The national women’s hockey team will compete in the Hockey Hockey Series (FIH) final in Dublin (Ireland) on 8 and 16 June, after Austria has withdrawn from the tournament.
The Hockey Series is open to non-Hockey Pro League countries and gives ice hockey nights in developing countries the chance to qualify for events such as the Olympics or the Hockey World Cup.
A series of Hockey Series Open tournaments were held from June to December last year, during which the top two teams in each stage would win one of three finals. The other two women’s finals will take place in Japan (15 to 23 June) and Spain (19 to 27 June).
The hosts will be Malaysia (23 April – 1 May), India (6 – 16 June) and France (15-23 June). The two best teams in each final later qualify for FIH’s Olympic qualifying event during 2019.
At the Hockey Series Open in Singapore last July, the women’s team was third and missed the qualification for the final, but was first reserve. The men’s team has qualified for the finals after winning the Hockey Series Open and will compete in France.
Mathavan Devadas, president of the Singapore Ice Hockey Association, told the Straits Times that the association has not yet set any goals, but hopes that both national teams can improve their world rankings by at least five places. The women’s tea is in 35th place, the men in 40th place.
The players are getting ready for the first preparations and playing some friendlies because they know the quality (the opponent)..We do not have so much competition here in Singapore so we will do it in the next few months” We Know where we stand and set realistic goals for the teams, “said Mathavan, adding that a series of trips and games are planned over the next few months.
The women’s team will travel to Thailand for test matches next month, and two South Korean teams will visit Singapore to meet with men and women from Singapore. Both teams will then travel to a training camp in Perth prior to the Hockey Series Final in May.
National women’s coach David Viner pointed out that of the seven other women’s group teams in Singapore, five are in or near the top 20 and below – Ireland (No. 8), Korea (No. 11), Scotland (No. No. 18), Czech Republic (# 19) and Malaysia (# 22). The other two women’s teams in the Singapore group are number 27 in Ukraine and France (32nd place).
He added, “Our focus now is to prepare our squad as well as possible for the competition, and many of the top 20 teams in the world and beyond … are full-time or very close to full-time teams.
“Singapore is a team of hard-working students or hired professionals, but every player invests a lot of time and dedication to hockey their country.”