England: A Nation Where Hockey Matters

03 December 2013: England Hockey reveals its strategy for 2013-17 and beyond.

London 2012 - Olympic Hockey (Courtesy: England Hockey)

London 2012 – Olympic Hockey (Courtesy: England Hockey)

Over recent months England Hockey has been developing and refining its strategy for the future of hockey in this country. With UK Sport and Sport England’s investment, and growing commercial revenues, England Hockey is ambitious about how it can take the sport forward in this Olympic cycle and beyond. There is a clear vision, a powerful philosophy and five core objectives that all those who have a role in advancing the sport can unite behind.

The vision is for England to be ‘A Nation Where Hockey Matters’. England Hockey aspires to deepen the passion of those who play, follow and deliver the sport by providing the best possible environments, the best possible experiences, and the support which clubs and deliverers of the game need. Meanwhile, reaching out to new audiences is also an important aim.

a video summarising England Hockey’s strategy for the coming 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 →

Clash of the egos kill the SPORT

The Indian Hockey team did not qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics? That was painful, no doubt. However, in my opinion, not qualifying was/is still a better outcome than the disgrace of finishing last, failing to win a single match!. I mean after a long wait of 4 years, a wait of hope, for both players and hockey lovers, one did not see a performance from the Indian team. Sure, we qualified for the competition but then failed to compete.

Hockey India LogoThe next sequence of events is very predictable. After the home coming, the players would be made the scapegoats. Sack a few, make some changes and the circus shall continue until 2016. This can surely not be right, can it? The on field performance is only a reflection of the preparation, a process of which the selectors, administrators and the coaching staff are all an integral part of. Questions should be raised about the selection, about the effectiveness of the training camps conducted. Why should the players alone bear the brunt? The least that the national coach can do is to be a man and admit ‘his’ failure and not take the easy way out of blaming the players.  Continue reading →

Australia’s Men’s Hockey Team Claim BRONZE

Australia 3 (Simon Orchard 17m FG, Jamie Dwyer 48m PC, Kieran Govers 57m FG) def Great Britain 1 (Lain Lewers 29m PC)

The Australian Men’s Hockey Team claimed their sixth Olympic Games medal in a row and sixth Olympic Games bronze medal, with their all-out attack taming the host nation Great Britain in the third place playoff.

Hockey Australia LogoThe victory gave Australia their fourth bronze medal finish from their past five Olympic Games appearances.

Australia entered the Olympics as the overwhelming favourites, and as a result may see bronze as a failure. However, as time goes on everyone will learn to cherish and appreciate such a special victory. Continue reading →

Germany Retain the Olympic Hockey Gold Medal, as RABENTE scores two goals in Final

Two weeks of extra-ordinary hockey action came to end with Germany defending their title successfully, as yesterday Netherlands did in Women’s category. Germany defeated Netherlands (2-1) in fitting finale at Riverbank Arena in London Olympic Park to win their 2nd successive Olympic Gold Medal. While earlier in the day the World Champions Australia defeated (3-1) the hosts Great Britain to win the Bronze Medal i.e. their 9th Olympic Medal.

London Olympics 2012Final Standings:
1. Germany (Gold) 2. Netherlands (Silver) 3. Australia (Bronze) 4. Great Britain 5. Belgium 6. Spain 7. Pakistan 8. Korea 9. New Zealand 10. Argentina 11. South Africa 12. India

With London 2012 Conclusion here some interesting numbers: Continue reading →

Great Britain Denied Bronze by World Number One Australia

Despite a gallant performance, Great Britain went down to a 3-1 defeat by the world’s number one ranked side Australia in this afternoon’s Bronze Medal match at the Riverbank Arena.

Great Britain's Nick Catlin challenges with Australia's Fergus Kavanagh during the bronze medal match at the London 2012 Olympic hockey tournament (Photo credit Great Britain Hockey/Ady Kerry)

Great Britain’s Nick Catlin challenges with Australia’s Fergus Kavanagh during the bronze medal match at the London 2012 Olympic hockey tournament (Photo credit Great Britain Hockey/Ady Kerry)

Iain Lewers had equalised for Great Britain in the 29th minute, cancelling out Simon Orchard’s 17th minute opening goal for the Australians, but second half strikes from Jamie Dwyer and Kieran Govers were the difference between the two sides in the end as Australia pipped Great Britain to the Bronze Medal. Continue reading →