Sunday, March 1, 2015

As easy as drinking Milo for Thunderbolts..

DIVISION One Champions SSTMI Thunderbolts received a smooth Milo Cup draw yesterday, and should cruise into the final of the MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League.
  For, they will play Division Two outfit 1Mas Perlis in the quarter-finals, and in the semis are highly touted to meet their counterpart SSP-MSP-Thunderbolts.
  The other half of the draw will see a battle between UniKL Young Guns and Petaling Jaya City Council (PJCC) who are expected to clash at the sem-finals stage.
  In the quarter-finals, UniKL will play Nur Insafi-Penang HA while PJCC meet SMKDBL Johor HA.
  UniKL Young Guns team manager Mohamed Faiz Isa said finishings econd in the League was not what they wanted, so they will try to make amends in the Milo Cup.
  "After we lost to Thudnerbolts (4-2) in the League my players were a little down, but are slowly getting back their confidence. We lost the League title narrowly, so now we will try and make amends by snatching the Milo Cup," said Faiz.
  Not wanting to underestimate their quarter-finals opponents Nur Insafi-Penang HA, Faiz said experience will be their best friend in the knock-out.
  "We are not underestimating the capabilities of Nur Insafi who have proven to be an improving side judging from the results in the Division Two knock-outs.
  "Only that, we have an experienced outfit, and hopefully they don't make it difficult for themselves in the two leg quarters," said Faiz.
  Thunderbolts team manager Adam Izamry was all smiles after 1Mas Perlis picked their number for the quarters: "Yes, it looks like our half of the quarters draw is much more easier than the other half where PJCC and UniKL will most probably advance to the semis.
  "It looks like we will be waiting for which-ever team that reaches the final from the other half," said a confident Adam.
  It is no fools talk, as Adam and coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman have the best juniors in the country as they go for their fourth consecutive JHL double.
  MILO CUP quarter-finals (first leg): March 6: SSTMI Thunderbolts v 1Mas Perlis; March 8: 1Mas Perlis v SSTMI Thunderbolts (Both legs at Nationsal Stadium Bukit Jalil).
  March 6: SSP-MSp-Thunderbolts v Bukit Jalil SS Juniors (Temerloh); March 8: Bukit Jalil SS Juniors v SSP-MSp-Thunderbolts (Ministry of Education).
  March 6: Petaling Jaya City Council v SMKDBL PH Johor (National Stadium); March 8: SMKDBL PH Johor v Petaling Jaya City Council (Batu Pahat).
  March 6: UniKL Young Guns v Nur Insafi-Penang HA (National Stadium); March 8: Nur Insafi-Penang HA v UniKL Young Guns (Sungai Petani).
   RESULTS: Division Two: Final -- Nur Insafi-Penang HA 3 SMKDBL PHJ 2; Third-Fourth: BJSS Juniors 4 1Mas Perlis 3.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

MHC settle for two deputy presidents

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) affiliates finally came to a consensus yesterday when it was proposed that two deputy presidents' seats be made available to stop internal squabbling.
  At their Council Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, where amendments to the constitution were discussed, the main issue revolved around the deputy president's post as well as the abolishment of the executive council.
  Cooler heads prevailed as the executive council will also be retained, as abolishing it would mean a smaller committee to run the administration while the executive council only meet once in four years at their congress.
  Now, MHC have to ensure they get a two-thirds majority during EGM in March, to approve the amenements and forward it to the Sports Commissioner as well as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for endorsement before proceeding with the AGM which is proposed to be held in May.
  "The council members decided that two deputy president's posts would be better and also to retain the executive council. Other than that there were only minor strenghtening of our constitution," said MHC deputy president Puan Sri Raja Noora Ashikin.
  Noora Ashikin was pivotal in stopping the MHC from making a mockery of themselves by not adhearing to the regulations of the FIH regarding gender equity.
  The FIH as well as the Sports Commissioner's office then rejected earlier amendments made to the constitution, and yesterday was back to first base, in a commical merry-go-round.
  "Now we need to go through the motions properly by endorsement at the EGM, getting approval from the FIH as well as Sports Commissioner's office before we hold our AGM," said Raja Noora Ashikin.
   Earlier, Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal was the sole nominee for the presdient's post, while Raja Noora Ashikin and Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad were nominated for the sole deputy president's post.
  However, with two deputy presidents' inserted into the constitution, Raja Noora Ashikin is likely to have no challengers while Azmi might face a battle at the ballots.
  Also, rumours are rife that there will also be a challenger for Subahan this time around.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Thunder.. Thunder.. Thunderbolts!

SSTMI Thunderbolts claimed their fourth straight Division One league title when they beat SSP -MSP-Thunderbolts 3-1 in the MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru Friday.
  UniKL earned the second spot when they drew 1-1 with Petaling Jaya Municipal Council. Thunderbolts ended with 22 points, UniKL 19 points while PJCC had 18 points when the dust settled.
  However Thunderbolts, whose only blemish this season was a 2-2 draw with PJCC, received an early wake-up call when SSP -MSP-Thunderbolts took the lead off Idris Samad in the sixth minute when he flicked home off a penalty corner attempt.
  But Firdaus Omar drew level off a penalty corner goal in the ninth minute, while field goals from Luqman Hakim (34th) and Danial Asyraf (65th) made sure the silverware remains with the double champions.
  Now, coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman wants his charges to life the Milo Cup as well.
  "We received a jolt in the sixth minute, but I never doubted that my players will fail in the final hurdle today (yesterday) and they recovered nicely to score three goals and defend our title.
  "The scoreline does not reflect the match, as my players were guilty of missing many sitters. However, now that we have lifted one title, we will be going for our fourth consecutive double as well when the Milo Cup starts," said Wan Roslan.
  For UniKL Rauf Nazri delivered off a penalty corner attempt in the 27th while ashraf zuhry (52nd) scored the equaliser off a penalty corener goal as well.
  Thunderbolts, UniKL, PJCC and Pahang SS have qualified for the knockout Milo Cup. Four more teams will join them from Division Two.
  RESULTS: Division One: SSTMI Thunderbolts 3 SSP-MSP-Thunderbolts 1, PJCC 1 UniKL Young Guns 1, SSTMI Juniors 3 Bukit Jalil SS 3.
 Division Two playoffs: 1 Mas TBSS Tampin 2 BJSS Jrs 2; 1 Mas Perlis x SMKDBKL PHJ x.
 Saturday -- DIVISION One: Politeknik Malaysia v BJSS (Taman Daya I), SSTMI Juniors v  KLHC (Taman Daya II).
  Division Two Playoffs: BJSS Juniors v Nur Insafi-Penang Hockey (National Stadium II), SMKDBL PHJ v MSN-THT (National Stadium II, 6.45pm).
  Note: All other matches 4.45pm.


Monday, February 23, 2015

MHC treasurer Radha: Give us two weeks to settle bills

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) treasurer Datuk N. Radhakrishnan yesterday confirmed that they body has many unsettled bills to honour, but gave an assurance that everybody will receive their due in the next two weeks.
  Officials, umpires, clubs and national players cried foul last weekend when their allowances, winning purse, bonuses and other monetary promises have fallen on deaf ears since last year.
  MHC are said to be in the red, but president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah will fork out some cash and settle the matter before bowing out of the Confederation.
  "Yes, whatever that has been written about non-payment on our part is true, but the wheels are already turning to make sure payment is made in the next two weeks," said Radhakrishnan.
  The treasurer met Tengku Abdullah, together with MHC secretary general Datuk Johari Aziz to settle the matter.
  "We have contacted some of the sponsors who have yet to oblige their pledges and the outcome is positive. Also, Tengku Abdullah will fork out some personal cash to settle the overdue issues.
  Umpires and match officials, about 50 of them, have yet to receive allowances and traveling costs for officiating at the Malaysia Hockey League which ended in December.
  Each MHL umpire and official is owed at least RM3,000 by the MHC.
  Even match winnings for the top-four teams in the MHL has yet to be settled. The MHC owe TNB CUP clubs a whopping RM190,000. Champions Terengganu Hockey Team (Rm70,000), runners-up Kuala Lumpur HA (RM50,000), bronze medallists Tenaga Nasional (RM40,000) and fourth-placed Maybank (RM30,000) have yet to see the promised purse.
  "I understand the hardships faced by individuals and clubs because of late payment, and apologise for the delay. Rest assured that we are doing all we can to honour everybody we owe," said Radhakrishnan.
  MHC al;so owe TNB CUP roll of honour players Fitri Saari (best player of the final), Faizal Saari (top-scorer, 17 goals) and Hafizuddin Othman (best goalkeeper) RM2,000 each.
  Tenaga are the title sponsors for MHL and other domestic tournaments, to the tune of RM2 million per-year.
   Satates are also still awaiting for the promised subsidy of RM3,000 each for the Raja Noora Ashikin Cup in November.
   On the player-side Faizal, after scoring 12 goals and being named the Best Player in the Singapore World League, refused to attend training since because bonus promises made by certain MHC officials were never realised.
   MHC are at the verge of finalising their election date, and Tengku Abdullah has made a stand of not seeking re-election for the president's post as he wants to concentrate on his Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) president's post, as well as make a move to be elected as an executive board member of FIFA.
  The MHC are said to be in the red to the tune of RM2million, because they also owe at least three officials about RM100,000 each after they forked out personal cash to bail out overseas trips as well as promised bonuses to players for qualifying for the World Cup.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Nasihin: Women ready for challenge..

THE Malaysian women's hockey team will attempt to break their jinx and qualify for the World League Semi-finals for the first time, and its not a piped dream.
  The women will play in the World League Round Two in New Delhi from March 7-15, and are seeded second after becoming champions in the World League Round One in Singapore last year.
  "We are in a good group with teams which we have beaten before and that's why I'm confident that we will play in the final and earn our ticket to the WL Semi-finals this time around," said coach Nasihin Nubli.
  The World Hockey League is a qualifier for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
  Malaysia, ranked 21 in the world are in Group B with Russia, Singapore and Kazakhstan.   World No 13 India, are the top seeds and have Poland, Ghana and Thailand in Group A.
   Nasihin said Russia will be Malaysia’s biggest hurdle to finish tops in their group, and earn a favourable draw by playing the bottom placed team from Group A in the quarter-finals.
  “We beat Russia in our last meeting (in 2013), and I believe we can do the same in New Delhi if we take our chances well," said Nasihin.
  He will select 20 players and head for New Delhi on March 3 were at least four friendlies will be played before Nasihin names his final 18.
  The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have set a top-two target for the women.
  MALAYSIA'S FIXTURES -- March 7: Malaysia v Kazakhstan; March 8: Malaysia v Russia; March 10: Malaysia v Singapore.
  Note: All eight teams qualify for quarter-finals.