Friday, September 24, 2010

Black Sticks stick to plan

Both Black Sticks teams will still depart this weekend as planned.
With the confirmation from the New Zealand Olympic Committee that the New Zealand contingent is still competing in the Commonwealth Games, but should delay going into the village, the travel plans for the Black Sticks Women have altered.
The Black Sticks Men were always scheduled to arrive in Delhi on September 30, therefore the delay notification via the NZOC has not affected their travel plans. They depart as scheduled on Sunday, September 26 and travel to Malaysia first to play two test matches against the Malaysian Men’s team (September 27 and 28) and a friendly game against the Malaysian Junior Men’s team (September 29).
However, for the Black Sticks Women, the NZOC delay notification means they will now spend four days in Hong Kong. The team flies to Hong Kong on Saturday, September 25.Originally, they were scheduled to travel to Delhi directly after departing New Zealand, with only a brief stopover in Hong Kong. In light of the NZOC’s decision, the team will now extend their stay in Hong Kong.
They will now arrive in Delhi on September 29, rather than September 26.
Black Sticks Women’s Coach, Mark Hager, says staying in Hong Kong will still give the team time to acclimatise to warmer, humid conditions, and they will still be able to maintain a training schedule.
“For us, the delay means we miss out on a warm up game against India. We had planned to arrive on Sunday, and get into our training schedule and warm up games. Now, we’ll arrive in the village later, and pick up our training from there,” says Hager.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

England fly out with 'plan B' in pocket

By Emily Benammar

The England men's hockey squad, who are due to arrive in New Delhi on Thursday, will be moved to temporary accommodation if their rooms in the athletes' village are not completed to an acceptable standard.
David Faulkner, England Hockey’s performance director, said that while he was satisfied with the progress being made by the Commonwealth Games organisers, the team had made other provisional arrangements.
Faulkner travelled to the Indian capital on Wednesday for a final inspection. He then confirmed that Jason Lee and his 16-man squad would travel as planned, denying that reports of uninhabitable conditions applied to England Hockey’s accommodation and describing the outstanding issues as minor repairs and cleaning.
“I have seen England’s accommodation and my view is that I’m satisfied with the build, aside from a few snags which are being rectified. It needs a good clean and once this and minor fixes are made, what I saw will be suitable.
“I’ve read things in the press and I know in other tower blocks things haven’t been finished, but we’ve seen unfinished electrical sockets, broken air-conditioning or leaking taps.
“It’s to that level, so this is why we’re happy for the team to fly because if it’s not ready by Friday we have made arrangements for alternative accommodation for two or three days with a view to moving in maybe on Monday, when our women’s team arrives.
“There’s a lot to be done but they’re identifying the problems, working to rectify them and that will be ongoing.”
Faulkner said the focus needed to be on how things move forward from here. “Every few minutes we’re getting releases from this nation delaying travel and this one threatening not to come, but what’s important is looking at solutions rather then focusing on problems, and doing everything possible to support the athletes. What we don’t want to do is hinder performance.”

The Telegraph

Better than sixth

THE Malaysian women's hockey players aim to better their sixth placing in the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Malaysian Women's Hockey Federation (MWHF) have selected a balanced squad of 16 players, and their secretary S. Shamala hopes the four experience players will carry the squad in New Delhi from Oct 4-14.
"We lost an influential player to injury when Nurul Nadia Mokhtar has yet to fully recover from a knee operation. However, we have four experienced players in the squad, and hope to better our sixth spot in Melbourne," said Shamala.
The four cogs in the team are Catherine Lambor, Sebah Kari, Nurfaraha Hashim and skipper Nadia Rahman.
The youngest is 18-year-old Norazlin Sumantri: "We hope the experience of playing in the Commonwealth Games will make the team stronger for the Asian Games Challenge," said Shamala.
The team went on a Tour of China reecently but the results were not very encouraging eventhough they played against clubsides.
Four years ago, Malaysia lost 3-0 to Scotland in the Fifth-Sixth playoff, and will open their accounts in New Delhi against Canada on Oct 4.
GROUP A: Australia, South Africa, India, Trinidad & Tobago, Scotland; Group B: England, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia, Wales.
MALAYSIA: Ayuni Yahya, Fazilla Sylvester Silin, Siti Rahmah Othman, Sebah Kari, Noor Hasliza Ali, Rabiatul Adawiyah, Siti Noor Amarina, Juliani Din, Nurfaraha Hashim, Catherine Lambor, Norashikin Halim, Norazlin Sumantri, Nuraini Rashid, Nadia Rahman, Norbaini Hashim, Siti Noor Hafiza.