New Zealand’s McAleese Speaks on FIH Tournament Format and Olympic Qualification

Shea McAleese, the Black Sticks hockey player, feels FIH (International Hockey Federation) has got the structure of Hockey tournaments wrong. Double Olympian McAleese, who has represented New Zealand in 2008 and 2012 Olympics, feels the current process of Olympic qualification is bizarre and wrong.

Black Sticks Shea MaAleese scoring the opening goal against India during Hero Hockey World League Final 2014 in New Delhi

File photo: Black Sticks Shea MaAleese scoring the opening goal against India during Hero Hockey World League Final 2014 in New Delhi

Shea McAleese, nicknamed Buddha, says our [Black Sticks] fate is in our hands but what about Ireland? They were fantastic at Hockey World League Semi-Finals (WL3), yet hope that Black Sticks lose to Australia so that they qualify for Rio. Similar situation is for India women (refer embedded graphics at the end of this article)

Black Sticks midfielder McAleese also feels that World League Round 3/ Semi Finals should be played after continental championship and so on… Please read through the full text and comment, what do you feel?

Shea McAleese posted on his Facebook profile: Continue reading →

USA Women and Canada Men qualify for Rio 2016 Olympics

  • USA women and Canada men confirmed their place in the hockey event at Rio 2016 at the Pan Am Games
  • Canada men won their semi-final match at the Pan Am Games and will meet Argentina in the final
  • USA women won their semi-final match at the Pan Am Games and will meet Argentina in the final
Adam Froese scored winning penalty shoot-out against Brazil to confirm a place for Canada in Rio 2016 Olympics

Adam Froese scored winning penalty shoot-out against Brazil to confirm a place for Canada in Rio 2016 Olympics

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) have confirmed that USA Women and Canada men have qualified for the hockey event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. USA women beat Canada and Canada men beat Brazil in their semi-final match, to confirm their place in the final of the Pan Am Games hockey event and ultimately their place in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Continue reading →

Rio 2016 Qualification explained! India Women have a chance?

  • India men and Korea women were first one to qualify to Rio 2016 by winning Asian Games 2014 in Incheon
  • Men’s teams going to Rio 2016 from FIH Hockey World League Semi-Finals – Germany, Netherlands, Argentina, Australia, Belgium and Great Britain
  • Women’s teams going to Rio 2016 from FIH Hockey World League Semi-Finals – Great Britain, China, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and Argentina
Rio 2016 Hockey Qualification Explained by The Fans of Hockey

Rio 2016 Hockey Qualification Explained (Highres graphics on Facebook page of The Fans of Hockey )

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) have confirmed the nations who qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics at the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final Olympic qualifying events. The events across three venues, saw forty nations take part in pursuit of places at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the HWL Finals. Continue reading →

India needs an Indian Hockey Coach now: Michael Nobbs

Former chief coach of Indian Men’s Hockey team Michael Nobbs thinks India should try home-grown coach till Rio 2016 Olympics. This website, www.thefansofhockey.com, had a chat with Nobbs, when he was in Bangalore on a business trip.

Michael Nobbs (Former Kukaburras, 1984 Olympian for Australia and Former Chief Coach of Indian Men's Hockey Team)

Michael Nobbs (Former Kukaburras, 1984 Olympian for Australia and Former Chief Coach of Indian Men’s Hockey Team)

While talking about the current scenario of Indian Hockey, he said, “India has already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics by winning Asian Games 2014. So they are not under pressure of playing for Olympic berth in Hockey World League. Indian team is young but experienced.

After Terry Walsh episode, Hockey India is looking for chief coach, most probably a foreigner. It is speculated that a dutch man could get in this role. But Michael Nobbs thinks it is a real good chance for India to try a home-grown coach. Continue reading →

England Hockey “delighted” with funding awards

England Hockey had received news of its funding outcomes from Sport England and UK Sport for the funding period 2013 –2017 in 3rd week of December (17th-18th Dec).

Young people Giving Hockey A Go on the mini smurf turfs at the Riverbank Arena.jpgYoung people Giving Hockey A Go on the mini smurf turfs at the Riverbank Arena (Courtesy England Hockey)

Young people Giving Hockey A Go on the mini smurf turfs at the Riverbank Arena.jpg Young people Giving Hockey A Go on the mini smurf turfs at the Riverbank Arena

Sport England – £12m to support growing participation, talent development and capital facility investment.

UK Sport – £15.5m to support the England and Great Britain international teams.

Sally Munday, England Hockey Chief Executive, states, “We are delighted that England Hockey will receive over £27.5m in funding from Sport England and UK Sport collectively over the next four years.  £12m of funding from Sport England is to support our shared ambitions of increasing participation in grassroots hockey and identifying and developing the next generation of talented hockey players.  This represents an increase of £1million in our revenue funding over the next four years.”  Continue reading →

Let’s not make Michael Nobbs a scapegoat for India’s disastrous showing in Olympics!

Watching some of the top hockey teams like Australia, Netherlands, Germany play at the 2012 Olympics gives you a fair impression of the improvement areas Indian team needs to focus on. Michael Nobbs-coached Indian team adopted the Australian style of hockey, the merits of which were seen in all the games India played in the last six months going into the London Olympics.

Chief Coach Michael Nobbs

Chief Coach Michael Nobbs

But with the Indian team delivering their worst-ever performance at hockey’s showpiece event, all the demerits of it are coming out of the closet and that too, in droves.

As a hockey fan first, and second as a sports journalist, I am saddened at the way the Indian team has cut such a frustrating figure at the Olympics. In fact, all the pre-tournament hopes pinned on India got a massive leg up when India fought hard against the Netherlands, especially in the second half after a forgettable first half before an ‘unfair’ penalty stroke denial in the dying minutes of the game robbed us of the opportunity to script a 3-3 draw. The only solace was that we lost narrowly (2-3) against one of the world’s top sides. Continue reading →