Thursday, June 25, 2009


Malaysian hockey continues to target short term goals in their quest to achieve international results.

Rather then looking at a lower age group, MHF is now bent on starting a compulsory Under 18 league at state level.

And they are placing their hopes on players in this league towards a better performance in the 2013 Junior World Cup.

The decision, taken at the MHF Management Committee meeting chaired by Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah is baffling to say the least.

For there is in existence in Junior Hockey League that caters for the Under 19's hence a duplication of a league at state level will serve no purpose whatsoever.

A clear case of being penny wise and pound foolish, MHF should really be looking at developing players between the ages of 8 to 14, as that is where players pick up bad habits which prove to a bane to coaches as they move up the ranks.

Short of saying that the hockey affiliates were akin to their football brothers, as they had failed to contribute effectively towards developing players, Tengku Abdullah opted to divide the blame between the affiliates and schools.

The proposal to hold such a league was a recommendation from the Development Committee and is subject for discussion at the MHF Council meeting scheduled for next month.

If the idea is to expose the youngsters, then rightfully MHF should take a leaf out from football by enforcing a regulation for teams in the Malaysian Hockey League to field two Under 18 players at all times during a match. This will force teams to scout for talented youngsters who will get top level exposure hence speed up their maturity.

On another note, MHF should run a study as to how many states have a league, even at senior level, to start with.

Tengku Abdullah also added that finishing 12 in the Junior World Cup was due to the team being unlucky in the preliminary round stage.

He contends that losing out to Spain on goal difference was nothing to be ashamed off but reiterated that losing out on the 9th spot was disappointing to say the least.

But while the Juniors failed to achieve their target, two of their players, Faizal Saari and Marhan Jalil were selected to the Champions Challenge II which will be held in Dublin next month.