Friday, June 22, 2012

Signed, sealed and delivered...

By T.N.Alagesh

WINDS OF CHANGE: Tengku Abdullah confirms South  African as head coach.

STARTING July, former Ireland hockey team coach, Paul  Revington will take over as the head coach of the national  senior hockey team with the Champions Challenge 1 in  Argentina later this year being his first assignment.
     Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku  Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, who confirmed the appoint ment, said former Malaysian international Arul Selvaraj will  be roped in to assist Revington.
     Tengku Abdullah said the duo have verbally agreed to  chart the future of the national team and all the details,  including their contracts will be ironed out soon.
    “Both Revington and his assistant Arul are expected to  start their coaching duties next month and their first test will  be the Champions Challenge 1 in November before the World  Cup Qualifiers next year"
     “We hope their signing will bring changes to Malaysian  hockey especially after the national team’s recent dip in form  and failure to qualify for major tournaments, “ he told  reporters in Kuantan yesterday.
     He said MHC also plans to have a bigger pool of players for  national duty and Revington will be given a freehand to pick  the players from the Malaysia Hockey League in September  and Razak Cup tournament.
     “The coaches will also look into the possibility to expand  the training squad and maybe have two national teams. We  want the juniors to give priority to the Junior World Cup in  New Delhi next year while the seniors can focus on other  tournaments,” he said adding it would however depend on  the pool of players.
     Revington’s appointment has put an end to speculation on  the candidate to replace Tai Beng Hai, who last led the team  to a sixth place finish in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh last  month.
    The former South Africa and Ireland head coach brings  with him a wealth of experience, including guiding South  Africa to the 2004 Olympic Games and 2006 World Cup.
  Arul teamed up with Revington to coach South Africa, and  the duo later joined Ireland in 2008.
     In the past, Malaysia have been coached by Australian  Terry Walsh, Germans Lissek and Volker Knapp.  
    Tai Beng Hai has been appointed as the CoachinG Director,  to oversee junior development as well as handle a junior side  until 2021.

Arul waiting to sign...

ARUL Selvaraj (pic) is just waiting to sign on the dotted line to  join the Malaysian coaching circle, as he has already met  National Sports Council (NSC) officials a few days back and  discussed terms with them.
    When contacted yesterday: “Yes, I have met with officials  from the NSC and we discussed terms but not the KPI yet, as  it is still early stages.”
    Arul is tipped to be the next assistant coach to South  African Paul Revington, who was also down in Kuala Lumpur  recently to discuss with Malaysian Hockey Confederation  (MHC) officials.
    “I do not know what transpired when Paul met hockey  officials, but he has left the country. I’m still around until  August, as I took leave from my club to come home for  holidays,” said Arul.
    After Tai Beng Hai failed to take Malaysia into the  Olympics, the MHC started a serious hunt for a foreign coach  to change the country’s hockey fortunes.
   With South Africa, Revington coached for three years and  the South Africans moved up to 10th from 14th in the world  rankings, and have now qualified for the London Olympics.  South Africa, under Revington, also played in the 2004  Olympics and the 2006 World Cup.
    As for former national coach Tai Beng Hai, he has been  appointed Coaching Director to oversee junior development  until 2021.
    Revington and Arul were with Ireland, who also failed to  qualify for London as they lost to South Korea in the final.
    “I can’t comment too much about this matter yet because I  am still waiting for a reply from the relevant bodies. However,  it would be good to be back in Malaysia after being away for  a long time,” said Arul.
    Arul left for South Africa after his attachment with Paul  Lissek, and was assistant to Revington. Both of them then  moved to Ireland in 2008, and are said to have caught the  attention of the MHC because of their dedication and com mitment.
    Revington’s contract with the Irish team ends this month,  while Arul will have to sort out matters with his club Three  Rock Rovers HC.
   “I have informed club officials on my discussions in  Malaysia, and if I get a contract, it will not be a problem to get  a release form my club and concentrate on Malaysia,” said  Arul.

Logan’s London 1908 Olympic Gold Medal

Gerald Logan (b. 29 December 1879) played hockey for England at the London 1908 Olympic Games, scoring 3 goals in England’s 8 – 1 win over Ireland in the Final. His Gold medal has been loaned to The National Hockey Museum by his great nephew, Nigel Bates.
     The Gold medal was left to Nigel by Gerald Logan’s wife, Alix, in her will as he was the only member of the family that played hockey.
    Nigel Bates is currently living in Cayman Islands and is the Vice President of Cayman Islands Hockey Club. He played for St Albans Hockey Club and Broxbourne Hockey Club before moving to Cayman Islands 9 years ago.
   The Medal was brought to the National Hockey Museum (NHM) today by Nigel’s parents and the Museum were able to show them the Team sheets of Gerald Logan’s 9 appearances for England between 1906 and 1909. Gerald played for South, Surrey and Hampstead Hockey Club. NHM presented Mr & Mrs Bates a Team Photo of England Team of 1906 taken before England v Scotland match.

National Hockey Museum