Sunday, December 1, 2013

Junior World Cup fixtures (Malaysian time)

(Malaysian time)

GROUP A: Germany, Belgium, Pakistan, Egypt.
GROUP B: Argentina, Australia, Spain, France.
GROUP C: Canada, India, South Korea, Netherlands.
GROUP D: Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, England.

Dec 6:
Group A: Germany v Belgium (5pm), Pakistan v Egypt (8.30pm).
Group B: Australia v Argentina (4.30pm), Spain v France (7.30pm).
Group C: South Korea v Canada (2.30pm), netherlands v India (10.30pm).
Group D: New Zealand v Malaysia (6.30pm), England v South Africa (10pm).

Dec 7:

Group A: Belgium v Egypt (4.30pm), Pakistan v Germany (6.30pm).
Group C: South Korea v Netherlands (8.30pm), India v Canada (10.30pm).

Dec 8:

Group B: Australia v Spain (4.30pm), Argentina v France (6.30pm).
Group D: South Africa v Malaysia (8.30pm), New Zealand v England (10.30pm).

Dec 9:

Group B: Argentina v Spain (4.30pm), Australia v France (6.30pm).
Group D: England v Malaysia (8.30pm), South Africa v New Zealand (10.30pm).

Dec 10:

Group A: Germany v Egypt (4.30pm), belgium v Pakistan (6.30pm).
Group C: Netherlands v Canada (8.30pm), India v South Korea (8.30pm).

Nur Azmi: Behave boys..

THE Malaysian juniors will head for New Delhi today  (Dec 1) morning, at the back of a stern warning from Malaysian  Hockey Confederation (MHC) senior vice president Datuk Nur  Azmi Ahmad for them to behave, on and off the pitch.
    The Junior World Cup will be from Dec 6-15, with Malaysia  opening accounts against New Zealand on day-one of the  tournament.
   “The MHC and its coaching staff have been preparing all of  you to face this moment in new Delhi for the last five years,  and my warning before all of you depart, is that behave on  and off the pitch as you will be carrying the Malaysian flag on  your shoulders,” said Nur Azmi.
    The warning has its merit, as the national Juniors lost the  Sultan of Johor Cup gold medal to India 3-0 when some  players started fighting, not for the ball, but with their  opponents and also the umpires for assumed wrong calls.
    “Always remember, that the umpire is also human and he  can make mistakes but that does not mean that you need to  charge at him in a threatening manner and question his  decision.
    “As this will not only see you receive a card, but also put  your team-mates in trouble when you are sent out, even for a  few minutes.
    “So, behave on and off the pitch, and there is always the  video referral to fall-back to when you think the umpire has  made a wrong call,” said Azmi, who was a former national  player.
    Yesterday, coach K. Dharmaraj’s boys were feted to a  lunch, by one of their sponsors Grays, at the Olympic Sports  Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
    “We have been supporting the juniors for the last four years  to the region of RM100,000.
     “I believe we have a good mix of players with lots of  experience playing together over the years. And after their  performance in the Sultan of Johor Cup, I am confident that  they will rise to the occasion in the Junior World Cup as well,”  said Grays rights holder Kuckreja & Co managing Director  Mohanji Singh Kuckreja.
    After playing New Zealand on Dec 6, the juniors meet South  Africa (Dec 8) and England (Dec 9) to wrap-up their group D  fixtures.
    New Zealand played two friendlies with Australia before  heading for New Delhi, and lost 6-1 and 5-2.

Felda boys on a mission

 Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin (right)

 PIC: Hafiz Zainol(left)

FELDA boys Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin and Hafiz Zainol are two examples of true grit and determination, which is what Malaysia need to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Junior World Cup in New Delhi.
Izad, 21, grew up in a Felda settlement in Trolak, Perak, while Hafiz, 20, is from Jengka in Pahang.
Since the Project 2013 squad were formed five years ago, coach K. Dharmaraj has picked, trained and booted out some 200 players. And for the two Felda boys to remain standing in the final 18 for the World Cup, is a remarkable achievement in itself.
     Both were truly delighted, when Felda came in with an RM500,000 sponsorship to help the team in New Delhi from Dec 6-15.
"Growing up in a Felda settlement, life can be tough sometimes but it made me much more determined to make my mark when I was given a chance to join juniors training a few years ago," said Izad.
"And with Felda coming in as a major sponsor to help us, my gut feeling is that we are going to have a wonderful World Cup," said Hafiz.
Izad's main inspiration was his elder brother Roslan, a goalkeeper with the national senior side for the last decade.
"I have eight other siblings, and I am the youngest. Roslan is 14 years older than me, and I have always admired his ability in hockey.
"He (Roslan) is one of the driving factors in me giving my best in every match I play," said the lanky defender.
Izad is also the first runner when defending penalty corners, and has many a time stopped the ball with his body without fear.
The most recent was when he performed well against India's penalty corner flickers during the Sultan of Johor Cup.
"I don't fear the flickers, and my main focus is to stop them from scoring. If I get hurt in the process, it is not a problem, as I hate letting down the team," said Izad.
As for Hafiz, a midfielder, he feels the top-six target set by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) is achievable.
"Our first match (against New Zealand) is the most important in my career as a hockey player. I believe, if we beat the Kiwis, the quarter-finals door will open wide for Malaysia," said Hafiz.
Malaysia are in Group D and the other opponents in their path to the quarter-finals are England and South Africa.