Thursday, May 30, 2013

Revington names 20 for South Africa Tour..

NATIONAL chief coach Paul Revington will be taking his charges back to his home turf in South Africa for a Four Test series from June 2 to prepare for the World Hockey League Semi-finals.
    Malaysia will open their World League accounts against Pakistan on June 29 in Johor Baru, while the other teams in Group B are England and South Africa.
    In Group A are world no 1 Germany, South Korea, Argentina and a yet to be named team, which will be confirmed after the end of the Round 2 which ongoing in Russia now.
    All eight teams progress to the quarter-finals stage, and one win at the last eight will take Malaysia into the World Cup in the Netherlands next year.
   The English have also named their 20 for Johor Baru, which consists of six London Olympics players.
    Among the notable names that were missing from the South Africa Tests were national No 1 goalkeeper S. Kumar and seasoned defender as well as penalty corner flicker Amin Rahim.
    “Kumar was left out of the squad due to travel fatigue as he just returned from Netherlands after a one-week goalkeepers training. His place will be taken over by Kairulnizam (Ibrahim),” said Revington.
   Kumar will train under goalkeepers coach M. Nadarajan in Kuala Lumpur.
    Roslan Jamaluddin, the No 2 goalkeeper, had also attended the Netherlands training but he is game to travel to South Africa.
   As for Amin: “He opted out for personal reasons, but will be considered for the World League selection at a later date,” said Revington.
   Also left behind but still within a fighting chance for the World League are Azreen Rizal, Jivan Mohan, Ramadan Rosli, and Norhizzat Sumantri.
   The national team is currently involved with a four-match series with China’s Liaoning club where they won 2-1 and 4-2. The other two matches will be today (7pm) and tomorrow (6pm) at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
   Goalkeepers: Kairulnizam Ibrahim, Roslan Jamaluddin.
   Defenders: Ahmad Kazamirul, Azlan Misron, Baljit Singh, Sukri Mutalib, Izad Hakimi, Razie Rahim.
   Midfielders: Faiz Helmi, Meor Muhamad Azuan, Fitri Saari, Shahrun Nabil, Azammi Adabi, Marhan Jalil, Nabil Fiqri Mohamed Noor.
    Forwards: Chua Boon Huat, Faizal Saari, Izwan Firdaus, Firhan Ashaari, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.

England name their 20 for Johor Baru...

Ahead of the World League Semi Final in Johor, Malaysia, England Men’s Head Coach Bobby Crutchley has named a squad of 20 athletes who will fly out to Malaysia next month to prepare for the new FIH competition. The final 18 man squad will be announced closer to the event which runs from 29 June – 7 July.
The line-up sees six London 2012 Olympians returning to action, plus several other athletes who bring a wealth of experience to the squad. Alongside them, Crutchley has also named a number of less experienced athletes, three of whom will be looking to secure international debuts.
 Back from a season playing for Dutch side HGC, England Captain Barry Middleton is ready for the new challenge ahead, “I am really looking forward to the tournament as it gives the squad a good chance to see where we stand right now in World Hockey.  We have a new group with a good mix of youth and experience and there’s a real desire to get out there and challenge ourselves against the best sides in the world. It’s exciting to see the young talent we have coming through our development pathways.”
 Alongside Middleton, Olympians Nick Catlin (Reading), Dan Fox (Hampstead & Westminster), Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead), Harry Martin (Beeston) and Richard Smith (Royal Racing Club Brussels) have all been named in the squad, which will face some strong opposition out in Malaysia.
England (FIH #4) have been drawn in Pool B and will face South Africa (FIH #12), Pakistan (FIH #5) and Malaysia (FIH #13) in the group phase of the tournament. South Africa and Pakistan are no strangers to the six London Olympians as they faced them last Summer in the group stages under the guise of Great Britain.
The results from those fixtures saw a dominant 4-1 win over Pakistan and a 2-2 draw with the team ranked twelfth in the world. Ashley Jackson will look to continue some of the same form he showed in those games, contributing four out of the six goals for Great Britain. England’s other opponents, Malaysia, will be on home turf and have enjoyed some good results against some of the best sides in the world, including a 3-3 draw with Great Britain at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup last May.
In the other Pool, Olympic Champions Germany (FIH #1) will face Korea (FIH #8), Argentina (FIH #10) and one additional team that will be named at the end of this week following the completion of the final World League Round 2 tournament in Russia.
Speaking about the selected squad and the tournament ahead, England Head Coach, Bobby Crutchley said, “We know this will be a tough environment to jump into, but it’s a challenge we’re relishing and we have some good young players coming into the team. We travel to Belgium and Germany over the next couple of weeks to play some practice matches so it will be great to gauge where we stand against two very good sides. The less experienced athletes are making progress in training, so it will be great to play these five matches before we head out to Malaysia.”
Two Olympians currently missing from the line-up are Rob Moore and Iain Lewers. Iain Lewers continues to be monitored as he recovers from surgery on his knee earlier this year. Rob Moore currently has work commitments and therefore will not make the trip to Malaysia.
England’s first game is against South Africa and will take place on Saturday 29 June at 13:00 (UK time). There will be live streaming of all the matches from the FIH website. Further information will be released closer to the tournament.
One week earlier England’s Women will be playing in the Investec World League Semi Final on home turf in London from 22-30 June 2013. Click here for more information about the event.

England Men’s Squad for the World League Semi Final (20 athletes have been named, this number will be reduced to the final 18 closer to the tournament).
Name                      Current Club                            Position  
Ben Arnold              Beeston                                      Forward
James Bailey           Reading                                      Goalkeeper
Tom Carson             Reading                                      Forward
Nick Catlin                Reading                                      Midfielder/Forward  
Darren Cheesman   Reading                                      Forward 
David Condon          Loughborough Students            Midfielder
Adam Dixon             Beeston                                     Midfielder/Defender
Dan Fox                   Hampstead and Westminster     Defender
Mark Gleghorne       East Grinstead                           Forward
Michael Hoare          Beeston                                     Defender 
Ashley Jackson       East Grinstead                          Midfielder 
Simon Mantell           Reading                                    Forward 
Harry Martin             Beeston                                    Midfielder
Barry Middleton        Holcombe                                 Midfielder/Forward
George Pinner          Beeston                                    Goalkeeper 
Phil Roper                 Sheffield Hallam                        Forward
Dan Shingles            Southgate                                 Midfielder
Richard Smith           Racing Club Brussels               Defender
Henry Weir               Loughborough Students          Midfielder/Defender
Oliver Willars            Beeston                                    Defender

Monday, May 27, 2013

Korean lesson for Dharma's boys..

THE Project 2013 squad will receive a South Korean lesson from Wednesday onwards as coach K. Dharmaraj prepares them for the Junior World Cup in December.
    With about 180 days left to the New Delhi Junior World Cup, on Dec 6-15, Dharmaraj wants to give his fringe players a chance to cement their spots, or make way for others.
   “We are taking 18 players for the Korean Tour where they will play eight to nine matches and the objective is to strengthen the bench.
   “I have left behind some of the regulars, and added many from the training pool to give them a chance to play some grueling matches and prove themselves,” said Dharmaraj.
    During the Tour, Dharmaraj’s charges will play against Korean Juniors, the Korean National Sports University sides and also Armed Forces.
    Malaysia qualified for the Junior World Cup when they became champions in the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca last year.
    The other sides that have qualified are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Spain, Egypt, France, Germany, India, South Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.
   “During the Qualifier in Malacca, even though we becanme the champions, I had problems with a weak bench and had to keep playing the same players and substitution was at a minimal.
    “This was done as not to disrupt the tempo on the matches, but it also made many of the regulars overworked and tired by the time they reached the final.
    “To avoid the same scenario, the Korean tour will attempt to strengthen the substitutes while the regulars rest after playing in the just concluded Malaysia Hockey League,” said Dharmaraj.
    Korea Tour Squad: Hazrul Faiz, Hafizuddin Othman, Najib Abu Hassan, Nor Azarul Rahman, Rashid Baharom, Kavin Kartik, Azwar Rahman, Hafiz Zainol, Nor Aqmal Gaffar, Shazril Irwan, Dangerous Lee, Haziq Samsul, Syafiq Zulzairin, Zulhairi Hashim, Aminudin Zain, Syamim Yusof, Azri Hassan, Shahril Saabah.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Under-16 lads whipped in cold Mannheim..

THE National Under-16 team received a whipping lesson in the Four-Nation Whitsun Tournament in Mannheim, Germany last weekend.
    Coach S. Prakash blamed it on biting cold, as his charges went down 4-3 to Germany, 6-2 to Netherlands and 3-0 to Belgium to end at the bottom of the pool.
    “The only good match that we had under fair weather was against Germany where we were leading 3-1 until the 60th minute, but collapsed in end play.
   “The other two matches were played during minus weather, and the biting cold was just too much for my charges to handle,” said Prakash.
    Netherlands were the eventual champions: “The gap between Malaysia and Belgium as well as Germany is not too big at this age group.
    “However, the Dutch are a class above and will be the players to watch in the near future.”
    There were some matters raised when the team were selected as some state officials claimed that the best were not named.
    However, Prakash defended his selection and said that the pool of coaches had chosen the best available, but the weather was not kind to his charges.

   Forward Luqman Hakim  was named as the Best Player of the  Tournament.
  The players: Amirul Hakim, Zairie Nizam, Najme Ahmad, Badrul Amin, Ramdan Ariffin, Syazly Ibrahim, Noor Adha Fadzil, Ahmad Najme, Mohamed Aiman Zahari, Muhammad Aiman Zahari, Aliff Syazwan, Luqman Hakim, Suhayl Ainol, Adrian Andy, Khairul Helmy,  Abdul Khaliq,
Ahmad Farhan, Hafiz Aziz.

Monday, May 20, 2013

KLHC, Tenaga a class act..

KLHC's Chua Boon Huat and Tenaga Nasional's Madzli Ikmar (right) in action in the TNB Cup final.

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) won both the titles at stake in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), while Tenaga Nasional the accolades and praises.
    Both side are now joint record holders with 12 MHL titles each, with Tenaga having seven Overall and five League titles, while  KLHC four Overall and eight League titles.
    Tenaga, an-all local outfit, surprised the pundits as they were the only Premier Division side which forced KLHC to share points in a thrilling 3-3 draw.
   And they defeat in the final was also a narrow 2-1, considering KLHC had nine players who had either played at the World Cup or Olympics level.
    Sapura, Maybank and Nur Insafi also had six foreign players or more each, but Tenaga still manged a laudable second in Overall and third in the League.
    “We see it as our responsibility to the nation. If all the teams start to rely on foreign players, who is going to give budding youth and also the local players a chance in the MHL?
   “Even though we might lose a little in the early years, but once our young players become comfortable playing in the MHL, the results will follow suit,” said Tenaga manager Nor Saiful Zaini.
    Nor Saiful, a former national skipper, has held onto many MHL titles since the Kilat days.
    However, Nor Saiful agreed that if he faced an exodus of players the next season to a rich team, he might have to source for foreign players like KLHC.
     “The feeling is like watching ‘Batman Returns” as when six of my players left for Terengganu, I had to scramble around looking for players,” lamented KLHC manager and pillar George Koshy after the final on Sunday.
    Soaked in sweat, like his players, relief was painted all over the face of the most successful manager in the MHL.
    “When six players left us because of better offers (to Terengganu HC), many had written us off for the season. And frankly speaking, even I was a little apprehensive. And after we won the League title, I did not expect my players to win the Overall title as well because my foreign players  hardly had enough time to setle down before the first match,” said George.
   George picked his players during the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, and his Pakistan and Australian signing proved that they are a class above the rest of the foreign signings in the MHL.
    As for the MHL itself, there was no new exciting talent that was spotted in both the divisions, and teams might have to rely on foreign players for at least another five years before there would be enough local juniors to fill their shoes.
    Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin showed up for the TNB Cup final, a first for a sports minister, and the grandstand was fileld to the brim for the first time this season.
   In all the previous matches, hardly any Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) officials bothered to watch.

Pakistan opener for World League semis..

MALAYSIA wuill open accounts against Pakistan in the World League Semi-finals in Johor Baru on June 29 to July 10.
   The other teams in Malaysia’s group are England and South Africa.
   In Group A are world no 1 Germany, South Korea, Argentina and a yet to be named team, will be confirmed after the end of the Round 2 which will be held in Russia next week.
   Japan and Russia are the early favourites, to battle for the last lot in Johor Baru.
     National coach Paul Revington said: “Even though the group stage will only be a warm-up, every match will be approached with a winning mentality, as we want to qualify for the World Cup in Johor Baru and not wait for the Asia Cup (In Ipoh, Aug 24 to Sept 1).”
    All eight teams progress to the quarter-finals stage, and one win at the last eight will take Malaysia into the World Cup in the Netherlands next year.
    And if they fail, the Ipoh tournament will be their final chance to make the World Cup, which Malaysia  last hosted and played in 2002.


Pool A -- Pool B

Germany -- England
Korea -- Pakistan
Argentina -- South Africa
Team X -- Malaysia

Match Schedule

Date Match # Time Pool Match

Saturday 29 June 2013

1 15.00 A Germany v Argentina
2 17.00 A Korea v Team X
3 19.00 B Pakistan v Malaysia
4 21.00 B England v South Africa

Sunday 30 2013

5 15.00 A Argentina v Team X
6 17.00 A Korea v Germany
7 19.00 B Pakistan v England
8 21.00 B South Africa v Malaysia

Monday 1 July 2013 Rest Day

Tuesday 2 July 2013

 9 15.00 A Germany v Team X
10 17.00 A Argentina v Korea
11 19.00 B England v Malaysia
12 21.00 B South Africa v Pakistan

Wednesday 3 July 2013 Rest Day

Thursday 4 July 2013

 13 14.45 QF1 1st Pool A v 4th Pool B
14 17.00 QF1 2nd Pool B v 3rd Pool A
15 19.15 QF1 2nd Pool A v 3rd Pool B
16 21.30 QF1 1st Pool B v 4th Pool A

Friday 5 July 2013 Rest Day

Saturday 6 July 2013 17 14.45 5 / 82 Loser Match 13 v Loser Match 14

18 17.00 5 / 82 Loser Match 15 v Loser Match 16

19 19.15 SF2 Winner Match 13 v Winner Match 14

20 21.30 SF2 Winner Match 15 v Winner Match 16

Sunday 7 July 2013 21 14.45 7 / 8 Loser Match 17 v Loser Match 18

22 17.00 5 / 6 Winner Match 17 v Winner Match 18

23 19.15 3 / 4 Loser Match 19 v Loser Match 20

24 21.30 1 / 2 Winner Match 19 v Winner Match 20

KLHC the undisputed champions..

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) beat Tenaga Nasional 2-1 in the TNB Cup to take their title tally to a tied 12th with TNB, with a cool third consecutive double in the Malaysia Hockey League.
  Watched by more than 2,000 fans, the final did not disappoint as there was plenty of action, but Tenaga Nasional were guilty of defending in the second hald and paid the price.
  For the record, this was the third consecutive time that KLHC had humbled Tenaga in the TNB Cup final.
  It was a super start to the finale, as Tenaga Nasional grabbed an early lead, only to see KLHC quick on the equaliser.
  Amir Farid dribbled three players, then whacked the lead past goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin in the eighth minute to send Tenaga supporters into a frenzy.
  However, the lead only lasted for 12 minutes, as KLHC scored the equaliser off their first penalty corner in the 20th minute.
  Razie Rahim, instead of a direct flick, set up Syamim Yusof to tap in and take KLHC on level terms again.
  The drama continued in the 24th minute, when Tenaga's Faizal Saari made a darting run when he saw an opening, only to be shoved to the ground by KLHC's Pakistan import Fareed Ahmed and a penalty stroke was awarded by umpire K. Ilanggo.
  However Faizal, who has scored 17 goals in the tournament, missed the chance to take his tally to 18 and equal thournament top scorer Kashif Ali from Sapura who has 18.
  After the breather, Tenaga were a jaded side, while KLHC won five more penalty corners but bungled them all.
  However, their fortunes changed in the sixth penalty corner in the 64th minute, when Razie's attempt hit Madzli Ikmar's foot and the umpire blew for a penalty stroke.
  Pakistan import Muhammad Imran stepped up to the spot, and flicked to the left of Tenaga goalkeeper S. Kumar for a 2-1 lead.
  Tenaga Nasional never won a single penalty corner in 70 minutes, and when the final whistle blew, they went down to KLHC by a solitary goal.
  In the President's Cup final, it was heartbreak for League champions UitM, as they came back to draw 2-2 with TNB Thunderbolts, after being down 0-2, to take the match into extra-time and then a penalty shoot-out.
  But the day belonged to Thuderbolts, who prevailed 3-1 in the shoot-out.
  RESULTS (Finals): President’s Cup -- UiTM 2 TNB  Thunderbolts 2 (Thunderbolts win 3-1 on shoot-out); TNB Cup -- Kuala Lumpur HC 2 Tenaga  Nasional 1.


Champion -- Champions: KLHC (RM70,000); Runner-up: Tenaga Nasional (RM50,000); Third: Sapura (RM40,000); Fourth: Maybank (RM30,000).


 Champions -- TNB Thunderbolts (RM25,000); Runner-up: UiTM (RM25,000); Third: Sunday 2030 (RM10,000); Fourth: Ipoh City Council (RM5,000).

TNB CUP (Special Awards)

  Best Player: Razie Rahim (KHLC, RM2,000)
  Most Outstanding Player:  Muhammd Imran (KLHC, RM2,000)
  Best Goalkeeper: Roslan Jamaluddin (KLHC, RM2000)
  Top-Scorer: Kashif Ali (Sapura, 17 goals, RM2000)
  Fairplay: Nur Insafi (RM4,000)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Its Sunday n Sapura ..

MALAYSIA Hockey League (MHL) Division One debutants Sunday 2030 claimed a third place finish in the President's Cup when they beat Ipoh Ciy Council 3-1 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
  And in the TNB Cup battle for Bronze, Sapura beat Maybank 2-1 for the third spot.
  Sunday 2030 pocketed 10,000 in prize money while MBI received RM 5,000.
  As for Sapura, they received RM40,00 while Maybank took home RM30,000.
  Adrian Richard Arputhan gave Sunday the lead off a fifth minute penalty corner while the other goals were scrored by P. Prabahkaran (40th) and K. Regan (58th).
  The Sapura goals were scored by Khasif Ali (33rd), which took his tally to 18, and Mohamed Izzat (35th).
  And the Maybank goal was scored by Shafqat Rasol  (49th).
  RESULTS (Third-Fourth): President’s Cup -- Ipoh City Council 1 Sunday 2030 3; TNB Cup -- Maybank 1 Sapura 2.
  TODAY (Finals): President’s Cup -- UiTM v TNB  Thunderbolts (6pm); TNB Cup -- Kuala Lumpur HC v Tenaga  Nasional (8pm).
  Note: Both matches at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

UniKL's commitment to national duty..

UNIKL Hockey Club and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) yesterday officially teamed-up to save a dying breed in hockey -- goalkeepers.
  From the days of Khairuddin Zainal in the 1975 Kuala Lumpur World Cup, right until the present No 1 S. Kumar, national goalkeepers have helped keep Malaysia among the top 15 countries in the world.
  However, the supply chain of caliber goalkeepers has almost dried up, and that is why UniKL and MHC started a specialised training programe yesterday.
  Led by former national keeper and current national and juniors goalkeeper coach M. Nadarajah, the trainings will be held every Saturday.
  Yesterday, about 20 goalkeepers from ages 10-16 turned up for the official launch which also saw Kumar, former national goalkeeper Nasihin Nubli, national coach Paul Revington and his assistant Arul Selvaraj making their presence felt.
  "We used to have some of the best goalkeepers in the world at one time, but today, even Malaysia Hockey League sides are finding it difficult to secure good goalkeepers.
  "And when Kumad and Roslan (Jamaluddin) retire in the near future, the gap between them and those who are likely to fill their shoes is just too wide.
  "That is why, with the help of UniKL and MHC, I hope to train young goalkeepers with the basics so that when they move up to the club and then national levels, they will easily fit in and there is no need to hire foreign goalkeepers for the MHL," said Nadarajah.
  Nadarajah, Kumar and Roslan will head for the Netherlands, for the second time, on Monday to undergo specialised goalkeepers training under Martijn Drijver.
  The first was in November last year: "In Netherlands Roslan and I learned how too combine the Asian and European style in our last training. And it did help improve our game, so we are looking forward to the second stint," said Kumar.
  Kumar, from Tampin Negri Sembilan, then parted his knowledge with some of the young aspirants, who later lined-up for photo shoots with him.

Friday, May 17, 2013

KLHC gunning to equal Tenaga's 12 titles..

 KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) will be gunning to  equal Tenaga Nasinal’s 12 titles when they face off in the TNB  Cup final at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.
   And in the President’s Cup final, the battle will be between  UiTM and TNB Thunderbolts.
   Today,  the third-fourth placing matches of the TNB Cup  and President’s Cup will be held in Bukit Jalil.
    Tenaga have seven Overall and five League titles, while  KLHC have three Overall and eight League titles.
   Tenaga player Faizal Saari will also be out to create history  of his own, to become the MHL top-scorer for the third  consecutive year.
    In the 2011-12 season, Faizal top-scored with 19 goals,  while in the 2012 season, he had a tally of 20.
   Going into the final tomorrow, the national player is tied on  17 goals with Sapura’s Pakistan import Khasif Ali.
   “Being named as the top-scorer the last two seasons did not  mean anything as my team lost the TNB Cup both times to  KLHC.
   “I’m in the running again to become the top-scorer, and  this time, I want to do it by winning the title as well,” said  Faizal.
    KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj knows the heart-break which  comes with defeat, as he has seen his team lose seven times  in MHL finals.
    “I have been coaching KLHC for 14 years now, and even  though we have won 11 titles, I have also the misfortune to  have lost in seven other finals.
    “So I know how it feels to be a champion as well as ending  up at the losers end,” said Dharmaraj.
     When six of Dharmaraj’s stalwarts left to join Terengganu  HC this season, many had written off the club, but they went  on to win the League title with only one blemish -- a 3-3 draw  against Tenaga Nasional.
    “We were involved in a scramble to recruit foreign players  when six left us for better offers, and fortunately, we  managed to hire a good crop of Pakistan and also an  Australian player.
    “I have no hard feeling for the six who left us, as the offer  was much more better than what we could give. Now, the  foreign as well as my local players have a very good  understanding, and we will be gunning to equal Tenaga’s  record on Sunday,” said Dharmaraj.
     Entrance is free, and 2,000 lucky draw tickets for two  Modenas motorbikes are expected to be given away at the  entrance.
    TODAY (Third-Fourth): President’s Cup -- Ipoh City Council  v Sunday 2030 (6pm); TNB Cup -- Maybank v Sapura  (8pm).
    TOMORROW (Finals): President’s Cup -- UiTM v TNB  Thunderbolts (6pm); TNB Cup -- Kuala Lumpur HC v Tenaga  Nasional (8pm).
    Note: All matches at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

UiTM have edge over Thunderbolts..

TNB Thunderbolts and UiTM will square off to lay their hands on the President’s Cup this Sunday at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
    And in the TNB Cup, the hopefuls are Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Tenaga Nasional, who each have 12 titles under their belts, and will be gunning for the 13th.
    The poorer cousin, President’s Cup, has been in the shadows thus far, as the glamour was stolen by the Premier Division sides for the last two months, but all that is set to change in a fiery final.
   For the record, UiTM will start as the favourites as they edged TNB Thunderbolts in two earlier League encounters by winning 5-4 and then 2-1.
   “We have the Division One League title and also two wins against Thunderbolts after a gruelling season, and don’t aim to stop our momentum in the final on Sunday,” said UiTM assistant manager Fairuz Ahmad.
     In the 12 League matches, UiTM won 10, drew 1 and lost only one. They also scored 43 goals and only let in 16.
     “Yes, we have been consistent in the League and also the knock-out stages, but that does not mean we will take Thunderbolts lightly as the Cup is a different tournament where passion for the trophy will determine who lifts it,” said Fairuz.
   Thunderbolts coach, Lailin Abu Hassa, a former International knows his charges have it uphill: We have a combined team of experience and youth (from Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School) and there has been ups and downs as they tried to get used to each other in the initial stages.
    “However, the understanding is there, and we will play to lift the trophy,” said Lailin.
    The top scorer for UiTM is  Nor Nashriq Farhan on 10 penalty corner goals. As for Thunderbolts, Their top penalty corner scorer is Sabri Mohamed on seven goals, while seasoned campaigner Mahinder Singh is their top scorer on eight field goals.
   Meanwhile, fans who make their way to the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil to watch the President’s Cup as well as the TNB Cup are in for a chance to win two motorcycles worth RM5,000 each.
     The two Modenas Passion motorcycles, donated by Edaran Modenas Sdn Bhd, will be given away on lucky draw tickets after the TNB Cup final.
    Entrance to the stadium is free, and 2,000 lucky draw tickets are expected to be given away at the entrance.
    SATURDAY (Third-Fourth): Presdent’s Cup -- Ipoh City Council v Sunday 2030 (6pm); TNB Cup -- Maybank v Sapura (8pm).
    SUNDAY (Finals): Presdent’s Cup -- UiTM v TNB Thunderbolts (6pm); TNB Cup -- Kuala Lumpur HC v Tenaga Nasional (8pm).
    Note: All matches at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Noor Faeez given the boot..

PIC: Noor Faeez Ibrahim 

NATIONAL seniors coach Paul Revington made a clear statement that he will not tolerate laggards, when he slammed the door or national juniors skipper Noor Faeez Ibrahim for failing to buck up.
   Noor Faez skippered the Junior Asia Cup side which won gold in Malacca and took Malaysia into the New Delhi Junior World Cup, but his attitude as well as form had dropped tremendously since.
   And South African Revington had no choice but to drop him from the 26 trainees named for World League Semi-finals on June 29 to July 7 in Johor Baru.
    “I had no choice but to drop Faeez, because his form and his appoach towards the sport had dropped tremendously. One could see the change during the MHL (Malaysia Hockey League) and I can’t afford players like this as we prepare for the World League,” said Paul Revington.
    The tournament in Johor Baru offers tickets to the World Cup, and Malaysia will be up against World No 1 Germany, Argentina, England, South Korea, Pakistan, South Africa and a yet to be named team.
    The two-group, with four teams each, World League will be based on the new format where the group matches do not count, with all eight teams qualifying for the quarter-finals.
   And one win in the last eight will see Malaysia finish top-four and qualify for the World Cup.
    “Even though we are ranked seventh out of the eight teams, the plan is tho qualify for the World Cup from the World League so that we do not have to be under stress during the Asia Cup (Aug 24-Sept 1) which is another avenue to make the World Cup,” said Revington.
    The five ‘new’ inclusions were goalkeeper Khairulnizam Ibrahim, Ahmad Kazamirul, Azreen Rizal, Meor Azuan and Firhan Ashaari.
    And five players in the squad are still Under-21 and eligible for the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in November.
   Among the top players in the injury list was Ismail Abu, whose chances of playing in the two major tournaments this year depends on the speed of his recovery.
   TRAINING SQUAD: Goalkeepers: Khairulnizam Ibrahim, S.Kumar, Roslan Jamaluddin.
    Defenders: Azlan Misron, Azreen Rizal, Baljit Singh, Faiz Helmi, Shukri Mutalib, Izad Hakimi, Amin Rahim, Razie Rahim, Ahmad Kazamirul.
    Midfielders: Jivan Mohan, Meor Azuan, Fitri Saari, Shahrun Nabil, Marhan Jalil, Norhizzat Sumantri,
    Forwards: Chua Boon Huat, Faisal Saari, Izwan Firdaus, Azzami Abadi, Firhan Ashaari, Ramadhan Rosli, Nabil Fiqri, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

KLHC v Tenaga final..

TENAGA Nasional will meet Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the final of the TNB Cup next Sunday at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
  In the two-leg semi-finals, Tenaga hammered Maybank 6-2 and yesterday drew 2-2 for a comfortable 8-4 aggregate win.
  And KLHC, who won 3-1 in the first leg, hammered Sapura 8-0 for an 11-1 aggregate.
  Yesterday, Tenaga opted to slow down their match after taking a huge lead in the first semis. Faizal Saari (17th) and Faiz Helmi (58th) scored for Tenaga, while Shakeel Abbasi (51st) and Zulhairi Hashim (67th) scored for Maybank.
  KLHC, the TNB Cup holders for the last two seasons, went on a first half rampage with four goals from Akhtar Ali (eighth), Chua Boon Huat (14th), Umar Bhutta (20th) and Kelvinder Singh (26th).
  And in the second half, Muhammad Imran (40th, 45th), Kelvinder (56th), Nabil Fiqri (66th) completed the rout.
  Tenaga also had another reason to celebrate, as their second stringers TNB Thunderbolts defeated Ipoh City Council 8-2, to complete an 14-5 aggregate win to play in the President's Cup final.
  They will meet UiTM, who drew 1-1 with Sunday 2030, but advanced 3-2 on aggregate.
  "We slowed down our game in the second leg as we already had a comfortable cusion from the first leg. This was done to avoid injuries and also cards as we long to touch the TNB Cup on Sunday," said Tenaga coach Nor Azlan Bakar.
  "We had a slim cushion, and that is why we went all out in the first half itself to make sure we play in the final again. Now, we are just one step away from defending out TNB Cup title," said KLHC coach George Koshy.
  RESULTS: Semi-finals Second Leg: TNB Cup -- Tenaga 2 Maybank 2 (Tenaga win 8-4 on aggregate), KLHC 8 Sapura 0 (KLHC win 11-1 on aggregate).
   President's Cup: Ipoh CC 2 TNB Thunderbolts 8 (Thunderbolts win 14-5 on aggregate), UiTM 1 Sunday 1 (UiTM win 3-2 on aggregate).

Saturday, May 11, 2013

PC's could do the trick for Sapura..

KLHC's Kelvinder Singh in the centre of a high-ball tussle against Sapura players.
KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) have a two-goal cushion over Sapura in the TNB Cup semi-finals, but are wary of a Pakistan overturn in the return leg today.
     TNB Cup holders KHLC, even though a jaded side on Friday, still managed to beat Sapura 3-1.
    However, the second leg semis will be purely academic for Tenaga Nasinal, who have virtually qualified for the final after they hammered Maybank 6-3 in the first leg.
    “Although I am glad with the win and two-goal cushion, I am not happy with the way my team played overall as they are capable of much better hockey.
   “And with Pakistan penalty corner flicker Kashif Ali on Sapura’s side, it would be foolish to celebrate before the second 70 minutes are over,” warned KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj.
   For the record, Kashif never got a chance to show his prowess in the semis, as Sapura were unlucky not to have won even a single penalty corner.
   The coach also tagged the lame show by his players to the two-week break: “The players rested more than 10 days after the League ended to play in the semi-finals, and this, to a certain degree, cooled down some of them and it showed in their slow approach.
    “Now, we need to play at a higher level and also not give away too many penalty corners, to have a chance of defending out title -- possibly against Tenaga,” said Dharmaraj.
    It would be hard to deny Tenaga a charge into the final, as they have a four-goal cushion against Maybank.
    As for Sapura, their manager S. Kuhan, a former national skipper, lamented on the fact that they did not win a single penalty corner: “It was really disappointing that we were not awarded a single penalty corner in the first leg. The two goal-cushion is not really big, and we have nothing to lose but to go on the offensive from the start to erase it.”
    TODAY: Semi-finals Second Leg: TNB Cup -- Tenaga (6) v Maybank (2) v (6pm), KLHC (3) v Sapura (1) (8pm).
   President's Cup: Ipoh CC (3) v TNB Thunderbolts (6) (6pm), UiTM (2) v Sunday 2030 (1) (8pm).
    Note: First leg scores in parenthesis. All matches at Pitch I and II of National Stadium Bukit Jalil.

Friday, May 10, 2013

KLHC struggle, Tenaga cruise..

TNB Cup champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) edged Sapura 3-1 in the first leg semi-finals at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
  But in the second semi-finals, Tenaga hammered Maybank 6-2 to virtually book their final spot, making the return leg semi-finals an uphill battle for the Tigers.
  However, it was KLHC who suffered an early setback, only to bounce back just before the half-time to tie Sapura at 1-1.
  In a drab semi-finals, Sapura took the lead in the 24th minute when Joel Samuel dribbled three players and shot to the top of the roof.
  However, KLHC came back into the picture seven minutes later when Razie Rahim scored from a penalty corner attempt.
  KLHC only had two penalty corners on the 15th and 31st minutes, while Spura did not have any for the first 35 minutes.
  After the breather, Pakistan import Akhtar Ali broke the deadlock with an early field attempt in the 37th minute.
   And Chua Boon Huat gave KLHC a better cushion into the return leg on Sunday with a penalty corner deflection goal in the 55th minute to make it 3-1.
  And the score remained until the final hooter.
  "We made several errors in defense and KLHC capitalised on it, but we still have a fighting chance in the return leg.
  "We scored the early goal on the counter but then opted to defend too deep and paid the price," said Sapura manager S. Kuhan.
  "But the tie is still alive and we need to believe in our ability in order to get a positive result on Sunday. We should really have created some penalty corners as that could have helped our cause, as none came our way."
  In the other semis, the Tenaga goals were scored by Izat Hakimi (eighth), Shahril Saabah (17th, 66th), Firhan Ashaari (27th) and Faiz Helmi (55th, 63rd).
  An own goal by Tenaga, Aminuddin Zain, in the 21st minute and a field goal from Shakeel Abbasi in the 70th minute narrowed the gap for Maybank.
  RESULTS -- Semi-finals First Leg: TNB Cup -- Sapura 1 KLHC 3, Maybank 2 Tenaga 6.
   President's Cup: TNB Thunderbolts 6 Ipoh CC 3, Sunday 2030 1 UiTM 2.
   SUNDAY: Semi-finals Second Leg: TNB Cup -- Tenaga v Maybank v (6pm), KLHC v Sapura (8pm).
   President's Cup: Ipoh CC v TNB Thunderbolts (6pm), UiTM v Sunday 2030 (8pm).
  Note: All matches at Pitch I and II of National Stadium Bukit Jalil.

Under-16 dispute..

KUALAR Lumpur HA secretary V. Rajamanikam yesterday blasted the Under-16 selection for Mannheim, Germany, by calling it biased.
  The Four-Nation will be held on May 18-20, and Malaysia will be up against Belgium, Netherlands and Germany.
  "KL were the National Under-16 champions for five consecutive years before losing out in the semi-finals (2-1 to Malacca) this season. A big number of our players have been playing together since they were under-14 and had won the Under-16 title for KL in previous years.
  "That is why I am calling the Mannheim selection biased, as only one KL player was selected for the squad of 18," said Rajamanikam.
  The selected KL player is goalkeeper Suhayl Ainol Azmi.
  However, coach S. Prakash defended his selection, by saying that it was based on merit.
  "A panel of coaches selected the players based on friendly matches and also fitness, and there was no bias towards any state.
  "We had a short time to assemble the side, so the number one criteria was fitness and that is why some of the players did not make the grade," said Prakash, who is also the Bukit Jalil Sports School coach.
  In the National Under-16 Perak lifted the title.