Thursday, August 11, 2011

Beng Hai clears the air, again...

NATIONAL chief coach Tai Beng Hai has made his stand clear on the issue of national players competing in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), but many had misunderstood his reasons.
Yesterday, at a joint management committee meeting between the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) and the National Sports Council (NSC) Beng Hai made it clearer for all again, as two clubs had written in an appeal on the matter.
“From the very beginning I had never insinuated that national players should be banned from the MHL. I was always of the opinion that the MHL should be postponed after the Olympic Qualifiers next year.
“However, during a workshop on the matter, those present took a stand that the MHL must not be postponed, but national players should not be allowed to play in it so that I can carry on with my programme uninterrupted,” said Beng Hai.
The workshop’s decision is pending an approval stamp from the MHF Council, which will meet on Aug 20.
And yesterday, he again told the MHF-NSC joint meeting that he stands by his three proposals put forward before the workshop, to MHF deputy President (Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad) during a joint senior-junior team management committee meeting.
“I could not attend the workshop because it was postponed twice and when the new date was announced, I had already bought seven tickets for an overseas vacation with my family on the said date.
“However, I had stated three scenarios. The first was that the MHL be postponed after the Olympic Qualifier which is possibly in March next year.
“The second was to continue the MHL being held in mid-week and national players come back for training with me during weekends.
“And the third was to go ahead with the MHL minus the national players.”
However, Beng Hai had his reservations on the second proposal as history has proven that is a bad idea.
“The proposal to play midweek and then show up for national training during weekends has been tried many times before and it has never worked.
“From experience I know that many players will use numerous excuses, like tired or injured, to skip national training.
“And also, in the past, some clubs had refused to allow players to attend national training after they started losing matches in the MHL. Also, the players always return to camp unfit at the end of the MHL, and I have to start all over again,” lamented Beng Hai.
The coach is still of the opinion that the MHL should be postponed but if the MHF Council takes a strong stand against players who play truant or fake injuries, then he is all for releasing his charges to clubs.
“It is still in the hands of the Council, whether they want to postpone the MHL or carry on with national players. But my request to the Council is that if they choose to release the players to clubs, it must come with a warning that players who fail to turn up for national training by making excuses and faking injuries will be dropped from the squad,” said Beng Hai.

Finally, Malaysia 4 Japan 1


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia put up a strong first-half display to chalk up a convincing 4-1 win over Japan in a friendly match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Despite starting the match at 6.10pm – more than an hour before the breaking of fast – the Malaysians still managed to grab their first win in their third friendly, having lost the first two matches with identical 2-1 scorelines on Sunday and Monday.
The Malaysians, especially the Muslim players, began aggressively to take a 12th minute lead when forward Faizal Saari sent in a high flick past Japan goalkeeper Shunsuke Nagaoka off a penalty corner setpiece.
But Malaysia’s joy was shortlived. Three minutes later, the Japanese equalised through Katsuyoshi Nagasana — also off a penalty corner.
Coming through: Malaysia’s Hafifihafiz Hanafi and Malaysia dominated the game after that and surprised the Japanese by scoring three goals in 10 minutes.
First, they regained the lead in the 21st minute when Hafifihafiz Hanafi’s cross from the right was deflected into goal by forward Izwan Firdaus.
Three minutes later, Faizal was on target again for his second and the team’s third goal off another penalty corner.
Defender Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim, who was the top scorer in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) with 27 goals last season, made it 4-1 in the 30th minute off another penalty corner.
National coach Tai Beng Hai praised his men for a job well done despite them having to play the match before the breaking of fast.
“We lost the first two matches because the Muslim players were still adapting to playing before the breaking of fast. But after more than a week of fasting they are used to playing before (buka puasa),” he said.
Meanwhile, Japan will play a friendly against the Project 2013 squad today before they play two matches with the national senior team on Saturday and Sunday.