Monday, June 13, 2016

Two more likely for Premier Division...

THE MALAYSIA Hockey League (MHL) entries close on July 1, and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHF) are looking at eight teams in the Premier Division.
  Last season there were six teams and Terengganu Hockey Team, coached by Sarjit Singh, were crowned as the double champions.
  And there were 13 teams in Division One, while the women's league had 11 teams.
  The MHL is scheduled from Aug 5 to Sept 25.
  "We hope teams will adhere to the deadline with regards to the closing of entries and registration of players," said Competitions Committee chairman George Koshy.
  "Ample notice has been given to the teams and I hope there will not be cases of teams appealing after the closing date."
  The Premier Division will see a significant change in the fielding of national players.
  "A team can register any number of national players but only eight can take the field at any given time. And the definition of national players also includes foreign players, of which, each team can register a maximum of six.
  "And the early indications are that two more teams might register for the Premier Division making it an eight-team event," said Koshy.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Malaysia lose Second Test 4-3

MALAYSIA lost the Second Test 4-3 to Japan in Kakamigahara Sunday, but gave a good account of themselves without six regulars.
   Coach Stephen van Huizen's men drew the First Test 1-1 on Saturday, but lost the earlier two friendlies 5-1 and 3-1.
   They will play two more friendlies before wrapping up the Tour in preparation of the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan in August.
    Yesterday Najmi Farizal Jazlan (18th, 24th) and Firhan Ashari (69th) scored for Malaysia.
    Van Huizen said:  "We started off quite slowly and conceded early goals. We were basically chasing the game but my men kept on fighting and never gave up.
   "It was a much better game compared to the previous matches. We had five penalty corners  and we scored three goals off them.
   "This Tour has opened our eyes and the young boys had a good exposure. We have two more practice matches to go and we will take one game at a time."
    The six regulars, including skipper and penalty corner ace Razie Rahim, sat out the Tour for various reasons but it gave younger players an opening to how their mettle.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Test begins for van Huizen's back-up...

Training before the two Tests..

NATIONAL coach Stephen van Huizen will attempt to make amends in the two Test matches against Japan this weekend, after two disastrous friendlies in Kakamigahara.
  Malaysia lost 5-1 and 3-1 in the two friendlies, and van Huizen said even though he did not have six regulars, he does not want it to be an excuse during the Test matches Saturday and Sunday.
  "No excuses to lose by such margins to Japan even though we did not have six regulars in the squad due to various reasons. The back-up players are the best that we have in the country today, and they need to prove themselves in the next two Test matches if they want to be recognised for future tournaments," said van Huizen.
   Goalkeeper S. Kumar is still nursing his thigh injury, 
Faiz Helmi and Fitri Saari have examinations and Shahril Saabah has family commitments (mother died).
  National skipper Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri are back with Police training after getting a brief release to play in the Razak Cup.
  Malaysia last played with a full squad against Japan in the Azlan Shah Cup and won 4-3 with two goals from Razie and one each from Fitri and Haziq Shamsul.
  "Looking at the bright side, the six matches in Japan (four friendlies and two Test) will give me an insight and depth of the bench. This is important as we are preparing for the next tournament which is the Asian Champions Trophy which offers ranking points for the first time (to the top-three teams)..
  "Malaysia also failed to qualify for the Junior World Cup, while Japan made it. But that does not mean we need to discard the entire juniors team as some of the players have potential to play in the senior side.
  "They are being tested in Japan, and should give a better account of themselves in the two Tests to be in the circle."

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Japan thrash Malaysia, again...

NOTE: Some of the players are fasting during the japan Tour. Like they did during the World League Semi-finals in Belgium where Malaysia failed to beat India in the quarter-finals after taking a 2-1 lead, and lost a chance to play in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

MALAYSIA played friendlies, but Japan took both the matches seriously to thrash Malaysia 5-1 and then 3-1 in Kakamigahara.
  Coach Stephen van Huizen's men are on a Tour of six matches, four of which are friendlies, while two are Test matches.
  On Wednesday, his charges were down 5-0 before the consolation was scored Norhizzat Sumantri. And yesterday, Harvinder Singh gave Malaysia the lead off a 12th minute penalty corner rebound, but Japan won the match with ease in a seven minute blitz -- 55th, 58th and 62nd minutes.
  The two Test matches will be played on Saturday and Sunday, followed by two more friendlies.
  Van Huizen attributed the defeats to poor marking and decision-making, particularly during crucial moments.
  "Overall, we played much better in the second friendly. But the results clearly show that without our key players, we struggle. I believe this is an opportunity for several of the younger players to step up and understand the demands of international hockey. While the enthusiasm is good, we find ourselves wanting in many areas.
  The coach went to Japan withour several key players who are nursing injuries, had examinations and also joined the Police Force.
  Goalkeeper S. Kumar is still nursing his thigh injury, 
Faiz Helmi and Fitri Saari have examinations and Shahril Saabah has family commitments.
  National skipper Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri are back with Police training after getting a brief release to play in the Razak Cup.
  "Positively, there is progress in our game. We will prepare as best as we can for the upcoming Test matches. We need to up the level significantly to get a result. The games have provided me and the coaching staff with sufficient insight about the players and our squad entirely", he added.
  Japan are preparing a team to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, while van Huizen and his men will be attempting to qualify for the Olympics, which Malaysia last played in 2000 Sydney.

Monday, June 6, 2016

MHC website and password for everybody...


THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) yesterday launched the 1Mas Coaching Website 'for everybody' who are interested in the sport, and gave away the password.
  The URL for the website is and the password is 1Coach.
  And information in the website is based on the wealth of experience gained by one of the world's best hockey mind, Australian Terry Walsh.
  Walsh, the MHC Technical Director now, said it is a new initiative and visual learning programme which will help players and coaches around the country.
  It is not meant to be prescriptive but information sharing, reminded Walsh.
  “We are trying to make it as open as possible for everybody around the country to go online and have a look at what we have produced. It is basically an education process, as we look forward to go as deep as we can into the hockey community in Malaysia.
  The content of the website is mostly about how to develop skills into the highest level, simple playing concepts, what do they mean and how to go about it,” said Walsh during the soft launch in Bukit Jalil.
   Also present at the event were MHC Deputy President, S. Shamala, Independent member Ahmad Najmi, CEO K. Logan Raj, 1Mas Director of Development Tai Beng Hai and 1Mas coaches.
  Shamala praised the brilliant effort taken by Walsh to build a strong platform for the future of Malaysian hockey.
   “This website will serve as the digital platform for the hockey family to harness knowledge and resources that were developed by Walsh.
  "The platform is intended to serve as a critical and complementary partner to the existing avenues of knowledge transfer,” said Shamala.
  It is going to be a massive advantage for kids who are keen on learning the game and also the coaches, who would be able to learn the process of skill development and understanding what are the coaching concepts are all about.

Top seven coaches for Under 12 programme

 COACHES: Amin Rahim, K. Embaraj, S. Velappan, M. Nadarajan, Yahya Atan, Tai Beng Hai and Terry Walsh.

SEVEN top coachs in Malaysia gathered over the weekend to train a lucky group of 30 Under-12 hockey players at the grass pitch of Universiti Putra Malaysia.
  The 1Mas-Milo programme ran over the weekend, and the participants, some of them who just learned the basics like holding a hockey the right way, received a certificate each.
  Each participant paid RM30 for the programme.
  Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Technical director Terry Walsh, 1Mas Director Tai Beng Hai, 1Mas development coach K. Embaraj, goalkeepers coach M. Nadarajan, MHC development coach S. Velappan and former No 1 penalty corner specialist Amin Rahim and veteran coach Yahya Atan were literally on their knees teaching the kids.
  These are the future of the country, and we need to get down to their level to coach them so that there is continuity leading up to the top level in 10 years time," said Walsh.
  The next programme will be held in August, and for a longer period.
  "The plan is to have a longer period of raining in August, like eight days, where the participants will be exposed a litle more to the sport. We are also conducting similar programmes for soccer and gymnastics," said Nestle Malaysia Sports Marketing Director Ng Ping Loong.
  The programme is expectd be held in many other states.
  "We need to go to the grassroots and watch, as well as train these kids more often. This is the only way to keep a healthy hockey culture in the country," said Walsh.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Van Huizen: Wait your turn Faizal

HE was once listed among the most talented players in the world by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) but Faizal Shaari loaded his ego gun and shot himself in the foot real bad.
  And he is still limping around, waiting for his ban to play in international matches to end on June 20, while his team-mates played in the Azlan Shah Cup and will be going on a Tour of Japan on June 5-16.
  Fazial was banned from playing in international matches after he skipped training without any reason, and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) executive board even came up with a new code-of-conduct in their meeting in December.
  MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal had said then: "Under the new code of conduct, players who skip national training without valid reasons will be suspended for six months. This is a warning to all the players in the national set-up, from the juniors to the seniors at all levels."
  This came about after the MHC Discipliniry Committee had only let him off with a warning, together with Syamin Yusof, for indiscipline.
  National coach Stephen van Huizen watched Faizal play in the Razak Cup where he top-scored with seven goals to hand Terengganu only their second title in Division One. The first was won in 2012. He scored two goals in their 3-0 win over Police in the final.
  "Firstly, his ban only ends on June 20, while we will be travelling to Japan on June 5 for two Test and four friendlies. And then, his fitness was also not up to mark as he has been out of training since December.
  "It will not be fair to select him immediately after the ban ends, as he needs to prove himself further... especially show that he will not become a problem in the team once we select him.
  "He has not spoken to me about making a comeback, and I have only read in the newspapers about his intent to re-joing national training.
  "If he is really interested, work on his fitness, and then come and meet us (coaching set-up) and have a talk. We will need to underline certain criteria and rules for him to follow, if it is agreed that he returns to national training," said van Huizen.
  The coach also believes other youth have overtaken him by giving their best in training.
  "We can't just bring him in and drop other players who have been giving their best in training over the months. Hockey is a team sport where discipline is utmost, and if he returns and starts to behave the same way like he did before the ban, it would be disruptive for the national team."
  For now, it looks like even though Faizal door into the national team is not closed, as Subahan said earlier, but its not wide open for him to just walk in. There is just a crack of an opening, and he will have to prove himself on his own, by working on his fitness -- and attitude as well.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Japan Tour: Chance for others to shine..

NATIONAL coach Stephen van Huizen picked a young squad for the Japan Tour on June 5-16, as the seniors are either down with injury, have exams, drafted into the Police Force and have personal commitments.
  Looking at the positive side, van Huizen said this is a golden chance for others to show their prowess.
  "We will be playing six matches against Japan, four of which are friendlies and two are Tests. Even though many of the seniors are not available for this Tour, I believe it gives an opportunity to our younger players," said van Huizen.
  Goalkeeper S. Kumar is still nursing his thigh injury, 
Faiz Helmi and Fitri Saari have examinations and Shahril Saabah has family commitments.
  National skipper Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri are back with Police training after getting a brief release to play in the Razak Cup.
  "In their place, 19-year-old players and also those who did not play in the Azlan Shah Cup like Baljit Singh and Harvinder Singh have been called up. This is a golden opportunity for them to shine.'
  Razak Cup top scorer Faizal Shaari will have to sit out the Tour, as his ban from playing in international tournaments only ends on June 20.
  Terengganu Hockey team goalkeeper Hazrul Faiz, 22, and Syafiq Sumantri, 19, are among those who will be under the spotlight in Japan.
  The Tour will be used to prepare the team for the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan, which offers ranking points for the top-three teams for the first time.
  Umpire Rais Zakaria will be accompanying the team to officiate in both Test and he will also be officiating at the upcoming Sultan of Johor Cup.
  JAPAN TOUR: Goalkeepers: Hairi Rahman, Hazrul Faiz; Defenders: Shukri Mutalib, Izad Hakimi, Baljit Singh, Najmi Farizal, Najib Hassan, Firdaus Omar, Marhan Jalil, Meor Azuan, Joel Samuel Van Huizen, Azri Hassan, Harvinder Singh, Firhan Ashaari, Norhizzat Sumantri, Ramadan Rosli, Rashid Baharom, Haziq Samsul, Nik Aiman Rozemi, Nor Syafiq Sumantri.

Hunt begins for Indian talents...

PLANS are afoot to help Indian hockey players get more exposure, in the same style as the Malaysian Indian Football Association (MIFA) are doing in soccer.
  MIFA president T. Indran said they started by fielding a team in the last Junior Hockey League, and hope to play a bigger role in promoting hockey among the Indians in the country.
  "We fielded MISCF-UFL in Division Two of the recent JHL with 18 Indian boys and even though the results were not encouraging, its a first step towards helping Indian players get back into the top level of hockey," said Indran.
  The team, from Mentakab, finished seventh out of eight teams in Group B of the JHL
  MIFA, with Malaysian Indian Sports Council, have a team in the FAM League are are currently second in Group A.
  "Over the years Indian players, which include Punjabis, have slowly moved away from Soccer and hockey and if nothing is done, the community will be in the losing end," said Indran.
  Currently, only Baljit Singh and S. Kumar are in the national seniors team, while no Indians are in the junior side.
  "The players need to be given more chances to play, like we did in the JHL. Even though the team only won one and drew one in seven matches, they received invaluable exposure in the JHL," said Indran.
  Towards that, MIFA will also work with Selangor to train an Under-18 team for the Sukan India Malaysia (Sukim) carnival in Negri Sembilan on July 14-17.
  "Seven sports will be held during the Sukim in Negri, and we will be helping Selangor to form a hockey team. It is a small step, but hopefully in the long run, there will be more Indian players playing hockey for the country,' said Indran.
  Selangor hockey held an open selection last weekend under coach K. Ravi, were 18 hopefuls were selected for Sukim.