Thursday, July 30, 2009

ANOTHER DEFEAT IN AUSTRALIA, AN ILLEAGAL AFFILIATE?

It seems to be never ending, this time the Malaysian squad lost 2-0 to Australian "A" which is the development squad for Australia. The defeat comes barely 24 hours after the present MHF created history, by losing 11-3 to the first squad of Australia.

But not to despair for Malaysia can make the final if they defeat Canada on Saturday as the results of Australia "A" does not count in determining the positions.

However I wonder where is the Malaysia "B" squad that the Deputy President had publicly stated Malaysia was to form? Perhaps he is busy with leading the President up to the wrong path.

Anyway, suffice to know that one MHF affiliate has not held its AGM for five years, and this may result in the MHF elections being declared null and void, Interesting news right, lets see who figures this one out. Suffice to say I have done my homework on this and I have the required confirmation.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BE HONEST MHF


Malaysia fell to one of its heaviest defeats in recent times when Australia defeated them 11-3 in the 3 Nation Quadrangular in Canberra today. The halftime result was 9-1 and this comes barely days after the historic 1-0 win over the Aussies, a feat achieved after 15 years.

For the record, prior to this heavy defeat, Malaysia lost 9-1 to Australia in the Esanda Tournament in 1979, 8-1 at the Utrecht World Cup in 1998, another 8-1 loss was recorded in 2004 while at the 1998 Commonwealth Games final we lost 4-0.

There has been talk about a revolt in the team, initiated by a certain official who is claiming that matches are being fixed. It is more of red herring as the truth of the matter is the coach Tai Beng Hai is being targeted for removal. There is not an iota of evidence to support either theory, but the bottom line is there is a sevee problem that needs to be resolved.

Hopefully this defeat will be a wake up call for MHF and NSC. Something is wrong, believe it. But at the rate the Team Management Committee, being led or misled by the Deputy President is going, I doubt it that there is much hope to make a date for the World Cup in Delhi next year.

So be realistic HRH Tengku Abdullah, most of the officials around you may lack the courage to tell you this, forget the World Cup, focus on the 2010 Asian Games, go for gold there to make the 2012 Olympics on merit. That is the best option open to you.

And to all you MHF officials, if you have the interest of hockey at heart, be honest to the President and tell him that we will not make it to the World Cup next year. It is nothing to be ashamed of as prior to 1998, we did not play in any World Cups since Bombay in 1982, that was a gap of 16 years, so not playing for a gap of another 12 years (the last being 2002 when we hosted the World Cup) is not big shame.

Always remember this, in the last 27 years, we only played in the World Cup on merit ONCE, that too was in 1998.

The Match Report

he Kookaburras have made amends for their recent 1-0 shock loss to Malaysia, defeating them 11-3 tonight in Canberra.

The best possible start was made by the Kookaburras, with prolific striker Des Abbott opening the goal scoring account only 30 seconds into the match.

This was an ominous sign for Malaysia, with the Kookaburras showing no mercy and upcoming star Chris Ciriello extending the Kookaburras lead from a penalty corner only minutes later.

When two time world player of the year Jamie Dwyer scored immediately after, the game appeared almost over with over 70 minutes of play still remaining, the Kookaburras simply outclassing the visitors.

This was reinforced throughout the first half, with Mark Knowles, Simon Orchard and Rob Hammond scoring goals while Dwyer added his second just prior to half time, with Russell Ford also scoring two first half goals to set up a 9-1 half time lead.

In complete contrast to the fast paced first half, the goal-fest didn’t quite continue after half time, with the first goal not coming until the 52 minute mark, going to Malaysia.

Despite having the game already won the Kookaburras continued to work hard, with striker Grant Schubert scoring at the 59 minute mark while Orchard scored his second goal at the 66 minute mark.

Despite conceding a late goal with only two minutes remaining, nothing could dampen the performance of the Kookaburras as they prepare for their next game against Canada tomorrow evening in Canberra.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

AHF INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP 2009

UPDATED

The threat of disciplinary action hangs over Hockey India consequent to the withdrawal of the Indian team from the Asia Cup indoor hockey championship starting at Ipoh, Malaysia, on August 4.

India was to field the men’s and women’s teams for the championship but is reported to have pulled out putting the organising unit in an embarrassing situation.

The reasons attributed to the withdrawal are lack of preparation and financial constraints. But the AHF views the decision to withdraw as breach of discipline. It is premature to guess the stand that AHF will take on the issue. Some are hopeful that India can still fulfil its commitment to participate. India faces the possibility of a fine, if not suspension

It may have slipped the mind of the officials of the Malaysian Hockey Federation, but Ipoh is set to play host to the AHF Indoor Championships from August 3 to August 9. But then again if you keep on reading you will understand why MHF have kept this tournament a low key affair, yet again putting their President in bad light.

While the AHF Mens Indoor Championship will be in its second edition, this year the championships will also see the participation of the Womens teams.

A total of 5 countries will play in the men's category with Malaysia fielding two teams. The other countries are Iran, Uzbekistan, Thailand and India. Malaysia will be represented yet again by Sapura as Malaysia "A".

Now here is the interesting part, there is a Malaysia "B" team participating and it is under the ambit of MHF with Bukit Jalil Sports School coach S.Prakash. But the coach was only appointed on Sunday, and has barely a week to put up a decent side for the championships while Sapura had been hard at work for the last two weeks.

So what were the officials of MHF doing all these while, just looking at going on trips I suppose as Ipoh might not be a worthy trip to make, perhaps Australia and New Zealand are where they have set their sights on.

Another interesting thing is why has the MHF decided not to field players who were dropped from the Aussie/Kiwi tour as a team in the tournament and have them train from last week itself, with one of the assistant coaches taking charge?

In the women's category, the teams that have confirmed participation are Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Thailand with Malaysia fielding two teams as well and said to be coached by R. Vivekananda,

RAZAK CUP


While MAS has introduced a special menu to honour our former Prime Minister Tun Razak, the Malaysian Hockey Federation is paying scant respect to a tournament held in his honour. The 2009 edition of the Tun Razak Cup, once the prestigous event in the MHF calender has surely been sidelined by MHF, in the very year that the son of Tun Razak became the Prime Minister of the country.

This is because teams hoping to field national players in the Razak Cup next month can forget about the idea. For the national players, currently on a playing tour of Australia and New Zealand are only expected back on August 20. The Razak Cup is scheduled for August 14-21 in Kuala Lumpur.

Defending champions Kuala Lumpur have gone Dutch, roping in experienced coach Jaap Suyk as their coach. Jaap has been coaching various teams in Holland since 1975 and will be assisted by Lailin Abu Hassan. KLHA have their backs against the wall after winning only one trophy this year, the National Under 16. Though they were Sukma champions last year, they failed to even make the final of the Under 23 recently.

I.Vikneswaran who coached the KL Under 23 side will take on the challenge to whip former champions Selangor into shape for the Razak Cup. The Selangor team will be managed by state assemblyman Dato Subahan Kamal who is the Deputy President of Selangor HA and Vice President of the Selangor FA.

Former national juniors coach K.Rajan is expected to take charge of Armed Forces who under the leadership of Lt. Col B. Muthukumar have started to rope in promising youngsters into the Armed Forces.

Former international, S. Vellapan who coaches Maybank in the MHL is expected to be appointed as the Johor Razak Cup coach.

But while teams are doing their bit, the very fact that national players will not play has taken the shine of the tournament. Imagine the EPL without the national players. Even in Malaysian football, the states will kick up a storm if they are not allowed to utilise their players for domestic competitions. So why is MHF pushing their luck, or was it incompetence in drawing up the calender that led to this situation.

Talking about the calender, one would expect MHF to draw up a calender for 2010, or rather two, one with Malaysia making the World Cup, the other without Malaysia in New Delhi so that states will have ample time. But who cares, no one does these days, Ampun Tuanku....

Monday, July 27, 2009

WELL DONE BENG HAI


Congrats are in order for Tai Beng Hai and his players for the outstanding result against the Aussies last night. And before the critics want to create any doubt, Australia fielded their first team, the only exception being Jamie Dywer but then again Malaysia were without keeper S. Kumar and played with 10 men on two occassions, when Jivan Mohan and Baljit Singh were sent to the sin bin. So it is a teriffic result.

Our last win over the Aussies was achieved in the 1994 Azlan Shah Cup held in Penang where the current Assistant Coach Nor Saiful Zaini scored a hattrick. Malaysia won 3-1 and the team were, believe it or not, was coached by Volker Knapp.
While not wanting to take anything away from Beng Hai and his team, the stark reality is that Australia will be there in New Delhi for the 2010 World Cup, while we will struggle in the qualifiers this November and more then likely not make it to the Indian shore next March.
Still the win is worth savouring and hopefully some good will come out of it in the Quad that the team will play in commencing on July 29.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

MORE TO IT



Over the last week I received a SMS from an important person in the sports fraternity asking me if I had any knowledge of national hockey players being involved in match fixing. My reply was yes, that I had heard of such allegations but it was not for monetary gain but for other reasons.


So the 8-1 defeat at the hands of Australia, as reported below, did not come as a shock to me as there had been signs that some form of silent protest was being conducted, obvious to many but some in MHF were a denial mode.


Contradicting statements by the coaches of the team on why some players were omitted from the Aussie Tour did not help matters. While the Chief Coach said that the players were rested due to the fact that they played in three tournaments in the first six months of the year, his assistant was quoted in another daily as saying that the players were dropped due to poor form in the Champions Challenge Tournament in Dublin earlier this month. I will add on the quotes from the duo for readers to judge by themselves.


So was the trashing at the hands of Australia to be expected given that so many different type of stories are emerging of late. Is the decision by a senior player Azlan Misron to announce his retirement a sign that a few more will follow his footsteps? Is it because some of these players are victims of cleansing efforts by a select few? Is it because there is a concentrated effort by some to tarnish the ability of the Chief coach so that others can take over? Is there any truth to the silent protest notion?


One thing is certain though, a player who is astudent at BJSS did not fly with the team and is expected to fly to Australia to join his teamates tomorrow due to the delay in seeking approval from the Education Ministry as there is a blanket ban on students traveling due to the swine flu issue.


Why were the MHF officials slow to get the required approval or was it a case that they were not aware of such a ruling when all in the sports fraternity knew such a regulation was in place since last month? A classic case of incompetence but then again that is what MHF has become since its officials are busy playing politics to survive while hockey slides away.


Several answers are required, so Mr. Deputy President, or rather Chairman of the Team Management Committee who wants all the powers, will you care tto respond to all of this, or will you do another drama....



The Kookaburras preparation for the ABN AMRO Hockey Champions Trophy - Men 2009 tournament appears to be well on track, with Australia disposing of Malaysia in a clinical fashion tonight in Adelaide.


In what was the Kookaburras first appearance in Adelaide since 2002, the early stages of the match played out according to script, with the world number 2 Kookaburras dominating the 16th ranked Malaysian team.


Although Malaysia was able to deny the Kookaburras first penalty corner attempt, an early Australian goal appeared to be a mere formality.


After several minutes of peppering their goal, eventually the Kookaburras opened the scoring, with veteran Brent Livermore scoring at the ten minute mark.


Playing the match at a ferocious pace the Kookaburras continued to attack, and when Fergus Kavanagh scored at the 14 minute mark the signs already looked ominous for Malaysia as the Kookaburras showed no mercy.


The crowd were given further reason to cheer after a long pass from Jamie Dwyer found a diving Grant Schubert in the circle for the Kookaburras third goal of the half. As the only South Australian member of the Kookaburras squad, Schubert was understandably pleased with the goal, given that tonight was his first international match in front of his home crowd.


Malaysia seemingly settled following the initial Kookaburras onslaught, but again the class of the Kookaburras proved too strong, with home town hero Grant Schubert scoring his second goal of the match just minutes before half time.


Things didn’t improve for Malaysia after half time, with young Victorian Chris Ciriello continuing his good form from a recent European tour to convert the Kookaburras’ first penalty corner for the evening.


In a sign of how bad Malaysia’s night was going, the Kookaburras next goal came via a penalty corner shot which although initially stopped by the goalkeeper, somehow still found its way to the back of the net.


Only minutes later the Kookaburras recorded their seventh goal, with Malaysia leaving Jamie Dwyer unchecked in the circle at their peril with the two time player of the year making easy work of his one on one with the goalkeeper.


Despite trailing heavily on the scoreboard Malaysia continued to persist, eventually getting some reward when a well worked ball penetrated the Kookaburras defence at the 62 minute mark via Ismail Abu.


The Kookaburras responded immediately, with Ciriello scoring his second goal of the night from a penalty corner to seal a convincing victory for the Kookaburras.



The Kookaburras will play Malaysia again in Adelaide on Sunday 26 July before facing off again against Malaysia, Canada and Australia A in Canberra from Wednesday 29 July until Sunday 3 August.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

CONFUSING MHL or MHF


There are press reports stating that the UniKL team will be participating in the Malaysia Hockey League later this year.

Firstly some clarification is in order, will there be a MHL is yet to be determined as Malaysia is to play in the World Cup Qualifiers in a yet to be determined venue this November. It could be France, New Zealand or a third venue that those gifted people in FIH have yet to determine.

Assuming the league is ON, the decision taken by MHF to rebrand or rather restructure the MHL was as follows : there will be four divisions, the Premier Division, First Division, Second Division and Third Division.

Teams from the Malaysian Junior Hockey League were required to play in the Second and Third Divisions and the top six teams from last year's MHL were to play in the Premier Division, joined by the top two teams from Division One.

The Division Oone teams comprised of clubs that were desirous of playing in the top flight and had to finish in the top two spot to make the grade to the Premier Division.

So far so clear. But wait, now we have UniKl stating that they are playing in the MHL and have secured sponsors as well to fund their ambition, given credibility by none else but the MHF President.

Has all the President's men failed to advice him that this is not inline with the decision made by MHF Competitions Committee and approved by the Council?

Another interesting factor has since emerged, who is UniKL affiliated to? Checks with KLHA revealed that UniKL is not affliated to them so how can a non affiliated club announce that they are in MHL and for that matter why did not the advisors, be it from the club or MHF avoid placing His Royal Highness in such a situation.

UNDER 23 TITLE - MALACCA'S ON A SILVER PLATE

The Under 23 Tournament will showcase the final between Johor and hosts Malacca tomorrow (Sunday) and I expect Malacca to edge Johor. For the record the two teams drew 2-2 in their preliminary round match last Monday.

Why am I certain that Malacca will win? Simply because the match officials will lose their guts and blow Johor's chances away. The match between KL and Malacca was enough evidence to convince me.

On the other hand, despite losing 3-0 to Johor, the Project Side showed much promise and can be developed further if given the right exposure. Hence they should be fielded in the MHL later this year as well if I can give my two cents worth.

My story last night which I was unable to upload due to connection problems.

Johor will take on hosts Malacca in the final of the U23 Tournament this Sunday after they defeated their respective opponents in contrasting styles. Malacca edged KL 1-0 while Johor defeated the 2013 Project Side 3-0.

Both teams were cautious in the opening 15 minutes and failed to create any clear cut goal scoring chances.The Project Squad were awarded two penalty corners in quick succession in the 17th and 18th minutes but made no headway.

Johor took the lead a minute before halftime when Hang Edzharsyah Hang Tuah was left unmarked in the semicircle and had the simplest task of sending a reverse hit stick into goal.

Edzharsyah showed good individual skills in the 48th minute and won a penalty corner. Mohd Sybrie Shamsuddin duly sent in a low drag flick to put Johor 2-0 ahead.

The Project Team then started playing as a team to stretch the Johor defence but failed to find the elusive final touch that could have narrowed the deficit. Edzharsyah then made sure of Johor"s place in the final when he deflected in a cross in the 62nd minute.

In the other semi final, Malacca upstaged favourites Kuala Lumpur 1-0 through a 4th minute goal scored by skipper Nazmi Kamaruddin.

Though the city lads created numerous chances and were awarded seven penalty corners, they failed to capitalise on it and were also victims of dubious decisions by the umpires.

Though KL were more superior in every department, they were let down by poor finishing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

THE LOW DOWN OF UNDER 23



The National Under 23 Tournament is currently under way in Malacca. Only 10 teams, of which 9 are affiliates of the Malaysian Hockey Federation are participating, namely Penang, Perak, Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur, Armed Forces, Pahang, Johor, Negri Sembilan and hosts Malacca. The 10th team is the National Under 18 team, or as some have branded it the Project 2013 squad.

The worrying part is that 7 affiliates of MHF, Perlis, Kedah, Selangor, PDRM,Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak failed to participate in the tournament. This should be a cause of concern for the MHF office bearers as it is their responsibility to ensure maximum participation especially since the U23 was catered for Sukma 2010 which will be held in Malacca as well.

MHF announced a RM5,000 subsidy for teams after the Council Meeting last Saturday, the day the tournament got underway in Malacca. Why the announcement was made on that day is baffling but if one takes a look at the circumstances, then the truth will emerge. For some personalities within MHF had wanted to appease the affiliates, so as to qwell a rumour about a motion of no confidence as reported in the main stream media.

Why was there no announcement of the subsidy, or even a discussion held on the matter, when the MHF Management Committee met after the Junior World Cup last month? If the announcement or approval was made at that material time, teams like Kedah and Selangor could have participated.

So was it more of a political mileage or genuine concern on the affairs of the affiliates that led to such a subsidy being approved on the very day the tournament was to commence?

Next we have the issue of the National Under 18 Team using apparel of another brand despite being provided with attire from the MHF Official sponsors.

It seems that the MHF Deputy President had provided all teams with a set of jersey from the other sponsor with MHF providing a set of jersey from their official sponsor. If the intention was noble to start with, then the Deputy President ought to have secured the second set from the MHF sponsors as well.

Putting that aside, to compel the National Under 18 Team to wear apparel from another sponsor is breach of terms of contract, if a contract exists that is. Over to you Chairman of the Special Projects Committee to sort this out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

SUHAIMI KEEPS ON WAITING


Suhaimi Ibrahim was well known for his burst of speed and had the knack of scoring some outrageous goals during his career. He gave his very best when donning the national jersey, capped a total of 118 times.

But all the 31 year old is left now is with memories of his playing days and a sackfull of empty promises. For despite calling it quits in 2001, Suhaimi has yet to received his dues from the Malaysian Hockey Federation, said to be amounting to RM20,000.

That is the amount MHF owe this Maybank officer as his retirement fund.

"I have been waiting for eight years and it has been one promise after another," said Suhaimi when met in Malacca where he was watching the NS and Penang match.

"Hashim (MHF Secretary) told me a year ago that he will look into my plight but has since avoided me. It has been one lie after another and I am really fed-up about the whole matter."

The father of four boys who hails from Gemencheh first made his mark when representing Sekolah Men Dato Mohd Taha Gemencheh in the Champions Schools tournament before donning the YNS colours in the Junior League. He currently works for Maybank and has been their key player in the MHL.

Suhaimi said that some of the former players who played alongside him had promised to help secure the dues from MHF. And the Negri Sembilan State Hockey Association too has turned a deaf ear to his plight.

"Who is genuine in helping me as even my own state hockey association has turned a deaf ear. My friends are avoiding me as my call and SMS was never answered. I feel sad that those who said they wanted to help me are now keeping quiet despite holding important positions," said Suhaimi.

We often hear about footballers not being paid their dues and hockey has got into the act. So will the MHF President please look into this as it obvious that his downliners are incompetent.

Friday, July 17, 2009

WILL THE REAL MANAGER PLEASE STAND UP



Now this is not for the faint hearted. For trying figure this riddle might lead to congestion in your chest and a possible heart attack. So do not say I did not warn you...read on at your own risk.

Just who is the Team Manager of the Malaysian Football Team, and by that I mean the SENIOR National Team.

After Dato Soh Chin Aun was told to walk the plank with coach B. Sathianathan, many implied that YB KJ was the Manager.

But then in February FAM announced that Dato Capt Gulzar Ahmad was the Senior Team Manager with Dato Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad as the Under 23 Team Manager. So the confusion stopped, albeit for a month or two.

Next we find out that the Malaysian Team for the match against Manchester United will be managed by Dato Redzuan, so what happened to Dato Gulzar.

And I have now learnt that YB Dato Subahan Kamal, a VP of Selangor FA is the Assistant Team Manager for the National Senior Team. And mind you Dato Redzuan is still the team mnager of Harimau Muda, a team that the Ministry of Youth & Sports were to manage.

Now who will manage the team to Sea Games, obviously Dato Redzuan, so where does that leave Dato Subahan? And luckily the swine flu came to our rescue and Pestabola Merdeka was called off for then we will be guessing who the Manager was to be.

WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH?


Below is a story I picked up from Zimbanwe Independant. Since Manchesr United is looking for a team to play Monday, lets send a club team to play them. I know a shop that sells national jerseys...

THE saga in which local premiership champions Monomotapa posed as Zimbabwe's national football team on a tour of Malaysia took another turn last night with spokesmen for the two football associations issuing contrasting statements.

A Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) official was quoted by the Malaysian press as saying Zifa had confirmed sending the Warriors for the two friendlies, which the Malaysians won 4-0 and 1-0, while in an interview with IndependentSport last night, Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya insisted that the Malaysians were informed of Monomotapa's visit in place of the Warriors.

FAM, which has been fire-fighting since it was discovered that the team donning the Zimbabwe national team kit was in fact a club side, has not replied to questions sent by this paper.

FAM were initially silent on the issue, but when confronted by local journalists on Wednesday they were forced to speak out.

"Look at this letter and tell me what you understand from it," FAM general secretary Datuk Azzudin told the media.

"It states clearly they are sending their national team. From one national FA to another, there has to be mutual respect. When we are told that this is their national team, we take their word for it. We do not question it because that would be questioning their integrity."

Rushwaya yesterday said her association had not deceived the Malaysians in their effort to help Monoz with preparations for their African Champions League mini-league phase opener with Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia on Sunday in Harare.

"We received the invitation from FAM on Thursday and we only had four hours to confirm since the team had to fly out on Friday," Rushwaya said.

"We responded immediately saying we were interested in accepting the offer. We didn't immediately say we were sending the national team. The next thing was to go back to do our in-house planning. The Malaysians were only paying for accommodation, food, laundry and local transport, so we then decided that we didn't have funds for air-tickets on such short notice. We then gave the offer to Monomotapa, who agreed to tour."

Rushwaya blamed bad communication for not relaying the Monomotapa decision on time, but said a letter explaining the move was sent with club official Bhekitemba Ndlovu. Rushwaya said she did not sign the letter because she was on leave.

IndependentSport saw a copy of the letter, which reads:

"We would like to confirm that our association has not been able to come up with the official representative national team of Zimbabwe to fulfil this friendly match.

"The reason for this is that the majority of our foreign-based players are back at their bases for pre-season training and assembling a national team of locally-based players will disrupt our domestic premiership season, which is resuming this week after a two-week break."

The invitation was duly given to Monomotapa, who accepted it.

But the question that will be raised is how Monoz managed to travel when they are struggling to foot costs for their African Champions League campaign.

A top club official, Solomon Mugavazi, who is also a Zifa board member, travelled with the team to Kuala Lumpur.

Reads the letter by Rushwaya: "Monomotapa are a Harare-based club who are the current champions of Zimbabwe and are coached by Rodwell Dhlakama, who was in charge of the Zimbabwe Under 17 team during the successful qualifying process of the 2009 African Youth Championship.

"Monomotapa have also qualified for the mini-league phase of the CAF Champions League and are preparing for a game against Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia."

Yet while in Malaysia, Monomotapa assistant coach Taurayi Mangwiro is said to have postured as the Zimbabwe assistant coach during a press conference.

He said: "Since we have failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, we will now gather again and train hard for our coming international (friendly) matches."

Rushwaya further denied that her association could have connived with Monomotapa to masquerade as Zimbabwe by wearing the Warriors' first-choice yellow and green strip.

"Yes the kit was not branded, but Monomotapa had no mandate whatsoever to use that kit," she said. "Heads are certainly going to roll, and we are not mincing our words on that. They will be summoned to a disciplinary committee," she said.

Monomotapa officials claimed they bought the kit from a local sportswear shop.

Malaysia used the matches to prepare for their match against English Premiership champions Manchester United.

WHO WILL YOU SUPPORT?



Manchester United have called off their match in Indonesia after bomb blasts hit the hotel they were due to stay in.

United chief executive David Gill indicated the team might extend their stay in Malaysia but would consult the country's football association before announcing a decision.

"We could bring the Indonesian team here (in Kuala Lumpur). We'll go through all the different possibilities and evaluate which is the most appropriate.

"There are lots of things to be done before we sort out the logistics for the rest of the week.

"We have to consider the safety of the players and the staff and everyone else in the team because they are of paramount importance. We have taken the appropriate advice. It is not a decision we have taken lightly."

The squad arrived in Kuala Lumpur ahead of Saturday's clash against a Malaysia XI and were set to face an Indonesia All Star side on Monday.

At least nine people were killed and 48 injured in the attacks in Jakarta. Monday's match in Jakarta had been a 100,000 sell-out, with the club due to stay in the city's Ritz-Carlton for four nights.

"We are working on a revised itinerary outside Indonesia with the promoters and we will make a further announcement when these decisions have been made," said MU in a statement.

"We are deeply disappointed at not being able to visit Indonesia and thank the Indonesian FA and our fans for their support. Our thoughts go to all those affected by the blasts."

EARLIER POSTING

Manchester United will touch down in an hours time, and they take on the Malaysian Selection tomorrow at 5.30pm at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil. From the time they set foot on Malaysia, the United players will be subject a whole list of PR activities for their sponsors and promoters.

It is not the match that I want to talk about but rather the training session scheduled for 5.30pm today at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

It has been widely reported that some 50,000 fans have been provided with training passes to watch United train at 5.30pm. That is far more then what the Malaysia Cup Final crowd last season.

But just how many of them will stay back and watch the Malaysian team training at 7.00pm at the same venue.

No doubt the Stadium tomorrow will see a sea of red shirts, supporting The Devils, but where is our national pride or is it just limited to the battle cry Malaysia Boleh.

Will the top brass of FAM don the Malaysian jersey as they are seated in the VVIP box, the same applies to the host of invitees FAM had invited for the match? FAM could have stated attire: Malaysian Jersey instead of smart casual.

However I know of one FAM top gun who is a staunch Man United supporter who intends to sit with the crowd and hopefully wear the Malaysian Jersey.

AS for me, I am a staunch supporter of ABU Club, which stands for ANYTEAM BUT UNITED..

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

ISMAIL & KELVINDER OUT of AUSSIE TOUR


Malaysia could well be without two of their key players as they embark on a Tour of Australia next week.

The duo, Ismail Abu and Kelvinder Singh picked up knocks in the semi final loss against Ireland in the Champions Challenge last week and may not recover in time for the trip which will see the team up against Australia in two Test matches at Adelaide before moving on to Canberra where they are scheduled to play in a 4 Nation Invitational that comprises of Australia, Canada and the Australian back up squad.

In revealing this, team manager George Koshy said that the two players will undergo treatment at the National Sports Institute to gauge the extent of the injuries and it was more then likely that they will be ommitted from the squad to Australia.

"Ismail has a swollen knee while Kelvinder has problems with his ankle and thigh,"said George.

"It was against Ireland that they picked up the injuries and Ismail was not in the team for the placing match. I do hope they recover fast but we will not rush them as the World Cup qualifiers are more important.

George also defended the team's performance at the Champion Challenge, despite the fact that the team failed to achieve the target to finish as champions.

"The detractors need to see the matches and not make assumptions with regards to the performance,"contends George.

"We were not as sharp as we hoped to be, especially infront of goal and that cost us dear. But more importantly it gave the coaches further insights with regards to the areas we need to imp-rove upon before November.

And in a bgreak form convention, George and coach Tai beng Hai are expected to face the media in the next few days to answer questions with regards to the teams performance in Dublin as well as show videos of the matches for the benefit of the Malaysian media.

On his position as Team Manager, which has come under scrutiny from several quarters, George said that he had no intention of running away from the duties entrusted to him.

"Should MHF feel that they need a change in management and want me to vacate my position, I will do so,"said George.

ALEX IS THE MAN

Alexander Soosay of Malaysia was confirmed by the AFC Executive Committee as the new General Secretary of the Asian football governing body on Wednesday.

Soosay, 48, takes over from Dato Paul Mony Samuel whose resignation was accepted by the AFC Executive Committee.

AFC Assistant General Secretary and Director of Education Hasan Al Sabah of Bahrain, 47, has been promoted to the position of Deputy General Secretary.

Soosay headed the administration in the capacity of the Acting General Secretary in the recent past when Dato Paul Mony Samuel was recuperating on sick leave.alex

Both the new General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary are respected in football circles worldwide for their knowledge of the game and the practical aspects involved in running it.

Soosay is an AFC veteran, having headed several key departments during his 14-year-long career. The Malaysian has played and coached at the national level and was Executive Secretary of the Negeri Sembilan Football Association before joining AFC in 1994.

Well-known as a hands-on organiser, Soosay was involved in the AFC Asian Cups of 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2007, and the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Championship, 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

HassanAl Sabah is known for establishing AFC’s Education Policies and ushering in a new era of learning. The former Bahrain national team player holds a BA in Physical Education and a Professional Diploma in Coaching from UEFA/AFC and is a veteran FIFA Course Coordinator and FIFA Coaching Technical Advisor.

Al Sabah joined AFC in 2004 and has risen steadily since then.

Monday, July 13, 2009

IT IS A ROUGH ROAD THAT LEADS TO THE HEIGHTS OF GREATNESS


Excuses for failure, excuses about your choices in life, excuses about what you feel you have accomplished fuel dysfunctional thinking – and consequently, undesirable actions and behaviors.

Making excuses instead of taking one hundred percent responsibility for your actions, your thoughts, and your goals is the hallmark of people who fail to succeed.

Part of the power of taking responsibility for your actions is that you silence the negative, unhelpful voice in your head.

That will the advice to the management and coaching set up of the National team as they return from another poor outing, a dismal 4th placing in what is perceived as the 3rd Division of World Hockey.

The focus now will be on the type of remedies, if any that the Malaysian Hockey Federation will try to arrest the steady decline of our hockey fortunes. Much has een documented, seminars held, heads have rolled, but the sad part is nothing has really changed.

Without hands on leadership, most strategic plans will end up as dead pieces of paper as cynicism increases when those in the lower echelon see that the plan is being ignored, or even violated.

The outcome of this is that genuine leaders suffer a loss of credibility. And this can best describe the happenings at the Malaysian Hockey Federation.

It is an open secret that Malaysian hockey fraternity is divided, for some years but the divide became wider last year. There was some good that came out of it, but many are aware that personal interests were put ahead of the nation in the clamor for change.

Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah is in a difficult situation but not in a hopeless position. For he can either play to the gallery, as has been the case for the past few months, or take the bold move to end the various conflicts, be it within the MHF hierarchy or the various teams.

To him I offer this advice, “part of the power of optimism is the result of changing the outlook of the little voice in your head. Constantly looking at the negative and seeing no options when situations go awry, negative self-talk limits your success. Positive self-talk expands your ability to achieve, to learn, and to accomplish.

An optimistic belief in yourself and your capabilities to positively impact situations, even ones that appear negative, fuels success.

While some may feel that it would be naive to think the Tengku Abdullah can end this “conflict” within his own set-up, it can help defuse the contagion of mini-conflicts based on clan, camp or personal differences, which fuel civil wars within MHF.

But at the same time force, even in the name of honor, is always tragic as he may have to let some of those who brought him into MHF go. That is why it is important that he use the strength of wisdom and conscience. Only that power can nurture peace in this difficult time for Malaysian hockey.

From the national context, hockey could be used as a tool to help build a culture of peace and tolerance by bringing people together on common ground, across national and other boundaries, to promote understanding and respect, and Malaysia is testimony to that fact.

Lets truly practice the 1Malaysia concept rather then just preach about it.

Lets roll....


AHF YET TO DECIDE ON CHAMPIONS TROPHY


There has been no formal request made by the Pakistan Hockey Federation to the Asian Hockey Federation to cancel the Asian Champions Trophy.

The inaugural tournament was to be held in Lahore this September and media reports originating from Pakistan had reported the PHF was requesting to move the tournament to another date citing a tight hockey calendar.

However AHF Secretary Tan Sri P. Alangendra confirmed that he had yet to hear from PHF with regards to moving the tournament.

“As of today the AHF has not received any formal notification from PHF,” said Alagendra.

“Infact it is not on the agenda for the AHF Council meeting scheduled for July 25 in China. This matter could well be brought up by Pakistan at the meeting and we will make a decision there.”

The tournament would have been perfect preparation for the likes of Pakistan, Japan, China and Malaysia as they prepare for the World Cup Qualifiers scheduled for November this year.

CHAOS 1

If the story below is true, then someone in FAM stands accused of hoodwinking the Malaysian public.

Not only does his action smear the good name of FAM but more importantly puts a dent on the credibility of FAM and its President Sultan Ahmad Shah.

The culprit or culprits should clarify and reveal the truth, for a mere denial of the story below will not help. While not one who wants to accuse anyone of something they may not have done, as the official/s could have been misled by an agent who arranged the match (since FAM is fond of resorting to such means), the truth must prevail.

Con deal?

Checks reveal that it was not Zimbabwe national team but more a club sides
Monday, July 13th, 2009 06:59:00

WAS it really the Zimbabwean national team? Or was it a club side from the African continent? Malaysia hosted “Zimbabwe” in an international friendly, recognised by Fifa, at the Cheras Stadium yesterday.

The hosts won 4-0.

However, checks on various Zimbabwean news portals including The Zimbabwe Independent, NewZimbabwe.com and Zimbabwe Telegraph revealed that the list of 18 players are those of past year’s Zimbabwean league champions Monomotapa United FC. The Harare based team even brought their latest signing Tendai Gwata.

The Herald, in its online report published on July 11, read: “Monomotapa are scheduled to play two friendly matches in Malaysia during their trip.”

This is ahead of their African Champions League clash against Tunisian outfit Etoile du Sahel at Rufaro on July 19. Malaysia are expected to entertain their guests at Shah Alam Stadium tomorrow (5.30pm).

When asked, Monomotapa coach Rodewell Dhlakama, who was registered as the Zimbabwean head coach, claimed: “Yes, I am from Monomotapa but only four players in this team are from the club.”

Zimbabwe have changed their line-up in their previous international matches. Only two names, Charles Chiutsa and Asani Nhongo have seen action against Oman and Jordan respectively. National coach K. Raja-gobal, however, kept mum over the subject.

“I was told that this is the Zimbabwean national team. I will need to check on this and only then I can speak my mind over the matter,” said Rajagobal. “They should play well. They are representing their nation after all.”

CHAOS 2

The saga of the MHF Coaching Committee continues with two newspapers, namely The New Straits Times and The Malay Mail providing detailed reports on the issue.

What happened at the meeting should not come as a shock as many had questioned the direction the Coaching Committee had taken after the MHF Council appointed the Chairman.

MHF President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmd Shah has his hands full, right from these issues to the performance of the National Senior Squad, whose outing in the Champions Challenge was nothing short of a disaster.

Messy Hockey Federation
Chaos reigned in ‘illegal’ meeting
Monday, July 13th, 2009

Dr Balbir Singh

UPSET: Dr Balbir set to officially resign today

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) are in a quandary. All the committees set up after the biennial general meeting (BGM) last December may be illegal.

Two committees held their meetings on Saturday and what transpired at the Coaching Committee meeting opened a big can of worms.

The other committee that met was the Competitions Committee. The secretary of the Coaching Committee R. Vivekanandan was removed and in protest the chairman, Dr Balbir Singh Gill, reportedly resigned.

However, after announcing his resignation, Dr Balbir returned to the table to continue with the meeting but grapevine has it that he will tender his official resignation today. Attempts to get Dr Balbir yesterday were futile.

Vivekanandan declined comment until he had spoken with Dr Balbir. However, others present at the meeting said the meeting was chaotic.

“The legal position of virtually all the committees has been brought into question,” said a source. “The MHF constitution states the Coaching Committee should comprise the chairman of coaching committee from all the States. But that’s not the case here. A number of the members were nominees of the chairman.

“We have no problem with that but to accommodate that the constitution must first be changed.”

However, some others claimed when they were represented by the chairman from all the States, the committees rarely functioned.

“Look at this instance. Even in the present set-up, the chairman of one particular State coaching committee lives and works in Kuala Lumpur. How is he ever going to help his State?

“It is a farce to insist only the State chairmen can sit in this committee so that the States will be properly represented,” he asked.

The MHF council will meet on Saturday and the president, Tengku Abdullah Shah, has told all the committee heads that he wants progress reports. Most committees have never met even once and have scheduled their meetings over the last weekend and the next few days. They are all expected to submit reports “just to impress the President”.

“They are all rushing to hold meetings just to show they’ve been working. Look at this mess. The Coaching Committee and all the other committees were formed six months ago.

“There was ample time for the States to voice their unhappiness or bring it up with the president at previous council meetings. Someone should have advised him, or at least made him aware of the constitution.

“Now they are all protesting and this means we have wasted six months,” said one member.

To change the constitution now, however, will be a longdrawn process as this can only be done at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

Tengku Abdullah returns from Dublin — where he witnessed another Malaysian hockey holocaust — this morning. He could well be returning to a limbless association.


SLIP SLIDING AWAY


Slip sliding away, slip sliding away You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away…….

Upon returning from supper last night, my friend asked me if there was a third division in world hockey.

This came about when I told him that Malaysia did the unthinkable, which is losing to France 3-4 in the 3/4th placing match of the Champions Challenge II in Dublin.

When I told him that the Champions Challenge II was akin to the third division he almost had a heart attack.

That is the stark reality of Malaysian hockey, coming a year after the clamor for change by some quarters that led to a somewhat new MHF being voted in last October.

Effectively we are now 18th in the world, put aside the points gained or lost in the world hockey rankings.

There is the Champions Trophy for the top six nations, followed by the Champions Challenge I for the next eight teams and we finished 4th in the Champions Challenge II, thus I place Malaysia in the 18th spot, on merit.

Losing to France is not something new, something I am certain MHF Deputy President Nur Azmi Ahmad will concur as we had lost 4-2 (or was it 4-1) to France in the qualifiers in China in 2006.

But the whole point is we are in a sorry state of affairs, our juniors finished in the 12th spot a month ago and now we are losing to the likes of Ireland and France.

Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan The informations unavailable to the mortal man Were workin our jobs, collect our pay Believe were gliding down the highway, when in fact were slip sliding away

Irish brew of French toast anyone?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

DUMPED YET AGAIN




There was much pressure on the Malaysian team before the Champions Challenge II in Dublin. And they succumbed to the pressure put on them by the Malaysian Hockey Federation by going down 2-1 to Ireland in the semi final last night.

While the Malaysian camp will be ruing an opportunity lost, as Malaysia has not won a note worthy international tournament since it started participating, one Malaysian will be rejoicing, though with a tinge of sadness.

Arul Antoni Selvaraj could well have added another sad chapter for Malaysian hockey as he helped his Irish team inflict a demoralising defeat on the Malaysian team that were targetted to win the tournament.

But Arul was honest enough to admit that though Ireland had won, personally it was a sad day for him.

"It was mixed feeling, feeling great for myself but sad for my Malaysian friends and particularly Malaysian Hockey," said Arul via email to this blogger.

"My target as I left Malaysia in March 2005 was to learn as much hockey knowledge and expose to a different hockey culture, to win medals and to be back home after 5 years.

"As for Malaysia they are technically they are very good, have super pace and great age group mixtures. But I think they lack on field leaders and the players are not playing to their maximum individual strength."

What Arul says makes sense but will anyone act on it? But the damage is immense, not because we did not win the tournament, but because of the fact that failing to make the final and winning it has put a big dent on the aspirations and hopes of the MHF President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah who wanted Malaysia to be ranked in the top 12 by next year.

That sadly Your Royal Highness will not happen as we failed to gain promotion into the next eight bracket, that is the Champions Challenge I. Failure if not addressed correctly will lead to a steady decline.

Ireland scored goal in 4th minute and Malaysia equalised in the 20th minute through Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin. Ireland went 2-1 ahead eight minutes from time.

Ireland will take on Poland who defeated France 3-1, coming from a goal down to clinch their place in the final.

A bit of info about Poland first though, they maybe ranked low but as so far as Indoor Hockey is concerned they are number two in Europe. They have only two towns playing hockey, Poznan and Siemianowice Slaskie.

In terms of competitions, Poland has two men senior leagues - 10 teams in first, 7 in second. In women competition there are 5 teams only. Food for thought MHF?

Japan and Russia will square off for the 5th-6th placing tomorrow after defeating Austria and Chile respectively. Japan won 4-2 while Russia won 2-1.

HIGH DRAMA AT MHF


Two of the MHF Sub-Committees held their meeting today, one well over due while the other meets regularly but the end result of the two meetings was confusing and baffling to say the least.

Lets take a look at the Coaching Committee meeting which saw tables being thumped by several of its members, ome abstaining in voting, while others were emotional, all towards making a point. The very fact was that the meeting itself was long overdue but what happened at the three hour long meeting saw an interesting turn of events.

For starters the members removed the Secretary of the Coaching Committee though the Chairman maintained he had the privilege to appoint the Secretary of the Committee. Prior to this the Chairman was told by MHF to remove some names from his Standing Committee. It seems the Chairman was unhappy and walked out only to return later. Whether the Chairman had the right or the Members were correct, the Secretary in question has proven that he is a capable worker.

Next was the pro-longed argument on the status of Juniors Coach K. Rajan. While one state representative was adamant that Rajan not be retained, others were of the opinion that Rajan should be given a chance to helm the Juniors for the 2013 challenge as he had done a relatively good job.

The Coaching Committee also requested the Council to review the appointment of coaches of the various teams, thus the stage is set for an intriguing battle over the next few months. I rather leave it at that and await a formal MHF announcement by MHF as to what transpired at the meeting.

Next was the Competition Committee. And this is where the baffling decisions were made which even I find hard to understand.

The Committee rejected the participation of the National Under 18 team for the National Under 23 Championships scheduled to be held in Malacca, commencing on July 18. By the way the groupings for the tournament are - Group A - Kuala Lumpur, Armed Forces, Perak, Terengganu and Project Under 16while Group B comprises of Negri Sembilan, Penang, Johor, Selangor, Pahang and Malacca.

Their reasoning was that the states were not informed early about the participation of the Under 18 team in that tournament thus depriving them of several players. If that was the case then who decided on the U18 team participation and when was the decision made? So to be fair, the committee allowed the Under 16 team to participate instead.

Next came a fatal blow to having a good working relationship with the Ministry of Education. The Committee decided to hold the Champions school Tournament from 1 to 8 August in Kuala Lumpur, thus clashing with the Premier Schools Tournament to be held in Kuantan from the 7-9th August.

With this decision, the likes of Anderson will have to decided where to participate and teams like English College, High School Malacca and TBSS may miss the Champions schools if they emerge Champions in the South Zone Premier Schools Tournament to be held next week.

Didn't I hear some say that it is schools that kill hockey? Well it is obvious now who pull the trigger. Another High Chaparal in the making....

Friday, July 10, 2009

FIH RANKINGS


Malaysia will take on hosts Ireland in the semi final of the Champions Challenge this Saturday in Dublin.

Though the results of the two friendlies did not favour Malaysia, losing the first 2-1 and drawing the second 2-2, Malaysia will be the favourites to make Sunday's final where they are expected to cross swords with Poland, a team that denied India a place in the semi finals of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. But that is another story.

The focus by the Team Coach and MHF has been winning the Champions Challenge and moving up the rankings. However that will not be the case even if we emerge Champions in Dublin as we are to far behind the other teams at present.

Malaysia is currently ranked 16 in the FIH rankings with 965 points. Lets focus on the rankings between 11 and 20 with the list as follows.

11 - Canada - 1147 points
12 - India - 1075 points
13 - China - 1070 points
14 - Japan - 1030 points
15 - South Africa - 1010 points
16 - Malaysia - 965 points
17 - France - 813 points
18 - Ireland - 693 points
19 - USA - 620 points
20 Poland - 530 points

The points available in Dublin are 120, 110,100,95,90,85,80,75 in that order for the Champions to the eight placed team. So even with 120 points as Champions we move to 1085 points and Japan who are on 1030 points can collect a minimum 75 points if they finish last and will get a total of 1105 points, thus they remain above us.

So we can move up to 13th in the World Rankings, albeit temporary, if we win the tournament pushing India and China down to 14th & 15th places respectively with Japan in 12th spot.

But things will change again later this year with teams like Canada, India, China, Argentina, Belgium, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa playing in the Champions Challenge 1 and the minimum points available for the eight ranked team there is 110 points.

Match report of MAS v Russia below

Malaysia entered this match as favourites but it was a game that went down to the wire, Malaysia only securing victory in the final four minutes with the best goal of the match, ensuring that they now top Pool B playing their semi final match at 5pm on Saturday against hosts Ireland who lost 3-2 to Poland.

France took second spot in Group B when they defeated Austria 5-2 and play Poland in the other semi final.

Malaysia opened the scoring in the 8th minute with Ismail Abu getting the tap in off a short corner drag flick. The Malaysians continued to dominate and create chances but when they conceeded two consecutive short corners in the 19th minute which was the golden chance for Russia to equalise but a sturdy Malaysian defence stood strong. Malaysia secured their second goal with five minutes to go when an initial great shot was saved and luck was on the Malaysian side and the rebound attempt by Mohd Hanafi trickled over the line.

Russia came out fighting in the second half and hunting for goals the first of which came in the 42nd minute of play when marksman Sergeev was on hand once again to demonstrate his drag flicking abilities to put his side within one goal. Russia were on parity just sixty seconds later when a tired looking Malaysian defence allowed Russia to open up space to secure a soft reverse stick effort which bobbled into the goal from Mamoshkin.

Despite this renewed energy and surge from Russia it was Malaysia who took the lead once again in the 53rd minute when a penalty corner rebound put Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin in a position to chip the sliding keeper but Russia were once again quick to respond four minutes later when Sergeev drag flicked once again to level at three all.

The remainder of the match ensued with end to end attacking style hockey as both sides hunted for the winner putting on display the most exciting hockey of the match, but it was Malaysia whose persistence paid off when Saari found space at the top left of the circle to fire home off the back foot high into the net leaving the keeper with no chance.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

AK DENIES, SO IS IT TUN DAIM?

Malaysian billionaire rules out bid for United





MALAYSIAN billionaire Ananda Krishnan is NOT attempting to buy Newcastle United, it emerged today.

The reclusive Krishnan - worth an estimated $7.4bn - has been linked with a bid for the stricken club.

However, in a statement issued on his behalf, Krishnan denies he is part of the bidding process, and the identity of those in talks with investment bankers Seymour Pierce remains a mystery.

It read: "A story was carried on 4 July 2009 in various newspapers in England that Mr Ananda Krishnan or companies owned by Mr Krishnan had expressed an interest in purchasing Newcastle United Football Club and that his representatives had been engaged in talks to explore or even conclude such a deal.

"There is in fact no truth or foundation to this story.

"Mr Krishnan has not expressed an interest in purchasing Newcastle United Football Club, has not sent any delegation to Newcastle to engage in such talks or authorised any representatives to negotiate on his behalf and is not considering any such purchase."

However, the consortium which visited the club's training ground yesterday for a second time is understood to be from Malaysia.

And the country's sports minister, Datur Ahmad Shabery Cheek, backed a Malaysian bid. He said: "We should be proud if it really happens. It's not impossible and I hope it goes
Click on thumbnail to view image
Click on thumbnail to view image
Click on thumbnail to view image

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

WHERE NOW MHF?


Malaysian Hockey will come under the microscope once again in the middle of this month when the MHF holds their Council Meeting. Not that we expect any major changes or shift in policy matters, let alone expecting the stakeholders (being the affiliates) to question the decisions made by the Management Committee or other Sub-Committees over the past few months.

Consider this, Malaysia played hosts to three major tournaments over the space of three months, the Azlan Shah Cup Tournament, the Asia Cup and the Junior World Cup. But not one seminar or course was held during these tournaments, thus a wasted opportunity for those who could have picked up a thing or two from a host of world hockey experts who visited our shores. We could have held a coaching, umpiring, technical, development or even medical seminar/courses but none were held, and despite there being voices of discontent in the corridors, none of them will raise it during the Council Meeting.

A flurry of meetings by the Sub-Committees are being lined up this weekend, leading up to the Council Meeting, so that it will "seem" that these sub committees were actually doing work, when all they have done is sleeping on the job. They may have their reasons, but then again it could be sheer "tidak apa" attitude, and this contributes towards the decline of hockey in the country. Those on the committees have been entrusted with a responsibility and if it lack of support from the administration that is causing them to shy away, then they ought to speak up or walk away.

The Wawasan and Consultative Committees were to go through the proposal of the 102 Ex-Internationals, but they have not met since late last year.The composition of these committees is also in doubt following the resignation of the likes of Mirnawan Nawawi, George Koshy and Maninderjit Singh. Then we have the Development Committee which has yet to come out with a sound program despite having a capable chairman in the likes of Ken Pereira.

So where does that leave Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and his vision to take Malaysian Hockey to a higher level? To him I can only offer the following advice...

Ultimately it all boils down to what the players can do on the pitch to change the negative perception of Malaysian Hockey as it is obvious off the field we shall do not better if not for a change in mindset.

As in business, employee talent is the cornerstone of success. Their expertise and capabilities win matches or perform the work thereby creating values for clients, and generate loyalty from investors. Thus it is ultimateky left to the players.

So it pays to create an environment where employees meet fresh, exciting challenges and experience the satisfaction of a job well done. But how do we get people to share our core values one might ask. You don't. You can't.

Just find people that are "predisposed" to share your values and purpose, attract and retain those people, and let those who don't share your values go elsewhere. This entire exercise is about having your integrity in - in the sense of your authentic values and your courage to act congruently all of the time.

And could it be that the seemingly unending quest for the answer - will ultimately take you back to the beginning - to what you are and what you stand for? And perhaps, this could be the first step to the beginning ... on the path to greatness.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE II - MSIA MAKE SEMIS


Thanks to George Koshy I am able to provide results as soon as the match is over

Malaysia booked their place in the semi final of the Champions Challenge II when they defeated France. 4-2

With the win Malaysia has collected six points and will end their preliminary round with a match against Russia on Thursday. And irrespective of the result, Malaysia will be one of the two teams from Group B to play in the semi final as neither Austria or Russia will be able to overtake them if they win their matches against France and Malaysia respectively.

Ismail Abu opened scoring for Malaysia in the 5th minute before France drew level on the 23rd minute through Yanick Sxhament. But Mohd Amin Rahim ensured that Malaysia went into the halftime break 2-1 ahead when he converted a penalty stroke in the 33rd minute after an infringement on S. Selvaraju.

Eight minutes after the breather and Malaysia were 4-1 ahead thanks to goals by Azlan Misron (37th minute penalty corner) and Mohd Razie (41st minute) but France reduced the deficit to 4-2 through Arnoud Becuwe two minutes from time.

In an earlier match, Austria and Russia played to an exciting 4-4 draw but the result did both teams no favour as they had lost their opening matches.

Russia took the lead going 3-0 up within the first 16 minutes. The first of which came in the 4th minute of play through a precise drag execution from marksman Sergeev. Russia continued to apply pressure and were rewarded with a second goal just ten minutes later when they made a fast break up the right hand side to find Mokrousov who fired home to double his sides lead. Only two minutes passed before Russia were on the board once again courtesy of Azarov in the 16th minute.

The third goal appeared to be a wake up call for the Austrians as they began to create some attacking play of their own which paid off just before half time when Korper was on hand for his country to slot home with a strike from the top of the circle.

Austria started the second half in the same vein as they had finished the first, on the hunt for another goal, this time it was Stanzl who was on hand to close the gap when he struck home from a penalty corner to close the gap to 2-3. Russia secured another penalty corner in the 48th minute and Sergeev was on form once again to drag home to score his sides fourth goal. With 22 left on the clock

Austria surged looking to get a point from the game and in the 58th minute they scored the goal of the match when Stanzl slide on his front across the circle to meet a cross to fire it home passed the keeper, the equaliser came with just 7 minutes to go when they secured their final penalty corner of the game which Korper dragged home to make it four all.



A Prophet Is Not Recognized In His Own Land


The phrase aptly describes the situation Malaysian football is in at the moment, and at the same time it is also food for thought for the Sports Minister Datuk Shabery Cheek who has somewhat slipped under the radar in the past few week.

We have in our midst, some very highly regarded Malaysians, whose views are sought in the international arena when it comes to matters of football. The likes of Datuk Seri Paul Mony, Datuk Peter Velappan, Datuk Dell Akhbar Khan, En. Windsor John Paul and En. Jeysing Muthiah come to mind.

In this particular instance I would like to refer to Datuk Dell and En. Windsor.

We have had a stadium collapse, another closed down due to the roof problem, but where do we go to for advice? To some foreign experts. In Malaysia, right here at the doorsteps of the FAM, we have the FIFA Development Office that is headed by Windsor, a man who led the teams out at the final of the last World Cup, a man who has gained international reputation and class due to his diligent work ethics and professionalism, a man that is looked up to in the corridors of international football, a man who was consulted in stadium construction for the 2010 South Africa World Cup, yet shunned by the Malaysian Government (that is you Shabery), the Football Association of Malaysia and the National Sports Council.

Together with Dato Dell, a man who provides advice on security measures internationally, the duo will be perfect to be in the team to investigate the Terengganu Stadium collapse. Infact it is a shame that Peter Butler had to highlight the state of the pitch in the old Terengganu Stadium that brought about a silly response from FAM.

The FAM top guns were quoted as saying " that the pitch was approved by the FAM Technical Committee." That is indeed a candidate for the "Talking Cock" award as the Technical Committee of FAM has no business in the pitch issue. Care to clarify Mr. Deputy President f FAM?

Coming back to Dato Dell and Windsor, it is clear that some people cannot stomach the fact that these two fine gentlemen know better then them, so the best thing to do is not to seek their advice or opinion.

Mr. Minister, if you have sports interest at heart, if you truly believe in the 1 Malaysia slogan, contact these two gentlemen, and if you cannot get to them, then please feel to contact me as I am sure your able Deputy Minister would have my number somewhere in his phone.

One of the most common sayings in football over the past years has been “Manchester United have raised the bar,” but eventually somebody else will also be able to clear it.

It may be next season, it may be in three years times, but it is amazing the hope that this one result will give not only the teams challenging for the title, but the whole of English football.

In Malaysia, that will have to e re-phrased to "FAM have lowered the bar", but I pray eventually someone will raise it.

If only they had the vision, but then again IF is a big word, perhaps misunderstood or not at all understood.

UPDATES

Sorry for not updating, but did not have internet service for two days no thanks to P1. Anyway here are short updates on things I picked up over the past two days.

HOCKEY

The Malaysian Under 18 girls team have withdrawn from the AHF Under 18 Tournament scheduled to be held in China later this month. It seems that the withdrawal was due to, yet again the swineflu. But I have one interesting thought, if we do not want to play overseas, then there should be a blanket ban, not giving options to associations withdrawing at their whims and fancy. Also if the Merdeka Tournament cannot be held, then how is it that we are hosting the ACC Womens Cricket Championships?

Yes we won, rather narrowly at the Champions Challenge. But a point to note is that the MHF President and Deputy President are both there in Ireland. So if we do not win the title, will coach Tai Beng Hai be dismissed there?

BADMINTON

KLBA hearing against Sports Commissioners decision to declare their AGM null and void scheduled for July. 8. But what interests me here, both in the case of KLBA and selangor BA is that the clubs who filed the complaint in the first place are not even registered with the SC office. So any Ahmad, Ah Chong and Muthu can lodge a complaint a get a body into trouble. And till the court decides, the injunction holds and status quo remains...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

AK FOR NEWCASTLE, SAYS THE SUN



Revealed: Man who wants Toon
By CARL LONG

Published: Today
Url:http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/2516270/Revealed-Man-who-wants-Toon.html

A RECLUSIVE Malaysian billionaire has jumped to the head of the queue to buy Newcastle.


Media mogul Ananda Krishnan is closing in on a deal to end Mike Ashley's nightmare two-year Toon reign - and hopes to make an announcement early next week.

The £95million deal for the club represents loose change to the 71-year-old, who is South East Asia's third-richest man worth £4.5billion.

Other consortia remain in the running to buy the crisis club.

But after making the first significant move in the drawn-out sale, Krishnan is the favourite to take control after meeting Ashley's drastically-reduced asking price - almost £40m less than the sportswear tycoon paid in 2007.

The owner-in-waiting is believed to favour Alan Shearer to be the club's manager.

Like Ashley, Krishnan has kept a low profile as he has built up a powerful business portfolio which includes major interests in oil, entertainment, telecoms and shipping.

Over the years, he has donated millions of pounds to charities and a source said: "Mr Krishnan shuns public exposure and likes to keep a low profile for someone of his stature."

Figures have yet to be confirmed but a significant kitty would be made available for Shearer to use in the transfer market.