Sunday, May 31, 2015

Subahan sings for harmony, Beng Hai whistles..

Paul McCartney 

Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony 
Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don't we? 
  We all know that people are the same where ever we go 
There is good and bad in ev'ryone, 
We learn to live, we learn to give 
Each other what we need to survive together alive. 
  Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony 

Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh lord why don't we? 

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal and national coach Tai Beng Hai gave a discreet life-line to troubled striker Faizal Saari (pic).
  Speaking after the second Executive Board Meeting on Saturday, Subahan said harmony was back in the team leading to the World League Semi-finals in Belgium on June 20 to July 5.
  The WL Semis is an Olympic Qualifier: "I have met the players and had a heart-to-heart talk with them and I believe the players are in harmony with each other. Eight of them will get a last chance to play in the highest level, Olympics, and they know better than throwing away this golden opportunity as age is not on their side any more."
  Subahan also said since all the problems, including money, has been solved he believes the players will give their best in Belgium.
  As for Beng Hai, he is looking for a fresh start by erasing the past as he is in dire need of a striker as he has two players on the crock list.
  After a reboot, its back to factory settings for the team.
  "The players have been told to forget the past and play for their future. I have two players on the injury list and I need a striker, so Faizal is still in the running to make the Belgium squad provided he maintains his form and attitude.
  "He attends training and also has a better attitude now, and hopefully all his past will be forgotten and the other players will not hold it against Faizal," said Beng Hai.
  On the injury list are Ramadan Rosli who pulled a hamstring Hafiz Zainol has a hairline fracture on his right hand suffered in a car accident last week.
  Faizal went into controversy mode right after scoring 12 goals and being named as the Best Player in the Singapore World League Round Two in January.
  He went missing for a month, because he wanted the bonuses and match allowance owed to him. He was then dropped from the Australian Tour, and also a Tour of Netherlands and Belgium.
  When asked if Beng Hai was willing to take the risk of player-power disrupting his preparations like what happened at the World Cup last year, the chief coach said he does not have much of a choice.
  "I need a striker, and Faizal is still among the best. This is their shot at Olympic glory, and I believe they will not throw it away just for a grudge against one player," said Beng Hai.
  For the record, at least 10 players had approached the then MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah to drop Faizal from the Netherlands World Cup squad, but their request was not entertained.
  And during the World Cup, Faizal rarely received the ball, and was a total washout.
  The players can't afford this attitude in Belgium, if they want to play in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Subahan sets high standards...

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal yesterday set the standard for his Executive Board (EB) when a payout of RM282,000 was made to the men's and women's teams.
  The money was bonuses as well as training allowances owed to the players from 2013, 14 and 15.
  And now, his EB will work to repay the RM2.7m owed to various debtors.
  "The EB has agreed and endorsed the various committee chairmen today (yesterday) and they have one year to deliver on their KPI, after which a review will be done.
  "We have paid money owed to players (men and women) since 2013 and now I give myself six months to clear the RM2.7 million debt and start afresh," said Subahan.
  Subahan will chair the Finance and National Team management Committees: "I want to chair these two committees as they have big responsibilities. One is to clear our debts, and the other to see that Malaysian men and women start with golds at the Singapore Sea Games and then the men qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
  "It is important to stamp our domination in South East Asia again, while I am also fairly confident that the men will not dissapoint at the Belgium World League Semi-finals and give their best to earn a ticket to the Olympics.
  "Although this EB is only weeks old, still, we will give the present national team all the help they can get to qualify for Rio de Janeiro. After this we will work towards having a team at the 2020 Olympics as well," said Subahan.
  Men's deputy president George Koshy will head the Competitions Committee: "With his vast experience in running a Malaysia Hockey League team Goorge is the best in this department. To avoid a conflict of interest, he will release his position as president of Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club soon," said Subahan.
  And women's deputy president S. Shamala will head the Development Committee.
  One thing for sure, there were smiles all-round when players and officials went up to collect their envelopes from Subahan.
  "Now that match bonuses and allowances has been settled, I hope the players deliver on the pitch."
  The newly appointed chairmen have one week to submit a list of their members and start working towards their KPIs.
  MHC Committees: Subahan Kamal (Finance, National Team Management), Datuk Wan Ahmad Nizam (Marketing and Sponsorship), Datuk Ow Soon Kooi (Coaching), George Koshy (Competitions), S. Shamala (Development), Manjit Majid Abdullah (Indoor and Special Projects), Jadadish Chandra (Legal), S. Nagula (Media and Public Relations), Amarjit Singh (Umpiring), N. Radhakrishnan (High Performance), Satish Kumar (International Affairs), Nik Zarah Nik Kadir (Hockey 5s), Datuk Dr Shamsul Anwar (Medical).
  SAC Datuk Mohamed Adnan (Disciplinary), Datuk Azam Bakti (Ethics), Datuk T. Thavalingam (Appeal).
  Indipendendent members: Habibul Najmi and Ahmad Najmi (Two more to be named soon).

Friday, May 29, 2015

India shuffle and experiment..

There is a touch of ingenuity and imagination in the approach work of the new Dutch coach for the Indian hockey team, Paul van Ass.
This reflects well in the selection of the team for the Hockey World League (HWL) semi-finals to come off at Antwerp (Belgium) from June 20 to July 5.
The HWL is linked now to the Olympics in Rio as a qualification event, but it does not concern India much as it is already assured of the place after winning the Asian Games gold at Incheon.
What however makes this event an important one for the team as also to the coach is the opportunity to combat against the top outfits like Australia, Pakistan, France and others.
Undoubtedly, this will be another litmus test for the coach who obtained a moderate level of success on his first outing at the recent Azlan Shah hockey tournament at Ipoh where India won a bronze after dipping into a hopeless position.
Some eyebrows are likely to be raised over the selection, which keeps out penalty corner striker Rupinderpal Singh, midfielder Mandeep and the striker Uthappa.
Van Ass has logically met with the developing skepticism over the omissions. He has argued rather convincingly the need to shuffle and experiment in competitions where India has nothing much to lose.
By recalling the young Yuvaraj Walmiki and giving a greater role Jasjit Singh Kular in the defense and in penalty corners, van Ass has taken a right step.
At one point of time not long ago, Walmiki was regarded as the enfant terrible of Indian hockey from Mumbai. He played a significant role in India winning the first Asian Champions Trophy at Ordos (Mongolia) under the Aussie coach, Nobbs, who laid a lot of hopes on this youngster. Injuries and a lack of a confidence by subsequent coaches kept him away from the national side. In the current dispensation, Walmiki should be seen as the substitute for Uthappa.
The basic architecture of the team remains undisturbed. All the top stars who have contributed immensely to enlarging the image of the country like Sreejesh, skipper, Sardar Singh, and veterans Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra and S V Sunil are very much part of the squad.
India faces France in the opening match, but comes to grips with Pakistan in the next outing. Understandably, Pakistan is desperate to be back at the Olympics after missing the World Cup in The Hague last year.
More importantly, it will go all out to avoid a defeat against India after the ugly encounter win in the semi-finals during the Champions Trophy at Bhubaneswar.
Admittedly, there will be a lot of attention on India’s showing at Antwerp, especially in the light of the fact India is hosting the final of the HWL for the top eight teams here at Chattisgarh in December.
India is grouped with France, Poland, Pakistan and Australia in Pool A, while Pool B consists of China, Ireland, Malaysia, Great Britain and the host Belgium.

The team:
Goalkeepers: P.R.Sreejesh and Harjot Singh;
Defenders: Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, V.R.Raghunath, Jasjit Singh Khular, Gurmail Singh;
Midfielders: Gurbaj Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Sardar Singh, Chinglesena Singh, Lalith Upadyaya;
Forwards: S.V.Sunil, Nikkhin Thimmiah, Yuvaraj Walmiki, Akashdeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh. 

Meeting to chart MHC future..

THE first meeting of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Executive Board (EB) will be held Saturday, and high on the agenda is naming of 10 committee chairmen to formulate and chart hockey's future for the next four years.
  There are a total of 12 committees under the MHC constitution, but with Finance as well as National Team Management having been taken by president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal, 10 heads will be named at the first EB meeting.
  The 10 committees are Coaching, Competition, Development, High Performance, Indoor, Legal and Special Projects, Marketing and Sponsorship, Media Public Relations, Umpiring and Medical Committee.
  Former national skipper and now MHC vice-president Ow Soon Kooi is said to be the chosen one to head the Coaching Committee.
  "I've heard about being linked to the Coaching Committee but I will only know for sure tomorrow (today). Anyway, I stood for election because I wanted to serve hockey and I don't mind heading any of the 10 committees because in the end, all of them serve the sport in various capacities," said Soon Kooi.
  On his take of Subahan after two weeks on the hot-seat: "Personally speaking, the president has been on his toes and is very dedicated to serve hockey and wants to put everything in place as soon as possible so that the EB members can start contributing to the various committees."
  The Coaching Committee chairman as well as Finance will have their work cut out for the next four years, as previously, both the committees ran on a helter-skelter mode.
  The previous MHC management played musical chairs with their coaches and made a mess of some of the tournaments by pulling the chair even before it could be warmed.
  Right now, Tai Beng Hai is the chief coach assisted by Nur Saiful Zaini while Australian Neil Hawgood is consultant leading to the Belgium World League Semi-finals.
  The Committee Chairman will have his hands full when the WL Semi-finals ends on July 5, as his committee will have to move the chairs around again and decide whether to extend the Australian's contract as consultant, name him as chief coach, or release him.
  The Finance Committee will be tasked to wipe out MHC's RM2.6 million debt as soon as possible, as well as pay the coaches and players who are preparing for the Olympic qualifier their long overdue dues totalling RM300,000 by Saturday.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Kumar: My final shot at Olympics ...

Kumar after conducting a coaching clinic for boys and girls from all over Negri Sembilan at the Seremban II Stadium Saturday. It was organised by the Negri Sembilan HA.

NATIONAL No 1 goalkeeper S. Kumar will be going for broke at the  Belgium World League Semi-finals on June 20 to July 5.
  The 35-year-old custodian is at his prime to help Malaysia qualify for the Olympics, but if he fails, he will call it a day.
  "I have played at the World Cup but Olympics has eluded me over the years and Belgium would be my last chance to make the grade to Rio de Janeiro next year. Age is catching up with me and if I miss Brazil, I would be 40 by the next Games," said Kumar after conducting a goalkeepers coaching clinic organised by the Negri Sembilan HA at the Seremban II Stadium on Saturday.
  About 50 youth from all over Negri came for the clinic, which was also conducted by national goalkeeper's coach M. Nadarajan.
  Kumar took Malaysia to the 2014 World Cup as well as handed Malaysia the gold medal at the World League Round Two in Singapore in January.
  On both occasions, he showed nerves of steel to stop Japan in a penalty shoot-out. 
  During the World Cup Qualifier in Johor Baru, Japan held Malaysia to a 1-1 draw in the World League Semi-finals fifth-sixth placing match, but Kumar made some heroic saves to win the shoot-out 4-3 to take Malaysia to the World Cup in Netherlands.
   And in the World League Round Two, Malaysia were again held to a 1-1 draw by Japan in the semi-finals, but in the shoot-out, Kumar held the fort and took his team into the final on a 3-1 score which booked a ticket to the World League Semi-finals in Belgium.
  "Hockey is all about speed and reflections today, and goalkeepers need to be on their toes the entire game. The more saves we make, the more confident the team becomes and winning becomes that much easier," said the Tampin-born Kumar.
  The second goalkeeper is Roslan Jamaluddin, and both of them are sure bets to play in Belgium, leaving coach Tai Beng Hai to select 16 more outfield players.
  Malaysia are in Group B of the World League Semi-finals with Belgium, Great Britain, China and Ireland. In Group A are Australia, India, Pakistan, Poland and France.
  "We play China and then Ireland and need to win both the early matches to book a quarter-finals spot early as there are five teams in each group and the last placed teams will not be involved in the play-offs," said Kumar.
  Malaysia need to play in the last four in Belgium to seal their Olympic ticket.
  At the coaching clinic, Kumar and Nadarajan drilled the aspiring goalkeepers for three hours on basics.
  "The turn-out is good, but the majority are still struggling with basics," said Nadarajan.
  There were a handful of teachers who were also taught how to polish the basics of their students, and now its up to them to nurture their goalkeepers and strengthen the basics.
  Negri Sembilan HA secretary P. Tamilselvan said: "Kumar and Nadarajan have shown the teachers on how to strengthen the basics in goalkeeping and we will follow up with the teachers from time to time by holding more clinics. Hopefully another goalkeeper from Negri Sembilan will follow Kumar's footsteps."

Thursday, May 14, 2015

MHC CEO Logan Raj needs GST as well...

Pic: Logan Raj in his playing days (both legs in the air)

By Jugjet Singh

OUTGOING Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah stunned the gallery with his parting speech when he said the new council will need GST from the public, as well as its creditors to wake up.
  There was a moment of awkward silence, followed by all round smiles and laughter when Tengku Abdullah said: "GST here means Give Some Time."
  GST is what the MHC need as they have a debt of RM2.6 million to clear, and it keeps increasing as junior and senior teams criss-cross the globe to play friendlies in the run-up to the World League Semi-finals as well as the Sea Games and the Junior Asia Cup.
  Knowing well that the clock started ticking when he was unopposed as president of the MHC when nominations closed on April 28, Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal has been on his toes since, meeting relevant parties and formulating KPI's for them, even before they were elected on May 13.
  One matter that was discussed way ahead, and stamped right after the elections was the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Former International K. Logan Raj was hand-picked by Subahan, and his newly elected council endorsed it. Logan, Subahan said, will start work immediately.
  The newly elected members did not have the luxury of GST to choose a CEO, as it was the prerogative of the president and he made a lightning bolt decision which caught many by surprise, some speechless, while others said they had no comments.
  Minutes after the appointment, followed emails on Logan's job scope, as well as his KPI which was a mouthful, but Logan Raj has no GST on his side as his job scope sees him doing stuff from the office-boy level to the daily running of the MHC to bringing in revenue which is just some of the tasks that the former player with more than 200 caps will be up against for the next two years.
  Logan Raj started work yesterday, and when contacted said he has yet to walk into his new office as he has been running around doing other stuff as directed by the president. He said he knows the weight that has been placed on his shoulders, and the KPI expected of him is quite heavy, and he quipped: "Even the pile of paper that my KPI has been printed on is quite heavy, but that does not worry me as I am ready and willing to give my all."
  As Tengku Abdullah said, GST should be applied at all levels, and Logan Raj has two years to get the house in order as he does not have the luxury of a secretary or assistant secretary as the new constitution abolished those posts.
  He will inherit many office helpers from the previous regime, but they have been in a comfort zone for far too long, and this is one group that GST must not be applied to as they had ample time under former secretary Datuk Johari Aziz but fared miserable.
  One para of Logan Raj's job scope states: The CEO assumes the day-to-day management and operation of the MHC on behalf of the Executive Board, in accordance to all directives and policies established by the President and/or Executive Board."
  Logan Raj must hit the ground running, and keep running for the next two years, just to place the administrative side of MHC from red to black. From debtors to a healthy bank balance.
  Oh, before I forget, for those who questioned the selection of Logan Raj, and there are many, GST to the lad who gave half his life to hockey in training and playing in the 1998 KL Commonwealth Games, 2001 Hobart Junior World Cup, 2002 KL World Cup, and a host of Olympic qualifiers as well as skipper to the Korat Sea Games gold medal side.
  His CV has hockey blood splattered on it, and now he has been recalled to spill more sweat and blood into his new position as nobody envies what the president and his men have in store for him for the next two years.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

By George! Its Koshy..

Pic: Subahan (right) with new deputy George Koshy.

BUSINESSMAN George Koshy tore the formbook apart when he beat early hot favourite Datuk Nor Azmi Ahmad to become the new men's deputy president in the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) yesterday.
  George, also a former Kuala Lumpur HA president and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club owner, narrowly beat Azmi 16 to 13 votes.. even though when nominations closed he only had one from KL, while Azmi received 10 nominations.
  In the women's section, S. Shamala was voted in as the deputy president when she beat K. Maheswari 17 to 12 votes.
  A total of 29 delegates cast their votes after the Annual General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
  The seven vice-presidents who will run the MHC show for the next four years are Datuk Wan Ahmad Nizam (28 votes), Datuk Ow Soon Kooi (28), Satish Kumar (25), Manjit Majid Abdullah (24), Datuk R. Radhakrishnan (24), Nik Zarah Nik Kadir (27) and S. Nagula (19).
  Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal is the sixth MHC president, as he won unoposed when nominations closed on April 28.
  Immediately after elections, Subahan held a meeting with the new council, and appointed a Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer.
  "After discussing with the new members, we have decided to appoint former international K. Logan Raj as the CEO while the treasurer's post will go to S. Selvendran," said Subahan.
  The windfall that Subahan received yesterday was when out-going president, for two terms from 2008, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah announced that he will help clear MHC's debt which is about RM2.6 million.
  "I wish the new council all the best, and would also like to state that I will clear the debts so that they can start on a fresh slate. And I hope they can achieve what I could not, that is to take the national team into the top-10 bracket in the world (Malaysia are 12th ranked now)," said Tengku Abdullah.
  Subahan was elated, but said MHC will have to find their own cash and not depend solely on Tengku Abdullah, who was yesterday made into MHC Honorary President.
  "I would like to thank Tengku Abdullah for his gracious gesture to clear all our debts, but we in the MHC must also work hard to make sure the money comes in and there are no more shortages," said Subahan.
  Azmi, who held the post of team manager, immediately resigned after losing: "Now that new people have been elected to helm MHC, I hope they will be able to pay all those they owe money to. I would also like to announce my immediate resignation as national team manager."
  Incoming deputy president Koshy said: "Now the work starts, and we need to immediately solve some matters with careful planning. I thank the delegates who placed their confidence in my hands."
  The immediate task at hand for Subahan and his council is to appoint a manager and sort out some coaching problems.
  "Yes We need to look into team manager and also Neil Howgood's tenure with the national team as soon as possible. So I will meet the players by next week and hold a discussion with them before making a decision.
  "As for the coaches, I have met with chief coach Tai Beng Hai and assistant coach Stephen ven Huizen and will also make a decision soon on Hawgood who is still hired as a consultant," said Subahan.
  The Malaysian team will play in the Belgium World League Semi-finals which is a qualifier for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and they need to finish among the top-four to play in Brazil.
  Hawgood was hired as consultant for six months, and his tenure expires before the WL Seni-finals on June 20 to July 5.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

George: Vote based on track record, not empty promises

FIFTEEN affiliates with two votes each will decide the future of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Wednesday.
  And the interesting part is that 14 of the votes are in the hands on women delegates, as each state and affiliate must bring a man and woman to compliment with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) guidelines.
  Perlis only registered one delegate.
  The only affiliate who will not be a part of the process is Sarawak who have yet to register themselves with the Sports Commissioner's office. Delegates had to register their names 48 hours before election with the MHC, and Sarawak have failed to do so as they are only registered with the Registrar of Society.
  Sarawak is just a tiny part of the bigger mess which president-elect Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal will inherit after today's voting is done and the winners announced.
  For, Subahan takes over a debt-ridden Confederation, to the tune of RM2.6 million,  from Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and also at the brink if the national team's last chance to qualify for the Olympics via the World League Semi-finals in June.
  And the corporate-man needs capable hands to help him source for sponsors, and keep his fingers crossed that Malaysia qualify for the Olympics so that they can use it as a bait to lure sponsors.
  He's choice for deputy in the men's section are incumbent vice-president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad and former Kuala Lumur HA president and the owner of a highly successful Kuala Lumpur HC.
  In the women'a arm, the contest is between incumbent vice-presidents S. Shamala and K. Maheswari who are both waiting for a strong signal from the delegates to upgrade themselves.
  Then there are six nominees for the men's vice-president and three in the women's section. Two women must be voted in with five men, or four, if the third women gets a higher vote than the fifth man in this section. 
  The six are incumbent Manjit Majid Abdullah (eight nominations), Penang HA president Datuk Ow Soon Kooi (seven), MHC treasurer Datuk N. Radhakrishnan (nine), Kedah HA president Sathis Kumar (seven), A. Vijayshankar (one) and Datuk Wan Ahmad Nizam (six).
  The women's vice-presidents, minimum two posts, will see a three-cornered fight among Juriah Abdul Wahab (three), Nik Zarah Kadir (four) and S. Nagula (Four).
  The most intense battle is in the men and women's deputy president's posts, while its straightforward in the veep section.
  On Monday, Azmi threw a challenge to George to sign a document stating that he will source for funds and give out grants of RM50,000 per year for four years to all 16 affiliates and Azmi will ask the delegates to give all 30 votes to George.
   George did not swallow the bait as he feels the most important task at hand, if he is elected, is to make MHC debt-free and then the parent body can start taking care of their affiliates.
  "First of all I would like to state that I will not back down from the elections, and I will be there tomorrow (today). And I am also not going to reply to Azmi's challenge because there are bigger tasks as hand to solve in MHC before we can start looking at how to help the affiliates.
  "For starters, Azmi was a deputy-president with the old Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) and senior vice-president with the MHC for many years now but he himself could not give a guarantee of RM50,000 per state per year during his long tenure with both MHF and MHC.
  "The delegates know this as its an open secret. As for me, my track record with MHC was only as a treasurer for two years and it was not a decision making department as compared to Azmi's.
  "But my involvement with hockey since the last 10 years has its own records and delegates know my contribution as the KLHA president which has the best run league in the country and is financially strong.
  "I have also contributed at the club level as owner of KLHC which has a proven track record and evolved from Arthur Anderson to Ernst & Young to the current form. The club is self funded.
  "So, those coming to vote tomorrow must decide based on track records and not just sentiments because they will decide which direction hockey takes for the next four years," said Koshy.
  Whatever the outcome today, MHC must still wait until the World League Semi-finals is over before they can start formulating a plan to fill up their empty coffers, and turn some former empty promises to concrete plans. The presidential speech will outline how this can be achieved in as short period as possible.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Azmi's RM50,000 grant challenge to Koshy


MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) deputy president candidate Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad yesterday threw a challenge to his opponent George Koshy.
  In a packed press conference Azmi announced that he is willing to give the seat to George unchallenged, provided that he signs a document stating that the 16 MHC affiliates will each receive an RM50,000 yearly grant for four years.
  "George is a good friend, and I would have given up the deputy president's nomination and defended my vice-president's post if he had just told me before nominations that he wants to be the second man in MHC.
  "But he did it silently, and only received one nomination from Kuala Lumpur because even the other 15 affiliates were not sure if he wanted to stand for election.
  "However, now that both of us have pledged to stand on May 13 (Wednesday) I am giving him another chance to win unopposed. All he has to do is put it in writing that he will source for sponsors and provide a yearly grant of RM50,000 to each MHC affiliate for the next four years.
  "I will then walk up to the podium, and make a short speech to the delegates before voting that there is no need to cast a single vote in my favour, and all the votes must go to Koshy," said Azmi.
  Azmi, who received 10 nominations for the deputy president's post, said that money was a big issue played up in the campaigning so he is willing to bow out from the race if it would benefit the delegates.
  "I get nothing, because it is a voluntary position and not a salaried post. So, if the states can be promised an RM50,000 yearly grant, I would gladly give up my challenge."
  MHC treasurer Datuk N. Radhakrishnan, running for a vice-president's post this time around, had said that MHC were RM2.6 million in debt due to the lackadaisical attitude of the current office bearers in raising funds for the Confederation.
  "Those elected will have to work harder and given a KPI to bring in money as the MHC has many debts to pay. Previously, only the president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah provided funds as well as our Rakan Sukan Tenaga Nasional. Some sponsors had pledged millions for a five-year period but failed to deliver the goods and that's among the main reasons why the MHC is in debt now.
  "This is no longer a joy-ride position, so my challenge to George is not overboard. Money given to the states can help develop talent which is what we need in large numbers today.
  "Currently there is only a small number of senior players, about 30, and this does not give the coaches a good choice to pick for major assignments.
  "That's why states need funding to develop their programmes and send teams for the Junior Hockey League, Malaysia Hockey League and others.
  "Right now, if we do not qualify for the Olympics by finishing fourth in the World League Semi-finals, I believe not only would Malaysia be set back for five years, but it would also be very difficult for those elected to source for funds because sponsors always look for performance before parting with their money.
  "That is why I have thrown the challenge to George, who had said in his campaign trail, that he has plans to systematically raise funds for MHC. If he can promise, in writing, that the states would get the amount with money sourced from sponsors, the deputy president's post is his for the taking and I will bow out. That's a promise," said Azmi.
  In the women's deputy president's race S. Shamala would be up against K. Maheshwari.
  There are six candidates for the men's vice president, and three for the women's veep. A minimum of two ladies need to be voted in as regulated by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Malaysia hold Belgium 2-2

MALAYSIA held Belgium to a 2-2 draw in their second friendly at Antwerp.
  After losing 3-1 in the first friendly, the national players were much more composed in the second match in their preparation for the World League Semi-finals.
  The World League Semi-Finals, on June 20-July 5 in Belgium, is a qualifier for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics and Malaysia are in Group B with Belgium, Ireland, China and Britain. In Group A are Australia, India, Pakistan, Poland and France. 
  Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin gave Malaysia the lead in the third minute, but Belgium equalised in the 10th minute. Shahril Saabah re-took the lead with a reverse stick shot in the 37th, but Belgium drew the match with a 43rd minute penalty corner.
  For the record, Belgium beat Malaysia 6-2 in the World Cup at the Hague, Netherlands.

Mirnawan: Let Juniors sail in Sea Games

NATIONAL Juniors team manager Mirnawan Nawawi feels Malaysia should just field his charges for the Sea Games, as they have been in super form in an ongoing series of friendlies against Singapore.
  The first match at the Sengkang Stadium in Singapore was a little shaky as Malaysia only won 2-1, but three more friendlies produced the desired results.
  The national juniors won 7-0, 5-0 and 5-2 against the Singapore seniors. The last friendly will be held today.
  "My personal opinion is that we should just field the juniors for the Sea Games without including senior players dropped from the World League Semi-finals training squad.
  "This is because I feel that we need to expose them in a tournament environment to get them ready for the Junior Asia Cup at the end of the year which is a Junior World Cup qualifier.
  "Juniors have shown good form in the friendlies but there is still room for improvement and we can achieve that by playing as a unit in the Sea Games," said Mirnawan.
  Not wanting to belittle the other Sea Games opponents Thailand, Myanmar and hosts Singapore, Mirnawan said his charges will have to be on their toes to defend the gold.
  "Singapore is a good side and it will not be easy playing them in the Sea Games. However, for the future of the country as well as early preparations for the Junior Asia Cup, I feel we must field the juniors without help from any senior players," said Mirnawan.
  For the record, in the last meeting at the World League Round Two Malaysian seniors whitewashed Singapore 16-1.
  "We need to win the Sea Games gold medal as a boost for the Sultan of Johor Cup where we will play against Pakistan, India, Australia, Argentina and Britain.
  "We will again play Pakistan and India in the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan, for a ticket to the Junior World Cup. So I feel this team needs to beat Asean opponents before they can start looking at the Asian region," said Mirnawan.
  The Sultan of Johor Cup will be held on Oct 11-18 at the Taman Daya Stadium. Malaysia were champions in the inaugural meet in 2011, while Australia emerged champions the next edition. India claimed back-to-back golds in 2013 and 2014.
  In the Junir Asia Cup, in Kuantan in November, defending champions Malaysia must finish among the top-four to play in New Delhi in 2016. For the record, Malaysia finished fourth in the 2013 Junior World Cup -- also held in New Delhi.
  In the women's Sea Games event Malaysia will defend their gold against, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The George vs Azmi match...

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) has never seen such an intense campaigning in their half a century history, as candidates start making their final calls and rounds for the May 13 elections.
  While the president, Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal won unopposed when nominations closed on April 28, the deputy president's posts are being contested by heavyweights in their own rights.
  In the men's deputy president battle it will be a straight-fight between former Kuala Lumpur HA president George Koshy and incumbent vice-president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad.
  The women's deputy president post will also see a straight battle between incumbent vice-president's S. Shamala and K. Maheswari.
  George, who has also held the post of senior team manager for a decade, said he hopes to see changes this time around, as in the past, most pre-election ideas fizzled out after the hype and fanfare of canvassing for votes.
  "In my mind it isn’t a battle between Datuk Azmi and I. It’s more akin to who is the right person to initiate and implement the much needed changes MHC requires.
  "This isn’t a popularity contest, about any individual or state, it is about Malaysian hockey, which is the only world recognised team sport which is doing relatively well in the country," said George.
  He feels the new team will have to make hard decisions, tough calls and drastic changes to the leadership, infrastructure, financial position cum sponsorship structure.
  "There is so much to be done, even in competitions format, the national team and age group programs, players welfare and imaging. Ultimately it comes to re-branding MHC to be current, relevant and in line with the changes taking place globally," said Koshy.
  Going by Koshy's manifesto, MHC needs a total overhaul, so states must cast their votes for the best among the two who they feel can make it happen.
  As for Azmi, he also has many plans and has been busy on a blazing campaign trail.
  "As a senior vice-president for many years, I have helped many states as well as individuals who needed help to develop hockey. Everybody in MHC is family and there are no enemies. George and I have also worked together on many occasions, but unfortunately the delegates can only choose one," said Azmi.
  Azmi also feels the MHC needs an overhaul from top to bottom: "Before this only the president (Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah) used to bring in the money but now, MHC needs a strong team to not only bring in the money, but also plan and execute sound development plans.
  "For example, I personally feel that the 1Mas Programme is heading nowhere and and needs urgent attention. The programme is supposed to unearth new talent and not nurture those who are already in hockey playing schools as well as belong to clubs.
  "1Mas should be training at least 1,000 new kids every year, but their focus is more on developing players who had already been identified by hockey schools or states. This is not what 1Mas was set up for, and I feel it needs urgent revamp," was one of Azmi's election clarion call.
  The stage is set, and the ceramah's albeit among small target group, has come out with many plans to help MHC and hockey grow stronger at the world stage.
  The delegates have less than a week to make their mind, before going to the ballot on May 13.

Sarawak poser...

MORE administrative worms crawled out of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) affiliates as their May 13 election fever reaches a burning point.
  This time, it was Sarawak HA's turn to fail miserably in merging the men and women's section and Sports Commissioner Datuk Zaitun Othman has caught them by their scrotum.
  "Sarawak have yet to merge their men and women's section as well as register with the Sports Commissioner's office. However, they still have time to rectify the situation by submitting the relevant paperwork before May 13 to be eligible to vote," said Zaiton.
  Zaiton said she only needed a minute to approve their paper work, if its in order.
  A merger between the men and women has long been championed by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) but MHC affiliates have been slow as snails to get this administrative side in order.
  "Sarawak can still vote in the May 13 elections, provided they give me the completed paperwork. I would only need a minute to make them legal voters when everything is provided," said Zaitun.
  The worrying factor is that Sarawak HA have been actively involved in the MHC matters for the last three years even though they have yet to register with the Sports Commissioner's office.
  The Sports Development act 1997 came to force in East Malaysia in 2012, but Sarawak have yet to comply with its requirements.
  Sarawak were also involved in nomination candidates for the MHC elections.
  "If they submit the papers, they can vote, if not it is better Sarawak HA stay away from the MHC Annual General Meeting (AGM)," said an MHC official who declined to be named.
  The other worm came out from Perlis' can, as they have yet to submit annual reports since 2012.
  "The Sports Commissioner's office has sent a warning letter to Perlis on as they have yet to submit their annual reports to us. But Perlis can still vote in the AGM as we have only warned them to comply," clarified Zaitun.
  The odd matter was that while Sawarak, still registered with the Registrar of Societies, sent in nominations for the election, Perlis did not nominate anybody as they feared being branded as an illegal body.
  Sarawak HA secretary William Lee could not be contacted for comments.

Datuk Rahim bows out...

DATUK Rahim Ariff, Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) vice-president for the last 10 years, has thrown in the towel three days before the election bailout date.
  When nominations closed on April 28, Rahim received the higest for vice president with nine states naming him.
  The exit date for candidates is May 9, while elections will be on May 13.
  "We received a letter from Datuk Rahim today (yesterday) stating that he does not want to stand for elections as he feels he has served enough for the last 10 years," said MHC Competition Committee secretary Hashim Yusoff, who is in charge of accepting nominations.
  Seven men and three women were nominated for the veep position which requires a minimum of two women and five men to be elected. However, if the third placed woman received higher votes than that of the fifth placed man, she would also be eligible to become a vice-president and the numbers will be three and four.
  With six men standing, and two more days to withdraw, at least one more candidate is contemplating throwing in the towel.
  The six remaining men are incumbent Manjit Majid Abdullah (eight nominations), Penang HA president Datuk Ow Soon Kooi (seven), MHC treasurer Datuk N. Radhakrishnan (nine), Kedah HA president Sathis Kumar (seven), A. Vijayshankar (one) and Datuk Wan Ahmad Nizam (six).
  The women's vice-presidents, minimum two posts, will see a three-cornered fight among Juriah Abdul Wahab (three), Nik Zarah Kadir (four) and S. Nagula (Four).
  As for the two deputy president's positions, it would be straight fights between George Koshy and Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad; and S. Shamala and K. Maheswari.

Friday, May 1, 2015

George Koshy: I'm not in in for the glory...

GEORGE Koshy is not in it for the glamour or glory, but to make sure there is a better financial and structural standing in the Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC).
  Koshy, who has hockey blood running in his veins, will be challenged by Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad in the May 13 MHC elections for the deputy president's post.
  He is taking the dive head on, even though he knows that the MHC coffers are empty, while their organisational structure is hap-hazard to the core.
  And even though only Kuala Lumpur has nominated him, as opposed to Nur Azmi who has 10 nominations, Koshy said Friday that he will not back down even though he has until May 9 to do so.
  "I am not going to withdraw my nomination, and I am going all the way to voting day even though there is an escape window before May 9," said Koshy Friday.
  His confidence stems from the feed-back that he has received after nominations closed on April 28.
  "Many state affiliates did not nominate me because they felt that I was not serious about running for the deputy president's post. But now that I have made contact with the affiliates, many have thrown their support behind me," said Koshy.
   The former Kuala Lumpur HA president as well as Malaysian Hockey Federation treasurer (before it became the MHC) said he knows that the financial and structural standing of the MHC is porous, and wants to come in to make them stronger.
  "I will not gain anything from this position, as I already have everything I need in my life, and I am also not chasing for glory but to place the MHC in a better financial as well as structural position. I'm not going in blind-folded, but with many plans to help MHC.
  And how is he going to bail out a bankrupt MHC?
  "That will come with a strong CEO with a KPI to deliver the sponsorship side of matters. Hockey in Malaysia is a marketable sport, and I am sure with the right approach and planning, sponsors would not mind supporting our activities," said George.
  In the women's deputy president's race, S. Shamala would be up against K. Maheswary. The vice-president positions, five for men and two for women, have seven and three candidates respectively but withdrawals before May 9 might see no contest but direct appointments in this section.
  (Note: If the third lady gets higher votes than the fifth man, then three ladies and four men will make the veep).