Wednesday, September 28, 2011


The Project 2013 squad have been given a target of a top two finish for the inaugural Sultan of Johor Cup that will be held from November 5-12 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

In revealing the target, MHF President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said that the squad had undergone good preparation over the past two years and felt that the target was achievable.

" The squad has been together for the past two years and have benefitted from various international exposures," said Tengku Abdullah after the launch and sponsorship ceremony for the SOJC at the Persada International Convention Centre

"Infact several of the players from the team have already made it to the senior squad."

But while setting such a high target is indeed laudable, what Tengku Abdullah may not be aware is that the best players will not be playing for the squad in the SOJC.

This is because the national coach Tai Beng Hai is steadfastly refusing to allow Faisal Saari play in the tournament, citing the Champions Challenge as a reason.

And on top of that Beng Hai had in the joint meeting between NSC and MHF on Tuesday made it clear that he had no intention of allowing Firhan Ashaari to join the juniors for the tournament.

Which goes back towards questioning the rationale of holding the SOJC when it is clearly to prepare our juniors for the Junior Asia Cup next May in Malacca that serves as a qualifier for the 2013 Junior World Cup in India.

A case of penny wise and pound foolish is the best to describe the antics of the national coach.