Tuesday, September 29, 2009


"Men are only clever at shifting blame from their own shoulders
to those of others."

In what will come as a shock to some in the hockey fraternity, Malaysian Hockey can reveal that four senior players could well be shown the exit when the final squad for the World Cup Qualifiers is named next month.

And more shockingly, the dropping of these players has been on the cards since the Down Under tour in August this year.

It is learnt that some former hockey officials have played a key role in getting the players dropped from the team, an act that was agreed positively by the two coaches, Tai Beng Hai and Nor Saiful Zaini.

While the likely omission of Mohd Salehin Abd Ghani is to be expected, the three mainstays of the squad for the last few years, Chua Boon Huat, Azlan Misron and Ismail Abu will surely send tremors in the hockey fraternity.

A lobby of some sorts from officials opposed to the inclusion of these players seems to have gathered steam after Chua and Sallehin were given the nod, rather reluctantly by the Coaches, to play in the Austrian League.

Ismail and Azlan seem to have lost favour with the coaches, especially after Ismail had been absent from training for two days after the Raya break.

And the line up opted by Beng Hai in their friendly against the Project 2013 side seem to give a clear indication that the Gang of Four will not be on the plane for Invercargil.

The discarding of these players when the team has a realistic chance to qualify is indeed surprising. But more can be read into this decision.

It is as if the Coaches are buying an insurance to safeguard the team and MHF should they return from NZ without qualifying for the World Cup.

While the intention can also be construed as an effort to build a team for the future, must it be done at this stage, when we REALLY have a REALISTIC chance of making it to New Delhi.

Malaysian Hockey is well aware there will be denials and counter stories written with regards to this, even to the extent of naming two of these players for the team to face the Australians, there cannot be smoke without fire.

And why only now do they realise we need to build for the future?

And if it really was for the future, then why bother participating in the qualifiers in the first place, using our hard earned money for your experiments?