Monday, August 31, 2009


The fact that Tai Beng Hai took on the job of national coach just four months prior to the Asia Cup shows that he does not fit into the profile of a coward.

And the fact that as a player, Beng Hai played despite pain during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics shows that he has strong personality and is no quitter.

This is how the National Sports Institute Director General Dato Dr. Ramlan Aziz looks at the qualities of under fire coach Beng Hai who spoke his mind about the national team during an interview with this blog last week that saw two MHF officials making statements unbecoming of their stature.

While MHF Deputy President Nur Azmi Ahmad said that Beng Hai was a coward for saying that Malaysia will find it tough to make the 2010 World Cup, MHF coaching committee chairman Dr. Balbir Singh said it was high time the national team sought the services of a shrink.

And Ramlan was not at all pleased with the statement of Balbir as he had not gathered his facts before coming out with such a statement.

"It is unfair to say that Beng Hai is a coward just because he spoke his mind and was honest about his opinion," said Ramlan.

"We have to be honest and view the statement objectively and see how best we can support the coach instead of lambasting him as if there is no tomorrow.

"As for the services of the psychologist, the NSI has provided one to the team, though not on a permanent basis and it is really up to the coaches to utilise him. As it stands there are no problems on this aspect so I really cannot understand where Balbir is coming from."

Ramlan said that Beng Hai has a good working relationship with him and has often held discussions on the preparation of the team, especially on the fitness aspects.

"I find Beng Hai very meticulous in his preparation of the team and he understands the values of sports science," said Ramlan.

"So I hope that some people will stop questioning his ability and preparation but rather channel the energy to help him realise the teams potential instead of taking pot shots at him.

"It is vital that we support the coaches and understand where that statement was coming from instead of making unfounded allegations."


With the Malaysian Hockey Federations making unreasonable demands, the Asian Hockey Federation has decided that they will organise the inaugural Champions Trophy on their own, and it will be held in Ipoh on a yet to be determined date.

In revealing this AHF General Secretary Tan Sri P. Alagendra said the decision followed MHF having imposed certain conditions to play host.

And a meeting between the AHF President Sultan Azlan Shah, AHF Treasurer Fumio Ogura and Alagendra in Kuala Lumpur last week, it was decided that AHF will play the role as hosts.

" We will form an organising commiittee and work out the details of the tournament," said Alagendra when met at the High Street Sikh Temple where he attended the prayers for the late Major Singh, father of MHF Vice President Dato SS Cheema.

" Malaysia made a decision and we respect that but the show must go on.

" The dates will be determined after we have consulted the teams and Malaysia as we would like to know their plans with regards to the Azlan Shah Tournament."

The inaugural event is most likely to be held in January as MHF are said to be keen on holding the Azlan Shah in June.

Alagendra said that the AHF was considering to expand the tournament to five and that will mean India will join the fray with the original teams being Korea, Pakistan, China and Malaysia.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


While the MHF Competitions Committee met yesterday to approve it's calendar for 2010, therre was drama before the meeting proper got underway.

One of Kuala Limpur's representatives was told to leave the meeting as each state was only allowed one representative but KL had two officials at the meeting. The said official was no longer a representative as he had stepped down as the committee's secretary a few months ago while the other representative was the deputy chair of the commiittee, a non existent position going by the constitution. There were heated exchanges and the matter is expected to be deliberated at a yet to be determined council meeting.

Back to the calendar, MHF passed off an opportunity to have the top ranked world teams play in the Azlan Shzh when it opted to hold the tournament in June instead of January, prior to the World Cup. It will be held June 26 to July 4.

Another interesting development was to open participation of the MHL Premier League to clubs from Singapore and asking UniKL to sort out it's affiliation status.

While the MHL will see the participation of these new teams it will be heartbreak for Uitm and Airod as the commiittee decided they can only play in the Premier League in the 2010 edition and not in this years MHL although the two teams gained promotion. The positive side is that one match each Friday will be shown live over ESPN.

Johor will host the 2010 Razak Cup from 24 March to 4 April, prior to the Under 16 event to be held in Sabah from 6 to 14 March. The Under 14 tournament will be held in Penang from Nov 6 to 14 while the host of the Champions School to be held from 17 to 23 July is yet to be determined.

The committee also approved a subsidy of RM5000 to states for the Razak Cup while it is RM4000 for age group events.

However all these decisions are subject to approval from the Council.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


The English lads did what their girls failed to do 24 hours earlier , winning their semi final clash against Holland through a golden goal and making the final of the European Championships.

England defeated Holland 2-1 and will play Germany who defeated Span also 2-1 but in regulation time to set up an unlikely final meeting while the predicted finalists will now play for the bronze.

The English have improved and will be a threat in Delhi, provided they play and not do as their badminton players did in the World Championships, pack up and leave.

Friday, August 28, 2009


There is no confirmation nor has the draw been done and New Zealand could well upset Australia and make the World Cup on merit thus rendering the qualifiers in NZ as a non starter.

But with 17 out of the 18 teams decided, with the exception of Oceania rep is to be decided and based on the preliminary result we have to assume that NZ will play and host one of the qualifiers. So who will play where and if the assesment of this source is to be believed then the team distribution will be as follows:

Qualifier in France
Pakistan, France, Japan, Egypt, Austria, Chile

Qualifer in New Zealand
China, New Zealand, Malaysia, Poland, Scotland, Wales

Qualifier in Argentina
Belgium, Ireland, Argentina, Czech Rep, Russia, USA

These are merely the opinion of a friend within the fraternity so let's pray for Malaysia it is true.


After having a two parter interview with Tai Beng Hai, which was picked up in totality by The Malay Mail and in bits by Harian Metro, the Deputy President of MHF Nur Azmi Ahmad responded with a stinging attack on Beng Hai, calling him a coward.

It's either Azmi does not comprehend English well or did not read the articles and responded in a manner totally unbecoming of a person entrusted with the position of being Malaysian hockey's number two man.

The interviews Azmi, were done prior to the MHF President giving the ultimatum to deliver at the qualifiers or risk being replaced. So get your facts right before you decide to open your mouth and accuse someone of Beng Hai's stature.

Now as so far as coward is concerned, why is it that Azmi refused at the MHF Council meeting in July, a suggestion put forward that he resign should the team fail to qualify? Azmi for the record is the Chairman of the National Team Management Committee, a body formed after the "new" MHF was elected into office last November.

And at that Council meeting Azmi had proposed to do away with the Selection Committee with its powers handed over to the Team Management Committee. Just imagine this, a proposal to do away with a legally constituted sub-committee that falls in the ambit of the MHF Constitution and replace it with a committee that was formed under the powers granted to the MHF President.

So really Azmi, go get your facts right and read the article as a whole. You should be proud to have a coach that is honest and one that does not fear to voice his opinions. Just how many times has your committee met or listened to the coach.

If there is anyone who should be a coward, then it has to be you Azmi and if heads are to roll, then yours has to be the first. Period.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Having talked about the preparation of the team, national coach Tai Beng Hai bares his soul on matters affecting the team as a whole, right down to his unassuming nature that has been misinterpreted by many. Beng Hai was a “reluctant” candidate for the post of national coach when MHF appointed him in December 2008, yet he took up the appointment, as he believed in the players and their ability. His confidence till today is unraveled, as he believes that Malaysian hockey has what it takes to be among the “big” boys once again. Such is Beng Hai’s believe in the ability of the team that he is confident the team, given the right preparation can deliver a gold medal at the Asian Games next year.

(Note: This interview was done before MHF President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah made the statement that Beng Hai must take the team to the World Cup or risk being replaced incase of failure)

MH: Your appointment is till the World Cup Qualifiers, after which you could well be out of a job if Malaysia does not qualify. Do you think it is fair to assess a person’s ability as a Coach after just a year on the job?

BH: When I was appointed I was the Interim Coach, a position that I have held since day one. So in reality I have come to accept that my services could be done away with at any time the MHF wishes to do so. Normally coaches are given a time frame to deliver and ideally it should be over a two-year period. Next year there is the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games to think about, and not to mention the World Cup. So really it is 2010 that we should be working on right now but since I have been told to deliver by November, I shall do my level best. This team has what it takes to win gold at the 2010 Asian Games and in the process an automatic place in the 2012 London Olympics, but the planning should start early.

One must always remember that I am the interim coach so planning beyond November is something I cannot do.

MH: What has been the turn over of players in your squad ever since you have taken over? Have you chopped or made significant changes to the team since January and are there plans to add on more players?

BH: I took over the team in January and basically it has been the same team with exception to three players (Zulkifli, Suffian, Sasidharan) dropping out due to retirement or long-term injuries. And we have roped in some promising youngsters after Junior World Cup, so basically there have been minimum changes. However the team management has made a request to NSC via MHF to increase the squad to 35 players and a decision is expected next week when the Joint Committee meets.

MH: There have been unconfirmed reports that several players are thinking of quitting the national team. Have you been informed of any such withdrawals or intentions? Two of the players said to be considering early retirement are Azlan Misron and Chua Boon Huat as they were peeved at statements made by certain quarters as to why they were left out of the team for the Australia and New Zealand tours. Any truth to this?

BH: As far as I am concerned no players have quit the team and I expect to see Chua and Azlan at training next week. I was told of the intention of Azlan by the Team manager when the team was overseas and intend to meet Azlan to clarify certain things. I also will be having a heart to heart with Chua to find out what his problems are. Frankly leaving them out of the tours was to give others a chance and allow these two to recuperate. At no time did I say that the two are not part of my plans for the qualifiers. I cannot be responsible for what others might have said or was reported in the press, as it did not come from me. Ultimately it is my decision and my intention to talk to these two players is to get to the bottom of the matter, so lets just wait and see what happens.

MH: Is there a problem within the team since most of the players come from a club formerly managed by the Team Manager (George Koshy). Is there any form of compromise over discipline for these players?

BH: The coaches are responsible towards training the players and deciding on the team for tournament and matches and George does not interfere at all. On the question of discipline it is our joint responsibility and there is no question of favoring any player from a particular club. In the national set-up there is no division of players by clubs as they represent Malaysia and not their clubs nor employers. The coaching staffs share a cordial yet professional relationship with the Manager and we standby all decisions made by the management as it is done collectively.

MH: You have often been accused of standing in the way of players intending to play in the foreign leagues. What is your reaction to this?
BH: I have no problems with players wanting to play in foreign leagues so long as it will serve national interest. There are two criteria that I will look at before deciding to release a player to play overseas, firstly is the player disciplined enough to train on his own and secondly will his commitments affect the call of national duty. If the player can deliver on both aspects, then why should I stop them? For example we have Selvarajoo who will be playing in the NZ League and I am happy for him, and at the same time I hope youngsters like Faizal (Saari) will try to get stints with foreign clubs, as ultimately this will help Malaysian hockey.

MH: Some have labeled you difficult to communicate with while others feel that you are at times too reserved. What is your take on this?

BH: Ever since I was a player I shunned publicity and I am just the same person I was during my playing days as well as when coaching the clubs. I am reserved by nature but that should not be seen as being unfriendly. I have had some run-ins with certain personalities but it was just a case of miscommunication or a difference of opinion. To be honest I have no qualms of talking to anyone and have an open door policy for my players and I intend to get my players to open up. A two-way communication is vital to the success of any team.

MH: The European Championships are on, yet you are not there spying on our possible opponents? Why is that so?

BH: I made a request to go but it was denied so what I can do about it. After all I am the interim coach.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Tai Beng Hai is a man under pressure. Appointed to the hot seat of National Coach some eight months ago, Beng Hai has been given the tough task of taking Malaysia to the 2010 New Delhi World Cup via the qualifiers that will be played in October/November this year.

For the record Malaysia last played in the World Cup when it was held in Malaysia in 2002 and on merit Malaysia has only made it to the World Cup twice since 1980, the 1982 World Cup in Bombay and the 1998 World Cup in Utrecht.

A task not for the fainthearted but Beng Hai has put his neck on the chopping block. Failure in the qualifiers, to be played in France, New Zealand or Argentina could well result in Beng Hai joining the likes of Paul Lissek, Sarjit Singh, Wallacca Tan, Stephen van Huizen and Yahya Atan as the former national coaches, all within the last 9 years.

In a no holds barred interview with Malaysian Hockey, Beng Hai talks about the teams chances at the qualifiers, the preparation so far and what is lacking as well as the problems he faces within the team.

Read Part One

MalaysianHockey: You have been tasked to ensure Malaysia plays in the World Cup next year. In all honesty, what do you think our chances are?

Beng Hai: It makes no difference where we play, be it Argentina, New Zealand or France, all the qualifiers are going to be tough. In each of the qualifiers there will be a good team, be it New Zealand, Argentina, Pakistan and in order to qualify we have to beat them, twice that is. So I am being realistic in saying that it will be very difficult to qualify given the current circumstances. I have been with the team for eight months and that is not enough time to whip up a team capable of challenging for honours. To be honest as you said, I think we do not have what it takes to finish amongst the top in any of the qualifiers as we still lack in certain areas and the other teams are ahead of us. But then again there is the element of surprise and we could just pull it off and be in Delhi next March.

MH: It has been said that Malaysia were offered a chance to host the qualifiers after Dubai opted out but the MHF did not take it up. Would you look at things in a different perspective had Malaysia hosted the qualifiers?

BH: That is something that I was never made aware off. If we had played host then things maybe different as with home ground advantage and vocal support we could have had the added advantage. But more so hockey in the country would have benefited as seen from the Asia Cup in Kuantan and the Junior World Cup in Johor Baru. The public needs to get behind the national team and that will help us perform better.

MH: Some have said that the Australian and New Zealand tours were a waste of tax payers funds while others questioned the tactics and rationale of playing the matches, not to mention the yoyo performances of the team against Australia.

BH: As a Coach responsible towards the team, I stand by the decision to play the matches. Over the past few months I have seen vast improvements in areas that require work on, the players are more confident, more effective, more committed when compared to the first few months I took over the team. Our defensive tactics have improved and the players have gained the confidence to take on teams like Australia, rather then just defend. What we need to work on is consistency as you can see from the results during the tour. The players need to work on holding the ball, holding on to a lead and more importantly play with confidence and take on their opponents. Only through playing matches can we improve as not all can be corrected via training alone.

MH: The team has played some 30 international matches, not taking into account the matches against club sides. Of the 30 matches, Malaysia won 10, lost 13 and drew the rest. Is the number of matches played adequate for preparing a team to the qualifiers?

BH: We are scheduled to play six matches in China next month, four against China and the other two against Australia “A”. Realistically we should play around 50 matches per year. There is a possibility that Australia will play us when they go to India in October, a stopover in Malaysia on the way up or down. We also have to wait for the decision from FIH as to which qualifiers we are to play in as it will determine the additional matches, if we play in October then it may well be difficult to arrange matches and a 3 Nation Tournament at home will be a good option, provided we get European Teams that is.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Suhaimi Ibrahim will not get his dues from Yayasan Hockey Malaysia and the Malaysian Hockey Federation are doing little to help the former international.

Suhaimi, who hails from Gemenceh, a product of the Sekolah Menengah Dato Mohd Taha development program, last represented the nation in 2002, having opted out of the national team for the World Cup in Kuala Lumpur that year.

For his services to the country, and the number of international caps, Suhaimi was to receive RM20,000 as retirement fund, but got nothing till today. His case was brought up at the Board Meeting of Yayasan Hoki Malaysia but was turned down.

The Yayasan Hoki Malaysia Board listened to an appeal put forward by Maninderjit Singh, the General Manager of the Malaysian Hockey Federation and turned it down as they felt that Suhaimi had quit while his services was still required and that it was a case of indiscipline.

There are two pertinent questions that require some answers from the MHF. Why did they have their General Manager represent them in making the plea to the Yayasan Hoki Malaysia Board? Wouldn't it be more appropriate and politically correct to have its principal office bearers represent MHF, in the likes of its Deputy President and hordes of Vice Presidents? Or was it a case that the current set of MHF officials have adopted the "tidak apa" syndrome that is the in thing in Malaysian sports today? Mike did his level best, I will guess, but the fact that MHF top guns were not there in person to plead the case is peculiar.

Next we have the issue of being indisciplined. Now did MHF, at that material time, forward the case of Suhaimi abandoning the national team to its Disciplinary Board? Or was any form of action taken on him from 2002 till today. Its like a malay proverb, Kalau telan, mati emak; kalau ludah, mati bapa.

So will the MHF now be kind enough to pay Suhaimi his dues since he had served the nation unselfishly or are they opting to make him into a living example to threaten other players into continuing playing for the country?

Or will there be any sane person out there who has the interest of hockey at heart and start a campaign to collect the RM20,000 due to Suhaimi from the public via donations or staging of a match between players from Suhaimi's era and the present team?

Or will we let him suffer, as has been the case and lend credibility to the notion that only when you are needed you are cared for thus making it easier for parents to keep their children away from playing hockey.

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.

And he will once again regret the day for taking up hockey I am sure. Or perhaps the article below will give Malaysian players something to think about...

To smoothen the affiliation process and promote induction of former players in administration, Hockey India has floated the idea of setting up athletes' commissions at the national and state levels.

Hockey India Secretary Mohammed Aslam said the commissions would ensure formation of unified bodies in the states and their recommendation would be final when it comes to granting affiliation.

At the state level, the commissions will ensure that the services of former players are utilised in team selection.

“All the players and officials have to get themselves registered with the athletes' commissions and players with national and international experience would be included in the selection committees,” Aslam told Hindustan Times.

“Like we have done at HI, the president and secretary won’t have any say in selection process, and even the technical committee people will be those with a hockey background,” Aslam said.

On the merger of the men's and women's bodies at the state level, Aslam said it was not Hockey India's headache.

“How can we ensure merger of the existing bodies in the states? But we will give affiliation only to new unified bodies.”

“Hockey India is a separate entity though it has involvement of people from IHF and the IWHF, it will have own bodies in the states. We will recognise only those bodies that are approved by the athletics commissions.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Chua Boon Huat has decided not to play in the New Zealand hockey league for Midlands Hockey Club. And his decision to carry on with the national team still remains unanswered.

Though he had initially agreed to terms, Chua's change of mind is as a result of him venturing into the business world, and he made the choice to put his business career ahead of his hockey playing career.

"The offer was good but I have to decline as I feel that my presence here is more important as it is my bread and butter in the long term," said Chua when met over lunch.

"It is not as if I am not going to say no to play overseas from now on as I am keeping my options open and an opportunity to play in the competetive Dutch league will be good for my career. So really its all about the timing and the offer."

While Chua has declined, it is believed that another player, Azlan Misron has decided to play in the NZ league. Azlan had recently quit the national team though the MHF has yet to verify this.

Chua said that he has yet to decide on his position in the national team after having been left out of the Australian and New Zealand tours.

"I will report for training next week and will only make a decision after that," said Chua who has 306 international caps to his credit.

"Really there is just so much to think about with regards to the national team. It is up to the coach to determine if I am required in the team or am surplus to his requirements.

"I feel I can contribute but staying on in the national team will depend on several factors and that is something that can only be answered when I resume training."


Have stayed away from the blog for the past few days to see what others had to say about the Razak Cup, and Mlaysian hockey in particular.

Well for starters, no one had the wisdom to blame MHF and its policies, preferring to remain "safe", no matter what some officials within MHF do to destroy the sport. I do not blame them for not wanting to highlight issues as it is akin knocking ones head to the wall, nothing will change, MHF will be as they are - NOT AT ALL BOTHERED, while the affiliates will just be the same, KEEPING MUM.

I could play the same game, keep quiet and let things be, but the readers have to understand that hockey is on the same path as football, and if left unchecked, it will be a case of how low we can go.

Let's look at some of the things that MHF have done, or rather not done over the past weeks>


I ask this because it will be a case of being penny wise pound foolish. Take for example the decision of MHF to set conditions for the Asian Hockey Federation to host the Asian Champions Trophy in Malaysia in January next year.

The decision is downright ridiculous, short sighted to say the least and puts into jeopardy our image amongst other countries. I will list down several points for the readers to think about:

- What is there to stop AHF from hosting the tournament on their own in Malaysia?

- Why did we not appeal for reduction of sanction fees for the Junior World Cup?

- Why are we not keen in hosting the event on the proposed dates?

- Was the President briefed on the imlications and was the Nat Team consulted?

- What do we have to lose if we held the tournament on those dates and those terms?

Malaysia has NOT qualified for the March 2010 World Cup, so assuming that we do not qualify, the tournament will help us gain some valuable ranking points that will help us ahead of the World Cup. Looking at things we will be ranked 18 at the end of the Champions Challenge 1 this December, so did anyone in the MHF think about this?

If we DO qualify, the tournament will be good preparation for the team in gearing for the World Cup. But then again as some in MHF tend to wish, that India will not host the World Cup and Malaysia will make it via backdoor, that's how they hope Malaysian hockey progresses, through shoddy details, akin hoping that terrorism helps us progress.

So MHF says the dates are not conducive? If that is the case then are the MHF thinking of hosting the Azlan Shah Cup in January, cos if they do, its funny that AHF, and in particular Sultan Azlan Shah, who is the President of AHF is not aware of the matter.

But then again, where is the MHF calendar for 2010, well if you ask me, they are all waiting for the qualifiers this November and there after for some lunatic to create chaos in India so Malaysia gets to host the World Cup, who cares right if its via the back door?

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Talented sportsmen who want a career and at the same time can look at joining the Armed Forces. Such openings are available to them via the National Defence University or Universiti Pertahanan Malaysia.

Major Jen Datuk Aziz Ibrahim, who is the Assistant Ketua Staff Perkhidmatan Am, said that the Armed Forces were keen on providing such opportunities to sportsmen and their doors were always open should the youngsters opt for a career in the Armed`Forces.

He revealed this after witnessing Armed Forces defeated Singspore 3-0 to win the Division Two title and in the process gaining promotion to Division One of the Tun Razak Cup competition.

"We welcome those who want to join the Armed Forces and there are ample opportunities available to the sportsmen", said Major Jen Datuk Aziz.

"They should be between 18 to 23 and have the necessary qualifications and we will. give them a priority for places in the university."

He also revealed that the current Armed Forces hockey team was built over two years and comprised of those who were already in the Armed Forces with an average age of 24.

And with the success of civilian coach K.Rajan leading the team to the title, he said that they had every intention of keeping this going in the future.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


It will be a battle between youth and experience when the Project 2013 squad take on Malacca in the final of the 47th edition of the Tun Razak Cup.

The Project side have done well to make their final but will find it difficult to match the achievement of the National Juniors of 1979 who won the Razak Cup in Malacca, defeating Penang 2-0 in the final.

To be honest it was totally a different era we are talking about as those days the Razak Cup was the premier hockey tournament, of exceptionally high standard and the battles were robust but fairly contested.

Even the umpires those days had to go through a test of character as blowing a final at Malacca Club those days needed officials who were brave to withstand not only physical abuse but at times avoid stones as well.

Nothing of that sort is expected to happen at the Tun Razak Stadium as the Juniors should previal simply because they are superior in terms of fitness. Playing seven matches in eight days will take the toll on any team, more so of the state teams that are clearly ill prepared for the Razak Cup.

Malacca have players in the likes of Chua Boon Huat, Zaharin Zakaria, B. Namasivam and Nor Ikhram Sulaiman, players who can turn the match with one stroke of genius play. But do they have the fitness to last the pace or will they hope for rain to slow down the Juniors?

As for the Division Two final, it will be a battle between two generation of Malaysian coaches who will try to outwit each other.

Armed Forces have on their bench K. Rajan while Singapore are coached by Lim Chiow Chuan. The two teams were in the same pool in the preliminary round and the match ended in a 4-4 stalemate.

Forces will be out to grab the trophy ad with it a place in the top flight next year while for Singapore


Division One
Malacca 0 Project 2013 0
Johor 6 Penang 1
Kuala Lumpur x Negri Sembilan x.


Division One
Project 2013 v Malacca
(Tun Razak Stadium, 5pm).

Division Two
Armed Forces v Singapore (Tun Razak Stadium, 3pm).


Having first picked up a hockey stick when he was four, Australian Jamie Dwyer has become a Gold Medal Olympian, been twice named the IHF World’s Hockey Player of the Year and played hockey in Spain, India and The Netherlands.

Jamie has now played for Australia 190 times, scoring 114 goals, and plays in Holland for Bloemendaal HC in the Dutch Rabo Hoofdklasse. On his return from touring with his national team, The Kookaburras, Jamie talked to The Sport Review.

You were offered a cricket scholarship in Brisbane when you were 16, was there pressure on you to pursue this? And why did you choose hockey instead?

There was no real pressure to pursue a cricketing career; my parents let me decide which sport I wanted to play. I always liked hockey better because of how fast it is. I also always wanted to go to the Olympics.

What are the main differences between the way hockey is received and represented in Holland compared to your native Australia?

In Australia we have a lot of sports to compete with and it’s not as popular as what it is in Holland. What I really like about playing in Holland is the crowds and how they really appreciate good hockey.

Describe a sporting week in the life of a top international hockey player plying in their trade in the worlds best competition – The Rabo Hoofdklasse?

I’ll train with the stick and ball about four times a week; I’ll also do two gym sessions and maybe a run or a yoga session. Then there will be two or three team meetings, as well as a game at the weekend.

Which current hockey players do you admire and why?

I admire Teun De Nooijer. He has been in the top three or four players in the world for 15 years. He’s a role model for younger hockey players.

What has been your greatest sporting moment and achievement?

Winning the gold medal, and scoring the Golden Goal in Athens was the greatest moment in my hockey career. Also getting named best player in the world twice was a great personal achievement.

Which sportsmen do you admire from outside the game of hockey?

John Eales.

What do you think can be done to raise the profile and stature of the game?

The game needs to be on television as much as possible. I also think they can do a better job with the way they video the game. I think they should video from behind the goal not from the sideline. Also, maybe the creation of a world cup challenge.

What advice would you give to any rising players looking to succeed at the highest level?

Train hard and always look to improve, but most of all have fun playing the game.


Received an email from Paul Lissek who is currently helping out Australian Hockey. He has made some interesting observations that has been stated by many but somewhat MHF and NSC turn a deaf ear, for how long we will not know, but I guess if and when we fail to qualify for the World Cup, reality will sink in.

"We are one week away from our trip to New Zealand were we play the Oceania Cup or the Qualifier for WC in New Delhi 2010. It is interesting to see from my new perspective how they are preparing and focusing the opponents!

Australia team and officials are very professional. The main advantage is that players are working very liberal and independent, means with a lot of self-discipline. The players coming for individual training-sessions and following their different plan.

They train with different coaches and they also coming for individual video-sessions, sitting with a coach to discuss. The methodical principal 'players as partners' not 'players as schoolboys' makes the difference! Sometimes players working in groups on their particular issues and getting more confident to working out the important points!

I am not allowed to talk about our interior work because it is one of our principals in contract, to keep it. But I know how much you are interested about different working methods in different hockey teams in the world!

You can easy realize, why Australia is on the field much more confident and superior than others, especially Malaysia! When you would change the system of 'full-time-training' and replace it through a normal system like other countries doing to make the players work and study, the character and the responsibility and motivation of Malaysian players would improve simply!

In Australia players like Livermore can still play in National Team despite he is not training with the team but working far from Perth near Brisbane and stay with his family!

I could give you many examples and reasons."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Malacca booked a place in the final of the Tun Razak Cup after a hard fought 3-2 win over Negri Sembilan and will play the Project 2013 side who held Penang to a 3-3 draw to secure the crucial point.

Malacca will play the Project 2013 side tomorrow, a mere formality as both teams are likely to play their reserves and save the best for Thursday's final.

Malacca took the lead in the 4th minute through Nor Ikhram Sulaiman. They doubled their advantage when Amirullah Zainal scored. Having a 2-0 lead so eraly resulted in complacency creeping in and NS took full advantage to score twice in four minutes, through Suhaimi Ibrahim (10th minute) and Sukhwinder Singh (13th minute).

Mirhardy Nawawi, the younger brother of former international Mirnawan Nawawi scored in the 29th minute to put Malacca 3-2 ahead and the score remained the same till the end of the match.

In Division Two, Armed Forces, coached by former juniors coach K. Rajan,booked their place in the final when they hammered Kedah 7-1 in the semi final played at the KLHA Stadium.

They will play Singapore who defeated Selangor 2-1 in a match that was stopped in the 59th minute due to rain.


After having touched on the fact that Razak Cup is in no way contributing to the development of hockey, lets move to the Malaysian Hockey Federation and see how they look at the importance of Razak Cup.

Firstly the dates were moved, from November to August to fit in the World Cup Qualifiers, why was this done, no one knows as the national players could not play if it was held in November and nor are the players available for the ongoing tournament.

Secondly the tournament had to be played at various venues as MHF had not booked the facilities, that was how MAS got the Tun Razak pitch on Saturday and KL/Johor finished their match around 1045pm. Why hold an event in KL when it could have been held in Kuantan, Johor or Ipoh where there are two pitches side by side?

Thirdly the format of the competition leaves much to be desired. States only knew about the Project Team playing sometime in June and MHF could have had a eight team division one rather then having an odd number. The distribution of teams thus created a problem and Sabah played four matches and wasted thousands of ringgit. This could have been avoided if MHF had opted for eight teams in each divisions and each team got to play a minimum seven matches. Why bother with placing matches?

Just how serious are MHF with the player/official registration? Just look at the IC numbers to determine where a player qualifies to play, but then again were there any release letters to start with?

Next we go on to qualification of coaches. It was minuted and confirmed by the MHF Coaching Chairman that the coaches of Razak Cup teams must by Level Three. Just how many of the coaches are Level 3? Who checked on this? For states who do not have level 3, MHF can give an exemption but also help ensure an active coach from that state attends a Level 3 course.

The Competition Rules are a joke as there was no provision to determine the winners of the placing matches in the rules, only the final was stated where extra time and penalty strokes were to be used to determine a winner. Why was there no such rules for the placing matches? For the MHL some officials were adamant that UniKL can play although not affiliated, this is the price one pays for copy and paste tricks.

There is no medical coverage, no ambulance can be seen. When asked there are claims that the medical personel are there, but no stretcher is visible. If its an international event, the whole works will be there, lets blame ISN on this shall we.

Am saving the best for last, only two media are covering the Razak Cup, so what is the MHF Media Committee under the leadership of the MHF Deputy President doing about it. Well they could not even provide wifi, and I have been kind enough to let the media use my account. Getting results is a nightmare as only one MHF staff does it. And that too from two venues..

So is it relevant for Razak Cup to be held with such shoddy treatment?

Monday, August 17, 2009


Kuala Lumpur redeemed themselves by defeating Penang 6-2 and will now hope for some results going their way to make Thursday’s final.

The city side have six points and have to defeat Perak (Tuesday) and Negri Sembilan (Wednesday) to have a chance of finishing among the top two. They will also have to hope that either one of the other three, Malacca, Project 2013 or Johor falter.

They had one part of their wish fulfilled when Johor went down 3-2 to the Project 2013 and now will hope that Malacca falter against the Project side in the final preliminary match on Wednesday.

Kuala Lumpur went ahead through Mohd Fairuz Ramli in the 6th minute but Penang drew level in the 18th minute via Khairil Anuar Md Isa. However the city side went into the breather ahead when Mahinder Singh scored in the 25th minute.

It took Penang just three minutes into the second half to draw level when Kernail Singh slammed an unstoppable shot off a penalty corner past KL custodian Abdul Hakim Adnan.

KL turned on the power after that and scored four without reply through the efforts of Tajol Rosli Mohamad (47th and 61st minutes), Fairuz (52nd minute) and Mohd Faizal Daud (70th minute).

The Project 2013 squad however were fortunate to get all three points as they allowed Johor back into the match after taking a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Adapting better to the heavy pitch conditions, the Juniors went ahead through Faheed Saifuddin Shahrom Jamil in the 16th minute and doubled their lead through Mohd Faiz Helmi in the 26th minute. The match was stopped in the 28th minute due to heavy rain.

In the second half Johor took control and made use of the chances to draw level through the efforts of Amir Hamzah Ahmad who scored in the 46th and 64th minutes.

Just when the match looked as if it was headed for a draw, Mohamad syamin Mohd Yusof picked up a long overhead flick out of defence and dribbled past Ahmad Bazli Razai in the Johor goal to give the Juniors a valuable win.

Juniors will now need just three points from their remaining two matches to book a place in the final this Thursday. They play Penang tomorrow and Malacca on Wednesday and look good to book their place with a win over Penang.

Fixtures (Tuesday)

Division Two (5th – 8th Placings)
0730 - KLHA Brunei vs Perlis
0930 - KLHA Pahang vs PDRM

Division Two Semi Finals
1530 - KLHA ATM vs Kedah
1730 - KLHA Selangor vs Singapore

Division One
1500 - STR N. Sembilan vs Melaka
1700 - STR K. Lumpur vs Perak
1900 - STR Penang vs Projek 2013


Division One
Kuala Lumpur 6 Penang 2
Project 2013 3 Johor 2
Negri Sembilan Perak

Division Two

Group A
Brunei 3 Sabah 1

Group B
Selangor 1 Kedah 0
Pahang 6 Perlis 1


Is the Tun Razak Cup relevant towards the promotion and development of hockey in Malaysia?

Or is being held just because it is part of the Malaysian Hockey Federation calendar?

And if the word of the theorists is to be taken, then it is held because MHF is dearth of ideas and allows certain personalities a chance to gain the support from states, provision of subsidy in exchange for votes in the next AGM?

Let’s not base this on assumptions but rather on hard facts and figures to get to the bottom of the matter. Some may say this is a complete waste of time, but I rather look at it in a positive manner as MHF must awaken from its slumber.

From a total of 288 players registered to play in the Tun Razak Cup, 68 of them were born in 1990 or after, thus making them below 19 years of age. This includes 18 players from the Project 2013 Squad and as well as 1 from Singapore and 3 from Brunei. Thus effectively the affiliates contribute 46 players below the age of 19, an average of 3 players per affiliate.

Then we have players born between 1980 and 1990, the numbers being 177 players. Here we are looking at players whose ages range between 20 and 29 years old. Of the 177 players some 103 are eligible to play in the Under 23 Tournament that MHF revived after 24 years. (For the record the last Under 20 and Under 23 Tournaments were held in 1985 for the Dato Alagendra and Aziz Durairatnam trophies respectively).

Next we have players who are from 30 to 40 years old, and this is where it becomes a bit frightening as there are 41 players in this age range while 2 players, Gary Fidelis and Louis Gregory are in the 40 to 50 age group while Derek Fidelis holds the rare distinction of being the only player above 50 playing in the Razak Cup.

I will let readers digest these figures and will also touch on MHF organizational priorities and abilities in my second part later today.


Malaysia have been offered to be the host of the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy after Pakistan pulled out of hosting the event that was scheduled for September this year.

Asian Hockey Federation Hon. Secretary Tan Sri P. Alagendra said that the AHF Council that met last month in China had agreed to offer the host job to Malaysia and a letter to this effect was sent to the Malaysia Hockey Confederation on July 29.

"We are awaiting the decision of the MHC after which we will decide the next course of action should Malaysia decline," said Alagendra.

"The tournament will go on as we believe that the Asian teams need more competetive matches and it will also serve as a perfect preparation for the World Cup that will be held in March."

The tournament is to feature the top four teams of the recent Asia Cup, South Korea, Pakistan, China and Malaysia.

"We have proposed early January as the most suitable dates for the tournament and hope that Malaysia responds positively," said Alagendra.

Malaysia is expected to make a decision when the Management Committee of MHF meets on Tuesday.


Defending champions Kuala Lumpur are all but out of the reckoning for the 47th edition of the Tun Razak Cup. They lost 3-2 to Malacca, their second defeat in the tournament, having lost 5-4 to the Project 2013 squad on Thursday.

The city side have only three points to show after three outings, as a result of their 3-2 win over Johor late Saturday night. And their match against Penang on Monday will be crucial for their survival. Penang surprisingly lost 4-2 to Negri Sembilan.

KL took the lead in the 16th minute through Mohd Sallehin Abdul Ghani but soon the city side were on the receiving end. B. Namasivayam equalized through a well worked penalty corner set piece in the 24th minute and Nor Ikhram Sulaiman put Malacca ahead two minutes before the breather.

Ahmad Anuar Sham Kamar scored Malacca’s third in the 39th minute and though KL pulled a goal back via a penalty corner converted by M. Kaliswaran six minutes from time, they lacked the decisiveness to find the equalizer.

Perhaps KL have a reason to feel aggrieved with the MHF as their match against Johor was only completed at 10.30pm last night. But then again Johor were in a more difficult position as they played Perak at 3.00pm today, barely 16 hours after completing their match against KL.

After the dust had settled at the end of day four of the Tun Razak Cup, the battle for the top two spots in Division One is now between Malacca, Johor and Project 2013. Malacca top the table with eight points from four matches followed by Project 2013 who have seven points, the same as Johor but sit second due to better goal difference.

In Division Two, Armed Forces and Singapore have booked their places in the semi finals from Group A and they will be joined by Kedah and Selangor from Group B. Armed Forces hammered Sabah 9-0 while Singapore edged PDRM 3-2 to book their places in the last four.

Johor were a goal down against Perak who had scored via Azlan Misron as early as the 9th minute. But two well struck penalty corners by Muhammad Nur Hafiq in the 63rd and 65th minutes gave them all three points.

Results (Saturday)

Division One
Penang 1 Malacca 2
Project 2013 1 Perak 1
Johor 2 Kuala Lumpur 3

Division Two
Group A
ATM 8 Brunei 0
Singapore 3 Sabah 0
Group B
Pahang 1 Kedah 2
Perlis 1 Selangor 6

Results (Sunday)

Division One
Perak 1 Johor 2
Kuala Lumpur 2 Malacca 3
N. Sembilan 4 Penang 2

Division Two
Group A
ATM 9 Sabah 0
PDRM 2 Singapore 3

Sunday, August 16, 2009


HOCKEY: Deflation after draw

The orchestrated movement in and out of the hut was up there with the professional models on the catwalk.

The Black Sticks looked slick in that deprtment last night in the fourth hockey test in Napier as a microphone-equipped coach Shane McLeod barked instructions and whispered crucial messages to his players.

``Patience'', ``Recycle the lead'', ``We need some width there'' were some of the audible ones.

But those in the know will tell you, whether it's modelling, theatre or sports the flow, as they say, always boils down to keeping one's shape and momentum on the stage at all times.

Unfortunately the Black Sticks didn't at the Kelt Capital Hockey Stadium. When the final hooter went a sense of deflation in the 2-all draw was obvious. As the drenched Sticks trudged back to the hut, someone kicked the fence in anger while another smacked his stick in frustration.

Yes, the Kiwis had won the war - an unassailable 2-nil lead in the five-match series with one test to play in Taupo tomorrow at 1.30pm - but they had lost last night's battle.

McLeod agreed the nailbiter was a great spectacle for the raincoat-wearing and umbrella-toting fans who braved the rain but it was far from champagne in the build-up to the Oceania qualifiers against Australia later this month.

``They [Malaysia] did some things quite well and we struggled,'' the former director of the Kelt Capital Hawke's Bay Hockey Academy told SportToday as the tourists carded a second stalemate.

New Zealand drew first blood in just the third minute from Andy Hayward penalty corner drag flick.

But the Malaysians, who had an aura of timidity about them, showed tenacity in a wave of counter attacks which paid dividends when centre forward Selvaraju Sandrakasi put one past goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex in the 19th minute.

But captain Phil Burrows traded passes with Ryan Archibald to go up up 2-1 in the 28th minute before defender Muhammad Amin Rahim levelled terms five minutes later.

In the second half the vistors relished their position despite Simon Child's call to ``put your foot on their throats, boys''. The Sticks came close with a couple of drag flicks sailing over the crossbar but the tranquil Malayasia defenders, backed by a couple of outstanding saves from the keeper, absorbed the hosts' aggression.

Archibald exchanged expletives with Malaysian coach Tai Beng Hai, prompting tournament director Stuart Ashby to caution both camps.

``We're here to train with New Zealand who are ranked higher than us and we hope to prepare them for the Oceania,'' said Hai, finding it cold but welcoming the rain.

In the Sticks' case, if they are to reign over the Aussies they must improve


Amstelveen: India lost 3-5 to The Netherlands in their first hockey Test at the Wagener Stadium here.

India did well to come back strong from a 0-5 deficit with strikes from Sardar Singh (40th) and Prabhjot Singh (60th, 69th).

For the Dutch, Timme Hoyng (2nd), Teun de Nooijer (4th), Taeke Taekema (17th and 25th) and Rogier Hoffman (32nd minute) were on target here Friday.

Holland began crisply and shook up the Indian defence, scoring twice in the first four minutes.

Floris Evers intercepted a short pass from Teun de Nooijer before setting up Hoyng in the striking circle. Hoyng dodged past Sandeep Singh and beat goalkeeper Adrian D'souza with a powerful volley to give the Dutch the lead in the second minute.

Two minutes later, further setback was in store for the Indians when De Nooijer, playing his 400th international, pushed home from close range after a goalmouth melee.

India won a penalty corner shortly after when Tushar Khandker was fouled, but Sandeep Singh's effort was saved by custodian Gus Vogels.

India lost two more chances with Rajpal Singh missing out to Khandker and Shivendra Singh's crosses.

The Dutch won their first penalty corner in the 17th minute with Vikram Pillay commiting a foul. Local lad Taekema flicked in high to D'souza's right.

Holland continued their onslaughts as India were unable to block the leakage and conceeded the fourth goal with Taekema converting another penalty corner in the 25th minute.

Hoffman added to the tally in the 32nd minute as the hosts took a 5-0 lead by the breather.

India's first goal came when Sardar got past three Dutch defenders before beating Vogels with an angular forehand five minutes after the break.

This was followed by a brace from Prabhjot in the 60th and 69th minutes from passes by Khandker and Rajpal respectively.


The Black Sticks concluded the five test series against Malaysia with a 2 - 1 win Taupo today.

New Zealand has taken out the series with three wins and two draws.

Hayden Shaw was first on the score board with a drag flick penalty corner in the 20th minute.

Phil Burrows took the keeper on one one one for the second NZ goal and Malaysia pulled one back in the latter stages of the first half through a field goal through Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abd Jalil.

Ryan Archibland made a superb stick save on an attacking Malaysian penalty corner in the second half to keep the Black Sticks in the lead.

The New Zealanders came away with the win but probably should have converted more chances.

Standouts were Casey Henwood in the midfield, defenders Hayden Shaw, Dean Couzins and Blair Hopping and Nick Haig up front.


It is with great sadness we learnt the death of Ms. Vivian May Soars, one of our dearest comrades of women’s hockey in Malaysia. Ms. Vivian passed away on Friday (13/8/2009) at 4am at the University Malaya Medical Centre due to heart problems. It is indeed a great loss for the MWHA and women’s hockey in Malaysia. Ms. Vivian has truly been a lady with such grace, dignity and strength to pursue what she believed were the right of women. She has always been a testimony for women empowerment. She will be greatly missed by all of us in the hockey fraternity.

Ms. Vivian was actively involved as a player beginning in the late 40s. She played for Selangor and represented many prominent clubs such as the Selangor Club. In the early 1960s, Ms. Vivian became a member of the Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association, representing the Selangor Hockey Association as a delegate. In 1971, Ms. Vivian was the Chief Coach of our national team playing in among the earliest foreign test-series in New Zealand. In September 1975 Malaysia participated in the IFWHA 1st Women’s World Cup Tournament in Edinburgh, Scotland. Enroute Edinburgh Malaysia visited Denmark where the team played three matches with State and Club sides and which were all won by Malaysia. The team was coached by Ms. Vivian. Her passion and dedication as a teacher further complemented her involvement in hockey. Ms. Vivian moved to Malacca in the 1980s as a teacher and within a short period of time, created a new dimension of hockey in Malacca. She became the President of Malacca Women’s Hockey, which created a direct link to the Federal body. Ms.Vivian moved back to Selangor to play an integral role in the Federal Hockey Association to organize two concurrent World tournaments, the World Cup and the Continental Cup in 1983. In 1984, Ms. Vivian became a Vice President in the Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association. Ms. Vivian was also a manager of the national team for several competitions such as the FALFA Cup.

In the early years of women’s hockey in Asia, Ms. Vivian played an important role in representing Malaysian women. Malaysia was represented by two delegates, Miss Vivian Soars (Vice President) and Mrs. Dororthy Sibert Bailey (Hon. Secretary) at the Asian Women’s Hockey Federation Council Meeting at Madras, India from 25th to 27th January, 1975.

Ms. Vivian Soars has indeed been a remarkable lady which made a great difference for Malaysian women’s hockey. The MWHA will greatly miss her but will ensure her dreams for Malaysian women’s hockey to reach great heights will always be held dear to our hearts and be pursued relentlessly.

Ms. Vivian’s funeral will be held at the St. Paul’s church in Petaling Jaya, Selangor at 9am on 17/8/2009.

Dr Shamala Subramaniam (Hon. Secretary MWHA)

Friday, August 14, 2009


Dave Ross has joined an elite group of three development coaches who are being groomed to coach the Black Sticks.

Hockey New Zealand announced yesterday that Ross and former Otago representatives Tina Bell-Kake (Auckland) and Hymie Gill (Hamilton) have been named as coaches to receive special instruction from former Black Sticks coach Kevin Towns.

The expectation is that they will step up to coach the Black Sticks in the future.

Ross (50), a teacher at Kings High School, was pleased with his appointment.

"I have been working towards this for a long time," he said.

"I hope to coach the New Zealand Juniors in the next cycle, in four years' time.

"Further down the track, if I'm lucky, it could open up a position to coach the Black Sticks."

The last Otago person to coach the New Zealand men's side was Ray McKinlay, in 1969.

Ross has had a wide experience of coaching in Otago from the Hatch Cup level to senior level for Otago and the Southern regional team.

He has also coached the New Zealand indoor team that played world champion Australia in test series in the 1990s and beat it in a few tests.

"You have got to do your time at the lower end of the sport before you can advance to senior level," Ross said.

Hockey New Zealand coaching and development officer Brad Jensen said that the coaching structure and pathway to the top positions had now been formalised.

"We want to create a small group of coaches who aspire to be national coaches, progress them and put them into a position where they can become future Black Stick coaches," Jensen told the Otago Daily Times from Auckland.

"Kevin Towns will be a sounding board to help them become better equipped to handle high performance hockey."

There were 17 applicants for the jobs and this was reduced to a short-list of six before the three were appointed.

"They will attend Black Sticks training camps and will be assessed on their progress," Jensen said.

Jensen said the development coaches were the next tier down from the current national panel.

"It is initially for a one-year cycle and we will reassess it then to see where we go from there, " he said.

"The knowledge the coaches gain will be valuable for local work and will help the regional development of New Zealand hockey."

Ross has always been skilled at analysing the weaknesses in opponents and developing a strategy to win games.

"The advance of technology with the Gamebreaker software has changed the approach to the sport," Ross said.

Video analysis tapes and codifies games, to identify opponents' weak spots.

"I will be learning a lot of new things and how to use the technology to get the edge. We have been a bit backward in Otago."

The Gamebreaker software costs $56,000 and it is too expensive for Otago Hockey, which borrows the machine owned by the South Island Academy of Sport when it needs to do analysis.

Hymie Gill (36), the director of hockey at Hamilton Boys High School, grew up in Mosgiel and played Hatch Cup hockey for Otago before being educated at Christs College in Christchurch.

He played senior hockey for the province when he studied for his BA in history and political science at the University of Otago.

Gill played 79 games for the Black Sticks between 1997 and 2002.

Tina Bell-Kake first played for New Zealand when she was a physical education student at Otago and played 132 games for the Black Sticks between 1986 and 2000.


It was a winning debut for MHF Hon. Treasurer Sanjilatheeban Subramaniam as he coached hs home state Penang to a 4-2 win over Perak in the Tun Razak Cup Division One match today.

The islanders made the most of a rain interrupted match to defeat Perak who had a better team overall but just failed to click. Perhaps Perak were still feeling the strains of their match against Malacca the previous day that ended in a 1-1 draw.

It was Perak though who took the lead in the 9th minute through Hairul Nizam Rani who converted a penalty corner. Penang equalised two minute later through Mohd Fahmy Nasir but the Silver state regained the initiative when Davendran scored in the 20th minute.

Penang found the equaliser via Mohd Jamil Saidin in the 22nd minute and three minutes later the match was stopped due to a downpour.

Penang scored twice in the second half through Abdul Razak Saidin (37th minute) and Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin (60th minute) to take all three points.

Meanwhile, the Project 2013 squad handed the veterans of Negri Sembilan a lesson in hockey as they recorded their second win in as many days, blanking last year's runner up 7-0 at the Tun Razak Stadium.

Having brushed aside the defending champions Kuala Lumpur 5-4 yesterday, the Juniors made full use of the penalty corners, with six out of their total coming via penalty corner conversions.

Muhamad Sabri Mohamed was the toast of the Project side as he hammered in four goals, all via penalty corners, in the 29th, 33rd, 59th and 67th minutes. Mohamad Noor Faeez Ibrahim netted two goals in the 16th and 41st minutes, both through penalty corners while the solitary field goal was scored by Muhammad Firhan Ashari in the 53rd minute.

In the Division Two match played at the KLHA Stadium, PDRM and Brunei played to a 3-3 draw. This is PDRM's second consecutive draw as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sabah yesterday.

Singapore and Armed Forces also shared the points when they played to a 4-4 draw.


New Zealand drew 2 - 2 with Malaysia in Napier tonight.

The Black Sticks scored first two seven minutes into the match with an Andy Hayward penalty corner drag flick variation.

Several minutes later Malaysia later counter attacked and equalised in the 19th minute through S. Selvarajoo. Mohd Amin Rahim converted a penalty corner in the 33rd minute and Phil Burrows drew the Kiwis level before half time.

In the second half no major chances presented either side, although NZ went close twice on corners with Petherick going over top and several Hayden Shaw attempts saved. Kyle Pontifex also did well in goal thwarting a couple of good attempts.

For the Black Sticks Ryan Archibald was a class above working his way out of tight spots, dirbbling well and giving great passes that should have resulted in more.

The final match of the series is in Taupo on Sunday. New Zealand lead with two wins and a two draws.


The Razak Cup Tournament continues to set record of sorts. If you think that development of hockey players is the aim of holding such a tournament, then read on and you will be truly amazed as to how "high" the development aspect is. Perhaps we are the only country in the world that develops veteran players.

One is even older than the tournament itself, for the Tun Razak Cup is in its 47th edition and Derek Fidelis turns 51 on October 14 this year. Derek, or known these days as Muhamad Fariez Fidelis is the oldest player in the tournament, representing Negri Sembilan.

Infact Negri Sembilan is fielding a veteran side in the tournament as Derek's younger brother Gary Fidelis a.k.a. Muhamad Rafiq Fidelis is 45 years old, having celebrated his 45th birthday on February 17 this year.

But there is a plus factor, it is the participation of the Project 2013 team, that has helped the law of average and reduce the figures to a certain extent. For they have several youngsters in the side, some that will turn 17 this year, with the youngest being Faheed Saifullah Shahrom Jamil, who will turn 17 on 11th December 1993.