Monday, April 25, 2011

Learn from UniKL

COMMENT by Jugjet Singh

UNIKL, only in their second Junior Hockey League (JHL) season, has turned into a micro role model on how hockey should be developed in the country.
They won the Overall title and finished second in the League last year, and on Sunday won the League title are are looking good for a double.
Their only nemesis are Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS), who were the League champions last year and second on Sunday.
Another sports school, Bukit Jalil, were double champions for six consecutive times from 2003 to 2009, but have been relegated to third after they started to field 16 and 17 year-olds.
UniKL’s success can be traced back to their chancellor, who is Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, strong funding, good ad ministration, a good coaching set-up and exposure in the Malaysia Hockey League which they joined only in 2009.
The University side must have spent close to RM750,000 in both the MHL and JHL this season, and it was money well spent as the exposure in the senior league has turned some of the boys into men.
Fifteen of their players are in the Project 2013 squad, while BPSS have 11 Project players -- making both the teams into a hot-bed for training future national players.
That is why the progress of these two teams are being closely followed by an army of national coaches, as they have some budding players like Manraj Singh, the son of former national skipper Sarjit Singh, and Joel Samuel, the son of current national team coordinator Stephen van Huizen.
Both the players are lanky, and only 19-years-old, but are a chip off the old-block.
The administration, led by team manager Amir Azhar, have played a great role in promoting the team by having live match updates via twitter, and an impressive fan-base among the UniKL students who show up at stadiums on match days as well as 2,658 followers on Facebook.
They also took the trouble to hire a kiwi coach Darren Smith for the MHL, while another Malaysian-born living in New Zealand Matthew Ling and experienced Malaysian coach S. Vellapan, as well as former international S. Sel varaju are among the coaches for the JHL.
The clubside has many of the qualities which are just being ingrained into the MHF after decades in existence.
So, maybe the parent body should pick up a few pointers from their cub on how to make winners from whiners, and also make sure that the talent that comes through this JHL season does not disappear into the red-tape and political differences void.

India, Pakistan send diluted teams..

2010: India-Korea joint champs.

THE last two consecutive Azlan Shah Cup champion India and Asian Games gold medallists Pakistan will send diluted teams for the tournament which will be held in Ipoh on May 5-15.

India said they are sending their best available, as Tushar Khandekar and the former skipper Rajpal Singh are injured, while Sardara Singh and Sandeep Singh. were disqualified because they did not attend training camp in Delhi, but played in Belgium instead.
As for Pakistan, three players who are in the training camp for the Azlan Shah have been issued show-cause letters because they are said to have signed deals with the planned World Series of Hockey in India.
The World Series of Hockey is not sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation, who have warned their affiliates not to allow their players to compete in the tour nament.
“The PHF executive council took a very clear decision recently that since the WSH is not sanctioned by the In ternational Hockey Federation or its affiliated units it will not be recognized by us.
“As per the council's decision we have asked Butt, Wasim and Abbasi to explain if they have any contracts with the WSH and if so are they willing to break this association with the organizers of the unsanctioned event,” said PHF secretary, Asif Bajwa to The Times of India.
Bajwa, himself a former Olympian, made it clear that if the three top players didn’t clarify their positions they would not be selected for the Azlan Shah tournament, the squad for which will be announced on April 28th.
Butt, Wasim and Abbasi were members of the Pakistan team that won the Asian Games gold medal for the first time in 20 years last year in China.
Bajwa also said that if any player was found having ties with the unsanctioned World Hockey Series he would have nothing more to do with Pakistan hockey.
Bajwa said they also have reports about some other players having entered into agreements with the WHS organisers including Pakistan’s Asian games captain Zeeshan Ashraf and former Olympian Mohammad Saqlain.
Zeeshan pulled out of the Azlan Shah Cup on personal grounds and is not attending the training camp.
India beat Malaysia to the gold in 2009, while they were declared as joint champions with South Korea in the 2010 edition, which was rained-off.
The other teams in the tournament are Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and South Korea.