Monday, August 29, 2016

Sapura above water after 11 years...

PIC: KLHC's Haziq Samsul (left) challenges TNB's Amir Farid (centre) for the ball during their TNBMHL 2016 Premier League match at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium Sunday. KLHC 2-2 TNB.

SAPURA last won the League title in 2005, the year they also won the double by lifting the Overall crown, and 11 years later their head is finally above water in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League.
  Coach Yahya Omar and his men have nine points after four matches, and top the standings by a single point over Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC).
  However, double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) have hit a dry patch, as first they lost the Charity Shield (2-1 to KLHC) and are now languishing in the middle of the table with only four points after four matches.
  Yahya believes it all up to his players, as they have the fitness and skills, only the hunger for titles need to be challenged.
  "If we play like we did against THT (won 2-0) where my players showed their hunger for victory, I believe we will finally lay our hands on a title this season.
  "As for the League, we still have Tenaga Nasional to play before ending the first round. And then, we have five more matches to play with determination to realise our League dream," said Yahya.
  Today, Sapura will play Division One outfit ATM Airod in the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup quarter-finals.
  ATM Airod have played six matches, with only one win to show and are at the bottom of the standings.
  "We should get past the quarter-finals, but the last-four is where we meet true challengers for the Alagendra Cup," said Yahya.
  The Alagendra Cup's top match of the day will be between THT and KLHC at the Batu Buruk Stadium.
  "We are in bad shape in the League because we missed too many penalty corner and field chances. The League title now looks like a toss between KLHC and Sapura, but the Alegandra Cup is stil within our reach and my players know what to do tomorrow (today)," said THT coach Sarjit Singh.
  KLHC coach Harun Rashid said: "Our end game in the third quarter needs to be tightened as we lost many points during that period. The Alagendra Cup quarters will be tough, but not impossible."
  TUESDAY: ALAGENDRA CUP -- Quarter-finals: Terengganu Hockey Team v Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (Batu Buruk, 5.30pm); Politeknik Malaysia v SSTMI (Taman Daya, 5pm); Sapura Hockey Club v ATM Airod (KLHA, 8pm); Universiti Kuala Lumpur v Tenaga Nasional Berhad (KLHA Stadium, 6pm).


            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts

SAPURA      4  3  0  1  9  6  9
KLHC        4  2  2  0  10 6  8
MAYBANK     4  2  0  2  8  11 6
THT         4  1  1  2  10 9  4
UNIKL       4  1  1  2  3  6  4
TENAGA      4  0  2  2  9  11 2

Terengganu HT and KLHC slide...

TENAGA Nasional pulled off another upset in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League when they came back from two goals down to hold Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC)  2-2 Sunday.
    This came at the back of holding double champions Terengganu Hockey Team  (THT) 4-4 on Friday.
  However, double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) were placed in a hopeless position when they were beaten 2-0 by Sapura.
   KLHC were 2-0 by the third quarter when all-local outfit Tenaga fought back to steal a point in the fourth quarter.
   The KLHC goals were scored by Pedro Lopez (5th) and NamHyunwoo (39th)  while the Tenaga goal scorers were Syed Syafiq (53rd) and Firdaus Omar (60th).
   Tenaga coach Amin Rahim was naturally delighted with the two points which they shaved off the two title contenders.
    "This is a grand moment for my players as they have pulled off two important draws against  favourites this weekend.
     "Before they went on the pitch I told them they have nothing to lose and everything to gain in this match and they did not disappoint," said Amin.
   KLHC coach Harun Rashid rued the four points they lost this weekend. 
  "On Friday we drew 1-1 with UniKL and today (Sunday) were held by Tenaga. This can't continue if we want to chase for titles. In both games we took the leads and then allowed the other teams to claw back," said Harun.
  RESULTS: KLHC 2 Tenaga Nasional 2, Sapura 2 Terengganu HT 0, UniKL 1 Maybank 2.


        P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts

SAPURA      4  3  0  1  9  6  9
KLHC           4 2  2  0  10 6 8
MAYBANK  4  2  0  2  8  11 6
THT             4  1  1  2  10 9  4
UNIKL         4  1  1  2  3  6  4
TENAGA     4  0  2 2  9  11 2

Saturday, August 27, 2016

UniKL, Tenaga riding on tidal draws..

Pic: UniKL's Shazrul Imran (left) challenges KLHc's import Nam Hyunwoo during their famour 1-1 draw on Friday.

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and Tenaga Nasional will be riding on their mammoth draws against title favourites when they face another challenging time Sunday in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League.
  On Friday, UniKL held Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) 1-1, while all-local outfit Tenaga Nasional did the unthinkable by holding double champions Terengganu Hockey team (THT) 4-4.
  And Sunday, UniKL will play Maybank while Tenaga square off against KLHC.
  Tenaga assistant coach M. Kaliswaran said they hope to ride the draw tide in another gruelling match.
  "We are the only team in the Premier Division without foreign signings, and it was a proud moment when we held double champions THT to a draw (THT have six foreign signings).
  "And tomorrow (Sunday) I believe my players will be riding on that boost when we face another title contender," said Kaliswaran.
  It was Tenaga's first point after three matches, and they lost narrowly 4-3 to Maybank and 1-0 to UniKL previously.
  As for UniKL, coach Arul Selvaraj echoed the same sentiments.
  "After grabbing a point from table-toppers KLHC, I believe my young brigade will face their next match with more confidence.
  "But we have our feet firmly on the ground, and even though we had beaten Maybank last week in the Tan Sri Alagendra Cup (1-0), it will be entirely a different proposition this time around.
  "We need to be more clinical, as at times we are guilty of wasting too many chances," said Arul.
  SUNDAY: KLHC v Tenaga Nasional (KLHA, 6pm), Sapura v Terengganu HT (Tun Razak, 8pm), UniKL v Maybank (KLHA, 8pm).


        P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts

KLHC    3  2  1  0  8  4  7
SAPURA  3  2  0  1  7  6  6
THT     3  1  1  1  10 7  4
UNIKL   3  1  1  1  2  4  4
MAYBANK 3  1  0  2  6  10 3
TENAGA  3  0  1  2  7  9  1

Day of the underdogs...

Pic: UniKL players celebrate their hard-fought draw against KLHC

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) almost turned into Giant-killers when they held fancied Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) 1-1 in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League yesterday.
  And Tenaga Nasional also rose to the occasion to hold double champions Terengganu Hockey Team 4-4.
  KLHC's longest serving player, since their Arthur Anderson days, Roslan Jamaluddin was a dejected man after the draw.
  "We only played in patches and were well below what we are capable of. This is not the way to play if we want to claim a title this season," said Roslan who was a former international goalkeeper.
  KLHC forced the first penalty corner of the match in the third minute and South Korean import Nam Hyun Woo sent in a low drag flick that beat UniKL custodian, James Caragh, all the way.
  However, Off their second penalty corner in the 50th minute UniKL found their equaliser when Mohamed Tousiq sent in a deft drag flick after being set up by Najmi Farizal from a delightful set-piece.
  "We played like it was a friendly game and lost two precious points, this will allow the other teams to claw back in the later stages of the League," said Roslan.
  UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj was delighted with the point: "I must say my men showed tremendous spirit and were not daunted by the fact that they were up against a formidable side.
  "We absorbed the pressure well and slowed down the pace in the first three quarters to break their rhythm. To us the draw is as good as a win and I hope that this match will give confidence to the players to start believing in themselves."
   RESULTS: TODAY: Premier Division -- Maybank 1 Sapura 2, UniKL 1 KLHC 1, Tenaga 4 Terengganu HT 4.


        P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts

KLHC    3  2  1  0  8  4  7
SAPURA  3  2  0  1  7  6  6
THT     3  1 1  1  10  7  4
UNIKL   3  1  1  1  2  4  4
MAYBANK 3  1  0  2  6  10 3
TENAGA  3  0 1  2  7  9  1

Thursday, August 25, 2016

UniKL: Giant-killers or bust...

PIC: Arul Selvaraj

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) have a chance to turn giant-killers, provided they upset Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division leaders Friday.
  Riding on two wins from last weekend, UniKL are hoping for another positive show against KLHC at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.
  UniKL edged Tenaga Nasional 1-0 in the League Sunday and on Tuesday beat Maybank, also 1-0, in the Tan Sri P. Alagendra knockout tournament.
  Their only blemish so far is a 3-0 opening defeat to Sapura.
  KLHC, on the other hand, got off to a rousing start by defeating double champions Terengganu Hockey Team 2-1 in their opening match before trashing Sapura 5-2.
  Therefore UniKL are  bracing themselves for all possibilities, asKLHC look much stronger this year despite not having Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri.
  "There is no doubt that KLHC are the favourites to win this match and getting even a point off them can be considered a victory of sorts," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
  "We need to be tight at the back and pack the midfield as they have quality players that can capitalise on half a chance.
  " And then there is also the penalty corners that we need to avoid conceding as KLHC are deadly in this area."
  UniKL have been relying on good tactical play to overcome their more fancied opponents thus far.
  "We need to focus on our game and not pay to much attention to any particular player in KLHC as realistically we have nothing to lose but everything to gain from this match."
  FRIDAY: Premier Division -- Maybank v Sapura (Malacca, 6pm), UniKL v KLHC (KLHA, 6pm), Tenaga v Terengganu HT (KLHA, 8pm).
  ALAGENDRA CUP -- Quarter-finals (Aug 30): Terengganu Hockey Team v Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (Batu Buruk, 5.30pm)); Politeknik Malaysia v SSTMI (Taman Daya, 5.00pm)); Sapura Hockey Club v ATM Airod (KLHA, 8.00pm); Universiti Kuala Lumpur v Tenaga Nasional Berhad (KLHA Stadium, 6.00pm).


        P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
KLHC 2  2  0  0  7  3  6
THT 2  1  0  1  6  3  3
SAPURA 2  1  0  1  5  5  3
UNIKL 2  1  0  1  1  3  3
MAYBANK 2  1  0  1  5  8  3
TENAGA 2  0  0  2  3  5  0

Monday, August 22, 2016

Knock-out Alagendera Cup

THE knock-out Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup will be held Tuesday, with Premier Division sides Universiti Kuala Lumpur and Maybank involved a do-or-die battle at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium.
  Double champions Terengganu Hockey Team and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) will await the outcome of Tuesday's matches before joining the other six in the quarter-finals, where another fresh draw would be held.
  The Round of 16, however, is expected to see Premier Division sides Sapura and Tenaga breeze past their Division One opponents.
  UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj said his team will give equal weightage to the newly introduced Alagendra Cup.
  Fresh from the 1-0 win over Tenaga Nasional in the Premier Division, UniKL will be hoping for the same result against Maybank.
  "We are taking both the league and knockout seriously and there is no question on that," said Arul.
   " It will be a tough match as Maybank are a good side and have an all-round strength.
  " We need to be both tactically and physically ready for this match as playing another match barely 48 hours after the last match can be taxing.
  "I will field the same side as I did against TNB as really there is no necessity to invoke any changes,"
  UniKL were a class act against Tenaga, with Baljit Singh and Mohamad Tousiq leading the way with outstanding displays.
  And the younger players gained in confidence as the match progressed, resulting in the win.
  "We may lack experience but the players make it up with fighting qualities and in a knock-out match it's important to make chances count as there is no second chance."
  TUESDAY: Sapura v Nur Insafi (Tun Razak, 6pm), Tenaga v UiTM-KPT (KLHA, 6pm), Ipoh City Council v ATM Airod (Azlan Shah, 6pm), BJSS V SSTMI (Ministry of Education, 6pm), Politeknik v TNB Thunderbolts (Taman Daya, 5pm), Maybank v UniKL (KLHA, 8pm).

Mirnawan: Don't cheat yourself...

THREE-TIME Olympian Mirnawan Nawawi bathed in sweat and blood before achieving the highest glory as skipper and Flag Bearer for the nation.
  And yesterday, when this interview was being held, he again gave blood for the nation.
  This time it was during a Blood Donation drive.
  "I have tears on my limbs, tears and broken teeth to show over the years of representing the country in hockey... but all of it has turned into sweet memories today," said Mirnawan.
  Starting with the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, he went on to play in the 1996 Atlanta and Sydney 2000. His last show was at the 2002 Kuala Lumpur World Cup, where he broke a few front teeth.
  "Arriving at the Olympics as an athlete is the grandest feeling one can ever achieve and the memories will never go away. 
  "That's how special it is," said Mirnawan.
  This coming from an athlete who has played in three Asian Games, one Champions Trophy and two World Cups.
  "My best memory was being the Flag Bearer in Sydney 2000 where I lef the Malaysian contingent into the Olympic Stadium. I still get goosebumps just thinking about that!
  But it was never easy for the Malacca-born athlete, and his advise is to be sincere to oneself and not cheat on training.
  "The most important factor to achieve a ticket to the Olympics and World Cup is to be truthful in training. Don't cheat the coaches by doing one less push-up, or one less lap around the stadium when they are not looking.
  "Run and train harder then the others, and even when one is on break from national camp, keep the same training momentum and don't cheat.
  "Cos in the end, all the cheating and skimming will take you nowhere near the Olympic stadium."
  Now a TV sports commentator, Mirnawan remembers how running the extra mile made him among the reared forwards in the world.
  "All the extra training on my own made me nimble and light footed, and I could almost 'fly' with the ball. Don't cheat, and chase the impossible dream until you land it on your laps."
  Mirnawan is still active as manager of the national juniors as well as with his attachment with Universiti Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club.
  And his next mission: "To see Malaysia qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. That would be my fourth appearance as an official."

Mike: Llive your dream...

MANINDERJIT Singh (left) had a dream of playing in the hockey World Cup and Olympics, and he never regretted giving half his life to the sport.
  The two-time Olympian played for the country in 1996 Atlanta and was among the last hockey players to see action four years later in Sydney.
  Malaysian hockey failed to qualify for the Olympics since, but Maninderjit has a formula.
  "Dream, athletes must dream of playing in the Olympics and World Cups before they can finally claim glory. That was what I did as a youth struggling to play hockey in Klang.
  "I dreamed of representing the country in the Olympics, and with a detailed plan and training hard on my own after official training is over, I achieved my target of playing in two Olympics," said Maninderjit.
  And it was worth the blood and sweat he spilled on the artificial pith over the years.
  "When I reached Atlanta in 1996, I was in tears of joy and the Games Village was awesome as we could mingle freely with the NBA Stars (The Dream team) and sprinters Michael Johnson and Maurice Greene (Sydney 2000).
  "They were icons, and still are. I admired their discipline at the Village, and it stuck with me for the rest of my life," said Maninderjit who last played in the 2002 Kuala Lumpur World Cup.
  A disciplined man himself, Maninderjit never likes to give up in any match -- even a friendly.
  "Play every match like its a final, never take friendlies lightly. If you want to compete as an athlete in the Olympics and World Cup, every time you take to the field, give your very best. Because once over, the moment will never return but remain as good or bad memories," said the Olympian.
  Malaysia finished 11th both times in Atlanta and Sydney, but it made Maninderjit into a complete athlete.

Advise from first hockey Olympian...

Pic: Receiving the Jalur Gemilang from the King as Chef de Mission for Sydney 2000 Olympics.

TAN SRI P.  Alagendra was among the first Malaysian Hockey Olympians to compete in the 1956 Melbourne Games and he still remembers it like it was yesterday.
  "How old do you think I am,? the former Selangor Chief Police Officer questioned before this scribe could even shoot a question.
  About 85?
  "No 87, and I was 27 and at the prime of my life when Malaya sent their first hockey team for the Olympics," said the still sharp Alagendra.
  He went on to hold numerous positions in the then Malaysian Hockey Confederation and Asian Hockey Federation, but as a player he cherished his Olympic moments.
  Alagendra represented the country at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, coached the team to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and was the assistant manager at the 1968 Mexico Olympics and 1972 Montreal Games. 
  He capped his Olympic career as Malaysia’s Chef-de-Mission to the 2000 Sydney Games.
  "Everything was different back then. The ball, hockey stick, playing field and rules were as different as the moon and earth," lamented Alagendra.
  Looking forward, Alagendra feels to be and Olympian is the ultimate height an athlete can climb.
  "There is nothing higher than the world cup and Olympics for athletes to cherish, and personally, I believe Olympics is the pinnacle of sports.
  "For, it was here that I learned many things which changed my life for the better as a human and administrator of the sport for decades to come.
  "Firstly, after mingling with the best athletes from around the globe it hit me that self discipline is what one needs to break new barriers.
  "Coaches and officials can train and motivate during official training, but what an athlete does when he is on his own is what matters most in the end.
  "One must be disciplined enough to carry on the routines taught even during off season time, and even when one has many other important things to do.
  "Self training will see the athlete become a house-hold name."
  And his advise to hockey who last saw action in Sydney 2000?
  "It has been 16 years since hockey last made the Olympics, and everybody must work together to make sure in that we qualify for Tokyo 2020. Again, coaches can only impart so much, the hockey players who want to compete in Tokyo four years from now must have the self drive, discipline and motivation to realise their dreams."

Alagendra Cup...

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) paid special tribute to former internationals Tan Sri P. Alagendra and the late Vivian May Soars by announcing the inaugural men’s Knockout and women’s Challenge Cup after the two icons.
The men’s knockout tournament that comprises six Premier League and eight Division One teams will be named Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup. The tournament starts on August 23, 2016 and offers a winning purse of RM70,000 to the champion and RM30,000 to the runner-up.
Vivian May Soars Challenge Cup will be held after the completion of the women’s league on 17 September, 2016 and will involve the top four teams.
MHC President, Datuk Sri Subahan Kamal, said the Executive Board unanimously supported the decision to name the two tournaments as a tribute to both icons for their immense contribution to Malaysian hockey.
“Tan Sri Alagendra has for so long been the pillar of strength in the development of hockey in our country both as a player and administrator. The same can be said of the late Vivian May as she was actively involved as player, coach and administrator from the 1940s,” Dato’ Sri Subahan said at the MHC Annual General Meeting (AGM) and TNB Malaysian Hockey League  Knockout Draw.
“We hope that our younger generations of players emulate the hard work and success of past national players who have brought glory to our country. Honestly, we were not even born when they played for the nation and there is a rich history in their contribution,” said Dato Seri’ Subahan. “It is aptly right that MHC honours both Tan Sri Alagendra and the late Vivian Soars by naming these tournaments in honour of them.”
A former Selangor Police Chief Officer, Tan Sri Alagendra was Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) vice-president (1958-1980), Deputy President (1980-2005) and a member of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Technical Committee (1975-1985). He was also chairman of the 1998 KL Commonwealth Games hockey competition and deputy chairman of the organising committee of the 10th Men’s Hockey World Cup in KL in 2002.
For his contributions as the Asian Hockey Federation secretary-general (1990-2014), he was accorded honorary life president status. In 2000, he was awarded the Order of Merit by FIH at their Congress in Paris.
As a player, Tan Sri Alagendra represented the country at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, coached the team to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and was the assistant manager at the 1968 Mexico Olympics and 1972 Montreal Games. He capped his Olympic duty as Malaysia’s chef de mission to the 2000 Sydney Games.
The late Vivian, who passed away in 2009 due to heart complications, was a lady with such grace; dignity and strength to pursue what she believed were the right of women. She was actively involved as a player beginning in the late 40s by playing for Selangor and also represented many prominent clubs such as the Selangor Club.
In the early 1960s, she became a member of the Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association, representing the Selangor Hockey Association as a delegate. In 1971, Vivian was the Chief Coach of our national team playing in among the earliest foreign test-series in New Zealand.
In September 1975 Malaysia participated in the IFWHA 1st Women’s World Cup Tournament in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was also the head coach of the team that visited Denmark on the way to Edinburgh where the team played three matches with State and Club sides, winning all the matches.
In the 1980s Vivian moved to Malacca as a teacher and within a short period of time, created a new dimension of hockey in Malacca. She became the President of Malacca Women’s Hockey, which created a direct link to the Federal body before coming back to play an integral role in the Federal Hockey Association to organise two concurrent World tournaments - the World Cup and the Continental Cup in 1983.
In 1984, Vivian became a Vice President in the Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association. She was also a manager of the national team for several competitions such as the FALFA Cup.
In the early years of women’s hockey in Asia, Vivian played an important role in representing Malaysian women. Malaysia was represented by two delegates, Vivian Soars (Vice President) and Mrs. Dororthy Sibert Bailey (Hon. Secretary) at the Asian Women’s Hockey Federation Council Meeting at Madras, India in January, 1975.
Draw for Men’s Knockout Tournament – 23 August (Tuesday): Sapura HC v Nur Insafi (Stadium Tun Razak, 6pm); TNB v UiTM-KPT (6pm, KLHA Stadium); UniKL v Maybank (8pm, Stadium KLHA); MBI v ATM Airod (Stadium Sultan Azlan Shah, 6pm); BJSS v SSTMI (Stadium KPM, 6pm); Politeknik Malaysia v TNB Thunderbolt (6pm, Stadium Taman Daya, Johor Baru, 6pm).

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Three Malaysian teams for Australian HL...

MALAYSIA will field three teams in the Australian Hockey League (AHL) to be held at the Perth Hockey Stadium on Sept 29-Oct 9.
   Along with Australian State and Territory teams, the other invitational teams for the two-week tournament will be from India and New Zealand.
  Malaysian Hockey Confederation CEO K. Logan Raj said two men's and one women's team has been registered for the AHL.
  "We are extremely pleased to receive the offer to play in what we perceive to be one of the world's most competitive leagues.
 "This is a new milestone for Malaysian hockey, and We believe this tournament will strengthen our already close relationship. The men's elite and development as well as the women's national team will spearhead Malaysia's challenge," said Logan Raj.
  India Junior men's coach, Harendra Singh said: “The tournament will present a good set of diverse talent from different teams. It will be very beneficial for our team to face this challenge building up towards the New Delhi Junior World Cup.”
  Players from the national teams, the Hockeyroos and the Kookaburras including Kathryn Slattery, Aran Zalewski, Fergus Kavanagh, Tyler Lovell and Edwina Bone are set to compete in the league for their home states.
   Ten women's and 12 men's teams will compete in the AHL this season.
  Hockey Australia Chief Executive Cam Vale said: “Hockey Australia is excited to be able to extend the opportunity to take part in our national league to India, Malaysia and New Zealand.
   “It will add great depth to the tournament, which will be the first time the men’s and women’s competition has been held at the same time, and will give our State and Territory teams a fantastic opportunity to experience international competition.
  “This will also be the first time both the boys and girls Under-13s competition will be hosted in conjunction with the men’s and women’s league, which is an exciting opportunity for young hockey players to play the sport they love alongside their hockey heroes. It is a credit to our State and Territory hockey associations for leading and supporting this sort of initiative.”