Friday, November 21, 2008

Congrats EY but .......................................?

This week must be a very memorable week for EY. Last Sunday EY won the Asian Champions Club tournament and on Wednesday they secured Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) title. It is something both the Manager and Coach must be extremely proud. No doubt the players must be absolutely overjoyed. All that is left for them is the overall title. With a well packed national players both Seniors and Juniors, EY should have already started to engrave their name on the trophy. Only a "miracle" can permit another team to "run away" with the trophy.

I must document the fact that the EY coach is the most successful coach in the domestic hockey tournaments at club, state or age groups. He has worked hard and at times was frustrated particularly with the old MHF set-up. His prominence goes hand in with his manager who also happen to helm Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA). What is noteworthy of KLHA is their development programme and they are really pouring their resources into it.

How meaningful are both these titles to EY? On the Asian Champions Club, the absences of teams from India, South Korea, Japan and China, throws some "cold water" of being called Champions. Of course this is not EY's problem as they are there to participate but not that of a the main Organiser. Therefore as far the teams that were present EY came out tops and that is what that matters. As to why the tournament was poorly represented is very much an Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) issue and they and their affiliates have to tackle it.

As for being Champions of MHL, EY may need to do some form of "soul searching" to determine if it is a meaningful title. This is a team with nearly 20 national players and is able to attract such players with attractive remuneration packages. Although there were rumours of other approaches that were used to bring players to EY but in the absence of any hard evidence i do not want to indulge in such gossips. So, even before the tournament could commence, the titles were a foregone conclusion. The MHL seem principally to provide a legitimacy for EY to be called Champions.

The main person with EY is also involved with KLHA and recently in MHF. These person has a duty to Malaysian hockey particularly with the National League. As the years have gone by this league has deteriorated to such a state that only 3 to 4 teams have dominated it over the last few years. Now EY has packed itself with more national players than required, which calls into question the wisdom of such a decision. Yes! EY can be the winner but is Malaysian hockey the ultimate winner?

What has EY's actions done for Malaysian hockey:
  1. Helping the process of MHL to lose its status and "glitter".
  2. Creating a spiral rise in salaries among national hockey players which does not commensurate with their performance.
  3. Such remuneration packages makes it difficult for others to "match" or discourages new teams to enter the league.
  4. Opportunities for younger non national players have become restricted.
Is this good for Malaysian hockey? Something only EY can answer.


Anonymous said...

Mr Gandhi,

I will support you on this. An amendment to the MHL rules is needed to attract more teams and to pressure the national players to earn their worth to turn hockey around.

Change the rules :-

 Maximum of 3 National players per team.

 No national players should be in the reserve. Happening in current scenario.

Reasons :-
 To encourage more teams to take part since national players are available to form the core.

 Pressure the national players to deliver and slog for it, instead of mediocre performance when playing for a single team by using all players / team strength to kill other teams.

 Clubs do not buy instant success and kill Malaysian hockey.

 It is the coaches coaching skills and not ride-on a national team to win.

 Competitive environment amongst national players to play for the best team and open market to decide player salary scale. Demand and supply decides.

MFH please take note next year!

For control and quality purposes -
 Issue “players licence” to avoid dual registration and transparency in players changing clubs.

 Ceiling for salary.

 Mandatory fitness requirement / test.

Anonymous said...

Mr Gandhi,

I will not agree with you totally on the status of the 2 Korean Olympic Silver medallists. We must acknowledge that even though they have not been playing internationally, they are more superior than most of our national players. If our national defenders can’t contain them alone and require 3 to 4 to group tackle a Korean player, I do not need to say more. You will be surprise with the bruises and physical abuse they receive in the MHL.

Can we tap their knowledge and learn from the 2 Olympic Silver medallists?

From what is seen on the field, Sapura definitely benefited from this arrangement since it is a player cum coach arrangement I believe as they also have to coach the team. Like you mentioned before Sapura novice coach should also benefit if the level of concentration is cleverly divided in the training.

As for our local players Mr Gandhi, Malaysian hockey will not be in this state if they know the word “Professionalism”. I hope you will agree that it goes to all the players in the MHL.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Gandhi,

A thought for future of hockey....
Rules mentioned by anonymus seems to be an alternate solution, but the issue should be focussed at - how many teams has the ability to play in the division 1 league? No teams wants to get a bashing.... Hence they prefer to play in 2nd division. Moreover how many players are there in Malaysia as on date? Nur Insafi had to import 9 players to play in the national league. Though EY had many national players on the bench, then what about their fitness level? On an avergae take Sapura - their average players should not be less than 32, TNB also may be around 30+, May bank ?. It is observed that only EY and juniors were the only teams with an average age of 25 and 20 respectively. The league has merely served as an affair for players above 28 years who have worn out from the national duty. With the age difference being so wide how is Malaysian hockey going to be benefitted from the league? Why there is no demarcation in age for competition so that more and more youngster are focussed rather than bringing old war horses.

Anonymous said...

The above 3 comments are very shallow in their knowledge of hockey.
Where were this players before they were roped into the National team. Just for your information they were only so called EY players only not Malaysian players. Once they were established they were taken into the national team. Only 3 playerswere bought by EY-Roslan, Amin(now TNB) and Kelvinder. The rest of the players started of rookies in the EY team and now after 3 years they are National players. Please get your facts right.
EY Fan.