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[Tempatan] One Of The Most Successful Sports In Malaysia For 2013

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Post time 30-12-2013 02:47 AM | Show all posts |Read mode
By Allan Netto

THE year 2013 will certainly be remembered by ‘hockey people’ more for the right reasons than wrong. For the ones involved – officials, players and fans alike – the year was filled with smiles as hockey ended 2013 as one of the most successful sports in Malaysia.

The biggest highlight was the National Junior squad’s remarkable achievement at the Junior World Cup in New Delhi, India where they finished fourth, equalling the achievement of our previous junior squads in 1979 and 1982.

They clearly stole the limelight from their senior counterparts, who had earlier in the year qualified for the 2014 World Cup after a 12-year hiatus. The women’s squad were also in the thick of action as they bagged their first significant medal – a bronze – at the Asian Champions Trophy in November. To top it all off, both the men and women’s team retained their SEA Games gold medals without breaking any sweat.

However, beneath all that success, there were also some minor hiccups along the way. Revington and national team manager George Koshy having a discussion outside the Shahzan House after the South African pulled back his resignation. Topping the charts would be national team head coach, Paul Revington’s decision to hand in his resignation in June. The South African however, made a U-turn a few days later and led the team to a fifth place finish at the World League Semifinals in Johor, which sealed their qualification to the 2014 World Cup.

Adding on to that, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) were throwing tournaments around throughout the year with no proper planning and as a result, some even clashed with big events.

For example, the National Under-21 Championship was held during the same time as the Junior World Cup, and this deprived the states of some players who travelled to India.

One thing the MHC should strongly look into next is the development of the sport. Yes, the national junior squad finished fourth in the world, but what is next in line for most of the youngsters? There will probably be five or at the most six players who will go on to join the senior squad, while the rest have no choice but to look at the possibility of ending their career.

World junior champions Germany for instance, are likely to go on and develop that same squad and dominate the world at senior level for years to come.

This situation can only be solved if Malaysia can come up with a similar development squad, just like how Germany, Australia and Holland have in their system, whereby the players left out will still have a chance to continue training at the highest level. In the local hockey scene, Selangor had one of their most fruitful years to date as the state grabbed the National Under-21 and Razak Cup Division Two titles. They were also crowned the National Indoor Under-16 champions.

All these without a single hockey pitch to train on in the state. Amidst all the ups and downs, Malaysia also lost a legend in the sport. Chua Boon Huat, the striker who made a return to the national squad under the guidance of Revington, lost his life in a car accident in August.

The pony-tailed forward was a warrior on the pitch and his demise was met with shock and horror by Malaysians. For his never-say-die attitude and charisma, Boon Huat will always be remembered by Malaysian hockey fans.

With the World Cup and Asian Games to come, 2014 will certainly have more to offer and here’s hoping the best for Malaysian hockey.


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Post time 30-12-2013 08:17 AM | Show all posts
hoki naik balikkkk....

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