Thursday, March 22, 2018

UNDER 16- Pahang Girls Come lately

KUALA LUMPUR: Pahang girls had to bring out their best to beat Terengganu 2-1 in the medal round of the National Under-16 tournament at the National hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil Thursday.
  In the other group, a second minute strike by Nur Ainaa Rahim was enough for Kuala Lumpur to beat Johor 1-0.
   Terengganu took the lead off Nur Nazurah Razali in the second minute, but Pahang fought back and equalised in the 51st minute off Zati Alyani Zubir and the winner was scored 20 seconds from end by Nur Shazwani Zakaria.
  Receiving a pass from J. Thibatharshini, Nur Shazwani cooly slotted in the ball to give her team-mates hope of playing in the final.
  Pahang play Malacca today, where a win will see them in their first Under-16 final.
  Pahang coach Sabri Mohamad said it was a jittery start, and luckly his girls scored a last minute goal.
  "We have never played in the medal rounds of the National Under-16 so I believe my girls were jittery today," said Sabri.
  "But after the second half, there was better effort from them and we manged to pull a 'rabbit out of the hat' in the dying seconds.
  "Now, we aim to beat Sabah to play in the final," said Sabri.
  Last year, Pahang finished seventh while in it was a miserable 11th in 2015.
  RESULTS: Boys -- Group X: Johor 2 Kuala Lumpur 0; Group Y: Perak 1 Pahang 0.
  Girls -- Group X: Terengganu 1 Pahang 2; Group Y: Johor 0 Kuala Lumpur 1.
  FRIDAY: Boys -- Group X: Kuala Lumpur v Penang (7.15pm, Pitch I); Group Y: Pahang v Malacca (7.15pm, Pitch II).
  Girls: Group X: Pahang v Sabah (6pm, Pitch I); Group Y: Kuala Lumpur v Malacca (6pm, Pitch II).

UNDER 16: Avtar Singh's begging pays off

KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah Hockey Association (SHA) secretary Avtar Singh has to take out his begging bowl every time he wants to send teams to age-group and Junior Hockey League (JHL) tournaments in Peninsular Malaysia.
For him, the begging with sponsors and friends has paid off as after a short span, his players have started to impress.
Sabah boys and girls used to be punching bags for their rivals five years ago but after regularly competing in the National Under-14, Under-16 and the JHL, their boys finished fourth and the girls got a silver medal in the Under-16 last year.
This year, the Sabah boys held Pahang 1-1, Kelantan 1-1 and only lost to Kuala Lumpur 1-0 but crashed out of the medal rounds.
Ther girls qualified for the medal rounds by beating Sarawak 3-0, drawing 1-1 with Penang and losing 4-1 to Malacca.
"It's not easy as air fare, lodging, food, and allowances come up to RM80,000 for the two Under-16 teams while it’s a whopping RM200,000 for the two teams in the JHL.
"But Sabah HA know that our players can only improve if they play against stronger teams regularly and so it was decided that whatever the costs, we need to bear it.
"Our biggest supporters are MSN (Majlis Sukan Negeri) Sabah who gave RM43,000 to the Under-16 team alone this year.
"For the balance, I had to approach sponsors as well as friends 'with a begging bowl.'
"But seeing our boys and girls progress well in a short span has been a super reward, and I don't find begging a chore," said Avtar.
Sarawak are the other HA who have to bear high costs to field their players, and they, too, have shown marked improvement.
On Wednesday, Sarawak boys held Negri Sembilan to a 2-2 draw, showing a marked improvement. Last year Negri Sembilan ended sixth, while Sarawak were at the bottom 14th position.
The two state HAs should be emulated by those who feel that it is too cumbersome to look for sponsors to nurture home talent, who in the long run, will be an asset to the nation.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

UNDER 16: Penang check into medal rounds

KUALA LUMPUR: Defending boys champions Perak were drawn with Pahang and Malacca in the medal rounds of the National Under-16 tournament at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
  And the other group will have Johor, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. A fresh draw of six teams, with none seeded, was held yesterday.
  The three teams in each group, X and Y, will play among each other and the champions of Group X will play champions of Group Y in the final. The group runners-up will battle for bronze.
  In the women's tournament, Group X is made up of Terengganu, Pahang, Sabah, while Group Y has Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca.
  Yesterday, Penang and Malacca were the last boys teams to qualify for the medal rounds.
  Penang beat Selangor 2-0 to top Group B with goals from Aliff Aqharni (22nd) and Faris Harizan (42nd).
  Penang coach Jivan Mohan, a former national player, said: "We need to improve our penalty corners to have a chance of winning a medal. We won more than 10 penalty corners against three teams in Grou B, but failed to score even one."
  Penang topped Group B with seven points, and will meet Group A runners-up Johor and Group C runner-up Kuala Lumpur in the medal round.
  RESULTS: Boys -- Group A: Johor 1 Perlis 1, Negri Sembilan 2 Sarawak 2; Group B: Selangor 0 Penang 2.
  Girls Group B: Penang 1 Sabah 1, Sarawak 0 Malacca 2.
  GROUP X: Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang.
  GROUP Y: Perak, Pahang, Malacca.
  GROUP X: Terengganu, Pahang, Sabah.
  GROUP Y: Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca.
  THURSDAY: Boys -- Johor v Kuala Lumpur (8pm, Pitch I), Perak v Pahang (8pm, Pitch II).
  Girls: Terengganu v Pahang (6.45pm, Pitch I), Johor v Kuala Lumpur (6.45pm, Pitch II).

UNDER 16: Johor boys look good

KUALA LUMPUR: Johor boys held defending champions Perak to a goalless draw in Group A, to indicate that they are a team to be reckoned with in the National Under-16 tournament.
  Playing at the National Hockey Stadium, Johor soaked in all the pressure from Perak and relied on counter-attacks but failed at the last attempt.
  The draw saw Perak top Group A on 10 points, while Johor have seven points with a match against Perlis in hand.
  Both the teams, as well as Pahang and Kuala Lumpur from Group C have qualified for the medal rounds.
  Penang and Malacca look like the best bets to qualify from Group B.
  A fresh draw will be conducted today (Wednesday) for a new grouping with three each in two groups. These six teams will be playing for honours.
  "Johor is basically made up with boys from Datuk Bentara Luar (School) in Batu Pahat and we have been training for the past two months for this tournament.
  "Last year we ended sixth, and now we are looking at a medal performance," said Johor coach Nor Affazly Abdul Gaffar.
  And after the Under-16, the boys will compete in Division One of the Junior Hockey League (JHL) with funding and coaching expertise from Universti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).
  RESULTS: Boys Group A: Johor 0 Perak 0, Perlis 1 Sarawak 0; Group B: Selangor 3 Terengganu 1.
  Girls Group A: Perlis 0 Kuala Lumpur 4; Group C: Johor 2 Selangor 1, Perak 1 Terengganu 2.
  WEDNESDAY: Boys -- Group A: Johor v Perlis (5pm, Pitch I), Negri Sembilan v Sarawak (6.30pm, Pitch I); Group B: Selangor v Penang (5pm, Pitch II).
  Girls Group B: Penang v Sabah (7.30am, Pitch I), Sarawak v Malacca (8.45am, Pitch II).

UNDER 16: Velappan sees improvements

KUALA LUMPUR: 1Mas chief boys coach S. Velappan said the quality of play has improved tremendously in the ongoing National Under-16 tournament as compared to previous years.
  There is better preparation from states, the boys have better basis skills and even the coaches employ cunning tactics at this age-group level.
  "Most of these boys have gone through the various 1Mas programmes at their states and compared to previous years, I can see vast improvement in many areas.
  "The top six boys teams like Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Johor, Penang and Malacca are playing at a maturity level is also better team work, commitment and tactics employed in the ongoing tournament," said Velappan.
  The 1Mas programme was started by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) in 2010 with an objective to widen the base and pool of young players in the country.
  While it did not work out in some states, many other states are still strongly involved with the MHC programme.
  "After this tournament we will select 27 players to be called up for various camps and programmes to make them better. The core group of youth are presently with the Project 2020 team coached by Nor Saiful Zaini, while this Under-16 group will be coached as the second wave of youth talent for the nation," said Velappan.