Monday, September 17, 2012
MALAYSIA Hockey League double champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) see their weekend defeat and draw in the Premier Division as more of hitting a speed-hump, than a brick wall.
KLHC had a brilliant start by winning four matches with ease, but were stumped when Tenaga Nasional beat them 4-3 on Friday.
And on Sunday, they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sapura, whom them thrashed 5-0 in the first leg.
The MHL was heading towards a predictable end, but KLHC’s charge was somehow derailed and now top-of-the-table Tenaga and also Sapura are also in the hunt for silverware.
KLHC Team manager George Koshy placed the blame on the entire team, from players to officials, for their temporary slump.
“Our performance in the last two matches was a major disappointment and the blame lies on the entire team as well as officials.
“Most of the chances that we got in the earlier four games were converted without difficulty, but everything went miserably wrong against Tenaga and Sapura as we failed to convert the many chances that came our way.
“ I don’t think we have hit a brick wall in our quest to retain the League title, but more like hitting a speed bump at full speed,” said Koshy.
KLHC are a combination of youth and experienced former internationals like Chua Boon Huat, Kelvinder Singh and Ismail Abu.
“We have a bunch of talented and experienced individuals who I’m sure will individually and collectively work out a plan cum strategy to overcome this setback.
“Watch us bounce back in the remaining games as we not only plan for wins but continue with our entertaining style,” said George.
MHL current top scorer Faizal Saari saved Tenaga the blushes as well as placed them at the top of the standings by scoring the solitary goal against Maybank on Sunday to share the spoils.
Faizal has scored a total of 13 out of Tenaga’s 16, and they will rely on him in the remaining matches to tighten their grip on the League title.
PICS: Malaysian women (white and red) on their way to an 11-1 win over Kazakhstan.
THE Malaysian women’s hockey team have not had it this rosy, as they whipped all and sundry to qualify for the Second Round of the World League in Kuantan last weekend.
Starting with a 11-0 win over Singapore, the women then whipped Kazakhstan 11-1 before rounding up the tournament with a 9-0 win over Sri Lanka.
A total of 31 goals scored, and only one went past the defenders in the International Hockey Federation tournament which serves as a qualification competition for the World Cup which take place in 2014, with 12 qualification places up for grabs.
Round Two of the World Series will be regional and generally cover more than one continent. There will be four Round Two tournaments with six teams each. The format will be a single pool Round Robin.
Fazilla Sylvester Silin also won Malaysia the Player of the Tournament award while Nor Hidayah Bokhari was the joint top-scorer, with six goals, with Gulnara Imangaliyeva of Kazakhstan.
The team, coached by former men’s national goalkeeper Nasihin Nubli, will next head for the Lanco Super Series in Australia.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHF) are also looking for a foreign consultant to further strengthen the women’s side of the game.
FORMER Olympian Randir Singh passed away on Sept 15, leaving behind memories of a disciplinarian for those who were coached by him.
Randir played hockey in the 1972 Munich Olympics, where Malaysia finished eighth among 16 teams.
He was a midfielder, and the Army man was fondly remembered by veteran coach C. Paramalingam.
“He played alongside the likes of Khairuddin Zainal, Takbir Ahmad, A. Belvantheran, N. Sri Shanmuganathan and Brian Sta Maria in the Munich Olympics.
“And he was also the assistant coach during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The thing I remember most about him is that he was a disciplinarian who in his coaching days, was responsible for making the LA team physically at their best,” said Paramalingam.
After Randir retired as a Warrant Officer, he ventured into business in Klang.
“We used to met occasionally after he retired from the Army, and talk about how he made the players run up the Sungai Besi hill (high gradient) where all the players would complain and struggle to finish.
“But later on, they thanked him for the physical training which made them into better players,” said Paramalingam.