Thursday, February 25, 2010


Finally an official announcement was made by the NSC Director General Dato Zolkples Embong that Dutchman Roelant Oltmans will take over the reins of the National Team from May 1.

Informed sources at the press conference held after the joint MHF-NSC meeting held today notified this blog about the appointment of Oltmans, something that this blog had revealed in November last year.

Although there are some finer details yet to be ironed out, the NSC DG went ahead and made the announcement, something that MHF officials had wanted to keep under wraps.

Though it cannot be confirmed, the package for the Dutchman is said to be in the region of RM800,000 per year.

Stephen van Huizen and Tai Beng Hai will handle the team for the Asian Champions Trophy as most likely the Azlan Shah Cup with Oltmans taking over after that.

And the Joint Committee has left it to Oltmans to decide if additional players are needed from the 25 that have been named thus far and also on the composition of the team for the Commonwealth Games as NSC has made it clear it is the Asian Games that they have in mind.


We are happy to announce the Pahang Women Hockey Association, in collaboration with Pahang Sports Council and ICAN Sports Event, is hosting the 2nd edition of the Pahang Queen’s Cup Challenge. HRH Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom of Pahang Darul Makmur is the patron of the event.

This year’s tournament marks the second year of the prestigious women hockey challenge to be held over one week from 21 – 27th February in Kuantan, Pahang Darul Makmur.

Eight state teams will be participating at the hockey stadium at Wisma Belia and the Pahang Darul Makmur Sports Complex.

The Pahang Queen’s Cup challenge is aimed at providing a systematic development platform for young talents/players in Malaysia to develop and showcase their talents in a highly competitive environment.

It will help create future job opportunities for women players, coaches, sport sciences practitioners and be an avenue for players and coaches to seriously consider the sport of hockey as a professional career.

The first inaugural tournament, held in November 2008, saw the Kedah state team emerging the inaugural champion with state teams from Pahang and Johore coming in second and third respectively.

The event was not held in 2009 due to the high incidences of the H1N1 flu sickness in the country.

The organisers are happy to welcome Genting World Resorts as the main corporate sponsor for this year’s event and look forward to greater involvement from the corporate sector in supporting the development of women hockey in Malaysia through this program.

This tournament is being jointly organised by Pahang Women Hockey Association (PWHP), Pahang Sports Association and ICAN Sports Event. Also the organisers are grateful with the full support and encouragement obtained from Ministry of Youth & Sports, Pahang Youth & Sports Exco and the Malaysian Women Hockey Association.

IThe awareness created through the media will go a long way towards making the program a cornerstone behind women hockey sports development.

Thursday, February 18, 2010



It is vivid. The whole journey, from the time we assembled for the tournament to returning home to a rousing welcome. It was one of the finest moments of Indian hockey. Kuala Lumpur shall always remain a memorable venue for all of us. Beating Pakistan in the final was the most emphatic statement we could have ever made. Needless to say, there was tension prior to the match but once the ball began rolling we knew we had a job in hand. That we accomplished it with some sensa tional play was a tribute to the hard work of every member of that wonderful Indian team.

The way we entered the final indicated the excellent form of our key players. V. J. Philips was in his elements when he scored both the goals in our opening match against England (2-1). We then drew with Australia (1-1) in a tough match. Ghana was an easy opponent — we won 7-0 — but the 1-2 defeat at the hands of Argentina meant we had to win the last match against Germany. The opposition was very strong but we breezed past Germany 3-1.

The semifinal was nerve-wracking. The fact that Malaysia enjoyed home support was a challenge, and there was not a seat vacant at the stadium. We were down 1-2 with about 10 minutes left. I could see my dream of winning the World Cup vanishing. The team was falling apart when Aslam Sher Khan stepped on the field as a substitute. Time was running out when I managed to earn a penalty corner. And Aslam made no mistake. We won in extra time when Harcharan Singh scored. The final against Pakistan took the game to a different level. We were trailing and Pakistan was beginning to dominate when Surjit Singh scored the equaliser. It was just the boost we needed. We had support from the stands and the game changed dramatically. We were all over Pakistan and then came the most precious moment of my life.

I have relived the goal many times. And each time the fans have asked me to share that joy, I have enjoyed narrating it. Philips initiated the move on the right and relayed the ball to me. I hit the ball on the run and found the target, much to the delight of the team and our supporters. Defending that lead was not easy as Pakistan made every effort to draw level, but it was our day.

The victory meant a lot for Indian hockey. It was India’s first big title after the gold at the 1964 Olympics. The felicitations were incredible and we were hailed as heroes. The great phase of India’s domination in the Olympics can never be matched, but this World Cup win would always rekindle fond memories of a great feat. I remember Babuji’s (Dhyan Chand) happy face when we returned. He was proud that a member of his family had brought joy and glory to the nation.

(As told to Vijay Lokapall)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


New Zealand have opted to delay sending their team to the New Delhi World Cup while England are reviewing their participation following fresh terrorist threats.

England who are in Dubai are consulting security experts back home before deciding if they want to go ahead and play in Delhi.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


The MHF Management Committee opted for the trio of K. Dharmaraj, K. Gobinathan and Nor Azlan Bakar as the coaching team for the next Junior World Cup squad instead of the recommendations submitted by the Coaching Committee.

The CC had put up a list that comprised of K. Rajan, Nasir Mydin and Dharma but the Management Committee opted to go the way of the Team Management Committee that met last month.

This decision is a snack fir the CC and it is left to be seen if the Chairman Dr. Balbir Singh will go ahead with his decision to quit if the recommendations by the CC were not accepted by the Management Committee.

Stephen van Huizen received the nod to take charge of the Senior Team together with Tai Beng Hai.

Dutchman Roelant Oltmans it is learnt will join the national set-up this May, in time for the Azlan Shah Cup but will come alone with no assistant from Holland joining him.

This means that Stephen and Beng Hai will coach the team for the inaugural AHF Champions Trophy scheduled for April 13 to 18 in Ipoh.

The Under 16 squad will be coached by S. Velappan who will be assisted by S. Prakash and Manjit Singh from Perak.

With Ow Soon Kooi having declined the offer to jointly manage the national team, the task has now been entrusted to George Koshy and MHF Vice President Datuk Dr. Surinder Singh Cheema.

MIrnawan Nawawi has been reinstated as the National Juniors Team Manager despite not being available for 3 vital events last year and will manage the side with another MHF Vice President M.Gobinathan.

For the Under 16 team, Tuan Haji Johari Aziz, the President of KLHC and Vice President of KLHA has been named as the Manager.

Meanwhile the Tun Razak Cup, initially scheduled to be held in Johor will now be held in Kuantan following the decision by the former to decline following the demise of Sultan of Johor on January 23.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Due to Internet problems I have been unable to update the blog on a regular basis.

And probably this is my last update until after Chinese New Year as I will be away for a whole week, by choice as I want to usher in the Year of the Tiger with peace and quiet, and not having to read some postings of insane people in certain papers and blogs. Suffice to say I may go check on happenings in Everton and Slovakia and bring back engines from Uruguay.

So coming back to the MHF Coaching Committee meeting and my chanced encounter with the Chairman on last Friday at Tun Razak Stadium.

The CC decided on the following coaches I am told. But a word of caution though, the members were told not to leak the information to blogs and the media but at least some had the dignity to defy such a stupid directive.

Dissemination of information is something MHF needs to rectify and when there is something to hide then there will always be people with conflicting opinion or it opens room for assumption,

The list I am told is as follows:

Senior Team: Stephen van Huizen and Tai Beng Hai. If the foreign coach comes then the duo will be assistants failing which Stephen assumes the role of Chief Coach.

Juniors: K Rajan as Chief Coach to be assisted by Nasir Mydin and K.Dharmaraj.

Under 16: S.Vellapan assisted by S.Prakash.

Except for the coaches for the Junior team, the others were unanimous choices discussed and proposed with the correct decorum.

For the Juniors team, it was decided by voting and the results are as the lineup indicated above.

I have respect for all the coaches named by the CC but still will share my thoughts on the dropping of Dharma as Chief Coach.

While the members of the CC acted within their rights, my opinion is that Dharma should have been given the role of Chief Coach of the Juniors. Rajan had his chance but fell short , largely due to the fact that he did not have enough time to prepare the team.

So the CC should have let Rajan take the Under 16 team and let Dharma remain as the Chief Coach with Velappan and Nasir to assist him.

Dharma has proven his worth in the various tournaments and giving him another year to evaluate his performances would have been the fair thing to do but obviously it was not the case.

Now that the CC has decided, going by the constitution the Management Committee cannot alter the list as the formation of the Management committee is by itself not provided for in the constitution.

So it is only the Council that can send the list back to the CC for changes and the Management Commiittee is duty bound to endorse the list provided.

All of this could have been avoided if the certain personality in MHF who is still upset for me calling the MHL a circus had done his work last year and made the changes to the constitution so that MHF will not be in this situation.

So Mr.Jester, the joke is still on you and only when you realise that by being honest will Malaysian Hockey progress, then we shall continue to argue and fight over personal matters at the expense of hockey in this country.

And being dishonest is something that all religions do not condone and by doing so one is only cheating themselves.

So will we the Management Committee do something good for Malaysian hockey for once and reinstate Dharma and let Rajan handle the Under 16. Let this be a sign that we are all in the game for the good of it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


The MHF Coaching Committee had a meeting today and made recommendations with regards to appointment of coaches for the various teams.

Most shocking was the list for the national juniors coach and I shall touch on this issues later tonite of tomorrow.

One thing is certain, the MHF Coaching Chairman had told me on Friday that he will be the first to quit if the MHF Management Committee that meets on Feb 9 changes the names submitted by the Coaching Committee.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


The two teams have been regulars in the MHL ever since it inauguration in 1987 and have had their fare share of success over the three decades.

At the end of the second leg semi final on Saturday, one of them will have to bite the dust and not play for the coveted trophy in the final slated for February 12.

Maybank will welcome back their experienced defender K. Gobinathan who had a seven cm tear on his hamstring. But an injection and medical clearance means that the sturdy defender will be back in defence, shaky during the two leg quarter final matches againt UniKl last weekend.

Still Maybank does not have enough strength on its bench to trouble TNB who however have their own problems in the backline as skipper Mohd Suffian is out for the next two months as a result of a fracture sustained in the last preliminary round match against KLHC in Malacca on January 23.

TNB have the likes of Tajul Rosli, Faisal Saari and Fairus Ramli to trouble the Maybank defence but if Suhaimi Ibrahim is on form, the bull like forward can barge through the TNB defenders who tend to be shaky when pressured.

What they have to say:

S. Velappan - Coach Maybank

" It will be a close match as both teams are well aware of each others strengths and weaknesses. We are lucky that Gobi will be back but at the same time it will take a team effort to overcome TNB. The first leg will see both teams playing cautiously as we cannot let our opponents have an advantage going into the second leg. Our preliminary round saw both winning one game each and utlimately the team that makes the least mistakes will make the final.''

Manjit Singh - Coach TNB

" We have preapred well for the semi final and it is a totally new ball game as the end result will determine if we have what it takes to vie for the overall title. Matches between our teams have always been close and I expect it to be the same. Suffian's absence will be felt but we have capable replacements. The important thing is to make use of the chances and that is what we intend to do."


Sapura have their backs to the wall when they take on favourites KL Hockey Club in the MHL Semi Final to be held at the Tun Razak Stadium.

The first leg will be played on Friday with the return leg on Saturday and Sapura are well aware of the fact that btheir season could well end trophyless if they play an open game in the first leg. The tactics will be evident, restrain KLHC from winning in the first leg and go for broke in the second leg.

But there is one problem though, KLHC have far superior fitness and with the two legs being played within 24 hours, it will take some doing from Sapura to upstage KLHC.

These is what they had to say:

S. Kuhan - Sapura Captain

" We have a game plan for the first leg and will sit again after the game to decide what to do in the second leg. The important thing is to be with a chance for the second leg as we cannot allow KLHC to have a big advantage after the first leg. There is no doubt that they are the team to beat and we are capable of pulling off a surprise result. What is most important is to make use of the chances that we create and minimise our mistakes. Playing two matches in 24 hours will give the advantage to KLHC so we must be able to pace ouselves in order to survive the 140 minutes of hockey

R. Vivekananda - KLHC Coach

"Every team in the MHL is out to defeat us and it will be no different tomorrow. The semis are decided over two matches so the key thing is to be consistent on both days. We have all the respect for Sapura as it is never easy playing them as evident in our match in JB where we scraped past them with a 1-0 win. And they played the match without Jiwa and Jivan Mohan. In Kuhan they have an outstanding defender and with keeper Nasihin in good form, it will take some doing to overcome them. But I am optimistic we shall prevail.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Though many in MHF are just warming their chairs, recently appointed General Manager Maniderjit Singh has been making an effort to ensure that the new look league goes on without hitches.

Unlike some of his bosses, Mike takes the trouble to seek views from various quarters on how to improve the league and is already penning notes into his little book on areas that need improvement.

The list maybe long, but trust Mike to ensure that all areas of concern will be looked at and I do hope he takes up the suggestion of NST Journalist Jugjet Singh and Sapura coach S. Prakash on having an open session or dialogue on how to improve the league.

I am told that through the efforts of Mike, sponsorship of two Modenas motorcycles has been obtained as prizes for lucky draw for the fans, either for the semis or finals scheduled for Feb 12.

Ad for those who might have missed out on the fixtures or got the wrong info, I have taken the liberty to publish the correct fixtures issued by the MHF secretariat. And kudos to them for arranging a Press Conference of all four semifinalists on Thursday to make the media job a little bit easier and to give due publicity to the sponsors.

Perhaps it is not asking too much if Mike can ensure that there is internet coverage at Tun Razak for the semis and finals.

And while he is doing that, perhaps he could also tell the Astro guys that this is the MHL, Malaysian Hockey League and not the MLH, which is Major League Hockey and also that Tengku Abdullh Sultan Ahmad Shah is President of MHF and not MHL. (Note: the error about Tengku Abdullah was in the KLHC/TNB match in Malacca while the MLH was before the start of the first match live last Sunday)

Please note that the semi finals are scheduled for 1630 and 1830 and not as reported in some major dailies over the past two days.

The fixtures areas follows and all matches are at Stadium Tun Razak Jalan Duta.

Friday, Feb 5, 2010 1630 - KLHC v Sapura 1830 - TNB v Maybank Saturday, Feb 6, 2010 1630 - Maybank v TNB 1830 - Sapura v KLHC (Both matches on Saturday are live over Astro)

Monday, February 1, 2010


Johor Hockey Association has decided not to host the Tun Razak Cup this year. The decision comes about following the demise of Sultan of Johor on January 23.

The President of JHA, Tengku Abdul Majid Sultan Iskandar, confirmed the decision when contacted today.

"It is not proper for Johor to play host and I have asked the JHA Secretary to notify MHF on this matter," said Tengku Majid.

"However if MHF are agreeable to move the dates to the later part of the year, we should be able to host it."

The Razak Cup was scheduled to be held in Johor Baru from March 24 to March 31 and MHF will now look for an alternative host or organise it themselves in Kuala Lumpur on the scheduled dates.

The competition this year will see the inclusion of a new rule, that each team are required to register 4 Under 21 players of which two must play at any given time.

The second pitch in Taman Daya which was constructed for the Junior World Cup also has had it's fair share of problems as the cables were stolen and thus the lighting system as well as watering the pitch cannot be carried out.

However the JHA are aware of the issue and had sought the assistance of JKR to look into the matter.