Monday, August 10, 2009

Project 2013 in for rough ride

PROJECT 2013 will open accounts against defending champions Kuala Lumpur in the 47th Razak Cup on Thurs day at the Tun Razak Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
The Project squad, being groomed for the 2013 Junior World Cup, did well in the National Under-23 where they won bronze, but the Razak Cup is another story.
And their coach, K. Dharmaraj, accepts the fact that winning even two matches in Division One will be difficult.
“I personally requested that my team plays in Division One so that they can learn from their seniors. It will be difficult for my boys to match experience, even though they have fitness on their side,” said Dharmaraj.
Kuala Lumpur have a well balanced team, and Project 2013’s opening encounter might turn into a bashing ex ercise.
“I have selected six fresh legs from states after the under- 23 tournament, but still, the majority of my players will be under-16, and I expect them to face a tough time but at the same time, it would be good to expose them early as our end target is still four years away.”
Kuala Lumpur will still rely on old hand, M. Nadarajan between the posts, and former national players Tajol Rosli, Fairuz Ramli, Faizal Daud and M. Kaliswaran
And their three young legs will be Junior World Cup players Harvinder Singh, R. Nadesh and Abdul Hakim.
The youngest player in the KL squad is 16-year-old Mohd Nor Akhmal Abdul Ghaffar.
The City side will also rely, for the first time, on a foreign coach in Dutchman Jaap Suyk.
This year, the Division One teams will play at the Tun Razak Stadium, while Division One will be held at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium.
Division One: Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan, Perak, Malacca, Johor, Penang, Project 2013.
Division Two: Group A -- Armed Forces, Singapore, Police, Sabah, Brunei; Group B: Selangor, Perlis, Pahang, Kedah.
FIXTURES -- Thursday: Division One: Kuala lumpur v Project 2013 (Tun Razak, 3pm), Johor v Negri Sembilan (Tun Razak, 5pm), Perak v Malacca (Tun Razak, 7pm).
Division Two (Group A): Singapore v Brunei (KLHA, 7.30am), Police v Sabah (KLHA, 9am); Group B: Selangor v Pahang (KLHA, 3.30pm), Perlis v Kedah (KLHA, 5.30pm).
By Ajitpal Singh

NEW Zealand notched an easy 3-0 win over Malaysia in their first test match in Palmerston North on the day when the national women’s indoor team won the Asian title at the Indera Mulia Stadium in Ipoh yesterday.
The Kiwis, ranked eight in the world, dominated pro ceedings and opened their account through Simon Child in the 25th minute before Joel Baker added their second, 10 minutes later.
Child scored his second off a field attempt midway in the second half.
The Malaysian team, coached by Tai Beng Hai, were lacking in all areas and had only two chances throughout the match.
Faisal Shaari came the closest too scoring but his penalty corner attempt was cleared off the line by a New Zealand- stick in the opening minutes of the match.
Team manager George Koshy said his charges played well in patches.
“The outcome could have been different if the players were consistent and sharper. This result should serve as a wake- up call for them,” said George via short-messaging-service yesterday.
Malaysia and New Zealand will play their second test match tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Malaysia ‘A’ captured the women’s crown of the Asian Indoor Championships, by edging Kazakhstan 3-2 in Ipoh.
Norhafizah Azman opened accounts for Malaysia in the eight minute before Norizadah Ibrahim added the second, 14 minutes later.
Kazakhstan gave Malaysia some anxious moments and their persistence were rewarded when Natalya Sazonpova found the net in the 24th minute.
However, Norsuhali Sapie ensured the title for Malaysia with a strike in the 37th minute.
In the men’s section, Malaysia ‘A’ were defeated 3-2 by Asian giants Iran.
Iran’s goals were scored by Yaacob Bahrami (first minute), Mehdi Malik Ahmadi (sixth) and Rouhollah Roufi (32nd).
Rodhanizam Radzi and S.Shanker replied for Malaysia in the ninth and 23rd minutes respectively.
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) secretary Hashim Yusoff said next year’s edition will double-up as a qualifier for the 2011 Indoor World Cup in Barcelona.
“We are planning to organise it next July in Ipoh,” said Hashim when contacted in Ipoh.