Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kumar holds the Trump Card

THE Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) has been reduced to a prize presentation ceremony in Malacca this Saturday, but Tenaga Nasional will be on a mission of their own.
League champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Tenaga will square off in a match of little importance as the positions were decided last weekend itself.
But the runners-up want to prove a point by smashing KLHC’s unbeaten run before the quarter-finals start.
“Win, draw or lose will not chance our fortunes, but there is pride to play for. And my team will give their best for the sake of hockey, and we will also be looking to break KLHC’s unbeaten run in Malacca,” said Tenaga coach Manjit Singh.
KLHC could only edge Sapura 1-0 for the title, and in an earlier League encounter, Tenaga only lost 3-2.
“We were narrowly beaten by KLHC, and I see this return leg as a great opportunity to boost the moral of my players before the knock-out stage.
“We lost one title, and will be out for the Overall title, and that is why a winning start in Malacca is important for us,” said Manjit.
Tenaga have been kept alive by national goalkeeper S. Kumar, and his form will play a crucial role in their quest to beat KLHC who have more strikers than defenders in their side.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) Umpires board chairman Amarjit Singh has been appointed by the International Hockey Federation to officiate at the New Delhi World Cup next month.
And there is more good news from the umpires section as Eric Khor Kim Lai, 23, from Malacca and K. Illango, 24, from Penang have been promoted to International status by the FIH.
Penang finally can lay claim to an International umpire after a 23-year hiatus, as the last to hold the stature was Yap Guan Keat.
On another note, Petaling Jaya City Council will be holding a two-day trials to select players for the Junior Hockey League.
The trials will be held at the PJMC stadium this weekend from 4pm-7pm. For details, contact coach Paul Raj 017- 3715428.


P W D L F A Pts
KLHC 9 8 1 0 31 9 25
TENAGA 9 7 0 2 23 8 21
MAYBANK 9 4 3 2 16 11 15
SAPURA 9 3 2 4 16 13 11
NUR INSAFI 9 1 1 7 10 33 4
UNIKL 9 0 1 8 5 26 1

Brasa livid over stadium delay


New Delhi: Indian hockey coach Jose Brasa will have to wait for at least 15 more days to get his squad to train at the National Stadium here — venue for the World Cup beginning February 28.
On Tuesday, Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi said the venue was "almost ready" and would be made available to the national squad from the first week of February.
"The stadium is in the final lap. I hope the Indian team can start training here in the first or second week of next month," Kalmadi said.
The announcement comes a month after the IOA chief had set December 15 as the "final date" for completion of work at the venue.
Brasa, on the other hand, is livid and wants his squad to shift from Pune to Delhi at the earliest. "I do not understand why there is a delay in sending the team to Delhi. The turf has been laid, the floodlights are ready... they can complete the rest of the stadium side by side. We just need the turf to begin training. The players have to acclimatise to the facilities as we are playing the World Cup here," Brasa said.
Meanwhile, International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre, along with several other officials, visited the National Stadium on the day.
Said Negre, "The FIH had a lot of concerns that things were not organised properly in one of our member countries. But now we are very happy with how things are moving here. The stadium is coming up nicely, and will be one of the most important hockey stadiums in the world."
Incidentally, there won’t be any tournament to test the facilities at the venue before the World Cup following the cancellation of the four-nation event earlier this month. But the FIH president said a test event was not mandatory for a hosting nation.
"It is not mandatory but we had recommended it as the stadium is a new one. As far as I know a few matches will be played here before the World Cup," he said.
Sports ministry objects to Mander’s appointment
Meanwhile, the sports ministry on Tuesday objected to G.S. Mander’s appointment as the returning officer for next month’s Hockey India elections, saying no one from either HI or the Indian Olympic Association could be part of the electoral process. "GS Mander heads the Wrestling Federation of India and is also an IOA vice-president and the government has already made it clear that no one from either Hockey India or IOA should be part of the electoral process," said S.K. Mendiratta, government-appointed observer to HI elections.

The Asian Age