Monday, July 11, 2016

Drastic reduction in MHL...

THE Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division will remain a six-horse tournament, but there were drastic reduction of teams in Division One and the women's MHL.
  Double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) will lead the Premier Division cast which will begin on Aug 18. The others in the home-and-away tournament are Kuala Lumpur HC, Sapura, Maybank, Tenaga and UniKL.
  The Division one will start on Aug 5, but with reduced numbers.
  The men's tournament will only see eight teams, a reduction of five teams from the 13 last season.
  The women's tournament will also be halved, as only six teams registered, compared to 11 teams last season.
  Division One: Nur Insafi, UiTM, ATM Airod, TNB Thunderbolts, BJSS, SSTMI, Ipoh City Council, Politeknik Malaysia.
  Missing from last season: MSNT/PHT, Masum/USM, MSP/YP/SSP,
  Women's MHL: Blue Warriors (PDRM), PKS-Uniten-KPT, ATM Pernama, 
SSTMI, Politeknik Malaysia, Terengganu HT.
  Missing from last season: Penang Juniors, KL Sukma, Manjong, MSN Kedah, SSTMI Thunderbolts, Uitm Lions, The Cops.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Two more likely for Premier Division...

THE MALAYSIA Hockey League (MHL) entries close on July 1, and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHF) are looking at eight teams in the Premier Division.
  Last season there were six teams and Terengganu Hockey Team, coached by Sarjit Singh, were crowned as the double champions.
  And there were 13 teams in Division One, while the women's league had 11 teams.
  The MHL is scheduled from Aug 5 to Sept 25.
  "We hope teams will adhere to the deadline with regards to the closing of entries and registration of players," said Competitions Committee chairman George Koshy.
  "Ample notice has been given to the teams and I hope there will not be cases of teams appealing after the closing date."
  The Premier Division will see a significant change in the fielding of national players.
  "A team can register any number of national players but only eight can take the field at any given time. And the definition of national players also includes foreign players, of which, each team can register a maximum of six.
  "And the early indications are that two more teams might register for the Premier Division making it an eight-team event," said Koshy.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Malaysia lose Second Test 4-3

MALAYSIA lost the Second Test 4-3 to Japan in Kakamigahara Sunday, but gave a good account of themselves without six regulars.
   Coach Stephen van Huizen's men drew the First Test 1-1 on Saturday, but lost the earlier two friendlies 5-1 and 3-1.
   They will play two more friendlies before wrapping up the Tour in preparation of the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan in August.
    Yesterday Najmi Farizal Jazlan (18th, 24th) and Firhan Ashari (69th) scored for Malaysia.
    Van Huizen said:  "We started off quite slowly and conceded early goals. We were basically chasing the game but my men kept on fighting and never gave up.
   "It was a much better game compared to the previous matches. We had five penalty corners  and we scored three goals off them.
   "This Tour has opened our eyes and the young boys had a good exposure. We have two more practice matches to go and we will take one game at a time."
    The six regulars, including skipper and penalty corner ace Razie Rahim, sat out the Tour for various reasons but it gave younger players an opening to how their mettle.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Test begins for van Huizen's back-up...

Training before the two Tests..

NATIONAL coach Stephen van Huizen will attempt to make amends in the two Test matches against Japan this weekend, after two disastrous friendlies in Kakamigahara.
  Malaysia lost 5-1 and 3-1 in the two friendlies, and van Huizen said even though he did not have six regulars, he does not want it to be an excuse during the Test matches Saturday and Sunday.
  "No excuses to lose by such margins to Japan even though we did not have six regulars in the squad due to various reasons. The back-up players are the best that we have in the country today, and they need to prove themselves in the next two Test matches if they want to be recognised for future tournaments," said van Huizen.
   Goalkeeper S. Kumar is still nursing his thigh injury, 
Faiz Helmi and Fitri Saari have examinations and Shahril Saabah has family commitments (mother died).
  National skipper Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri are back with Police training after getting a brief release to play in the Razak Cup.
  Malaysia last played with a full squad against Japan in the Azlan Shah Cup and won 4-3 with two goals from Razie and one each from Fitri and Haziq Shamsul.
  "Looking at the bright side, the six matches in Japan (four friendlies and two Test) will give me an insight and depth of the bench. This is important as we are preparing for the next tournament which is the Asian Champions Trophy which offers ranking points for the first time (to the top-three teams)..
  "Malaysia also failed to qualify for the Junior World Cup, while Japan made it. But that does not mean we need to discard the entire juniors team as some of the players have potential to play in the senior side.
  "They are being tested in Japan, and should give a better account of themselves in the two Tests to be in the circle."

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Japan thrash Malaysia, again...

NOTE: Some of the players are fasting during the japan Tour. Like they did during the World League Semi-finals in Belgium where Malaysia failed to beat India in the quarter-finals after taking a 2-1 lead, and lost a chance to play in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

MALAYSIA played friendlies, but Japan took both the matches seriously to thrash Malaysia 5-1 and then 3-1 in Kakamigahara.
  Coach Stephen van Huizen's men are on a Tour of six matches, four of which are friendlies, while two are Test matches.
  On Wednesday, his charges were down 5-0 before the consolation was scored Norhizzat Sumantri. And yesterday, Harvinder Singh gave Malaysia the lead off a 12th minute penalty corner rebound, but Japan won the match with ease in a seven minute blitz -- 55th, 58th and 62nd minutes.
  The two Test matches will be played on Saturday and Sunday, followed by two more friendlies.
  Van Huizen attributed the defeats to poor marking and decision-making, particularly during crucial moments.
  "Overall, we played much better in the second friendly. But the results clearly show that without our key players, we struggle. I believe this is an opportunity for several of the younger players to step up and understand the demands of international hockey. While the enthusiasm is good, we find ourselves wanting in many areas.
  The coach went to Japan withour several key players who are nursing injuries, had examinations and also joined the Police Force.
  Goalkeeper S. Kumar is still nursing his thigh injury, 
Faiz Helmi and Fitri Saari have examinations and Shahril Saabah has family commitments.
  National skipper Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri are back with Police training after getting a brief release to play in the Razak Cup.
  "Positively, there is progress in our game. We will prepare as best as we can for the upcoming Test matches. We need to up the level significantly to get a result. The games have provided me and the coaching staff with sufficient insight about the players and our squad entirely", he added.
  Japan are preparing a team to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, while van Huizen and his men will be attempting to qualify for the Olympics, which Malaysia last played in 2000 Sydney.