Savita and Sreejesh confident on defenders before Glasgow 2014 CWG

Scotland, 20 July 2014: Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are less than a week away and the Indian Hockey Teams (both men and women), apart from working on their goal conversion rate are also busy perfecting their defence skills.

Savita Punia (Indian Women's Hockey Goalkeeper) (Credits: Rodrigo Jaramillo)

Savita Punia in action in Glasgow (Credits: Rodrigo Jaramillo)

Where P R Sreejesh (100 caps) showcased brilliant goalkeeping during the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 held at The Hague last month, the Women Team’s goalkeeper Savita (79 caps) did an equally appreciative job during the recently concluded Malaysian Tour. The teams are not leaving any stone unturned while targeting podium finish at the much awaited Commonwealth Games. Continue reading →

Rani praises young Ritusha, Danish ready to support the Captain

Scotland, 19 July 2014: Indian women’s hockey ace forward Rani Rampal and men’s mid-fielder Danish Mujtaba are all set to don national colors for the second time in Commonwealth Games, when they take field at Glasgow National Hockey Centre in Scotland next week onwards.

Rani Rampal of India hitting a goal against Kazakhstan in Hockey World League Round 2 New Delhi

File Photo: Rani Rampal of India hitting in Hockey World League Round 2 New Delhi

With 111 caps each, Rani and Danish Mujtaba are seasoned players and were all praise for their peers and teammates. Danish Mujtaba is making a comeback in the team and is looking forward to support the Captain Sardar Singh in mid-field, Rani on the other hand, has her full support in favour of her young teammate Ritusha Arya who is currently in her best form and at an all time high post her ‘highest goal scorer’ recognition in the Malaysian Tour.

It more like taking up more responsibility for Rani, who was once youngest player in the team and threat to opponent’s defence with her quick movement in the D with accurate shots on goal. She has only improved since then and now with this leading role in forward line she will be critical for the performance of Indian women’ team at the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and future tournaments. Continue reading →

India is banking on Goalie Sreejesh in Glasgow 2014 CWG

Scotland, 18 July 2014: Sardar Singh led Indian Men hockey team for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is getting ready for the challenge. Though each player in the team knows that he has to stand up and deliver, but the team is banking on their Vice-Captain & Goalkeeper P R Sreejesh and expecting him to replicate his World Cup performance at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

Indian Goalkeepers Harjot Singh and PR Sreejesh substitution during 9th place match against Korea at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 in The Hague

File Photo: Indian Goalie Harjot Singh substituting PR Sreejesh during Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014, The Hague

Speaking ahead of the Commonwealth Games Captain Sardar Singh said, “Our practice session today was on the entire defence line-up and with the likes of players like Gurbaj Singh (164 caps), V R Raghunath (160 caps), Rupinder Pal Singh (89 caps), Birendra Lakra (71 caps) and Kothajit Singh (71 caps) on the defending line, we are confident of being a wall to the opponents and will ensure that getting through the 5 will not be an easy task for them. While all five are working hard on their game, we are even hoping that Goalkeeper P R Sreejesh yet again stands up and delivers like the lion that he proved himself to be during the recently concluded World Cup. It is a sense of pride for me and the entire team when we see Sreejesh motivate all of us. This time the team wants to stand up to the expectations of our peppy and chirpy Goalkeeper”.

He further added, “With vigorous and high intensity training sessions at Glasgow, the team is preparing itself methodically for the upcoming tournament. We are also undertaking video analysis of the previous matches to perfect our skills and techniques and put together effective strategies for the future games.”

The Commonwealth Games will see a total of 10 teams divided into two groups. India is placed along with Wales, Scotland, Australia and South Africa in Pool A while Canada, England, Malaysia, New Zealand and Trinidad & Tobago are placed in Pool B (Full detailed schedule here)

In another interesting news of the day from the home state of Indian Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, Hockey India has introduced Kerala Hockey as its new Associate Member after disaffiliating Hockey Kerala. The approval is subject to ratification by the Hockey India Executive Board.

The decision to approve the application of Kerala Hockey for the state was taken post disaffiliating Hockey Kerala for irregularities in its functioning and not clarifying them within sufficient time. Hockey Kerala was earlier relegated to Associate Member category by Hockey India Disciplinary Committee in May this year. Interestingly, The new body Kerala Hockey has Hockey India President Mariamma Koshy as its President and Francis K Paul as the General Secretary.

Speaking on the newly formed Kerala Hockey, Hockey India Secretary General Dr. Narinder Batra said, “I am delighted to welcome Kerala Hockey as our new member. I am sure that Kerala Hockey will work diligently to revitalize the sport in the state and their induction in Hockey India will help in nurturing talent at grass root level”.

Hockey India currently has 25 Permanent Members, 21 Associate Members, 2 Members through State Olympic Associations, 6 Academy Members and 1 Hoc-Key Member.

The young Indian brigade is ready to deliver at CWG: Neil Hawgood

Scotland, 17 July 2014: With the mix of experience and youth, the Senior Indian Women Hockey Team is getting ready for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games campaign. The team putting in the best efforts and practicing new modules to give a finishing touch to the preparations for the quadrennial event which will be hosted by Scotland in Glasgow.

Neil Hawgood (Indian Women's Hockey Chief Coach)

Neil Hawgood (Indian Women’s Hockey Chief Coach)

With return of Rani Rampal, the women’s team will added strength in their forward line, while their men counterpart bank on youngsters Ramandeep Singh and Nikkin Thimmaiah supported by SV Sunil and Akashdeep Singh, especially on Gurwinder Singh Chandi who will return to the action after nursing an injury.

Speaking on the practice sessions, Indian Women’s team Chief Coach Neil Hawgood said, “While the team is young but the kind of play that they showed in the recent Malaysian Tour gives me reason to be proud of them and confidence that we will deliver our best performance here. The girls are focused on their first match against Canada and we are working on the right team combination keeping the opponents in mind. The practice sessions are helping us get acclimatized with the weather and the situation and the feeling of playing as a team. The focus today was passes and penalty corner conversions and it was a positive session as the girls looked all glued to their goal ahead.

Speaking on the forward line of the team, Chief Coach Terry Walsh said, “We have one of the best forward line as compared to the tournaments in the recent past. The two young players, Nikkin Thimmaiah and Ramandeep Singh who got injured before the start of the World Cup are set to make their comeback along with an experienced senior player Gurwinder Singh Chandi is a sign of added power to the our forward line. Gurwinder has good knowledge about tackling the ball in the circle and will play a key role in bringing positive results for the team.
I am confident that by combining the experience of these senior players, SV Sunil and Gurwinder Singh Chandi along with the opportunities created by our midfield will prove beneficial in increasing the conversion rate of the team and will produce excellent results. We still have more than a week ahead of our first game against Wales before which there are two practice games, scheduled against England and New Zealand this week, which will prove helpful in preparing the team better before commencing with matches in the tournament

Speaking on his comeback, Gurwinder Singh Chandi said, “I am happy that I am back in the Indian team and that too for a big tournament, the Commonwealth Games. Although the comeback took me one and a half years but I utilized this period to work on my game which I will be using to my strength during the Commonwealth Games. The team is working hard on the forward position wherein our Chief Coach Terry Walsh is pushing us to give our best during these sessions and this has helped us to get closely weaved with each other’s style of game on the field. Australia is a pretty tough team in our Pool to compete with but we will perform at our best against every team that we play against according to the strategies prepared by our coaches. I am sure that we will be able to deliver and live up to the expectations of our fans.

Women’s Captain Ritu Rani said, “The training sessions are picking up pace day by day as the tournament is approaching. While the whole team is excited about the matches, all the players are putting in their best during the practice sessions. Chief Coach Neil Hawgood has designed various strategies for the team and we are polishing them efficiently during our training sessions. We are currently working on our penalty corner strategy and we are confident of a winning start to the tournament. The recent success story of the Malaysian Tour has helped in boosting up the confidence of the whole team and we look forward to deliver similar results in the upcoming matches.

The Indian Women Hockey Team arrived in Scotland on 9 July 2014 and for three days the team had their training sessions at the University of Edinburgh before reaching the Commonwealth Games Village on 13 July 2014. The Commonwealth Games will see a total of 10 teams divided into two groups. Indian women’s team is placed along with Canada, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago and South Africa in Pool – A, while men’s team are up against Wales, Scotland, Australia and South Africa in Pool – A

India Men Hockey Team departs for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

New Delhi, 13 July 2014: The Indian Men Hockey Team took off to Glasgow (Scotland) from New Delhi, today morning for the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2014.

Indian Senior Men Hockey team along with chief coach Terry Walsh, Assistant Coaches MK Kaushik, Jude Felix and support staff for Commonwealth Games 2014, Glasgow

Indian Senior Men Hockey team along with chief coach Terry Walsh, Assistant Coaches MK Kaushik, Jude Felix and support staff for Commonwealth Games 2014, Glasgow

Under the Captaincy of midfielder Sardar Singh (186 international caps), the Indian team will take on Wales on the 25th of July 2014 followed by a face-to-face with Scotland, Australia and South Africa during the impending tournament. Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who recently completed his 100th international cap, will take the role and responsibility as the Vice-Captain of the team. Continue reading →

Hockey: Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Schedule & Results

XX Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014

Hockey at XX Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014Glasgow National Hockey Centre,
Glasgow (Scotland) (Time Zone: BST)

from 23rd July to 3rd August 2014

Men’s Pools:
Pool A (MA): Australia, India, Scotland, South Africa, Wales
Pool B (MB): Canada, England, New Zealand, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago

Women’s Pools:
Pool A (WA): Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago
Pool B (WB): Australia, England, Malaysia, Scotland, Wales

Points Tables:

Detailed Schedule and Results of Hockey at Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games: Continue reading →