Friday, February 16, 2007

Sports .... Hockey Was it Right?

KUALA LUMPUR: Four players in the national hockey training squad will not be allowed to feature in overseas leagues.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) secretary general, Datuk Dr S. S. Cheema, said that the national team management had decided that they have to remain in the team preparing for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament, which will be held in Ipoh from May 5-13.
The four players who have received offers to play in overseas leagues are Chua Boon Huat, Jiwa Mohan, Kelvinder Singh and S. Selvaraju.
“The Azlan Shah Cup is the main priority for the national team this year. We want to field the best possible side for the tournament as it is part of our preparations for the Olympic qualifiers next year,” said Cheema.
“Furthermore, national coach Sarjit (Singh) wants the players to be around so that he can assess them before he names the final squad for the tournament.”
Boon Huat had received an offer from Teddington club to play in the English League for the second consecutive season.
Jiwa and Kelvinder were to feature in the Indian Premier League, which is scheduled to begin next week. Jiwa was to play for Chandigarh club while Kelvinder, who was voted as the best player in the Junior World Cup Finals in Rotterdam in 2005, was down to play for Bangalore Lions.
However, Jiwa is doubtful for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament after fracturing his arm in a motorcycle accident last Saturday.
As for Selvaraju, he was to play in the German League for the second time. The Taiping-born player featured for Moenchengladbach last year and this year, he received an offer to play for Berlin.
However, there will still be a Malaysian in action in the Indian Premier League. Former skipper S. Kuhan, who has been dropped from the national team, will feature for Cheenai Veerans.
Cheema said that those who did not get to play in overseas leagues should not be disappointed with the decision and should give their full concentration on the Azlan Shah Cup tournament.
“We want the team to do well in the tournament after the major flop in the Doha Asian Games last December,” said Cheema.
Malaysia, who were bronze medallists in the 2002 Busan Asiad, finished a disappointing sixth.
Five foreign teams have confirmed their participation in the Azlan Shah Cup tournament. They are Australia, India, Pakistan, China and Argentina.
Cheema said that they had invited Canada to make it a seven-nation tournament.
“It will be a round-robin tournament. From this year, the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh will be the permanent venue for the tournament,” he said.

My opinion:

We had a major flop in DOHA, does that mean the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament will place them back at par? I am not questioning the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament but the exposure and experience that we may gain.

I believe by allowing them to play with various external teams will surely bring lots of improvement and skills out of the usual Malaysian way. Just like when you employ an external coach. They can use this opportunity to allow the reserve or freshers to participate in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament. This will give win-win situation. The guys get to pay outside and gain skills, experience and Malaysia will gain it and the freshers/juniors will get to play in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament. It's an upgrade to all.

If the guys are invited to play in this (and was given a very good tagging) they are surely doing very good and Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament is not the next level exposure. Give them their rights progress and be motivated. I feel by allowing them to go is the best preparation for the Olympic qualifiers.

Just my 1 cent thought!

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