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Other Sports of Friday, 15 May 2009

Source: GNA

Hockey teams leave for training tour to Holland

Accra, May 15, GNA - A 49-member continent of the National Hockey team, the Black Sticks, will leave Accra, on Saturday, May 16, for a 21-day training tour of Holland in preparations towards the Africa Hockey Federation Cup for Nations to be hosted by Ghana later this year. The squad includes 42 players made up of 21 players each for the male and female categories, four coaches and two officials from the Ghana Hockey Association (GHA).

Addressing the team on Friday, Mr Wolanyo K. Agrah, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Sports Council (NSC) said the training tour is not for holidays but termed it as "21 days period of learning for the players and coaches".

He urged the players to learn to improve upon their skills in order to put up the best performance at the championship. Mr Agrah said the entire nation will be looking up the team to give Ghana an opportunity to celebrate victory in another competition and to popularize the game.

"Ghana wants the gold medal and the trophy and nothing else will appease us". He stated.

He, however, cautioned that no form of indiscipline will be entertained and called on the players to ensure that they maintain the highest level of discipline during the training in Holland as well as for the competition.

Mr Agrah stated his outfit's readiness to support the team to give off its best in the competition. Nikoi Djanie, Chairman of the GHA said the team has no option than to provide the needed results by winning the championship to qualify for the World Cup.

"Taking into consideration the amount of investments made in championship and to support you the players, you have no option than to perform creditably to justify the investments made in you". Nikoi Djanie stated.

Nii Lante Vanderpuije, Special Aid to the President, John Evans Atta Mills said government is determined to change the face of sports in the country and the only way to achieve the process was to see to the success of the championship. He therefore called on the players to exhibit the best of performance in the competition to bring honours to themselves and the nation.