India Pip Canada to Stay in Race for QFs of Junior World Cup

New Delhi, 7 December 2013: The hosts India managed to beat Canada by 3-2 in their 2nd Pool game of Hero Hockey Junior World Cup 2013 to keep themselves alive and kicking in the tournament (Points Table & Results here).

Manpreet Singh (Captain of India) and Sukhi Panesar (Captain of Canada) in action during Hero Hockey Junior World Cup 2013 in New Delhi

Manpreet Singh (Captain of India) and Sukhi Panesar (Captain of Canada) in action during Hero Hockey Junior World Cup 2013 in New Delhi

Excited at the last minutes twist in the game against Canada, Gregg Clark, Coach of the Indian team said, “We got the victory at the end but we dominated throughout the game. It is always a worrying factor for any team and the coach when the team misses crucial chances. We could have been lot more accurate in position 23 and D – certainly an area we need to analyse closely. There were lot of positives out of this game as well. We tried to play with lot more speed today but there were moments when we needed to be more controlled.” Continue reading →

Revisiting World Series Hockey 2012, While Waiting for WSH-2

Exactly a year ago, 1st edition of World Series Hockey was concluded with Sher-e-Punjab emerging as champions. Sher-e-Punjab had outclassed (5-2) Pune Strykers to win the 1st title of WSH.

World Series Hockey Logo

Eight franchise based teams Bhopal Badshahs, Chandigarh Comets, Chennai Cheetahs, Delhi Wizards, Karnataka Lions, Mumbai Marines, Pune Strykers and Sher-e-Punjab participated in the 1st edition of WSH organized by Nimbus Sports in association with Indian Hockey Federation (IHF). 160 Indian players and 48 players from abroad (0.3 ratio of International players with respect to Indian players) played in the 2012 edition of the month long event.

Apart from a total of Rs. 10,00,00,000/- prize money, WSH invested a few Crores of Rupees in improving the infrastructure at host venues such as installation/upgradation of lights, laying/repairing of turf, installation of world class goalposts, etc. The WSH also worked with stadium authorities through out 8 venues (Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Jalandhar, Mumbai and Pune) to repair/upgrade and create facilities such as change rooms for the players, rest-rooms for spectators, etc. which are critical facilities but ignored often by the organizers and hosts. Continue reading →

Punjab Won Senior Men’s Hockey National Championship (India) by Defeating Air India in Final

Bangalore, Oct 2: An own goal in the second minute of extra-time gave Punjab a 2-1 victory over Air India in the final of Hockey India’s second senior men’s National hockey championship, here on Tuesday.

National Champions Punjab receiving trophy from Jagadish Shettar (CM, Karnataka) and Arun Jaitly (BJP Leader)

National Champions Punjab receiving trophy from Jagadish Shettar (CM, Karnataka) and Arun Jaitly (BJP Leader)

After a blank first-half, Punjab took the lead through Prabhdeep Singh (36th), but Air India leveled a couple of minutes later when Vinaya Vokkaliga (38th) converted a penalty corner.

With the regulation period ending in a 1-1 deadlock, the extra-time was enforced and in the second minute, Gurbaaj Singh’s hard hit from the right went into the goal off defender Joga Singh’s stick for the match-winner. Continue reading →

Punjab Enter Final of Senior Men’s National Championship (India)

Bangalore, Oct 1: Punjab scored a comprehensive 4-1 win over defending champions Haryana to enter the final of Hockey India’s second senior men’s National hockey championship, here on Monday.

Gurjinder Singh (Punjab) and Didar Singh (Haryana) during 1st Semi Final of Men's National Championship (India)

Gurjinder Singh (Punjab) and Didar Singh (Haryana) during 1st Semi Final of Men’s National Championship (India)

Leading 2-0 at half-time, Punjab scored through penalty corner specialist Gurjinder Singh (15th, 21st), Satbir Singh (51st) and skipper Sarvanjit Singh (55th) before Haryana notched a consolation goal in the 58th minute through Naveen Antil.

Punjab looked the better drilled outfit with a lot of character and composure while Haryana committed far too many errors that put them on the defensive for much of the match before Naveen Antil scored a consolation goal 12 minutes from close. Continue reading →

Akashdeep to lead India in Junior Asia Cup Hockey

Forward Akashdeep Singh is named captain for the 18-member Indian hockey squad to play in 7th Junior Asia Cup at Malacca, Malaysia from May 3-13. Apart from India and hosts Malaysia, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are other participating team.

Gurjinder Singh

Gurjinder Singh in WSH

India are the defending champions, and have won the last two editions at Karachi (2004) and Chennai (2008). Though this tournament will be the qualifier for the Junior World cup to be held in 2013, India is automatically qualified for Junior World Cup 2013 as hosts. Hockey India (HI) selectors BP Govinda, Syed Ali and Balbir Singh, alongwith government observer Harbinder Singh conducted the selection trials at SAI (South) Centre, Bangalore, on April 6-7.

Will India miss the services of players like Gurjinder Singh (Bridgestone WSH Rockstar and Golden Stick-19 Goals in WSH), Devindar Walmiki (Life of Mumbai Marines’s mid-field, 4 Goals), Ramandeep Singh (4 Goals in WSH for Chandigarh Comets), etc. whose performances in recently concluded World Series Hockey can not be ignored? Most importantly, Gurjinder Singh and Devindar Walmiki were declared the Captain and Vice-Captain of the team for Sultan Johor Cup 2011 (i.e. junior team of India’s last international outing, Nov 2011), later Devindar went on leading the team in Malaysia as Gurjinder had to miss the tournament due to ankle injury.

Coach Baljit Singh is confident of doing well in Malacca, told us, “Since we are already qualified for Junior World Cup 2013 as hosts, we will go all out for both defending title (Jr Asia Cup) and building up the team for the World Cup.”

The Coach of Jr India team also said, “Going for the title (Asia Cup) is the best way to prepare the team for World Cup, but automatic qualification will provide us with some cushion to try out few things in Malaysia to build up the team for upcoming Junior World Cup.”

The squad:
Goalkeepers: Sushant Tirkey, Keshav Dutt

Continue reading →

Gurjinder Singh of Chandigarh Comets: Bridgestone WSH ‘Rockstar’ and ‘Golden Stick’

Gurjinder Singh (IND)

Gurjinder SinghGurjinder Singh

City / State : Punjab, DOB: 1-04-1994
Field Position : Defender
Junior India debut: Sultan Johor Cup 2011 (Named Captain, but could not play due to injury)
WSH Team: Chandigarh Comets
WSH Goals: 19

Chandigarh Comets’ 18-year-old drag-flick powerhouse Gurjinder Singh made a dream debut in the league, and won Bridgestone WSH ‘Rockstar’ to take home a cash prize of Rs 1 crore . He also shared Bridgestone WSH ‘Golden Stick’ with Syed Imran Warsi from Chennai Cheetahs (19 goals apiece).

His Hockey Story: He comes from a village where every school, every child plays hockey. His interest in hockey grew when he saw India’s international player Prabhjot Singh (from same village) play, and to see someone from that small area representing the national team was very encouraging for Gujinder Singh. So he started playing hockey when he was 10 years old. A year later, he joined the Chandigarh football and hockey academy. Since then, there has been a steady growth. Continue reading →