Thursday, March 24, 2011

OLAK back with PKT Logistics backing

TEN teams will battle for honour in Division One of the Junior Hockey League (JHL) from today, with UniKL the front-runners for a clean sweep of titles.
IN Division Two, which has 14 teams in two groups, there are no clear favourites.
Last season, UniKL finished second behind Bandar Pe nawar Sports School in Division One, but lifted the Overall title when they beat BPSS in the final.
Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) were the disappointment of last season, as after winning 12 titles since 2003, they finished third in Division One and also third in the Overall battle.
BJSS, who made their debut 1995, were double champions five times in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and Division One winners twice in 2003 and 2006.
Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak), who only missed last season since making their debut in 1995, are back after sorting out their financial problems.
“We hold the distinction of having won the Division One title in 1997 and were double champions in 1998 and 1999. We also won the overall title in 2000, but could not compete last season due to financial constraints and will now play in Division Two,” said Olak manager Joseph de Silva.
PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd’s managing director Datuk Michael B.Y. Tio chipped in with RM50,000 in cash and kind to help the team make a return.
Coached by Paul Raj, Olak are determined to claw back into Division One this year.
Olak also hold the distinction of being the home of current National No 1 penalty corner flicker Amin Rahim to kick- start his career in the sport.
This season, they will rely on Section 11 Secondary School in Shah Alam, which is a project school for hockey, for players while four players from other states have also been roped in to strengthen the side.
DIVISION ONE -- Bukit Jalil Sports School, Bandar Pe nawar SS-Thunderbolt, UniKL, Petaling Jaya City Council, BJSS Juniors, BPSS Juniors, Kelantan, Anderson, Ipoh City Hall Juniors and Pahang.
DIVISION TWO: Group A -- Penang, Politeknik KPT (Kedah), Datuk Sheikh Ahmad (Perlis), BPSS-MWHA, Malac ca High School, Matri Perlis and Datuk Taha.
Group A: Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak), Tunku Besar Tampin, Penang Free School-MI Juniors, MSSWP- KLHC, Padang Midin (Terengganu), Johor and Perlis.
TODAY: Division One -- Bandar Penawar SS v Bukit Jalil SS Juniors (Taman Daya, 4.30pm), Bukit Jalil SS v Petaling Jaya CC (Ministry of Education, 4.30pm), Ipoh City Hall Juniors v UniKL (Azlan Shah, 4.30pm).
Division Two: Group A -- Kedah v Matri Perlis (Alor Star, 4.30pm).
Group B: Plak v Padang Midin (Tun Razak, 4.30pm), Johor v Perlis (Taman Daya Pitch II, 4.30pm).

Project 2017, Labuan for Razak Cup

Malaysian Hockey Federation deputy president Nor Azmi Ahmad (right) and national corporate affairs manager of F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn Bhd Datuk Kamal Harun at the launch of the Razak Cup logo at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday. — Picture by Fariz Iswadi Ismail.

THE Project 2017 squad and Labuan are the two new teams competing in the 100PLUS Razak Cup which begins with the May 27-July 3 regional qualifiers.
The Project squad, under coach Lim Chiow Chuan, are the national Under-16 team. They have been placed in the Central Zone with defending champions Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Selangor.
Labuan are in the West Zone alongside Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei. This year's Borneo Cup standings will double up as qualifiers for the Razak Cup.
Unlike in previous years, the 49th edition of the Razak Cup will see teams battling it out in their respective zones and then in the final round where the 20 teams will be separated into two divisions.
The top two teams from each of the five zones will play in Division One with the others featuring in Division Two in the final round scheduled for July 21-30.
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) deputy president Nur Azmi Ahmad said all 16 affiliates have confirmed their entries with the Project 2017 squad, Brunei, Singapore and Labuan playing as invited sides.
"Each team must also register five Under-21 players in their 25-man squad and at least two must play in every match. This is to ensure that teams do not compromise on developing their younger players," said Nur Azmi at the launch of the Razak Cup logo at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
"The Razak Cup has also been moved from Kuantan to Malacca. The hockey pitch in Kuantan is unavailable as it is being refurbished for next year's Malaysia Games.
"Teams will be placed in two groups in both divisions with the top two teams playing in a crossover semi-finals."
Nur Azmi said the new format will help promote the sport on a wider scale.
"The tournament needed a face lift with innovative ideas to sustain and maintain its position as the Premier National Championship in the country, and that's why we introduced a qualifying round this year," he said.
Nur Azmi confirmed teams would earn RM1,000 for every match they play in the regional qualifiers.
"As an incentive, we will also give a grant of RM5,000 to each team who qualify for Division One and RM3,000 for Division Two sides," Nur Azmi added.
Division One champions will receive RM10,000, runners-up RM7,000 and third place RM5,000.
Division Two champions will pocket RM5,000, runners-up RM3,000, third place RM2,000.
THE ZONES -- North: Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Armed Forces.
Central: Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Project 2017.
South: Johor, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Singapore.
East: Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Police.
West (Borneo Cup): Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, Labuan.