Wednesday, December 30, 2009

BOYCOTT AVERTED



Some players of Hindu faith playing in the MHL contemplated boycotting the MHL quarterfinals scheduled to be played on January 30 at it was on Thaipusam Day.

MHF obviously had not put on their thinking caps when they listed January 30 as the day the first leg semi finals were scheduled to be played, to accommodate live telecast.

Teams in the MHL objected to playing the quarter finals back to back, on January 30 and January 31 and the reaction from the MHF Secretary was it was too late to change the fixtures and that the teams should have raised this issue earlier.

This is a multi racial country and hence all religions should be respected Mr. Secretary. MHF opted not to play MHL matches on Dec 25 and Dec 26 due to Christmas but even the BPL was played on Boxing Day.

Now it is learnt that MHF has changed the dates of the quarterfinals and no matches will be played on January 30. Instead the quarterfinals will now be played on January 29 and January 31, thus allowing players to fulfill their religious obligations and teams get a day rest in between.

Let's take the goodwill further MHF, reschedule the semi finals as well to give the teams a break, instead of playing on February 5 and 6, why not give teams a week break in between the two leg semi finals and play on Feb 6 and Feb 12.

Move the final scheduled for Feb 12 to the following weekend, February 20, so that Chinese New Year and Valentines Day can be celebrated by all.

After all we are not going to the World Cup, unless Munianday and Kandasamy are...

KUMAR THE OBVIOUS CHOICE LAH


Kumar with Kelvinder at the end of the world, Invercargil

UPDATE

Received the following comment from S. Kuhan, former national skipper after the story below was published.

S.Kumar, by a mile is the clear choice for the AHF award. He has been clearly the most consistent player in the team for a good 3 years. Although he has had a difficult career, having been no. 2 to both Nasihin and Roslan over the years which is never easy, he has always been a person who gave it all in training and his dedication and determination has finally paid off.

Having being nominated the best goal keeper in recent major tournaments, not forgetting praises from Ric Charlesworth, head coach of the Aussies and Paul Lissek , former national coach, he certainly should be the front runner to be nominated.

The only setback for him, which seems to be haunting him is he hasn’t had the opportunity to play in the Olympics and the World Cup. The other players in the team should look up to him as a role model as he has set such high standards.

Well done Kumar. Keep up the good work and your efforts will rewarded.

Original Posting


It is reliably learnt that the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) "forgot" about nominating players for the annual AHF Awards that closed on December 28.

This blog attempted to seek information as to who was nominated by MHF and MWHA and it was only then that efforts were being made to seek consensus as to which player should be nominated by MHF. Phone calls were made and at the same time excuses cooked up, even to the extent of telling certain officials that the closing date was on December 31.

And the best excuse was MHC could not complete the list as the MWHA Secretary was on holiday in India.

Last minute deals are ofyen heard when seeking cheap fares on flights in Wurope, with one website even named Last Minute Deals.

In Malaysia though that honour should go to the MHC Secretary for not being able to handle a simple matter such as this. And he together with the MHF Deputy President harbour hopes oftaking over AHF in 2011, a pact drawn up with some Pakistani officials on the sidelines of the Junior World Cup in JB/Singapore.

Well since it is obvious that MHF/MHC officials cannot think properly (maybe due to their year long holiday mood), this blog proposes that goalkeeper S. Kumar be nominated for the award. He is the obvious choice, a consistent performer at international stage and even Ric Charlesworth paid tribute to him by saying that Kumar was one of the best, if not the best goalkeeper in the world.

See how easy it is to nominate a player, you do not need a Havard/Oxford degree to figure this out.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

TALKING COCK



The foreign coach saga has been on the agenda for MHF for the past one year, and after this blog had revealed that the candidate MHF had in mind was Roelant Oltmans, the propoganda machinery of MHF went into overdrive, while some were unusually quiet, the some officials used other means to push their case to be considered as coaches, many a time by undermining others with tales from the graves. Sp desperate were these personalities that they even went on to tell lies in order to be in the good books of the MHF President, continuing to mis-lead him as they have done for the past one year.

After the December 13 meeting in Penang, the MHF Secretary had gone on record to say that three names will be handed over to the MHF Coaching Committee to be considered as the next Malaysian national team coach.

Funny though as when met three days before Christmas, the MHF Coaching Chairman Dr. Balbir Singh was dumbfounded when asked when the Coaching Committee was to meet to discuss the three names.

"I am unaware of this hence I am unable to provide you with any information. We shall be having a Coaching Committee meeting soon. Sorry but since I was not at the meeting in Penang i an not able to say anything on this," was the response of Dr. Balbir.

Next came the revelation of this blog on the situation surrounding the contracts of the local coaches, Tai Beng Hai and Nor Saiful Zaini. NSC Director General had, just a day before Christmas, revealed that MHF had yet to consult them on the contractual issue of the duo, or any other local coach MHF intended to employ.

Once again the MHF Secretary went on record to say that they were seeking a meeting with NSC before December 31to discuss the issue. Today is December 30 and everyone knows that majority of the government officails go on leave at the end of the year. So really what is the MHF Secretary talking about?

it all boils down to incompetence of the part of the MHF administration and this has put MHF in bad light. Digging one hole to cover another seems to be the norm as is the case of talking cock all the time.

Wonder why the MHF Gestapo unit has not snooped at the Tun Razak Stadium to checked on national coaches hard at work, not talking cock here....

Friday, December 25, 2009

MHF SILENT


The National Sports Council have yet to hear anything from the Malaysian Hockey Federation with regards to the plan to hire Dutchman Roelant Oltmans as the National Coach.

And contrary to what has been reported, NSC has already informed MHF on just how much they are willing to commit with regards to the salaries for the former Pakistan and Dutch coach.

A MHF official had gone on record to say that MHF were unable to make a decision with regards to hiring Oltmans as NSC Director General Dato Zolkples Embong had not attended the Management Committee Meeting held on December 13 in Penang as he was away for the SEA Games.

"We have already discussed the appointment and as so far as NSC are concerned we have made a commitment to a certain amount of money to hire the coach," said Dato Zolkples when contacted by this blog last night .

"So really it will be for MHF to determine if they want to go ahead with this appointment as NSC can only assist and have no direct say with regards to the candidate."

"As far as I know MHF has yet to revert to us if the deal has gone through and we are in the dark as everyone else."

Zolkples added that MHF has also yet to revert to NSC on the renewal of contracts for local coaches. It is learnt that the contracts of Tai Beng Hai and Nor Saiful Zaini will expire on December 31.

"I am not aware of any request made to extend their contracts," said Zolkples.

"As far as I know there was a discussion with regards to having two local coaches to assist Oltmans. So far the names have not been forwarded to NSC and we will await for them to decide on this matter.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

EX AND AXED


Though the two gentlemen have served Malaysian hockey, it was contrasting manner in which they were treated that is of Interest.

Tuan Haji Johari Aziz was appointed as the National Juniors Manager at a time the team was in doldrums.

Eventually the juniors ended up in 12th position in the 20 team event and Johari presented his report to MHF in June.

In is report Johari had raised the issue of long periods of centralised training were ineffective in the current times, but MHF just sat in it, ignoring the findings.

However Johari was thanked for his role as Team Manager after presenting his report at the MHF Management Committee meeting.

Hence Johary was the EX national juniors manager.

Fast forward to December and George Koshy ends his term as National Team Manager on December 31.

Having last managed the team to the World Cup Qualifiers and being a manager for well over a year, the views of Koshy were never sought when MHF and NSC opted to go foreign in their search for a coach.

And to rub salt to the wound, MHF did not even invite him to the Management Committee meeting held in Penang on December 13.

On top of that the MHF Secretariat did not have the decency to tell Koshy that his coach Tai Beng Hai had submitted a report just three days before the meeting.

It was clear that MHF did not appreciate the sacrifices of Koshy enough to thank him for services rendered.

Hence Koshy is now the AXED National Team Manager.

Monday, December 21, 2009

STARTLING AND SHOCKING

Having spoken to some senior players who were at the World Cup Qualifiers, I am amazed that majority of them are not happy with the decisions of MHF. Await what they are unhappy about in a day or two, Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

WHAT A SHAM


I would like to ask MHF officials to have their kids stand in the rain for two hours and not provide them with raincoats.

This was the scenario of the so called new look MHL which I have rightfully renamed the circus .

The poor chap in the picture as well as the rest of the ball pickers during the KL Hockey Club v TNB match at Tun Razak Stadium had to endure the match in a steady down pour and MHF could not provide them with a RM5 ringgit raincoat.

Luckly the match was not live as then the rest of Malaysia would have witnessed this inhuman act. But only 37 members of the public saw it.

There was something like 197 persons at the stadium but take away 120 being players and officials of the other four teams and around 20 odd MHF officials or Technical Officials plus parents and families that will make up another 20 persons so that leaves it at 37 fans.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

WHY THE DELAY IN APPOINTING DHARMA?


While the MHF is dragging its feet in selecting a foreign coach for the senior national team, their reluctance in naming K. Dharmaraj as the next National Juniors Coach is cause for alarm.

Dharma has proven his ability, with the team doing well under his guidance over the past year, so rightfully MHF should have no problems in endorsing him as the coach responsible towards the preparation of the juniors for the Junior Asia Cup in 2011 which will serve as the qualifiers for the 2013 Junior World Cup.

The Coaching Committee should convene a meeting to discuss the names of the 3 foreign coaches (which was what the MHF Secretary said in a recent press statement) and at the same time be allowed to deliberate on the coaches for the various teams.

But strahely MHF is silent on this matter and Dharma has no manager to raise this issue with the MHF top management as his team was without an influential or rather top MHF official since Mirnawan Nawawi stepped down as Manager in September this year.

I wonder why the MHF opted to have a Vice President as Assistant Team Manager to the World Cup Qualifiers but no senior official in Myanmar for the AHF Under 18, which ironically was an important tournament as it served as a qualifier for the Youth Olympics in Singapore next year.

December must surely be a bad month for Dharma, as not ony has MHF not given him his due recognition, but also denied him the opportunity to coach KL Hockey Club.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

DUTCH MANTRA FOR INDIA



It was an opportunity lost for many a hockey official, coach and player. At a time when Indian hockey is suffering for want of good governance and lack of vision, Marc Lammer's ‘talk' at the Global Sports Summit organised by FICCI at its New Delhi auditorium on Wednesday was just too good to miss. Unfortunately, no one worthwhile from the hockey fraternity was present. And, former Olympian and coach Jagbir Singh, a speaker on the panel, was absent as well.

Professional advice doesn't come for free. And here was Lammers, a man who guided The Netherland's ladies hockey team to the gold medal at the Beijing Games this summer, speaking at a sports and business seminar. In a 20-minute speech that left the motley audience transfixed, Lammers dwelt on what it takes to make a champion outfit.

At a time when Indian women have qualified for the World Cup, Lammer's ‘free' talk could have been like gospel to India's hockey officials. Alas, the famous coach was only heard by a bunch of media people, corporate honchos and students who are unlikely to make any long-lasting impact on the game.

Saying Spaniard Jose Brasa was doing a good job with the men's team, the savvy Dutch coach said India's women had tremendous potential but the "environment" had to be created for them. "They are not only skilful and women are better to teach," says Lammers, whose association with the Holland national side is now part of Dutch hockey folklore.

The Dutch mindset may not work in India, but Lammers suggests: "think in possibilities and not in difficulties," indicating not to make excuses due to lack of finances.

Currently training coaches in China and the United States, Lammers is keen to work in India after 2012. "I don't think a foreign coach is necessary to train the players. It is important to coach the coaches and the parents," says Lammers. He shared behind-the-scenes ‘secrets' of the Dutch ladies and what went in making them into Olympic champions.

Simple and practical, Lammers says, "It is important to work on your strengths rather than your weaknesses," adding: "discipline, creativity and hard work," are the keys to success.

Lammers will be back in India during the World Cup in February next year and says Champions Trophy winners Australia will be the favourites. "India's only advantage will be playing at home," he added.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

WORLD CUP DRAW


The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has released the pools for the Hero Honda FIH World Cup, to be played in New Delhi, India from 28 February-13 March 2010.

Defending World Champion Germany is the top seed in Pool A and will meet Netherlands, Korea, New Zealand, Canada and Argentina in the pool phase of the Hero Honda FIH World Cup.

Host India is placed in Pool B, together with Australia, Spain, England, Pakistan, India and South Africa.

Following the pool phase of the Hero Honda FIH World Cup, the best two ranked teams of each pool will proceed to the semifinals.

The match schedule for the Hero Honda FIH World Cup will be released before the end of December 2009.

Hero Honda FIH World Cup, 28 February-13 March 2010:

Pool A:

  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Korea
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Argentina

Pool B:

  • Australia
  • Spain
  • England
  • Pakistan
  • India
  • South Africa

MALAYSIA 15 IN FIH RANKING

Malaysia is currently ranked 15th in the latest World Rankings released by FIH.

However ranking points for the 18 teams in the World Cup Qualifiers will only be added upon the completion of the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi next March.
The Chinese men team entered the Top Ten of the ABN AMRO World Rankings after the points of the ABN AMRO Champions Trophy, the BDO Champions Challenge I and the Champions Challenge II were added.

The top nine of the men’s ABN AMRO World Rankings didn’t change. Germany is still the leader, followed by Australia, Spain, Netherlands and Korea. China moved up three places and is ranked tenth now. South Africa climbed from the 15th to the 13th position. Argentina lost its place in the Top Ten and is ranked 14th now.

The next update of the ABN AMRO World Rankings is scheduled immediately after the Hero Honda FIH World Cup.

Please click here for direct access to the ABN AMRO World Rankings

BIG FIGHT LOOMING


The picture above tells us a lot about what is going on within the corridors of power of MHF. A big battle looms ahead of the MHF elections which will be held before the fasting month next year. The campaigning has started, but we shall leave it at that for the moment.

What is more interesting is that a RM3 million submission for development of hockey was made in Penang last Sunday. Wow hockey is big money these days, RM3 million for development, RM1.5 million for foreign coaches and not forgetting it was RM7 million for the MHL submitted by a company. More on these later, for a storm is brewing within MHF and I am gonna watch Storm Raiders for some sense while others start counting the billions of cents they will make.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

RAW DEAL FOR LOCALS


When the dust settled after the MHF Management Committee meeting in Penang today, local coaches were dealt with two severe blows.

First the MHF has decided to proceed with securing the services of a foreign coach, thus leaving Tai Beng Hai as the 'interim' coach until the foreigner arrives.

And despite the high cost, and contrary to statements made by Dutchman Roelant Oltmans and his club Laren HC over the past two weeks, MHF has decided that the former Pakistani coach is their targetted foreigner to plot the rise of Malaysian hockey.

The key factor is funding, and with the NSC only willing to pay a fixed amount, MHF will yet again have to depend on its President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah to source for the remainder, which is believed to be in the region of RM60,000 per month.

Thus the decision to hire Oltmans has been put on hold until the funding is sorted out as no senior NSC official was at the meeting in Penang.

Beng Hai, who has submitted his report for the World Cup Qualifiers contrary to what this blog had reported earlier, will thus be responsible to monitor the progress and scout players for the national team whose next assignment will not be until the AHF Champions Trophy next April.

Beng Hai will, if he accepts, be appointed as the assistant to the foreign coach in the new set-up. However nothing was discussed on the fate of the current assistant coach Nor Saiful Zaini Nasiruddin whose contract expires at the end of this month.

And the second blow, probably more devastating was the failure of the MHF Secretariat to put forward for discussion the appeal by local coaches who are in the national set-up to be allowed to coach club sides in the MHL.

We can reveal that at least one of the coaches submitted an appeal and the Coaching Committee was asked to deliberate on it and rightfully refused as appeals can only be determined by either the Management Committee or the Council.

The fact that this matter was not tabled in Penang shows the weakness in understanding the MHF Constitution and lends credibility to the notion that administratively MHF are still in shambles with the battle to control or being the king makers continue to rage on within the confines of the MHF brass.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

CONSPIRACY IN MHF?


It will be high noon drama when the MHF Management Committee sits down in Penang to discuss the future of Malaysian Hockey.

While some may say its a normal meeting, aided by the fact that notification of the meeting was via SMS with no formal agenda provided as of Friday to those attending the meeting, the fact of the matter is the direction of hockey in the country is set to be determined by some personalities that have hidden agendas.

Imagine this, the future of the national team is to be determined without even going through reports from the officials of the World Cup Qualifiers at Invercargil last month.

It is learnt that neither the Team Manager nor the Chief Coach have been invited for the meeting. And it is further believed that the duo have yet to submit written reports on the performance of the team at the Qualifiers.

A decision today without even reading the reports will only mean one thing, there was a conspiracy and this was set in motion sometime back.

If one were to read in between the lines, the truth of the matter is that an official of the MHF went ahead to deal with Roelant Oltmans, thereby sealing the fate of interim coach Tai Beng Hai.

So it was a pre-meditated move to get rid of Beng Hai given that the team failed to qualify for the World Cup when they lost the crucial match on November 15 and two weeks later Oltmans was already in Kuantan discussing terms.

It is clear that MHF had worked against its own personnel, starting negotiations with a foreigner if before the fate of the national team could be sealed.

It was downright unethical on the part of MHF to act as it did but what was more damaging was a statement made by an influential official to a senior player of the team prior to the Australian Test Matches in October.

"Do not announce your retirement yet as we will have a new coach after the Qualifiers" - those were the comforting words of the senior official after the player was dropped.

The only question MHF seem to be pondering upon right now is if they have the financial resources to afford the Dutchman.

With NSC only willing to provide around RM35,000 of the RM100,000 cost for the duo, MHF will rely on its President to get the remainder, a feat he is quite capable of.

Tengku Mahkota's inclination towards Dutch coaches is well known as it was he who is instrumental in getting a Dutch football coach to start a development program in January. This issue will be highlighted in Malaysian Sports.

So today in Penang history will be re-visited as Beng Hai will most likely receive the chop through the media, or be relegated to the role of Assistant Coach.

And those responsible for the decline in Malaysian Hockey will squirm in their seats as there is back stabbing within the MHF ranks as information is being leaked out.

One last thing though, the appeal of national coaches to handle teams in the MHL should be discussed today as well.

I wonder why the clubs have not just registered them as Team Managers, they cannot coach says MHF but it never said you cannot manage right, so why bother appealing?

Friday, December 11, 2009

BASKARAN SLAMS BRASA



Calcutta: Each and every team have its own tactical philosophy and tinkering with that doesn’t augur well, feels India’s Olympic gold winning captain and former coach Vasudevan Baskaran.

Baskaran, who was in the city to watch his son Laxman Karan turn out for Southern Railway in the Beighton Cup, says that India’s Spanish coach Jose Brasa is trying to change the Indian style of play and it’s not going to work.

“I have utmost respect for Brasa who guided the Spanish women’s team to gold medal in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. But Spanish style of hockey is a defensive one while the Indians love attacking. The skill level of any Indian player is at par with the best in the world. So one shouldn’t curb their natural flair for attacking. That is why Ric Charlesworth was a far better option for Indian players as Australians believe in aggressive play,” Baskaran told The Telegraph on Thursday.

“I find it difficult to digest the fact that skilful players like Shivendra Singh, Tushar Khandekar or Arjun Halappa are being forced to play a defensive game. It’s not their natural game. It’s like asking a Bhaichung Bhutia to play as a stopper or making Sachin Tendulkar bat at No. 8,” Baskaran quipped.

Baskaran is also unhappy with the fact that drag-flicker Sandeep Singh has not been used sparingly in the recent times.

“I would have been happy had Sandeep been rested for the Champions Challenge in Argentina. He is one of our key players. If the injury turns out to be a serious one, we may just miss him during the World Cup next year which will be unfortunate,” he said.

Ask him about India’s chances in the World Cup, where they will be enjoying home advantage, Baskaran tries to be realistic.

“We are still not in a position to beat the Netherlands and Australia consistently. So our main aim would be to focus on remaining in the top six. That will be a creditable finish,” he added.

As the discussion veered towards India lacking too many drag-flick specialists, he comes up with the idea of having a talent hunt.

“I read in the paper that Ashok Dinda came into prominence when he won a fast bowling contest (Dinda came second in that particular contest in 2004 clocking 138 kmph on the speedometer). Why don’t we have such a contest for drag-flick specialists? There are plenty of talented boys across India,” he signed off.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TROPHYLESS UNDER 14



While the future of Malaysian hockey was battling in out in Kuantan, none of the top brass of the Malaysian Hockey Federation, with exception of the Hon. Secretary, were present to watch the youngsters of Kuala Lumpur and Perak fight it out.

These officials opted to be at the Tun Razak Stadium to play a meaningless match between MHF and Air Asia, at the expense of watching the youngsters, the very future of our sport, battle it out.

Perhaps there was a reason why these officials opted not to be there. See the trophy above, well there was no challenge trophy for the Under 14 Tournament, for two years running and the MHF must be held liable. So these officials were probably too shy to face the kids.

And talking about priorities, who was the genius that scheduled the match against Air asia on the very day of the final of the National Under 14.

Who cares about development?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

OLTMANS - THE REAL DEAL


JUST IN FROM THE EMPLOYERS OF OLTMANS

Hockey: Oltmans remains with Laren
Laren, 04/12/2009

Coach Roelant Oltmans remains in Laren. This allows the Larensche Mixed Hockey Club know.

In recent days there have been reports in the press about the technical director and coach hockey coach of men's 1-Laren. He is talking with the Malaysian Hockey Federation. They asked him for advice because the field hockey players from Malaysia back on the highest podium to join. They should think of the World Cup and the Olympic Games.

Roelant Oltmans has a contract with Laren for 4 years until the summer of 2012. The club assumes that this successful cooperation will continue.

"Clearly there may be at present no question of me leaving to Malaysia soon and that it is very doubtful whether it will ever come so far," Oltmans said.

6FM Source: Conservation Larens (www.larensbehoud.nl)

Many have wondered jut how Roelant Oltmans was earmarked by a certain personality to coach Malaysia and over the past week some even went to the extent of trying to discredit this blog, claiming that it was a story plucked from thin air.

Well having let the dust settle down, and after letting the MHF officials have their week in damage control, let us now move ahead and reveal the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth with regards to this matter.

Oltmans was in Kuantan on the day of the MHF AGM and a meeting was held between him and officials from the NSC and MHF. So to the NSC official who said that he would pay me RM00,000 to prove that he met Oltmans, I do hope you do honour your word as Oltmans himself has revealed in interviews with Holland that he was in Malaysia and met with several people to discuss terms on taking over the national coaching position in Malaysia ( read www.hockey-asia.com for the interviews with Oltmans).

I can further reveal that Oltmans shocked those at the meeting with a salary demand of Euro 10,000 as the official concerned ( the newly appointed technical manager according to Oltmans interview) had given the officials the impression that the salary requested was USD10,000 and nothing was revealed about an assistant.

What might you ask is the difference between Euro 10,000 and USD 10,000, well it works out to be a cool RM20,000 per month.

Then there is the issue of wanting control over all teams, junior and senior with the coaches reporting to the Dutchman, development will come under his purview and total control over the national team program and policies.

Really I am all for it as we will do away with the National Team Management Committee, the Development Committee, the Joint Committee between NSC and MHF and the Selection Committee and will not need to hire Paul Lissek even though the Deputy President made the announcement prematurely without talking to the German.

The MHF has to ponder aboit all of this issues before December 13 when the decision is to be made in Penang but really, I do not believe a single word Oltmans says in his interviews that only a great offer can pry him away from his current job, that statement ios a red herring, to make us believe that he is not tempted by the Euros, that MHF needs a plan to put people in place.

What MHF needs is professionalism in dealing with such matters, and sadly none within the set-up are professionals as they undermine each other and hence provide cannon fodder to blogs.

So lets do some economics on this whole Oltmans deal, a total of Euro 16,000 for the two of them, plus perks such as cars, accommodation and tax breaks will amount to RM120,000 per month. So the annual expenditure will be RM1.4 million.

Now take that and compare to what the current national coaches receive, I learnt it was RM8,000 for the chief and RM5,000 for the assistant. So a total of RM13,000 that works out to RM156,000 per year, that is something in the range of 10 per cent of what the foreigners will receive.

Next we take a look at the subsidy that states receive from MHF for participation in the domestic tournaments. Each state receives between RM3,000 to RM5,000 depending on the tournaments and to make it easier lets work on RM5,000 per state and there is the Razak Cup, Under 23, Under 14.

So RM5,000 per tournament x 3 tournaments x 16 affiliates makes it a total of RM240,000 per year for the MHF to provide for their affiliates.

Let's take it a step further and say that MHF decides to provide a development grant of RM30,000 per year to its affiliates to kick start the development program that has yet to see the light of day. That will work out to something in the region of RM480,000.

So making a grand total, we have yet to reach the magical RM1 million mark and yet we want to spend all that money to hire a top coach. Tell you what MHF, bring in Barry Dancer, Maurits Hendrik, Oltmans and Paul Lissek, and you still will not solve the woes of Malaysian hockey as you have within your set-up personalities that are destroying whatever that can be salvaged from this sport. When we cannot differentiate USD and Euro, what good can you make to the sport?

Why do we look down on the ability of our coaches and not reward them accordingly? The problem lies with NSC as well as they never believe in the ability of the locals, always thinking that we are still eing colonised in sports.

Wake up MHF, trust in your own people, the Koreans have done it, the Pakistanis learnt a bitter lesson, the Indians are learning a lesson, wonder how long it will take for you to realise that Malaysia gained independence in 1957.

Money Money Money, its so funny, in a rich mans world....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

WHO IS TO BLAME?

An interesting development took place at the MHF Coaching Committee where the Chairman Dr. Balbir Singh revealed that he was asked by the Hon. Secretary of MHF to issue the letter giving consent to coaches in the national set-up to take charge of teams in the MHL.

And Balbir went on to state that he only knew of plans to hire a foreign coach, ( read www.jugjet.blogspot.com on the Euro 10K salary and Euro 6K for the assistant) during the MHF AGM in Kuantan last Saturday.

If indeed what Balbir is claiming is true, then it will only be correct for a full disclosure as to why the Hon. Secretary had made for a letter and on whose directive he was acting upon.

It is bad enough that the Deputy President has taken over the roles of the Selection and Coaching Committee via the National Team Management Committee, but for a member of the MHF to direct a Chairman is illegal going by the constitution, unless it is now merely a scrap of paper.

And on the question of the foreign coach, why is there such secrecy, unless of course there is a buck to be made by the middleman.

Two cents advise to the MHF President, you have been misled Your Royal Highness, by individuals out to cement their position ahead of the elections next year.

Just look back at the whle 365 days under your leadership, so much has happened, even sweeping matters under the carpet will not help, as there is a lump beneath that all can notice.

Monday, November 30, 2009

FLYING DUTCHMAN

It is reliably learnt that Roelant Oltmans was in Kuala Lumpur on November 28 to hold discussions on his pending appointment as national coach.

Officials from both NSC and MHF are tightlipped over this after this blog had broke the story on the proposal to engage the services of the 55 year old former Holland and Pakistan coach.

Denying what could be the best news for Malaysian hockey this decade is not a wise thing and trying to keep secrets in MHF is funny as the tendency is not to trust their own shadows.

NSC Director General Dato Zolkples Embong also denied that he met Oltmans this morning.

FLIP FLOP


The terminology "flip flop" was often used to describe the previous administration of our country. And by the looks of things, the Malaysian Hockey Federation seems to be gaining the popular choice to take over the mantle.

In describing the constant change of decisions made by the MHF, it is appropriate to utilise this terminology as baffling, ridiculous and down right mind blowing seems to lose its edge as MHF has clearly carved a name for itself to be deserving of such an accolade.

First the MHF, or rather now it is being revealed that the Coaching Committee, allowed national coaches to take charge of teams in the MHL. A letter to that effect was issued by the Coaching Chairman to the MHF Secretariat.

Then we read that the issue was raised at the MHF AGM in Kuantan last Saturday and the decision was reversed. And tomorrow we could well see another reversal, flip flop, flip, flop.

Before we proceed further, a point to note - the Coaching Chairman I am told issued the letter without calling for a formal meeting of the Coaching Committee or its Standing Committee. So what made the Chairman issue such a letter and why did the MHF Secretariat not tell him to get the endorsement from his committee?

The reason I raise this is because HRH Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahad Shah, the President of MHF was put in a difficult situation when this matter, about coaches being released, was raised at the AGM by one of the affiliates.

Another question that has been left unanswered is who in the first place requested the Chairman of the Coaching Committee to issue such a letter? Was the Chairman coerced after being told that the NSC had given its permission to the coaches? If so then where is this letter by NSC.

Thirdly, was there any formal applications from the coaches themselves seeking permission to handle teams in the MHL? And who were these letters addressed to - the MHF or NSC, who are their paymasters.

The most important factor here is while the NSC are the paymasters, the MHF are policy makers and rightfully they should not have waited till a week before the MHL gets underway to make such a decision. MHF being run professionally these days - well I leave that to the readers to determine.

If the MHF Secretariat had done their work in accordance with the MHF Constitution, then such an issue will not have arisen in the very first place. And now the Coaching Committee is scheduled to meet on the issue on Tuesday.

And this is what their outcome will be - that the Assistant Coaches in the National set up will be allowed to be involved with clubs in the MHL while the Chief Coaches will sit it out. I will label this decision as unfair, unjust and undemocratic.

One of the Assistant coaches receives a far higher monthly allowance from the NSC compared to the Chief Coach of the Project 2013 team. So those three words aptly describe why I feel the decision is downright mind blowing.

Is trying to earn extra income wrong? Especially so when what you get paid is peanuts. So do the just and fair thing and evaluate the coaches on a case to case basis rather then a blanket ban on them from coaching clubs. After all this is the MHL and only the senior national coaches will be involved in trying to spot players (if any) for the national squad.

The age group coaches, rightfully, should never be allowed to coach state or club teams in the MHF tournaments, period.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

OLTMANS FOR MALAYSIA


The Malaysian Hockey Federation are in the midst of negotiations to secure the services for Roelant Oltmans as the new national team coach.

Though MHF are seeking to employ the 55 year old on a fulltime basis, there could be some snags as Oltmans is currently attached to Laren, a club that boasts the likes of Rehan Butt and Salman Akbar.

So an alternative arrangement could be worked out with Oltmans as a National Team Consultant while Tai Beng Hai retains his position as Head Coach of the national side.

It is learnt that a high powered meeting was held in Kuantan today, just before the Malaysian Hockey Confederation and Malaysian Hockey Federation meetings.

The meeting it is learnt was to discuss the appointment of the Dutch coach was attended by MHF President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and NSC Director General Dato Zolkples Embong and other MHF top brass.

It is further believed that the decision to consider Oltmans was taken after a series of email exchanges between MHF and the former Pakistan coach over the past few months.

If Oltmans is selected, he will be the fourth foreign coach to handle the national side, the first being Australian Terry Walsh followed by two Germans in the likes of Volkner Knapp and Paul Lissek.

Should MHF go ahead and endorse the appointment, Oltmans could well take charge of the team for the AHF Champions Trophy followed by Azlan Shah Cup, Commonwealth Games and the all important Asian Games that provides automatic entry to the 2012 London Olympics.

Sent from my BlackBerry

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MHL - THE CIRCUS



When I was young, I looked forward to seeing the clowns in action in the Great London Circus that used to pitch its tents in the various towns in the country. The beauty about the circus was that it comprised of many different acts and that kept the audience entertained.

On December 4, a new circus will hit the city, but not the whole of Malaysia will be able to witness it as only selected towns have been granted the honour by the main actors, the Malaysian Hockey Federation. Matches will be played in Johor Baru, Malacca and Penang as well as in Kuala Lumpur, as listed in the schedule in my earlier postings. Seremban was initially on the list but were removed after MHF finally realised that the pitch would draw flak from teams.

Perhaps Negri Sembilan HA could use the expertise of an official within MHF who has the ability to "negotiate" special prices for artificial pitches, and the SMS bear witness to his ability.

Why do I call it a circus? Well the teams will be expected to perform infront of audiences in these three towns though five of the teams are based in Klang Valley. And the rationale that it is being done to promote hockey is downright rubbish.

Promoting hockey can be done by having national training camps in the various towns instead of holding MHL matches that will not leave any lasting impressions. Imagine kids getting to watch their very own national players training and even picking up a skill or two should those in MHF be cunning enough to hold coaching clinics as well.

Ever wonder what a youngster would feel if the likes of S. Kumar, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin or Faisal Saari was to take charge of kids in smaller towns even for 30 minutes? The impaxct I dare say will be mind blowing to these kids.

Even playing in KL these teams have troube drawing the crowds and as I said before, the single act in a circus hardly draws much admiration, least of all fans akin to the Malaysia Cup final, no disrespect to Kelantan though.

Playing a match on the weekend prior to the schools re-opening is a big "no no", and those in MHF should have consulted their football counterparts before fixing such dates. It will be a logistical nightmare as teams will battle the jams on the highways to make the trip and back. And let's not forget that some players as well as officials may have family obligations.

Then we have the so called draw card by MHF - that the matches will be shown live over Astro CH816, the Astro Super Sport 2. This is where it gets more interesting.

Just how many Malaysians have Astro in their houses? And just how many have subscribed to the sports channels?

FAM has sold its rights for the MSL to RTM for a cool RM6 million per season and when Astro was thinking of the local sports channel, the asking price by FAM was RM2 million per season. But the MHF I believe has given the rights free of charge to Astro. Why is it that football can draw the money but hockey is not able to command any fee?

So rather then getting carried away by saying that hockey will be live on TV, lets work on the economics of it.

Paying the teams to play outstation costs money in terms of hotel and travelling besides the rental of venues and other expenditure. So if MHF has the money, just how much of it is spent on development?

Compelling states to organise Under 18 leagues without financial assistance is not development I dare say. If MHF can spend money on a circus, then why not on proper development? Or is there any development planned in the first place?

Many questions arise from MHL, more questions then answers. The MHL can be marketed but not the way some within MHF had wanted to do.

On October 9, a presentation was done at the MHF Management Committee, that a sum of RM7 million was required to hold the circus, RM3 million for telecasting the matches live on pay TV and another RM4 million to a company for organising as well as advertising and promotion of the MHL.

Luckily, or rather unlucky for some, the money never was made available, hence the circus will only appear in three towns. And the beauty of it is that development will continue to suffer.

MHF and AHF

Read about what these two have in common at www.jugjet.blogspot.com

I will in my second part of MHL Circus elaborate why MHF are what they are today,

Monday, November 23, 2009

MHL CIRCUS BEGINS

Friday, 04.12.2009 - Charity Shield






MN TIME VENUE TEAMS
1 8.30pm STR Sapura vs TNB






Saturday, 05.12.2009






MN TIME VENUE TEAMS
2 6.30pm STR UniKL-IBIL vs KL Hockey Club
3 8.30pm STR NUR Insafi vs Maybank






Friday, 18.12.2009






MN TIME VENUE TEAMS
4 4.30pm STR Maybank vs UniKL-IBIL
5 6.30pm STR KL Hockey Club vs TNB
6 8.30pm STR NUR Insafi vs Sapura






Saturday, 19.12.2009






MN TIME VENUE TEAMS
7 4.30pm STR Maybank vs TNB
8 6.30pm STR UniKL-IBIL vs NUR Insafi
9 8.30pm STR KL Hockey Club vs Sapura






Saturday, 02.01.2010






MN TIME VENUE TEAMS
10 4.30pm USM Sapura vs UniKL-IBIL
11 6.30pm USM KL Hockey Club vs Maybank
12 8.30pm USM TNB vs NUR Insafi






Sunday, 03.01.2010






MN TIME VENUE TEAMS
13 4.30pm USM TNB vs UniKL-IBIL
14 6.30pm USM Maybank vs Sapura
15 8.30pm USM NUR Insafi vs KL Hockey Club






Friday, 08.01.2010






MN TIME VENUE TEAMS
16 4.30pm STR KL Hockey Club vs NUR Insafi
17 6.30pm STR UniKL-IBIL vs TNB
18 8.30pm STR Sapura vs Maybank






Saturday, 09.01.2010






MN TIME VENUE TEAMS
19 4.30pm STR Maybank vs KL Hockey Club
20 6.30pm STR NUR Insafi vs TNB
21 8.30pm STR UniKL-IBIL vs Sapura






Friday, 15.01.2010






MN TIME VENUE TEAMS
22 4.30pm Taman Daya TNB vs Sapura
23 6.30pm Taman Daya Maybank vs NUR Insafi
24 8.30pm Taman Daya KL Hockey Club vs UniKL-IBIL






Saturday, 16.01.2010






MN TIME VENUE TEAMS
25 4.30pm Taman Daya NUR Insafi vs UniKL-IBIL
26 6.30pm Taman Daya Sapura vs KL Hockey Club
27 8.30pm Taman Daya TNB vs Maybank






Saturday, 23.01.2010






MN TIME VENUE TEAMS
28 4.30pm MBMB - Melaka Sapura vs NUR Insafi
29 6.30pm MBMB - Melaka UniKL-IBIL vs Maybank
30 8.30pm MBMB - Melaka TNB vs KL Hockey Club

MHL - MUSICAL CHAIRS


Update: Am told that MHF and NSC have agreed to allow Nor Saiful Zaini and K. Dharmaraj to coach TNB and KL Hockey Club respectively. Look forward to a battle of wits beteen these two when their teams square off against each other.


The Malaysian Hockey League gets underway on December 4 and the musical chairs for coaches has been going on for quite sometime, no thanks to some decisions made by MHF at the eleventh hour and shifting the blame on the NSC.

It seems the likes of K. Dharmaraj, Nor Azlan Bakar, Nor Saiful Zaini and Lailin Abu Hassan are not allowed to coach any of the teams in the MHL as they are gainfully employed as coaches of the various teams in the national set-up. The decision was taken by the MHF and the NSC it seems were obliged to follow what MHF had decided.

On the other hand, the likes of Stephen van Huizen and K. Rajan are said to be out of favour by Sapura and TNB respectively for contrasting reasons. While Stephen is not able to commit fulltime to Sapura's cause, Rajan it is learnt has been a victim of a smear campaign led by some overzealous personalities and some within TNB. Hence it was deemed that Rajan be left out to safeguard the image of TNB, all due to some anonymous comments left on a blog of late.

So effectively Sapura, TNB and KL Hockey Club are now "coach less".

As to why MHF opted to prevent the coaches in the national set-up to earn some extra income by rendering their services to clubs is beyond comprehension. Stuart Pearce is the England Under 21 coach, but at the same time he managed Manchester City in 2007, dual roles were ok for England FA but not for MHF.

So it is now learnt that Rajan, discarded by TNB, may well be on his way to coach Sapura, and ironically the two teams square of against each other in the Charity Shield match on December 4. But there is also talk that Stephen could well play a part with BJSS coach S. Prakash appointed as chief coach of Sapura.

With Dharma out, R. Vivekananda is expected to chart the fortunes of KL Hockey Club, leaving TNB yet to decide on who is coaching them.

While all of this musical chairs goes on, UniKL has been going around preparing their team under I. Vikneswaran and assisted by K. Embaraj, ironically the assistant coach of Sapura last season.

Friday, November 20, 2009

REVIEW OF PERFORMANCE AT INVERCARGILL

The plight of Malaysian hockey has become the object of much derision over the years. Thus it has become a national imperative to put things right, so as to restore the gloss and pride of place to the nation's most successful team sport.

The facts are laid bare; we have failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, period. The target set was qualification and finishing second best is not getting us on the plane to New Delhi. Neither are we going to be in the World top 12 as envisioned by HRH Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

So it is a failure and calling it by another name will be injustice to teams of 2004, 2006 and 2008 who failed to make the Olympics and World Cups. But before one starts to assume that the efforts of the team at Invercargill are not appreciated, then they best not carry on reading the review.

Malaysia, despite the various issues surrounding it, right from indiscipline, dropping of senior players and a less then comprehensive preparation did well to make the final and lose out by a mere 13 minutes for a place in the World Cup, so kudos to them for the effort.

Statistics do not lie, and the fact that we concede many goals via penalty corners is something that has stood out like a sore thumb. Our forward are naïve as they fail to capitalize when in possession, but more startling was what Tai Beng Hai told at a post match press conference, that he has instructed players not to create penalty corners but score field goals when in the semi circle.

Then we have a weakened penalty corner defence and attack as skipper Mohd Madzi Ikmar was warming the bench after the loss against New Zealand in the preliminary round.

Madzli was the first choice penalty corner stopper as well as post-man for penalty corner defence, and how keeper S. Kumar must have wished that Madzli was beside him when facing Andrew Hayward in the final.

But not making the World Cup will probably help Malaysian hockey more then if we had qualified for all the shortcomings would have been swept under the carpet, as has been the norm ever since we started failing to get through qualifiers, dating back to 1985.

The decision by the National Sports Council is the right one; the team must be disbanded to allow the new coach to identify players from the Malaysian Hockey League.

The next step will be to do away with the year long centralized training and send players to compete abroard in the foreign leagues. Let us not be choosy on the leagues as we have to accept that at a world ranking of 16, top clubs are not about to come knocking on the doors of the MHF office at Bukit Jalil.

Should MHF decide to retain Beng Hai, then he should be told before the MHL commences and be entrusted with selecting the players for the challenges next year, beginning with the Asian Champions Trophy in April, Azlan Shah Cup in June, Commonwealth Games in October and Asian Games in December.

What Malaysia needs is foreign expertise, be it in the likes of a coach or a Technical Director. So the sooner this is sourced, the better. But then again we have some MHF officials who seem to be keener on paper qualifications of these coaches when even their own qualifications have serious doubts.

But on the overall, the management team of the Malaysian Hockey Federation has to be more committed towards reversing the downward trend and restoring the sport to its former glories.

Hockey is big business, though to some its just business and MHF has to be commercially viable and competitive to make a success of the game. It is not only about developing talent but being successfully internationally. And on both counts, MHF has failed miserably.

MHF thus has to go back to its drawing board, if there is one to start with, to come up with a national plan to develop hockey, which is both transparent and honest in its operation.

Firstly MHF must recognise that this is no mean task and that it will need all the help they can get, as within MHF there is clearly a lack of direction. MHF needs corporate expertise to contribute to this cause and start treating all concerned as investors in the salvation of Malaysian hockey.

We have seen some lean years but recent signs have been positive, given the performances at Invercargill. However MHF must capitalise on this and make Malaysian hockey relevant again with help from all quarters.

An increasingly globalised world changes patterns. A lot of things that we are used to and have considered to be stable are challenged by new orders, structures and arrangements.

This reminds me of a saying – when you are not the lead dog in the pack, the scene never changes”.

So dare we hope for any changes for the better?


OVERALL STATISTICS

Games Played: 6

Won: 3 – Wales 2-1, Scotland 3-2, China 3-0

Drew: 1 – Austria 2-2

Lost: 2 – New Zealand 4-2, New Zealand 2-1

Circle Penetrations For: 106

Circle Penetrations Against: 116

Shots On Target For: 36

Shots On Target Against: 45

Shots Off Target For: 25

Shots Off Target Against: 35

Goals Scored: 13

Goals Conceded: 11

Penalty Corners Awarded: 12

Penalty Corner Goals: 5

Penalty Corners Conceded: 29

Penalty Corner Goals Conceded: 6

Green Cards: 13

Yellow Cards: 3

Hockey - no yesterday ' s solutions to tomorrow ' s problems


By a hockey observer.

Harban Singh


I watched the hockey World Cup hockey qualifier game between New Zealand and Malaysia held in New Zealand live over TV on Sunday, Nov 15 and I thought we played our hearts out and it was definitely one of our better games of late.

Congratulations to coach Tai Beng Hai and his boys. However, it was not good enough for Malaysia as we lost to the most consistently unbeaten side 2-1 . namely New Zealand .

What intrigues me is the inefficiency of Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) in hiring a foreign coach. Tai Beng Hai was only supposed to be an interim coach. Why couldn ' t we hire a foreign coach in time? It could have made all the difference!

Even if his salary demands were high, had we qualified, it would have brought gross returns to our economy, branding and more tourists inflows. In these days of ' outsourcing ' , did not the Malaysian Hockey Federation think of hiring a ' headhunter ' to help in this specialised job of recruiting a world class hockey coach?

Recruitment headhunters are efficient and reliable. The opportunity is lost now and this when we have to prepare for the Olympics and the World Cup in advance. We also need the Malaysian Hockey Federation officials to have strategic intent and common sense on the need to develop hockey to a new level.

There must be political will and a paradigm shift. We cannot apply yesterday ' s solutions to tomorrow ' s problems. We need to look ahead. I have been following some of the national-age group competitions involving the youths and I must say the standards are pathetic.

MHF should address this problem in the bud and make it a national issue so that there is political will for the schools to have the incentives to develop this world-ranking sports for Malaysia .

The decline of our hockey ' s standards should be brought to Parliament where it can receive the attention it deserves. This happened in India and Pakistan .

I am afraid if MHF continues to operates the way it has been done, we will soon follow the negative path of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM). FIH ' s international hockey rankings as of Sept 1, places Malaysia at 16th place.

How come we are behind nations like Canada , China , South Africa and Belgium when our infrastructure in terms of stadium facilities and support by the government are either the same or ahead of them?

The problem lies in developmental measures and the mechanisms. This infrastructural weaknesses have not been tackled for decades. We are not producing enough good players continuously which results in our national team lacking consistency as the same players know that even if they don ' t train hard, they will still don national colors.

We need competitiveness. Wake up, MHF! By the next World Cup, I am certain we will be relegated further behind the US , France and Ireland if no serious action is taken now. Forget about qualifying and look at the developmental measures immediately.

It is at the schools where the future Sarjit Singhs, Poon Fook Lokes, Khairuddin Zainals and Mahendrans lie. Spot them young, nurture them and ensure the processes are in place in the system to produce quality players.

Collaborate in partnership with the Education Ministry and emulate the ' best management hockey practices ' of Korea and Japan . From the statistics of missing the last two World Cup toournaments and several Olympics, it appears MHF is bankrupt of ideas and needs far-reaching focus and ambition.

Even the respective state hockey associations have followed into and continued in this rut where even the state league championships are non-existent in certain states. Let ' s face reality and check the rot. Please don ' t let Malaysians give up on hockey as they totally have on soccer.