All the news for Sunday 20 December 2015
Faizal and Syamim banned six months
By Jugjet Singh
PIC: Faizal (right) and Syamim.
THE Disciplinary Board only gave a stern warning to Faizal Shaari and Syamim Yusof for not attending national training with valid reasons, but the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Executive board were hell-bent on sending out a message to laggards.
The MHC EB, which met yesterday, immediately endorsed a code of conduct which bars players referred to the DB for six months from national training.
"I was taken aback by the DB's decision to only hand a stern warning to Faizal and Syamin for skipping national training since October. The EB was of the same opinion and endorsed a proposal to ban players who are referred to the DB for six months.
With this, the players code of conduct will see both the players out of national training for six months. We also took into consideration feed back from coaches Stephen van Huizen and Technical Director Terry Walsh that both the players will not be able to come back into the training squad at this juncture, because the other trainees are far ahead in their fitness training," said MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal.
Faizal and Syamin failed to answer national training call-up and will not be considered for the Azlan Shah Cup in April, but can still play with their clubs.
The MHC DB is chaired by Assistant Commissioner Datuk Adnan Abdullah, and its members are Datuk Arthur Edmonds, Datuk G. Vijayanathan and former national players Awtar Singh Grewal and R. Shanker.
Even though the senior and junior national teams do not have any major FIH international assignments next year, they will be playing in the Azlan Shah Cup, the Sultan of Johor Cup and the Asian Champions Trophy which Malaysia have placed a bid to host at the end of 2016.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
MHC ban Faizal and Syamin for six months
Filepic of national hockey player Faizal Saari (in yellow) at the World Hockey League Semi-Final in Belgium in June.
KUALA LUMPUR: Forwards Faizal Saari and Mohamed Syamin Yusof have been banned from the national hockey team for six months.
Irked by the duo’s decision to skip national training in October, the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHC) executive board came up with a new code of conduct in their meeting on Saturday and took the decision to ban the duo.
Earlier on Dec 12, Faizal and Syamin were let off with only a stern warning by the disciplinary committee.
MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal said they were concerned with the lack of discipline in the national team.
“Under the new code of conduct, players who skip national training without valid reasons will be suspended for six months. This is a warning to all the players in the national set-up, from the juniors to the seniors at all levels,” said Subahan.
In another development, Subahan added that Malaysia would bid for the Asian Champions Trophy next year.
“We hope to stage the tournament in Kuantan in November if the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) approve our bid,” said Subahan.
If Malaysia is successful in the bid, it will be the national team’s second big tournament of the year after the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in April.
Subahan also said that the national team’s programme for next year was approved at the meeting.
“National coach Stephen (van Huizen) and MHC technical director Terry (Walsh) presented the programme to us and it was discussed and then approved.”
On MHC’s financial status, Subahan was happy to reveal that they managed to reduce their debts to below RM500,000.
“When we took over in May this year, our debts were over RM2.8mil. Our target was to settle the debts at the end of the year.
“But we are not able to do that. We hope to settle the RM500,000 as soon as possible next year,” said Subahan.
The Star of Malaysia
MHC prepare to bounce back
By Jugjet Singh
THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are on full throttle to make amends on two major disappointments, by formulating a comprehensive programme to take Malaysia back into the international arena.
Missing out on the Olympics and Junior World Cup by a hair's margin, the MHC is ready to rise from ashes by naming a flurry of coaches to helm the men's and women's as well as development coaches.
"We have placed the disappointments of sitting out of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the Junior World Cup at the back of our minds and will be looking forward positively to make sure we are not in the same boat again," said MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal.
The list of coaches were drawn out by the Coaching Committee chaired by Datuk Ow Soon Kooi, and endorsed by the MHC Executive Board yesterday.
The senior team will be helmed by Stephen van Huizen, while the notable changes were K. Dharmaraj named as women's coach while Arul Selvaraj will assist Wallace Tan in the development side.
"Financially we have almost met our target of erasing our RM2.9 million debt (from eight months ago) to RM500,000 and hopefully in the next few months we will settle that amount as well.
"And with our new development blueprint, I am confident that Malaysia will be back in the world cups (junior and senior) and 2020 Olympics.
"I had said that I will resign as MHC president if Malaysia does not qualify for the 2020 Olympics, but after looking at the development print, I am confident I will not have to call it a day," said Subahan.
The 'easiest' path to the Olympics would be to win gold at the Asian Games: "That would be our target from today, as even Technical Director Terry Walsh is confident we have the players to play in the Asian Games final, and hopefully lay our hands on the gold."
Former national goalkeepers Nasihin Nubli, Roslan Jamaluddin and M. Nadarajan also have specific duties lined up.
"The goalkeeping department was one of the reasons we failed at the World League Semi-finals and Junior Asia Cup and I believe with a concerted effort from our goalkeeping staff, we will be able to have a bigger pool soon to rectify that department," said Subahan.
Malaysia lost 3-2 to India after leading 2-1 in the World League quarter-finals and missed out on the Olympics, while in the Junior Asia Cup quarter-finals, Malaysia were leading South Korea 3-1 but lost wind in the last three minutes to be held 3-3 and then lose 4-1 in the shoot-out.
Coaching chairman Soon Kooi said coaches reports on both the tournaments attributed the defeats to players not being of sound tactical minds to hold the ball and play in a wider area of the field after taking a lead. This area will, again, be emphasised by the present batch of coaches.
Men -- Senior: Chief Coach: Stephen van Huizen; Assistant: Lim Chiow Chuan; Goalkeeper Coach Overall: Nasihin Nubli; Attachment: Madzli Ikmar.
Development Squad: Chief Coach: Wallace Tan; Assistant: Arul Selvaraj; Attachment: Amin Rahim.
Project 2020: Manager: Nor Saiful Zaini; Attachment: Mohamed Sufian.
1Mas: Chief Coach: S. Velappan; Assistants: Nor Harmezi Omar, Shahzan Amir.
Junior Goalkeeper Development Coach: M. Nadarajan.
Women: Chief Coach: K. Dharmaraj; Assistants: Lailin Abu Hassan, A. Kannagi; Goalkeepers Coach: Roslan Jamaluddin.
Development Squad: Chief Coach: K. Gobinathan; Assistant: Leo Vincey; Attachment: Nor Saliza Ahmad.
Project 2020: Manager: Lailin Abu Hassab; Attachment: Catherine Lambok.
1Mas: Chief Coach: Yahya Atan; Assistant: Nuriza Sulaiman.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Poser over Project 2016 team with formation of development squad
by S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: Don’t disband the Project 2016 squad.
Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) coaching committee chairman Datuk Ow Soon Kooi said on Saturday the team should be kept together despite their failure to qualify for next year’s Junior World Cup Finals.
Malaysia failed to qualify for the Finals after finishing fifth in the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan last month. Only the top four qualified and Malaysia were knocked out by South Korea in the quarter-finals despite leading 3-1 with two minutes remaining.
The Malaysians, coached by A. Arulselvaraj, allowed the Koreans to fight back for a 3-3 draw before losing the penalty shootout 4-1.
“We lost to the Koreans due to failed tactics. We were easily the best three teams in the tournament. I think they will learn from this failure,” said Soon Kooi, a former international striker.
“The coaching committee believe they should be kept together to form the development team,” he added.
At Saturday’s MHF executive meeting, the coaching committee’s recommendations for the various teams were also approved.
Former national coach Wallace Tan has been named as chief coach of the men’s development squad. He will be assisted by Arulselvaraj.
The development squad will act as the feeder to the national squad.
A new National Juniors squad will be formed and it will be known as Project 2020. Former international Nor Saiful Zaini has been put in charge with Mohamed Soffian as his assistant.
In another move, the MHC also formed a women’s development team. It will be under K. Gobinathan’s guidance and assisted by Leo Vincey.
The MHC also appointed K. Dharmaraj, the former Project 2013 coach, to take charge of the women’s senior team with Lailin Abu Hassan and A. Kannagi as his assistants.
MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal said all the teams would begin their training in January.
The Star of Malaysia
Dawson-Smith to use HTHC experience to power Wimbledon
Wimbledon are the one absolute newcomer to the EHL KO16 when the tournament arrives in Amsterdam in late March 2016 but the London club can draw on plenty of experience of the competition.
Among others, former Amsterdam man Steven Ebbers can give them the local lie of the land; Alistair Brogdon lined out for Waterloo Ducks; Chris Gregg with Loughborough; Michael Hoare with Beeston and Pieter Wiegman arrived from SV Kampong during the summer.
Chief among their players with prior knowledge of the EHL is Richie Dawson-Smith, a winner of the competition with Harvestehuder THC in 2014.
The year after, his side bowed out at the hands of KHC Dragons and so the defender has a good idea of how tough opening matches can be. And his side have been handed one of the toughest imaginable, meeting the tournament hosts and Dutch Hoofdklasse toppers.
“Each year I have played we have always had a tough first round draw but I think this one tops it,” he told the EHL website. “Playing against Amsterdam in front of a home crowd, will be very very tough.
“They looked like a class outfit in the first round at Harvestehuder, so we are going to have to be on our game. I am looking forward to the challenge, it is always fun going up against the best teams in Europe so it is a clash I am excited for.”
He joined English champions Wimbledon in the summer, a side packed with internationals like Ian Sloan, Phil Roper, James Bailey, Henry Weir, Brogdon and Hoare.
Their league title challenge took a dip in their absence just before the winter break with the internationals in India for the World League finals, resulting in two losses which have left them off the pace of leaders Holcombe and Surbiton. But, at full strength, they are one of the strongest sides in England.
“The season has been a little up and down. With the influx of players at the start of the season, we took a little bit of time to settle down into the team, and the final two weeks were impacted with six players going away to India.
“However, all these things has shown us a lot about the team and the players in the team have had to stand up at different stages which will stand us in good stead for the end of the English season and the EHL.
“We are at the right end of the table; we want to compete for the domestic title again, and obviously do ourselves justice in Europe.
“We are lucky in that we will have a bit of time to shift focus between the end of the English league and the start of the EHL so we can come into the tournament with 100% focus on our goals.”
Looking back on his time at Harvestehuder, he describes it as an “incredible” time, running up wins over Uhlenhorst Mulheim, Club de Campo, Racing Club de Bruxelles and Oranje Zwart – four knock-out wins in six days.
And Dawson-Smith looks back on it with glowing pride, creating some of his favourite hockey memories.
“Each game had its highlights, too many to put down but the team talk from our coach Christoph Bechmann which went viral being a big one. The moment Michi Michael Körper put the ball in on the last shuffle will stick with me forever and I think back very fondly on them.
“We were a team who were quietly confident but a team that was an unknown force, which was one of our biggest weapons. We were blessed with a few players in that team who are world class, and played to that title throughout the tournament, non more so than our keeper Tobias Walter who kept us in the tournament numerous times with some amazing saves.
“Having players like him, Tobi Hauke and Benny Stanzl in the team is so important for that slice of pure quality. Overall, however, we were a team in every sense of the word, everyone played their part and did their own job which contributed to the success of the group.”
Imparting some of that know-how to his Wimbledon side is now the next task, especially for those who are new to the EHL’s unique surroundings.
“I have been lucky to join a team in Wimbledon, full of old friends and other great people around the club so it has been a easy transition. The pace of life between London and Hamburg is slightly different and has taken a bit of time to get used to but I am enjoying all the aspects of living back in England.
“Many of the players at Wimbledon have a lot of experience domestically and internationally, but as most of them have not played in the EHL yet a few have asked about my experience and I have been happy to pass on the lessons I learnt with HTHC!”
Euro Hockey League media release
Khokhar claims to have cleared all PHF arrears
LAHORE: The president of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, has said they paid all dues of their employees and players soon after taking charge a few months ago.
Talking to reporters at the National Hockey Stadium, where he inaugurated a new coaching programme of the Dar Hockey Academy, under which 25 kids of 10 to 12 years of age will get free coaching, Khokhar said they received some liabilities from the previous management of the PHF but he had cleared all arrears.
When reminded that he had vowed to make PHF accounts public through their official website, Khokhar said the practice would start soon.
He appreciated Olympian Tauqir Dar for running a hockey academy from his own resources.
To a question, he said the PHF would facilitate any Olympian who wanted to run such academies from their own resources.
He said the Dar Academy was serving hockey at the grass-roots by coaching kids.
PHF secretary Shahbaz Senior also praised the Dar Hockey Academy and he added the academy should be an inspirational force for other Olympians and sport lovers.
To a question, he said the PHF would not be involved in politics.
Tauqir Dar also appealed to other Olympians to start such academies instead of giving their views on TV channels.
He added that out of 25 kids three were girls.
Dar said free of cost coaching and hockey equipment was being provided to the players.
He said that besides the 25 kids, the academy had 40 players who had been getting coaching for the last many years.
Pakistan coach Tahir Zaman and former Pakistan captain Rehan Butt were also present on the occasion.
Parents of various students also thronged the National Hockey Stadium to see their kids play the game.