Friday, September 19, 2008

More light on Junior World Cup

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation’s (MHF) council meeting in Kuala Lumpur today will hopefully shed light on the 2009 Junior World Cup.
Johor HA will present a status report on the tournament, slated for June 7-21 next year, and put to rest speculation that it is in jeopardy.
The council is also expected to be briefed that the Johor state government has pledged RM1.5 million for the tournament, which will be co-hosted with Singapore.
“We have been asking questions for the past three council meetings but did not receive any answers.
“I hope tomorrow (today), speculation on the stadium and financial situation will be put to rest,” said a council member who declined to be named.
The MHF is in dire financial straits after organising the Champions Trophy last year, and the true picture will emerge today as accounts will be closed to prepare for the year-end elections.
There is also expected to be an indication whether president Tan Sri Admiral (rtd) Anwar Mohd Nor will seek re-election.
Coaching and development chairman C. Paramalingam will also be out to defend his men, especially chief coach Sarjit Singh.
“Sarjit has been on the receiving end after we failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. Many quarters have questioned his coaching methods.
“I want to put an end to it because the records show otherwise. He coached Malaysia to a silver medal in the (2007) Azlan Shah Cup, and a bronze in the (2007) Asia Cup. Before him, we were the punching bags in both the tournaments for decades.
“When he was hired, his goal was not the immediate tournaments but to build this young Malaysian team into a strong side for the 2010 World Cup. Let him get on with the job without distractions is what I will brief the council,” said Paramalingam.
That, however, may not be in Paramalingam’s hands as Anwar, following a meeting with Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Thursday, said MHF was likely to hire a foreign coach.
Former players have also expressed dismay at Malaysia’s waning fortunes, as the Junior World Cup and Under-16 squads have also struggled in recent tournaments.
This led to 102 former internationals submitting a petition and the result is the, as announced by Ismail Sabri on Thursday, the formation of a working committee to oversee Malaysia’s qualification for the 2012 London Olympics.

SIGS are Premier girls

Top Scorer: Nur Amira Abu Samah (Seven goals, SIGS).
CHAMPS: Sultan Ibrahim Girls pose after the final.
Nur Amira Abu Samah with coach Ismail Othman.
SULTAN Ibrahim Girls School, Johor Baru, lifted the National Premier Schools tournament title recently when they beat Convent Bukit Nenas, Kuala Lumpur, 1-0 in Kangar, Perlis.
Eight teams competed in the Premier Schools tournament, and new-comers SIGS were the surprise package.
“It was our debut in the Premier tournament after we became South Zone champions by beating SMK Convent Muar 6-0 and SMK Puteri Negri Sembilan 2-1.
“It was a proud moment for the school, as the girls trained really hard for it,” said SIGS coach Ismail Othman.
The Johor Baru school had one Malaysia Games and four Malaysian Schools Sports Council players.
“We also had a warm-up against visiting South African an Singapore teams, and it helped them to become more confident.”
Group A: SMK Raja Perempuan Perak, SMK St Gorges, Penang, SM Sains Johor, Maktab Sabah.
Group B: SMK Sultan Ibrahim Girls School, SMK Mek Zainab, Kelantan, SMK Agama Selangor, SMK Convent Bukit Nenas, Kuala Lumpur.
Top Scorer: Nur Amira Abu Samah (Seven goals, SIGS).
Best Player: Norafizah Sulaiman (SIGS).