Tuesday, August 24, 2010

UniKL - The hope for young hockey talents seemly losing its direction

When UniKL (University Kuala Lumpur) came into the 2009 Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) scene, they brought with them a refreshing sense of hope to Malaysian hockey. It was the first Umiversity to participate at the MHL and moreso as its Chancellor is no other than the President of MHF ie the TM. It would seem that the TM is preaching exactly what he practices, which is popularising the game.

What was refreshing in UniKL's approach was its vision of embodying the principle of providing a platform for young talents to participate in the senior league. There were no big names or former internationals in the team and what was great is that they did not end up as "whipping boys" of the league. As debutant's in the league they gave most teams "the run for their money". While the TM was the prime mover of the idea, the lads on the ground namely coach Vicki, assistant coach Enbaraj, consultant Mirnawan, a Dutch Advisor working with an oil & gas outfit and the team manager Amir - a full time staff of UniKL, must be given due recognition for their efforts in moulding the team.

The same management team minus the Dutch Advisor was the principal personality behind UniKL's success in the 2010 National Junior League. UniKL became runners-up in the league and the overall champions. Some creditable performance yet again for the debutants. In a nutshell it would seem UniKL had started making "waves" in Malaysian hockey.

However within a year of their debut, some strange maneuvers are taking place in UniKL, maybe because of the quick success and the publicity they had received. Whether it was due to the "swollen head" of the team management, it would seem that they are losing the purpose as to why they were set-up. This is manifested as the cracks appear with some of the players moaning and groaning as UniKL seem to have disregarded in paying their young players their share of the prize monies even 3 months after the end of the National Junior League. This is further compounded in the change of thinking as UniKL greedily look for success by indulging with "big bucks" and acquiring big names for the team in the coming MHL. It would seem the freshness UniKL brought to Malaysian hockey is being polluted as they adopt the old ways of some of the other teams. Suddenly the "odour" coming out of UniKL seems to reflect "staleness" ie the freshness seems to have been lost.

The closeness of the team management of UniKL with the main people behind Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) seems to permit the flow of players that are being discarded by KLHC to UniKL. Most of those making the "beeline" are older former internationals including one of 35 years. It would seem KLHC's "good riddance" is becoming UniKL's "rubbish". As to why UniKL has taken such a radical and controversial approach is completely baffling.

The storyline does not end here. Rumours have it that UniKL has also started pinching players from other clubs. Lately, unconfirmed reports indicate 2 staff of a particular employer who has a team in the MHL have resigned and would be joining UniKL at the end of the notice period. The interesting aspect of the storyline here is one of them is a national discard and also from his previous employer's team too. As a result he was absent from the 2009 MHL and apparently he went to play at an European country league. He did gloat how well he performed there but did not reveal that he probably was playing at a lower league ie 3rd or 4th Division. Further flavour is added to the story as this player is known to skip training sessions regularly because he seems to be prone to an unusually high rate of injury and this time around for the notice period of resignation he is supposed to be also on medical leave. Somehow and somewhere UniKL seems to have been taken by him notwithstanding the stories that are being told.

The other player that would join UniKL from the same employer is currently on tour with the national team. This player is enticed by the "big bucks" and the fact that the new players may get yearly contracts and some may even get employment is becoming an added attraction. This seems unusual as in their debutant year the players contract only covered the period of the league. One wonders whether the new found wealth in UniKL's team and the "new thinking" with the team management would help to maintain team unity or create greater disruption. Time would probably give us the answer.

UniKL themselves may have to start questioning themselves whether in fact any of the players are undergraduates of the University. I believe this is something UniKL may find it hard to fulfill although they may argue that a minority may be offered employment opportunities. It is this misguided outlook of just wanting to win that the team management may compromise of building a young team of players including giving them the opportunity to study at the University. Such an omission would literally make UniKL similar to KLHC ie spend the "big bucks" to get the big names. The objective of creating new stars seems completely obliterated.

The chapters of the story do not end here. The hockey grapevine is talking that UniKL is equipping themselves with a foreign coach and maybe a few foreign players too. If there is truth to this then there is no doubt that UniKL is obviously adopting a "Machiavellian" style iie the end justifies the means. To win the MHL title is by packing the team with stars. So what difference is there if one is prepared to throw the money eg going and buying ready-made food.

In a way it comes back to what the Chancellor of UniKL is preaching in hockey. Are UniKL team management taking cognisance of this or are they blinded by the wealth they are collecting from their sponsors and therefore it is about winning at all costs? If that is so then all the effort the TM is putting into MHF to create talents is going to a waste if such players do not have vehicles like UniKL to give them the opportunities.


Anonymous said...

UniKL is an case story because it is starting to become why clubs fail and why a club based league system in Malaysia fails.

UniKL fortunately or unfortunately has the TM who is the Chancelor, therefore growth, development and most importantly sustainability thru finance is not an issue. Sorry to bluntly put but for not UniKL is secure.

So when did a University based hockey club participating in Junior Levels lose its ideals> Do they know what its ideal?

Firstly its a University therefore it should always be about the University, students and if needed employees and you have such a large pool of people to choose from.

So in what good conscious did the management of UniKL start hiring outsider just to play for the team? Employing players in year long contracts? its rubbish.

Does the Management of UniKL actually think is it morally right fall in line with the common philosophy of buying the National team lock stock and barrel and bring results, ending up with the ideology that the budget is 3 or 4 times higher then the actual benefits?

Think if this is the path you want to take. Do a Kansas City Shuffle

Anonymous said...

Clearly, the takut kalah mentality has prevailed again. Just like playing weak hockey nations is de rigeur for the national teams, the UniKl team is trying to get all the internationals and former internationals instead of sticking with the players they have bred and blood. Typical Malaysian mentality and the next team is that you have a team of 15 internationals so that you can whip everyone and pretend you are the champion of a small pond instead instead of testing your skills and tactics in the wider world. Majulah Sukan.

Anonymous said...

Latest peribahasa added into UNIKL Kamus.

Before :
Sayang anak ditangan tangankan, Sayang bini ditinggal tinggalkan.

Player sendiri ditinggal tinggalkan, Player luarnegeri di belibelikan

Kera dihutan disusukan susukan, anak dirumah kelapar laparan.

Players KLHC expired diambil ambilkan, Players barisan muda didrop dropkan.

Inilah ragam manusia.

Anonymous said...

Takut apa? See other team. 20 national + ex-player. How to play or fight with them?

If mhf make the rule, maximum 5 national player baru cakap pasal takut.

Ini belum main sudah kalah pasal ada team banyak national player?

Tukar rule untuk pembangunan hoki negara.

Anonymous said...

In response to Anonymous said... August 26, 2010 6:32 PM

MHF does tno have the guts to call and make a ruling to limit the number of national players coz they themselves do not have a structure. They are afraid of making clear cut decision on player eligibility because they are afraid of the affiliates.

The have allowed the the dominance of players who are paid allowances by National allowance to sign year long contracts with clubs that play only one major tournament for the club.

IF people cant make tough and unpopular decisions then step aside

Simple solution from 2012 ( or 2011), release the list of National Trainees being paid allowances and say they are part of the pool, club can use a max of 5-6 players. Why 2011 or 2012 so that players with existing contracts can be allowed to laspe

You will get two thinng
1. A number of players leaving the National Team coz they value the contracts more.
2. Club not buying a bandwagon of players
3. Players who are truly committed to the National Team.

For UniKL I think they have strayed from their true objective, which is sad,

Anonymous said...

Helloooooooo brothersssssssssss,

It is so easy to say things when you write.

Firstly remember when the league start in 1987,there were so many teams who take players and gives them job but now its not the same.
Today only Maybank and TNB gives job to hockey players.Yes Sapura and unikl also give some jobs.But bottom line teams must be there with stability to last and players would move.I think the present MHF have done a great job attracting more teams here so players can be evenly distribute.

At one time in the history Maybank was monopolising the league with the best palyers.TNB was also the same.Both of them have employees who are national player.Even 10 of their employees becomes national player what you want them to do when MHF limits national players.You want their employees to play for other teams.

At one time it was 2 foreign players per team.Then with the complain that most players are with one team so it is open now that unlimited players for foreign players.

We should understand that with all foreign players there is no guarantee sucess.Look at Nurinsafi.So its KLHC there is no guarantee too.In malaysia we have so many national players,ex-national available but the sad part is some former players are paid higher than current national players.Do we know know that.

Then comes the junior league players which starts in 1995,where are they today,only a handful of them graduate to MHL.Why are they not able to find teams in MHL?Whose fault is that?

In unikl situation,I guess it was a platform for young gunners gaining exposure and moving up the ranks and finally landing in to the national team.That should be the primary target for this team.Public supports them last season for this.But they change their mission this season.

Maybe they want to win or take bigger challenge to match the big teams since they won the Junior League.That is their call.We respect that.

We should have more teams then,maybe 10 teams,with quality and make our league the BEST in Asia.It would definately helps our national team.

Another question why are the Kuhan,Vijayan,Reduan Ponirin,Nasihin and gobi still able to play in MHL?Answer is our development programme dont produce quality players.We dont have good players coming up the ranks.That is reality.

Anonymous said...

Hello August 27, 2010 4:19 PM,

You must be a good coach since you know most of the problems in the Malaysian hockey scene.

When you mentioned that not many players came through to the senior level, you can not also be agreeing to teams having all the national players for themselves. When you say 10 teams with quality then does it make any sense if we continue to have 70% national players in a team and balance 20% in the rest of the teams.

How are we to make 10 quality teams and create a competitive league?

It is strange that teams with bulk of the national players failed to win the MHL title. What is your opinion? Can it be the national players low quality making the competition stiff even with the non-national players?

Could it be other reasons? For example with other sports it is the result of poor coaching, indiscipline players, no training facilities.

There must be a rule on the hiring of foreign players. Do we take the best and let our local players learn from them or take the shit that comes and kill the league.

You are again right to say that there must be some focus needed at the development level. So who is responsible for this? KPM or MHF, age group choches?

Anonymous said...

remember 1 thing,sports is an entertainment and also advertisement. Clubs are paying big money for that. And if UNIKL wants to play and win the National league,its their business,they are taking out money,not you.Who the hell are u to tell UNIKL must do charity for Malaysia hockey. Do UNIKL look like charity team for you.If UNIKL start winning,more people will know about the team, more over it will be the greatest advertisement they can get.They will hve more people to study in UNIKL and the same time making money.
Brothers,Hockey is business not charity event.Learn and recognise that.
Why former and older players are needed and paid so much? That question you must ask Sports school teachers especially BJSS.


Anonymous said...

Complex Challenges need smart solutions

MHL by MHF is carried out with a purpose. Not just mere advertisement or entertainment only.

MHF governing the National hockey body has been entrusted to carry out sound planning programmes to develop hockey to the highest level. Thus enabling our players to have skills, srength and intelligence to compete with the top players in the world. After spending millions and millions of ringgit on facillities and infrastructure, where is our status. Is it appealling enough for Malaysia to be at ranking 14 of 15?

What great "significance" have MHF brought by running the MHL tournaments apart from running the yearly calender programmes? MHF cannot run programmes with "trial and error basis". There must be a purpose. MHF being the service provider to malaysian hockey needs to be innovative itself and "break the barrier" of ""primitive approach to dinamics"".

The Juniors must be trained and given the opportunity to play in senior leagues to enable progression to higher level very fast. Singling them out in these senior tournaments are like depriving their opportunity to progress fast. How did the Ausies win the Youth Olympics? "....Pure intelligence and confidence..." Are we going to allow them to continue winning the Junior World Cups and other tournaments in future. And we sit and watch? Its crazy man!!!. Thats why, the grassroot "development planning" and "structural development" must be in place to support the "national programme". And the National programmes carried out by MHF must be seen "intelligent and futuristic". Not just for the sake of running the yearly calender.

Rules implemented for the Razak cup to compulsory have juniors playing with the seniors was a very good move by MHF and would also be complimented if coperated in MHL(premier) too. This would boost up the juniors performance and confidence and also keep the seniors on their toes.

UniKL should be complemented for their move to bring in foreign players and coach. It is a very intelligent move and need to be limited to 2 players per team only. This enables our players to upload knowledge from the foreigns too.

Incentives and rewards for teams who field many junior players plus best Junior keeper, best junior forward, best junior back and best junior midfield should also be encourage.

What are the chances of this happening?
MHF launches the ambitious "1Mas programme" should also be ambitious to be "Top 5 in the world" thus asipring a more comprehensive National League to achieve its objectives.

The destiny of MHF running tournaments is to ensure that Malaysia has powerful and strong Junior and Senior team who can play at international tournaments. And we should not run out of high performance players to represent the country at any "one" time.

Where you start will not determine your end but "how you start will ultimately determine your success...."

ghost said...

good day

this is a question about the player who played in the europe league Div3 or Div4.it seems like he left the organization for some big bucks if i m not mistaken(correct me if i m wrong).Did anyone think that it was because of the coach in that organization he is in that made him left?If he would to stay at the organization,what are the chances of he playing through out the MHL?Why no one talked about it?u be the judge :)

Another issue is this 35 years old player who will be playing with unikl this season formerlly from KLHC. It seems like KLHC's "good riddance" is becoming UniKL's "rubbish",that was what written in the blog. IF that 35 year old player was Teun de Nooijer?I wonder what's the headlines going to be?:)

this is for anonymous who reffered 'takut kalah'.take a team which is 90 per cent national players playing againts a team maybe from penang.whats the outcome going to be?i m not talking bout the scoreline but who will emerge winner?nobody wants to lose.this is not 'takut kalah' but giving a good fight to the other teams with alots of internationals. by the way, i dont think UNIKL will have 15 internationals??doesnt make sense.
what u say??

end of the day,regardless UNIKL is splashing money taking players or 'takut kalah' or it could be anything.There will still be comments here and there.

the teams are not the problem, the PEOPLE are.Those people who's got nothing else to do or probably they are getting paid doing this,we wouldnt know.

berani post tapi tak berani letak nama.at least nama samaran!!