Friday, February 24, 2012


There was a hive of activity at the National Hockey Stadium as officials from the Malaysian Hockey Confederation, National Sports Council as well as some sponsors of MHC turned up in the Sunday's best to watch the national team bound for the Olympic Qualifiers in Dublin hard at work.

There were concerned looks, with some becoming overnight experts of the team, although had you asked them many would not have been able to name some of the players.

But they were there, standing in complete unison and showing their faith and concern of the possible outcome in Dublin.

However it was a charade for they were only there because HRH Sultan Azlan Shah and HRH Tengku Abdullah were there to watch the players training before the final 18 was named by Manager George Koshy.

Except for the four pictured earlier in this blog who took the time and trouble to trek south last weekend to watch the final week of action for the Junior Hockey League and were also at the NHS, the others only show up when there are VIP's present as evident yesterday.

But enough of these personalities who are there just to cling on to their seats for self interest and to justify their inclusion for the Dublin Stout Junket and focus on the task at hand, that is making it to London 2012.

HRH Sultan Azlan was spot on when he spoke to the team with regards to staying focused and used the 1998 Commonwealth Games as an example. (Note how he takes a dig at current MHC secretary in the video).

Thereafter there was a comedy of sorts when it came to naming the team as a high handed staff of MHC opted to hold on to the list of names rather then hand it to the members of the media. Some were seen scurrying for notepads when team mamanger George Koshy, who looked more agitated than usual, named the team,

Prior to the Tengku Abdullah looking less convincing then he sounded spoke on the hopes and aspirations of the MHC as seen in the video below.

And finally it was coach Tai Beng Hai who spoke to the media, justifying the inclusion of two rather inexperienced youngsters, outlining that the team was ready under the best circumstances available to him, and that they were ready for the tough battle under the cold wintery conditions that await them in Dublin.

So there you have it, the whole works, from the fantastic academy award winning officials who play their role of supporting actors best suited for a fiction movie, to a concerned ruler whom I had the chance to speak to and who prays silently for the nation to make it to the Olympics after a hiatus of 12 years, to a President that really should realise that all that glitters is not gold, to a coach who has put his neck on the chopping block on 18 players that we all pray in unison bring glory to our great nation.