Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Malaysia invited to replace Pakistan

MALAYSIA were invited by the FIH at the 11th hour after Pakistan pulled outof the Lucknow Junior World Cup.
    Netherlands, Belgium and Egypt in the group if Malaysia accept. SOJC team the best bet but not prepared for JWC.
    MIGHT GET THRASHED IN LUCKNOW... 9TH v Netherlands, 11th v Egypt and 12th v Belgium.

Monday, November 14, 2016

MHL shadow creeps into World League Round Two...

Pic: T&T's historic silver medallists at the 1967 Pan American Games held in Winnipeg.

Note: For the record, Trinidad and Tobago beat Malaysia 4-2 in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. BBC reported that it was T & Ts first ever win in the Commonwealth Games.

THE Malaysian men will play in the Melbourne Four-Nation on Nov 23-27 in their final showdown for the year.
  After a dismal third at the Kuantan Asian Champions Trophy (ACT), Malaysia will play ACT champions India (world No 6), Australia (No 1) and New Zealand (No 8) in the Four-Nation.
  "We will not be able to field a full squad as the two Police trainees (Nabil Fiqri and Razie Rahim) are back in training while two players have studies to catch up with.
  "Fitri (Shaari) and Faiz (Helmi Jali) are in the midst of asking for study leave but I'm not sure they will get it and be able to play in Melbourne.
  "However, this will give is a chance to field other players like Baljit Singh (who has recovered from injury) as well as juniors who played in the Sultan of Johor Cup as replacement," said Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen.
  Australia will be the team to beat, while Malaysia must show that they are capable of holding their head high against Olympic sides India and New Zealand.
  "This is part of our preparations for the World League Round Two (In Trinidad and Tobago on March 25-April 2) where we must finish among the top-two to play in the World League Semi-finals."
  However, after the Four-Nation, Van Huizen might see his charges only weeks before the World League as they will break camp for the Malaysia Hockey League.
  "The players will represent their clubs in the MHL, but I can't say much about that because I have yet to see the full fixtures. I hope the MHL ends a few weeks before the World League so that I can get the players back together for training."
  Van Huizen is looking at training national players mid-week during the MHL, which is normally played over the weekend, but then there is the Alagendra Cup to play for mid-week.
  "The MHC Competitions Committee is still planning for a viable solution to the packed schedule, and maybe they can host the Alagendra Cup before the MHL?"
  Packed schedule or not, Malaysia must beat Trinidad and Tobago,  Japan, Russia, United States, Barbados, Chile and Switzerland to qualify for the next round.
  For the record, Malaysia were champions in the Singapore World League Round Two, but finished sixth in the Belgium World League Semi-finals and failed to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
  This World League is a qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in India.
  FIXTURES: Nov 23: Malaysia v New Zealand, India v Australia; Nov 24: Malaysia v India, New Zealand v Australia; Nov 26: Malaysia v Australia, India v New Zealand; Nov 27: Final and Third-Fourth.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Malaysian Tigress to conquer fear in Kiwi Test...

Malaysian Tigress undergo uphill training to prepare for the Kiwi Test, as well as the World League Round Two. Pic: Goh Thean Howe

THE Malaysian Tigress will play New Zealand in a Five-Test series next month, and coach K. Dharmaraj is not afraid of being thrashed out of shape.
  The series was agreed upon after Malaysia played New Zealand Futures (their development squad) in the recent Australian Hockey League (AHL).
  World No 5 New Zealand will host No 21 Malaysia at Stratford on Dec 12-18, and the numbers speak for themselves.
  The Kiwi women lost 2-1 to Germany in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics bronze battle, while Malaysian women have yet to play in any Olympics.
  In Rio, New Zealand beat Asian 'giants' South Korea 4-1 and China 3-0.
  For the record, Asian women lined up at the bottom of the Rio de Janeiro heap with China ninth, Japan 10th, South Korea 11th and India
last on 12th.
  Suicide or Kamikaze, came to mind when this Test series were announced.
  "I know the statistics look bad and there is a high probability of my girls being hammered in this Test, but that's not my main concern and I am willing to face that as reality.
  "My aim is to make my charges lose their fear of playing higher ranked teams, before I field them for the World League (Round Two) in Kuala Lumpur," said Dharmaraj.
  And Dharmaraj will be aiming for one upset, and one draw in the Test.
  "We were the underdogs in the recent AHL and also the Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) and even though we did well not to lose by high margins against better teams, the collapse during crucial matches pulled us to the bottom of the pool."
  In the AHL, the Malaysian girls had a chance to finish top-four, but collapsed when it mattered most. And in the ACT, they upset Japan 2-0 in the last pool match. India won the title, but Malaysia only lost 2-0 to them in the pool.
  "Close, very close. But the tendency to collapse inside five minutes is what is bogging down the team. In the AHL, we lost one crucial match in three minutes when three goals were scored and the same happened against South Korea in the ACT where three goals were scored by Korea in three minutes to win 5-2.
  "The 'Have No Fear' training has started and I hope to see my charges pull off one upset in New Zealand and even if they get thrashed in the other four matches I will be the happiest man in the world," said Dharmaraj.
  In the World League in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 14-22, Malaysia will be up against ranked teams Italy and Ireland as well as Round One qualifiers Fiji, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Thailand and Wales.
  For the record, Malaysia has never broken the Round Two glass ceiling.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

JHL: Olak call for early Open trials...

THE Junior Hockey League (JHL) will only start in March, but Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) are already making early preparations by calling for trials on Dec 4.
  The open trials will be held at the Tun Razak Stadium at 4pm.
  "We did not do very well and ended up seventh in Division One last season, that's why we are calling for early trials to prepare early," said Olak team manager Joseph de Silva.
  Thirty-five teams, 10 in Division one and 25 in Divison Two, competed in the JHL last season.
  Olak last won the Overall title in 2000, and have seen a steady slide after University Kuala Lumpur and Thunderbolts came into the picture.
  "It is becoming harder to source for good talent as they are spread out in the 36 teams in both Divisions. That's another reason we need to call for early trials," said De Silva.
  As for the Malaysia Hockey League, it will be held from January to March, as there is the World League Round Two in Trinidad and Tobago from March 25 to April 2.
  Malaysia will play against Japan, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Chile, Barbados and Switzerland in the World League Round Two.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Johnson: 'Die Another Day'

FORMER journalist Johnson Fernandez (pic) quit as president of Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA) a few weeks ago, but is contemplating making a come-back by Monday  (14/11/06).
  KLHA secretary V. Rajamanickam said: "Yes, Johnson has sent in his resignation letter after one year as KLHA president but we will wait until next year, when the term ends, and then look for a replacement."
  At the meantime, KLHA deputy president Abu Huraira Yazid will run the show, said Rajamanickam.
  Johnson was elected unopposed in April last year.
  When contacted, Johnson who is overseas, said: "Yes I have quit as KLHA president but the council has asked me to reconsider, which I am doing.
  "I will make a final decision on Monday (14/11/06) about the matter."