KUALA LUMPUR: Pulapol won the Under-12 Akaal Premier League played over two Sundays at the Wada Gurdwara Kampung Pandan mini synthetic pitch. The other teams involved were Shah Alam, Seremban and Kampung Pandan. There were plenty of skilful players spotted at the five-a-side League.
PIC: ALL THE U-12 players after prize presentation.
PIC: Matador Hockey Club players and officials. KUALA LUMPUR: Matador Hockey Club from Malaysia finished fifth out of 10 teams at the U-16 FHE Cup in Perth recently. Coached by Olympians Sarjit Singh and Maninderjit Singh, the Under-16 boys won five matches, drew one and lost one -- but failed to qualify for the semi-finals on goals average. RESULTS: Japan 2 Matador HC 1, Matador HC 2 Western Australia Regional 1, Matador HC 2 Southern River 0, Matador HC 2 Western Australia Grey 1, Matador HC 1 Cirello 0, Matador HC 1 Penang 1, Matador HC 4 Western Australia White 1. HISTORY: The FHE Cup started in Australia as a junior event in 2007. To this day we still honour the pledge, a pledge to allow younger players to experience hockey on an international and professional stage. The FHE Cup is focused around the under 16 tournament which is held on an international class water based turf. STANDINGS 1. SSWA BOYS 2. JAPAN 3. WA GREY 4. MAJULAH 5. MATADOR 6. WA WHITE 7. CIRIELLO 8. PENANG 9. SOUTHERN RIVER 10. WA REGIONAL
KUALA LUMPUR: Germany finished sixth in the last World Cup, while Malaysia ended last in the 12-team tournament at the Hague in Netherlands.
And the last time both the teams met was in 2013 in the quarter-finals of the World League Semifinals — and Malaysia were thrashed 6-0.
They will face off again in Group D of the World Cup in Bhubaneswar on Nov 28-Dec 16, and Malaysian coach Roelant Oltmans will have his hands full trying to keep a German invasion at bay.
"Germany are one of the most successful hockey teams and we can surely expect a tough encounter. But there is always an element of surprise, and we will not give up without a fight," said Oltmans.
Germany have won the Olympics four times (including once as West Germany), the World Cup twice, the EuroHockey Championship eight times (including twice as West Germany) and the Champions Trophy nine times (including three times as West Germany).
"There is a good mix of experience and youth in the German side. They have retained many players from the 2016 Rio Olympics and have a good attacking as well as defending side."
In Rio, the Germans won bronze, while Malaysia failed to qualify for the Olympics.
Florian Fuchs and Christopher Ruhr are world class attackers while rising star Timm Herzbruch is only 21, but has already played in the Olympics.
As far as international records go, it was way back in 1964 when Malaysia stole a point from the Germans in a 0-0 draw at the Tokyo Olympics. And at the last Olympics which Malaysia qualified for, Sydney 2000, Germany could only win 1-0.
PIC: From left -- Shukri Mutalib, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Fitri Saari, S. Kumar and Joel van Huizen. KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) unveiled their new kit for the World Cup, which came with an instruction to 'have fun, and get the desired results'. While the white and orange colours were retained, the adidas kit looked much more sporty and fierce to go with their nick name -- Speedy Tigers. White will be for away matches, orange for home while red is for training purposes. A greyish tracksuit and bottom will be used for official functions. Adidas had also sponsored shoes for the Asian Games in Jakarta. "We would like to thank adidas for coming in as sponsors via Vic Sports, and these colours will not only be used for the World Cup but for all other following tournaments. "And my message to the players heading to Bhubaneswar is to have fun and get the desired results. Even though we are in a tough group with Netherlands, Germany and Pakistan I believe the team is good enough to qualify for the next round and hopefully finish among the top-10," said MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal. Malaysia, in Group D, must win at least one match to advance to the play-off stage. And it looks like Pakistan are the best bet to collect three points from. The team used their new jersies for the first time in the Third Test against New Zealand at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil Thursday.
PIC: Roelant Oltmans KUALA LUMPUR: No 1 goalkeeper S. Kumar did not play a single match in the Asian Champions Triophy in Muscat recently, and coach Roelant Oltmans hopes he will be ready for the World Cup in three weeks time. Kumar picked up a right thumb injury during the Asian Games, and is having problems holding his hockey stick in a firm grip. "Yes even though we named Kumar for the ACT, he did not play a single match while Hairi (Rahman) kept goal in all the matches. This is not an issue as we took him along to motivate Hairi and also watch the other goalkeepers in action. "And Hairi did well to save some good shots, but was also poor some of the time. However, Hairi did well overall and I believe Kumar should be ready in time for the World Cup as he is undergoing rehabilitation now," said Oltmans. In the pool matches, Malaysia let in only four goals while in the semifinals it was a 4-4 draw with Pakistan but Malaysia lost the shoot-out 3-1. And in the bronze battle, Malaysia drew 2-2 with Japan and won the shoot-out 3-2. "It's also good to see Hairi doing well in the shoot-out against Japan which should build his confidence further. "We have four goalkeepers in training right now and it should not be a problem in any eventuality. However, I believe Kumar will be ready for the World Cup." It will be a tight race in Group D for Malaysia as they have Germany, Netherlands and Pakistan for company. The format only allows three teams from each of the four groups to advance while the fourth team in each group pack their bags and head home. So, the indications are Malaysia must beat Pakistan, or return home early.
By Jugjet Singh firstname.lastname@example.org KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia started their AFF Suzuki Cup campaign on a shaky note when they edged Cambodia 1-0 at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Thursday. The solitary goal was scored in the 30th minute off by Norshahrul Idlan Talaha. In the last AFF Cup meeting two years ago, Malaysia had beaten Cambodia 3-2. Malaysia ranked 169 in the world started on a level note with Cambodia who are just one rung below at 170. The national players struggled for the first 15 minutes and even missed a few scoring chances before a wave of five players mounted an attack and it was finished off by Norshahrul. Zaquan Adha had a beautiful chance to hand Malaysia the lead in the 14th but failed from close range. Norshahrul then missed another chance before Safawi Rasid's 26th minute attempt hit the post and bounced away. In the second half, Malaysia defended stoutly and replaced goalscorer Norshahrul with another striker Shahrel Fikri in the 62nd minute. The match became intense as Zaquan Adha became the first player to be booked in the match for a dangerous foul in the 65th minute. And not taking any chances with the yellow, coach Tan Cheng Hoe replaced Zaquan with Hazwan Bakri. But in the end, Malaysia held onto the early goal for full points. Playing in Group A, Cheng Hoe's men next meet Laos at National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Monday. Malaysia’s performance in the AFF Suzuki Cup has been hot and cold as they won their only title in 2010 and reached the semifinals in 2014. However, two years ago, Malaysia didn’t even manage to get past the group stage.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia might play South Korea instead of Pakistan in the World Cup in Bhubaneswar, as the Green Shirts are having financial as well as visa issues with three weeks to go. Malaysia, Pakistan, Germany and Netherlands make up Group D, and if Pakistan cant travel to India, the first reserves are South Korea. "Yes, I have heard about Pakistan's problems sourcing for money to play in the World Cup, and I hope they sort it out soon. "I know all the players personally as I used to coach them before and it would be very disheartening is they can't play in the World Cup," said Malaysian coach Roelant Oltmans. The Dutch coach is still preparing Malaysia to take on Pakistan in the World Cup which starts on Nov 28. "Our focus is on planning against Germany, Netherlands and Pakistan right now, until we receive concrete news about any other developments," said Oltmans. Malaysia need to win at least one match in Group D, because the team which finishes fourth will not be involved in a play-off for higher positions but pack their bags and head for home. Meanwhile, in the latest report, Pakistan Hockey Federation's (PHF) request for a loan from their Cricket Board was rejected. According to a report on the economictimes.indiatimes.com, Pakistan's new head coach Tauqir Dar and manager Hasan Sardar confirmed they had spoken to PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani and requested him to provide a loan to cover the expenses for the World Cup. "He was scheduled to meet us on Thursday but due to some urgent issues he spoke to us on phone. He made it clear that the PCB couldn't advance any loan to the PHF since the Federation had not returned a loan given to them by the board during the tenure of Lt General (Rtd) Tauqir Zia in early 2000," said Dar. The Government has also not responded to requests for 8 million rupees from PHF. For the record, Pakistan had to withdraw from the 2016 Junior World Cup in Lucknow, India, because they were not given visa and first reserves Malaysia made the trip instead.
KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Perak and Terengganu will play in the Division One final of the Razak Cup on Saturday. Thursday in the last pool matches, Perak were shocked 3-3 by a young Johor side but still topped the standings on 11 points. Second spot was claimed by Terengganu on nine points, when they held Malacca to a 1-1 draw. The movers and shakers of the night were Penang who beat Kuala Lumpur 4-3 for their only win in five matches. In Division two, Pahang and Police ended their pool matches with 12 points each and will play in the final Saturday. "This was our best match but unfortunately my young boys came together late in the tournament. Perak had already qualified for the final before their last match against Johor Thursday, and fielded their reserves until they were 0-1 down. "However, with 12 Malaysia Games player in my squad and having only one training session before the tournament, I will take our outing as a success for the long run," said former national coach Sarjit Singh who was hired by Johor days before the Razak Cup. "Perak had fielded their reserves as they wanted to rest their regulars for the final, but after they were down 0-1 they brought in their best but we still managed to hold them to a 3-3 draw," said Sarjit. RESULTS — Division One: Perak 3 Johor 3, Terengganu 1 Malacca 1, Kuala Lumpur 3 Penang 4. Division Two: Selangor 3 Police 2, Armed Forces 0 Pahang 2, Singapore 0 Kelantan 2. Women's 7th-8th: Malacca 1 Pahang 4.
KUALA LUMPUR: Long time Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh will be on the other side of the fence Tuesday when he plans to either hold or beat them in Division One of the Razak Cup. For, after helping Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) to be a household name in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) and helping the state in various other tournaments, the Olympian is now with Johor. "I have a young team as 12 of my players recently played in the Malaysia Games in Ipoh and we only had one day to train as a team before competing in the Razak Cup. "They did well to beat Penang (4-0), but lacked sharpness against Kuala Lumpur and fell 3-0 to late goals. "My players did everything right against KL, except knock in the sitters that came their way," lamented Sarjit, a former Malaysian skipper. Terengganu drew 1-1 with defending champions Perak and beat Penang 4-2. "It will not be easy, but not impossible as well. My young brigade will put up a good fight, that is for sure," said Sarjit. RESULTS -- Men's Division Two: Pahang 4 Kelantan 1, Singapore 1 Selangor 2, Police x Armed Forces x. Women's Group A: Selangor 3 Singapore 1, Police 0 Malacca 2; Group B: Armed Forces 3 Terengganu 2, Penang 3 Pahang 1. TUESDAY -- Men's Division One: Malacca v Penang (6pm, Pitch I), Kuala Lumpur v Perak (8pm, Pitch I), Johor v Terengganu (8pm, Pitch II). Division Two: Armed Forces v Singapore (4pm, Pitch I), Pahang v Police (4pm, Pitch II), Kelantan v Selangor (6pm, Pitch II). Women's Group A: malacca v Kuala Lumpur (7.30am, Pitch II), Singapore v Police (Pitch I, 7.30am).
KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur got their act together to beat a young Johor side 3-0 in Division One of the Razak Cup Sunday. In their curtain raiser, KL could only manage a 0-0 draw against Malacca and so coach K. Gobinathan was elated with the encouraging result. ""We could not settle down in our opening match against Malacca, who gave us some very strong resistence. And even against Johor, we could not open up the match early and had to wait for after half-time to crack them," said Gobinathan who coached the Bangladesh team at the recent Asian Games in Jakarta. Aminudin Zain gave KL a break with a 32nd minute goal, while Wan Haziq Hisyamudin (54th) and Syamim Yusof (56th) made sure full points were theirs. "After a day's break we play defending champions Perak and we need to keep today's fire burning to collect full points. Perak are the early favourites even though they were held 1-1 by Terengganu Saturday they came back stronger to beat Malacca 5-0," said Gobinathan. RESULTS: Men's Division One: Johor 0 Kuala Lumpur 3, Perak 5 Malacca 0, Penang 2 Terengganu 4. Women's Group A: Kuala Lumpur 1 Police 1, Malacca 1 Selangor 2; Group B: Pahang 1 Armed Forces 1, Penang 3 Terengganu 2. MONDAY: Men's Division Two: Pahang v Kelantan (4pm, Pitch I), Singapore v Selangor (4pm, Pitch II), Police v Armed Forces (6pm, Pitch I). Women's Group A: Selangor v Singapore (7.30am, Pitch II), Police v Malacca (7.30am, Pitch I); Group B: Armed Forces v Terengganu (9.30am, Pitch I), Penang v Pahang (9.30am, Pictch II).
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia clawed back from the jaws of death to force a draw, but a disappointing shoot-out saw them lost 3-1 to Pakistan in the semi-finals of the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman. In the other semi-finals, India edged a fighting Japan 3-2. Malaysia will now play for bronze with the Asian Games champions, while India and Pakistan battle for gold. Losing 1-4 at one point, a super third quarter saw Malaysia fight back and end regulation time at 4-4, but in the shoot-out only Nik Aiman Rozemi was able to score, while Firhan Ashari, Faizal Shaari and Shahril Saabah faltered. In regulation time Faizal Shaari (second, 56th), Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (37th) and Nik Aiman Rozemi (44th) delivered. Malaysian coach Roelant Oltmans said: "Indeed the boys had a great comeback and to be honest the score at half time (losing 1-4) was not flattering as we conceded some unecessary goals and missed a couple of chances ourselves." The Dutch national them encouraged his charges: "I told them (at the half-time break) the game was not over and that we would get our chances again. "In regulation time we could have finished the match but unfortunately we lost on shoot-out. Nevertheless I'm proud of the performance but disappointed with the final outcome." The coach was barely appointed when he had to take his charges to Oman for the ACT. "Of course we didn’t prepare much. But we need to do better than scoring just one goal (in shoot out) while our goalkeeper Hairi (Rahman) saved two, which is good." And on Oltmans take on the bronze battle: "Japan, who lost just 3-2 to India will be another interesting encounter again. We beat them 3-0 (in the pool) and we will fight for the bronze medal for sure."
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia went down 3-1 in a shoot-out to Pakistan in the semi-finals of the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman on Saturday. Malaysia clawed back from being down 4-1, to equalise at 4-4 and drag the match into shoot-out but failed to crack Pakistan and will now play for the bronze medal The defeat came at the back of a 1-0 loss to Pakistan in the pool match, and this spells trouble for coach Roelant Oltmans World Cup campaign. Malaysia are in Group D with Pakistan, Germany and Netherlands in the Bhubaneswar, India, World Cup on Nov 28-Dec 16. And they need to brush up their tactics, if they hope to beat Pakistan in the World Cup and advance to the next stage, as the fourth placed team in each group will go home early. Faizal Shaari gave Malaysia a second minute lead, but it was all Pakistan after that. Goals from Muhammad Irfan (sixth), Aleem Bilal (12th), Abu Bakar Mahmood (15th) and Aleem Bilal (20th) -- made it 4-1. Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (37th) and Nik Aiman Rozemi (44th) narrowed the gap, and Faizal's 56th minute goal took the match to shoot-out, but Malaysia failed at the final hurdle.
KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Perak were held to a 1-1 draw by a fighting Terengganu in Division One of the Razak Cup at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil Saturday. Perak scored first off a field attempt from Haziq Samsul in the 27th minute, but Terengganu fought back to share points with a strike from Najmi Farizal Jazlan in the 37th minute. Both goalkeepers also played a pivotal role in this draw. Seasoned former national player and now with the national coaching set-up Roslan Jamaluddin made some brilliant saves, and at the other end, former Junior World Cup goalkeeper Hazrul Faiz Sobri saved more than five point-blank shots. National player Fitri Shaari who stayed back from the Asian Champions Trophy to attend his Convocation at Universiti Malaya, was the back-bone of Terengganu. And how did Terengganu skipper Fitri feel about the draw: "Disappointing, a really disappointing draw. We had a few clean shots at goal but my forward line could not convert the chances and we ended up sharing points in a match that we should have won." Terengganu next play Penang Sunday. "We can't afford to drop anymore points, and so, we need to minimise mistakes and be sharper in the opponents semi-circle to keep our sights on playing in the final," said Fitri. The men's Division One and Two is being played on a round robin format, and the top-two teams play gold. RESULTS: Men's Division One: Perak 1 Terengganu 1, Malacca 0 Kuala Lumpur 0, Penang 0 Johor 4. Division Two: Police 4 Singapore 2, Kelantan 1 Armed Forces 4, Selangor 1 Pahang 5. Women's Group A: Selangor 3 Police 3, Kuala Lumpur 5 Singapore 1. SUNDAY: Men's Division One: Johor v Kuala Lumpur (4pm, Pitch I), Perak v Malacca (4pm, Pitch II), Penang v Terengganu (6pm, Pitch I). Women's Group A: Kuala Lumpur v Police (9.30am, Pitch II), Malacca v Selangor (9.30am, Pitch I); Group B: Pahang v Armed Forces (7.30am, Pitch II), Penang v Terengganu (7,30am, Pitch I).
KUALA LUMPUR: Women's Razak Cup champions Selangor got off to a good start when they beat Kuala Lumpur in Group A Friday. The winner was delivered by Nor Hidayah Ahmad off a field attempt in the 11th minute. Selangor, who won their first title last year, will next play Police on Saturday. RESULTS -- Men's Division Two: Selangor 2 Armed Forces 2, Pahang 6 Singapore 0, Kelantan 2 Police 6. Women's Group A: Malacca 2 Singapore 0, Selangor 1 Kuala Lumpur 0. Group B: Pahang 2 Terengganu 0, Armed Forces 2 Penang 2. SATURDAY: Men's Division One: Perak v Terengganu (6pm, Pitch I), Malacca v Kuala Lumpur (8pm, Pitch I), Penang v Johor (8pm, Pitch II). Division Two: Police v Singapore (4pm, Pitch I), Kelantan v Armed Forces (4pm, Pitch II), Selangor v Pahang (6pm, Pitch II). Women's Group A: Selangor v Police (7.30am, Pitch II), Kuala Lumpur v Singapore (7.30am, Pitch I).
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee manager Brian Fernandez (pic) Friday said the player eligibility rule in Razak Cup is to make sure states develop their own players. In a statement, Brian said the rule is not new and has been practised for a long time, only that it was limited to four players this year. Earlier, states could field as many 'guest' players as they liked provided they get release letters from states which they sign players from. Player eligibility rules forced Division One teams Negri Sembilan and Perlis as well as Division Two side Kedah to withdraw from the Razak Cup at the 11th hour. "Eligibility rule is there to make sure states develop their own talent and not rely on others to form a team. "If grassroots development is carried out regularly, states would have no problem fielding a team. "And as everybody knows, state-leagues are very active right now, and players should have been spotted at this level and states should no longer have problems in player-selection," said Brian. Perlis, Kedah and Negri had claimed that even though half of their team had Identity Cards which state they were born elsewhere, the said boys have been schooling as well as playing for them for a long time. Brian also said the competitions committee, chaired by George Koshy and with members from states, emphasise on development and so states should have a bigger pool of players to make sure there is no shortage.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will play Pakistan in the semi-finals of the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman on Saturday. The national players ended third on the standings at the end of the pool matches, after they lost to Pakistan 1-0 Thursday. It was Malaysia's only defeat of the tournament as in previous matches, hey started with a 3-0 win over Japan, followed by 3-1 win over Oman, 4-2 over South Korea and a 0-0 draw against India. India topped the pool unbeaten, and will play Japan in the other semi-finals. "Sport is very simple, you can’t win Matches if you don’t score. We didn’t in the last two matches. One time without conceding (0-0 with India) and one time we didn’t put enough efforts in our counter control. "I believe we’ll see a match on a different pace (in the semi-finals against Pakistan again) and I’m convinced we’ll score goals in the upcoming match. "If you play a semi-final, you always be able to give something extra. You can’t focus on the outcome, but you can on the right approach and execution of the plans," said Malaysia coach Roelant Oltmans. Pakistan manager Hasan Sardar said: "“It was important for my men to taste victory against an opponent whom we will face again in the semi-finals two days later.” The only difference in the pool encounter was Muhammad Irfan 54th minute goal, otherwise Malaysia had a good outing but failed to nail sitters. FINAL STANDINGS P W D L F A Pts India 541027213 Pakistan 531114810 Malaysia 531110610 Japan 52128137 Korea 51048153 Oman 50054310
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's unbeaten run in the Asian Champions Trophy was finally broken when Pakistan won 1-0 in Muscat, Oman, Thursday. The solitary goal was scored by Muhammad Irfan in the 54th minute off a field attempt. However, the last pool match for coach Roelant Oltmans men was more of a warm-up ahead of the semi-finals on Saturday, where both the teams will meet again. The other semi-finals is between table toppers India and fourth placed Japan. Malaysia and Pakistan both completed the pool matches with 10 points, but Pakistan finished second due to more goals scored. The national players started the ACT with a 3-0 win over Japan, followed by 3-1 win over Oman, 4-2 over South Korea and a 0-0 draw against India.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee decided to stick with their Razak Cup rules, and accepted the withdrawal of three teams at the 11th hour.
The Razak Cup begins today (Friday) with a change in format as well as fixtures after Division One saw Negri Sembilan and Perlis pulling out, while Kedah withdrew from Division Two.
The three men's teams withdrew because they felt that even though many of their players had other states' Identity Card numbers, but the players were developed by them over the years and so they had a right to field them.
The MHC competitions committee stuck by the Razak Cup rules which state that each team can only register four guest players.
"The three teams wrote to MHC about their decision to withdraw and the MHC competitions committee has accepted, and so I re-drew the fixtures and now the men's Division One and Two will be run on a round robin format where the top-two teams will play in the final," said Razak Cup tournament director P. Kuganesan.
According to Kuganesan, none of the other states raised any issues at the managers meeting yesterday (Thursday).
Division one men's defending champions Perak will lead the charge while the other states are Terengganu, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor.
In the men's Division Two are Selangor, Armed Forces, Pahang, Singapore, Kelantan and Police.
The women's Group A has Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca Police ans Singapore while in Group B are Pahang, Armed Forces, Terengganu and Penang.
Friday: Women's Group B: Pahang v Terengganu (7.30am, Pitch II), Armed Forces v Penang (7.30am, Pitch I).
Group A: Malacca v Singapore (9.30am, Pitch II), Selangor v Kuala Lumpur (9.30am, Pitch I).
Men's Division Two -- Selangor v Armed Forces (4pm, Pitch I), Pahang v Singapore (4pm, Pitch II), Kelantan v Police (6pm, Pitch I).
Note: All matches at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
PIC: Negri Sembilan team manager S. Chandran. KUALA LUMPUR: The second oldest hockey tournament in the country was thrown into turmoil at the 11th hour, as two teams have withdrawn while one more is waiting for an appeal. The problem is player-eligibility rule which was introduced a month ago after the closing date of entries. The 56th Razak Cup will start at the Bukit Jalil Stadium Friday, but Division One team Negri Sembilan and Division Two team Kedah have written in to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) to withdraw their teams. Perlis, in Division One, is still waiting for an appeal to be considered by MHC. However, it looks like the three states can say goodbye to their Razak Cup hopes, as MHC Competitions Committee manager Brian Fernandez when asked if they will relax the rule said: "It's the states' prerogative if they wish to participate or not." Negri Sembilan team manager S. Chandran said in the end, the players will become victims of a rigid rule. "After the entries closed we were informed of a new eligibility rule where only four guest players are allowed per-team while the rest must be born in their respective states. "More than half of our boys were born in other states but have been studying and staying in Negri Sembilan for a long time. In fact, they are a product of our development programme. "Only their Identity Card number shows that they were born in another state (normally the mother's state). "So, we did appeal to the MHC Competitions Committee to relax the rule but they stood their ground. And so, we have no choice to withdraw even though all the players played for Negri in the recent Malaysia Games," said Chandran. The Razak Cup team managers meeting is Thursday. Kedah HA secretary B. Sandra Gesan had the same problem. "Half our team is born at other states but we are the ones who developed them. So we had no choice but to withdraw," said Sandra. Perlis team manager Mohamed Shurizat said they are still waiting: "We are also facing the same problem like Kedah and Negri, as half of our boys are born at other states as well. If there is no favourable reply from the Competitions Committee, we will be forced to withdraw as we do not want to be whipping boys in Division One." For the record, the oldest hockey tournament in the country is the Gurdwara Cup which has been held for 67 years without a single break.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia did just enough to beat South Korea 4-2 in the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman, Tuesday morning. The win gave coach Roelant Oltmans team nine points after three matches and they have qualified for the semifinals with India and Pakistan matches in hand. Malaysia took the lead off Firhan Ashaari in the 11th minute, but Korea fought back with two from Yang Jihun (15th) and Jang Jong Hyun (20th). However, goals from Shahril Saabah (22nd), Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (35th) and Faizal Shaari (57th) handed Malaysia full points. In earlier matches, Malaysia had beaten Japan 3-0 and Oman 3-1. South Korea on the other hand had lost to Pakistan 3-1 and Japan 2-0.
KUALA LUMPUR: National women's coach K. Dharmaraj welcomes the return of Singapore in the Razak Cup as he believes his trainees will benefit from playing against committed opponents.
The Razak Cup will be held on Oct 26-Nov 3, with both the men's and women's events held at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Singapore men will play in Division Two, while their women in Group A.
Last year Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia played in the men's Division Two, while only Indonesia were the foreign team in the women's event.
This year, the men's event will not have national players who are in Oman for the Asian Champions Trophy as well as preparing for the World Cup in November, while the women's event will have national players to make it more competitive.
Speaking about the women, Dharmaraj believes Razak Cup and then the national league next year should have more foreign players to raise the standard of his charges.
"I welcome the Singapore national team to give our players a healthy competition in the Razak Cup. We need to play regularly with players from other countries to become stronger.
"National players will compete in the Razak Cup, aside from the eight engaged in Europe leagues right now and those who will be sitting for their SPM examinations.
"The rest return to their states and I hope Singapore gives every state a good fight to raise the standard of women's hockey in the country," said Dharmaraj.
As for the men's event, last season's semi-finalists Negri Sembilan wants to break their jinx and win the tournament.
Negri manager S. Chandran said: "With national players out of the Razak Cup, every state will have an equal chance to win the title and we hope to lay our hands on it after being bundled out of the semi-finals last year."
Negri will field eight Malaysia Games players while the rest are former club or national palyers.
Last year in the semi-finals, Terengganu beat Negri Sembilan 2-1 while Perak beat Malacca 2-1 in shoot-out after the match ended 0-0.
Perak beat Terengganu 3-2 for the men's title while Selangor beat Pahang 5-2 for the women's crown.
Men -- Division One: Group A: Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Negri Sebilnan, Perlis; Group B: Malacca, Penang, Johor, Terengganu.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will play South Korea Next in the Asian Champions Trophy Monday night, and coach Roelant Oltmans' team should come out tops. Malaysia has beaten Japan 3-0 and Oman 3-1 so far, while South Korea have lost both their matches to Pakistan (3-1) and Japan (2-0). Even though Malaysia were not impressive against Oman, but newly appointed coach Oltmans seems to have made the team tactically stronger and the South Korea match will be a yardstick to conform this. India, who had beaten Oman (11-0) and Pakistan (3-1) look to be the strongest team in the tournament and should make a final appearance. After South Korea, Malaysia will be tested by India followed by Pakistan. P W D L GD Pts India 2 2 00 13 6 Malaysia 2 2 00 5 6 Pakistan 2 1 01 0 3 Japan 2 1 01 -1 3 Korea 2 0 02 -4 0 Oman 2 0 02 -13 0
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia took the scenic route before beating Oman 3-1 in the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat on Saturday. The win came at the back of a 3-0 victory over Japan, and Malaysia next play South Korea on Oct 22. In another match Saturday, Pakistan beat South Korea 3-0. For the record, India had beaten Oman 11-0 in their curtain raiser. Firhan Ashaari scored for Malaysia in the 26th minute but Ashad Al Fazari equalised in the 34th minute to off a penalty stroke. However, goals from Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (46th) and Faizal Shaari (48th) gave Malaysia full points.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia started their Oman Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) in Muscat with a 3-0 win against Asian Games champions Japan Friday. However, even though Malaysia extracted sweet revenge in Oman, Japan had beaten Malaysia in shoot-out to win the more important Asian Games gold medal in Jakarta. Japan fielded five new players, and Malaysia had also rested a few players including penalty corner flicker Razie Rahim for the ACT. And in Razie's absence, Faizal Shaari converted a penalty corner goal in the third minute and seasoned striker Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin made it 2-0 by the 9th minute off a penalty corner deflection. Faizal scored the third goal in the 51st minute off a penalty stroke. No 1 goalkeeeper S. Kumar was rested, as he did complain about muscle pain in his right thumb but was still included for the ACT. Hairi Rahman kept goal in the opening match instead. Malaysia next play Oman.
NOTE: 11/05/08 FLASHBACK: Since India will be hosting the World Cup in Bhubaneswar from 28 Nov to 16 Dec. Good luck India. Stick was bought during 2008 Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh.
A WALK around Ipoh's famous Old Town flea-market yesterday (11/05/08) turned into a real bargain, when a special edition Kuala Lumpur 1975 World Cup hockey stick was found among the antiques on display. The Vampire stick, manufactured specially after India beat Pakistan 2-1 at the Stadium Merdeka, was lying among old records, rusty coins and old currency notes. It looked like any old hockey stick, and I almost moved along, but something prompted me to pick it up and have a closer look. And 'WoW! The stick was a special edition designed a year after the KL World Cup, and it had the signatures of all the Indian players on it. I asked the vendor: "How much? And since it was a noisy bazaar filled mostly with migrant workers from Bangladesh, Myanmar and India, the vendor indicated by holding out his palms showing eight fingers. At first I thought he was saying RM80, but a scribe who was with me said: "Bargain, it can be bought for RM5." And the vendor came closer and I asked him again: "Berapa? (How much). And when he said: RM8, I couldn't believe my ears, and quickly took out my wallet, but my friend bargained with the vendor, and we walked away only paying RM5 for a stick which is about 31-years-old (now 43). A real bargain, considering it was still in good condition.
KUALA KUMPUR: Former national juniors coach K. Dharmaraj believes our Youth Olympics Hockey 5s gold medal should prompt more funding from the government, for a medal chance in the 2021 Junior World Cup. The Malaysian boys’ Under-18 squad upset the odds to enter the final in Buenos Aires, and then beat India 4-2 with a scintillating and convincing display. "The fact that India, Australia and Argentina fielded their best Under-18 players for the Youth Olympics is a recognition for the development of our youngsters over the years. "Nobody should belittle their achievement, and right now, the government via the National Sports Council should offer more funding towards junior development. "These boys, as well as our Sultan of Johor Cup team, need more international exposure to not only qualify for the Junior World Cup, but also go for a medal," said Dharmaraj who now coaches the national women's squad. Under Dharmaraj, the Malaysian junior boys ended fourth in the 2013 Junior World Cup, and the coach sees great potential in the present batch as well. "I have been observing these boys grow up since some were 15 years old and playing in the Junior Hockey League as well as other tournaments in the country. "They have great speed and goal scoring abilities, which is not only important in hockey 5s, but field hockey as well. "India, Malaysia and Australia sent their best Under-18 players for the Youth Olympics even though it clashed with the SOJC. This shows that four teams (including Argentina) had class players in the Youth Olympics and we beat them all to the gold." Argentina had beaten Malaysia 4-2 in Group A, while India had beaten Argentina 3-1 in the semi-finals. Defending champions Australia were sent packing by Zambia 6-4 in the quarter-finals, while Malaysia hammered Zambia 7-4 in the semi-finals. "The above results show that it was not an esay path for Malaysia to enter the final, as even Zambia proved the formbook wrong by beating defending champios Australia. "Everybody should be proud of Malaysia's achievement, and do not point fingers at the other weak teams in the tournament to belittle this historic gold medal." Sports Ministed Syed Saddiq Syed Rahman congratulated the boys on twitter: "Malaysia created history once more in the Youth Olympics! Tahniah kepada (Congratulations to) #TeamMalaysia yang berjaya menundukkan India (who beat India). Kamu semua inspirasi kita! (You guys are our inspiration!).
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Under-18squad has opened up a can of opportunities, as they did the unexpected and delivered a gold medal in the Youth Olympics Hockey 5s in Buenos Aires Monday. It was a sweet 4-2 win over India in the final, as hockey made its debut in the Third Youth Olympics and nobody expected them to travel the distance and return with gold. Vivek Sagar Prasad gave India the lead in 2nd minute, but Firdaus Rosdi equalised in the fifth. Vivek again gave India the lead, but goals from Akhimullah Anuar Esook (14th, 18th) and Amirul Hamizan Azahar (17th) handed Malaysia a well fought gold medal. For the record, Akhimullah scored a total of 22 goals in the tournament. "This is a monumental achievement for our youth, as frankly, when they qualified for the Youth Olympics we waved them on their journey by telling them to do their best. "But they achieved a marvellous milestone not only for themselves, but made the whole country proud with a fantastic display," said Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal. Subahan gave credit to the 1Mas Programme for building a strong foundation for this group of players. "Most of the boys are from the 1Mas Programme initiated by Tunku Abdullah (Sultan Ahmad Shah) and we would like to thank all the coaches involved in nurturing this batch of youth. "Credit goes to the Education Ministry for giving these boys a leeway whenever we needed them, and also the National Sports Council (NSC) for their undying help towards hockey," said Subahan. MHC have changed the 1Mas structure by introducing a new youth development programme, and hope the NSC give them a leg up. The toast of the team, coached by Wallaca Tan and Megat Azrafiq, is Akhimullah Anuar Esook who scored a total of 22 goals to almost single handedly snatched the gold medal. "These boys have tremendous potential and are our future to lead in qualifying for the 2021 Junior World Cup. Akhimullah, for one, has shown great potential and even Technical Director Terry Walsh feels the same," said Subahan. Akhimullah is a product of Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail and in 2016, as a 16-year-old, played with the Malaysia Blue in the Australian Hockey League.
PIC: Akhimullah -- 20-goal hero. NOTE: In the Bangkok 5s YO Qualifier final, Malaysia 4 India 4. India win shoot-out gold 2-1. KUALA KUMPUR: The Malaysian men's under-18 team romped into the Youth Olympics final when they beat Zambia 7-4 in Buenos Aires Sunday morning. They will play India for gold, after the Asian masters beat Argentina 3-1 in the other semifinals. And yet again, Akhimullah Anuar Esook was Malaysia's super-hero as he scored a hat-trick to take his personal tally to 20 goals. Akhimullah scored his first 30 seconds after the start, then in the eight minute and to cap a fine day, got his hat-trick 30 seconds from the end of time. The other goals were scored by Firdaus Rosdi (third, sixth), Muhibuddin Moharam (11th) and Syarman Mat Tee (12th). Zambia had upset Australia 6-4 in the quarter-finals, and were the revelation of the tournament. At the group stage, Malaysia had only lost to Argentina 4-2, while India had only lost to Australia 4-3. Assured of a medal, Malaysia must now play for gold in their maiden Youth Olympics appearance.
KUALA LUMPUR: Akhimullah Anuar Esook took Malaysia into the semi-finals of the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires when he scored a brace in the 2-0 win against Austria Friday. Malaysia will now play Zambia, who beat Australia 6-4 in the other quarter-finals. It was a big surprise as Australia had topped Group B while Zambia had finished fourth in Group A and barely made the quarter-finals. Akhimullah scored in the 11th and 19th minutes, and Malaysia now have a good chance of advancing to the finals. For the record, Malaysia had beaten Zambia 7-2 in Group A.
KUALA KUMPUR: The Malaysian juniors exacted sweet revenge when they beat Japan 1-0 in the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium Friday. And the winner was scored in the 58th minute by Muhajir Rauf, who connected home a floating reverse stick shot from Abu Kamal. The juniors did what the senior Malaysian side could not do at the Asian Games, where Japan came back from the dead to level the score at 6-6 with 20 seconds remaining, and then won gold on shoot-out. However the win came too little too late, as Malaysia ended with four points in the tournament and will play in the fifth-sixth playoff against New Zealand/Australia. "I hope the boys take home a good lesson from this match as we did almost everything right except score an early goal. Like I said before, we played for pride while Japan for a slot in the final and victory was ours. "It's never easy to play at the bottom placing matches, but I am sure my players will give their best again to avoid the last spot. The final will be between India and Britain, and in yesterday's last pool match, Britain edged India 3-2 to claim their spot. It was India's first defeat in the tournament and coach Jude Felix was furious as his boys were leading 1-0 and then 2-1 before collapsing. "We let Britain back into the match afer taking a lead twice, and we can't afford this attitude in the final," said Jude. In the eight editions, India has made the final five times and became champions twice in 2013 and 2014. RESULTS: India 2 Britain 3, Malaysia 1 Japan 0, Australia 4 New Zealand 0. SATURDAY -- Final: India v Britain (8.30pm); Third-Fourth: Japan v Australia (6pm); Fifth-Sixth: Malaysia v New Zealand (3.30pm).
KUALA KUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) will field a mixed squad for the Asian Champions Trophy in Oman on Oct 18-28. The other teams in the fray are India, Pakistan, Oman, Japan and South Korea. Malaysia, who ended with a bronze in the last edition, will be coached by Roelant Oltmans who feels that even though penalty corner flicker Razie Rahim and midfielder Fitri Shaari are not on the list, there is no reason not to do well. "Even though Razie is out with a hamstring while Fitri wants to attend his University convocation, it has opened up an opportunity for others. We have a balanced squad and we are heading to Oman to give a good fight to all the other teams," said Oltmans. Malaysia will open accounts against Asian Games champions Japan, and Oltmans has set semifinals as an early target. "We will begin with a tough match against Japan, and it will be like the Asian Games final. We will first play to reach the semi-finals, and from there aim higher," said Oltmans. MALAYSIA -- S. Kumar (gk), Hairi Rahman (gk), Shukri Mutalib, Syed Syafiq Syed Cholan, Faiz Helmi, Najib Hassan, Nabil Fiqri, Marhan Jalil, Azri Hassan, Meor Azuan, Joel Samuel, Norsyafiq Sumantri, Firhan Ashari, Amirol Aideed, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Faizal Saari, Nik Aiman, Shahril Saabah. Malaysia's fixtures: Oct 18: Malaysia v Japan (10.55pm); Oct 20: Malaysia v Oman (1.10am); Oct 22: Malaysia v South Korea (10.55pm); Oct 24: Malaysia v India (1.10am); Oct 25: Malaysia v Pakistan (10.55pm).
KUALA LUMPUR: Several prominent personalities will present papers at the Sports Administrators Seminar organised by the Johor Hockey Association (JHA) on Oct 12-13. The seminar, held in conjunction with the 8th Sultan of Johor Cup will see the likes of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) secretary general Datuk Windsor Paul as well as Malaysian Football League Chief Executive Officer Kevin Ramalingam sharing their experience on administration and marketing with the participants. Other speakers who have agreed to grace the seminar are Dato Sieh Kok Chi (Former general secretary of Olympic Council of Malaysia), Dr. Vella Pandian (Head of Podium Programme ISN), K. Maheswari (Former hockey captain and vice president of KLHA), Dr Nadhratul Wardah Salman (Faculty of Law, University Malaya) and NSC Head of Career and Education for Athletes Safwan Radzi. All the 16 state Hockey bodies were invited to send one participant with the cost of board and lodging borne by JHA. It was also extended to all district hockey associations in Johor as well. “We are grateful to the speakers for consenting to present papers at the seminar,” said JHA acting president Datuk Manjit Majid Abdullah. “Sadly though many states did not respond and to me it is a wasted opportunity as the seminar would have provided insights into professional administration, “However those who are attending will no doubt benefit from it.” The opening of the seminar will be officiated by the OCM General Secretary Datuk Mohamad Nazifuddin on Friday. Those who are keen to attend can contact JHA vice president Ir. Azhar (+60 12-707 2774 ).
Sports Journalist with the New Straits Times since 1994.
My main beat is field hockey, so this blog will have stories that I have written for the NST, as well as hockey news from around the globe. There will be regular updates. I was also the Secretary General of the National Press Club, Malaysia for three terms (six years).