All the news for Thursday 5 May 2011
Exciting fare in prospect at Ipoh
Victorious Indian hockey team members during a felicitation function on May 28, 2010 after they won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament. The Indian team had won the trophy in 2009 also. File Photo The Hindu
Edition-20 of the Azlan Shah hockey tournament unfolds on Thursday. Pakistan takes on New Zealand in the opening encounter in the seven-team competition viewed as the showpiece of Asia.
What invests this chapter with greater relevance is the fact that the event signals the start of the quest for an Olympic berth for five of the seven teams.
Minus Pakistan, which has ensured a place in next year's Olympics on the strength of its gold medal triumph at the Guangzhou Asian Games, and Great Britain, the host, the rest in the field — India, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Malaysia — are in various stages of preparation for the qualifiers.
India is here in search of a hat-trick of triumphs. It is also in line for a fourth successive final. Assessed realistically, however, the chances this time are grim, given the quality of the opposition and the team's frailties.
Injuries to Tushar Khandekar, Rajpal Singh and Bharath Chikkara have created weak spots. The decision to keep out Sandeep and Sardara is a subject for a critical debate.
A heavy burden is cast on the new leader Arjun Halappa. How well he marshals the available resources remains to be seen. He needs to rely on the support of Gurbaj Singh in the midfield, Shivendra Singh in attack, the energetic Mahadik in deep defence, and on the goalkeepers, Adrian and Chetri.
How successful Diwakar Ram will be in penalty-corner conversions remains to be seen. Of the others, focus should be on Roshan Minz, a hugely talented player, and Danish Mujtaba, the link-man.
A superficial glance over the list of players is sufficient to convince one that Great Britain emerges as the most balanced. Matt Daly's return gives the frontline a sharper edge. A combination that includes players of the calibre of Richard Alexander, Jonty Clarke, the Mantells, Richard and Simon, and James Tindell has all the ingredients of a champion.
Another side bound to cause ripples is Pakistan, notwithstanding the controversies that had plagued the squad before departure. Sohail Abbas, Rehan Buttt, Saleem Abbasi and Waseem Ahmed — all with impeccable credentials — enhance the stature of the squad under the leadership of Muhammad Imran with the Dutch coach, Michel van den Heuvel, adding his ingenuous in-puts.
The Kiwi professionalism and their indomitable spirit are well known. They have a splendid amalgam of youth like James Coughlan and seasoned campaigners like Dean Couzins, Phil Burrows and Simon Child.
Beset with injuries the Aussies may not be at their best. Yet they are decidedly a threat to all under the renowned and redoubtable Ric Charlesworth. Brent Dancer and Jonathan Charlesworth are two colts carrying a famous surname in the squad. Christopher Cierello will be the cynosure in the Aussie penalty corner drills.
The joint winners with India last year, the Koreans, are never to be underestimated.
Malaysia is a difficult unit to conquer at home. But after the silver medal in Guangzhou, it is a different lot, and is very much in the hunt. If the Malaysians can transform their sporadic incandescence into a level of consistency a cup victory cannot be dismissed as a pipedream.
The aficionados here wait with bated breath. What more, the contestants are raring to go.
Thursday's matches: Pakistan v New Zealand (1.35 p.m. IST); India v Korea (3.35 p.m.); Malaysia v Britain (5.35 p.m.).
Australia favourites but Pakistan could surprise at Azlan Shah
Pakistan will open their Azlan Shah Cup campaign against New Zealand on Thursday. - File photo by AP
IPOH: World champions Australia are tipped to make a strong impression at the seven-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia despite fielding a new-look side as teams build towards the London Olympics.
Australia, winners of last year’s World Cup in India, are joined in the tournament at Ipoh’s Azlan Shah Stadium by Britain, South Korea, New Zealand, Pakistan, India and host nation Malaysia.
India, South Korea and Malaysia are making plans for next year’s Olympic qualifiers while the other four teams have already secured their berths for London.
Pakistan, surprise gold medallists at last year’s Asian Games, have named several veterans as they prepare for London.
Pakistan team manager K.M. Junaid said the team was a blend of young and experienced players and they could mount a strong challenge at the Ipoh tournament. “I am confident of my team doing well,” he said.
The Pakistanis are coached by Dutch coach Michel van den Heuvel.
Pakistan play New Zealand in the opening match Thursday followed by South Korea against India.
The Australian team is almost unrecognisable from the side that won gold at last year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi due to unavailability and injuries but team bosses are not worried about the make-up of the side.
“Depth in your squad is important for any team that wants to be successful because there will always be situations where players are unavailable for various reasons, as has happened at this tournament to us,” said Ric Charlesworth, Australian chief coach.
“It’s important that players can step in and not feel out of place and know all of the team structures and game plan.”
World number one side Australia and India are the most successful teams in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup history with five titles each.
The Indians also have a depleted side with six senior players left out but chief coach Harinder Singh said it would allow him to try out new players.
“Our focus is the Olympic qualifiers, which we will host next year. We need new faces as well to provide a challenge for the seniors.”
Britain then open their campaign against hosts Malaysia.
Aussies confident of winning title for record sixth time
Conspicuously missing: Australia’s top striker Jamie Dwyer is not in the team’s Sultan Azlan Shah Cup list.
IPOH: World champions Australia won all tournaments they took part in last year except for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
Although they will again be without several regular players, the team are confident they can win the title for a record sixth time.
Team manager David Hat said yesterday that they had a fairly stronger team this year and 10 of them were from the side who won the Commonwealth Games gold medal in New Delhi last year.
“We are here to win the title and there is no question about it. We have several younger players in the team for exposure but more because we have some injuries to key players. But it is certainly a stronger side than last year,” he said.
Missing from their line-up is top striker Jamie Dwyer, who has a knee injury. And another forward, Dave Abbot, is also down with injury. And several other senior players are currently plying their trade in Europe.
The Aussies have two players who will be making their senior international debut.
They are goalkeeper Andrew Charter and former national junior Jacob Whetton.
“They are good players and have the potential to go far with the team. Charter is 24 and has been playing in the national league for some time.
“This is a big break for him,” said Hat.
“Whetton is the junior player with the 2009 squad and he too is knocking hard on the senior door. Like all other teams, our long-term objective is the London Olympics and there is a need for us to expose the youngsters now to see if they can fit into our set-up.”
He added that the Sultan Azlan Cup always attracted top teams and Australia found it useful to gain some quality matches.
“This will be a tough tournament as the teams have come with their best players.
“But we believe we have a side with a good chance to win the title,” said Hat.
Emerging as the champions this year will make Australia the most successful team in the series. The five times when they triumphed were in 1983, 1998, 2004, 2005 and 2007.
The Australians start their campaign tomorrow against Malaysia.
The Star of Malaysia
Malaysian tourney to test Kookas
The depth of the all-conquering Australian men's hockey team will be put to the test when the Kookaburras attempt to add the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia to their bulging trophy cabinet.
The Ric Charlesworth-led Kookaburras were a force to be reckoned with in 2010, winning World Cup, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games gold in dominant fashion.
The Azlan Shah, which runs from May 5-15, was the only tournament that eluded the Kookaburras last year, and their quest to make amends will be severely tested after a spate of serious injuries.
Four-times world player of the year Jamie Dwyer, Des Abbott, Graeme Begbie, Kieran Govers and Joel Carroll have been ruled out through injury, while senior players Eddie Ockenden, Rob Hammond, Mark Knowles and Luke Doerner are also unavailable due to club commitments in the Netherlands.
Andrew Charter and Jacob Whetton will make their debuts in the round-robin, seven-team tournament, which features world number one Australia, fourth-ranked England, Korea, New Zealand, Pakistan, India and host Malaysia.
Australia has not played a major tournament since winning Commonwealth Games gold last October, and Charlesworth said it could take some time for the squad to find their feet again.
"My concern is we haven't had a match for six months so maybe we'll be a bit rusty early on," Charlesworth said ahead of Australia's opener against Malaysia on May 6.
"It's sort of like the first game of the season in the AFL I suppose.
"Depth in your squad is important for any team that wants to be successful because there will always be situations where players are unavailable for various reasons, as has happened at this tournament.
"I'm extremely confident that we have the depth to cover the players who won't compete at the Azlan Shah Cup.
"(But) I think it is unrealistic to expect the team to be at their very best at the moment or make any comparisons to last year."
Charlesworth's son Jonathon has earned a recall following his impressive form in recent practice matches, while Matthew Butturini will return after recovering from the injury setback that cost him his place in the triumphant 2010 Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games squads.
Tough opener for Hosts
Malaysia could not have asked for a more difficult opening match in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
For their opponents Great Britain are a side that is capable of embarrassing the hosts in front of their own fans.
The two nations have met 20 times, with Great Britain winning 12 of the matches while Malaysia only notched two wins, once in 1991 at Cardiff, courtesy of a K. Embaraj penalty corner strike while the only other win was recorded in 1996 during the Azlan Shah in Ipoh.
For the record, Malaysia scored through Mirnawan Nawawi, Nishel Kumar and S. Kuhan in their 3-2 win over Great Britain.
Back to the present time, Malaysia have not played an international match since their 0-2 defeat at the hands of Pakistan in November last year during the Asian Games final.
And this could very well stick out like a sore thumb in the opening minutes of the match if the Malaysians are not focused. But on the hindsight, the Malaysian team is well known for pulling off surprises and it will depend on the more experienced Azlan Misron, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Madzli Ikmar and S. Kumar to inspire the others.
“Britain will start off as favourites and we have to be cautious and not make mistakes in defence lest we will be punished,” said coach Tai Beng Hai.
“Opening matches most of the times do not indicate the ability of the team as there are several factors to be taken into consideration. It is therefore vital for the players to stick to the game plan and not allow Britain to dominate proceedings.
“Taking chances is what wins matches and I do hope that our strike force and penalty corner specialists make them count.”
As for Britain, a heavy downpour did not stop coach Jason Lee from putting his charges through their paces. The British look quietly confident and are odds on favorites to take all three points.
But Malaysia could well surprise them and are capable of snatching a point of the Brits.
Official Azlan Shah Cup site
Malaysia brace for hard times
Malaysia lost 4-2 to Pakistan in a friendly match on Tuesday. Malaysia play Britain in the Azlan Shah Cup today. — Picture by L. Manimaran
AS hosts since 1983, Malaysia have only played in the final of the Azlan Shah Cup on three occasions -- only to settle for second place.
And an appearance in the title match this year is possible when the tournament begins in Ipoh today as almost all teams will be parading their junior players while Malaysia still have their Asian Games squad intact.
The hosts open against Britain today, and Tai Beng Hai's boys will be in for a hard time against the Olympic hosts.
"We have not played Britain for a long time but I expect it to be a tough match as they are preparing for the Olympics," said the national coach yesterday.
"A winning start is what we are looking for as the MHF has set a target of a top-four finish in Ipoh." Britain coach Jason Lee said: "We would not normally be able to attend a high-calibre international tournament as Britain this early in an Olympic cycle, so competing in the Azlan Shah is a good opportunity.
"The heat and humidity will be a true test of the team's fighting spirit, something we will need in 2012. It will be an interesting match against Malaysia tomorrow (today)."
The last time Malaysia played Britain was in the 2007 Kuala Lumpur Champions Trophy where the hosts lost 3-2.
Overall, Malaysia have played 20 times with Britain and lost on 12 occasions, drew six and only won twice. The first win was in 1991 in Cardiff where K. Embaraj's penalty corner goal was enough, while the second win was in the 1996 Azlan Shah Cup where Malaysia won 3-2.
In previous Azlan Shah Cup editions, the national team finished second in 1985, 2007 and 2009, while last year they finished fourth.
The fact that Malaysia are ranked World No 15 while the rest are many rungs above, should not be brought into the picture as the national players prepare to play in the Olympics for the first time since Sydney 2000.
World No 1 Australia, Britain (fourth) South Korea (sixth), New Zealand (seven), Pakistan (eight) and India (ninth) are world class teams who will undoubtedly make their presence felt in Ipoh.
India and Pakistan have always been draw cards in the tournament, and with the latter winning the Asian Games gold medal over Malaysia, expectations will be high on the men in green.
However, both the Asian leaders have sent diluted sides to the tournament so it will be interesting to see how well their reserves bench has progressed.
Australia won the World Cup, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games gold and only lost one match in the process last year.
So, Beng Hai and his charges will not be living a pipe dream if they target a berth in the final as they prepare to break into the Olympics bracket.
New Straits Times
Skipper Madzli urges team to use tourney as learning curve
By S. RAMAGURU
Seasoned campaigner: Mohd Madzli Ikmar (red shirt) is Malaysia’s most experienced player in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament.
IPOH: Expectations are high on Malaysia to put up a respectable showing in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament today.
Skipper Mohamed Madzli Ikmar said that Malaysia’s silver medal-winning effort at the Guangzhou Asian Games last year would add pressure on the team but the players should take the tournament as a learning curve.
“We will have a tough time as all our opponents are very good and ranked higher than us. The fans will be expecting a good showing from us and that is only to be expected after the good result in the Asian Games,” he said.
“Four weeks of preparation is not enough for a major meet. But then again, this is just the starting point for us. The target is the qualifying tournament for the London Olympics next year.
“We need to take it one match at a time and use it effectively to improve on our game to ensure that we get in the right direction.”
The 32-year-old Madzli is the most experienced player in the team and he has been in the national side since 1998. And he knows of the effects of failure in the Olympic qualifying tournament on the team and hockey in the country.
“We need to make all efforts to gain qualification for the London Games. We have already missed the last two Olympics in 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing),” he said.
“We also did not qualify for the 2006 and 2010 World Cup Finals. It’s time we arrest the decline and get back into major tournaments.”
Madzli added that meeting a top four target in the Sultan Azlan tournament would be difficult to achieve, considering the strength of their opponents.
“All six teams have their top players in the side with a blend of youth. They too are looking ahead at the London Olympics. I expect a tough match from the start and we need to make sure there is no room for errors,” he said.
Malaysia play their opening match today at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium against world No. 4 Britain and will take on world champion and No. 1 ranked Australia tomorrow.
“You cannot have asked for tougher opening matches than against these two teams. But I believe that our players will play well and hopefully start off with a win,” said Madzli.
Malaysia have played against Britain 20 times and were the losers in the previous match at the 2007 Kuala Lumpur Champions Trophy. Britain have won 12 times while six ended in draws. Malaysia were twice the winners – the first in Cardiff in 1991 and then in Ipoh in 1996.
But Madzli said that it did not matter that it was a long time ago that they beat Britain as it was important to benefit from the match today.
“We must look beyond the result. We too have several young players in the team and I would like to see them fight hard for regular places,” he said.
“We just have to go out there and try and get a good result no matter who we play.”
Malaysia’s other opponents are India (world No. 9), New Zealand (7th), South Korea (6th) and Pakistan (8th).
The Star of Malaysia
Players' fitness remains a concern
MALAYSIAN Hockey Federation (MHF) president, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has admitted the national team for the Azlan Shah Cup which starts today in Ipoh are lacking match fitness after failing to play enough quality matches.
Tengku Abdullah said that after bagging the silver medal at the Guangzhou Asian Games last year, the players had been kept busy in the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) and did not play enough quality international matches.
"I personally feel the players did not have enough exposure due to their commitments in the domestic league, but I hope they will prove me wrong and excel in the tournament," he said in Pekan.
"I was told by the team management that the players are not 100 percent fit, however, this tournament is important before we go on to play in the Olympic qualification tournament."
Tengku Abdullah reminded the players that lacking match fitness is not a reason for them to perform poorly and wants them to achieve the top-four finish target set by the MHF.
New Straits Times
Top four target for New Zealand
Despite missing eight players who were in the 2010 World Cup squad, New Zealand are optimistic that they have enough depth to finish amongst the top four in the 20th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup that gets underway tomorrow in Ipoh.
Coach Shane Mcleod is optimistic that the youngsters filling in the shoes of the more experienced players have the ability to deliver the goods despite facing some of the top hockey playing nations in the seven-team tournament.
The Kiwis are without the likes of Ryan Archibald, Phillip Burrows, Simon Child and Shea Macklin, all of who are involved in leagues in Holland and Belgium.
Also missing from the team are Blair Hopping and Bradley Shaw who could not time off from work.
“We are targeting a top four finish for the tournament and will take it one match at a time,” said Mcleod.
“What I have here is a young group of players who must seize the opportunity to be in the training squad for the 2012 London Olympic Qualifiers.
“We are using this tournament as a platform for the players to prove their worth and hence I expect them to be at their very best in each match.”
“The quality of the tournament is expected to be high despite the fact that some teams are missing some key players. But the minds of the coaches are on building towards London 2012.”
Some of the young players that McLeod believes will shine in the tournament are Nick Wilson and Stephen Jenness.
“Nick is fast developing into a world class player and this will be his first international tournament after the injury he suffered at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games,” said McLeod.
The Kiwis open their campaign against Pakistan and should be confident against the Asian Games champs, as they have beaten the green shirts in their last five meetings.
“As a nation we never had beaten Pakistan until 2002 and after that things have changed into our favor,” contends McLeod.
“This gives us a slight psychological advantage and a good result in the opening match will go a long way in helping us achieve targets set out, both in terms of the team performance and individual performances.”
Official Azlan Shah Cup site
Injury-hit India chase hat-trick of titles
Battling with a spate of injuries and non-selection of two star players — Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh — double defending champions India will seek to complete a hat-trick of titles at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament that begins here from Thursday.
Five-time gold medallists at the Azlan Shah Cup, India were adjudged joint winners along with South Korea last year when the final was disrupted by bad weather.
The Indians had earlier won the cup outright in 2009, and they currently share the tournament record of five titles with Australia, who are seeking to test their new crop of players ahead of next year’s London Olympics.
The seven-nation roundrobin tournament, which will end with a title showdown on May 15 between the top two placed teams, also feature Asian Games champions Pakistan, Asian Games silver medallists Malaysia, Great Britain, South Korea and New Zealand.
Pakistan and hosts Malaysia have retained the bulk of the Guangzhou Asian Games squad.
Last year’s gold medal at the Asian Games has provided a new-found belief to the Pakistan side, which had not won any significant title since the 1994 World Cup, while Malaysia are now reaping the dividends of investing in young players over the past few years.
Injured former captain Rajpal Singh and Tushar Khandker’s absence could affect the Indian team’s strike power, while the decision to keep out Sandeep and Sardara will put additional pressure on India’s defence. Seasoned striker Arjun Halappa will lead the Indian team, which will be banking a lot on its midfield in the event, which is also seen as a preparatory tournament for next year’s Olympic qualifiers to be held on its soil.
Warming up for the tournament with a 5-3 victory over New Zealand on Tuesday, the Indians are bracing to take on South Korea in their tournament-opener on Thursday followed by a game against Britain 24 hours later.
Ahead of the match, the Indians will be taking heart from the fact that they had defeated South Korea to claim the Asian Games bronze in Guangzhou.
Much to the liking of India, the Koreans are persisting with a young team here as they are presently in a transition phase with several established players set to fade away soon.
The Asian Age
Azlan stepping stone to Olympic qualifiers
It feels great to be back in Ipoh for the Azlan Shah --India's favourite hockey ground after home. For the first time, I will be entering the competition with the captain's armband, and it was something I never expected. I am yet to come to terms with the fact that I have been deemed worthy for such a big honour. Leading the Indian national side in any sport can never be estimated. More so in hockey, which still has a lot of emotional connect with the people. It is a feeling that can be understood only when you have it, and right now I am still trying to get used to it.
HARENDRA MY MENTOR
I am a middle-class boy from Coorg. The country and the game of hockey are so great that it provided me with a level playing field, and now I find myself with the leadership baton.
What has made this Azlan Shah so special is that the men's coach at the moment is Harendra Singh, who initiated me into international hockey way back in 1999. The fact that CR Kumar, then assistant coach, is now in-charge of the women's team only completes the happy coincidence, and I am grateful to both for not only starting me in this game but also supporting me through the years.
Coming back to this team, I am confident about my boys. There has been lot of talk about the team being inexperienced and under pressure, but I think the biggest requirement for them right now is to play without expectations and pressure. They are all talented and with seniors like me, Vikram Pillay and Bharat Chhetri in the side --the three survivors from the 1999 batch --to guide them, I am sure the youngsters will prove themselves worthy of an India cap.
Every time we win, the feeling is special. We were the finalists in the last three editions of the Cup, and I know how the ethnic crowd here joins in celebrating each victory.
EYE ON QUALIFIERS
This is also the season opener, coming after last year's Asian Games.
Hockey fans around the world would be expecting us to go for the kill, but our focus is on the Olympic qualifier next year. We need to maximise our strengths, plug the weaknesses and sustain a decent performance. With seven top teams in the fray, consistency is what is going to count. We aim to equip ourselves better for the crucial qualifiers keeping Azlan Shah as the stepping stone.
Somehow, I don't feel like it's a different edition. We could not play the final last year because of rains, and had to share the trophy with Korea, who will be our first opponents here on Thursday.
So, in a way, we are only carrying forward from where we had left last year. The Koreans have always been fighters and no game against them will be one-sided. We could not observe their game much here, but I am sure, they will also be keen on trying some new faces ahead of the Olympic qualifiers and I expect a good contest on Thursday.
There has been talk about the team being inexperienced and under pressure. I think the biggest requirement for them is to play without expectations and pressure. We aim to equip ourselves better for the crucial Olympic qualifiers keeping Azlan Shah as the stepping stone.
The Koreans have always been fighters and no game against them will be one-sided. I expect a good contest on Thursday.
Shoot out to determine winners
In the 20th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, the winners of the classification matches, should the match end in a draw after regulation and extra time, will be decided via a shoot out. This will only be applicable for matches on May 15 which will determine the final placings. The details of the shoot out, as introduced by FIH are as follows:
The FIH have introduced a shoot out in place of penalty strokes to determine a winner of a match for the Champions Trophy and Champions Challenge.
Penalty Shoot Out Regulation
a 5 players from each team take a one-on-one penalty shoot-out alternately against the goalkeeper of the other team making a total of 10 penalty shoot-outs. The players take the penalty shoot-out in the sequence nominated and communicated by the team managers to the Technical Officer on duty before the start of the penalty shoot-out competition. Players are chosen by their respective team manager from those listed on the team entry form for that particular match except as excluded hereunder.
b After consultation with the Technical Officer on duty, the umpires choose the goal to be used.
c A coin is tossed. The team which wins the toss has the choice to take or defend the first penalty shoot-out.
d The team scoring or awarded the most goals is the winner and the competition ceases once an outright winner is determined.
e During a penalty shoot-out competition, all persons who appear on the team entry form and who are entitled to sit on the team bench for that match are permitted to enter the field of play but only in the area outside the 23m area used for the shoot-out. The goalkeeper of the team taking a penalty shoot-out may be on the goal-line outside the circle if so directed by the umpire. A player who is authorised by an umpire or technical official to take or defend a penalty shoot-out may enter the 23m area for that purpose.
f A player who has been suspended by the Tournament Director or has been excluded permanently (red card) from the field of play during that same match, cannot take part in a penalty shoot-out competition.
g The penalty shoot-out is taken under the following conditions:
i?the defending goalkeeper starts behind their own goal line between the goal posts;
ii?the ball is placed on the nearest 23m line opposite the centre of the goal;
iii?an attacker starts behind the 23m line near the ball;
iv ?the umpire blows the whistle to signal the start of the shoot-out; the attacker and the goalkeeper may then move in any direction;
v?the shoot-out is completed when one of the following occurs:
- 8 seconds has elapsed;
- the attacker scores a goal;
- the attacker commits an offence;
- the goalkeeper commits an offence in which case the shoot-out is re-taken;
- the goalkeeper commits an intentional offence, in which case a goal is awarded;
- the ball goes out of play over the back-line or side-line; this includes the goalkeeper intentionally playing the ball over the back-line.
h If during a penalty shoot-out competition a player (either an attacker or a goalkeeper) is suspended, that player takes no further part in that penalty shoot-out competition and, unless a defending goalkeeper, cannot be replaced. If the defending goalkeeper is suspended, the replacement can only come from the 5 players nominated to take part in the penalty shoot-out competition. The replacement goalkeeper is allowed reasonable time to put on protective equipment. If an attacker is suspended, any penalty shoot-out the player was entitled to take counts as no goal.
i If during a penalty shoot-out competition, a defending goalkeeper is incapacitated, that goalkeeper may be replaced by another player from within the players listed on the team entry form for that particular match, except as excluded above in sub-clause (d) or sub-clause (f). If the replacement goalkeeper is a field player, that player is allowed reasonable time to put on protective equipment.
j In the event of an equal number of goals scored or awarded after each team has taken 5 shoot-outs, a second series of penalty shoot-outs is taken with the same players, subject to an incapacitated defending goalkeeper(s) being replaced. When one team has scored or been awarded one more goal than the opposing team after an equal number of strokes (no minimum, no maximum) have been taken by each team, that team shall be the winner.
k The same players take part in a second (unlimited) series of penalty shoot-outs except that an incapacitated goalkeeper can be replaced. The sequence in which the attackers take the penalty shoot-outs does not need to be the same as in the first series; before each penalty shoot-out series, the team manager chooses the order in which the nominated players take the particular penalty shoot-out. In this second series, all five nominated players shall take a penalty shoot-out before any of them are eligible to take a further penalty shoot-out.
l The team whose player has taken the first penalty shoot-out of the first series must defend the first penalty shot-out of the second (unlimited) series
Official Azlan Shah Cup site
AHF Umpires course
A total of 30 participants from 14 countries are attending the Asian Hockey Federation Umpires Course that commenced this morning and is expected to end on May 9.
And the participants will hear from the FIH President Leandro Negre tomorrow (Friday) as he is expected to visit the participants during his brief two day visit in conjunction with the 20th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
Conducted by Masako Kamisuki, this course is an initiative of the newly formed AHF-MHC Academy that will be located in Ipoh and is expected to be launched on May 9.
In his opening remarks to the participants, AHF Secretary General Tan Sri Dato Seri P. Alagendra said that the AHF was serious in wanting to improve the quality of umpires within Asia.
"Much depends on how much you take home from this course as its a long road to the top and the learning process never ends," said Tan Sri Alagendra.
"On our part we will continue to provide you with the knowledge required to become top class umpires but in reality it is vital that you have self belief and work hard in trying to achieve your objective in becoming a good umpire."
Also present at the opening ceremony were Malaysian Hockey Confederation Vice President Dato Mohd Rahim Ariff and Secretary Maninderjit Singh.
Official Azlan Shah Cup site
Karachi, PHF Academy and Faisalabad move ahead
LAHORE: The 3rd PHF Junior Super Hockey League is in full swing and three matches were decided on Wednesday here at National Hockey Stadium with Karachi, PHF Academy and Faisalabad scoring victories. Lahore played a 2-2 draw with Sialkot in the fourth match of the day.
Karachi posted an impressive 8-0 win over Quetta before leading the first half 2-0. Scorers for Karachi: Ali Noman (26th minute), Ahmed Zubair (30th and 43rd minutes), Zohaib Azeem (36th and 68th minutes), Salman Khan (41st minute), Mohammad Sarjil (57th minute) and Abdul Fahad Khan (64th minute).
PHF Academy made short work of Peshawar with 8-0 win. The winners folded the first half 4-0 and teased their ever struggling opponents with persistent penetration with mid field their main source of attack. Scorers for PHF Academy: Daud Khalid (8th, 18th and 55th minutes), Shahid Jamal (10th minute), Mohammad Naveed (26th minute), Zohaib Ashraf (45th and 53rd minutes) and Mohammad Asif Ali (67th minute).
Faisalabd were 2-0 up against Multan at half time and wrapped up the match 5-0. Scorers for Faisalabad: Bilal Qadir (9th minute), Mohammad Asif (30th minute), Mohammad Adnan Anwar (38th minute) and Dilber Hussain (49th and 54th minutes).
Lahore and Sialkot could not score in the first half. Both teams scored 4 goals in the second session. Scorers for Lahore: Arslan Sherazi (39th minute) and Mohammad Fahad (51st minute). Sialkot: Mohammad Umair (43rd and 62nd minutes).
Matches for today
1: Sialkot vs PHF Academy
2: Quetta vs Multan
3: Lahore vs Faisalabad
4: Peshswar vs Karachi.
The Daily Times
Activcity District & Reserve Finals
The Scottish domestic hockey schedule reaches the business end of the season this coming Sunday, as the Activcity District & Reserve Cup and Plate Finals are hosted by the National Hockey Academy at Peffermill, in Edinburgh.
During what will be a packed day of hockey, there will be no less than six hotly contested finals taking place and there is a good crowd expected at Peffermill to cheer on twelve teams looking to crown their domestic seasons by winning some silverware.
The action kicks off at 10.30 with Aberdeen GSFP III facing Western Wildcats IV in the Men’s Activcity Reserve Plate Final on Pitch 2. Over on Pitch 1 at 11.00, the Men’s Activcity Reserve Cup Final sees AMN Hillhead III and Erskine Stewarts Melville FP III go head-to-head in an encounter to be crowned 2010 winners. The first trophy presentation ceremony of the day will take place following these matches at 12.25, when the winners and runners-up will receive their medals.
Meanwhile, at 12.30 on Pitch 2, the women take centre stage in the day’s proceedings as Erskine Stewarts Melville FP II take on the Aberdeen Ladies in the Women’s Activcity District Plate Final. At 13.00, Pitch 1 will play host to Milne Craig Clydesdale Western II and Giffnock II, as they play-off in the final of the Women’s Activcity District Cup. Following the conclusion of these matches, the second trophy presentation ceremony of the day will take place at 14.25, when the winners and runners-up will receive their medals.
The last double-header of matches sees the culmination of the Men’s Activcity District Cup and Plate competitions. At 14.30, the Activcity District Plate Final gets underway with Inverleith II battling it out with Rievers, whilst in the Activcity District Cup Final at 15.00, Grange II will meet AAM Gordonians II in what will be a cracking contest. The final trophy presentation of the day will take place at 16.25 following the outcome of these matches.
This season’s competitions have been sponsored by the City of Edinburgh Council’s sports sponsorship initiative Activcity, with the District Cup & Plate Finals being one of many events the council is backing in its drive to for Edinburgh to become one of the most physically active cities in Europe.
The Activcity District & Reserve Cup and Plate Finals will take place on Sunday 8th May at the National Hockey Academy, Peffermill, in Edinburgh. Tickets are available on the gate, priced £3 for Adults. U-16s and Senior Citizens will be admitted free of charge.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
A league of their own
KL Hockey Association to kick-start tournament for women
PIONEERS: KL ladies getting their chops right at Pantai hockey stadium yesterday — Pix: RAZAK GHAZALI
WOMEN hockey players will now have their own league to showcase their skills in the game, as Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association is introducing the first ever KL ladies league.
The league, scheduled to begin on May 14, has so far seen five teams confirming their participation, and the association is targeting a minimum of 10 teams to kick-start the league.
"The idea to start a women's league actually came from KLHA president George Koshy, who wanted a platform for women players to display their talent," said KLHA secretary V. Rajamanickam.
Rajamanickam said the association must first get a minimum total of 10 teams to start the league, said to be the first in Southeast Asia.
"Although at the moment we only have five teams that have confirmed their participation, we are still glad as they are very enthusiastic and are training hard to compete in a league specially for them for the first time."
He then added that the association have always felt that women players needed their own league to continue playing after representing schools, districts or clubs.
"This would also allow them to be considered for national selection," added Rajamanickam.
Meanwhile, former national player K. M. Baraj echoed the same opinion, saying many women State players are quitting the game or retiring early as they do not have a platform to carry on contributing to the game.
"After playing at school and district level, most of them do not have a proper tournament or a league where they can continue playing and this is a contributing factory why many women are leaving the game at a very early stage," said Baraj.
With this league introduced, women players will finally have a league of their own.
Coach applauds KLHA's move
AMONG the teams that have confirmed their participation in the league is KL Ladies Club, who had previously been playing in the men's league. KL Ladies club head coach Rizal Mohd Razman said the team have long been waiting for such a league.
"Playing in the men's league saw us being thrashed by the other teams every time."
Rizal then explained the disadvantages of participating in the men's league.
"Sometimes, to keep on losing would demoralise team spirit and thus we need to have a league of our own to maintain the standard of competition."
The KL Ladies Club's youth and development coach Roshim Noordin, who is in charge of the youth team, said it is essential to have a league for women as they need to keep playing in order to be fit for national selection.
"If they just keep training and do not play in any tournament, then how are they going to prepare themselves to play in major competition or be selected for the national team for instance?" said Roshim, adding the feel of playing in a tournament is different than just training every day.
He then suggested that other states should also come up with their own women's league, like KLHA.
Skipper pays tribute to sister
THANKS, SIS: Nur Suraya is grateful to her sister for giving her the confidence to continue
KUALA LUMPUR: Nur Suraya Ashikin Mohd, who didn't quite enjoy playing hockey in the beginning as she felt she was too petite, is now the captain of Seri Titiwangsa Sports School's Under- 15 team.
That all changed when she became more confident of herself, thanks to the encouragement she got from her sister and her coach Roshim Noordin.
Yesterday, during the first day of the MSSKL Under-15 Championship played at the Education Ministry pitch in Pantai, all eyes were on her as she displayed great form in two matches, seeing her team through to the next round.
"I almost gave up the sport two years ago as I felt very exhausted. Because I am small and thin, I would always panic when facing players bigger than me," said the 13-year-old.
Nur Suraya said her sister and coach Roshim Noordin pushed her to train hard every day and always told her that she had potential.
"They told me that it is also an advantage that I am small and to utilise my skill and speed. That's when I really gained confidence."
The newly-crowned captain also said the experience of playing with her sister helped her improve her game the most.
"My sister is 15-years-old and she too, plays hockey. When she goes for training, I would go along to train with her," she said.
Seri Titiwangsa won their first match against SMK (P) Air Panas 4-0 yesterday. They also won their second match against SMK Convent Jalan Peel 6-0, with Nur Suraya scoring two goals.
When asked about the two goals the youngster scored, she just smiled and said, "I hope I can score in every match that I play."