed to take the many chances that came our way. But with three matches remaining against Parklands, Butali and Kenya Police we have no choice but to put up a good performance. They are tough opponents with each chasing a different objective,” said Kimanzi.
“A top two finish is an automatic qualification to the annual event, while with a top four finish you stand a chance to represent the nation should the top two fail to honour the event. And those are the scenarios we are looking at because I believe my players have come of age."
Wazalendo play relegation candidates Parklands on Sunday.
Can’t stick to this!
By AFTAR SINGH
Man up: Malaysian Hockey Confederation president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal, seen here with Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (left) and national hockey coach Roelant Oltmans, has said several times that he will not seek another term if Malaysia failed to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
KUALA LUMPUR: The brickbats are continuing for Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal, who was retained as the Malaysian Hockey Confe-deration (MHC) president after his opponent failed to get enough nominations.
Even former Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has joined the chorus of critics, saying that having Subahan stand for election was already wrong.
Subahan had promised several times that he and his deputy Prof Datuk Dr S. Shamala would not seek another term if the Malaysian team failed to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The team failed miserably, losing 9-3 on aggregate to Britain in the two-leg playoffs.
However, both Subahan and Dr Shamala were nominated to stand and have won unopposed.
Subahan’s rival Datuk Kamarudin Meranun could not get enough nominations while Dr Shamala’s opponent K. Maheswari has pulled out.
Subahan’s re-election received a strong backlash and Khairy was adamant that Subahan had failed.
He said the decision to allow Subahan to stand for another term was like rewarding a person who has failed.
“I fully support Kamarudin and he should be given the chance to lead the MHC. Kamarudin has the calibre and good leadership skills.”
Kedah HA deputy president S. Satish Kumar was shocked by the turn of events.
Satish, who has been nominated for the vice-presidency, said he was surprised to learn that his association had nominated Subahan although the secretary had sent in the form nominating Kamarudin.
“We want to know what happened. How did our nomination change? Even our secretary does not know, ” he said from London.
It is learnt that Kedah HA president Mohd Asmirul Anuar Aris changed the nomination form at the last minute without informing the committee.
Without the Kedah nomination, Kamarudin could not get the three nominations he needed.
The Johor HA and KLHA had also nominated him.
Attempts to contact Mohd Asmirul failed as calls to him were not answered.
The Star of Malaysia
Five UNC field hockey players set to earn All-ACC honors
By Jared McMasters
UNC's sophomore forward Erin Matson (1) fights for the ball against Liberty's junior defender Ashley Dykema (14) on Oct. 20th, 2019 in Karen Shelton Stadium. The Tar Heels won 3-2 agains the Liberty Flames. Zayrha Rodriguez
With the conclusion of a perfect 2019 regular season, the North Carolina field hockey team has turned to winning off the field.
The ACC announced its annual field hockey awards on Wednesday, and five Tar Heels were named to either first or second-team All-ACC. Sophomore Erin Matson and senior Yentl Leemans earned first-team honors, while redshirt senior Marissa Creatore, redshirt junior Amanda Hendry and redshirt senior Catherine Hayden were recognized as second-team players.
Along with being named first-team All-ACC, Matson won the award for ACC Offensive Player of the Year, and Leemans was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year.
In the 14 games she has played for the Tar Heels this year, Matson has racked up 22 goals and 13 assists. Despite leading North Carolina in goals as a first-year last season, Matson has become even more of a focal point of UNC's offense this season after the departure of forward Ashley Hoffman. Hoffman tied Hayden for second-most goals on last year's squad at 16.
Leemans has been a spark plug for the team all over the field. When the midfielder wasn't running ahead to score three goals and distribute 13 assists this season, she was dropping back to contribute to a defense that led the ACC in fewest goals allowed per game this year at one. After Julia Young in 2016 and Hoffman the following two years, Leemans' DPOY win marks the fourth consecutive year that a Tar Heel has won the award.
Creatore, a Chapel Hill native, has shown leaps and bounds of improvement in her career at UNC. The forward, who redshirted in 2015 and came off the bench as a reserve in 2016, has scored a career-high 12 goals this season, four of which were game-winners.
For a North Carolina team that has outscored its opponents 64-15, Hendry has been the rock of the defensive unit. The team's goalkeeper finished the regular season with 10 multi-save games and a goals allowed average of 1.11 for the year. The redshirt junior saved 37 shots in 15 games for a 0.725 save percentage.
Rounding out the group is Hayden, a starter for UNC in all 17 games this year. The redshirt senior has only scored in seven games this season, but has been explosive in those instances. Hayden recorded multiple goals in four of the seven games she scored in, to bring her total for the year to 13.
The Tar Heels wrapped up their perfect 17-0 regular season with a 3-2 overtime win against Saint Joseph's on Sunday, the team's 40th straight win dating back to the start of last season. With the program notching several conference awards and riding the high of another undefeated regular season, the Tar Heels will certainly be the favorite to win their first game of the 2019 ACC Tournament on Friday.
The Daily Tar Heel
Hampered by injury, Kyler Greenwalt has still been a key cog for Maryland field hockey
Forward Kyler Greenwalt carries her stick in Maryland field hockey’s 5-1 win over Michigan State on Oct. 25, 2019. (Gabby Baniqued/The Diamondback)
A year ago, Maryland field hockey forward Kyler Greenwalt hobbled around the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex sideline, her usual practice accessories of gloves and a stick replaced with a bulky knee brace.
Then a sophomore, Greenwalt tore her ACL a couple weeks earlier in the Terps’ 3-1 defeat to Virginia on Oct. 21. She yearned to return to the field that she had started on for much of her first two seasons in College Park.
So, Greenwalt spent much of the offseason focusing on strengthening her knee in an effort to get herself back into the starting lineup. Her focus was rewarded by coach Missy Meharg, who handed the Gambrills native starts in the first four games of this season.
Greenwalt has struggled with setbacks since, missing four games and racking up a total of 182 minutes in the past nine games. But despite the struggles, Greenwalt remains a crucial piece in the Terps’ fight for a second straight Big Ten tournament championship, with the junior’s positivity fueling Meharg’s squad.
“She’s the heartbeat of this team,” Meharg said. “We need her.”
Before her injury, Greenwalt shined on Maryland’s forward line, racking up nine goals and three assists in 41 games.
And after hobbling off the pitch on that brisk October day, Greenwalt aimed to return to a similar level of production, working closely with head athletic trainer Sandy Worth to design a rigorous recovery schedule.
“I knew it was going to be a long road, but wow,” Greenwalt said, “it was so much work.”
Greenwalt and Worth’s efforts paid dividends early on, though, and the forward found the net twice in Maryland’s opener — a 5-1 victory over Richmond on Aug. 30.
“I’m not surprised,” Meharg said after the game. “She did a ton of work this summer, she’s back in the opening lineup and she’ll only grow.”
But as the season progressed, there were signs that Greenwalt’s knee wasn’t at full strength. Sometimes it would cause her discomfort. Eventually, she relayed that information to Meharg, who decided to scale back the forward’s minutes in an effort to keep her fresh for postseason play.
“I’ve learned to really do what my body is telling me to do,” Greenwalt said. “If I start hurting, I have to rest. Otherwise, it’s 20 times worse the next day.”
Greenwalt’s absence provided her with an opportunity to increase her tactical presence within the team, dedicating her time to studying film to help Meharg’s squad make adjustments while on the sideline.
“When I’m off the field, I’m just trying to help people with the press,” Greenwalt said. “If I’m watching and I see something in the game that we didn’t see in film, I make sure that I tell the people that are going in.”
Greenwalt is constantly working with her teammates, directing them where to go and how to break down opposition defenses.
And even when barking orders at her teammates, she brings a smile — a testament to her bubbly personality that has remained despite a litany of injury concerns that have plagued her over the past year.
“Kyler always has some type of sunshine about her,” midfielder Kelee Lepage said. “Even with her injury, she’s never lost that.”
As the season rapidly approaches its crescendo, Meharg will look for Greenwalt to return to top form, with the junior seeing an uptick in minutes in recent weeks — she’s combined for 63 minutes in the past three games after seeing the field for a total of eight minutes in the five games before then.
And with Greenwalt’s sunny disposition and newfound tactical outlook, the Terps will lean on the junior as they embark on the journey for another piece of Big Ten hardware.
“She keeps that positive mindset and continues to bring that energy, even when sometimes it might not always be there,” Lepage said. “She’s a powerful player and very strong.”
Watertown’s Kourtney Kennedy at the center of success for UConn field hockey
By Greg Levinsky
Kourtney Kennedy relishes her responsibility as a starting center back for the women’s field hockey team at the University of Connecticut.
The former Watertown High standout anchors the defense for the third-ranked Huskies (16-3). “She has played a big part in our 10 shutouts,” said UConn coach Nancy Stevens.
The 5-foot junior has also contributed three goals and three assists.
A two-time Division 2 Player of the Year and Globe All-Scholastic, Kennedy played on four state championship teams at Watertown.
“We have been the beneficiary of the superb high school coaching Kourtney received [with Eileen Donahue at Watertown],” said Stevens. “At the risk of sounding like a cliche, no one works harder at our practices.”
Associated head coach Paul Caddy added, “As the center back/quarterback of our team, her decision-making is next level. Our attacks begin with her and usually the opposition’s attacks end with her as well, being the deep defender.”
Her family is known in local circles as a true field hockey unit. One sister, Jonna, is a sophomore goalie at Boston College. The other, Ally, is a senior captain at Watertown.
Kourtney caught up with the Globe before the start of the Big East Tournament.
What has it been like to play for two iconic coaches at their respective levels?
I’ve been very fortunate . . . I think Ms. Donahue prepared me more than enough to come here [UConn] to play at one of the top levels. [Now] to be coached by such an amazing and accomplished coach [Nancy Stevens, with a 697-185-24 record in 30 seasons].
Do you cherish that you were able to play with both of your sisters in your senior year at Watertown?
Oh, definitely. I think we lucked out being able to all play together for one year. To be able to win a state championship together, I don’t know how many siblings can say they’ve ever done that. I think my senior year, having them by my side was one of my best experiences.
What was the inspiration for playing field hockey?
I was a competitive gymnast for like 10 years, and then I had a back injury. It was actually a Watertown field hockey player named Katie Carlson who got me into it. She played at Watertown before me and went on to Northeastern. I’m so happy. It was the best decision ever.
I started playing in the second grade with Ms. Donahue’s youth program. Katie really pushed me to take it to the next level. We all did Ms. Donahue’s youth camps. When I was younger, I always dreamed of being a part of that program and winning a state championship.
Are you a diehard fan for any of the other UConn teams?
We’re actually really close with the women’s lacrosse team. They’re always at our games. We’re always at their games. It’s always cool to go to some of the hockey games, the basketball games of course. I mean, seeing all the fans they get, it’s unbelievable. It’s like the whole state of Connecticut is there.
You didn’t lose a game from the start of your high school career until midway through your sophomore year [at UConn]. 126 games. How did you respond to a loss?
It’s crazy to think about that it was like five seasons total and a little into the sixth. I hated [losing] . . . Just like anyone, after a loss, you want to improve and get better and never have that feeling again.
Most memorable moment of your college career?
Definitely winning a national championship my freshman year and going undefeated that season.
How do you perceive Massachusetts field hockey now?
If you look at states like Pennsylvania, that’s all that girls do, field hockey. With Massachusetts, a lot of these athletes are playing multiple sports and not focusing on one sport, which I think is kind of a good thing. There are some good teams in Massachusetts I guess, and some talent does come from [the state], but they don’t always get recognized compared to Pennyslvania, New Jersey, other states.
If you could only eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Who do you want to see live in concert next?
I like country. I’m not really into the rap. I’d see Luke Bryan again. He was one of the best concerts I’ve been to.
If you could have anyone play you in a movie, who would it be?
That’s hard. Probably someone short because I’m only 5 feet.
The Boston Globe
Former Hockeyroo to receive special recognition
Two time Olympian and gold medal winning Hockeyroo Alison Peek OAM is set to be inducted into the South Australian Sporting Hall of Fame.
Peek, who made 222 appearances and scored six goals for the Hockeyroos in an international career spanning 12 years, will be one of seven sporting icons to be officially inducted at the South Australian Sport Awards & Hall of Fame Dinner to be held on Friday 22 November at the Adelaide Oval.
The midfielder was the 331st player capped for the Hockeyroos having made her debut together with Christine Dobson, Juliet Haslam, Lisa Powell and Danni Roche on 17 June 1989 against New Zealand in Brisbane.
After competing at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Peek was part of the Hockeyroos team that won gold in Sydney in 2000.
Peek was named in the Australian Women's Hockey ‘Team of the Century’, played more international hockey matches for Australia than any other South Australian, and is on the South Australian Sports Institute Olympic Games Honour Roll.
Hockey Australia congratulates Alison on her upcoming induction.
Anyone wanting to attend the SA Sport Awards & Hall of Fame Dinner can purchase tickets by clicking here. Bookings close on 14 November.
Hockey Australia media release
Burgess becomes latest Hall of Fame inductee
Tasmania Hockey President Ken Read presents Judy Burgess with a frame to acknowledge her induction.
Tasmanian Judy Burgess is the 52nd inductee into the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame.
Judy was officially inducted during a special presentation made on the field in between the women’s and men’s matches of the Sultana Bran Hockey One fixture between the Tassie Tigers and Perth Thundersticks at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre.
Hockey Australia Life Member, Council Member and Hockey Tasmania President Ken Read presented Judy with a frame to acknowledge her induction.
Judy is widely regarded as Tasmania’s greatest hockey player of her time. She first represented her state in 1956 at the age of 16 against the touring England team, thrust into goals as the goalkeeper.
England won the match 4-3 at Queenborough Oval but the match was remembered for the Judy’s goalkeeping performance, the young Tasmanian applauded from the field by the crowd and both teams at the conclusion.
The following year Judy was selected for the National Championships in Adelaide and retained her position in the Tasmanian team until her retirement at the end of 1970.
Judy made 69 appearances for Tasmania including matches against Japan, Malaysia, England and New Zealand.
Judy's attributes of exceptional concentration, skill and unswerving determination ensured her a long and outstanding career as the Australian goalkeeper.
She first gained selection in the Australian team in 1959 and competed at the 167 World Cup and a tour of Europe and South Africa in 1970.
Judy was inducted into the Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame in 1987.
Induction into the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame is awarded to Australian players or officials who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in hockey competition at the highest level available.
Hockey Australia media release