Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pakistan bank on Zeeshan

LAHORE, Feb 6 (APP)- The selection committee of Pakistan Hockey Federation has announced the final 18 member squad for FIH World Cup to be play from February 28 to March 13 in New Delhi, India.Zeeshan Ashraf will lead the team as captain which sees the come back of goal keeper Salman Akbar dropped on disciplinary basis after the tour of Argentina where the team participated in Champions Challenge Cup in December last year.
Salman was overlooked for two match series held in Abu Dhabi.
The announced team is Nasir Ahmad and Salman Akbar (Goal Keepers), Zeeshan Ashraf, Sohail Abbas and Muhammad Rashid (Full Backs), Muhammad Irfan, Waseem Ahmad, Muhammad Imran, Fareed Ahmad and Sajjad Anwar (Halves), Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi, Abdul Haseem Khan, Muhammad Zubair, Akhtar Ali, Omer Bhutta, Abbas Haider and Muhammad Rizwan (Forwards). Muhammad Asif Bajwa will be the team manager, Shahid Ali Khan (Coach), Shafqat Malik and Wouter Tazelaar (Assistant Coaches), Jos Geijsel (Physical Trainer), Nadeem Khan Lodhi (Video Analyst) and Faiz Ur Rehman will be the Physio.
The team was named after two-day trials which concluded on Saturday after three sessions of trials participated by twenty four camp trainees.Players were watched on different specialised positions.
The five member selection committee headed by Hasan Sardar,Khalid Bashir,Farhat Khan ,Rana Mujahid and Mohammad Shafiq.President,Pakistan Hockey Federation, Qasim Zia and Secretary PFH ,Muhammad Asif Bajwa were also present “We have good hopes that this combination will deliver to our expectations in the event and we are expecting that the team will reach the semi finals in India “,said Hasan after the trials while naming the squad.
He said the team gained high profile experience by playing Holland and team management worked really hard to overcome the gray areas noticed during the two matches.
“Our first aim is to beat India in our pool match and I firmly believe that victory will add to the confidence of our team and to better in coming leagues matches”,he said adding “ We are confident that team will make step by step progress in the event to come upto the expectations “.
He said the team is full of talent and potential to produce good results any top leading of hockey world and best available talent was selected after a transparent way of selection.

Associated Press of Pakistan

Rajpal Singh to captain India

NEW DELHI: Rajpal Singh was named as the captain of the Indian hockey team for the World Cup after much confusion and drama here on Saturday.
Hockey India (HI), harried and harassed on several fronts, with its very status being questioned by the Union Government, made the announcement after initially indicating to the media that there were a “few issues” to be sorted out and there could be a delay.
The issue turned out to be that over captaincy with the selectors sticking to Rajpal who had led the country in the Champions Challenge II tournament in Argentina in December last, and the Chief Coach, Jose Brasa favouring Prabhjot Singh.
In fact, at least one television channel announced Prabhjot as the captain, followed by PTI. It is learnt his name was announced by the team management in the team bus. There was even talk of having as many as four vice-captains, according to television channels.
Once the news spread, HI had to step in and clear the air about Rajpal’s appointment preventing further speculation. HI went purely by the recommendation of the selectors all of whom were in favour of maintaining continuity.
The selectors, it is learnt, were also concerned about the negative impact that could be created in case Rajpal was not retained the captain since the move could have sent out the wrong signal to the media that the Chandigarh player was being ‘targeted’ for the recent revolt of the players.
The team was finalised after a trial match between India ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium
The trials were watched by B. P. Govinda, Ms. Madhu Yadav, Ms. Sita Mehta (selectors), Ajitpal Singh and Zafar Iqbal (government nominees), Jose Brasa (Chief Coach) and Harendra Singh (National Coach). Muneer Sait and Balbir Singh could not attend the trials.
The task of the selectors was simple: name three players as standbys from among the 21 players who were available.
The team: Goalkeepers: Adrian D’ Souza and P.R. Sreejesh; defenders: Sandeep Singh, Dhananjay Mahadik and Diwakar Ram; midfielders: Gurbaj Singh, Sardara Singh, Bharat Chikara, Arjun Halappa, Danish Mujtaba and Vikram Pillay; forwards: Rajpal Singh (captain), Shivendra Singh, Tushar Khandker, Prabhjot Singh, Sarwanjit Singh, Deepak Thakur and Gurvinder Singh Chandi. Standbys: Mandeep Antil, Birendra Lakra (Sr.) and Vikas Sharma.

The Hindu

Van Huizen's work cut out

SAPURA proved a point when they side-stepped hot favourites Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) to reach the final of the Malaysia Hockey League TNB Cup on Saturday.
They only had experience on their side, but it was enough to beat KLHC which paraded the country’s best strikers and defenders.
“Man for man, KLHC have the best in the country, so I had to plan my strategy around the experience and mental strength of my players.
“And after we beat them 4-2 in the first leg, I knew KLHC will make an all-out onslaught in the return leg, so we could not play an open match, and had to rely on counter-attacks. It worked, and we held them 1-1,” said Sapura coach S. Prakash.
KLHC coach R. Vivekanandan’s worst nightmare became a reality, as he was afraid his charges were not mentally strong to reach the final.
KLHC’s game started to go downhill after they drew 1-1 with Maybank in the League.
“Physically I have confidence in my team, but mentally, many of my players are weak especially when they stakes are stacked high,” Vivekanandan had said many times during the MHL.
The MHL final will be held on Feb 12, after which the national team will be selected for the First Asian Champions Trophy in Ipoh which is tentatively marked on April 13-18.
And the bulk of the national side will come from the KLHC side again, so the foreign and local coaches who will take charge of these players needs to pay more attention on their mental state.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) coaching com mittee held their meeting last week and came out with names of coaches to helm the various national sides.
It was reliably learnt that Tai Beng Hai and Stephen van Huizen, who is Sapura’s consultant coach for the MHL, were named to handle the senior side.
K. Rajan, who coached the 2009 Junior World Cup side, and K. Dharmaraj were chosen to prepare the 2013 Junior World Cup team.
And at the Under-16 level, Maybank coach S. Velappan and Sapura as well as Bukit Jalil Sports School coach S. Prakash were named as the guardians.
The MHF management committee will meet on Wednesday to endorse the coaching committee’s nominations.
Coaching committee chairman Dr Balbir Singh could not be reached for comments.

Tenaga squeeze through into final

Tenaga’s Mohd Fairuz Saari (left) takes a shot at goal in their MHL semi-final second leg clash against Maybank at the Tun Razak Stradium yesterday. Tenaga advanced to the final on a 4-3 aggregate. — Pic: MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

TENAGA Nasional crawled into the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division final on a single goal aggregate and will play Sapura for the TNB Cup at the Tun Razak Stadium on Friday.
Yesterday, Tenaga drew 2-2 with Maybank while Sapura drew 1-1 with Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club but Tenaga and Sapura entered the final on 4-3 and 5-3 aggregates respectively.
Maybank were shocked in the first minute when Faizal Shaari scored a field goal but they never gave up and Hafifi Hafiz equalised in the 14th minute.
Riduan Nasir then gave Maybank the lead with a 39th minute goal but Amin Rahim took Tenaga into the final with a 50th minute penalty corner goal.
"We had the match in our grasp after scoring a first minute goal but credit to Maybank players who never gave up and even went on to take the lead.
"We were saved by Amin who has been scoring consistently in penalty corners and now we have one week to plan for the final," said Tenaga coach Manjit Singh.
Maybank coach S. Velappan congratulated his players even in defeat.
"My men gave their best but luck was not on our side. We gave Tenaga a good fight and I am happy with the way my charges played in both the semi-finals," said Velappan.
In the other semi-final, Sapura walked onto the pitch with a two-goal cushion and stayed in their own half as KLHC strikers tried force through the defence.
With a potent strikeforce made up of Ismail Abu, Kelvinder Singh, Chua Boon Huat and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, the fans expected KLHC to score but Sapura held their ground.
In the second half, Sapura were again contented with playing a defensive game while KLHC players kept winning penalty corners instead of scoring.
All the penalty corners were wasted until the 46th minute when Shahrun Nabil ran in and converted a Razie Rahim grounder into goal.
However, Sapura were rewarded for their patience when they mounted a rare counter-attack in the 63rd minute and Mahinder Singh won them their first penalty corner of the match.
Former national skipper S. Kuhan delivered the killer blow with a low flick which confirmed his team's spot in the final.