Friday, 30 December 2011

Hockey team get NSI offer to set up camp at Bath

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Sports Institute (NSI) have offered the Malaysian hockey team the chance to set up camp at the University of Bath before the Olympic qualifier in Dublin from March 10-18.

“There is a hockey facility at Bath which is ideal for the team to use to acclimatise to the conditions in the UK. We have offered it to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) and are waiting to hear from them,” said NSI chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz yesterday.

In August, the national shuttlers, led by world number one Lee Chong Wei, utilised the facilities at Bath to prepare for the World Cham­pionships in London.

The NSI are already helping the hockey team. Several experts are with the squad and a few of their officers are expected to accompany the players to Dublin.

The team are now preparing for a six-match series with China here from Jan 11-20.
A similar series with India in New Delhi from Jan 27-Feb 4 has been cancelled after the Indians requested for a change in dates.

National team manager George Koshy said they were unable to respond to NSI’s offer as they have yet to finalise their programme for February.

“We are still hoping to arrange more matches. The problem is we need matches and we do not have enough at the moment. As we are in the midst of the holiday season there is no way we can confirm anything at the moment,” said Gerorge.

“But the plan is to leave about 10 days before the Dublin tournament. We can set up camp in Bath but we have to ensure we can play matches at the nearby areas. We have written to Britain for matches and are waiting for a reply. Once the matches are confirmed, it will be clearer where we want to set up camp,” added George.

George said Wales had agreed to play with Malaysia in Cardiff.
“But if we play Wales, then it does not make sense to stay at Bath as that will involve a lot of travelling.
“So, we are keeping the Wales’ offer open for now. We will confirm it once our programme is finalised,” he said.


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