Wednesday September 12, 2012
Junior world champions Germany coming for Johor Cup
By S. RAMAGURU
KUALA LUMPUR: Reigning junior world champions Germany are the latest team to confirmed their participation in the second Sultan of Johor Cup in Johor Baru from Nov 8-18.
The others in the six-team tournament are defending champions Malaysia, runners-up Australia, New Zealand, India and Pakistan.
Germany are the most successful team in the Junior World Cup, having won it five times. They last won it in 2009 in Johor Baru when Malaysia and Singapore co-hosted the event. Their other triumphs were in 1982, 1985, 1989 and 1993.
The Johor HA, organisers of the Sultan of Johor Cup, are still awaiting a reply from Belgium as they hope to make it a seven-nation tournament.
Organising secretary and Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) vice-president Manjit Majid Abdullah is hopeful that Belgium will give a positive answer.
“They (Belgium) have asked for a few days to consider our invitation. We have no problems if they don’t take part as we’ll just maintain it as a six-nation event like last year. But it would be good to have two European teams in the fray,” he said.
Besides Malaysia and Australia, the other teams who took part in the inaugural tournament last year were New Zealand, India, Pakistan and South Korea.
The tournament was introduced to give the Malaysian Project 2013 squad a chance to compete with world-class sides. The Project squad had earlier this year won the Asia Junior Cup to book a place in the Junior World Cup next year.
Manjit said they would only invite top-level teams “so as to keep the tournament competitive”.
“All the invited teams have qualified for the Junior World Cup and I am sure they will bring their best players,” he said.
Meanwhile, the MHC, it is learnt, will hold their annual general meeting on Sept 23 for the tabling of reports and accounts. There will be no election of office bearers.
The term of office for the MHC is four years and the current group was only elected last year.