Sunday, May 14, 2017

JHL: Its Pahang v SSTMI for TNB Cup

PAHANG (MSP) Thunderbolts will play Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) Thunderbolts in the Division One TNB Cup final on Sunday at the Tun Razak Stadium.
  Yesterday in the semi-finals, MSP Thunderbolts were held to a 3-3 draw by Anderson Thunderbolts before winning the shoot-out 4-2.
  In the second semi-finals SSTMI beat Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) Thunderbolts 3-0 with goals from Ariff Syafie (13th, 53rd) and Shello Silverius (49th).
  Pahang led 3-1 with a brace from Noor Firdaus (5th, 32nd minutes) and Idris Samad’s sixth minute penalty corner conversion before defensive blunders allowed and disciplined Anderson’s forwards to move in, the third and fourth quarters.
  Anderson, who showed League champions Petaling Jaya City Council Tigers the exit in last week’s quarter-finals, replied through Aliff Ikhemal (30th) and Akram Hakkam (38th, 51st minutes) to force the match into shootout.
  Pahang coach Sufian Mohamed said they have achieved their blueprint target since setting up the academy in 2014.
  "The bluprint for the academy in Pahang was to win our first JHL title this year and we are just one step away from achieving it. We have played SSTMI in the League and are familiar with them and have one week to get ready for the big day next Sunday," said Sufian.
 As for Anderson, coach Nizam Hashim said his players paid the price for their first quarter folly.
  "My players took it easy in the first quarter and paid the price. We were reduced to playing catching up for the remaining period," said Nizam.
  RESULTS -- Men's semi-finals: Anderson Thunderbolts 3 MSP Thunderbolts 3 (MSP win shoot-out 4-2), BJSS Thunderbolts 0 SSTMI Thunderbolts 3.
  Women's semi-finals: SSTMI 4 MSN Kedah 2, USM 1 KLSS-Wipers 3.
 Men's Final: May 21 -- MSP Thunderbolts v SSTMI Thunderbolts (Tun Razak, 8.35pm).
 Women's Final: KLSS-Wipers v SSTMI (Tun Razak, 6pm).

Friday, May 12, 2017

JHL: It's a Thunderbolts party...

THE Junior Hockey League Division One TNB Cup semi-finals will be an-all Thunderbolts affair Sunday.
  For Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), Anderson, MSP-Pahang and Tunku Mahkota Ismail SportS Schol (SSTMI) scored convincing wins in the quarter-finals yesterday.
  Anderson will meet MS Pahang, while SSTMI will play BJSS in the semi-finals.
 Both the Division Two teams SSMS Resilient and Johor Juniors were hammered by Division One outfits BJSS (6-2) and SSTMI (5-0) respectively.
   League champions PJCC Tigers fell to Anderson 3-2, with Nur Asyraf Ishak (20th, 42nd) their live-wire.
  However, Anderson pulled through with goals from Najme Hayazi (fourth), 45 18 Aiman Shahmi (45th) and Aliff Ikhemal (51st).
  "I see our match against BJSS the toughest of the two semis, as whenever they play us, they somehow manage to bring out their very best," said SSTMI coach Wan Roslan Rahman.
  Last season, BJSS beat SSTMI 4-3 for the TNB Cup, and this year in the League BJSS held SSTMI 2-2 before winning 6-5 in shoot-out.
  "Even though we are Thunderbolts 'brothers' we aim to give our very best to play in the final and win one title this season. Our biggest problem is travelling, for we played in Bandar Penawar today (Friday) and travelled after the match to Kuala Lumpur for the Sunday semis. I hope the boys recovery is fast, as BJSS are not an easy team to handle," said Wan Roslan.
  RESULTS -- Division One Quarter-finals: PJCC Tigers 2 Anderson Thunderbolts 3, MSP-Thunderbolts 3 SSTMI Juniors 1, SSTMI Thunderbolts 5 Johor Juniors 0, BJSS Thunderbolts 6 SSMS Resilient 2.
  SUNDAY -- Men's semi-finals: Anderson Thunderbolts v MSP Thunderbolts (Tun Razak, 6pm), BJSS Thunderbolts v SSTMI Thunderbolts (Tun Razak. 8.30pm).
  Women's semi-finals: SSTMI v MSN Kedah (KLHA, 4pm), USM v KLSS-Wipers (KLHA, 6pm).

Thursday, May 11, 2017

ITS Only RM100...





LETS HELP MICHAEL

By S.S. Dhaliwal

A fund raising event has been planned this Saturday, May 13 at the Sungai Ujong Club, initiated by The Malay Mail as part of their CSR effort.




Micheal Yan has been the backbone for Negri Sembilan Hockey for over the past four decades.
I got to know Michael up close and personal when I first umpired in the Negri league in 1979.
But even before that I had seen him in action on the famous NS Padang as he played in the league for Pakat ( Telekom’s ), NS Club, Rangers and later on went on to play for Old Paulians and Sungai Ujong Club.
Michael was the coach when Seremban Municipal Council first made a foray into Hockey as he took charge of the team for five years from 1986 to 1991.
MPS participated in the Malaysian Hockey League in 1987 and some of the nations budding youngsters at that time in the likes of Eric Zachariah, K Dharmaraj, Lee Sen Hock, Led Sien Lam, Brian Jayhan Siva were amongst those who benefitted from his coaching.

A draughtsman by profession, Michael took over his father’s business in Rahang and when I joined MPS in 1981, our relationship grew as Michael and some close friends would meet up every Friday for lunch.
We developed a relationship of mutual respect and he looked upon me as a younger Brother , even citing me as an adopted Yan during his son’s wedding speech.
Many may not know this, but Michael was instrumental in assisting the renovations of the Mantin Sikh Temple in 1987.
The premises risked demolition by the local authority for constructing a dining hall that was in the process of construction but did not seek approval of the local authority.
Micheal stepped in, drew the plans, got the necessary approvals and each Wednesday we would take a drive to Mantin and monitor the progress.
And upon completion, Michael used the entire fees due to him and donated it back to the Gurudwara Mantin.
His devotion to helping religious places of worship did not end there, as Michael designed the plans for the Tampin Sikh Temple as well.
A devout Christian , Michael has no boundaries when it came to religion.
We often lamented the need to do something for Hockey in NS and it was only two years ago in the inaugural hall of fame of NSHA that I had mentioned that NS last won the Razak Cup in 1977 and if they failed by 2016, then this year I would team up with Michael, Lawrence van Huizen and William Fidelis to try rob win it.
Micheal lived sports – from hockey, badminton, cricket, tennis and golf. Michael is truly an all rounder, his ability phenomenal in whatever sports he decided to play.
One joke that I always shared with Michael was how he was the captain of the national team that lost the 1973 Sea Games Gold Medal to Singapore, but in true Michael style he used to say – ” We wanted to create history in our own way.” he joked.
Today Michael is fighting for his life, and he needs our help to get through this battle.
The veteran of many wars with scars to prove it, needs our prayers and our financial help to get through this difficult period.
A fund raising event has been planned this Saturday, May 13 at the Sungai Ujong Club, initiated by The Malay Mail as part of their CSR effort.
The details can be found in the poster above and I plead with sports lovers, be it those who knew Michael or not to contribute to this noble effort and every cent counts as we try assist Michael get back to his feet.
I pray that the sports fraternity would get together to give our “prince of NS sports” the due recognition by contributing to this fund raising.
You can either come in person or contact those listed to hand over your contribution.
Lets get Michael up on his feet.
Together we can do the impossible,
And in your prayers, please do seek the assistance of God to grant Michael a good recovery.
We all miss that smile Michael, so fight my Friend, and as you said while on the fairway , ” haddi” the ball. ( meaning hitbwill all your might)
So fight Michael with all you have.

Sabah: We are not afraid of BJSS Thunderbolts...

Pic: BJSS Thunderbolts players celebrate after beating Politeknik Malaysia in Division One of the JHL.

SABAH Sports School (SSMS Resilient) are not afraid of facing Junior Hockey League (JHL) 2016 Overall champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) Thunderbolts in the TNB Cup quarter-finals Friday.
  SSMS Resilient emerged as Division Two League champions without dropping a single point in six matches, and then won the Overall title by beating SSTMI Juniors 3-1 in the final.
  Resilient coach Sharil Izam knows that his charges will most likely face an uphill battle against BJSS Thunderbolts, but he is the least worried.
  "MY players have yet to lose a match in Division Two, but that does not mean we are a very strong side. The quarter-finals will be a real challenge as we will be playing against a team which is of a higher standard -- but we are not afraid of them and are up to the challenge," said Sharil.
  In the six League matches, resilient scored 45 goals and let in 11. And in the Overall knock-out, they beat MBMB Warriors and PHA-USM and then knocked out SSTMI Juniors with ease.
  The player to watch is Muhajir Abdu Rauf who top-scored in Division Two with a total of 19 goals -- 15 field, one penalty corner and three penalty strokes.
  Nasrul Syahkir, with 10 field goals, is the other Resilient Top Gun.
  "We drafted four players from the recent Under-16 tournament into the JHL side, and they did not disappoint," said Sharil who has been coaching the side for the last five years.
  Sabah finished fourth in the National Under-16.
  "This team has been together for five years and have started to show some promise. We were unlucky in the Under-16, but showed good form in the JHL to gain promotion into Division One next season.
  "So, even though BJSS are the raging favourites, we have nothing to lose and will fight for every inch of the pitch to qualify for the semi-finals," said Sharil.
  BJSS, on the other hand, have had a tough season in Division One and could only finish third in the League.
  The BJSS players to watch are Amirul Mirza (10 goals) and Ramdan Arifin (eight goals) -- the second and third top-scorers.
  FRIDAY -- Division One Quarter-finals: PJCC Tigers v Anderson Thunderbolts (Pandamaran Stadium, 5pm), MSP-Thunderbolts v SSTMI Juniors (Kuantan, 5pm), SSTMI Thunderbolts v Johor Juniors (SSTMI, 5pm), BJSS Thunderbolts v SSMS Resilient (KLHA, 5pm).
  SUNDAY -- Women's semi-finals: SSTMI v MSN Kedah (KLHA, 4pm), PSHA-USM v KLSS-Wipers (KLHA, 6pm).

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tough for SSTMI Juniors and SSMS Resilient...

Sabah Sports School Malaysia (in yellow) and Kuala Lumpur Sports School players in action in the quarterfinals of the TNB Malaysian Junior Hockey Women League at the KLHA Stadium today. KL Sports School won 4-2.

THE two Division Two teams playing in the TNB Cup knock-out are expected to face a torrid time in the quarter-finals on Friday.
  For, Division Two finalists SSTMI Juniors and SSMS Resilient from Sabah have been playing against weaker sides and will be thrown into the deep side of the pool in the quarter-finals.
  In an open draw for the last eight, SSTMI Juniors were paired with Division one fourth placed team MSP-Thunderbolts from Pahang.
  As for SSMS Resilient, who are Sabah Sports School boys, they will face third placed finishers in Division One BJSS Thunderbolts.
  League champions PJCC Thunderbolts will play Anderson Thunderbolts -- whom they beat 3-1 in the League.
  The other quarters will be between SSTMI Thunderbolts and Johor Juniors. The Johor side are the surprise package this season, as they held SSTMI to a 1-1 draw, before losing 4-2 on shoot-out to qualify for the knock-out.
  In the women's JHL, Kuala Lumpur Sports School (KLSS Wipers) beat Sabah Sports School Malaysia 4-2 to book a semi-final seat, while defending champions Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) also advanced to the semis after beating MSN-MSSPK-SMK Gunung Rapat 3-1.
  The semi-finals will see MSSPP-PSHA-USM face KL Wipers and SSTMI go head to head against MSN Kedah on May 14.
  KLSS Wipers, who were finalist last season, will need to walk a fine line when they meet MSSPP-PSHA-USM as several players are carrying cards and another infringement could see them miss the final should they qualify.
  "We will speak to the players on what needs to be done. From there we will also have to change our structure for the next game depending on our opponent’s strengths," said KLSS Wipers coach A. Kannagi.
  FRIDAY -- Division One Quarter-finals: PJCC Tigers v Anderson Thunderbolts (PJCC Stadium, 5pm), MSP-Thunderbolts v SSTMI Juniors (Kuantan, 5pm), SSTMI Thunderbolts v Johor Juniors (SSTMI, 5pm), BJSS Thunderbolts v SSMS Resilient (KLHA, 5pm).
  SUNDAY -- Women's semi-finals: SSTMI v MSN Kedah (KLHA, 4pm), PSHA-USM v KLSS-Wipers (KLHA, 6pm).

PJCC Tigers snatch JHL League title...

PETALING Jaya City Council (PJCC Tigers) won their maiden Division One Junior Hockey League (JHL) League title when they held Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) Thunderbolts 2-2 Sunday.
  The one point was enough to hand them the title, even though they went on to win the shoot-out 7-6 for two points.
  To compound matters, runners-up last year SSTMI Thunderbolts were held 1-1 by Johor Juniors and even though they won the shoot-out 4-2 to collect two points -- it was not enough to challenge the Tigers.
  Last season's champions BJSS Thunderbolts finished third on 18 points. 
“This is unbelievable,” said an ecstatic PJCC Tigers coach Harfizi Baharom. 
  “I told the players before the start that this is our best chance to win the league title and don’t let this chance go to waste.
  “They played hard to win the title and we are excited. We led 2-0 and I think the boys got carried away which allowed BJSS to comeback for the equaliser. This is something we must not allow to happen in the quarter-finals of the TNB Cup for the overall title,” he added.
   A dejected BJSS Thunderbolt coach BJSS coach Lokman Yahya commended PJCC for their fighting spirit and mental strength.
  “We created a lot of chances and so we can only blame ourselves for letting this opportunity slip away after SSTMI were held to a 1-1 draw by Johor Tigers,” he said.
  RESULTS -- Division One: Olak-Nurinsafi 4 Politeknik 2, Anderson Thunderbolts 5 UniKL Young Guns 3, Johor Junors 1 SSTMI Thunderbolts 1 SSTMI won shoot-out 4-2), PJCC Tigers 2 BJSS Thunderbolts 2 (Tigers win shoot-out 7-6), BJSS Juniors 3 MS Pahang-Thunderbolts 5.
  Division Two: Final: SSTMI Juniors x SSMS Resilient x; Third-Fourth: Young Lions 1 MBMB Warriors 2.
  

FINAL STANDINGS

DIVISION ONE

               P  W  D  SO L  F  A  Pts
PJCC TIGERS    9  7  1  1  1  31 14  23
SSTMI          9  6  2  1  1  41 10  21
BJSS           9  5  3  1  1  37  9  19
MSP-PAHANG     9  5  1  1  3  23 13  17
ANDERSON       9  5  1  1  3  22 20  17
JOHOR JUNIORS  9  4  2  1  3  16 15  15
UNIKL          9  3  0  0  6  12 29  9
OLAK           9  2  2  0  5  15 32  8
POLITEKNIK     9  1  1  1  7  12 34  5
BJSS JNRS      9  0  1  0  8  7  39  1

Saturday, May 6, 2017

FIFTH: Malaysia 3 Japan 1

MALAYSIA finaly found their rhythm to finish fifth by beating Japan 3-1 in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh Saturday.
   Japan, after surprising Australia 3-2 on Friday, were heavy footed while Malaysia still had fitness and speed on their side after edging India 1-0.
  Haziq Shamsul (eigtht), Firhan Ashaari (11th) and Faizal Shaari (34th) scored for Malaysia while Kaito Tanaka scored for Japan in the 28th minute.
  The match was stopped with one minute from the end of the third quarter due to torrential rain and only resumed after obe hour and 20 minutes, but Malaysia held on to win.
  However, Malaysia bungled six penalty corers out of eight, with Haziq scoring off a set-piece while Faizal's was a direct flick.
  On the defensive side, Malaysia were super efficient as they stopped Japan in all the five penalty corners with good run-outs.
  "We recovered fast after the India match and it is good that we ended the tournament with a win even though we could not improve on our fourth placing last year.
  "Penalty corners were a big problem in this tournament for us and that is one area we need to work on before the World League semi-finals in London (June 15-25).
  "However, we defender penalty corners very well in this tournament and that was among the positive elements we will take away from this tournament," said national coach Stephen van Huizen.
  Japan coach Yamabori Takahiko said his team's main problem is consistency.
  "My players failed because they are not mentally strong to ride on the win against Australia and this is our main problem.
  "After this, we will hold a two-week camp to get ready for the World League semifinals and I might hold another selection to give a chance to some of the players who are right now training in Japan," said Yamabori.
 RESULTS: Final: Australia x Britain x; Third-Fourth: New Zealand 0 India 4; Fifth-Sixth: Malaysia 3 Japan 1.

Friday, May 5, 2017

DAY OF UPSETS: Malaysia deny India spot in final

MALAYSIA played their hearts out to beat India 1-0 and deny them a place in the final of the Azlan Shah Cup.
  India needed to win the match to join Australia in the final Saturday, but Malaysia handed the spot to Britain instead.
  The solitary goal came off Malaysia's fourth penalty corner when Shahril Saabah drove home the ball in the 50th minute.
  And Japan showed their intentions to claim the Fifth-Sixth playoff against Malaysia when they came back from two goals down to beat Australia 3-2.
  In the group stage, Malaysia were held 1-1 by Japan.
  Australia, who were already in the final, toyed around and paid the price in the fourth quarter.
  Jeremy Edwards (seventh) and Trent Mitton (31st) gave Australia a healthy lead, which is normally enough for them to wrap up the match.
  However, a fightback from Shota Yamada in the 44th minute led to Koji Yamasaki scoring two famous goals in the 56th and 57th minutes for a historical victory.
  Japan coach Takahiko Yamabori celebrated his country's first ever win over Australia by thanking hosts Malaysia.
  "I would like to thank Malaysia for inviting us to this tournament and as the lowest ranked team, we got the opportunity to play against world class sides to improve our game.
  "This chance to play against New Zealand (lost 3-2) and Australia is also important because these teams are with us in Group A in the World League Semifinals in Johannesburg.
  "We hope to carry forward this momentum and beat Australia and New Zealand when we play then again (in Johannesburg on July 8-23)," said Yamabori.
   As for their Fifth-Sixth match against Malaysia, Yamabori said they will challenge the higher ranked team.
  "We came here to challenge teams which are higher ranked than us and that's what we will do against Malaysia in the placing match."
   Malaysia are 14th, Australia No 2 while Japan are 16th in the world.
   RESULTS: Britain 3 New Zealand 2, Australia 2 Japan 3, Malaysia 1 India 1.
  SATURDAY: Final: Australia v Britain (8.35pm); Third-Fourth: New Zealand v India (6.05pm); Fifth-Sixth: Malaysia v Japan (3.40pm)


FINAL STANDINGS

           P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
AUSTRALIA  5  3  1  1  14 7  10
BRITAIN    5  3  1  1  12 9  10
INDIA      5  2  1  2  10 9  7
N ZEALAND  5  2  1  2  7  9  7
JAPAN      5  1  1  3  12 15 4
MALAYSIA   5  1  1  3  3  9  4

Thursday, May 4, 2017

41 days to buck up...

FORTY-One days to the matches of their lives, but the hockey team is still half-baked.
  And the way Malaysia has been playing in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, they will not qualify for the 2018 World Cup in India, unless there is a major attitude change.
  For, Stephen van Huizen's men blew hot-and-cold when they drew 1-1 with Japan, lost 6-1 to Australia and 1-0 to both Britain and New Zealand.
  Doomed to play in the fifth-sixth placing on Saturday, Malaysia complete their fixtures against India Friday.
  In the World League Semifinals in London from June 15-25, Malaysia are in Group A with Olympic champions and World No 1 Argentina, England, South Korea and China.
  Group B is made up of India, Pakistan, Scotland, Netherlands and Canada.
  In London, Malaysia must finish top-four in the group stage to play in the quarter-finals, and then try and finish in the fifth-sixth bracket to book their spot in the World Cup.
  It looks easy, as they only need to beat China and avoid heavy defeats in the hands of the other teams.
  Van Huizen will have the toughest opener against Argentina (June 16) followed by England (June 17), South Korea (June 19) and the do-or-die against China (June 20),
  In Ipoh, other than the Australian drubbing, Malaysia had higher number of penalty corners and 60 to 70 percent ball possession but bungled at the last pass.
  A classic case was the 1-0 defeat against New Zealand, as Malaysia had five penalty corners and 70 percent possession but failed to score. The Kiwis only had one penalty corner and made it count.
  Penalty corner flickers Razie Rahim, Shahril Saabah, Faizal Shaari and Najmi Jazlan were blunt as a butter knife, and Malaysia only scored two goals in four matches.
  One by Razie and one by Faizal. 
  Least Malaysia forgets, they were held 2-2 by China in the final of the World League Round Two in Dhaka before winning gold in penalty shoot-out.

  So China, with master coach Kim Sang Ryul as their consultant, will be looking to beat Malaysia as well in London as their ticket to the World Cup.
  Van Huizen knows his team might meet India, if they make the crossover quarter-finals in London.
  "We need to win the next two matches (against India and possibly Japan in the fifth-sixth) because India might just be our quarter-finals opponents in London," reasoned van Huizen.
  And India will be gunning to beat Malaysia for a possible final slot on Saturday in Ipoh.
  Time is against Malaysia, for 41 days, is all they have to change their mindset from losers to World Cup material.

Home and Away League

Lausanne, Switzerland: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has today announced that 15 National Associations have advanced in the selection process for the forthcoming global Home and Away League, which is due to begin in 2019.
13 National Associations remain part of the selection process for the women’s League, with 12 still in contention for places in the men’s League. With a maximum of nine teams taking part in each League when it commences, the process remains particularly competitive going into the final assessment stage for this ground-breaking competition.
Argentina, Australia, Belgium, England, Germany, India, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain submitted applications for both their men’s and women’s teams. 
   China, Japan and USA for their women’s teams and Malaysia and Pakistan for their men’s teams.
The latest phase of the application process required the National Associations to complete an extensive online questionnaire before the deadline of the 30th April 2017. This provides the FIH Event Portfolio Implementation Panel (EPIP) with in-depth information based on various aspects of their hosting and participation capabilities. This included information about financial sustainability, commercial vision, legal compliance, proposed venues, organisation and personnel, event delivery and presentation, team performance history, marketing strategies, motivation for participation, the proposed legacy impact and any added value they can bring to the competition.
The FIH has also been undertaking extensive discussions with broadcasters regarding exposure and media coverage of hockey within each of the nations as well as working collaboratively with the selected National Associations on all aspects of the application process including, but not limited to, match scheduling, player welfare and commercial terms.
The online questionnaires completed by the 15 National Associations will now be evaluated by the FIH EPIP, who will finalise their recommendations when they meet in Lausanne on 27- 28 May 2017. The Panel consists of Ken Read (Chair); FIH Chief Executive Officer Jason McCracken; FIH Executive Board Members Alberto Budeisky and Marijke Fleuren and FIH Athletes’ Committee Co-Chair Annie Panter. The panel will also be joined by Josh Smith as the selected independent member. A former international hockey player having represented Wales, Josh is currently the Director of Television Services with FIFA and adds extensive experience in media, broadcast and commercial to the panel discussions.
Leading professional services firm, Deloitte LLP, will advise the FIH EPIP on the important aspect of financial sustainability,  one of several experts working on assessing the various elements of the application submissions.
The recommendations of the FIH EPIP will then be submitted to the FIH Executive Board for ratification when they meet in Lausanne on 9-10 June 2017, with the launch event being planned in the months following ratification.
“To have 15 National Associations still in the running at this stage of the assessment process is fantastic news for the Home and Away League, a game-changing competition that is central to our 10-year Hockey Revolution Strategy”, said FIH CEO Jason McCracken. “The depth of information that we required the National Associations to provide was extensive and the quality of submissions received was outstanding. I congratulate and thank the National Associations for their work ahead of what will be a very thorough and competitive assessment process. The FIH continues to work in close collaboration with the National Associations as the sport looks forward to taking advantage of the growing interest, excitement and engagement in this competition from fans, broadcasters and commercial partners.”
More information about the Hockey Revolution, the new Event Portfolio and all other international hockey news and events is available on FIH.ch whilst other updates are posted via FIH TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Malaysia go down yet again...

THE National players did everything right, except score as they went down 1-0 to New Zealand in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.
  The defeat will see them play for the fifth-sixth placing.
  Malaysia wasted four penalty coreners by half-time, while the Kiwis only needed one to take the lead. 
  Kane Russel made it count in the 25th minute and Malysia were in trouble again.
  Malaysia played two Test matches against New Zealand a week before the tournament and won 8-3 and drew 3-3.
  But when it mattered most, they lost 1-0.
  Australia virtually booked a spot in the final when they beat Britain 2-1. They only have Japan to play on Friday, and are the raging favourites for three points.
  In the first match of the day, Mandeep Singh saved India the blushes with a hat-trick as the World No 6 came back twice to beat a disciplined Japan 4-3 in a nail-biting match.
   India coach Roelant Oltmans said: "We started off really good and kept on attacking, putting too much pressure and Japan was also quick in the counter attacks. It was a really fast pace game and the two were coming from both ends.
  "In the second half we changed the tactics and had more control of the game but unfortunately we could not score. The fourth quarter was great and that gave us more options in our breakaways. Mandeep and Sardar played exceptionally well.
  "Mandeep is young and very fit. He can score goals from angles you would least expect. Sometimes it is hard to understand him."
  Japan coach Takahiko Yamabori was visibly upset because his charges were leading 3-2 before collapsing.
  "I am most upset with this defeat. We had a good chance to beat India after taking the lead twice. But on the other hand, I am happy with the attitude of my players for giving their best against India.
  "We will continue to build this team for the World League Semi-finals and I believe we are heading right direction. The scores are important but how the teams plays is far more important."
  RESULTS: Japan 3 India 4, Britain 1 Australia 2, Malaysia 0 New Zealand 1.
  THURSDAY: REST DAY
  FRIDAY: Britain v New Zealand (4pm), Australia v Japan (6pm), Malaysia v India (8.35pm).


STANDINGS

           P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
AUSTRALIA  4  3  1  0  12 4  10
INDIA      4  2  1  1  10 8  7
BRITAIN    4  2  1  1  9  7  7
N ZEALAND  4  2  1  1  5  6  7
JAPAN      4  0  1  3  9  13 1
MALAYSIA   4  0  1  3  2  9  1

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Britain use all nine lives to beat Malaysia...

THE NATIONAL players displayed their best game in Ipoh to date but still went down 1-0 to Great Britain in the Azlan Shah Cup yesterday.
  Malaysia started more convincingly than the previous two matches, as there was more commitment and desire in their game.
  But Britain had the lions share in the first quarter, and experienced goalkeeper S. Kumar had to use every trick in his book to keep a clean record in the first quarter.
  The only excitement for the Malaysian fans was when Razie Rahim's penalty corner attempt in the 14th minute was padded away by goalkeeper Harry Gibson.
  Britain defended and only relied on counters in the second quarter and it worked as they won a penalty stroke in the 26th and Alan Forsyth sent Kumar in the wrong direction for the lead.
  And Britain held on to the slim lead going into half-time, even though they were placed under tremendous pressure by a rejuvenated Malaysia.
  Malaysia missed many sitters for the next 30 minutes, and Britain stole the three points on nine lives.
  National coach Stephen van Huizen felt it was a drawn game, as the penalty stroke awarded to Britain was dubious.
  "For those who watches the replays (on TV) would know what I am talking about, but then there was video referral and they felt it was a stroke and that's the end of it.
  "However, we could have done better in attack when we had the numbers on counter, but failed. Overall its a good show from my players against a team which is in the same group with us in the World League (Semi-finals) in London."
   Britain coach Zak Jones counted his blessings.
   "We blew hot and cold while Malaysia really pressed us hard but my players could keep pace with them and now we only have 'a few hours of rest' before playing Australia."
  World No 2 Australia edged closer to a 10th Azlan Shah title when they beat India 3-1.
  India took the lead, but Australia kept the pressure to win comfortably and will play Britain today where a win should see them playing in the final.
  Australia coach Colin Batch said: "We started off slow but regrouped in the second quarter and I think we had a good game overall against India.
  "In this kind of heat it’s always difficult to give a 100 per cent on the field and the same goes to India."
  RESULTS: India 1 Australia 3, New Zealand 3 Japan 2, Malaysia 0 Britain 1.
  WEDNESDAY: Japan v India (4pm), Britain v Australia (6pm), Malaysia v New Zealand (8.30pm).
  THURSDAY: REST DAY


STANDINGS

           P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
AUSTRALIA  3  2  1  0  10 3  7
BRITAIN    3  2  1  0  8  5  7
INDIA      3  1  1  1  6  5  4
N ZEALAND  3  1  1  1  4  6  4
JAPAN      3  0  1  2  6  9  1
MALAYSIA   3  0  1  2  2  8  1



 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Van Huizen: It's not over yet...

MALAYSIA were held to an un-necessary 1-1 draw by Japan, and then mauled 6-1 by Australia but national coach Stephen van Huizen is still optimistic of his team's performance in the 26th Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh.
  The fact that Malaysia scored an equaliser off Haziq Shamsul (but the goal was disallowed by the umpires who deemed it as dangerous play) and could have changed the whole game on Sunday was van Huizen's reasoning.
  "We knew playing against the World No 2 would not be easy, and the disallowed goal somehow demoralised the team and broke their rhythm. But it's not the end of the tournament for my players," said van Huizen.
  He believes his charges will bounce back against Britain today.
  "Australia scored two goals when two of our players were on the bench after picking up cards. Overall, I'm happy with the commitment showed by my charges who never stop playing until the final whistle."
   Van Huizen said he will rally his men, and raise their optimism, as the remaining matches are against higher ranked teams.
  "We will keep on trying, as we do not want to end up in the bottom. And if the final slips out of our hands, we will try and finish in the third-fourth bracket."
  Last year, Malaysia ended fourth.
  After Britain, Malaysia will play New Zealand on Wednesday and India on Friday.
  Britain last featured in the Azlan Shah Cup in 2012 after making their debut a year earlier where they won the bronze medal.
  After two matches Australia, India and Britain share four-equal points following a draw and a win respectively to stay at the top of the standings whilst Japan, New Zealand and Malaysia have one point from two matches.
  TUESDAY: India v Australia (4pm), New Zealand v Japan (6pm), Malaysia v Britain (8.30pm).
  WEDNESDAY: Japan v India (4pm), Britain v Australia (6pm), Malaysia v New Zealand (8.30pm).



STANDINGS

           P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
AUSTRALIA  2  1  1  0  7  2  4
INDIA      2  1  1  0  5  2  4
BRITAIN    2  1  1  0  7  5  4
JAPAN      2  0  1  1  4  6  1
N ZEALAND  2  0  1  1  1  4  1
MALAYSIA   2  0  1  1  2  7  1

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Azlan Shah Cup: Aust outclass Malaysia...

AUSTRALIA hammered Malaysia 6-1 in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh Sunday.
  Only Faizal Shaari managed to score against the Aussies off a penalty stroke in the 42nd minute, while the six were scored by hat-trick heroes Tom Craig (11th, 38th, 44th) and Trent Mitton (23rd, 27th, 58th). 
  In another match, drag-flick specialist Harmanpreet Singh scored a brace as India bounced back from a lack lustre first quarter performance to beat New Zealand 3-0 Zealand in the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup yesterday.
  However, the matches were delayed by an hour again, as a lashing thunderstorm hit Ipoh and the Malaysian match was played after Press Time.
  New Zealand and India went into the match in search of a first win in the tournament. 
  The Kiwis played to a 1-1 draw against defending champions and World No 2 Australia in Saturday’s opening encounter while the Indians, placed sixth on the FIH world Rankings, emerged with a 2-2 draw after a gruelling session against Britain.
  Led by S.V. Sunil, who earned his 200th international cap yesterday, India’s attacking machinery got its act together in the second quarter with a series of quick counter attacks, earned three penalty corners and broke the deadlock.  
  Mandeep Singh deflected a bouncing ball past Harry Gibson in the 23rd minute via open play to go 1-0 ahead and Harmanpreet Singh swept a powerful drag flick three minutes before the end of the quarter to double the score.
  Harmanpreet nailed the third in the 47th.
  India coach Roelant Oltmans said: "I am happy with the results. I only prefer to win. But I am not happy with the way we performed although we did expect New Zealand to play a different way. After the first quarter we had completely dominated the game."
  In another match, Britain pulled off a stunning 5-3 victory over Japan, thanks to a late goal from Alan Forsyth.
  The Britons lived up to their promise of making a strong comeback against the Japanese following an exciting 2-2 draw against India on Saturday.
   RESULTS: India 3 New Zealand 0, Japan 3 Britain 5, Australia 6 Malaysia 1.
   MONDAY: REST DAY.
   TUESDAY: India v Australia (4pm), New Zealand v Japan (6pm), Malaysia v Britain (8.30pm).



STANDINGS

           P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
AUSTRALIA  2  1  1  0  7  2  4
INDIA      2  1  1  0  5  2  4
BRITAIN    2  1  1  0  7  5  4
MALAYSIA   2  0  1  1  2  7  1
N ZEALAND  2  0  1  1  1  4  1
JAPAN      2  0  1  1  4  6  1

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Azlan Shah Cup: A day of draws

A RAGING thunderstorm and painful delays saw three draws in the opening day of the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh Saturday.
  Malaysia drew 1-1 with Japan, Australia drew 1-1 with New Zealand while India drew 2-2 with Britain.
 All the matches were moved two hours from starting time, due to thunderstorm which has been a norm in this city over the last two weeks.
  Razie Rahim gave Malaysia the lead off a seventh minute penalty corner, but Shota Yamada's 40th minute penalty corner goal stood until the final whistle.
  "After taking the lead, we failed to settle down and score more and that was our main fault in this game. We also failed to score more off the five penalty corners we received, and could not make use of our better possession and 10 shots at goal.
  "Tomorrow (today) we face a tougher match against Australia who also drew, and we need to forget this game and re-group for this grueling encounter," said Malaysia coach Stephen van Huizen.
  India coach Roelant Oltmans said: "I can learn to accept this result. Obviously playing in Malaysia we (all the teams) have to be prepared for the weather and the long delay did not affect our momentum.
  "My only disappointment is we did not make good use of our chances and only earned one penalty corner throughout the match. The younge players gave a good performance, including Sumit who is making his debut with the seniors. Like I said, I can accept the result as we played well overall."
  RESULTS: Britain 2 India 2, New Zealand 1 Australia 1, Malaysia 1 Japan 1.
   SUNDAY: India v New Zealand (4pm), Japan v Britain (6pm), Australia v Malaysia (8.30pm).
   MONDAY: REST DAY.
   TUESDAY: India v Australia (4pm), New Zealand v Japan (6pm), Malaysia v Britain (8.30pm).



STANDINGS

           P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
BRITAIN    1  0  1  0  2  2  1
INDIA      1  0  1  0  2  2  1
MALAYSIA   1  0  1  0  1  1  1
AUSTRALIA  1  0  1  0  1  1  1
N ZEALAND  1  0  1  0  1  1  1
JAPAN      1  0  1  0  1  1  1

Van Huizen: Write your own target...

MALAYSIA, ranked 14th, will open their 26th Azlan Shah Cup campaign in Ipoh Saturday against the lowest ranked team Japan, 16th, but fans can expect an uphill battle all the way.
  It will be a test of World League Round Two champions as Malaysia won gold in Dhaka, Bangladesh, while Japan were champions in Trinidad and Tobago.
  The man to watch will be 28-year-old Kenta Tanaka, who top-scored in Trinidad and Tobago with nine field goals, including the equaliser against Canada in their 2-1 win in the final.
  Japan coach Yamabori Takahiko is confident that his men will emerge as victors, unlike the 7-2 drubbing their received in the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan last year.
  "After we lost to Malaysia (7-2) we dropped half the players and rebuilt this side. We did well in the World League, and are ready to win our first match tomorrow (today)," said Yamabori.
  The clarion call did not worry Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen, but what irked him was the question about Malaysia's target on home soil.
  "I did not hear what the Japan coach said, but to the question about our target here, you can make your own target and write about it," said a visibly peeved van Huizen.
  As an after-thought, van Huizen said: "We finished fourth last year, and would be working to finish higher."
  Malaysian skipper Shukri Mutalib believes they have a 50-50 chance against Japan.
  "We have played them many times before and both sides know each others' game. We need to minimize mistakes and work on their weak areas. I believe we have a 50-50 chance, as Japan are no pushovers," said Shukri.
  Australia, New Zealand, India and Britain will field many newcomers, as they blood youth to prepare for the World League Semi-finals -- which all six teams in Ipoh have qualified for.
  India, hosts of the 2018 World Cup, have six Junior World Cup players on their side while the Kiwis have injected many new players after a string of retirements and injuries hit their side after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
  SATURDAY: Britain v India (4pm), New Zealand v Australia (6pm), Malaysia v Japan (8.35pm).
   SUNDAY: India v New Zealand (4pm), Japan v Britain (6pm), Australia v Malaysia (8.35pm).
 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Second Test: Malaysia 3 New Zealand 3

NATIONAL coach Stephen van Huizen made a few changes to the team, and Malaysia drew 3-3 with New Zealand in the Second Test at the Tun Razak Stadium Sunday.
  In the First Test on Saturday Malaysia, ranked 14th, hammered eighth ranked New Zealand 8-2.
  The Tests double up as selection for the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh on April 29-May 6, and van Huizen will name his final squad today.
  In Ipoh, the hosts will be up against Australia, Great Britain, India, Japan and New Zealand.
  Sam Lane scored off a penalty corner in the 19th minute, but Malaysia pulled back in the 22nd minute when Marhan Jalil scored off a penalty corner rebound.
  Fitri Shaari gave Malaysia the lead in the 53rd minute, but a minute later Stephen Jenness scored to make it 2-2, and Nick Ross' solo effort in the 56th made it 3-2.
  However, Faizal Shaari's 60th minute penalty corner attempt saw both teams share the spoils.
  "I rested a few players and tried out the others to give them a chance in the selection process for the Azlan Shah Cup and admittedly, we played below our standard in the first two quarters.
  "However, a win and a draw heading towards Azlan Shah Cup is a good result, and I hope to have another friendly (possibly against Australia) at the newly laid pitch in Ipoh to get used to the conditions -- and we will be ready for the challenge," said Stephen van Huizen.
  New Zealand coach Darren Smith brought a young team and his gradual target is the World Cup and Olympics.
  "It was good for my youngsters to play against world class players in the two Tests. However, this is just the start of our journey heading towards the World Cup (2018) and the Olympics (2020)," said Smith.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

JHL: PJCC shock SSTMI 3-2

   JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE RESULTS 
   
   Division One: PJCC Tigers 3 SSTMI Thunderbolts 2, Anderson Thunderbolts 1 Olak-NurInsafi 1 (Anderson win shoot-out 3-2), BJSS Thunderbolts 4 BJSS Juniors 0, Johor Juniors 1 MSP Thunderbolts 0, Politeknik Malaysia 3 UniKL Young Guns 2.
  Division Two: Group B: Anderson PHA 6 MISCF-UFL 1, MCKK 0 Felda Juniors 9; Group C: SSTMI Juniors 10 Johor Baru HA 0, Datuk Taha 1 MBMB Warriors 3, Bentara Luar 0 Young Hurricanes 0 (Hurricanes win shoot-out 1-0).

TEST: Malaysia hammer New Zealand 8-2

MALAYSIA hammered New Zealand 8-2 in the First Test at the Tun Razak Stadium Sunday, leading towards the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh next weekend.
  The hosts will be up against Australia, Great Britain, India, Japan and New Zealand in the Azlan Shah Cup on April 29-May 6.
  The Malaysian goals were scored by Nik Aiman Rosemi (third, 42nd, 49th), Razie Rahim (sixth), Ramadan Rosli (29th), Faizal Shaari (29th), Haziq Samsul (37th), Najmi Jazlan (45th), 
  George Muir (seventh) and Dominic Newman (48th) scored for New Zealand.
  The Second Test will be held Monday at 6pm, at the same venue.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Subahan hands over Selangor HA to Ganesh

 SELANGOR HA..
 Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal (left) and S. Ganesh.
From left: S. Shamala, Gurdip Singh Mann, P. Kuganeson and P. Balamuraly.

AFTER eight years at the helm of Selangor HA, Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal handed over the post to former vice-president S. Ganesh Saturday.
  There was no election, and Datuk S. Sivasundaram also relinquished his deputy president's post which was taken over by S. Shamala, who previously held a veeps post.
  Selangor HA Council: President - S. Ganesh; Deputy President - S. Shamala.
  Vice-presidents:S. Kunaseelan, P. Kuganeson, Gurdip Singh Mann, Nor Aida Hassan, J. Elangovan.
  Council Members: A. Chandra Rajan, Rohayuddin Abdul Rashid, Steven Asecalin, M. Karunakaran, P. Balamuraly.

Hectic five matches in 10 days for Anderson

ANDERSON Thunderbolts have the players to reach the final in Division One of the Junior Hockey League, provided they also overcome a hectic five-match schedule in 10 days.
  The Ipoh boys will play Olak-NurInsafi Sunday at their home-base in Gunung rapat, after which they will travel down south to Bandar Penawar, then Batu Pahat, followed by matches in Kuala Lumpur and them back to Malacca -- all inside 10 days.
  Even though the JHL is almost into the middle stage, Anderson has only played one match against Overall champions BJSS Thunderbolts which they won 2-1.
  "Two of my players went for the Asian Schools tournament in India and so our fixtures were all delayed. The players showed great form in the match and I believe we can play in the final this season, but provided we overcome a lethargic five match tour of Malaysia in 10 days," said Anderson coach Nizam Hashim.
    RESULTS -- Women: Group A: SSTMI 4 CBN Hockey Club 1, USM Juniors 0 MSN Kedah 4, Sabah SS 0 KL Wipers 0 (Sabah win shoot-out 3-2); Group B: Uniten-KPT 3 SMKGR 1, Johor Juniors 0 USM 3.
   SUNDAY -- Division One: PJCC Tigers v SSTMI Thunderbolts (PJCC< 6pm), Anderson Thunderbolts v Olak-NurInsafi (Gunung Rapat, 5pm), BJSS Thunderbolts v BJSS Juniors (KLHA, 5pm), Johor Juniors v MSP Thunderbolts (Batu Pahat, 5pm), Politeknik Malaysia v UniKL Young Guns (Bukit Serindit, 5pm).
  Division Two: Group B: Anderson PHA v MISCF-UFL (Gunung Rapat, 3pm), MCKK v Felda Juniors (Azlan Shah, 5pm); Group C: SSTMI Juniors v Johor Baru HA (SSTMI, 5pm), Datuk Taha v MBMB Warriors (Zaaba, 5pm), Bentara Luar v Young Hurricanes (Batu Pahat, 3pm).

Friday, April 21, 2017

Andersons shock BJSS 2-1

 Interview time.. BJSS coach Lokman Yahaya.
Interview time... Anderson coach Nizam Hashim.

ANDERSON Thunderbolts shocked Overall champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) Thunderbolts 2-1 in Division One of the Junior Hockey League (JHL) Friday.
  It was a high-octane match, and the fitter Andersons won the day with beautiful penalty corner set-pieces.
  The Anderson goals were scored by Azrai Aizad (22nd) and Aiman Shahmi (28th) both off penalty corners, while the BJSS penalty stoke was taken by Arif Sabron (24th).
  Anderson coach Nizam Hashim said initially their target was to finish top-four, but after yesterday's performance he believes his charges can make the final.
  "We will now push the boys harder after they showed today (yesterday) that they can overcome a tough side. BJSS are no pushovers, and now I believe we have a side which can play in the final," said Nizam.
  BJSS coach Lokman Yahaya believes the defeat is just a hiccup in his plans.
  "We played badly in the second and third quarter and paid the price. However, we still have six more matches to go and I am confident my players will bounce back strongly," said Lokman.
  Last season, BJSS finished second in the League.
  RESULTS -- Division One: BJSS Thunderbolts 1 Anderson Thunderbolts 2, SSTMI Thunderbolts 2 MSP-Thunderbolts 1, Olak-NurInsafi 5 BJSS Juniors 1.
  Division Two: Group A: MSS Kedah 3 PHA-USM 1, MISCF-UFL Penang 1 MSNSSN Young Lions 6, USM Juniors 1 KPs Stingers 1.
  Group B: MCKK 0 Anderson PHA 8, Felda Juniors 3 Terengganu Juniors 2; Group C: Bentara Luar 0 SSTMI Juniors 4, Johor Baru HA 1 Young Hurricanes 2, Datuk Taha 4 TBSS Tampin 3.
   SATURDAY -- Women: Group A: SSTMI v CBN Hockey Club (SSTMI, 5pm), USM Juniors v MSN Kedah (Lela Pahlawan, 5pm), Sabah SS v KL Wipers (Likas, 4pm); Group B: Uniten-KPT v SMKGR (KPM, 5pm), Johor Juniors v USM (Batu Pahat, 5pm).

Thursday, April 13, 2017

JHL: UniKL and Olak geared up for epic battle...

UNIKL Young Guns and Olak-NurInsafi have been clocking extra hours for their crucial Division One Junior Hockey League (JHL) match Friday at the Pandamaran Stadium in Klang.
  Both teams have been training none stop for the last five days, and UniKL even took the trouble to train at the Pandamaran pitch Thursday to get familiar with the artificial surface.
  "We needed the training session at Pandamaran to have a feel of the surface. It is an important weekend for us as we face two strong teams (BJSS Thunderbolts on Sunday) and honestly getting four points from these two matches will be the result we are looking for," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
  "Our main problem to date is making use of the chances that we create and this is something we have been working hard at."
  UniKL Young Guns have played three matches so far, losing once to PJCC Tigers (2-1) while registering two wins over BJSS Juniors (2-0) and SMK Bentara Luar ( 2-1).
  As for Olak team manager Joseph de Silva is ready to welcome UniKL with a marching band display.
  "We have had five days of solid training where we also used ice-baths to settle nerves as we are looking to beat UniKL at all cost," said de Silva.
  Meanwhile the combination of there JHL Thunderbolts teams (BJSS, SSTMI and Temerloh) were beaten 5-1 by India in the final of the Asian Schools tournament in Bhopal. The Malaysian goal was scored by Akhimullah Anuar Esook.
  In the semi-finals, Malaysia beat Singapore 12-1.
  And over in Europe, coach K. Dharmaraj's women beat German club side Crefeld 7-0. The women, who earlier beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-0. They will play 11 more matches, to prepare for the Brussels World League Semifinals on June 21-July 2, and return at the end of the month.
  FRIDAY -- Division One: PJCC Tigers v BJSS Juniors (PJCC Stadium, 6pm), Olak-NurInsafi v UniKL Young Guns (Pandamaran, 5pm).
  Division Two: Group A -- MISCF-UFL penang v USM Juniors (Sungai Petani, 5pm), Penang HA-USM v Stingers (USM, 5pm), Young Lions v MSS Kedah (Syed Putra, 5pm).
  Group B: Terengganu Juniors v Andersons (Batu Buruk, 5pm), MSSWPKL v Felda Juniors (KPM, 5pm); Group C: Young Hurricanes v SSTMI Juniors (Bukit Serindit, 5pm), TBSS Tampin v MBMB Warriors (Zaaba, 5pm), Johor HA v Bentara Luar (Taman Daya, 5pm).

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dharmaraj: Nothing to lose, everything to fight for..


THE Malaysian women's team (pic) will play in Brussels in their World League Semifinals, which is a qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in England.
  Coach K. Dharmaraj's ladies will play the matches of their lives from June 21-July 2 in Group A together with Australia, New Zealand, Belgium and Spain.
  In Group B are Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Spain, Malaysia.
  Dharmaraj was short and sharp in his reply: "Death Group."
  The coach and his ladies are in Germany now to play 13 matches in preparation for Brussels, where they won their first match against Bayer Leverkusen 2-0.
  The goals were scored by Noraini Abdul Rashid (second minute) Siti Amarina (41st).
  "Tough, but I have calculated this and informed the team a month ago that we will be playing in Brussels, barring any upsets in the last World League (Round Two) matches in Vancouver.
  "This is because we are the lowest ranked team and Italy, even after losing to us in the semifinals, are in a 'better' group then us.
  "I know how tough this group can be as I have been thinking about it for the last one month. It's really tough for team like mine to play in this group again giants like Australia, New Zealand and Spain. The closest rank team to us is Belgium as they are 14th but the advantage they have is as hosts.
  "Sometimes is good to go for a tournament like this where nobody thinks you can go far and the pressure is not high with the feeling of wanting to create an upset.
  "But our ranking (22nd) is in a such a position that we need to create upset to lift ourselves to a different level...
  "As lowest rank team in Brussels, we can sit and complain, but I take it as a challenge to fight to give our best and hope to create an upset by qualifying for our first World Cup."
  WOMEN’S Hockey World League Semi-Finals:
  Brussels, Belgium (June 21 to July 2)
Group A: Netherlands (No 1), China (8th), South Korea (9th), Italy (16th), Scotland (17th).
Group B: Australia (4th), New Zealand (5th), Belgium (14th), Spain (10th), Malaysia (22nd).
  Johannesburg, South Africa (July 8-23)
Group A: England (2nd), Germany (7th), Japan (11th), Ireland (15th), Poland (18th).
Group B: Argentina (3rd), USA (6th), South Africa (13th), India (12th), Chile (20th).

Sunday, April 9, 2017

JHL: UniKL do just enough

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) did just enought to win three points when they edged Johor Juniors 2-1 in the only Division One match in the Junior Hockey League (JHL) yesterday.
  The Big Boys in JHL BJSS Thunderbolts, SSTMI Thunderbolts and MSP Thunderbolts have yet to start their season as they have released players to compete in the ongoing Asian Schools tournament in India.
  Yesterday, UniKL scored off Chairil Daniel Rusli in the 17th and 39th minutes, while the Johor goal was scored by Abinassh Singh in the 49th minute.
  "We did just enough to win three points, and it is going to become harder after this as we will be playing against some of the established side in the JHL.
  "I believe the players have the potential, but they still have some grey areas to improve if we want to finish among the top-four this season," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
  UniKL have played three matches todate and won two while lost to PJCC Tigers 2-1.
  Meanwhile, a Division Two Group C match was abandoned after the technical officials declared the Seremban II pitch unplayable.
  "There was another tournament held at the pitch on Saturday and somehow a part of the pitch was torn and no longer safe to play on. The match will now be rescheduled," said JHL tournament director P. Kuganesan.
  TBSS Tampin and Johor Baru HA were the affected teams.
  Yesterday also saw the first red card of the season, when Datuk Taha player Izzuddin Rezuwan received it for rough play in the 56th minute.
  RESULTS: Division One -- UniKL Young Guns 2 Johor Juniors 1.
  Division Two: Group B -- MSSWPKL 3 MISCF-UFL 0, Terengganu Juniors 4MCKK 0, Felda Juniors 5 SSMS Resilient 6; Group C: TBSS Tampin v Johor Baru HA (match abandoned, pitch unplayable), Young Hurricanes 3 Datuk Taha 2, MBMB Warriors x Datuk Bentara Luar x.

Friday, April 7, 2017

JHL: PJCC Tigers 2 UniKL 1

PETALING JAYA City Council (PJCC) Tigers beat Univeriti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) Young Guns 2-1 in Division One of the Junior Hockey League Friday.
  It was PJCC's first match of the season, and they got their goals off Mahathir Rathuwan (17th) and Nur Asyraf Ishak (33rd) while the UniKL goal was scored by Izzwan Arif (45th).
  "We were poor and no excuses for the defeat as we did not play up to mark," conceded UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
  "We created enough chances but did not convert them and this is one area that I was concerned about.
  "As I said PJCC have experienced players, and that was the difference between the two teams."
  RESULTS -- Division One: UniKL Young Guns 1 PJCC Tigers 2.
  Division Two: Group A -- MSN Young Lions 1 USM 0, USM Juniors 4 MSS Kedah 2, MSSP Stinger 6 MISCF-UFL Penang 0; Group B: MCKK 2 SSMS Resilient 11, Felda Juniors 5 MISCF-UFL 1, Andersons 4 MSSWPKL 1.
  Group C: Datuk Bentara Luar 1 TBSS Tampin 2, Datuk Taha 1 SSTMI Juniors 2, MBMB Warriors 9 Young Hurricanes 1.
  SATURDAY: Women's Group A: MSN Kedah v CBN (Lela Pahlawan, 5pm), KLSS Wipers v USM Juniors (KLHA, 5pm); Group B: MSSPK v Zaaba (Gunung Rapat, 5pm), USM v Uniten (USM, 5pm).
  SUNDAY: Division One -- UniKL Young Guns v Johor Juniors (KLHA, 5pm).
  Division Two: Group B -- MSSWPKL v MISCF-UFL (KPM, 5pm), Terengganu Juniors v MCKK (Batu Buruk, 5pm), Felda Juniors v SSMS Resilient (UPSI, 5pm); Group C: TBSS Tampin v Johor Baru HA (Seremban II, 5pm), Young Hurricanes v Datuk Taha (Bukit Serindit, 4pm), MBMB Warriors v Datuk Bentara Luar (Bukit Serindit, 6pm).

Thursday, April 6, 2017

UniKL working on back-to back wins...

Pic: UniKL v BJSS Juniors last week. UniKL won 2-0.

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) Young Guns aims to claim full points this weekend in Division One of the Junior Hockey League (JHL).
  Being the only Division One team playing Friday and Sunday, while the top guns rest as their players are competing in the Asian Schools tournament in India, UniKL will play PJCC Tigers and then Johor Juniors.
  Admitting that his team were raw and inexperienced, UniKL Young Guns coach Arul Selvaraj feels that a proper execution of their game plan could be the difference.
  "I believe that PJCC have an experienced team that could make things difficult for us," admitted Arul.
  "But three points is what we are after and it boils down to one thing - which team has the stronger desire to win and makes the least mistakes.
  "That is why I have spent the larger part of training to focus on our defensive set up as well as penalty corner execution.
  "It is never easy playing against a hard running team so we need to have a game plan to neutralise them. While they may have the experience, I want my players to match them in terms of tenacity and determination, as this can overcome our shortcomings," said Arul.
  UniKL Young Guns got off to a winning start by defeating BJSS Juniors last week.
  And while PJCC did not see action, Johor Juniors defeated Olak-Nur Insafi 3-2 in shootout after the match ended 2-2 in regulation time to collect two points.
  Fielding largely players who are Under-16, Johor Juniors are expected to pose another tough challenge as most of their players were exposed to the Malaysia Hockey League.
  "Although they are a young team, the fact that they defeated Olak speaks of their ability as a team," cautioned Arul.
  FRIDAY -- Division One: UniKL Young Guns v PJCC Tigers (KLHA, 5pm).
  Division Two: Group A -- MSN Young Lions v USM (Syed Putra, 5pm), USM Juniors v MSS Kedah (USM, 5pm), MSSP Stinger v MISCF-UFL Penang (Kuala Perlis, 5pm); Group B: MCKK v SSMS Resilient (Azlan Shah, 5pm), Felda Juniors v MISCF-UFL (Universiti Sultan Idris, 5pm), Andersons v MSSWPKL (Gunung Rapat, 5pm).
  Group C: Datuk Bentara Luar v TBSS Tampin (Batu Pahat, 5pm), Datuk Taha v SSTMI Juniors (Seremban II, 5pm), MBMB Warriors v Young Hurricanes (Bukit Serindit, 5pm).
  SATURDAY: Women's Group A: MSN Kedah v CBN (Lela Pahlawan, 5pm), KLSS Wipers v USM Juniors (KLHA, 5pm); Group B: MSSPK v Zaaba (Gunung Rapat, 5pm), USM v Uniten (USM, 5pm).

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Van Huizen: Top-six should do the trick...

MALAYSIA will play in the London World League Semifinals for a shot at playing in the 16-team 2018 World Cup in India.
  The International Hockey Federation (FIH) released groupings of the two qualifiers, the other one in Johannesburg, and coach Stephen van Huizen's men have been placed with four other Asian teams.
  Malaysia, who dropped back to 14 from 13th in the World in the latest FIH ranking, have Olympic champions and newly crowned world no 1 Argentina, European champs Netherlands, Asian champions India, Pakistan, South Korea, hosts England, China, Canada and Scotland for company.
  The tournament will be held On June 15-25 at Lee Valley’s Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
  In Johannesburg, on July 8-23, the 10 teams are World League Round Two qualifiers Ireland, Japan, France and Egypt.
  They will be up against reigning Hockey World Cup, World League and Champions Trophy winners Australia, Olympic silver medallists Belgium, Olympic bronze medallists Germany, New Zealand, Spain and hosts South Africa, winners of the 2015 African Hockey Championship.
  "The target is to first finish among the top-four in the group as the fifth team will not play in the quarter-finals.
  "After that, we need to finish among the top-six in the knock-out stage to qualify for the World Cup. There are bound to be many double qualifications, and this is where even No 6 in London will make the cut to the 16-team event in Indian next year," said van Huizen.
  Going by ranking, Malaysia will be placed in Group A with Argentina, Great Britain, Canada and China.
  In Group B would be Netherlands, India, South Korea, Pakistan and Scotland.
  "The 18 who played in the World League Round Two in Dhaka as well as those who will be selected for the Azlan Shah Cup will form the core of the team. All the injured players as well as those with family commitment will be available for Ipoh, and that's where I hope to select the best and fittest for London," said van Huizen.
  The fact that London will be akin to an Asian championship should also favour Malaysia's chances.
  "The good and also the bad of it is that we have a big number of teams which we play frequently in the Asian Games, Asia Cup and Asian Champions Trophy.
  "We know them, and they know us. In a way, its also good that we have been placed in London, as we will be meeting known foes and our players would also be more comfortable in this situation," said van Huizen.

Malaysia to play in London

By FIH

THE International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed the final line-ups for the men’s Hockey World League Semi-Finals following the conclusion of Round 2 and the subsequent update to the men’s FIH Hero World Rankings.
  Between 15-25 June 2017, Lee Valley’s Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, England will welcome Canada, Malaysia, China and Scotland. 
  They qualified from the Hockey World League Round 2 and join Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists Argentina, reigning European champions Netherlands, Asian champions India, Pakistan, Korea and hosts England, whose participation in this event was confirmed last October.
  The other men’s Hockey World League Semi-Final will take place at Wits Hockey Club in Johannesburg, South Africa between 8-23 July.
  Joining this event from Round 2 are Ireland, Japan, France and Egypt.
  They will be up against reigning Hockey World Cup, World League and Champions Trophy winners Australia, Olympic silver medallists Belgium, Olympic bronze medallists Germany, New Zealand, Spain and hosts South Africa, winners of the 2015 African Hockey Championship..