Saturday, December 11, 2010

And ..Rehan Butt for Sapura

SAPURA coach I. Vickneswaran, a former international, predicts a revival in the Malaysia Hockey League this season, based on the early effort pumped in by Premier Division teams.
The Premier Division Starts on Dec 17, and the nine teams competing are Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club, Armed Forces- Airod, Maybank, Nur Insafi, Sapura, Tenaga, UiTM, UniKL and Yayasan Negri Sembilan.
“I am amazed with the effort put in by many teams to prepare strong sides for the Premier challenge. I feel this season is going to see a revival of the MHL, back to what it used to be like in the 80s,” said Vickneswaran.
The MHL had taken a beating in the last 10 years, as it turned into a mediocre tournament where teams were just competing to complete the fixtures.
“That is no longer the situation, as many talented foreign players have been roped in to make it more exciting, and the standard will surely be higher than last year.”
As for Sapura: “We have signed three foreign players in Pakistan’s Rehan Butt (who scored the second goal against Malaysian in the Asian Games final), Welsh goalkeeper David James Kettle and Korean Junior World Cup player Lim Woo Geun.
“Rehan is still not here, and Jiwa Mohan is also still in Australia. We have played some friendlies, but not with the full side yet,” said Vickneswaran.
Vickneswaran, who coached UniKL last season, also feels the University side will impress this season.
“UniKL have signed some impressive foreign players, and with their local young talent, I believe they will also be a team to watch this year.”
Sapura, who lost the Overall title to Tenaga Nasional after a penalty shoot-out, will be looking to end their barren run this season.
SAPURA: Rodzhanizam Radzi, Noor Khairul Azrain, M. Vizayan, Marhan Jalil, Ahmad Kazamirul, Lim Woo Geun (GP), Redzuan Ponirin, Jiwa Mohan, Rehan Butt (GP), Nasihin Nubli (GK), Faisal Kamarudin, Izwan Firdaus, Joel Samuel Van Huizen, Razi Ismail, Jivan Mohan, Azreen Rizal, David James Kettle (GK, GP), Faizal Daud, Norhanfpe Omar, Izzat Rahim, Craig Joseph Fernandez, S. Kuhan.
Team Manager: Abdullah Yunus
Coach: I. Vikneswaran
Asst Coach: K. Balakrishnan

Shakeel in foreign legion for YNS

MEN IN GREEN: Shakeel Abbasi (right) will be turning out for YNS in the Malaysia Hockey League.

FORMER Malaysia Hockey League supremos Yayasan Ne gri Sembilan will parade 11 foreign players and a coach from India in the Malaysia Hockey League, not for want, but because there are not enough local talent to go around.

The MHL Premier Division will start on Dec 17, and the nine teams competing are Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club, Armed Forces-Airod, Maybank, Nur Insafi, Sapura, Tenaga, UiTM, UniKL and Yayasan Negri Sembilan.
YNS former double champions in 1994 and 1995 will be making a comeback after a long hiatus and have hired Pakistan and India players to beef up their challenge with the notable names on the list are Pakistanis Muhammad Rashid, Muhammad Waqas and Shakeel Abbasi.
Waqas and Abbasi played in the Asian Games, and helped beat Malaysia 2-0 in the final. Rashid, 17-years-old, made his debut in the last Azlan Shah Cup.
The India players with strong credentials are Deepak Thakur and Prabjoth Singh. The outfit will also be coached by India’s women’s coach P. Madhu Karan.
“It is not that we want to field so many foreign players, but after all the top teams snapped up the local talents, we were left with little to select from.
“That is why we opted to sign up 11 foreign players, and our target is to reach the semi-finals, first,” said YNS Assistant manager P. Tamil Selvan
But they might face a major problem in team-work, as their foreign players are only expected to arrive next week.
Our foreign signings have obligations back home now, and will only be arriving next week. This gives us little time to train together, but with the vast experience the players have, I believe it is not going to be a major problem,” said Tamil.
YNS: Hafifi Baharom (Gk), Mohamed Imran (GP), Vivek Gupta (GP), Muhammad Raashid (GP), Deepak Thakur (GP), Meor Shahril, Muhammad Waqas (GP), Yazid Yusof, Shakeel Abbasi (GP), Fitri Abu Bakar, Prabjoth Singh (GP), Zulfadli Mas Isa, Redza Maadun, Razlee Amree, Tarun Thammannah (GP, GK), M. Rageswaran, Sabri Mohamed, Mosiur Rahman (GP), S. Sarvaswaran, Arvind (GP), Muppidi Nagaraj (GP).
Coach: P. Madhu Karan.