Sunday, November 28, 2010

BJSS planning for JHL assault

BUKIT Jalil Sports School will field a young side in the Division One of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), with an eye to prepare a team for the Junior Hockey League (JHL) next year.
The MHL Division One tournament will start on Dec 3, with seven teams battling for honours. The top-two will qualify for the Premier Division quarter-finals, and also gain automatic entry into the higher division.
The seven aspirants this year are Ipoh City Council, Bandar Penawar Sports School, Bukit Jalil Sports School, Armed Forces Juniors, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Malacca Municipal Council.
BJSS will also be fielding a budding 16-year-old Chinese player, Thung Wei Chia, from Kelantan.
“Basically, 18 out of my 20 players will be eligible to compete in the JHL next season and that is our end target. The school will be exposing many new young players, so that they will be better prepared for the junior league,” said BJSS coach S. Prakash.
BJSS will open accounts against Armed Forces Juniors on Dec 3, and the League will end on Feb 25.
The Premier Division of the MHL will start on Dec 17.
“We have a relatively good side, but most of the lack exposure and that is why we are eager to see them in action in the MHL. Also, our Chinese payer Thung has proved to become a promising defender in friendlies, and the MHL will better prepare him to play in the JHL, just like the others,” said Prakash.
The current national seniors and juniors teams do not have a single Chinese player, with the last to represent Malaysian was Chua Boon Huat.
Thung is also the only Chines listed in the seven-team MHL Division One tournament.

KL struggle to enter final

By K. Kandiah

DEFENDING champion Kuala Lumpur was almost out of the race as they struggled to beat Selangor 3-2 in a sudden- death extra time first semifinals of the MHF-NSC-Milo-MSSM Boys’ National Under-14 hockey tournament at the Universiti Sains Malaysia Hockey Stadium in Minden yesterday.
Muhd Shahfirul Aqmal saved the day for Kuala Lumpur when he scored right at the stoppage time of the regular match to equalize 2-2 and again was on target six minutes into the sudden-death extra time for KL to march into the final.
Selangor drew first blood in the match when Ahmad Sarif Suhsdianto slammed into goal from the top of the `D’ in the 25th minute for them to lead 1-0 at the break but in the 47th minute Kuala Lumpur’s Danial Asyraf Ghani cancelled the deficit.
The Red Giants went into the lead again when Mohd Hafif Elkan converted a penalty corner only to see their opponents equalize through Muhd Shahfirul right at the hoot of regular time and six minutes into the sudden-death extra time Muhd Shahfirul fired the winning goal.
KL coach Saiful Munir Mansor said they have to be very cautious and be focused when facing Perak, though we beat them last year, it is not the same this year.
In the second semifinals, Perak defeated Terengganu 4-1 and earned the rights to play Kuala Lumpur in the final today. The 2009 runner-up opened accounts in the seventh minute when Mohd Alif Faizal converted a penalty corner and in the 22nd minute Mhd Husaini Husin beat goalkeeper Mohd Afif Amzar to increase the lead.
Ten minutes later M. Zainul Rusyaidi reduced the deficit for Terengganu. After the breather, Mohd Alif was on target again when he converted another penalty corner and Mohd Zulhamizan Abas rounded up the score to 4-1 when he also converted a penalty corner.
Perak coach Abdul Shukor Adam, who was pleased with his charges performance, said they respected Kuala Lumpur as they are the defending champions while Perak was still the underdog.
“However, we intend to take home the title which slipped us last year.
“Its been a long time since we won the title, and this year my boys are really serious in taking home the title.
“Though we respect Kuala Lumpur and we carry the underdog label, nothing is going to stop us from winning the title,” he told Timesport at the USM stadium yesterday.
Meanwhile, the irresponsible and unpleasant fans and parents of players marred the game, since the tournament began on Aug 20, their irresponsible name callings and unwarranted remarks angered many other fans and officials.
The fans, especially the parents should be more responsible or else their off-springs will be either like them or worst when they grow up, as normally the children will more or less follow their parents foot-steps. “Leadership through Example” this is what the parents should grill into their children and not the other way around.
RESULTS – Kuala Lumpur 3 Selangor 2; Perak 4 Terengganu 1
Today – 3rd-4th: Selangor v Terengganu (3.30pm)
Final: Kuala Lumpur v Perak (5.30pm)

Van Huizen: I love journalists

Malaysia goalkeeper S. Kumar blows out the candles on his birthday cake upon his arrival with the Malaysian hockey team at KLIA on Friday. — Picture by Osman Adnan

NATIONAL hockey coach Stephen van Huizen (with garland) has denied he was rude to a Malaysian journalist following the 2-0 defeat to Pakistan in the Asian Games final on Thursday.
Stephen said he had responded to a question before the press conference started and was told by a media officer to wait for Pakistan.
“I was asked as to what the team’s next target was to which I replied the Olympic Qualifier,” said Stephen yesterday.
The next question posed was when would the Qualifier be held to which Stephen said he replied ‘You should know’ before the media officer told him to not proceed.
“I honestly didn’t know the date of the Qualifier nor the venue. I was not being rude.
“I have always worked closely with journalists and have always taken the time to answer their questions, even when I have been criticised.
“That was the case in the Commonwealth Games but I still worked with the media. I did say that I hoped that the silver in Guangzhou would appease the press after the team did badly in the Commonwealth Games and I meant it sincerely.
“We have a major task ahead of us as qualifying for the London Olympics is going to be a tough task but I look forward to working closely with journalists.”