Sunday, December 25, 2011


There is so much at stake in Dublin come March 2012 and it's not solely the fortunes of the national team that is the topic of discussion here.

It is the Olympic Qualifiers and while the players in the training squad are justifying their place in the final 18, another big battle is shaping up outside the pitch.

For Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah is contemplating taking some hockey officials on a junket for the qualifiers and already it is the talk of town, for the jostling for places has commenced.

To be honest, anyone worth their salt in saying that they love hockey and want to contribute towards hockey should pay out their own pocket to support the national team.

I have done so numerous times at my own expense, right from being at Invercargil for the World Cup qualifiers to the recent SEA Cup in Myanmar, not depending on the generosity of anyone to support my national side, and to report it from my perspective and not to please any quarters.

Coming back to this junket, before Tuanku gets the wrong idea, it is well within your right to take them to Dublin but in reality who should go seems to be the question.

Do you send deadwood who have not contributed and turn up for meetings just to agree with whatever is presented?

Do you send your office bearers who have obviously not delivered, some of whom who cannot even come for local competitions?

Do you send one person from every affiliate, meaning the likes of Johor, Sabah, Sarawak, Malacca, NS, Perak get two spots since some office bearers are from these states?

And what about the officials that are jostling to land that lucrative package to provide ticket and ground arrangements for the trip, making a quick buck or two from your coffers Tuanku?

And we claim that Malaysian hockey has improved, I agree totally, it has improved from the greed perspective.

There is this former Malaysian official Arul Selvaraj who coaches Ireland and maybe it's best Tuanku get someone to get in touch with him to sort out accommodation at a cost effective manner for the trip.

After all Arul is one of the few Malaysians who are supportive of the work I do in promoting and providing ideas for the betterment of hockey. And he was kind enough to offer me a place to stay in his humble home in Dublin for the qualifiers.

The same goes for George Brink in Johannesburg who offered me accommodation for the Champions Challenge II but I could ill afford the fare.

So while the battle rages on for a place on the place to Dublin, all I can say is Tuanku you have a big heart but let's hope it's not taken advantage of.

Merry Xmas everyone...