Sunday, February 26, 2017

THT win shoot-out in TNB Cup thriller...

THE Malaysia Hockey League TNB Cup final turned into an eight-goal thriller as Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Terengganu Hockey Team ended the game at 4-4 and the title had to be decided on a shoot-out at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
  And in the shoot-out THT won their fourth consecutive TNB Cup with a slim 5-4 margin.
  "We really had to bring out our best and it was sweet as we managed to defend one title this season purely on determination. Or hero in this and the last season was Jang (Jong Hyun) who scored 28 goals and his hat-trick in the final was worth his weight in gold," said THT coach Sarjit Singh.
  KLHC coach Harun Al-Rashid said luck ran out from their side.
  "We had the match in hand but were unlucky in the shoot-out. We beat them 6-5 in the Charity Shield shoot-out, but luck was not on our side this time around. 
 The heavy rain turned into a drizzle minutes from the start, but still, there were many fans who braved it to watch the two top teams in the country slug it out for the Overall title.
  THT brought in bus-loads of fans from Terengganu, while KLHC a marching band which kept the Tun Razak Stadium terraces busy and noisy.
  KLHC had already won the Charity Shield and the League titles, while THT had the Alagendra Cup in their cabinet before the match.
  Anton Poul Fritz, from Germany, started the count with a well placed field attempt in the ninth minute to hand KLHC the Lead. It was his 11th goal of the season.
  However, MHL top-scorer Jang Jung Hyun nailed the equaliser off his first attempt in the 12th minute to take his tally to 26 goals.
  National player Razie Rahim then took centre stage in the 19th minute, with a powerful penalty corner drive to hand KLHC the lead again at 2-1.
  And Anton made it 3-1 with a penalty corner deflection in the 25th minute, and it looked like THT were also going to lose their TNB Cup title this season.
  But Jang narrowed the score yet again with another powerful penalty stroke drive to make it THT 2 KLHC 3 at the 35th minute.
  THT were a new side in the third quarter, as they pressed for the equaliser with urgency and Jang then gave THT the lifeline they needed with his hat-trick coming in the 49th minute -- with a shoot-out looming large.
  So tensed was the final, that a second penalty stroke was awarded in the match and this time it was for KLHC and Syamim Yusof flicked in for a 4-3 lead in the 53rd minute.
  And the night had more drama left, as with three minutes left on the clock THT equalised off a field goal from Nicolas Enrique to take the match into shoot-out.
  RESULTS -- TNB Cup final: Terengganu Hockey Team 4 Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club 4 (THT win shoot-out 5-4).

Monday, February 20, 2017

Last minute champs...

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) scored a last minute penalty corner to beat Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) 3-2 and claim the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division League title yesterday.
  THT only needed a draw to win their fourth consecutive League title, and were 2-2 until a penalty corner was awarded to KLHC with five seconds on the clock.
  National No 1 drag flicker Razie Rahim made the attempt, which was deflected into goal by Anton Poul Fritz in the 60th minute to lay their hands on the RM100,000 prize money.
  THT, who lost their first match in the League yesterday, received RM60,000.
  The other KLHC goals were scord by Dedy Aryadi (seventh) and Nabil Fiqri (43rd).
  THT's goals were scored by Jang Jong Hyun (ninth) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (51st).
  Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) finished third in the Premier Division when they edged Tenaga Nasional 1-0.
  Tenaga only had themselves to blame as they squandered eight penalty corners with two in the final three minutes of the match despite having former national penalty corner flicker Amin Rahim as their coach.
  UniKL pocketed RM40,000 for third, as they played a good tactical and disciplined game to outwit the more experienced Tenaga side.
  Najmi Farizal Jazlan was the hero for UniKL as he converted the winner off a penalty corner attempt in the 12th minute.
  "It is a good win and one that I hope will boost the confidence of the players as we head for the semis," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
  "Credit must go to the players for their determination and our our defenders too played a key role"
  UniKL were without defender Baljit Singh who had a sore hamstring and was rested for the semi-finals.
  Also left out was Pakistani defender Aleem Bilal who was down with fever and flu.
  RESULTS: Tenaga Nasional 0 UniKL 1, Kuala Lumpur HC 3 Terengganu HT 2, SSTMI 2 TNB Thunderbolts 1, Maybank 3 UiTM-KPT 1.
  WEDNESDAY: Semi-finals First Leg: KLHC v Tenaga (Tun Razak, 6pm), THT v UniKL (Tun Razak, 8pm).
  FRIDAY: Semi-finals Second Leg: UniKL v THT (Tun Razak, 6pm), Tenaga v KLHC (Tun Razak, 8pm).


             P  W  D L  F  A  Pts
KLHC         14 11 3 0  61 21 36
T'GGANU HT   14 10 3 1  73 14 33
UNIKL        14 8  2 4  36 19 26
TENAGA       14 7  4 3  45 20 25
MAYBANK      14 6  1 7  32 39 19
THUNDERBOLTS 14 4  1 9  24 44 13
SSTMI        14 1  2 11  9 69 5
UITM-KPT     14 0  2 12 16 70 2

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Classic Sunday Showdown...

LION .. KLHC's Harvinder Singh in action against a UniKL player recently...

MILLION-RINGGIT teams Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) will battle for the Malaysia Hockey League Premier Division title Sunday, with little to separate them.
  Both teams ended day tied on 33 points after 13 matches, and No 14 will decide who is the unlucky one.
  THT have a 21-goal cushion over KLHC and can afford a draw, while the Charity Shield holders need a clear win.
  KLHC won the Charity Shield when they beat THT 6-5 on shoot-out after both teams played to a 2-2 draw in the MHL curtain raiser.
  But the return leg encounter Suday is expected to have a clear winner in 60 minutes.
  The battle for third will be between Tenaga Nasional and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) who incidentally will also play their last game against each other Sunday.
  Tenaga only need a draw, while UniKL must win to grab the third spot.
  “My players know how crucial Sunday’s game is going to be against THT in our chase for the title. We are almost there and knowing that THT have a 21-goal advantage over us so the only way to the title is to win three points,” said KLHC coach Harun Alrashid Samri.
  And the good news for THT is that one of their top-scorers Faizal Shaari will be back in action after a hamstring injury.
  Faizal scored eight goals before getting injured: "We will be registering Faizal and also Shakeer Butt for the last match as they have recovered from their injuries," said THT coach Sarjit Singh.
  In the first leg encounter, Faizal and Jang Jong Hyun scored for THT. Jang, from South Korea, is the Premier Division top-scorer with 22 goals while another THT player Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin is second on 11 goals.
  Last season, Jang also top-scored with 16 goals, while Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin was second on nine goals.
  "Like in the Charity Shield, I again expect a close game tomorrow (today) but we will be playing to keep our League title, and extend the streak to four consecutive years, so we have our strategy ready," said Sarjit.
  THT were League champions in 2014, 2015 and 2016 while before that, KLHC were eight-time consecutive winners.
  As Ernst and Young, they won three titles from 2006, 2007 and 2008 -- and after changing their name to KLHC they won five more times before THT took over in 2014.
    TODAY: Tenaga Nasional v UniKL (KLHA, 6pm), Kuala Lumpur HC v Terengganu HT (KLHA, 8pm), SSTMI v TNB Thunderbolts (SSTMI, 5pm), Maybank v UiTM-KPT (Malacca, 6pm).


             P  W  D L  F  A  Pts
T'GGANU HT   13 10 3 0  71 11 33
KLHC         13 10 3 0  58 19 33
TENAGA       13 7  4 2  45 19 25
UNIKL        13 7  2 4  35 19 23
MAYBANK      13 5  1 7  29 38 16
THUNDERBOLTS 13 4  1 8  23 42 13
UITM-KPT     13 0  2 11 15 67 2
SSTMI        13 0  2 11  7 68 2

Celebration time...

PICTURES (by MHC) during and after the Ninth Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Executive Board meeting yesterday.
  The MHC feted their men, women and a group or orphans to lunch and contribution.


Help for women to break new ground...

FINALLY: MHC made special medals for the women who won silver in the WL RD2 in Kuala Lumpur...MHC pic

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) held their Ninth Executive Board meeting yesterday and reiterated that they will do everything possible for the women to qualify for their first World Cup.
  Also the MHC are optimistic that the men will not only play in the World League Round Two final in Dhaka, but also defend their title won in the WL Round Two in Singapore.
  The MHC also feted a group of orphans at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur and gave them pocket money as well.
  Both the men's and women's national players were present at the lunch, where the women were also presented with World League Round Two medals.
  (Note: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) only handed out the challenge trophy to Ireland, while no individual medals were given to the winner and Malaysia).
  "We have plans leading to the Women's World League Semifinals where the players will head for Europe to play more than a dozen friendlies. This will help them to try and qualify for their first World Cup," said MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal.
  As for the Sea Games, where four gold medals are on offer in hockey, Subahan is also confident that a clean sweep will be made even though the indoor teams are not in serious training yet.
  Two field and two indoor gold medals will be offered in the August Sea Games.
  "Since the men are involved in the MHL and also do not have a venue to train for indoor, they will start preparations at a later date. however, the women have been training for indoor in Klang. We are confident that all four gold medals will be delivered by our players," said Subahan.
  Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club player Kevin Lim and former national coach Paul Lissek have been roped in to help in the indoor campaign -- as both have experience on its specifications while they were in Germany.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Deciding weekend for KLHC and THT...

Pic: National defender Baljit Singh playing for UniKL. 

THE top-two teams in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) face a deciding weekend to claim the League title which is expected to go to the wire.
  Charity Shield holders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) are tied on 30 points after 12 matches, and THT only lead the standings on goals -- all 20 of them.
  Friday, THT must beat Maybank while KLHA are in the same boat against Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) -- for a final face-off on Sunday for the title.
  Both teams can't afford any slip-ups as Maybank and UniKL have had a yo-yo season by losing to weaker sides, but holding or beating better teams.
  "I am preparing the team for the Maybank match tomorrow (Friday) and even though they are fifth (with five wins and one draw from 12 matches) they have shown their abilities by beating UniKL (4-1 on Wednesday).
  "We can't afford to lose any points, if we want to defend our title on Sunday against KLHA," said THT coach Sarjit Singh.
  Maybank were hammered 7-3 by schoolboys TNB Thunderbolts, but they also have a 2-2 draw against Tenaga Nasional and the win against UniKL to indicate that teams can't take them lightly.
  KLHC must also win against another erratic team UniKL to challenge for the title.
  "As I said before, I believe the title will be won at the last day of the League and its heading towards that provided we keep our heads over water against UniKL tomorrow (Friday)," said KLHC team manager Ahmad Anuar Sham.
  Meanwhile, Oman and Egypt will train in Malaysia for the World League Round Two in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 4-12 -- Reports S.S. Dhaliwal.
  They are expected to arrive by Feb 19, and train in Malaysia until March 1 before heading for Dhaka.
  Malaysia, Fiji, Oman and Bangladesh are in Group A while China, Egypt, Fiji and Sri Lanka are in Group B. The finalists will play in the World League Semifinals which is a Qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in India.
  FRIDAY: Terengganu HT v Maybank (Malacca, 5pm), UniKL v Kuala Lumpur HC (KLHA, 6pm), Tenaga v SSTMI (KLHA, 8pm), TNB Thunderbolts v SSTMI (SSTMI, 5pm).
  SUNDAY: Tenaga Nasional v UniKL (KLHA, 6pm), Kuala Lumpur HC v Terengganu HT (KLHA, 8pm), SSTMI v TNB Thunderbolts (SSTMI, 5pm), Maybank v UiTM-KPT (Malacca, 6pm).


             P  W D L  F  A  Pts
T'GGANU HT   12 9 3 0  66 9  30
KLHC         12 9 3 0  55 18 30
UNIKL        12 7 2 3  34 16 23
TENAGA       12 6 4 2  35 19 22
MAYBANK      12 5 1 6  27 33 16
THUNDERBOLTS 12 3 1 8  20 42 10
UITM-KPT     12 0 2 10 15 64 2
SSTMI        12 0 2 10  7 58 2

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Shahril forces draw against KLHC...

NATIONAL player Shahril Saabah scored a last minute goal to hand Tenaga Nasional an upset 3-3 draw over Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Wednesday.
  All-local outfit Tenaga were 0-2 down by the 19th minute, but played a super game after the second half to hold KHLC who have four foreign imports and nine national players at their disposal.
  The draw saw KLHC back on level terms with Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) on 30 points with two more matches to decide the League champions.
  "We had noting to lose and gave our very best against KLHC to try and finish third in the League. Credit to my players who did not give up until the last second to steal a point from favourites KLHC," said Tenaga coach Amin Rahim.
  On Sunday, Universiti Kuala Lumpur and THT played to a 2-2 draw which faoured KLHC to lift the title, but today the cards changed hands again after KLHC drew with Tenaga.
  THT have two more matches to complete their leage -- aganst Maybank and KLHC next weekend.
  While KLHC have UniKL before playing THT for the title.
  KLHC coach Ahmad Anuar Sham said: "It was an unfortunate draw with a last minute equaliser. Now, we have two more tough matches to win if we want to lay our hands on the League title."
  For the record THT are the defending League and Overall title holders.
  Yesterday, Anton Poul Fritz (15th), Rashid Baharom (19th) and Casey Dawsond (57th) scored for KLHC, while Najib Abu Hassan (22nd), Azammi Adabi (38th) and Shahril Saabah (60th) delivered for Tenaga.
  RESULTS: Kuala Lumpur HC 3 Tenaga Nasional 3, Terengganu Hockey Team 3 TNB Thunderbolts 0, 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Fiji ready for Dhaka World League

The Fiji mens hockey team after their training yesterday.Picture ATU RASEA.

NOTE: Fiji are in Group A with Malaysia, Oman and Bangladesh.
  In Group B are China, Ghana, Egypt and Sri Lanka.

NATIONAL hockey men's team is ready for the Hockey World League Round 2 which will held in Bangladesh on March 4-12.
  The Fiji Hockey Association president Robin Mitchell said they faced problems with the funding for the tournament in terms of transportation and levy for the players. However, it had been sorted out.
  "We had both teams qualified, but the women's team were to go to Malaysia last month, but after looking at our situation we decided not to go.
  "The women have higher chances of improving their rankings in the Oceania Cup in Sydney, Australia in October," Mitchell said.
  "The main purpose of the competition is to get our team qualified for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia next year.
  "We have decided to focus on the men's team as they are ranked 18th in the Commonwealth Games.
  Mitchell said the players had been preparing well with the coach Hector Smith.
  "The funding is going on quite well as we have paid our air tickets and it is those little things which adds up that we have to address and we would prefer to have money because there are also ongoing programs," he added.
   "We also have got the under-18 qualification for the Youth Olympic Games. We have selected the squad after a secondary school competition.
  "We are leaving in two and a half weeks and we have got confirmation of the grants given where the levy of the players is paid and we are also doing our own fundraising."
  The team leaves for Bangladesh on March 1.

The Fiji Times

The Malaysian puzzle...

Pic: The Malaysian Indian Sports and Cultural Foundation-Universal Fitness & Leisure (MISCF-UFL)  team after playing against Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) in preparation for the Junior Hockey League on March 31.

By Jugjet Singh


THERE is so much of hockey being played around the country that it's puzzling why Malaysia are still ranked 13th in the World.
  Hockey is not only a sport, but its also a big money-making industry, from the millions needed to lay an artificial pitch to the equipment which has undergone tremendous change over the years.
  A good hockey stick ranges from RM400 to RM1,500 -- one for the development players, the other for state and national players or those whose parents can afford it.
  Goalkeepers equipment (cheapest RM3,000), balls, shin pads, mouth guards, artificial pitch shoes, socks, field bookings right up to the refreshments during the break all cost a bomb these days.
  Not to mention the coaches salaries from the highest level to the grassroots -- all 1,500 certified coaches according to the last study done in 1997, after which no study was conducted for latest numbers.
  But still, it has not stopped hockey from mushrooming around the country.
  Take for exmple the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium in Japan Pantai.
  Yesterday, as usual, it was packed with hockey players of all standards and sizes.
  The KLHA Under-16 squad started at 8am to train for the National Under-16 squad which will be held on March 18-26 at the same venue.
 This was followed by a friendly match between Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) with Malaysian Indian Sports and Cultural Foundation-Universal Fitness & Leisure (MISCF-UFL)  
   They were preparing for the Junior Hockey League which is slated to start on March 31.
  But even before Olak and MISCF-UFL packed their bags, Convent Bukit Nanas girls walked onto the picth -- and it was blazing hot at 12 noon.
  And later in the evening, there was 1Mas training followed by the Malaysia Hockey League Premier Division matches.
  Hockey whole day, and almost every day at every artificial pitch around the country for the last five years but we're still 13th in the World.
  So, its a real puzzle as there is plenty of action at the grassroots but still, the eight Premier Division teams struggle to find quality local players and need to hire foreign imports.
  But the imports have not shown any signs of being better than the locals, expect for Jang Jong Hyung from South Korea, who has scored 19 goals for Terengganu Hockey Team to place them at the top of the table.
  However, Malaysia have a super chance of moving up the rankings when they play in the World League Round Two match in Dhaka on March 4-12.
  With the other teams in Dhaka being of mediocre standard, Malaysia should win gold again like they did in the World League Round Two in Singapore by whipping Poland 8-0 in the final.
  And with the World Cup being a 16-team format, Malaysia are almost a sure bet to play in India in 2018 and improrve on their rankings.
  But even if they don't qualify for the World Cup, hockey will still be played at a furious state at the grassroots and clubs and MHL as well as JHL, Razak Cup, Azlan Shah Cup, Sultan of Johor Cup, Alagendra Cup, Malaysia Games, Under-14, Under-16, 1Mas tournaments -- and the expensive equipments will still be purchased at a furious state for the next five years and counting.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

UniKL: Glory or bust...

Pic: UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj having a word with former international S. Selvaraju.

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) will be on a road to glory or bust when they play table-toppers Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League Sunday.
  In the first round, THT won 3-0 with goals from Nicolas Enrique, Jang Jong Hyun and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.
  Jang has went on to become the League top-scorer with 19 goals, while Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin is second on nine goals. This are the two dangerous players that UniKL must stop.
  THT coach Sarjit Singh acknowledges it will not be easy in the return leg.
  "UniKL have started to show their fangs and it would be foolish to ride on the first leg victory. We need maximum points in our remaining matches to defend our League title, and that's what we will play for against UniKL," said Sarjit.
  UniKL ate currently in third place on the standings with 22 points and missed out a chance of putting more distance between them and fourth-placed Tenaga Nasional after a 0-0 draw against TNB Thunderbolts on Wednesday.
  They however, did very well to beat Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) 7-0 on Friday.
  But THT are in a class of their own and UniKL realise that it will be a David versus Goliath task to get something out of the match.
  "A point is all we are after and I am being realistic about it," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
  "THT are in a class of their own and with the title race so close they will be at their best,
  "But make no mistake, we have the ability to pull the rug from beneath their feet and I expect a close match."
  Joint-leaders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) are expected to win full points, and maybe even a high number of goals, when they play bottom placed SSTMI today.
  SUNDAY: UniKL v Terengganu HT (KLHA, 6pm), UiTM-KPT v Tenaga Nasional (Tun RAzak, 8pm), SSTMI v Kuala Lumpur HC (SSTMI, 7pm), Maybank v TNB Thunderbolts (Malacca, 6pm).


             P  W D L F  A  Pts
T'GGANU HT   10 8 2 0 61 7  26
KLHC         10 8 2 0 47 14 26
UNIKL        10 7 1 2 31 10 22
TENAGA       10 5 3 2 26 15 18
MAYBANK      10 3 1 6 19 31 10
THUNDERBOLTS 10 3 1 6 19 35 10
UITM-KPT     10 0 1 9 13 57 1
SSTMI        10 0 1 9 5  52 1

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Inspector Sahabs: Razie, Nabil make grand entry...

Graduates ... Nabil (left) and Razie.

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) received a new lease of life when their two ace Policemen finally graduated, and returned to the hockey pitch.
  National No 1 penalty corner flicker Razie Rahim and midfielder Nabil Fiqri graduated into inspectors from Pulapol on Feb 4, and on Wednesday they helped demolish UitM-KPT 9-1.
  Razie scored a brace in his first Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) outing this season.
  The win, and double champion Terengganu Hockey Team's 1-1 draw against Tenaga Nasional, has placed both the teams on 23 points after nine matches.
  THT only lead the standings by a 15-goal margin.
  KLHC had registered both the players, but could not field them in the first leg as they had to undergo a nine-month training to become inspectors.
  "Razie and Nabil are experienced players and their entry into KLHC could not have come at a better time. Now I believe we have a fighting chance to lift the League title," said KLHC manager Ahmad Anuar Sham.
  With Razie in defense and penalty corners, and Nabil in midfield, KLHC are the team to beat in the Premier Division now.
  "We not only need to win, but score as many goals as possible to catch up with THT. However, I believe the title will be decided in the last match of the League on Feb 19," said Anuar.
  That's the day KLHC will meet THT in the second leg. In the first leg, the match ended 2-2 with KLHC claiming the Charity Shield 6-5 on penalties.
  Only the draw counted for points, while the shoot-out was for the Shield.
  National seniors coach Stephen van Huizen still has his eyes on both the players, who last represented the country in the Asian Champions Trophy in October last year where Malaysia finished third.
  "Both the players have been coming for fitness training even when they were in Pulapol for their Police training. They are an asset and will be considered for the Dhaka World League (Round Two, from March 4-12).
  Both KLHC and THT are expected to win full points against Maybank and UiTM-KPT respectively today. 
  TODAY: UiTM-KPT v Terengganu HT (Tun Razak, 6pm), TNB Thunderbolts v Tenaga Nasional (SSTMI, 5pm), SSTMI v UniKL (SSTMI, 7pm), Kuala Lumpur HC v Maybank (KLHA, 6pm).


             P  W D L F  A  Pts
T'GGANU HT   9  7 2 0 49 5  23
KLHC         9  7 2 0 43 14 23
UNIKL        9  6 1 2 24 10 19
TENAGA       9  4 3 2 22 14 15
MAYBANK      9  3 1 5 19 27 10
THUNDERBOLTS 9  3 1 5 18 31 10
UITM-KPT     9  0 1 8 11 45 1
SSTMI        9  0 1 8 5  45 1

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Well... Its Dhaka as written earlier than FIH statement

Media Advisory

MHC has received an offer from FIH to play in the Dhaka HWLR2 instead of the T&T HWLR2. Upon consultation with the respective bodies which include the coaches, Technical Director, Coaching Chairman and members of the EB, and taking into consideration various matters that generally contribute to our decision-making processes, MHC would like to officially inform that the Men's National Team will be heading to Dhaka to participate in the Men's Hockey World League Round 2. The tournament will take place from the 4th to 12th March and feature the following teams:

1. Egypt
2. China
3. Oman
4. Bangladesh
5. Sri Lanka
6. Fiji
7. Ghana

Kindly be informed. We look forward to giving our best at the tournament.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Top teams invited for Seventh SOJC...

JOHOR Hockey Association (JHA) have invited top junior sides for the Seventh Edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup to be held on Oct 22-29.
  A star studded field of Argentina, Great Britain, Germany, India and Australia have been contacted to play at the Taman Daya Stadium against the hosts.
  "We are extending invites to these teams as they had expressed interest in participating this year," said JHA Deputy President Datuk Manjit Majid Abdullah.
  "These are top junior teams and it will help boost the image of the tournament. We have also received interest from a few other countries and will keep our options open and invite them should any of these five decline."
  Among the countries on the reserve list are New Zealand, Japan, Pakistan and Egypt.
  Manjit said that they were also looking at other teams like South Africa, Spain or Belgium for the tournament.
  Should India accept the invite, they will be making a return after a years absence.
  Australia are the defending champions and Malaysia as well as Great Britain have emerged as champions before.

MHC: No news from FIH yet...

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) called Premier Division managers for a meeting yesterday to prepare for 'all-weather' leading to the World League Round Two.
  After Canada withdrew for the Dhaka, Bangladesh, World League Round Two recently there is a possibility that Malaysia might move from their initial venue in Trinidad and Tobago to Bangladesh.
  But the MHC are still tight-lipped about any changes in venues.
  "No we have not received any news from the FIH (International Hockey Federation) on a change of venue. This meeting was called to request for national players in the Premier Division to attend training every Mondays.
 "The teams agreed, and there were no further issues," said MHC CEO K. Logan Raj.
  National men's coach Stephen van Huizen also said he does not know about any change in venue, and is just preparing for the World League.
  "I have no news about the change in venue for the tournament, and in fact even my players have asked me the same question but I could not answer their queries.
  "The only difference between both the venues is the travelling time of about 30 hours to Trinidad and Tobago while its about four hours to Dhaka.
  "Also, in Trinidad and Tobago, we are grouped with European and Caribbean sides while in Dhaka it will be basically Asian teams," said van Huizen.
  However, the hasty meeting might be to prepare a team early for Dhaka as the tournament dates would become closer if there is a change in venue.
  Malaysia are slated to play their WL in Trinidad and Tobago on March 25-April 2.
  But if they replace Canada, Malaysia will play in Dhaka on March 4-12.
  The Malaysia Hockey League Premier Division matches end on Feb 26, and the Dhaka tournament is just a week after that.
  In a news report, Bangladesh Hockey Federation secretary general Abdus Sadeque said: "It is very sad that Canada have withdrawn from the tournament on security grounds, which we learnt on Monday through the FIH (International Hockey Federation).” 
   In Dhaka Canada were in Group A with Fiji, Oman and Bangladesh, while in Group B are China, Egypt, Ghana and Sri Lanka.
  While in Trinidad and Tobago Malaysia are in Group A with Barbados, US and Chile. In Group B are Japan, Switzerland, Russia and the hosts.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Bye TnT, Dhaka here we come...

A street shot of Dhaka -- the venue for World League Round Two.

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are scrambling against time to accept an invitation to play their World League Round Two match in Dhaka, instead of the scheduled Trinidad and Tobago venue.
  This came about after Canada pulled out of the Dhaka WL on March 4-12 citing security concerns.
  Malaysia were supposed to play their WL in Trinidad and Tobago on March 25-April 2.
  Yesterday, Premier Division Malaysia Hockey League team managers received calls to attend a meeting on Monday evening to discuss this sudden move -- with an option to shorten the MHL which ends on Feb 26 -- just a week before Dhaka.
  In a news report, Bangladesh Hockey Federation secretary general Abdus Sadeque said: "It is very sad that Canada have withdrawn from the tournament on security grounds, which we learnt on Monday through the FIH (International Hockey Federation).” 
  “We are taking this matter to the FIH because we have already given our security plans to them which include security from airport to the hotel, from the hotel to the stadium and security inside the team hotel.
  "One of our vice presidents briefed the FIH on the detailed security plan,” Sadeque said.
  “The FIH report has mentioned that Bangladesh have efficiently organised the England cricket team's Tour. It would have been better had the 11th-ranked team in the world Canada would have come as well.”
  In Dhaka Canada were in Group A with Fiji, Oman and Bangladesh, while in Group B are China, Egypt, Ghana and Sri Lanka.
  While in Trinidad and Tobago Malaysia are in Group A with Barbados, US and Chile. In Group B are Japan, Switzerland, Russia and the hosts.
  Malaysian Hockey Confederation CEO K. Logan Raj said its still a wait-and-see situation.
  "We have yet to receive anything from the FIH on the matter, but it looks like if we have to play in Bangladesh there are many factors to considerate.
  "First, the dates are too close and we need to adjust many things. Secondly, looking at the teams in both venues, there is not much of a difference and in the end a decision will be made to make sure we qualify for the World League Semifinals," said Logan.
  While Logan was non-committed, it was understood that Malaysia will be playing in Dhaka instead of Trinidad and Tobago.
  For the record, in the last World League Round Two in Singapore, Malaysia thrashed Poland 8-0 in the final but still failed to advance to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics because they finished sixth in the World League Semifinals in Belgium.
  And Canada qualified for the Olympics by finishing fourth in the Argentina World League Semifinals.