Monday, January 19, 2009

Delay in publishing stories ....

Sorry folks, the corporate world has caught up with me, and now I can only upload stories which I write for the New Straits Times after they appear in Print form.
However, I can still write a short take, and provide with results of local tournaments.
Have a nice year....

Juniors impress against Singapore

THE National Under-17 hockey team lost 4-2 to Singapore Junior World Cup trainees at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
But they had already wrapped-up the three-series friendly, as they beat Singapore 4-2 and 1-0 in the first two match es.
And team manager Mirnawan Nawawi feels his charges showed promise in the series: “This team is being trained for the 2013 Junior World Cup, and from what I saw in the three matches, the boys have great potential.”
Mirnawan, a former national skipper, said their com mitment in training was also refreshing.
“We only called-up the boys four days before playing Singapore, and even then, their commitment in training and discipline was at the highest level, and the sport certainly has a good future if we keep them together,” said Mirnawan.
Singapore, according to their coach Lim Chiow Chuan, are having difficulties finding opponents to spar before the Junior World Cup in June 7-21.
“Funding is limited, and so we will not be playing as many matches as I want before the World Cup. I am in the midst of arranging for a playing Tour of Australia, and would also like to play the Malaysian Juniors if they are available.
“And once the pitch in Singapore is ready to be tested, I hope a few teams will come there and play with us,” said Lim.
The Under-17 team will next play a series of friendlies with a visiting Under-17 team from Punjab.

No medal, and chinks exposed

MALAYSIA will return without a medal from the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, but coach K. Rajan gained valuable inside information to better prepare his charges for the Junior World Cup in June 7-21.
In the bronze play-off yesterday, Malaysia lost 5-2 to Great Britain. Malaysia’s scorers were Kavin Kartik and Falzal Saari, while Britain won the bronze with goals from Kenny Bain, Martin Scanlon, Chris Gregg (2) and Simon Faulkner.
Australia won the gold when they beat India 2-1.
It was a tale of missed chances, as Malaysia took the lead in all three pool matches, but crumbles in the final minutes of every match.
Against Britain, they were five seconds from victory, but let in a silly goal and the match ended 4-4.
And against Australia, the Juniors were leading 1-0, but let in two goals in the second half to lose 2-1.
India was no different, as Malaysia matched them 3-3 at the half-time hooter, and were leading 5-3 but collapsed and the match ended 5-5.
“This is an Under-20 tournament, while the Junior World Cup is Under-21. I have 10 players who were sitting at the sidelines because they were overage for the AYOF, but will field them in the four friendlies against senior Australian sides next week.
“I am happy with the boys progress, in all the matches as they followed instructions and pressed their opponents hard. They were always snapping at their opponents, but could not sustain the pace for 70 minutes.
“I will work on their fitness further, and they should put up a good performance in the World Cup,” said Rajan.
There will be 20 teams in four groups for the World Cup, with Malaysia hosting two groups, and Singapore two groups.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) will release the groupings by the end of the month, while the qualified teams are defending champions Argentina, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, Malaysia, Singapore, India, South Korea, Pakistan, Japan, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, England, Poland, Russia, Chile, US and New Zealand.