Saturday, April 24, 2010

UniKL poised to top standings

Pic: Syamim of UniKL puffed out when playing against Petaling Jaya City Council.

UNIKL will get their chance to top the Division One standings when they play Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors in the MHF-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League at the KLHA Stadium.
The newcomers are a much better side than the BJSS Juniors and three points are as good as in the bag, only the margin will be decided after 70 minutes.
“First of all I would like to say that this is turning out to be the most interesting JHL after many years. Unlike previous seasons, it is difficult to predict the winner and there are many talented players spread out among teams and they can turn the tide if given half a chance,” said UniKL coach I. Vickneswaran.
UniKL, Bandar Penawar Sports School Thunderbolt and Bukit Jalil Sports School are in a tight 12-point joint lead and only separated by goals scored.
“I will plan for three points against BJSS Juniors but will not place undue pressure on my strikers to pile up the goals even though it looks like goals scored could decide who lifts the title,” said Vickneswaran.
Thunderbolt and BJSS take a break today, and UniKL will rule the standings for at least until the next weekend.
TODAY: Division One -- Petaling Jaya City Council v Bandar Penawar Juniors (Tun Razak, 8pm), Kelantan v Anderson (Terengganu, 5pm), UniKL v Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors (KLHA Stadium, 5pm).
Division Two: Matri v Sabah (Alor Star, 5pm), Kuala Selangor v Ipoh City Council (Pandamaran, 5pm), Johor v Pahang (Johor Baru, 5pm).

Pakistan hit by rest syndrome

PICTURE: Akhtar Ali (left)
By Shazad Ali

KARACHI: Pakistan hockey sank further into a deep morass on Thursday when it was revealed that three senior players have been asked by national hockey federation secretary Asif Bajwa to request for “rest” before Azlan Shah Cup.
According to Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Asif, Pakistan captain Zeeshan Ashraf, Waseem Ahmad and Akhtar Ali have requested him that they want to skip the forthcoming event.
Sources, however, told that the three players along with Rehan Butt and Sohail Abbas were asked by Asif to take rest, suggesting they should make a request to the PHF that they were interested in playing only at major events.
While Waseem, Zeeshan and Akhtar, agreed, Sohail and Rehan have opted to join the Azlan Shah Cup training camp. Initially, even Rehan was reluctant to join the camp on the instructions of Asif, but later changed his mind when Sohail took a firm decision to report for training against the wishes of the PHF secretary.
In the present Pakistan hockey scenario, the claims by the PHF that players have requested for rest are obviously illogical since all the players including the seniors are willing to prove their mettle to be included in important assignments – Commonwealth Games and Asian Games later this year.
Sources say as PHF had apprehensions that some senior players including Waseem, Zeeshan and Akhtar might be dropped when the selection committee announces the squad for Azlan Shah Cup, it decided to ask the seniors to request for “rest.”
The Azlan Shah Cup training camp starts from Friday at Hockey Club of Pakistan, while the selection committee is likely to announce the squad on April 28.


Jonathon Charlesworth to skip Azaln Shah Cup

Hockey Australia wishes to announce that Jonathon Charlesworth has withdrawn from the Kookaburras upcoming Azlan Shah Cup squad due to injury.
Charlesworth has a grade two tear of his left hamstring and therefore will not be able to participate in the tournament.
Queenslander and Australian Development Squad member Tim Bates has been named as Charlesworth’s replacement, an d will join Tim Deavin and Trent Mitton as making their international debuts at the tournament.
The Azlan Shah Cup will be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from 6-16 May with the Kookaburras set to take on Korea, Pakistan, China, India, Malaysia and Egypt.

Source: Hockey Australia