Friday, November 30, 2012


The Malaysian team has made it into the semis of the Champions Challenge registering four wins in as many matches.

It is no mean feat as one needs to dig deep to find out when was the last time Malaysia actually registered four wins on the trot.

They scored four goals in each of those wins, thus breaking the myth of four being an unlucky number as believed by the Chinese community as it signifies death.

But Malaysian hockey is far from death, not taking into account some personalities who put up a false front.

We are just 70 minutes away from creating history, making the final of an FIH event for only the second time.

The first was in Invercargil in 2009 when we failed to make the 2010 World Cup by a whisker, losing the final 2-1 to New Zealand in the final 13 minutes of the match.

We have always done relatively well when new coaches take over the mantle of the team.

One needs to revisit the 1991 Auckland Olympic Qualifier under Terry Walsh, the 1997 World Cup Qualifiers where Volkner Knapp took us to the 1998 World Cup after a 16 year hiatus, or Paul Lissek getting us a silver in the 1998 Commonwealth Games, Stephen van Huizen's exploits in being the first local coach who took us through an Olympic Qualifier in Japan in 1999 and not forgetting his silver medal feat in the 2010 Asian Games, and last but not least Tai Beng Hai.

Who can forget the semis of the 1975 World Cup and also the inaugural Champions Challenge in 2001 where we made the semis as well.

Make no mistake, we admire and respect what Paul Revington has achieved in his three months in Malaysia this far. But its consistency that we yearn for and that can be achieved when we make the final on Sunday the world will and should up and take notice.

Malaysia has beaten Korea in the group stage, a convincing 4-2 win.

But that is history even though hardly a week has passed as Malaysia overturned an early deficit into a convincing win.

What makes Revington different is that he dared take a risk with the likes of ismail Abu, Mohd Amin Rahim, Chua Boon Huat, Jivan Mohan and Izwan Firdaus. And these players have delivered despite many voicing concerns at the selection choice of Revington.

Two facts make this stand out - either Revs knows their worth in gold or these players wanted to prove their detractors wring. Either way Revs proved that he made a good judgement call.

Now back to the match against Korea, on paper we should waltz past them going by our form.

But the players know that it will be foolhardy to take the Koreans lightly and 70 minutes separate us from re-writing Malaysian hockey history.

Whatever happens against Korea, we are on the.right track to make it to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Lets roll Malaysia!