Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Just because it is the World Cup, that does not mean that the hockey scenario has nothing to offer. Well other then the fact that  the coaches of the national team have opted to do some "PR" work via other means, running down others, and  applying for a job with a club in France, we have an important issue at hand, what is the preparation like for the team that has two major assignments this year, the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

The team will be participating in the Four Nation Tournament in China next week and after that  it seems plan are afoot to have the team play some matches in Australia, against the AIS and club sides. After that there is still this unconfirmed Five Nation Tournament in France or maybe some matches in India. And yes before I forget, we turned down an invite from Pakistan and are still deciding whether to accept an invite for a Four Nation Tournament in Mongolia.

Consider those options to what India, Pakistan, China and South Korea are doing for their preparations.

India will be playing in the Four Nations Hamburg Masters where they are set to take on The Netherlands, Germany and Japan.That tournament will be followed by a Test series each in Belgium, France and The Netherlands.

The Pakistan hockey team will be play six matches during their 9-day trip to Spain and the Netherlands next month. After playing four matches in Spain on double round robin league against hosts Spain and France from July 10 to 15, Pakistan will play two back-to-back matches against the Dutch in Netherlands on July 17-18. 

China and South Korea too are in Europe, both preparing well for the Asian Games this November, since they are not in the Commonwealth Games. 

So who is to blame? The coaches...nope as they were only formally appointed in March this year and had to wait till early April to find out that Roelant Oltmans was a  no-show. 

It boils down to MHF, lack of contacts, lack of initiative and lack of administration ability that failed to ensure adequate preparation for the team. But if they fail at the two events, then only the coaches are to be blamed, not the MHF.

And what more with this posting by the Project 2013 Team Manager on his Facebook this morning:
Mirnawan Nawawi Last minute packing for Europe attire belum terima lagi ni..tencheeenn betul if some people just been ignorant and doing things last minute!!@!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


And recall former internationals.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) executive board, in a bid to resuscitate the game in the country, has given approval to hire a foreign coach. The decision was taken in an executive board meeting, held under the chairmanship of PHF president Qasim Zia, here on Wednesday. “A final decision and endorsement regarding the new appointment will be taken by the federal ministry of sports,” PHF secretary general Muhammad Asif Bajwa told reporters after the meeting of the executive board. “The PHF chief and I will meet federal sports minister Ejaz Hussain Jakhrani to brief him on this important issue and get the permission for the appointment of a foreign coach,” he added.

It was under Dutch coach Hans Jorritsma that Pakistan won the 1994 World Cup in Sydney, Australia, while another Dutch man Roelant Oltmans coached Pakistan in 2004 with the green shirts gaining better ranking at the international level during his tenure. Advocating the decision of appointing a foreign coach, the PHF official said ample chances were given to experienced former Olympians in recent years but desired results were not achieved to improve the overall performance of the national team.

Winners of three Olympic gold medals, Pakistan, who remained up in the clouds for more than three decades and are record four times world champions, are striving hard for a big title since winning the 1994 World Cup. They have not won any Asian title since winning the Asian Games in China 20 years ago. Pakistan finished a poor 8th at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and 12th at the World Cup in India earlier this year – their worst ever showing in both mega events. They have also missed out on the elite six-nation Champions Trophy in 2008 and 2009.

Hiring a good foreign coach is vital as well as the most immediate step for the PHF to cope with the physical fitness and technique mythology of the national squad. It will also help the federation to bail itself out from the severe criticism it has had to face from former Olympians since the World Cup debacle. Asif Bajwa, a former Olympian, said it was the right time to have a foreign expert because the team needed rebuilding and had to participate in many international events in coming years. “The PHF has short-listed few candidates and the most suitable will be given preference.”

Pakistan has  recalled Rehan Butt and Sohail Abbas for the training camp prior to the team selection for the tour of China and Europe.
The duo, along with other senior players, was omitted from the Azlan Shah Cup squad following a poor show in the World Cup and the camp held after the National Championship. The chief selector, Hanif Khan, however, has assured that the seniors are still in contention for a place in the squad for the Asia Cup. The PHF also refused to grant NOCs to the players to participate in the Bangladesh league due to their call-up for the training camp.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Three players get break to represent Melville City

Haresh Deol

Monday, June 14th, 2010 10:37:00

KUALA LUMPUR: In what is a first for women's hockey in Malaysia, three former internationals have been offered a chance to play in the Western Australian League.

The three — former national skipper Nor Saliza Ahmad Soobni, A. Kanagi and Ernawati Mahmud — are scheduled to depart for Perth at the end of June to begin a three month stint in the league where they will be playing for Melville City Hockey Club. The stint was made possible by the club's women's chief coach Jiwa Mohan.

Nor Saliza, 27, represented the country from 1999 till 2004. She skippered the Junior Asia Cup team in 2000 and the national team two years later. Kanagi was active in the national team until 2008 while goalkeeper Ernawati is currently the assistant coach of the national side that played in the recent World Cup Qualifiers.

Although the trio no longer play international hockey, Jiwa was of the opinion that their inclusion will be good for both his team as well as Malaysian hockey.

"This programme is not limited to the national players alone, it can be any player with great talent," said Jiwa.

"I have five players in my list and I'm sorting out the formalities including securing leave from their employers and obtaining the approval from the national body."

The stint will provide opportunities for the players to further improve themselves and hopefully they will learn a thing or two from the Australians.

"Personally we have been talking a lot about playing in foreign land and it was good to see boys doing that. The support from various parties has been great.

"Now, it will be great to see the girls going through the same revolution. In short, this is one way of giving back to the sport," the current international added.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Matale Hockey Club defeated Wapda of Pakistan in the Asian Champions Club Tournament held in Makale Sri Lanka.

With some 2,000 fans cheering them on, Makale HC scored a goal in the first half and another two early in the second half to take a 3-0 lead. Wapda scored two late goals but failed to find the equaliser.

KLHC, who were held to a 2-2 draw by Wapda in their opening match on Sunday, won 6-2 against Sri Lanka Armed Forces.

KLHC got their goals via Mohd Ameerullah Abd Aziz, S.Kuhan, Ismail Abu, Mohd Faizal Daud and two goals from Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.

On Wesnesday KLHC will play Matale while Wapda take on Sri Lanka Air Force.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


It will be tough for KL Hockey Club to defend their title in the Asian Champions Club Tournament as WAPDA representing Pakistan have brought a formidable side for the tournament that gets underway at Makale in Sri Lanka on Sunday.

WAPDA have listed the likes of Sohail Abbas, Waseem Ahmad, Rehan Butt, Nadeem Ahmad and Imran Khan in their team and will play KLHC in the opening match tomorrow.

The other two teams in the tournament are Matale club and Sri Lanka Air Force.

After WAPDA, the Malaysian club side will take on Air Force on Monday followed by Matale on Wednesday. The finals will be held on Thursday.


There are reports that indicate all is not well in the national women's hockey team following their dismal outing in the World Cup Qualifiers in Santiago where they finished last.

It is learnt that a group of players had a session with top guns of the NSC and demanded that coach Yahya Atan be replaced.

It is yet to be determined what their bone of contention is but suffice to say that if the news is true, then it will mean that MWHA must be held responsible .

Besides the Asian and Commonwealth Games, the team is also likely to feature in the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy in South Korea in late July following the withdrawal of India. The other teams playing in the tournament are South Korea, China and Japan.

The demand for Yahya's removal and the request by a coach from the men's team to move into the setup for the ladies seem to be too coincidential, so is there any link to it?

For the record, both the NSC DG and TM Pahang are aware of the coach's request to be re-designated.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


It is learnt that the MHF Management Commiittee that met on Monday has appointed Nor Saiful Zaini as the Assistant Coach of the National Team.

The move to bring Saiful back was initiated by Chief Coach Stephen van Huizen via Deputy President Nur Azmi Ahmad during the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

Azmi, without consulting his very own Team Management Committee and the Coaching Committee, raised the matter at the Management Committee Meeting held at the office of Tengku Mahkota Pahang, the President of MHF.

So really Azmi seems to be running MHF and pays scant respect to regulations as well as the constitution of MHF.

Interestingly though, the paymasters NSC were only made aware of the proposal on the day of the meeting, thus Azmi once again giving the MHF/NSC Joint Committee scant respect.

Nor Saiful was the Assistant Coach of the team last year and his name was conspicously missing when the new appointments were made in March this year.

He turned down the chance to lead the 1 MAS Development Program where he was said to have been offered the Development Director's position.

News on Saiful's appointment will be released soon and we welcome him back into the coaching set up.