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 Trip...team attire belum terima lagi ni..tencheeenn betul if some people just been ignorant and doing things last minute!!@!!