Sunday, October 30, 2016

India dethrone Pakistan...

INDIA won the Asian Champions Trophy gold medal when they edged defending champions Pakistan 3-2 in a highly entertaining match in Kuantan Sunday.
  The India goals were scored by Rupinder Pal Singh (eighth), Yousuf Affan (23rd) and Thimmaiah Chandanda (51st).
  And Pakistan got their goals off Aleem Bilal (26th) and Ali Shan (38th).

Fourth consecutive bronze for Malaysia...

MALAYSIA won their fourth consecutive Asian Champions Trophy bronze medal when they beat South Korea 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out in Kuantan Sunday.
  It was the Fourth Edition of the ACT, and Malaysia held Korea 1-1 before winning the shoot-out confidently.
  In the final -- will send one more para -- one more para.
  After a poot shoot-out in the semi-finals against Pakistan on Saturday, Firhan Ashaari, Faizal Shaari and Nabil Fiqri were all Malaysia needed to win the bronze while the other two players were never needed.
  Goalkeper S. Kumar brought off three saves and was the hero of the moment.
  "It has been a tough tournament as we had to play seven matches in a packed schedule because the tournament rules were changed to the semi-finals format instead of the norm in the last three editions where the top-two teams after the round-robbin qualify for the final.
  "Malaysia (who finished second in the pool) would have been in the final if not for the change of format to semi-finals in a six-team tournament," lamented Kumar. who has been involved in many shoot-outs in his career.
  Kumar also said after watching the video of the Korea-India semi-finals shoot-out, he knew what to do yesterday.
  "I have been in many shoot-outs before and prepared for today (yesterday) by watching the Korea-India shoot-out. It helped me identify the strikers patterns and that's why I managed to stop all of them," said Kumar.
  The rain came pouring down as Malaysia and South Korea started their quest for bronze.
  Malaysia took the lead of Shahril Saabah in the 14th minute, his fourth goal of the tournament.
  However, South Korea equalised off skipper Jung Manjae off their first penalty corner in the 17th minute.
  Shahril was yellow carded 20 seconds from half-time, and Malaysia re-entered the pitch with 10-men and looking very jaded.
  The score stood in the next two quarters, and it went to a penalty shoot-out to decide the winners.
  RESULTS: Final -- India x Pakistan x; Third-Fourth: Malaysia 1 South Korea 1 (Malaysia win shoot-out 3-1).

SOJC: England challenge for hosts...

MALAYSIA confirmed their Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJC) squad at the 11th Hour, with ten players from last year's bronze medallists still remain standing.
  The hosts - the only team in Johor not bound for the Junior World Cup in Lucknow - are out on a missing to redeem themselves after failing at the Junior Asia Cup last year.
  Malaysia open their campaign against England Monday, at the Taman Daya Stadium, who boast of many players from last year's Great Britain side, before taking on Australia, Pakistan, Japan and New Zealand.
  "We will be out to prove that we are worthy alongside five countries which have qualified for the world cup," said team manager Yahya Atan.
  "These are the next batch of Malaysian players and in Johor they must indicate, that they want to be in contention for the senior team someday."
  Malaysia have named a number of players that competed in the Australian Hockey League, among them are Rizwan Azmi, Firdaus Omar, Lukman Nur Hakim, Nor Azmi Rahman and Syed Shafiq.
  MALAYSIA: Rizwan Azmi, Zaimi Mat Deris, Luqman Nul Hakim, Firdaus Omar, Najib Hassan, Najmi Farizal, Zalupidaus Mizun, Rozaini Baharom, Syed Syafiq Cholan, Amrirol Aideed, Arif Syafie, Ashran Hamsani, Rafizul Ezry, Firdaus Fauzi, Norsyafiq Sumantri, Nik Aiman Rozemi, Hafiizhuddin Zaidi, Akhimullah Anuar, Abdul Khaliq, Zulhamizan Awang.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Shoot-out nightmare...

MALAYSIA lost another golden chance when they were bundled out of the Asian Champions Trophy final in a penalty shoot-out in Kuantan Saturday.
  The score was tied 1-1 at regulation time, but Pakistan were better in the shoot-out to win 3-2 and play India in the final today.
  Faiz Helmi Jali, Shahril Saabah and Fitri Shaari failed to score and Malaysia will now play South Korea for the bronze.
  For the record, Malaysia have only won bronze medals in the last three editions.
  Malaysian coach Stephen Van Huizen admitted his players did not play their best.
  "Yes I admit the players were not up to the mark and have played much better against Japan and India. I hope this is a bitter lesson for them when they play in the World League (Round Two in Trinidad and Tobago next year) where they must get the job done at the crucial period," said van Huizen.
  The game was played in constant drizzle, but the 4,000-odd crowd refuse to leave their seats and cheered on their favourite sport.
  Goalkeeper S. Kumar was padded-up on Deepavali day, while striker Faizal Shaari rushed to Ipoh in the morning to welcome his first child, a son, to the world and was back in the evening to play for Malaysia.
  Their dedication and sacrifices did not go to waste as Malaysia took the lead off their first penalty corner itself.
  Shahril Saabah's drive in the 18th minute brought some relief into the game as it stood until the half-time breather.
  It never stopped raining, and the slippery pitch made strikers from both sides slip and fall. However, Pakistan came back into the picture when Abdul Khan nailed the equalsier from close range in the 34th minute, and it was enough to take the match into penalty shoot-out.
  In the other semi-finals, India had to bring out their best to deny a fighting South Korea in a tensed penalty shoot-out after the match ended 2-2.
  Talwinder Singh (15th) and Ramandeep Singh (55th) scored for India while Seo Inwoo (21st) and Yang Jihun (53rd) scored for Korea.
  In the shoot-out, India held their nerves to win 5-4.
  RESULTS: Semi-finals -- Malaysia 1 Pakistan 1 (Pakistan win shoot-out 3-2), India 2 South Korea 2 (India win shoot-out 5-4).
  Fifth-Sixth: China 4 Japan 3.
  SUNDAY: Final -- Pakistan v India (8.30pm); Third-Fourth: Malaysia v South Korea (6.15pm).

SOJC: Pakistan finding their feet in Johor

The Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJC) has not been a glorious moment for Pakistan, but the thirst for success in the juniors category is something Tahir Zaman's men have.
   The Junior World Cup bound side will not, however, have things easy.
   In this edition as well as four of the other sides - Australia, New Zealand, Japan and England - are also bound for the world meet in Lucknow, India in December.
   Tournament records in Johor indicated Pakistan finished with the wooden spoon in the previous two editions. 
   Pakistan also finished last in the inaugural edition in 2011 and fourth in the following two years.
    Pakistan, who won the Junior World Cup in 1979 and were among the powerhouses in hockey, needs to establish themselves after several disappointing recent years.
   Pakistan have been drawn in Group B with Belgium, Netherlands and Egypt at the Junior World Cup. 
   Tahir Zaman surely realises the SOJC is a yardstick for participating teams and a good outing is needed.
Their ability to finish runners' in the Junior Asia Cup last year could make teams take note of their presence at the Taman Daya Stadium.

Mas women 2 Korea 5...



All matches of SOJC telecast live by RTM on TV1 or TVi (180)
Streaming on rtm mobile or at Or

Friday, October 28, 2016

Change of time: TV RULES...

ASIAN CHAMPIONS TROPHY: Semifinals : India v S Korea 6.15pm, Malaysia v Pakistan 8.30pm. SATURDAY.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

ACT: Malaysia v Pakistan semi-finals

MALAYSIA came to life in the fourth quarter to hold South Korea to a 1-1 draw in the last pool match of the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan yesterday.
  The draw saw them finish second on the standings, and will play third placed Pakistan in the semi-finals on Saturday.
  India, top of the table, will meet South Korea in the other semis.
  Nabil Fiqri, an Inspector trainee, said his mates did not fear any team in the semi-finals.
  "We slowed down the match a little to conserve energy, avoid cards and injuries leading into the semi-finals as that is the most important match at the end of the day.
  "Going into the match, we knew that it was either Pakistan or South Korea for us in the last four, and we don't fear both of them and will give our best to play in our first final in the ACT," said Nabil.
  For the record, Malaysia have only three bronze medals to show from the last three editions of the ACT.
  South Korean coach Paul Lissek was also not worried that his charges will be playing against tournament favourites India.
  "We played our best Match of the tournament to hold Malaysia, and could have even beaten them. So, looking at the positive side, if we beat India, we can also win the title for the first time," said Lissek, a former Malaysian national coach.
  Even before the match started, Malaysia were hit by the stupidity of Firhan Ashaari who was suspended from the Korea match, for an off the ball incident against India on Wednesday.
  Firhan had elbowed India's Akashdeep Singh and was suspended after the Technical Delegates met yesterday morning and watched the recording.
  Also suspended, but for two matches, was India's Surender Kumar who hit Malaysia's Azri Hassan in another off the ball incident in the highly charged match where India edged Malaysia 2-1.
  An din the match yesterday, coach Stephen van Huizen's men played like they did not have a care in the world, and allowed South Korea to dictate terms.
  The first two quarters were uneventful, and Korea took the lead in the 37th minute field goal scored by Jeong Junwoo.
  Razie Rahim finally found his rhythm, and scored the equalsier off a penalty corner attempt in the 56th minute.
  RESULTS: Pakistan 4 China 0, Malaysia 1 South Korea 1.
  SATURDAY: Semi-finals -- Malaysia v Pakistan (6.30pm), India v South Korea (8.30pm).
  Fifth-Sixth: China v Japan (4pm).


         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
INDIA    5  4  1  0  25 6  13
MALAYSIA 5  3  1  1  18 8  10
PAKISTAN 5  3  0  2  13 10 9
S. KOREA 5  2  2  1  11 9  8
CHINA    5  1  0  4  6  24 3
JAPAN    5  0  0  5  11 27 0

Half Black Sticks for SOJC

THE Black Stick are no strangers to the Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJC), having competed regularly since 2011.
   New Zealand are also among the teams in Johor that are bound for the Junior World Cup in Lucknow, India from Dec 8-18, but have listed only part of their squad for the coming tournament at Taman Daya Stadium next month.
  Although the likes of David Brydon, Dominic Newman, Hayden Phillips and Nicholas Woods are absent, Bryce Collins charges still look strong with the presence of 12 players set for the world meet.
  The SOJC is New Zealand's last preparation before heading to India.
  The presence of forwards Sam La mine, Jonty Keaney dan Thomas Dylan, midfielders Alex Hanham, Aiden Sarikaya, defenders Breadly Read, Hugh Hendrickson dan Johny Thorn, in addition to goalkeeper Dominic Dizon, makes New Zealand among the contenders for the SOJC this time around.
   The coming edition is the perfect warm-up for New Zealand following the participation of teams such Australia, Pakistan, England dan Jepun - teams also competing in the Junior World Cup next month.
   The Black Sticks have competed three times in the SOJC, the inaugural edition in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
   New Zealand finished last in 2011, before improving by one place in the 2012 edition. In 2014, New Zealand came fourth, giving rise to hope of another improvement.
   New Zealand open their campaign against Pakistan on Monday on October 31 followed with matches against Japan and Pakistan before a one day break.

   Collins' men play England on November 4 before a showdown with Malaysia the next day. The final classification matches takes place on Nov 6.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

When the best is not enough...

MALAYSIA played the best game of the tournament, but were denied a point when India won 2-1 in the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan Wednesday.
  India will go into the semi-finals as the No 1 team, while Malaysia need to beat South Korea today to remain in the No 2 or No 3 bracke heading into the last four.
  Rupinder Pal Singh scored both the goals, to take his tally to 10, and denied a fighting Malaysia their glory.
  Goalkeeper S. Kumar said: "We had our chances but could not make it count, and world No 6 India is never easy to beat. We lost fighting, and kept our heads high the entire match and that's what is more important heading into the last match against Korea."
  Kumar, who brought off brilliant saves to deny India strikers, knows that the semi-finals is the most important match of this tournament.
  "As we are already in the last four, we need to give another good performance against Korea and they give our all in the semi-finals. That's what matters in the end," said Kumar.
  For the record, Malaysia finished bronze medallist in the last three editions, and making the final would be a great achievement.
  Goalkeeper S. Kumar brought out half a dozen saves to keep Malaysia in the match, going into the half-time breather as India tried every trick in the book but were denied at the last shot by the veteran custodian.
  India took the lead, when tournament top-scorer Rupinder Pal Singh was denied his direct penalty corner flick, but he charged up and slammed the rebound in the 13th minute to take his tally to nine goals.
  However, Malaysia never broke like their usual self, and attacked relentlessly and got the equaliser in the 18th minute.
  Razie Rahim blasted in Malaysia's first penalty corner for his first goal of the tournament.
  The crowd turned up in full force, as Malaysia won their last three matches convincingly.
  Malaysia played one of their best matches in this tournament, as they pushed India to defend in numbers.
  However, with two minutes remaining in the game, Rupinder Pal scored his 10th goal of the tournament -- and Malaysia removed S. Kumar to play a kicking back.
  Coach van Huizen's men won their last penalty corner with 26 seconds remaining but failed to score the equaliser.
  RESULTS: South Korea 4 Japan 3, Malaysia 1 India 2.
  THURSDAY: Pakistan v China (6.30pm), Malaysia v South Korea (8.30pm).


         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
INDIA    5  4  1  0  25 6  13
MALAYSIA 4  3  0  1  17 7  9
S. KOREA 4  2  1  1  10 8  7
PAKISTAN 4  2  0  2  9  10 6
CHINA    4  1  0  3  6  20 3
JAPAN    5  0  0  5  11 27 0

SOJC: England in JB to get it right...

England return to Johor Bahru after a two-year absence but there is unlikely to be any unfamilarity at the Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJC) as several players played under the Great Britain banner for the past two years.
   With the Junior World Cup just around the corner, England - especially head coach Jon Bleby and players James Gall and Chris Proctor - will hope they find better rhythm than in 2013 at Taman Daya Stadium before travelling to India for the world meet in December.
  The trio were part of the English set-up that finished last in Johor before a dismal 14th place at the Junior World Cup.
  Proctor and several others were also part of the Great Britain side that won the SOJC last year after playing bridesmaid to India in 2014. Among those absent in this year's squad include Ed Horler, James Albery, Jonty Griffiths and now-overage Luke Taylor.
   Gall, who is among the handful 20 years and above players Bleby have named for the tournament, is perhaps lucky to even be on the pitch again after a career threatening fall in July 2015.
   Gall fell on his head in an accident, suffered a fractured skull which caused severe swelling to the brain, and fractured his spine.
   The SOJC is the final chance for players to catch the eye before the 16-team Junior World Cup in Lucknow, India between December 8-18, an event that is only held every four years.
  England qualified for the world meet after finishing third at the 2014 EuroHockey Junior Nations Championship, the first time they finished on the podium since 1998.
   England are scheduled to play Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Pakistan and New Zealand in the Sultan of Johor Cup starting Monday, before a final classification game on November 6.

Difficult, but not impossible...

THE plan is simple.
  Malaysia need to beat India in the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan Wednesday to cement their top spot in the pool as this will pit them against the fourth placed team in the semi-finals.
  Executing it might be difficult, but not impossible, as Malaysia have been on fire in the three previous matches where they beat Pakistan 4-2, China 5-1 and Japan 7-2 convincingly.
  India, on the other hand, have had a roller-coaster ride as after hammering Japan 10-2 they were held 1-1 by South Korea and only edged Pakistan 3-2 and yesterday hammered China 9-0.
  And India were the only Asian team which played in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Ranked sixth in the world, they are eight rungs above No 14 Malaysia.
  But a determined Fitri Shaari, Malaysia's engine room engineer, has a solution.
  "We will be playing against Olympians who are ranked eight rungs above us, but that does not place us in awe. In fact, the team is determined to play eight time harder to win full points," said Fitri.
  Always reliable to take command of the midfield, Shukri has scored two goals while his brother Faizal is Malaysia's top scorer on four.
  However, the main goal-getter for Malaysia in any tournament, Razie Rahim has yet to hit the mark but has has four of his penalty corner rebounds turned into goals.
  Razie, who joined the Inspector training in May, has lost his power, but not the placing.
  "I'm a little rusty after being off hockey for a while to concentrate on my Police training. But still on target during penalty corners and the rebounds have been turned into goals by my team mates.
  "However, after today morning's training (yesterday) I could feel the power coming back to my arms and I am ready to give my best against India," said Razie.
  Malaysia have a lousy record against the Olympians, as in 109 encounters the nation has only won 15 times, while India won 76 and 18 ended in draws.
  The last win for Malaysia was 3-2 in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup last year.
  India coach Roelant Oltmans did not want to comment on the Malaysia match as his mind was locked on preparing for the China encounter yesterday.
  RESULTS: Pakistan 4 Japan 3, India 9 China 0.
  WEDNESDAY: South Korea v Japan (6.30pm), Malaysia v India (8.30pm).
  THURSDAY: Pakistan v China (6.30pm), Malaysia v South Korea (8.30pm).


         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
INDIA    4  3  1  0  23 5  10
MALAYSIA 3  3  0  0  16 5  9
PAKISTAN 4  2  0  2  9  10 6
S. KOREA 3  1  1  1  6  5  4
CHINA    4  1  0  3  6  20 3
JAPAN    4  0  0  4  8  23 0

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

SOJC: 'Unfriendly' Australia...

AUSTRALIA continue their good relations with Malaysia at the Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJC) in Johor Bahru next week, but the hosts can expect nothing friendly about their visit this time around.
  The Burras kick-off their campaign against Japan at Taman Daya Stadium on Oct 31 with a squad set for the upcoming Junior World Cup in India just one month later.
   Australia, who finished a dismal fifth in last year's SOJC, missed the Junior World Cup podium in 2013 and having never finished outside the top three in back-to-back editions, the pressure is on Ben Bishop's men.
   “As always, it was a difficult task to select this group. Our broader junior program has developed very good depth as a result of the great work done around our network," said in a recent interview in Australia.
  “The group we have selected will enjoy another great competition in Johor this year against some quality international teams.
  “This year, the SOJC presents a further opportunity for us as our major competition focus in the lead up to the Junior World Cup. I look forward to seeing our Burras take another step up in their development in readiness for the Junior World Cup.”
  Bishop will want to avoid repeating their 2015 outing, where Australia only manage to defeat Pakistan.
  Australia lost to Argentina on the opening day before bouncing back with a 6-2 win over Pakistan, only to lose 3-2 to hosts Malaysia in the following match. Australia also drew 4-4 with Great Britain and lost 1-0 to India before disposing Pakistan 5-0 to avoid finishing with the wooden spoon.
  Australia have a largely unchanged side from last year. Among the 20 players selected are Rio Olympian Blake Govers and fellow Kookaburra Tom Craig. Kiran Arunasalam from the national development squad is also included while the rest are from the national juniors.
  With a talent pool so wide, the players are unlikely to take the SOJC lightly as places for the trip to Lucknow, India are up for grabs.

Lessons from Cikgu Shukri...

CIKGU Shukri Mutalib has set his mind to lead Malaysia into another promising battle against India on Wednesday in the Asian Champions Trophy at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium.
  A teacher by profession, the national hockey skipper and his men have so far scored three 'As' by beating Pakistan 4-2, China 5-1 and Japan 7-2 to check into the semi-finals.
  With two more matches in hand, which could turn out to be the most difficult, Shukri is confident he can lead his men to victories.
  "We still have to face India and then South Korea to complete our pool matches and I believe my team-mates can overcome whatever obstacles that come their way," said Shukri.
  Interestingly, Shukri treats his mates as 'students' when it comes to handling them on the pitch.
  "I am used to handling a large number of students with many more issues and problems in school. In hockey I only have 17 players to take charge and it is much easier as they are a disciplined lot."
  Even though Malaysia have scored a total of 16 goals in three matches, but they have also let in five silly goals and look especially vulnerable in the last five minutes of every match.
  "Against Japan, we were leading 7-0 and I felt that it was a moment to utilise my substitutes and I replaced goalkeeper S. Kumar and all the first choice defenders and fielded my reserves.
  "Well, it was a good chance to give them some match practice ahead of the India and Korea matches. Even though it resulted in two goals in two minutes, I believe we have a strong bench to rely upon," insisted coach Stephen van Huizen.
  Just like planning for lessons and motivating his students in class, Shukri has also been encouraging his mates, and parting information he picks up from watching other teams play.
  "The most encouraging sign in this present team is that all the players are not selfish, especially the strikers. They are playing for the glory of Malaysia and not self pride. This can be seen in the passing done in the semi-circle, before goals are scored.
  "One example is the three passes that led to Fazal Shaari blasting the ball to the top of the Japan net. It took real good understanding and unselfishness to achieve that goal.
  Things are looking up for Malaysia, and now they must play two more pool to make the country proud, by finishing tops in the pool and play the fourth-placed team in the semi-finals.
  RESULTS: South Korea 5 China 3.
  TUESDAY: Pakistan v Japan (6.30pm), India v China (8.30pm).
  WEDNESDAY: South Korea v Japan (6.30pm), Malaysia v India (8.30pm).


         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
MALAYSIA 3  3  0  0  16 5  9
INDIA    3  2  1  0  14 5  7
S. KOREA 3  1  1  1  6  5  4
PAKISTAN 3  1  0  2  5  7  3
CHINA    3  1  0  2  6  11 3
JAPAN    3  0  0  3  5  19 0

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Malaysia hammer Japan 7-2 for semis slot...

MALAYSIA qualified for the semi-finals of the Asian Champions Trophy with two matches in hand when they beat Japan 7-2 at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium Sunday.
  It was a third straight victory for coach Stephen van Huizen's men as they had beaten defending champions Pakistan 4-2 and China 5-1 earlier.
  In another match yesterday, India beat Pakistan 3-2 in a close encounter and with seven points after three matches, India are also mathematically in the semi-finals in this six-team tournament.
  "We have achieved out first target which was to qualify for the semi-finals of the ACT. Japan defended well in the first quarter, but after Aiman cracked open their goalmouth, they had to move forward and that was when we got our chances to score more goals," said van Huizen.
  And after this Malaysia will rest for two days before playing India on Wednesday and South Korea on Thursday.
  "The rest will be used for recovery as well as tactical purposes. Both India and South Korea look like the teams to beat in this tournament and we need to play much better than we did in the previous three matches to win points," said van Huizen.
  After making the semi-finals, Malaysia's next target should be topping the table at the end of the pool matches, as the No 1 team plays No 4, while the No 2 team plays No 3 in the semi-finals.
  The crowd came by droves to watch Malaysia maul Japan, but the first quarter ended uneventful as the hosts failed to find a single penalty corner, and the goal which they scored was disallowed.
  Japan, who had lost to India 10-2 and China 2-1, played a defensive game by camping in their own half and only opening up for counter attacks.
  But they finally cracked in the 23rd minute, when Aiman Nik Rosemi shot home from close range.
  The goal opened up the match, and with Japan chasing for the equaliser, they were hit with another world class deflection from Rashid Baharom in the 27th minute.
  A long shot from Najmi Farizal, from the 25-yard line, saw Rashid deflecting it past goalkeeper Kunitomo Masahito for a 2-0 lead entering into the dressing room.
  The other goals came easy with super efforts from Nabil Fiqri (33rd), Faizal Shaari (37th, 59th), Firhan Ashaari (44th) and Fitri Shaari (58th).
  The Japan goals were scored by Kenji Kitazato (59th) and Kentaro Fukuda (60th).
  RESULTS: India 3 Pakistan 2, Malaysia 7 Japan 2.
  MONDAY: South Korea v China (6.30pm).
  TUESDAY: Pakistan v Japan (6.30pm), India v China (8.30pm).


         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
MALAYSIA 3  3  0  0  16 5  9
INDIA    3  2  1  0  14 5  7
PAKISTAN 3  1  0  2  5  7  3
CHINA    2  1  0  1  3  6  3
S. KOREA 2  0  1  1  1  2  1
JAPAN    3  0  0  3  5  19 0

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Everything points to a Malaysian victory...

RESULTS: India 1 South Korea 1, China 2 Japan 1.

THE last time Malaysia played Japan in a four-match Test series in Kakamigahara in June, coach Stephen van Huizen's men were whipped beyond recognition.
  Both the teams will meet again in the Asian Champions Trophy Saturday at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium.
  Malaysia are on a high after beating defending champions Pakistan 4-2 and China 5-1, and a win against Japan will place them in the ACT semi-finals.
  Coach Stephen van Huizen has his full squad in Kuantan, unlike in Kakamigahara where seven regulars could not make the trip and they lost 5-1, 3-1, 4-3 and drew 1-1 in the Test.
  Japan, on the other hand, were whipped 10-2 by India in their opening ACT match.
  The seven regulars who did not make the trip to Kakamigahara but are in Kuantan are goalkeeper S. Kumar, Faiz Helmi, Shahril Saabah, Fitri Shaari, Faizal Shaari, Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri.
  "We know the stakes are high against Japan as a win will see us in the semi-finals with two matches (South Korea and India) in hand. We have had two good matches, and even though Japan did not start off well, we can't take them lightly," said Van Huizen.
  Skipper Shukri Mutalib was also realistic.
  "There were moments in both the matches when we almost lost the script after taking leads and we will need to improve in that department. We took the lead against Pakistan but let them claw back, and I am particularly not happy with the way we played in the last five minutes against China," said Shukri, who made his debut as in the 2005 Rotterdam Junior World Cup.
  There was no rest for the players yesterday, as they plotted Japan's defeat.
  "Video's of Japan's matches as well as other information will be passed to the players so that they know what to expect tomorrow (today). And taking them lightly just because they lost 10-2 to India would be disastrous," said Van Huizen.
  Japan coach Yamabori Takahiko is down without four players, and knows Malaysia has a full battery for the ACT.
  "Yes, we won comfortably in Kakamigahara, but then, Malaysia did not have seven regulars. And in Kuantan, we do not have four of our senior players and it would be a different game. However, we have our plans to rise from the heavy defeat in the hands of India," said Yamabori.  Malaysia have been doing just enough for full points, but they need to improve on their semi-circle shooting to beat Japan comfortably, and they go for maximum points against South Korea and tournament favourites India.
  RESULTS: India 1 South Korea 1, China 2 Japan 1.
  SATURDAY: India v Pakistan (6.30pm), Malaysia v Japan (8.30pm).
  SUNDAY: South Korea v China (6.30pm).


         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
MALAYSIA 2  2  0  0  9  3  6
INDIA    2  1  1  0  11 3  4
PAKISTAN 2  1  0  1  3  4  3
CHINA    2  1  0  1  3  6  3
S. KOREA 2  0  1  1  1  2  1
JAPAN    2  0  0  2  3  12 0

Friday, October 21, 2016

Malaysia beat China 5-1

MALAYSIA, wearing an all-white outfit, were not clinical but still beat China 5-1 to move closer to the semi-finals of the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan Friday.
  Coach Stephen van Huizen, elated with the three points, agreed that there are areas that need improvement.
  "We got the three points, and even though the team has been scoring more from penalty corner rebounds in two matches, I'm happy cos they are still goals.
  "I understand that China are a young team, but the pressure was not on them and so they played calmly," said van Huizen.
  China coach Song Yi is looking at the next four years to groom his side.
 "We played in the national championships two weeks before the ACT and selected a young side because we are looking for results in four years time. The scoreline was big, but my players can play better but did not perform against Malaysia," said Song.
  Razie Rahim, the No 1 penalty corner flicker could not execute powerful flicks, but they were on target and Haziq Samsul made the rebounds count.
  Haziq scored off penalty corner rebounds in the sixth and 20th minutes, while Fitri Shaari's world class field goal in the 22nd minute gave coach Stephen van Huizen's men some breathing space going into the half-time break.
  China pulled one back off Wang Bowen in the 33rd minute, but Shahril Saabah scored off a penalty corner attempt in the 37th minute to take a three-goal lead again.
  Goalkeeper S. Kumar played one of his beat game yet, as he pulled off stunning saves to deny China.
  Firhan Ashaari made it 5-1 with a penalty corner rebound in the 54th minute.
  After a days rest, Malaysia play Japan and a win would ensure their semi-finals slot.
  In another match, Pakistan edged South Korea 1-0 with a last minute penalty corner goal scored by Abdul Khan.
  RESULTS: Pakistan 1 South Korea 0, Malaysia 5 China 1.
  SATURDAY: India v South Korea (6.30pm), China v Japan (8.30pm).
  SUNDAY: India v Pakistan (6.30pm), Malaysia v Japan (8.30pm).


         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
MALAYSIA 2  2  0  0  9  3  6
INDIA    1  1  0  0  10 2  3
PAKISTAN 2  1  0  1  3  4  3
S. KOREA 1  0  0  1  0  1  0
CHINA    1  0  0  1  1  5  0
JAPAN    1  0  0  1  2  10 0

Good start for Malaysia...

MALAYSIA sang in the rain, when they beat defending champions Pakistan 4-2 in the Asian Champions Trophy at the Kuantan Stadium Thursday.
  Faizal Shaari, who returned to the national squad after serving his six-month ban and service with the back-up squad, scored a penalty stroke and a field goal to hand Malaysia the crucial win.
  The first quarter was shaky, as Malaysia and Pakistan both played bad hockey and the crowd were almost put to sleep,
  However, when the rain came pouring and stopped the match for 10 minutes, Malaysia regrouped and came out looking fresh in attack -- winning three crucial points in their attempt to finish higher than three consecutive bronze medals in the ACT.
 Coach Stephen van Huizen's men lived dangerously, and three goals after the second half breather is what separated them from Pakistan.
  They face China today, in what is expected to be another three points in the bag.
  "The rain came at the right moment and my players regrouped and put up a good fight in the opening match even though Pakistan are never easy to beat," said Van Huizen.
  "Penalty corners are our strongest in this tournament, and we utilised those that came our way. As for Faizal his goals made the difference but there is still much work to be done form him before he becomes what he was in previous years," said Van Huizen.
  And China?: "We expect another good match, and even though they are a new side, nothing can be taken for granted tomorrow (today)."
  Malaysia, with six penalty corner flickers in their fold, won their first in the 12th minute but Razie Rahim's flick was blocked by the first runner and they were awarded a consecutive second.
  This time, Razie was on target but the ball was deflected out for pusher Firhan Ashaari to knock in from close range for a 13th minute lead.
  However Aleem Bilal, 23, and into his first International with the seniors, scored two penalty corner goals in the 18th and 34th minutes to put the pressure on the hosts.
  It was then that the match was stopped for 10 minutes as the rain lashed heavier and flooded the pitch.
  And after resumption, two consecutive rough tackles by Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Butt on youngster Aiman Nik Rosemi in the 36th, resulted in a penalty stroke after a video referral.
  Faizal Shaari executed a low push from the spot, and Malaysia were level at 2-2 by the 37th minute.
  Malaysia were presented with a golden opportunity when they won their fifth penalty corner in the 41st minute, and Shahril Saabah's attempt made it 3-2.
  The fourth goal came off a botched sixth penalty corner under pouring rain, which was salvaged by a powerful hit to the top of the net by Faizal in the 60th minute, for his brace.
  RESULTS: Malaysia 4 Pakistan 2, India 10 Japan 2.
  FRIDAY: Pakistan v South Korea (6.30pm), Malaysia v China (8.30pm).
  SATURDAY: India v South Korea (6.30pm), China v Japan (8.30pm).


         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
INDIA    1  1  0  0  10  2  3
MALAYSIA 1  1  0  0  4  2  3
PAKISTAN 1  0  0  1  2  4  0
JAPAN    1  0  0  1  0  10  0
CHINA    0  0  0  0  0  0  0
S. KOREA 0  0  0  0  0  0  0

Thursday, October 20, 2016



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

No reason for Malaysia to lose ACT opener...

MALAYSIA will open the Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) accounts against Pakistan in Kuantan Thursday, and nothing but a win is expected from coach Stephen van Huizen's men.
  For, Malaysia will field their strongest penalty corner battery of six players, as well as having a better squad than the one which finished which sixth in the recent Australian Hockey League.
  And Pakistan will be playing without their skipper Mohamed Irfan, who never arrived in Kuantan due to visa problems back home.
  Van Huizen said as both the teams will be trying to claw back into world hockey, it will be a tough encounter.
  "Both Pakistan and Malaysia missed out of the Rio Olympics and are trying to climb back into the world hockey ladder and so I expect a tough match from the ACT defending champions," said van Huizen.
  The six penalty corner flickers for Malaysia are Shahril Saabah, Fitri Shaari, Firhan Ashaari, Razie Rahim, Faizal Shaari and Najmi Farizal.
  "Our penalty corner choises are the strongest ever as I have five other players to select from other than our No 1 Razie.
  "This will be our mainstay in the tournament, where we aim to qualify for the semi-finals first and then take one game at a time."
  In the last encounter at the Azlan Shah Cup, Malaysia edged Pakistan 1-0 with the winner coming from Razie's direct flick.
  However, in the ACT, Malaysia have yet to beat Pakistan in the three encounters. They lost 3-2 in 2011, drew 2-2 in 2012 and lost 1-0 in 2013 when the tournament was last held.
  Pakistan manager Hanif Khan said the absence of Irfan will be felt, but they have Plan B.
  "Our captain Irfan could not make it here due to viss problems and so we will be bringing in another player soon. It will be tougher for us now, but we have a Plan B to counter his absence," said Hanif.
  Pakistan won the last two editions and are gunning for a hat-trick.
  "We came here on a hat-trick mission, and winning the first match will be utmost in our minds to kick-start that ambition," said Hanif.
  The other teams in the ACt are India, South Korea, China and Japan.
  THURSDAY: Malaysia v Pakistan (6.30pm), India v Japan (8.30pm).
  FRIDAY: Pakistan v South Korea (6.30pm), Malaysia v China (8.30pm).

Monday, October 17, 2016

SOJC: Malaysia in for a tough time...

THE Sixth Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJC) promises high quality matches as most teams will be using the tournament as a final preparation for the Junior World Cup in Dec 8-18 in Lucknow, India.
  Organised by the Johor Hockey Association, the SOJC will be held on  Oct 31 to Nov 6 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium, and entry is free.
  The six competing are Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and hosts Malaysia with England and Japan making their debut.
  Only Malaysia will not see action at the Junior World Cup and team manager Yahya Atan was the first to admit that it will be a keenly contested tournament.
  "All the five other teams are in the final stages of preparation for the Junior World Cup and will potentially be the early favourites for the title," said Yahya.
  "We will no doubt face strong opponents but at the same time our players too have benefited from playing in the Australian Hockey League as part of our preparations for the SOJC."
   Yahya added that the team will be going to Johor Baru on October 24 and the final list of players, coached by Wallace Tan and Amin Rahim will be announced this coming Friday.
  Two juniors, Najmi Farizal Azlan and Nik Aiman Nik Rozemi who are eligible to play in the Under-21 tournament have been selected for duty with the senior national team that will compete in the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan on Oct 20-30.
  However Najib Hassan, another player in the senior training squad, has been given the nod to join his junior counterparts.
  The team can count on Rizwan Azmi, Firdaus Omar, Lukman Nur Hakim, Nor Azmi Rahman, Syed Shafiq Syed Choulan, Amirul Aideed,  Ashran Hamsani, Rafizul Ezry Mustafa, Norsyafiq Sumantri, Sufi Ismat Rohulmin and Akhimullah Anuar, all of whom were in Perth, Australia for the AHL.
  Yesterday, several sponsors presented their contributions towards the tournament to YAM Tunku Idris Iskandar ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tengku Temenggong Johor. 
  The total sponsorship received was RM1.450 million.
  Also present was Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Johor Hockey Association President Datuk Haji Jais Sarday and Deputy President Datuk Manjit Majid Abdullah.
  Leading  the list of contributors were the Johor State Government with RM500,000, followed by Astaka Padu RM200,000, Johor Corporation, UM Land, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Yayasan Harmoni, JBB Builders, all contributing RM100,000 each.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Women's ACT: Tough for Dharmaraj's charges...

MALAYSIA will utilise the women's Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) in Singapore on Oct 29-Nov 5 as a training base for the World League Round Two.
  Kuala Lumpur will host the World League Round Two on Jan 14-22, and its a chance for coach K. Dharmaraj's charges to make an attempt to play in the World Cup in 2018.
  For the ACT, World No 21 Malaysia will face uphill battles against higher ranked teams China (eighth), Japan (10th), South Korea (ninth) and India (12th).
  Dharmaraj knows the score in the ACT, and even though the statistics looks bad, the Malaysian girls only need to beat one team for a chance to play in the third-fourth medal match.
  "All the teams are much higher ranked than our women and it will be a tough tournament but good in the sense that it will prepare us for the World League Round Two in Singapore," said Dharmaraj.
  The 18 who competed in the Australian Hockey League in Perth and finished seventh out of 10 teams are in the running for the ACT, together with trainee Inspectors Farah Ayuni Yahya and Noor Hasliza Ali.
  "Farah and Hasliza could not go to Peth because they had Inspector training at Pulapol, but have been released to play in the ACT in Singapore.
  "Their presence will inject experience into the team and I am expecting them to give all the higher ranked teams a tough fight," said Dharmaraj.
  The women's ACT was last held in 2013, and Malaysia claimed the bronze by beating China 3-1.
  And for the World League Round Two, in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 14-22, Malaysia will battle for a slot in the World League Semi-finals and a shot at the 2018 World Cup against Ireland, Italy, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Fiji and Wales.
  "With all teams advancing to the quarter-finals of the World League, I believe we have a good chance of advancing, to the World league Semi-finals," said Dharmaraj.
  For the record, the Malaysia women have yet to break past Round Two of the World League.

ACT: Faizal in, injured Baljit out...

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) will announce their squad for the Asian Champions Trophy only on Monday, but among those who have cemented their spot is troubled striker Faizal Shaari.
  The ACT will be held in Kuantan on Oct 20-30, and Faizal's performance in the Malaysia Hockey League where he played for double champions Terengganu Hockey Team and also the Australian Hockey League (AHL) has earned him a ticket back into the national outfit.
  He was dropped from the national team after failing to show up for training without a valid reason in December last year, and after completing his six months ban, he was placed in the national back-up squad and played in the AHL recently.
  National coach Stephen van Huizen was impressed with his performance and he will play against Pakistan, India, South Korea, China and Japan in Kuantan.
  In Perth, Faizal scored five goals but still, the back-up squad ended 11th among 12 teams in the AHL.
  There was more good news when inspector trainees Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri were released by Pulapol to play in the ACT. Razie is the nations top penalty corner flicker while Nabil is a pillar in midfield.
  Both of them did not play in the AHL, and the Malaysian national side finished sixth out of 12 teams.
  But van Huizen will not have Baljit Singh, among his best defenders, as he picked up a hamstring injury while skippering the back-up squad in Perth.
  The others who will surely be named on Monday are goalkeeper S. Kumar, Joel Samuel van Huizen, Fitri Shari, Shukri Mutalib and Shahril Saabah.
  Three juniors were given the chance to play for the national team in the AHL, but only Najmi Farizal and Nik Aiman Rozemi impressed, while former juniors skipper Najib Hassan's form dropped and he will not be on the ACT list. Najib will be released to play in the Sultan of Johor Cup instead.
  The ACT will offer International Hockey Federation (FIH) ranking points for the first time in its Fourth Edition and Malaysia must play in the final to maximise the effect leading to the World League Round Two in Trinidad and Tobago on March 25 to April 2.
  The World League will confirm teams for the 2018 World Cup.

Friday, October 14, 2016

OLAK Gala Dinner open for bookings...

Call Joseph de Silva (Right) for more information -- 019-6491927

THE old boys of Lasalle Klang, popularly known as OLAK, are getting back together on the 22nd of October 2016 at a grand dinner to celebrate 25 years of the existence of its association, to be held at the Top Glove Ballroom, Level 9, Top Glove Tower, Persiaran Setia Indah, Alam Nusantara, Selangor.
   OLAK is inviting old boys from as far back as 1963, teachers who have retired as well as present teachers in the school to attend this reunion to rekindle old relationships. Many ex-students who have migrated overseas will be making the journey back home to spend some precious moments with old friends, teachers and family too.
    Marking this significant milestone will be a sumptuous 10-course Chinese dinner, a special opening ceremony featuring the St. Johns Institution Bagpipers, music and songs of yesteryear by the ever popular STAG band from Klang, an all-Lasallian cast of entertainers made of old and present students, door gifts and raffle draw with fantastic prizes.
   Demand for tables for the event has been amazing and those who have not got their tables yet are urged to do so right away to avoid disappointment. Tables are priced at RM5000, RM3000 and RM1000. Proceeds will be used to defray costs for the dinner and profits generated will applied to OLAK’s various student empowerment, and school-related programs.
  OLAK’s sports programs, especially its hockey team is always on the lookout for generous financial assistance. OLAK has the distinction of being the only school alumni to have fielded a team in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League since its inception in 1995 to the present day. The OLAK Hockey     Team were MJHL Champions in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and overall Champions in 1998 and 1999 and 2000. OLAK are the first and only team to have achieved such a feat of three championships in a row. 
   OLAK are also regular participants in the Pesta Hockey Penang USM Six-a Side where OLAK has been champions numerous times. OLAK also plays an active role in facilitating job placements for it’s hockey players, as well as placements in institutions of higher learning.
   If you are a Lasallian from Klang and want to get your dinner tickets, please call our OLAK Secretariat c/o Caxton House, No. 8 Jalan Stesen, 41000 Klang, Selangor, and ask for Joseph D’Silva 019-6491927,  Ho King Min 012-3259188,  K Selva ( 012-3600358).

ACT: Pakistan deal with FIH straight...

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) never received Pakistan's confirmation letter, but the International Hockey Federation (FIH) have received their team list for the Asian Champions Trophy on Oct 20-30 in Kuantan.
  MHC CEO K. Logan Raj is still waiting for the confirmation letter, even as travel arrangements have been forwarded to them.
  "Surprisingly, Pakistan sent their team list to the FIH and not the hosts or organisers Asian Hockey Federation (AHF). They wrote to us only today (Friday) about their travelling schedule and are expected to arrive on Sunday," said Logan.
  The MHC were ready to run a five-team tournament, as Pakistan never responded to the queries until the cut-off date on Oct 6.
  Malaysia will be up against defending champions Pakistan, Asian Games champions India, South Korea, Japan and China in the ACT which will offer FIH ranking points for the first time.
  On another matter, MHC are also closely following Pakistan's entry for the Junior World Cup on Dec 8-18 in Lucknow, India.
  "There has been online reports saying that Pakistan might not play in the Junior World Cup because of security reasons and if that happens, Malaysia are the No 1 standby to replace them.
  "Even though its a far shot, but we cant wait for the final moment to prepare if it happens," said Logan.
  The Malaysian juniors, who finished fifth in the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan and missed the boat to Lucknow, will be playing in the Sultan of Johor Cup and that could be their training ground to select players if Pakistan are unable to compete in India.
  The SOJC, the only junior invitational tournament in the world, will be held in Johor Baru on Oct 31-Nov 6 where the hosts will battle Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
  For the record, Malaysia beat Argentina 3-2 for the bronze in the last edition.

MHC still waiting for Pakistan ACT entry...

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are still awaiting for Pakistan to send in their confirmation letter to play in the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan on Oct 20-30.
  MHC, the hosts, gave them until Oct 6 to reply but after sending Pakistan Hockey several reminders, they have hit a brick wall.
  "Yes, we have yet to get a confirmation letter from Pakistan. And our cut-off date was Oct 6, but the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) asked us to wait until today (yesterday).
  "But we have not received anything from them. If they do decide to come after this, they will have to make their own internal travel and accommodation bookings," said MHC CEO K. Logan Raj.
  And if Pakistan fail to turn up?
  "The tournament will go on with five teams, and the semi-finals format will be maintained after the pool matches," said Logan.
  It is believed that Pakistan, champions of the last edition, have yet to get the green-light from their government to play in Kuantan.
  The teams which have sent confirmation are hosts Malaysia, India, South Korea, China and Japan.

  The ACT offers International Hockey Federation (FIH) ranking points for the first time in its Fourth Edition, and media reports in Pakistan say that they have already selected a team for Kuantan.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

WL RD2: Malaysia to play in Trinidad and Tobago..


...The Malaysian men will be playing in Tunapuna in Trinidad and Tobago on 25 March-April 2. The other teams involved are Japan, Russia, USA, Barbados, Chile and Switzerland.

  ...For the women's Round Two, in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 14-22, Malaysia will battle for a slot in the World League Semi-finals and a shot at the 2018 World Cup against Ireland, Italy, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Fiji and Wales.

The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is an annual event held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday in Trinidad and Tobago. The event is well known for participants' colorful costumes and exuberant celebrations...

THE International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed which teams will participate in each of the Hockey World League Round 2 events taking place at six locations around the world between January and April 2017.
  Round 2 will be played over three men’s and three women’s events, with eight teams assigned to each destination by the FIH Competitions Committee.
  The first Round 2 women’s event will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 14-22 January. The teams aiming for qualification for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals and a shot at 2018 Hockey World Cup qualification are Ireland, Italy, hosts Malaysia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Fiji and Wales.
  A couple of weeks later, a further eight women’s teams will take to the field in Valencia, Spain between 4-12 February. Hosts Spain will compete against Scotland, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Ghana and one more team to be confirmed.
  The third women’s event will be hosted in West Vancouver, Canada between 1-9 April. Teams taking to the field there will be India, Belarus, Canada, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Chile and France.
  Men’s Round 2 begins in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where Canada, Oman, Egypt, hosts Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Fiji will be playing between 4-12 March.
  From 11-19 March Ireland will also host a men’s Round 2 event in Ulster, with a venue to be confirmed shortly. Hosts Ireland will welcome France, Poland, Ukraine, Italy, Wales, Scotland and Austria.
  The last men’s Round 2 event takes place in Tunapuna in Trinidad and Tobago from 25 March until 2 April. There, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, hosts Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Barbados, Chile and Switzerland will take part.
  Composed of four rounds (Round 1, 2, Semi-Finals and Finals) and played over two years, the Hockey World League shines a spotlight on the sport around the world. Even the smallest hockey-playing nations have the opportunity to write their own chapter in hockey’s history books.
  A lot is at stake for teams participating in these Hockey World League Round 2 events. Whilst vital FIH Hero World Ranking points will be awarded depending on final standings, eight teams per gender will qualify for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals. These will be the top two teams from each event plus the two highest placed teams in the FIH Hero World Rankings of the teams that finish third.
  Taking place next June and July, the Semi-Finals offer teams the chance to qualify for the Hockey World League Finals later in the year, plus the ultimate prize of 2018 Hockey World Cup qualification.
  Tickets for the first of those, the men’s Hockey World League Semi-Final at London’s Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre (15-25 June) are now on sale and can be purchased by clicking here.
  Fans can support their nation’s journey throughout the Hockey World League by following FIH on Twitter,Facebook and Instagram and visiting over the coming months.

SUBAHAN: Lets reach for No 8..

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal yesterday revised his KPI for the national team, from current World No 14 to World No eight in two years time.
  He said this at the launching of new attire and sponsorship presentation for the national men's and women's teams. The men will be playing in the Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) in Kuantan on Oct 20-30.
  "When I took over more than a year ago, I said I wanted the men's team to become 10th by the time my tenure is over. However, after charting their path to qualify for the World Cup (2018) and Olympics (2020), I have renewed my KPI to take the team to eight in the world," said Subahan.
  A total of RM900,000 sponsorship has been received for the ACT, and from the traditional yellow, the men and women will now wear orange jerseys as their first kits. Their second and third kits remain blue and white respectively.
  The sponsorship is RM500,000 from QNET, RM300,000 from Tenaga Nasional, RM50,000 from Genting Malaysia and RM50,000 from Waz Lian Group of Companies.
  Kappa, an Italian sportswear brand, had pledged RM350,000 in sponsorship towards the national men's and women's senior teams for the duration of three years.
  "Since the team is known as Tigers, a change from yellow to orange is appropriate," said Subahan.
  The ACT will be offering International Hockey Federation (FIH) ranking points for the first time in its Fourth Edition, and to achieve Subahan's KPI, the Tigers need to play in the final of the ACT.
  When asked about Malaysia's target in the ACT, Subaha said: "I have my own KPI, and coach Stephen (van Huizen) has his own."
  Van Huizen maintained semi-finals in the ACT as his first target.
  "We are ranked fourth in Asia and going by ranking, we will aim for the semi-finals first," said van Huizen.
  The other teams in the ACT are defending champions Pakistan, Asian Games champions India, South Korea, China and Japan.
  The format is easy, as the top-four after a Round Robbin, play in the semi-finals.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Brother Jesbir: A passionate sports official...

JESBIR ... Holding card with I love Tolley (Punjabi slang for Tanjung Tualang)

SERGEANT JESBIR SINGH S/O MOKHTAR SINGH (101575), a passionate member of Sarawak hockey and cricket, passed away Monday.
  His last assignment with hockey was during the Sarawak Malaysia Games in August where he was the recorder for the men's and women's finals.
  Originally from Tanjung Tualang Sikh Settlement in Perak, Jesbir joined the force when he was 20 years old and has been stationed in Sarawak for the past 32 years.
  "I never wanted to leave Perak and cried when I was posted to Sarawak after I finished my police training. But after 32 years, Sarawak has given me everything and I will cry if I am posted back to Malaysia," said Jesbir to this scribe when we met during the Malaysia Games.
  Rest In Peace my brother, will miss you.... Had a fantastic time with you for 20 days during the Malaysia Games.
  RESIDENCE: No 605 Lorong Kedandi 1, Tabuan Jaya. Kuching.
  CREMATION: Expected to be on 12/10/2016 at the Buddhist Village, Jalan Seniawan, Bau.

Malaya: 1956 Olympian Aman Ullah dies...

AMAN Ullah Karim, 85, died on Sunday.
  He was among the first batch of hockey players from the Federation of Malaya who represented the country in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics where he scored a total of eight goals.
  And the man who played alongside him in Melbourne, Tan Sri P. Alagendra, was beyond grief as all his team-mates have now left him.
  "Oh! No... the two of us were the last remaining members of the squad and now Aman has also left," grieved Alagendra.
  "Before joining national training, he was Perak's top striker and his darting runs from the left had no answers from the defenders," remembered Alagendra, 86.
  Alagendra, who retired as Selangor Chief Police officer, said: "We encountered many difficulties travelling to Melbourne those days, but Aman was always a helping hand. He was a bit quiet and unassuming, but with the ball and stick, he tore the defence apart with ease."
  And among the notable goals he scored in 1956 were the two against Australia, but Malaya still lost 3-2.
  Aman was a terror in his days, and his school-mate at the Government English School, Tapah, remembers well his mentor and hero.
  Datuk R. Yogeswaran, coach of the famous 1975 World Cup team, remembers him well as he received a hockey stick from Aman.
  "He was my senior in school, and I used to look up to him as my mentor and hero those days because he was such a terror in Perak. One day, after training, he gave me his hockey stick, which was one of my best moments with him," said Yogeswaran.
  Aman later moved to Anderson School.
  Yoges also remembers him as one of the best left inside in the country in his days.
  "He was referred to as 'half of the Perak strikers' for his speed and when he moved into the semi-circle, the defenders and goalkeeper used to panic," said Yoges.
  Aman was an all-rounder as he played cricket, golf and tennis as well.
  "After the Melbourne Olympics, he started playing golf and was active at Kelab Golf Negara Subang.
  "In the first game against Great Britain, Malaya drew 2-2 and Aman was one of the scorers. In the end he scored a total of eight goals for the nation in our maiden Olympics," said Yogeswaran.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

AHL: Miserable Down Under debut...

THE three Malaysian teams which made their debut in the Australian Hockey League (AHL) fared miserably against club as well as junior sides in Perth.
  Malaysian Tigers, the national team minus three players, finished sixth among 12 teams while the Malaysian Blues (back-up squad) only won one match to finish second from the bottom.
  The Malaysian women's national team, Tigress, were at the brink of semi-finals and then almost became the Losers Pool champions but broke down on both occasions to end seventh among 10 teams.
  Missing from the Tigers were inspector trainees Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri and injured Marhan Jalil -- and there was almost a total collapse.
  Marhan's ankle injury, picked up during the Malaysia Hockey League, is so bad that we will be out of action for at least six months.
  And hopefully Razie and Nabil are released from their training base in Pulapol for the Kuantan Asian Champions Trophy on Oct 20-30.
  For, players in the back-up squad would find it difficult to fill their shoes in Kuantan when playing against India, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea and China.
  As for the women, coach K. Dharmaraj said: "For my players, this was a golden opportunity in our preparations for the World League. We had two chances to first qualify for the semi-finals, and then finish at the top of the Losers Pool but over enthusiasm and failing to capture the moment when opportunity presents, was the fumbling block."
  Dharmaraj will next lead his women into Singapore for the Women's Asian Champions Trophy on Oct 29-Nov 5 where China, India, Japan and South Korea await them.
  HOW THEY FARED -- Tigers: Drew 1-1 with New Zealand Futures, lost 5-2 to Queensland Blades, beat NT Stingers 3-1, lost 5-2 to NSW Waratahs, lost 4-1 to  Victorian Vikings, beat Canberra Lakers 3-0 and lost 4-2 to Queensland Blades.
  BLUES -- lost 4-2 to India Juniors, lost 2-0 to WA Thundersticks, lost 4-0 to SA Hotshots, lost 3-1 to Canberra Lakers, drew 1-1 with  Tassie Tigers, lost 5-1 to NT Stingers, beat New Zealand Futures 3-0.
  TIGRESS -- lost 3-1 to New Zealand Futures, beat NT Pearls 7-1, drew 3-3 with NSW Arrows, beat SA Suns 4-2, lost 6-2 to Victorian Vipers, drew 1-1 with New Zealand Futures and lost 3-1 to  WA Diamonds.