Saturday, March 17, 2018


NATIONAL women's coach K. Dharmaraj has seen it all, and it is very hard to impress or surprise him.
  But yesterday, he was caught off guard when told that Kuala Lumpur did not select Kirandeep Kaur Gurdip Singh for the ongoing National Under-16 hockey tournament at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
  "What? Kuala Lumpur did not select Kirandeep for Under-16?" was his initial response.
  For a brief flash-back, 15-year-old Kirandeep scored Kuala Lumpur's winning goal in the Under-16 final last year. KL won the title with a slim 4-3 win over Sabah.
  And she played in the Women's Malaysia Hockey League, an open tournament, for UiTM this year and even impressed former women's assistant coach K. Gobinathan.
  "A very talented player like her only comes out of the system once in many years and I hope she does not gets disheartened and stops playing hockey.
  "I and other selectors have been noticing Kirandeep for a few years now, and after she impressed in the MHL(Women) by turning up for UiTM, Terry Walsh (Malaysian Hockey Confederation Technical Director) told me to include her in the recent four friendlies against Japan Under-21.
  "Even though she is only 15, even I felt she deserves a chance but had to say 'no' because the friendlies was a platform for my other girls to fight for a slot in the Commonwealth Games squad.
  "And I had to give my other players their playing time (in the four friendlies) to be fair in selection.
  "She has been helping Kuala Lumpur in age-group tournaments for some time now, and I am shocked that they did not include her for the Under-16," said Dharmaraj.
  KL coach A. Kannagi said that Kirandeep did not show up for selection, and that's why she was not selected.
  But a check with other officials revealed that Kirandeep came three days for KL selection, under a different coach and manager, but was not called for the final selection.
  "There was some confusion in KL and the selection was done in a haphazard manner by different people at different times and places. And on the day that the players were named, Kirandeep was competing in the MSSM athletics event.
  "It's tragic that she was bounced along, and then unceremoniously dropped," said the official.

Nat U16: Perak Boys survive..

KUALA LUMPUR: Perak coach Abdul Sukur Adam was all stressed out when his team failed to show up until after half-time to beat Perlis 2-0 in the Boys' National Under-16 tournament at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
  Perak, the defending champions, did everything right except scored until the 39th minute, when Farhan Haziq Rahimi pounced on a rebound, while Amirul Haniff Mamat made sure with a 57th minute goal.
  "It was a really stressful match for me as my boys played below what they are capable off. I believe they will improve after today (yesterday) and there is no need to push the panic button," said Abdul Sukor.
  Playing in Group A, the defending champions next meet Negri Sembilan today (Sunday).
  "That fact that we only had 10 minutes to warm up because of rain, as well as a heavy pitch to make penalty corners more difficult also added to our 'misery' until Farhan scored.
  "But with the first match jitters over, I believe Perak has a team which can mount a serious challenge to defend our title. The target is still to win our fifth Under-16 crown," said Abdul Sukur.
  BOYS' RESULTS: Group A: Perak 2 Perlis 0, Negri Sembilan 0 Johor 1.
  Group B: Terengganu 0 Penang 2, Malacca 2 Selangor 1.
  Group C: Pahang 3 Kuala Lumpur 2, Sabah x Kelantan x.
  FIXTURES -- Sunday: Group A: Sarawak v Johor (7.15pm, Pitch I), Perak v Negri Sembilan (7.30pm, Pitch II).
  Group B: Terengganu v Malacca (4.45pm, Pitch II).
  Group C: Kelantan v Kuala Lumpur (6pm, Pitch I), Pahang v Sabah 6pm, Pitch II).

Nat U16: KL Girls off to super start

KUALA LUMPUR: Defending Girls' National Under-16 champions Kuala Lumpur got off to a super start when they hammered Negri Sembilan 5-0 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil Saturday.
  KL coach A. Kannagi was expecting a win from her charges, but not a walk in the park.
  "We went in looking for a win as a first step towards defending out title, but I did not expect such a big margin. The difference was that my players nailed the chances that came their way, and there was little wastage," said Kannagi a former national player.
  And Kuala Lumpur did it even without one of their star players from last year, Kirandeep Kaur Gurdip Singh.
  Kirandeep, a promising player who was praised last year by men's national coach K. Dharmaraj as a budding talent, scored the winning goal in Kuala Lumpur's 4-3 triumph over Sabah in the final.
  "Even though she (Kirandeep) is still eligible to play, she did not turn up for selection," said Kannagi.
  Kuala Lumpur will next play Pahang on Monday, and Kannagi feels its their nemesis in Group A.
  "Pahang is the strongest team in our group, and I expect my players to at least steal a point from them."
  The Kuala Lumpur goals were scored by Razreena Razali (4th), Nur Alyysa Diyana (11th, 16th), Razreena Razali (50th, 60th).
  GIRLS' RESULTS: Group A: Kuala Lumpur 5 Negri Sembilan 0, Pahang 5 Perlis 0.
  Group B: Penang 1 Malacca 4, Sabah 3 Sarawak 0.
  Group C: Selangor 1 Perak 2, Johor 2 Terengganu 2.
  FIXTURES -- Sunday: Group A: Negri Sembilan v Pahang (8.45am, Pitch II).
  Group C: Terengganu v Selangor (7.30am, Pitch I), Johor v Perak (7.30am, Pitch II).