Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2012: Preview

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, the most prestigious hockey tournament outside FIH calendar, which has been regularly hosted since its inception in 1983 and have been played 20 times till 2011. Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2012 will be 21st edition and special with the fact that it will be played on blue pitch with yellow ball, as in London Olympics 2012, at Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, Ipoh (Perak, Malaysia), which can be reached in two hours by and located in north of Kuala Lumpur.

Chief Coach Michael Nobbs

Chief Coach Michael Nobbs

Since, Olympics are round the corner, every team will try to test their strategy and finalize their squads for London, this edition of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is expected to witness some high class competitive matches and not forget to clash of arch rivals India and Pakistan on 31st May, 2012. Korea, New Zealand and India are in same pool in London Games, while other three teams Great Britain, Argentina and Pakistan are in one pool in Olympics, so it will be interesting to see how do they play each other in their last face-to-face before locking horns in quadrennial event on Riverbank Arena, London. Teams have studied their opponents very well before the tournament, while Korean coach Shin Kyo Seok feels that current Indian team is impressive and will be difficult for them to tackle India after watching the videos of Indian team playing against Germany, Australia and Great Britain in Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament in London. Continue reading →

Chetri to Lead, Gurbaj is Back after Injury for London Prepares Series

Experienced custodian Bharat Chetri will lead an 18 member Indian team in the Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament Men’s Four Nation Tournament (a part of London Prepares Series) to be held at Riverbank Arena, Olympic Park, London from 2-6 May, 2012.

Fitness Training: Gurbaj Singh, Manpreet Singh, Amar Aiyamma, Sarvanjit Singh, etc..

Gurbaj Singh finishing up a exercise during a fitness training session

As in Olympic Qualifiers, Star midfielder Sardar Singh will be again take the role of deputy to Chetry in the squad, in which game changer in the mid of field Gurbaj Singh makes a comeback after being on side line due to injury since January. Promising India striker Yuvraj Walmiki could not find place in 18, who is nursing injury which got during the Olympic qualifiers. Another omission from Olympic Qualifiers squad is Rupinderpal Singh, who is put in the standby list.

The team was announced by Hockey India (HI) after conducting selection trials at SAI Centre, Bangalore on April 8 and 9. The selection trial was witnessed by HI selectors B P Govinda and Col Balbir Singh, along with Government Observer Harbinder Singh. Continue reading →

Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament Schedule/Results

Schedule/Results of Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament:

Test event, a part of London Prepares Series, 2-6 May, 2012 at Riverbank Arena, Olympic Park, London.

Men’s Final Standings:
1. Germany, 2. Australia, 3. Great Britain and 4. India

Women’s Final Standings:
1. Great Britain, 2. Argentina, 3. Korea, and 4. China Continue reading →

Nobbs is Eyeing top Six finish in London, Lauds Juniors

  • Test event at London will be India’s real test before the Games as they will be up against  Australia, Germany and Great Britain in it.
  • Team is probably good enough to knock off top team once, but not good enough to do it consistently, feels Michael Nobbs about his team.
Chief Coach Michael Nobbs

Chief Coach Michael Nobbs

India will have a tough task on hand when they take on top hockey teams in world at the London Olympics in July, 2012, but they are taking some huge steps and targeting to finish in top Six at the Games. Coach Michael Nobbs feels that his team is probably good enough to knock off top team once, but need some more time to be consistent in winning such opponents.

India’s Chief Coach said, “Facing world’s top teams at the London Olympics would be a tough job. Realistically, we are working towards finishing in top six bracket… Let us see where do we stand.”  Continue reading →