Friday, August 26, 2011

Beng Hai bloods Project 2013 players

NATIONAL chief coach Tai Beng Hai decided to blood two Project 2013 players when he named his side for the Inaugural Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, China, on Sept 3-11.
Project players Fitri Saari, 18, and Amir Farid, 20, trained with the seniors for one week, and impressed the coach enough during the Japan friendlies to be included in the senior squad.
Former skipper Azlan Misron was left out due to injury, while forward Hafifi Hafiz requested not to be included because of personal reasons.
Prolific player Kelvinder Singh was also excluded as the coach looks toward new hands.
“Since the Asian Champions Trophy does not offer ranking points, I decided to try out two Project 2013 players and left behind those who were carrying injuries.
“It must be remembered that the KPI (Key Performance Index) is the Champions Challenge and Olympic Qualifiers and this tournament is only good for exposure,” said Beng Hai.
However, Beng Hai said those not in the squad have no reason to despair: “I have my reasons to select new players and leave out some experienced hands. However, those left out still have time to recover from injuries and improve themselves to be named for the more important Champions Challenge and Qualifier.”
Malaysia will open accounts with Pakistan on Sept 3, while the other teams are South Korea, India, Japan and China.
India will also be without their best penalty corner flicker Sandeep Singh and midfielder Sardar Singh who both walked out of training and now face possible disciplinary action.
As for Pakistan, who beat Malaysia 2-0 in the Asian Games final, both the goal scorers Rehan Butt and Sohail Abbas as well as Salman Akbar has been dropped from the Ordos team.
Meanwhile Malaysia will find their Olympic Qualifier journey much tougher now as one of the hosts, Belgium, beat Spain 3-2 in the EuroHockey Championship on Thursday.
EuroHockey semifinalists Belgium, England, Geroamy and Netherlands have qualified for the Olympics, leaving Malaysia to contend with Spain if we are placed in the European group.
Goalkeepers: S. Kumar, Roslan Jamaluddin; Defenders: Razie Rahim, Baljit Singh, Madzli Ikmar, Amin Rahim, Azreen Rizal; Midfielders: Marhan Jalil, Nabil Fiqri, Azammi Adabi, Shahrun Nabil, Shukri Mutalib, Fitri Saari.
Forwards: Faizal Saari, Tenngku Ahmad Tajuddin, Izwan Firdaus, Firhan Ashaari, Amir Farid.
Coach: Tai Beng Hai; Assistant coach: Nor Saiful Zaini; Manager: Stephen van Huizen.

YNS sign six Pakistan players

YAYASAN Negri Sembilan (YNS) have secured six Pakistan players, and also a better local stock than last season for their Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) challenge this year.
YNS coach K. Rajan yesterday confirmed that two former Pakistan players and three from their national training pool and a goalkeeper will represent the club in the MHL which is from Sept 17 to Oct 23.
“We could not sign Pakistan national players, like last season, as they are in training for the London Olympics. However, the six are quality players and I feel they will provide the spark in the MHL,” said Rajan, a former national juniors coach.
YNS signed 11 foreign players last season, but the MHF have placed a six-player cap for this season’s MHL.
And they also have signed better local players: “Com paratively, our local pool is better than the last and I am only waiting to sign up one more experienced player.”
Tenaga Nasional stalwart M. Kaliswaran found the door shut on him, and YNS is ken to sign him.
“Kaliswaran is an experienced hand and his style of play would compliment with the Pakistan imports.”
With the team all ready to play, Rajan still has one more thorny issue to solve before the MHL begins.
He has been told to choose either YNS, or the 1Mas Programme to coach.
Kuala Lumpur HA secretary V. Rajamanickam clarified yesterday that it was not 1Mas officials who had asked Rajan to choose where to coach, but KLHA were the ones.
“Rajan is KLHA chief coach for the 1Mas Programme and we feel that since it clashes with his club duties, he should choose one and not take on both,” said Rajamanickam.
Rajan said he will wait for a black-and-white request, before taking a stand.
“I have not received any letter on the matter (to choose) either YNS or 1Mas. So, I will continue training both sides until I receive one.
“The 1Mas training is 3-5pm, while MHL duty is 8pm onwards and I feel I can juggle both with ease,” said the experienced club coach.