Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ASIA CUP: South Korea hold India 1-1

AS EXPECTED South Korea came out of their cocoon to hold India 1-1 in the round robin of the Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh Wednesday.
  The Koreans, battling to qualify for the World Cup, played controlled hockey against world No 6 India.
  India, Malaysia and Pakistan have qualified for the 2018 World Cup, and Korea need the gold medal in their hands to make the cut.
  Lee Jungjun's 41st minute reverse stick flick gave Korea the lead, but with three minutes remaining in the match, India removed their goalkeeper and used a kicking-back, and Gurjant Singh scored the equaliser in the 60th minute to share points.
  Thursday, Malaysia will play South Korea.


RESULTS: Malaysia 3 Pakistan 2, India 1 South Korea 1.

STANDINGS 

               P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
MALAYSIA       1  1  0  0  3  2  3
INDIA          1  0  1  0  1  1  1
S KOREA        1  0  1  0  1  1  1
PAKISTAN       1  0  0  1  2  3  0


ROUND ROBIN FIXTURES

Oct 19: South Korea v Pakistan (5pm), Malaysia v India (7.30pm).
Oct 21: Malaysia v South Korea (5pm), India v Pakistan (7.30pm).
 Note: Malaysian time.

Monday, October 16, 2017

ASIA CUP: ROUND ROBIN FIXTURES

Oct 18: Malaysia v Pakistan (5pm), India v South Korea (7.30pm).
Oct 19: South Korea v Pakistan (5pm), Malaysia v India (7.30pm).
Oct 21: Malaysia v South Korea (5pm), India v Pakistan (7.30pm).

ASIA CUP: Korea check into round robin

SOUTH KOREA struggled for long periods, before beating a stubborn China 4-1 to become the last team to qualify for the Asia Cup round robin in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday.
  The other teams which will play in the medal round are Malaysia, India and Pakistan.
  Olympian Jang Jong-hyun saved the day with two goals in the 10th and 43rd minutes while Kim Seong-kyu (47th) and Yang Jihun (57th) scored the other two.
  The China goal was scored by Du Talake (38th). 
  
  RESULTS -- GROUP B: Malaysia 7 Oman 1, China 1 South Korea 4.

FINAL STANDINGS

GROUP A
            P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
INDIA       3  3  0  0  15 2  9
PAKISTAN    3  1  1  1  10 5  4
JAPAN       3  1  1  1  6  8  4
BANGLADESH  3  0  0  3  1  17 0

GROUP B
            P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
MALAYSIA    3  3  0  0  16 3  9
S KOREA     3  2  0  1  12 5  6
CHINA       3  1  0  2  4  12 3
OMAN        3  0  0  3  4  16 0

ASIA CUP: Malaysia 7 Oman 1

MALAYSIA toyed around with Oman but still won 7-1 to remain unbeaten in Group A of the Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh Monday.
  It was Malaysia's 13th straight victory over Oman, and an improvement over the 6-1 drubbing in the World League Round Two at the same venue in March.
  With nine points after three matches, Malaysia topped Group A and will now challenge for a medal in the round robin matches. 
  Malaysia played to avoid injuries, while Oman played a robust game, but after Faizal Shaari scored in the 16th minute, the match became lopsided.
  Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin tucked in the second in the 18th minute, and Shahril Saabah made it 3-0 off a 20th minute penalty corner.
  The other goals were scored by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (23rd), Fazial (27th), Amirol Arshad (40th), Najmi Jazlan (42nd), 
  Oman got their consolation off Salmeen Al Nofali (25th).

ASIA CUP: Keep Calm and Play Hockey

COMMENT

THE Asia Cup has never been Malaysa's favourite hunting ground, as in nine previous editions, only one bronze medal was won in 2007 in Chennai, India.
  Malaysia made the semi-finals six times, but failed to advance to the final. The not so proud record has five fourth placings.
  The tournament brings together the best in Asia, and is a World Cup qualifier. South Korea is the most successful team with four gold medals, with the most recent in 2013 in Ipoh.
  The Koreans have used the Cup wisely to qualify for the World Cup 
four times, but are one of the Asian giants fighting with an aged team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India.
  India, Pakistan and Malaysia qualified via the World League, while China also has a good chance to play in the World Cup, but South Korea must win the gold medal in Dhaka to claim their spot.
  And Malaysia dealt them a big blow with a hard-fought 2-1 win, and now Korea must beat China on Monday to play in the Round Robbin.
  This Malaysian side has shown team and fighting spirit which has been missing for the last decade.
  The Koreans pushed hard, even played robust and some say dirty hockey to find the equaliser in the third quarter, but Malaysia stood their ground.
  Even in London in the World League Semifinals, Malaysia scored early and then defended with their lives to beat South Korea 1-0.
  There is something magical in the way this Malaysian team attacks and defends in numbers.
  After two matches, the team has made few mistakes, but still, the Koreans showed that Malaysia is not ready in one aspect.
  When pushed to the limit, the Malaysian players seem to fall back into their old mentality -- making school-boy mistakes in their own 25-yard even though they have the lead.
  This is dangerous, as India and Pakistan as well as South Korea are masters in making players from the other team lose their cool by playing robust and sometimes 'dirty' hockey.
  Dirty here means agitating players with little nudges, and nippy hits while dribbling past, which does not cause injury but anger to the opposite side.
  Malaysia were put to this test in the last minute by South Korea and even experienced Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, normally a very cool player, lost his mind and retaliated.
  With 26 seconds left on the clock and South Korea winning a free hit just outside the scoring circle, Tengku Ahmad was sent out with a yellow card for retaliating a shoulder bump.
  This is what Malaysia can expect in the Round Robin. Robust, sometimes 'dirty' play from the Asian masters.
  And it looks like Malaysia must beat India, Pakistan and South Korea in the Round Robin -- by keeping their cool when pushed and irritated to the limit.

ASIA CUP: Ponacha knows the score...

OMAN coach A.K. Ponacha, from India, knows that his men are in for a torrid 60 minutes in their last Group B match of the Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh, today.
  Statistics are too damning for Oman to even dream of pulling off an upset. 
  Malaysia beat China 7-1, while Oman lost to China 2-1. 
  Malaysia beat South Korea 2-1, while Oman were hammered 7-2 by South Korea.
  "We know its going to be the toughest Group B match for us, but on the other hand, we have nothing to lose but much to gain by playing against higher ranked opponents," said Ponacha.
  The part-time Oman players are ranked 30th in the world, while a professional and full-time Malaysian squad is 12th.
  "Most of our players are working either with the Army or Police and we get together during weekends to train. And before the Asia Cup, they were preparing for the Indoor Asia Cup (in Qatar, April) so we trained whenever we could after the indoor," said Ponacha.
  Interestingly, in the Indoor Asia Cup, Malaysia beat Oman 7-5 in the fifth-sixth classification match even though we have only recently taken up the indoor game to prepare for the Sea Games.
  Oman will be beaten today, only the score is yet to be determined.

ASIA CUP: Oman warm-up for Super 4 crunch

MALAYSIA will use the last Group B match against Oman Monday as  warm-up for the Round Robbin of the Asia Cup.
  Coach Stephen van Huizen's men passed the group stage with flying colours when they hammered China 7-1 and then edged Asia Cup defending champions South Korea 2-1.
  Oman need a miracle to deny Malaysia full points to top the group, while for Malaysia, its how many goals they want to score.
  "No disrespect to the Oman players, as I aim to use this game as a warm-up before the 'real tournament' starts," said van Huizen.
  The top two teams in each group advance to the Round Robin where they play three more matches. The top two teams will then advance to the final.
  Oman has only played twice in the Asia Cup, with the last one being in Ipoh in 2013 where they ended sixth.
  "Our penalty corners are still not sharp, and we have one more match to get it right. The three matches in the Round Robbin is our true test, and we aim to pass the second stage with flying colours as well," said van Huizen.
  No 1 flicker Razie Rahim has been given many chances against China and Korea, but he has failed to deliver. Instead, No 2 flicker Faizal Shaari is more deadly in Dhaka.
  The other flickers which have yet to be used are Shahril Saabah and Najmi Jazlan.
  And it looks like van Huizen is keeping Shahril and Najmi for the second round.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

ASIA CUP; A toss between Korea and China

INDIA, Pakistan and Malaysia have qualified for the round robbin of the Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  The fourth slot will be decided Monday when South Korea and China square off in Group B. South Korea only needs a draw while China must win to play in the medal round.
  On Sunday, India beat Pakistan 3-1 to top Group A. Pakistan and Japan ended the group stage on four points, but Pakistan advanced on a better goal average.
  It was India's third consecutive win against the Green Shirts this year, as in the London World League Semifinals India won 7-1 in the group stage and 6-1 in the 5th-6th classification.
  RESULTS: Group A: India 3 Pakistan 1, Japan 3 Bangladesh 1.


STANDINGS

GROUP A
            P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
INDIA       3  3  0  0  15 2  9
PAKISTAN    3  1  1  1  10 5  4
JAPAN       3  1  1  1  6  8  4
BANGLADESH  3  0  0  3  1  17 0

GROUP B
            P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
MALAYSIA    2  2  0  0  9  2  6
S KOREA     2  1  0  1  8  4  3
CHINA       2  1  0  1  3  8  3
OMAN        2  0  0  2  3  9  0

Saturday, October 14, 2017

ASIA CUP: Malaysia in Round Robbin

RESULTS: Group B: Malaysia 2 South Korea 1; China 2 Oman 1.

STANDINGS

GROUP A
            P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
INDIA       2  2  0  0  12 1  6
PAKISTAN    2  1  1  0  9  2  4
JAPAN       2  0  1  1  3  7  1
BANGLADESH  2  0  0  2  0  14 0

GROUP B
            P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
MALAYSIA    2  2  0  0  9  2  6
S KOREA     2  1  0  1  8  4  3
CHINA       2  1  0  1  3  8  3
OMAN        2  0  0  2  3  9  0

ASIA CUP: Malaysia beat Korea again...

MALAYSIA beat South Korea 2-1 Saturday to cement their spot in the Asia Cup Round Robin with a match to spare in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  On Monday, Malaysia will play Oman while South Korea will meet China in the final Group B matches.
  The Koreans sat back and soaked in the pressure for the first 10 minutes, but still, Malaysia could not find the much needed break.
  Only in the last five minutes of the first quarter did the Koreans break into the Malaysian semi-circle, but stout defending kept them at bay.
  The stakes were high for Korea, as they needed to win and keep their World Cup hopes alive, while Malaysia played with great composure to deny them.
  Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin finally gave Malaysia the break, when he deftly dribbled into the semicircle and won the second penalty corner, for Faizal Shaari to nail the opening goal, and his fourth of the tournament, in the 17th minute.
  Faizal again played a pivotal role when Malaysia won their third penalty corner. This time he pushed to the centre for a set-piece and even though the ball was stopped by goalkeeper Hong Doopyo, Azri Hassan tucked in the rebound in the 19th minute.
  However, Korea came back into the match in the 27th minute when Lee Seunghoon scored a field goal from close range.
  But Malaysia played in the remaining minutes to deny South Korea an equaliser.

ends/

Friday, October 13, 2017

ASIA CUP; India check in, Japan in trouble

INDIA hammered Bangladesh 7-0 to become the first team to qualify for the Round Robin of the Asia Cup in Bangladesh yesterday (Friday).
  In another Group A match Japan placed themselves in deep trouble when they played to a 2-2 draw against Pakistan.
  The draw made it difficult for Japan to reach the Round Robbin and challenge for a World Cup berth.
   Now, Japan must beat Bangladesh by a healthy margin in their last Group match on Sunday and hope India beats Pakistan to make the second round.
  Arslan Qadir (16th) and Umar Bhutta (50th) socored for Pakistan, while Kenta Tanaka (22nd) and Heita Yoshihara (29th) delivered for Japan.
  RESULTS: Group A -- Pakistan 2 Japan 2; India 7 Bangladesh 0.

STANDINGS

GROUP A
            P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
INDIA       2  2  0  0  12 1  6
PAKISTAN    2  1  1  0  9  2  4
JAPAN       2  0  1  1  3  7  1
BANGLADESH  2  0  0  2  0  14 0

GROUP B
            P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
MALAYSIA    1  1  0  0  7  1  3
S KOREA     1  1  0  0  7  2  3
OMAN        1  0  0  1  2  7  0
CHINA       1  0  0  1  1  7  0

ASIA CUP: Japan in trouble waters...

JAPAN are in deep trouble after they played to a 2-2 draw against Pakistan in Group A of the Asia Cup in Bangladesh Friday.
  The draw has made it difficult for Japan to reach the Round Robbin and challenge for a World Cup berth.
   Now, Japan must hammer Bangladesh in their last match and hope India beats Pakistan to make the second round.
  Pakistan: Arslan Qadir 16th, Umar Bhutta 50th.
  Japan: Kenta Tanaka 22nd, Heita Yoshihara 29th,.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

ASIA CUP: Korea 7 Oman 2

RESULTS: Group B -- Malaysia 7 China 1; South Korea 7 Oman 2.


STANDINGS

GROUP A
            P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
PAKISTAN    1  1  0  0  7  0  3
INDIA       1  1  0  0  5  1  3
JAPAN       1  0  0  1  1  5  0
BANGLADESH  1  0  0  1  0  7  0

GROUP B
            P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
MALAYSIA    1  1  0  0  7  1  3
S KOREA     1  1  0  0  7  2  3
OMAN        1  0  0  1  2  7  0
CHINA       1  0  0  1  1  7  0


ASIA CUP: Malaysia 7 China 1

MALAYSIA played a cool and controlled game under humid conditions to beat China 7-1 in the Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday.
  Coach Stephen Van Huizen's men will next play South Korea on Saturday at 7.30pm Malaysian time and a win will ensure Malaysia's spot in the Round-Robbin.
  Man-of-the-match had to be seasoned campaigner Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, whose quick reflexes handed Malaysia the first goal.
  His goal came off a comedy of errors from China, as all their players in the semi-circle stopped playing, expecting the umpire to blow for a Malaysian penalty corner, but experienced Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin took the lull opportunity to slam in the ball.
  The 12th minute goal took off a heavy load from the Malaysian shoulders.
  China were never in the match after that, as Malaysia almost had total control of the ball and the second goal was scored in the 17th minute by Faizal Shaari.
  Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scored the third off another classic attempt in the 19th minute and China were in deep trouble.
  Razie Rahim finally got his scoring touch right after the half-time break, when he sent in a sizzling drag flick to the roof of the goalmouth to make it 4-0 in the 31st minute.
  Shahril Saabah made it 5-0 in the 35th minute, while Faizal got his hat-trick in the 41st minute and Ramadan Rosli scored number seven to totally demolish the Great Wall.
  China scored their consolation off E Wenhui in the 56th minute.

 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

ASIA CUP: India starts with a bang...

INDIA hammered Japan 5-1 to keep a strong grip of Group A in the Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday.
  It was a slow start, as Japan held them 1-1 by the fourth minute, but India were ruthless after the second half.
  The India goals were scored by Sunil Sowmarpet (third), Lalit Upadhyay (22nd), Ramandeep Singh (33rd), Harmanpreet Singh (35th, 48th). 
  Japan got their consolation off Kenji Kitazato in the fourth minute.
  It was newly appointed coach Sjoerd Marijne’s first test after Roelant Oltmans was sacked just before the tournament and he got the desired result.

Monday, September 25, 2017

RM1.89 million boost for SO Johor Cup

FEELS GREAT...Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar at the sponsorship ceremony. 

THE Seventh Edition of Sultan of Johor Cup on Oct 22-29 received a RM1.89 million sponsorship pledge in cash and kind yesterday.
  In hand to receive the sponsorship was Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.
  The tournament received another boost as reigning world junior champion India will make a return after sitting out the Sixth Edition.
  India will be joined by defending champions Australia, 2015 champions Britain, crowd favourites Japan and debutants United States of America at the Taman Daya Stadium.
  Malaysia, who finished fifth last year, will face an uphill battle again.
  “We anticipate a keenly fought tournament this time around and hope that the fans will take this opportunity to watch budding youngsters of the hockey world in action,” said Johor HA President Datuk Jais Sarday.
  “This tournament is a much sought after event and although many more countries were keen, we want to keep the number at six teams.”
  Leading the contributors was the Johor State Government with RM500,000, official broadcaster RTM with RM200,000, and Astaka Padu Sdn Bhd with RM200,000.
  Other sponsors are Yayasan Harmoni (RM100,000), Genting Berhad (RM100,000), UM Land (RM100,000), Johor Corporation (RM100,000), JBB Builders (M) Sdn Bhd (RM 100,000), Tenaga Nasional Berhad (RM100,000), SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd (RM50,000), SP Setia (RM 100,000) Global Tobacco Manufacturers (International) Sdn Bhd (RM40,000), 
Iskandar Waterfront Sdn Bhd (RM50,000), Berjaya Times Square (RM50,000) and Kumpulan BCB Berhad (RM50,000).
  “We are thankful to all the sponsors who have stepped forward to help us finance the tournament,” added Datuk Jais.
  Two others, Kukreja Sdn Bhd and 100 Plus contributed attire and prizes for special awards as well as refreshments for the tournament.
  Several teams are expected to arrive in Johor Baru early with Britain, Australia, Japan and Malaysia setting camp on Oct 17.
  All the matches will be telecast live by RTM and will also be available on live streaming.
  In terms of title distribution, India won twice (2013,2014), Malaysia (2011), Germany (2012), Britain (2015) and Australia (2016).

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dharmaraj's One Night in Bangkok... My Philosophy of Coaching

NATIONAL women's hockey coach K. Dharmaraj has been invited to give a talk to an audience made up of badminton greats.
  Yes, you read it right.
  Dharmaraj, who successfully took his 22nd rankled team into the World League Semifinals in London, has been invited to the Badminton Asia Top Coaches Forum in Bangkok on Sept 30-Oct 1.
  His topic would be "My Philosophy of Coaching".
  "It's really a honour to be invited for this forum where I will give a talk on my coaching experience. There will be top badminton coaches there and I can also learn a thing or two from them and apply it where applicable," said Dharmaraj.
  The coach was given a rag-tag team to prepare for the World League Round Two in Kuala Lumpur, in his unorthodox coaching method saw his charges beat 15th ranked Italy in the semi-finals to qualify for the World League Semifinals for the first time.
  "This is the second time I have received an offer from outside hockey to talk at a forum. The first was when our national juniors beat Pakistan in the 2012 Asia Cup and qualified for the Junior World Cup in India.
  "Back them I was invited by Karate to their forum but could not attend because of my commitments.
  "But I will be heading to Bangkok thanks to all the support I received from the Malaysian hockey Confederation and president Datuk Seri Subahan (Kamal).
  "All this would not have been possible if they did not have faith in me to coach the national women's team," said Dharmaraj.
  Dharmaraj is in the midst of preparing his charges for the Asia Cup in Kakamigahara, Japan, on Oct 28-Nov 5. The tournament is a World Cup qualifier.
  Among the badminton coaches invited to the forum are BA of Malaysia Technical Director Morten Frost and BA of Thailand chief coach Rexy Mainaky.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Five national players in tax trouble...



Oleh Saiful Affendy Sapran

KUALA LUMPUR: Kelemahan pihak pengurusan kelab yang beraksi dalam saingan Liga Hoki Malaysia (LHM), Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) dilihat bakal memberi kesan terhadap lima pemainnya yang beraksi bersama skuad hoki negara.
  Ini kerana, lima pemain itu, andai dipilih Stephen van Huizen, berkemungkinan besar akan dihalang untuk ke luar negara bagi menghadapi saingan Piala Asia di Dhaka, bulan depan, kerana gagal menjelaskan bayaran cukai pendapatan untuk 2015.
  Menurut sumber, pihak pengurusan THT iaitu Persatuan Hoki Terengganu (PHT) didakwa tidak memaklumkan lebih awal kepada setiap pemain bahawa mereka perlu membayar cukai pendapatan.
  Malah jelas sumber, di dalam kontrak pemain, tidak dinyatakan bahawa mereka perlu membayar cukai pendapatan.
  Hanya pada Januari lalu barulah pemain THT dimaklumkan mengenai perkara itu selepas pihak pengurusan memanggil semua mereka untuk mengadakan perbincangan bersama Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN).
  Lebih parah, ada pemain yang perlu membayar tuntutan cukai pendapatan sehingga mencecah kira-kira RM35,000, termasuk penalti lewat melakukan bayaran.
  "Masalah sekarang ialah apabila pihak pengurusan langsung tak maklumkan kepada pemain mengenai perkara ini lebih awal.
  "Jika setiap pemain tahu, sudah pasti mereka akan membayar cukai itu.   Sekarang macam mana nak cari duit dalam jumlah yang banyak untuk melakukan bayaran?," katanya.
  Jelas sumber itu, perkara paling membimbangkan adalah membabitkan lima pemain kebangsaan yang bakal terbang ke Dhaka bulan depan.
  "Untuk pemain lain, mungkin tidak terlalu berdepan masalah sangat. Tapi bagaimana pula pemain yang bersama skuad kebangsaan ketika ini kerana difahamkan, mereka mungkin akan dihalang untuk ke luar negara sekiranya gagal jelaskan cukai pendapatan," katanya.
  Malah sumber itu berkata, pihak persatuan juga masih gagal membayar gaji bulanan setiap pemain yang sudah tertunggak selama dua bulan.
  THT adalah antara pasukan utama pada saingan LHM dan pernah memenangi kejuaraan liga sebanyak tiga kali, termasuk tahun lalu.




Thursday, August 10, 2017

Mammoth boost for hockey in Selangor...

FROM LEFT ... SHA VP J. Elangovan Chairman Competitions Committee,  QI Group’s Deputy Group Managing Director Kuna Senathirajah, SHA President, Ganesh Shanmugam and SHA Deputy President  Dr  S. Shamala,


THE QNET-TNB Selangor Hockey League kicks off on Aug 19 with a whopping 71 teams gunning for titles in various divisions.
  This will not only by the biggest number of teams taking part in the history of Selangor hockey but also, the biggest state league in Malaysia.
  Asian Direct Selling Company, QNET announced its continued
sponsorship for the third year running for the men's, women's, schoolboys' and girls' categories, to be played at three venues in the Klang Valley.
   This year’s edition will also see Tenaga Nasional Berhad, as
co-sponsors with matches being played at the Petaling Jaya City Council, Pandamaran and the KPM Pantai Stadiums.
  The league will also introduce a new division called the District Level Development (DLD) as part of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) and the Ministry of Education Sports Division development partnership program. 
  Each DLD district will be allowed to field one under-14 team in the league for free and the matches will be played in the KPM Stadium in Pantai.
  S. Kuna, QI Group’s deputy group managing director expressed
his delight on the continued partnership with Selangor HA.
  “As a keen supporter of one of our top national sport, I am also quite happy to see the league moving into full gear for the third year running.
 "This will give a good platform for hockey fans in the state to see top class action up close and in the process unearthing new talent which could be nurtured into national or world class players.”
  “Additionally, our partnership with Selangor HA clearly demonstrates our strong support for the development of hockey, where Malaysia is ranked 12th in the world, and having qualified for the World Cup in India next year,” said Kuna.
  In Division One, defending champions UiTM will looking to win their fourth consecutive title but are expected to face stiff competition.
  PJCC Tigers will be one of the teams to watch as they won the Junior Hockey League Division One title in May. 
  Also looking to challenge UiTM will be the Hamzah Machang and X-Matrix.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Van Huizen: No issues with Baljit...

 VAN HUIZEN (Right)
VAN HUIZEN

NATIONAL chief coach Stephen van Huizen said Baljit Singh Charun has contributed immensely for the last 10 years, but fell a few rungs to younger players recently, and that's why he was placed in the development squad.
  Baljit was then moved to train with the indoor hockey team preparing for the Sea Games, and when he failed to be selected, he quit the sport for good on Monday.
  "He has always been a hardworking player, serious in training and never had any issues with any of us (team management) and that's why I was surprised to read that he felt that I was avoiding him.
  "Anyway, I called Baljit and spoke to him and explained the situation where a few players moved up the rung and he had to be placed in the development squad and then indoor hockey.
  "Maybe there was miscommunication between both of us as I was busy training the field hockey players while Baljit was with the indoor squad.
  "Actually I had wanted to meet up with him after the Sea Games to discuss his future, but since he has quit, I wish him all the best," said van Huizen.
  On Monday, Baljit had said that there is no more reason for him to hang around the training squad, as Stephen ven Huizen kept avoiding him regarding his future plans.
  "No such thing. Our paths crossed several times and there were no issues between us.
  "Anyway, he gave his best for the nation whenever he was called up and never disappointed. He was also one of the best first runners (in penalty corners) we had.
  "However, some of the younger players caught up, and then overtook him and that's a natural process (in any sport)," said van Huizen.

Thanks for the memories, Baljit...








By Jugjet Singh

THANKS for the memories Malaysia!
  These were Baljit Singh Charun's parting words to Malaysian hockey, marking the exit of the last standing Sikh.
  The memories were good initially, but towards the end, he faced some terribly testing times which he rather forget.
  "There is no more reason for me to hang around the training squad, as the coach (Stephen ven Huizen) keeps avoiding me regarding his future plans with me.
  "Also, if I am not good enough to represent the country in the Sea Games, that shows the level of confidence the selectors have in me," said Baljit.
  Sea Games is the lowest category for World No 12th ranked Malaysia, and even with a juniors outfit, the country beat a senior Singapore side to the gold medal at their own turf in 2015.
   Baljit joined Tenaga Nasional 2004 and helped them to three overall titles in the Malaysia Hockey League in 2004, 2007 and 2009. He made his senior international debut at the 2007 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
  After which he helped the country win silver at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, and played in many other tournaments including the gold at the 2013 Sea Games.
  "Things changed after I helped Malaysian qualify for the Hague World Cup (2014). I gave everything I had in the qualifier (World League Semifinals in Johor 2013) to help the country finish fifth and qualify for the World Cup on merit.
  After the Johor WL Semifinals, the coaching circle was in a turmoil as chief coach Paul Revington came under severe personal and professional attack and decided to leave in a huff.
  In came K. Dharmaraj, and Baljit's exit from the sport started.
  "After playing one of the best tournaments in my life and qualifying for the World Cup, I felt that the break that I was looking for has finally arrived.
  "I'm going to play in a World Cup."
  But it was not to be. As from being among the top-three defenders in Revington's squad, Baljit became a shadow in Dharmaraj's team.
  And shockingly he was replaced with German-born Kevin Lim, whom Dharmaraj saw playing only once in a tournament in Australia.
  Baljit's nightmare started the day he was told that Kevin Lim would be replacing him in the Hague World Cup.
  There was a twist of faith when the team arrived at the Hague and after playing a friendly game a few days before the World Cup, Kevin Lim pulled a hamstring and coach Dharmaraj sent an S.O.S to the team management for a replacement.
  Instead of Baljit, Dharmaraj asked for Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin. It was only days ago that Izad had just recovered from being hospitalised, but was rushed to the Hague where he arrived in the morning and played in the evening against Australia -- naturally losing 4-0.
  Malaysia, in the end, lost all their matches at the Hague and the nail was a 6-2 drubbing in the hands of South Africa in the 11-12th classification.
  "After the World Cup, I was consistently sidelined and told to give hockey up. And not being selected for Sea Games is the final straw," said Baljit.
  Moved from field to indoor training for the Sea Games, and then not even selected for the new event, coach Paul Lissek summed it up.
  "Baljit is still a very good player in my books, but he badly wanted to play field hockey and his heart was not with the indoor game," said Lissek who has been roped in by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation as consultant to the indoor men's and women's team.
  Once the back-bone of the Malaysian team since the 1956 Melbourne Olympics till a decade ago, Baljit's exit marks a sad era in the country's Sikh hockey history.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

KLHA: No child will be left behind...

 SURROUNDED: MHC President Subanah with eager players.
WITH SCRIBE ... MHC Deputy President Dr Shamala

KUALA Lumpur HA Saturday reached a new milestone when they launched their very own Junior Development Programme where 'no child will be left behind'.
  And the launch received spectacular response, as about 100 children from the ages of 18 to 8-years-old filled the KLHA artificial pitch even tough schools are currently having their inter-district hockey tournament.
  Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Subahan Kamal launched the programme with KLHA president Datuk Abu Huraira Abu Yazid.
  Lauding the initiative, Subahan said MHC are also working with the Education Ministry and Tenaga Nasional to take hockey back to schools.
  "We have had a brief talk with the Sports Minister as well as Tenaga Nasional on a proposal to take hockey back to schools. Many schools do not have a hockey programme, and so, with funding from Tenaga we hope to make hockey a mass sport," said Subahan.
  Former national player I. Vickneswaran, chairman of the KLHA Junior Development Programme, said he has his mind set on giving every child a chance to excel in hockey.
  "This development plan is for under-21 and is for both boys and girls. We will stick with development and not shift our focus on an elite team and then forget about the newcomers in the long run.
  "And whenever there are age-group tournaments the players can represent their clubs or schools and KLHA will form a team or two out of all those who are not selected and give them a chance to play as well.
  "In this way, no child will be left behind," said Vickneswaran.
  Many established development coaches also attended the launch and MHC will send their high level coaches whenever there is a request from KLHA.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Book an electrifying time with TNB...

By Jugjet Singh

TENAGA Nasional Bhd (TNB) is a starting block which has propelled many hockey players from remote villages to the Olympic Village and to the World Cup stage.
   The utility giant has also nurtured many coaches of calibre.
   And TNB is still at it, generating opportunities for players and others by providing employment and financial support like a caring parent would.
    To commemorate the hockey greats, TNB launched a coffee table book titled The Sticks, which is a compilation of its involvement in hockey as well as the greats who have played at the highest level.
  The book was launched by Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin with TNB chief corporate officer Datuk Wira Roslan Ab Rahman on Thursday while many former and present Tenaga players graced the occasion.
   From Kilat Club players in the 1970s to current national players who work with TNB and represent the nation, their stellar history, with nostalgic pictures, grace the coffee table book.
   Hockey started with Kilat Club back in the 1950s, when they played in Division Two of the Selangor HA League.
   It was TNB’s strength in employing hockey players, many as meter readers, and giving them much encouragement, leave and playing gear, that made the company a powerhouse to produce national players out of budding talents.
  Household names in hockey have TNB to thank for, for providing them with the sprinting block from the days of grass to artificial pitches.
  Nor Saiful Zaini is one of the many who are thankful to TNB. For the energy giant gave him a chance to become a three time-Olympian who competed in the 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Games.
  “I am what I am today because of Tenaga Nasional. When they scouted my hockey talent, I was offered a clerk’s position and now I have reached managerial level.
  “And in hockey, the encouragement and support they gave me was simply amazing. I became a national skipper, three-time Olympian, played in the World Cup, Asian Games and Champions Trophy – all because of Tenaga’s undying support,” said Nor Saiful.
   Nor Saiful and many of his TNB  teammates are giving back to the sport by running the successful Thunderbolts programme that has made Thunderbolts a much feared power in the Junior Hockey League.
   Former National Juniors coach Balbir Singh said: “To sum it up, there is nothing bad that any hockey player who belongs to the Kilat and then the TNB family can say about the company.”
  Balbir, in his 70s, still conducts junior development programmes at various clubs in the Klang Valley with zest.
  K. Rajan echoed Balbir’s sentiments. The 2009 Junior World Cup coach, then Thailand and now Singapore head coach, believes his fortunes changed when he was recruited by Tenaga in his youth.
  “Their simple strategy of employing budding hockey players has worked wonders since the 1970s until today. I owe my career in sport to Tenaga, and I believe many others share the same feelings,” said Rajan.
   From the 1950s Kilat had the Shepherdson brothers Mike and Christie, and talents like Kuldeep Singh, Jack Johnson and Harnahal Singh will never be forgotten either.
   The names below speak for TNB’s hockey passion which was inscripted in the coffee table book.
   Poon Fook Loke, Razak Leman, Brian Sta Maria, Foo Keat Seong, Sulaiman Saibot, M. Surenthiran, Sarjit Singh, Nor Saiful Zaini, K Embaraj, S. Sivabalan, K. Dharmaraj and Mirnawan Nawawi.
   The younger generation will know Madzli Ikmar, the late Chua Boon Huat, S. Kumar, Nor Azlan Bakar, Amin Rahim, M. Kaliswaran, Faizal Shaari, Firhan Azhaari, Ramadan Rosli.
   The Kilat Padang has its own history, as it was there back in 1975 that Malaysia beat the Netherlands 2-1 to qualify for the semifinals and finish fourth in the World Cup which is still the nation’s best achievement to date.

Past and present faces at TNB hockey book launch..





Thursday, August 3, 2017

Stephen van Huizen: Joel is fine for Sea Games...


NATIONAL chief coach Stephen van Huizen will field his son Joel (pic) in the Sea Games, as he passed a medical test conducted on him recently.
  Joel collapsed twice in the World League Round Two in Dhaka in March, and before that he also collapsed while playing for Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club in the Malaysia Hockey League.
  After Dhaka, Joel was rested and not fielded for the Azlan Shah Cup as well as the World League Semifinals in London where Malaysia finished fourth and qualified for the World Cup in India next year.
  "After the Dhaka incidents, I rested him for two other tournaments but kept him in the training squad. He will play in the Sea Games because the ISN (National Sports Institute) conducted tests on him and gave an all-clear.
  "That was the first question NSC (National Sports Council) officials asked me when I presented the Sea Games list of 18 players to them.
  "And when I showed them the medical report, they agreed to field Joel," said van Huizen.
  In Dhaka, Joel became a centre of controversy when he suddenly collapsed while playing against Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals. And since he fell in an off-the-ball incident, the umpire flashed a red card to the nearest Sri Lankan because he thought the player had hit Joel on the head with his hockey stick.
  The Sri Lankan protested but was sent off with 20 minutes remaining in the match. 
  Match officials and umpires manager Amarjit Singh (a Malaysian) viewed the incident on video after the match and were shocked to watch Joel collapse on his own and the Sri Lankan never touched him.
  The red card was revoked, but the drama did not stop there.
  In the semi-finals against Egypt, Joel again collapsed and was stretchered out -- but this time the umpires were wiser.
  Technical Director terry Walsh had said in Dhaka then: "Numerous test have been conducted on this boy (Joel) but they stil can't find the reasons for his sudden black-outs."
  And van Huizen is confident the problem will not affect Joel in the Sea Games.
  "Well talking as a father, if Joel was in any danger, I will not field him. But since his tests with ISN did not indicate anything and they gave him a clean bill of health, there is no reason why he can't play in the Sea Games," said van Huizen.
 MALAYSIA (men's field hockey): S. Kumar (gk), Hafizuddin Othman (gk), Razie Rahim, Sukri Mutalib, Izad Hakimi, Faiz Helmi, Azri Hassan, Marhan Jalil, Fitri Saari, Nabil Fiqri, Meor Azuan, Joel Samuel Van Huizen, Ramadan Rosli, Shahril Saabah, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Rashid Baharom, Nik Aiman Rozemi, Faizal Saari.

Legends who attended Datuk Ow Soon Kooi's press conference...










Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Ow Soon Kooi: I quit because of medical and meddlers...

COLUMN BY JUGJET SINGH


DATUK OW Soon Kooi likes to stay away from controversies, and is always diplomatic even though the situation warrants otherwise.
  And so it came as a surprise when he called for a press conference to clear the air on why he resigned from the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) vice-president as well as coaching committee chairman posts in a huff.
  He had, then, cited health reasons for quitting every post in the MHC.
 But yesterday, he said he had to clear the air as allegations in news and other media had tarnished his corporate-man image.
  And no less than whose-who in Malaysian hockey attended his press conference at the Olympic Council of Malaysia hotel.
  In walked 1975 World Cup members Datuk Poon Fook Loke, R. Pathmarajah and skipper Datuk Sri Shanmuganathan.
  And for good measure 'they brought along' 1975 World Cup famous umpire Datuk G. Vijayanathan who blew during the India-Pakistan final.
  Former national juniors coach Balbir Singh, international Gurmit Singh, M. Sambu ... and it looked like a re-union of greats as even some women national players came.
  But it was not a merry get-together, as they had come to listen to former skipper and two time Olympian as well as two time World Cup player Ow speak his heart. 
  Ow started by presenting all the work his committee has done over the years, with statistics, to show that his committee was not dormant as alleged by many.
  And he also said the reason why they only had one meeting in 2016 was because everything was in place by then, and they ran the show by making decisions on a social media group-chat.
  Ow said that his reputation as a corporate man was built on being strict about rules and hierarchy. He doesn't believe in breaking rank, and followed procedure to be where he is today from a poor, a very poor background.
  Being a former policeman did not 'help' when he watched others breaking this hierarchy rules.
  And that's why when MHC officials made decisions on behalf of his committee and compelled them to follow -- it made him mad.
  He gave examples which named four officials of being guilty, with the prime target being Technical Director Terry Walsh.
  Ow gave examples where Walsh made coaching decisions without consulting his committee, and it made them wonder who is running the show.
  Citing an example, Ow narrated about the hiring of Paul Lissek to become the indoor hockey consultant for Sea Games.
  Walsh had approached Ow about the matter and when asked, he was told that Lissek is willing to work for free or at a nominal feel -- as Lissek had coached the Malaysian field hockey team before and was very knowledgeable about indoor hockey as well.
  Ow and Walsh agreed on an RM X amount to be paid to Lissek as a consultant. But after three weeks, Ow found out that Lissek was being paid six and a half time higher than the discussed salary.
  When he asked an MHC official about it, the official said he had raised the salary all by himself -- without consulting anybody.
  There were many other examples of meddling in his committee, but the Lissek episode broke the camels back, and coupled with his nagging neck pain, Ow decided to call it a day.
  Attempts to call and SMS MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal to clear the air on the above issue were not answered.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lissek believes Malaysia can become an indoor powerhouse...

INDOOR SILVER .. Malaysian women pose with the Indoor silver won in Doha in April.

GERMAN Paul Lissek is so impressed with the Malaysian men's indoor hockey team, that he feels like hitting his head against the wall for not starting a programme 10 years ago.
  For, the Malaysian team are new to the game and only took it seriously when it was included in the KL Sea Games next month, but after a short stint the men are almost 'professionals'.
  The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) were initially shocked when the indoor game was included for the first time in the Sea Games, but took up the challenge, and now it might become a permanent fixture in the country.
  "The players have only been training seriously for months, but are playing really well and I ask myself -- if we had started indoor 10 years ago, maybe we might have been among the medallists in the indoor World Cup," said former national coach Lissek who has been roped in as an indoor consultant as the sport is strange to local coaches.
  The Malaysian men played in the Asian Indoor Championship in Doha in April and surprisingly, finished fifth. The champions are Iran, followed by Kazakhstan and Qatar.
  "That was April, but only a few months down the line, the Malaysian men look like they could have entered the Asian final and even beaten Iran to the gold.
  "That's how much they have improved," said Lissek.
  And now that a team has been formed, and the first international standard indoor venue in the country has been built at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec), Lissek hopes the sport catches on like wildfire.
  "Indoor is Malaysia's chance to stand at the top of the Podium in Asia, and in the long run a medal at the World Cup. So lets continue with the programme after the Sea Games."
  As for the women, Lissek feels physical appearance could pose a problem.
  "The women are also very good but a little soft physically and that could cause some problems in tournaments. However, we will only know their true strength after they play against Indonesia and Thailand in the Games," said Lissek.
   Surprisingly, Malaysian women beat the odds to claim a silver in the Asia indoor Championship when they lost only 2-0 to Kazakhstan in the final.
  The men will have a final warm-up against Australian side New South Wales in the first week of August and it will surely show their true strength.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Soon ready for challenge...

NEWLY appointed Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) coaching committee chairman Soon Mustafa is game to take on the challenge of charting the sport's future.
  The two-time Olympian, 1984 Los Angeles and 1992 Barcelona, said that even though he has limited coaching experience, he has many ideas on how to improve the sport.
  "I will meet Terry Walsh (MHC Technical Director) soon to discuss some matters and get down to work after that. I have experience playing at the highest level and know what it takes to reach there.
  "So, even though I have limited coaching experience, I can contribute fresh ideas with the help of my committee members," said Soon, 54.
  Welsh is also on his committee.
  Soon said that previous chairman Datuk Ow Soon Kooi also did not have a coaching background, but ran the committee very well.
  "Ow is the same as me, both of us have limited coaching experience but Ow proved himself when the men's women's teams improved tremendously in a short span.
  "I have a strong committee from various background and we will work together to first impress at the Asia Cup and then the Commonwealth Games in preparation for the all-important Asian Games," said Soon.
  The Asia Cup will be held in Dhaka in October where ranking points will be on offer. India are the only team higher ranked than Malaysia, while South Korea, Pakistan, China and Japan have slipped below in the latest International Hockey Federation rankings.
  "We have to strengthen the ranking (at 12th presently) at the Asia Cup, as it would be valuable in the World League qualifier for the Olympics.
  "There is much more to be done, but I'm up to the challenge and will use the experience I gained playing for the country to help further improve the men's and women's teams," said Soon.
  Soon, who retired with 185 caps also played in two Asian Games and one Champions Trophy.
  Two women were included in the coaching committee to strenghten the women's team and they are Nuriza Sulaiman and former national skipper Nadia Abdul Rahman.
  COACHING COMMITTEE -- Chairman: Soon Mustafa; Deputy Chairman: Datuk Najmi Razak (MHC Independent Member).
  Members: Terry Walsh (MHC Technical Director), Alan Black (Coaching director, National Sports Institute), Tai Beng Hai (Development director), Yahya Atan (1Mas women head coach), V. Muralee Vasuthevan (Ministry of Education), Nuriza Sulaiman (Development coach, Pahang), 
Nadia Abdul Rahman (Ex-national captain).

MHC set two more targets...

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal has set two more targets for the men's team, who moved up from 14th to 12th in the World.
  Now, Subahan wants the team to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics two years ahead by winning the Asian Games gold, and then break into the top-10 hockey nation in the world.
  In the latest International Hockey Federation (FIH) rankings released after the men's and women's World League Semifinals in London, Brussels and Johannesburg -- the Malaysian men were the biggest movers.
  However, the women still remain at 22 after finishing last among 10 teams in Brussels.
  "When I took over MHC after a 'good friend' asked me to do so, I had said that I will work towards taking the team into the top-10 in the world and now we are just two steps away.
  "The next target is to play in the final of the Asian Games, or better still win gold and qualify for the Olympics two years ahead," said Subahan.
  Malaysia last played in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and if they qualify for Tokyo, it would be a good 20 years hiatus.
  While Malaysia finished fourth in London and qualified for the 2018 World Cup in India, other Asian teams did not fare well.
  Four other Asian teams competed in London, but fared poorly as India finished 6th, Pakistan 7th, China 8th and South Korea 9th.
  "If we maintain this grip over the other Asian teams, I don't see any reason why we cant play in the final of the Asian Games," reasoned Subahan.
  Malaysia were the biggest winners in the latest FIH rankings as they leapfrogged two of its continental rivals, Pakistan and Korea, to move into 12th place.
 Korea dropped from 12th to 13th, while Pakistan are now 14th, Japan 17th and China 18th
  India are the higest ranked Asian team at No 6.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Farewell Logan Raj, welcome Soon Mustafa...


 FROM LEFT: Tai Beng Hai, Logan Raj, Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal, S. Shamala and Terry Walsh at the press conference.
 ONE FOR THE ALBUM... First selfie with scribe.
DOUBLE peace in exit....

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) CEO K. Logan Raj has decided not to renew his contract, as he wants to head Down Under to be with his family and turn into a corporate man.
  The former national player held the position for two years with his renewal coming up soon, but he announced at the press conference today that he wants to call it a day.
  MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal also announced that Olympian Soon Mustafa will take over the Coaching Chairman's position which fell vacant after Datuk Ow Soon Kooi resigned due to health reasons.
  "First of all I would like to announce that the MHC has appointed Soon Mustafa as the Coaching Chairman and with his two-Olympics back-ground, we believe he is the right man for the job.
  "Secondly with sadness, I would like to state that Logan will not renew his contract with us as he wants to move on with his career and be with his wife who is already in Australia.
  "Logan's position will not be filled just yet, and I believe we have a strong administrative team in the MHC to do the daily work until we find a new CEO," said Subahan.
  Mustafa played at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1992 Barcelona Olympics when he was 21 and 29 years-old respectively.
  As for Logan, among his achievements was a silver medal in the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.
  "After two years giving my best to Malaysian hockey as an administrator and before that playing for the country for 10 years (from 1997-2007) the experience has simply been wonderful.
  "And so it's with heavy heart that I make a move to Sydney, but I will still help out Malaysian hockey in any way that I can," said Logan.
  And with MHC Independent member Johnson Fernandez also calling it quits, MHC has appointed Logan as an Independent member who will help out whenever he can.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Matador's inaugural success...

MATADOR Hockey Club, coached by former national skipper and national coach Sarjit Singh, held their inaugural tournament at the Tun Razak Stadium on Saturday.
  It was a unique tournament as 'oldies', youth and children combined to make it a fun-filled learning experience.
  Six teams, named by the colours they wore, took part in the tournament with unique rules as well. Those under the age of 15, get two goals for the one they score.
  All teams had their equal share of oldies, youth and children and it was a learning curve for many who were as young as nine-years old.
  Children played on a full pitch, and were guided by the more experienced players, some with Olympic experiences like Maninderjit Singh.
  In the end, Team Yellow became champions by only letting in only one goal in seven matches.
  But like Matador Club president Datuk Harban Singh said at the end of the tournament: "Today, everybody is a winner and there are no losers. We plan to have another tournament in seven weeks time, and I believe in the long run it will benefit our youth."
  The team pictures speak for themselves... 
 NOTE: There were four goalkeepers who rotated for the six teams. Super effort by all four to play back-to-back for different teams.

 YELLOW .. Champions pose before the tournament
 WHITE... Had the most number of U15 players. 7 in total.
 BLUE.. with evergreen Tut-Tut
 YOUNGEST... Girl power
 RED ... And dangerous
 THE YOUTH BRIGADE
 RUNNERS-UP.. Incredible Hulks
 CHAMPIONS .. Yellow power
 All in the family..

SELFIE Le Le Re...