Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chance for Selvaraju to impress

S. Selvaraju will lead UniKL-TRC against UITM on Saturday.

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) TRC, who made their debut in the Malaysian Hockey League last season, are counting on a mix of experience and youth to win honours when the new Premier League season starts tomorrow.
The team, who have hired New Zealand assistant coach Darren Smith and four foreign players to boost their chances, have been training hard since last month in preparation for the tournament. UniKL-TRC will have the services of two New Zealand players -- goalkeeper Steve Graham and defender Richard Patrick -- as well as Germany's Philip Stahr and Kevin Lim, whose father is Malaysian.
They, together with local senior players S. Selvaraju (captain), Robert Alcantara and Herwan Pami, and several members of the Project 2013 squad, are expected make it tough for front-runners Sapura, Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) in the league.
"There are some intelligent and skillful youngsters in the squad and my aim is to build their confidence so that they can take on the more experienced opponents without fear," said Darren yesterday.
"My immediate aim is to forge an understanding between the youngsters and some of the more experienced players in the squad. "Hence the past month has been spent correcting mistakes and building on our strengths."
On the team's target, the coach said he was confident his side could spring a surprise or two.
"KLHC, TNB. Sapura and Maybank are still the league favourites but I believe my side have the ability to upset the form book," Darren added.
However, UniKL-TRC must do without the services of Stahr for six weeks after the German suffered a broken rib in a friendly against TNB on Tuesday.
Team manager Amir Azhar Ibrahim said Stahr is receiving treatment at Pantai Medical Hospital.
"His absence will affect the team's strategies but we have other capable replacements," said Amir.
UniKL-TRC take on UiTM in their opening match on Saturday.

BJSS boys beaten up for training

The five students showing their injuries from the assault, during the press conference yesterday. - NST picture by Osman Adnan

By Ajitpal Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Five Form Three students of the Bukit Jalil Sports School were allegedly assaulted with hockey sticks and a hose by their seniors after hockey practice on Tuesday.
The victims -- T. Athitsha, Zizi Azwan Harun Basri, Muhd Fitri Jasni, Hashim Harun and Ahmad Ashraf Alias -- were taken to the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre by their parents, who later lodged a report at the Sungai Besi police station.
The assault allegedly took place twice after the five returned from training at the nearby National Sports Council (NSC).
The boys' parents claimed that the senior players, some of whom were in the Project 2013 squad, were instigated by a school official.
According to them, the official was unhappy with the younger players training outside the school.
Athitsha's father, S. Tamilchelvam, said the parents would also lodge complaints with the Youth and Sports Ministry, Education Ministry and the NSC.
"We want to see those concerned punished accordingly. If guilty, these students must be expelled," he said at a press conference at the KLHA Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Tamilchelvam claimed that his son and the other victims had received consent from school principal Marina Chin to train on their own during the school break and on weekends.
"Although they were given permission, the (official) did not like the idea and had even threatened them twice before.
"Bukit Jalil Sports School is a premier school for national junior athletes. My son's dream is to represent the country one day and he joined the school in the hope of achieving this. Stern action must be taken."
Tamilchelvam said he rushed to the school after receiving an anonymous call from a student. "My son and the other four were in pain in their rooms. I even questioned one of the assailants and he admitted to the assault. In anger, I slapped him."
Fitri said the group was summoned by one of the seniors to a room about 9am on Tuesday and were assaulted.
"Ahmad Asyraf and I were their main targets. We were punched, kicked and hit with hockey sticks and a rubber hose in the legs and on the back for almost an hour.
"We were spared at 10am as we had an appointment with a teacher, but they warned us not to complain.
"But on returning, we were abused again. It stopped around 1.30pm."
Chin and other senior assistants declined to comment on the matter, but acting Cheras police chief Superintendent Abdul Rahim Hamzah Othman confirmed that a police report had been lodged.
He said the case had been classified as causing hurt.