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Tuesday April 10, 2012

Johari likely to replace Maninderjit as MHC secretary general

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur HA vice president Johari Aziz is tipped to be the new Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) secretary general in place of Maninderjit Singh, who resigned last month.

Former international Maninderjit sent in his quit letter after the team failed in the Dublin Olympic qualifier.

Johari has been proposed because he has a strong background in the game, having served as team manager of Tenaga Nasional for many years in the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL).

He was also team manager of the national juniors in 2009.

MHC will hold their first council meeting after their merger with the women’s body today, and the other matter on the agenda is the fate of national coach Tai Beng Hai.

MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) president Sultan Azlan Shah watched the Project 2013 team beat Pakistan 5-3 in a friendly match in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Pakistan won the first two friendlies 5-3 and 4-3 over the weekend. The matches are part of the Project 2013 team’s preparations for the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca from May 3-13.

The team will play another four matches against South Korea starting on Thursday.

Asked about the appointment of the MHC secretary general, Tengku Abdullah said: “I have my list of candidates and will discuss it at the council meeting tomorrow.

“We will also look into the coaching setup as it is time that we moved on after the Dublin failure.”

Tengku Abdullah said that with the men’s team failing to qualify for the London Olympics he hopes that the women, who will be competing in the qualifier in Kakamigahara, Japan, from April 25-May 6, will make the cut for the Games.

“As for the Project 2013 team, I expect them to do well in the Junior Asia Cup and qualify for next year’s Junior World Cup.

“They need to keep improving as they can expect a tough challenge in the tournament,” said Tengku Abdullah.

After losing the first two friendlies with a mixed-team, coach K. Dharmaraj fielded his best side yesterday and his charges played well.

Sultan Azlan Shah, meanwhile, met the national women’s team at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

The team will be leaving for Seoul on Sunday to play four matches — two against the Korean national team and two against club sides.

Malaysia open their campaign against Azerbaijan in Kakamigahara on April 25. The other matches are against Japan (April 27), Belarus (April 29), Chile (May 1) and Austria (May 3).

The playoff matches and final will be held on May 5. Only the winners of the tournament will qualify for the London Olympics.

The Malaysian women’s team have never featured in the Olympics.

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