In my previous posting, I did mention that the World Hockey League Second Round should be a walk in the park for our national hockey team. None of the teams participating in the tournament is up to our standard which is “world class“, mind you. So, despite the unexpected heart pumping and nerve-wracking semi-final match against Japan, all were smooth sailing for us. We even hammered our opponent in the final, Poland, 8-0. Neil Hawgood and Tai Beng Hai must be smiling up to their ears.
I have always maintained that we have a very good hockey team especially at junior level. However, putting ourselves among the elite is what eluded us for quite some time. We can sometimes fight tooth and nail against England or Pakistan but to compete against Australia and Holland will always be too much to ask from our boys.
Therefore, we might need more than a consultant like Neil Hawgood. We probably need a research centre where we can assess and study new ways of playing against the big boys. Since hockey was switched from field grass to artificial grass, the balance of power has also shifted accordingly. Asian super powers like Pakistan, India and Malaysia are struggling to keep up with new direction of the game: fast and physically demanding.
You just have to look at how Australia played during last year’s Hockey World Cup. They simply overwhelmed their opponents with speed and accuracy. With our boys’ physical limitations, we can’t play the way Australia play. NO, we really can’t! We need to get our expert to think out of the box and come up with a formula on how to stop them. I just wonder whether we have such experts?
As for the World Hockey League tournament, I’m really pleased to see Faizal Saari getting his mojo back. He looks more like himself and ended the tournament as the top scorer with 12 goals. The only question is can he do it against Australia, Holland or Germany? Only time will tell...
Pic credit: www.fih.ch
– Malaysian Hockey Team Needs New Ideas To Take On The World’s Best