News for 18 February 2013

All the news for Monday 18 February 2013


Japan defeat Fiji 14-0

As only expected, the title contender Japan unleashed a Tsunami of sort to pump out 14 goals without reply against Fiji in the first match of the Hockey World League Round 2 in Delhi today morning.

The winners led 8-0 at half time.

Once Shiho Sakai started scoring in the ninth minute, there was no stopping for the Fijian women.

She added two more goals in the 34th and 61st minutes.

Captain Rika Komazawa and Kumi Banda added a brace each

Apart from these three strikers, seven others posted a goal piece to pierce and put down the hapless Fiji for a good 14-0 score.

Stick2Hockey.com



India starts favourite

Y. B. Sarangi


Considered the favourite on the basis of its ranking and present form, India will look forward to sail smoothly when it starts its campaign against a lower-ranked Fiji in the Round 2 of the Hockey World League (HWL) at the National Stadium in New Delhi on Monday.

India, occupying the 11th place in the world rankings, will face the maximum challenge from Ireland (15) and China (18) as it aims to finish inside the top two in this event and qualify for the Round 3 of the HWL, which is the qualifying event for next year’s World Cup.

Asked whether this would be one of the easiest assignments for the Indian team, National chief coach Michael Nobbs replied in negative.

“Ireland and China are very good sides. When we played Oman in the Asian Champions Trophy (in December), they were unfit. They must have improved now. We have not played the other sides,” said Nobbs on Sunday.

Ireland (15), which narrowly missed the bus to the London Olympics, has come here well-prepared and China (18) has fielded a different team than the one played in the Asian Champions Trophy.

Oman (36), being coached by a German coach, and Fiji (71) will try to spring some surprises.

Indian captain Sardar Singh said the format, a round robin league, did not allow the host to relax against the low-ranked teams.

Nobbs hoped that the juniors, picked in the team on the basis of their performance in the Hockey India League (HIL), would play consistently.

The Fiji team, led by coach Hector Rocky Smith and his son Hector Albert Smith as captain, was encouraged with its effort of qualifying from Round 1. “I am taking a college team to beat India. There will be lessons to learn,” said Smith senior.

The Hindu



India's journey for Hockey World League begins today


India men's team, ranked 11, will first face Fiji, ranked 70, Monday. Fiji men's team coach Hector Rockee said their team will give a tough fight to India. India men will play their second match against Oman (ranked 36) Feb 19, third against Ireland Feb 22, fourth against China Feb 23 and fifth against Bangladesh (ranked 40) Feb 24.

New Delhi:  Twelve teams will fight for the top spots of the Hockey World League Round-2 at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium from Feb 18-24.

Six men's teams and six women's teams will play matches in a round-robin league format and top two teams from each league will qualify for the FIH Hockey World League Round 3.

India men's team, ranked 11, will first face Fiji, ranked 70, Monday. Fiji men's team coach Hector Rockee said their team will give a tough fight to India.

"India is a strong team and our team is quite young. In technique, India is far better than us, but we will play attacking hockey like them. Sardar Singh is the coolest international player, I've never seen someone else like him. VR Raghunath is a very popular drag-flicker and very attacking player. We will keep watchful eyes on them during the match," Rockee said at the pre-match press conference on Sunday.

This is the first time Fiji men's team is playing at the highest level.

"Thanks to FIH Hockey World League, we are playing at a good level. Otherwise, we were playing under the shadow of Australia and New Zealand in Pacific Oceania zone," added Rockee.

Fiji captain Hector Albert Smith said their team will focus on defence and attack at the same time.

"We have to defend ourselves as Indian attack is very strong, so we will keep man-to-man marking. At the same time, we will go for goals as without winning this crucial match, we can't qualify for second round," Smith added.

India are not taking Fiji easy.

"Every match is important in this League. A loss can cost us a lot. Fiji is young and strong and we will play at our level," said India skipper Sardar Singh.

India men will play their second match against Oman (ranked 36) Feb 19, third against Ireland Feb 22, fourth against China Feb 23 and fifth against Bangladesh (ranked 40) Feb 24.

India women's captain Ritu Rani said they are well prepared for this league and ready for Monday's match against Kazakhstan, ranked 33.

"Team is fit and prepared to take on others. We are a young team and very energetic. We will concentrate on match by match and make our strategies according to teams," she said Sunday.

India women's team will play their second match against Malaysia (ranked 22) Feb 19, third against Fiji (ranked 59) Feb 21, against Japan (ranked 9) Feb 22, and against Russia (ranked 20) Feb 24.

NDTV Sports



India favourites among men, women's face tricky challenge in HWL

NEW DELHI: India will start as overwhelming favourites in the men's competition, while the women's are likely to face a tricky challenge when the Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2, a qualifying event for next year's World Cup, begins on Monday.

In the men's event, there will hardly be any competition for India, who got a bye into Round 2 by virtue of being ranked between number 9 and 16 in the world.

The stiffest challenge for the Indian men's team led by Sardar Singh will come from Ireland, who are ranked 15th as compared to India's 11th position.

China (18) also could turn out to be a party-pooper for the hosts as other participating nations Oman (36), Bangladesh (40) and Fiji (70) will be playing only for international exposure.

The Indian men's team is expected to start the tournament with a big win against minnows Fiji at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium on Monday, followed by matches against Oman (on February 20), Ireland (February 21), China (February 23) and Bangladesh (February 24).

Notwithstanding, the quality of opposition sides in the tournament, the Indian men's team cannot afford to take the event lightly as just an off day at office will be enough to spoil their 2014 World Cup dreams to be held at Hague in The Netherlands.

Back to national duty after fulfilling their commitments with respective franchises in the inaugural Hockey India League, the Indian male players will have to regroup themselves quickly.

Realising the importance of the tournament, India captain Sardar Singh had already warned his team against complacency.

"If we give our 100 per cent and play to our potential we will win the tournament. But we cannot take any side lightly in modern day hockey. To add to that, it is a qualifying event for the World Cup," he said.

"China and Ireland are no pushovers. So we will have to be on our guard against these two sides," Sardar added.

On the other hand, the tournament could be more challenging for the Indian women's team to be captained by Ritu Rani.

Japan -- ranked 9th -- start as the favourites in the women's competition. But the 12th ranked Indians are sure to give a tough fight to the Japanese.

Just like the men's event, the other participating nations in the women's competition -- Fiji (59th), Russia (20th), Malaysia (22nd) and Kazakhstan (33) -- too lack teeth.

The Indian eves open their campaign against Kazakhstan on Monday, followed by games against Malaysia, Fiji, Japan and Russia.

The HWL, floated by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for men and women, will be held over a two-year cycle.

The first cycle, which started in August last year and would continue till February 2014, will serve as the qualifier for the World Cup, while the next two-year cycle would become a qualifying competition for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Eight teams from four Round 2 events (to be played on single pool round-robin format) will be eligible to participate in Round 3 (which will have two pools of four teams each followed by the classification matches).

The Round 2 will be played simultaneously at New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Saint-Germain-en-Laye (France) and Elektrostal (Russia).

The eight top ranked sides in the world will get a bye directly to play in the two third round events, which will serve as the semifinals.

The best six finishers in the semifinals will make it to the World Cup or the Olympics. The host nation and five continental champions will complete in the remaining slots.

The top eight teams from the Hockey World League semifinals will be eligible to take part in the final (which will follow the format of Round 3).

The Times of India



Hockey World League Round 2: India's Cup dreams at stake

Harpreet Kaur Lamba



Sardar Singh

New Delhi: India's road to recovery -and future planning keeping in mind the four-year cycle that includes the 2014 World Cup and the Olympics in 2016 -begins with the Hockey World League Round 2 that gets under way here on Monday.

And even though the team will have only two tough opponents in China (18th) and Ireland (15th) in the qualification event for the 2014 World Cup -Oman (36), Bangladesh (40) and their Monday's opponents Fiji (71) are ranked well below the 11th placed hosts -it could well be the first step in many more to come ahead.

Six months ago when India had finished 12th and last at the London Olympic Games, those in the know had even predicted that the Men in Blue could miss out on a 2014 World Cup berth. And given the team's performance, that feeling wasn't without reason.

The disappointment at the 2012 Games had paved the way for young blood, but will those 18 men stand up and deliver? The current tournament might not test Michael Nobbs' boys to the core, but the rebuilding phase has to begin from here.

If India qualify -seven teams in all will advance to Round 3 from the four Round 2 tournaments -they will face the top nine ranked teams in the World League Round 3, six months from now.

In the men's competition, the hosts will be led by the very able Sardar Singh. The midfielder has had a brilliant last year and it says a lot of his ability despite the team's no-show at the international level. The defence bears a compact look in Rupinderpal Singh and vice-captain V.R. Raghunath, both of whom have the experience of 187 internationals between them. In debutant Gurjinder Singh, they will have the services of another drag-flicker in the absence of senior member Sandeep Singh, who was dropped owing to poor form.

Youngsters from the Hockey India League were rewarded and will form the crux of the attack. Making their debut will be youngsters Mandeep Singh and Malak Singh.

An injury to Gurvinder Singh Chandi will rob the frontline of some experi ence as he will be replaced by Akashdeep Singh, leaving member S.V. Sunil .to marshall the forwards.

Birender Lakra, Manpreet Singh and Kothajit Singh complete the midfield line up.

Also, forward Gurvinder Singh Chandi has been ruled out with an injury. His place will be taken by Akashdeep Singh.

WOMEN FACE KAZAKHSTAN

The women's competition seems essentially a twoteam race with ninthranked Japan expected to give a tough run to the 12th-ranked hosts.

Japan enter the event level as the highest-possible ranked team in Round 2, with the cut off for an automatic spot in Round 3 being the top eight teams in the FIH world rankings.

The Asian Age



India face Fiji in Hockey World League opener

NEW DELHI: India could not have asked for an easier draw to start their campaign in the Hockey World League ( HWL) which will get underway at the National Stadium on Monday.

First up against the highest-ranked team and the favourites in the competition are Fiji, ranked a lowly 71 in the world.

India's tournament opener will provide coach Michael Nobbs perfect opportunity to experiment as they prepare to face much-tougher opponents like Ireland and China in the competition.

Fiji, who have limited experience of playing at the highest level and little training facilities back home, will also be looking to learn by playing against India.

"India is the team to beat in the tournament. We have only 50 people in Fiji playing hockey. We train mostly in Australia and New Zealand and there is only one turf back home," Fiji coach Hector Smith senior told reporters on the eve of the match.

The Indians, on the other hand, said they were not taking any side lightly.

The Times of India



Indian women not taking any team lightly


The Indian women’s hockey team will begin its campaign in the Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 against Kazakhstan, the second lowest-ranked side in the competition (World No. 33), on Monday.

The hosts, ranked second in the tournament, are expected to make a winning start to the competition from which the top-placed two teams will advance to the next round. The competition will be played on a round-robin format.

The only team that can push the World No. 12 Indian women in this competition will be Japan, ranked ninth in the world. However, the Ritu Rani-led combination is confident of finishing on top in the six-team event. The other teams in the competition are Fiji (59th), Russia (20th) and Malaysia (22nd). The Indians, though, are not taking any team lightly. Malaysia, coached by C.R. Kumar, will be the team to watch out for. Kumar was associated with the Indian team till recently. “Going by rankings, we should have it easy, but we are a young side and there is no complacency, we will take it one match at a time,” said India’s chief coach Neil Hawgood.

While the Indians are superior in terms of skills and even fitness to some extent, the main concern for the coach is the physical game that the opposition is likely to play. “The Indian girls are still not ready to take on the physical challenge,” Hawgood admitted.

Kazakhstan qualified from Round 1 of the HWL by finishing second behind Malaysia in the qualifying tournament.

The Hindu

 



HWL: Fitness key factor for women's team

By Ritu Sejwal


NEW DELHI: It's fitness that matters the most for the Indian women's hockey team when they begin their campaign against a lower-ranked Kazakhstan at the Hockey World League (round 2) starting on Monday.

Captain Ritu Rani said the team is ready but added that it won't take any team lightly despite being one of the favourites in the tournament.

"The team is fit and we will try to score as many goals we can. We had a month-long training camp in Patiala and New Delhi. The team is fully prepared," Rani said. "We are not taking any team lightly and will be taking one match at a point," she added.

The hosts will miss their experienced forward Poonam Rani, who was ruled out due to injury. "Fitness will be key factor as we have regular matches for the next seven days," Rani said.

The Times of India



Malaysia face tough task against Russia in opener

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian women’s hockey team will face a difficult task against bigger built Russian team in the opening match in round two of the World League tournament at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi today.

The other teams in the competition are world No. 9th ranked Japan, hosts India (12th), Kazakhstan (33rd) and Fiji (59th).

The World League was introduced last year for teams to earn their places for next year’s World Cup.

The top two finishers in New Delhi will qualify for the semi-finals schedule for either June or July.

Malaysia, ranked 22nd, last played Russia, ranked 20th, in the Champions Challenge II in Kazan, Russia in 2010 and the national team lost 2-1.

Malaysia played a friendly match against Russia last Friday and also lost 1-0.

However, an upbeat National coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli said in a telephone interview said: “Although the Russian players are physically bigger, it does not matter as we are physically fitter. We are confident of upsetting the Russians.

“Nothing is impossible. Although the conditions here are quite chilly, my players are all fired up for the match. We need to play a tight marking game and must not make too many mistakes.”

Malaysia also lost 1-0 in their second friendly against Japan on Saturday.

Nasihin said skipper Nadia Abdul Rahman would play a double role in the tournament.

“She will not only marshal the midfield but will also play as a striker. Our mission is to finish in the top two,” said Nasihin.

Malaysia’s women’s hockey team have never featured in the World Cup.

FIXTURES

TODAY

JAPAN vs FIJI (10am), RUSSIA vs MALAYSIA (12pm), INDIA vs KAZAKHSTAN (6pm).

The Star of Malaysia



East Grinstead win European indoor silverware


Niall Stott Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals East Grinstead


East Grinstead earned a return to Europe's elite top tier next season after winning every one of their matches at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy in Vienna. A 2-1 win over hosts NAVAX-AHTC sealed the title on Sunday after their Saturday defeat of Kolos-Sekvoya Vinnitsa of Ukraine had guaranteed promotion with one game to play. GB Olympian and Scotland international Niall Stott (pictured) was East Grinstead's hero, netting both goals.

A 6-2 win over HC Minsk on Saturday morning had previously ensured East Grinstead's progress into Pool C, the promotion pool, adding to two victories on Friday, including a memorable fight back against Scotland's Grove Menzieshill in which EG came from 5-2 down to win 6-5. Earlier on Friday, the recently re-crowned English indoor champions beat Portugal's Lousada 7-2.

On Saturday afternoon, East Grinstead's 4-3 win over Kolos-Sekvoya Vinnitsa of Ukraine secured their place in the top two with only hosts NAVAX-AHTC to play in Pool C on Sunday. And the unusually low scoring final encounter against the hosts provided the perfect finish to a successful indoor season for East Grinstead, who also won a fifth consecutive Maxifuel Super Sixes Championship title last month.

Follow the tournament on the official website here.

England Hockey Board Media release

 



Grove Menzieshill miss out on European promotion spot

Grove Menzieshill missed out on promotion from the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy after finishing fourth in the tournament in Vienna, Austria.

The Scottish indoor champions went into their final match against Kolos-Sekvoya Vinnitsa knowing that they could not finish any higher than third in the promotion pool as result of home side NAVAX AHTC-Wien gaining an extra bonus point following a narrow 2-1 defeat to eventual tournament winners East Grinstead.

In the end, a 6-3 win for the Ukrainian champions over Chris Anderson’s side ensured they grabbed the second promotion spot ahead of the Austrian hosts and consigned Grove Menzieshill to fourth spot.

Kolos-Sekvoya Vinnitsa opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Oleh Polishchuk followed up a penalty corner attempt on goal with a smart finish to give his side a 1-0 lead. Sixty seconds later, Polishchuk doubled the advantage when he hammered the ball past Andrew Ross in goal to make it 2-0.

In the 15th minute, Grove Menzieshill captain Chris Wilson dragged his team back into the game when he beat Iaroslav Hordey to make it 2-1, only for Iurii Moroz to win a penalty corner in the 17th minute and dispatch the resulting set-play high into the roof of the net to restore the two goal cushion at 3-1.

Trailing by two goals at half-time, the Scots upped the tempo but found efforts from both Ross Stott and Ross McPherson blocked by a strong Ukrainian rear-guard. Nevertheless, Allan Law notched a second goal for Grove Menzieshill in the 31st minute when his powerful strike from a penalty corner found the bottom left hand corner of Hordey’s goal to make it 3-2.

Two minutes later, Anderson’s side found themselves facing a swift counter-attack that resulted in Artem Ozerskyi finding the target for the first time in the match to make it 4-2. And the striker completed a double in the 34th minute when he slotted the ball past Ross to give his side a comfortable 5-2 lead.

A further strike from Oleksandr Andreyev in the 37th minute made it 6-2 to Kolos-Sekvoya Vinnitsa, before Gavin Byers scored a third goal for the Dundonians from a penalty corner right on full-time to leave the final scoreline 6-3.

Grove Menzieshill will return to the same competition next season in a bid to reach the Club Champions Cup.

For a full round-up of the scores, match reports and final standings, please visit the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy website.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Tindall hat-trick as Surbiton beat Canterbury


James Tindall applauds the crowd

A hat-trick from Great Britain and England ace James Tindall helped Surbiton beat hosts Canterbury in the Men’s Premier Division, and climb into contention for the end of season play-offs.

Tindall (pictured) struck three times before the break to put his side 3-0 ahead, and although second-placed Canterbury pulled back two through Kwan Browne and Michael Farrer, the visitors held on for a win which moves them up from fifth to fourth.

Also moving up the table were Cannock, whose 5-3 home win over Loughborough Students lifted them to third, while Loughborough dropped down to sixth.

Dan Coultas struck twice for Cannock, while other goals came from Alex Edmonstone, Dave Harris and Dave Beckett.

Reading moved up to fifth following their 3-2 win over hosts Southgate, their goals coming from Tom Carson, Craig Peel and an own goal.

In Saturday’s Premier Division action, Southgate gave their hopes of avoiding a relegation battle a much needed shot in the arm with a 4-2 win at Hampstead and Westminster.

But on Sunday, Hampstead and Westminster bounced back with a 2-1 win over Brooklands MU.

In the Men’s Conference East Oxted secured an emphatic 8-4 win over Richmond to move up to third in the table. Lorne Barnard scored a hat-trick in their win.

And on Saturday, Wimbledon beat Holcombe 4-2 to leapfrog them at the top of the table.

Second-placed University of Exeter kept the pressure on leaders Guildford in the Men’s Conference West, beating hosts Cheltenham 8-1, while Guildford also won away from home, 3-0 at Fareham.

And in the Men’s Conference North Sheffield Hallam ran out 6-4 winners over South Yorkshire rivals Doncaster to maintain second spot, while leaders Bowdon won 3-0 at Preston.

Men’s Hockey League (February 17 2013):

Premier Division:
Cannock 5, Loughborough Students MHC 3; Canterbury 2, Surbiton 3; Hampstead and Westminster 2, Brooklands MU 1; Southgate 2, Reading 3.

Conference East: Bromley and Beckenham 1, City of Peterborough 1; Cambridge City 1, Indian Gymkhana 5; Old Loughtonians 3, Teddington 3; Oxted 8, Richmond 4.

Conference North: Belper 1, Olton & West Warwicks 1; Preston 0, Bowdon 3; Sheffield Hallam 6, Doncaster 4; University of Durham 6, Khalsa (Warks) 0; Wakefield 3, Leek 0.

Conference West: Bristol Firebrands 0, Team Bath Buccaneers 3; Cheltenham 1, University of Exeter 8; Fareham 0, Guildford 3; Havant 3, University of Birmingham 0.

England Hockey Board Media release



Rivals Leicester and Canterbury draw


Katie Long, Leicester

CANTERBURY remain unbeaten in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division after they battled to a thrilling 1-1 draw at Leicester on Sunday.

The draw left the two sides separated by just one point at the top of the table, and also completed a double weekend of action for the high-flying rivals.

After her hat-trick heroics in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Slough, Jade Mayne gave Canterbury the lead after 13 minutes, only for Leicester’s Katie Long (pictured) to pull her side back level six minutes later.

Elsewhere, Surbiton were beaten 2-1 by hosts Bowdon Hightown, despite leading 1-0 at the break through Sarah page.

Sally Walton and Tina Cullen secured second half goals to give Bowdon the win and help them climb to fifth in the table, and just three points shy of a place in the top four and the end of season play-offs.

Sutton Coldfield lost out to Surbiton in the Investec Premier Division on Saturday, but bounced back in style on Sunday when they beat hosts Liverpool Sefton 3-2 to book a spot in the semi finals of the Investec Women’s Cup.

Meanwhile, Clifton also reached the last four when they won 5-1 at Sevenoaks, and Buckingham won 4-1 over Wimbledon to book a place in the semi finals.

Bowdon Hightown reached the semi finals following last weekend’s win over Chelmsford.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (February 17 2013):

Investec Premier Division: Bowdon 2, Surbiton 1; Leicester 1, Canterbury 1.

Investec Women’s Cup, quarter finals (February 17 2013)

Buckingham 4, Wimbledon 1; Liverpool Sefton 2, Sutton Coldfield 3; Sevenoaks 1, Clifton 5. Feb 10: Chelmsford 0, Bowdon Hightown 4.

England Hockey Board Media release



‘Azlan Shah Cup preparations on track’


Pakistan's national hockey coach Hanif Khan. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: Pakistan’s national hockey coach Hanif Khan said he felt an overall sense of satisfaction with the preparations for next month’s Azlan Shah Cup.

According to Hanif, the players had been showing great motivation during the training camp which was in progress at the National Stadium in Lahore.

The tournament, which will be played in Ipoh, Malaysia from March 9 to 17, will be the first international assignment for the greenshirts this year. They will be up against defending champions New Zealand, Australia, India, South Korea and hosts Malaysia in the competition.

Hanif said the training camp, which began last week, had gained full momentum.

“Players are both practicing for their matches while going through their fitness training as well,” Hanif told The Express Tribune after the conclusion of yesterday’s evening session.

“They are highly motivated and are keen to improve.  We are trying to eliminate our weaknesses and a lot of emphasis is being given to our defense and finishing.”

Rashid, Rizwan yet to report to camp

Meanwhile, Hanif said the team management had no clue about the whereabouts of the seasoned duo of Mohammad Rizwan Senior and Rashid Mehmood.

Both the players, according to reports, have been busy featuring in the Dutch League.

Hanif, who was unaware of the reports, said the players had not sought the team management’s permission.

“They haven’t informed or sought permission from the team management for such a commitment. However, we have many options of new players and the tournament will be a good opportunity for them to gain international exposure.”

The Express Tribune



Dutch maestro to give our hockey goalkeepers the extra edge

By S. RAMAGURU



That’s the way: Goalkeeper coach Martirjn Dwyer coaching Malaysian hockey goalkeepers Roslan Jamaluddin (on the pitch) and Khairulnizam Nizam (right) at the Bukit Jalil Hockey Stadium. — M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has good goalkeepers in the national hockey set up but unless they have the drive to excel they will not reach the top.

Dutch goalkeeper master coach Martirjn Dwyer was very direct in his assessment of our goalkeepers. He believes that providing the little “extra” for the Malaysians keepers will go a long way towards making them among the elite custodians in the world.

The Malaysian national team turned to the Dutchman last October to handle the goal keeping department and to give the goalkeepers a new perspective on what to do between the posts.

Malaysia‘s current top two goalkeepers are S. Kumar and Roslan Jamaludin and they have no peers among the up-coming players. The other two goalkeepers in the national training squad are Khairulnizam Ibrahim and Mohamed Hazrul Faiz.

There have been many occasions when the national team have lost or drawn matches in the last five minutes. And that is why new national hockey coach Paul Revington wants to pay more attention on the goal keeping department.

Martirjn added that there is nothing wrong with the Malaysian keepers but with the game changing so fast there is need to focus on some areas which are crucial.

“Technically the Malaysians keepers are good enough. But improvements can be made in every sphere of the game as it can mean the difference between being good and excellent.

“To that end I have looked at which areas the goalkeepers need to focus on and help them with it. Two things that we have worked hard on for the moment are the five-metre striking area within the semi-circle where goals are often scored and penalty corner defence.

“Take a look at the top major tournaments and we will see that more than 80% of the goals come from these two aspects. I am really fine-tuning the keepers rather than teaching them new technics. They (Kumar and Roslan) are at the tail end of their careers. They know what needs to be done and where work is required,” said Martirjn.

Martirjn has been involved in coaching for the last three decades and Holland’s goalkeepers, who are highly regarded in the world, almost all came under his tutelage.

The Dutchman first handled the keepers in October last year for 10 days in Holland. That was for the Champions Challenge I which was held in Argentina in November.

The current session which ended yesterday is part of the preparations for the coming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, which will be held in Ipoh next month.

Malaysia will be up against some of the top teams in the world in the tournament. They are defending champions New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, India and South Korea.

Malaysia have two major tournaments this year and both are qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup. The first will be the World League semi-finals which will be held in Johor Baru in June and the other the Asia Cup in September in Ipoh.

Martirjn said he is not sure when the next stint will be with the keepers as it would depend on the coach’s training programme.

Although both Kumar and Roslan are in their 30s, Martijn feels they still have the drive to play at the top level.

“The age really does not matter if you have the drive and the stamina to play at the top level. How long they can continue is really up to them. Both are very determined players,” he added.

The Star of Malaysia



KL Sports School are Champs



KL Sports School emerged as champions of Division Two of the MHC-MILO-NSC Junior Hockey League when they edged PHK-MSS Kelantan 2-1 in a bitterly contested final at the National Hockey stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The city side pocket RM12,000 as champions while Kelantan took home RM8,500.

While there were plenty of stoppages due to skirmishes between the two teams, the final showcased players with good individual skills and both teams are expected to give the more fancied teams from Division One a run for the money in the MILO Cup that gets underway this Friday.

It was a great effort from KLSS who were largely represented by players who are able to play for the next two years as opposed to Kelantan who will have to rebuild the team for the challenge in Division One next season.

Nonetheless Kelantan can be proud of making the final and putting up a strong fight against a city side that has the benefit of first class facilities and top coaches as opposed to Kelantan that trained on a worn out pitch in Kota Baru.

Both the teams have however qualified for the overall Milo Cup knockout tournamnt which will see six teams from Division One in the draw that will be held tomorrow (Monday).

The six teams are SSTMI, Petaling Jaya City Council, UniKL Young Guns, MBI Anderson, SSTMI JUniors and Malacca High School with the first leg quarterfinals on February 22 and the second leg on February 24.

It was PHK-MSS Kelantan that took the lead in the 14th minute through Mohammad Fitri Zaidi, capitalising from a quick counter attack that caught the KL Sports School defenders on the wrong foot.

But five minutes later KLSS were on level terms as Mohammad Firdaus Muzairi converted a penalty stroke awarded by umpire P.Puvalagan.

Kelantan were reduced to 9 players as Mohamad Saufian Othman was shown a green card in the 31st minute and was followed onto the suspension bench by Mohd Zikrillah Alias who was shown the yellow card a minute later.

KLSS took the lead in the 39th minute when Jagveen Singh finished off a move from the left to give the city side a 2-1 lead.

All hell threaten to break out in the 42nd minute when players from both teams squared up against each other. After the tempers cooled, both the skippers, KLSS's Zul Pidaus Mizun and Kelantan's Mohammad Izharuddin Md Zain were shown the yellow card for failing to control their players.

KLSS Held on to register a famous win as they were unbeaten in all their matches in Division Two.

In the match to decide the third place, Politeknik KPT defeated Anderson Juniors to take home RM7,000 while Anderson pocketed RM6,000 for their efforts.

Note: The draw for the MILO Cup will be held on Monday, 18th February at 4.00pm at the National Hockey Stadium.

Results:

3/4 Placing


Politeknik KPT 4 Anderson Juniors 1

Final

KL Sports School 2 PHK-MSS Kelantan 1

Roll of Honour

Champions: KL Sports School

Runner Up: PHK-MSS Kelantan

Third: Politeknik KPT

Fourth: Anderson Juniors

Unofficial MJHL site



KLSS lift trophy with Jagveen's strike

By Jugjet Singh



Kuala Lumpur Sports School players celebrate their victory at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday. Pic by Goh Thean Howe

JAGVEEN Singh's strike handed Kuala Lumpur Sports School (KLSS) their first silverware after beating Kelantan 2-1 in the Division Two final of the NSC-Milo-MHC Junior Hockey League at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

The city side pocketed RM12,000 while Kelantan took home RM8,500.

Kelantan took the lead off Fitri Zaidi in the 14th minute, who capitalised on a counter attack that caught KLSS defenders wrong footed.

But five minutes later KLSS were on level terms as Firdaus Muzairi converted a penalty stroke awarded by umpire P. Puvalagan.

And Jagveen's 39th minute brilliant move from the left side gave KLSS their first title after three years in the JHL.

"It is a historic moment for us as we have finally won a title after three attempts. It pays to keep the team together and this young side can play for another two years and I believe we will be able to make an impression in Division One next year," said KLSS coach Saiful Munir.

However, Kelantan can be proud of themselves as they made the final and also put up strong fight against a city side that had the benefit of first class facilities and top coaches as opposed to Kelantan that trained on a worn out pitch in Kota Baru.

While there were plenty of stoppages due to skirmishes between the two teams, the final showcased plenty of individual skills and both teams are expected to give the more fancied teams from Division One a run for their money in the Milo Cup that gets underway this Friday.

The other six teams are Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School, Petaling Jaya City Council, UniKL Young Guns, Andersons, SSTMI JUniors and Malacca High School with the first leg quarter-finals on Friday and the second leg on Sunday.

In the bronze match Politeknik KPT beat Anderson Juniors 4-1 to take home RM7,000 while Anderson pocketed RM6,000.

The draw for the Milo Cup will be held today.

RESULTS: Third-Fourth: Politeknik KPT 4 Anderson Juniors 1; Final: KL Sports School 2 Kelantan 1.

New Straits Times



City boys end fairy-tale run of MSSK

By S. RAMAGURU



Jubilation: KL Sports School team players celebrate after their 2-1 win over MSS Kelantan 2-1 in the final Sunday. — M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur Sports School ended MSS Kelantan’s (MSSK) fairy-tale run with a 2-1 victory in the final to lift the Division Two title of the MHF-MILO-NSC Junior Hockey League at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Kelantan, a surprise finalists, were the early aggressors and took the lead in the 14th minute only to see a hard fighting KL side equalised five minutes later from a penalty stroke. They then notched the winning goal in the 37th minute to take home RM12,000 while Kelantan went back with RM8,500.

Both teams have already secured a place in the knockout stage and also ensured promotion to the higher division next year.

The draw for the knockout quarter-final stage will be held today with the top six finishers from Division One in the fray. The first leg quarter-final matches will be held on Friday.

Kelantan team manager Wan Noor Zuhari felt that the penalty stroke was unwarranted and it gave the KL team the edge in the encounter.

“I don’t know why the stroke was given but it affected us as we lost our one-goal lead. Still my boys tried very hard and we had ample chances to come back.

“We will go back and reflect on the defeat and come back for the quarter-final match on Friday. It will be a long journey home,” he said.

It was Kelantan who took the lead in the 14th minute off a field attempt taken by Mohamed Fitri Zaidi.

But the KL side kept up their attacks and five minutes later managed to earn a penalty stroke for an infringement in the semi-circle. Mohamed Firdaus Muzairi converted the stroke to level the score.

After the equaliser, the east coast side became a little over-robust. Noor Afiq and Wan Haziq Hisyamuddin were green and yellow carded in the 32nd and 33rd minutes respectively.

The cards didn’t end there. In the 42nd minute a scuffle between KL and Kelantan skippers Zul Pidaus and Mohamed Isharuddin saw both being yellow carded.

The City side then went ahead in the 37th minute when Jagveen Singh managed to slot home a field goal.

The Kelantan team pressed hard for an equaliser and came close a couple of times but KL goalkeeper Mohamed Shafie Sharom kept them at bay.

In an earlier match for third placing, Politeknik-KPT defeated Anderson Juniors 4-1 to earn the RM7,000 prize money while Anderson picked up RM6,000 for finishing fourth.

DIVISION TWO RESULTS
FINAL: MSS Kelantan 1 Kuala Lumpur Sports School 2
THIRD PLACING: Politeknik KPT 4 Anderson Juniors 1

The Star of Malaysia