Monday, September 7, 2015

Junior Asia Cup: China 4 Malaysia 0

THE Malaysian women's team went down 4-0 to China in the Junior Asia Cup at the Wujin National Hockey Stadium in Changzhou Monday.
  Playing in Group A, Malaysia's next opponents are North Korea on Wednesday, followed by India the next day. Three points are possible from North Korea, as China had beaten them 11-0.
  Malaysia had beaten Singapore 2-0 in their opening match.

Good rest for THT and KLHC

THE Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) TNB Cup quarter-finals balloting was done yesterday, with Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) receiving a 10-day rest.
  League champions THT and runners-up KLHC received a bye into the semi-finals, while third-paced Sapura drew UniKL in the last eight.
  The other quarter-finals will be between Tenaga Nasional and Maybank.
  The two-leg quarter-finals will be held on Sept 11 and 13, while the semi-finals, also two-legs, will be on Sept 15 and 17.
  All the matches will be held at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, and telecast live.
  THT will either play Tenaga or Maybank in the semis, while KLHC await the winners of the Sapura-UniKL match.
  Sarjit Singh, who coached THT to their first double last season and is heading for another this season, said the standard of teams is almost the same and he has no preference in the semis.
  "Tenaga and Maybank gave us tough times in the League and so I have no preffered side to play against in the semis. Our mission is to win the double again, and that means beating any team that comes our way," said Sarjit.
  Going by form-book, it looks like THT and KLHC will meet again in the TNB Cup final. In the League encounters, KLHC won 6-2 but were beaten 5-4 in the return leg.
  THT are already big winners, over the RM70,000 which came with the title, the players and and officials also received a bonus of RM10,000 from the state government.
  And and Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Razif has already pledged to refurbish the Batu Buruk as well as the Gong Badak artificial pitches and spruce up the stadiums.
  There is more, THT will fly off to London then Amsterdam to play two friendly matches against club sides on Sept 29 -- a reward for becoming double champions last season.

Van Huizen the chosen one...

STEPHEN van Huizen was the chosen one when the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) named the senior men's coach for the next two years.
  Assisted by Lim Chiow Chuan, both of them are tasked with whipping up a team which would hopefully take the country back into its glory days by qualifying for the 2018 India World Cup, and then the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  Hand-picked by Technical director Terry Walsh and the MHC Coaching Committee chaired by Datuk Ow Soon Kooi, among the challenges the duo would face are changing the players mindset.
  "First of all I would like to thank the MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation) for selecting me as chief coach. I take the challenge, and among the areas that need to be improved to get back into the World Cup and Olympics is to change their mindset into winners," said Van Huizen who assisted Tai Beng Hai in the failed attempt to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
   Then, playing in Belgium, Malaysia had two chances to qualify for the Olympics but an inferior attitude saw them lose to India in the quarter-finals and then to Ireland in the fifth-sixth classification.
  For the juniors, Arul Selvaraj has been retained and he will be assisted by Amin Rahim and Jivan Mohan.
  The MHC will also include a clause in the coaches contract, which will no longer allow them to coach club sides in the Malaysia Hockey League as well as Junior Hockey League. Currently, Arul Selvaraj is coaching Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in the MHL.
  Walsh, optimistic about his new appointments, said: "Don't expect overnight changes but gradually we will work towards qualifying for the World Cup and Olympics. It might take 12 to 19 months, and there might be changes in the player line-up as many from the present batch would not be able to sustain the pace until 2020."
  Coaching committee chairman Soon Kooi said Van Huizen was selected as he is the most successful coach to date.
  "Van Huizen took us to the last Olympics through the Osaka Olympic qualifier (sixth in 2000) and also he is the only coach who has won a silver medal for Malaysia in the Asian Games (2010 Guangzhou)," said Soon Kooi, who was a former Malaysian skipper.
  COACHING set-up: Men's senior: Coach -- Stephen van Huizen, Assistant: Lim Chiow Chuan; Juniors: Coach -- Arul Selvaraj, Assistants: Amin Rahim and Jiwa Mohan.
  Women's senior: Nasihin Nubli; Juniors: Lailin Abu Hassan.
  Development Director: Tai Beng Hai.