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Caldas and Commens name GB as Olympic hockey favourites but slam London Cup umpiring
Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens and his Dutch counterpart Max Caldas, who has coached in WA and played National League for New South Wales, have both named Great Britain as favourites for Olympic gold
Despite their disappointing performance in the Investec London Cup, where they finished only fifth, Commens said GB were the form team of 2012. The Brits have been hampered by injury to four key players, who sat out the cup this week.
“We saw them in the Champions Trophy, where they were the best team there, and that is the level we expect we will see in London,” said Commens.
Caldas, keen to deflect some of the pressure from Holland, the defending champions and world’s No 1 nation, agreed.
Both coaches also criticised the London Cup umpiring and said it had to improve before the Games.
“It is a real concern and something needs to be done,” said Caldas.
Commens said: “The FIH have asked for different interpretations on aerial balls, tackles, the five-metre rule and on masks and that makes it really difficult for umpires. What is not acceptable is that there have been no video facilities for umpires here, so how are they going to learn or improve?”
“We are thinking one thing and they are thinking something else. They are struggling with the speed of the game and the skill levels. They are doing their best, but unfortunately it’s not good enough.”
Source: Hockey Australia release