Thursday, May 7, 2009

Asia Cup live for € 1,50 per match

Since 30th of April 2009 MHF and Hockey Asia have signed an agreement for partnership to develop new hockey projects and grass root education programs in Malaysia.
The cooperation is based on our unique profit-share method which benefits MHF to realize their ambitious plans in Hockey. This means that will bring all matches of the Asia Cup 2009 and later this year also matches from the MHL, Malaysian Hockey League.
We hope the matches will be watched by a large group of people so we can realize what we are planning to do: supporting hockey in Malaysia. is also open to discuss new hockey initiatives in other parts of Asia.

Hockey Asia has offered free education programs for all schools with a Dutch online hockey-education-program.
Latest news: Hockey Asia will broadcast from Saturday May 9th all matches LIVE with live commentary For € 1,50 per match and interviews for free.

Malaysia name 19 for Asia Cup

One player will be dropped before team managers meeting.

MALAYSIA: S. Kumar (goalkeeper), Fairus Wanasir (goal keeper), Madzli Ikmar (skipper), Amin Rahim, Baljit Singh Charun Singh, Engku Malek, Jiwa Mohan, Shukri Mutalib, Shahrun Nabil, Nabil Fiqri, Kelvinder Singh, Razie Rahim, Jivan Mohan, Azlan Misron, Ismail Abu, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Hafifi Hafiz, Chua Boon Huat and S. Selvaraju.

Fixtures -- Saturday: — Group B: Pakistan v China (3pm); Group A: South Korea v Malaysia (5pm), Japan v Bangladesh (7pm).
Sunday — Group B: India v Pakistan (5pm).
May 11 (Mon) — Group A: Japan v South Korea (5pm); Bangladesh v Malaysia (7pm).
May 12 (Tues) — Group B: China v India (3pm); Group A: South Korea v Bangladesh (5pm); Malaysia v Japan (7pm).
May 13 (Wed) — Rest Day.
May 14 (Thurs) — Classification match (3pm); Semi-finals (5pm and 7pm).
May 15 (Fri) — Classification match (5pm)
May 16 (Sat) — Third/Fourth placing (5pm); Final (7.30pm)
(All matches at Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium, Kuantan).

Champions Challenge II

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has released the match schedule for the Men’s Champions Challenge II, to be played in Dublin, Ireland from 6-12 July 2009.

The Champions Challenge II is a new FIH World Level Event, featuring the best teams that didn’t qualify for the Champions Trophy or Champions Challenge I.

Eight teams are participating in the Champions Challenge II. Japan, Ireland, Poland an Chile will play in Pool A, while Pool B will be composed by Malaysia, France, Austria and Russia.

Preliminary round robin play is scheduled for Monday 6, Tuesday 7 and Thursday 9 July. After a rest day on Friday 10 July, crossed semi-finals will take place on Saturday 11 July. The final will be played on Sunday 12 July.

The Women’s Champions Challenge II will take place in Kazan, Russia from 21-27 June 2009.


Beng Hai: In Jiwa we trust

By Ajitpal Singh

JIWA Mohan (pic) is professed to be the saviour of Malaysia and his presence, according to national coach Tai Beng Hai, will give a huge boost to the team in the AirAsia Men's Asia Cup which starts in Kuantan on Saturday.


Beng Hai believes Jiwa's versatility and experience will make a difference to the team and also boost their chances of making a mark in the tournament. "Jiwa is a natural leader. He can play a defensive role and also in midfield plus he's really good with penalty corner set-pieces.
These are the characteristics of a complete hockey player," said Beng Hai when contacted in Kuantan yesterday. "He is also a good motivator and his presence on the pitch will boost the confidence of the younger players."
Jiwa, who quit the national team after last year's Azlan Shah Cup, accepted a call-up from the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) to play in the Asia Cup.
The 28-year-old is working as a mechanical engineer in Perth, Australia.
Early fears that Jiwa may not be fit enough for the Asia Cup were wiped away when he gave a promising show in a friendly against Pakistan, which Malaysia lost 2-0, on Tuesday.
"Overall, Jiwa did well in the match. I certify him as fit and ready for the Asia Cup. He will be in the team." said Beng Hai.
Despite his busy schedule in Australia, Jiwa still plays league hockey with Darwin district. Last year, he represented Curtin Trinity Pirates Club in the Perth League and scored 12 goals in 12 matches. Beng Hai, an interim national coach, will get a full time contract if he manages to guide the team to a top four finish in the Asia Cup. The coach did well in his first task when the team finished second behind India in last month's Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh.
On the team's preparation, Beng Hai said the players are peaking nicely for the tournament. "My initial target during preparation was to get them 100 per cent, both mentally and physically, ready and it has been achieved.
"As for now, I'm cutting down the training volume and concentrating more on tactical play."
Malaysia will open their Group A campaign against South Korea on Saturday, followed by Bangladesh (Monday) and Japan (Tuesday).
"We must treat the Koreans with caution as they are quick and fast. However, I have my plans for them," he added.
Defending champions India are in Group B with Pakistan and China.
FIXTURES -- Saturday: Group B: Pakistan v China (3pm); Group A: South Korea v Malaysia (5pm), Japan v Bangladesh (7pm).
Sunday -- Group B: India v Pakistan (5pm).
Monday -- Group A: Japan v South Korea (5pm); Bangladesh v Malaysia (7pm).
Tuesday -- Group B: China v India (3pm); Group A: South Korea v Bangladesh (5pm); Malaysia v Japan (7pm).

May 14 -- Classification match (3pm); Semi-finals (5pm and 7pm). May 15 -- Classification match (5pm).
May 16 -- Third/Fourth placing (5pm); Final (7.30pm) (All matches at Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium, Kuantan)

Beng Hai gets clearer picture after defeat

By T.N. Alagesh

COACH Tai Beng Hai now has a clearer picture of his final 18-man squad
for the Asia Cup after watching Malaysia lose 2-0 to Pakistan in their
friendly match at Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan yesterday.
"All the players including those who skipped the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
in Ipoh last month due to injuries played against Pakistan.
"I believe the national selectors can now make their picks after this
Beng Hai was quick to admit that his players did not execute their
plans and penalty-corner variations well yesterday.
The coach said he was satisfied with the scoreline as he had managed to
give all his 28 players a chance to play in the match.
"We did create several scoring chances especially the four penalty
corners but decided to take the direct hit at the goal mouth instead of
trying out variations."
The match also saw retired midfielder Jiwa Mohan making a comeback
after he was recalled to join the national team to boost their chances in
the Asia Cup.
Despite having just arrived in Kuantan yesterday afternoon, Jiwa
started the match and his presence on the pitch was immediately felt when
he fed a few long balls to the forwards led by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.
Beng Hai said it was too early to judge Jiwa as he was still tired
after the long journey but is confident that the player will regain his
form after a few training sessions with the team here.

The Asia Cup semis at the very least

By T.N. Alagesh

TENGKU Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, the Malaysian Hockey Federation
president, said he would be sad and upset if the national team failed to
make it to the semi-finals of the 2009 Asia Cup which begins in Kuantan
on Saturday.
Tengku Abdullah feels that if the team failed to achieve their target,
it would ruin their hopes to put on a solid performance in front of the
home crowd as well as improve on their world ranking.
He said the tournament was not only to contest against the best hockey
teams in Asia but also acts as a platform for the national team to
improve on their standing and their game.
"I have trust in the players and believe they will be able to execute
the given task for this tournament, especially after all the hard work
and time spent by the team led by coach Tai Beng Hai during training," he
said after hosting a dinner for the national senior and junior hockey
teams at Istana Abdul Aziz in Kuantan on Monday.
"I want the players to make the most of every scoring opportunity they
get and also put on an impressive display during this Asia Cup outing."
Tengku Abdullah also stressed on concentration and that the players
must not lose their focus, especially in the last 10 minutes of the
match, which he believes is the critical time in deciding the outcome.
Any lapse of concentration during this vital period could provide an
opportunity for the opponents to score.
The MHF has set a top four target for Malaysia in the competition,
which was won by India in 2007.
The champions will qualify automatically for next year's World Cup in
New Delhi. The second-to-fifth placed teams in the Asia Cup will compete
in the World Cup Qualifiers in October and November.
The groupings - Group A: South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Bangladesh;
Group B: India, Pakistan, China.

Game remains stagnant

By Ajitpal Singh

MATCHES were scrappy, boring, lacking entertainment and in those David
versus Goliath encounters, the scores were a joke. These were among the
complaints of the just concluded Malaysian Hockey League (Under-19)
competition with Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), as expected, winning
both the league and overall titles.
BJSS and Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) were the dominant teams
while Petaling Jaya City Council (PJCC), Tenaga Nasional and Anderson
were average. Penang's Nur Insafi, however, did make the league more
exciting by winning Division Three before just bowing out to BPSS in the
quarter-finals of the knockout stage.
This is an unhealthy phenomenon as the other combined 14 Division Two
and Three teams were mostly "fillers" in the league.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) abolished the previous National
Junior League by merging junior and senior teams under one umbrella
league format in the hope it would raise the standard of hockey.
The intentions were good but unfortunately the new format failed to
make things more competitive.
In all honesty, even BJSS and BPSS weren't that impressive and were
made to look good as the other teams severely lacked the competitive edge.
BJSS and BPSS, if they were to compete in top junior leagues in
Australia or Germany, would be outclassed. The junior league should be an
avenue for the MHF to scout for new talent and not a competition for BJSS
and BPSS to thrash off their opponents.
Both sports schools should not waste their time here, but instead, be
playing in top European junior leagues for exposure.
BJSS won their "fifth double" on Sunday by defeating BPSS 5-4 on
penalty strokes, following a 3-3 draw after regulation time, in Bukit
The score might suggest that it was an entertaining match but in
reality it was painful to watch. The league's saving grace was the sudden
emergence of players from Sarawak, a state not known for hockey. The
reason is simple - the Sarawak Hockey Association has taken the
initiative to develop the game from the grassroots level.
M. Mahendran, who played in the 1975 World Cup, is among the
ex-internationals hired to unearth and coach up-and-coming players in
Kuching, the central base for hockey in the state.
Among those who shone in the league were BJSS' Dangerous Lee Mathew,
who scored 13 goals in the tournament, Christnall Michael Jieng, Abranden
Andrew (both BJSS Jnrs) and Dielvin Anak Mula (PJCC).
In reality, the MHL (Under-19) competition was only a warm-up for BJSS
and BPSS. Both sports schools will now compete in the tougher MHL
(Seniors) competition which starts on May 15. They will play in Division
BJSS coach S. Prakash said the Division One competition will be a
proper avenue to gauge his team.
"It will be tough for my players but it will be good for their
experience," said Prakash.
A total of 11 teams have registered for the Malaysian Hockey League
Division One competition which concludes on July 15.
The teams are BJSS, BPSS, RMAF, UNIMAP (Universiti Malaysia Perlis),
Ipoh City Council, Navy Dolphins, Armed Forces Airod, Armed Forces
Juniors, UiTM (Universiti Teknologi Mara), Border Forces and Malacca City
The champions will pocket RM20,000, while the second and third placed
teams will receive RM15,000 and RM10,000, respectively.
The winners will be promoted to the Premier League, which starts in

It's a close call for BJSS

By Ajitpal Singh

BUKIT Jalil Sports School (BJSS) lived dangerously, squandering their
lead with just three minutes on the clock which forced extra time and
then penalties but they were not to be denied the overall title of the
Malaysian Hockey League (Under-19) at the National Hockey Stadium in
Bukit Jalil yesterday.
BJSS won the title defeating Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) 5-4 in
sudden-death penalty strokes.
For BJSS coach S. Prakash, it was the most difficult match his team had
played this season.
"We had just three minutes to defend when BPSS found their equaliser.
The penalty strokes could have gone either way and BPSS should have
finished us then when they held the advantage in their fifth attempt,"
said Prakash in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The win also means that BJSS have done the double (league and overall
title) five times since the 2004 season.
BPSS drew first blood through captain Amir Farid Fuzi's strike in the
sixth minute but Faridzul Afiq Mohamad leveled the score seven minutes
Muhd Noor Faeez Ibrahim, the tournament's top scorer, regained the lead
for BPSS off a penalty corner attempt in the 27th minute.
BJSS came alive in the second half and quickly equalised through
defender Hairulnizam Maizan in the 43rd.
And the defending champions took a 3-2 lead when striker Dangerous Lee
fired home from close range in the 63rd minute.
BJSS then decided to sit in their own half and this allowed their
opponents to push forward harder and were duly rewarded in the 67th
minute when Muhd Nor Faeez's low drive off a penalty corner set-piece
went passed BJSS goalkeeper Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri to force the match
into extra time.
In the penalty shoot-out, BJSS and BPSS were deadlocked 4-4 and went
into sudden death.
Dangerous had little problem converting his flick to give BJSS a 5-4
BPSS needed to score in their attempt but Muhd Noor Faeez sent his
flick well wide to give BJSS the title.
Earlier, Tenaga Nasional hammered Petaling Jaya City Council 4-0 for
the bronze medal.
Roll of Honour - Division Two Champions: Bukit Jalil Sports School
(RM10,000); runners-up: Bandar Penawar Sports School (RM7,000); Third:
Tenaga Nasional (RM3,000).
Division Three Champions: Nur Insafi (RM7,000); runners-up: Temerloh
Overall Champions: Bukit Jalil Sports School (RM20,000); runners-up:
Bandar Penawar Sports School (RM10,000); Third: Tenaga Nasional
(RM7,000); Fourth: Petaling Jaya City Council (RM5,000).
Player of the Tournament: Muhd Noor Faeez Ibrahim (BPSS); Best Player
of Final: Muhd Taufik Abdul Hamid (BPSS); Top Scorer: Muhd Noor Faeez
Ibrahim (15 goals); Best Goalkeeper: Muhd Hafizuddin Othman (BPSS).

Muhd Noor eyes more goals in final

By Ajitpal Singh

MUHD Noor Faeez Ibrahim has earned the reputation of being the most
feared penalty corner striker in this season's Malaysian Hockey League
And the 18-year-old defender for Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS )
with 13 goals already in his bag, wants to add more to his tally in the
final today.
He is confident of doing it against Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) in
the final in Bukit Jalil.
Muhd Noor has no fear of BJSS and the two goals he scored in BPSS' 4-1
win over their rivals in the league stage, says it all.
"I have been pushing myself to the limits in training to polish my
penalty corners. I'm totally focused and prepared," said Muhd Noor after
BPSS' training session at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil
"I'm extra motivated as my parents will be at the stadium tomorrow
(today). I will try hard to win BPSS their first major title."
"I'm also in the running for the top scorer's award and it will be
important to score a couple of goals in the final."
Muhd Noor, who hails from Klang, said BJSS are a well-balanced team but
lack the scoring touch up front.
"They build their game well but they tend to be wasteful in their
opponents' penalty area. I noticed this when my team played them
earlier." he added.
Muhd Noor is not the only prolific goal scorer in the team. Captain
Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi, a former national Under-16 trainee, has been on
target 12 times this season and he will be a player to watch in the

Wan Roslan aims for double delivery

HE hopes to deliver his team a title while his wife is expected to
deliver a baby at about the same time.
These are the two big moments that Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS)
coach Wan Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman looks forward to.
Wan Roslan, who aims to guide his team to the Malaysian Hockey League
(Under-19) overall title today, said though his wife is due to deliver
their fourth child, she will be at the stadium to give morale support.
"She's due to deliver anytime and it's too risky to leave her at home
in Bandar Penawar. That's why she will be at the stadium. I hope she will
be fine during the final," said Wan Roslan.
The coach believes that he has done enough to prepare his players, both
mentally and physically for the final.
"They are focused and it now boils down to how they commit themselves
to the match. It is a very important match not only to the players and me
but also the school. BPSS have never won a major league title and I hope
to end the drought tomorrow (today)," said Wan Roslan yesterday.
BPSS' only silverware was the Division Two title of the National Junior
League in 2005.
"All my players are in good condition. They also underwent two
motivational sessions to beef up their mentally strength," he said.
Based on record, BJSS, who bagged their seventh straight league title
recently, will start as favourites in the final at National Hockey
Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
However, BPSS are in confident mood, having beaten their rivals 4-1 in
the league earlier.
Wan Roslan, who has been putting his players through penalty corner
drills to polish up their set-pieces, said: "Penalty corners may prove
decisive in this final which is expected to be tight. I worked out a
number of variations and the players have responded well."
Meanwhile, BJSS coach S. Prakash said: "The players are building up
well towards the final. We are an Under-17 team and of course, in terms
of experience, our opponents look stronger.
"BPSS have four players in the national junior squad who will feature
in the final. However, I have my plans and a right tactical game will win
us the title."
BJSS received RM10,000 for winning the Division Two title. The prize
money for the overall title is RM20,000. BJSS won the overall title in
2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008.
FIXTURES - TODAY - Final: Bukit Jalil Sports School v Bandar Penawar
Sports School (National Stadium Pitch II, 5pm); Third-Fourth: Tenaga
Nasional v Petaling Jaya City Council (National Stadium, Pitch II, 3pm).

Sandeep will skipper India

SANDEEP Singh has been named India captain in the Asia Cup hockey
tournament in Kuantan on May 9-16.
India will attempt to lift the Asia Cup title for the third time after
having won it in 2003 (Kuala Lumpur) and 2007 (Chennai).
Sandeep, a penalty corner specialist, is the most influential player in
the India team. He scored seven goals in India's triumph in the recent
Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh. India defeated an experimental Malaysian team 3-1
in the final.
However, there were four changes to the side that won the Azlan Shah
tournament. Ignace Tirkey, Sarwanjit Singh, Bharat Chhikara and Shivendra
Singh have been replaced by V. Raghunath, Vikram Pillay, Rajpal Singh and
Hari Prasad for the Asia Cup. Shivendra, recovering from a shoulder
injury, has been put on the stand-by list.
India are in Group B together with Pakistan and China. Malaysia, who
are in Group A with South Korea, Japan and Bangladesh, are expected to
face India in the May 14 semi-finals.
The winners of the Asia Cup will get an automatic entry to the 2010
World Cup in New Delhi.
SQUAD - Goalkeepers: Baljit Singh, Adrian D'Souza
Defenders: Sandeep Singh (captain), Dilip Tirkey, V.Raghunath
Midfielders: Gurbaj Singh, Sardar Singh, Ajitesh Roy, Vikram Pillay,
Prabodh Tirkey, V.S.Vinaya
Forwards: Tushar Khandker, Rajpal Singh, Prabhjot Singh, S.V.Sunil,
Arjun Halappa, Hari Prasad, Gurvinder Singh Chandi.
Standbyes: P.R.Sreejesh, Sarwanjit Singh, Bharat Chhikara, Shivendra
POOL A - South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Bangladesh
POOL B - India, Pakistan, China.

Lee spells danger for BPSS

DANGEROUS Lee aims to become the first Sarawakian to capture the top goal
scorer award in the Malaysian Hockey League (Under-19).
And Dangerous, rated the best East Malaysian player in the league, is
not far off in achieving his dream.
The Kuching-born forward, who turns out for Bukit Jalil Sports School
(BJSS), has scored 13 goals, one less than current league top scorer K.
Satest of Division Three club Nur Insafi.
"I created history last year when I became the first East Malaysian to
play in the league. The exposure has helped me a lot in developing my
skill. Becoming the tournament's top scorer is my next goal," said the
Dangerous will have the chance to increase his goal tally when BJSS,
the Division Two champions, take on Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS)
for the overall title tomorrow at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit
He said BPSS are a powerful team and they have the ability to beat his
team in the final.
Earlier in the league, BPSS thrashed BJSS 4-1 but the latter took the
match lightly as they had won the league before the encounter.
"I played badly in that match and coach (S.Prakash) replaced me. I'm
determined to make amends on Sunday (tomorrow). BPSS are very strong
defensively and it will be a challenge for me to score goals," said
Dangerous, who has the ability to score both field and penalty corner
He said: "Hockey is not a popular sport in Sarawak but I still managed
to score more goals than my teammates from the peninsula.
"There is no hockey league in Sarawak and it's difficult for players
there to improve on their skills. I was lucky to get the chance to study
at BJSS and play hockey for them."
On his unique name, Dangerous said: "My dad (Mathew) gave me that name
because he wanted me to be brave. I am happy to live up to the name with
my scoring ability in the league. I will go all out to become the top
scorer in the league."
Among the other Sarawakians who saw league action this season were
Christnall Michael Jieng, Abranden Vylienden Andrew (BJSS Juniors),
Dielvin Anak Mula and Melvin Strute Anak Henry Jimod (Petaling Jaya City

Tai cool over bumpy turf

By T.N. Alagesh

NATIONAL coach Tai Beng Hai said the slightly bumpy turf at the Wisma
Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan will not affect his team's goal of
finishing in the top four of the Asia Cup hockey tournament which will
begin next week.
After the national team ended three days of training at the tournament
venue yesterday, Beng Hai admitted that the artificial turf was a little
bumpy causing the ball to bounce which at times resulted in his players
losing ball.
He said the pitch condition, however, will not affect the players
during their game and also execution of penalty corner set pieces.
"There is only a slight difference on the pitch, and the players seem
to adapt well to the condition here which I believe is good news to the
When asked about naming his final 18 for the tournament, Beng Hai said
he was is no hurry to make his selection and would only name his final
squad on May 7, which would give players more time to impress selectors.
The national team had a pleasant surprise yesterday when Malaysian
Hockey Federation president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah turned up
to inspect the renovation works at the venue. He later watched the
national team play against K. Rajan's National Junior World Cup-bound

Pakistan recall world record holder Abbas

KARACHI: Pakistan have recalled world record holder Sohail Abbas for the
Asia Cup in Kuantan on May 9-16 in a bid to halt their declining
Abbas, who has scored a record 274 goals in international hockey, last
played for Pakistan in 2006 but then fell into dispute with the country's
hockey authorities after refusing to cancel a contract to play
professionally in the Netherlands.
"We have brought back Sohail and three other senior players to boost
the team's performance as we have to win the Asia Cup to qualify for the
next World Cup," chief selector Hasan Sardar said yesterday.
Abbas, 31, is regarded as one of the finest penalty corner strikers in
world hockey.
Pakistan last month ended fourth in a five-team competition in Malaysia
and there have been calls for widespread changes in the hockey set-up.
Pakistan have also recalled goalkeeper Salman Akbar, midfielders
Mohammad Saqlain and Wasim Ahmed. - Reuters

FIH gives consent to Asian body

THE International Hockey Federation (FIH) has consented to the 8th Asia
Cup being played in two groups, even though there are only seven
participating teams.
This was revealed by Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) secretary general
Tan Sri P. Alagendra yesterday.
"Normally when there are only seven teams, the format is one group. But
the FIH has consented to two groups for the Asia Cup, which I believe is
a first," said Alagendra, who attended the AirAsia title sponsorship
signing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Group A has four teams, while Group B has three teams in the Asia Cup.
The new fixtures were also released and will see Malaysia keep their
opening match against South Korea, then play Bangladesh and wrap up the
fixtures against Japan.
Oman were initially in Malaysia's group, but withdrew and were replaced
by Sri Lanka, who also withdrew later, leaving AHF with no choice but to
host a lopsided tournament.
The Asia Cup champions will receive a direct entry into the 2010 New
Delhi World Cup.
"There are still a few more issues to be ironed out. India are the
World Cup hosts, and if they win in Kuantan it is still not clear if the
second placed team will receive the ticket to play.
"We will work it out soon with the FIH and make an announcement later,"
said Alagendra.
Meanwhile, the MHF also launched its website yesterday and the address
Meanwhile MHF and AHF have agreed to give the Asia Cup rights to a
website operator to stream matches live on a pay-per-view basis.
The website operator will not be paid for this venture, instead, it
will share its earnings in the pay-per-view with MHF. The operator, at, also receives the rights of hockey matches held
under the MHF banner like the Azlan Shah Cup and the Malaysia Hockey

Penalty corners could decide title

PENALTY corners could decide which sports school win the Malaysia Hockey
League (MHL) under-19 overall title on Sunday at the National Hockey
Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) have Dangerous Lee, while Bandar
Penawar Sports School (BPSS) boast of Amir Farid. Both of them have
scored 13 goals.
The top-scorer at present on 14 goals is K. Satesh of Division Three
club Nur Insafi but he could be toppled by either of the sports school
"It was good that the final has been postponed from Wednesday to
Sunday, as we will have more time to practise set-pieces and penalty
corner flicks.
"My defenders must not give away unnecessary penalty corners, because
BPSS have a good conversion rate. We will be looking for penalty corners
when we enter the semi-circle, as we have a good flicker as well," said
BJSS coach S. Prakash.
SUNDAY: Final - Bukit Jalil Sports School v Bandar Penawar Sports
School (National Stadium Pitch II, 5pm); Third-Fourth: Tenaga Nasional v
Petaling Jaya City Council (National Stadium Pitch II, 3pm).

AirAsia flies in with RM500,000

AIRASIA became the title sponsors for the 8th Asia Cup in Kuantan with a
cash sponsorship of RM500,000 yesterday.
The Asia Cup will be held on May 9-16, with Malaysia, Japan, South
Korea and Bangladesh in Group A, while Pakistan, India and China are in
Group B.
Present at the signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday were
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad
Shah and AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.
"I became interested in hockey after watching the 1975 Kuala Lumpur
World Cup as an 11-year-old. I believe the partnership between MHF and
AirAsia will be a fruitful and lasting one, and together we will work to
bring back Malaysia to the '75 level," said Tony.
The cost to host the Asia Cup is around RM1.3 million, and the MHF has
a few more sponsors lined-up to ease its burden.
"I was impressed with the way Malaysia played in the Azlan Shah Cup.
And I believe the national team have the potential, but are missing
something, which I can't pinpoint, which is holding them back.
"When AirAsia started, nobody believed that we would reach the level we
are today. The hockey team are in the same boat as we were, and I believe
one day, they will be the most successful team sport in Malaysia again,"
said Tony.
Internationally, AirAsia has been associated with Manchester United and
Williams in Formula One. And on the local front, it has sponsored
football, squash and now hockey.
"I would like to thank Tony for this generous gesture, and hope this is
a long-term commitment to improve Malaysia's ranking. As I have said
before, I want to see Malaysia in the top-ten bracket soon, and only then
would I seek another term in MHF," said Tengku Abdullah.
Tengku Abdullah said success on the field will make it easier to
attract sponsors.
"We need about RM3 million a year to train the various age-groups, run
MHF and the various tournaments. So, if the team are successful on the
pitch, I believe sponsors would readily want to be associated with the
At the end of the function, a cake was wheeled in as Tony turned 45
Reebok was also present to sign an MoU which will see the national
juniors and seniors wearing its attire in the Asia Cup and the Junior
World Cup.
The Reebok jersey is yellow and blue, with the Jalur Gemilang
prominently displayed at the front.

National side to get early run on turf

By Ajitpal Singh

THE national squad left yesterday for a three-day training stint at the
Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan - the venue for the Asia Cup on May
The sessions will be crucial as the players will be training in
unfamiliar conditions as the stadium has an artificial turf which most
have not played on.
However, Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) secretary Sjn Hashim Mohd
Yusoff does not foresee it as a problem.
"The players should get the hang of it. The feeling is only slightly
different. The turf in Kuantan gives a more natural grass experience
compared to other water-based artificial pitches," said Hashim yesterday.
The team will get to test the pitch in a friendly against Pakistan on
A total of 28 players are in the national training squad and the
final-18 will be named on Tuesday.
The team, coached by Tai Beng Hai, have been given the task of
finishing in the top four bracket in the seven-team tournament.
Malaysia are in Group A with South Korea, Japan and Bangladesh while
Pakistan, India and China make up Group B.
The champions will qualify for the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi.

Amir Farid vows to tame BJSS

By Ajitpal Singh

AMIR Farid Ahmad Fuzi, 18, will play his last match for Bandar Penawar
Sport School (BPSS) on Sunday and he hopes to end his career with the
school on a high note.
However, Amir Farid's wish may not materialise as his team will face
favourites Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) for the Malaysian Hockey
League (Under-19) overall title at the National Hockey Stadium.
"I'm going to give my best. It's my last match before I leave BPSS and
I want to leave with something special," said Amir Farid, a
pre-university student, yesterday.
"Although we defeated them 4-1 in the league (Division Two), I still
rate them as the favourites.
"BJSS had already won the league title when they faced us then.
"BJSS are an Under-17 team but their players are matured and strong.
They are exposed on a regular basis as they are based in Kuala Lumpur,
unlike my school."
Amir Farid is the main goal scorer for BPSS, having notched 13 goals so
The Trolok-born player, who has been studying at BPSS since Form 1,
also had a brief spell with the national junior team in the German Tour
in 2007.
Amir Farid said his biggest disappointment was failing to lead the team
to the Division Two league title.
"We dropped unnecessary points against lowly teams and it cost us the
title. We have put it behind us for the final."
BPSS are featuring in their first overall final as a single entity
since making their debut in 2005.
The sports school started life in the MJHL as a combined team with BJSS
in 2003.

Final postponed to Sunday

THE much anticipated clash between Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) and
Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) in the Malaysia Hockey League
(Junior) final, scheduled for today, has been postponed to Sunday.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) hopes that the change will
attract the crowd, especially students of both schools, to the National
Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil for the final.
This is a good move by MHF in promoting hockey as past experiences
prove that fans stay away from stadiums on weekdays.
MHF secretary Hashim Mohd Yusoff said the change will allow students
and parents, especially those from Bandar Penawar, to make a trip to
Kuala Lumpur for the final.
"There is also a long break this weekend because Friday is a public
holiday (Labour Day). And this will encourage more crowd."
According to Hashim, both BJSS and BPSS have also applauded MHF's
"Both schools have promised to bring bus loads of supporters to the
stadium," he added.
BJSS are the most successful team in the junior league having won five
doubles and six league crowns to date.
The sport school, parading Under-17 players this season, are the hot
favourites to win Sunday's final.
FIXTURES: SUNDAY - Final: Bukit Jalil Sports School v Bandar Penawar
Sports School (National Stadium Pitch II, 5pm).
Third-Fourth: Petaling Jaya City Council v Tenaga Nasional (National
Stadium Pitch II, 3pm).

Sri Lanka out of Asia Cup

SRI Lanka have withdrawn from the Asia Cup in Kuantan on May 9-16.
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan
Ahmad Shah said Sri Lanka did not give any official reason over their
late decision.
Sri Lanka were drawn in Group A together with hosts Malaysia, South
Korea and Japan.
MHF secretary Hashim Mohd Yusoff said the International Hockey
Federation (FIH) had informed MHF over Sri Lanka's withdrawal yesterday.
FIH also decided to move Bangladesh from Group B to Group A as a
replacement for Sri Lanka.
Group B will now have three teams - India, Pakistan and China.

BJSS wary of BPSS challenge

BUKIT Jalil Sports School (BJSS) lost only once in the Malaysia Hockey
League this season - a 4-1 drubbing by Bandar Penawar Sports School
But the match was academic as BJSS had already won the League title
with one match in hand, and their last fixture was against BPSS.
And even then, BJSS levelled the score at 1-1, before "giving up
Tomorrow, the sports schools will square off again for the Overall
title, with the League match of no consequences.
BJSS have the pedigree - seven League and four Overall titles - while
BPSS have yet to claim any titles since playing in the junior league.
"I admit it will be difficult this year, as all my boys are under-17,
while BPSS have pre-university boys with experience and strength on their
"In the league, we did manage to draw level, but then gave up because
we did not want to pick up injuries or cards going into the knock-out
stage," said BJSS coach S. Prakash.
And their trump card will be Dangerous Lee ak Mathew, who has scored 13
penalty corner goals so far.
"Dangerous has been consistent but I am worried as BPSS have fast
runners and this could spell trouble. However, we have many set-pieces
and will use them as well," said Prakash.
The leading scorer in the MHL is K. Satesh of Nur Insafi with 14 goals,
but he could be toppled when the dust settles on Wednesday.
"We have fitness and skills on our side, while BPSS have matured
players who have proved to be dangerous on the counter.
"It will not be easy to defend our title, but I am sure the boys will
give their best," said Prakash.
TOMORROW - Final: Bukit Jalil Sports School v Bandar Penawar Sports
School (National Stadium Pitch II, 5pm).
Third-Fourth: Petaling Jaya City Council v Tenaga Nasional (National
Stadium Pitch II, 3pm).

Contrasting paths to the final

SPORTS Schools Bukit Jalil (BJSS) and Bandar Penawar (BPSS) will battle
for the Malaysia Hockey League Overall title on Wednesday after they beat
their opponents in contrasting styles.
BJSS edged Petaling Jaya City Council (PJCC) 3-2 for a 5-3 aggregate
win, while BPSS beat Tenaga Nasional 3-2 for a comfortable 7-3 aggregate
Yesterday, BJSS were let off the hook when PJCC failed to score even
when they were "given" ample opportunities in the second half.
BJSS took a 3-0 lead off Fahmi Faiz (eighth), Dangerous Lee (12th) and
Izad Hakimi (19th), before PJCC came back into the match with goals from
Faiz Sukri (24th) and Aidil Hakimi (44th), but failed to convert the
numerous chances that came their way after that.
At the Bandar Penawar pitch, Tenaga Nasional took a 2-0 lead off Faiz
Adnan (10th) and Sabri Mohamed (17th), but BPSS came back convincingly in
the second half.
Firhan Ashaari (46th), Fitri Saari (48th) and Noor Faeez Ibrahim scored
for BPSS.
"We scored three early goals and after that, a freak accident allowed
PJCC to crawl back into the match. My goalkeeper's hockey stick got stuck
in the net during the penalty corner and PJCC scored.
"My boys lost their composure after that, but still held on to win.
They have fitness and skills, but it looks like I will have to work on
the mental aspect.
"These boys are all under-17, and would become an asset once they know
how to keep their composure," said BJSS coach S. Prakash.
PJCC coach Paul Raj was happy with his team's commitment: "We gave them
a tough fight, and only bowed out because of poor penalty corner
"Last season, we were knocked out of the quarters, and this year we
advanced further and I see this as progress," said Paul.
RESULTS - S-finals, second leg: Bukit Jalil Sports School 3 Petaling
Jaya City Council 2; (BJSS win on 5-3 aggregate); Bandar Penawar Sports
School 3 Tenaga Nasional 2 (BPSS win on 7-3 aggregate).
FINAL - Wednesday: Bukit Jalil Sports School v Bandar Penawar Sports
School (National Stadium, 5pm).