Sunday, April 30, 2017

Azlan Shah Cup: Aust outclass Malaysia...

AUSTRALIA hammered Malaysia 6-1 in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh Sunday.
  Only Faizal Shaari managed to score against the Aussies off a penalty stroke in the 42nd minute, while the six were scored by hat-trick heroes Tom Craig (11th, 38th, 44th) and Trent Mitton (23rd, 27th, 58th). 
  In another match, drag-flick specialist Harmanpreet Singh scored a brace as India bounced back from a lack lustre first quarter performance to beat New Zealand 3-0 Zealand in the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup yesterday.
  However, the matches were delayed by an hour again, as a lashing thunderstorm hit Ipoh and the Malaysian match was played after Press Time.
  New Zealand and India went into the match in search of a first win in the tournament. 
  The Kiwis played to a 1-1 draw against defending champions and World No 2 Australia in Saturday’s opening encounter while the Indians, placed sixth on the FIH world Rankings, emerged with a 2-2 draw after a gruelling session against Britain.
  Led by S.V. Sunil, who earned his 200th international cap yesterday, India’s attacking machinery got its act together in the second quarter with a series of quick counter attacks, earned three penalty corners and broke the deadlock.  
  Mandeep Singh deflected a bouncing ball past Harry Gibson in the 23rd minute via open play to go 1-0 ahead and Harmanpreet Singh swept a powerful drag flick three minutes before the end of the quarter to double the score.
  Harmanpreet nailed the third in the 47th.
  India coach Roelant Oltmans said: "I am happy with the results. I only prefer to win. But I am not happy with the way we performed although we did expect New Zealand to play a different way. After the first quarter we had completely dominated the game."
  In another match, Britain pulled off a stunning 5-3 victory over Japan, thanks to a late goal from Alan Forsyth.
  The Britons lived up to their promise of making a strong comeback against the Japanese following an exciting 2-2 draw against India on Saturday.
   RESULTS: India 3 New Zealand 0, Japan 3 Britain 5, Australia 6 Malaysia 1.
   TUESDAY: India v Australia (4pm), New Zealand v Japan (6pm), Malaysia v Britain (8.30pm).


           P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
AUSTRALIA  2  1  1  0  7  2  4
INDIA      2  1  1  0  5  2  4
BRITAIN    2  1  1  0  7  5  4
MALAYSIA   2  0  1  1  2  7  1
N ZEALAND  2  0  1  1  1  4  1
JAPAN      2  0  1  1  4  6  1

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Azlan Shah Cup: A day of draws

A RAGING thunderstorm and painful delays saw three draws in the opening day of the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh Saturday.
  Malaysia drew 1-1 with Japan, Australia drew 1-1 with New Zealand while India drew 2-2 with Britain.
 All the matches were moved two hours from starting time, due to thunderstorm which has been a norm in this city over the last two weeks.
  Razie Rahim gave Malaysia the lead off a seventh minute penalty corner, but Shota Yamada's 40th minute penalty corner goal stood until the final whistle.
  "After taking the lead, we failed to settle down and score more and that was our main fault in this game. We also failed to score more off the five penalty corners we received, and could not make use of our better possession and 10 shots at goal.
  "Tomorrow (today) we face a tougher match against Australia who also drew, and we need to forget this game and re-group for this grueling encounter," said Malaysia coach Stephen van Huizen.
  India coach Roelant Oltmans said: "I can learn to accept this result. Obviously playing in Malaysia we (all the teams) have to be prepared for the weather and the long delay did not affect our momentum.
  "My only disappointment is we did not make good use of our chances and only earned one penalty corner throughout the match. The younge players gave a good performance, including Sumit who is making his debut with the seniors. Like I said, I can accept the result as we played well overall."
  RESULTS: Britain 2 India 2, New Zealand 1 Australia 1, Malaysia 1 Japan 1.
   SUNDAY: India v New Zealand (4pm), Japan v Britain (6pm), Australia v Malaysia (8.30pm).
   TUESDAY: India v Australia (4pm), New Zealand v Japan (6pm), Malaysia v Britain (8.30pm).


           P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
BRITAIN    1  0  1  0  2  2  1
INDIA      1  0  1  0  2  2  1
MALAYSIA   1  0  1  0  1  1  1
AUSTRALIA  1  0  1  0  1  1  1
N ZEALAND  1  0  1  0  1  1  1
JAPAN      1  0  1  0  1  1  1

Van Huizen: Write your own target...

MALAYSIA, ranked 14th, will open their 26th Azlan Shah Cup campaign in Ipoh Saturday against the lowest ranked team Japan, 16th, but fans can expect an uphill battle all the way.
  It will be a test of World League Round Two champions as Malaysia won gold in Dhaka, Bangladesh, while Japan were champions in Trinidad and Tobago.
  The man to watch will be 28-year-old Kenta Tanaka, who top-scored in Trinidad and Tobago with nine field goals, including the equaliser against Canada in their 2-1 win in the final.
  Japan coach Yamabori Takahiko is confident that his men will emerge as victors, unlike the 7-2 drubbing their received in the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan last year.
  "After we lost to Malaysia (7-2) we dropped half the players and rebuilt this side. We did well in the World League, and are ready to win our first match tomorrow (today)," said Yamabori.
  The clarion call did not worry Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen, but what irked him was the question about Malaysia's target on home soil.
  "I did not hear what the Japan coach said, but to the question about our target here, you can make your own target and write about it," said a visibly peeved van Huizen.
  As an after-thought, van Huizen said: "We finished fourth last year, and would be working to finish higher."
  Malaysian skipper Shukri Mutalib believes they have a 50-50 chance against Japan.
  "We have played them many times before and both sides know each others' game. We need to minimize mistakes and work on their weak areas. I believe we have a 50-50 chance, as Japan are no pushovers," said Shukri.
  Australia, New Zealand, India and Britain will field many newcomers, as they blood youth to prepare for the World League Semi-finals -- which all six teams in Ipoh have qualified for.
  India, hosts of the 2018 World Cup, have six Junior World Cup players on their side while the Kiwis have injected many new players after a string of retirements and injuries hit their side after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
  SATURDAY: Britain v India (4pm), New Zealand v Australia (6pm), Malaysia v Japan (8.35pm).
   SUNDAY: India v New Zealand (4pm), Japan v Britain (6pm), Australia v Malaysia (8.35pm).

Monday, April 24, 2017

Second Test: Malaysia 3 New Zealand 3

NATIONAL coach Stephen van Huizen made a few changes to the team, and Malaysia drew 3-3 with New Zealand in the Second Test at the Tun Razak Stadium Sunday.
  In the First Test on Saturday Malaysia, ranked 14th, hammered eighth ranked New Zealand 8-2.
  The Tests double up as selection for the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh on April 29-May 6, and van Huizen will name his final squad today.
  In Ipoh, the hosts will be up against Australia, Great Britain, India, Japan and New Zealand.
  Sam Lane scored off a penalty corner in the 19th minute, but Malaysia pulled back in the 22nd minute when Marhan Jalil scored off a penalty corner rebound.
  Fitri Shaari gave Malaysia the lead in the 53rd minute, but a minute later Stephen Jenness scored to make it 2-2, and Nick Ross' solo effort in the 56th made it 3-2.
  However, Faizal Shaari's 60th minute penalty corner attempt saw both teams share the spoils.
  "I rested a few players and tried out the others to give them a chance in the selection process for the Azlan Shah Cup and admittedly, we played below our standard in the first two quarters.
  "However, a win and a draw heading towards Azlan Shah Cup is a good result, and I hope to have another friendly (possibly against Australia) at the newly laid pitch in Ipoh to get used to the conditions -- and we will be ready for the challenge," said Stephen van Huizen.
  New Zealand coach Darren Smith brought a young team and his gradual target is the World Cup and Olympics.
  "It was good for my youngsters to play against world class players in the two Tests. However, this is just the start of our journey heading towards the World Cup (2018) and the Olympics (2020)," said Smith.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

JHL: PJCC shock SSTMI 3-2

   Division One: PJCC Tigers 3 SSTMI Thunderbolts 2, Anderson Thunderbolts 1 Olak-NurInsafi 1 (Anderson win shoot-out 3-2), BJSS Thunderbolts 4 BJSS Juniors 0, Johor Juniors 1 MSP Thunderbolts 0, Politeknik Malaysia 3 UniKL Young Guns 2.
  Division Two: Group B: Anderson PHA 6 MISCF-UFL 1, MCKK 0 Felda Juniors 9; Group C: SSTMI Juniors 10 Johor Baru HA 0, Datuk Taha 1 MBMB Warriors 3, Bentara Luar 0 Young Hurricanes 0 (Hurricanes win shoot-out 1-0).

TEST: Malaysia hammer New Zealand 8-2

MALAYSIA hammered New Zealand 8-2 in the First Test at the Tun Razak Stadium Sunday, leading towards the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh next weekend.
  The hosts will be up against Australia, Great Britain, India, Japan and New Zealand in the Azlan Shah Cup on April 29-May 6.
  The Malaysian goals were scored by Nik Aiman Rosemi (third, 42nd, 49th), Razie Rahim (sixth), Ramadan Rosli (29th), Faizal Shaari (29th), Haziq Samsul (37th), Najmi Jazlan (45th), 
  George Muir (seventh) and Dominic Newman (48th) scored for New Zealand.
  The Second Test will be held Monday at 6pm, at the same venue.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Subahan hands over Selangor HA to Ganesh

 Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal (left) and S. Ganesh.
From left: S. Shamala, Gurdip Singh Mann, P. Kuganeson and P. Balamuraly.

AFTER eight years at the helm of Selangor HA, Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal handed over the post to former vice-president S. Ganesh Saturday.
  There was no election, and Datuk S. Sivasundaram also relinquished his deputy president's post which was taken over by S. Shamala, who previously held a veeps post.
  Selangor HA Council: President - S. Ganesh; Deputy President - S. Shamala.
  Vice-presidents:S. Kunaseelan, P. Kuganeson, Gurdip Singh Mann, Nor Aida Hassan, J. Elangovan.
  Council Members: A. Chandra Rajan, Rohayuddin Abdul Rashid, Steven Asecalin, M. Karunakaran, P. Balamuraly.

Hectic five matches in 10 days for Anderson

ANDERSON Thunderbolts have the players to reach the final in Division One of the Junior Hockey League, provided they also overcome a hectic five-match schedule in 10 days.
  The Ipoh boys will play Olak-NurInsafi Sunday at their home-base in Gunung rapat, after which they will travel down south to Bandar Penawar, then Batu Pahat, followed by matches in Kuala Lumpur and them back to Malacca -- all inside 10 days.
  Even though the JHL is almost into the middle stage, Anderson has only played one match against Overall champions BJSS Thunderbolts which they won 2-1.
  "Two of my players went for the Asian Schools tournament in India and so our fixtures were all delayed. The players showed great form in the match and I believe we can play in the final this season, but provided we overcome a lethargic five match tour of Malaysia in 10 days," said Anderson coach Nizam Hashim.
    RESULTS -- Women: Group A: SSTMI 4 CBN Hockey Club 1, USM Juniors 0 MSN Kedah 4, Sabah SS 0 KL Wipers 0 (Sabah win shoot-out 3-2); Group B: Uniten-KPT 3 SMKGR 1, Johor Juniors 0 USM 3.
   SUNDAY -- Division One: PJCC Tigers v SSTMI Thunderbolts (PJCC< 6pm), Anderson Thunderbolts v Olak-NurInsafi (Gunung Rapat, 5pm), BJSS Thunderbolts v BJSS Juniors (KLHA, 5pm), Johor Juniors v MSP Thunderbolts (Batu Pahat, 5pm), Politeknik Malaysia v UniKL Young Guns (Bukit Serindit, 5pm).
  Division Two: Group B: Anderson PHA v MISCF-UFL (Gunung Rapat, 3pm), MCKK v Felda Juniors (Azlan Shah, 5pm); Group C: SSTMI Juniors v Johor Baru HA (SSTMI, 5pm), Datuk Taha v MBMB Warriors (Zaaba, 5pm), Bentara Luar v Young Hurricanes (Batu Pahat, 3pm).

Friday, April 21, 2017

Andersons shock BJSS 2-1

 Interview time.. BJSS coach Lokman Yahaya.
Interview time... Anderson coach Nizam Hashim.

ANDERSON Thunderbolts shocked Overall champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) Thunderbolts 2-1 in Division One of the Junior Hockey League (JHL) Friday.
  It was a high-octane match, and the fitter Andersons won the day with beautiful penalty corner set-pieces.
  The Anderson goals were scored by Azrai Aizad (22nd) and Aiman Shahmi (28th) both off penalty corners, while the BJSS penalty stoke was taken by Arif Sabron (24th).
  Anderson coach Nizam Hashim said initially their target was to finish top-four, but after yesterday's performance he believes his charges can make the final.
  "We will now push the boys harder after they showed today (yesterday) that they can overcome a tough side. BJSS are no pushovers, and now I believe we have a side which can play in the final," said Nizam.
  BJSS coach Lokman Yahaya believes the defeat is just a hiccup in his plans.
  "We played badly in the second and third quarter and paid the price. However, we still have six more matches to go and I am confident my players will bounce back strongly," said Lokman.
  Last season, BJSS finished second in the League.
  RESULTS -- Division One: BJSS Thunderbolts 1 Anderson Thunderbolts 2, SSTMI Thunderbolts 2 MSP-Thunderbolts 1, Olak-NurInsafi 5 BJSS Juniors 1.
  Division Two: Group A: MSS Kedah 3 PHA-USM 1, MISCF-UFL Penang 1 MSNSSN Young Lions 6, USM Juniors 1 KPs Stingers 1.
  Group B: MCKK 0 Anderson PHA 8, Felda Juniors 3 Terengganu Juniors 2; Group C: Bentara Luar 0 SSTMI Juniors 4, Johor Baru HA 1 Young Hurricanes 2, Datuk Taha 4 TBSS Tampin 3.
   SATURDAY -- Women: Group A: SSTMI v CBN Hockey Club (SSTMI, 5pm), USM Juniors v MSN Kedah (Lela Pahlawan, 5pm), Sabah SS v KL Wipers (Likas, 4pm); Group B: Uniten-KPT v SMKGR (KPM, 5pm), Johor Juniors v USM (Batu Pahat, 5pm).

Thursday, April 13, 2017

JHL: UniKL and Olak geared up for epic battle...

UNIKL Young Guns and Olak-NurInsafi have been clocking extra hours for their crucial Division One Junior Hockey League (JHL) match Friday at the Pandamaran Stadium in Klang.
  Both teams have been training none stop for the last five days, and UniKL even took the trouble to train at the Pandamaran pitch Thursday to get familiar with the artificial surface.
  "We needed the training session at Pandamaran to have a feel of the surface. It is an important weekend for us as we face two strong teams (BJSS Thunderbolts on Sunday) and honestly getting four points from these two matches will be the result we are looking for," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
  "Our main problem to date is making use of the chances that we create and this is something we have been working hard at."
  UniKL Young Guns have played three matches so far, losing once to PJCC Tigers (2-1) while registering two wins over BJSS Juniors (2-0) and SMK Bentara Luar ( 2-1).
  As for Olak team manager Joseph de Silva is ready to welcome UniKL with a marching band display.
  "We have had five days of solid training where we also used ice-baths to settle nerves as we are looking to beat UniKL at all cost," said de Silva.
  Meanwhile the combination of there JHL Thunderbolts teams (BJSS, SSTMI and Temerloh) were beaten 5-1 by India in the final of the Asian Schools tournament in Bhopal. The Malaysian goal was scored by Akhimullah Anuar Esook.
  In the semi-finals, Malaysia beat Singapore 12-1.
  And over in Europe, coach K. Dharmaraj's women beat German club side Crefeld 7-0. The women, who earlier beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-0. They will play 11 more matches, to prepare for the Brussels World League Semifinals on June 21-July 2, and return at the end of the month.
  FRIDAY -- Division One: PJCC Tigers v BJSS Juniors (PJCC Stadium, 6pm), Olak-NurInsafi v UniKL Young Guns (Pandamaran, 5pm).
  Division Two: Group A -- MISCF-UFL penang v USM Juniors (Sungai Petani, 5pm), Penang HA-USM v Stingers (USM, 5pm), Young Lions v MSS Kedah (Syed Putra, 5pm).
  Group B: Terengganu Juniors v Andersons (Batu Buruk, 5pm), MSSWPKL v Felda Juniors (KPM, 5pm); Group C: Young Hurricanes v SSTMI Juniors (Bukit Serindit, 5pm), TBSS Tampin v MBMB Warriors (Zaaba, 5pm), Johor HA v Bentara Luar (Taman Daya, 5pm).

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dharmaraj: Nothing to lose, everything to fight for..

THE Malaysian women's team (pic) will play in Brussels in their World League Semifinals, which is a qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in England.
  Coach K. Dharmaraj's ladies will play the matches of their lives from June 21-July 2 in Group A together with Australia, New Zealand, Belgium and Spain.
  In Group B are Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Spain, Malaysia.
  Dharmaraj was short and sharp in his reply: "Death Group."
  The coach and his ladies are in Germany now to play 13 matches in preparation for Brussels, where they won their first match against Bayer Leverkusen 2-0.
  The goals were scored by Noraini Abdul Rashid (second minute) Siti Amarina (41st).
  "Tough, but I have calculated this and informed the team a month ago that we will be playing in Brussels, barring any upsets in the last World League (Round Two) matches in Vancouver.
  "This is because we are the lowest ranked team and Italy, even after losing to us in the semifinals, are in a 'better' group then us.
  "I know how tough this group can be as I have been thinking about it for the last one month. It's really tough for team like mine to play in this group again giants like Australia, New Zealand and Spain. The closest rank team to us is Belgium as they are 14th but the advantage they have is as hosts.
  "Sometimes is good to go for a tournament like this where nobody thinks you can go far and the pressure is not high with the feeling of wanting to create an upset.
  "But our ranking (22nd) is in a such a position that we need to create upset to lift ourselves to a different level...
  "As lowest rank team in Brussels, we can sit and complain, but I take it as a challenge to fight to give our best and hope to create an upset by qualifying for our first World Cup."
  WOMEN’S Hockey World League Semi-Finals:
  Brussels, Belgium (June 21 to July 2)
Group A: Netherlands (No 1), China (8th), South Korea (9th), Italy (16th), Scotland (17th).
Group B: Australia (4th), New Zealand (5th), Belgium (14th), Spain (10th), Malaysia (22nd).
  Johannesburg, South Africa (July 8-23)
Group A: England (2nd), Germany (7th), Japan (11th), Ireland (15th), Poland (18th).
Group B: Argentina (3rd), USA (6th), South Africa (13th), India (12th), Chile (20th).

Sunday, April 9, 2017

JHL: UniKL do just enough

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) did just enought to win three points when they edged Johor Juniors 2-1 in the only Division One match in the Junior Hockey League (JHL) yesterday.
  The Big Boys in JHL BJSS Thunderbolts, SSTMI Thunderbolts and MSP Thunderbolts have yet to start their season as they have released players to compete in the ongoing Asian Schools tournament in India.
  Yesterday, UniKL scored off Chairil Daniel Rusli in the 17th and 39th minutes, while the Johor goal was scored by Abinassh Singh in the 49th minute.
  "We did just enough to win three points, and it is going to become harder after this as we will be playing against some of the established side in the JHL.
  "I believe the players have the potential, but they still have some grey areas to improve if we want to finish among the top-four this season," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
  UniKL have played three matches todate and won two while lost to PJCC Tigers 2-1.
  Meanwhile, a Division Two Group C match was abandoned after the technical officials declared the Seremban II pitch unplayable.
  "There was another tournament held at the pitch on Saturday and somehow a part of the pitch was torn and no longer safe to play on. The match will now be rescheduled," said JHL tournament director P. Kuganesan.
  TBSS Tampin and Johor Baru HA were the affected teams.
  Yesterday also saw the first red card of the season, when Datuk Taha player Izzuddin Rezuwan received it for rough play in the 56th minute.
  RESULTS: Division One -- UniKL Young Guns 2 Johor Juniors 1.
  Division Two: Group B -- MSSWPKL 3 MISCF-UFL 0, Terengganu Juniors 4MCKK 0, Felda Juniors 5 SSMS Resilient 6; Group C: TBSS Tampin v Johor Baru HA (match abandoned, pitch unplayable), Young Hurricanes 3 Datuk Taha 2, MBMB Warriors x Datuk Bentara Luar x.

Friday, April 7, 2017

JHL: PJCC Tigers 2 UniKL 1

PETALING JAYA City Council (PJCC) Tigers beat Univeriti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) Young Guns 2-1 in Division One of the Junior Hockey League Friday.
  It was PJCC's first match of the season, and they got their goals off Mahathir Rathuwan (17th) and Nur Asyraf Ishak (33rd) while the UniKL goal was scored by Izzwan Arif (45th).
  "We were poor and no excuses for the defeat as we did not play up to mark," conceded UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
  "We created enough chances but did not convert them and this is one area that I was concerned about.
  "As I said PJCC have experienced players, and that was the difference between the two teams."
  RESULTS -- Division One: UniKL Young Guns 1 PJCC Tigers 2.
  Division Two: Group A -- MSN Young Lions 1 USM 0, USM Juniors 4 MSS Kedah 2, MSSP Stinger 6 MISCF-UFL Penang 0; Group B: MCKK 2 SSMS Resilient 11, Felda Juniors 5 MISCF-UFL 1, Andersons 4 MSSWPKL 1.
  Group C: Datuk Bentara Luar 1 TBSS Tampin 2, Datuk Taha 1 SSTMI Juniors 2, MBMB Warriors 9 Young Hurricanes 1.
  SATURDAY: Women's Group A: MSN Kedah v CBN (Lela Pahlawan, 5pm), KLSS Wipers v USM Juniors (KLHA, 5pm); Group B: MSSPK v Zaaba (Gunung Rapat, 5pm), USM v Uniten (USM, 5pm).
  SUNDAY: Division One -- UniKL Young Guns v Johor Juniors (KLHA, 5pm).
  Division Two: Group B -- MSSWPKL v MISCF-UFL (KPM, 5pm), Terengganu Juniors v MCKK (Batu Buruk, 5pm), Felda Juniors v SSMS Resilient (UPSI, 5pm); Group C: TBSS Tampin v Johor Baru HA (Seremban II, 5pm), Young Hurricanes v Datuk Taha (Bukit Serindit, 4pm), MBMB Warriors v Datuk Bentara Luar (Bukit Serindit, 6pm).

Thursday, April 6, 2017

UniKL working on back-to back wins...

Pic: UniKL v BJSS Juniors last week. UniKL won 2-0.

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) Young Guns aims to claim full points this weekend in Division One of the Junior Hockey League (JHL).
  Being the only Division One team playing Friday and Sunday, while the top guns rest as their players are competing in the Asian Schools tournament in India, UniKL will play PJCC Tigers and then Johor Juniors.
  Admitting that his team were raw and inexperienced, UniKL Young Guns coach Arul Selvaraj feels that a proper execution of their game plan could be the difference.
  "I believe that PJCC have an experienced team that could make things difficult for us," admitted Arul.
  "But three points is what we are after and it boils down to one thing - which team has the stronger desire to win and makes the least mistakes.
  "That is why I have spent the larger part of training to focus on our defensive set up as well as penalty corner execution.
  "It is never easy playing against a hard running team so we need to have a game plan to neutralise them. While they may have the experience, I want my players to match them in terms of tenacity and determination, as this can overcome our shortcomings," said Arul.
  UniKL Young Guns got off to a winning start by defeating BJSS Juniors last week.
  And while PJCC did not see action, Johor Juniors defeated Olak-Nur Insafi 3-2 in shootout after the match ended 2-2 in regulation time to collect two points.
  Fielding largely players who are Under-16, Johor Juniors are expected to pose another tough challenge as most of their players were exposed to the Malaysia Hockey League.
  "Although they are a young team, the fact that they defeated Olak speaks of their ability as a team," cautioned Arul.
  FRIDAY -- Division One: UniKL Young Guns v PJCC Tigers (KLHA, 5pm).
  Division Two: Group A -- MSN Young Lions v USM (Syed Putra, 5pm), USM Juniors v MSS Kedah (USM, 5pm), MSSP Stinger v MISCF-UFL Penang (Kuala Perlis, 5pm); Group B: MCKK v SSMS Resilient (Azlan Shah, 5pm), Felda Juniors v MISCF-UFL (Universiti Sultan Idris, 5pm), Andersons v MSSWPKL (Gunung Rapat, 5pm).
  Group C: Datuk Bentara Luar v TBSS Tampin (Batu Pahat, 5pm), Datuk Taha v SSTMI Juniors (Seremban II, 5pm), MBMB Warriors v Young Hurricanes (Bukit Serindit, 5pm).
  SATURDAY: Women's Group A: MSN Kedah v CBN (Lela Pahlawan, 5pm), KLSS Wipers v USM Juniors (KLHA, 5pm); Group B: MSSPK v Zaaba (Gunung Rapat, 5pm), USM v Uniten (USM, 5pm).

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Van Huizen: Top-six should do the trick...

MALAYSIA will play in the London World League Semifinals for a shot at playing in the 16-team 2018 World Cup in India.
  The International Hockey Federation (FIH) released groupings of the two qualifiers, the other one in Johannesburg, and coach Stephen van Huizen's men have been placed with four other Asian teams.
  Malaysia, who dropped back to 14 from 13th in the World in the latest FIH ranking, have Olympic champions and newly crowned world no 1 Argentina, European champs Netherlands, Asian champions India, Pakistan, South Korea, hosts England, China, Canada and Scotland for company.
  The tournament will be held On June 15-25 at Lee Valley’s Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
  In Johannesburg, on July 8-23, the 10 teams are World League Round Two qualifiers Ireland, Japan, France and Egypt.
  They will be up against reigning Hockey World Cup, World League and Champions Trophy winners Australia, Olympic silver medallists Belgium, Olympic bronze medallists Germany, New Zealand, Spain and hosts South Africa, winners of the 2015 African Hockey Championship.
  "The target is to first finish among the top-four in the group as the fifth team will not play in the quarter-finals.
  "After that, we need to finish among the top-six in the knock-out stage to qualify for the World Cup. There are bound to be many double qualifications, and this is where even No 6 in London will make the cut to the 16-team event in Indian next year," said van Huizen.
  Going by ranking, Malaysia will be placed in Group A with Argentina, Great Britain, Canada and China.
  In Group B would be Netherlands, India, South Korea, Pakistan and Scotland.
  "The 18 who played in the World League Round Two in Dhaka as well as those who will be selected for the Azlan Shah Cup will form the core of the team. All the injured players as well as those with family commitment will be available for Ipoh, and that's where I hope to select the best and fittest for London," said van Huizen.
  The fact that London will be akin to an Asian championship should also favour Malaysia's chances.
  "The good and also the bad of it is that we have a big number of teams which we play frequently in the Asian Games, Asia Cup and Asian Champions Trophy.
  "We know them, and they know us. In a way, its also good that we have been placed in London, as we will be meeting known foes and our players would also be more comfortable in this situation," said van Huizen.

Malaysia to play in London


THE International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed the final line-ups for the men’s Hockey World League Semi-Finals following the conclusion of Round 2 and the subsequent update to the men’s FIH Hero World Rankings.
  Between 15-25 June 2017, Lee Valley’s Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, England will welcome Canada, Malaysia, China and Scotland. 
  They qualified from the Hockey World League Round 2 and join Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists Argentina, reigning European champions Netherlands, Asian champions India, Pakistan, Korea and hosts England, whose participation in this event was confirmed last October.
  The other men’s Hockey World League Semi-Final will take place at Wits Hockey Club in Johannesburg, South Africa between 8-23 July.
  Joining this event from Round 2 are Ireland, Japan, France and Egypt.
  They will be up against reigning Hockey World Cup, World League and Champions Trophy winners Australia, Olympic silver medallists Belgium, Olympic bronze medallists Germany, New Zealand, Spain and hosts South Africa, winners of the 2015 African Hockey Championship..

Monday, April 3, 2017

JHL: Outside ranked teams shine...

Pictures: MISCF-UFL (in blue) playing against Terengganu Juniors in the JHL. Terengganu scraped a 2-1 win. Pic By Shah Bekson.

OUTSIDE ranked teams showed great form over the weekend in the curtain raiser of the Junior Hockey League.
  While the top teams in Division One rested as their players were involved in the Asian Schools tournament in India, the minnows made their mark.
  In Division One, Johor Juniors were the revelation while Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) showed composure to win.
  In Division Two Malaysian Indian Sports and Cultural Foundation-Universal Fitness & Leisure (MISCF-UFL) showed a form which shocked the gallery.
  The Girls' JHL saw the last season's champions SSTMI Thunderbolts edge silver medallists KL Wipers 1-0 -- to set up a start of another close season.
  Johor Juniors were down twice, but came back to draw 2-2 and then beat seasoned JHL side Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) Nur-Insafi 3-2 on shootout.
  Olak have been playing in the JHL since its debut in 1995 and even joined hands with NurInsafi this season to strengthen their side, but underdogs Johor Juniors sealed two crucial points.
  Five of Olak-NurInsafi players recently played in Division One of the Malaysia Hockey League and after a 3-3 draw lost the gold medal to Police 3-1 in shootout.
  Determination saw experience thrown out of the window.
  In Division two MISCF-UFL trained for two months, only on weekends, and had a one week camp in Kuala Selangor but almost claimed the scalp of Terengganu Juniors.
  MISCF-UFL took the lead, which shocked the gallery, but caved in during the last 15 minutes due to inexperience. It was their first tournament match as an outfit, but showed promise of a better season.
  UniKL were far below previous season's strength, but still, coach Arul Selvaraj managed to rally his men to beat a full-time team in BJSS Juniors 2-0.
  But Arul acknowledges that his side needs to win both matches this weekend to stay in the hunt for a top-four finish.
  "We play PJCC Tigers and then Johor Juniors this weekend and need to win both matches. However, I predict SSTMI Thunderbolts and BJSS Thunderbolts to be in the drivers seat again, as they have a strong set-up," said Arul.

Kenta a true Blue Samurai..


KENTA Tanaka confirmed himself as the star of the men’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago, scoring to help Japan’s Samurais to a 2-1 victory over Canada in the competition final.
  Lively attacker Tanaka netted his ninth goal in six matches with a 35th minute strike to level the match after Scott Tupper’s penalty stroke had given Canada the lead four minutes earlier. Takuro Sasaki converted a penalty corner effort in the 40th minutes, a goal which proved to be the winner. 
  As well as taking the tournament top scorer award with all nine of his goals being scored from open play, Tanaka was also named as the player of the tournament in the post event awards. Trinidad & Tobago’s Tariq Marcano was named as the best young player, while USA’s Brandon Karess took the best goalkeeper award.  
  The result brought both the competition and the second round of the men’s Hockey World League to an end, meaning that the teams to qualify for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, which are qualification competitions for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, are now known. 
  The top two finishers from the men’s Round 2 events in Dhaka (4-12 Mar 2017), Belfast (11-19 Mar 2017) and Tacarigua, (25 Mar-2 Apr 2017) have all qualified for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, being joined in the World Cup qualifier phase by the two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from those three events. Tacarigua top two Japan and Canada join Malaysia and China, who took the top two places at the event in Dhaka, as well as Ireland and France, who finished first and second respectively in Belfast. 
  The two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from each event also progress through to the next phase of the competition.
   Egypt - who today move up one place in the FIH Hero World Rankings to 19th - finished third in Dhaka, a result which proved to be enough for their progression.
   Scotland (WR: 23) were the third-place finisher In Belfast, and their superior ranking over USA (WR: 26), who finished third in Tacarigua, means that they also move through to the Hockey World League Semi-Finals which take place this summer. 
  Final standings
1: Japan
2: Canada
3: USA
4: Russia
5: Trinidad & Tobago
6: Switzerland
7: Chile
8: Barbados

Open trials for Barcelona Veteran World Cup...

THE Sultan Ahmad Shah hockey team will hold an Open trial to select players for the Veteran World Cup in Barcelona which will be held on July 27-Aug 6 next year.
  The Open trials will be held at the MPPJ Stadium on Saturday and Sunday from 5-7pm.
  All Malaysian's are welcome and the age group categories are 40, 45, 50, 55 and above.
  The same Open trials will also select players for the Grand Masters Asia Cup in Hiroshima in October 2017 and so, players in their 60s and 65s are also encouraged to attend.
  For further enquiries, Surindar Singh at 0122841238 or Satvinder Singh at 0173333548.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

JHL: Johor Juniors win shoot-out

JOHOR Juniors came back twice in regulation time to beat Olak-NurInsafi in a shoot-out in Division One of the Junior Hockey League yesterday.
  Olak-NurInsafi took the lead, and then were leading 2-1, but Johor Juniors failed to be broken and equalised before winning the shoot-out 3-2.
  Johor Juniors received two points while Olak-NurInsafi one point.
  Johor got their goals off Shafiq Hassan (32nd) and Kamarulzaman Kamaruddin (58th) while the Olak-NurInsafi goals were scored by Nur Najibrullah Ramle (22nd) and Adam Hafiz Hrsikesa (50th).
  "Nothing went right in our season opening JHL match, we took the lead twice but fumbled and it was a nightmarish shoot-out," said Olak-NurInsafi team manager Joseph de Silva.
  Johor team manager Shahbuddin Royani said: "We need to improve in our penalty corners as we had 11 in the match but failed to make them count.
  "But considering the fact that I had players as young as 15-years-old in the team, the two points is a good result to start our campaign as my boys showed fighting spirit to come back from being a goal down twice in the match."
  It was the only Division One match yesterday.
  RESULTS: Division One -- Johor Juniors 2 Olak-NurInsafi 2 (Johor won shoot-out 3-2).
  Division Two: Group B -- MISCF-UFL 1 Terengganu Juniors 2, MSSWPKL 3 MCKK 3 (MCKK win shoot-out 2-0); Group C: Young Hurricanes 1 TBSS Tampin 3, SSTMI Juniors 4 MBMB Warriors 2.
  GIRLS' Group A: USM Juniors 1 Sabah Sports School 5.

Olak-NurInsafi kick-out indiscipline boys...

Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School's Norfatin Nabila Mohamad (left) and KLSS Wipers' team captain Nur Suraya Ashikin Mohd Zuraimi tussle for the ball in the TNB Malaysian Junior Hockey League Girls Division at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium Saturday. SSTMI won 1-0.

OLD LA Sallians Association of Klang-NurInsafi dropped two players due to indiscipline, something which the pioneer Junior Hockey League (JHL) club has never tolerated.
  They will head to Batu Pahat to play Johor Juniors Sunday with 20 players, but team manager Joseph de Silva has no regrets.
  The JHL allows registration of 22 players, with 18 registered for every match.
  "We dropped Kavinash Panicker and Ekmar Isa due to discipline problems and even though we were not allowed to register two more players to replace them, we would rather play with less than have indiscipline players on the squad," said Olak-NurInsafi manager Joseph de Silva,
  The players were dropped for failing to turn up for training, as they were only interested in playing friendly games. And as registration had already closed on March 15, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) did not allow replacement.
  "These two players were given a chance to play in a Division One outfit, but they blew it because of their attitude. They only wanted to play friendlies in the run-up to the JHL, but refused to come for training sessions," said De Silva.
  There will only be one Division One match today, while the fixtures are heavy on Division Two.
  "We did not do well last season (finished seventh) but with the inclusion of five NurInsafi players, we hope to be among the top-four."
  The five NurInsafi players have experience playing in the Malaysia Hockey League in Division One this season and should form the back-bone of Olak.
  RESULTS -- Girls Group A: Wipers 0 SSTMI 1; Group B: USM 6 Zaaba 1, Uniten 1 Johor Juniors 1.
  SUNDAY: Division One -- Johor Juniors v Olak-NurInsafi (Batu Pahat, 5pm).
  Division Two: Group B -- MISCF-UFL v Terengganu Juniors (KLHA, 8pm), MSSWPKL v MCKK (KPM, 5pm); Group C: Young Hurricanes v TBSS Tampin (Malacca, 5pm), SSTMI Juniors v MBMB Warriors (SSTMI, 5pm).