Monday, December 21, 2015

Shamala: Lets re-organise development..

MALAYSIA have been relying on a 'rojak' system to develop hockey for the last three decades, but things are about to change after the third week of January.
  Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) development chairman S. Shamala (pic) will hold a workshop themed 'National Hockey Development Plan' which will finally encompass all the share holders to work towards one system with fixed goals.
  Shamala said the objective of the workshop is: "We have many development programs in the country which are being run independently with some success, however there needs to be more coordination between all these programs to ensure that we maximize our respective efforts as opposed to having many overlapping programs."
  She mentioned clubs like UniKL, Kelab Aman's Happy Hockey and development by Ipoh Lads which are now independent, and need to be coachd as well as strengthened to bring our better results.
  "Right now clubs, schools, 1Mas, sports schools and Thunderbolts programmes are being run around the country and many of them overlap each other and there need to be a more concerted effort to stream-line them.
  "There must be one system, one goal and no overlapping of development programmes," said Shamala.
  And with the National Sports Institute (NSI), National Sports Council (NSC), Education Ministry and MHC speaking at the workshop, Shamala's committee will compile the data and feedback to formulate a National Hockey Development Plan.
  "After each agency (stakeholder) present their complete structure, we will analyse them to derive a complete documentation on a development program. Upon the completion of these two steps, we will derive the National Hockey Development Plan."
  The Development at All Tiers will be presented by Technical Director Terry Walsh.
  The now defunct Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) had held a similar workshop and came out with many plans after the 1998 Commonwealth Games, but there was no implementation and monitoring done and it remained as paperwork collecting dust in somebody's cabinet.
  But Shamala is re-igniting the fire, and hopefully there will be follow ups and the National Hockey Development Plan will see Malaysia in a better position a decade from today.

Sabah make JHL return

THIRTY teams registered for the Junior Hockey League, with Sabah making a come-back, when entries closed yesterday.
  last season also saw 30 teams in two divisions, with SSTMI Thunderbolts nailing their fourth straight double and are expected to be the dominating team in Division One again.
  The JHL is expected to start on Jan 15, and it will remain as an under-19 affair even though calls were made to turn it into an under-21 league.
  "We received 30 entries and its a positive sign which shows there is still massive interest among schools and clubs for the 21st edition," said Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) CEO K. Logan Raj.
  But there were no foreign entries even though Asian and Asean countries were invited.
  "No, we did not receive any foreign entries and only Sabah are from across the ocean," said Logan.
  On the proposed girls JHL: "We are in the midst of preparing for that and most likely we will be calling for entries before the end of January," said Logan.
  Women's hockey is set to receive a big boost next year as the Competitions Committee are looking to revive the RNA Cup and introduce two more for the ladies.
  "We plan to hold the RNA Cup next year (same as the men's Razak Cup) and also invite states to organise two more women's tournaments on the same line as the men's Azlan Shah Cup and the boys' Sultan of Johor Cup," said competitions committee chairman George Koshy.
  Koshy also plans to re-introduce the Tun Hussein Onn Cup, last held in 1986, with foreign clubs invited. The Trophy is believed to be in a cabinet in New Delhi.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Magnificent 7 can't handle clubs

On the recently named coaching set-up, MHC clarified that only the top coaches can't handle clubs from next year onwards, while the other coaches named by the MHC on Saturday can still coach in the JHL and MHL.
  To avoid conflict of interest, the MHC have barred seven coaches who have been appointed for top level coaching to handle clubs while the rest can still be hired by JHL and MHL clubs.
  The seven are Tai Beng Hai, Stephen van Huizen, Lim Chiow Chuan, Wallace Tan, K. Dharmaraj, K. Gobinathan, Lailin Abu Hassan.

JHL 2016 : Foreign entries and girls tournament

THE Junior Hockey League (JHL) entries close Monday, and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are keeping their fingers crossed for foreign entries to make their debut.
  MHC sent out JHL invitations to Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea to make the league much more competitive and a bigger crowd puller.
  Even if one country takes up the offer, it would be a new milestone for the JHL which was incepted in 1995.
  And while the Under-19 boys have been enjoying their moment under the spotlight for 20 years, the girls will finally get a chance to compete in their own JHL.
  MHC are ready to host the girls JHL next year.
  "We have invited neighbouring countries to play in the JHL and hopefully some of them reply in the positive. This move is to make the junior tournament more competitive and also bring back the crowd to stadiums," said MHC competitions committee chairman George Koshy.
  Koshy, who is also the MHC deputy president, said after the boys entries close they they will call for the girls entries.
  "We will call for the girls JHL entry soon, and even though we do not expect many teams to compete in the first season, its a start in the right direction to develop women," said Koshy.
  The men are ranked 13th in the world while women are a close 20th.
  "we have yet to decide on the JHL format because we need to wait for entries to close and see if any foreign teams register. If there are foreign teams, we need to have a different format so that it is not too long and taxing," said George.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

MHC prepare to bounce back...

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are on full throttle to make amends on two major disappointments, by formulating a comprehensive programme to take Malaysia back into the international arena.
  Missing out on the Olympics and Junior World Cup by a hair's margin, the MHC is ready to rise from ashes by naming a flurry of coaches to helm the men's and women's as well as development coaches.
  "We have placed the disappointments of sitting out of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the Junior World Cup at the back of our minds and will be looking forward positively to make sure we are not in the same boat again," said MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal.
  The list of coaches were drawn out by the Coaching Committee chaired by Datuk Ow Soon Kooi, and endorsed by the MHC Executive Board yesterday.
  The senior team will be helmed by Stephen van Huizen, while the notable changes were K. Dharmaraj named as women's coach while Arul Selvaraj will assist Wallace Tan in the development side.
  "Financially we have almost met our target of erasing our RM2.9 million debt (from eight months ago) to RM500,000 and hopefully in the next few months we will settle that amount as well.
  "And with our new development blueprint, I am confident that Malaysia will be back in the world cups (junior and senior) and 2020 Olympics.
  "I had said that I will resign as MHC president if Malaysia does not qualify for the 2020 Olympics, but after looking at the development print, I am confident I will not have to call it a day," said Subahan.
  The 'easiest' path to the Olympics would be to win gold at the Asian Games: "That would be our target from today, as even Technical Director Terry Walsh is confident we have the players to play in the Asian Games final, and hopefully lay our hands on the gold."
  Former national goalkeepers Nasihin Nubli, Roslan Jamaluddin and M. Nadarajan also have specific duties lined up.
  "The goalkeeping department was one of the reasons we failed at the World League Semi-finals and Junior Asia Cup and I believe with a concerted effort from our goalkeeping staff, we will be able to have a bigger pool soon to rectify that department," said Subahan.
  Malaysia lost 3-2 to India after leading 2-1 in the World League quarter-finals and missed out on the Olympics, while in the Junior Asia Cup quarter-finals, Malaysia were leading South Korea 3-1 but lost wind in the last three minutes to be held 3-3 and then lose 4-1 in the shoot-out.
  Coaching chairman Soon Kooi said coaches reports on both the tournaments attributed the defeats to players not being of sound tactical minds to hold the ball and play in a wider area of the field after taking a lead. This area will, again, be emphasised by the present batch of coaches.
  COACHING STAFF: Men -- Senior: Chief Coach: Stephen van Huizen; Assistant: Lim Chiow Chuan; Goalkeeper Coach Overall: Nasihin Nubli; Attachment: Madzli Ikmar.
  Development Squad: Chief Coach: Wallace Tan; Assistant: Arul Selvaraj; Attachment: Amin Rahim.
  Project 2020: Manager: Nor Saiful Zaini; Attachment: Mohamed Sufian.
  1Mas: Chief Coach: S. Velappan; Assistants: Nor Harmezi Omar, Shahzan Amir.
  Junior Goalkeeper Development Coach: M. Nadarajan.
  Women: Chief Coach: K. Dharmaraj; Assistants: Lailin Abu Hassan, A. Kannagi; Goalkeepers Coach: Roslan Jamaluddin.
  Development Squad: Chief Coach: K. Gobinathan; Assistant: Leo Vincey; Attachment: Nor Saliza Ahmad.
  Project 2020: Manager: Lailin Abu Hassan; Attachment: Catherine Lambok.
  1Mas: Chief Coach: Yahya Atan; Assistant: Nuriza Sulaiman.

New MHC Coaching Set-up

  MHC COACHING STAFF: Men -- Senior: Chief Coach: Stephen van Huizen; Assistant: Lim Chiow Chuan; Goalkeeper Coach Overall: Nasihin Nubli; Attachment: Madzli Ikmar.
  Development Squad: Chief Coach: Wallace Tan; Ass: Arul Selvaraj; Attachment: Amin Rahim.
  Project 2020: Manager: Nor Saiful Zaini; Attachment: Mohamed Sufian.
  1Mas: Chief Coach: S. Velappan; Assistants: Nor Harmezi Omar, Shahzan Amir.
  Junior Goalkeeper Development Coach: M. Nadarajan.
  Women: Chief Coach: K. Dharmaraj; Assistants: Lailin Abu Hassan, A. Kannagi; Goalkeepers Coach: Roslan Jamaluddin.
  Development Squad: Chief Coach: K. Gobinathan; Assistant: Leo Vincey; Attachment: Nor Saliza Ahmad.
  Project 2020: Manager: Lailin Abu Hassab; Attachment: Catherine Lambok.
  1Mas: Chief Coach: Yahya Atan; Assistant: Nuriza Sulaiman.

Faizal and Syamim banned six months

PIC: Faizal (right) and Syamim.

THE Disciplinary Board only gave a stern warning to Faizal Shaari and Syamim Yusof for not attending national training with valid reasons, but the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Executive board were hell-bent on sending out a message to laggards.
  The MHC EB, which met yesterday, immediately endorsed a code of conduct which bars players referred to the DB for six months from national training.
  "I was taken aback by the DB's decision to only hand a stern warning to Faizal and Syamin for skipping national training since October. The EB was of the same opinion and endorsed a proposal to ban players who are referred to the DB for six months.
  "With this, the players code of conduct will see both the players out of national training for six months. We also took into consideration feed back from coaches Stephen van Huizen and Technical Director Terry Walsh that both the players will not be able to come back into the training squad at this juncture, because the other trainees are far ahead in their fitness training," said MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal.
  Faizal and Syamin failed to answer national training call-up and will not be considered for the Azlan Shah Cup in April, but can still play with their clubs.
  The MHC DB is chaired by Assistant Commissioner Datuk Adnan Abdullah, and its members are Datuk Arthur Edmonds, Datuk G. Vijayanathan and former national players Awtar Singh Grewal and R. Shanker.
  Even though the senior and junior national teams do not have any major FIH international assignments next year, they will be playing in the Azlan Shah Cup, the Sultan of Johor Cup and the Asian Champions Trophy which Malaysia have placed a bid to host at the end of 2016.

Olak-PKT offers complete package

OLD La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak)-PKT Tigers have attracted 10 players from Sabah for their Junior Hockey League selections on Dec 21 in Kuala Kumpur.
  Even though Olak finished eight out of nine teams in in Division One of the JHL last season, their benefits are took good to turn away.
  "We have had many enquiries from around Malaysia to play for Olak, including 10 players who will arrive from Saban for the trials. I have seen five of them before and invited them for the trials, but the other five are footing their own bill to attend trials," said Olak team manager Joseph de Silva.
  Among the benefits of turning up for the club, which has been around since the JHL was incepted in 1995, are allownaces, scholarships and job opportunities.
  "Our sponsors, PKT Logistics have offices located in Klang, Penang, Sungai Petani and Kuantan and can provide employment to players who need it. We also offer scholarships to study as we care for our players future well being," said De Silva.
  Olak were in deep cash problems a few years back, but the club was saved when PKT Logistics chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Michael Tio came in with the cash.
  The Olak one day trials will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium on Dec 21 from 5pm-8pm to select players for the Under-19 league.
  The JHL is slated to start at the end of January, with team registrations closing on Monday.
  However, even though the new season is just around the corner, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have yet to give out the RM3,000 subsidy per team promised before the start of last season.
  "Yes, teams have yet to receive the RM3,000 promised subsidy from last season but I was told that we will receive it when we send in our entries on Monday," said De Silva.
  For details, contact Joseph (019-6491927) or D. Pandian (016-9960421).

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Razak Cup: Malacca the new champions

MALACCA dethroned Perak 1-0 to become the new Razak Cup Division One champions with a single strike from Dedy Ariyadi at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
  It was only Malacca's third Razak Cup title in 53 Editions, as they last won in 2005 and then 2009. Perak were back-to-back champions in 2013 and 2014.
  "It was a super effort from my players and credit is due to the entire team for playing with sheer determination and grit. This is a historic moment as the Razak Cup has always eluded our grips," said Malacca coach S. Velappan.
  Perak were all over Malacca in the first two quarters but national juniors goalkeeper Ridzwan Azmi kept them in the game with some super saves.
  And on the other half, goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin was hardly tested, but a 30th minute deflection from Dedy Ariyadi gave Malacca the much needed lead.
  It was Malacca's first shot at goal in 30 minutes of play.  
  Perak never gave up and kept attacking, and in the 39th minute goalkeeper Ridzwan was yellow carded for a bad tackle and replaced with second goalkeeper Hanafi Hassan.
  Malacca then held onto the one-goal lead with sheer grit, and and walked away as the new champions.
  The Division One bronze medal match went to shoot-out, after Johor and Kuala Lumpur ended 2-2 at regulation time.
   Syamim Yusof (3rd) and Harvinder Singh (58th) scored for KL, while Syafiq Zain (28th) and Faiz Helmi Jali (56th) scored for Johor.
  In the shoot-out KL won 3-2 and pocketed RM7,000 while Johor received RM5,000.
  In Division Two, Police lifted the title when they beat Selangor 6-2. The win came with RM5,000 as well as a first time promotion to Division one next year. From Division One, eighth placed team Penang will be relegated to Division Two.
  Baljit Singh Sarjab almost single handedley won the title for Police as he scored three goals yesterday to being his overall total to 17 goals.
  RESULTS: Division One: Final -- Perak 0 Malacca 1; Third-Fourth: Kuala Lumpur 2 Johor 2 (KL win shoot-out 3-2).
  Division Two: Final: Police 6 Selangor 2.
  ROLL of HONOUR: Division One: Man-of-the-match: B. Namasivayam (Malacca); Best Goalkeeper: Hairi Abdul Rahman (Johor); Best Player: Dedy Ariyadi (Malacca); Top Scorer: Faizal Shaari (Terengganu, 15 goals).
  Division Two: Man-of-the-match: Azreen Rizal (Police); Best Goalkeeper: Zaid Ibrahim (Police); Best Player: Nabil Fitri (Police); Top Scorer: Baljit Singh Sarjab (Police, 17 goals).
  Final placing: Division One: 1 Malacca (RM10,000), 2 Perak (RM7,000), 3 Kuala Lumpur (RM5,000), 4 Johor, 5 Pahang, 6 Negri Sembilan, 7 Terengganu, 8 Penang.
  Division Two: 1 Police (RM5,000), 2 Selangor (RM3,000), 3 Kelantan (RM2,000).

Razak Cup: Perak v Malacca final

PERAK edged Kuala Lumpur 3-2 in the Division One Semi-finals of the 53rd Razak Cup for a shot at their third consecutive title.
  Back-to-back winners in 2013 and 2014, Perak will meet Malacca in the final at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.
  Malacca beat Johor 4-3 in the other semi-finals with goals from Amirullah Zainol (24th, 38th), Hafoz Selema (32nd), Firdaus Omar (39th). The Johor goals were scored by Zulhamizan Awang in the third minute, Nor Aqmal Gaffar in the 55th and Azammi Adabi (57th).
  Perak took a 3-0 lead off Haziq Samsul (third), Hafifi Hafiz (19th) and Azlan Misron (26th) before Kuala Lumpur woke up from their slumber.
   Syamim Yusof (29th) and  Ramadhan Rosli (54th) tried to claw back for KL, but the clock ran out on them.
  Perak coach K.Yogeswaran is now looking forward to clinching their hat-trick of titles.
  "It could have been an easier game for us after taking a 3-0 lead but we lost our grip in the fourth quarter and made it difficult.
  "Now that we have a chance to win our third consecutive title, I believe my players would not want to throw away this golden opportunity," said Yogeswaran.
  Yogeswaran said his only concern is his charges end game.
  "We can't afford to play like we did in the fourth quarter today (yesterday) and that's the department I will tighten up before we enter the pitch for our final game."
  In Division Two, Police will meet Selangor in the final today and it is expected to go to the wire. Yesterday, Police hammered Sarawak 8-2 to end their campaign on 16 points after five wins and a draw.
  Selangor hammered Perlis 6-1 and finished second in the pool with 15 points from five wins and one defeat.
  Head-to-head in the pool, Police beat Selangor 3-2. The only blemish on the Police record was a 2-2 draw against Armed Forces.
  Policeman Baljit Singh Sarjab, a former national player, top-scored in Division Two with 14 goals to date and will be the man to watch in the finals.
  RESULTS: Division One Semi-finals: Perak 3 Kuala Lumpur 2, Johor 3 Malacca 4.
  Fifth-Sixth: Negri Sembilan 3 Pahang 7; Seventh-Eighth: Terengganu 7 Penang 3.
  Division Two: Kedah 2 Kelantan 5, Perlis 1 Selangor 6, Police 8 Sarawak 2.
  TODAY: Division One: Final -- Perak v Malacca (Pitch II, 8.30pm); Third-Fourth: Kuala Lumpur v Johor (Pitch II, 5.45pm).
  Division Two: Final: Police v Selangor (Pitch I, 5pm).
  Note: All matches at the National Hockey

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Ow Soon Kooi: Wait for EB to endorse

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) coaching committee met Saturday, and have decided on the futuree of coaches at all levels to be endorsed by the Executive Board on Dec 19.
  MHC vice-president and coaching chairman Datuk Ow Soon Kooi said they can't reveal the names until the EB endorses their proposals.
  "To be fair to all the coaches that we have named for positions in the men's, women's, boys and girls national team will not be revealed today (yesterday) because its only right that we wait for the EB to endorse first.
  "In case the EB has its own candidate and reject our proposal(s) it would be painful for some," said Soon Kooi, who was a former national skipper.
  Currently, Stephen van Huizen is the national seniors coach, while Arul Selvaraj coached the juniors in the Junior Asia Cup, where the goalkeeping department was a big let-down.
  "Knowing well that we don't have a good pool of goalkeepers, which is a very vital department, we have named three coaches to train them at the senior, women's and development teams," said Soon Kooi.
  The coaching committee also came up with various suggestions to register and train more coaches at all levels, and there will be a systematic approach to develop this section.
  "We are looking for all our suggestions to be in place by Jan 1, so that we can start as early as possible to develop the coaching sector systematically," said Soon Kooi.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Razak Cup: Malacca youth in smashing form

MALACCA relied on youth power to smash their way into the Razak Cup semi-finals, and coach S. Velappan believes Johor can be tamed in the semi-finals Saturday.
  The other semi-finals will be between defending champions Perak and 19-time champions Kuala Lumpur.
  "We have eight Malaysia Games players in this squad and they played their hearts out to reach the semi-finals against all-odds.
  "I believe my players will not disappoint against Johor as we aim to better our fourth position achieved last year," said Velappan.
  Playing in Group A, Malacca were the surprise package as they hammered Penang 6-3, beat highly touted Terengganu 5-4 and only lost 2-1 to champions Perak.
  "The matches against Perak and Terengganu showed my players fighting spirit and that is what we need to play in the final of the Razak Cup," said Velappan.
  Johor are no pushovers as they held KL 4-4, beat silver medallists Pahang 4-3 and they beat a gritty Negri Sembilan 3-2.
  "It will be a match between youth, as Johor also have many young players who are fast on the attack. This year's Division One Razak Cup matches have been close affairs, and I believe both the semi-finals will also be won by narrow margins," predicted Velappan.
  In Division Two, Polce are assured of a spot in the final, as they play whipping side Sarawak in their last fixtures today. Police lead the standings on 13 points after four wins and a draw. Second placed Selangor, on 12 points, play Perlis today and a win will see them meet Police in the final on Sunday.
  Police player Baljit Singh Sarjab is the top-scorer in Division Two with 10 penalty corner goals.
  RESULTS: Division One: Fifth-Eighth: Terengganu x Negri x, Penang 4 Pahang 5.
  Division Two: Kedah 7 Sarawak 1, Perlis 1 Armed Forces 3, Kelantan 1 Selangor 7.
  SATURDAY: Division One Semi-finals: Perak v Kuala Lumpur (Pitch II, 5.45pm), Johor v Malacca (Pitch II, 8.30pm).
  Division Two: Kedah v Kelantan (Pitch I, 7.30am), Perlis v Selangor (Pitch II, 7.30am), Police v Sarawak (9.30am).
   Note: All matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Razak Cup: Perak check into semis

DEFENDING champions Perak checked into the Division One semi-finals of the 53rd Razak Cup when they beat Terengganu 4-2 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil Thursday.
  Perak will play Kuala Lumpur in the last four, while the other semi-finals will be between Johor and Malacca.
  Malacca ended second in Group A when they hammered Penang 6-3, while Johor topped Group B and KL were second. Both had seven points, but Johor topped with a better goal difference. 
  The Silver State coach K.Yogeswaran was elated with the victory, as now they have a chance of defending their title for the third consecutive year.
  "This was the initial target, to win all Group A matches and enter the semis on a confident note. It was not easy againt Terengganu as they had a pool of quality players but we managed to stop their attacks.
  "We are looking foward to the semis, and hopefully continue our run in the knock-out stage as well," said Yogeswaran.
  Azril Misron was instrumental in beating Terengganu as he scord two goals in the 20th and 36th minutes. The other Perak goals were scored by Fitri Ismail (7th) and Ashran Hamsani (27th).
  Meanwhile, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) coaching committee will hold a meeting on Saturday to decide on the future and placements of the seniors and juniors men's and women's coaches.
  And on 12 Dec, the MHC Disciplinary Board will meet to decide on the fate of national player Faizal Shaari who went AWOL from training with no concrete excuse. Faizal is currently playing for Terengganu in the Razak Cup.
  RESULTS: Division One: Group A: Malacca 6 Penang 3, Perak 4 Terengganu 2; Group B: Pahang 3 Kuala Lumpur 4, Negri 2 Johor 3.
  FRIDAY: Division One: Fifth-Eighth: Terengganu v Negri (Pitch I, 6pm), Penang v Pahang (Pitch II, 6pm).
  Division Two: Kedah v Sarawak (Pitch I, 7.30am), Perlis v Armed Forces (Pitch II, 7.30am), Kelantan v Selangor (Pitch I, 9.30am).
  SATURDAY: Division One Semi-finals: Perak v Kuala Lumpur (Pitch II, 5.45pm), Johor v Malacca (Pitch II, 8.30pm).
   Note: All matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

MHC conduts survey... fill in

MHC are presently doing a survey on Malaysian Hockey to further understand the depth of their knowledge, specifically with regards to stakeholder engagement and public perception. Would greatly appreciate if you could spend 15 mins of your time to complete this survey. You will remain anonymous throughout, so your private details will not be asked.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Razak Cup; Negri aim for semis...

NEGRI Sembilan will be banking on a combination of youth and seniors to make an impression in Division One of the Razak Cup which begins Monday at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
  Negri finished sixth last year, and are looking for a top-four finish in the 53rd Edition.
  In goal, they have national No 1 goalkeeper S. Kumar who hails from Tampin, and two-time (2009 and 2013) Junior World Cup player Kavin Kartik.
  "We have assembled an balanced team for this edition, and even though we did not train much as a team, but I believe we will be able to better our sixth placing by playing in the semi-finals," said Negri coach S. Chandran.
   Negri, in Group B, will open their campaign against Pahang today, while their other teams in the group are Kuala Lumpur and Johor.
  In Group A are defending champions Perak, Penang, Terengganu and Malacca.
  Meanwhile, registration of players for Division One ended at noon yesterday, and Terengganu will have the services of 11th hour inclusion of Faizal Shaari.
  Faizal almost single handedley handed Terengganu Hockey team the Malaysia Hockey League double by scoring 18 goals.
  RESULTS -- Division Two: Selangor 4 Kedah 1, Perlis 6 Sarawak 1, Police 2 Armed Forces 2.
  MONDAY -- Division One: Group A: Perak v Penang (Pitch I, 8pm), Terengganu v Malacca (Pitch II, 8pm).
  Group B: Negri Sembilan v Pahang (6pm, Pitch I), Kuala Lumpur v Johor (Pitch II, 6pm).
   TUESDAY: Division Two:  Kelantan v Perlis (Pitch I, 4pm), Selangor v Police (Pitch I, 6pm), Sarawak v Armed Forces (6pm, pitch II).
  Note: All matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

1Mas champions in Perth FHE Cup

1MAS Under-16 beat Western Australia Heat 1-0 to lift the FHE Cup in Perth Sunday.
  The hero was Idris Samad, who scored off a penalty corner attempt.
  1Mas Under-16 girls also competed in the tournament for the first time, and ended fourth among seven teams.
  Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) took the bronze when they beat Sabah Sports School 7-4.
  The Boys 1Mas team started by beating New South Wales BushRangers 7-0, followed by hammering Western Australia Tap 1 8-1, Sabah 5-2 and BJSS 3-0.

Sarjit still waiting for Faizal...

TERENGGANU are still waiting for their start performer Faizal Shaari to give them a concrete answer whether he will be playing in the Razak Cup or not.
  The Division Two matches have started, but Division One only begins Monday, and team lists must be submitted to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) by noon Sunday.
  Terenggnau coach Sarjit Singh trained with eight players yesterday, as he is still waiting for some players to report for duty.
  "I have been in contact with Faizal and he told me he needs more time to decide if he will be able to play for Terengganu or not. We will know for sure on Sunday," said Sarjit.
  In the Malaysia Hockey League, Faizal top-scored with 18 goals to help Terengganu Hockey Team lift the double.
  However, the troubled player has not been attending national training after ending his marriage leave, and the MHC have reffered him to the disciplinary board, and he could face a total domestic and international ban up to two years for indiscipline.
  RESULTS -- Division Two: Sarawak 0 Kelantan 6, Armed Forces 4 Kedah 2, Police 6 Perlis 2.
  SUNDAY -- Division Two: Selangor v Kedah (Pitch I, 6pm), Perlis v Sarawak (Pitch II, 6pm), Police v Armed Forces (Pitch I, 8pm).
  MONDAY -- Division One: Group A: Perak v Penang (Pitch I, 8pm), Terengganu v Malacca (Pitch II, 8pm).
  Group B: Negri Sembilan v Pahang (6pm, Pitch I), Kuala Lumpur v Johor (Pitch II, 6pm).
  Note: All matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Razak Cup: KL game for 20th title

KUALA Lumpur will be gunning to reclaim their glory days in the Razak Cup when the Division One starts on Monday.
  The 19-time champions last laid their hands on the Cup in 2012, as Perak powered away with back-to-back titles in the last two editions.
  And their trump card could well be national juniors player Shahril Saabah who scored a total of eighth goals for Malaysia in the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan.
  The other national juniors in the KL squad are Ahmad Ashraf, Norsyafiq Sumantri, Zulpidaus Mizun and Nor Azrul Rahman.
  Kuala Lumpur coach K. Dharmaraj said: "Most of KL players are young, especially from the Project squad. We have the potential and I am looking towards a good performance from them. The Razak Cup is also an opportunity for them to be noticed and a platform for them to break into the senior team.”
  Defending champions Perak are eyeing their ninth title, in 53 editions.
  Perak team manager Hakimi Hamid said: "All the teams playing in Division One are equally strong since many of them would be fielding a number of national juniors and seniors.
  "We also have a mix of juniors and seniors, and players like Azlan Misron, Shukri Mutalib and national juniors skipper Najib Hassan and Haziq Samsul would be the mainstay in our bid to win our eighth title."
  For the record, Singapore won the inaugural title in 1963, and retained it the next year.
  Division One champion will receive RM10,000, runners-up RM7,000 and RM5,000 to the third-placed team. Prize money for Division Two is RM5,000 for gold, RM3,000 for silver and RM2,000 for bronze.
  RESULTS: Division Two: Armed Forces 3 Selangor 6, Police 5 Kelantan 3, Perlis 4 Kedah 1.
  SATURDAY -- Division Two: Sarawak v Kelantan (6pm, Pitch I), Armed Forces v Kedah (6pm, Pitch II), Police v Perlis (8pm, Pitch I).
  MONDAY -- Division One: Group A: Perak v Penang (Pitch I, 8pm), Terengganu v Malacca (Pitch II, 8pm).
  Group B: Negri Sembilan v Pahang (6pm, Pitch I), Kuala Lumpur v Johor (Pitch II, 6pm).
  Note: All matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

MHC: Faizal can play in Razak Cup

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) yesterday relented and allowed 'troubled' Terengganu player Faizal Saari to represent his state in the 53rd Razak Cup which begins Friday.
  Faizal had skipped national training without reason after finishing his marriage leave, and MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal had said during the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan that he will be referred to the Disciplinary Board and faces a possible total ban from local and international tournaments.
  However, at a press conference yesterday, Subahan said Faizal can represent his state in the Razak Cup.
  The tournament will start with seven Division Two teams today, while 
the big boys in Division One, with defending champions Perak leading the cast, will play from Monday.
  Back-to-back champions Perak will again be the team to watch in Division One. Parak have eight titles under their belts which were won in 1966, 1973, 1985, 1987, 1990 (joint champions with Armed Forces), 1992, 2013 and 2014.
  Last year, Perak beat hosts Pahang 4-3 in the final.
  Division One Group A: Malacca, Penang, Terenggnu, Perak; Group B: Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Johor, Negri.
  Division Two: Perlis, Armed Forces, Kelantan, Sarawak, Selangor, Kedah, Police.
  FRIDAY: Division Two: Armed Forces v Selangor (Pitch I, 6pm), Police v Kelantan (Pitch II, 6pm), Perlis v Kedah (Pitch I, 8pm).
  MONDAY -- Division One: Group A: Perak v Penang (Pitch I, 8pm), Terengganu v Malacca (Pitch II, 8pm).
  Group B: Negri Sembilan v Pahang (6p, Pitch I), Kuala Lumpur v Johor (Pitch II, 6pm).

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mirnawan quits as well...

.In the wake of a disastrous outing, in the Junior Asia Cup, national juniors team manager Mirnawan Nawawi has quit the outfit. More changes can be expected when the MHC meet to discuss the teams future inside one week.

Hashim throws in surprise resignation...

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) Competitions Committee secretary Hashim Yusoff has abruptly put in his resignation letter.
  His last day is today. Hashim confirmed his resignation from MHC, but declined to elaborate.
  The former Armed Forces player was brought into Malaysian hockey administration by the late MHF secretary S. Satgunam after the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.

Malaysia vent anger on Bagladesh

MALAYSIA beat Bangladesh 8-0 to finish fifth in the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan yesterday.
  It was a lopsided match from the start, as Malaysia took a 3-0 lead at half-time and never let Bangladesh back into the match.
  Even though Malaysia failed to qualify for the Junior World Cup next year, they still showed some determination to beat China 5-1 in the seventh-eighth classification, and then Bangladesh by a big margin.
  Sufi Ismat scored a brace in the second and sixth minutes, while Haziq Samsul also nailed a hat-trick in the 30th, 44th and 66th minutes.
  The other goals were scored by Najmi Jazlan (56th, 58th) and Azwar Rahman (56th).
  "Even though we failed to qualify for the World Cup, these players still deserve praise because its not east to wake up from such a disaster to beat China and Bangladesh by big margins in the lower classification," said coach Arul Selvaraj.
  Seniors coach Stephen van Huizen, who is in Kuantan to watch the matches, will select seven players from the juniors squad to train with him.
  Three players who have played with the seniors before in many international tournaments Shahril Saabah, Meor Hassan and Haziq Samsul are among the seven.
  "I will select seven, including the three that have played with the seniors before because there are many talented players in the juniors side, and its unfortunate that they did not qualify for the Junior World Cup," said Van Huizen.
  The seniors are in training for the Azlan Shah Cup next April, where teams like Germany and Netherlands have been invites. Defending champions New Zealand, silver medallists Australia, India, England and Japan are the other teams that have been invited for the Silver Jubilee of the Cup.
  RESULTS: Seventh-Eighth: China 7 Oman 2; Fifth-Sixth: Malaysia 8 Bangladesh 0; Third-Fourth: Japan x South Korea x; Final: India x South Korea x.

Germany, Netherlands invited for Azlan Shah Cup

THE Malaysian Hockey Condeferation (MHC) have invited Germany and Netherlands for the 25th Azlan Shah Cup on April 7-17 next year.
  The Silver Jubilee of the Cup, which started as a biennial event in 1983 and then became a yearly tournament in 1998, will be an eight-team event and follow the quarter-finals format for all teams.
  Malaysia will be up against the best teams in the world like Australia, England, India, New Zealand and Japan -- provided the teams accept the invitations sent on Oct 29.
  To date, India is the only team which has replied in the positive.
  Australia are the most successful Azlan Shah Cup team with eight titles (1983, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014), followed by India who won five golds including the 2010 joint champions with South Korea (1985, 1991, 1995, 2009, 2010*)
  Germany and Netherlands rarely take up the invitations due to clash with domestic tournaments. Germany won in 1987 and 2001 while Netharlands won in 2006.
  Malaysia have never won gold in the tournament but have five silvers to show (1985, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014), while New Zealand are the defending champions as they beat Australia 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw in regulation time last year.
  Malaysia are in training under coach Stephen van Huizen and Technival Director Tery Walsh but it would be too much to as for a gold in the 25th Edition.

JAC 2015: Malaysia 5 China 1

MALAYSIA beat China 5-1 in the seventh-eighth classification match in the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan Saturday, where only pride was at stake.
  Coach Arul Selvaj's boys will now meet Bangladesh in the fifth-sixth classification today after they beat Oman 3-2 in shoot-out. The full time score was 2-2.
  Shahril Saabah scored a hat-trick (41st, 52nd, 64th) while the other goals were scored by Nik Aiman Rozemi (56th) and Syed Shafiq Cholan (67th). The China goal was scored by E Wenlong in the 53rd minute.
  At half-time the score was 0-0: "During the break I lost my head a little and 'punished' some boys who were not putting in any effort, because this was a match to show the stake holders MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation) and NSC (National Sports Council) that these boys should not be disbanded just because they lost concentration for the last two minutes against South Korea.
  "Yes, we missed the Junior World Cup boat by two minutes, but we have some very talented players in this squad and they should have a continuous programme to make them better players," said Arul.
   Arul used his second goalkeeper Fazri Rahim for the full duration of the match and he played a big role in stopping China.
  "Fazri has never played a full match before and he proved that he can be relied upon and this is good for the future. As for Shahil, he showed the way for his team-mates on how to make a come-back from disaster and pick up the pieces no matter what.
  "We only have the fifth spot to aim for now, and we need to win by big margins to show that this team is not a bunch of losers, only that they fumbled for two minutes," said Arul.
  Malaysia lost out on the Junior World Cup when they allowed South Korea to come back into the match in the last two minutes, by scoring two goals to hold Malaysia 3-3, and then beat them 4-1 in the shoot-out.
  RESULTS: Fifth-eighth: Oman 2 Bangladesh 2 (Bangladesh win shoot-out 3-2), Malaysia 5 China 1.
  Semi-finals: Japan 6 India 1, South Korea 2 Pakistan 2 (Pakistan beat Japan 8-7 in shoot out).
  TODAY: Seventh-Eighth: China v Oman (3.45pm, Pitch II); Fifth-Sixth: Malaysia v Bangladesh (6pm, Pitch I); Third-Fourth: Japan v Korea (6.15pm, Pitch I); Final: India v Pakistan (8.30pm, Pitch I).
  Note: All matches at the Kuantan Stadium.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Two minutes of dreaming, for two years of nightmare...

THE Junior Asia Cup is officially over for Malaysia, and the process of picking up the bits and pieces will need at least another two years.
  Two minutes of madness was all it took to send defending champions Malaysia to the abyss of the tournament, and from fourth placed in the last Junior World Cup, to non-participants.
  Many officials, coaches, fans and even the cook at the team hotel still can't come to grips on how Malaysia blew a two-goal lead twice and then collapsed in the penalty shoot-out to hand South Korea the World Cup ticket on a golden platter.
  Leading 2-0 at half-time, and then 3-1 with two minutes to go, and eventually losing the shoot-out 4-1 has equaled the worse performance ever from a Malaysian side.
  The senior side were in the same situation when playing for the Olympics ticket in the Belgium World League. Malaysia lead India 2-1 in the quarter-finals, but a total collapse saw them lose 3-2.
 Then the seniors went on to lose the fifth spot 4-1 to Ireland, a team which they beat 4-2 in the pool match. Fifth placed Ireland qualified for the Olympics as well.
  And with the senior team failing to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on a same script, Malaysia can look forward to a two-year rest from international tournaments.
  A team official said they did everything for the last 18 months, except touch the players feet to prepare them for this tournament.
  "Right now I do not want to discuss the future of Project 2016, as we still have two more matches to play and finish fifth to ease some pain. Not qualifying for the world cup is a disaster, but we have to pick ourselves up to make sure we finish the best (among the rest)," said juniors coach Arul Selvaraj.
  Japan, South Korea, India and Pakistan will be playing in New Delhi in December 2016, and the other teams will be from Europe (six), Oceania (two), Africa (two) and Pan-American (two).
  Postmortems are ongoing at every turn, and the social media has been unkind and even abusive towards the coaching staff and players.
  The reality is that Malaysia lack thinking players, and the team became dreamers in the last two minutes.
  "I had a chat with the players, and the conclusion is that they did not use their head to defend in the last two minutes, but started dreaming about winning (and the celebrations that come with it) when the (huge and colourful) scoreboard showed two minutes to end and Malaysia 3 Korea 1," said Arul.
  The dream turned into a nightmare, as South Korea celebrated wildly and the Malaysian players were rudely shaken out of their slumber.
  It will be another two years of nightmare for for Malaysian hockey, a price they paid for a two-minute dream.
  A parting shot came from the team hotel cook during breakfast: "They should have thrown the ball forward and kept it there for two minutes, and the match would have been well-cooked, and ready to serve."
  As easy as cooking two-minute instant noodles, but they burned their future to ashes.
  SATURDAY: Fifth-eighth: Oman v Bangladesh (3.45pm, Pitch II), Malaysia v China (4pm, Pitch I).
  Semi-finals: Japan v India (6.15pm, Pitch I), South Korea v Pakistan (8.30pm, Pitch I).

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Malaysian hockey lost in wilderness

MALAYSIA blew away a golden chance to play in the Junior World Cup when they were held to a 3-3 draw, and then beaten 4-1 by South Korea in the quarter-finals of the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan yesterday.
  Coach Arul Selvaraj's boys held a 3-1 lead until the 68th minute, but lost their head and allowed Korea to score two quick goals to equalise and take the match to penalty shoot-out.
  Only Shahril Saabah scored in the shoot-out while goalkeeper Ridzwan Azmi failed to stop a single attempt.
  "I take full responsibility for this defeat, and the entire set up is devastated. We were not smart enough to hold the ball in the final two minutes even though the boys had been drilled time and again on how to hold onto a good lead," said Arul.
  Korean coach Jang Jung Min revealed what motivated his charges till the last seconds of the match.
  "Before the match I told them that if we lose against Malaysia the shame will be so big, that we can never return to Korean soil again. They played their hearts out, and now we can go home with our heads held high," said Jang.
  On the Malaysian side, everybody from Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal to the ball-boys shed tears, but in vain.
  This team will now be known as the lost generation, as they only have their Singapore Sea Games gold medal to display.
  This is only the second time Malaysia has failed to play in the Junior World Cup incepted in 1979, the first was when former skipper S. Kuhan and his mates failed in the 1996 qualifier for the 1997 Junior World Cup.
   "All is not lost for this generation, as they must now push harder and try to break into the senior squad. I believe we have good players, but they lack the thinking power," said Arul.
  Shahril Saabah scored his fifth goal of the tournament to give Malaysia the lead in the sixth minute, and South Korea knew they were already in trouble even though the match had just started.
  It was a powerful penalty corner drive from Shahril, which was impossible to stop as it went crashing into the netting.
  Malaysia went forward in numbers and were rewarded in the 31st minute when Sufi Ismat scored a field attempt. Sufi's first shot hit goalkeeper Kim Giim Yung but the ball came back to him, and while lying on the turf, Sufi sliced the ball over the goalkeeper for a 2-0 lead.
  Korea's fight-back come off Kim Ho Min in the 61st minute, but a fast goal from Haziq Samsul in the 63rd made it 3-1 and Malaysia were on cruise mode to the World Cup.
  Korea had other plans, and two quick goals from Sim Jae Won (68th) and Yoo HanYoung (70th) took the match to a shoot-out and the rest will be remembered with tears of blood in the hockey history books.
  Junior World Cup hosts India qualified for the semi-finals in sytle when seven players scored in their 9-0 win over Oman.
  Japan qualified for their third Junior World Cup when they beat Bangladesh 3-0 in their other quarter-finals.
  RESULTS: Quarter-finals: India 9 Oman 0; Bangladesh 0 Japan 3; Malaysia 3 South Korea 3 (Korea win 4-1 in shoot-out), Pakistan 4 China 1.
  TOMORROW: Fifth-eighth: Oman v Bangladesh (3.45pm, Pitch II), Malaysia v China (4pm, Pitch I).
  Semi-finals: Japan v India (6.15pm, Pitch I), South Korea v Pakistan (8.30pm, Pitch I).

Check on age cheats, AHF

By Jugjet Singh

THE ASIAN Hockey Federation (AHF) conducts daily urine tests on selected players, but there is no test done to ascertain the age of players in the Under-21 Junior Asia Cup.
  Players, officials and coaches have over the last 20 years urged the AHF and also the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to conduct age-test for junior tournaments, because many of them have noticed that some players seem to remain young forever in a magical manner.
  In Kuantan, yet again, many of those who are close to hockey have noticed many anomalies but checks with passports have shocked them to silence.
  A hockey true-blood claimed that some players have seen action with him in the junior level, but while he is now well over the junior age, they are still actively playing in age-group tournaments.
  The Junior Asia Cup is a World Cup qualifier, and the stakes are very high and age becoming a magical number has seen some impressive results and some disappointing outcomes.
  Teams take great pain in preparing their juniors, and when there are alleges elements of unfair play, sportsmanship is thrown out the window and replaced by result-oriented cheats.
  Malaysia's preparations, among others, is a great example of how much time and effort is placed to groom youth to become matured players.
  Coach Arul Selvaraj and his team of social-science scientists have practically left no stone unturned to nurture the 18 who are in Kuantan to defend their Junior Asia Cup title.
  Arul is not only a coach, but acts and rules the brood like a fatherly figure using scientific methods to check their heart-rate, their food (energy) intake and urine tests are conducted twice a day to check the level of water and other minerals in the body.
  And he waits at the door to hand them the amount of liquid (one or two bottles of mineral water) when they attend briefings and makes sure they finish their quota of drinks before they exit the briefing.
  Arul also pulls the occasional ear, gives the fatherly shelling, and praises players and its a family affair with one objective -- to bring out the best in his boys.
 Many other coaches are doing the same to their junior charges, but some are only interested in results and do not care the method used to achieve it.
  This is what the AHF and the FIH need to weed out of junior tournaments to give more credibility and accountability to their sanctioned tournaments.
  If the parent bodies don't care, don't change, don't give a hoot -- then those who take the right path will always fall victims to scam artists.
  NOTE -- WIKIPEDIA ON AGE TEST: The most commonly used method is based on a single x-ray of the left hand, fingers, and wrist.

Malaysia the better team...

MALAYSIA have a better record than South Korea in the ongoing Junior Asia Cup, and coach Arul Selvaraj and his men are not afraid or taken aback with their opponents in the quarter-finals in Kuantan today.
  After Bangladesh upset South Korea 3-0, Malaysia believe they are made of better stuff and their target of qualifying for the semi-finals and grabbing a ticket to the Junior World Cup in December 2016 is still in sight.
  The tournament offers four places, and with India claiming one as World Cup hosts, the other three semi-finalists are also assured of playing in New Delhi next year.
  India are sure bets to demolish Oman in the first quarter-finals of the day, Bangladesh play Japan in the second quarters and if the Bengali pull off another upset -- they will play in their maiden Junior World Cup.
  Pakistan look the better side against China, while Malaysia only need to polish on their accuracy and South Korea will become history.
  Korea team manager Yoo Moon-Ki believes his charges are better prepared after three matches.
  "We never played any matches before this tournament and so the Group B outings were good practice. We started with a 5-2 win against Oman, but hit a bad patch against Pakistan (3-0) and Bangladesh (2-0).
  "But my players are much more experienced and composed now, and I expect them to give Malaysia a tough time and eventually qualify for the World Cup," said Moon-Ki.
  Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj and his boys are not afraid of the challenge today.
  "The fourth match is what matters most in this tournament and we are ready for any team. Past records at junior or even senior level invincibility does not come into account in this match.
  "We came with a single objective which is to qualify for the semi-finals and I know we will achieve it regardless our opponents," said Arul.
  Some believe South Korea are a better side than Malaysia and were not their true self in Group B, but lest we forget, Malaysia beat them in the last encounter -- 2-1 in the Junior World Cup quarter-finals and both the goals were scored by Shahril Saabah.
  Shahril is still with the Malaysian team, as he is 21 and eligible for the qualifier but not the next World Cup.
  Skipper Najib Abu Hassan rounded it up by saying: "This is the most important match of our lives as it will determine our future in hockey. So believe me, we will not blow up this chance of a life-time."  
  TODAY: Quarter-finals: India v Oman (3.45, Pitch II); Bangladesh v Japan (4pm, Pitch I); Malaysia v South Korea (6.15pm, Pitch I), Pakistan v China (8.30pm, Pitch I).

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

JAC 2015: Mas v Kor quarters

MALAYSIA drew 2-2 with Japan to finish second in Group A, and will play South Korea in the quarter-finals of the Junior Asia Cup tomorrow.
  Before Malaysia stepped onto the pitch yesterday, Bangladesh had upset South Korea 2-0 in Group B. So, the stats were that if Malaysia beat or hold Japan they will meet South Korea in the quarter-finals, and if they lose, they play Bangladesh.
  The quarter-finals are what matters most in this tournament, as winners advance to the Junior World Cup in India next year.
  "Even though we did not beat Japan, by boys still gave a good account of themselves and after a days rest, we will be ready for the most important match of the tournament which is the only chance to qualify for the Junior World Cup.
  "We did not pick or choose our opponents, and I believe South Korea can be beaten to realise our dream of playing in India next year," said Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj.
  Malaysia took the match to Japan with zest, and off a concerted ettack an the 15th minute, Azwar Rahman scored a field attempt for his first goal of the tournament.
  Japan were contended with defending, and gave Malaysia too much space to attack, but final touches eluded a higher scoreline in the early minutes.
   After the half-time break, Japan started toying around with the ball while Malaysia kept missing sitters.
  Japan drew level in the 49th minute, when Miyu Tanimitsu scored a penalty corner goal.
  Malaysia replaced No 1 goalkeeper Ridzwan Azmi with Fazri Rahim in the 62nd minute, and it was to give match exposure to the other golakeeper.
  And with four minutes left on the clock, Haziq Samsul gave Malaysia the lead, but Japan drew level at 2-2 with a penalty corner from YAMADA Shota Yamada in the 69th minute and Malaysia will play against South Korea in the quarters. 
  India will meet Oman in the quarters, and even though they have qualified for the World Cup as hosts, they are the early favourites to enter the last four.
  RESULTS: Group A: India 4 China 1, Japan 2 Malaysia 2.
  Group B: Oman 1 Pakistan 7, South Korea 0 Bangladesh 2.
  Nov 18: REST DAY
  Nov 19: Quarter-finals: India v Oman (3.45, Pitch II); Bangladesh v Japan (4pm, Pitch I); Malaysia v South Korea (6.15pm, Pitch I), Pakistan v China (8.30pm, Pitch I).

            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
INDIA       3  3  0  0  11 6  9
MALAYSIA    3  1  1  1  10 7  4
JAPAN       3  1  1  1  5  5  4
CHINA       3  0  0  3  2  10 0

            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
PAKISTAN    3  3  0  0  13 2  9
BANGLADESH  3  2  0  1  8  7  6
S KOREA     3  1  0  2  5  7  3
OMAN        3  0  0  3  7  17 0

MHC: Faizal Shaari faces total ban..

FAIZAL .. World League Round Two player-of-the tournament back in murky waters.

INFAMOUS striker Faizal Saari has, yet again, failed to turn up for national training and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are ready to throw the book at him.
  Faizal went on marriage leave and was asked to turn up for training last weeek, but went AWOL. This is the second time Faizal has snubbed national training.
  "We do not tolerate indiscipline, and Faizal will be referred to the Disciplinary board (before the Razak Cup on Nov 26) with the proposal to ban him from international as well as domestic tournaments," said MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal in Kuantan yesterday.
  Faizal, a Terengganu Hockey Team player, is no stranger to controversy as a money dispute with MHC saw him dropped from the Asian Games line-up after getting into plenty of controversies before and after the World Cup.

Monday, November 16, 2015

JAC 2015: Beat Japan or take the tough road...

 Skipper Najib Abu Hassan and coach Arul Selvaraj
PC ace Najmi Jazlan (fist in air) after scoring against China.

Malaysia's back against the wall...

MALAYSIA have placed their backs against the wall after losing 5-4 to India, and today, coach Arul Selvaraj and his boys must beat or hold Japan at all cost in the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan.
  A win or a draw will see Malaysia finish top-two in Group A, and meet either Bangladesh or Oman in the cross-over quarter-finals. A defeat against Japan will pit Malaysia against South Korea in the last eight.
  The tournament offers three tickets to the 2016 Junior World Cup, and Malaysia must play in the semi-finals to take up the offer.
  India are favourites to top Group A, provided they beat China today.
  "My boys did some silly mistakes against India, but we can't afford the same against Japan. I believe it will be another tough match but we have the capability to come out tops.
  "We played Japan in four friendlies in February and lost three and drew one match. But that was a different Malaysia and I did not have 50 per cent of my top players. Even then, I don't believe in history, because I think positive, and have inculcated that habit in my players over the Sea Games (gold) and Sultan of Johor Cup (bronze)," said Arul.
  The good news yesterday was that defender Amirol Aideed is ready to play his first match in Kuantan.
  "Amirol was rested to recover from hamstring against China and India, but will play against Japan. He has a cool head, and its just what we need to keep a tight lid in defense," said Arul.
  Malaysia were guilty of letting in three soft goals against India, and hopefully Amirol, who played a sterling role in the SOJC, will not disappoint.
   Japan coach Takahiko Yamabori, whose charges surprised India when they only lost 1-2, believes his boys are ready for Malaysia, as they plan ahead for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  "We are building this team for the Tokyo Olympics, and I believe at least 60 per cent of my juniors will play in the Olympics and that is why its very important that we beat Malaysia to have an easier passage into the Junior World Cup.
  "We need to play in the Junior World Cup to make these players more confident when they play in the Olympics," said Takahiko.
  Japan failed to qualify for the last Junior World Cup where Malaysia finished fourth ahead of South Korea (eighth), Pakistan (ninth) and India (10th).
  The battle cry from Japan was chilling, but Arul has his plans: "Inside both the 25-yards, they must play with intelligence, and inside both the semi-circles with passion to 'die' defending and scoring.
  "That's what I have trained these players to do, and they displayed these qualities in both the previous matches. Silly mistakes is what made us lose to India, but my charges are ready to make amends against Japan."
  Group B is very much wrapped up, as barring upsets, Pakistan should beat Oman to top the group, while South Korea is the better team compared to Bangladesh and should finish second.
  Nov 16: REST DAY
  Nov 17: Group A: India v China (6pm, Pitch I), Japan v Malaysia (8.15pm, Pitch I).
  Group B: Oman v Pakistan (4pm, Pitch I), South Korea v Bangladesh (4.30pm, Pitch II).
  Nov 18: REST DAY
  Nov 19: Quarter-finals.

            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
INDIA       2  2  0  0  7  5  6
MALAYSIA    2  1  0  1  8  5  3
JAPAN       2  1  0  1  3  3  3
CHINA       2  0  0  2  1  6  0

            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
PAKISTAN    2  2  0  0  6  1  6
S KOREA     2  1  0  1  5  5  3
BANGLADESH  2  1  0  1  6  7  3
OMAN        2  0  0  2  6  10 0

Sunday, November 15, 2015

JAC 2015: No shame in 4-5 defeat

MALAYSIA blew an early lead to lose 5-4 to India in Group A of the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan Sunday.
  After a day's rest, the hosts meet Japan in their final pool match and its a must-win situation of they want to finish second in the Group.
  "There were moments of lapses which turned the match around for India, but I'm very proud of the way my boys played today (yesterday) and I am confident that they will rise against Japan to finish second in our group," said Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj.
  Shahril Saabah scored a super reverse stick goal 45 seconds from the start, and Malaysia looked like they were about to maul India.
  But after a brilliant save by goalkeeper Ridzwan Azmi in the ninth minute, he made a schoolboy blunder in the 10th minute and Mandeep Singh punished Malaysia and drew level.
  This was the fastest match of the tournament, as even before India could settle down from celebrating their goal, Shahril struck yet again.
  The No 1 penalty corner flicker in the country, Shahril, scored a cheeky field goal in the 20th minute when he deflected home skipper Najib Hassan's slap-in from the top of the semi-circle.
  It was Shahril's third goal of the tournament, as he also scored against China on Saturday.
  India coach Harendra Singh, dissapointed that his goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya for failing to stop Shahril's second goal, replaced him with No 2 Suraj Karkera in the 27th minute.
  Malaysia took the game the India after the breather, but a lapse in defense saw Gurjant Singh handing his side yet another equaliser with a 40th minute reverse stick attempt.
  Malaysia were guilty of giving away easy penalty corners after that, and India finally took the lead in the 46th minute when Harmanpreet Singh blasted home a drive.
  And it was almost all over for Malaysia in the 56th minute, when Harmanpreet scored his second penalty corner, while Manddeep Singh made it 5-2 in the 61st minute.
  Sufi Ismat pulled one back a minute later to make it 5-3, and Malysia went on a rampage and made it 5-4 in the 66th minute when Shahril nailed his hat-trick.
  Meanwhile in Group B, Pakistan upset South Korea 3-0 and are poised to top the group as they have an 'easy' game against winless Oman on Tuesday to collect maximum points.
  Korea play Bangladesh last, but even if they win, they are set to end second in Group B.
  RESULTS: Group A: China 1 Japan 2, Malaysia 4 India 5.
  Group B: Pakistan 3 South Korea 0, Oman 4 Bangladesh 5.
  Nov 16: REST DAY

            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
INDIA       2  2  0  0  7  5  6
MALAYSIA    2  1  0  1  8  5  3
JAPAN       2  1  0  1  3  3  3
CHINA       2  0  0  2  1  6  0

            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
PAKISTAN    2  2  0  0  6  1  6
S KOREA     2  1  0  1  5  5  3
BANGLADESH  2  1  0  1  6  7  3
OMAN        2  0  0  2  6  10 0

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Jnr Asia Cup: Malaysia 4 China 0

THE National Juniors started on an impressive note when they beat China 4-0 in Group A of the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan Saturday.
  However, their true strength will be known today when they square off against tournament favourites India.
  India had beaten Malaysia 2-1 in the Sultan of Johor Cup.
  "Im vey happy not only with the score line, but also the way my boys played today. They knew when to press and when to hold the match and this is one reason why we could beat China with such a margin," said Malaysian juniors coach Arul Selvaraj.
  As for India: "I believe India is a matured side, as they don't play like Under-21 players and this will be our toughest game in Group A. We will be playing them for the second time in three weeks, and I believe our penalty corner battery will be ready to do more damage this time around," said Arul.
   Malaysia started on a nervous note, and even gave away the first penalty corner in the fifth minute to China but the post saved the blushes.
   And after failing to score off their first penalty corner, Malaysia took a 2-0 lead off their next two penalty corners.
   Najmi Jazlan's drive in the 14th minute almost tore the netting, and Shahril Saabah's powerful flick in the 21st minute gave Malaysia some breathing space.
   The forward line rarely took shots at goal, and with 10minutes to the half-time break, China were doing most of the attacking and only penalty corners separated both the sides at the half time hooter.
  Malaysia came out looking for more from the match, and finally nailed a field goal off Haziq Samsul in th 42nd minute.
  The goal not only assured Malaysia three points, but was also a moral boost for Haziq, who has played at the senior level, because he did not score a single goal in the Sultan of Johor Cup.
  And with seconds remaining in the match, Najmi again scored off a penalty corner and Malaysia earned a well deserved win.
  RESULTS: Group A: Malaysia 4 China 0, India 2 Japan 1.
  Group B: Pakistan 3 Bangladesh 1, South Korea 5 Oman 2.
  SUNDAY: Group A: China v Japan (6pm, Pitch I), Malaysia v India (8.15pm, Pitch I).
  Group B: Pakistan v South Korea (4pm, Pitch I), Oman v Bangladesh (4.30pm, Pitch II).
 Nov 16: REST DAY


            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
MALAYSIA    1  1  0  0  4  0  3
INDIA       1 1  0  0  2  1 3
CHINA       1  0  0  1  0  4  0
JAPAN       1  0  0  1  1 2  0


            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
S KOREA     1  1  0  0  5  2  3
PAKISTAN    1  1  0  0  3  1  3
OMAN        1  0  0  1  2  5  0
BANGLADESH  1  0  0  1  1  3  0