Thursday, August 3, 2017
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The red card was revoked, but the drama did not stop there.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.