MHF: No recall for retirees

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) have no intention of recalling players who have already retired from the international arena. 

MHF deputy president Tan Sri P. Alagendra said yesterday that the national squad had already been selected with 24 players prior to the Champions Challenge last month. 

He said any addition to the team would have to be discussed at the selection committee meeting. He said no new names have been forwarded to the selection committee. 

The national hockey team will regroup after the Malaysia Hockey League preliminary round ends on Aug 11 to prepare for the Asia Cup in September. 

They took part in the Champions Challenge in South Africa last month and finished last in the six-nation meet.  

It was reported that the national coach Paul Lissek had been annoyed with the performance of some of the players and some changes were to be expected to be made to the team for the Asia Cup. 

Among the retired players who were said to have been approached to make comebacks are Maninderjit Singh, Mohamed Nasihin Nubli and S. Shanker. 

Alagendra said that no request had been made when the coaching committee met on Monday to discuss the national team's performance in the South African meet. 

He acknowledged that there had been reports of retired players being recalled but reiterated that the coaches cannot call back the players without MHF clearance. 

“This touches a policy matter and has to be dealt with at the executive level. If there is a request, bring it to us and we will look at the merits of the idea.  

“To start talking to the players to make a comeback at this stage is not a good idea,'' he added. 

He said Lissek was allowed to make his presentation to the committee and to give his report on the tournament.  

Alagendra would not elaborate on the explanation given by Lissek. 

Besides Alagendra, MHF secretary S. Satgunam, treasurer George Koshy, MHF coaching committeee chairman Datuk R. Yogesweran, C. Paramalingam, N. Sri Shanmuganathan, Yang Siow Meng and committee secretary Dr Balbir Singh attended the meeting. 

The Asia Cup will be held at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil from Sept 21-28.  

The teams taking part in the meet are Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Korea, China, Japan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong. The winner of the tournament will gain an automatic berth to the 2006 World Cup. 

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