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 email@example.com 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.
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).