Field Hockey - Fih Pro League 2020-21

Discussion in 'General Football & Other Sport' started by Bwood_Horn, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Further to moog's mummy's assertion:
    I accidentally landed on Anna Toman's twitter feed by accident and not wanting to take part in a frankly distasteful and sexist argument with someone who's only claim to fame (sic) is being "moog's mummy's bestest boy" I noticed this:
    so I'm assuming that tomorrow's matches (they play NED twice) will also be free-to-air on BT. Push back (KO) times 16h30 for the girls and 19h00 for the men.

    In terms of world rankings (as ENG as they form the majority of the team) it's similar to football the men are 7th (fair) and the girls 5th (a little low). The men's game, in my opinion, is much faster at the very limit of being able to follow the ball on TV, with the ladies slightly slower but more 'finessed' and very suited to TV coverage.

    Both Team(s) GB move to Belgium for a couple of games over the Halloween weekend before a fortnight later GB host the German squads for two sets of matches.

    GB's 'full' home leg of league starts in May 2021 when they will be hosting the US, Argentina and China.
  2. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    Are today's matches free to view or all for subscribers only?
  3. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Sorry moog just seen this dunno. There's nothing on the hockey paper twitter feed. And there's no indications on BT's site...
    wfcmoog likes this.
  4. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    I had a look and didn't find owt.
  5. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    FWIW the boys are on the pitch now? Might be worth trying the FiH youtube.
    wfcmoog likes this.
  6. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

  7. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Boys and girls are in action today (vs Belgium) and there's something for all the 'Orns judging by yesterday's performances:

    For the COGs:
    For the bedwetters:
    reids likes this.
  8. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

  9. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player
  10. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

  11. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    I had dealings with him recently as we wanted to buy an indoor target goal for our FLYERZ. It was surprising as talking to the big boss, "...well it's my name over the door..." wasn't what I was expecting when I approached the company for product advice "...speak to my dad he's the hockey expert...". The range of stuff that his successful British firm does is astonishing. On top of that, his foundation gives a lot of support to up and coming sportsmen & women.
    Smudger likes this.
  12. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

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  13. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Under a week to go as the Belgium blokes (FIH ranking 1st) visit Spain (FIH ranking 9th - two places below ENG/GB) on Friday (pushback 10h00) and on Saturday (pushback 12h00). Judging by the rankings I would say that ESP are up for a double spanking but BEL performances against GB earlier this year, only narrowly winning due to the ineptitude of GB's set-pieces, suggests that they might be a team on the wane.

    Moog, you don't have to lock yourself in the toilet/shed/neighbour's caravan to 'study' undisturbed the 'umpiring' of the ladies matches as ESP didn't enter a ladies team in this Pro-League (it was a means of qualifying for the Tokyo 202X Olympic tournament and ESP thought they had a better chance of qualifying through a more traditional route, one of the aims of the pro-league was to stop the mismatch of qualifying matches between elite level and 'developing' national squads).

    Live coverage on BT (dunno whether it'll be open access) or it's worth checking out FIH's YouTube channel.
  14. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

  15. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Just had this in my inbox:
    I still haven't found out whether the BT coverage is 'free'.
  16. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Last weekend was the battle of 'The Reds': Belgium (the Red Lions) travelled to Spain to face the "Red Sticks". Belgium are the powerhouses of the men's game - the freshman of the team only had a measly 51 caps before the weekend and the squad had an average of 211 caps each (the weekend also saw midfielder John-John Dohmen, mark his 400th senior international appearance, with the 33-year-old becoming only the sixth men’s player to reach this incredible milestone).

    As I've said before I *think* the Red Lions are an ageing squad and they're there to be beaten. In the first match it looked like I would be eating my words as the Belgium side opened the scoring within the first 8 mins with a follow-up 6 minutes later. Everyone was expecting a hammering but Spain took the game to them and if it weren't for some poor finishing from the Red Sticks and lack of knowledge of the rules (the ball must travel 5m from a free hit before entering the circle - my son's side has been 'done' twice by an umpire ignoring/forgetting this rule) they should have come away with a least a draw - (final score SPN 2 - BEL 3).

    That was the Friday and come Saturday I was expecting another very close game but for some unknown reason the Spanish dropped their aggressive pressing techniques of the previous match and always defended very deep which meant Belgium had far too much space (and time) to build up attacks - this is shown by the very different (between the squads and compared to the previous match) possession stats. Unsurprisingly the Red Lions won the match 0-2 TBF to the Red Sticks that was mainly due to the extraordinary Belgium GK who saved a penalty flick which is a very rare occurance.

    Due to covid travel restrictions this was the first elite-level match that I have watched that didn't have a 3rd umpire (VAR) - surprisingly it didn't seem to affect the game play too much with never side complaining about the umpires' decisions.

    Action returns (covid permitting) next month (March 6th & 7th) when the Dutch (men 3rd ranked side women 1st) host the Germans (men 6th ranked side women 3rd).

    FWIW for coverage I noticed that the FIH are really promoting their app for coverage - no idea how good it is - caveat emptor.
  17. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Just announced that there will be a number of "Uncapped Matches" starting tomorrow with the Men's Team GB facing Belgium (14h00) and again on Thursday (14h00), Also invited are India who play the GB on Saturday and Monday (13h00). Billed as a warm-up for the GB in London leg of the FIH Pro-League in May (covid permitting) where they will meet India (8th and 9th May).

    No idea about coverage (I'm assuming it will be limited).
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  18. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Yesterday both the Dutch teams hosted Germany's for the latest round of the FIH ProLeague (seen now as a warm-up for the spectator-free probable Olympic tournament). In the men's game there was a surprise defeat (hammering?) of the Oranje (historically one of Europe's strongest sides - and remember any match in any sport between the Cloggies and the Hun is viewed by the Dutch asa grudge match) 2-4 (stats).

    But the big shock was the in women's match where the all conquering Oranje (they are a legendary squad - if anyone manages to 'lay a glove' on the Dutch it should be viewed as a major 'result') only 'just' managed to beat Die Danas 2-1 (stats).

    FIH match reports here.

    2nd matches today (push back times) men (15h30) women (13h30) live coverage on BT sport.
  19. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Since Ireland's (women) 'shock' (many in the team had to contact their employers requesting extra leave/holiday when they made it through the knockout stages) World Cup sliver medal win the BBC online hockey coverage has focussed heavily on the game in Ireland - hopefully raising the profile (and standard) of the game over there - leading to their Olympic qualification. In 2018 they played a very defensive style possibly due to the superb skills of their GK Ayeisha McFerran (I heard many mumbles of discontent from team GB supporters that she chose to represent the all Ireland squad not GB - which is probably due to the presence of the England's legendary/indestructible Maddie Hinch).

    Ireland will be hosting the Team GB for three uncapped (warm up) matches next week (full coverage BBC online and via iplayer) before GB host their leg of Pro League games in May.

    The games will take place at Queen's University's playing fields (pushback times) on 13th (14h00), 14th (17h00) and 16th March (15h00).
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  20. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Bumpity bump.
  21. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Narrow win for Team GB against a resurgent Ireland.

    Mens current rankings:

    India who were a superpower for many years have maintained their climb back to the top of the sport with large amounts of money pumped into infrastructure, coaching and success at junior levels after falling behind to the likes of Australia and Holland. Belgium have emerged from the shadow of Holland almost as a surprise given their relative lack of success over the decades.

    The womens rankings continue to show Holland on another level with Argentina in second. Las Leonas have in the recent past not picked their internationals who are playing in Holland and Germany but will recall them for the Olympics so should be much stronger when that swings around this summer. The Irish womens team have been a revelation in recent seasons most notably at the 2018 World Cup which prompted jubilant scenes in the Emerald Isle.

  22. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    TBF Ireland played their 'usual' game (and it works) - a very defensive structure with a very quick attack on the break leading to a 1-on-1 with the GK. Maddie Hinch (GB GK) was all alone: so the only thing she could was 'play her man' (girl?) and give away the penalty stroke. Saying that Ireland did attempt to play some 'flowing stuff' down 'route 1' which they should really focus on as these are 'only' friendlies. As once GB worked out that was the Irish gameplan they left someone hanging the Irish 'circle' who was reached by,an almost pitch length, pass.

    All the girls have to work on their penalty corners - the elite level competition (aka the Dutch) they will be facing in the European Championships and, possible, Olympics routinely use these as goal-scoring opportunities (cf @reids).

    I was hoping to see McFerran in goal but Ireland used their 2nd and 3rd choice keepers.

    2nd match (in series of 3) today, pushback at 17h00 full coverage on iplayer and BBC Sport.
    reids likes this.
  23. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Some 'odd' decisions from the umpires in yesterday's match but Chloe Watkins' equalising goal from open play was a thing of beauty as was GB's lone (opener) goal from Laura Unsworth's deflection from a pass outside the circle.

    Ireland's winning penalty should have been dealt with by Maddie Hinch but TBF they showed that they can play a more 'flowing' game. I don't think the Irish will be able to match the Dutch (same group in the EuroHockey Nations Championship in June), but they look more than capable of taking the game to Spain. But set pieces (both squads) were again awful - it looks like GB are trying something 'different' and it's not there yet.

    McFerran and Hinch both made some great saves - I liked the fact that the commentators complained that due to the matches' format there couldn't be a penalty shootout so you could directly compare two of the best GK's in the world.

    Highlights here and full match here.

    Final match of the series tomorrow, 15h00 pushback. Full coverage on iplayer and via BBC sport.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2021
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  24. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Final game of the three match series ended in a 1-1. Ireland really upped their tactics to an very attacking squad (always) down the middle and GB did much the same but always feeding into the D from the sides. It really was end-to-end stuff. Realness goal came from a penalty flick (Roisin Upton's third penalty goal in three games) while GB's was a perfectly worked attack finished off by Izzy Petter.

    But there were the same old issues: penalty corners all of which were uniformly awful.

    Now the three matches were important as the squads, hopefully, next meet on 31/07 in the last match of the Olympics group A tournament (discounting an ENG vs IRE possible meet-up in June's EuroHockey Nations Championship which is unlikely as IRE are in the same group as the Dutch and Spain). In a group that also includes Germany, the all-conquering Dutch, the newly resurgent India and the outsiders South Africa. Judging on their performances in these last three games I can easily envisage either GB or Ireland joining South Africa on the plane home before the knockout stages.

    GB (boys and girls) will be in action at home in May playing China, Argentina and the US.

    Highlights of the 3rd match here and full match here courtesy of the Beeb (I know it was *just* an uncapped series of friendlies but their coverage was pretty poor compared to BT's).
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  25. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

  26. I Blame Pozzo

    I Blame Pozzo First Team

  27. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    I'm still wondering when it will be safe for me and the missus to visit galleries, concerts and the like again. It has been hard. Anyway a lesson from Gonzalo Peillat world class star of the mens Argentina side in how to take a dragflick:

    Peillat won gold at Rio and was the top scorer in that event and can deliver the ball at over a hundred miles an hour. Not too shabby. He should be back for Tokyo.

    Group B which is Team GB's group is the slightly weaker despite the hosts the lowest ranked side being in Group A although it will notbe as much a mismatch as seeing China play ice hockey at the next Winter Olympics where they will get hammered by twenty goals to nil on average. In the womens Team GB do have South Africa in Group A but Group B with the presence of Japan and China is weaker on paper.

  28. I Blame Pozzo

    I Blame Pozzo First Team

    Yes and so many of the arts need patronage asap.
    Peillat looks even more formidable than Sarah Osborne from STAGS who could wallop the ball from one end of the field to another in 1979.
    Frightened the life out of me so I stayed out on the left wing until about 1995!
  29. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    The boys should make it through the group B stages with ease as the gulf in abilities between team GB and Canada or South Africa is just too great. In group A the battle for the first team home (other than Japan) will be between the Kiwis and Spain.

    In GB's group (A) I feel that the Irish and India will be going out before the knockout stages. Over in Group B don't discount China as they are, justifiably, the 10th best ranked team in the world (be interesting to see how much they have progressed in May at the FiH pro league). I still can't see anyone landing a glove on the Oranjes they're just so far ahead of the rest of the pack.

    In 1979 that would have been on a turfed pitch so - respect is due.
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  30. I Blame Pozzo

    I Blame Pozzo First Team

    It was that.
    She played junior county I think and she seemed so much better than the rest of us but then again hockey was my fourth sport behind tennis,football and basketball so I'm not one to judge or even recall her skills as a player as opposed to her strength.
  31. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    C'mon @I Blame Bassett, I was told when I first learning to play golf that:

    That bit of doggerel is true for hockey, footy and I would assume tennis.
  32. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Well bit of an exciting week with a bunch of new kids of the block (not really). Due to other pressures (and BT oddly not showing them live?) I've only been able to watch the extended highlights of the 1ts match between Los Leones hosting a fairly newish German squad and Argentina were very flattered by the 2-3 scoreline (the reigning Olympic champions had a very lucky 'Dangerous ball' decision that should have made it 2-4). The Germans played a very aggressive game (and matched Argentina for gamesmanship as well) but they were like [CLICHE]a disciplined, well-oiled machine[/CLICHE] with their players always in the best possession to receive and make a pass. Both teams penalty corner (PC) routines were excellent something GB have to get better at.

    Judging by the stats of the 2nd game just looking at Germany's domination of circle entries (remember in hockey you can only score form inside the 'D'), especially in the 2nd half Argentina were soundly beaten 0-3 (you can see by the number of cards they received in the final quarter that the team basically 'lost it'). So it looks like Argentina won't be regaining their Olympic crown and it looks like the ageing Red Lions may, at last, have a challenger to their dominant position in the men's game.

    India should be visiting Buenos Aires next week - hopefullly giving some indication how they're progressed.

    Turning to the girls - Las Leonas are the 2nd ranked team in the world (way behind the all-conquering Dutch) followed by Die Danas in 3rd. The first match between them was a fairly even end-to-end match goalless match settled by a penalty shootout (Argentina claiming the bonus point for the 3-2 victory).

    Come the 2nd match and Germany were relentless hammering Argentina 3-1 (could have been 4 as Stapenhorst missed a sitter). Again the cliche has to be re-aired Die Danas were [CLICHE] a disciplined, well-oiled machine[/CLICHE] commanding the Argentinean circle.

    Now this makes team GB's meeting with them next month (China have pulled out) very interesting as it appears (if it goes ahead) that both German teams look like they could be major stumbling blocks to 'our' bringing home any precious metal from Tokyo.
    Smudger likes this.
  33. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    C&P from yesterday's press release from GB Hockey:

    Shame as I was looking forward to see how the Chinese girls had progressed as well as the meeting with the Argentinians...

    There are rumours flying about that the BT coverage will be 'free'.
  34. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

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  35. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Do you know from the match line ups for Las Leonas and the mens Argentina side whether or not several of the players quite a few of them young in age. Was Lucina von der Heyde in the team Bwood ? FOH Rising Star 2018. River Plate girl as well...:) Pulled out of the side a year ago to focus on playing in the German league.


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