Monday, January 30, 2012

Malaysia 2 Australia 5

Note: Australian goals scored by Matt Ghodes (2), Simon Orchard, Jamie Dwyer, Liam De Young.

AUSTRALIA beat Malaysia 5-2 in the second friendly in Perth yesterday, with Razie Rahim scoring a brace against a much stronger Aussie line-up.

Malaysia, who lost the first match 3-1, faced the World No 1 side minus five regulars as the Australians are also trying out new blood.
“It was a much stronger Australian side as compared to the first match, and there was tremendous pressure in the first half.
“However, the players got used to it in the second half and played much better and it was an excellent work out against the best team in the world,” said Malaysian team manager Stephen van Huizen.
Yesterday the match was played with a yellow ball, and on Thursday when the teams square off for the third friendly, the match will be held on a blue turf -- the same as the London Olympics venue.
“Australia have 38 players in training and I believe they will utilise an even stronger side on the blue pitch, and it will be a perfect tune-up to our Dublin Olympics Qualifier,” said Stephen.
Malaysia will play South Korea, Ireland, Chile, Ukraine and Russia in the Dublin Qualifiers where only the gold medallists will advance to the Olympics.
Down Under, the national side will play a total of four friendlies against Australia and two more against the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, SMK Datuk Taha beat Yayasan Pahang 1-0 in Division Two, Group B match with the goal coming off Badrul Hisyam in the 33rd minute. Their earlier encounter in Kuantan last week was washed off by rain.

Flying Sikh gives his 1960 Olympics shoes for charity

Bose was introduced to Milkha by India's 1975 hockey World Cup-winning captain Ajit Pal Singh.

MUMBAI: Indian athletics may not be on the global sporting map just yet, but there are rare moments in the country's track and field history nevertheless that are forever etched in time. None better than Milkha Singh falling painfully short of a medal at the 400m final of the 1960 Rome Olympics by a gut-wrenching fraction of a second.

Milkha or 'Flying Sikh' as he later got christened, is known to have given away all his medals to government museums. However, there's one possession that he never wanted to part with were those Adidas shoes with which he missed the 400m Olympic bronze at Rome, days after setting a 45.8-second world record in the preliminaries of the same event in France.
"I wouldn't part with it even if someone gave me Rs. 10,000 crore," Milkha told Bollywood actor Rahul Bose, who called the legend at his residence in Chandigarh in connection with the second edition of Equation, the actor's sports memorabilia auction to be held on February 11 in Mumbai.
Bose was introduced to Milkha by India's 1975 hockey World Cup-winning captain Ajit Pal Singh. "When I first spoke to Milkha sir over the phone, he said he was a bit unwell, so I let him recover before going across to Chandigarh. Later, when we met, he showed no signs of any illness. He was fine and we chatted enthusiastically. He spoke of how his parents were killed post-partition, leaving him in India to fend for himself.
He told me how he walked a good 20km to and from school each day, bare-footed across scorching earth and having to cross two streams each way. He would cool his feet by rubbing them over the comparatively cooler grass patches. He joined the army and the rest, as they say, is history," Bose told MiD DAY.
As it turned out, the rest of their interaction was historic for Bose too. "I asked Milkha sir if he could give me a picture of him in that Rome race to put up at the auction, but he didn't have one. Then he suddenly got up, walked to his room and returned with a pair of shoes.
I was astonished to learn that it was the very same pair he ran the Rome race with. 'They are priceless to me. I wouldn't part with them even for Rs. 10,000 crore,' he said. And even as I sat there still in awe of those lace-less, old boots in my hand, Milkha sir said, 'tumne mera dil jeet liya hai aaj. Tum yeh jootey le loh (you have won my heart over. Take these shoes)'."

Moved by the effort

Bose believed the ace middle-distance runner was moved by the sheer nature of his charity and the purpose of the auction. "Proceeds from last year's inaugural auction were used to set up operations in Kashmir where we, as the first non-profit organisation, worked towards adopting and creating educational opportunities for 12 children from the land," said Bose, who also has a football autographed by Argentina ace Lionel Messi and an autographed vest from Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel besides other memorabilia in his collection this time round. Milkha's contribution though, is most special!

Funny way to run a tournament

New Zealand surprised at the Argentina FIH Champions Trophy by drawing 2-2 with host Argentina.

By Michael Burgess

The 2012 Champions Trophy will have a different format to previous editions, one that has few fans among the Black Sticks. It resembles something that the Monty Python team might have come up with if asked to design a sporting tournament.
Take eight teams. Play 12 group matches. Then put the same eight teams into quarter-finals.
Only time will tell but Black Sticks coach Mark Hager certainly has reservations about the new format for the tournament, which starts today in Rosario.
His main beef is that the three group games could essentially count for nothing under the structure introduced by the FIH.
"I'm not a big fan," admits Hager, "I thought the previous system worked well, as we saw last year in both the men's and women's [Champions Trophies]. I don't think this format rewards consistency; a lot comes down to one performance on the day."
The eight competing teams are divided into two groups of four. Each country plays the other once but nobody is knocked out come the end of group play - it is almost the ultimate in political correctness.
They move straight into a quarter-final phase with the Pool A winners playing the fourth side in Pool B, second (A) playing third (B), third (A) plays second (B) and fourth (A) plays first (B).
There have been weird scenarios before - the ICC came up with a doozy at the last two cricket World Cups, taking weeks to eliminate just a few teams. The A-League and the NHL have play-off systems which allow more than half of the teams in the league to progress - but having every team progress to the knockout rounds takes the biscuit.
"It's a bit weird," says captain Kayla Sharland, "because you don't need to be consistent. It's a pretty crazy format but we have seen it before; They have used it at the Champions Challenge and sometimes there a team has lost all three pool games but then gone on to win the tournament. I don't think it is ideal."
Obviously there is a theoretical advantage in topping the pool but only in that you get to play a weaker team; there is no second life for the top qualifier or any other advantage.
Still, given their lead-in form, maybe the format is a blessing in disguise for the New Zealand side. Under the previous system, as seen at the Champions Trophy in Amsterdam last year, teams would have to finish in the top two to progress, otherwise they would be cast aside into the unwanted ground of the fifth-eighth play-offs. Now, the Black Sticks will be in a quarter-final regardless of their group form, though the team and coach will be counting on some confidence-boosting results.
Hager says one of the priorities is to try and avoid the formidable Dutch side, currently ranked No1 in the world and likely to top Pool A.
"We back ourselves against any other team in the world and always will but obviously Holland would be a tough side to meet in the quarter-finals."
As well as Holland, Pool A features Great Britain (ranked fourth in the world), China (fifth) and Japan (ninth).
The Blacks Sticks' Pool B is slightly stronger, with Argentina (second), Germany (third), New Zealand (sixth) and South Korea (eighth) and has three of the top four (New Zealand, Argentina and Korea) from the 2011 Champions Trophy.

The New Zealand Herald

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thunderbolts stamp their class

OVERALL champions SSTMI Thunderbolts stamped their class when they hammered Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) 6-1 in Division One of the Milo-Junior Hockey League yesterday.
Thunderbolts top the standings after notching their fourth conservative win, and are followed closely by UniKL who have played one less match than the leaders.
For the record, UniKL could only edge MBPJ 2-1.
Yesterday, the Thunderbolts goals were scored by Sufi Ismat (third, 41st), Shahril Saabah (15th), Shafiq Nordin (35th), Amir Zulkarnain (37th), Shahrushadan Basri (57th).
MBPJ got their consolation off G. Tamil Chelvam in the 62nd minute.
In another Division One match, MBI Anderson beat Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors 4-2.
The Ipoh side took the lead in the 12th minute through Hussaini Husin who converted a penalty corner. And in the 19th minute Akmal Tajuddin found the mark to double the adbvantage for MBI-Anderson.
However BJSS Juniors reduced the deficit in the 21st minute when Ramdan Arifin scored off a penalty corner. And were on level terms in the 56th minute when K. Divanisharan found the mark.
But a late surge by MBI-Anderson gave them three points with goals from Ashran Hamsani (58th) and Akmal Tajuddin (64th) ensured a final score of 4-2 in favour of the Perak side.
In Division Two, Group A, Sapura also indicated that they are primed to play in the knock-out quarter-finals with the big boys when they beat Kelantan HA 6-0.
RESULTS: Division One -- BJSS Juniors 2 MBI Anderson 4, SSTMI Thunderbolts 6 MB Petaling Jaya 1.
Division Two: Group A: Sapura 6 Kelantan HA-MSSK 0, MSSPP-USM Jr 0 Politeknik KPT 9.
Group B: Malacca HS 2 Padang Midin 1, MB Batu Pahat 1 Yayasan Pahang 2.

P W D L F A Pts
THUNDERBOLTS 4 4 0 0 25 3 12
UNIKL 3 3 0 0 13 1 9
Anderson 3 2 1 0 15 7 7
BJSS 3 2 0 1 11 8 6
USM Jnrs 2 1 1 0 7 6 4
MBPJ 4 1 0 3 12 12 3
SSTMI 3 1 0 2 6 16 3
TBSS 4 0 0 4 5 23 0
BJSS Jnrs 4 0 0 4 3 24 0

P W D L F A Pts
SAPURA 4 4 0 0 28 1 12
Poli KPT 5 4 0 1 16 4 12
KHA Jnrs 3 1 2 0 3 2 5
NUR INSAFI 3 1 1 1 4 4 4
ANDSON Jnrs 4 1 0 3 8 10 3
MSS Kel 2 1 0 1 3 8 3
MSSPP Jnrs 4 1 0 3 5 18 3
KHA-MSNK 3 0 1 2 3 6 1
PHNS 2 0 0 2 0 17 0

P W D L F A Pts
KLSS 4 2 0 2 11 6 6
PAHANG 3 2 0 1 6 7 6
OLAK 3 2 0 1 6 4 6
MPBP 4 2 0 2 5 5 6
MHS 3 2 0 1 4 4 6
SMKPM 3 1 0 2 6 6 3
DATUK TAHA 2 1 0 1 3 4 3
TUNAS PAHANG 2 0 0 2 2 7 0

Ireland 2 Britain 2

IRELAND’S men took on Great Britain today in the second of two training matches at Bisham Abbey coming out with a 2-2 draw.
Great Britain opened the scoring in the second minute when Barry Middleton tapped in at the back post from a by-line ball but Ireland managed to level the sides just 7 minutes later with a Timothy Cockram drag flick. The game was evenly contested throughout the remainder of the first half and was fairly reflected in the 1-1 score at half time.
In the 41st minute Great Britain took the lead again with a Simon Mantell goal from a penalty corner drag flick. Ireland piled on the pressure and were awarded a number of short corners but failed to take their opportunities and it was not until after the final hooter that they scored their equalising goal once again from a Timothy Cockram drag flick. Final score Ireland 2 -2 Great Britain.
Starting XI: David Fitzgerald (GK); John Jackson; Paul Gleghorne; Conor Harte; Stuart Loughrey; Andy McConnell; David Ames; Geoff McCabe; Michael Watt; Mitch Darling; Timmy Cockram
Reserves (all used): Johnny Bell; Chris Cargo; Ian Sloan; Peter Caruth; Gareth Watkins; Shane O’Donoghue.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Malaysia 1 Australia 3

THE national senior hockey team lost narrowly 3-1 to Australia in the first friendly at the Perth Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Malaysia are Down Under to play a four-series friendlies against the Australian side, and two more friendlies against the Netherlands to prepare for the Dublin Olympic Qualifier on March 10-18.
Yesterday, Australia took the lead but Malaysia equalised off Izwan Firdaus and the score stood until the breather.
However, Australia scored two more goals in the second half to claim full points. The second friendly will be played today.
Malaysia had three penalty corners, while the Australians seven.
In the Olympic Qualifier, Malaysia will be playing to claim the solitary Olympics ticket with South Korea, Ireland, Russia, Chile and Ukraine.

The itinerary Down Under:
29 Jan training / Game 1 Australia (lose 1-3)
30 Jan training / Game 2 Australia
1 Feb training / Game 3 Australia
2 Feb training / Game 4 Australia
4 Feb training / Game 1 Netherlands
5 Feb training / Game 2 Netherlands

Saturday, January 28, 2012

UniKL hit high note..

MILO-Junior Hockey League regulars Datuk Taha of Gemencheh, Negri Sembilan, picked up the dubious distinction of being awarded the first red card of the season at the Seremban II pitch yeterday.
Datuk Taha's Khairul Izwan was flashed the red card in the sixth minute, but they still went on to beat Old La Sallians Association of Klang 1-0 with 10 players in Division Two, Group B.
The Taha winner was scord by Amirul Roszainie in the 18th minute.
In Division One, League champions UniKL Young Guns made short work of Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) Juniors with an emphatic 8-0 win.
It was UniKL's third win of the seson, and they look confident enough to retain the League title with only SSTMI Thunderbolts being their biggest hurdle.
However, the title would only be decided in the last match of the season on Feb 19, as that is when UniKL and Thunderbolts square off.
Yesterday, the UniKL goals were scored by Taufik Abdul Hamid (seventh, 64th), Hafify Rodzi (20th), Nor Aqmal Ghaffar (21st, 57th), Aslam Hanafiah (32nd), Haziq Samsul (36th), Syafiq Zulzairin (67th).
"We started off slowly by beating MBPJ 2-1 and then TBSS 4-0, and it was nice to see that the players were hungry to score in this match," said UniKL team manager Amir Azhar.
However, Amir is still unhappy with their penalty corner conversion: "We received eight penlaty corners but could only score two off direct attempts, and one off a set piece. We need to improve further in that department."
UniKL nect play Bukit Jalil Sports School next weekend, and should continue their winning run.
RESULTS: Division One -- USM-MSSPP 4 TBSS 3, UniKL 8 SSTMI 0.
Division Two: Group A: Politeknik KPT 2 Anderson Juniors 1.
Group B: MP Batu Pahat 2 Padang Midin 1, Tunas Pahang 0 KLSS 4, Datuk Taha 1 Olak 0.
TODAY: Division One -- BJSS Juniors v MBI Anderson (Education Ministry, 5pm), SSTMI Thunderbolts v MB Petaling Jaya (Taman Daya, 4pm).
Division Two: Group A: Sapura v Kelantan HA-MSSK (KLHA, 6pm), MSSPP-USM Jr v Politeknik KPT (USM, 4pm).
Group B: Malacca HS v Padang Midin (Malacca, 5pm), MB Batu Pahat v Yayasan Pahang (Taman daya, 4pm).

P W D L F A Pts
THUNDERBOLTS 3 3 0 0 19 2 9
UNIKL 3 3 0 0 13 1 9
BJSS 3 2 0 1 11 8 6
Anderson 2 1 1 0 6 5 4
USM Jnrs 2 1 1 0 7 6 4
SSTMI 3 1 0 2 6 16 3
MBPJ 2 0 0 2 4 6 0
TBSS 3 0 0 3 5 16 0
BJSS Jnrs 3 0 0 3 1 20 0

P W D L F A Pts
SAPURA 3 3 0 0 22 1 9
Poli KPT 4 3 0 1 7 4 9
KHA Jnrs 3 1 2 0 3 2 5
NUR INSAFI 3 1 1 1 4 4 4
MSS Kel 1 1 0 0 3 2 3
ANDSON Jnrs 4 1 0 3 8 10 3
MSSPP Jnrs 3 1 0 2 5 9 3
KHA-MSNK 3 0 1 2 3 6 1
PHNS 2 0 0 2 0 17 0

P W D L F A Pts
KLSS 4 2 0 2 11 6 6
OLAK 3 2 0 1 6 4 6
MPBP 3 2 0 1 4 3 6
SMKPM 2 1 0 1 5 4 3
DATUK TAHA 2 1 0 1 3 4 3
MHS 2 1 0 1 2 3 3
PAHANG 2 1 0 1 4 6 3
TUNAS PAHANG 2 0 0 2 2 7 0

Singapore into Olympic Qualifier!

Note: The new fixtures will see India playing Singapore in their opening match on Feb 18. Good luck neighbours...

THE FIH today announced that Singapore will take the place of the United States at the Olympic Qualification Tournament in New Delhi, India from February 18-26.

Singapore, ranked No 41 in the FIH World Ranking was contacted to join the six team men’s qualification group after the United States unexpectedly pulled out of the event.
“We were pleased that Singapore agreed on such short notice to take part in the Olympic Qualification event,” said FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather. “It will undoubtedly give its men’s national team valuable experience in a major international tournament.”
The tournament in Delhi will feature a six-team round robin format. Following the round robin, the teams ranked first and second will play for a berth to the London 2012 Olympic Games. The remaining four teams will play placement games for FIH World Ranking points.
The six are India, Singapore, Canada, Italy, France and Poland.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thunderbolts strike sister school nine times

Pic: Anderson hit TBSS 8-2 at the blue Azlan Shah Stadium pitch in Ipoh.

TENGKU Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI-Thunderbolts) hammered the daylights out of their sister Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors in Division One of the Milo-Junior Hockey League, and are now primed for their crunch match on Sunday.

SSTMI, formerly known as Bandar Penawar Sports School, whipped BJSS Juniors 9-0 and after a rest day, they will meet Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) tomorrow.
Yesterday MBPJ showed some grit when they came back from three goals down to level the score against BJSS seniors, only to lose 4-3 off a disputed last minute goal.
“We could have scored more goals against BJSS juniors, but I felt nine were enough and I pulled the reigns on my players as that was not the match we have been preparing for this weekend.
“We have been working hard to face MBPJ, and there was no use in pushing my players to the limit today (yesterday) as they might pick up unwarranted injuries,” said SSTMI Thunderbolts coach Wan Roslan.
And MBPJ has earned the respect of Roslan after they came back from three goals down.
“Any team which can come back from being three goals down warrants respect, and that is what we will be giving them on Sunday. However, I am confident we will claim the three points and continue our quest to land the double this season,” said Roslan whose side hold the Overall title.
And in Ipoh, MBI-Anderson gave Tunku Besar Secondary School Tampin (TBSS) the blues on the newly laid blue pitch at the Azlan Shah Stadium, winning 8-2.
Thunderbolts took a 2-0 lead in the opening ten minutes as Shahril Saabah struck two penalty corner goals in the fourth and sixth minutes. And at the stroke of half-time Hafiz Seleman scored to give them a 3-0 lead.
The floodgates opened in the second half as Thunderbolts went on the rampage, scoring another six goals to humiliate the youngsters from BJSS Juniors.
Goals by Shahril (40th and 47th), Sazril Irwan Nazali (49th), Azmi Deraman (56th), Afzanizam Zakaria (61st) and Sufi Ismat (66th) completed the rout.
RESULTS: Division One -- MBI-Anderson 8 TBSS 2, MBPJ 3 BJSS 4, BJSS Juniors 0 SSTMI-Thunderbolts 9.
Division Two: Group A: Kelantan HA-MSNK 0 Politeknik- KPT 2, Nur Insafi 0 Kelantan HA Juniors 0, Negri HA 0 Sapura 12, Anderson Juniors 4 MSSP-USM Juniors 0.
Group B: Yayasan Pahang 1 Kuala Lumpur SS 4.

TODAY: Division One -- USM-MSSPP v TBSS (USM Stadium, 4pm), UniKL v SSTMI (KLHA Stadium, 6pm).
Division Two: Group A: Politeknik KPT v Anderson Juniors (Alor Star, 4pm).
Group B: MP Batu Pahat v Padang Midin (Taman Daya, 4pm), Tunas Pahang vs KLSS (Kuantan, 4pm), Datuk Taha v Olak (Seremban II, 4pm).
TOMORROW: Division One -- BJSS Juniors v MBI Anderson (Education Ministry, 5pm), SSTMI Thunderbolts v MB Petal ing Jaya (Taman Daya, 4pm).
Division Two: Group A: Sapura v Kelantan HA-MSSK (KLHA, 6pm), MSSPP-USM Jr v Politeknik KPT (USM, 4pm).
Group B: Malacca HS v Padang Midin (Malacca, 5pm), MB Batu Pahat v Yayasan Pahang (Taman daya, 4pm).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Irish in good shape..

THE Netherlands edged Ireland 3-1 in their third and final Test in Alicante on Tuesday.
Netherlands were also taken the extra mile before they won the first Test 4-1 and the second Test 2-1.
Ireland will now travel to Great Britain for a double header against GB at Bisham Abbey on 26th & 27th January (times TBC).
Malaysia will be playing in the Dublin Olympics where the Irish and South Korea will be the toughest hurdles to claim the single ticket to the London Olympics.
The Malaysian players will also play Netherlands in two Tests in Australia at the end of the month.
Ireland Starting XI: John Jackson; Ronan Gormley (c); Paul Gleghorne; Conor Harte; David Harte; Eugene Magee; David Ames; Michael Watt; Chris Cargo; Mitch Darling; Geoff McCabe.
Reserves (all used): Stuart Loughrey; David Cole; Shane O'Donoghue; Andy McConnell; Peter Caruth; Timmy Cockram; David Fitzgerald (GK).

First Egypt, now US out ..

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – USA Field Hockey announced today to withdraw the USA Men’s National Team from the Olympic Qualification Tournament to be held in New Delhi, India, February 18-26. The decision to withdraw was primarily due to player unavailability and player retirements and injuries.
“The decision has been made strategically with the very best outcome for our program in mind,” said Terry Walsh, Technical Director of High Performance. “Unavailability of many of the senior players has left the Men’s program in a position where our best assembled team has a performance potential well below that required to be competitive in a tournament of this caliber. I have had significant discussions with our Men’s National Team Coach, Chris Clements, and we are in agreement that this course of action will be in the best interest of the long term progress of our National Program.”
The USA Men’s Team was selected to attend the first of three Olympic Qualifiers after finishing fifth at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. However, employment conflicts has resulted in player unavailability. In addition, the inability to commit full-time to a training and competition schedule has resulted in player retirements and multiple injuries following the Pan American Games has caused many of the core senior players to be incapable of selection and competition.
Although USA Field Hockey has a well-established Junior Men’s program, these athletes do not have extended international experience required to compete at the top level. With quality preparations and maturation, these athletes will advance on to the Men’s National Team and be in a better position for participation and qualification of future tournaments in 2012 and onwards.
“In finding that we have experienced serious erosion within the Men’s program due to various team member circumstances, we reluctantly made the difficult decision to withdraw the team from the Olympic qualifier,” said Steve Locke, Executive Director. “Much work and effort has taken place in recent years to develop a quality junior program. I believe that in attending the tournament that will feature the world’s top ranked teams will only hinder the confidence and development of our junior men. In another 12 months, will see these players begin to flourish and I look forward to seeing the team prepared and engaged with upcoming FIH events in 2012 and 2013."
The focus of the Senior Men’s program has now shifted to the FIH World League, set to make its debut in late 2012. Participation in the World League is essential for future qualification prospects. From 2014 and onward, the rankings from the World League tournament and the Continental Tournament Champions will determine the qualification spots for the World Cup and Olympic Games.
The Junior Men’s program will focus on the Junior Pan American Championship to be held in September, with the vision of qualifying for the Junior World Cup early next year. This will provide the younger members of the Men’s National team with exposure at the highest level heading into the Pan American Cup in 2013.
“The future is exciting,” says Walsh. “We have moved a long way forwards in recent years. A significant challenge lies ahead and is one which I believe our new schedule will create fantastic opportunities for.”
“The Board of Directors is in full support of the decision made to withdraw the team from the Olympic Qualifying Tournament,” said Pam Stuper, Chair, USA Field Hockey Board. “The decision was made with the best interest in mind of the athletes and long-term development of the Men’s National Team program.”

USFHA media release

Following the FIH guidelines of offering the replacement place to the next highest non qualified nation, Ukraine, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, Belarus, Sweden, Oman and Ghana are the seven nations who could be offered the place.

Olak-PKT dangle holiday package

FORMER champions Old La Sallians Association of Klang (OLAK-PKT) have seen better times, and in a bid to get back into the top flight, they are dangling a holiday package for their players early in the season.
Olak won the Division One title in 1997 and they were double champions in 1998 and 1999, and are now bent on clawing their way out of Division Two of the Milo-Junior Hockey League.
“After winning our opening two matches, our sponsors PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd, have said that if we win the Division Two title this season, they will sponsor the boys to a holiday overseas,” said Olak team manager Joseph de Silva,
Olak have not been impressive, but they did just enough to beat Malacca High School 3-1 and Kuala Lumpur Sports School 3-2 in their opening Group B matches, and will play Datuk Taha on Saturday.
In Group A of Division Two, JHL newcomers Sapura have been the most impressive with a 5-0 win against USM Juniors and a 5-1 score-line against Anderson Juniors.
In Division One, the early hold by SSTMI Thunderbolts should be further strengthened when they play Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors today.
The JHL is only a weekend old, but Division One has almost turned into a two-horse race with Overall champions Thunderbolts and League champions UniKL stamping their class.
TODAY: Division One -- MBI-Anderson v TBSS (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm), MBPJ v BJSS (National Stadium, 5pm), BJSS Juniors v SSTMI-Thunderbolts (Education Ministry, 5pm).
Division Two: Group A: Kelantan HA-MSNK v Politeknik-KPT (Alor Star, 4pm), Nur Insafi v Kelantan HA Juniors (Sungai Petani, 4pm), Negri HA v Sapura (Seremban Stadium, 4pm), Anderson Juniors v MSSP-USM Juniors (Azlan Shah Stadium, 7pm).
Group B: Yayasan Pahang v Kuala Lumpur SS (Kuantan Stadium).

TOMORROW: Division One -- USM-MSSPP v TBSS (USM Stadium, 4pm), UniKL v SSTMI (KLHA Stadium, 6pm).
Division Two: Group A: Setar Politeknik KPT v Anderson Juniors (Alor Star, 4pm).
Group B: MP Batu Pahat v Padang Midin (Taman Daya, 4pm), Tunas Pahang vs KLSS (Kuantan, 4pm), Datuk Taha v Olak (Seremban II, 4pm).

SUNDAY: Division One -- BJSS Juniors v MBI Anderson (Education Ministry, 5pm), SSTMI Thunderbolts v MB Petaling Jaya (Taman Daya, 4pm).
Division Two: Group A: Sapura v Kelantan HA-MSSK (KLHA, 6pm), MSSPP-USM Jr v Politeknik KPT (USM, 4pm).
Group B: Malacca HS v Padang Midin (Malacca, 5pm), MB Batu Pahat v Yayasan Pahang (Taman daya, 4pm).


P W D L F A Pts
THUNDERBOLTS 2 2 0 0 12 2 6
UNIKL 2 2 0 0 6 1 6
BJSS 2 1 0 1 7 5 3
SSTMI 2 1 0 1 6 8 3
Anderson 1 0 1 0 3 3 1
USM Jnrs 1 0 1 0 3 3 1
MBPJ 1 0 0 1 1 2 0
TBSS 1 0 0 1 0 4 0
BJSS Jnrs 2 0 0 2 1 11 0

P W D L F A Pts
SAPURA 2 2 0 0 10 1 6
KHA Jnrs 2 1 1 0 3 2 4
Poli KPT 2 1 0 1 3 3 3
MSS Kel 1 1 0 0 3 2 3
MSSPP Jnrs 2 1 0 1 5 5 3
NUR INSAFI 2 1 0 1 4 4 3
KHA-MSNK 2 0 1 1 3 4 1
ANDSON Jnrs 2 0 0 2 3 8 0
PHNS 1 0 0 1 0 5 0

P W D L F A Pts
OLAK 2 2 0 0 6 3 6
MHS 2 1 0 1 2 3 3
SMKPM 1 1 0 0 4 2 3
PAHANG 1 1 0 0 3 2 3
MPBP 2 1 0 1 2 2 3
TUNAS PAHANG 1 0 0 1 2 3 0
KLSS 2 0 0 2 3 5 0
DATUK TAHA 1 1 0 0 1 2 4 0

Sunday, January 22, 2012

BJSS fighting a losing battle

TUNKU Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) rattled Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) to the bone, when both their senior and juniors teams won by 5-1 margins in the first weekend of the Milo-Junior Hockey League.
SSTMI, formerly known as Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS), proved that they are steadily improving while their counter-parts in the City have had their backs against the wall for the last three years.
BJSS have the distinction of winning seven consecutive League titles from 2003 to 2009, after which BPSS Thun derbolts and UniKL took over for the last two seasons.
They also have six Overall titles under the belt, but that too slipped out of their fingers and went to UniKL in 2010, and Thunderbolts last year.
A coach, who declined to be named, said hockey should be taken out of both the sports schools as clubs and dedicated teachers in schools have started to produce more quality players.
“I see a trend where the best players are now in premier hockey playing schools or with clubs bent on doing de velopment work.
“That is why parents have started to shun from sending their children to BJSS and prefer to have them closer to home in their own states,” said the coach.
However, longtime BJSS coach S. Prakash disagrees when asked if the school is being shunned by parents, leaving only third-grade players in their charge.
“I totally disagree with talk that parents are reluctant to send their children to play hockey in BJSS and that is why the best in the country is not with us.
“We have over 50 hockey players in BJSS, but the oldest are only in Form Five while our pre-university boys have been pinched by other clubs who have the money to pay them handsomely.
“And that is why our young players are finding it hard to compete against older boys in clubs and other schools,” said Prakash.
Prakash has seen better days when his side won con secutive doubles in the JHL, but is now assigned to the BJSS Juniors while Lokman Yahaya coaches the BJSS Seniors.
SSTMI are fielding Thunderbolts and Juniors, and ba sically the sports school, based down at the tip of Johor, has a better crop of players than the current BJSS enrolment.
At the moment, after the dust settled in the first weekend, it is evident that Thunderbolts and UniKL will again be the two teams tipped to fight for the League and Overall titles.
Meanwhile, the time for matches at Alor Star, Sungai Petani, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Taman Daya, Seremban and USM has been changed to 4pm due to adverse weather conditions of late.
These venues do not have floodlight facilities or have the facilities but are too expensive for the home teams to bear the cost.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bukit Jalil seniors and juniors hammered

BUKIT Jalil Sports School (BJSS) seniors and juniors hit a bad patch yesterday when they were both hammered 5-1 in Division One of the Milo-Junior Hockey League.
Defending Overall champions Thunderbolts hit five goals past BJSS seniors, while Tengku Mahkota Ismail (SSTMI) also scored five goals against BJSS juniors -- and both the matches were played at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru.
Thunderbolt, who had beaten SSTMI 7-1, have been the most impressive team thus far in the early stages of the JHL.
In another Division One match, Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) whitewashed Tunku Besar Secondary School (TBSS) of Tampin 7-0.
"Although we have had impressive wins (scored 12 goals in two matches) but still we have much work to do as we let in a goal each in both the matches.
"However, our target to win a double this year is still in sight, and with one week to prepare for the next match, we should be ready to seal the lapses in defense," said Thunderbolts coach Wan Roslan.
Thunderbolts and UniKL are the frontrunners for the JHL titles this season, as MBPJ have lost one match, while BJSS seniors also look shaky.
Thunderbolts took the lead in the fifth minute when Aminuddin Zain converted a penalty corner and two minutes later they went 2-0 up with Sufi Ismat getting the final touch.
But BJSS injected some hope into their match in the 13th minute through Rafizul Ezry and the score remained until halftime.
However, two goals from Shahril Saabah (49th, 69th) and Aminuddin (66th) gave Thunderbolts a convincing win.
RESULTS: Division One -- Thunderbolt 5 SSBJ 1, SSTMI 5 SSBJ Jr 1, TBSS 0 MBPJ 7.
Division Two (A): PHK-MSSK v PH Negri Sembilan (rained off).
Division Two (B): KLSS 1 MPBP 2, Padang Midin 4 Datuk Taha 2, Olak-PKT 3 Malacca HS 1.

Friday, January 20, 2012

UniKL beat TBSS 4-0

LEAGUE champions UniKL Young Guns beat Tunku Besar Secondary School (TBSS) of Tampin 4-0 for their second consecutive win in Division One of the Milo-Junior Hockey League at the Seremban II Stadium yesterday.
UniKL had edged Petaling Jaya Municipal Council 2-1 on Thursday.
However the double aspirants still played well below their standard yesterday, and it was defensive errors by TBSS defenders which gifted them the first two goals.
They took the lead in the eighth minute off Taufik Hamid and ten minutes later doubled their advantage when Hafiz Zainol found the back of the net after the ball had struck umpire Rosdi Pilus and caught the TBSS defence flatfooted.
The other goals were scored by Fahed Saifullah (44th) and Zulhannan Mazlan (50th).
“My players could not get used to the pitch conditions and could not score during penalty corners, while the forwards still keep muffing sitters.
“The one week break will give us an opportunity to work on these areas and despite the not scoring convincing wins in our first two matches, the six points would go a long way in our quest for a double this season,” said UniKL team manager Amir Azhar.
In Division Two Group A, Sapura were impressive when they bulldozed Anderson Juniors 5-1 at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.
Sapura, who made their JHL debut this season, had beaten USM Juniors 5-0 on Thursday.
Two Division Two Group B matches had to be called off yesterday, after torrential rain in Kuala Lumpur forced the KL Sports School and Olak-PKT match to be abandoned after 13 minutes, while the Yayasan Pahang and Datuk Taha match was called off in Pahang for the same reason.
RESULTS: Division One -- TBSS 0 UniKL 4, MBI Anderson x USM-MSSPP x.
Division Two (A): Politeknik KPT 1 Kedah HA Jr 2, Nur Insafi 3 KHA-MSNK 2, Anderson Jr 1 Sapura 5, MSSPP-USM Jr 5 PHNS 0.
Division Two (B): Yayasan Pahang v Datuk Taha (rained off), KLSS v Olak-PKT (rained off).
TODAY: Division One -- Thunderbolt vs SSBJ (Taman Daya I, 5pm), SSTMI vs SSBJ Jr (Taman Daya II, 5pm), TBSS vs MBPJ (Seremban II, 5pm).
Division Two (A): PHK-MSSK vs PHNS (Azaln Shah, 5pm).
Division Two (B): KLSS vs MPBP (KLHA, 5pm), Padang Midin vs Datuk Taha (Terengganu, 5pm), Olak-PKT vs Malac ca HS (Bukit Jalil, 5pm).

Britain for Azlan Shah Cup

Pic: Kelvinder Singh gets a break Down Under against Australia and Netherlands.

THE AZLAN Shah Cup will see seven teams, with Olympic hosts Great Britain being the highest ranked, battling it out on the country’s first blue pitch from May 24 to June 3.

And if Malaysia, ranked 13th, make the cut via the Olympic Qualifier in Dublin on March 10-18, the Azlan Shah Cup will be a fantastic tune-up as the Olympics will be held in July.
Among the Azlan Shah Cup invitees, Britain (fourth), New Zealand (seventh), Pakistan (eighth) and Argentina (ninth) have already qualified for the Olympics, while India (10th), Malaysia and South Korea (sixth) will be involved Qualifiers early this year.
The Olympics will also be held on a blue pitch, making the Azlan Shah Cup a much sought after invitation this year.
Malaysia, who just played a five-series friendlies with China, have trimmed the squad to 22 players, and will send 21 Down Under to play four friendlies with Australia and two with the Netherlands from Jan 29.
There were no surprises, as the only addition from the Champions Challenge I squad for the friendlies was Kelvinder Singh who replaced Azammi Adabi.
The rest are regular faces, while Azammi will return to the training squad when the players return from their Tour.
MALAYSIA -- S. Kumar Subramiam , Roslan Jamaluddin, Nabil Fiqri, Amin Rahim, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Faizal Saari, Shahrun Nabil, Madzli Ikmar, Razie Rahim, Marhan Jalil, Sukri Mutalib, Baljit Singh, Hafifihafiz Hanafi, Azlan Misron, Izwan Firdaus, Azreen Rizal, Firhan Ashaari, Kevinder Singh, Fitri Saari , Amir Farid, Izzat Rahim.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

UniKL start on a stutter

LEAGUE champions UniKL Young Guns had a shaky start when they could only edge Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) 2-1 in the curtain raiser of the Milo-Junior Hockey League yesterday.
Playing at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium, the UniKL goals were delivered by Nor Azrul Abdul Rahman in the sixth minute off their first penalty corner, and by Haziq Shamsul in the 53rd minute off a field attempt.
MBPJ got their act together late in the match, and scored their moral booster off their only penalty corner of the match in the 64th minute courtesy of Ganeisha Tamil Chelvam.
But UniKL's challengers Thunderbolt, the defending Overall champions, had a field day when they hammered Tengku Mahkota Ismail (SSTMI) 7-1 at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru.
The Thunderbolt goals were scored by Afzanizam Zakaria (12th), Aminudin Zain (30th, 60th), Sufi Ismat (55th), Khairul Shafik (56th), Shafiq Nordin (62nd) and Shahril Saabah (69th).
The SSTMI consolation was scored by Daniel Asyraf in the 39th minute.
UniKL team manager Amir Azhar was surprised on how his team muffed eight penalty corners and at least 10 field attempts after training for the last three months.
"Our penalty corners were a big letdown as we could only score one off the eight we won. And the field attempts were also not up to the mark, as we could have easily won by six goals if we had taken our chances," said Amir.
And today, the League champions meet last season's Division Two champions Tengku Besar Secondary School (TBSS) of Tampin.
"We have to wake up, overnight, as TBSS have shown that they have strikers when they beat Bukit Jalil (Sports School) JUniors 6-0 in a friendly recently," said Amir.
TBSS had a rest day yesterday, and the match could turn into an explosive encounter at the Seremban II pitch today.
RESULTS : Division One -- Thunderbolt 7 SSTMI 1, SSBJ 6 SSBJ Juniors 0, UniKL 2 MBPJ 1.
Division Two (A): Kedah HA Jr 1 Kedah HA-MSNK 1, Politeknik KPT 2 Nur Insafi 1, Anderson Jr 2 PHK-MSSK 3, MSSPP-USM Jr 0 Sapura 5.
Division Two (B): Tunas Pahang 2 MSP/Yayasan Pahang 3, Malacca HS 1 MPBP 0.

TODAY (FRIDAY): Division One -- TBSS v UniKL (Seremban II, 5pm), MBI Anderson vs USM-MSSPP (Azlan Shah, 5pm).
Division Two (A): Politeknik KPT vs Kedah HA Jr (Alor Star, 5pm), Nur Insafi vs KHA-MSNK (Sg Petani, 5pm), Anderson Jr vs Sapura (Azlan Shah, 5pm), MSSPP-USM Jr vs PHNS (USM, 5pm).
Division Two (B): Yayasan Pahang vs Datuk Taha (Kuantan, 4.30pm), KLSS vs Olak-PKT (KLHA, 5pm).
TOMORROW (SATURDAY): Division One -- Thunderbolt vs SSBJ (Taman Daya I, 5pm), SSTMI vs SSBJ Jr (Taman Daya II, 5pm), TBSS vs MBPJ (Seremban II, 5pm).
Division Two (A): PHK-MSSK vs PHNS (Azaln Shah, 5pm).
Division Two (B): KLSS vs MPBP (KLHA, 5pm), Padang Midin vs Datuk Taha (Terengganu, 5pm), Olak-PKT vs Malacca HS (Bukit Jalil, 5pm).

China skipper tips South Korea

Tengku Ahmad Tajudin (left) vies with China’s Song Yi in their friendly on Tuesday.

By Ajitpal Singh

THE national hockey team are confident of qualifying for the London Olympics but China captain Song Yi brushed it off stating that South Korea will win the qualifiers in Dublin.
China’s Song Yi.
“South Korea are better and besides, they have the experience playing in priority tournaments. They may have a new coach but I think they will be a well-oiled side in Dublin,” said Song Yi after his team were beaten 3-1 by Malaysia in the fifth and final friendly at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Malaysia, who won the series 3-2, yesterday scored through Amin Rahim (eight minute), Razie Rahim (24th) and Fitri Saari (51th), all from penalty corner set-pieces, while China replied through Sun Luo (11th).
Others teams competing in Dublin in March for the one qualifying spot are Ireland, Russia, Ukraine and Chile.
Midfielder Shukri Mutalib disagreed with Song Yi and said that Malaysia had an even chance of making it to London.
“I’ve played in two previous Olympic qualifiers and I believe this team have a better chance as we are technically better, more skilful and are fit. “We are training hard and of course, if we don’t make it, we would be disappointed. We need to improve our penetration rate in the semi-circle and understanding in defence,” said Shukri, who has earned 145 caps.
National coach Tai Beng Hai said the team were on the right path but needed to tighten up in a few areas. “My players did better after the opening two matches. I have identified areas where we need tightening up,” said Beng Hai, who added that the players’ fitness has improved.
The team travel to Perth on Jan 28 where they will play Australia (four matches) and the Netherlands (two matches).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Azlan Shah speaks his mind

Watch the two videos below, captured by yours truly ( where His Royal Highness Sultan Azlan Shah, the life president of the Malaysian Hockey Federation takes the national coaches to task on the performance of the team in the match against China, which incidentally Malaysia won 2-0.
Rather then write about it, I leave it to the readers to make their own assumptions, from issues ranging to coaching methods, them declining help and also not having the winning mentality.
I must add that it was indeed rare to get HRH to speak on the fortunes on the team but when he speaks his mind, its earth shattering.
And talking about MHF, it was sad that no MHF official was present at the stadium to receive HRH Sultan Azlan Shah.
Although HRH may have decided at the last hour to witness the match, the fact that only K. Krishnan, a staff of the MHF office was present. He was accompanied by Lt. Kol B. Muthukumar in receiving Tuanku, the other office bearers of MHF missing.
A quick phone call by the Tuanku's aide to NSC Director General Dato Zolkples Embong saw the DG leaving a meeting to attend to Tuanku, a noble act given that MHF officials and the office was empty at 5.00pm, sans Krishnan.



Azlan Shah takes coaches to task

PIC: Malaysia’s Kelvinder Singh (right) attempts to get past China’s Tianjun in their friendly yesterday. Malaysia won 2-0. Pic by Supian Ahmad

By Ajitpal Singh

FORMER Malaysian Hockey Federation president Sultan Azlan Shah took the national coaches to task and jokingly said he would "hang them" if the national team fail to qualify for the London Olympics.
Sultan Azlan met national coach Tai Beng Hai, assistant coach Nur Saiful Zaini, team manager George Koshy and National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong in a meeting which lasted about 20 minutes, after Malaysia's 2-0 victory over China in an international friendly at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
"Not good enough... all aspects, especially penalty corners... they tend to make mistakes in the circle, and whenever they claim for a foul, they shout 'kaki, kaki, kaki'. But when they attack, they don't push the ball onto the legs of their opponents to earn corners," said Sultan Azlan, also the president of the Asian Hockey Federation, yesterday.
"The coaches should be trained, not the players. I wanted to bring in help but the coaches refused."
Malaysia have been drawn with South Korea, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine and Chile in Olympic Qualifiers in London on March 10-18.
"An acquaintance of mine, Nick Holden, offered the services of a South African who was formerly coaching the Irish team but our coaches declined.
"They (national coaches) also did not want the help of Paul (Lissek). In this situation, we should use all the help we can get. They said they can handle. The team better qualify or I will hang them," he added jokingly.
Sultan Azlan then summoned Zolkples, and the NSC head later confirmed that the coaches had declined the offer of assistance from the two coaches.
Asked about the team's qualification chances, Sultan Azlan said: "Korea are there and we cannot discount Ireland, it is going to be difficult.
"The team must have a winning attitude... they must play to win... like Tiger Woods. It is all in the head," said Sultan Azlan.
In yesterday's friendly, Malaysia scored in each half in their 2-0 victory over China. The scorers were Razie Rahim (15th) and Firhan Ashaari (69th).
The team face China in their fifth and final friendly at the same venue today at 6pm.

Azlan Shah slams coaches

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Sultan Azlan Shah took the national hockey team’s coaches to task after watching Malaysia’s fourth friendly against China at the National Hockey Stadium in Buklit Jalil yesterday.
Sultan Azlan, who is also the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) president, jokingly said: I will hang them (coaches) if the national team do not qualify for the London Olympics. The coaches need training more than the players.”
He also had a heart-to-heart talk with national coach Tai Beng Hai, assistant coach Nor Saiful Zaini and team manager George Koshy. Also present was National Sports Council (NSC) Director-General Datuk Zolkples Embong.
Sultan Azlan, who is also life president of the now defunct MHF, was apparently very unhappy with the coaches who turned down his offer to help the national team qualify for the Olympics.
The MHF were dissolved on Dec 17 and the Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC) took over as the governing body of hockey as of January this year.
“An acquaintance of mine, Nick Holden from South Africa, knows a former Ireland coach who is willing to help out but our coaches did not take up his offer.
“I also want to bring back former national coach Paul (Lissek) to help but the coaches don’t want his services either.”
Zolkple, confirmed that our coaches did not want the duo’s help.
Malaysia, who are preparing for the Olympic qualifier in Dublin from March 10-18, played a pathetic game against China but still managed to win 2-0 in the fourth test match yesterday.
Defender Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim gave Malaysia the lead from the first penalty corner in the 15th minute before Mohd Firhan Ashaari scored in the 69th from a field goal.
It was Malaysia’s second win of the five-match series. They lost the first two matches (2-1) and (4-1) before winning the third (4-2).
The two teams will square off in the fifth and final match today at 6pm.
When asked about the current team, Sultan Azlan said they were not good enough.
“They are not good in all aspects especially in penalty corners. Every time when the opponents are in their D, they claim for leg faults (kaki, kaki, kaki). When they are in the opponents semi-circle the players are not hitting the ball onto the opponents’ legs,” he said .
Sultan Azlan said that the players must have the “winning attitude”.
“They must play to win like golfing great Tiger Woods. They must use their heads.”
Asked about the chances of qualifying for the Olympics, Sultan Azlan said it is going to be tough.
“It is not going to be easy against South Korea and Ireland in the qualifier,” said Sultan Azlan.
Malaysia failed to qualify for the last two Olympics in Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008). They last played in the Sydney Olympics in 2000. -- THE STAR

Monday, January 16, 2012

Former Negri hockey player jailed

MALACCA, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- A former hockey player for the Negri Sembilan team and a friend were sentenced to four years' jail by the Sessions Court here today for robbing a senior citizen more than two years ago.
Judge Abu Bakar Katar ordered the sentence on K.G Chandrasegaran and B.R Vinneshwaran, who pleaded guilty to the charge.
They are to serve the sentence from today.
Chandrasegaran, 23, and Vinneshwaran, 22, were jointly charged with robbing one Ang Kim Hua, 58, of a gold chain, RM8,500 and a Nokia 2630 handphone at a workers' quarters at Hutan Percha, Alor Gajah, about 1.50pm on Aug 6, 2009.
They are charged under Section 394 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34, which carries an imprisonment for up to 20 years and liable to fine or whipping, upon conviction.
In mitigation, lawyer T. Samidurai, representing Chandrasegaran and Vinneshwaran, said both his clients were remorse and promised to repeat their mistake.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ifa Sirrhu Samsudin prosecuted. -- BERNAMA

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Malaysia 4 China 2

THE Malaysian seniors salvaged some pride when the beat China 4-2 in the third friendlies at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Two more friendlies are slated for Tuesday and Wednesday, and Malaysia need to win both to keep a psychological advantage over the China side in future tournaments.
Coach Tai Beng Hai's men played much better game than the first two defeats, but still muffed sitters and went into the dressing room trailing the visiting China side.
The seniors lost the first match 2-1, and the second 4-1, after which the China side were soundly beaten by the Project 2013 side 6-2 on Saturday.
And while the Malaysian seniors enjoyed two rest days, China played back-to-back against Project 2013 and then the seniors yesterday, but were still the more spirited side.
The script was the same yesterday, as China scored off their first penalty corner in the 26th minute just like the previous two matches against the senior side, and went into the dressing room to plot another win.
However, Malaysia won their third penalty corner of the match in the 47th minute, and this time, Amin Rahim's low flick sounded the board to inject some hope into the match.
China immediately mounted a attack after the restart, but were stopped at the top of the Malaysian semi-circle, and a counter saw the ball reaching Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin at the China goalmouth, and he cooly beat a player and slotted in a reverse stick lead in the 50th minute.
And that was the tonic needed for Firhan Ashaari to score the third goal in the 55th minute, off a goalmouth melee.
Malaysia then got their fourth goal off a botched penalty corner which was salvaged by defender Razie Rahim with a powerful hit in the 61st minute.
China pulled one back in the 64th minute, but the score stood at 4-2 in favour of Malaysia.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Project 2013 whip China 6-2

SULTAN of Johor Cup gold medallist Project 2013 taught their seniors how to win matches when they beat China seniors 6-2 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The China national team are down to play five friendlies with the national seniors, and one against the Project 2013 players.
Malaysian seniors lost their first two matches 2-1 and 4-1, and were at the stands watching the Project boys make short work of China players with deft touches and hard running.
The only senior player who guided them yesterday was Kelvinder Singh, who just recovered from injury and was given extra match practice.
The Project 2013 players, who beat Australia 3-2 in the Sultan of Johor Cup final, are preparing for the Junior Asia Cup on May 3-13 in Malacca, which also doubles up as the Junior World Cup Qualifier.
And the seniors are preparing for the Dublin Olympic Qualifiers on March 10-18, where only the gold medallist will advance to London.
Yesterday, the Project 2013 goalscorers were Mohamed Syarin (sixth), Mohamed Nor Faiz (16th, 51st), Kelvinder Singh (18th), Dedy Aryady (39th), Amir Farid (60th).
Malaysia seniors and China will square off in their third friendly at the National Stadium today.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Beng Hai lashes out..

NATIONAL chief coach Tai Beng Hai is fuming with anger after some quarters claimed that there are seething problems among his charges, and that is why they played badly in the two China friendlies.
Malaysia are currently involved in a five-series with China, and lost the first two matches 2-1 and 4-1.
“There are absolutely no issues among my players and neither is there a boycott by four players as claimed by several quarters.
“My charges have given me and the coaching set-up 110 per cent, so to speak, in training and also matches, and I will stand by them in any situation, that is my promise to them,” said Beng Hai.
According to Beng Hai, six of his charges are currently involved with University examinations, and juggle training, playing matches and study has led to them being heavy footed.
“I have been pressing them hard in training and at this point, they are heavy footed because of that. My end target is the Olympic Qualifiers in March, and that is when they will be primed to be at their best.
“There is no use in them peaking during the China series, because these are just friendlies which were arranged to compliment with my training.”
The coach also said his charges are perplexed and angry as to why they have been shoved into the wrong limelight, when there are absolutely no issues at hand.
“The players are hurt as reports claim that there is a split in the team. This is absolutely rubbish, and I would also like to state that we have achieved all the targets set for us, and even won a surprise silver in the Asian Games.
“The end target is the Olympic Qualifiers and I urge the critics to give the players a break and don’t be quick to judge them just because we lost two friendlies against China.
“For the record, we beat China in the World Cup Qualifier in Invercargill (3-0), then the Asian Games (4-2) and also the Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos (4-2).
“There is absolutely no reason to raise the alarm at this stage, as the coaching set-up is aware of their task at hand and we will prepare the best for Dublin,” said Beng Hai.
The national players will play their third friendly against China today at 5.30pm at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

UniKL primed for JHL battle

JUNIOR Hockey League (JHL) League champions UniKL Young Guns will miss the services of 16 players for this season, but are still confident of challenging both the titles at stake.
The JHL will start on Jan 19, with a record 26 teams competing in Division One and Division Two.
UniKL will be among the nine in Division One, while 17 will be placed in two groups in Division Two.
“We started in 2010 as a feeder for the MHL (Malaysia Hockey League) and it was a success as 21 players went on to play in the senior league, and then 13 of our current and former players donned national juniors colours.
“The 13 former and current UniKl players helped Malaysia win the Sultan of Johor Cup, and four of them are also in training with the senior side for the Olympic Qualifiers,” said UniKL team manager Amir Azhar.
This is no small feat, considering that player pinching is rampant and no team can sustain its momentum without pumping in the money as well.
“We only have six players from last season to rely upon, but the new faces have proven to be capable replacements and we will be among the teams to beat for titles in Division One,” said Amir.
For this season, UniKL started preparing right after the last season ended in October.
“We have been training regularly with a Five-days a week training schedule which focused on fitness in the morning and game development in the evening.
“The Young Guns also competed in Division One of the KL League and finished in a credible fourth with five wins including against Sapura and a draw against Tenaga Na sional.
“We also organized a team-building camp from Jan 6-8 in Port Dickson and should peak nicely for the JHL,” said Amir.
Amir feels the traditional Big Four will again rule Division One: “Thunderbolt, BJSS, PJMC and UniKL Young Guns will still be the early favourites in Division One.
“While in Division Two, I expect newcomers Sapura to not only win the League title, but also make an impact in the Overall knock-out stages.”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

China blow Malaysia away..

MALAYSIAN players looked more like they were preparing for the Razak Cup than the Olympic Qualifiers when they went down tamely to China 4-1 in their second consecutive defeat in two days at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The national players, preparing for the Olympic Qualifier in Dublin in March, are involved in a five-match series against a visiting China side, and lost the opening match on Wednesday 2-1.
Yesterday, it was the same script as they were hammered after a listless display which looked like they were being forced to play hockey.
Faizal Saari gave Malaysia the lead off a field attempt in the seventh minute, but before the half-time hooter, China came back into the picture with a goal from Dong Yang in the 30th minute, while Ng Yu Liu made it 2-1 in the 33rd minute.
In the Dublin Olympic Qualifiers on March 10-18, Malaysia will play Chile, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and hosts Ireland, with only the gold medallist advancing to the London Olympics.
The second half failed to bring out a better display from the national side, as they wasted more penalty corners and sitters which allowed China to grow more confident.
And China sealed their glory in the 64th minute, when a pass from outside the semi-circle was allowed into goal by goalkeeper S. Kumar, who failed to realise that Sun Long was right behind him to tuck in the third goal.
Malaysia were truly beaten, and China mounted another attack in the 67th minute, with Ng Yu Liu hammering in his brace, and China's fourth goal.
China, who will be playing in the Japan Olympic Qualifiers, took the first two friendlies seriously, while the national players just fooled around.
"There seemed to be no urgency in the game, and this led to the biggest defeat against China in recent times. The tempo of the players was also well below what they are capable of, and this must be arrested in the next three matches lined-up," said team manager George Koshy.
Today is a break, before the third match on Saturday where China must be beaten, or no team in the world is going to respect the Malaysian players in international tournaments.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Catch Kaymer's Malaysian flight

GERMAN Martin Kaymer and South African Charl Schwartzel will be among the big draws in the 51st Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club on April 12-15.
In announcing the star players yesterday, Maybank chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Nor said: "This marks the seventh year that Maybank is in association with the Malaysian Open and we are still as excited as we were back then at being part of this historic and significant tournament.
"It fills me with great pride that Maybank has not only done its part to elevate our prestigious Open to its current stature as one of the main fixtures on both the European and Asian Tours, but also increasing the profile and reach of the Royal and Ancient sport in Malaysia."
Gallery favourites world number four and 2010 US PGA Championship winner Kaymer and 2011 Masters Tournament champion and ninth-ranked Schwartzel will return to Malaysia in the US$2.5 million tournament.
“We are thrilled to welcome back Kaymer to the Maybank Malaysian Open. He was definitely a gallery favourite last year and is a proven winner, and I believe that the spectators will be delighted once again to witness the German's stellar long game and nifty touches around the greens.
"The presence of another Major winner Schwartzel is also a boost for the tournament and the Johannesburg native with his technically solid golf swing is a great player to watch,” said Megat Zaharuddin.
Also present at the press conference was rights holders Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) president Admiral (R) Tan Sri Mohamed Anwar Mohamed Nor.
Anwar said the Open has played a pivotal role in expanding the reach of the game in the country.
"The growth of the Malaysian Open is also indicative of how far golf has developed in Malaysia and how this tournament has played a part in the improvement of our local players over the years.
"The Open’s ability to consistently attract world-class golfers to our shores has not only motivated our local professionals to raise the level of their game but also inspire a new breed of young champions, who are given the opportunity to observe and learn the finer aspects of competing on the international stage,” said Anwar.
Twenty-two Malaysians, with Danny Chia and Shaaban Hussin continuing their roles as Maybank brand ambassadors, will also be among the hopefuls in April.

Monday, January 9, 2012

China, then Australia and finally Netherlands

THE National hockey team will start the year with five friendlies against a visiting China side to prepare for the March Olympic Qualifiers in Dublin.
Starting from Wednesday, the China series will be closely watched, after the team played to a dismal fifth in the Champions Challenge I in South Africa.
Project 2013, who lifted the inaugural Sultan of Johor Cup by beating Australia in the final, will also play one match against China.
“China, who are also preparing for the Olympic Qualifiers, should bring down their best players and it will be a good opportunity or our team to prepare for Dublin,” said team manager George Koshy.
The series were arranged after the Azlan Shah Cup, scheduled for February in Ipoh, was moved to the middle of the year after many teams turned down invitations due to a hectic Olympic year.
However, the team management is still uncertain if China would want 18 or 20 players fielded for the series.
“Since it is a friendly, we would discuss with the China coach whether to field 18 or 20 players per-match.
“And also, seven of our players would be involved with their University examinations during the period, and this could see some of them being not available for certain matches,” said Koshy.
And after the five matches, which end on Jan 18, the national team will travel to Perth and play against world No 1 Australia and the Netherlands.
“We managed to get four matches against Australia starting from Jan 29, and two more matches against the Nether lands in Perth.
“This is a golden opportunity to play against top-flight teams and further strengthen our Qualifier hopes,” said Koshy.
In the Dublin Olympic Qualifiers on March 10-18, Malaysia will play three relatively easy matches against Chile, followed by Russia and Ukraine and maximum points and goals will be the order of the day.
After that, the climb becomes steeper with matches against South Korea and finally hosts Ireland, and they need to win at least one match to play in the final of the Qualifier.
The Qualifier only offers one ticket to the London Olympics and China will be playing in the Japan Qualifiers in April.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

TBSS looking for middle finish

TUNKU Besar Secondary School (TBSS) will play in Di vision One of the Junior Hockey League (JHL) starting on Jan 19, and they eye a place in the quarter-finals for starters.
The last national player to break out from the school is current No 1 national goalkeeper S. Kumar, and the school hopes some of their strikers will be noticed by selectors.
“This team has been playing together for the past five years and since we became the Division Two champions last season, we received a promotion to play with the big boys.
“However, we are setting ourselves a modest target as we do not have import players as all are from TBSS itself,” said team manager M. Vivekananda.
The bulk of the players are 18-years-old awaiting for their SPM results: “And we will be banking more on field play instead of penalty corners for goals, as we do not have a good battery.”
Last season, TBSS captured their first JHL title when they beat MSSP-USM 4-1 in the Division Two final.
“It was the first JHL title for the school, and we hope to build on it, but there are some excellent teams in Division One, and if nothing else, my players will get a chance to learn how to play better hockey this season.”
Twenty-five teams have registered for the JHL, with Ipoh City Council and Anderson forming a partnership this season instead of playing as two teams.
The teams to watch would be League champions UniKL Young Guns and Overall champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt as well as Bukit Jalil Sports School.
The top six teams in Division One will qualify for the quarter-finals with the two champions from Division Two A and B.
The price money has also increased from RM80,500 to a total of RM145,500.
DIVISION ONE -- Ipoh City Council/Anderson, Tunku Besar Tampin, SS Bukit Jalil, SS Bukit Jalil Juniors, SSTMI Thun derbolts, UniKL Young Guns, MSSPP-USM, Petaling Jaya City Council, Yayasan Pahang, Tunku Mahkota Ismail School.
Division Two A: Politeknik KPT, Nur Insafi, KHA-MSNK, MSSP-USM Juniors, Anderson Juniors, Sapura, Kelantan, Kelantan HA Juniors.
Division Two B: SMK Padang Midin, Tunas Pahang, MHS- MSSNM-MSN Melaka, Olak KPT, SMK Dato Taha, Johor HA, Kuala Lumpur Sport School.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

MSSC Under-16 camp

Raja Ashman Shah Sultan Azlan Shah (third from left) sharing a light moment with the participants while State Culture, Arts Youth and Sports Exco Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin (left) looks on after the launch of the 1Malaysia Youth Under-16 hockey camp on Saturday. Pic by Ikhwan Munir.

IPOH: The Malaysia-Singapore Sikhs Sports Council (MSSSC) 1Malaysia Youth Under-16 hockey camp was officially launched at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh on Saturday.
At hand to officiate the four-day national camp was Raja Ashman Shah Sultan Azlan Shah.
"The camp will see 100 youth of all races from every state undergoing basic hockey training with the objective to not only groom our youth with hockey skills, but also moral values, psychological and motivational skills as well," said MSSSC president Datuk Sohan Singh.
The other objective of the camp was to select players for the Junior Hockey League which starts on Jan 9.
The Sikhs have always produced sterling hockey players for the country with the likes of former skippers DSP Mohinder Singh and Sarjit Singh as well as the Malaysian Hockey Confederation secretary general Maninderjit Singh.
Currently, Kelvinder Singh, Baljit Singh and Harvinder Singh are in the national side.

Refreshing break

Stayed away from my laptop for five days! It was difficult but a refreshing break, but I'm back into the cyberworld for more updates on my favourite sport... stay tooned!