Monday, May 30, 2011


The Project 2013 Squad were in Australia and are heading towards New Zealand next in what can be described as a touring time for the various national teams.

For the National Under 16 squad are heading for Manhiem next week to compete in the 4 Nations Invitational.

And the national senior squad will be leaving for Europe soon as they have two matches lined up against Holland before a Test Match against Russia on June 20.

The senior side will then play in a 4 Nation Tournament in Moscow that will see the hosts together with Ukraine and South Africa competing for honors.

And after the Moscow the senior side moves to Spain as they will play two test matches against the Spanish national team and two against their juniors.

In all the senior side will be overseas for 24 days, playing 11 matches inna space of 18 days minus their travel dates.

The Project Side are not left out for after the Down Under tours, some players will play in the AHF Under 18 tournament in Singapore while the others in the National Under 21 in Johor Baru.

Following which the Project Squad moves to Europe on July 3 and will return a day before the Razak Cup proper gets underway in Malacca, which will see the Under 16 side competing as well.

It's in August where the troubles begin for the senior side as plans were made for five test matches in Argentina from 20 to 28 August.

However the fact that the Asian Champions Trophy in China is on September 3, that will make it virtually impossible to honor the Argentina dates.

But no such problems for the Project Squad as they will be in India it is said in August.

You read it here, not on the official MHF website though where information should be posted....

Friday, May 20, 2011


The intentions of the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) to lend credibility to the Tun Razak Cup were noble. But the execution is not.

For the plan to regain the lost glory of the prestigious tournament of the 60's right through to the 80's has fallen flat.

The MHF had wanted to hold the tournament on a zonal basis, with four teams in each zone, the top two playing in the Razak Cup top flight with the others in the second tier.

But the zonal system hit a snag right from the start.

Firstly the zonal competitions that were to commence in early April had to be moved to late May, and believe it or not - it was due to the fact that we are facing a shortage of umpires.

Now that it is being held next weekend (the first round of the qualifiers) another row is brewing - should the national players be released to the states.

From the onset it was agreed and decided that the national players will only be released for the Razak Cup proper in late July in Malacca - for the final round. So really there should be no debate what so ever on this.

But then state teams are in a catch 22 situation - they will be without their national players as well as their top juniors for the Project 2013 team will be touring Australia and New Zealand during that period.

So 45 of the best players in the country cannot play in the qualifiers, be it the first or second round (scheduled for late June), since the Project 2013 are preparing for an Europe Tour whilst some players will be playing in the AHF Under 18 in Singapore from June 17 to June 25.

Then we have another issue - the withdrawal of teams, PDRM and Singapore withdrew early this month and Terengganu has followed suit, citing lack of finance.

Maybe Terengganu should ask the Sports Minister and NSC DG, both who hail from that state for financial help - maybe donate half their salary to ensure Terengganu has sufficient funding to participate?
But the attempt to revive ( sorry to use the word as it may offend the sponsors) has fallen flat and a kiss of life now is not sufficient.
So do the right thing - scrap the qualifiers, hold the Razak Cup in July, get some foreign players with the money you save from holding the qualifiers and hold a raffle draw to let states have their sefvices. Maybe then we can see some decent performance.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Under 21 New Zealand vs Malaysia test series to take place in Dunedin

The Malaysian Under-21 juniors will play a four test series against their Black Stick counterparts in Dunedin from June 2 to 8. This series will be held in view of the new high performance programme for juniors being conducted by Hockey New Zealand.

Hockey New Zealand’s star manager, Toni Cumpston, said, “It is a real coup to have the Malaysia team coming across to play us. This is exactly the type of experience that our younger players need so that we strengthen our talent base and have more people vying for Black Sticks selection.”

A junior Black Stick men’s team, along with a women’s team, will be announced subsequent to the recently held National Under-21 Tournament from May 7-14 at the Alexander McMillan Hockey Centre in Dunedin.

“Knowing that selectors are in the stands and that both our Junior Black Sticks teams have been invited to participate in international competitions will be an extra incentive for players to give it all they have got when they take to the turf next week,” added Cumpston.

Initially, the squad will be announced and a total 30 players will be invited to a training camp. Following this, the squad will be short-listed to a total of 20 players. Both these junior squads have invitations to international competitions, later this year. The tournaments include one in Malaysia for men and one in India for women.

The U-21 men will be playing the first junior seven-nation Invitational in Malaysia which is called the First Sultan Ibrahim Cup Tournament, to be held from October 27 to November 6.

On the other hand, the women’s junior squad will play the Lal Bahadur Shastri Under-21 Women's Hockey Tournament, being held from November 8 to12 in India.

According to Cumpston, the intention is to give international exposure to top playing as well as providing them with top coaching to age group players so that they improve their abilities. In view of the fact that these players are future Black Sticks, it is important to facilitate them as much as possible.

In context to the international series ahead, it will be a great encounter for the U-21 Kiwi boys against the Malaysian counterparts. Moreover, the visiting team will be hosted by the Otago Hockey Association of New Zealand.
Meanwhile, the senior side of the Black Sticks is currently playing the seven-nation Invitational in Malaysia, the 20th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. The team so far has played one game against Pakistan in which they ended up with a defeat at 4-2.
It was a disappointing opening for the team, however, is playing to make up in their next game against Korea on May 8.