Hockey: Factual assessment on our Olympic dream and Euro Tour

Let me make it clear from the start

Neither am I an ex- International who has played 80 times for the country, be it field, indoor, underwater or imaginary Hockey.

And neither am I am decorated individual with a title ( save for Teo honorific awards that I never used) or posses a university degree or diploma, let alone a certificate from a higher learning institute – except for a Malaysian Certificate of Education I received in 1979.

Throughout my 37 years of involvement in sports ( administrative and technical) in various sports bodies or establishments, I never held an elected position , save for NS Hockey, as I hated politics.

But I have collected the required “mileage” over the 37 years to be competent to talk about sports, unlike some quacks that were born yesterday but call themselves experts today.

So much blabbering has been going on for the past 3 weeks on the national teams Europe Tour. But those who have followed my ramblings on my website will notice that I never wrote a single article, and the only thing I shared was the official match reports with my Whatsapp contacts, on Twitter and Facebook.

Now that the team had completed its tour, I am duty bound by my love for the sport to list out facts and views for the public to make their own minds.

I need no title, position, correlating of results, analysis of individual players performances to do this.

With no stats being provided,,such as the number of penalty corners for and against, the ball possession percentage , the number of circle entries and the shot at goal, it will be impossible to do a proper analysis of the performance.

Without being able to watch the matches, there is no way one can safely say that the team is in the right direction to make it to Tokyo 2020, unless of course one has imaginary powers, something I cannot fathom achieving in this life or my after life,

In order to do a neutral analysis of the results of the European Tour, I contacted two renowned coaches on their views on the Malaysian Teams Europe Tour and the following are their comments;

Coach One ( European)

“ Playing games seems to be important for those boys – but Holland and Germany had just started preparations after a break from Pro League and holiday – so both games have not shown normal quality – but the boys did well in Spain !!! Now Belgium was in full strength and that makes the difference…

“ Malaysia will get a tough draw for sure but they also have quality – to me they miss working long term.

On Malaysia’s chances for the Qualifiers,

“ Canada yes they have a chance. I don’t see them winning in November in cold Germany – playing Germany in Malaysia would be different . With Spain they are, New Zealand too … but both sides look to me more consistent.”

Now after reading that from an experienced coach who himself played at the highest level, winning gold in the World Cup rather then imaginary Hockey, let’s take a look at another coach, from Europe and has coached Asian teams.

Coach 2 ( European with Asian Coaching experience)

“ It’s always a good choice to practice in playing matches because the best way is the more you do it the better it will become. The results were initially good but that was because the European teams just returned from a holiday they were not fit and had no or little training.

“ Later the teams were further in their preparations for the European Championship and that was also noticeable.

“ There is no shame but this is reality. The good results were not reason to be too happy but the poor results are no reason to be desparate

“ I think it’s wise if you are developing and preparing if the target is to win then it’s not. “

On Malaysia’s chance to make the Olympics via the playoff.

“ I don’t think they can as they are not disciplined enough and they easily give up when it’s getting tough. They panic most of the time and jump into the victim role.

“ Especially the last one is killing. They, at many times play vs the umpire instead of the opponent. Mentally they have an issue.”

So there we have it, realistic assessment against what was more of a poor PR attempt trying to gain popularity rather then telling things as the are.

No one wants the team to fail, I was there in 1996 in Atlanta when we were in the Olympics, coach by Volker Knapp.

I was in London and how I missed having a Malaysian Hockey team there.

I dream and pray they make Tokyo, and I will fly to watch them play for 3 days, as that my limit without dialysis.

Results of matches

Test Matches

Germany -won – 4-2

Spain – lost 1-0

4 Nation

Spain – won – 4-3

Ireland – won 2-1

England – drew – 3-3

Test Matches

Holland – lost – 6-4

Holland – lost 6-2

Belgium – lost 5-1

Belgium – lost 8-0

Goals scored; Total 20

v Germany

PS -1

PC – 1

FG – 2

v Spain

0

v Spain

FG – 3

PC – 1

v Ireland

FG -1

PC -1

v England

PC – 2

FG – 1

v Holland

FG – 2

PC – 2

v Holland

FG – 2

v Belgium

FG – 1

V Belgium

0

Goals conceded: 35

v Germany

PC – 2

v Spain

FG-1

v Spain

FG – 3

v Ireland

FG -1

v England

FG – 1

PC – 2

v Holland

FG – 4

PC – 2

V Holland

FG -6

V Belgium

FG -5

V Belgium

FG – 3

PC – 5