A glittering launch, more then RM1 million in sponsorship and a world class field are the ingredients that ensures that the 2012 edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup will be one of the most eagerly anticipated world hockey tournament this year.
His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almahrum Sultan Iskandar graced the launch and received the sponsorship pledges, flanked by HRH Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, the President of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation and YAB Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, the Mentri Besar of Johor.
Six teams, namely Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Germany and Malaysia will contest it out for the trophy at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium, venue of the 2009 Junior World Cup, from the 11-18 November 2012. It is truly and international field, for the Junior World Cup has been won by only five nations since its inception in 1979 – Germany, Pakistan, Australia, India and Argentina.
Germany are by far the most successful nation in junior hockey having won the Junior World Cup five times, 1979,1982,1985,1989 and 2009, with three of their wins on Malaysian soil – Kuala Lumpur in 1982, Ipoh in 1989 and Johor Baru in 2009.
Thus it will be somewhat of a homecoming for the number one junior hockey team in the world.
Pakistan (1979), Australia (1997) and India (2011) have also emerged World Junior Champions and the only other team to have won the world title is Argentina (2005).
The Sultan of Johor Cup serves as a perfect platform for the teams in preparation of the 2013 Junior World Cup that will be held in New Delhi in December 2013.
Johor State Government – RM500, 000: Genting Berhad – RM150, 000: UEM Land – RM100, 000: Ministry of Youth & Sports – RM100, 000: Johor Corporation – RM100, 000. Astro Arena – RM50, 000:Tenaga Nasional Berhad – RM50, 000: SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd – RM50, 000: Iskandar Waterfront – RM50, 000: Central Malaysian Properties – RM30, 000. F&N Beverages – in kind (100PLUS)
“ I expect the team to retain the title as we are defending champions after all. This is the team for the future and I believe that they have the character and resilience to deliver. We have left no stone unturned in preparing the team for the2013 Junior World Cup where I believe the team will be capable of delivering a good result. This is the team that will shoulder the future of Malaysian hockey and we are in the right direction towards regaining lost glory.”
Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah
Malaysian Hockey Confederation
“It is indeed a tall order to retain the trophy as with the inclusion of Germany, things are not going to be easy. And it is always difficult to defend a title, as all the teams will be after your scalp. But that is what we aim to do, not matter how challenging it will be. The players know what is in store for them and have been working hard at training, with one aim, to deliver their best. Our preparations have been smooth and we look forward to a great tournament. And we hope that hockey fans, both in Johor and the rest of the country will be at the stadium to cheer the team on.
“We are grateful to the sponsors for stepping forward once again in contributing towards the organisation of a prestigious event. The committee has been hard at work to ensure everything is in place and we hope that fans, both locally and abroad will head towards Taman Daya to catch the future players of international hockey display their talent. Such is the lure of the SOJC that we have teams lining up to play in the 2013 event already. The support of HRH Sultan Ibrahim Ibni AlMarhum Sultan Iskandar, our beloved Ruler is indeed the motivating factor for us to deliver a truly world class event that has received recognition from the International Hockey Federation.”
Manjit Majid Abdullah
Deputy President, Johor Hockey Association
Secretary, Organising Committee, SOJC 2012.
The Sultan of Johor Trophy is made of sterling silver - special crafted by ASPREY London. HRH Sultan of Johor specially selected the 50cm high trophy.
THE MALAYSIAN TEAM
Currently there are 27 players in the training squad under the tutelage of Muhammad Dharma Abdullah as the Chief Coach and assisted by Nor Azlan Bakar, K. Gobinathan and M. Nadarajah. Five players – namely skipper Mohammad Noor Faez Ibrahim, Deddy Aryadi Jumaidi, Muhammad Ramadhan Rosli, Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi and Nor Hizzar Sumantri who featured in the cup winning squad in 2011 will not be playing as they are overaged.
The players in training are as below but there could be changes after the Malaysian Hockey League ends on October 10.
Mohammad Azrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri, Shahrul Azaddin Auskarzie, Mohammad Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Kavin Kartik Govindasamy, Shahrul Imran Nazli, Faiz Helmi Jali, Mohammad Aslam Hanafiah, Mohd Fitri Saari, Muhammad Azri Hassan, Shazril Irwan Nazli, Firhan Ashaari, Meor Muhammad Azuan Hassan, Mohammad Syamim Mohd Yusof, Muhammad Hafizuddin Othman, Muhammad Fariq Saadon, Sobirin Ilias, Muhammad Shahril Saabah, Muhammad Rashid Bahrom, Mohd Hafiz Zainol, Mohd Zulhairi Hashim, Ganeisha Tamil Selvam, Muhd Azuar Abdul Rahman, Muhd Hazriq Samsul, Muhd Fitri Ismail, Mohd Azrul Hasbullah, Muhammad Najib Abu Hassan, Muhammad Redzhwan Jaafar.