Monday, August 30, 2010
Gold will inspire Commonwealth and Asian Games challenge
By S.S Dhaliwal From Paris
MALAYSIA won it's first international tournament since 2005 when the defeated hosts France to emerge as champions of the Insep Hockey Challenge in Paris.
The national team defeated hosts France 4-2 to claim the title after Ireland had defeated Scotland 2-0 in an earlier match.
But rather then gloat over the win, coach Stephen van Huizen was being practical, keeping his feet firmly on the ground.
"It is good to finally win a title. This augurs well for the confidence of the players as we approach the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games." said Stephen.
"It was a far better performance against France as the players showed better commitment and urgency in this match."
"After that performace against Ireland, the players realised that they have to be more consistent and not take things easy. So in terms of commitment and mental strength, it was a good lesson for for the players and hopefully it remains in their minds."
Stephen said that the team will take a break upon return and he has in mind the players to be listed for the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
"Realistically I know the team as the core will be from the players who are here in Paris. I will have a look at the update on the status of those who were left behind in Kuala Lumpur," said Stephen.
"As it stands I am interested to know the fitness level of Kelvinder Singh as he is one player that can be in the squad to New Delhi."
"However the composition of the team could change as I have read about reports wanting the best players to be in Delhi. It has its pros and cons so I will brief the MHF and come to a decision soon."
Not wanting to single out any player for outstanding performance in Paris, Stephen however did say that keeper S. Kumar and Mohd Razie are the mainstays of the team as they were consistent in all the matches.
"The duo are playing really well and I do hope that they carry the form into both the Games and the other players also improve their performances," said Stephen.