Thursday, April 19, 2007

Telekom on path to last four


TELEKOM Pahang steamrolled Serdang Hockey Club 4-0 to make a strong claim
for a semifinal ticket in Group B of the MHF-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior
League at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Telekom Pahang were upset 1-0 by Seberang Prai Municipal Council on
Friday, but they made a remarkable return yesterday and broke Serdang's
seven-match winning streak with style. But Serdang are still tops in Group
B with 21 points while Pahang are third on 18.
And now, Pahang Telekom have two easy matches to play - against whipping
boys Taiping Hockey Association on Tuesday and Synergy Hockey Club on
Friday before the cruncher against SMK Anderson on Sunday.
Yesterday, the toast of Pahang was Mohamed Al-Fadhir Kasim who scored
two beautiful field goals in the 46th and 66th minutes to kill Serdang's
The first goal was scored by Mohamed Izuan in the 17th minute after
which Telekom took total control of the match. Mohamed Supian scored the
third in the 64th minute.
"The defeat against Seberang Prai (where they did not have the services
of nine regulars) was actually a blessing because the boys were on a high
and it was a dangerous thing going into a tough match like Serdang.
"But we might again be without key players on Sunday because the
national team is leaving for South Korea on August 3 and chances are high
that two of my players will make the trip," said Pahang coach Izwan
Ismail Abu and Megat Arzafiq Termizi are the two Pahang players who
might receive national call-ups.
* At the Kuala Terengganu Hockey Stadium, Terengganu Sports Council
hammered the daylights out of Taiping District by scoring 15 goals in what
is the highest score since the inception of the JHL.
The Terengganu goals were scored by Wan Shah Rulnizam (first, 32nd,
57th, 62nd) Mohamed Faizal (third), Shah Radzuan (11th), Mohamed Shahrun
(12th, 23rd, 35th, 48th, 65th,), Mahathir Fitri (23rd), Che Wan Faizul
(53rd), Mohamed Shahrun (65th) and Mohamed Ashrafizree (69th).
* At the Tun Razak Stadium, Seberang Prai Municipal Council beat MSSKL
with a solitary goal from L. Pragas in the 58th minute.
* At the Malacca Hockey Stadium SMK Datuk Taha, who whipped Taiping 14-0
on Friday, were humbled 5-0 by Malaysia Sports School. The MSS goals were
scored by Mohamed Razie (eighth, 13th), Mohamed Noor (15th), Mohamed Anwar
(51st) and Mohamed Amerrulah (53rd).
* At the Pandamaran Hockey Stadium, Johor Sports Council beat Synergy
Hockey Club 5-1 with goals from Baljit Singh (eighth), S. Yogeswaran
(14th), Nasrullah Ali (27th), Mohamed Hamzah (55th) and Amir Hamzah
(65th). Synergy's goal was scord by R. Chobenan (45th).
Tuesday: Telekom Pahang v Taiping Hockey Association (5.15pm, Kuantan
Hockey Stadium).
Pahang Tkm .........4 Serdang HC ............0
Terengganu ........15 Taiping District ......0
Johor SC ...........5 Synergy HC ............1
Malaysia SS ........5 Datuk Taha ............0
Seberang Prai ......1 MSSKL .................0

Andersen poised for semis


SMK Anderson have a good chance of beating MSS Kuala Lumpur today and edge
closer to the semifinals of the MHF-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior League at the
Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh today.
MSSKL have been steadily improving in the JHL, but the odds favour
Anderson who have 16 points from seven matches and are trailing Group B
leaders Serdang Hockey Club by five points. A win against MSSKL will close
the gap to two points as Serdang are idle today and only play their
nemesis Telekom Pahang on Sunday.
Telekom Pahang are the only team in Group B who have a chance of beating
Serdang and the early indications are that after the Taiping District
match on Tuesday, Pahang will become joint leaders with Serdang - only
losing out on goals.
They then have a good chance of topping Group B when they meet Synergy
Hockey Club and finish their fixtures with a potentially explosive match
against SMK Anderson.
If coach Izwan Suhardi Selamat's plans go accordingly, they will top the
Group B standings when the preliminary round ends on Aug 4.
Izwan has watched all the Group A teams in action and he feels that
Tenaga Nasional Bhd must be avoided in the semifinals at all cost.
"I hope to avoid TNB until the final, and to do that the team must
finish top of Group B," said Izwan.
Pahang Telekom have chalked five straight wins and have two matches in
hand as opposed to Serdang who have played seven matches.
Izwan said that his team have a relatively easy run towards the tailend
of the preliminary round - other than the Sunday match against Serdang.
"We will be playing Serdang at the National Stadium and it will be the
toughest match for us. But my boys are ready to get past them, and avoid
Tenaga in the semis."
Today: Taiping Hockey Association v SMK Datuk Taha (Azlan Shah Stadium
I, 5pm); Johor Sports Council v Malaysia Sports School (MPJB Stadium,
5.15pm); Pahang Telekom v Seberang Prai Municipal Council (Kuantan Hockey
Stadium, 5.15pm); Terengganu Sports Council v Synergy Hockey Club (Kuala
Terengganu Stadium, 5.30pm); SMK Anderson v MSS Kuala Lumpur (Azlan Shah
Stadium II, 5.30pm).
Tomorrow: Krian Hockey Association v Armed Forces Apprentice Training
School (Azlan Shah Stadium II, 5pm); Sultan Abu Bakar College v Petaling
Jaya Municipal Council (MPJB Stadium, 5.15pm); Tenaga Nasional Bhd v Ipoh
City Council (Pantai Stadium, 5.30pm); Malay Mail v Yayasan Negri Sembilan
(Tun Razak Stadium, 5.30pm); Perak Malays v Olak-MPK (Azlan Shah Stadium
I, 5.30pm).
Sunday: Synergy Hockey Club v Johor Sports Council (Pandamaran Stadium,
5.30pm); Serdang Hockey Club v Pahang Telekom (National Hockey Stadium,
5.30pm); SMK datuk Taha v Malaysia Sports School (Bukit Serindit Stadium,
5.30pm); MSS Kuala Lumpur v Seberang Prai Municipal council (Tun Razak
Stadium, 5.30pm); Terengganu Sports Council v Taiping Hockey Association
(Kuala Terengganu Stadium, 5.30pm).
Tuesday: Telekom Pahang v Taiping Hockey Association (5.15pm, Kuantan
Hockey Stadium).

Ipoh to go all out for Tenaga's scalp


IPOH City Council are not the least worried about their tough encounter
against MHF-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior League giants Tenaga Nasional Bhd on
In fact, Ipoh will be out to upset the formbook at Tenaga's favourite
hunting ground - the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium in Jalan Pantai.
And it is not mere talk as Ipoh have been steadily improving since their
first JHL match which they drew 3-3 with Olak-MPK.
"We have a mammoth task this weekend against Tenaga but we are not
worried. I have told my boys to go for the kill and if we upset Tenaga,
the prospect of making the semifinals from Group A will become a reality,"
said Ipoh City Council coach Balachandran Panicker.
And after the Tenaga match, they face another tough encounter against
Petaling Jaya Municipal Council next week, but that match does not worry
"We wil be out for three points this weekend against Tenaga and even if
we fail, we still have a good chance of finishing second in the standings
by beating PJMC," said Balachandran.
Ipoh's last match is against Perak Malays Hockey Association.
Ipoh will be relying heavily on prolific goalgetter Ahmad Anuar Kamal,
18, who has scored eight goals to date.
"Ahmad has never let us down as he has scored in every match since the
League started and we will be counting on him to deliver against Tenaga
The battle will certainly be uphill because Tenaga have scored 41 goals
from seven straight wins - and have yet to conceede even one goal.
"We know the odds are heavily stacked against us, but we have to take
the bull by the horns because against Tenaga, no team can defend for 70
minutes because they have more than six players who can score," said
Tenaga have been scoring an average of six goals per match and the
electric company have steady strikers in Azlan Misron, Mohamed Fairuz, Wan
Asyrizal, Kamaruddin Rahman, Abbas Nekmat and Jivan Mohan - who are a
goalkeeper's nightmare.
Tomorrow: Taiping Hockey Association v SMK Datuk Taha (Azlan Shah
Stadium I, 5pm); Johor Sports Council v Malaysia Sports School (MPJB
Stadium, 5.15pm); Pahang Telekom v Seberang Prai Municipal Council
(Kuantan Hockey Stadium, 5.15pm); Terengganu Sports Council v Synergy
Hockey Club (Kuala Terengganu Stadium, 5.30pm); SMK Anderson v MSS Kuala
Lumpur (Azlan Shah Stadium II, 5.30pm).
Saturday: Krian Hockey Association v Armed Forces Apprentice Training
School (Azlan Shah Stadium II, 5pm); Sultan Abu Bakar College v Petaling
Jaya Municipal Council (MPJB Stadium, 5.15pm); Tenaga Nasional Bhd v Ipoh
City Council (Pantai Stadium, 5.30pm); Malay Mail v Yayasan Negri Sembilan
(Tun Razak Stadium, 5.30pm); Perak Malays v Olak-MPK (Azlan Shah Stadium
I, 5.30pm).
Sunday: Synergy Hockey Club v Johor Sports Council (Pandamaran Stadium,
5.30pm); Serdang Hockey Club v Pahang Telekom (National Hockey Stadium,
5.30pm); SMK datuk Taha v Malaysia Sports School (Bukit Serindit Stadium,
5.30pm); MSS Kuala Lumpur v Seberang Prai Municipal council (Tun Razak
Stadium, 5.30pm); Terengganu Sports Council v Taiping Hockey Association
(Kuala Terengganu Stadium, 5.30pm).
Tuesday: Telekom Pahang v Taiping Hockey Association (5.15pm, Kuantan
Hockey Stadium).

MHF: Taiping HA can still play in JHL


THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) techical commitee has decided not to
penalise Taiping Hockey Association because they had a valid reason for
not showing up in Kuantan for a match against Telekom Pahang last
Taiping HA cited financial problems as the reason and they have received
a generous offer from Telekom Pahang, which will enable the Taiping-
Telekom match to be held on Tuesday.
"We (the MHF technical committee) decided that Taiping HA had a valid
reason for not showing up for their match against Telekom after having a
discussion with them in Taiping on Monday. So we will let them continue
with the Junior League fixtures and will not penalise them.
"We took into consideration that by banning Taiping, we will be denying
22 boys from playing hockey and that is against our development plans,"
said MHF secretary S. Satgunam after the MHF technical committee meeting
in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Although Rule 16 of the JHL competition guidelines states that a team
refusing to play or complete a match shall be considered as having
withdrawn from the competition, MHF decided to bend the rules to
accommodate Taiping HA.
Taiping HA secretary Zakaria Yacob said he tried his best to make the
trip to Kuantan, as the team were counting on several quarters to raise
the RM4,000 required for the trip. The transportation cost alone was
"We now have enough money to travel to Ipoh on Friday to play Dato Taha,
and after that we will head for Terengganu for the match against the
Terengganu Schools Sports Council on Sunday.
"After the match, Telekom have agreed to provide board and lodging for
us and we will stay there and complete our match against Telekom Pahang on
Tuesday," said Zakaria who is also Taiping HA's team manager.
"We really appreciate the fact that MHF accommodated our request and
have not hauled us up to face the disciplinary board. We are trying hard
to source for more funds and I am confident that those who had pledged
earlier will come out with the much needed money," said Zakaria.
Meanwhile, the technical committee banned Ahmad Hasbi of Seberang Prai
Municipal Council for two matches following his expulsion during the match
against Serdang Hockey Club.
Ahmad Hasbi kicked a Serdang Hockey Club player.
However, Yayasan Negri Sembilan's Mohamed Faiz was let off despite
collecting a red card during the match against Armed Forces Apprentice
Training School.
"It was a technical red card because the player received a yellow before
that. There was no serious breach of discipline there."

Good for more than one gold


HIDAYAT Hamidon, winner of one gold and one silver in the 1998 Kuala
Lumpur Commonwealth Games, prematurely ended his career when he
"disappeared" after receiving a payout of RM120,000 from the National
Sports Council for his feat.
It was a controversial decision and many lambasted the naturalised
Malaysian, an Indonesian by birth, and he was virtually in the wilderness
for the past three years where he kept away from weights, and instead, got
married and is now a father of one.
When met at the NSC in Bukit Jalil, Hidayat said he prefers to forget
his hiatus and is ready to lift a few more medals for Malaysia.
"I want to forget the bad experience I had after the `98 Games and keep
a cool head for Manchester where I am good for a few medals in the 69kg
category," said Hidayat.
His teammate, Matin Guntali, lifted three bronze medals in `98 but is
now the national coach, and the other medal hopeful in Manchester is
Amirul Hamizan Ibrahim - a strong favourite for gold in the 56kg category.
But his kampung mate Faizal Baharom, who is in the same category, is
also looking to steal the thunder.
The fact that both hail from Rompin, Pahang, is no coincidence as the
district is known for producing weightlifters.
In the KL Games, Rompin's Abdul Rahman Ahmad was a potential gold
medallist, but he failed and hung his weights for good. But this time, the
Rompin connection looks like a solid bet.
In the rankings released by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) at
the end of last year, Hidayat was second in the 69kg category while Amirul
is the joint No 1 with India's A.K. Pandian, who is the defending champion
in the 56kg category.
Besides Hidayat and Amirul, Malaysia will have Edmund Yeo (105kg),
Faizal Baharom (56kg) and Roswadi Rashid (62kg) in Manchester.
Team co-ordinator Jamaluddin Samir said Malaysia are capable of meeting
the target set based on the CGF rankings and the performance of the
lifters in the recent National Open in Malacca.
"We are looking to Amirul to deliver two gold and one from Hidayat.
Amirul and Hidayat were sent to Indonesia for three months of training.
"This is the first time that we have set such a high target which is
based on the progress of the lifters and with Matin's experience, we have
faith they will deliver in Manchester."

Manchester a whole new ball game


THE year 1998 literally ended in a big bang for the national shooters when
they landed one gold, four silver and three bronze medals in the Kuala
Lumpur Commonwealth Games.
But that was in their own backyard.
Manchester will be a whole new ball game. The shooters not only have to
out-shoot the best in the world but get used to the environment as well.
The good news though is that naturalised Malaysian Irina Maharani has
been included in the squad, unlike `98 when she was shot down even before
she could get her pistol out.
This time around Irina, the 1986 world champion in sport pistol, will be
available as she has fulfilled the Games criteria.
The Ukrainian-born Irina was denied the chance to don Malaysian colours
in 1998 for failing to meet eligibility requirements which state that an
athlete had to be a citizen of his or her country for three years before
being eligible to compete in ISSF-sanctioned tournaments.
Irina got her citizenship just months before the KL `98 Games and
Malaysia subsequently lost two potential golds as her 388 mark could have
easily beaten the best of the air pistol competitors in Langkawi.
To boost Malaysia's chances in Manchester, the shooters went on a tour
of Europe and are still there competing and training.
Their first stint was in Belarus where Irina, Hasli Izwan Amir Hassan
and Bibiana Ng were selected by the National Shooting Association of
Malaysia (NSAM) for exposure.
Belarus was coach Viktar Prykhodzka's playground and he convinced NSAM
that it would do the shooters a world of good because they have good
facilities there.
Then it was off to the World Championships in Lahti, Finland where the
trio of Nurul Hudda Baharin, Irina and Bibiana found out that Manchester
is going to be one tough shootout.
The results in Finland showed that Australia and India will start as
favourites to land gold in the women's air rifle and air pistol.
Nurul Hudda, who will defend the women's air rifle gold, found herself
demoted to fifth in the Commonwealth rankings when the policewoman
finished joint 52nd in Lahti with a 390 score.
Her rivals Anjali Bhagwat of India, Australia's Susan McCready,
England's Louise Minett and Suma Shirur, finished above her.
Anjali shot 395 to finish joint 13th, followed by Susan and Louise at
joint 29th (393) and Suma at 47th (391).
Irina and Bibiana, earmarked for a medal in the air pistol, were also
below par in Finland. The duo are ranked second in the Commonwealth in
sport pistol behind Australian duo Lalita Yauhleuskaya and Linda Ryan, who
shot a combined 1,158 in Lahti.
In air pistol, Irina and Bibiana will need to overcome Lalita and Linda
as well as Canada's Kim Eagles and Dorothy Hare.
The best medal prospects in Manchester will be Emran Zakaria (men's
three position), Zulkeflee Hamsan (men's full-bore) and Irina and Bibiana
(women's air pistol pairs).
Emran finished joint 38th in Lahti but his 1,150 score places on top of
the Commonwealth rankings, followed by Australia's Sam Wieland at 1,145.
Zulkeflee won silverware - the Forntrope and Kenya trophies - at a
recent competition in Bisley besides entering the Queens final.
But statistics mean nothing in shooting. If Nurul Hudda could win the
gold in KL `98 even with her arm in a sling, anything can happen in

Women put on a brave front


THE national women's hockey team were deemed not good enough for the Busan
Asian Games, but they have been fielded for the Manchester Commonwealth
Common sense will tell that the Asian Games is where the young and
inexperienced hockey players should head for, and not the Commonwealth
Games where they are going to get mauled.
But nothing can be done right now. The Commonwealth Games ticket fell on
Malaysia's laps when Jamaica withdrew, so the women put on a brave front
and trained like crazy. On days when they had university examinations,
they trained at night.
And eventhough they know that the best that they can do is try and
finish sixth in the eight-pool tournament, a fierce determination is
painted on all the girls faces.
The bonding in the women's team is there for all to see, and they hug
and kiss each other, even with team officials, to console and consolidate
their quest not to turn into a whipping side.
The squad, with an average age of 19, will be charting the future of
women's hockey in the country which badly needs results.
From the sixteen selected, only eight have played in the Sea Games and
the World Cup Qualifier in France last year - the rest are under-18
players who will be spreading their wings for the first time on foreign
But even before the first whistle, they received the unkindest cut by
being grouped with Scotland, South Africa and Australia. Australia are
their last group opponents and the Commonwealth Games defending champions,
World and Olympic champions are expected to have a field day against our
At the `98 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games, the Malaysians lost 11-0 to
Their opening match is against Scotland and it is their best bet for
goals, and victory will be considered a big upset. At the KL Games,
Malaysia lost 2-1 and at the World Cup Qualifier, Malaysia lost 4-2. South
Africa are the dark continent because Malaysia have never met them.
Malaysian Hockey Federation (women's section) secretary S. Shamala,
always busy as a bee, feels that the exposure will do the team a great
"Since this is a young side, I feel that the exposure in Manchester will
prepare them to put up a challenge in the 2006 Asian Games," said Shamala.

Shapawi: RM19.5 million well invested


THE National Sports Council (NSC) has been very flexible with their purse
strings, and the whopping RM19.4 million budgeted for the Manchester
Commonwealth Games and Busan Asian Games has paid dividends earlier than
Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, NSC director of international preparation,
revealed yesterday that their programme, carried forward after the success
of the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games where Malaysia won 111 gold medals, has
brought in the medals at regional, Asian and world level.
"We set aside RM19.4 million to prepare the athletes for the
Commonwealth and Asian Games and the rewards have been pouring in from
every association," said Shapawi.
The money was well spent when you consider that the badminton squad won
silver in the Thomas Cup, boxer Adnan Jusoh clinched gold in the Asian
Championships and the women archers are now ranked fourth in Asia.
"In cycling, Josiah Ng finished second in the keirin event in the World
Cup; in gymnastics, Onn Kwang Tung won the pommel horse gold at the
Pacific Alliance; the `karate kids' brought in three golds, four silver
and six bronze from the Asian Championships" said a proud Shapawi.
"In short, the money has been put to good use by the associations to
train their athletes leading up to the Commonwealth and Asian
Games," he added.
Lawn bowls is another sterling example.
They swept seven of the eight gold medals at the Asia Championships in
Manila recently. They also did the country proud by winning 33 of 46
matches in their recent tour of Scotland.
And shooter Bibiana Ng entered the final of the World Championships.
"In bowling, the keglers finished with one gold, two silver and one
bronze in the Asian FIQ Championships while men's hockey did well to
finish eighth in the recent KualaLumpur World Cup," said Shapawi.
In short, it was well worth the money, and now, the NSC is looking for
good outings in the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
Shapawi also provided the breakdown which showed that the bulk of the
money went towards foreign and local coaches and the 416 athletes under
the NSC programme.
"We have 34 foreign and 32 local coaches under the programme assisted by
six officials and the budget for them was RM4.8 million.
"This included salaries, housing, transport and flight tickets," said
For the 416 athletes, RM5 million was budgeted for them.
"And it included their salaries, allowances, tuition fees, insurance,
medical, training and food suppliments."
Another RM2.2 million was for the upgrading of training facilities.
"The biggest slice was for the training programme which was RM7.4
million as this involved domestic and international competitions and
exposure trips.
"The money has been put to good use," said Shapawi.

Ipoh need to be cautious


IPOH City Council have two easy matches in Group A this weekend in the
Malaysian Hockey Federation-Milo-Admiral NSC Junior League, but
nevertheless, they will have to tread with caution.
Ipoh, with capable defenders S. Bubalan, Mohamed Nor Othman and Shukur
Adam, are tied on 13 points with Olak-MPK and they will not only have to
clinch six points against Krian Hockey Association today and Armed Forces
Apprentice Training School on Sunday, but also hammer in as many goals as
Olak have tougher fixtures. They meet Sultan Abu Bakar College today and
Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (PJMC) on Sunday and the possibility of
dropping points looms large for the Klang side.
Group A leaders Tenaga Nasional Bhd should have no problems overcoming
Penang Indians Sports Club on Sunday and book one semi-final slot.
Olak, Ipoh and PJMC will be battling for the last ticket and goals will
be a vital factor.
"We have tougher fixtures compared to Ipoh, but the first match against
Sultan Abu Bakar College should not be a problem.
"And against PJMC, we have a proud record of never having lost to them
since the inception of the Junior League. The closest PJMC have come was
holding us to a draw once. And last year, when they had a better team, we
beat them 1-0," said Olak manager Joseph de Silva.
And to achieve their target, Olak will revert to psychology.
"Come and watch for yourself how we use psychology against PJMC on
Sunday at the Tun Razak Stadium," was all Joseph was willing to reveal.
Olak fans, with banners and all, will be at the venue in full force in
what looks the most exciting encounter of the weekend.
Today: Perak Malays Hockey Association v Malay Mail (Azlan Shah Stadium
2, 4.45pm); Ipoh City Council v Krian Hockey Association ((Azlan Shah
Stadium 1, 5.15pm); Penang Indians Sports Club v Petaling Jaya Municipal
Council (Seberang Prai Stadium, 5.15pm); Olak-MPK v Sultan Abu Bakar
College (Pandamaran Stadium, 5.15pm); Armed Forces Apprentice Training
School v Yayasan Negri Sembilan (Tun Razak Stadium, 5.30pm).
Tomorrow: Seberang Prai Municipal Council v Serdang Hockey Club
(Seberang Prai Stadium, 5.15pm); Pahang Telekom v Taiping Hockey
Association (Kuantan Stadium, 5.15pm); SMK Datuk Taha v Terengganu Sports
Council (Malacca Hockey Stadium, 5.15pm); SMK Anderson v Johor Sports
Council (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5.15pm); Malaysia Sports School v Synergy
Hockey Club (Tun Razak Stadium, 5.30pm).
Sunday: Petaling Jaya Municipal Council v Olak-MPK (Tun Razak Stadium,
4pm); Yayasan Negri Sembilan v Perak Malays Hockey Association (Seremban
II Stadium, 5.15pm); Penang Indians Sports Club v Tenaga Nasional
(Seberang Prai Stadium, 5.15pm); Armed Forces Apprentice Training School v
Ipoh City Council (Tun Razak Stadium, 6pm); Malay Mail v Sultan Abu Bakar
College (Tun Razak Stadium, 8pm).

Sophia and Siti dropped


THE national women's hockey squad was trimmed to the final 16 yesterday
and the two dropped were Sophia Akhir and Siti Sarah.
Not that they were not good enough for the Manchester Commonwealth
Games, but Siti is carrying an injury while Sophia is a goalkeeper and
only two are needed in that department.
"It was a difficult decision to make because the girls have been
training hard over the year.
"Siti is one of our top defenders but she injured her kneecap and will
need another month to recover.
"On Sophia, the choice of dropping her was a difficult one because she
was as good as Khairunnissah Kamaruzaman and Siti Azura Yusuf," said coach
C. Sivasubramaniam.
The squad will be led by skipper Nor Saliza Ahmad, who will face the
torrid task of rallying her team-mates against Scotland, South Africa and
The squad has an average age of 19 and the three youngest players are
17-years-olds Khairunnissah, Intan Nurairah Khusaini and Nadia Abdul
The trio will be making their debut in the international scene and are
from the Under-18 project squad.
"Some of the girls lack international exposure and might get stage
fright but we have been drilling them with the neccessary training and I
am confident that they will not let their team-mates down," said Siva.
The squad: A. Chitra Devi, Norfaraha Hashim, Lisa Ludong, Catherine
Lumbor, Nor Saliza Ahmad, Angela Kais, Ayu Afinda Hamdani, Mizawati Bakri,
A. Kanagi, Norhafizah Azman, Khairunnissah Kamaruzaman, Nadia Abdul
Rahman, Intan Nurairah Khusaini, Rozilawati Rasidi, Sebak Kari, Siti Azura

Ahmad Sarji: Bowlers are a determined lot


MALAYSIAN Lawn Bowls Federation (MLBF) president Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji feels
that his bowlers are capable of surpassing the target set by the National
Sports Council (NSC) - but only after including the special athletes.
Ahmad Sarji was full of praise for the special athletes who will be
competing alongside the able-bodied bowlers.
The Malaysian Paralympics lawn bowls squad, comprising Harajinder Singh,
Azmi Lamin and Lim Hong Hing have set their sights on gold in the men's
Another special bowler, Moira Mukri, will compete in the women's singles
where the going is expected to be tougher.
"I salute the special lawn bowlers because they have shown great
determination and are very disciplined towards their cause," said Ahmad
Sarji after visiting the lawn bowlers at the Bukit Kiara Complex
"They also did exceptionally well in the World Championships in Adelaide
in April, and I'm confident they will give their best in Manchester and
make the nation proud of them."
In Adelaide, Harajinder won a silver while Azmi and Lim bagged the pairs
And for their feat, the MLBF handed out incentives to the special
athletes and have included them in the Commonwealth Games training
programme at Bukit Kiara.
"The target set for the able bodied bowlers is two silver and four
bronze but I feel that more medals will be won by this team," said Ahmad

Ismail, Saiman in hot soup


THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (women's section) held a meeting yesterday
and found enough evidence to haul up Bandar Penawar Sports Schools team
manager and coach to face the Disciplinary Board.
Coach Ismail Othman and team manager Saiman Marjuki, who is also the
schools senior assistant, were found to have breached several rules of
conduct and will face the disciplinary board on Saturday.
"The meeting was chaired by president Raja Noora Ashikin, VIce-
presidents Datin Zainab Abdul Kadir and Jennifer Williams (who is also the
DB chairperson), treasurer Juriah Fenner, tournament director S. Nagula,
technical officer Noor Jahan and umpires Anant Kaur and Nor Piza Hassan,"
said MHF(W) secretary S. Shamala.
Ismail and Saiman face four charges: "The charges against them are
verbal abuse of a player (Mizawati Bakri) and opposition team staff,
hindering the flow of the match (Ismail held onto the match ball),
instigating their players to walk out of the pitch, and not using the
proper channels to make a protest," said Shamala.
On Sunday, during the Bukit Jalil Sports School and Bandar Penawar
final, Ismail and Saiman told their players to stop playing after an
allegedly deflected goal was disallowed by umpire Anant.
Both officials also hurled abuse at the match umpires, player and fans,
and in the heat of the moment, Saiman was seen trying to provoke Bukit
Jalil fans into a fist fight.
"Concrete evidence has been found against them and the DB will decide
the next course on Saturday," said Shamala.

OCM ready to slam the door on soccer and rugby


THE Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) has set such high standards for team
sports in the Asian Games that it looks like soccer and rugby will not be
going to Busan after all.
OCM president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar, after chairing the
council Meeting at Wisma OCM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, said soccer,
rugby, women's basketball, men's hockey and kabbadi have been informed
about the selection process and that there should not be any controversy
if they are not selected.
"We have informed the team sports that they must prove themselves before
they are considered for the Asian Games. So if they are not selected,
there should be no hue and cry," said Tunku Imran.
When asked what will be the yardstick for soccer and rugby to make the
cut, OCM secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi set sky-high standards.
"For rugby to qualify for the Asian Games, they must beat Fiji in the
Commonwealth Games," said Sieh.
Since there are no international assignments to gauge the soccer team,
Sieh said: "They are playing a friendly against Singapore, and they can
qualify if they win by a 6-0 margin." The match was played in Kuantan
yesterday. Imran concurred his secretary's standards.
"The fact that soccer is the Sea Games silver medallists means nothing.
If they had won gold like men's hockey and women's basketball, then they
could have been considered," said Tunku Imran. "Right now, the two sports
must prove themselves. The fact that the Asian Games draw has been made
with the said sports named in the pools means nothing."
Tunku Imran also took to task associations who wait for OCM funding to
go overseas and not take the initiative to organise their own tournaments
for the benefit of their athletes.
"Some of the sports associations wait for four years to compete in games
of higher standard. That is why their athletes never improve beyond Sea
Games level. We must change this mindset and groom athletes who are
capable of becoming world-beaters like squash, hockey and bowling. These
are a handful of associations that consistently send their athletes for
high standard competitions and are also always ready to organise
international events in Malaysia," added Imran.

BJSS champs despite chaos


THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (Women's Section)-Milo Junior HockeyLeague final turned into an ugly, screaming and hysterical match yesterdaywhen Bandar Penawar Sports School left the pitch with four minutes of playremaining. The Bandar Penawar girls were trailing 1-0 thanks to a 62nd minutestrike by Bukit Jalil Sports Schools Suzana Nasir but thought they hadequalised in the 65th minute when Azizah Zainuddin deflected home a freehit but umpire Anant Kaur disallowed the goal. All hell broke loose when Bandar Penawar coach Ismail Othman rushed tothe sideline and abused the second umpire and then called for his girls toleave the pitch. Anant consulted second umpire Nor Piza Hassan and after a briefdiscussion, Anant blew for no goal again. Bandar Penawar team manager Saiman Marjuki, who is also the school'ssenior assistant, rushed from the stands and instead of calming thesituation, abused the match officials and used vulgarities on Suzana, whowas his former student. Suzana broke into tears after being harrassed and abused by Saiman. The situation became chaotic as the Bandar Penawar girls huddled andcried while their team manager and coach abused the umpires and thenturned on the fans who urged them to calm down. Saiman shouted at the fans: "Kalau you jaguh, turun padang. Kita bolehbertumbuk (If you are great, come down to the pitch and we can have a fistfight)." MHFWS secretary S. Shamala tried to calm Saiman and Ismail but wasrudely told off and at that moment, it looked like Bandar Penawar would not continue with play. But common sense prevailed as the Bandar Penawar girls decided, after 15minutes of crying and consoling, to continue playing the remaining fourminutes but couldn't find the equaliser. After the match, Saiman brought out a camcorder to strengthen his claim,but there was no robbing Bukit Jalil Sports School of their glory. In the battle for the bronze, Sarawak triumphed when they beat PerakJuniors 1-0 off a Norfazlena Jek field goal in the 21st minute.


Tenaga continue to electrify



TENAGA Nasional Bhd continued their hot streak in Group A when theywhipped Sultan Abu Bakar College 5-0 in the Malaysian Hockey Federation-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior League at the Johor Baru Hockey Stadium yesterday. Tenaga now have 18 points from six matches and snapping on their heelsare Olak-MPK who have 13 points from five matches. Yesterday, Olak-MPK scrapped past Armed Forces Apprentice TrainingSchool 3-0 at the Tun Razak Stadium with goals from P. Prabahkaran in the15th minute and two goals from Mohamed Zamzuhairi in the 40th and 48thminutes. Olak-MPK coach Abdul Rahim Ahmad was happy with the scoreline as: "Werested most of our regular players today (yesterday)." Olak used their second goalkeeper M. Muruges for 70 minutes and restedtheir No 1 T. Veerasegar and it paid dividends as Muruges stopped threepoint-blank shots to deny AFATS. The tough matches that await Olak-MPK in the coming weeks are againstfourth placed Petaling Jaya Municipal Council and Tenaga. So Olak, naturally, were not impressive yesterday but they held on tothe one-goal lead in the first half and in the second, they struggled toscore even though they had possession for long periods in the AFATSsemicircle. In Johor Baru, the Tenaga goals were scored by Azlan Misron (22nd),Mohamed Fairuz (23rd), Wan Asyrizal (54th), Kamaruddin Rahman (57th) andAbbas Nekmat (63rd). * At the MPSP Stadium in Kepala Batas, Penang Indians, one of thewhipping teams in the Junior League, churned out a surprise 9-3 win overPerak Malays Hockey Association, reports K. KANDIAH. It was only the home side's second win in Group A and it should serve asa morale booster for them for the coming matches. Although it was not the tournament's highest margin win - MalaysianSports School's 13-0 drubbing of Taiping HA on June 30 is - the PenangIndians' triumph helped them double their points to six. Their hero of the day was G. Vikeneesvarran, who scored six yesterday. Vikeneesvarran got his goals in the 16th, 17th, 28th, 35th minutes andadded a further two in the 48th and 59th minutes. The other three goals came from S. Anderasan, A. Arvind and GunalanPaul. Harbans Singh replied for Perak Malays in the fifth and Meor AmirnuddinBurhanuddin notched two. * UNDER the floodlights of the Tun Razak Stadium, Ipoh City Councilpulled off a hard-earned 3-2 win over Malay Mail. The Ipoh goals were scored by S. Bubalan (fifth), Ahmad Anuar (43rd) andAbdul Hadi (52nd) while by S. Shriganenthra (42nd and 50th) replied forMalay Mail. Today: Telekom Pahang v Malaysia Sports School (Kuantan Stadium,5.15pm); Anderson v SMK Datuk Taha (Azlan Shah Stadium I, 5.30pm); SynergyHockey Club v MSSKL (Pandamaran Stadium, 5.30pm); Serdang Hockey Club vJohor Sports Council (National Hockey Stadium, 5.30pm); Terengganu SportsCouncil v Seberang Prai Municipal Council (Terengganu Stadium, 5.30pm).

Selvaraju sees red


MALAYSIAN hockey dipped to a new low yesterday during the SMK Anderson-
Malaysia Sports School match at the Tun Razak Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
The first embarrassing act went unnoticed right under the noses of
Malaysian Hockey Federation Umpires Board (MHFUB) top brass, and the
second was when a Malaysia SS player was shown the first red card of the
MHF-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior League.
MHFUB chairman V. Kulasingam and his secretary Teo Choon Seng sat at the
technical desk yesterday but did not even lift a finger when an
unidentified man jogged around the Tun Razak artificial pitch during the
The man was running on the turf (along the perimeter white line) and he
did more than 10 laps, and during each lap, he ran right in front of the
technical desk where Kulasingam and Teo were siting.
The man even obstructed the ball boys, who had to dodge him while
picking balls but he was never stopped. Maybe the MHFUB has changed the
rules of the game to allow joggers to run on the turf while a match was
under progress, but they could not inform the Press because there was a
blanket gag order on all MHF officials.
Back to the match, Malaysia SS player S. Selvaraju, a promising national
trainee, did the unthinkable in junior hockey when he challenged umpire
Balbeer Singh's decision and then threw his stick on the turf. He was
shown the red card and the feeling among hockey officials was that "he
should be dealt with severely to teach him the basics of the sport while
he is still young."
Malaysia SS not only lost one good player but also threw away a vital
match when they lost 2-1 to Anderson. Malaysia SS took the lead in the
34th minute when Selvaraju scored off a penalty corner in the 34th minute.
But the situation was summed up by their coach V. Muraleedharan when he
said "the boys lost their head" and allowed Fazreen Eksan (53rd minute)
and Hafifi Hafiz (65th) to score.
o AT the Malacca Hockey Stadium, Telekom Pahang scored a sixer against
SMK Datuk Taha with goals from Mohamed Izuan (seventh, 23rd), Mohamed Al-
Fadhir (11th, 15th, 65th) and Wan Nor Hisham (27th).
Taha's consolation penalty stroke was scored by S. Muniandy in the 64th
Today: Penang Indians Sports Club v Perak Malays Hockey Association
(Seberang Prai Stadium, 5.15pm); Sultan Abu Bakar College v Tenaga
Nasional Bhd (Johor Hockey Stadium, 5.15pm); Krian Hockey Association v
Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (Azlan Shah Stadium I, 5.30pm); Armed
Forces Apprentice Training School v Olak-MPK (Tun Razak Stadium, 6pm);
Malay Mail v Ipoh City Council (Tun Razak Stadium, 8pm).
Tomorrow: Telekom Pahang v Malaysia Sports School (Kuantan Stadium,
5.15pm); Anderson v SMK Datuk Taha (Azlan Shah Stadium I, 5.30pm); Synergy
Hockey Club v MSSKL (Pandamaran Stadium, 5.30pm); Serdang Hockey Club v
Johor Sports Council (National Hockey Stadium, 5.30pm); Terengganu Sports
Council v Seberang Prai Municipal Council (Terengganu Stadium, 5.30pm).

`Gag order' serves no purpose


SPORTS Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein does not agree with
associations who force a gag order down the throats of their officials.
"I do not understand the rationale of asking officials to keep quiet
because it is not good for the growth of associations."
"If the officials have valid points, they should be allowed to speak for
the betterment of the sport. Asking them to keep quiet will be detrimental
to the sport," said Hishammuddin after handing the Malaysian flag to the
Manchester Commonwealth Games chef-de-mission W.Y Chin at Bukit Jalil.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) held a meeting with umpires and
officials of the Junior Hockey League on Wednesday and warned their
officials that stern action will be taken against those who speak to the
After their Executive Council Meeting on July 5, the MHF issued a gag
order on state secretaries but have since made a blanket order on all
their officials.
And when an official who attended the umpires and technical meeting was
approached, he said: "I have been told not to make any statements to the
Press by the MHF. I was also warned that stern action will be taken
against anyone who speaks to the Press," said the official.
And the official's parting words were: "The MHF have promised us a
`surprise in a few days time', we have been told to wait and see for
The word in the grapevine is that the MHF will hold an Emergency Council
Meeting on July 18 because a handful of new matters have since cropped up
and they can't wait till August 18 as decided in their recent Executive
Council Meting.
The MHF council took the drastic stand after Penang Hockey Association
secretary Ranjit Singh and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association secretary V.
Rajamanickam came out strongly to criticise the parent body for not doing
enough for the sport.
The Executive Council also announced that a written explanation will be
required from Ranjit and Rajamanickam. But to date, no showcause letters
have been sent out to the duo.
The amazing thing was that others who also criticised the MHF like vice-
president Datuk Jalil Majid, the secretaries of Terengganu and Kelantan
and KLHA president Tan Sri Noordin Hassan were not taken to task by the
Executive Council.
"Instead of ordering their officials to keep quiet, associations have
the avenue of punishing officials who make untrue statements. I personally
feel that it is better to let the officials make their stand and then
punish or praise them," said Hishammuddin.
Hishammuddin also felt that a gag order does not gurantee that the
association will not be criticised or does not have flaws.
"It does not gurantee the smooth running of an association, so I see no
point in issuing gag oders to officials," he said.

Stadium Board confirms suit


NATIONAL Sports Complex manager Abu Bakar Kasim yesterday confirmed that
the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) are being sued for unpaid monies
from 1998.
Perbadanan Stadium Merdeka filed the suit in Seremban and a hearing is
scheduled for October this year.
Abu Bakar was unable to provide the exact amount owed but it is said to
be in the region of RM500,000.
Abu Bakar, when met at the Sports Minister's office, said the Stadium
Board had sent three reminders to MHF, and only decided to sue after
exhausting all other avenues.
"We went through all the proper channels like sending them three
reminders, (one month apart) before deciding to take legal action to get
back what has been due to us since the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth
Games," said Abu Bakar.
Abu Bakar also revealed that the monies due was for: "Rental, A-boards,
electricity, water and other facilities used from 1998."
"We have an agreement form where the interested party (those who want to
rent facilities at the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex) lists all the
facilities they want to use and the rental is explained to them.
"The MHF agreed to pay us the amount when they signed the form which the
Stadium Board counter signs," said Abu Bakar.
When asked if the MHF had approached them to settle the matter amicably,
Abu Bakar said: "They have approached us to trim some of the expenses and
we brought the matter up at our Board meeting but it was agreed that the
MHF must pay the full amount because they knew what they were getting into
when they signed the agreements."
Secretary General of the Sports Ministry Datuk Mahamad Zabri Min, who
confirmed that there is a legal tussle between the Stadium Board and the
MHF, said: "From what I was briefed, the Stadium Board has a legitimate
case against the MHF. Therefore, I hope the MHF will take the initiative
to settle the matter out of court.
MHF deputy president Tan Sri P. Alagendra, secretary S. Satgunam and
treasurer S. Perampalam attended a meeting with MHF president Sultan Azlan
Shah at Istana Perak in Kuala Lumpur yesterday and even before Satgunam
was asked for his comments on the phone, he said: "I don't wan't to speak
to you" and hung up.
Meanwhile, the Stadium Board has appealed to the government to reduce
their water and electricity tariffs so that they can pass the cut to those
who make bookings.
"We have applied to reduce the tariff (from commercial to residential)
and if it is approved, we will be able to reduce the cost of renting
facilities at the Bukit Jalil Complex," said Abu Bakar.

Lissek's new headache


NATIONAL chief coach Paul Lissek returned home from gruelling Australian
and German Tours, where his boys played 19 matches in 26 days, and was not
least pleased with the withdrawals that have hit the national team in his
He also disclosed that he does not remember ever seeing a development
blueprint issued by the Malaysian Hockey Federation Technical and
Development Committee.
"No. I can't remember receiving a blueprint from the MHF Technical and
Development Committe.
"But I have formulated plans and submitted to the National Sports
Council," said Lissek after a training session at the National Hockey
Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
MHF Technical and Development Committee chairman Roy Rajasingam had
claimed after the council meeting on July 5 that his committee has been
unfairly criticised by the press because "We have been submitting
blueprints since the days of Terry Walsh, Volker Knapp and now Paul
Assistant national coach Stephen van Huizen also does not recall
receiving a blueprint or any development plans from the MHF.
But as far as Lissek is concerned, that is not his problem. His headache
is the string of early retirements that have hit the national side.
K. Logan Raj was conspiciously missing from training yesterday and when
asked: "He said that he wanted to concentrate on his studies. That I can
understand. What I don't understand is players telling me something, and
then doing someting else.
"Jiwa Mohan is a case to point because he told me that he can't train
fulltime for two years but will still continue attending training.
"I told him that he can come anytime and join training and keep fit in
case one of the trainees get injured before the Asian Games and we can use
"He never showed up and I don't like players who do not tell me the
truth," said Lissek.
When asked if the players who quit will be welcomed back into the
national team in the near future, he said: "They can try their luck. If
they keep fit and are still good, we will consider them. If not, I am
grooming replacements right now.
"I will no longer hope for their return because I have some exciting
young players who are begging to see action at the international level,"
said Lissek.
Meanwhile, at the adjacent pitch, the women's national team was busy
working out for the Manchester Commonwealth Games.
Coach S. Siva has the unenviable task of pitching his young side against
Australia, Scotland and South Africa. But he is not willing to pack his
defence and narrow the margin of defeat.
"I dare say that the team has improved tremendously and I am not going
to defend in the first match against Scotland because during the World Cup
qualifiers in France, we only lost 4-2.
"I see hope in this team and I will let them play an attacking game
before I plan my next strategy," said Siva.
For the record, Malaysia were whipped 11-0 by Australia in the last
Commonwealth Games, and coach Siva has never seen the South Africans play.
Everything points towards a torrid time for the women at the Commonwealth

No major changes for BGM

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation has set October 26 for the biennial
general meeting and the early indications are that there are not going to
be any changes in the top echelon.
President Sultan Azlan Shan and his deputy Tan Sri P. Alagendra did not
make any mention in the council meeting yesterday of vacating their seats.
The council meeting, attended by all affiliates except for Malacca,
Kedah and Pahang, also decided that another meeting will be held on August
18 to table matters arising during the BGM.
The MHF is also trying its best to hold the Azlan Shah Cup which was
supposed to be held this month but was postponed because of lack of
interest in the teams which were invited.
"We will hold the Azlan Shah Cup at a later date and maybe invite
Pakistan and India this time because most of the European countries have
declined invitation while Argentina did not even bother to reply
eventhough we sent them two reminders," said MHF secretary S. Satgunam.
On the issue of young players calling it quits from the national team,
Satgunam said the council has decided to take a strong stand on the issue.
"We have decided to review their funding from Yayasan Hoki Malaysia and
also hold back their retirement benefits.
"The council will meet again and maybe we will decide on a stronger form
of action," said Satgunam.
Since the Kuala Lumur World Cup ended, Maninderjit Singh, Mirnawan
Nawawi, S. Shankar, Nor Azlan Bakar, Nasihin Nubli, Jiwa Mohan, Jivan
Mohan, Tajol Rosli and Khairul Nizam have called it quits and right now
the average age of the national team is 22 with Chairil Anwar being the
oldest player at 29.
Chairman of the Schools Committe Lt Jen (r) Datuk Seri Abdul Manap
Ibrahim came out strongly to say that his committee has not been defunct
as reported.
"We have had informal meetings with the schools representatives. I agree
that there has not been any formal meeting since the committee was formed,
but that does not mean that we are defunct," said Manap.
When asked how come his committe members do not know that they are in
the Schools Committee, he said: "It is the job of the states to tell them
that they have been selected for the Schools Committe. If the states do
not do the job, why blame me?"
Technical and Development Committee chairman Roy Rajasingam also blamed
the states for the flak his committe has been receiving from the media.
"For your information, we have been having meetings regularly and
contrary to reports, we have been functioning as it ought to be. Since
1992 onwards, a number of development plans and blueprints have been
prepared and have been used by former coaches Terry Walsh, Volker Knapp
and the present coach Paul Lissek.
"The MHF blueprint is endorsed by the National Sports Council and
together, it is implemented in possible areas but priority was given to
the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup.
"But that does not mean there was no grassroots development as
affiliates were handed blueprints and while some have adopted them like
Kuala Lumpur, sadly many other states chose not to fully inplement them.
"So the Technical and Development Committee cannot be blamed for things
out of their control because we only formulate policies and programmes and
if states choose not to implement, we can't do anything," said Rajasingam.
Competitions Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid also said
that his committee has been meting regularly, eventhough he had said
earlier that competitions were run without his knowledge.
"And when I cannot attend the competitions committee meetings, I fax a
letter saying that I endorse whatever decisions that have been taken
during my absence.
"So everything is over the board and done properly," said Jalil.

Feuding factions close ranks


FACTIONS within the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) closed ranks
yesterday and pledged their allegiance to the existing leadership of their
president Sultan Azlan Shah and his deputy Tan Sri P. Alagendra.
The council also backed their vice presidents Roy Rajasingham, Datuk
Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid, Lt Jen (r) Datuk Seri Abdul Manap Ibrahim, Tuan
Haji Bustari Yusuf and Datuk Bashir Ahmad Abd Majid.
But Rajasingham who read out a written statement on the proceedings of
the council meeting, however made no mention of whether the federation's
members had discussed the need to make structural and admnistrative
changes within the national body.
Speaking at a press conference, Rajasingham appeared reluctant to take
too many questions from the floor.
The statement read out by him stated: "The MHF president and council
members, after a lenghty meeting (four hours) have unanimously decided
that in view of the unjust and baseless claims and statements made by
Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA) secretary V. Rajamanickam and
Penang HA secretary Ranjit Singh to the Press over a period of time
against the MHF president, deputy president, Technical and Development
Committee chairman Roy Rajasingam, Schools Committee chairman Manap
Ibrahim, secretary S. Satgunam and treasurer S. Perampalam, that both
Rajamanickam and Ranjit be asked to explain their acts and statements.
"They have made disparaging and mischievous statements through the Press
which has adversely affected the integrity and esteem of the MHF and
brought disrepute to the sport.
"The presidents of KHLA and PHA have been asked to admonish their
secretaries and look into the matter further."
Rajamanickam did not attend the meeting but Ranjit did and he was asked
to verbally apologise for his actions.
"Ranjit apologised to the council orally but a thorough explanation in
writing is required," said Rajasingam.
Alagendra added that Ranjit and Rajamanickam are also staring at MHF
Disciplinary Board action.
"We will wait for their reply and going by it, we might or might not
decide to haul them up for disciplinary action."
The council also decided that from now, only presidents from each states
will be allowed to make statements to the media.
"The council also decided that from today, only the presidents can make
statements and all other office bearers, unless they have specific
approval from their presidents, are not allowed to make any statements on
hockey to the media.
"The council also unanimously decided to endorse their full confidence
in the MHF president, deputy president, vice presidents, secretary,
treasurer and the chairmen of the various sub-committees.
"All the allegations made against them have been found to be completely
unjustified," said Rajasingam.

KLHA launches Schools League


KUALA Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA) marked another milestone yesterday
when they launched a grassroots development initiative aimed at improving
interest and the level of hockey among secondary school pupils in Kuala
KLHA yesterday held a brief ceremony with their sponsors, Nestle
Products Sdn Bhd and Sapura Holdings Bhd, to launch the 2002 KL Schools
Hockey League which will begin on Sunday with 15 teams taking part.
"This joint venture with the State Schools Sports Council is a first for
Malaysia and we hope it will benefit hockey in the long run," said KLHA
president Tan Sri Noordin Hassan.
The response for the schools league has been tremendous as 15 of the 19
invited schools responded positively. Divided into two groups, the schools
will play a single round robbin format where the group champions and
runners-up will meet in rhe crossover semifinals.
"A total of 53 matches are expected to be played by the participating
schools and the project differs from other competitions held at schools
level as it offers participarting schools at least seven competitive
matches over a period of two months.
"Also the competition rules have been modified to allow each team to
register and field all 20 players for league matches. This was done to
give all players a chance to show off their skills and give them a sense
of participation in every match," said Noordin.
To make it more exciting, each team will be allowed to field eight
under-15 players and at any given time, while three or more under-15
players must be on the pitch.
"It is hoped that the inclusion of under-15 players in the under-18 age-
group tournament will develop their mental strength, character, attitude
and skills to compete with physically bigger players.
"Such a situation is regularly faced by the national team when they meet
European opponents and the organisers of this league hope to prepare them
by simulating such a physically-competitive arena in the early stage of
their life as hockey players," said Noordin.
Apart from providing a platform for more competitive matches, the
tournament also offers a base for aspiring teaches to become hockey
coaches by handling a team in a league situation.
"The programme has been made possible with the help of Nestle, Sapura
and Malay Mail and it is hoped that it will become an annual event and
that it extends the hockey playing season for schools.
"At the end of the tournament, 60 players will be selected for advanced
training under the supervision of KLHA coaches," said Noordin.
Group A: Sek Men Seri Hartamas, SMK Tinggi Setapak, Sek Men Bukit
Bandaraya, St John's Institution, Sek MBS Sentul, SMK Victoria, Sek Men
Sungai Besi, Sek Men Alam Shah.
Group B: SMK Kepung Baru, SMK Seri Pantai, Sek Men Vivekananda, SMK
Taman Melati, SMK Raja Abdullah, SMK Titiwangsa, Sek Men Sains Selangor.

Noordin: I don't want the post


KUALA LUMPUR Hockey Association (KLHA) president Tan Sri Noordin Hassan
has, for the second time, quashed any attempts to nominate him as the next
deputy president of the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF).
MHF will be holding their council meeting in Kuala Lumpur today, and it
will eventually lead to the long overdue MHF elections, but Noordin is not
looking for a post in the parent body.
"People can nominate me, but I will not give my consent because I feel
that at 63, I am too old to be burdened with such a heavy responsibility,"
said Noordin in response to Penang Hockey Association's plans to nominate
him for the post of deputy president.
However, Noordin will not wash his hands of MHF.
"I am ever willing to help them when they have special projects like I
did during the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup. But I have been
enjoying my free time too much to be bogged down by taking a post in the
parent body.
"In KLHA itself, I have made it known that if there is a willing
replacement, I will make way. But my committee does not want to let me go,
so I carry on with the job until a replacement comes by," said Noordin in
his usual frank style.
Many state affiliates have come forward to say their piece on the MHF,
and to an extent, TimeSport was accused as "having savagely butchered MHF"
and today, those who have grouses will get to say their piece in the
council meeting.
MHF have been accused of neglecting the states to the extent that some
of them have run out of ideas and ambition to keep the sport going at the
grassroots. Today is when they should raise their grouses.
MHF have been accused of being biased when selecting officials for
tournaments and overseas assignments.
MHF vice presidents have been accused of not doing enough, not even
holding meetings in sub-committees which they chair to the extent that the
Schools and Technical and Development Committee is now defunct.
MHF Umpires Board have come under heavy fire for showing favouritism and
not promoting or lending any support to their member umpires. Blow the
whistle on the MHFUB today.
MHF have been accused of doing nothing to stop early retirement of young
players after millions of ringgit is spent in training and sending them
for overseas tournaments. Come out with a suggestion to counter that
MHF have promised drastic changes which involve the stepping down of
president Sultan Azlan Shah and his deputy Tan Sri P. Alagendra from their
posts after the MHF house has been put in order. Make that pledge and
minute it for good measure.
MHF have pledged to ask their key officials (the vice-presidents, and
chairmen of sub-committees who have been inactive) not to seek re-
election. Minute that in the meeting too.
The council members have the power to change the course of hockey in
Malaysia, if they choose to speak out for the good of the sport today.
If not, hold your peace forever.

Don't just talk, act on it


THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) council meeting on Friday is a
boiling volcano at the brink of eruption, but the eerie silence from
council members might just turn it into a joke of a meeting.
Council members who were approached by TimeSport chose to remain silent,
but promised that they will be very vocal in the meeting itself.
The last council meeting was held in 1999 so, naturally, there would be
plenty of questiones from the floor and misappropriation of money is on
the top of the agenda.
"Money collected by the MHF Umpires Bord has been unaccounted for in the
last few years.
"An investigation was started before V. Kulasingam became the chairman,
but nothing came out of it," said one member.
"I will bring up the matter in the council meeting. Maybe the MHF should
resume investigations because the amount involved is not small," said a
member who declined to be named.
The MHF circular on the council meeting was very brief, with minutes of
the last meeting to be tabled, matters arising and the Kuala Lumpur World
Cup budget on the agenda.
One council member revealed a shocking practice in the MHF. The parent
body works without a budget for the year.
"MHF doesn't believe in tabling the budget for the year.
"They work on an ad-hoc basis and only source for funds when a
particular tournament gets closer.
"This practice must be stopped because it is very messy and even the
sub-committees work without a budget," said the member.
Over the past months a majority of the MHF affiliates have been very
vocal in the press with Terenggaanu HA hitting the nail on the head by
saying there was a proper forum to make changes.
"If the state associations feel that there needs to be changes at the
top level of the MHF, they must decide during the elections.
"Speaking about their problems but not doing anything during the
elections is worthless," said THA secretary Tuan Haji Hamzah Ali.
Penang HA secretary Ranjit Singh is worried with the present trend of
players quitting hockey to concentrate on studies.
After the World Cup, Maninderjit Singh, Mirnawan Nawawi, S. Shankar, Nor
Azlan Bakar and Nasihin Nubli called it quits.
And now, budding striker Tajol Rosli and goalkeeper Khairul Nizam has
opted out.
Khairul stated in his withdrawal letter that he would be available for
the National Under-18 team but not the senior side. Tajol cited studies as
a reason.
The withdrawal of the duo is just the tip of the iceberg as several
players have shied away from the national side.
Jiwa Mohan and his brother Jivan have also declined national selection.
But while Shankar and Jiwa spoke direct to national coach Paul Lissek,
Jivan only sent a SMS (short message system) to Lissek, stating his
Ranjit said he will bring up the matter and his suggestion is to let the
players train on their own.
"Training must be decentralised to let the players grow on their own,
the days of spoonfeeding are no longer practical and if players from
Europe and Australia can perform eventhough they are left alone with
training programmes, why can't we do the same?" questioned Ranjit.
"Right now, when players ask for study leave from universities, they are
told to choose sports or exams.
And when they approach their coaches, they are told to put their
studies on hold and play for the country.
"We have lost many good players because of this and it is time the MHF
come out with a practical solution," said Ranjit.
One proposal that is being given serious consideration is to bar the
players from playing in domestic competitions.
This, if it materialises, would be in line with the practice of the
Football Association of Malaysia, who bar players who snub national call-
Lissek said he will not force anyone to play, leaving the ball in MHF's

'Alagendra must vacate post'


THE Penang Hockey Association will be gunning for drastic changes in the
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) when the long overdue council meeting is
held in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
Top on their list is to see a change for the post of MHF deputy
"The Penang HA do not agree with the proposal to allow Tan Sri P.
Alagendra to stay on for six months after the elections. We want him to
vacate his post because he has overstayed his welcome," said Penang HA
secretary Ranjit Singh yesterday.
The MHF, under heavy fire from States for not doing enough to promote
the game, had promised drastic changes.
One of the agreed terms was that, after this year's elections,
"Alagendra gave his 100 per cent assurance he will resign even before his
full term is over."
"We (the Penang HA) do not believe in this assurance. We will propose
that a new man takes over the deputy president's post during the council
meeting. We don't want him (Alagendra) to buy more time," said Ranjit.
Penang's choice for the post is Kuala Lumpur HA president Tan Sri
Noordin Hassan.
"We want Tan Sri Noordin to be the deputy president because he has shown
undying commitment to the sport by working in the shadows during the
Commonwealth Games and the Kuala Lumpur World Cup," said Ranjit.
Noordin had said that he is not interested in the post. But recently,
those close to him revealed that he is willing to become the MHF deputy
president provided he "gets to choose his own team."
MHF president Sultan Azlan Shah is also rumoured to be on the brink of
giving up his post, but one thing is for sure, vice-presidents and
chairmen of sub-committees who have been inactive for the past three years
will be told not to seek re-election during the biennial general meeting
later this year.
Among the committees that have come under fire are the technical and
development committee under Roy Rajasingham, the schools committee under
Lt Jen (R) Datuk Abdul Manap Ibrahim, and the Umpires Board chaired by V.
Kulasingam. The secretariat under general secretary S. Satgunam also took
some flak for not doing enough.
"Penang will also propose that vice-presidents are selected from States
because right now there is no accountability. Some of the present vice-
presidents have not been doing anything to promote the sport.
"They do not know what is happening in the various States. They do not
even call for regular meetings.
"If candidates are selected from States, we are sure they will do a
better job because they know the shortcomings," said Ranjit.
According to Ranjit, Malaysian hockey is heading nowhere. There are no
targets set to win the Asian, Olympic and World Cup titles.
"There must be a clear direction. We want a plan to be formulated where
Malaysia's target is to win gold in the 2006 Asian Games, gold in the 2008
Olympics and win the 2010 World Cup.
"It does not make sense for the MHF to just chug along without
direction. Hockey needs to win honours and a plan must be formulated, if
not, the existence of MHF cannot be justified," said Ranjit.
Right now, the various States are left on their own and they run the
show as and how they like.
States like Malacca are in a sorry state of affairs. They are the
defending Junior Hockey League champions yet have failed to put up a side
for this year's edition. More States are likely to follow this sorry trend
because the parent body neither helps nor encourages States to develop
grassroots hockey.
Terengganu, Kelantan, Johor, Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and Penang are
just some of the States that have been vocal on the need for a total
revamp in the MHF.

Serdang sound early warning


Serdang HC 4 MSSKL 1
Anderson 1 Prai MC 0
Datuk Taha 1 Synergy HC 0
Malaysia SS 13 Taiping HA 0
Terengganu 4 Johor SC 0

SERDANG Hockey Club sounded an early warning to the other Group B
contenders with a 4-1 win over MSS Kuala Lumpur in the MHF-Milo-Admiral-
NSC Junior League at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Starting in their usual passive mode Serdang came charging back in the
second half to slam three goals and kill off a token fightback by Kuala
Lumpur in the 53rd minute.
Mohamed Hoesni opened scoring for Serdang in the seventh minute off a
field goal but after that, Serdang went into a snooze mode and only came
back to life in the second half.
Mohamed Redza made it 2-0 in the 50th minute but in the 53rd minute
Kelvinder Singh scored a superb reverse stick goal which sent the ball
crashing into the top net.
Kuala Lumpur took charge of the match with a string of attacks after
that, but in their haste, they left a big hole in defence and Serdang only
needed two minuted to make the score 3-1 with a field goal from Redza.
And in the final minute, Faridz Hashim finished off Kuala Lumpur with a
field goal.
* AT the MPSP Sports Complex in Bertam, Anderson chalked their third
straight win when they defeated Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai (MPSP)
1-0 yesterday.
With home ground advantage MPSP, who only two days ago thrashed hapless
Taiping Hockey Association 7-0, were no match for the high riding Anderson
In the 19th minute, Fazreen Eksan Kulub Wahab sounded the board with a
well calculated shot which remained until the final whistle.
MPSP are now with a win, a draw and a defeat while Anderson tops Group B
with three wins.
* At the Tun Razak Stadium, Malaysia Sports School steamrolled Taiping
Hockey Association 13-0.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin was the toast with five goals (third, fifth, 23rd,
44th, 49th).
The other goals were scored by S. Selvaraju (19th, 26th, 40th), Mohamed
Fakhrulrazi (28th), Mohamed Fauzi (34th), Mohamed Sallehin (52nd), Mohamed
Amerrullah (55th) and Mohamed Anwar (62nd).
* AT the Pandamaran Hockey Stadium, Mohamed Shahrul's first minute goal
was enough for Sek Men Datuk Taha to win three points against debutants
Synergy Hockey Club.
* AT the Johor Hockey Stadium, Terengganu Sports Council beat Johor
Sports Council 4-0 with goals from Amir Syafiq (third, 10th), Amerullah
Sabda (15th) and Saiful Amri (41st).

Serdang HC hammer Taha


Seberang Prai MC 7 Taiping HA 0
Pahang Telekom 4 Terengganu SC 1
Anderson 4 Synergy HC 0
Serdang HC 3 Datuk Taha 0
Johor SC 2 MSSKL 0

SERDANG Hockey Club made a strong comeback in the second half to hammer
three goals past SMK Datuk Taha in the MHF-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior League
at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Coached by former national skipper Nor Saiful Zaini, Serdang hit the
target in the 32nd minute when Faridz Hashim scored a field goal. But that
was their only laudable attempt in the first half which was controlled by
Datuk Taha.
But after receiving a shelling from Nor Saiful during the breather,
Serdang grabbed the bull by the horns and ran riot in the Taha semicircle
but poor finishing was the order of the day.
Serdang"s second goal was a gem started by Redza Maadon who beat three
players before sending the ball to an unmarked Syakir Hamzah who cooly
deflected home eventhough his back was facing the goalmouth. Taha broke
after that goal and in the 61st minute, Redza deflected in a penalty
corner to nail Taha 3-0.
* IN BERTAM, Seberang Prai Municipal Council (SPMC) chalked their first
win by whipping seven goals past a hapless Taiping Hockey Association
(THA) at the MPSP Stadium in Kepala Batas, reports LEE KENG FATT.
Held to a 2-2 draw in their opening match by Malaysia Sport Schools last
Sunday, the SPMC boys, capitalising on home ground advantage, instantly
turned the heat on the visitors by taking a comfortable 3-0 lead at half
M. Wasan opened scoring in the 20th minute before Ahmad Hasbi Latif and
Noorne Faizal Hassan added one apiece in the 24th and 30th respectively.
The Taiping side thought the hosts would have slowed down after the
break, but it was not to be.
SPMC kept up the pace with and added four more goals through K. Haarisan
(36th and 43rd), L. Pragas (41st) and P. Puvalagan (61st) for the high-
scoring finish.
* IN Kuantan, Pahang Telekom kept their winning momentum when they
powered 4-1 past Terengganu Schools Sports Council, reports PRITAM SINGH.
Strengthened by the return of striker Ismail Abu and defender Megat
Azrafiq from their overseas assignments with the national team, Pahang
Telekom proved too strong for their opponents.
Mohd Al-Fadhir Kasim put the home team ahead in the 16th minute and
added the second in the 24th min. Terengganu's Amir Shafiq pulled one back
five minutes later but Wan Nor Hisham Wan Jusoh made it 3-1 in the 39th
After the break, Nor Hisham got his second to give Pahang a comfortable
4-1 win.
* AT the Azlan Shah Stadium, Anderson continued their winning ways to
top Group B when they beat Synergy Hockey club 4-0 with goals from Fazreen
Eksan (22nd, 32nd) and Azli Misron (46th, 52nd), reports R.G. RAJ.
For Anderson this is their second straight win after having beaten
Taiping 6-0 in their opening match last Saturday.
* At the Tun Razak Stadium, Johor Sports Council beat MSS Kuala Lumpur
2-0 and the Johor toast was Nabil Fiqri Nor who scored in the 50th and
56th minutes.

Pahang look good


PAHANG Telecoms coach Izwan Suhardi Selamat and his players don't have a
clue about their MHF-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior Hockey League opponents
Terengganu Sports Council, but on paper, Pahang look the better team.
And they will get a boost today when Ismail Abu and Megat Azrafiq return
after a string of overseas tournaments. The odds are highly stacked
against the Terengganu outfit who received a 6-0 drubbing in the hands of
Anderson last weekend.
"I have yet to watch Terengganu in action but I expect a tough match
because most of their players are from the famous East-Coast hockey school
Padang Maidin," said Izwan yesterday.
Ismail and Megat made their national team debut at the Four-Nation
Tournament in Adelaide and Melbourne.
And their performances pleased national coach Paul Lissek who included
them in the them for the Hamburg Masters in Germany as well as the
European Tour.
In addition to the duo Pahang Telecoms also have roped in the national
No 3 goalkeeper Khairul Nizam.
"We have a good side this season and my main aim is to form a team for
the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) next season. I have verbal agreement from
Telecoms that if the junior side do well this year, they will help form a
team for the MHL," said the former national player.
Today: Seberang Prai Municipal Council v Taiping Hockey Association
(5.15pm, Seberang Prai Hockey Stadium); Pahang Telecoms v Terengganu
Sports Council (5.15pm, Kuantan Hockey Stadium); Anderson v Synergy Hockey
Club (5.30pm, Azlan Shah Stadium); Serdang Hockey Club v SMK Datuk Taha
(5.30pm, National Hockey Stadium); MSS Kuala Lumpur v Johor Sports Council
(5.30pm, Tun Razak Stadium).

Azlan Shah Cup scrapped


THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF), in a move to maintain quality, has
decided not to organise the Azlan Shah Cup this year.
Initially scheduled to be held in Ipoh on Sept 15-22, the tournament was
bought forward to July 7-15 - but now, it has been scrapped because of
poor response from invited teams.
"I have tried my level best to invite teams for the Azlan Shah Cup, but
I have only received a positive reply from South Korea. The other teams
have replied in the negative.
"So, the Azlan Shah will definitely not be held next month but I leave
it to the MHF competitions committee to make a stand on whether to hold it
at a later date, but with a different name," said MHF secretary S.
Most of the world's top-10 teams have a tight calendar this year, so
even if MHF do decide to hold it at a later date by inviting lower ranked
teams, the tournament will not be called the Azlan Shah Cup.
Argentina, Spain, Germany, South Korea and Holland were invited for the
Azlan Shah Cup, which is seen as on par with the standard of the Champions
Trophy, but Argentina, Spain, Germany, and Holland have declined
invitation for this year.
The MHF did receive an appeal from Japan to be included in the Azlan
Shah Cup, but they are not keen on it. Pakistan were among the teams
which were slighted at not being invited.
"We would like to maintain a certain standard in the tournament. That is
why we rather not hold the Azlan Shah Cup this year. But some foreign
teams will be invited before the September Asian Games to prepare the
national side and the tournament will be held under another name," said
Korea are hot on the list for a few Test matches before the Asian Games.
"The national team, now in England for two Test matches, need more
matches to prepare for the Asian Games, so the MHF will try and invite a
few countries. We have been in contact with Korea, and they are very keen
to play a few Test matches," said Satgunam.
In the Asian Games, Malaysia are in the relatively easy Group A with
defending champions India, Japan, Oman and Bangladesh.

Tenaga the team to beat


Ipoh City Council ....... 3 YNS ................ 1
Krian HA ................ 2 Pk Malays .......... 1
Sultan Abu Bakar ........ 1 Pg Indians ......... 0
AFATS ................... 1 Malay Mail ......... 1
Tenaga .................. 3 MPPJ ............... 0
TENAGA Nasional Bhd are the team to beat in the Malaysian Hockey
Federation-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior Hockey League as they powered past
Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (PJMC) 3-0 at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey
Stadium last night.
The match was expected to be a close encounter but Tenaga scored two
early goals in the seventh and 33rd minutes off M. Rageswaran and Jivan
Mohan to take a comfortable lead into the breather.
Upon resumption, Tenaga added another in the 45th minute and this time
Nor Ikhram Sulaiman sounded the board.
In their curtain raiser on Saturday, Tenaga steamrolled past Perak
Malays Hockey Association 8-0 and look good to top Pool A with a clean
* AT the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, R.G. RAJ reports that debutants
Krian Hockey Association pulled off a hard earned 2-1 win over Perak
Malays Hockey Association.
Former international Mohamed Abdul Hadi, the driving force in the
formation of a team in Krian, screamed with joy when Mohamed Shahrul
Faizal Jaafar slotted home the winner two minutes from time to give Krian
not only a winning start but also the much needed boost as they host TNB
on Friday.
Perak Malays took the lead in the 21st minute when Saiyed Ismail Hussin
sounded the board off a penalty corner attempt and they held on until the
50th minute when Krian forced an equaliser.
Azrul Ezul Hisham Bistaman scored from a penalty corner and the match
looked heading for a draw but Shahrul blasted home for the all-important
three points.
At the second pitch, Ipoh City Council (DBI), with eight national junior
trainees in their team, beat Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) 3-1 after
leading 1-0 at half time.
Ahmad Anuar Sham broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when he blasted
home off a pernalty corner.
DBI scored their second in the 40th when Abdul Hadi pounced on a rebound
to beat goalkeeper Ami Anggo from close range.
Seven minutes later Ipoh City Council made it 3-0 through Mohamed Khairi
Ghazali Ismail. In the 52nd minute YNS pulled one through P. Mahendran off
a penalty corner attempt.
* AT the MPSP Stadium in Bertam, Kepala Batas, a last minute penalty
stroke allowed Sultan Abu Bakar College to carve their first win over
Penang Indians, reports Lee Keng Fatt.
The match looked to be heading for a scoreless draw until the very last
minute when the College boys were awarded a stroke.
Skipper Mohd Azlan Ahmad flicked home to give the College side full
points. Sultan Abu Bakar College drew 1-1 with Krian HA on Friday.
As for Penang Indians, the defeat was their second in a row, following
their opening 4-0 defeat to Yayasan Negri Sembilan.
* At the Tun Razak Stadium, Malay Mail pulled off a 1-1 draw with a late
equaliser against Armed Forces Apprentice Training School.
Both teams played cautiously in the first half but AFATS had a better
look at the Malay Mail goal - only their poor finishing denied them goals.
AFATS finally got their goal in the 53rd minute when Kamarul Hisyam
scored and the match looked like it belonged to the soldiers until the
62nd minute strike by Mohamed Ariff which secured one point for Malay
On Saturday, early favourites Pahang Telecoms beat MSN Johor 2-1 and not
as reported. Pahang came back after being a goal down when Mohamed Shukri
(52nd) and Norzaiful Rizal (55th) slotted home. The Johor goal was scored
by Mohamed Hafiz (12th).

Favourites feast


THE Malaysian Hockey Federation-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior Hockey League got
off to a rousing start as the early favourites went on a goal fest.
Tenaga Nasional Bhd steamrolled past Perak Malays Hockey Association 8-0
at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh while at the Tun Razak Stadium, Petaling
Jaya Municipal Council (PJMC) hammered Armed Forces Apprentice Training
School (AFATS) 7-0.
Tenaga, powered by national juniors Mohamed Firdaus Razali, Mohamed
Riduan Nasir and Jivan Mohan, proved too good for the inexperienced Perak
Tenaga goalkeeper Firdaus was hardly tested in the match and it was the
same for K. Palaniappan who came in to `give Firdaus some rest' towards
the later part of the game.
TNB coach K. Rajan said they could have done even better if they had
Azlan Misron, who is on a Europe Tour with the national team, around.
Kamaluddin Abdul Rahman led the rout with three goals while Jivan and
Mohamed Fairuz Hamani scored two each. Abbas Nekmat hammered home the last
At the Tun Razak Stadium, PJMC never looked back after scooring three
goals in the first half, but their quest for more goals received a great
boost because AFATS is a poorly prepared outfit.
The first goal for PJMC was scored by Mohamed Zairil in the eighth
minute when he deflected home a penalty corner set-piece.
And in the 13th minute, Nor Azizan increased the lead with a field goal
and it was downhill for AFATS after that as Mohamed Reezwan (16th, 62nd),
Nor Azizan (41st), Ikmal Abdul Jabar (44th) and Mohamed Fazley (47th)
hammered home.
"We had a good outing today (yesterday) because I told my boys not to
take the opponents lightly eventhough we were three-goals up. I hope they
keep up the momentum in their remaining matches," said PJMC coach Roslan
PJMC have their own development programme and have retained 12 players
from last year's JHL and eventhough they did not play an impressive match
yesterday, they have assembled a side which looks good for a semifinals
Today: SM Datuk Taha v MSS Kuala Lumpur (5pm, Malacca Hockey Stadium);
MSN Johor v Pahang Telecoms (5.15pm, Johor Baru Hockey Stadium); Malaysia
Sports School v Seberang Prai Municipal Council (5.30pm, Tun Razak
Stadium); Terengganu Sports Council v Anderson (5.30pm, Azlan Shah
Stadium); Synergy Hockey Club v Serdang Hockey Club (5.30pm, Pandamaran
TENAGA ........... 8 PERAK MALAYS .... 0
PJMC ..............7 AFATS ............0
YNS ...............4 PENANG INDIANS ...0
OLAK ..............3 IPOH MC ......... 3
SULTAN A BAKAR ... 1 KRIAN HA ........ 1

JHL haven for selectors


TWENTY-two teams will begin their respective campaigns in the MHF-Milo-
Admiral-NSC Junior Hockey League today but at the end of the contest, the
biggest winner will be the sport itself.
It will be a mouth-watering experience for the Malaysian Hockey
Federation (MHF) selectors because all they need to do is identify two
good players from each team, which translates to a pool of 44 juniors for
future national assignments.
With such tremendous response, the MHF have also started to think about
dividing the 2003 season into two divisions should they get the same
But it might never take off as this is Malaysia Games season where most
States can afford to register a side because of funding. The response will
not be so great next year.
Yayasan Negri Sembilan, who last played in the JHL in 1999, are a
classic example.
YNS made a re-entry in the the JHL because: "We want to put a good show
in the Sabah Malaysia Games and the same batch of players will be groomed
for honours in the 2004 Malaysia Games which Negri Sembilan will be
hosting," said YNS coach S. Chandran.
YNS will be fielding a raw side and "nothing but exposure can be
expected from them," said their coach and they deserve credit for trying
to revive the sport in the once hockey hot-bed of the nation.
"We have selected players with an average age of 17 and they come from
all over Negri Sembilan. Hopefully, in 2004 when we host the Malaysia
Games, the boys will be ready to put up a good show," said Chandran.
Tenaga Nasional, under coach K. Rajan, will start as the favourites but
as the Japan-Korea soccer World Cup has shown, the early tag does not mean
a thing. The frontrunners can only be identified after this weekend's
The winners of Pool A and Pool B will each receive RM7,500 while the
overall champions pocket a cool RM25,000.
Last year, 15 teams competed in the JHL but defending champions Malacca
Municipal Council are not fielding a team this year.
Meanwhile, Olak have promised Kuala Lumpur World Cup souvenirs for the
first 100 Under-12 fans who turn out to watch their opening match against
Ipoh Municipal Council at the Pandamaran Stadium in Klang today.
Teams - Pool A: Armed Forces Apprentice Training School, Sultan Abu
Bakar College, Malay Mail, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Yayasan Negri Sembilan,
Penang Indians Sports Club, Ipoh Municipal Council, Krian Hockey
Association, Perak Malays Hockey Association, Petaling Jaya Municipal
Council, Olak.
Pool B: Johor Sports Council, MSSKL, Malaysian Sports School, SMK Datuk
Taha, Pahang Telekom, Seberang Prai Municipal Council, Taiping Hockey
Association, SMK Anderson, Synergy Hockey Club, Serdang Hockey Club,
Terengganu Sports Council.
Fixtures - Today: Yayasan Negri Sembilan v Penang Indians Sports Club
(5.15pm, Seremban II Stadium); Sultan Abu Bakar College v Krian Hockey
Association (5.15pm, Johor Hockey Stadium); Olak-MPK v Ipoh Municipal
Council (5.30pm, Pandamaran Stadium); Perak Malays Hockey Association v
Tenaga Nasional (5.30pm Azlan Shah Stadium); Petaling Jaya Municipal
Council v Armed Forces Apprentice Training School (5.30pm, Tun Razak

Taha have pitch advantage


SEKOLAH Menengah Datuk Taha in Gemencheh has something the rest of the
schools in the country do not - an artififial hockey pitch right at their
This luxury is not even accorded to the Bukit Jalil Sports School, who
have to walk quite a distance to the National Hockey Stadium, as the
artificial hockey pitch is in the compound of SM Datuk Taha itself.
And with the advantage of being able to train daily at the pitch, SM
Datuk Taha are among the frontrunners in the MHF-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior
Hockey League begining this weekend.
"The half pitch was given to us by the National Sports Council (NSC)
because we have been consistent in hockey over the years. The boys have
been training hard and we hope to be among the top four when the JHL
ends," said coach Roslan Mohamed.
When Roslan started teaching at SM Datuk Taha more than 15 years ago,
the Gemencheh school were the whipping boys in Negri Sembilan as Tunku
Besar Secondary School of Tampin, under teacher V. Sivapathasundram
reigned supreme.
But Tunku Besar Secondary has since given up on hockey and the fact that
the NSC saw it fit to send the old turf from the Tun Razak Stadium to
Gemencheh speaks volumes of Roslan's dedication.
And since 1998, the school has started doing what Tunku Besar used to be
good at, producing calibre players for the national side.
Suhaimi Ibrahim, who starred in the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth
Games, is Roslan's student. And now, Fairuz Ramli and Nor Azlan Rahim are
graduates from the `sleepy hollow' in SM Datuk Taha.
Datuk Taha started playing in the Junior League in 1998, then under the
banner of Yayasan Negri Sembilan, and finished runnersup in 1999. Under
the school's name, Datuk Taha made their debut in 2000 and finished sixth,
and last year they ended up eighth.
They have retained six players from last year, namely Hafiz Zani,
Shahrul Amran, K. Amuthan, Affendi Baharom, Fairuz Yahaya and Azrizal
"The team has been shaping up well in the practice matches as we drew 3-
3 with the Armed Forces Commando team, beat AFATS 3-0 and drew with Olak
2-2," said Roslan.
And if SM Datuk Taha can overcome Malaysia Sports School and Telekom
Pahang in their group, they are almost assured of a semi-final berth.

Fifty per-cent cut


SPORTEXCEL yesterday announced their 2002 grants recipients and there was
a cut of 50 per cent in the number of athletes and the amount of money to
be handed out this year.
From a total of 16 athletes who received the SportExcel grant last year,
only eight were retained for this season and the amount was slashed from
RM100,000 to RM55,000.
And the biggest winner was budding golfer Ben Leong who received
RM20,000 while the other seven athletes received RM5,000 each.
"We set aside RM55,000 to assist eight deserving juniors in their quest
for sporting excellence as compared to RM100,000 last year.
"The 50 per cent reduction from last year was because we reviewed our
policy on funding athletes and decided to zoon in only on the very best,"
said SportExcel chairman Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar.
The reduction means more funds can be invested on the SportExcel
Ben Leong, currently pursuing his studies and golf at the David
Leadbetter Golf Academy in Florida, was not around to receive his grant
but he will be back in Kuala Lumpur in August to play in the Asia Pacific
Junior Match-Play Championship to try and regain the title which he won in
"In this year's list we have five new recipients and they are 15-year-
old bowler Zandra Aziela Ibrahim, touted to don national colours by the
time she turns 18; squash talent Ivan Yuen, the Hong Kong Open Boys Under-
11 champion; Tennis potential Nor Zafirah Ahmad Taufek who has achieved an
ITF Under-18 world ranking at the age of 14 and budding swimmers Daniel
Wiliam Bego and Tania Lee Xu Yar," said Tunku Imran.
Retained from the 2001 list are kegler Aaron Kong Eng Chuan and budding
squash dynamite Low Wee Wern.
"Aaron is progressing well and Wee Wern had a remarkable year in 2001
when she won the Australian Junior Series and the Scottish Under-11 Junior
"The grapevine tells me that We Wern has a younger sister, who some
reckon could turn out to be better that her sister!," said Tunku Imran.
SportExcel has been nuturing world class athletes and hosehold names
like Shalin Zulkifli, Nicol David and Ong Beng Hee are among those who
graduated with honours with help from the foundation.
Arul is now playing with English side Sommerset and receives scholarship
from the clubside, so SportExcel has left him on his own after providing
the base for him.
RECIPIENTS: Ben Leong (Golf) RM20,000; Aaron Kong Eng Chuan (bowling)
RM5,000; Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi (bowling) RM5,000; Low Wee Wern
(squash) RM5,000; Ivan Yuen Chee Wern (squash) RM5,000; Nor Zafirah Ahmad
Taufek (tennis) RM5,000; Daniel William Bego (swimming) RM5,000; Tania Lee
Xu Yar (swimming) RM5,000.

Malaysia surprise Spain


MALAYSIA .......3 SPAIN ..........3
GERMANY ........5 ARGENTINA ......4
MALAYSIA served a surprise in the Hamburg Masters yesterday when they held
Spain to a 3-3 draw.
Malaysia, who were handed a 7-1 drubbing by world champions Germany in
their first match on Friday, shocked Spain with the opening goal in the
11th minute when Fairuz Ramli tapped in a field goal.
But the Spaniards were jolted into action by the goal and in the 30th
minute, Victor Soyol scored the equaliser and Malaysia looked like they
were in trouble but held on till the breather.
After the break, everything pointed towards a landslide win for Spain
when Albert Sala scored in the 40th minute and seven minutes later, Pole
Amat got into the act and it was Spain 3 Malaysia 1.
With 10 minutes left, Malaysia threw everything forward and were
rewarded when K. Keevan Raj scored in the 63rd minute and one minute
later, Mohamed Fakhrulrazi jabbed home the equaliser and Malaysia had
every reason to celebrate the draw.
National coach Paul Lissek said the national side took some time to
settle, but he was happy with their commitment.
In the other match, Germany had to bring out their best to beat
Argentina 5-4. Both teams played an attacking game in the first half and
Germany scored through Matthias Witthaus (8th) and Bjoern Michel (10th)
but Argentina pulled one back when Matias Paredes scored in the 11th.
German skipper Florian Kunz made it 3-1 in the 13th minute but Argentine
Rodrigo Vila reduced the deficit in the 19th.
Penalty corner specialist Jorge Lombi scored in the 30th minute to level
the score but the Argentinian celebrations were cut short by goals by
Michel (34th) and Sascha (35th).
Argentina went into attack mode in the second half but all they could
manage was a Paredes effort in the 56th minute.
Today: Malaysia v Argentina; Germany v Spain.