Saturday, August 1, 2015

Charity Shield: Explosive encounter expected...


FANS can expect no charity from both sides, as Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) square off in the Charity Shield at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil Sunday.
  For, not only does the winner gets an early trophy, but also three points.
  For the record, double champions THT will be gunning for their first Charity Shield (introduced in 2009), while KLHC have lifted the shield three times in 2011, 2012 and 2014. Tenaga Nasional are the other hat-trick winners in 2009, 2010 and 2013.
  Coach K. Dharmaraj and his men dominated the MHL from 2010 to 2013, until THT arrived last season to steal the double from them.
  "I don't believe in holding back in any match, and promise an exciting and explosive Charity Shield. We want the three points to start with a bang. But having said that, THT have the best local talent in their fold, and it is not going to be an easy match," said KLHC coach Dharmaraj.
  Flushed with six Pakistan imports, and with the best penalty corner flicker in the country -- Razie Rahim -- KLHC are tipped to be among the front-runners in the Premier Division.
  As for THT, they have hired four Argentines in Pablo Javier, Nicholas Cicileo, Jose Leandro and Ignicio Quilez. Their Pakistan import is Shakeel Butt.
  With 24 imports in five teams, the Premier Division is set to be a showcase tournament this season. Only Tenga Nasional have remained an all-local outfit.
  The other team to watch for debelopment purposes is UniKL Young Guns, who will be skippered by national player Baljit Singh.
  "The captaincy was awarded to Baljit for his recent excellent performance at the World League Semifinals in Antwerp. It was also for the leadership he provides during training and for his loyalty to the team as a player and also as an employee of UniKL.
  "We at UniKL also share Baljit's passion towards hockey, and will field 12 Junior World Cup trainees in the Premier Division this seasion," said team manager Faiz Isa.
  RESULTS: Division One B: SSTMI 0 ATM Airod 5; Women's Group A: The Cops 1 Penang Juniors 4; Group B: Manjung Hockey Club 1 MSN Kedah 2.
  SUNDAY: Premier Division: KLHC v Terengganu HT (Bukit Jalil II, 5.30pm), Tenaga Nasional v Maybank (Bukit Jalil II, 8pm), Sapura v UniKL (Bukit Jalil II, 8pm).
  Division One Group A: TNB 
Thunderbolts (Taman Daya I, 5pm), MASUM-USm v MBI (KLHA, 7pm), BJSS v MSP-YP-SSP (KPM, 5pm); Group B: Politeknik v ATM Airod (Taman Daya II, 5pm), Nur Insafi v UniKL Young Guns (Sg Petani, 5pm).
  Women's Group A: ATM Pernama v Penang Juniors (Tun Razak, 5pm); Group B: KL-Sukma v MSN Kedah (KLHA, 8pm).

Friday, July 31, 2015

Thunderbolts edge BJSS 4-3

TNB Thunderbolts edged Bukit Jalil Sports School 4-3 in Division One of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) yesterday.
  The score was tied 3-3 until the 66th minute, but Thunderbolts' last push handed them full points in the MHL curtain raiser.
  Thunderbolts got their goals off Luqman Hakim (14th), Anwar Ali (22nd), Sabri Mohamed (45th) and Haizzat Noor Azmi (67th).
  The BJSS goals were scored by Norshahrezan Jusoh (39th), Hafizhuddin Zaini (60th) and Mahathir Rathuwan (66th).
  RESULTS: Division One A: MSP-YP-SSP 2 MSNT-THT 3, MBI 4 MASUM-USM 0, TNB Thunderbolts 4 BJSS 3; Division One B: Nur Insafi-Penang Hockey 0 UiTM 0, Politeknik 0 SSTMI 1.
  TODAY: Division One B: SSTMI v ATM Airod (Taman Daya, 5pm); Women's Group A: The Cops v Penang Juniors (Bukit Jalil, 5pm); Group B: Manjung Hockey Club v MSN Kedah (Azlan Shah, 5pm).
  TOMORROW: Premier Division: KLHC v Terengganu HT (Bukit Jalil II, 5.30pm), Tenaga Nasional v Maybank (Bukit Jalil II, 8pm), Sapura v UniKL (Bukit Jalil II, 8pm).

Another Maybank tournament..

MAYBANK will organise its inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia (MCM) Golf tournament, with a purse of US3 million, in February next year.
  The event, sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours, builds upon Maybank's very successful relationships with these two Tours over the last ten years through involvement in the Maybank Malaysian Open.
  Maybank's intention is to continue to have the largest number of appropriately qualified Malaysian golfers participate in its forthcoming tournament.
   With a prize money of USD3 million, the Maybank Championship Malaysia is the richest tournament among the European and Asian Tours in the region. 
   "Next year will also be a milestone year for golf as it will be featured as an event at the Olympics for the first time, and we want this tournament to be an important staging point for our professional golfers who can represent the country in Rio," said Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin, Chairman of Maybank.
  He added, "Our considerations to have Maybank's own Championship are to ensure that our objectives in projecting our brand to our stakeholders worldwide and to support our community aspirations can be sustained in the best possible way."

Thursday, July 30, 2015

MHL: Watch out for Tenaga, UniKL youth..

THE MALAYSIA Hockey League (MHL) Division One and Women's tournament will begin today, with hope of new talent emerging from the ranks.
  The Premier Division will take off with double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) playing Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the Charity Shield on Sunday.
  The six-team Premier Division has 24 foreign players, and established national and former national players. The only bright sparks for development here are UniKL Young Guns who parade 11 2016 Junior World Cup trainees, and Tenaga Nasional fielding 90 per cent youth.
  Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC) CEO K. Logan Raj said: "Event though the Premier Division looks like its heavy with foreign players, the reality is that we need to keep its prestige to attract the fans as well as give our local players a chance to learn by playing and adapting themselves in different situations." 
  The other three in the Premier Division are Sapura, Tenaga Nasional and Maybank.
  Tenaga Nasional are the only team without foreign players, and they will stick to their vision of nurturing locals from their partner school -- Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail.
  UniKL are also continuing their proud tradition in nurturing juniors.
  "We had 12 UniKL players in the last Junior World Cup squad (which finished fourth in New Delhi) and this MHL team would have 11 2016 Junior World Cup trainees.
  "In the short history of our club (established 2009) we have managed to nurture many players with our junior development programmes. The MHL will see 11 Junior World Cup trainees, and hopefully it will benefit them when they play in the Junior Asia Cup (in Kuantan, which is a JWC qualifier)," said team manager Faiz Isa.
  As for the Charity Shield, KLHC will be gunning for their fourth shield, while THT their first. For the record, the Charity shield also offers three points to the winner.
  KLHC won the Shield in 2011, 2012 and 2014. The other three editions were won by Tenaga Nasional in 2009, 2010 and 2013.
  "With all our foreign players (four Argentines and a Pakistan) having arrived on Wednesday, we will surely be looking to claim the early three points," said THT coach Sarjit Singh.
  As for KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj, he prefers the underdogs tag.
  "THT would like a good start, just like any other team, but I'm happy to play the underdogs against early favourites THT, and if we can't claim not full points, at least one point would do in the opener."
  TODAY: Division One A: MSP-YP-SSP v MSNT-THT (Kuantan, 5pm), MBI v MASUM-USM (Azlan Shah, 5pm), TNB Thunderbolts v BJSS (Taman Daya II, 5pm); Division One B: Nur Insafi-Penang Hockey v UiTM (Sg Petani, 5pm), Politeknik v SSTMI (Taman Daya I).
  Women: MSNT-PHT v ATM Pernama (SHBB, 5pm).

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mike: Forget about current batch...

OLYMPIAN Maninderjit Singh feels the current senior national team should be disbanded as Malaysia look forward to four major tournaments in the next five years.
  This came about after Brazil qualified for the semi-finals of the Pan American and met the criteria set by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to play as Olympic hosts.
  Brazil upset United States 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out, after 1-1 regulation score, and dashed World League fifth reserves Malaysia's hopes of playing in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
  "With no more chance of playing in next year's Olympics, the current senior squad should be disbanded and plans be formulated leading towards qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
  "Looking at the age of this team, about eight of them would be too old to play good hockey by the next Olympics, and also, there are three more important tournaments to qualify and play in," said Maninderjit who also briefly held the post of secretary in the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).
  And there are three tournaments in 2018. World Cup, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
  "A detailed plan leading to the qualifications of the World Cup and Olympics must be formulated, and targets set for the men's and women's as well as both the junior teams.
  "The MHC must also come out with a code of conduct for players, as this was one of the problems which led to a dismal outing in many previous tournaments," said Maninderjit.
  Malaysia ranked 12th in the World, last played in the Olympics in Sydney 2000, where Maninderjit was a defender.
  "The CEO (K. Logan Raj) must also monitor the progress of all four teams and call for a monthly review. The task is heavy, but  Malaysia must wake up early, or they will find themselves playing in qualifiers without any real hope of playing in the World Cup and Olympics," said Maninderjit.
  MHC have already received the World League Semi-finals report from coach Tai Beng Hai and and it will be reviewed by the coaching committee either at the end of the month or first week of August.
  And when the MHC Executive Board meets in the middle of August, they are expected to name a foreign coach, highly likely Australian Terry Walsh, to become the Technical Director and chart Malaysia's path towards the 2018 World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.