All the news for Monday 12 January 2015
PIA comeback stuns Wapda in national hockey final
SIALKOT: PIA and Wapda players vie for the ball in a goalmouth scramble during the final of the National Hockey Championship at the Nawaz Sharif Hockey Stadium on Sunday.—INP
SIALKOT: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) came back from two goals down before overcoming Wapda 4-2 in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout to in the final of the National Hockey Championship at the Nawaz Sharif Stadium here on Sunday.
After the final ended in an enthralling 2-2 draw at the end of regulation time, PIA held their nerve in the shootout to bag the title with Wapda visibly drained after letting their 2-0 lead slip.
Wapda started aggressively and were in complete control until half-time. It took them just five minutes to take the lead, Tassawar Abbas smartly entering the circle before squaring the ball to Umar Bhutta for a beautiful field goal.
PIA were stunned by Wapda’s swift start and were lucky not to concede more until the 14th minute when Mohammad Aleem converted a penalty corner, the second awarded to his team in quick succession.
PIA’s comeback started in the third quarter as Wapda sat back, trying to defend their lead as Mohammad Zubair and Kashif Ali thumped in two goals in the space of two minutes.
First, Shafqat Rasool dribbled into Wapda’s circle before finding Zubair to reduce the deficit before PIA’s pressure yielded a penalty corner which Kashif converted with aplomb.
In the end, Federal Minister for Defence and Power Khawaja Mohammed Asif distributed prizes amongst the teams and the players.
PIA pocketed Rs50,000 along with the winners’ trophy while Wapda took home Rs30,000. Third-placed National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) were given Rs20,000 while Ammad Butt was declared Best Player of the Championship.
PIA on cloud nine after lifting coveted trophy
TOURNAMENT WRAP-UP: According to losing captain Imran, the players came to the event to learn what top-level hockey is all about. PHOTO: ONLINE
Muhammad Zubair and Kashif Ali guided PIA to a 4-2 victory over Wapda in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout phase to lift the coveted trophy of the 61st PSO National Hockey Championship on Sunday at the Nawaz Sharif Stadium, Sialkot.
Both teams were level at full time and tried their luck in an unpredictable penalty shootout stage, where luck favoured PIA as national team goalkeeper Imran Butt blocked four Wapda goals.
Wapda entered the field in an aggressive mood as their forwards dominated the proceedings of the final since the starting whistle.
In the fifth minute, Tassawar Abbas created a chance for Umar Bhutta to score. They then earned two back-to-back penalty corners in the 14th minute. Muhammad Aleem doubled the lead after converting the second penalty.
In the 47th minute, PIA’s Shafqat Rasool took the ball inside Wapda’s circle and gave a pass to the experienced Zubair, who availed the opportunity to bring down the lead to 2-1, after which the PIA forwards pressed on and earned a penalty corner in the same minute which was successfully converted by Kashif Ali to level the score 2-2.
“We came up with some exceptional performances throughout the tournament, especially in the last matches which we won through penalty shootouts,” said PIA captain Ehsanullah.
Meanwhile, PIA goalkeeper Butt said his performance was motivated by coach Shahid Ali Khan’s hard work. “Our coach was the one who was with us through and through, which built a lot of confidence in us,” he said.
“Ours was a good mix of youth and experience as junior team player Ammad Butt was declared the player of the tournament,” added Butt. “This will definitely turn out well for the future of hockey.”
On the other hand, Wapda captain Imran Khan said he was far from being disappointed on losing as it was a fighting match. “We took the lead in the first two quarters, but lost some energy in the last two which resulted in a defeat.”
The Express Tribune
PIA lift National Hockey Championship title
Kh Asif assures full government support for hockey promotion
SIALKOT/LAHORE - Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) defeated Pakistan Wapda 4-2 on penalty shootouts to lift the 61st PSO National Hockey Championship title at the Nawaz Sharif Stadium at Sialkot on Sunday.
According to Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), both the teams were at par in the relegated time and tried their luck in an unpredictable penalty shootout stage where lady luck favoured PIA. The sunny atmosphere at the Stadium was ideal for hockey which also brought a large number of fans to witness an exciting encounter between top two team comprising hockey stars of the country. For PIA, it was a wonderful comeback after losing 2-0 at the half time.
The third quarter belonged to the airliners who snatched the initiative from Wapda and completely dominated the proceedings. The PIA forwards took full advantage of a sudden fall in Wapda’s aggression. They scored two goals in as many minutes. In the 47th minute, Shafqat Rasool took the ball inside Wapda’s circle and gave a pass to experienced M Zubair who wisely availed the opportunity. PIA forwards then wielded more pressure and got a penalty corner in the same 47th minute which was successfully converted by Kashif Ali.
Earlier, Wapda entered the field in an aggressive mood which reflected from their speed, dribbling, dodging and excellent passes. Their forwards dominated the proceedings of the final since the word go, kept control of the ball which enabled them to launch a series of attacks into their opponents' area. PIA defenders looked baffled, particularly in the first two quarters.
In the fifth minute, Tassawar Abbas and made a smart move and entered the circle creating a chance for Umar Bhutta to score a beautiful field goal. They didn't relax after taking important lead and exerted more pressure on their opponents. They got two back to back penalty corners in the 14th minute. M Aleem doubled the lead converting the second penalty corner. Haider Rasool and Kamran Hussain supervised the match.
In the end, Federal Minister for Defense and Power Khawaja M Asif gave away the trophy to the captain of the winning side. He distributed cash award of Rs 50,000 to the winning team and Rs 30,000 to the runners-up. Besides, he awarded Rs 20,000 to NBP for clinching third position.
The best player of the championship Hammad Butt was awarded Rs 10,000.
MPAs Mansha Ullah Butt, Ch M Ikram, Sialkot DCO Nadeem Sarwar, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Rana Mujahid, coach Shahnaz Sheikh, ex-Olympian Asif Bajwa, Olympian Nasir Ali and a large number of Sialkot exporters and hockey lovers were also present at the occasion. Talking to the reporters, Khawaja Asif has stressed the need of making all-out sincere efforts to promote the national game at the grassroots level in the country. “Pakistan was enriched with natural talent and there was dire need of exploring, polishing, encouraging and promoting this talent.”
The minister lauded the performance of national team against India and assured the full cooperation of government in promotion of hockey. He assured the government would encourage and patronize the game at every level and helping it in regaining lost glory. “The future of Pakistan hockey is very bright,” he concluded.
PIA down WAPDA to win 61st National Hockey Championship
LAHORE: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) defeated WAPDA 4-2 in a thrilling shoot-out in the final to lift the coveted trophy of the 61st National Hockey Championship at the Nawaz Sharif Stadium in Sialkot on Sunday. Both teams were at par in the regulation time and tried their luck in an unpredictable penalty-shoot out stage where lady luck favoured PIA. Federal Minister for Defense and Power Khawaja Mohammad Asif was the chief guest at prize distribution ceremony. PIA and WAPDA qualified for the final after recording contrasting wins in the semi-finals on Saturday. PIA fought hard to overcome the challenge from National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) on penalty shoot-out 7-6. WAPDA, however, earned a 3-1 win against Pakistan Army in the other semi-final. Ammad Butt was declared Best Player of the Championship.
The sunny atmosphere at the stadium was ideal for hockey, which also brought a large number of fans to see an exciting final between two top teams comprising stars of Pakistan. For PIA it was a wonderful comeback with WAPADA leading 2-0 at half time. The third quarter belonged to PIA who snatched the initiative from WAPDA and completely dominated the proceedings. The PIA forwards took full advantage of a sudden fall in WAPDA’s aggression. They scored two goals in a space of one minute. In the 47th minute, Shafqat Rasool took the ball inside WAPDA’s circle and gave a pass to experienced Mohammad Zubair who intelligently availed the opportunity. The PIA forwards then wielded more pressure and got a penalty corner in the same 47th minute which was successfully converted by Kashif Ali.
Earlier, WAPDA entered the field in an aggressive mood which reflected from their speed, dribbling, dodging and excellent passes. Their forwards dominated the proceedings of the final from the word go. They kept control of the ball which enabled them to launch a series of attacks into their opponents’ zone. The PIA defenders looked baffled, particularly in the first two quarters. In the 5th minute, Tassawar Abbas made a smart move and entered into the circle, creating a chance for Umar Bhutta who sounded the board with a beautiful goal. They didn’t relax after taking important lead and exerted more pressure on their opponents. They got two back to back penalty corners in the 14th minute. Mohammad Aleem doubled the lead converting the second penalty corner. Haider Rasool and Kamran Hussain supervised the match.
The Daily Times
Asif for promoting hockey at grass root level
SIALKOT - Minister for Defence, Water and Power Khawaja Asif has stressed the need for making all out efforts to promote hockey in Pakistan at grass root level.
Addressing the prize distribution ceremony at Nawaz Sharif Hockey Stadium here on Sunday, after the final match of 61st National Hockey Championship played between the PIA and Wapda, he said that there was immense talent in Pakistan, however, it was the need to explore, polish, encourage and promote this natural talent of the hockey players. He assured that the government would encourage and patronise hockey at every level helping Pakistan to attain its glory in this game.
He hoped that future of hockey would be bright in Pakistan at every level. He lauded the performance of Pakistan Hockey Team against India, and assured full cooperation by the government in promotion of hockey. Earlier, he distributed cash prizes of Rs 50,000 to the winner team of PIA, Rs 30,000 to the runner up Wapda team, besides, giving Rs 20,000 to the NBP team for securing third position in the national hockey championship.
Hammad Butt was adjudged the best player of the tournament and a reward of Rs 10,000 was given him. MPAs Chaudhry Muhammad Ikram, Manshaullah Butt, Sialkot DCO Nadeem Sarwar, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Rana Mujahid, PHF Coach Shehnaz Sheikh, Asif Bajwa, Olympian Nasir Ali and a large number of Sialkot exporters and hockey lovers were also present on the occasion.
The Daily Times
India women hockey team camp starts at National stadium
NEW DELHI: To get ready for the Test matches in Valencia, Spain and FIH World League Round 2, India women hockey team has started its preparatory camp at the National Stadium.
The camp for the 24-member women's team started yesterday and will go on till February 9.
The team will take on 14th-ranked Spain in Valencia from February 10 to 24. The Test matches are expected to provide opportunities to the players to improve their skills and implement their strategies in the upcoming FIH World League Round 2, scheduled to be held here from March 7 to 15 March.
Speaking on the sidelines of the camp, Director High Performance, Roelant Oltmans said, "The camp will be a good learning experience for the team and I am sure through this, the girls will be better prepared for the Spain tour.
"Post their bronze in the Incheon Asian Games 2014, the entire team looks confident and ready to take on newer and bigger challenges. Spain is just a rank below us in the FIH ranking and we are expecting a good competition from them. We will look at the camp giving us the perfect team for the upcoming FIH World League Round 2," he added.
List of Players:
Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali, Savita, Rajni Etimarpu. Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika, Kirandeep Kaur, Sunita Lakra, Sushila Chanu, M N Ponnamma, Jaspreet Kaur, Monika.
Midfielders: Ritu Rani, Namita Toppo, Chanchan Devi Thokchom, Lilima Minz, Liliy Chanu, Navjot Kaur, Amandeep Kaur, Sondarya Yendala.
Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Rani, Poonam Rani, Punam Barla, Anupa Barla.
The Times of India
Indian women’s hockey camp begins
The Indian women’s hockey team began its preparatory camp for a Test series against Spain at the National Stadium here on Sunday.
Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali, Savita, Rajni Etimarpu.
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika, Kirandeep Kaur, Sunita Lakra, Sushila Chanu, M. N. Ponnamma, Jaspreet Kaur, Monika.
Midfielders: Ritu Rani, Namita Toppo, Chanchan Devi Thokchom, Lilima Minz, Lily Chanu, Navjot Kaur, Amandeep Kaur, Saundarya Yendala.
Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Rani, Poonam Rani, Punam Barla, Anupa Barla.
Indian women's hockey team ready for new challenge: Oltmans
NEW DELHI: Indian hockey high performance director Roelant Oltmans on Sunday said the women's team is brimming with confidence ahead of the impending Test series against Spain and World League Round 2 tournament.
The team, which won bronze in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, kicked off its preparatory camp Saturday here. The 24-member squad led by seasoned midfielder Ritu Rani underwent training at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.
The team's training will continue till Feb 9 to prepare for the Test matches in Valencia Feb 10-24 and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League Round 2 to be held here March 7-15.
"The camp will be a good learning experience for the team and I am sure through this, the girls will be better prepared for the Spain tour. After winning the Asian Games bronze, the entire team looks confident and ready to take on newer and bigger challenges," Oltmans said in a release.
"Spain are just a rank below us and we are expecting a good competition from them. We will look at the camp giving us the perfect team for the upcoming World League Round 2."
The team is also waiting for a new chief coach as Australian Neil Hawgood decided not to extend his contract after being at the helm for more than two years.
The Times of India
East Grinstead set for double tilt at Wembley's Hockey 5s Championship
Culmination of hockey indoor season will see Sussex side attempt finals' double at Wembley's SSE Arena
By Rod Gilmour
Tight win: England's Sophie Bray scored East Grinstead's winner Photo: PETER SAVAGE
East Grinstead will have two representatives in the Hockey 5s Championship at Wembley for the first time.
East Grinstead women joined the men for the culmination of the indoor season at the SSE Arena after Sophie Bray’s goal was enough to edge past Slough 1-0.
The Sussex side will meet indoor specialists Bowdon Hightown in the final on Jan 25 after they beat Canterbury 5-4.
Bowdon were indebted to two goals apiece from Sally Walton and Tina Cullen, a present and former England international respectively.
Cullen said: “Semi finals are always tough as there’s so much to gain but also so much to lose. I’m really pleased with the team and we’re made up to make the final.
“Amy Tennant was superb. She saved at least three certain goals and kept us in it. She was brilliant in the league phase and tonight was her best performance this season. We’re really pleased to get to the final and hope we can give a good account of ourselves this year.”
East Grinstead captain, JoJo Davis, said: “Pleased is an understatement. We’re ecstatic to get to Wembley.”
In the men’s semi-finals at Wembley, East Grinstead will play Reading, while Sevenoaks take on Canterbury.
The Wembley final will not be broadcast by Sky Sports this year.
Thompson treble gives Paragon winning start
Brianna Govia, left, of Shandy Carib Magnolias, tackles Alanna Lewis of Paragon in their Women’s Open Division encounter on Friday’s opening night of the 12th Ventures Invitational Indoor Hockey Tournament at Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton-Holder Street, Woodbrook. Paragon won 4-2. Photo: Anthony Harris
National forward Kristin Thompson scored a hat-trick as defending champions Paragon outclassed Shandy Carib Magnolias 4-2 to start their Women’s Open Division title in the 12th Ventures Invitational Indoor Hockey Tournament at Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton-Holder Street, Woodbrook on Friday night.
In addition to Thompson, Keimer Gardiner was also on target for Paragon while Mika Ella Tang and Brianna Govia got Magnolias’ replies.
Yesterday, Paragon made it two straights wins, after they spanked Notre Dame 6-3 led by a beaver-trick from Gardiner and one each from Kristin’s sister, Gabrielle Thompson and Arielle Williams to improve to maximum six points. Tamia Roach (two) and fellow national player Krizia Layne got the goals for the Dames who will enter today’s semifinals as the cellar-placed team without a point.
Host Ventures also started with three points, thanks to an Ornella Schneider lone goal in a 1-0 triumph over Notre Dame ahead of matches with Magnolias and Paragon to end round-robin play last night.
Magnolias rebounded with a 5-2 defeat of Notre Dame with Brianna Govia getting a treble and Samantha Olton two.
At the end of the round-robin phase last night, the team to end as top seed will face the fourth placed team in one semifinal while second and third meet in the other today.
National duo, Solomon Eccles and Atiba Whittington combined for five goals as Petrotrin also began defence of its Men’s Open crown with a 5-3 defeat of Notre Dame on Friday.
Eccles ended with a hat-trick and Whittington, two to cancel out strikes for the Dames from teenager Joshua Olton, Chad Pedro and T&T international Shaquille Daniel.
Yesterday — Men’s Open
Queen’s Park 6 (Dominic Young 2, Jordan Reynos, Matthew Tang Nian, Kadeem Fortune, Jordi O'Brien) vs Fatima 0
Petrotrin 6 (Atiba Whittington 2, Solomon Eccles 2, Wayne Legerton 2) vs Defence Force 6 (Marcus James 3, Mickell Pierre, Neil Lashley, Roger Daniel)
Paragon 5 (Akim Toussaint 2, Syl Sinnette 2, Terrence Baptiste) vs Petrotrin 4 (Wayne Legerton 2, Arielle Bowen, Atiba Whittington)
Defence Force 10 (Mickel Pierre 4, Marcus James 3, Javon Woodward 2, Shane Legerton) vs Notre Dame 2 (Aidan De Gannes, Darren Cowie)
Fatima 7 (Jordan Vieira 3, Che Modeste 2, Jeremy Nieves, Quinn Clarke) vs Petrotrin 6 (Wayne Legerton 4, Tariq Marcano, Triston Grant)
Paragon 6 (Keima Gardiner 4, Gabrielle Thompson, Arielle Williams) vs Notre Dame 3 (Tamia Roach 2, Krizia Layne)
SC Magnolias 5 (Brianna Govia 3, Samantha Olton 2) vs Notre Dame 2 (Krizia Layne, Stephanie Whiteman)
Notre Dame 3 (Leon Ramdeen 2, Selwyn King) vs Fatima 1 (Derek Lee)
Defence Force 5 (Gary Griffith 3, Anthony Morales, Gordon Snow) vs Notre Dame 2 (Selwyn King, Kenneth Whiteman)
Friday — Men’s Open
Fatima 4 (Andrew Vieira 2, Quinn Clarke, Che Modeste) vs Paragon 3 (Cogie Butler 2, Sheldon Mc Kellar)
Defence Force 5 (Javon Woodward 2, Mickell Pierre, Shane Legerton, Roger Daniel) vs QPCC 3 (Dominic Young 2, Matthew Tang Nian) vs Petrotrin 5 (Attiba Whittington (2), Solomon Eccles (3) (Petrotrin)
Petrotrin 5 (Solomon Eccles 3, Atiba Whittington 2) vs Notre Dame 3 (Joshua Olton, Chad Pedro, Shaquille Daniel)
Fatima 3 (Jordan Vieira 3) vs Notre Dame 1 (Chad Pedro)
Queen’s Park 4 (Matthew Tang Nian, Shawn Lee Quay, Jordan Reynos, Dominic Young) vs Paragon 2 (Barry Clarke, Akim Toussaint)
Paragon 4 (Kristin Thompson 3, Keima Gardiner) vs SC Magnolias 2 (Mika Ella Tang, Brianna Govia)
Ventures 1 (Ornella Schneider) vs Notre Dame 0
Defence Force 9 (Anthony Morales 3, Gary Griffith 2, Kirth Davis 2, Neil Lashley, Roger Daniel) vs Fatima 1 (Derek Lee)
The Trinidad Guardian
How coach Ric Charlesworth pioneered world hockey and led Australia to multiple success
Celebrated hockey coach Ric Charlesworth enjoyed raft of success with Hockeyroos and Kookaburras until his retirement last summer. Here, he reminisces how Australia adapted to rule changes and expresses thoughts on the current game
By Rod Gilmour
Kookaburra king: Ric Charlesworth (middle) celebrates Australia's World Cup success in 2014 Photo: FIH
Charlesworth relinquished his position after six years in charge of Australia men’s side following their World Cup success in 2014. He led the Kookaburras to Commonwealth Games titles, an Olympic bronze medal and four Champions Trophy gold medals. He also coached the Hockeyroos to consecutive Olympic gold in 1996 and 2000, as well as back-to-back women’s World Cup titles in 1994 and 1998.
Australia were very set in their ways in the way they played. So we made it more fluid. We changed the names of all the positions to have more definition - no longer were you a left or right-sided player. All the players had to become all-rounders. One of the big shifts in the game is that all the players are now good tacklers.
Twelve players scored goals out of the 16-strong Hockeyroos' squad during the 2000 Olympics. There was more flexibility in the way we played and less static positioning. We only played with two forwards, but still scored goals.
In the men’s game, interchanging (rolling substitutions) still wasn’t happening after the Sydney Olympics. I found that extraordinary. No one really embraced the inter change like we did in the beginning.
Playing as a group
We did away with the captaincy role and had a leadership group. That was part of developing a culture for sharing and responsibility. In the end, the players make all the important decisions and judgements in the game if not the coaches. It was about developing people who were assertive, self-starting and fixing problems.
Ric Charlesworth guided Australia women to Olympic gold in 2000 (AFP)
On the mark with offside rule
The 'no offside rule' change in 1998 was another opportunity for us, as teams were slow to adjust that tactically. It changed the corners, attack and defence. It changed the way strikers operated, it allowed you to stretch the team more, so we started to play deeper on the baseline. It was significant and we started to play the overheads more, especially in the men’s game.
Where the game stands today
Charlesworth on penalty corners …
The punishment doesn’t fit the crown. You could have a powerplay instead of a short corner and design it in all sorts of ways to take away the danger and make it just as interesting. The rules should make the game safer - to parents watching, they should be thinking ‘do I really want my kids facing that?’, I’m not sure it sells the game too well - simpler and reward skill. But generally the rules are pretty good, except the penalty corner in my view. The game flows, it is very skilful and quick and a good spectacle.
On four quarters ...
If you are going to go to four quarters, it should be 20 minutes per quarter, not the current 15. Why would you take time off the game? It rewards the less skilful with time as you don’t have the attrition of playing 35 minutes without a stop. Teams lose momentum and in some ways it dumbs the game down.
On shortened format ...
Hockey nines - that is where the game should be going. The FIH has got it completely wrong with the game changed to Hockey Fives. Hockey should be played on the same-sized pitches. They are all over the world. Less players on the pitch and more space to operate and more reward for skill.
Ric Charlesworth is currently working on his third coaching book
Mohd Haziq wants to cement spot in senior hockey team
By S. Ramaguru
Mohamed Haziq Shamsul has been selected to the Malaysian senior hockey team for the World League Round Two tournament in Singapore beginning on Jan 17.
KUALA LUMPUR: For 21-year-old Mohamed Haziq Shamsul, making the transition to the senior team is a dream fullfilled.
But more than that, Haziq now wants to cement his place in the team with a good performance in the World Hockey League Round Two, which begins in Singapore on Saturday.
The Singapore event will be the second time Haziq is playing for the senior team.
Last year, he was picked for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games following the Malaysian Hockey Confederation’s (MHC) decision to send a second-rate team.
This time, however, Haziq had a fight on his hands as all the top players were eyeing a place in the team. And he made it on merit with coach Tai Beng Hai naming him in his final 18-man squad.
For the Perak-born player, he rates this selection as the start of his senior team career.
“Yes, it is good to make the team. I am not surprised that I managed to make the cut. I had a very good outing in the recent Malaysia Hockey League and also played well in the two friendlies against Poland last week. I also managed to score three goals.
“Now the challenge for me is to keep my place in the team and be part of the senior set-up from now,” said Haziq.
One of the reasons why Haziq managed to make the team ahead of established players like Mohamed Ramadan Rosli and Mohamed Rashid Baharom is his ability to play in either the midfield or attack.
As a utility player, Haziq gives Beng Hai more options to change his combinations depending on the opposition.
“I started off as a forward, but moved down to midfield in recent years. It does not matter which position I play. The main thing is to give my best and ensure the team win. The Singapore tournament is a very crucial tournament for Malaysia as it is the start of our Olympic campaign. We must go all out to do well.
“We must make the final and qualify for Round Three (semi-finals). I am looking forward to it and hopefully it will be a fruitful outing for me personally,” said Haziq, who steered the National Juniors to a creditable fourth placing in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in 2013.
In Singapore, Malaysia are the top seeds. They are in Group A with Oman, Ukraine and Singapore. The teams in Group B are Japan, Poland, Bangladesh and Mexico.
For Haziq, he will have double duties this year as he is still a member of the National Juniors team. The juniors have two important assignments this season – the Singapore SEA Games in June and Junior Asian Cup in Kuantan in November. Besides Haziq, the other junior player in the senior team is Meor Mohamed Azuan.
The Star of Malaysia
Junior keepers and flickers to get specialised training in Europe
By S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: National Juniors coach A. Arulselvaraj will be sending his goalkeepers and penalty corner flickers for a special stint in Europe as part of their preparations for the Junior Asia Cup in November.
The stint is likely to be in Holland in late May or July.
Arulselvaraj said the stint would help the goalkeepers and flickers to raise their game a notch higher.
“Our goalkeepers are still not fully experienced yet and need more quality training time. Sending them to Holland will be good as they can learn from the top keepers. Similarly our penalty corner flickers will also benefit from the stint,” he said.
Arulselvaraj said they would identify the players for the stint once they resume training later this month.
“We have several players in mind but we need to assess all of them during the training sessions and pick the best,” he added.
Besides the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan, the National Juniors’ assignment for this year is the Singapore SEA Games from June 5-15.
The senior national team have been told to concentrate on the World Hockey League Round Three (Semi-finals) in June or July.
“Right now, we’re also preparing for the SEA Games. We may include some of the seniors dropped for the World Hockey League,” said Arulselvaraj.
He added that the National Juniors would play five matches against the Japanese Juniors in Kuala Lumpur next month before going on a playing tour of Australia in March.
“We will resume training later this month after conducting medical tests on all players,” he said.
The Star of Malaysia